January 14, 1954 (22nd Parliament, 1st Session)


William McLean Hamilton

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Hamilton:

As I understand it, air mail is carried on Trans-Canada Air Lines in two ways. If it is prepaid, in other words, at the seven-cent rate, it automatically goes by air. If it is not prepaid it is treated on the same basis as air cargo, and since only 7 per cent of air mail is prepaid whereas another 25 per cent is carried at normal postal rates I would assume that the situation with respect to air cargo and air mail is very similar. However, I have no doubt that the Postmaster General will be good enough to explain that to us as time goes on.
I should like to say just a word, because I did cover the matter previously in an earlier speech, on the question of deliveries of mail. What a miserable situation it is that great areas of our country, major portions of our cities, important business communities, important sections of important business communities, should be denied adequate mail delivery, and should be told that they have to get by with one delivery a day.

Streets where you have store after store after store and business after business after business adjacent to each other are, in many cases, denied twice daily delivery. They have to work out other methods. They have to supplement the work of the Post Office Department with the work of their own staffs in order to be able to get their mail on time and deal with it adequately.
This and many other things are a reflection of what seems to be a general decline in the standards of the post office service in the last number of years. I do not think that it is necessarily a decline due to the members of the staff at the lower level, because most of them have been in their positions for many years. But the decline is taking place and we must search for the cause somewhere. Since the only place where there seems to be some change is in the top people in the department, and particularly the minister, perhaps we should examine the minister. However, I would suggest that if the minister feels so inclined he might be brave enough to let us have access to the Woods-Gordon report to which he has referred. As I understand it, that was a study of certain aspects of the operation of the post office, and I believe it has never been tabled in the house.

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