May 12, 1914

CON

Hugh Boulton Morphy

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. MORPHY:

$1,200 a year after thirty-three years' service. There is a sort of arbitrary rule that permits of the granting of some sort of gratuity when public servants die or leave the service, and I presume that is what this widow has received. I feel that I would be neglecting my duty if, on this item, I did not take the opportunity of asking the minister, according to the principles of equity that ought to govern governments and that would govern private individuals, to take this case into, not the ordinary formal way of putting it, his serious consideration, but his heartfelt consideration, and to place in the Estimates a substantial sum that would in some manner put the Government right in this case, perhaps by setting apart the sum of $5,000, an annuity to pay to the widow. I think that would be a fitting recognition of faithful service performed to all governments by a public employee who

was so unfortunate as to lose his life under such harrowing circumstances. I therefore ask the minister to oblige the widow by rising to that height, to which I think the Government of this country ought to rise, and straining a point in this case. If he says: Where are you going to draw the line? If we do this in this case, we shall have to do it in some other case. In such an event I would make answer that these cases are very rare, and possibly all the members of this House will have passed away before such a thing occurs again. If you compute the interest upon the sums paid in for thirty-three years from year to year, and bear in mind that nothing whatever has been received and cannot be received, I submit that it should meet with the approval of every member if a substantial sum is placed in the Supplementary Estimates for this widow. Mr. Tye's father was a good Liberal, but that does not prevent me pressing this just claim. I hope the minister will take the matter into his consideration and act accordingly.

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CON

Louis-Philippe Pelletier (Postmaster General)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. PELLETIER:

The case to which my hon. friend has referred is one deserving not only as he said of the ordinary form of consideration, but of special consideration. Mr. Tye was an old sen ant in the Post Office Department, who lost his life under very special circumstances. If that case bad stood exactly as given to us here by my hon. friend, there would not have been any hesitation in giving something to the poor widow. But there is one important fact which I have found on the file when my hon. friend (Air. Morphy) took up this matter with me. I may say that this is not the first time that he has taken up the matter. He has devoted to this cause a good deal of attention and care, and he is quite satisfied that he is right in what he says, because he is very keen in insisting cn it.

The man was burned to death and the family was left in poor circumstances, but I have found the practice in the department which my officers have informed me has existed for years without one exception, that when we are called upon to give some compensation in cases like this, we never do it when the widow and children have had some other compensation. In this case the widow has had damages awarded to her by the court, and which were paid to her by the Grand Trunk Railway Company, to the extent of nearly $10,000-

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CON
CON

Louis-Philippe Pelletier (Postmaster General)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. PELLETIER:

-and that makes a difference, at least according to the department's usage. I may say that it does not entirely appeal to me as a conclusive reason for refusing the widow something. Of course, what we give under these circumstances we call a ' compassionate allowance '-that is how these amounts are always voted. And if it is a compassionate allowance, of course it is supposed to be the thing which the widow or children might have to depend upon. However, speaking for myself-because I intend to take this matter up with my colleagues, as I promised my hon. friend-I think there are two sides to that question. What the Grand Trunk Railway Company paid this widow she was entitled to by law, for it was given her'under judgment of the court. Now, whether under these circumstances this country is absolutely relieved of all its duties and obligations towards the widow and four children of a man who has been so long in our employ, I do not like to say in an absolutely definite manner. My own desire and inclination would be the other way. But, as the matter is to be discussed in Council, if there is to be an amount in the Estimates, I cannot go further than that at the moment. But what has fallen from, my lips shows my hon. friend that the matter has engaged more than the usual, formal, ordinary consideration. Further than this I am not prepared to go to-night.

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LIB

George William Kyte

Liberal

Mr. KYTE:

This afternoon, before the Postmaster General was in his place, I called attention to the fact that a return was not yet rdown, called for on the 16th of March, the correspondence relating to the carrying of the mails from Grand River to Grand River Falls, in the county of Richmond, and the awarding of the contract. I hope the Postmaster General will bring this down before his Estimates are again considered.

Progress reported.

On motion of Mr. Pelletier the House adjourned at 11.50 p.m.

Wednesday, May 13, 1914.

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May 12, 1914