August 21, 1917

CON

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

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. DOHERTY:

He shall be a military elector. Under the letter of the law, he may be a private soldier.

Topic:   THE MILITARY VOTERS' ACT, 1917.
Subtopic:   FURTHER CONSIDERATION IN COMMITTEE.
Permalink
LIB

George Perry Graham

Liberal

Mr. GRAHAM:

But he will not be.

Topic:   THE MILITARY VOTERS' ACT, 1917.
Subtopic:   FURTHER CONSIDERATION IN COMMITTEE.
Permalink
CON

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

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. DOHERTY:

to stand over, and I have no objection to doing that, because I do not want to preclude any observations the right hon. leader of the Opposition may think it proper to make. I think I am correct in saying that subsection (e) is simply reproduced from the existing Soldiers' Voting Act, dealing with the provision for scrutineers.

Topic:   THE MILITARY VOTERS' ACT, 1917.
Subtopic:   FURTHER CONSIDERATION IN COMMITTEE.
Permalink
LIB

Edward Walter Nesbitt

Liberal

Mr. NESBITT:

I quite agree wditih the minister that the presiding officers and returning officers have always been appointed by the Government in power, but he must bear in mind that no provision is made here for scrutineers to be present.

Topic:   THE MILITARY VOTERS' ACT, 1917.
Subtopic:   FURTHER CONSIDERATION IN COMMITTEE.
Permalink
CON

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

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. DOHERTY:

The presiding officer does not go into the booth at all.

Topic:   THE MILITARY VOTERS' ACT, 1917.
Subtopic:   FURTHER CONSIDERATION IN COMMITTEE.
Permalink
LIB

Edward Walter Nesbitt

Liberal

Mr. NESBITT:

He goes around and takes the vote.

Topic:   THE MILITARY VOTERS' ACT, 1917.
Subtopic:   FURTHER CONSIDERATION IN COMMITTEE.
Permalink
CON

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

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. DOHERTY:

He appoints deputy presiding officers to take the vote.

Topic:   THE MILITARY VOTERS' ACT, 1917.
Subtopic:   FURTHER CONSIDERATION IN COMMITTEE.
Permalink
LIB

Edward Walter Nesbitt

Liberal

Mr. NESBITT:

Just as the returning officer appoints deputy returning officers. But the minister must bear in mind that under the Elections Act each party has a scrutineer in every polling booth, and I am unable to find any similar provision here.

Topic:   THE MILITARY VOTERS' ACT, 1917.
Subtopic:   FURTHER CONSIDERATION IN COMMITTEE.
Permalink
CON

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

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. DOHERTY:

Subsection (e) of section 4 provides for the appointment of scrutineers, and confers upon them all the powers that scrutineers have on this side. Then subsection 3 of section 8 provides that:

Where conditions make it reasonably possible, the deputy presiding officer shall give public notice of the time and place of an intended poll, and, in cases of polls to be held without Canada, a special notice to any person whose appointment as a scrutineer or deputy scrutineer has been communicated to him, with, the request that he so notify.

So we have been at pains to provide for scrutineers wherever it is at all po-ssible.

Topic:   THE MILITARY VOTERS' ACT, 1917.
Subtopic:   FURTHER CONSIDERATION IN COMMITTEE.
Permalink
LIB

Edward Walter Nesbitt

Liberal

Mr. NESBITT:

If -the minister will read subsection 5-

Topic:   THE MILITARY VOTERS' ACT, 1917.
Subtopic:   FURTHER CONSIDERATION IN COMMITTEE.
Permalink
CON

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

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. DOHERTY:

That provides for the exceptional case.

Topic:   THE MILITARY VOTERS' ACT, 1917.
Subtopic:   FURTHER CONSIDERATION IN COMMITTEE.
Permalink
LIB

William Pugsley

Liberal

Mr. PUGSLEY:

That is where the sting is.

Topic:   THE MILITARY VOTERS' ACT, 1917.
Subtopic:   FURTHER CONSIDERATION IN COMMITTEE.
Permalink
LIB

Edward Walter Nesbitt

Liberal

Mr. NESBITT:

If the two subsections are going to stand I have nothing more to say at present.

