Right Hon. R. B. BENNETT (Leader of the Opposition):
The amendments made in
the Senate are really for the purpose of meeting what I conceive to be a valid objection as to the exercise of its powers by this parliament. Whether or not that is being done I am in doubt. The proposed amendments provide that this act shall be read and construed as one with the following acts: The Manitoba Natural Resources Act, the Alberta Natural Resources Acts, and the Saskatchewan Natural Resources Acts. The effect of that is to seek to remedy the difficulty to which attention was directed and treat the amendments now made as though it were part of the original agreement, so that they should be read together as one agreement. Whether or not that is achieved I have some doubt, but certainly it does give a semblance of authority to this parliament to deal with it by endeavouring to make it appear that the proposals now made were proposals that appeared in the original agreements. To that extent I am certain that it does greatly improve the situation; but I still have grave doubts as to whether it may not be considered an amendment of the constitution. That in itself requires the approval of the imperial parliament to give it validity, in view of the fact that we did specially reserve the water under the lands, and did not include it in the transfer of resources. But the amendment as proposed will at least have this effect: it will link the statute under consideration with the original agreement, making them read as one.
Subtopic: CONFIRMATION OF CERTAIN AGREEMENTS BETWEEN DOMINION GOVERNMENT AND PROVINCES OF MANITOBA, SASKATCHEWAN AND ALBERTA- CONCURRENCE IN SENATE AMENDMENTS