Well, he suggested
that an amendment might be brought in to do away with the serious objections regarding the status of men who voted at the last election but
never were personally naturalized.
At the last election many who had voted before and who were naturalized, were not entitled to vote, and consequently, they would be debarred. I think, now that the war is over, an amendment of that kind should be passed to cover all that were entitled to vote before the War-time Elections Act was enacted. The matter of discrimination in favour of those who were born in North America is a very serious objection to this clause. Supposing a Hungarian comes to Pennsylvania and is married to a woman of the same nationality born in the United States. They have a family and they move to Canada. This is
typical of hundreds of cases. The man becomes naturalized, and his wife and children are by process of law naturalized. They are all allowed to vote if they are of age and are otherwise qualified, without having to obtain a certificate. Supposing a Hungarian comes to Canada directly under the same circumstances. His wife and his children after they come of age must have this certificate before they can vote. There is no particular reason, however, to expect that the wife and children of the Hungarian who came directly from Hungary- and the same thing is true as regards any of the other European countries-knows more about our institutions than the Hungarian who comes from the United States; so that this is a discrimination that should be struck out altogether.
If the intention of the Government is to retain this clause and not to accept the amendment of the hon. member for North Waterloo, (Mr. Euler), it should be made a good deal easier for applicants to obtain this certificate to which they are entitled.
I have already mentioned that district judges cannot grant certificates to all who may want them. They have too much work to do; they are, perhaps, only half a day or a day at one particular point; there might be fifty or a hundred applicants for certificates, and they must make their dates. Under certain conditions others, for instance, reeves of municipalities or mayors of certain towns, might be qualified to give certificates. Further, it should be set forth what kind of evidence is required, and this should not be left to the judge or whoever may be administering the Act. People will not travel, perhaps, fifty or seventy-five miles on the off chance of having access to a judge and not knowing what evidence is required. Women may have to bring their husbands along with them; they may have to make affidavits as to their identity, but they do not know what is required of them. If that point were made clear, more would take advantage of this provision. Two things are required). Better facilities should be given for obtaining these certificates, and the applicants should know what evidence they have' to bring before the judge or whoever may have power to grant the certificates. The Government will be very well advised to accept the amendment of the hon. member for North Waterloo.
Topic: REVISED EDITION. COMMONS