William McLean HAMILTON

HAMILTON, The Hon. William McLean, P.C., O.C.

Personal Data

Party
Progressive Conservative
Constituency
Notre-Dame-de-Grâce (Quebec)
Birth Date
February 23, 1919
Deceased Date
June 7, 1989
Website
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/William_McLean_Hamilton
PARLINFO
http://www.parl.gc.ca/parlinfo/Files/Parliamentarian.aspx?Item=d2d5537f-110f-44dd-9b18-c73ee4819fc4&Language=E&Section=ALL
Profession
business executive

Parliamentary Career

August 10, 1953 - April 12, 1957
PC
  Notre-Dame-de-Grâce (Quebec)
June 10, 1957 - February 1, 1958
PC
  Notre-Dame-de-Grâce (Quebec)
  • Postmaster General (June 21, 1957 - July 12, 1962)
March 31, 1958 - April 19, 1962
PC
  Notre-Dame-de-Grâce (Quebec)
  • Postmaster General (June 21, 1957 - July 12, 1962)

Most Recent Speeches (Page 330 of 331)


January 14, 1954

Mr. Hamilton:

I think we might get a great deal of interesting information from it and I shall be delighted to see it. Thank you for the offer.

Summarizing what I have tried to set before the house today, may I say that, first, the government has used the post office to pile up huge surpluses in the past twenty years in direct contradiction of the policy of the Post Office Department in previous years; second, the government, for reasons best known to itself, has forced the post office to subsidize the operation of Trans-Canada Air Lines in order that Trans-Canada Air Lines might show a profit; third, the government, through excessive use of the franking privilege by its various departments, is burdening the post office with costs of other departments; fourth, that the users of first-class mail are being forced to pay more than the cost of their service in order to subsidize losses on other classes of mail which are quite legitimate, but which should be properly charged to the general revenue of the government; fifth, that this government is not giving adequate or sufficient postal service at the present time; and, sixth, that

Post Office Act

the government and the Postmaster General seem to have made no demonstrated case at the present time that the proposed increases are required.

For these reasons I am opposed most definitely to the legislation now before the House of Commons.

Topic:   POST OFFICE ACT
Subtopic:   AMENDMENT TO INCREASE POSTAGE ON LETTERS AFTER APRIL 1, 1954
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January 14, 1954

Mr. Hamilton:

As I understand it, air mail is carried on Trans-Canada Air Lines in two ways. If it is prepaid, in other words, at the seven-cent rate, it automatically goes by air. If it is not prepaid it is treated on the same basis as air cargo, and since only 7 per cent of air mail is prepaid whereas another 25 per cent is carried at normal postal rates I would assume that the situation with respect to air cargo and air mail is very similar. However, I have no doubt that the Postmaster General will be good enough to explain that to us as time goes on.

I should like to say just a word, because I did cover the matter previously in an earlier speech, on the question of deliveries of mail. What a miserable situation it is that great areas of our country, major portions of our cities, important business communities, important sections of important business communities, should be denied adequate mail delivery, and should be told that they have to get by with one delivery a day.

Streets where you have store after store after store and business after business after business adjacent to each other are, in many cases, denied twice daily delivery. They have to work out other methods. They have to supplement the work of the Post Office Department with the work of their own staffs in order to be able to get their mail on time and deal with it adequately.

This and many other things are a reflection of what seems to be a general decline in the standards of the post office service in the last number of years. I do not think that it is necessarily a decline due to the members of the staff at the lower level, because most of them have been in their positions for many years. But the decline is taking place and we must search for the cause somewhere. Since the only place where there seems to be some change is in the top people in the department, and particularly the minister, perhaps we should examine the minister. However, I would suggest that if the minister feels so inclined he might be brave enough to let us have access to the Woods-Gordon report to which he has referred. As I understand it, that was a study of certain aspects of the operation of the post office, and I believe it has never been tabled in the house.

