May 25, 1933

LIB

William Lyon Mackenzie King (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Liberal

Mr. MACKENZIE KING:

Yes, I referred to the three candidates. Those were the figures which the committee dealing with redistribution had before it in 1924. I have shown the results after 1924, namely that these new parts gave the present Conservative member a majority of 420. I did say that I had carried the old constituency of North York. It may appear that in that statement I was not wholly correct, but I shall point out to the house just exactly what I meant. I should perhaps have specially mentioned the persons who came up from Toronto to vote in North York, but who were not, in any sense of the word, electors in the old North York constituency.

May I point out that the majority of the hon. member for North York was 494. That would mean that in the old riding of North York the hon. member received apparently a majority of 74, having received 420 in the

Redistribution-Mr. Mackenzie King

added parts. As I have said, those 74 votes are more than accounted for by persons who came from the city of Toronto to vote in North York constituency. My hon. friend cannot deny that. I believe he has said that that was not the year in which they came up, but I say to him it was the year in which they came up and in which they came in large numbers. What took place was this: Many hon. members who are familiar with Toronto and the parts adjoining know that a large number of Toronto citizens, persons whose names appear on the voters' lists in Toronto, have summer residences in certain parts of North York constituency. The election in 1925 was held on October 29 of that year. The writs were issued on September 5, and according to the act as it stood at that time, although it was never contemplated in the minds of hon. members that anything of the kind should take place, those persons who had been in the constituency for a period of two months prior to the issue of the writ, and had been in the country for a year, were permitted to vote in that constituency. As I say, the persons who were in North York as summer residents only were not intended to be as hon. members in this house will understand, in any sense electors in the constituency of North York. They were voting municipally in Toronto; they were voting in general elections in Toronto-

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LAB
?

Mr. MACKENZIE ICING@

I understand

that many of them did vote twice-I do not think there is any doubt about it

voted in North Y'ork and Toronto as well. I know one person who told me he did. The point I make is that it was never intended by any parliament of Canada that persons on the voters' lists in the city of Toronto should exercise their franchise in a rural constituency. So much was that condition of affairs regarded a-s an outrage at the time, that I stated that if a Liberal administration was ever in power again we would see that before a general election took place the intention of parliament, as it undoubtedly had been understood, would be carried out to the letter.

Hon. members will recall that immediately after the election in 1925 there was no opportunity for the then Liberal administration to deal with the Dominion Elections Act. The government headed by the Right Hon. Arthur Meighen came into office for a short time in 1926, and conducted the general election of that year. Again summer residents voted in North York. A Liberal administration again came into power and before the election of 1930 the Dominion Elections Act was amended

by this House of Commons, to meet the situation I have just referred to. The amendment reads as follows:

No person shall, for the purpose of this act, be deemed to be resident at the date of the issue of the writ in quarters or premises which are ordinarily occupied only during some or all of the months of May to October, inclusive, and ordinarily remain unoccupied during some or all of the months of November to April, inclusive, unless-

(a) he is occupying such quarters in the course of and in the pursuit of his ordinary gainful occupation; or

(b) he has no quarters in any other electoral district to which, at the date of the issue of the writ, he might at will remove.

I am sure that was always the intention of parliament with regard to what should govern with respect to the franchise. So I repeat that what I said the other day is correct, that the constituency of North York as it was in December of 1921, when electors from Toronto could not go to summer residences there, was the constituency that returned me, and had only the residents of North York voted in the next election I certainly would have had a majority in my old constituency.

Now I should like to point out what the Prime Minister is reported as having said at page 5342 of Hansard:

Undoubtedly where two courses were open our friends chose the course that was more helpful to them.

Some hon. Members: Oh, oh.

Mr. Bennett: Of course, just as in 1924 the course chosen was the one more favourable to the party then in power.

I say to the Prime Minister that the course followed in 1924, so far as I had anything to do with it, weis one by which it was sought to be eminently fair and just to all parties in this house-

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CON
LIB

William Lyon Mackenzie King (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Liberal

Mr. MACKENZIE KING:

and with regard to my own constituency of North York, to which I have just referred, the irrebuttable evidence is that the course pursued was decidedly to my own disadvantage.

Now let me pass on to Prince Albert. For reasons best known to himself the Prime Minister seemed to take some exception to the fact that in my reference to Prince Albert I said that it had elected Sir Wilfrid Laurier and that it had a certain Liberal tradition. I imagine the Prime Minister spent a good part of the dinner hour in an endeavour to see what he could discover that might help appear to refute that statement.

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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:

You are mistaken there.

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LIB

William Lyon Mackenzie King (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Liberal

Mr. MACKENZIE KING:

Perhaps just part of the dinner hour.

Redistribution-Mr. Mackenzie King

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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:

No, I knew it.

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LIB

William Lyon Mackenzie King (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Liberal

Mr. MACKENZIE KING:

My right hon. friend knew it from memory, then. I am surprised that, remembering so much, my right hon. friend did not remember that the people of Prince Albert, whom he has visited at different times, take to this day a great pride in the fact that they helped elect Sir Wilfrid Laurier as their representative. As hon. members well know, at the time Sir Wilfrid was elected the western constituency was much larger than it is to-day. In the contest of 1898, Sir Wilfrid Laurier ran for two constituencies, Quebec East and Saskatchewan. At that time the constituency of Saskatchewan included what is now Prince Albert, and the people of Prince Albert, as I think I can show in a moment, gave a majority to Sir Wilfrid Laurier. In that sense-and it was in that sense I meant it-I said the riding had an association with Sir Wilfrid Laurier and that he had been elected in Prince Albert, just as my hon. friend said the other day that when he was first returned to parliament he represented the whole of Alberta.

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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:

No, I was defeated.

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LIB

William Lyon Mackenzie King (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Liberal

Mr. MACKENZIE KING:

My hon. friend ran for the whole of Alberta; I am sorry I did not hear him say he was defeated. At any rate I do not assume that my hon. friend will deny that if Calgary was a part of the constituency of Alberta at that time, which I assume it was, he was a candidate in Calgary.

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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:

No, I was a candidate in the constituency of Alberta.

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LIB

William Lyon Mackenzie King (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Liberal

Mr. MACKENZIE KING:

Did Calgary have separate representation?

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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:

No, Edmonton, Calgary, Macleod and Wetaskiwin were all part of the constituency; Battleford was part of it also, when it was the capital of the old Northwest Territories.

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LIB

William Lyon Mackenzie King (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Liberal

Mr. MACKENZIE KING:

Then my right hon. friend would be quite correct if he said to-day that he had been a candidate in Calgary at that particular election. It was a larger constituency, but it included Calgary.

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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:

There was no constituency of Calgary.

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LIB

William Lyon Mackenzie King (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Liberal

Mr. MACKENZIE KING:

No, the constituency of Alberta included Calgary, and if my hon. friend had been elected in Calgary -I do not know whether or not he was-I should think he would be very proud to mention that fact to-day and would not deny it. The Prime Minister sought to give particular

emphasis to what he was saying by citing the Parliamentary Guide, but let us cite what the Parliamentary Guide indicates with regard to the question whether or not Prince Albert was represented by Sir Wilfrid Laurier and has a certain Liberal tradition. The constituency of Prince Albert, Saskatchewan, is referred to at page 278 of the Parliamentary Guide, and in that connection there is this footnote:

See Assiniboia, and particularly the reference under that head to the old electoral division of Saskatchewan.

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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:

I read that.

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LIB
CON

Thomas Herbert Lennox

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. LENNOX:

In the reciprocity election Armstrong, the first Tory member, was elected by only 59.

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May 25, 1933