Hon. G. P. GRAHAM (Acting Postmaster General):
On Friday last the hon. member for West Toronto (Mr. Hocken) asked a question concerning delay in the transmission of newspapers from the Old Land to Canada and gave an example of one paper that was in transit from 6th April till 7th May. The Prime Minister (Mr. Mackenzie King) in replying pointed out the extraordinary conditions that had prevailed during the past season-great storms in the ocean and almost calamities for the railways. Besides, sometimes there are delays at the beginning. A weekly paper is published, say, on the 6th,
but the first sailing to carry the mail may not take place until a week from that date-a week lost to start with. Take the case the hon. member has referred to. He referred to the date, April 6th. The paper was probably despatched by the British post office by the Marloch, sailing from Glasgow on 13th April and due to arrive at St. John on the 21st. This is one of the slower Canadian Pacific Railway steamers, and on this particular trip she had one of the worst passages she ever experienced, and did not arrive at St. John until the 29th of April-eight days over-due. The mails were forwarded from St. John on the same day, but owing to a washout on the line the train did not get farther than McAdam junction, and had to return to St. John. Permission then had to be obtained to run the train east of Moncton and via the Canadian National Lines to Montreal. This was done, but the train did not reach Montreal until the 3rd of May. As a result, the mails reached Toronto Friday evening the 4th. Owing to these delays, these mails reached Toronto at the same time as British mails from the Montcalm and the Canada, thus throwing an immense volume of mail at one time upon the Toronto post office and causing more or less congestion. In this way the particular paper in question was not delivered until Monday morning the 7th of May. The delay in its transmission as set forth above will be seen however, to be wholly exceptional. I might add that on 11th May, the day the hon. member asked the question, the London Times of 1st May was in the reading room -just ten days.