October 3, 1968

POST OFFICE DEPARTMENT

ANNOUNCEMENT OF INCREASE IN MONEY ORDER FEES

LIB

Eric William Kierans (Postmaster General)

Liberal

Hon. Eric W. Kierans (Postmaster General):

Mr. Speaker, I have a declaration to make; and I may say we are getting out these declarations before the study of the post office bill in order that all members of this house may have a better and broader idea of some of the changes that are being made in the post office.

The cost of post office money orders will increase as of November 1. Increased revenues of approximately 25 per cent are expected from the new fee structure. These increased revenues will not balance the money order operation now, but when coupled with a new money order system which will be fully operative by 1970, this service will then begin to pay its own way.

The new fee structure simplifies the money order operation in that seven fees only are required for the transmission of money in amounts up to $100 to any point in Canada or to any country with which the Canadian post office has an agreement for the exchange of money orders.

While the maximum fee of 25 cents per $100 in Canada remains unchanged, a minimum charge of 10 cents has been introduced. The complete schedule of fees is as follows. Money orders for less than $1 will now cost 10 cents; less than $5 will cost 15 cents; less than $15 will cost 20 cents, and up to $100 will cost 25 cents. Money orders in all amounts to the United States will cost 25 cents. Money orders to the United Kingdom of less than $10 will cost 25 cents; less than $50 will cost 50 cents and up to $100 will cost 75 cents. Money orders to other countries up to $50 inclusive will cost 75 cents and from $50 to $100 will cost $1. We expect to recover about 82 per cent of our costs for the money order system. Therefore it can be seen that pressure remains on the department to introduce new, efficient and modern techniques in order that it may recover the additional 18 per cent,

which is something of the order of $2,500,000.

I do not think the public would forgive us if we solved our problems only by increasing rates.

Topic:   POST OFFICE DEPARTMENT
Subtopic:   ANNOUNCEMENT OF INCREASE IN MONEY ORDER FEES
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PC

Maclyn (Mac) Thomas McCutcheon

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Mac T. McCulcheon (Lamblon-Kent):

Mr. Speaker, I should first like to thank the minister for his courtesy in supplying the opposition with an advance copy of this announcement. However, we are particularly sorry that this government has once again seen fit to hit the little people. The minister apparently has a great concern about making the Post Office Department pay its own way. I am not sure where I stand in that regard, but I am wondering whether-

Topic:   POST OFFICE DEPARTMENT
Subtopic:   ANNOUNCEMENT OF INCREASE IN MONEY ORDER FEES
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?

Some hon. Members:

Oh, oh.

Topic:   POST OFFICE DEPARTMENT
Subtopic:   ANNOUNCEMENT OF INCREASE IN MONEY ORDER FEES
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PC

Maclyn (Mac) Thomas McCutcheon

Progressive Conservative

Mr. McCulcheon:

I am just wondering whether the minister might prevail upon his cabinet cohorts to do what they can to make the C.B.C. pay its way.

Topic:   POST OFFICE DEPARTMENT
Subtopic:   ANNOUNCEMENT OF INCREASE IN MONEY ORDER FEES
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NDP

Stanley Howard Knowles (N.D.P. House Leader; Whip of the N.D.P.)

New Democratic Party

Mr. Stanley Knowles (Winnipeg North Centre):

Mr. Speaker, I am happy to confirm the fact that the Postmaster General was courteous enough to let us have copies of his statement, but that does not make the statement any easier to accept. The Postmaster General says he is making these announcements one at a time so that when we reach the discussion of his proposed legislation we will have the total picture. I suggest that what the Postmaster General is demonstrating is that we ought to amend the Post Office Act so parliament will have control over more of the rates than is now the case. We seem to have control over the postage rates for first class mail and a few other things, but there are many aspects of the postal service and many charges which apparently the government can put into effect by executive action without getting parliamentary approval. This ought not to be.

[DOT] (2:40 p.m.)

This announcement today, when coupled with other announcements concerning increased charges, and when coupled also with the announcement that the delivery service is to be reduced to a five day week, gives a total picture of increased charges and reduced service. We do not think this is the

October 3, 1968

Post Office Department kind of package we should be getting from this government which is dedicated to the concept of new politics.

I have just one other comment, Mr. Speaker. Every time the Postmaster General makes an announcement he recites the cliche about the department paying its way, as though that were an article of faith. The hon. member who preceded me said he did not know where he stood on this issue. I say to him, to the Postmaster General and to the government as a whole that it is not an article of faith that every individual service provided by the government has to pay its way. National defence does not pay its way; the Senate does not pay its way. There are many things in our structure of society and government which do not necessarily in themselves pay their way. There are services that government is set up to provide. We think this is a false cliche that the government should not be able to get away with, as the Postmaster General tries so often.

