Mr. Power (Quebec South):
Mr. Chairman, I would like to say a word or two on the subject of the future post office in order to set in their true light the facts stated last night by my friend, the hon. member for Quebec West (Mr. Dufresne).
For about two or three years, with other members from my district, I have been doing my best to get the Post Office Department and the customs division to erect in Quebec buildings befitting that city and suitable for the work performed.
Looking around the main railway station in Quebec city, we can see the site mentioned by my friend, where a block of houses burned down two or three years ago. To visitors arriving in Quebec city at the main station, it presents a scene of destruction reminiscent of bomb-gutted cities of Europe.
About that time the city of Quebec homologated the buildings concerned, i.e., the owners were advised that sooner or later they would have to go and that any improvements they might make in the meantime to the buildings, etc., would not be taken into account in the assessment of the property, because the city of Quebec already had some plans with regard to that site. Because of this homologation, the Canadian government approached the authorities of the city of Quebec in order to ascertain if they were ready to allow the federal government to put up the building.
Negotiations were lengthy and finally, last summer, after I had obtained the Prime Minister's authorization and after the hon. member for Levis (Mr. Bourget) had received confirmation from the Minister of Public Works (Mr. Winters), we met with the authorities of the city of Quebec, including His Worship Wilfrid Hamel, the city engineer and other officials, and we agreed that the government would release certain lots for the broadening of St. Paul street, and would, for its part-