May 6, 1908

LIB

David Wesley Bole

Liberal

Mr. BOLE.

Yes, unless he has been seven years in the country.

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Subtopic:   DOMINION ELECTIONS ACT AMENDMENT.
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CON

Henry Alfred Ward

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. WARD.

Is that law in force now?

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LIB

David Wesley Bole

Liberal

Mr. BOLE.

No. In the Dominion Franchise Act, I understand, there is a provision that in the event of any legislature discriminating against any class, that class can vote under oath. It was the intention of the Liberal party-and I am one of the guilty parties-to vote the Galicians under that provision, but the legislature of the province of Manitoba, anticipating that Act, struck out the educational clause of the Hugh John Macdonald Election Act. But when they came to make provision for the registration of the Galicians, who were scattered here and there over the province in groups, they placed the registration booths at such a great distance from the Galician colonies, and kept them open so short a time, that these people were practically disfranchised.

Now, the hon. leader of the opposition in his speech yesterday made some statements which I am going to quote. On page 8119 of ' Hansard ' I find the following :

I would like to remark once more that no unfairness in making the lists for any province has been brought to the attention of the House except in the statement of the Minister of Justice based upon a hypothesis which he has not been able to prove. It has been stated to me that the Prime Minister of Manitoba has challenged, both inside and outside the legislature, his political opponents or any

person within the province to bring to his attention the case of any man who has been unfairly deprived of his franchise in that province.

On page 8121 I find the following from the same hon. gentleman :

I would like my hon. friends opposite to give some names, any instance in Manitoba or in British Columbia which would justify the interposition of this parliament.

On jiage 8123 I find the following :

Show me, in the first place, the wrong that has taken place under that Manitoba Act.

And then on page 8150, in the speech of the hon. member for Prince Edward (Mr. Alcorn), I find the following :

And Hon. Robert Rogers, also a member of the Manitoba government has issued a challenge which has never been taken up, that, if in one authentic case it could be shown that even one man had lost the franchise through the wanton or wilful act of an officer of the government, every seat in the province would be allowed to go by acclamation to the Reform candidate in the next election.

Now, Mr. Speaker, it becomes my very unpleasant duty to lay before the House some evidence with respect to these things. The hon. gentlemen have issued a challenge and I am going to accept and respond to that challenge. I do so only with respect to my own constituency. I would very much prefer that some other member would perform this unpleasant duty, but as the incident which I am about to relate occurred in my own constituency, and the evidence respecting the same was submitted to me, it becomes my duty to present that evidence to the House, to show, not only that one man has been deprived of his right to vote under the Act of the province of Manitoba, but that no less than 450 good citizens in one provincial constituency, namely, about one-fortieth of the province, have had their votes nullified by 450 names being placed upon the voters' list by means of fraud, forgery, perjury and impersonation. I will now read some affidavits which have been made by people who are personally interested.

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CON

William D. Staples

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. STAPLES.

I would like to ask the hon. gentleman for Winnipeg the date of the affidavits which he is about to read.

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LIB

David Wesley Bole

Liberal

Mr. BOLE.

The date will be embraced in the affidavits themselves.

Province of Manitoba, to wit:

I, Theodore Rudneski, agent, make oath and say, as follows:

1. I am personally, intimately acquainted with W. H. Hastings, the organizer in the province of Manitoba for the Conservative party, and I have been acquainted with the said Hastings for upwards of two years.

2. About the middle of the month of January 1907, I pointed out to the said Hastings that a large number of foreigners, partiou-larlv of the class usually known as Galicians,

were residing in various parts of the city of Winnipeg who were at that time entitled to take out naturalization papers in Canada, but who had not at that time done so and who were otherwise qualified to become electors in the elections then in contemplation in the province of Manitoba.

3. Shortly after the middle of January, 1907, the said W. H. Hastings, in my presence, made arrangements with a committee of six composed of Joseph Makarski, Thomas Snezek, Frank Szablewski, George Czornij, Michael Humilowicz, Thomas Jestremski, to proceed at once to make up a list of Conservative Galicians eligible for naturalization.

4. The said W. H. Hastings further arranged with me to personally superintend the work of the committee referred to in the preceding paragraph.

