Sir WILFRID LAURIER.
Well, although supported by considerable authority, my hon. friend conceded also that the question was not free from doubt. As I understand the quotation of m* hon. friend from such an eminent authority as Mr. Gladstone, it went to show that he argued that the treaty of the sovereign is paramount and that parliament has no authority in the matter. Then, it will depend upon the terms of the treaty as to whether or not the treaty, to become effective, has to be supplemented by the action of parliament or whether it is complete by the exercise of the power of the King. In my opinion this treaty is such that it is complete by the signature of the
sovereign. Whether or not the treaty is wise or unwise, at the present time, it is legal, in my humble judgment. If it were declared that the treaty had to be supplemented by the action of parliament, then parliament would have to pronounce upon it. If, on the other hand, the power of the King is complete, then it will be open to parliament to censure or approve the treaty as the case might be within the exercise of its power in that respect. But that is a question beyond the issue. The main question that was introduced to the House by my hon. friend on a former occasion was as to whether the treaty should he communicated to the people. For my part, I agree altogether with my hon. friend. I see no reason whatever, the moment the treaty has been signed, and even before it is ratified by the sovereign, why it should not be communicated to parliament. I am at one with my hon. friend as to that. It has not been the practice to do so. I am very glad that my hon. friend has brought to my attention the authority of Todd upon the subject, showing that what has been the usage of parliament has been departed from in three cases.
Subtopic: THE INTERNATIONAL WATERWAYS TREATY.