October 25, 1966

FINANCE, TRADE AND ECONOMIC AFFAIRS FOURTEENTH AND FIFTEENTH REPORTS OF STANDING COMMITTEE

LIB

Herbert Eser (Herb) Gray

Liberal

Mr. H. E. Gray (Essex West):

Mr. Speaker, I have the honour to present the fourteenth report of the standing committee on finance, trade and economic affairs, in both French and English.

In this report the committee refers back to the house the main estimates of the Department of Trade and Commerce for 1966-67; this also covers the participation of the Canadian government in the World Exhibition in Montreal and the Dominion Bureau of Statistics.

Mr. Speaker, I also have the honour to present the fifteenth report of the said committee, in both French and English.

Mr. Speaker, in this report the committee reports to the house, with amendments, Bill S-16, to incorporate the Bank of British Columbia.

Topic:   FINANCE, TRADE AND ECONOMIC AFFAIRS FOURTEENTH AND FIFTEENTH REPORTS OF STANDING COMMITTEE
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POST OFFICE DEPARTMENT

STATEMENT ON POSSIBLE REMOVAL OF COAT OF ARMS

LIB

Joseph Julien Jean-Pierre Côté (Postmaster General)

Liberal

Hon. Jean-Pierre Cote (Postmaster General):

Mr. Speaker, I should like to make a brief statement on postal symbols following some questions asked in the house.

I must say that my first statement took about 14 pages, but as on motions we are not entitled to speak at length I will summarize it in about four pages.

Mr. Speaker, on October 14 I was asked a question by the hon. member for Wellington South regarding the intention of the Post Office Department with respect to a symbol, to which I made the following reply: "We are going to adopt an emblem which will represent a totally Canadian post office and which will give a real interpretation to the Post

Office Act." This answer was based upon a question evidently founded on an article in the press based on information which had come from the Post Office Department to the effect that consideration was being given to the adoption of a distinctive symbol for the post office.

I regret the misunderstanding which has arisen because of this premature article of action being considered in the department, but on which the government had up to that time no opportunity to take any decision.

Shortly after I became Postmaster General I asked myself whether a symbol could not be developed which would be easily recognized as the symbol of the post office, and which would be simple to recognize and easy to reproduce. The officers of the department were receptive to the idea, and a good deal of thought and effort has been given in the department to developing such a symbol. In fact there are a number of symbols that have been used in the Post Office Department for a number of years, one of which is the hat badge of the letter carriers, which is made up of the intertwined letters "C" and "P", surrounded by a circle of maple leaves and topped by a crown.

The first step in the development of a new symbol was the use of a print of the hat badge to decorate the cover of a recruiting brochure directed at university students. This led to the use of the intertwined letters "C" and "P" and the 11 point maple leaf from Canada's flag. The stylized maple leaf, by the way, has formed part of the uniform shoulder flashes since 1965. This symbol combined with the words "Postes Canada Post" seemed to me very suitable.

I made inquiries to find out whether there was any statutory provision or any provision by order in council regarding post office emblems, and I found that neither the governor in council nor parliament appeared at any time to have prescribed such emblems, and that the emblems and other descriptions in use had been adopted by the department as a matter of usage.

Notwithstanding the practice in the past, it is my view that the latest proposal is a matter of such a nature as to require cabinet

9064 COMMONS

Announced Removal of Coat of Arms approval. However, before I had any opportunity to submit the matter to cabinet for approval, the article on which I believe the question was raised in the house appeared in the newspapers. I expect that such consideration will be given shortly.

I want to make it very clear that there was no intention on my part or on the part of the department to hide anything or to do anything without the proper authority. Certainly no such accusation can properly be made against the government, because my colleagues knew nothing about the matter up to the time the story appeared in the press.

I think I made it clear that the object of the proposed new symbol now under consideration is merely to provide a symbol of the post office which would be uniform for postal purposes and would be clearly and exclusively identified with the post office. There was no thought and no intention of interfering with the proper use of any existing symbol, and certainly no thought whatever of any kind of disrespect for the Canadian coat of arms.

Topic:   POST OFFICE DEPARTMENT
Subtopic:   STATEMENT ON POSSIBLE REMOVAL OF COAT OF ARMS
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?

Some hon. Members:

Hear, hear.

Topic:   POST OFFICE DEPARTMENT
Subtopic:   STATEMENT ON POSSIBLE REMOVAL OF COAT OF ARMS
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PC

John George Diefenbaker (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Progressive Conservative

Right Hon. J. G. Diefenbaker (Leader of the Opposition):

Mr. Speaker, the house has just heard a novel doctrine; that the minister on his own, giving the answer he did give to parliament, acted for himself and without consultation with the cabinet.

