July 29, 1942

LIB

William Pate Mulock (Postmaster General)

Liberal

Mr. MULOCK:

No, but there are cases in which there are no suitable returned soldiers resident in the district. There are many such cases.

Topic:   DEPARTMENT OF THE SECRETARY OF STATE
Subtopic:   DEPARTMENT OF EXTERNAL AFFAIRS
Sub-subtopic:   POST OFFICE DEPARTMENT
Permalink
NAT

John Ritchie MacNicol

National Government

Mr. MacNICOL:

In what I am about to say I am not criticizing the minister. What I am going to discuss has been regulated by the department for some time, but the minister said something about temporaries, and they are receiving only $1,020 a year.

Topic:   DEPARTMENT OF THE SECRETARY OF STATE
Subtopic:   DEPARTMENT OF EXTERNAL AFFAIRS
Sub-subtopic:   POST OFFICE DEPARTMENT
Permalink
LIB

William Pate Mulock (Postmaster General)

Liberal

Mr. MULOCK:

The word "temporaries" is rather confusing. There are temporaries on full-time employment who have not yet been taken on the permanent list whereby they would receive the benefits of increased salary and superannuation.

Topic:   DEPARTMENT OF THE SECRETARY OF STATE
Subtopic:   DEPARTMENT OF EXTERNAL AFFAIRS
Sub-subtopic:   POST OFFICE DEPARTMENT
Permalink
NAT

John Ritchie MacNicol

National Government

Mr. MacNICOL:

There were temporaries taken on in 1936, six years ago. As the minister has said, they draw $1,020 a year, and yet they are doing a full-time job and trying to exist on an inadequate salary. I often think of the pay of the postman on the permanent list, receiving $1,500 a year. He has a most responsible position, and he is among the poorest paid men in the civil service. But these men have to do work that calls for as much care and anxiety, work that is as hard as that done by any other class in the service, and in all seasons and weathers, and yet their remuneration is altogether too small. When you come to the temporary man doing the same work and receiving $1,020, he is certainly treated far less fairly than even the permanent man. When the minister has a chance, I hope he will look into the whole question of adequate remuneration not only for the temporary but for the permanent posties.

Topic:   DEPARTMENT OF THE SECRETARY OF STATE
Subtopic:   DEPARTMENT OF EXTERNAL AFFAIRS
Sub-subtopic:   POST OFFICE DEPARTMENT
Permalink
LIB

William Pate Mulock (Postmaster General)

Liberal

Mr. MULOCK:

I will look and I have looked into it, and I have made a recommendation to the treasury board with regard to these temporaries. I absolutely agree with what the hon. member has said about them and have asked for the situation to be corrected. If I did not agree I would not have made the recommendation I did to the treasury board.

Topic:   DEPARTMENT OF THE SECRETARY OF STATE
Subtopic:   DEPARTMENT OF EXTERNAL AFFAIRS
Sub-subtopic:   POST OFFICE DEPARTMENT
Permalink
NAT

John Ritchie MacNicol

National Government

Mr. MacNICOL:

I am pleased to hear the minister say that.

Topic:   DEPARTMENT OF THE SECRETARY OF STATE
Subtopic:   DEPARTMENT OF EXTERNAL AFFAIRS
Sub-subtopic:   POST OFFICE DEPARTMENT
Permalink
CCF

Joseph William Noseworthy

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

Mr. NOSEWORTHY:

As a newcomer here I have been very much amused at the attempt by hon. members on this side to charge the minister with the use of political patronage in the appointment of postmasters in rural districts and towns and in the appointment of temporary employees. The use of political patronage in these appointments is as old as Canadian history, and as well established as anything we have. I ran up against it thirty years ago. As an undergraduate I applied for a temporary position at Christmas time in the Toronto post office. I was told to consult the government patronage committee in the riding. I found the patronage committee at that time to be the defeated candidate of the party in power. My political affiliations were unsatisfactory and I did not get the job. From that day to this there has seldom been a Christmas season in which pupils from the schools I have taught in have not come to me and asked how to go about getting a job in the post office at Christmas time. I have invariably told them, if the riding was represented by a government member to go and see that member; or if the riding was not represented by a member of the government party, to see the defeated candidate. Over those years I have found it worked much more satisfactorily than in the case of my own application thirty years ago.