We shall be well armed for the discussion on the post office legislation when it comes, but it seems to us that if there are many more of these announcements it will be one great big package of reduced service and increased charges, and we do not like it.

Topic:   POST OFFICE DEPARTMENT
Subtopic:   ANNOUNCEMENT OF INCREASE IN MONEY ORDER FEES
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RA

David Réal Caouette

Ralliement Créditiste

Mr. Real Caoueile (Temiscamingue):

Mr. Speaker, I too thank the hon. minister for his courtesy in sending us a copy of his statement. I also congratulate him on sending me a text written in perfect French, something we do not see too often.

Mr. Speaker, according to the statement of the minister, the income of the department will be over 25 per cent higher than in the past. Now, everyone knows that as the result of the recent postal employees' strike, salary increases of some 17 per cent were granted.

But today, the minister announces a 25 per cent increase in returns, and that means not only an increase in returns, but also an increase in taxes for the Canadian people, because the Canadian people will be paying those fees or new taxes.

Now, we see that the fee on a money order for 1 to 99 cents will be 10 cents, and 25 cents on a $15 to $100 money order.

As the minister is a member of the government that is working towards the just society it promised, why does he not suggest, at the same time, to all his friends who voted for the present government, that they ask for one-cent money orders instead of $100 money

orders, to enable the government to make 10 cents per money order instead of only 25 cents for a $100 money order?

It seems to me that would fill up the coffers of the government more easily, because, naturally, there is a lack of funds. Every time similar statements are made, we are told that there will be an increase in taxes. While he was at it, the minister could have proposed the issuance of one-cent money orders only, which would mean returns of 10 cents each time a money order is made out. The minister would then have no financial problems and only the Canadians, especially those who elected this government, would realize to what extent the just society is being set up in Canada.

Topic:   POST OFFICE DEPARTMENT
Subtopic:   ANNOUNCEMENT OF INCREASE IN MONEY ORDER FEES
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MEMBERSHIP OF SPECIAL COMMITTEE ON PROCEDURE

LIB

J.-E. Bernard Pilon (Chief Government Whip; Whip of the Liberal Party)

Liberal

Mr. Bernard Pilon (Chambly):

Mr. Speaker, pursuant to the order of the house made on September 24, 1968, 1 move:

That the special committee on procedure appointed on September 24, 1968, be composed of the following members: Messrs. Aiken, Blair, Deach-man, Forest, Horner, Jerome, Knowles (Winnipeg North Centre), Lambert (Edmonton West), Lang, Macdonald (Rosedale), Olson and Rondeau.

Topic:   MEMBERSHIP OF SPECIAL COMMITTEE ON PROCEDURE
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Motion agreed to.


AGRICULTURE

CORN-REQUEST FOR PERMISSION TO TABLE STATEMENT AND DOCUMENTS

LIB

Horace Andrew (Bud) Olson (Minister of Agriculture)

Liberal

Hon. H. A. Olson (Minister of Agriculture):

Mr. Speaker, I should like to table a statement on corn in English and in French along with four background papers, also in both languages.

Topic:   AGRICULTURE
Subtopic:   CORN-REQUEST FOR PERMISSION TO TABLE STATEMENT AND DOCUMENTS
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IND

Lucien Lamoureux (Speaker of the House of Commons)

Independent

Mr. Speaker:

Has the minister leave to table these documents?

Topic:   AGRICULTURE
Subtopic:   CORN-REQUEST FOR PERMISSION TO TABLE STATEMENT AND DOCUMENTS
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?

Some hon. Members:

Agreed.

Topic:   AGRICULTURE
Subtopic:   CORN-REQUEST FOR PERMISSION TO TABLE STATEMENT AND DOCUMENTS
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?

Some hon. Members:

No.

Topic:   AGRICULTURE
Subtopic:   CORN-REQUEST FOR PERMISSION TO TABLE STATEMENT AND DOCUMENTS
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?

An hon. Member:

What kind of statement?

Topic:   AGRICULTURE
Subtopic:   CORN-REQUEST FOR PERMISSION TO TABLE STATEMENT AND DOCUMENTS
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PC

Gerald William Baldwin (Official Opposition House Leader; Progressive Conservative Party House Leader)

Progressive Conservative

Mr. G. W. Baldwin (Peace River):

Before this statement is tabled could the minister indicate what it is? Merely to have an indication that there is a statement is not sufficient. We should have some amplification.

Topic:   AGRICULTURE
Subtopic:   CORN-REQUEST FOR PERMISSION TO TABLE STATEMENT AND DOCUMENTS
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LIB

Horace Andrew (Bud) Olson (Minister of Agriculture)

Liberal

Mr. Olson:

I would be glad to read it, but it is seven pages long.

Topic:   AGRICULTURE
Subtopic:   CORN-REQUEST FOR PERMISSION TO TABLE STATEMENT AND DOCUMENTS
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October 3, 1968