5. Prior to the third day of February, 1907, the committee aforesaid and other friends of the Conservative party made up a list of some 450, more or less, Galicians, Polanders, Germans, and other foreigners said to be at that time eligible for naturalization.

6. Prior to the said third day of February, 1907, the signatures of a few of the men on the list of 450 as aforesaid, were obtained by different parties to blank oaths of residence and oaths of allegiance on the forms in common use in connection with the naturalization of aliens, but the greater number on the list aforesaid had, prior to the third day of February, 1907, signed no papers whatever or taken no oaths or affidavit whatever with a view of complying with the requirements of the Naturalization Act.

7. On Sunday the third day of February, A.D. 1907, I, this deponent, and Thomas Snezek, Frank Szablewski, Thomas Jestremski, Billey Cichocki. Yladmir Rudko and Julian Nowacki went, at the request of the said W. H. Hastings, in the Maw block on Market square, in the city of Winnipeg, and set to work about two o'clock in the afternoon to prepare the naturalization papers for the parties on the list of 450, thereabouts, above referred to.

8. I, this deponent, and the other parties referred to in paragraph 7 hereof, continued the work of preparing the said naturalization papers on about 2 o'clock on Sunday the 3rd day of February, 1907, until about 3 o'clock in the morning of the 4th day of February, 1907, having taken a short intermission for supper about 6 o'clock on Sunday evening.

9. I was personally present at the time and place aforesaid and I saw the said Thomas Jestremski sign as commissioner, the various naturalization papers aforesaid and certify that the contents of the said papers were sworn to or affirmed by the respective parties mentioned therein, without any of such parties swearing or affirming or being present on the occasion in question.

10. The parties referred to in paragraph 7 hereof, in my presence wrote on such of the oaths of allegiance and oaths of residence as had not already been signed by the applicants for naturalization, the name of such applicants for naturalization in the absence of such applicants and without any authority whatsoever for the doing.

11. In the case of a number of naturalization papers previously filled in by some par-

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LIB

David Wesley Bole

Liberal

Mr. BOLE.

ties and signed by the applicant for naturalization, the papers had been improperly filled in and a number of the parties referred to paragraph 7 hereof, in my presence did destroy the napers so signed by applicants for naturalization and made out new ones in lieu thereof and signed the names of the applicants^ for naturalization to the oaths therein contained, and the said last-mentioned papers were then completed by the said Thomas Jestremski in the same manner as is set out in naragraph 9 hereof.

12. The only commissioner present at the time and place referred to in paragraph 7 hereof, was Thomas Jestremski, and it was necessary in order to complete the naturalization papers for the 450 applicants, more or less, above referred to, for the said Thomas Jestremski to sign his name some twelve or fifteen hundred times, more or less, and the said Thomas Jestremski complained from time to time towards the latter part of the session in question of fatigue and complained that he was too tired of writing to complete all the papers. To overcome this the said Jestremski told others of the parties referred to in paragraph 7 hereof, to sign the names of the said Jestremski to a number of the papers which were being made out as aforesaid, and the same were signed accordingly.

13. I am personally acquainted with Mr. Irving, an employee in the Department of the Attorney General for the province of Manitoba.

14. The naturalization papers for the 450 men, more or less, bad, prior to the third day of February, 1907, on several occasions been the subject of conversation between Irving and me, this deponent. On the occasion of the conversations aforesaid between myself and the said Irving the said Irving had particularly impressed upon me the necessity of dating the said naturalization papers back to a date early in January, 1907, giving as his reason therefor, that the said papers were required by law to be ou file in the county court of Winnipeg for at least three weeks prior to the fourth day of February, 1907, in order that the certificate of naturalization might on the last-mentioned date he issued to the said parties respectively, but stated that if the papers were regular on the face of them he could get them through in a few days without any notice.

15. On the occasion of my conversation with the said Irving the said Irving repeatedly told me that if the said naturalization papers were dated as aforesaid, he, the said Irving, was able to get the said papers through the county court of Winnipeg on four days notice.

16. Instructions were, to- my personal knowledge, given to the effect that the 450 sets of naturalization papers above referred to should be delivered on the morning of Monday, February 4, to Mr. Irving of the Attorney General's Department in order that the said Irving might get the certificates of naturalization for the said parties through the county court of Winnipeg on the said February 4, 1907.