Only two days ago in a sessional paper brought down in the house there was a letter from an official of the postal department written to an applicant for a position of this kind, stating that overseas service does not count in such appointments.

Topic:   DEPARTMENT OF THE SECRETARY OF STATE
Subtopic:   DEPARTMENT OF EXTERNAL AFFAIRS
Sub-subtopic:   POST OFFICE DEPARTMENT
Permalink
LIB

William Pate Mulock (Postmaster General)

Liberal

Mr. MULOCK:

Does that relate to a position or a contract?

Topic:   DEPARTMENT OF THE SECRETARY OF STATE
Subtopic:   DEPARTMENT OF EXTERNAL AFFAIRS
Sub-subtopic:   POST OFFICE DEPARTMENT
Permalink
CCF

Joseph William Noseworthy

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

Mr. NOSEWORTHY:

A contract.

Topic:   DEPARTMENT OF THE SECRETARY OF STATE
Subtopic:   DEPARTMENT OF EXTERNAL AFFAIRS
Sub-subtopic:   POST OFFICE DEPARTMENT
Permalink
LIB

William Pate Mulock (Postmaster General)

Liberal

Mr. MULOCK:

That is different.

Topic:   DEPARTMENT OF THE SECRETARY OF STATE
Subtopic:   DEPARTMENT OF EXTERNAL AFFAIRS
Sub-subtopic:   POST OFFICE DEPARTMENT
Permalink
CCF

Joseph William Noseworthy

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

Mr. NOSEWORTHY:

In the same record where the offer of the applicant recommended by the government member was a little higher than that of another applicant, the member is notified to ask his friend to reduce his offer in order to get the contract.

I think it is an established fact, and we are only wasting time in discussing whether or not these appointments are political appointments.

As to the matter referred to by the last speaker, those temporary-permanent employees at $1,020 a year, I find on page 165 of the estimates three groups of these employees, totalling over three hundred. These, I understand, are in many cases married men, many

Supply-Post Office

of them great war veterans. Apparently it is the policy of the government to employ large numbers of these men at $19.50 or $19.60 a week. It is the same government that has been telling us and telling the country within the past few weeks that we are building or beginning to build now a new social order.

Could the minister tell us something about where these people are working? Are they city workers where the cost of living is high, or are they in small towns where the cost of living is low? Are they married men?

Topic:   DEPARTMENT OF THE SECRETARY OF STATE
Subtopic:   DEPARTMENT OF EXTERNAL AFFAIRS
Sub-subtopic:   POST OFFICE DEPARTMENT
Permalink
LIB

William Pate Mulock (Postmaster General)

Liberal

Mr. MULOCK:

These are men employed in cities. The salaries are not set by the department; they are set by the civil service commission. In an effort to rectify this situation, to some extent, the recommendation was made to which I referred a few minutes ago in answering the hon. member for Davenport.

Topic:   DEPARTMENT OF THE SECRETARY OF STATE
Subtopic:   DEPARTMENT OF EXTERNAL AFFAIRS
Sub-subtopic:   POST OFFICE DEPARTMENT
Permalink
NAT

Heber Harold Hatfield

National Government

Mr. HATFIELD:

Is any consideration being given to rural mail carriers?

Topic:   DEPARTMENT OF THE SECRETARY OF STATE
Subtopic:   DEPARTMENT OF EXTERNAL AFFAIRS
Sub-subtopic:   POST OFFICE DEPARTMENT
Permalink
LIB

William Pate Mulock (Postmaster General)

Liberal

Mr. MULOCK:

Would the hon. member be good enough to wait until the item dealing with that is called? I think it is item 21,7.

Topic:   DEPARTMENT OF THE SECRETARY OF STATE
Subtopic:   DEPARTMENT OF EXTERNAL AFFAIRS
Sub-subtopic:   POST OFFICE DEPARTMENT
Permalink
NAT

Douglas Gooderham Ross

National Government

Mr. ROSS (St. Paul's):

What is the item, publicity and advertising, $15,000, on page 164 of the estimates, for? Does the post office need publicity?

