May 15, 1911 (11th Parliament, 3rd Session)


Richard Stuart Lake

Conservative (1867-1942)


A provincial election. Amongst the fictitious names occurred very frequently the name of Rabbitskin. It was shown at the time that after the three deputy returning officers had exhausted the names they could recall to mind, the

ordinary -every-day names, Mr. Moberley, who was with them, -suggested that he had heard of a family of half-breeds in that neighbourhood called Rabbitskin. So they filled out a large number of the entries with the surname of Eabbitskin, with many different Christian names attached to them. Then, having filled the poll books with names, they filled the ballot boxes with bogus ballots, brought them back from the wilds into the- town -and produced 151 ballots, -sufficient to elect the Liberal candidate. The minister will remember-in fact, he remembered to-day- that Mr. Moberley, the man who was very active in connection with that affair, who acted as poll clerk, and was fined for his connection with the business, was appointed to a job in connection with the census. The minister must have understood that the case was a very bad one, because he took -summary proceeding, after the matter had been repeatedly brought to his notice in this House, to have Mt. Moberley recalled at [DOT] some expense to the country. Two of the three deputy returning officers who were concerned in this notorious business were government officials. Both of them lost their jobs. I presume that even the present administration did not consider it safe to retain them in government positions. The third was a homesteader, and the government in his case was kind enough to protect his homestead, and gran-t him an extension of leave during his enforced absence in the United States, as a fugitive from justice. The case indeed was so bad that Dr. Tyreman, who had- been declared elected by the returning officer, refused to take his seat in the legislature, and did not take hi-s seat. Subsequently the Committee on Elections and Privileges in the Local House, having exhaustively inquired into the case, awarded the seat to Mr. Donaldson, the Provincial Eights candidate. The minister speaks- of these men as having -been guilty of a trivial offence. The leader of the opposition put the matter clearly and tersely this afternoon when he declared that these deputy returning officers, who were, subsequently fugitives from justice, had been guil-ty of perjury and forgery. The minister says that he can see no connection between the Prince Albert election case and the appointment of census officials for the province of Manitoba. The connection is that M-r. Perry is iprovedi by title -corres/pondemca which has been read in the House to-day to have been guilty of conspiring to defeat the ends of justice by assisting these men to become fugitives from justice and advising them to keep out of the way. Let me -read M-r. P-erry'-s own letter, a facsimile of which was subsequently published 285
in the press of the country. This is.what Mr. Perry himself said:
Box 723,
Regina, Sask., Oct. 20, 1906.
Dear Sir,-I inclose for your information and guidance copy of ' Leader ' of this date containing complete text of judgment of the full court in the Sinclair case and which disposes of the conspiracy phase of the Prince Albert district election cases. It does not, however, dispose of the two counts against the deputy returning officers and poll clerks, viz.: Making false returns; stuffing ballot boxes; for which they are liable under sections 128 and 133 of the Territories Elections Ordinance.
Section 128 reads:-Any persons appointed as returning officer, election clerk, deputy returning officers or poll clerk, who fails to carry out any of the duties imposed by this ordinance or who contravenes any of its provisions shall be liable to a fine not exceeding $500 and costs, or to imprisonment for a term not exceeding one year, or both.
Section 133 reads:-Penalties under this ordinance may be recovered on summary conviction before two justices of the peace.
The three deputies were fined on only one charge, that of not holding the polls at the proper time and place.
Moberley, a poll clerk, was fined for writing the word ' voted' after the names of parties in the poll book, his fine being $100, while that of each deputy w-as $200.
The Tories are naturally disappointed and sore over the decision of the full court, and I am informed that Moore, editor of their paper, the ' West,' and McDonald, their organizer, are going to Prince Albert the beginning of the next week.
I am -also informed on the best authority that the Tories say that any or all of the fellows who are away, will be arrested immediately on their return, which quite bears out what I have understood all along they were threatening to do.
I, therefore, cannot hold out any hope for your early return; things will settle down after a while, when the by-election is over and after the end of next session of the House. I shall be pleased to give you any further information, if possible to obtain it, and you so desire.
Yours very truly,

Subtopic:   H. E. PERRY.
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