May 7, 1901 (9th Parliament, 1st Session)


William Findlay Maclean

Independent Conservative


In connection with this vote for the House of Commons I wish to bring to the attention of the government the practical working of the laws we now have in regard to contested elections. Mr. Thornton was elected for West Durham. He is entitled to his seat, he is entitled to his sessional indemnity and yet no provision has been made for the payment of it. He is kept out of his seat and if for no other reason I contend that Mr. Thornton should be given a seat in this House in order to help him to make up his election expenses and the heavy expenses he has been put to in connection with the election trial that is taking place. I believe his case was under consideration to-day, and that it goes over, which shows the bad policy of leaving such cases to the courts. The injustice that maybe done to a man by leaving to the courts these cases can be easily righted by this House if it had the courage to deal with it. I hope that the Minister of Finance when lie is putting through those contingencies in connection with legislation will insert an allowance for the sessional indemnity of Mr. Thornton who ought really to be a member of this House, and would be, if the House did its duty and gave him the seat to which he is entitled.

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