June 27, 1904 (9th Parliament, 4th Session)


Haughton Lennox

Conservative (1867-1942)


*Of course, if he had nothing to do but learn gossip and take it in, and then pen it down for the Postmaster General to gloat over. But if he was to ascertain the facts he would have endeavoured to find those who knew them, and kept clear of those who knew nothing about them.
Mr. Simmons, a strong supporter of Col. Clyde, wrote a letter on January 3rd, posting it before 2.30 p.m. on that day, to Mr. Harry Timmerman, then at Camden East, urging him to come to Wilton and vote for Col. Clyde on Monday. Mr. Timmerman, who was known as a supporter of Col. Clyde, did not intend returning, having paired with another voter ; this was well known at Wilton, and it was common gossip in the village that Mr. Simmons' letter was purposely delayed so that Mr. Timmerman would not cast his vote against Mr. Gallagher.
If this gentleman was paired, and if that was well known in Wilton, it would be in order to ask this zealous inspector how Mr. Gallagher was obtaining the political advantage with which he charges him by the delay of that letter. I suppose there is honour there as well as here, and if a man is paired, that is the end of it. With this knowledge in his mind, this official is so zealous that he actually charges him with a design to prevent the return of this man who if returned could serve no useful purpose and could do no harm to Mr. Gallagher if the other part of his statement was true.
I am unable to say that the public came to a correct conclusion

I do not suppose he was to investigate that.
-but the fact remains that the letter was posted at 2.30 p.m. on Saturday

He does not show where he got the evidence for that

and that the mail for Camden East did not leave Wilton until 6 p.m., and that the letter for Mr. Timmerman did not go forward on that day, although posted in ample time, and did not reach Camden East until Monday p.m., too late to serve the purpose intended.
Although I understood the hon. member for Lennox to say that the postmaster at Camden East did not say when the letter reached there, and this gentleman does not furnish any information that can tell us to the contrary. He goes on to say :
The letter did not reach the candidate until Monday afternoon, too late to serve the purpose intended.
But it could not, in any event have served any purpose because the man to whom it Mr. LENNOX.
was written was paired. But we have here the fact stated that the idle rumour of the streets, the common gossip of the village, as he expresses it, suggested to his mind that there was some reason more than simple oversight which caused the delay in sending the letter forward, and he concludes :
In my opinion the charges made have been in the main substantiated.
It is suggested to me that the inspector had no right to form opinions or to render finding. All he had to do was to report the facts to the Postmaster General, and it would be for that gentleman to come to a conclusion. If he came to a wrong conclusion, we cannot help it; and no doubt this Inspector was convinced that he would best meet the views of the Postmaster General and give evidence of the zeal that was expected of him if he based a finding on the flimsy suggestion which idle gossip brought to his mind. Under the circumstances, I submit that this is a case in which, as a matter of justice and principle, the Postmaster General should order an impartial investigation into all the circumstances ; and if such an investigation should be held and acted upon, it would no doubt result in this postmaster being reinstated in his position.

Subtopic:   THOMAS PREST.
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