February 27, 1911

LIB

BEAUSOLEIL INDIAN RESERVE.

CON

Mr. LENNOX:

Conservative (1867-1942)

1. Have permits been issued to the Indians of Beausoleil reserve, Christian island? If so, upon whose application?

2. To what person, in what locations and for how many acres have the permits been issued in each case?

3. Have the boundaries of tbe territory included in the permits been blazed by tbe Indian agent, wbat instructions have been issued to him as to supervision to prevent waste, fraud and the like, and to what extent have these instructions been carried out?

4. Are any white men engaged in cutting timber on this reserve or island? If so, is this in harmony with the regulations?

5. Have Indians applied for permission to cut timber on Beckwith island, has permission been granted or will permission be granted to them to do this?

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Subtopic:   BEAUSOLEIL INDIAN RESERVE.
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LIB

Mr. OLIVER: (Minister of the Interior; Superintendent-General of Indian Affairs)

Liberal

1. Yes, on application of Indians.

2. Permits issued by local agent under instructions, and the department is not aware as to what permits have been issued.

3. The local agent was instructed that each member of the band might be given a permit to cut over an area of one or two acres adjoining existing clearances; that the permits should describe the area to be cut over, after being blazed by the Indian

the permits should describe the area to be cleared, fenced and put under cultivation within two seasons, or sown with sufficient grass and clover seed next summer to prevent the growth of noxious weeds. The department has no reason to believe that these instructions are not being carried out.

4. The department has no knowledge of white men being engaged in cutting timber on Christian island. The Indians are required to cut and take out timber themselves under permits.

5. Yes; but the same was not granted.

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Subtopic:   BEAUSOLEIL INDIAN RESERVE.
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CON

Mr. LENNOX:

Conservative (1867-1942)

1. Who is the Indian agent of Beausoleil reserve, Christian island?

2. When was he appointed, on whose recommendation, is he a practical farmer, what evidence had the department of this at the time of his appointment; was it made a condition of his appointment that he should reside upon the reserve and instruct the Indians in agriculture, _ cattle feeding and the like, and has he resided on the reserve at any time? If so, during what periods, and is he residing upon the reserve or the island new?

3. In order to attain his object, did the government erect a residence for the agent upon the reserve, and at what cost; has the Indian agent ever resided in this house, and by whom is it occupied?

4. Where does the Indian agent reside, and when did he last visit the reserve?

5. Who was the immediate predecessor of the present Indian agent, and for what alleged cause was he retired?

6. Does the government propose to insist that the agent shall reside upon the reserve?

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Subtopic:   BEAUSOLEIL INDIAN RESERVE.
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LIB

Mr. OLIVER: (Minister of the Interior; Superintendent-General of Indian Affairs)

Liberal

1. Mr. H. G. Todd.

2, 3 and 4. He was appointed on the 6th of July, 1910. His name was suggested by the Indians of the band, who stated that he was a good farmer. It was a condition of his appointment that he should reside upon the reserve and give the Indians practical advice in farming. He has moved to the reserve, and from information received he was there a few days ago. A residence was erected for the agent on the reserve at a cost of $3,470.

5. Mr. Charles McGibbon. He was retired because he had no qualifications to give the Indians practical advice on farming.

6. The government proposes to insist that the agent shall reside upon the reserve.

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Subtopic:   BEAUSOLEIL INDIAN RESERVE.
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FALSE MINERAL NOTICES.

CON

Mr. LENNOX:

Conservative (1867-1942)

1. Referring to the following circular, which it is alleged is being sent out from Ottawa to the land owners in the township of King, county of York, viz.:-' By order of Professor J H. Wilson, government analyst, we have entered upon a lot (describing the property) and surveyed, bored, analysed and assayed the soil on said lots, and found it contained 1364

deposits of mineral carbon autricht. Operations for development -will commence May 1. All transfers, encumbrances and drainage schemes in connection with said lots after the date hereof will be null and void, as the government claims all rights over said lots.

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Subtopic:   FALSE MINERAL NOTICES.
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F. H. FORCHET,


Analysis and Search Department.' Is there in all the patents a reservation of the minerals for the Crown? 2. Has the government authorized these notices ? 2. Do the minerals belong to the Dominion or to the province? 4. Does the government intend to carry on mining or any other operations upon these * lands? If so, of what character, with what object, when, and to what extent? 5. In any case are the notices not too broad?


