May 26, 1925

PRIVATE BILLS-FEES REMITTED


Hon. H. B. McGIVERIN (Ottawa) presented the sixth report of the select standing committee on Miscellaneous Private Bills. Mr. R. B. HANSON (York-Sunbury) moved!: That in accordance with the recommendation contained in the sixth report of the select standing committee on Miscellaneous Private Bills the additional charge paid on Bill No. 123, letter H3 of the Senate, intituled An Act for Relief of Ruth Dorothy Ruten-berg, be refunded.


LIB

James Alexander Robb (Minister of Immigration and Colonization)

Liberal

Hon. J. A. ROBB (Acting Minister of Finance):

Before that resolution passes, I

should like to direct the attention of the House and the committees to the procedure we have followed for some years in regard to remitting certain charges. It seems to me that the committee now having under consideration the rules of the House might very well consider whether or not it is in the public interest, when parties come before parliament and take up the time of the House and incur expenses, that we should remit the charges. It seems to me these parties should be compelled to pay, as others do. '

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CON

Arthur Meighen (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Right Hon. ARTHUR MEIGHEN (Leader of the Opposition):

The question is very

important, and I do not doubt that by this time it involves a large amount of money. It would not occur to me to be a question for

the consideration of the committee on Rules, but rather a question for the House proper, aside altogether from the committee on Rules. It is not a question of the rules of the House.

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LIB

James Alexander Robb (Minister of Immigration and Colonization)

Liberal

Mr. ROBB:

It is internal economy.

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LIB

Harold Buchanan McGiverin (Minister Without Portfolio)

Liberal

Mr. McGIVERIN:

As chairman of the

committee winch unanimously passed this report, I desire to say a word. This is in regard to a fine for not having presented the petition for divorce in proper form. The member of the House presented the petition for a bill, but the Christian name of the petitioner was spelled incorrectly, it had to be sent back to be corrected, and in the meantime it was too late to present it to the House. The committee did not think it was fair that a mistake of that kind should bar the application. There are twio other questions which are somewhat similar-a mistake on the part of counsel and a mistake on the part of the member presenting the petition. I state these facts by way of explaining the attitude of the committee.

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Motion agreed to. Mr. S. W. JACOBS (George Etienne Cartier) moved: That, in accordance with the recommendation contained in the sixth report of the select standing committee on Miscellaneous Private Bills, the additional charge paid on Bill No. 126, for the reflief of Mollie Weiner, be refunded.


LIB

James Alexander Robb (Minister of Immigration and Colonization)

Liberal

Hon. J. A. ROBB (Acting Minister of Finance):

I desire again to direct to the

attention of the House and more particularly the Internal Economy committee the same objection to this remission as I have just offered to the previous one. I think the time has come when we should determine how long parliament is going to spend attempting to put through legislation and then refund the costs.

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Motion agreed to.


CRIMINAL CODE AMENDMENT


Hon. ERNEST LAPOINTE (Minister of Justice) moved for leave to introduce Bill No. 147, to amend the Criminal Code. He said: This bill contains some amendments in the procedure which have been suggested by the provinces. One of the main provisions of the bill is in regard to the printing, posting and publishing of intelligence on horse races. That is the amendment I stated some time ago the government would introduce this session. Another important section of the bill gives the attorney general the right to appeal. Some years ago amendments were enacted giving the prisoner the Elections Act right of appeal which he did not formerly possess, but parliament took away from the crown the right of appeal which it had before that time. This is to restore the right of the crown to appeal. Motion agreed to and bill read the first time.