Topic:   THE MILITARY VOTERS' ACT, 1917.
Subtopic:   FURTHER CONSIDERATION IN COMMITTEE.
Permalink
CON

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

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. DOHERTY:

The hon. gentleman's remarks would, perhaps, be more pertinent under subsection (e).

Topic:   THE MILITARY VOTERS' ACT, 1917.
Subtopic:   FURTHER CONSIDERATION IN COMMITTEE.
Permalink
LIB

William Pugsley

Liberal

Mr. PUGSLEY:

Are not the subsections so interlocked that we should consider them all together? We are conferring upon the

tMr. Doherty.J

deputy presiding officers extraordinary powers, which you do not find in the Dominion Elections Act, and which would enable the deputy presiding officers to succeed in having a large number of ballots put into the box or bag and counted, when the other party would have no opportunity of being present or having a voice in the matter at all. If the minister will pardon me for the suggestion, I would think that if these clauses stand the whole section should stand, because subsection 2 and paragraph (e) are so closely connected, with the subsection we are now discussing. I think it would be of great advantage to allow this section to stand and proceed with section .5.

Topic:   THE MILITARY VOTERS' ACT, 1917.
Subtopic:   FURTHER CONSIDERATION IN COMMITTEE.
Permalink
CON

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

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. DOHERTY:

In subsection (e) we are simply reproducing the provision with regard to scrutineers that exists in the present Soldiers' Voting Act, which was passed after a good deal of conference and discussion, and which I understand met the requirements as far as the appointment of scrutineers is concerned. I should like to pass those subsections that do not call for criticism, if there is anything in this Bill that does not call for criticism, and subsection (e), as I have said, is simply a reproduction of the provision in the present Soldiers' Voting Act. It is to enable each party to be represented, and the scrutineers are appointed by the Government only to this extent: six scrutineers are appointed by the Government, three on tjie nomination of the Opposition, and three on the nomination of the Government. Those six have unlimited power to appoint deputy scrutineers, who will have all the powers of scrutineers on this side. This provision has nothing to do with the administration of the Act itself. It is simply providing machinery to enable the respective part:es to appoint all the representatives in the way of scrutineers that they desire, and conferring upon those scrutineers and deputy scrutineers all the powers and priviliges that belong to a scrutineer, or to the agent or representative of a candidate, under the Dominion Elections Act.

On subsection (e)-Scrutineers:

Topic:   THE MILITARY VOTERS' ACT, 1917.
Subtopic:   FURTHER CONSIDERATION IN COMMITTEE.
Permalink
LIB

Edward Mortimer Macdonald

Liberal

Mr. MACDONALD:

The necessity for taking every possible care to prevent the contravening of this Act, is apparent to any one who looks at what has occurred in previous elections held. I have under my hand a report of the findings of the commission -appointed to inquire into the

overseas prohibition ballot, published in the Vancouver Daily Sun of August 15th, which deals with the methods in which votes were taken on the other side. It is only right the committee should be acquainted with the facts before the question oj scrutineers is settled. In the report I find the following:

The evidence taken at the military records office will be found in the stenographer's report of the fourth day's proceedings of the commission. For convenience* however, we refer to one or two examples of what appeared to be fraudulent voting. The first card selected for examination was that of William Brillat, No. 155063. Brillat is supposed to have voted at Crowborough on the 22nd of December, 1916, whereas the military records show that Brillat deserted on the 16th September, 1915, and had not since been reported.

The second card selected was that of Arthur Bacon, No. 429173. The military record showed No. 429173 to belong to Albert Alfred Bacon. In the one case the residence of A. A. Bacon is given as Vancouver, and that of Arthur Bacon at Victoria. Captain Sellon produced the military record of Albert Alfred Bacon, No.. 429173, which showed that this man went to France on February 3rd, 1916.

