He would go and see for himself. In our province the high sheriff has had long experience in conducting elections, and knows the men in the different localities whom he can trust to discharge faithfully and impartially the duties of the different offices. That is the very, reason why I am supporting this amendment. My hon. friend is perhaps speaking from experience. Perhaps that is what happened to my hon. friend in the last election.
That means that the Union Government candidates in the next election will have the say in making appointments, and not the returning officer. The candidates will have the selection of the registrars who will make up the voters' lists, and it is only human nature to expect them to appoint friends of their own party. That is one of the very best reasons we could have for supporting this amendment, so that the conduct of the election shall be taken out of the hands of the candidates themselves.
This is the first time, I think, that it has ever been contended in this House that the responsibility for the appointment of such an important officer should be abolished, for that is what the amendment means.
Mr. CROTBER.S: Let us see. Suppose we pass a statute making it compulsory upon this Government to appoint a certain official, one .of those mentioned in the proposed amendment a sheriff, for instance. The sheriff goes wrong in the conduct of the election. Who is responsible? This
Government? No. This Government did not appoint him sheriff. He was appointed sheriff by the Government of British Columbia or some other province, and this Government would very properly say: We are not responsible for that fraudulent election; the sheriff was responsible; he took part in the fraud; we did not make him sheriff, and under an Act of this Parliament we were obliged to appoint him to the office he held. Now it must be obvious to every hon. gen-. tleman on the opposite side that if this amendment were adopted we should abolish entirely the responsibility that rests on this Government in the appointment of these officers. _What responsibility would the Government have if they appointed a man of their own choice who was not a sheriff and who proved incapable? They would be responsible both to this House and to the country for having appointed an inefficient man. But under my hon. friend's proposition they would be free from responsibility because they would be in a position to say-
I was about to say that it would be no answer to this Government's repudiation of responsibility to say that a man was appointed sheriff by the Government of Quebec or the Government of Ontario, or any other Government. This Government would be in a position to say: We are not responsible because we appointed an officer whom we were compelled to appoint under a statute passed by this House. My hon. friend (Mr. Copp) and the hon. member (Mr. Sinclair), said in substance that hon. members on this side of the House have expressed themselves as being in favour of the absolute abolition of patronage. That is not so. Patronage has not been absolutely abolished, and neither my hon. friends on the other side of the House-