Mr. Chairman, I would like once again to draw to the attention of the authorities the question of new post office facilities at Saskatoon. I use the word "authorities" because the Postmaster General will hasten to assure me it is now the business of the Minister of Public Works. Plans for new post office facilities at Saskatoon have already been authorized. I suppose "authorized" is to be preferred to the word "okayed" which was on the tip of my tongue; it is amazing how slang creeps into our language. Anyway, "okayed" is what I mean.
I have a press dispatch which appeared in the Saskatoon Star-Phoenix of April 2, which reached me only today. The headline reads, "Postal Business Tops $1,000,000 for First Time", and this of course refers to the city of
Saskatoon. I shall not take the time of the committee to read the entire article, but it says in part:
Postmaster L. H. Duggleby was beaming today as he checked financial records that showed the Saskatoon post office did more than $1,000,000 in business for the fiscal year that ended March 31.
I need not question the minister concerning the new post office, because he has already given me assurances that plans have been approved for the new post office and the site has been purchased, but I think it would be just as well to check on these matters once more. Therefore I might say we are simply waiting for the Minister of Public Works as the head of that department to give the word, as it were.
I have two matters to draw to the attention of the Postmaster General, one of which is that the post office in Saskatoon is now responsible for the mail delivery, at some distance from the centre of the city, to the residents of the town of Sutherland, which was amalgamated last year with the city of Saskatoon. The mail is now delivered from the central office in Saskatoon rather than from the little local post office at Sutherland where the people used to call for their mail. May I say that is a great advantage to the people of Sutherland. They appreciate the action of the post office in this regard, and though I might point out that we thought it was a trifle slow in coming nevertheless the conditions were fulfilled.
However, the point is that the central office has the extra business to handle. If one were to read the statement from the postmaster at Saskatoon to which I have referred one would see that business in every sphere has increased. I am merely seeking to point out that with the growth of our city the need for the new post office facilities is becoming greater and greater. We already have the assurance of the Postmaster General that new facilities will be provided any time as far as he is concerned.
Another matter with which I wish to deal concerns the extra delivery men for Sutherland. There was another statement made by the Saskatoon postmaster which I quoted a month or two ago when I spoke on this question. The local postmaster stated that he did not want to undergo another Christmas rush like the one last year unless he had these added facilities.
One must know that if it involves a new building, these facilities cannot be provided before the next Christmas rush, but they could be provided and ready for the one which would come after that. Owing to the great increase in population-the population is now some 72,000 and is going up-it seems
to me that these facilities should be provided and the post office officials and workers should not be asked to handle that immense amount of business with the facilities with which they are now provided.