June 1, 1938

LIB

Gordon Benjamin Isnor

Liberal

Mr. ISNOR:

To me this item dealing with railway mail service has to do with a very important branch of the Post Office Department. The railway mail clerks are chosen from the best of the postal clerks. Their hours are long, and I am wondering just what protection they receive in the way of accommodation. We remember that last year or the year before the Dominion Railway Mail Clerks' Association made a protest in regard to cars of a certain type, and I should

like the minister to advise us whether the department has any control over the type of car which is provided for the use of the railway mail clerks.

Topic:   POST OFFICE DEPARTMENT
Permalink
LIB

William Daum Euler (Minister of Trade and Commerce)

Liberal

Mr. EULER:

I am told that representations in this regard are being made constantly to the railway companies and the railway commission, and improvements are made from time to time.

Topic:   POST OFFICE DEPARTMENT
Permalink
LIB
LIB
LIB

Gordon Benjamin Isnor

Liberal

Mr. ISNOR:

I should like a little more light on this point. Are the representations made from the association to the department and then from the department to the railways? Is that the procedure?

Topic:   POST OFFICE DEPARTMENT
Permalink
LIB
LIB

Gordon Benjamin Isnor

Liberal

Mr. ISNOR:

Is steel equipment now being used throughout or are the older types of cars still in use?

Topic:   POST OFFICE DEPARTMENT
Permalink
LIB

William Daum Euler (Minister of Trade and Commerce)

Liberal

Mr. EULER:

The change has not been made in all cases, but it is being made gradually and progressively from the wooden cars to the steel cars.

Topic:   POST OFFICE DEPARTMENT
Permalink
LIB

Gordon Benjamin Isnor

Liberal

Mr. ISNOR:

I thank the minister for that information. I sincerely trust that in the very near future the change will be completed so that steel cars will be used throughout; because, as I said before, this is a most important branch of the service and the men are compelled to work very long hours. They are not like the men on duty in the ordinary post office, who are working in a fireproof building. These men carry on at all hours, day and night, and it is necessary for them to complete their work by stated times. For that reason I think they should have every protection possible.

I should like to take this opportunity of thanking the department for inaugurating a better, quicker and more satisfactory service between Boston and Halifax via Yarmouth, which I understand comes into operation on June 35. I think it only fitting that I should express my thanks and appreciation at this time.

Topic:   POST OFFICE DEPARTMENT
Permalink
LIB

James Houston Spence

Liberal

Mr. SPENCE:

In these days when business is declining sharply and when business people are more or less up against it, and with so many people out of work, I wonder if there is any real necessity for an added expenditure of $327,000 to give this extra service. Does the minister really believe this is a necessity?

Supply-Post Office

Topic:   POST OFFICE DEPARTMENT
Permalink
LIB

William Daum Euler (Minister of Trade and Commerce)

Liberal

Mr. EULER:

I did not actually make up these estimates, of course, 'but I am quite sure the business people themselves demanded improved service, and in response to these demands we are making these extensions and additions. I cannot say anything further with regard to the matter. I think the extensions and additions that are being made are thoroughly justified. This is a growing business; Canada is a growing country, and while at the moment there may be what might be termed a slight recession, we hope it will be only temporary.

Topic:   POST OFFICE DEPARTMENT
Permalink
LIB

James Houston Spence

Liberal

Mr. SPENCE:

Business people are just like other people; they want anything they think they can get as long as they do not have to pay for it. It is up to the department to refuse to give them anything that does not pay the department. It is really a waste of money to give too much service when the financial position of the country does not warrant it.

Topic:   POST OFFICE DEPARTMENT
Permalink
CON

Robert Henry McGregor

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. McGREGOR:

How much of this money goes to each of the railways?

Topic:   POST OFFICE DEPARTMENT
Permalink
LIB

William Daum Euler (Minister of Trade and Commerce)

Liberal

Mr. EULER:

For 1936-37 the figures are as follows: The Canadian Pacific received $3,550,789.32, and the Canadian National, $2,901,703.10.

Topic:   POST OFFICE DEPARTMENT
Permalink
CCF

James Shaver Woodsworth

Co-operative Commonwealth Federation (C.C.F.)

Mr. WOOESWORTH:

At the present time, as we all know, there is a decided drive on the part of the Canadian Pacific railway to bring about some sort of unification, and one of the reasons is that it would result in some saving to the taxpayers. I have been looking over the amounts granted to the Canadian Pacific for the carriage of mail. I am quoting from an article that appeared in the Winnipeg Free Press of May 28, and I assume that these figures are correct:

1925 $3,552,416

1926 3,607,036

1927 3,727,444

1928 3,715,032

1929 3,741,391

1930 3,693,153

1931 3,565,386

1932 3,621,875

1933 3,490,697

1934 3,519,697

1935 3,537,456

1936 3,584,823

1937 3,599,676

These are very large sums. For the life of me-and I have raised this question before -when we have our own Canadian National property, supported by the taxpayers of this country, I cannot see why we should not give the Canadian National Railways, wherever possible, the business of carrying the mails.

I asked this question several years ago and could not get a satisfactory answer. I do not think there is one forthcoming; at least, if the minister can give it I would like to have it. Even in the case of mail carried on Canadian Pacific steamships I cannot see why, when it reaches this country, it could not for the most part be carried over the lines of the Canadian National Railways, or at least to half of the territory covered. Certainly, through mails could be carried in that way.

I should like to have a further explanation from the minister. If there is anything in the plea Sir Edward Beatty is making, that we ought to try to save money for the taxpayers, then is this not one way in which it could be done.

Topic:   POST OFFICE DEPARTMENT
Permalink
LIB
CCF

James Shaver Woodsworth

Co-operative Commonwealth Federation (C.C.F.)

Mr. WOODSWORTH:

May I have an answer from the minister, before we pass from this point?

Topic:   POST OFFICE DEPARTMENT
Permalink
LIB
LIB

William Daum Euler (Minister of Trade and Commerce)

Liberal

Mr. EULER:

Perhaps two or three years or more ago I might have made the same sort of speech as the hon. member has just made, because in those days I drew attention to the same conditions with regard to the mail service of the two railways. And I would not say for a moment that at the present time I am in disagreement with the hon. member. At the same time I am informed that the differential is gradually diminishing; that is, the two railways are approaching more nearly the same amounts which they receive from the government for the carrying of mail.

There are many reasons, and probably I should give them here, for the difference between the two contracts. For example, mail carried on Canadian Pacific railway ships across the Atlantic and routed to western Canada would naturally, I suppose, be carried on Canadian Pacific railway trains. That which is carried on the Cunarders, which may not be so widely patronized, would go on the Canadian National Railways. When the Canadian Pacific railway was built into western Canada it was the pioneer road. It passes to the south and through the larger towns and cities such as Brandon, Regina, Moose Jaw, Calgary and on to Vancouver. Probably for that reason it receives more for the carrying of mail than would the Canadian National Railways passing farther to the north. Then, radiating from the main line of the Canadian Pacific railway are many branch lines. I do not know just what the number is, as com-

Supply-Post Office

pared with the branch lines of the Canadian National Railways. I am informed, however, that they are more numerous and would naturally get more mail business than would the Canadian National system.

I do not believe the same argument would apply in eastern Canada because at least in western Ontario I believe the Canadian National lines are as numerous.

Topic:   POST OFFICE DEPARTMENT
Permalink
CCF

James Shaver Woodsworth

Co-operative Commonwealth Federation (C.C.F.)

Mr. WOODSWORTH:

But even if they are-

Topic:   POST OFFICE DEPARTMENT
Permalink

June 1, 1938