March 29, 1901

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Mr. A. A.@

WRIGHT (Renfrew) moved for leave to introduce Bill (No. 113) in further amendment of the Dominion Elections Act, 1900.

He said : This is practically the old Act of 1900 with this addition, that the ballot paper is entirely different from anything we have had hitherto. Each ballot paper has the portrait of the candidate with his name printed underneath in large legible type. A ballot will be provided for each candidate, and on the back will be the initials of the deputy returning officer. When the voter comes in to the polling booth, these ballots are handed to him, and he goes into an ante-room and there selects the ballot bearing the portrait of the candidate for whom he desires to vote. This ballot he folds up and gives to the returning officer, who places it in the ballot box, after verifying the initials to make sure that it is one of the ballots handed to the voter. The other ballot the voter hands to the deputy returning officer, who examines it to see that it has his initials, and then destroys it in the presence of the agents of the candidates. This will prevent the spoiling of ballots, because the voter does not require to mark any of them, and the. ballot is just as secret as any ballot can be. Any one who can read may vote in the same manner as heretofore, but a man who cannot read can easily see, by the portrait of the candidate for whom he wishes to vote, which ballot he should cast.

Topic:   DOMINION ELECTIONS ACT.
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Motion agreed to, and Bill read the first time.


THE PRIME MINISTER.

LIB

Joseph Henri Napoléon Bourassa

Liberal

Mr. HENRI BOURASSA (Labelle).

Before the Orders of the Day are called. I would ask the right hon. the Prime Minister whether the title of Privy Council of England which, according to the press of the last few days, has been conferred on him, is a renewal of the same title which had been already given the right hon. gentleman, and which renewal was rendered necessary by the death of the Queen ?

The PRIME MINISTER, I may say to my hon. friend that I have no more information than he has himself. I only know of this through the newspapers.

Topic:   THE PRIME MINISTER.
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VOTE ON AMENDMENT TO BUDGET RESOLUTION.

IND

Jabel Robinson

Independent

Mr. JABEL ROBINSON (West Elgin).

I would like to draw attention to the record of last night's vote in the ' Hansard.' I am credited with having voted for the amendment. This is a mistake. I was not present, Mr. Speaker, and if I had been, I would not have voted for the amendment.

Topic:   VOTE ON AMENDMENT TO BUDGET RESOLUTION.
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CON

George Taylor (Chief Opposition Whip; Whip of the Conservative Party (1867-1942))

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. TAYLOR.

My hon. friend refers to the fact that his name appears as having been paired with Mr. Galliher. The pair should read Robinson (Northumberland), in place of Robinson (Elgin).

Topic:   VOTE ON AMENDMENT TO BUDGET RESOLUTION.
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SUPPLY-CONCURRENCE.


House proceeded to consider certain resolutions reported from Committee of Supply.


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The MINISTER OF FINANCE (Hon. W. S. Fielding).

In the earlier days of the session we brought down a special supplementary estimate, consisting of two or three items of urgency. These were adopted and passed through their various stages, but we were unable to submit them in the form of a Bill, owing to the fact that such procedure was blocked by the motion for Ways and Means. That motion being now out of the way, we are in a position to proceed, and after mentioning the matter to the hon. the leader of the opposition, 1 propose that we take the different stages in the case of these small items and introduce a Bill. These items are $10,000 for public buildings at Ottawa, $50,000 for St. Maurice slides and booms, and two items of $30,000 each in the Department of Agriculture, one for the Paris and one for the Buffalo exhibition.

Resolutions read the first and the second time and agreed to.

Topic:   SUPPLY-CONCURRENCE.
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WAYS AND MEANS-EMPLOYMENT OF CHINESE AND JAPANESE.


The Minister of Finance moved that the House go into Committee of Ways and Means to consider the following resolution : Resolved, That towards making good the Supply granted to His Majesty on account of certain expenses of the .public service for the financial year ending the 30th June, 1901, the sum of one hundred and twenty thousand dollars be granted out of the Consolidated Revenue Fund of Canada.