LIB

William Templeman (Minister of Mines; Minister of Inland Revenue)

Liberal

Mr. TEMPLEMAN.

The Mr. J. A. Wilson referred to therein is not attached to the Analyst's Branch of the Inland Revenue Department, nor connected in any way with the Mines Department, or Geological Survey, and none of these departments have any knowledge whatever relative to the circular issued by Mr. F. H. Forchet, who is likewise unknown to. and unconnected with any of the departments above mentioned.

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THE DOMINION SENATE.

LIB

Murdo Young McLean

Liberal

Mr. M. Y. McLEAN (Huron) moved:

That, in the opinion of this House, the Dominion Senate as at present constituted is not in accordance with the representative institutions of this country, and the government should take the necessary proceedings to have the Senate made representatives of and dirctly responsible to the people.

He said: Mr. Speaker, in moving this resolution I wish it to be distinctly understood at the outset that I have no particular objection to the personnel of the Senate of Canada. There are able and eminent men in that body; men who have devoted their ability and energy to the welfare of their country and who deserve well from her; men whom any constituency might justly feel proud to have as its representative.

I think I may be excused if I mention as representative of this class, Sir Richard Cartwright on the one side, and Sir Mackenzie Bowell on the other. So that, Sir, it is not the thing constituted that I object to so much as the manner in which it is constituted. I believe that the people of this country should and must rule, and I further believe that a life appointed and irresponsible body, a legislating body that is above, and beyond, and out of the reach of the people, is entirely at variance with the representative institutions of this country, and is an anomaly that should not be permitted to exist in any free country.

1 am safe in saying that" a Senate constituted as ours now is must of necessity be either dangerous or useless. If it runs counter to the will of the people as ex-

pressed through this House, then I think it is dangerous, and if it does not do so, in most instances it is useless. I may be pardoned for saying that in so far as our Senate is concerned it belongs to the latter class. I had not the opportunity of listening to the discussion of the resolution introduced this session by my hon. friend from Lincoln (Mr. Lancaster) calling for the abolition of the Senate, but I listened very attentively to the discussion last session and while I can agree with a good deal which fell from my hon. friend in his ad-[DOT]vocacy of this resolution, I do not agree with the conclusions at which he arrived. I do not think it would be wise or judicious to entirely abolish the Senate and for this reason: As we know, the Senate as at present constituted, is a legacy left by the fathers of confederation, in fact it is a part of the confederation compact. It was instituted and designed for the purpose of protecting the smaller provinces from oppression or aggression by the then larger provinces, and if there was at that time even a suspicion for the necessity of a body of this kind, I think that that necessity is even much greater now, and that it will grow as time goes on, and as the newer western provinces grow in population, power, wealth and aggressiveness. So I do not think it would be wise or judicious to remove from the smaller provinces the protection which was guaranteed to them unless it is shown fairly and conclusively that they are willing to be relieved from this protection. I am not aware that the provinces have given any reason to suppose that they would desire to be relieved from this protection which was given to them as a part of the confederation compact. But there is no reason why an elective Senate, a Senate made responsible to the people, should not be more effective as a protection to these provinces than a Senate appointed by the government of the day, entirely irresponsible to the people and appointed for life, because a Senate elected by the people would represent the will of the people and would of necessity be a greater check upon oppression to the smaller provinces than a body such as we now have, owing its appointment to the government of the day and its members more or less obligated to that government. The Senate may properly be divided into three divisions: First, those who value their seats as a respectable refuge where they can spend their declining years with ease at the expense of the country. ,

Second, those who value their seats for the social position they gain, and for the facilities afforded for the advancement of their own personal and business schemes.

Third, those who give of their ripe experience and rich, matured judgment for the benefit of the country.

Mr. McLEAN (Huron)

The elective system, I claim, would wipe out the two first classes and relegate them to private life where they properly belong, and would 'retain for the benefit of the country those who belong to the third class.

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Subtopic:   THE DOMINION SENATE.
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CON

Richard Blain

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. BLAIN.

