Joseph NEEDHAM

NEEDHAM, Joseph

Personal Data

Party
Social Credit
Constituency
The Battlefords (Saskatchewan)
Birth Date
March 23, 1876
Deceased Date
April 8, 1953
Website
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Joseph_Needham_(politician)
PARLINFO
http://www.parl.gc.ca/parlinfo/Files/Parliamentarian.aspx?Item=5452e2d5-69c1-4a4e-b493-ace6ecb82361&Language=E&Section=ALL
Profession
agent, secretary

Parliamentary Career

October 14, 1935 - January 25, 1940
SC
  The Battlefords (Saskatchewan)

Most Recent Speeches (Page 1 of 30)


May 25, 1939

Mr. NEEDHAM:

I should like to follow

up what has been said by some hon. members regarding opportunities offered to the Post Office Department to increase its services throughout the dominion. I have particular reference to the post office savings bank. I believe I have brought the savings bank to the attention of the committee at former sessions. Upon looking up the record of a few years back I find that from 1930 to 1937 there has been a gradual decline in the balance to the credit of depositors, and that it was not until last year that an increase was shown. In 1930 the balance stood at $26,086,036.03, and in 1938 it was $22,587,233.09. In the same manner the number of accounts declined until 1937, and then began to increase. In 1930 the number of accounts stood at 82,428, whereas in 1938 it was 84,118.

Until last year the number of post offices with savings bank departments had gradually declined. In 1930 there were 1,343, and in 1938 there were 1,362. The amount of interest paid by the Post Office Department on deposits decreased each year until last, when there was a slight increase. I am glad to note this turn of events. I believe one forward step which to a great extent has been responsible for the increase has been the change whereby a depositor was permitted to withdraw $100 a day. Formerly there was a limit of $50. If an improvement of that kind has brought about an all-round increase in one year, I should think it must certainly be encouraging for the Post Office Department further to increase its services to the public, and it will receive the proper support.

In the last ten or fifteen years there have been taking place in the dominion changes which, in my opinion, offer a great opportunity to the post office to give a service of

Supply-Post Office

which the public in many communities has been deprived. When I make that statement I am thinking of the banks which have pulled out of so many places and left the people without banking facilities. It seems to me that there is an opportunity for the Post Office Department to fill in that which is lacking. From 1920 to 1937 bank branches were closed in each of the provinces to the following extent:

Prince Edward Island 14

Nova Scotia 35

New Brunswick 24

Quebec 76

Ontario 377

Manitoba 180

Saskatchewan 343

Alberta 238

British Columbia 54

In the Yukon there was an increase of one. These figures represent the closing of a total of 1,341 branches of banks between 1920 and 1937. I know that many of those branches may have been closed where there were two or three banks in one place. But there were many places where there was only one bank and, despite that fact, the bankers pulled out. As a result, people have had to drive thirty or forty miles to do their banking business.

I would ask the Postmaster General to consider the possibility of increasing the facilities of the post office savings bank to give accommodation to these people. I have in my hand a resolution passed by the delegates of district No. 12 of the Saskatchewan wheat pool in December last. It reads as follows:

Whereas the residents of rural and small urban communities are now almost entirely deprived of the services of certain functions of commercial banking through the withdrawal of branches of the chartered banks from these communities; and

Whereas the lack of these facilities make it necessary for our elevator department to appoint local payors with many attendant risks and inconveniences; and

Whereas the Post Office Department of Canada now performs certain financial services through their savings and annuity branches; and

Whereas the Bank of Canada Act authorizes the Bank of Canada to render to the people of Canada broad services through the monetary system; and

Whereas the purpose of the post office and the Bank of Canada is fundamentally to serve the people of Canada;

Therefore we, the delegates of district 12, hereby urge our board of directors to enter into negotiations with the proper governmental authorities to make it possible, through legislation or otherwise, for our rural and small urban post offices to render to their communities the services of commercial banking to the extent of deposits and withdrawals on current account, including chequing privileges.

That may be too big a step to [DOT]take at one time, but I suggest it is worthy of consideration.

