No. In the Dominion Franchise Act, I understand, there is a provision that in the event of any legislature discriminating against any class, that class can vote under oath. It was the intention of the Liberal party-and I am one of the guilty parties-to vote the Galicians under that provision, but the legislature of the province of Manitoba, anticipating that Act, struck out the educational clause of the Hugh John Macdonald Election Act. But when they came to make provision for the registration of the Galicians, who were scattered here and there over the province in groups, they placed the registration booths at such a great distance from the Galician colonies, and kept them open so short a time, that these people were practically disfranchised.
Now, the hon. leader of the opposition in his speech yesterday made some statements which I am going to quote. On page 8119 of ' Hansard ' I find the following :
I would like to remark once more that no unfairness in making the lists for any province has been brought to the attention of the House except in the statement of the Minister of Justice based upon a hypothesis which he has not been able to prove. It has been stated to me that the Prime Minister of Manitoba has challenged, both inside and outside the legislature, his political opponents or any
person within the province to bring to his attention the case of any man who has been unfairly deprived of his franchise in that province.
On page 8121 I find the following from the same hon. gentleman :
I would like my hon. friends opposite to give some names, any instance in Manitoba or in British Columbia which would justify the interposition of this parliament.
On jiage 8123 I find the following :
Show me, in the first place, the wrong that has taken place under that Manitoba Act.
And then on page 8150, in the speech of the hon. member for Prince Edward (Mr. Alcorn), I find the following :
And Hon. Robert Rogers, also a member of the Manitoba government has issued a challenge which has never been taken up, that, if in one authentic case it could be shown that even one man had lost the franchise through the wanton or wilful act of an officer of the government, every seat in the province would be allowed to go by acclamation to the Reform candidate in the next election.
Now, Mr. Speaker, it becomes my very unpleasant duty to lay before the House some evidence with respect to these things. The hon. gentlemen have issued a challenge and I am going to accept and respond to that challenge. I do so only with respect to my own constituency. I would very much prefer that some other member would perform this unpleasant duty, but as the incident which I am about to relate occurred in my own constituency, and the evidence respecting the same was submitted to me, it becomes my duty to present that evidence to the House, to show, not only that one man has been deprived of his right to vote under the Act of the province of Manitoba, but that no less than 450 good citizens in one provincial constituency, namely, about one-fortieth of the province, have had their votes nullified by 450 names being placed upon the voters' list by means of fraud, forgery, perjury and impersonation. I will now read some affidavits which have been made by people who are personally interested.
Subtopic: DOMINION ELECTIONS ACT AMENDMENT.