DOMINION ELECTIONS ACT AMENDMENT


Hon. A. B. COPP (Secretary of State) moved for leave to introduce Bill No. 14S to amend the Dominion Elections Act. He said: Hon. gentlemen will remember that shortly after the last Dominion election the chief electoral officer presented a report to His Honour the Speaker under section 74 of the act, mentioning some of the difficulties encountered in carrying on the election under the act, and it was suggested that a number of amendments should be made. This was given consideration, and the amendments we are presenting to the House to-day contain the suggestions made by the chief electoral officer for the better administration of the act, and to reduce to a minimum the difficulties experienced in the last election. There are some thirty sections in the amended bill. Under the old act registration was granted in all places having a population of 1,000 or upwards. That was amended in 1921, increasing the number from 1,000 to 2,500 before registration could be obtained. That figure was afterwards increased, and made 5,000. Another amendment was that urban voters' lists were required to be printed, and in order to save time it was thought advisable to include mimeographing as well as printing of these lists if thought necessary. Another amendment is with regard to returning officers. Some returning officers when appointed refuse to act and do not take the initial steps towards appointing their election clerks in order to carry on the election as speedily as possible. This amendment makes it imperative upon the returning officer to take at least the initial steps so as not to delay the conduct of an election. In one or two constituencies there was barely time to carry on the election after the returning officer refused to act. Another provision is to overcome as far as possible the difficulty experienced in preparing voters' lists in some of the provinces, particularly in regard to accepting provincial voters' lists as the basis of the Dominion list. The explanation is somewhat lengthy; it will all be found in the report of the chief electoral officer. Another change is to provide a more simple method of removing the names of dead and disqualified voters from preliminary lists in urban polling divisions. Another provides for earlier delivery of lists to candidates; another that where the urban registrar makes up the index books containing lists of voters, he shall make an extra copy for the printer so as to save time in that regard. Another change is in regard to cases where it is necessary to substitute a returning officer at the last moment on account of illness or otherwise. Formerly it was required that the oath of office must be taken before a judge of a court of record. It was found necessary in some instances to go a considerable distance in order to do this. This has been changed so that the oath can be taken before a magistrate, a justice of the peace or a notary public to overcome that difficulty. There are a number of just such amendments as that in the bill. We are anxious to get as complete, accurate and ideal an election act as is possible, and on second reading we intend to refer the bill to the committee on Privileges and Elections. The Chief Electoral Officer who had the experience of conducting the last election will be able to go before that committee and explain the changes, and the committee can study the bill better than can be done here.


LAB

William Irvine

Labour

Mr. IRVINE:

Has the minister in these

amendments made a provision which will permit trade unions to make contributions to election funds?

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LIB

Arthur Bliss Copp (Secretary of State of Canada)

Liberal

Mr. COPP:

I do not think there is any

change suggested in that respect.

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LAB

William Irvine

Labour

Mr. IRVINE:

Has the minister any intention of inserting such a provision?

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CON

Arthur Meighen (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. MEIGHEN:

Are a'll the amendments

suggested by the Chief Electoral Officer included in the bill?

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LIB

Arthur Bliss Copp (Secretary of State of Canada)

Liberal

Mr. COPP:

I do not think quite all. The majority of them are. One other amendment to which I intended to refer is not in the recommendations; it is to reduce the time between nomination and polling from fourteen days to seven days.

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CON

Arthur Meighen (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. MEIGHEN:

Are there some amendments not recommended by the Chief Electoral Officer?

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LIB

Arthur Bliss Copp (Secretary of State of Canada)

Liberal

Mr. COPP:

Yes. There is one section in

regard to advertisements, and so on, as fellows:

Every advertisement, article, notice, illustration or cartoon appearing in a newspaper, magazine, pamphlet, leaflet or other publication (and having reference to an ejection) if printed at the expense of any individual,

Bankruptcy Act

firm, committee, association, society, or corporation [DOT]other than the individual, firm, committee, association, society or corporation which is the printer or publisher thereof, shall disclose that such advertisement, article, notice, illustration or cartoon has been or is being paid for by such individual, firm, committee, association, society or corporation and shall bear the name and address of the person or persons paying, or agreeing to pay, for the publication thereof.

The provision as regards reducing the time between nomination and polling day from fourteen days to seven days was not recommended by the Chief Electoral Officer, but he was consulted about it and he was quite agreeable to it.

Motion agreed to and bill read the first time.

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May 26, 1925