Topic:   POST OFFICE ACT
Subtopic:   AMENDMENT TO INCREASE POSTAGE ON LETTERS AFTER APRIL 1, 1954
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January 14, 1954

Mr. Hamilton:

You had better clean up your mail boxes so they do not look like garbage cans.

Topic:   POST OFFICE ACT
Subtopic:   AMENDMENT TO INCREASE POSTAGE ON LETTERS AFTER APRIL 1, 1954
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January 14, 1954

Mr. Hamilton:

That is the air freight rate. The other is an estimate made from the Post Office Department report and the T.C.A. report.

Topic:   POST OFFICE ACT
Subtopic:   AMENDMENT TO INCREASE POSTAGE ON LETTERS AFTER APRIL 1, 1954
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November 25, 1953

Mr. Hamilton:

When the Minister of

Finance spoke in Montreal some time ago he attempted to show that our taxes were really not very high after all. Of course he admitted they looked high in relation to past history, but then when you deducted the cost of defence, they were lower, and when you deducted the costs of social security measures they were still lower; in fact, if you deducted enough items you finally reached a point where the federal government's share of the tax dollar was less than it was in 1939. To me, this comes close to the story of the farmer who decided to teach his horse to go without eating; he just had it properly trained and down to one straw a day when the horse died.

The man who collects my taxes, and those of both the citizens and the corporations of Canada, however, seems never to have heard of the finance minister's teachings, and some of us horses who never got onto anyone's payroll are finding that we, too, are pretty well down to our last straw.

The effect of this policy of high taxation, bitter as it is at the present time, will not be fully felt until such time as our Canadian economy encounters a period somewhat less prosperous than at present; then serious difficulties for which this government will be directly responsible are certain to arise.

The reason is simply that this government has denied us, both as individuals and as private enterprise, the opportunity to lay aside adequate reserves to carry us over an adverse period. High taxation-continuing, cruelly heavy taxation-has taken away from us much of the money which normally we would have salted away for a rainy day. When that day arrives-and arrive it must- we will have nothing to cushion the shock.

Some consideration for business and industry in this regard is especially important, for unless the government is going to continue the long strides it has already made in invading the field of private enterprise, and socialize us completely, it is to private enter-Drise that Canada must still look for her

The Address-Mr. Hamilton future development and her continuing prosperity. If this is so, then we must allow the businessman a reasonable measure of freedom to prepare himself for whatever the future may bring.

One measure which I would recommend to the Minister of Finance for his consideration in preparing his budget is a provision allowing corporations to set aside a portion of their profits, before taxation, in a reserve fund to be used in subsequent years for sales promotion, advertising and the like. Time and again it has been shown that lagging sales can be revived and increased with additional emphasis on the marketing side of the business. As sales pick up, so does employment, so do purchases of materials, and soon things are going well again.

Therefore I suggest that we try to direct a portion of the company's profits, or shall we say make it possible for them to use a portion of their profits in work of this kind. Such a procedure does not of course deprive the government of any tax revenue over a period of time. While they may lose it this year they will pick it up in subsequent years when the fund is used. Not only will they pick up the revenue from such a fund, but they will have the additional advantage of increased sales and profits; and heaven only knows that the day is far distant when this government will not take a generous bite of whatever profit any of us manage to make in our business.

In the years to come, with the tremendous productive capacity we have built up in this country, and with our steadily growing industrial complex, the people who move merchandise from the end of the production line into the hands of the consumer

the salesman, the advertising man, and those associated with them-are going to play a vital part in ensuring prosperity. As someone has said, nothing happens until somebody sells something to somebody. If this is so, then surely we should do all in our power to see that our marketing effort continues at a high level and I would like to think that the suggestion I have offered is perhaps one way of ensuring that.

Indeed I think my party, with its foursquare stand in support of free enterprise and its realization that the people of this country are better able to develop their own destiny if they are unhampered by stringent government controls and restrictions, holds a solution to the problems of our day which will be supported by Canadians long after the socialist philosophies to which we are now subjected have passed into history.

Topic:   EXTERNAL AFFAIRS
Subtopic:   SPEECH FROM THE THRONE
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