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Hon. E. G.@

PRIOR (Victoria, B.O.) Before you leave the Chair, I wish to draw the attention of the Minister of Marine and Fisheries (Hon. Sir Louis Davies) to a matter to which my attention has been called from the city of Victoria, B. C. On the 18th of this month I asked a question in this House as follows :

1. Has the government issued orders to their agents in British Columbia not to employ Chinese or Japanese on any public works or government steamers?

2. Is the government aware whether Chinese are employed as cooks on any government vessels in British Columbia?

3. If they are so employed, is it the intention of the government to continue their services?

4. Is the government aware that there are plenty of white cooks obtainable for such employment?

Topic:   WAYS AND MEANS-EMPLOYMENT OF CHINESE AND JAPANESE.
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The MINISTER OF FINANCE (Hon. W. S. Fielding).

No special instructions have been given, hut it is understood that Canadian labour is to he employed on the government steamers where it can be obtained, and we are not aware of any departure from the rule.

Yesterday I got the following telegram : E. G. Prior, Ottawa :

Chinese all signed on steamer Quadra's Commission.

This refers to the government steamer Quadra, that is now going into commission for the year. If it is true that the officers of the government have signed on Chinese- it does not say how many, but I presume it must be two or three at least, 1 think it is much to be deplored, for the government is aware of the strong feeling in British Columbia against the employment of Chinese or Japanese, especially on government works. Time and again for years past the British Columbia members in this House and also the local government have brought to the attention of this government the strong feeling that exists against the employment of these men. It seems to me after this answer that was given to me in this House, the government might have found out whether they were employing these men or not. Certainly they should send special instructions to their officials that under no circumstances should they give employment to Chinese or Japanese ou public steamers or on public works. I believe that the Minister of Public Works (Hon. Mr. Tarte) bad some correspondence in regard to the employment of Chinese in his department, and he very properly put a stop to it, as I am informed. I hope the minister will telegraph to see if this statement is correct. I have not the slightest doubt it is, because the gentleman who sent it to me is a well-known gentleman of veracity and good standing in Victoria. I hope the minister will give instructions that if these men are employed they will be discharged at once, and that white men he put in their places. I do not believe there is the slightest difficulty In getting white cooks, if it is cooks that are employed, because I was informed some time ago that several were to be got if they were only asked.

Topic:   WAYS AND MEANS-EMPLOYMENT OF CHINESE AND JAPANESE.
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The MINISTER OF MARINE AND FISHERIES (Hon. Sir Louis Davies).

I have no special information with respect to the particular complaint the hon. gentleman makes that a Chinese cook has been taken on board the Quadra. I do know that for many years back under the late government as well as under the previous government,

there was a Chinese cook on board the Quadra. I rather understand that a change was made in that respect last year, because instructions were given to prefer Canadian labour to Chinese in all cases where it could be done. I will make inquiries and ascertain how far the hon. gentleman's statement is correct.

Hon, Mr. PRIOR. Is the hon. gentleman certain about his facts when he says that under the late government there were only Chinamen employed on the Quadra ?

Topic:   WAYS AND MEANS-EMPLOYMENT OF CHINESE AND JAPANESE.
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The MINISTER OP MARINE AND FISHERIES.

I believe so.

Topic:   WAYS AND MEANS-EMPLOYMENT OF CHINESE AND JAPANESE.
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NON-PAYMENT OF ELECTION OFFICIALS.

LIB

Thomas Osborne Davis

Liberal

Mr. T. O. DAVIS (Saskatchewan).