There is no such division now over there?

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Subtopic:   THE DOMINION SENATE.
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LIB

Murdo Young McLean

Liberal

Mr. McLEAN (Huron).

Yes, and they must always exist in such a body appointed as the Senate is.

Let us see for a moment how the situation stands in other countries. An elective Senate is not by any means a new thing. In the commonwealth of Australia six senators are elected for each state for a term of six years, half the number retiring every three years and the entire vote of each state is for each candidate.

In New Zealand, the upper chamber were formerly appointed for life. The term is now limited to seven years.

In South Africa, the last constitution that has been evolved, the first House of Assembly will consist of 121 representatives and the Senate of 64, 16 for each of the four provinces. Eight will be elected in each province, eight will be nominated by the Governor General in Council, four in each province.

In other countries, Mexico, Brazil, and the Argentine Republic, the upper chambers are elective. The same condition exists in the other countries of_ South and Central America. Canada is the only country in North or South America having life appointees. So it will be seen that this is the only country on the American continent that still continues this antediluvian system. I noticed during the recent discussion that my honoured leader stated that there are many difficulties in making a change in the Senate under present conditions. He has also expressed the opinion that an elective Senate would not be advantageous and that no person in the present day advocates an elective Senate. I agree with my right hon. friend in nearly everything but on this question I must certainly disagree. If I can diagnose public sentiment at all I am convinced that a very large proportion of the people of this country would very much prefer an elective Senate to the system we now have and I have paid very considerable attention to public sentiment on this matter. The objection has been raised to an elective Senate that it would be simply a reflex of this House. I think an elective Senate could be constituted which would not be a reflex of this House, but would represent quite a different constituency from that represented in this House, and I shall endeavour to outline a system which I think will accomplish this object.

In the first place, I would have the country divided into senatorial divisons.

For example, the county to which I belong now sends three representatives to this House. The adjoining county, represented by my hon. friend the Deputy Speaker, sends two representatives. If these two counties were united and sent one representative to the Senate, and the rest of the Dominion were divided in like manner, I think we would have a representation in the Senate considerably different from that in this House. My own county is at present represented by two Conservatives and one Liberal. The adjoining county of Perth is represented by two Liberals. What would be the political colour of the senatorial representative elected by these two counties it would be impossible to say, though I think it possible that he would have strong Conservative leanings. In the second place, I would have the senators elected for seven or ten years, as the case might be. In the third place, I would have a small property qualification for the electorate. At present, in the province of Ontario at any rate, we have practically a manhood franchise. I would have a property qualification for the senatorial electors somewhat similar to what we have now for our municipal elections in this province. I would also have an educational qualification to the extent that I would require that every elector should be able to read and write in his own language. I would also require each elector -whose name is on the voters' list to go to the polls and deposit his ballot. This is sometimes termed compulsory voting, and is objected to on that score. I fancy, however, that there is no such thing as compulsory voting. It would be impossible to compel a man to vote for either one candidate or another, and it would certainly be very unjust to do so. But I do not think any injustice would be inflicted on any individual by requiring him at least to attend a polling place and deposit his ballot. If he could not conscientiously vote for any one of the candidates, he could at least deposit his ballot, and in this way show that he was prepared to do his duty. I do not think that it would be an undue hardship to any one. The franchise is a privilege granted by the state to the individual; and if the individual does not think sufficiently of this privilege to exercise it, it certainly would be no hardship or no wrong to deprive him of it for at least a season. Consequently, I would say that every voter whose name is on the list and who fails to attend at the polling booth and at least deposit his ballot unless he can give some reasonable excuse satisfactory to some judicial authority, should have his name erased from the voters' list for the subsequent election, and be disfranchised at any rate to that extent. Now, let us see what the result of this

