can delay just as long as any other man if it suits him to delay, but we know that at this very moment he has within his mind's eye the man he proposes to appoint as Minister of the Interior. Why does he not have him go to the west? Is he afraid that his Bill will be through before the election can be carried out. I think he can possess liis soul in patience so far as that is concerned. He will have ample time to send his man to the Northwest Territories and give one single, solitary opportunity, the only one, of permitting the Northwest a voice of allowing one portion at least of the people of the Northwest Territories to pronounce upon the policy of this Bill which is so all important to that great western country. The right hon. leader of the government, stickler for precedent that he is when he is out of office, puts it lightlv away when he assumes the badge of office. He erects into a constitutional principle what had never before been taken is a constitutional principle in order to serve a purpose. The purpose once served he throws away his invention, he has no use for it, until another circumstance arises which will call for another constitutional principle. What is his constitutional principle ? It was adverted to by my hon. friend here (Mr. R. L. Borden). It was the result of a circumstance which was none too creditable to the government of my right hon. friend. An hon. gentleman went into a department in the temporary absence of another minister meddled in a matter of its administration and so brought about some considerable confusion in the government of this country. It was then that the new constitutional principle was devised, invented, brought out brand new, that there was a geographical ministerial responsibility as well as a constitutional responsibility-all very good for the occasion and yet when you have a great part of this country to be erected into provinces, to be, by an irrevocable decree fashioned, moulded and formed the right hon. gentleman refuses to consult with the representatives of the government of that country. He brings down here at his own express request and call the only representatives that are available of these two great Territories-the premier and one of his cabinet, backed up, as I said the other day, by a third member of his cabinet. When he gets them here he throws them lightly aside, at least the Tory part of the represensation, he finds sources of information in his own way and he refuses almost absolutely upon the most important part of his Bill to recognize the legal and constitutional representative of that portion of the country for which this Bill is being specially provided. As he himself says this is the most momentous of questions before the House affecting absolutely and particularly that portion of the country, and yet he will not either test the feeling of the people of that country, or what is of much more im-
porta nee than that, he will not give to that portion of the country its minister with geographical responsibility as well as constitutional responsibility.
Now, a circumstance occurred not long ago which rather lends force to the argument and which affects some men in the right hon. gentleman's cabinet. What did we find in October of last year ? We found the right hon. gentleman coming down to the province of Ontario, getting down upon bended knees before a luminary of the law and saying to him in so many English words : My dear Mr. Aylesworth I have colleagues and representatives in the government from the province of Ontario who have been with me for some time, but 1 find that in Ontario my hold is growing gradually weaker. I am not only not increasing the strength, but I see that strength diminishing. I do not want to turn these out to pasture, poor as they are, and so I must have you come in and save the remnant in the province of Ontario, The right hon. gentleman needed some strength, and if ever there was a practical illustration of that need we have it this year. The lynx-eyed minister, the Postmaster General (Sir William Mulock), is not here, and I suppose X may venture to mention him to-day without his inflicting upon this House that oft-repeated story repeated so well along the concessions and side lines of North Ontario, learned and conned and repeated so often up and down the province of Ontario, and repeated so often in this House, that it is becoming a tale oft-told, with the little interest that attaches to a tale oft-told. I suppose that I may refer to the fact that he slept at his post while the most important legislation was being performed for these orphan territories in the Northwest. Is there not some reason why there should be a brave, bright, strong, wide-awake man brought in from the west who will not sleep at his post, but -who will know what is going on and see that his geographical ministerial responsibility is fully exercised in the representation of the people in the country from which he comes. If the right hon. gentleman (Sir Wilfrid L-aurier) can keep constitutionally portfolios open for one month, he can keep them open for two, three or four months. He was the gentleman who, in opposition, pleaded always for a full cabinet, for the ministerial responsibility to be properly divided and distributed, and that there should be at the post of power in each department a responsible head. He knows as well as we all know that that is proper constitutional doctrine, and that it is necessary for the good government and good administration of the country. Yet he does not fill the vacant position, and he does not give us any valid reason why.
Subtopic: ABSENCE OF MINISTERS AND CABINET VACANCY.