June 6, 1905 (10th Parliament, 1st Session)


John Barr

Conservative (1867-1942)


I regret very much that the department should have seen fit to change the present practice which has been in vogue for the last quarter of a century ; not only in this House but in the provincial parliament as well. Of course in the latter the postage must be paid. The custom is one which is worked, not only to the convenience of members but to the interest of the public. As regards the plea that this occasions trouble to postmasters, I can assure you. Sir, that such is not the case. No member would think of imposing additional trouble on the postmasters if the latter were not willing to do that work. In fact the work in that connection is exceedingly trifling. I hardly think that the Postmaster General understands the position in the country districts or he would not have made the change. All that a postmaster in a rural district has to do is to open the package and place the documents on the counter and let those who call at the office take them. In that way a great deal of useful information can be spread throughout the country and no loss of revenue occasioned. This change will put the members of this House to great inconvenience and deprive the country of those bulletins, because members will not have the time to send out each bulletin separately. It would be impossible for members of this House to do this when, as at present, they have to do so much of their own writing, unlike the practice in some of the local legislatures,
where the members can avail themselves of the staff of sessional clerks for that purpose. Here, however, there is no such staff which members can utilize by dictating their correspondence to shorthand writers and having it typewritten and transmitted through the mails. I hope that the hon. the Postmaster General will consider this matter of sending out packages of official documents and also the suggestion of endeavouring to place members in the position of being able to attend to the wants of then-own constituencies without the great labour, inconvenience and expense now entailed upon them.

Full View