would be. At the last Dominion elections in this country there were on the voters' list 1,461,793 votes. The total vote cast at that election was 1,176,104, leaving 285,689 who did not vote at all. But there were certain elections by acclamation. At these elections there were 22,000 voters, leaving 263,689, or about one-fifth of the voters in Canada who did not record their votes at the last election. In Belgium, where compulsory voting exists, and the only country I know of at the present time where it does exist, at the last election practically the full vote was recorded. So that under thi^* system we would have a large vote brought out which does not appear in the elections to this House, and in that respect, at least, as well as in other respects, we would have a considerably different constituency represented by those who would be elected to the Senate. I would also require the practice of personal canvassing to be prohibited by law. We have been endeavouring long and faithfully in this House to make laws which would ensure electoral purity. I do not know that we have succeeded very well. I do know that we have built up the pains and penalties so high that we are now barely able to see over them, although I must say this for Canada, that I think our elections are as pure if not purer than those of most other countries, and certainly they are as pure as those of the mother country, if we are to judge by the reports concerning the last two general elections there. If we are to judge by these reports, I think our friends in the mother country can give us pointers in the ways that are dark and the tricks that are vain. But notwithstanding that fact, there is a good deal more electoral impurity in connection with our elections in this country than most of us would like to see; and in order to eradicate this evil I think it is necessary to strike at its very root, and strike good and hard. In my humble opinion, this abominable practice of personal canvassing, travelling from concession to concession, from street to street, and from door to door, begging people to come out and vote for you, is demoralizing to the candidate as well as to the elector, and has a very strong tendency to lessen the dignity which should naturally attach to the representative position. It is at this every foundation of much of this electoral impurity in this country. To do away with this evil as much as possible in connection with the senatorial elections, I would make personal canvassing on the part of a candidate an offence that would invalidate the election. I would make personal canvassing on the part of a friend or a supporter of a candidate a ground for disfranchising him at the succeeding election. But in order that the public might be made thoroughly conversant with the public affairs of the country,

2 would also require that each candidate should hold a certain number of meetings within the constituency, which should be well advertised and be open to the public, and at which the affairs of the country should be thoroughly discussed.

Another provision which I think would be advisable in connection with an elective Senate would be in reference to the veto power. I do not like the idea of any body having the veto power over this House. But I think that the function of the Senate, [DOT]constituted as it is now, or as it might be if elected by the people, is that of a revising body. The Senate would have greater leisure to consider the measures .passed by this House, and they might secure from this House additional consideration of any measure they might think required such consideration. Consequently, I think it would be advisable to adopt a system such as has been spoken of in the mother country. That is, a measure objected tQ by the Senate should be sent back to the Commons, and if it should be adopted by the *Commons at three successive sessions, it should become law, even though the Senate objected to it. In that respect, the will of the people would receive full expression, the measure would receive proper consideration, and everybody would have an opportunity of consulting with those whom he represented.

I had not intended to speak on this subject to-day, and am not going to take up much time; nor is it necessary to do so. My principal object , in bringing this matter before the House was to have it discussed here and in the country. I think the scheme I have outlined is desirable and feasible. Every legislative body in a free country should be directly responsible to the people, and I think I have outlined a scheme, which, although it may be faultily outlined, although it could be, in some respects, improved, it at least lays down a basis on which an elective Senate could be constructed, which would be acceptable and beneficial to the people of this country. In conclusion, I have only to say that I would like to see this government take this matter up earnestly, and give it very careful consideration. I sincerely trust that in their wisdom they will be able to evolve a scheme which will remove from this free *country the reproach of having as one of its legislative bodies a body that is entirely irresponsible and over and above the people, and that in this way the government, will redeem the only pledge made by the Liberal party when in opposition that has not been already fully redeemed.

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Subtopic:   THE DOMINION SENATE.
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CON

Thomas Beattie

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. THOMAS BEATTIE (London).

I am sorry I cannot agree with the hon. member for South Huron (Mr. McLean). I do not wish to see the Senate either done away with or made elective. The Prime Minister Mr. McLEAN (Huron).

