March 22, 1918

UNION

Samuel Hughes

Unionist

Sir SAM HUGHES:

Take the case of daughters of aliens over twenty-one years of age, though the father becomes naturalized, yet the daughter, being over twenty-one, must also become naturalized.

Topic:   SUPPLY BILL-INTERIM VOTE.
Subtopic:   WOMAN SUFFRAGE.
Sub-subtopic:   BILL TO CONFER ELECTORAL FRANCHISE ON WOMEN.
Permalink
UNION

Robert Laird Borden (Prime Minister; Secretary of State for External Affairs)

Unionist

Sir ROBERT BORDEN:

They can become naturalized and make the necessary application.

Topic:   SUPPLY BILL-INTERIM VOTE.
Subtopic:   WOMAN SUFFRAGE.
Sub-subtopic:   BILL TO CONFER ELECTORAL FRANCHISE ON WOMEN.
Permalink
UNION

John Allister Currie

Unionist

Mr. CURRIE:

Is this Act intended to amend the War-times Elections Act?

Topic:   SUPPLY BILL-INTERIM VOTE.
Subtopic:   WOMAN SUFFRAGE.
Sub-subtopic:   BILL TO CONFER ELECTORAL FRANCHISE ON WOMEN.
Permalink
UNION

Robert Laird Borden (Prime Minister; Secretary of State for External Affairs)

Unionist

Sir ROBERT BORDEN:

The Bill provides that it shall be construed as one with the Dominions Election Act and with the Wartimes Elections Act. According to the tenor of its provisions it is therefore in amendment of both.

Topic:   SUPPLY BILL-INTERIM VOTE.
Subtopic:   WOMAN SUFFRAGE.
Sub-subtopic:   BILL TO CONFER ELECTORAL FRANCHISE ON WOMEN.
Permalink
L LIB

Wilfrid Laurier (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Laurier Liberal

Sir WILFRID LAURIER:

The War-times Elections Act is to be repealed.

Topic:   SUPPLY BILL-INTERIM VOTE.
Subtopic:   WOMAN SUFFRAGE.
Sub-subtopic:   BILL TO CONFER ELECTORAL FRANCHISE ON WOMEN.
Permalink
UNION

Robert Laird Borden (Prime Minister; Secretary of State for External Affairs)

Unionist

Sir ROBERT BORDEN:

This legislation will operate until it is repealed.

Topic:   SUPPLY BILL-INTERIM VOTE.
Subtopic:   WOMAN SUFFRAGE.
Sub-subtopic:   BILL TO CONFER ELECTORAL FRANCHISE ON WOMEN.
Permalink
L LIB

Ernest Lapointe

Laurier Liberal

Mr. ERNEST LAPOINTE:

Against such legislation as this I would certainly have entered objection at a previous session, because I have some difficulty in making up my mind as to the desirability of granting the franchise to women in Canada. I am bound to admit there is a very strong public sentiment in favour of this legislation in various parts of the country, but no such demand exists in the province from which I come. The women of my province do not want to vote and are not asking for the right. I respect very much those women who believe they are entitled to have a voice in the settlement of great national questions in which they are vitally interested, and I understand such a claim when coming from women who are earning a living for themselves and families. They are a great deal more entitled to the franchise than the society women who are so insistent in their demands for it. Then there is the sentiment of those other women-I believe they constitute 'the majority of the women of Canada-who feel that their exalted position as queens of -their homes cannot but suffer if they meddle in our political battles, who feel that the duties of motherhood require all their devotion and all their energies, and who are quite willing to leave to the men the troubles and responsibilities of political administration. But, (by all means, if women are to vote in some -parts of the country they should vote in all other parts of the country as well. It is true that the fact that the women of some provinces would vote, while the women of other provinces would not, would materially affect the representation in this House, but the total number of women's votes in any province on any big question, when numbers are computed, -might have such an influence as to militate against any discrimination in the electoral law of the country.

The -second reason I have for supporting the Bill is that it may prevent the recurrence of wh-at took place -at the last election,

when the 'Government, ibefore appealing to the people, gave the franchise to a certain class of Canadian women-a class of women who were supposed to he easily carried away by the campaign the Government had in store for them-and refused it to others.

