The point in the statement of the hon. gentleman that was entitled to any weight was, that the constituencies in the Niagara district had a larger population than the constituencies in the other parts of the .province. It would be a ridiculous proposition to lay down that they should not lose membership, if they were entitled to lose it by population, simply because they existed before other constituencies, which have now a larger population.
The Premier said he was going to right the wrong perpetrated In 1882 and if that is his policy, he will have to concede the proposition made by the member for South Norfolk.
If we give the Niagara peninsula two more seats, what would become of Muskoka, Rainy River, Parry Sound and Nipissing ? Shall they be suppressed in order that we can give more representation to the Niagara peninsula ? We have to do either one thing or the other. But even if we agreed to the proposition of the hon. member (Hon. Mr. Tisdale) it still would not satisfy the hon. gentleman from Lincoln (Mr. Lancaster). He states that would still be unjust to the Niagara district, which should have three more seats. But if we yielded to my hon. friend from South Norfolk, and gave Norfolk two representatives, he says that would not give justice to the Niagara district. If we are to be hanged, we might as well be hanged for a sheep as for a lamb. If it is not possible to give satisfaction to that section of the country, we
cannot do better. My hon. friend knows that the Niagara district cannot have the representation that it had in 1872, because other districts have come into existence which were not in existence then. The representation of these cannot be provided for unless some representation is taken from some other districts, and that must come from the older parts of Ontario. I sympathize with my hon. friend from Norfolk, who made a strong argument to show that it was really a misfortune and a grievance that the old district of Niagara should be deprived of one of its representatives. But my hon. friend knows that that is the fate of old age. Old age must give way to youth. I am myself reminded of that every day. I am told every day that my health is failing, and that I should take a back seat. Though I am told that every day, I do not think so ; but the time will come when I, like my hon. friend, will have to submit, not only voluntarily, but cheerfully, to the inevitable.
Hon. Mr. TISDALE.
I will suggest one that might be cut out very easily. The county of Middlesex, with a population of 54,000, has three ridings, an average of 18,000 to each, while those I have been speaking of have an average of 27,000.
But Middlesex has four now, and will have three.
My right hon. friend did not say that Middlesex was given four in 1892, when it had portions of other counties attached to it. I want to ask the hon. Minister of Public Works, who has great solicitude about the over-representation of the east and the under-representation of the west, if he will tell us why the committee gave two members -each to two counties in the east which, under the rule of population, are only entitled to one member each, namely, Northumberland and Peterborough?
The committee did not do any such thing. So far as I know, the only departure we made in the east from county lines was in the county of Leeds. Perhaps it was the same feeling that moved the committee in that case as in the case of Middlesex, which, with the addition of a small municipality from another county, had four representatives in the last parliament, and which lost one, and would have lost two probably if the figures had been applied strictly according to the rule. It was by an understanding between both sides of the committee that it was a proper thing to do, that the extra member was allowed.
The hon. gentleman does not insist that under the rule of population either Northumberland or Peterborough was entitled to two members, and yet he is crying out that the east is over-represented.
Would it not be much better for the hon.
.gentleman to produce the figures instead of saying that the committee did not do what they should have done according to the census figures ?
I shall be very glad to produce the figures. The county of Northumberland has a population of 34,479. The hon. gentleman knows that the unit of representation is 36,573.
Mr. HUGHES (Victoria).
Does that include South Monaghan ?
Yes, of course. It would be very much less without South Monaghan. Peterborough has 36,060, which is under the unit.
My hon. friend knows very well that he is not quoting the figures which, according to the rule laid down, of adhering to county boundaries, governed the action of the committee. My hon. friend knows that under that rule Durham and Northumberland are one county.
My hon. friend should know also that the hon. member for South. Lanark (Hon. Mr. Haggart) stated the other day that the representation of Carleton, Renfrew, Leeds and Peterborough was arrived at as a compromise between the two sides of the committee. He stated that within my hon. friend's hearing.
If the hon. gentleman will turn to the motion moved from the Conservative side of the committee, he will find that it was that Northumberland should have one member.
Possibly ; but my hon. friend spoke of Peterborough a moment ago. As regards Carleton, Renfrew, Leeds and Peterborough, the discussion should be closed, because we had the statement of the hon. member for South Lanark that the representation of these counties had been arrived at by a compromise.
And he thought it was of political advantage to the ConservaC''-''-
Mr. BORDEN (Halifax).
I am not aware that the representation of Peterborough was arrived at by a compromise. So far as Carleton is concerned, that is undoubtedly correct, but it is correct under circumstances which I do not think should weigh very much in favour of my right hon. friend.
If my hon. friend will allow me ; in the amendment submitted by myself Peterborough is allowed two members.
Mr. BORDEN (Halifax).
I am aware of that, and it is not in the slightest degree inconsistent with what I am raying." That proposition was made, not as a compromise, but in laying down certain principles, which Hon. Mr. SUTHERLAND.
the majority of the committee voted down, and under which Peterborough would be entitled to two members.