On February 26 the hon. member for North Battleford (Mr. McIntosh) explained to the house at some length that he had received a communication from his constituency stating that some of the enumerators had not been paid for the work they did in preparing the voters' lists. I have made inquiries on the subject and have received the following letter signed by Watson Sellar, comptroller of the treasury:
Section 48 of the Franchise Act requires the auditor general to tax all accounts submitted by the enumerators. On February 14, and again on the 15th, this office received applications for cheques from the auditor general to pay the accounts for North Battleford. Cheques were drawn on each day, and delivered to the auditor general, for they are mailed from his offices.
I believe these payments cleaned up all accounts for that constituency, with one exception. In this case, it is believed a claim could be made, but the person concerned has not sent in an account.
This office has no arrears to catch up with respect to payments to enumerators. Cheques are drawn the same day as the application is made by the auditor general. To date, approximately 39,000 cheques have been issued, and by the time a further 1,000 will have been received, the work should be completed.
Now, Mr. Speaker, I call your attention to the fact that when the hon. member raised this question on February 26 all the cheques in payment of these accounts had gone out ten or twelve days before. I submit to the hon. gentleman that although he might not have got as much publicity as in that way, he could have obtained this information more easily, and without taking up the time of the house, if he had telephoned to either the auditor general or the comptroller of the treasury.