There might be some little difference, but their forms are practically the same. It is only carping to draw the distinction. For many years the Liberal Association of Ontario has been sending out the usual blanks for the revision lists.
There is no evidence that any person connected with the Census Department from the minister down, had any knowledge, directly or indirectly, of anything of the kind. There is no evidence that any officer of the Liberal Association attempted to put these blanks in the hands of a census official.
The hon. gentleman from North Oxford (Hon. Mr. Sutherland), who is always fair in this House, wants to have light on the matter. It is admitted on all hands that at least a few of the enumerators did receive these circulars, although it is alleged that they did not use them. The hon. gentleman, (Hon. Mr. Sutherland) tells us it is wrong that any person whatsoever should endeavour to approach the census officers in this way. So far as the evidence goes, there is nothing to show that the census officials have evinced a disposition to do wrong, but the question is that some one did approach these enumerators, and those persons should be punished. It is the duty of the Minister of Agriculture to see to that.
The Minister of Agriculture took the most active and energetic measures within his power to take. The moment this was brought to his notice he took steps to see that the enumerators should have nothing to do with it. I merely wish to point out to the House that instead of the secretary of the Liberal Association receiving blame, he is, on the contrary, entitled to praise because he realized his duty to the full extent and he did not attempt to use these circulars in any way whatever. There was no authority on the part of the organizers, or upon the association in any way to ask any one of the census officials to use his office improperly, or contrary to the oath he had taken.
If the hon. gentleman wants to be fair, he knows that the evidence all shows what I have pointed out. My hon. friend from Leeds (Mr. Taylor) tried, by twisting two or three telegrams, to show that the commissioners had been acting improperly, and had placed some of these circulars in the hands of some of the enumerators ; but, what did they do? They had them all withdrawn before they were used, and we find that in 102 cases they were never seen or heard of. This shows that the census enumerators were not used for this purpose.
This question has been pretty thoroughly threshed out, and the hon. gentleman who has just spoken has evidently not heard the remarks of the Minister of Agriculture, or he would not make the statement he does. He says that in 102 cases the commissioners heard nothing about the circular. Seven heard about it, got copies of it, and did not use them.
In three cases they acted upon them, but, in these three cases, on receiving the telegram of the Minister of Agriculture, they determined to destroy them, and all the information taken under them was burned. The fact remains -it is admitted by the Minister of Agriculture-that these circulars were sent out, and in three cases were distributed among the enumerators and acted upon ; that in seven cases they were received and not acted upon, and in 102 cases the commissioners had not heard of them.
The commissioners may have found it impossible to ascertain whether the enumerators had these circulars or not. These parties may have made use of the enumerators, and dealt directly with them. We are not blaming the government or the Minister of Agriculture for anything of that kind. The minister says that the first time he heard anything about the circular was when he saw it mentioned in the paper, and on the same evening that it was brought to his attention, he took every means possible to put an end to it. But, what we are insisting on is, that those persons who have violated the law and their oath shall not escape, but shall receive the punishment they ought to receive. If the Minister of Agriculture had promised in the first instance that some punishment would be imposed upon the parties who acted illegally and contrary to their oath, there would have been an end to the discussion long ago.
I do not think it is carried just yet, because we have not had the information which we are entitled to. The minister made the statement that 102 knew nothing about such documents, that nine heard of them, and that three had used them. But the telegrams read by various members of the House do not bear out that statement, but directly contradict it; they 'show that there was a very much larger number. The hon. member for North Oxford (Hon. Mr. Sutherland) says these schedules are not! fraudulent, that they are the regular official document of the party of which he is one of the leaders, if not the leader iu the province of Ontario. If that be the case, these men might say that they know nothing of any fraudulent document, as these are not fraudulent in that sense. Now, I say that these documents are not such as would be required for the purpose of revising the lists before the court of revision this year. I challenge the hon. member for North Oxford to produce last year's circular, and show that it was similar in substance to the document to which we have reference.