Topic:   DEPARTMENT OF THE SECRETARY OF STATE
Subtopic:   DEPARTMENT OF EXTERNAL AFFAIRS
Sub-subtopic:   POST OFFICE DEPARTMENT
Permalink
LIB

William Pate Mulock (Postmaster General)

Liberal

Mr. MULOCK:

Since the outbreak of the war, economy has been exercised in the matter of advertising postal facilities. The expenditures of 1939-40 and 1940-41 were much less than the amounts voted. At the same time it is essential to keep before the public the regular postal facilities accorded, and a state of war creates new problems which must be given special consideration. Changes in postal services and methods of handling mail in wartime must be brought to the attention of the general public and business concerns. This accounts for an increase in expenditure in 1941-42 over the two previous years. The vote for 1942-43 has been reduced from $20,000 to $15,000, and the department will endeavour to keep within that amount. I am dealing now with departmental administration, advertising. There are other items of advertising under other branches of the department.

Topic:   DEPARTMENT OF THE SECRETARY OF STATE
Subtopic:   DEPARTMENT OF EXTERNAL AFFAIRS
Sub-subtopic:   POST OFFICE DEPARTMENT
Permalink
NAT

Douglas Gooderham Ross

National Government

Mr. ROSS (St. Paul's):

With regard to the temporary employees, I have had a great many letters, and have had correspondence with the minister. It is a great pity that these men should have to work for such small pay. Some of them have been working for many years but are still on the temporary staff and have not the benefits enjoyed by perman-

ent employees. I remember we brought this matter up last year, and the minister promised to see what could be done. I think it should have attention, and I support the hon. member for Davenport in what he said about it.

Topic:   DEPARTMENT OF THE SECRETARY OF STATE
Subtopic:   DEPARTMENT OF EXTERNAL AFFAIRS
Sub-subtopic:   POST OFFICE DEPARTMENT
Permalink
NAT

Harry Rutherford Jackman

National Government

Mr. JACKMAN:

I think all parties in this house will be in agreement on that. I hope the minister will be able to bring sufficient pressure on the treasury board to have these men, some 10 per cent in every post office, who are now on the temporary list, placed on the permanent list. I understand that during the time they are on the temporary list, although they are married and getting only $19.50 a week there are no increases in their pay. That is a situation which, particularly in these times, should not be tolerated by the government. I should also like to ask the minister whether on the pay roll of the Post Office Department there are any employees who give all or part of their time to other departments of the government.

Topic:   DEPARTMENT OF THE SECRETARY OF STATE
Subtopic:   DEPARTMENT OF EXTERNAL AFFAIRS
Sub-subtopic:   POST OFFICE DEPARTMENT
Permalink
LIB

William Pate Mulock (Postmaster General)

Liberal

Mr. MULOCK:

Oh, yes; quite a large

number. There are the employees in the postal censorship branch; they are all employees of the Post Office Department, and we paid their salaries until the end of June. From now on I presume they will be paid by the national war services department. There may be some other individuals, but I cannot think of them at the moment.

Topic:   DEPARTMENT OF THE SECRETARY OF STATE
Subtopic:   DEPARTMENT OF EXTERNAL AFFAIRS
Sub-subtopic:   POST OFFICE DEPARTMENT
Permalink
NAT

Harry Rutherford Jackman

National Government

Mr. JACKMAN:

It would seem that the

Post Office Department has been made the butt of nearly every other department of the government, the reason of course being that the Post Office Department has a very good revenue, and that notwithstanding all these extra expenses which have little or nothing to do with the Post Office Department itself, it is still able to show a bookkeeping profit, though in reality there may be no profit at all, I think this committee is entitled to know what officers or servants are paid by the Post Office Department and lent during all or part of the time to other departments of the government.

Topic:   DEPARTMENT OF THE SECRETARY OF STATE
Subtopic:   DEPARTMENT OF EXTERNAL AFFAIRS
Sub-subtopic:   POST OFFICE DEPARTMENT
Permalink

July 29, 1942