Ah yes, and it is democratic because each local, scattered, as the hon. gentleman himself has said, over the most highly organized and one of the most efficient U.F.A. districts in Alberta sends its delegate to the convention on the basis of one delegate to every ten members, or minor portion thereof. Each local is entitled to one delegate, and they vote, nominate and
decide. The officials have nothing to do with it. The president is in the chamber at the moment and can corroborate what I say. The officials take no part in the constituency nomination or in financing the election of the candidate. It is the most completely democratic representative type of political movement that you have in Canada at this moment, and no one knows it better, if he would only do himself and it justice, than the hon. member for East Calgary.
Further on in the course of his speech the hon. member did disclose one of the underlying objectives. First of all I have alluded to his desire to try and make for himself as safe a seat as possible under the circumstances by getting rid of what he knows is going to be an adverse vote for him in the next election in East Calgary, by getting rid of the rural territory north of Calgary.
But there was another and a deeper motive. He hopes, as was intimated, to split the labour and farmer cooperative forces. He hopes that by getting industrial Drumheller and industrial East Calgary together they will be anxious to nominate a straight Labour candidate, and that the Labour men will vote for the Labour candidate and the farmers will vote for a farmer candidate. That is the hon. gentleman's hope. I personally have no fear in the matter because there is no section in all of Canada in which a finer feeling of cooperation between farmer and Labour groups exists with such completeness as in that very district. As far as I am concerned, the hon. gentleman himself said to me, "What are you objecting to? You will be safer there than in any other seat." He does not deny it.
I am not going to enter into the field of political controversy in this matter. If the government is determined to put through what will look to everybody who looks at the map as a distinct gerrymander of the city of Calgary, if the government is prepared to accept responsibility for that, that is their business. If the government is willing to accept responsibility for dissociating the cities of Strathmore and Gleichen from their natural Calgary interests and the district contiguous thereto, that is their responsibility. I have put in my protest, and in as reasonable a fashion as possible, and with that I rest my case.
Mr. Chairman, we have heard from almost every province in the dominion except Ontario. I desire to say a word or two about the redistribution in that province, particularly in western Ontario. I fully realize that a redistribution of seats is a
large problem for any government, and from the discussions which have taken place from day to day in this chamber, and perhaps will continue longer, it shows that there is still a great division of opinion as to whether the proposals are fair or unfair. Any remarks I have to make will be more in the way of criticism, particularly with regard to western Ontario.
When the government introduced this bill they apparently had in their minds the thought that they would decrease by four or five seats the representation in the rural sections of the province of Ontario, and that they would add three seats to the city of Toronto and the one or two remaining seats to some other point in the province. I want to warn the government, if they have not already been sufficiently warned, that cutting out rural representation and adding more seats to the city of Toronto will not help to quiet the unrest which abounds throughout the country. This is a very dangerous time to go ahead with any such scheme. I am fully conscious of the growth of the population of the city of Toronto. The Prime Minister speaking the other day said that if Montreal had its fair proportion of seats it would have twenty-four.
Yes. By following the imit of population Montreal would have twenty-four members. I have often watched hon. members from the city of Toronto, and it always appears to me that the greatest difficulties they have in reaching the House of Commons are those of securing nomination. That is where they have their elections; that is where they have their difficulties; that is where they have their worries. Having received the nomination they are practically elected.
I am speaking particularly about the Conservative members from the city of Toronto. I am glad to say that there is one Liberal member from that city and while I do not wish to make any prophecies as to what will happen in a future election, I would go as far as to say that after the next general election, whenever it comes, there will be four or five Liberal members from that city.
That will be the result, despite the gerrymandering, if you wish so to term it, which is going on in the province of Ontario, and the effort to deplete and take away from the farmers their proper representation, thereby increasing the representation of the city of Toronto from nine members to eleven members. We have heard the statement that members from the province of Ontario are satisfied with the proposals which have been made and which, in the course of a day or two, will be brought down in the redrafted bill. I wish to say however that so far as I am concerned-and I believe I voice the views of many other Liberal members from the province of Ontario-I am not at all satisfied with the arrangements which have been made, despite the fact the statement is made that everything has been agreed upon and that it will go through without protest. It shall not go through without my first registering a criticism and protest against it, no matter whether it has been agreed upon or not.