Before you leave the Chair, Mr. Speaker, there is a matter I wish to bring to the attention of the House, and that is with reference to the payment Of election officials in the North-west Territories during the election on the 7th of November last. I may say it is now some five months since the election was held, and the people who were employed by the government as enumerators, returning officers and deputy returning officers, have not up to the present time been paid. I do not know who is accountable for this. I was told it was on account of the Auditor General not being able to pass the accounts. If the Auditor General has got so much work on his hands that he cannot attend to business of that kind, I think the government should provide him with a larger staff. He informed me that he had his report to get out. While I do not know whether it is necessary that the Auditor General should have so large a report, it appears to me that if it keeps on growing, we will have to have a horse and cart to carry it about with us when we want to use it. In the meantime the fact that the Auditor General is busy should not be an excuse for allowing so many people in my section of the country, and I presume it is the same all over the Dominion, to remain unpaid simply because he appears to be too busy. I may say that in my riding some very long trips have to be taken, and it entails a good deal of expense, because the men who were appointed enumerators and deputy returning officers had to go to out-of-the-way places, in some cases they had to go to the bank and borrow money in order to carry out the work which was entrusted to them. They had to pay for that money something like 10 per cent, and some of these men had to borrow $200, and here they are paying 10 per cent on that money for fifteen months after this money has been earned by them. This is a fact that the government should take up and look into, and if the Auditor General is to blame he should be censured. It appears to me that the Auditor General passes a good deal Sir LOUIS DAVIES.

of his time in trying to pare down small accounts of this kind that he might very well allow to pass. For instance, if a man makes a trip to the North-west Territories for 200 or 300 miles, when he puts in his account, the Auditor General gets down with his rule on the map and starts to figure how much this man could have travelled by the distance he figures on the map. Now, Sir, you cannot arrive at the distance a man has to travel in the North-west Territories by a rule on the map, because there are lakes and muskegs that he has to go round. In my experience, a man might be inside a house half a mile away, and the enumerator would have to travel ten miles to get to it. Evidently the Auditor General is not posted in North-west matters, and he gets down with his rule and starts paring down these accounts. That is one of the reasons these accounts have not been paid. The Auditor General has to go through each one of them and keep paring them down, and in the meantime these poor people are kept out of their money for ten months. I do not think the Auditor General should assume that he and his staff are the only honest people in this country, and if he would show a little more judgment in these matters it would be better for all concerned. I would ask the government to take this matter up and see that these people get justice. They may be kept out of that money for three or four months yet. I believe in some cases the Auditor General has not done anything with these accounts, and lie should be spurred up. If he would cut off a few pages of that book he presents to the country every year, I think it would be well for all parties concerned.

Topic:   WAYS AND MEANS-EMPLOYMENT OF CHINESE AND JAPANESE.
Subtopic:   NON-PAYMENT OF ELECTION OFFICIALS.
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LIB

William Forsythe McCreary

Liberal

Mr. W. F. McOREARY (Selkirk).

I want to corroborate the statements made by the hon. member for Saskatchewan (Mr. Davis). Since I have been in this House, I have received probably seventy-five or one hundred letters about the great delay in paying these election accounts. I do not think it is necessary for the Auditor General to pare down the accounts in the manner in which he does. Take, for instance, my section of the county, if a man is living along the Red river and has to report to the town of Selkirk, he has to go to a bridge or ferry to cross the Red river to get down to the town of Selkirk, yet he is only allowed mileage from the polling booth to the town of Selkirk, in a direct line. As one man said : I don't know how he expects me to go in a straight line unless I swim the river. The result has been that some of those same parties who have acted as returning officers or deputies and have been requested recently to act as enumerators, have refused to do so on two grounds : first, because their accounts are pared down to almost nothing, and secondly, because they have not been paid the small amounts to which they were entitled. I understand also that some of

the enumerators in British Columbia have refused to act on account of the great delay in paying the small accounts they were entitled to.

Topic:   WAYS AND MEANS-EMPLOYMENT OF CHINESE AND JAPANESE.
Subtopic:   NON-PAYMENT OF ELECTION OFFICIALS.
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March 29, 1901