April 15, 1901 (9th Parliament, 1st Session)


Nathaniel Clarke Wallace

Conservative (1867-1942)


The enumerator will also get the nationality, the post office address, the religion, and the church to which the man belongs ; and then he has to make some remarks. He will also get the man's politics. What right have these enumerators to go to a household and ask the politics of any man in this country ? Who gave them authority to do that ? As the hon. member for East Simcoe pointed out, if a citizen having a schedule placed before him refuses to answer the questions in it, he can be prosecuted. When asked what his politics are, his natural inclination would be to say : It is nobody's business what my politics are ; I can disclose them, or I can refuse to disclose them, just as I please.' I would like to know where in all this country it is permitted to ask a man what his politics are. We have voting by ballot in this country, and it is supposed to be secret and sacred. But here is something put down in front of you, and it is said that there are severe pains and penalties if you refuse to answer anything in that circular. What right has the Minister of Agriculture to countenance the promulgation of that circular ? He says he did not know anything about it until to-day. What has he done since he did know about it ? Has he done anything ?

Subtopic:   THOMAS COTE,
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