May 19, 1905 (10th Parliament, 1st Session)

CON

George Taylor (Chief Opposition Whip; Whip of the Conservative Party (1867-1942))

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. TAYLOR.

I would like to inquire
if any portion of this sum is required to pay the salary of this postmaster ? Just for the information of the hon. Postmaster General I will read a portion of a letter that has been sent to me. It is as follows :
Now, Mr. Taylor, I beg your kind indulgence . for a few moments while I call your attention to the way in which the deputy returning officer and his poll clerk conducted the election proceedings at polling division No. 3, Kitley, where I was agent in your behalf. The deputy returning officer was George Milton Leverette, the village postmaster, and his polling clerk was Benjamin Franklin Stewart, a carriage maker. From the opening to the closing of the poll the deputy returning officer ran things with a high hand. Everything was trampled under foot. Oaths of office, the statutes and myself, not physically but officially, were trampled under foot and completely ignored. Never did I see such brazen defiance of law and right. It was plainly manifest that 'he Grit machine was doing business at the old stand as brisk as ever and had established a local branch at Frank-ville under management of the deputy returning officer and his poll clerk. To enumerate some of the violations of the law committed by these two election officials, I wish to say that the deputy returning officer in defiance of a protest from me placed the ballot box on the floor to the right of his chair ; when so placed it was behind the table and entirely out of the view of those present. I read the law to him, but he emphatically told me it was on the floor and was going to stay there and I might help myself if I could. All that was left for me to do was to seat myself on a chair beside it, which I did. Another thing, he said he did not have the required statutory dates to be inserted in the oath to voters, but I really did not believe him. Fortunately, however, I supplied this want by having them myself under certificate of the township clerk, otherwise I do not believe I should have been able to have sworn a voter at all that day. Again, he allowed his poll clerk to act as agent for your opponent, Gibson, in the absence of duly appointed agents.
I protested, but was powerless. The poll clerk told a voter, one Frank Livingston, whom I

challenged, that I .vas doing dirty work, and was only tryiag to bluff him out of his good vote. Through these encouraging words of the poll clerk the voter took the oath and voted. To-day he stands a perjured man. Something more yet. The deputy returning officer put some private mark or number on the stub of the ballots besides the number he was entitled by law to put on the counterfoil. Here again,
I protested, but was told that he was doing so and would continue to do so and 1 might help myself if I could. I asked to see that private mark or number, but was refused. Now, Mr. Taylor, if I could afford the expense I would go to Gananoque to see you personally about these matters. -Something should be done. An example should be made of these two election officials because if not they will be bolder than ever the next time. The matter, however, will be left entirely in your hands. Many Conservatives here say that the matter should be attended to and that prosecutions should follow. As for the deputy returning officer, you can do what you like with him. You can bring his case up on the floor of the House next session or deal with him otherwise as you think best.
I would like to inquire of the hon. Postmaster General if any portion of this sum is to pay that man's salary. I draw these facts to the hon. minister's attention. There is his officer, a postmaster, drawing probably $1,000 a year salary, and yet he goes and acts as a partisan, ignores the law and conducts an election in the manner here described.

Topic:   SUPPLY-THE RAILWAY COMMISSION.
Subtopic:   THESSALON, ONT., POSTMASTER.
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