May 19, 1932

LIB

Joseph Georges Bouchard

Liberal

Mr. BOUCHARD (Translation):

I would ask the hon. Postmaster General to draw that matter to the attention of his colleague, the minister of National Revenue, in order that, in the future, there may only be one weight and one measure in the government and that such things do not happen again. Witnesses have asserted that the postmaster had gone to a meeting in a truck with other people who were going to the same place. I have here an affidavit quite the opposite, in which he states that he went in his own ear and attended very peacefully a political meeting at Riviere Ouelle. Some trouble occurred at that meeting, but he certainly was not responsible for the noise that was made. I could even read to the house several affidivits to that effect. And it is a man like Colonel Beaubien, who acted as a partisan, who spends his time making political propaganda, who appears as a witness. Without questioning the truth of his statement, one must however admit that he was a rather biased witness.

This is the last point that I want to bring to the attention of the Postmaster General. I am asking him to go through the file and to give me a square answer. If the documents which are in his hands prove that what I have just stated is right, can he tell me whether a man who distributes, through his post office, political circulars without stamps, and who has been dismissed, can be reinstated as postmaster, however staunch Conservative he may be?

Topic:   POST OFFICE DEPARTMENT
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LIB

Pierre Auguste Martial Rhéaume

Liberal

Mr. RHEAUME (Translation):

Certainly!

Mr. SAUVE Translation): The hon. member must remember the answer which I gave him a moment ago. I stated that I would study the question and that it had never been brought to my attention before.

Topic:   POST OFFICE DEPARTMENT
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LIB

Joseph Georges Bouchard

Liberal

Mr. BOUCHARD (Translation):

If the facts are as I have stated to the Postmaster General-

Topic:   POST OFFICE DEPARTMENT
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CON

Arthur Sauvé (Postmaster General)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. SAUVE (Translation):

After thinking it over, I shall make a decision.

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LIB

Joseph-Arthur Denis

Liberal

Mr. DENIS (Translation):

We have just witnessed a spectacle that is not much in favour of the province of Quebec, a real family quarrel. The unfortunate statements of the Postmaster General regarding the habits of the people of the province of Quebec are rather uncomplimentary for hon. members who represent that province in the house, and specially for its people. However, as the hon. member for St. Johns-Ibervilie said, I am still under the impression that the hon. minister shows much more skill in following bad advices, than in following good ones.

TMr. Bouchard.]

Supply-Post Office

Nevertheless, this discussion has brought out the fact that the Postmaster General ordered these dismissals in a spirit of revenge, because the previous administration had committed the same wrong.

Topic:   POST OFFICE DEPARTMENT
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CON

Arthur Sauvé (Postmaster General)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. SAUVE (Translation):

Pardon me, Mr. Chairman, if the hon. member wants to set a good example, why impute me such bad motives? He knows that I do not share them and that I do not harbour any such thoughts.

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LIB
CON

Arthur Sauvé (Postmaster General)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. SAUVE (Translation):

How many postmasters have I dismissed in the constituency of the hon. member?

Topic:   POST OFFICE DEPARTMENT
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LIB

Joseph-Arthur Denis

Liberal

Mr. DENIS (Translation):

I shall not make any comparisons, because comparisons are always odious, specially when referring to wrong-doings. However, I am ready to admit that we must not put too much weight on the statements of the Postmaster General. If I were to give him any advice to restore the good reputation of the people of the province of Quebec, I would ask him to stop these dismissals, which are more or less unfair, specially when they serve political ends. It seems to me that both parties, Liberal and Conservative, have something more important to deal with than the dismissal of good civil servants because they were of such or such a political faith.

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LIB
LIB

Joseph-Arthur Denis

Liberal

Mr. DENIS (Translation):

If their services are satisfactory, I think they should be maintained in their position.

Now, Mr. Chairman, may I be permitted to ask the Postmaster General if the names of the temporary employees of the Post Office Department who were dismissed on the first of April, have been put on a new list of eligibles? Were the names of the chauffeurs who were let out, also placed on these lists? These men who paid a fee of $2 to take part in the examination to qualify for these positions, thought they were permanent. It is unfair that these employees be dismissed forever.

Topic:   POST OFFICE DEPARTMENT
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CON

Arthur Sauvé (Postmaster General)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. SAUVE (Translation):

The hon. member will allow me to tell him that the case which he just mentioned falls under the Civil Service Commission, not the Postmaster General. I am informed that a list has been prepared and forwarded to the Civil Service Commission.

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LIB

Joseph-Arthur Denis

Liberal

Mr. DENIS (Translation):

Could the hon. Postmaster General inform me if a contract was awarded lately for the carrying of mails 41761-197

by motor cars in the city of Montreal, with a view to dismissing these chauffeurs? To whom was the contract awarded and were there any tenders asked for?

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CON

Arthur Sauvé (Postmaster General)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. SAUVE (Translation):

A trial contract was awarded, not because we wanted to dismiss the garage employees, but because we have discovered, after an investigation, that dishonest methods had been resorted to, calculated: to deprive the department of certain receipts, by distributing gasoline to people outside the department. By this new trial contract, we have already saved $6,000.

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LIB
CON

Arthur Sauvé (Postmaster General)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. SAUVE (Translation):

The minister

has the right to cancel the contract whenever he wishes, for it is well understood that it was just a test, in order to know what was the most economical method; either the department carrying on the work, or a contractor, such as it is done elsewhere.

Topic:   POST OFFICE DEPARTMENT
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LIB

Joseph-Arthur Denis

Liberal

Mr. DENIS (Translation):

Could we know the name and title of the person to whom the contract was awarded?

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CON

Arthur Sauvé (Postmaster General)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. SAUVE (Translation):

Mr. Ernest

Laurent, of Montreal.

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LIB

Joseph-Arthur Denis

Liberal

Mr. DENIS (Translation):

Does he carry out the work himself, or has he let out a subcontract?

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CON

Arthur Sauvé (Postmaster General)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. SAUVE (Translation):

I do not think so. It was Mr. Ernest Laurent who accepted the contract. I think he looks after his business himself. Perhaps he has some employees, but he is the boss, according to the information I have.

Topic:   POST OFFICE DEPARTMENT
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May 19, 1932