Yes, six hundred pounds
per day each way. At the rate of five cents per letter it was estimated that we could make it pay on that basis. In a pound of mail there are about fifty or fifty-five ordinary letters; in many cases it runs to sixty letters, which at the five cent rate would be S3 per pound for air mail service. Now the rate is six cents per letter, and I feel satisfied that if a proper survey of the trans-Canada air service was made it could be put into operation. I think the people now have been educated to use such a service; they see the benefit of it. In its initial stages they did not anticipate what that benefit would be, but now they appreciate it and I think such a service would be a success. A great deal of air mail was carried up to 1930.
I do not wish to take up too much of the time of the committee, Mr. Chairman, but let me point out the advantages of the air mail service. In 1927 and 1928, in the Mackenzie valley, and as far north inside the arctic circle as Aklavik, it cost the Post Office Department $41,000 for a mail service once each month in the summer time and once every two months in the winter time. When we called for tenders inaugurating the air mail service into the Mackenzie valley from the head of steel we got the service for only $5,000 more than the service which had been given, and rendered it fortnightly.
At that time we inaugurated an air mail service between Montreal and Albany which developed into a paying proposition. In order to give Toronto a footing equal to that of Montreal we attempted to inaugurate an air mail service between Toronto and New York, and there again between 1928 and 1930 the Post Office Department did not get from the business men of the large city of Toronto the encouragement the department deserved for the advances it was making in air mail delivery. That project had to be abandoned after a time; I believe it was abandoned by the late government, and I am not criticizing them for taking that action.
I heard a remark which, I think, should not be allowed to go unchallenged. Whether it referred to the internal administration of the Post Office Department or to the postal service in general, I do not know, but I interpreted it as referring to the Post Office Department in general. The statement was made that we had the most antiquated service known. Let me point out-
Topic: POST OFFICE