Can I make the minister understand this, that the frontage of the building on St. Clair avenue, as I remember it and according to the figures given to me, is 514 feet? But off that there is a store eighteen feet wide. The rear of the building, where the Post Office Department had the whole width, is 51J feet wide. The owner of the premises offered to the present government, as he did to the former government, that store in front eighteen feet wide. That is 720 square feet, and adding that to the 3,775 feet which Mr. Winter says was the area of the floor space of the former building would make 4,495 feet. The basement is approximately, say half the size, making another 2,245 feet.
If those figures are accurate, at the price of ninety-five cents the amount to be paid would be considerably more than they are paying for the present premises. It is just a matter of arithmetic; if you divide the total number of square feet into the rental, it figures out at ninety-five cents under the old lease. Under the present lease it is seventy-eight cents.
As a matter of fact I do not think the old building was that large. His figures may be just as correct as the statement that the new post office is one block east, whereas it is more than two blocks east and on the opposite side of the street.
If his statement is correct, that the former floor space was 3,775 feet, then adding to that the store, 720 feet, would make the ground floor space that the government could have had at the same rental as they were formerly paying, I am told-
That is what I am told. The department has a letter from the owner, I am told, making an offer, that the rent was to remain the same. That would have made a floor space of 4,495 feet, larger apparently than the new building. But my opinion is that the old space would not be quite as large as the new space. That, however, is not what was behind it at all. I should like to get behind the letter written on February 23. How did the inspector happen to come up there? What went on before that? What were all the negotiations beforehand that induced the inspector to report that, " We had better move east five or six hundred feet, get a larger space," and so on. I know the present acting minister is not familiar with the particulars I have and consequently could not answer that question. But that is what I want to get, and if I do not get it at this time I shall get it on another occasion. I am going to bring that out if I can. With the Minister of Finance (Mr. Dunning) trying to save every dollar he can and to cut down the tax rate as much as he can, why was the Post Office Department so prodigal that it would leave a building specially built for post office work and go away to the east at more money? Perhaps the minister can tell me [DOT]who paid all the expense. Did the owner of the present building pay for the expense, [DOT]or did the Post Office Department or the Department of Public Works spend the money on the renovated building? If that were added, it would come to quite a large sum over what the former building would have cost.
There is a matter I should like to bring to the attention of the .acting Postmaster General, concerning a public building owned by the Department of Public Works in the town of Falher. In that town there is at present an immigration building occupied by the government telegraph office.
Falher. This building was formerly used as an immigration building, but since there has been no immigration to the district for some time it has been empty, with the exception of its use as an office by the Canadian government telegraphs. At the same time, in that town the Post Office Department is renting a building for post office purposes. I believe that if the acting minister would look into the matter he would find no objection from the postmaster or others concerned to moving into the immigra-
tion building, thereby saving the department a considerable sum each year in rentals.
The building now leased by the Post Office Department is a private building owned by the postmaster. He has told me that he requires the building for his own use, and would be only too glad to use the government building for post office purposes. If the acting minister would bring the matter to the attention of the department, I believe he would find that he could effect quite a saving each year by using the government building instead of renting a private building. If what I suggest cannot be done, I should like to be advised as to the reason.
There might also be the objection that the building is somewhat removed from the present post office, but I can assure the acting Postmaster General that it would require only a move of about three or four hundred yards, and would in no way inconvenience anyone receiving mail at that point. It was my wish to bring the matter up under this vote, so that it might come to the attention of the department. I am sure they will find that they can effect a saving.
I am glad the hon. member has brought the matter to my attention. If it is possible to use the building, without interference with the lease, his suggestion certainly will be acted upon. I shall be glad to have the matter investigated.
Will the acting minister bring down all the correspondence in connection with the change of postal station L from ward six to ward five? Would he bring down figures showing the costs in connection with the change, and the correspondence, or will it be necessary for me to put the question on the order paper?