It is a change in policy in this manner, Mr. Chairman. Under the postal act, increases in contracts for rural mail delivery can be dealt with under certain circumstances, one of them being that the contract has to have been in effect for two years, and there must have been a lapse of at least two years before an application can be considered for a new increase in the price of a contract.
The situation which arose was that in a case where, for instance, the contractor had received an increase in his contract say four years ago, after his contract had been running two years. He had made an application which had been examined, and his contract had been increased. When the contract was renewed this constituted a new contract, and he could not ask for a further increase until two years had run on the new contract, so he was still operating on the price determined four years previously and the act, as it exists now, would not permit him to make an application or permit the department to give him an increase on that contract.
By providing an estimate as we have done this year it does, however, give the department the authority to look into every one of these contracts and, regardless of the length of time the contract has been in effect or the time which has elapsed since the last increase, to make an adjustment if it is deemed necessary.