2. Answered by No. 1. .
Subtopic: LEAVE-OF-ABSENCE BOARD APPEALS.
2. Answered by No. 1. .
1. Is there a Director of Public Information for Canada?
2. If so, what is his name?
3. What salary is he paid?
4. What was his former occupation?
' 5. What Department of the Government has control of this office?
6. How many persons are employed in the office by the Director of Public Information?
7. What ai-e the names of each?
8. What salary is each one receiving?
3. What war the former occupation of each and their respective salaries?
10. What is the nature of the work being clone ?
11. What is the estimated cost of maintaining the oifice per month?
2. M. E. Nicbols.
3. 85,000 per year.
4. Newspaper editor.
5. President of the Privy Council.
7. 8, and 9. Frank Yeigh, $300 per month, formerly lecturer and organizer $350 per month.
W. 8. LeSueur, $150 per month, formerly advertising manager, $200 per month.
Miss B. A. Macleod, $75 per month, formerly stenographer Imperial Munitions Board, $80 per month.
Miss W. Wilson, $100 per month, formerly journalist $100 per month.
Miss M. Currie, $65 per month, formerly stenographer Federal Press, $65 per month.
Miss M. J. Roe, $60 per month, recommended by Civil Service Commission.
Miss R. G. MacLeod, $60 per month, formerly .stenographer Militia Department, $56 per month.
'Charles Brooks, $25 per month, office boy, $20 per month.
Captain William Wallace, M.C., and Lieut. I. D. Johnson are also employed in the office of the Director of Public Information as editors of the Canadian Daily Record, but they are paid by the Militia Department, receiving the pay of their respective ranks. Neither Captain Wallace nor Lieut. Johnson has yet been discharged from the C.E.F., in which they were serving.
10. The work carried on by the Director of Public Information is directed along the lines of giving the public the fullest possible information concerning the war and war problems, at home and abroad.
The Director of Public Information keeps in close touch with Government activities and with the work of the boards and commissions specially constituted to meet problems arising from the war. The facilities of his office are at the disposal of these various departments of government, boards, and commissions, to prepare, direct, or advise in publicity campaigns and are being utilized for that purpose.
The director will also keep in touch with the Department of Propaganda in Great Britain and with the Committee of Public Information in the United States, so as to provide the Canadian people with fuller information relating to the war and activities of the Allied Nations.
A special work undertaken by the Director of Public Information is the preparation of summaries of news and opinion of the British Empire and foreign countries, with special reference to problems arising from the war- This information will be presented in the form of a weekly review.
The Director of Public Information has also taken over the general supervision of the Canadian Daily Record, published for the use of the Canadian soldiers overseas.
Of the various activities of the Director of Public Information, particular mention may be made of the War Lecture Bureau organized early last December through which a large number of voluntary workers have been enlisted in the work of delivering patriotic speeches. The bureau is active in nearly every province in Canada and addresses have been delivered to approximately 490,000 people. It has co-operated in local campaigns for the Patriotic and Red Cross Funds and is being utilized in the campaigns for Farm Labour and Greater Production.
11. Approximately $4,000 per month, of which nearly one-half is expended on the Canadian Daily Record published for the Canadian soldiers overseas.
1 Has an Order in Council been passed providing that newsprint paper and mechanical
wood pulp are among the goods of which export is prohibited except under license issued by the Minister of Customs at the request of the War Trade Board?
2. If so, what is the object of said Order in Council?
Mr. A. K. MACLEAN:
2. The object in passing the Order in Council was to assist in the control and supply of newsprint for domestic purposes.
*1. During the months of October, November or December, 1917, did the staff of the Imperial Munitions Board do any work for the Government in connection with the copying of lists showing the names of soldiers' wives and soldiers' dependents?
2. If so, who paid the various members of the staff of the Imperial Munitions Board for doing this work?
3. For what purpose were these lists used?
4. Did any member of the staff of the Militia Department arrange to have the work done?
5. If so. what is his name?
6. On whose instructions were the lists copied?
1. There ,ie no record of any such work having been done for the Government.
2. and 3. Answered by No. 1.
4, 5 and 6. There is no record, in the Militia Department of any such instructions, nor was there any payment made on account oif suoh expenditure.
Sir WILFRID LAURIER:
For a copy of all Orders in Council appointing members of the National Service Board, and all reports made individually or collectively by the members of the Board.
Mr, ARCHAMBAULT: Who were the officers of the Engineer Training Depot stationed at the St. Johns, Quebec, barracks during the months of October and December, 1917? Who were the officers of the Engineers Training Depot stationed at St. Johns, Quebec, barracks on the 17th of December, 1917? Where did these officers enlist and where did tlitse officers reside before their enlistment? Where were these officers residing at the time of their enlistment?
