August 20, 1917

CON

Charles Joseph Doherty (Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. DOHERTY:

Not everything. We need this returning officer, because some one has to make a return saying who is elected. Tne Clerk of the Crown in Chancery does not make a return saying anybody is elected. The returning officer for each' constituency now returns a man as elected to represent that constituency. He cannot do that now, because he only has the votes taken in Canada. We have to gather together in somebody's hands all the votes that apply to a constituency, and have the combined results of these votes

declared by somebody, and that is what the general returning officer is going to do. Under the Act as it stood all ballots would have had to come j^ack from France, be sorted by the Clerk of the Crown in Chancery, and sent by him to the returning officers in each constituency. However that might have worked out when you were dealing with 30,000 or 50,000 ballots, and under transportation conditions as they existed at that time, I think it is obvious that at the present moment to make the taking of 350,000 or 400,000 ballots dependent upon those ballots being safely transported across the seas to be sorted and counted here, would be a very unwise thing. It is to obviate the difficulties and the unsafety of that method that we are providing this machinery for counting the ballots overseas. Of course, the ballots will all be sent over here eventually, to be available in case of contestation. The reason why we have this general returning officer is that he may be a sort of clearing house. We aTe sending everything in to him, and he will be able to return that a particular man was elected for a particular constituency, because he has all the results from all the different sources.

Topic:   QUESTIONS.
Subtopic:   THE MILITARY VOTERS' ACT, 1917.
Sub-subtopic:   SECOND READING OF BILL AND CONSIDERATION IN COMMITTEE.
Permalink
LIB

Edward Mortimer Macdonald

Liberal

Mr. MACDONALD:

Would it not be

better for the local returning officers to make the returns? If you are going to have only one returning officer for the whole Dominion, you are going to have a lot of diflieulty. Why should not the man who will receive all the overseas votes communicate to the returning officer in my constituency, or in any other constituency, the total votes, and let the local officer make the return?

Topic:   QUESTIONS.
Subtopic:   THE MILITARY VOTERS' ACT, 1917.
Sub-subtopic:   SECOND READING OF BILL AND CONSIDERATION IN COMMITTEE.
Permalink
CON

Charles Joseph Doherty (Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. DOHERTY:

I do not see what advantage is to be gained by that additional operation. The returning officer in Canada is directing an election in a constituency in Canada only so far as the votes in Canada are concerned. Other men are directing it so far as the votes in France are concerned, other men are directing it so far as the votds in England are concerned, and other men are directing it so far as the votes in Bermuda are concerned. By this operation we gather together the results from all the different sources, and the man who has received them all proclaims the result. Personally, if anybody wants it, and can suggest what gain can possibly come from it, I have no objection to providing for this additional trouble, namely, that the man who has received all these results shall send them back to the men from whom part of these results came,

in order that they may make the proclamation.

Topic:   QUESTIONS.
Subtopic:   THE MILITARY VOTERS' ACT, 1917.
Sub-subtopic:   SECOND READING OF BILL AND CONSIDERATION IN COMMITTEE.
Permalink
LIB

William Manley German

Liberal

Mr. GERMAN:

Why not let the information be sent direct to the returning officer in each constituency?

Topic:   QUESTIONS.
Subtopic:   THE MILITARY VOTERS' ACT, 1917.
Sub-subtopic:   SECOND READING OF BILL AND CONSIDERATION IN COMMITTEE.
Permalink
CON

Charles Joseph Doherty (Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. DOHERTY:

It must be remembered that the results will not come in for more than a month after the returning officer in Canada has done everything that he is called upon to do. If any hon. gentleman can point out the advantage in making the man on the other side make 234 separate packages, and send them to 234 individual men over here, rather than have him send all the returns to one man, I shall be glad to consider the suggestion, but I must confess that my impression is at the moment that the suggestion is made only for the purpose of suggesting something different from what is in the Bill.

Topic:   QUESTIONS.
Subtopic:   THE MILITARY VOTERS' ACT, 1917.
Sub-subtopic:   SECOND READING OF BILL AND CONSIDERATION IN COMMITTEE.
Permalink
LIB

William Pugsley

Liberal

Mr. PUGSLEY:

Would the minister consider the question of allowing the leader of the Opposition to have a voice in the appointment of the presiding officers?

Topic:   QUESTIONS.
Subtopic:   THE MILITARY VOTERS' ACT, 1917.
Sub-subtopic:   SECOND READING OF BILL AND CONSIDERATION IN COMMITTEE.
Permalink
LIB

Alexander Kenneth Maclean

Liberal

Mr. A. K. MACLEAN:

I made the suggestion on the first reading of the Bill that we should make better progress if it was referred to a special committee. It will take two weeks to get the Bill through the House in this way, and I think it would facilitate the passage of the Bill to have it referred to a special committee.

