termined upon this mere question of regularity, and determined in a sense adverse to the validity of the election, it seems to us wise that that minor question should be removed subject to such conditions, of course, as will do no injustice to the parties ' in the case whatever be the event of the judgment. The Bill contains two clauses. The first clause deals with this particular question of the proclamation, and the second clause is one of general application analogous to a clause already existing in the general Elections Act, substantially providing that no mere defect of form shall invalidate any order given under the Canada Temperance Act pursuant to a plebiscite, unless it appears that the result of the vote has been, by reason of the irregularity complained of, materially altered. This last clause, as I say, is analogous although not in identical words, to a similar clause, proceeding upon the same principle contained in the general Elections Act, and I think it is a clause which will commend itself to the judgment of the members of this House. Taking this particular instance, should it happen that the result of the present proceedings should be a judgment setting aside all that has been done upon the ground of what is claimed to be an irregularity, the country would find itself in this position, that it would be necessary to begin all over again; incur the entire expense of the plebiscite, and furthermore with the prospect-more than the prospect, I think one might say the certainty-that we would have, in connection with the constitutional question involved, the now pending action, which has now reached the Supreme Court, to be gone all over again. All this would entail considerable expense to the parties, and more especially to the country, and would attain no substantial advantage or benefit for any one. It is not, from what we can ascertain, probable that a judgment will be rendered before Parliament prorogues, and if a judgment comes after prorogation, and resting upon this alleged irregularity, there would be no opportunity to take any action for a long period of months, and there would certainly be no opportunity then, by any action that would be taken, to obtain a judgment upon the constitutional questions in the present case. We would then find ourselves with an interregnum of indecision. We might possibly ratify the plebiscite at that time, but it would still be subject to attack upon the . constitutional grounds that are invoked. From every point of view it seems to be
desirable that the matter should be dealt with upon these important constitutional points, and that we should run no risk of its going off upon a mere question of formality, and of a judgment being rendered which, if it rests solely upon that question of formality, will leave all the parties interested, and the country, in the position I have indicated, and subject both to very heavy costs.