Alfred SPEAKMAN

SPEAKMAN, Alfred

Personal Data

Party
United Farmers of Alberta
Constituency
Red Deer (Alberta)
Birth Date
August 24, 1880
Deceased Date
November 4, 1943
Website
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alfred_Speakman
PARLINFO
http://www.parl.gc.ca/parlinfo/Files/Parliamentarian.aspx?Item=3cd49ad9-d55c-4fbe-b68e-e250641d1448&Language=E&Section=ALL
Profession
farmer

Parliamentary Career

December 6, 1921 - September 5, 1925
UFA
  Red Deer (Alberta)
October 29, 1925 - July 2, 1926
UFA
  Red Deer (Alberta)
September 14, 1926 - May 30, 1930
UFA
  Red Deer (Alberta)
July 28, 1930 - August 14, 1935
UFA
  Red Deer (Alberta)

Most Recent Speeches (Page 236 of 237)


March 29, 1922

Mr. SPEAKMAN:

That is not the

point. A man can, to a certain extent before he is naturalized, choose his time for naturalization. In the case where a women has to receive her voting certificate in a comparatively short time preceding an election-

Topic:   DOMINION ELECTIONS ACT
Subtopic:   ENFRANCHISEMENT OF WOMEN OF ALIEN BIRTH
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March 29, 1922

Mr. SPEAKMAN:

I am not making any reflections; I am simply making a statement of fact as it exists. I am not reflecting on the intentions of the hon. gentlemen who passed that act; possibly they had absolutely correct intentions.

Topic:   DOMINION ELECTIONS ACT
Subtopic:   ENFRANCHISEMENT OF WOMEN OF ALIEN BIRTH
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March 29, 1922

Mr. ALFRED SPEARMAN (Red Deer):

I should like to say just a few words on this subject, because I believe it affects the Prairie provinces probably as much as any other part of Canada, as we have to assimilate perhaps a greater percentage of that population than most other provinces have. I should like to say just a word as to the way in which the act has actually worked out in the permitting of women, who were absolutely qualified in every way to vote, to exercise the franchise. I am not going to go into the question of whether men and women should all be admitted to citizenship on an equal basis. That is a question of personal naturalization, and it hardly comes into this discussion; it is a question of amendment of the Naturalization Act. I have not considered the matter sufficiently to say whether or not I would oppose an amendment to the Naturalization Act, putting every man and woman on an equality as regards becoming naturalized, and eliminating the right of naturalization by marriage. The point is this: whether intentionally or not, that act prevented a large proportion of foreign-born women, who had been in this country a sufficient number of years to have assimilated our customs and acquired our language, from casting their ballots when election day arrived. Why did it do so? Partly, because of the distances which had to be traversed in that country in order that they might reach a judge. I am not reflecting on anything the hon. member for North Toronto (Mr. Church) or any other hon. member has said. Many members have no realization of the actual conditions which prevail in those prairie constituencies; they have no realization of their size, or the distances which must be covered, or the hardship which is inflicted on women who have to travel to meet the judge on a day which the judge has set, and obtain their certificates. We know that in the actual working out of that act, it was almost impossible, because the district was so large, to obtain judges to issue those certificates when the certificates were required. In all parts of those constituencies, in all parts of that prairie country, there were women requiring those certificates within a certain time, and with the number of judges we had, it was probably impossible for them to reach convenient points adjacent to all those women. In my

Elections Act

constituency-and I am speaking of. that, not because this it a personal matter, but because conditions in my constituency are probably much as they are in other large constituencies in the Prairie provinces- when it was possible to get a judge to come down, women had to travel anywhere from ten to fifty or sixty miles in order to meet that judge and get their certificates. The practical working out of that meant that they were debarred from obtaining those certificates, and they were thus debarred from voting.

Topic:   DOMINION ELECTIONS ACT
Subtopic:   ENFRANCHISEMENT OF WOMEN OF ALIEN BIRTH
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March 29, 1922

Mr. SPEAKMAN:

I stand corrected,

but neither I nor any other of the people in my constituency knew that a woman had the same right. The bulk of the women affected were not women who had come to Canada within a week or a month or a year of the date of the election. This legislation affected, to a large extent, the old-established constituencies, the old districts; it affected women who, for years, had understood that they were full Canadian citizens, women who had, so far as women could, fulfilled all the duties of Canadian citizenship. In actual effect, whatever the intention of the law was, it debarred those women from enjoying the full advantage accruing to the citizenship which they had acquired. I consider it was particularly a hardship in those

pioneer districts. If ever any women on God's earth deserve the franchise and the full right of saying what legislation shall be passed affecting the rights and lives of every man and woman in this country, it is those women who went into those pioneer districts and, with their husbands, attempted to extend civilization into those wildernesses. The actual effect of that law which compelled those women to obtain such certificates before voting was to deprive a large percentage of them of the franchise.

On those grounds, on the grounds of common justice, on the ground that men and women who are full-fledged Canadian citizens should enjoy the fruits of Canadian citizenship, should enjoy the honour and fulfil the highest obligation of Canadian citizenship, I shall support the resolution.

Topic:   DOMINION ELECTIONS ACT
Subtopic:   ENFRANCHISEMENT OF WOMEN OF ALIEN BIRTH
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March 28, 1922

Mr. SPEAKMAN:

I was going to ask

the question about printing and stationery which the minister has just answered. We find ourselves at a loss in criticising any of these Estimates, because as soon as we speak about them we find that everything is covered by the reclassification. This reclassification is like charity; it covers a - multitude of sins. Of what avail are our criticisms of these Estimates if every time we ask, why these increases, there is a tendency to hide behind the Civil Service Commission or the reclassification; and because of that we cannot go into the details. I realize that the heads of these departments are new men and cannot be expected to be familiar with all the details. At the same time, they are responsible for their departments, and we want to impress upon them that the country expects of them anci will demand of them, classification or no classification, a reduction of these Estimates commensurate with the reduction in the cost of living and the price of supplies, due regard being had also to the country's diminishing income.

Topic:   SUPPLY-AMENDMENT
Subtopic:   PRIVATE BILLS
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