May 25, 1933

LIB

William Lyon Mackenzie King (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Liberal

Mr. MACKENZIE KING:

I do not think so. At any rate, the hon. member is free to choose his own language. I just wish to say to him that I am not in the least afraid of the consequences of a campaign in Prince Albert, nor am I afraid of a general campaign whenever it may come, so far as the fortunes of the party which I have the honour to lead are concerned.

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CON

Robert James Manion (Minister of Railways and Canals)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. MANION:

The same applies on this side of the house.

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LIB

William Lyon Mackenzie King (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Liberal

Mr. MACKENZIE KING:

I have spoken longer than I had intended. We have come practically .to the closing hour of the day, but before taking my seat I should like to say just one word further about the Battleford constituencies. I do believe an injustice will be done if they are left in their present form. I mean, the form in which they appear in the redistribution map. Why should we seek the creation of new constituencies under new names, when at the present time we have names which form pant of the history of Canada associated with particular areas?

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CON

Richard Bedford Bennett (Prime Minister; President of the Privy Council; Secretary of State for External Affairs)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. BENNETT:

May I draw the attention of the right hon. gentleman to one matter which concerns me, and with which

[Mr. Mackenzie Kincr.1

I have much difficulty. To change any one constituency in the area to which attention has been directed will necessitate the redrafting of the entire schedule concerning that area. It is a great difficulty. I know the right hon. gentleman opposite appreciates, as he did this afternoon, that the general quota is substantially the same in the whole area, obviously sometimes you have to add on in order that you may properly arrange the population-and this has nothing to do with politics. That was done in some of the seats to which reference has been made. The difficulty is if you change the Battleford constituencies and Prince Albert the whole matter is open again, and you have to rearrange all the northern part of the map. That was the stand taken by the representative on the committee: "You do this, and if you do not do it in the way in which we want it we will object to the whole." If the right hon. gentleman has any explanation I am most anxious to hear it-and I must say I have spent some time looking at the maps to-night. Just how it will be possible to follow his suggestion without recasting the whole, I cannot see.

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LIB

William Lyon Mackenzie King (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Liberal

Mr. MACKENZIE KING:

May I say to

the Prime Minister that while it is perfectly true that in the negotiations, whatever proposals have been put forward from this side have been put forward in reference to a map which represented the constituencies as a whole, so far as the present stage of the discussion is concerned it is not our intention to attempt to continue the discussion on all constituencies. The hon. member for Regina has said some hon. members have not spoken, and he has concluded from that they were-

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CON

Franklin White Turnbull

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. TURNBULL:

No, no. I said they had all spoken, but had not complained of their own ridings. .

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LIB

William Lyon Mackenzie King (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Liberal

Mr. MACKENZIE KING:

It would be

a most extraordinary thing if a redistribution were made in which every member would be so badly treated that he would have to complain about his constituency.

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CON

Franklin White Turnbull

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. TURNBULL:

It does not take much to bring complaints from that side of the house.

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LIB

William Lyon Mackenzie King (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Liberal

Mr. MACKENZIE KING:

I am prepared to admit we are all inclined to search out and it is our duty to search out what appear to us to be insufficiencies or inaccuracies. I wish to say at the moment, however, that we do not intend to go over the entire map of Saskatchewan and hold up this House of Commons simply to have our own way with

Redistribution-Mr. Mackenzie King

respect to any map which has been presented.

I realize and have said from the start that the government has its majority. Further, the Prime Minister has made it clear that he intends to use that majority to have this redistribution put through. If it will facilitate conclusion of matters to have it known that our chief difference at the moment comes down to the constituency of Battleford, or Redberry as it is now proposed to call it, leaving the question of Prince Albert as I have left it, I would say that that, as matters stand, is the point of greatest importance.

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CON

Richard Bedford Bennett (Prime Minister; President of the Privy Council; Secretary of State for External Affairs)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. BENNETT:

Does the right hon.

gentleman refer to the name or to the arrangement of the area?

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LIB

William Lyon Mackenzie King (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Liberal

Mr. MACKENZIE KING:

What I have

in mind is that the constituency to be called Redberry should be permitted to retain the name of North Battleford. For the constituency to retain it appropriately the city of North Battleford, to which the whole commercial and industrial area in the north is related, ought, it seems to me, to be in it. And to arrange this is a matter of very slight readjustment, so far as I can see, because there is only the distance of six miles from the boundary of Redberry to North Battleford. Furthermore, the city of North Battleford is not very large. So far as we are concerned, I think we would approve of any adjustment by hon. members opposite which could be recognized as fair, even if it were to involve taking a corresponding population from one constituency and adding them to another.

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CON

Richard Bedford Bennett (Prime Minister; President of the Privy Council; Secretary of State for External Affairs)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. BENNETT:

Speaking from memory,

I must say to the right hon. gentleman that to do what he suggests will necessitate a change in the constituency directly south, namely that of Kindersley. That matter was considered by the committee, and they found it impossible to adjust the population basis if the boundary of the new projected constituency of North Battleford were carried farther south and took in part of Kindersley. That would make an adjustment necessary in that area, and so on throughout, and the whole map north of the Saskatchewan river would have to be recast. The right hon. gentleman must appreciate that that is the real difficulty. I have looked at the map with great care to-night and I really do not see, in view of the arrangements which have been arrived at with regard to the general principles of equality of population, how such a change could be made. I make that statement frankly.

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LIB

William Lyon Mackenzie King (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Liberal

Mr. MACKENZIE KING:

We have

reached the hour for adjournment. I should like to ask the Prime Minister to take another look at the map to-night, to see if it is not possible, without in any way prejudicing the map as a Whole, to make the slight readjustments which ought to be made. I have looked at it and I must say I cannot agree when he states that to do this will in any way upset the whole arrangement.

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CON

Richard Bedford Bennett (Prime Minister; President of the Privy Council; Secretary of State for External Affairs)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. BENNETT:

Did the right hon. gentleman look at the Kindersley situation?

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LIB
CON

Richard Bedford Bennett (Prime Minister; President of the Privy Council; Secretary of State for External Affairs)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. BENNETT:

And Rosthern?

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LIB
CON

Richard Bedford Bennett (Prime Minister; President of the Privy Council; Secretary of State for External Affairs)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. BENNETT:

And Rosetown?

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LIB

William Lyon Mackenzie King (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Liberal

Mr. MACKENZIE KING:

Yes. I think

it is quite possible to take part of the immediate environment as between the two Battlefords themselves and make the necessary adjustment. However I shall leave the matter in the hands of the right hon. gentleman.

Progress reported.

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At eleven o'clock the house adjourned without question put pursuant to standing order. Friday, May 26, 1933


May 25, 1933