August 21, 1917

LIB

William Pugsley

Liberal

Mr. PUGSLEY:

Not always.

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

Henry Herbert Stevens

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. STEVENS:

Why, most certainly.

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

Henry Herbert Stevens

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. STEVENS:

The difference is that, as my hon. friend suggests, instead of the Government naming the presiding officer, he shall be named jointly by the leader of the Opposition and Prime Minister, and if they disagree, he shall be nominated by the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of Canada. My ton. friend knows perfectly well that where two political parties are concerned they are naturally going to name their friends as officers to represent them, but this Bill provides that, in addition to the presiding officers, 'there shall be scrutineers at every poll, named by the leader of the Opposition, so far as ithe Liberal party i3 concerned, and named by the leader of the Government, so far as the Government party is concerned.

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

William Pugsley

Liberal

Mr. PUGSLEY:

I want to correct the hon. gentleman. It is not necessary in all cases that scrutineers shall be appointed. That is left, in certain cases, .to the judgment of the deputy presiding officer as to whether (there shall be notice of the poll, and it is also left to his judgment to say whether he shall take the vote without -any polls being held at all, if he thinks it is reasonably necessary to take a man's vote. Thus, if it should appear that *a man would net be able to attend .the regular poll, his vote may be taken.

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

John Allister Currie

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. CURRIE:

That applies to taking the vote of the wounded men. How could you take them any other way?

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

William Pugsley

Liberal

Mr. PUGSLEY:

It is not limited to the vote of the wounded. It is left entirely to the judgment of the deputy presiding officer. If he thought a man was going to .leave England within a certain time he could take his vote. No one can review his judgment, and, therefore, the result is that you allow the partisan deputy presiding officer, at his own whim and pleasure, to take hundreds or thousands of votes, and nobody would ever have the right to question whether it was necessary to do so or not. My hon. friend says that notice must be given in every case. That is not so. Section 8, subsection 3, says:

Where conditions make it reasonably possible, the deputy presiding officer shall give public notice of the time and place of an intended poll.

But he is to be the judge, and the sole judge, as to whether it is reasonably possible or not. I mention these things for the purpose of meeting the suggestion of my hon. friend from Vancouver, that we

have no right to demand that the presiding officer should be non-partisan in his character.

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

Henry Herbert Stevens

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. STEVENS:

I suggest to the hon. gentleman that we are not on section 8. We will come to that some time to-morrow, perhaps, but we are now discussing the question of scrutineers.

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

William Pugsley

Liberal

Mr. PUGSLEY:

But does my hon. friend not see that, if we go along step by step, and the various sections are carried, finally we will have the whole Bill carried, with all these iniquitous, unfair and unexampled provisions in it, and we are powerless then. If we pass this section, when we get on to another section which is related to it, we are told that section so-and-so was passed, and we cannot refer to it again. As one member of this committee I shall endeavour to the best of my ability to point out, if I can, in a way to convince the minister-if not to convince the minister then perhaps it would not be unreasonable to hope that I might convince some members of the committee on the other side-that that provision is unreasonable, and ought not to be adopted. We cannot make a perfect Bill, but we want to make it reasonably perfect. We say that the Bill as we now have it is absolutely imperfect. It provides no guarantee that we will secure the expression of opinion of the honest voters, but it gives an opportunity for dishonest deputy presiding officers, and for dishonest voters, to override the will of the honest voters. The Minister of Justice has stated that he has never heard any complaint as to the conduct of partisan returning officers and deputy returning officers. My hon. friend has really and truly been in a state of innocence during his political life if he has not heard any such complaint.

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:

I think the hon. gentleman ought to keep himself somewhere near the section. This section makes it possible to appoint scrutineers, and it goes no further. Has the hon. gentleman stated one word of objection to the subsection.? He does not say that he does not want the scrutineers. He is discussing a lot ol other things he wants, and, among them, two subsections which, at his request, I allowed to stand. With all respect, Mr. Chairman, I suggest that it is difficult to carry irrelevancy further than that. We should have to sit here and listen to a discussion with regard to those two subsections, which, at the request of the hon. gentleman, I have allowed to stand. I submit we ought to proceed according to rule.

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

William Pugsley

Liberal

Mr. PUGSLEY:

Does the minister raise a point of order?

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

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

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. DOHERTY:

Yes.

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

William Pugsley

Liberal

Mr. PUGSLEY:

Before the Chairman decides the point of order, I would like to call his attention to the fact that the reason for not passing paragraph (e) at the present time applies equally to paragraph (c) and the hon. minister yielded to the request as to paragraph (c).

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:

I might have added, that about three-quarters of an hour ago, at the request of the hon. gentleman from St. John I agreed to let subsection (e) stand.

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

William Pugsley

Liberal

Mr. PUGSLEY:

If the minister allowed that section to stand, that is something gained. Does xhe minister not think he should let subsection 2 stand, because that provides that the deputy scrutineers shall not be allowed even their travelling expenses? If there is not to be a non-partisan presiding officer surely some provision ouhgt to be made for the payment of actual travelling expenses incurred by the deputy scrutineers.

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

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

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. DOHERTY:

That subsection is not yet before the committee.

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

William Pugsley

Liberal

Mr. PUGSLEY:

The minister has been dealing with other provisions which were not read.

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

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

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. DOHERTY:

I have been lead into temptation.

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

Mr. CHAIRMAN@

The minister has

pointed out something that I think the hon. member (Mr. Pugsley) should not overlook; that is, the desirability of keeping as closely as possible to the clause under discussion. I know that it is difficult to adhere strictly to the clause under consideration, but hon. gentlemen are old parliamentarians, 'and I hope that they will endeavour to keep within the rule.

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

William Pugsley

Liberal

Mr. PUGSLEY:

If the minister is going to be pernickety about that, I suggest that the whole section be read. We are taking an irregular course, at the minister's own suggestion, of dealing with particular subclauses.' The proper course is to take up the whole section. [DOT]

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

August 21, 1917