Hon. R. B. BENNETT (West Calgary):
Mr. Speaker, I desire to direct the attention of my hon. and learned friend the Minister of Justice (Mr. Lapointe) to a telegram which I received late last evening, the contents of which I communicated this morning to the minister. The telegram is from Prince Albert, Saskatchewan, and reads as follows:
I have wired Chief Electoral Officer to-day as follows: As official agent for D. L. Burgess, M.C., in this Prince Albert by-election I make protest on the manner in which this election is being conducted. The men nominated on February first were together with their additions as shown on their respective nomination papers, William Lyon Mackenzie King, P.C., and David Luther Burgess, M.C., of MacDowell, Saskatchewan. The proclamation show's as follows: David Luther Burgess of MacDowell, Saskatchewan. The M.C. is missing. The other candidate is shown as follows: Right Hon. W. L. Mackenzie King of Ottawa, Prime Minister of Canada. The ballot deprives Burgess of M.C. addition and Saskatchewan, while the name Right Hon. W. L. Mackenzie King is shown on ballot as on proclamation. Note removal of P.C. as addition
Prince Albert By-election
changed to prefix Right Hon., and the name William Lyon contracted to W.L. These changes from the nomination papers as on the day nominated have been persisted in in spite of the warning given by myself to the returning officer. The ballots have been very loosely handled in the printing office and were readily accessible to the public who might enter that office 3t any time. In the interests of the proper administration of this election and of British fair play I would ask that you take steps, Sir, for a check-up, not alone on the ballot situation but for the safeguard of the electorate and the candidates in this contest. If necessary to lay charge based upon information I have given you, advise me section and procedure.
T. D. Agnew,
Official agent for D. L. Burgess, M.C.
The provisions of the Elections Act, Sir, and of the instructions issued by the Chief Electoral Officer are very clear upon this point. Paragraph 43 of the instructions read, in part, as follows:
Finally the printing of the ballots should be put in hand not later than the afternoon of nomination day. The names of the candidates will be arranged alphabetically according to the initial letter of their surnames, unless they otherwise specially agree before three o'clock on nomination day, and the names, addresses and occupations will appear on the ballots in exactly the same form as on the nomination papers.
Those are merely the instructions of the Chief Electoral Officer. But section 50 of the Dominion Elections Act is equally specific:
The ballots of each voter shall be a printed paper, in this act called a ballot paper, on which the names of the candidates, alphabetically arranged in the order of their surnames, shall be printed exactly-
The word "exactly" appears in the statute.
-as they are set out in the nomination papers.
It is clear from the telegram that I have read-which was sent to the Chief Electoral Officer-and from the instructions that there has been a departure from the provisions of the statute, knowingly and wilfully made by the returning officer, whose attention was directed to it.