Topic:   POST OFFICE DEPARTMENT
Subtopic:   STATEMENT ON POSSIBLE REMOVAL OF COAT OF ARMS
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?

An hon. Member:

That is not fair.

Topic:   POST OFFICE DEPARTMENT
Subtopic:   STATEMENT ON POSSIBLE REMOVAL OF COAT OF ARMS
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PC

John George Diefenbaker (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Diefenbaker:

That explanation just cannot hold water.

Topic:   POST OFFICE DEPARTMENT
Subtopic:   STATEMENT ON POSSIBLE REMOVAL OF COAT OF ARMS
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LIB

Paul Joseph James Martin (Secretary of State for External Affairs)

Liberal

Mr. Martin (Essex East):

That is not the

situation.

Topic:   POST OFFICE DEPARTMENT
Subtopic:   STATEMENT ON POSSIBLE REMOVAL OF COAT OF ARMS
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PC

John George Diefenbaker (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Diefenbaker:

I am not a bit surprised at this, in view of the various closed compartments of government wherein one does one thing and another does another.

Topic:   POST OFFICE DEPARTMENT
Subtopic:   STATEMENT ON POSSIBLE REMOVAL OF COAT OF ARMS
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?

Some hon. Members:

Hear, hear.

Topic:   POST OFFICE DEPARTMENT
Subtopic:   STATEMENT ON POSSIBLE REMOVAL OF COAT OF ARMS
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PC

John George Diefenbaker (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Diefenbaker:

It is not surprising, because it is the same old story. I will read the answer the minister gave previously. He left out one word when he read what took place on October 14. I will read what was said at that time;

Topic:   POST OFFICE DEPARTMENT
Subtopic:   STATEMENT ON POSSIBLE REMOVAL OF COAT OF ARMS
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PC

Alfred Dryden Hales

Progressive Conservative

Mr. A. D. Hales (Wellington South):

Mr. Speaker,

I should like to direct a question to the Postmaster General. Is he in a position to confirm or deny reports that the royal coat of arms which appears on all mail trucks, bags and other things used to move Her Majesty's mail is to be removed and replaced by another symbol?

DEBATES October 25, 1966

The answer was:

Yes, Mr. Speaker. We are going to adopt an emblem which will represent a truly Canadian post office and which will give a real interpretation to the Post Office Act.

Then a little later on this question was asked:

Topic:   POST OFFICE DEPARTMENT
Subtopic:   STATEMENT ON POSSIBLE REMOVAL OF COAT OF ARMS
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PC

Edmund Davie Fulton

Progressive Conservative

Hon. E. D. Fulton (Kamloops):

I have a supplementary question, Mr. Speaker. Are we to infer from the minister's decision just announced that in the view of the government the mail is no longer to be Her Majesty's mail?

The minister said:

The mail has never been Her Majesty's mail, Mr. Speaker.

Topic:   POST OFFICE DEPARTMENT
Subtopic:   STATEMENT ON POSSIBLE REMOVAL OF COAT OF ARMS
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?

Some hon. Members:

Shame.

Topic:   POST OFFICE DEPARTMENT
Subtopic:   STATEMENT ON POSSIBLE REMOVAL OF COAT OF ARMS
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PC

John George Diefenbaker (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Diefenbaker:

That statement has no basis in fact. We go on to the next occasion that the matter was raised, which was on October 17. I asked a supplementary question at that time-

Topic:   POST OFFICE DEPARTMENT
Subtopic:   STATEMENT ON POSSIBLE REMOVAL OF COAT OF ARMS
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LIB

John Whitney Pickersgill (Minister of Transport)

Liberal

Mr. Pickersgill:

Mr. Speaker, I am rising on a point of order.

Topic:   POST OFFICE DEPARTMENT
Subtopic:   STATEMENT ON POSSIBLE REMOVAL OF COAT OF ARMS
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?

Some hon. Members:

Oh, oh.

Topic:   POST OFFICE DEPARTMENT
Subtopic:   STATEMENT ON POSSIBLE REMOVAL OF COAT OF ARMS
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PC

John George Diefenbaker (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Diefenbaker:

On a point of order? Don't you want the truth?

Topic:   POST OFFICE DEPARTMENT
Subtopic:   STATEMENT ON POSSIBLE REMOVAL OF COAT OF ARMS
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October 25, 1966