Another card selected for examination was that of Alfred John Knight. It appears that four votes had been cast in this man's name, and in each case the number is given as 707244. The records show Alfred John Knight, No. 707245, 103rd Battalion, and Mr. Helmore's cards prepared from the poll books show that he was a resident of Victoria on three of the occasions when he was supposed to have voted and on the fourth occasion a resident of Vancouver. In each case the votes were cast at Epsom convalescent hospital, three times under the name of Lonergan as presiding officer, and once under the name of H. A. Douglas as presiding officer. The correct number of Alfred John Knight was 707245, the only other A. J. Knight on the records was No. 80, and he belonged to the C.A.M.C.

Another example of a fraudulent vote was found in the case of Oscar Edward Hawes, No. 487388, he was returned as having voted at Crowborough on December 22nd, 1916, the records show that Ortho Ewart Hawes, No. 487388, was killed in action on October 8th, 1916

Another case of illegal voting was that of a man who voted as Walter Lyness and William Lyness respectively, and in the one case the number is given as 183060, and in the other case no number is given. In one instance the residence is given as Vancouver, and the other as Alberni. He is supposed to have voted at Hastings on December 15th, 1916, and at Crowborough on December 21, 1916. The records show only one man of the name of Lyness, and his number is 183060, but his name is Wilbert Lyness, belonging to the 7th Battalion, who was reported missing on October 12, 1916.

Out of the total number of 132 parcels of votes, the following in England were taken without any notice to the scrutineers acting for the prohibition party and were therefore not sealed by the prohibition scrutineers: Parcels No. 25, 26, 27, 31 to 41 inclusive, 47, 48, 49, 50, 51, 52, 53 to 60 inclusive, and 82. In

France, the parcels of votes taken without notice to the prohibition scrutineers were as follows: 83 to 89 inclusive, 9-5, .98, 99, 100, 107, 115, 117, 120, 121, 124, 125, 126, 128 and 131.

According to Mr. Bayley's evidence the voting in France was in charge of Regt-Sergt-Major H. A. Douglas and Sergt. Pyle. Douglas did not, while he was in France, have any proper receptacles to put the ballots in as they were polled by the voters, but he and his deputy returning officers appear to have carried them around with them from place to place and finally deposited them with the Agent General in London-

Topic:   THE MILITARY VOTERS' ACT, 1917.
Subtopic:   FURTHER CONSIDERATION IN COMMITTEE.
Permalink
LIB

William Pugsley

Liberal

Mr. PUGSLEY:

That is what this Bill provides for.

Topic:   THE MILITARY VOTERS' ACT, 1917.
Subtopic:   FURTHER CONSIDERATION IN COMMITTEE.
Permalink
LIB

Edward Mortimer Macdonald

Liberal

Mr. MACDONALD (reading):

-on January 12, 1917, in proper cardboard receptacles. It would further appear that although Bayley requested Douglas to allow him to put his seal on all parcels of votes which he had, he, (Douglas) did not allow him to do so and also that a large number of polls were held in France of which the scrutineers of the prohibition party had no notice, or such short notice that it was impossible for the scrutineers to arrange to be present at the polls either personally or by deputy.

From our own personal experience in visiting military camps in France, we think there was no legitimate reason why such notice of every poll held in France could not have been given as would have enabled the scrutineers for both parties to be present at the taking of every poll. In connection with the taking of the vote in France, between December 14 and December 31, it is worthy of note that, in a letter from general headquarters by the adju-dant-general for the commissioner-in-chief of the British armies in France, dated November 25th, 1916, a statement appears to the effect that at that time the number of men who had not voted was estimated at 2,533. The votes purporting to be taken in France between the dates mentioned, numbered 4,131, according to the report made by Douglas.

A number of witnesses were called before the Commission and examined. The first witness was Pte. Carl Henry, No. 154254, C.A.MT.C. He stated his residence to be Vancouver, and that he had voted twice. He understood one was an election and the other a by election. He was" not positive whether he had voted on prohibition the first time, but was definite as to voting on prohibition the second time at what he believed to be a by election.

The next witness was Pte. Leith Gordon, No. 22058, a Winnipeg man. He testified that while he had signed some papers he had not taken any oath whatever, but that he had marked a ballot. This witness stated that he had been told by someone in the camp that any man who had resided in British Columbia could vote. "When did you reside in British Columbia?"