I believe that such a thing must he prevented in the future. Any Government might otherwise be at liberty, under the pretense of settling great national or imperial questions, to select their own judges, to have their case decided by a sort of family jury. Certainly this must be prevented, and if this Act will be a means of preventing that I certainly shall waive all the objections which I should otherwise urge against it, and shall favour its passage in order that any future manipulation of the franchise may toe done away with.

Topic:   SUPPLY BILL-INTERIM VOTE.
Subtopic:   WOMAN SUFFRAGE.
Sub-subtopic:   BILL TO CONFER ELECTORAL FRANCHISE ON WOMEN.
Permalink
L LIB

Frank S. Cahill

Laurier Liberal

Mr. CAHILL :

Why should there be any reference to the War-Time Elections Act in this Bill? As I understand the WarTime Elections Act, or that small part of it that is understood by any person, it disfranchised alien enemies at. the last election and gave the franchise to women who were relatives of soldiers.

5 p.m. If this Act is to confer the franchise on women who are British subjects, what is the purpose of providing that the War-Time Elections Act shall apply? Is it with the view of disfranchising some of these women at a later date?

Topic:   SUPPLY BILL-INTERIM VOTE.
Subtopic:   WOMAN SUFFRAGE.
Sub-subtopic:   BILL TO CONFER ELECTORAL FRANCHISE ON WOMEN.
Permalink
UNION

Robert Laird Borden (Prime Minister; Secretary of State for External Affairs)

Unionist

Sir ROBERT BORDEN:

Without the enactment of this measure,' under the WarTime Elections Act certain women only would have the right to vote. This Act is to be read with the War-Time Elections Act and if any by-election or general election should hereafter be held, under the Mar-Time Elections Act, all women as defined in this Bill would have the right to vote.

Topic:   SUPPLY BILL-INTERIM VOTE.
Subtopic:   WOMAN SUFFRAGE.
Sub-subtopic:   BILL TO CONFER ELECTORAL FRANCHISE ON WOMEN.
Permalink
L LIB

Frank S. Cahill

Laurier Liberal

Mr. CAHILL :

Is it not the intention of the Bill that all women shall have the right to vote?

Topic:   SUPPLY BILL-INTERIM VOTE.
Subtopic:   WOMAN SUFFRAGE.
Sub-subtopic:   BILL TO CONFER ELECTORAL FRANCHISE ON WOMEN.
Permalink
UNION

Robert Laird Borden (Prime Minister; Secretary of State for External Affairs)

Unionist

Sir ROBERT BORDEN:

Yes.

Topic:   SUPPLY BILL-INTERIM VOTE.
Subtopic:   WOMAN SUFFRAGE.
Sub-subtopic:   BILL TO CONFER ELECTORAL FRANCHISE ON WOMEN.
Permalink
L LIB

Frank S. Cahill

Laurier Liberal

Mr. CAHILL:

Then I do not understand how the War-Time Elections Act can in any way affect future elections held under this Act.

Topic:   SUPPLY BILL-INTERIM VOTE.
Subtopic:   WOMAN SUFFRAGE.
Sub-subtopic:   BILL TO CONFER ELECTORAL FRANCHISE ON WOMEN.
Permalink
UNION

Robert Laird Borden (Prime Minister; Secretary of State for External Affairs)

Unionist

Sir ROBERT BORDEN:

The War-Time Elections Act by its terms is operative only during a certain period. While it is operative or after it is operative all women as defined by this measure are to vote. Therefore, this Bill is to be read as one with the War-Time Elections Act and is

also to be read as one with the Dominion Elections Act, so that under whichever Act an election takes place, women as defined in this Act shall have the right to vote.