Topic:   QUESTIONS.
Subtopic:   THE MILITARY VOTERS' ACT, 1917.
Sub-subtopic:   SECOND READING OF BILL AND CONSIDERATION IN COMMITTEE.
Permalink
CON

Charles Joseph Doherty (Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. DOHERTY:

I have given some

thought to that suggestion, and have consulted with the Prime Minister and my colleagues about it, and I think perhaps our little experience this afternoon goes to justify the plan we adopted. This Bill is one with regard to which it is to be expected that many hon. gentlemen will have suggestions to make, and it would not perhaps be quite fair to them, or in the interests of the improvement and perfection of the Bill, that they should not be afforded an opportunity of making those suggestions. In the first place, I think that is a sufficient reason why we should not withdraw the Bill from Committee of the Whole. In the second place, I think it would lead one to the conclusion that after a special committee had dealt with the Bill we should have to submit it to the House to give hon. gentlemen an opportunity of making their suggestions. Might I make this suggestion? If a few gentlemen from the other side of the House would be good enough to join with two or three that we might name on thi3 side, we might in a perfectly informal way carry on simultaneously

same little examination of the Bill and some little discussions that would not interfere with the progress of the Bill in the House, but might on the other hand expedite it.

Topic:   QUESTIONS.
Subtopic:   THE MILITARY VOTERS' ACT, 1917.
Sub-subtopic:   SECOND READING OF BILL AND CONSIDERATION IN COMMITTEE.
Permalink
LIB

William Pugsley

Liberal

Mr. PUGSLEY:

The leader of the Opposition will have to have an opportunity of thinking over this suggestion.

Topic:   QUESTIONS.
Subtopic:   THE MILITARY VOTERS' ACT, 1917.
Sub-subtopic:   SECOND READING OF BILL AND CONSIDERATION IN COMMITTEE.
Permalink
LIB

Arthur Bliss Copp

Liberal

Mr. COPP:

I understand that the General Returning Officer receives the results from overseas and also from the different constituencies in Canada. He is, in fact, the real returning officer. Does he also receive from the returning officers of the election held in Canada as well? Is he the real returning officer?

Topic:   QUESTIONS.
Subtopic:   THE MILITARY VOTERS' ACT, 1917.
Sub-subtopic:   SECOND READING OF BILL AND CONSIDERATION IN COMMITTEE.
Permalink
CON

Charles Joseph Doherty (Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. DOHERTY:

For the purpose of proclaiming who is elected, he is the real returning officer.

Topic:   QUESTIONS.
Subtopic:   THE MILITARY VOTERS' ACT, 1917.
Sub-subtopic:   SECOND READING OF BILL AND CONSIDERATION IN COMMITTEE.
Permalink
LIB

Edward Walter Nesbitt

Liberal

Mr. NESBITT:

Topic:   QUESTIONS.
Subtopic:   THE MILITARY VOTERS' ACT, 1917.
Sub-subtopic:   SECOND READING OF BILL AND CONSIDERATION IN COMMITTEE.
Permalink
LIB

Alexander Kenneth Maclean

Liberal

Mr. A. K. MACLEAN:

The Bill does not read that way.

Topic:   QUESTIONS.
Subtopic:   THE MILITARY VOTERS' ACT, 1917.
Sub-subtopic:   SECOND READING OF BILL AND CONSIDERATION IN COMMITTEE.
Permalink
CON

Charles Joseph Doherty (Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. DOHERTY:

We have not defined

his duties as yet/

Progress reported.

On motion of Hon. Mr. Doherty for the adjournment of the House:

Topic:   QUESTIONS.
Subtopic:   THE MILITARY VOTERS' ACT, 1917.
Sub-subtopic:   SECOND READING OF BILL AND CONSIDERATION IN COMMITTEE.
Permalink
LIB

Alexander Kenneth Maclean

Liberal

Mr. A. K. MACLEAN:

May I ask the Minister of Justice, who is leading the House, if we are to have a general franchise Act this session? It is rumoured that there is to be such a Bill. If so, is it likely to be presented to the House shortly, and what is its nature?

Topic:   QUESTIONS.
Subtopic:   THE MILITARY VOTERS' ACT, 1917.
Sub-subtopic:   SECOND READING OF BILL AND CONSIDERATION IN COMMITTEE.
Permalink
CON

Charles Joseph Doherty (Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. DOHERTY:

I am not in a position to make an announcement on that subject this evening. I shall submit the hon. gentleman's question to the Prime Minister; perhaps we may hope for an answer to it to-morrow.

Topic:   QUESTIONS.
Subtopic:   THE MILITARY VOTERS' ACT, 1917.
Sub-subtopic:   SECOND READING OF BILL AND CONSIDERATION IN COMMITTEE.
Permalink

Motion agreed to, and the House adjourned at 11 30 p.m. Tuesday, August 21, 1917.


August 20, 1917