There is a further suggestion I would make to the Postmaster General. In many instances branch banks have pulled out, leaving buildings with all the necessary facilities. I would suggest that the post office might utilize those buildings, because many of them are standing empty. They have all the necessary conveniences to carry on the work, and could be used to render a real service to the communities they would serve.

I am pleased to learn that an allowance for advertising has been set aside. I have noticed a general lack of knowledge regarding the post office savings bank. Many prominent citizens do not know of the services at their disposal. One may go into a post office and find only one card advertising the services of the savings bank department. At the present time there is no general attempt to pass on information to the general public informing them of the services at their disposal, and I am suggesting that those services should be better advertised. This would be one of the most convenient travelling aids people like ourselves could have. With a post office savings bank account, we could go into a post office anywhere in the dominion to withdraw what money we needed without having to pay exchange or anything else. It would not be necessary to carry round large sums of money.

There are one or two minor matters that I should like to suggest to the Postmaster General. The first is in connection with the passbook which has provision for only twenty entries. In my opinion the passbook should be larger. When the passbook is filled up, the postmaster has no authority to issue a new book. The old book must be sent to Ottawa when a new one is issued with the balance verified. I think the postmaster in a community should have authority to issue a new book, thus eliminating the wait of eight or ten days or two weeks that it takes to get one from Ottawa. Last year the former leader of the opposition appealed to the government to increase the interest rate paid on post office savings to 21 per cent. I think this increase in interest would encourage depositors to deposit their money, and the government would have a means of helping to carry on the finances of the country.

I should like to refer to one other matter which has been mentioned already in this discussion, namely, patronage. I have a letter here that I received from a man who had carried the mails under contract for eighteen years and three months. His contract expired

Supply-Trade-Commercial Intelligence

on December 31 last, but there was no renewal forwarded. The post office authorities told him to carry on because there must be some mistake, but his new contract did not come along. Then on March 31 he received word that his services would no longer be required and that a new man would be on duty the next morning. That is the only intimation he received after a service of eighteen years and three months. These things should not be.

Topic:   POST OFFICE DEPARTMENT
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May 22, 1939

Mr. NEEDHAM:

That machine was never in a repair shop.

Topic:   CUSTOMS TARIFF
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May 22, 1939

Mr. NEEDHAM:

I will give the committee an instance. Two years ago, on my way back from the United States, I bought a radio. After a while I got a letter from a firm in Bay street, Toronto, informing me that I had brought in a Silver Tone radio and must sign an affidavit that I would not use or dispose of that radio. I wrote back through a local lawyer asking for information as to what I had done wrong or in what respect I had infringed patent rights; stating that I had bought this radio from a reliable firm in the United States, that I considered I had paid, when I bought it, all the royalties which were involved, and that I had brought it into Canada according to Canadian law under the $100 exemption provision. They would not say what right I had infringed; they wrote back, " Sign that paper, or action will be taken immediately." I did not sign the paper. I wrote again, and I did not hear from them until, when I was coming to the session last year, I called at the office. I told them who I was, and that I wanted to know what I had done wrong-they had threatened me with a suit-and then they told me to forget all about it. They said, "You will not hear any more about the matter." What I want to know is, by what right do these people place the citizens of Canada in such a position? Surely one can appeal somewhere.

Topic:   CUSTOMS TARIFF
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May 22, 1939

Mr. NEEDHAM:

Could the minister give me information as to the authority upon which dealers or patent right holders or others may threaten suit against a person who goes over to the United States, buys a radio and brings it to this side? They ask him to sign an affidavit that he will not use or sell that radio, or action will be taken. Under what authority can they do these things?

Topic:   CUSTOMS TARIFF
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May 18, 1939

Mr. NEEDHAM:

A great development

is proceeding in the northwest part of Saskatchewan where an abundance of gas has been discovered at Lloydminster. Last fall there was a considerable crude oil development about twelve miles west of Unity by the Unity Valley Oil Company. I understand that six contracts have been let for development work this spring. I do not want the minister to overlook this territory, because we expect it to outclass even the Turner Valley in the not far distant future.

Topic:   WAYS AND MEANS
Subtopic:   MINES AND KESOURCES
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