My criticism applies to western Ontario. The proposal is to go into three historic counties of Ontario, namely, Bruce, Perth and Oxford, and to eliminate one seat from each of those counties. I do not know that I have any objection to the union of counties, where population and areas warrant only one representative. That procedure may be proper, if it were done fairly and with a spirit of justice. I wish to speak concerning that part of the county of Perth which I have the honour of representing, namely South Perth. The proposal is to unit the two constituencies in the county of Perth into one seat. But that is not the proposition which will come before this House of Commons. The proposal which will come before us is to unite North Perth and South Perth, with the exception of two townships. It is suggested that if these historic townships are left in the constituency the population of Perth will be too high. That is the excuse given.
Let me point out what the provincial government has done in their redistribution of the county of Perth. Apparently they thought Perth had not sufficient population. They united South Perth and everything in South Perth with everything in North Perth, and by some process of elimination or of moving through the air or under the ground they have added the town of Palmerston in South Wellington to the county of Perth, increasing the population one way and proposing to decrease it in another. There is only one reason for taking the townships of Hibbert and Fullanton out of South Perth and putting them into South Huron. It was done for political purposes, to weaken the Liberal candidate who will run for the county of Perth in the next federal election. There was only one reason why the provincial government took from another county the town of Palmerston and added it to the county of Perth; it was done to load the dice, to stack the cards.
Now, Mr. Chairman, I want to refer briefly to the political history of the county of Perth, showing that from 1867 right down to the present day North Perth-not altogether consistently, but almost consistently-has elected a Conservative to the House of Commons; and you will find that South Perth has done exactly the opposite, that since 1867 South Perth has voted Liberal with the exceptions of 1911 and 1917, 1911 being the famous reciprocity election, and 1917 the war time election. I want to read to the house the record of the general elections in North Perth:
Year- Party Majority
I would like now to put on the record the results of general elections in South Perth from 1867 to 1930:
Year- Party Majority
* By acclamation.
1908-Liberal 1911-Conservative.. ..
My point is that in uniting South Perth with North Perth the government should have been fair enough to take the chance on the record of the elections even going back to 1867. It is a horse race, it is practically a tie, a neck and neck race, in South Perth and in North Perth. But they are not fair enough to take all that comprises South Perth; they take out two townships with a population of over 3,000 and add them to South Huron. Now what is the reason for that; what is the explanation? Is it not to handicap the Liberal candidate when he runs in the whole county of Perth and give an advantage to the Conservative candidate? TLat is not fair. It cannot be defended in any way, mathematically or geographically. I would like hon. members to look at the map of the county of Perth. It will be seen that what they propose to do is deliberately to reach over the fence and take two historic townships which have been in South Perth since confederation, for purely political purposes to take them out of Perth county and put them in another county. I want to be perfectly fair and candid about this matter; there is not a Liberal in South Perth who would be opposed to the joining of the whole of South Perth with the whole of North Perth, making one seat for the county and taking their chance, win or lose. But in this way the government and the committee are taking an unjust advantage, doing an injustice to the Liberal party and the Liberal candidate, whoever he may be. There is no justification for it in respect of population, as I propose to show.
Mr. Chairman, in order that we may deal with the amendment made by the Senate to Bill No. 71, an act to amend the criminal code, about which we have had a good deal of discussion, I propose to move that the committee rise and report progress and ask
leave to sit again in order that the Speaker may take the chair so that we may send a message to their honours for the purpose of enabling the Senate to reconsider the amendment. I move that the committee rise and report progress and ask leave to sit again this day.
That a message be sent to the Senate to acquaint their honours that this house disagrees with their amendment to Bill No. 71, an act to amend the criminal code, for the following reasons: "Because the deletion of subsection 3 of section 3 makes the whole section 3 not sufficiently effective." .
That the clerk of the house do carry the said message to the Senate.
Topic: CRIMINAL CODE AMENDMENT
Subtopic: NON-CONCURRENCE IN SENATE AMENDMENT
The bill comes back to us after having been amended by the Senate. Section 3 is the section that deals with irrebuttable presumption, and it is struck out; therefore the whole section 3 becomes practically inoperative. I have reason to believe that a new amendment will be proposed in the Senate, I hope in the course of the day, which will acceptable to this house.
Topic: CRIMINAL CODE AMENDMENT
Subtopic: NON-CONCURRENCE IN SENATE AMENDMENT