expressed an idea when this subject was previously under discussion that seemed to me a wise one, and that was to make the term of a senator ten or twelve years, and make retirement compulsory at the age^ of eighty years. To make the Senate elective at this time would be a very serious matter. I agree with those who think it would be well to have the Senate non-partisan. This could be accomplished by having the leaders oi the two parties nominate senators turn about. If you have senators elected they must be elected for large districts, each of them covering at least three or four constituencies of this House. You could not expect to get the best men who have reached advanced years to engage in canvassing so large a district. For instance, take the Minister of Finance (Mr. Fielding), or the Minister of Customs^ (Mr. Paterson)-I think it would be advisable to have them in the Senate. But you could not expect either of these gentlemen to undertake the work of canvassing a large district with a view to election. I never expect to go to the Senate myself, but I certainly would not wish to go if it were necessary to canvass so large a division in order to obtain the position. But if the Prime Minister's idea were carried out and the senator's term made ten or twelve years, with compulsory retirement at eighty years, I think that the change would be a most desirable one. It is true that there are men who, even after eighty years of age, would be good men for the Senate-there are some of them there now. Still, at an advanced age, as a rule, it is -well that men should retire. I hope the head of the present government will carry out the idea that he has expressed.

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Subtopic:   THE DOMINION SENATE.
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CON

Haughton Lennox

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. HAUGHTON LENNOX (South Sim-coe).

I have listened to a great deal of debate in reference to the Senate, and I confess I have never heard any suggestions made that appeared to me advisable to adopt. It is very fashionable to talk against the Senate. I believe that, while they are subject to criticism-or, rather, those who appoint them are subject to criticism-we do not appreciate the Senate to the extent we ought to. For my part, I have no hesitation in saying that, long' ago, I formed the opinion that we required a Senate in Canada, and I see no reason to change my mind. But I think we could have a better condition of things in the Senate-just as we might have a very much better condition of things in the House of Commons. There is no use beating about the bush-there is no difficulty in reforming the Senate if we wish to reform it. There are a lot of excellent men in the Senate. But there are some not so excellent, and the right hon. gentleman (Sir Wilfrid Laurier), who leads the House knew that before he appointed them. He

could have avoided such appointments if he had wanted to: but, if appointments to the Senate are made as reward for stepping down from some other positions, or something of that kind, it must follow-not speaking of any particular gentlemen who got the appointments in these cases-it must follow as a principle that we have bad appointments in the Senate, appointments that never should be made.

When my hon. friend from Lincoln and Niagara (Mr. Lancaster) spoke the other day, the First Minister, if I understood him rightly, was in very low spirits. He regretted exceedingly the condition of the Senate, but he regretted it all the more because he was helpless to avoid it-at least, so he wanted us to understand. But I do not understand it in that way. The main difficulty about the Senate is that the gentleman who, for the time being, has in his control the appointments to the Senate will not deal honestly and squarely by the people of Canada in making these appointments. And I want to tell the Prime Minister squarely to his face that, if the Senate is not in the condition to-day it ought to be in-and it certainly is not-he, above all men in Canada, is responsible. And when he wants the House to understand that he is anxious to reform the Senate, I wish to tell him, through you, Mr. Speaker, that he has had for years the opportunity to reform the Senate, that it was his duty to reform the Senate, and that he has not done it. He could have redeemed his promise without any radical action, and, redeeming his promise, he might have had a Senate which would be the pride of Canada to-day.

Now, I do not believe in the scheme of the hon. gentleman (Mr. McLean, Huron), I believe we have in our constitution at present, the means of forming an able, trustworthy and efficient body of men, who would be a great safeguard to the people of Canada, if the head of the government would only be reasonably honest, and make fair and honest appointments in the interests of the people. I do not know that I have very much hope that the right hon. gentleman will do that. But even at this late day, I do feel that the First Minister ought to take into his serious consideration whether, in view of the promises he made long ago, perhaps in 1893, in view of his duty in any case, if he never made a promise, in view of the solemn pledges he made upon the hustings that he would introduce a reasonable measure of Senate reform, should be not now, even now, in making appointments to the Senate, be guided, not by political expediency, but solely by the public interest, and I say if he did that, we would very soon have a body of which neither side could complain. I said a moment ago that I did not have

much sympathy with those who were always making cheap capital, by decrying the Senate. I like to apeak of that body as a representative body of Canadians, a great body under the constitution of Canada. I have much respect for them, and in past times, they have rendered efficient service to Canada; they have stood between the government and great wrongs sought to be done to the people of Canada, I look to the time, even as the Senate is at present constituted, I look with great hope to a day not far distant, when the Senate will assert itself again, when the Senate will show that those members of parliament who have decried them, have not estimated them according to their real worth. I look to the time at no distant day, before we have done with this reciprocity tariff, when probably the Senate of Canadarwill, as it was designed to do, stand between a government which has not considered the best interests of the people, and the final perpetration of that government's design; will show by their actions, that above all other bodies in Canada, they can be relied upon in the final resort, to stand fairly and squarely in the interest of Canada, uninfluenced by any body of politicians whatever.