Mr. J. H. BURNHAM (W. Peterborough) moved:
That, in the opinion of this House, Parliament should provide that the Postmaster General shall have power to revise rural mail carriers' contracts not yet fully executed in order that the service may not suffer from conditions bearing unfairly on the said carriers arising
from sudden rise in prices due to unusual circumstances and unfairly affecting the rate of remuneration contracted for.
He said: My object, in, bringing .this
motion before the House is that mail carriers, after .they have entered into certain obligations, sometimes find themselves, owing to circumstances over which they have no control and which they could not reasonably 'be expected to .have taken into consideration, placed in such a position that they have -a .moral right to appeal for a revision oif their contract, but the Postmaster General has, no1 power to revise the contract do any way. When he is apprised of these unusual circumstances, he (replies that he has no po wer 'to revise the contract, and the consequence is that there is no reconsideration. I, myself, know of oases where mail couriers are 'going behind daily, as a plain statement of their expenditures shows, and the result is that the country is really taking advantage ,of these men by holding them strictly to their ,contract. A great injustice is done these couriers' solely because the Postmaster General has not the power that other 'ministers of the Crown have, under different circumstances, of revising a contract or improving its conditions. The Postmaster General simply has to shut out all .consideration of the matter, and this works a very great hardship. The Government should not take undue advantage of any man, especially of men so necessary to the business' of the country as mail couriers, and since the desire of the House can only be that all the people shall 'be treated fairly, I fancy the House, if it will hut think of the matter for a moment, will 'be only too glad to empower the Postmaster General to revise these contracts so as to enable him to do. justice in every case where a ,grievance is clearly shown.
Hon. C. J. DOHERTY (Acting Postmaster General):
May I ask when that
Mr. E. PROULX (Prescott):
I support the resolution of the hon. member for West Peterborough (Mr. Burnham). When the rural mail delivery system was established
a few years ago, there was a fixed' price according to locality. In. certain localities the prices were too low; the department would not exceed a maximum price of $30 a mile. Since the increase in the cost of living and in the cost of feed fox horses and gasolene for motor vehicles, a large number of mail carriers have heen carrying the mail at a loss, or at any rate, at a very small wage. As the member for Maieon-neuve (Mr. Lemieux) said, the system has been' a great boon to the farmers, and that in itself is a reason why we should not expect the mail carriers to work at such low wages, or to carry out their contracts at a loss. The Government would be justified in granting an increase on a sliding scale until the contracts have expired, and without asking for renewals. The present contractors have done the work in the past at low prices and it would be Unfair to them \ to throw the service open to competition before the expiration of the contracts. I *would certainly support the Government should they give these carriers an increase to cover the remaining periods of their contracts. *
Mr. J. W. EDWARDS (Frontenac); For several years past I have brought this matter to the attention of the various gentlemen who have occupied the position of Postmaster General. Especially after the inauguration of parcel post delivery I interviewed the Postmaster General and pointed out to him how unfair the system was working in respect of those engaged in rural mail delivery. I commend the hon. member for Peterborough for bringing this matter to the attention of the acting Postmaster General and of the House. He should be congratulated because of the unanimity of view, so far as we can judge Gom those who have already spoken, and on the fact that those who have spoken have admitted that there is such a thing ps the high cost of living for people who live in the country. One would judge from reading the press at times that what is called the high cost of living applies only to cities and towns and that in country districts it does not cost any more to live than it did in former days. This is a reason why the subject of the hon. gentleman's motion should be seriously considered by the Department. If we are to treat these servants of the public as others have been treated; if we are to treat these contractors for the carrying of mail in the country districts as other contractors have been treated, the Postmaster General should have power to revise the contracts. Contracts have been entered into in times past
for one year for the supplying of various articles to departments of the Government. On the holders of the contracts representing to the Government that the articles they were supplying were costing more than the contractors were paid for them, the period of the contract has in some cases been cut down from one year to six months. I believe that contracts to supply goods have heen made for a period of six months rather than for a period of one year as was formerly the case. Most if not all of our rural mail delivery contracts are for a period of four years, and hundreds of people throughout the country who in good faith entered into these contracts have been put to increased expenditure by reason of the inauguration of the parcel post system and their being obliged to provide an extra horse or a larger rig in order to convey the mail; and have also been deprived of the small revenue they formerly obtained by carrying these parcels now carried as _ mail. They have put up with it and hundreds of the men have been operating at a loss. But with that characteristic stick-to-it-iveness of men who live in the country districts, they have stuck to their contracts notwithstanding the fact that they have lost money. Not so those who have had contracts and who live in cities and *towns. When the pinch came they began to squeal and they came to Ottawa and squealed loudly enough to get their contracts changed and their remuneration increased. My hon. friend from Rouville (Mr. Lemieux)-he represents two or three constituencies, hut we will say Rouville- he was very fortunate in being elected to all of them-says that there is a saving clause in the contracts and that the Postmaster General has power to annul any contract by giving two or three month's notice. That is all right for the Government on the one side, 'but where does the other fellow getv off? What chance has the fellow who has taken a contract? The hon. member for Rouville says: Let him
take his plea to the acting-Postmaster General either by way of petition or through a delegation. He says that no doubt the acting-Postmaster General is a fair-minded man and that he will annul the contract and enter into a new one. That is not a fair way of looking ,at it. People in the country districts are entitled to every dollar of money that is being spent on rural mail delivery. Let me emphasize that fact, Mr. Speaker. There are thousands, and tens of thousands, of people living in the country districts who cannot importune
the various Cabinet ministers tor public works, harbour improvements, post offices and one thing and another. About the only thing the Government can do is to give an effective and efficient mail service.