"I resided there six or seven years ago." Sergt-Major George Parker Cruikshank, No. 54014, testified that he belonged to the 18th Battalion of London, Ontario, and that he had enlisted in Galt, Ont., his place of residence at the time of enlistment, that he had never lived in British Columbia. Cruikshank stated that he had argued the point with his senior as to his voting and was informod "that it does not matter whether you have lived there

or not so long as you have been there." Cruik-shanlc swore that he had just signed an envelope and had not marked any ballot paper.

Sergt. John Beauchamp Daly, No. 432441, gave evidence that his place ot residence was Edmonton, that he had only been in British Columbia on two occasions, once in Vancouver for three days, and once in Fort George for a day or two. This witness stated that he had voted against prohibition. He was asked the question: "How did you know about the poll?" He answered : "I was coming in the gate of Pass and was called into the orderly room just inside the gate. They said: "Have you ever been in British Columbia?' 1 said 'Yes. I was in Fort George once and Vancouver another time.' They said: 'That is all right then. You are entitled to vote". They gave me a form and I voted."

Pte. Creil Everard William Reginald Durden, No. 147890, 78th Battalion, Winnipeg, stated that he signed an envelope, but did not mark a ballot. [DOT]

Sergt. Lee Bernard Cogan, No. 6316, stated that his residence was Detroit, Mich., and that he had never been in British Columbia and did not vote, though his name appears in Loner-gan's poll book as having voted.

Pte. Edgar Field, 8th Battalion, No. 45, gave his residence as Winnipeg, and stated that he had not actually voted, but that he had signed an envelope on the outside.

Pte. John Gage, 2nd Battalion, Eastern Ontario, No. 401017, stated his place of residence was Detroit, Mich., that he had voted but did not know on what question. He had signed an envelope which had not been read over to him.

Sergt. Cecil A. Hamilton, No. 13106, 5th Battalion, gave his residence as Saskatchewan. He stated that he had voted at the polling at Epsom Camp in the fall of the year. He signed the affidavit form but did not take an oath.

Corp. Frank Taylor Harrop, No. 108274, stated that his residence was 1146 Zuill street, Medicine Hat, Can. He voted at the election but stated that some one marked his ballot for him. Pte. Vivian Potter, Battleford, Sask., stated that he had signed an envelope at the time of the polling at Epsom, but had not voted, nor was he sworn. He had not resided in British Columbia with the exception of six months in the winter of 1909-10.

Sergt. William Henry Bradley, No. 13081, 5th Battalion, stated his residence to be Saskatoon, Canada. He had been in British Columbia from the winter of 1911 until July, 1912, but not since that time. He signed his name to an envelope but did not take an oath.'

Corp. Ralph Percy Biggs, No. 12968, 5th Battalion, stated his residence to be Swift Current, Sask. Some one asked him if hq would vote for a wet province. He signed hia envelope and marked his ballot. i

Pte. Samuel Egginton Hodgins, No. 464666, Manitoba Hotel, Yates street, Victoria, swore to having voted twice on the prohibition referendum, once in London and once at Epsom. He stated that Sergt.-Major Lonergan, the presiding officer, told him that the first voting was off and he was to vote a second time.

On July 3, 1917, your commission proceeded to Seaford and the following witnesses gave evidence: Major Pringle-

That is the Dr. Pringle of Yukon fame.

-senior chaplain at Shomham camp said that he notified Sergt. Trim that he had been ap-

pointed scrutineer for the prohibition party and to notify him when the vote was to he taken. Major Pringle asserts that he received no notice and Sergt. Trim admits that he gave none.

Topic:   THE MILITARY VOTERS' ACT, 1917.
Subtopic:   FURTHER CONSIDERATION IN COMMITTEE.
Permalink
CON

John Allister Currie

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. CURRIE:

Mr. Chairman, I rise to a point of order. What has this to do with this Bill?

Topic:   THE MILITARY VOTERS' ACT, 1917.
Subtopic:   FURTHER CONSIDERATION IN COMMITTEE.
Permalink

August 21, 1917