17. I personally counted the sets of naturalization papers so delivered to the said Irving and the same numbered 450, more or less, and

were delivered along with 125, more or less, other sets of naturalization papers to the said Irving as I am informed and verily believe, on the said February 4, 1907.

18. Between February 4, 1907, and the 12th day of the same month the certificates of naturalization for the 450 men, more or less, above referred to, were delivered to me personally by the said Irving at the office of the Conservative club in the Maw block aforesaid, and I am personally aware that a greater number of the said 450 were subsequently registered as electors on the lists of the electors compiled in the various constituencies in the city of Winnipeg.

Sworn before me at the city of Winnipeg, in the province of Manitoba, March 21, in the year of our Lord, 1907.

(Signed) E. T. HTTGGAKD,

A commissioner, &c., &c., in B.E.

(Signed) THEODORE RUDNESKI.

Province of Manitoba, to wit:

L. Joseph Szymanski of 177 Syndicate street of Winnipeg, carpenter, make oath and say as follows:

On the 30th and 31st days of January and the 1st and 2nd days of February, 1907, I was working for Joseph Makarski and T. Jes-tremski securing the names of parties who were not already naturalized. I was told by these men to simply get. their names. I was to bring them to the Conservative club rooms in the Maw block in the city of Winnipeg. I secured 80 names and handed the same over to Tlieo. Rudneski in the said club rooms. I simply took the names and addresses on a sheet of paper.

Mr. Rudneski then informed me that in a few days he would give me the certificates of naturalization, and on Friday the 8th day of February, 1907, the said certificates of naturalization for the parties whose names I had handed in were handed to me by Mr. Rudneski.

I had these naturalization certificates with me on the days of registration, and after the parties had registered I handed them their certificates of naturalization.

I remember on the 7th day of March, the election day, and on the Sunday prior to the 7th day of March there were delivered to me at my house by Jos. Makarki and Theo. Jes-tremski three kegs of beer in a sleigh, and when they gave the same to me they told me to give this beer to parties who would vote for Mitchell. On Wednesday, March 6th, the same parties brought two more kegs of beer and told me to treat the parties who were voting for Mitchell.

I leave a clause out of this affidavit referring to the distribution which is not relevant to the case.

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CON

Joseph Gédéon Horace Bergeron

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. BERGERON.

If the hon. gentleman does not read the whole thing, that part which is not ready cannot go upon ' Hansard ' without the consent of the House.

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LIB

David Wesley Bole

Liberal

Mr. BOLE.

Then I will read the rest of it :-

I remember on the 7th day of March, the election day, and on Sunday prior to the 7th dav of March there were delivered to me at my house by Jos. Makarski and Theo. Jestremski three kegs of beer in a sleigh, and when they gave the same to me they told me to give this beer to parties who would vote for Mitchell.

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?

An hon. MEMBER.

Who was Mitchell?

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LIB

David Wesley Bole

Liberal

Mr. BOLE.

He was the Conservative candidate in the north constituency in the city of Winnipeg.

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CON

Joseph Gédéon Horace Bergeron

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. BERGERON.

Was he elected?

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LIB

David Wesley Bole

Liberal

Mr. BOLE.

He was elected by 400 majority.

On Wednesday, March 6, the same parties brought two more kegs of beer and tol me to treat the parties who wrere voting for Mitchell.

Before the election I saw an express rig deliver three kegs of beer at 180 St. Stephen street at the house of Joseph Makarski and and six kegs of beer at Jos. Makarskf's house at 113 Lusted street.

At polling division No. 1 during election dav I know a number of people, at least ten voted on other people's names, Joseph Makarski being the party who induced them to do so.

One voted as Peter Bodner, one voted as Pete Meseak, one as William Szewezuk, one as John Osadezuk, and one as Simon Chrzanow-ski. Joseph Makarski told me on said 7th day of March, if I knew any people who were absent to get others to vote on their names and he would pay them money if necessary.

(Sgd.) JOSEPH SZYMANSKI.

Sworn before me at the city of Winnipeg, this 30th day of March, in the year of Our Lord, 1907.