I repeat what I-have said on former occasions that this is not a question of whether there is a surplus or a deficit in the Post Office Department. If there is any department of the Government where there is a justification for having a deficit it is the Post Office Department because every cent of revenue comes out of the pockets of the people and it should go back to them in the form of an efficient service. The people of the country will find no fault with this or any other Government if there is a deficit in the Post Office Department so long as the Government gives the people in country districts an efficient and effective .service. I hope this matter will not be simply passed oveT as .something of little importance but that it will receive the attention that it' merits. I hope that not only will rural .mail carriers get more pay but that country postmasters land postmistresses will also he more fairly remunerated.
They are entitled to more pay than they get at the present time. The hon. member for Rouville says that the Government is safeguarded by competition, that if these routes are put up to tender there will always be lots of persons to tender for them. Of course, my hon. friend is speaking for that part of the country with which he is best acquainted-his own part of the country. That may be true in his part of the country but I want to assure him and you, Mr. Speaker, that while his statement may have applied, not only to his own part of the country but to the Dominion in general four or five years ago, itdoes not apply to-day to many parts of the province of Ontario as it did a few years ago. If, four or five years [DOT]ago, rural mail routes were put up to tender, many people would have tendered for those routes. It is not the case to-day. Rural Ontario has been depleted and there are not enough men to attend to the wants of the country or to work on the farms. There are not many people in rural Ontario to-day vieing with each other to get mail contracts. They have other work to do. I merely ask that this resolution of the hon. member for Peterborough- receive serious consideration and that action he taken with the view of doing justice to the rural mail carriers, because I maintain in all sincerity that they have not received just treatment in times past.
Mr. D. D. McKENZIE (Cape Breton North):
Mr. Speaker, I do not know that I can add anything to what has been said by hon. gentlemen who have spoken on the resolution introduced by the hon. member for Peterborough (Mr. Burnham) but I wish to refer to what has been said, particularly by the hon. member for Frontenac (Mr. Edwards), with respect to the necessity of giving due consideration to the questions involved in this resolution. It is quite true that it is a dangerous thing to interfere with or disturb contracts once they are entered into. It might well be urged that one who undertook a contract would not care to lessen his price if the prices of oats, carriages and other things went down instead of up. That argument could well be used and he would say: That is one of the fortunes of war; and if the prices had gone up I would have had to put up with it. But we have extraordinary conditions in Canada to-day- We have war conditions and we have a springing up in the prices of horses, the feed of horses, vehicles and all that is necessary to outfit mail carriers. Therefore, I submit here, Sir, that the ordinary rules of conduct iu dealing with contracts ought to he departed from to some extent and that justice ought to be done to the people who are immediately concerned. The hon. the acting-Postmaster General (Mr. Doherty) says that he is willing to seriously consider the question of cancelling contracts. Well, the situation is very much like that of a man who is in a government or other office and who says: I took this position when there were only my wife and myself, we got $500 a yeaT and we got along nicely on that Now I have a family of ten or twelve, the prices of the necessities of life have gone up and what I used to get is not sufficient to keep body and soul together and to enable us to get along an the way in which we ought to*. The minister would say: You can resign your office and go out; that is. the only remedy I have to offer yon. That is poor consolation to the man who has put his time and energy into the office with (which he has been connected for 'a score of years and who is now not fit to do any other kind off work. It is poor consolation for the mail contractor, who has, perhaps, bought three or four horses for $1,000, who has (bought a number Of carriages and who has acquired the means of operating the mail route for four years or more, to be told: You can forfeit your four horses and your carriages and resign. If you have lost money that is your luck, but
I would suggest fo,r ihe consideration of the Postmaster General if the remedy which he himself has suggested is not to be deemed the best one, namely, that he consider the advisability of offering a general percentage of increase based upon the changed conditions. In that respect there would be, at all events, an appearance of equality, and the Postmaster General would be saved' a great deal of trouble. The suggestion .that the contracts be cancelled is perhaps for the moment the best thing that can be done, but if it is to be dealt with in the manner of a revision, I would suggest for his consideration whether it would not be (better to offer a fixed percentage of increase, applying to contracts that have 'been taken within a given, date, such percentage of increase to correspond in a measurable degree with the increased cost of material and supplies.