Inasmuch as the Finance Minister took a strong stand on the other side, and the hon. member for North Norfolk (Mr. Charlton) also, I think the House is entitled to know why both of these gentlemen are absent.
I move that paragraph 4 of section 6 be struck out. I have consulted the Clerk of the Crown in Chancery and the King's Printer, and they
both tell me that It is absolutely impossible to apply that section, that it would be out of the question for the returning officer to send to all the electors on the electoral list a copy of these offences, or an abstract of the same. There are districts in which there are eight, or ten, or twenty thousand electors, and to attempt to do such a thing would take up all the time the returning officer has at his disposal.
I do not think there is any need for furnishing each deputy returning officer with ten copies of the printed directions as clause (f) requires him to do. What is the use of sending each deputy returning officer ten copies ? I think the thing is absurd, and we ought to strike out the whole clause. I move in amendment that the whole clause be struck out.
I think this is exceedingly useful for the purpose of bringing to the notice of the electors when they go to the polls for the purpose of registering their votes, the penalties to which they are subjected, and also the general requirements of the election law. I think it is very desirable.
I drew the attention of the Minister of Justice to the fact that I thought there was something wrong in the wording of this first amendment. I would ask the Minister of Justice if he has ascertained how these words would fit in with the statute as it now exists ?
I have not before me the Act we are amending, but my recollection is that I found some error in the drafting of this Bill, in fact it was admitted by the Minister of Finance the other day when we had this Bill up. The section we are amending reads :
I think that is intended to apply to the province of Prince Edward Island, where they do not have voters' lists and of course the clerk of the Crown in Chancery could not furnish the deputy returning officer with the voters' list.
The amendment might come in the fourth line of section 21 after the word ' Act ' so that it would read :
Immediately after the issue of the writ of election the clerk of the Cro jvn in Chancery shall transmit to the returning officer a sufficient number of copies of the voters' list, if there are any, one copy of this Act and of the abstract of offences and penalties under this Act and of such instructions, and so on.
member for West York (Mr. Campbell) must have been speaking to some motion. The members of the committee will remember that I put Mr. Campbell's motion that the whole of section 6 be struck out and that motion was lost.