Mr. McKENZIE (Lambton):
My experience is that the Post Office Department has insisted on giving contracts to the lowest tenderer, if he is capable and efficient.
I believe, however, that the tender system is not satisfactory. In many ways it is not fair. Some mail carriers going out of the same postal stations and doing the same work do not receive the same rates per mile. It may be urged that this is the fault of the carrier. That may be so, in some respects, but we must not forget that some mail carriers have been carrying mail since the inception of the service, and that contracts have been renewed every four years without
variation. The carriers who have been operating for some time have satisfactory contracts. Then, through sickness, death or for some other cause-political, if you like-vacancies occur and, through advertisement, cheap contracts are obtained. There should be some method of standardizing rates throughout Canada. I am sure the officials of the Post Office Department are aware of the circumstances, and that they have been giving the matter serious consideration. I have heard this question threshed out before by rural mail carriers' associations, who had no thought of political affiliation at all. I know the department has been giving the matter consideration. I am inclined to favour the suggestion of the hon. member for Grey-Bruce to the effect that a committee of some kind should study the matter impartially and submit a report. Perhaps action of that kind would go a long way towards arriving at a satisfactory solution of this problem.
Topic: POST OFFICE DEPARTMENT