February 28, 1905 (10th Parliament, 1st Session)


Adam Zimmerman


Mr. A. ZIMMERMAN (West Hamilton).

I am glad that this matter has come before the House. I think that many people are guilty of abuse of the franking privilege to which allusion has been made. We know that that has always been done by both parties ever since we have had a government in this country. I have a letter that I received this morning from one of my constituents, in which he complains that business literature is being franked to different business concerns in this country. I will read the letter :
There is another matter which I have been requested to bring to the notice of the Postmaster General through you. The dentists here,
and no doubt throughout the country, received the inclosed sealed package containing advertisements and price lists, and franked by a member of parliament. I do not know whether that is a customary practice or not, but it struck some of my friends and myself as savouring of a breach of parliamentary privilege, and has given rise to considerable criticism in certain circles. X leave the matter in your hands to do as your judgment dictates.
Now, Sir, if it is the rule, or the law, to allow that kind of matter to be franked, I trust the government will immediately take steps to put a stop to it. It is unfair to other business men, it is unfair to the whole country, that public money should be used to convey advertisements going from this House by the thousands every day. I would like to ask the Postmaster General whether it is customary to allow private advertisements to be franked by members of parliament, and by members even who have no interest in the business, so far as we can see. So far as I can make out the member had no interest whatever in the business of this firm.

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