May 12, 1908 (10th Parliament, 4th Session)

LIB

Theodore Arthur Burrows

Liberal

Mr. BURROWS.

The discussion lasted for two days. I know every one of the men whose names were put on. Mr. Campbell appealed against them. I know that they were not entitled to vote. There Is no doubt that there was some jugglery practised in connection with these names.
Another complaint and one very common-

ly made by the people of the west who are trying to look after the voters' lists, is that there is great difficulty in securing electoral lists. I, myself, through a gentleman in Winnipeg, tried to secure voters' lists for my own division, and a letter received the other day said that they could not get the lists of 1906. Therefore, as far as I am concerned, I am not able to get the lists to give my co-workers so that we may be prepared to apply to the court of revision. In North Winnipeg during 1905, there were great complaints. I desire to read an extract from the ' Voice,' a paper published by a gentleman who used to be a member of this House and published in the interests of organized labour. It gives an account of the meeting of the Trade and Labour Council :
When the president announced ' good and welfare ' a number of delegates proceeded to indignantly tell how they had been handled in their attempt to get into the registration offices during the day and evening for the purpose of having their names put on the voters' list. One delegate who had changed his residence from North to Centre Winnipeg wished to register for the latter constituency in the Market square. He had found the premises besieged outside and inside by a sweltering crowd. Exit was made through the windows. He had made two attempts but had failed to meet the clerks. Other applicants gave a stronger description of the uproar at the North Winnipeg office. Here the police had been called to clear the place. Scores of applicants had gone away in disgust. Of those at the^counoil meeting, five told of their lack of success to get registered, and there was not a man in the room who got on the list at this year's court.
The resolution printed on this page was passed unanimously. Several were for some action to be taken to enforce the demand and proposed a public demonstration to wait on the government.
The resolution which the Trades and Labour Council passed unanimously and which the 'Voice' printed in large type on its front page, was as follows :
Whereas the facilities for registration of voters have proved altogether inadequate for the purpose, therefore he it resolved:
That this Trades Council demand of the government that registration he re-opened and kept open for at least five days.
Needless to say, the Roblin government did not reopen the registration proceedings.
I have here a copy of another affidavit with regard to the country districts which I desire to read to the House :
Dominion of Canada-Province of Manitoba.
In the matter of the registration of voters in the Emerson electoral division, registration district 8, held May 25-30, inclusive, 1903, to wit:
I, George Walton, of the city of Winnipeg, province of Manitoba, agent, do solemnly declare that:
1. I was present at No. 8 registration booth
for the provincial electoral division of Emerson on Monday morning, May 25, 1903, and each subsequent day on which the booth was open. , , , ,
2. That the registration clerk who opened the booth on Monday morning was Thomas Rattan, of StuartbnTn.
3. That during the forenoon of the first day of registration, five applications for registra-tios had been accepted bv the registration clerk, four of whom were Galicians who answered the interrogatories satisfactorily and took the reading test in the English language to the satisfaction of the registration clerk.
4. On account of the time occupied by the registration clerk in completing the interrogatories of applicants, it was suggested that the registration clerk should defer entering the names in the register until the noon hour. This was agreed to bv myself as representing the Liberal interests at said registration booth. Mr. Rattan admitted his incompetency to fill the important position of registration clerk which he said had been pressed upon him by the Hon. D. H. McFadden.
5. That after the booth was closed tor the noon hour, Monday, Mr. Rattan, the registration clerk, stated in the presence ot my* self and others, that when asked by the Hon. D. H. McFadden "to take the position, he had been deceived, that he never had any experience in such, work, and being a poor penman he did not feel competent to do justice to the important position; that he had been tolu bv the Hon. D. H. McFadden that there would probably not be more than 60 or 70 English speaking electors to be registered, and that, as no Galicians were entitled to be registered, he could easilv handle the number applying for registration within the six days. That it was only on this assurance that he accepted the position, and that he said (addressing myself) you have succeeded iu getting four Galicians on during the forenoon, and that there were a large number outside waiting to be registered, he decided not to open this booth acain.
\nd at this juncture myself and others urged Mr. Rattan to keep the booth open until a successor could be appointed, offering to send a messenger to Emerson to tender Mr. Rattan's resignation through Mr. McFadden to the board of registration, and further offering to ask the Galicians to go home and not return until Wednesday by which time Mr. Rattan's successor could be installed. That Mr. Rattan would not consent to this arrangement, but announced the registration booth closed for good, never to be opened airain so far as he was concerned. That at this time, at least 125 Galicians were present waiting an opportunity to register, many having travelled on foot from 10 to 20 miles.
6. That (the registration booth was not
again opened until nearly 4 o'clock in the afternoon of Wednesday the 27th (no notice having been given as to the time it would be re-otpened) when Mr. John McCodl, of Emerson, a pronounced Conservative partisan, appeared at the booth to continue the work of registration. .
7. That I was present at the re-opening of the registration booth, and upon examination of the register, discovered that the names of the four Galicians who applied for registra-

tnon Monday had not been entered upon the register, as. promised by Mr. Battan, the then registration clerk. That upon this discovery I applied to Mr. McColl (Mr. Battan being present) to have the names entered on the register, and that he refused to enter such. I also requested Mr. Battan to make the entry and he refused to do so saying the books were out of his hands.
8. That notwithstanding the registration booth had been closed for more than two uaysj the registration clerk closed the same at 10 o'clock Saturday evening, the 30fch, refusing to extend the time for registration as provided by the Election Act for cases of interruption.
9. That only a few of the 125 Galicians present when the booth closed on Monday returned again to register, not having received notice that the booth would be re-opened.
10. That a number drove from 20 to 30 miles to the court of revision held at Emerson, successfully took the reading test before the revising officer and were put on the list by him.
11. That in mv opinion from 50 to 100 more Galicians were eligible and would have been registered had the registration booth not been closed.
And I make this solemn declaration conscientiously believing the same to be true, and knowing that it is of the same force and effect as if made under oath and by virtue of the Canada Evidence Act, 1893.
Declared before me at the of
in the province of Manitoba, this day of , in the
year of our Lord, 190 .
Mi*. STAPLES. What is the date of the affidavit ?

Topic:   C. J. MICKLE.
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