April 6, 1916

LIB

Alexander Kenneth Maclean

Liberal

Mr. MACLEAN:

Never in my experience as a supporter of the late Administration

164J

did I ask that such a thing be done. It may have been done, but if it was, it was just as reprehensible then as it is now. This country has never had a Postmaster General who disregarded the system of ten-% der and contract to the extent the predecessor of the present Postmaster General did; and I suppose the -staff of the department has been so badly trained in recent years that it would be difficult for them now to revert to more correct methods. I do not know how the evil is to be corrected. One method might be for the Postmaster General to resign and let some one else come in, or he might give the matter his serious and earnest consideration, and see that the practice of tender and contract was not departed from hereafter. I was disappointed when the Postmaster General justified, a little while ago, the awarding of a contract to a person whose tender -was not the lowest. That is not what I expected from a good public administrator. Had he not attempted to justify it, I should have thought that he was not responsible for this very improper and reprehensible practice; but it was quite clear that he sought to justify it, and he even looked around for applause, and received some from hon. gentlemen sitting around him. So I must believe that the Postmaster General is a party to this improper practice.

Topic:   QUESTIONS.
Subtopic:   TAXATION OF PROFITS.
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CON

Frederick Laurence Schaffner

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. SCHAFFNER:

I think the hon.

member said that the tender was $345 per yeaT. Does he know the distance and how many times a day the mail has to be delivered from the tramway?

Topic:   QUESTIONS.
Subtopic:   TAXATION OF PROFITS.
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LIB
CON

Frederick Laurence Schaffner

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. SCHAFFNER:

It is very important.

Topic:   QUESTIONS.
Subtopic:   TAXATION OF PROFITS.
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LIB

Alexander Kenneth Maclean

Liberal

Mr. MACLEAN:

There are only two

things to do: you must either respect the system of tender or disregard it. If you frequently disregard it, you might as well abandon it altogether.

Topic:   QUESTIONS.
Subtopic:   TAXATION OF PROFITS.
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CON

Frederick Laurence Schaffner

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. SCHAFFNER:

I wanted to know if the mail contractors are paid a$ much in my county as they are in my hon. friend's county.

Topic:   QUESTIONS.
Subtopic:   TAXATION OF PROFITS.
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LIB

Alexander Kenneth Maclean

Liberal

Mr. MACLEAN:

I agree with my hon.

friend that there are many instances whete mail contractors do not receive a sufficient amount.

Topic:   QUESTIONS.
Subtopic:   TAXATION OF PROFITS.
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CON

Frederick Laurence Schaffner

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. SCHAFFNER:

I think so too.

Topic:   QUESTIONS.
Subtopic:   TAXATION OF PROFITS.
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LIB

Alexander Kenneth Maclean

Liberal

Mr. MACLEAN:

But whom are they to

blame but themselves? What system can you devise for making mail contracts other than the system of tender3 Would you leave the question to patronage or to the department entirely? If so, T venture to say that instead of the Post Office Department costing $15,000,000 or $11,000,000 yearly, it would cost $35,000,000.

Topic:   QUESTIONS.
Subtopic:   TAXATION OF PROFITS.
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LIB

William Cameron Edwards

Liberal

Mr. EDWARDS:

Supposing a contractor had given good service and yet the Post Office Department advertised for tenders and the original contractor's tender was, say, $5 higher than the lowest tender. Does my hon. friend think that there might not be cases like that where one would be justified in allowing the original contractor to lower his price by that $5?

Topic:   QUESTIONS.
Subtopic:   TAXATION OF PROFITS.
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LIB

Alexander Kenneth Maclean

Liberal

Mr. MACLEAN:

I will answer my hon. friend in this way. In the first place, the supposititious case which he has put is not on all fours with the four cases which I had in mind and which are referred to in Hansard of this session, nor is it like the case which I have specifically referred to. In every mail contract there is always a provision enabling the department to renew it. When a mail service has once been put up for tender, there is nothing left for the department to do but submit to the result of the tenders. It might well happen in many cases that, if the retiring contractor's price was but a few dollars above the lowest tender, the department might be justified in awarding the contract to him for some reason such as the unreliability of the lowest tenderer or something like that. The only security, however, that this country has for a proper administration of the Post' Office Department is the system of tender. If you abandon that system, in a few years you will have the Post Office expenditure consuming half the revenues of the country. In that respect, the Post Office Department is entirely different from the other departments.

Topic:   QUESTIONS.
Subtopic:   TAXATION OF PROFITS.
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CON

John Webster

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. WEBSTER:

Would you advise the

Postmaster General to accept the lowest tenders in all cases?

Topic:   QUESTIONS.
Subtopic:   TAXATION OF PROFITS.
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LIB

Alexander Kenneth Maclean

Liberal

Mr. MACLEAN:

The law practically

compels him to do so.

Topic:   QUESTIONS.
Subtopic:   TAXATION OF PROFITS.
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CON

John Webster

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. WEBSTER:

There is a rural mail

route in my constituency for which there are three tenders, one, $1,197; another, $1,350; and the third, $1,500.

Topic:   QUESTIONS.
Subtopic:   TAXATION OF PROFITS.
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CON

Frederick Laurence Schaffner

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. SCHAFFNER:

I would not give the contract to any of them.

[Mr. Sehaffner.J

Topic:   QUESTIONS.
Subtopic:   TAXATION OF PROFITS.
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CON

John Webster

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. WEBSTER:

What would you do in a case of that kind?

Topic:   QUESTIONS.
Subtopic:   TAXATION OF PROFITS.
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LIB
CON

John Webster

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. WEBSTER:

The maximum amount

in Ontario is $30 per mile. These tenders are away too high.

Topic:   QUESTIONS.
Subtopic:   TAXATION OF PROFITS.
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LIB

Alexander Kenneth Maclean

Liberal

Mr. MACLEAN:

There is not a great

deal of spread between - the highest and lowest tender in that case, and if the lowest tenderer can give the department the security required by the statute, why should he not receive the contract?

Topic:   QUESTIONS.
Subtopic:   TAXATION OF PROFITS.
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CON

John Webster

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. WEBSTER:

But in this case you are going to pay him more than the business is actually worth, because he is a friend of yours.

Topic:   QUESTIONS.
Subtopic:   TAXATION OF PROFITS.
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April 6, 1916