February 12, 1926

REPORT TABLED


Annual report of the Department of Immigration and Colonization for the fiscal year ending March 31, 1925.-Hon. Mr. Stewart (West Edmonton).


PRINCE ALBERT BY-ELECTION COMPLAINT REGARDING PRINTING OF BALLOTS


On the Orders of the Day:


CON

Richard Bedford Bennett

Conservative (1867-1942)

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.

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?

An hon. MEMBER:

Question.

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CON

Richard Bedford Bennett

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. BENNETT:

I am coming to the

question. I will move the adjournment of this House, if that is what is wanted1. Mr. Speaker, no matter can be more vital to the dignity and welfare of this House than that the ballot papers should not be manipulated. There should be no possibility of ballots falling into unauthorized hands through loose methods of printing being followed. That i3 a trifling, commonplace observation to make.

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LIB

Hewitt Bostock (Speaker of the Senate)

Liberal

Mr. SPEAKER:

I would ask the hon.

gentleman to confine himself to the question,-

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CON

Richard Bedford Bennett

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. BENNETT:

lam.

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LIB

Hewitt Bostock (Speaker of the Senate)

Liberal

Mr. SPEAKER:

-because before the orders of the day are called no speeches are allowed.

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CON
LIB

Georges Parent

Liberal

Mir. PARENT:

When is the question coming?

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CON

Richard Bedford Bennett

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. BENNETT:

Did the hon. gentleman ask a question? He will get an answer if he does.

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LIB

Hewitt Bostock (Speaker of the Senate)

Liberal

Mr. SPEAKER:

Order.

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LIB

Ernest Lapointe (Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada)

Liberal

Hon. ERNEST LAPOINTE (Leader of the House):

Mr. Speaker, I imust say first that my learned and hon. friend kindly communicated to me a copy of this telegram that has been sent by the agent of one of the candidates at the present 'by-election in the county of Prince Albert. Let me say at once that under the law the elections are not carried on by the government or under the government. They are carried on under an officer of this parliament called the Chief Electoral Officer, who is appointed by this parliament, is responsible to this parliament, and reports only to' you, Mr. Speaker, and not to any member of the government. I have no doubt that the Chief Electoral Officer of Canada is looking after all that is necessary for the proper carrying on of the election in Prince Albert.

If my hon. friend desires to learn what the Chief Electoral Officer has done or the answer he has made to this telegram, there is a section of the electoral law which gives my hon. friend or myself or anybody else the right to go and inspect all the returns, communications and correspondence, to-dlay, to-

Unemployment Relief

morrow or at any other time. Moreover, as the Chief Electoral Officer is reporting to you, Mr. Speaker, I might suggest just in order that it may not be necessarj' for myself or mv hon. friend to go and inspect these documents, that you, immediately ask the Chief Electoral Officer to report to you and send you a copy of all that he has done in this matter.

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LIB

Hewitt Bostock (Speaker of the Senate)

Liberal

Mr. SPEAKER:

If it be the pleasure of the House, I shall communicate immediately to the Chief Electoral1 Officer the remarks made bjr the hon. member for West Calgary (Mr. Bennett), and by the Minister of Justice (Mr. Lapointe), and await, not his pleasure, but his answer.

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CON

Arthur Meighen (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Conservative (1867-1942)

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

Miay I suggest, Mr. Speaker, in that connection that you direct his special attention to the evidently loose manner in which the ballots are being printed, which seems to me to be more prolific of possible danger later than any other feature of the message.

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RESOLUTION OF WINNIPEG CITY COUNCIL


On the Orders of the Day:


February 12, 1926