Topic:   SUPPLY BILL-INTERIM VOTE.
Subtopic:   WOMAN SUFFRAGE.
Sub-subtopic:   BILL TO CONFER ELECTORAL FRANCHISE ON WOMEN.
Permalink
L LIB

William Daum Euler

Laurier Liberal

Mr. EULER:

Does not section 2, which states that the Act shall be considered as one with the War-Time Elections Act, particularly call into operation that part of the War-Time Elections Act which disfranchises citizens of alien enemy birth naturalized within the last fifteen years? If so, are not the wives of those disfranchised citizens thus also disfranchised? The point I should like to make-in this one should have the sympathy of every member of the House, notwithstanding what took place at the last election-is that under this Act, with the Conscription Bill in force, the mothers of men who are fighting at the front in the Canadian army may be disfranchised. Under the Wartime Elections Act it was provided that even, those who' were of alien enemy birth should hot 'be disifranehised if they had a son ,at the front. I think it was provided! that the son should not be of age at the time of the election, but I am not sure about that. Under this Act, unless it is amended, it is quite possible that those who have been called to the colours under the provisions of the Military Service Act may find that their mothers, although good Canadian citizens, will be disfranchised because they happen to be of alien enemy birth.

Topic:   SUPPLY BILL-INTERIM VOTE.
Subtopic:   WOMAN SUFFRAGE.
Sub-subtopic:   BILL TO CONFER ELECTORAL FRANCHISE ON WOMEN.
Permalink
UNION

Robert Laird Borden (Prime Minister; Secretary of State for External Affairs)

Unionist

Sir ROBERT BORDEN:

It is not the intention of this measure to take the franchise from, any one Who would be entitled to it under the War-time Elections Act. My bon. friend asks further whether the provisions with respect to women, who- have sons serving at the front would apply also to women under this Bill. I shall make a -note of that and inform my hon. friend at a later date.

Topic:   SUPPLY BILL-INTERIM VOTE.
Subtopic:   WOMAN SUFFRAGE.
Sub-subtopic:   BILL TO CONFER ELECTORAL FRANCHISE ON WOMEN.
Permalink
L LIB

Jacques Bureau

Laurier Liberal

Mr. BUREAU:

If I understand this Bill aright, it is not the intention of the Government to- give the women, a wider franchise than the men have at present?

Topic:   SUPPLY BILL-INTERIM VOTE.
Subtopic:   WOMAN SUFFRAGE.
Sub-subtopic:   BILL TO CONFER ELECTORAL FRANCHISE ON WOMEN.
Permalink
UNION

Robert Laird Borden (Prime Minister; Secretary of State for External Affairs)

Unionist

Sir ROBERT BORDEN:

I am afraid that this Bill does go that length.

Topic:   SUPPLY BILL-INTERIM VOTE.
Subtopic:   WOMAN SUFFRAGE.
Sub-subtopic:   BILL TO CONFER ELECTORAL FRANCHISE ON WOMEN.
Permalink
L LIB

Jacques Bureau

Laurier Liberal

Mr. BUREAU:

Of course, it is not because my right toon, friend threatened me the other day with the vengeance of the women's votes that I want to make this remark.

Topic:   SUPPLY BILL-INTERIM VOTE.
Subtopic:   WOMAN SUFFRAGE.
Sub-subtopic:   BILL TO CONFER ELECTORAL FRANCHISE ON WOMEN.
Permalink
UNION

Robert Laird Borden (Prime Minister; Secretary of State for External Affairs)

Unionist

Sir ROBERT BORDEN:

Oh, I did not

threaten my hon. friend; I told him what might have been the re,suit.

Topic:   SUPPLY BILL-INTERIM VOTE.
Subtopic:   WOMAN SUFFRAGE.
Sub-subtopic:   BILL TO CONFER ELECTORAL FRANCHISE ON WOMEN.
Permalink
L LIB

Jacques Bureau

Laurier Liberal

Mr. BUREAU:

That is -worse than a

threat. I do not think the (women ought to have a wider franchise than the men. Take the case, for instance, of an American coming across the line and marrying a Canadian girl. She goes to the poll and votes, while her husband who escorts her there is turned away and cannot vote-

Topic:   SUPPLY BILL-INTERIM VOTE.
Subtopic:   WOMAN SUFFRAGE.
Sub-subtopic:   BILL TO CONFER ELECTORAL FRANCHISE ON WOMEN.
Permalink

March 22, 1918