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A. E. BOWLES,


A commissioner in B.R. Another affidavit is as follows : Province of Manitoba, To wit. Winnipeg, March 22nd, 1907. I, William Cichoski. of 892 Pritchard avenue, of the city of Winnipeg, school tefcher, make oath and say as follows: During the months of January and Febru-arv. 1907, I was working most of the time for the Conservative association of the city of Winnipeg, whose headquarters are in the Maw block, in the sa\jd city. My work consisted chiefly in procuring the naturalization of aliens ready for registration. I was engaged by Mr. Rudneski and Mr. Jastremski to do this work at the rate of $2 per day and $2.50 latetr on. I know Mr. W. H. Hastings the Conservative organizer, and often saw him in sa'd Conservative rooms directing affairs. Part of the time I was working I went through the city and had with me blank forms of application for naturalization, consisting of the forms of oath of allegiance and residence. I got sixty applications some of these papers I filled in at the time and had the parties sign them, hut they were not then sworn to, others were simply signed by the applicant and were afterwards filled in and completed in the office of the said Conservative party by myself or some other person in said room. I remember Sunday, February 3, 1907, and that day I went to said Conservative com-



mitrtee room and handed to Mr. Rudneski all the naturalization papers that I had taken. At that time there were working in said Conservative rooms, Mr. Rudneski, Jastremski, Szaiblewski, Snezek, Nowacki, Roudka and mvself. Mr. Hastings was also present in the morning of said Sunday. We went there to work on the naturalization papers, and worked all day Sunday and until about 3 a.m., Monday morning, February 4. We were all working on these naturalization papers filling some out and signing same. About 450 sets of naturalization papers were completed on said Sunday, many of which were not signed at all by the applicant, but some of us employed signed for them or made thjeir mark. Mr. Jestremski was the only*commissioner present and he signed as commissioner, although none of the parties who were making application wore present. The work was iso tiresome for the commissioner, Mr. Jestremski, that he asked Mr. Szablewski to sign his name for him to a large number of them, which he did. When we started work in the forenoon of said Sunday, Mr. W. H. Hastings was present and knew the nature of the work that was being done. At the time these papers were made on the said Sunday, February 3, they were dated back to January 2, 5, 8, 9, 10 and 11, 1907. Out of all the papers that were there completed on said Sunday not one of the parties thereto did appear before the commissioner and make affidavit to same. On Friday, the 18th day of February, 1907, I was again in said Conservative committee rooms and there I saw a Large number of certificates of naturalization corresponding with the papers that had been made out on February 3. Many of those papers'were taken by Mr. Rudneski to the Conservative north end committee and were there handed bv Mr. Rudneski to the workers of each polling subdivision to be by them handed to the parties for whom they were intended. Many of these papers bad no street or number address and they were retained by Mr. Rudneski. On February 12, registration day, two parties named David Knaur, 855 Aberdeen street, and Rinepart Knaur, 855 Aberdeen street, applied at registration district No. 16 where I was acting as interpreter for the government and mae application for registration to the clerk, and at said time they said they had only been two years in the country and had no naturalization papers, hut would like to get on the list, and the clerk said: ' it is all right/ I will put yiur name down without making a declaration. (Sgd.) WILLIAM CICHOSKI. Sworn before me at the city of Winnipeg, in the province of Manitoba, in the year of Our Lord, 1907.


R. T. HUGGARD.

CON

Henry Alfred Ward

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. WARD.

Will the hon. gentleman (Mr. Bole) allow me a question ?

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LIB
CON

Henry Alfred Ward

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. WARD.

Who is the clerk of the court in Winnipeg?

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LIB

David Wesley Bole

Liberal

Mr. BOLE.

I do not know. I have other affidavits here with respect to the same Mr. BOLE.

election, but as they are not pertinent to this case but apply only to cases of corruption I do not think it necessary that I should read them. I have other affidavits sent me from other constituencies which I have not now under my hand and which 1 have taken no pains to bring, as they do not pertain to the constituency I have the honour to represent. I am ashamed that there are people in that constituency who would lend themselves to this diabolical plot. These affidavits to which I have referred, I understand, will he used by others in this debate.

I regret exceedingly that I have had to inflict upon the House these affidavits, but, when challenged by the leader of the opposition (Mr. R. L. Borden) to give instances and state names to prove that there was bad work in connection with the voters' list in the province of Manitoba, I felt it my duty to answer the challenge and submit the evidence.

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Subtopic:   R. T. HUGGARD.
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May 6, 1908