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Subtopic:   THE DOMINION SENATE.
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LIB

Wilfrid Laurier (Prime Minister; President of the Privy Council)

Liberal

Sir WILFRID LAURIER.

I am glad to see that my hon. friend (Mr. Lennox) is so sanguine that it is possible to reform the Senate, even without reforming the constitution at all. He looks to the time when the Senate will be up to the high standards which he sets for it, and I suppose there is an alternative of standards. One would meet his views especially if the Senate was composed of angels alone, if the Prime Minister, who is more responsible, I admit, than anybody else, were to select angels, the angel Gabriel and others. I suppose that would meet the views of my hon. friend. If that could not be done, I suppose that a Senate composed of Tories would meet the views of my hon. friend, and I have no doubt that then the Senate would be reformed according to his notions. The difficulty, however, is, that whoever occupies the post which at present, unworthy as I am, I occupy, has to appoint men, and whoever occupies this position will be guided by the motives which generally actuate men. I can assure the House, though perhaps my hon. friend will not believe me-but there are others who will believe me-that in recommendations to His Excellency for appointments to the Senate, I have always thought that I was acting in the best interests of the country. In everything I have done, I have always been actuated by the same motives, I honestly believed that I was serving the best interests of the country. If it were not going out of the scope of this

resolution, I might mention the reciprocity question, which my hon. friend first mentioned; I certainly thought that in this matter, we were acting in the best interests of the country, and I may say that, after having heard my hon. friend to the contrary, I have not changed my opinion either.

Topic:   QUESTIONS.
Subtopic:   THE DOMINION SENATE.
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CON

Haughton Lennox

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. LENNOX.

I think my hon. friend did not hear much of it.

Topic:   QUESTIONS.
Subtopic:   THE DOMINION SENATE.
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LIB

Wilfrid Laurier (Prime Minister; President of the Privy Council)

Liberal

Sir WILFRID LAURIER.

On the contrary, I heard all of it, except the last ten minutes, and I read that part of it; and my hon. friend cannot find fault if I tell him that it was the best part of his speech, because it was composed almost entirely of quotations from myself. So I am perfectly familiar with everything that was said by my hon. friend on that occasion.

This is not the first time that we have heard proposals for the reform of the Senate, discussed in this House; we have had a discussion upon it even during the present session. But the present motion which has been made by my hon. friend from Huron (Mr. McLean) has this advantage over others, that it makes at least some suggestion. All the former motions we have had, have been indefinite in that respect. All pointed to the composition of the Senate as being unsatisfactory, that it did not represent the opinions of the country. But no one who ever made such a motion heretofore offered any practical suggestion. The hon. member for Huron, however, has today made a new departure, he has made a suggestion, a suggestion that we should abandon the present method of appointing the Senate,. and adopt a new method, that is to say, that we should substitute an elective for a nominative Senate. My hon. friend, I think, has realized already, that the remedy which he suggests, would hardly be accepted by this House, nor do I believe by the country, at the present moment. The mode of constituting the Senate by appointment, was adopted, I think in 1865, when the present constitution was formed under the old parliament of Canada; that constitution substituted a nominative for an elective Senate. My hon. friend who knows the history of this country is aware, he cannot have forgotten, that in the old regime, under the constitution of United Canada, which was adopted in 1841, we had as a second chamber a nominative legislative council. There was a dong and anxious struggle to reform this system, and at last it succeeded, and the second chamber, which was called the legislative council, at that time, was made elective-I forget the exact date, but it was between 1855 and 1860. It must be admitted, however, that the elective system which was then adopted and which came into force about 1860, met with serious objections up Sir WILFRID LAURIER.

till about 1864 or 1865, although a number of very able men were in the council at that day.

Topic:   QUESTIONS.
Subtopic:   THE DOMINION SENATE.
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February 27, 1911