June 18, 1946

LIB

Humphrey Mitchell (Minister of Labour)

Liberal

Mr. MITCHELL:

By telegram I am urging upon the president of the union and the secretary of the Canadian Manufacturers Association, who has been acting for the operators, that union and plant operators give full cooperation to this plan in order to get the mills started up again because of the importance of preventing further waste in food. Hon. members will understand, of course, that this action is being taken as a joint decision of the federal and British Columbia governments and therefore carries with it the authority of both governments. I sincerely hope that the action will be endorsed and accepted by those immediately concerned in the dispute.

I should like to make it plain to hon. members that there is still the major problem brought about through the stoppage of work in the lumbering and logging industry, mainly in the coastal region. Chief Justice Sloan, it will be recalled, has been acting as a commissioner and has made a recommendation for an increase of fifteen cents an hour with a revocable check-off of union dues. These proposals have been accepted by the operators. In my judgment they are fair and reasonable and should be agreed to by the men. I would urge upon them that they adopt the proposals and go back to work. It is my earnest wish that members of this house use their influence to bring about an acceptance of Commissioner Sloan's proposals and a return to work of those engaged in production that is so vital to the economy of the nation.

Labour Conditions

The order in council is as follows:

Topic:   LABOUR CONDITIONS
Subtopic:   LUMBER INDUSTRY-STRIKE IN BRITISH COLUMBIA
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P.C. 2503


At the Government House at Ottawa Tuesday, the 18th day of June, 1946. Present : His Excellency The Governor General in Council: Whereas upon a dispute arising between certain operators of several logging camps, saw mills, woodworking plants, shingle and planing mills and sash and door mills in the province ot British Columbia, and the employees in those camps, plants and mills who are members of International Woodworkers of America, the Honourable G. McG. Sloan, chief justice of British Columbia, was appointed an industrial disputes enquiry commissioner to inquire into and report on the said dispute as the same concerns wage rates and other conditions of employment; And whereas on the fifteenth day of May, 1946, the said International Woodworkers of America, acting on behalf of the said employees, declared a strike whereupon the employees -went on strike, and since the said date have continued to be on strike; And whereas the Honourable George S. Pearson, minister of labour for the province of British Columbia, has advised that in consequence of the continued work stoppage resulting from the said strike, wooden containers are not now available for use in harvesting and marketing the fruit and vegetable crop of that province, and, further, that unless sufficient quantities of such wooden containers are made available immediately for such use, great loss will be sustained by the fruit and vegetable growers in the province and great waste of essential food will result; And whereas the said Honourable George S. Pearson recommends that a controller be appointed to take charge of and to operate such and as many of the said camps, mills and plants a_s he considers necessary to produce the requisite quantities of the required types and sizes of the said wooden containers for the uses aforementioned, and, further, that the controller shall have power to direct the said employees or any of them to return to work; Therefore, his excellency the governor general in council, on the recommendation of the Minister of Labour, and under the authority of the National Emergency Transitional Powers Act, 1945, is pleased to make and doth hereby make the following order: Order 1. Gordon Bell, esquire, of the city of Vancouver, in the province of British Columbia, financial agent, is hereby appointed controller of the business, undertaking and establishment of every person, firm or corporation in the said province, engaged in the operation of a saw mill or woodworking plant and in particular every woodworking plant normally engaged in the manufacture of wooden containers for use in the harvesting and marketing of fruit and vegetables or of a logging camp normally engaged in the supply of logs for any such plant. 2. The said controller shall have the custody and control over the property and assets of any such person, firm or corporation as he, in his uncontrolled discretion and judgment, may deem necessary in order to manage, operate and carry on the business of such person, firm or corporation, and he shall, for such purposes, have and exercise the powers, authorities and rights of the board of directors of any such corporation. 3. The controller shall exercise the foregoing powers and authorities subject to such instructions and directions, if any, as may from time to time be approved by the Minister of Labour for Canada. 4. The Minister of Labour for Canada may, for purposes of this order, from time to time appoint one or more deputy controllers who shall have and exercise any and all of the powers conferred on the controller subject to any restrictions thereof which the controller may from time to time impose and subject, in all cases, to review by the controller. 5. The controller, any deputy controller or any person acting for or on behalf of or under the authority of the controller shall not become liable to any person for anything done or omitted in the exercise or purported exercise of any powers or authority from time to time vested in or conferred upon the said controller. 6. The authority of the controller shall commence at 12 o'clock noon, the 19th day of June, 1946, and shall continue until the same is revoked by order in council which shall be published in the Canada Gazette. 7. The authority of the board of directors of any corporation affected by this order is, subject to section 10 of this order and insofar as the same is abrogated by or pursuant to section 2 of this order, suspended from 12 o'clock noon, the 19th day of June. 1946. until the powers, authority and rights of the controller in respect of such corporation shall be revoked. 8. It shall be the duty of every person who was in the employ of any such person, firm or corporation on or immediately prior to the 15th day of May, 1946, to perform the duties of his employment as and when required to do so by the controller and he shall continue to perform such duties until the authority of the controller is revoked: and every person who fails to perform liis duties as aforesaid as hereinafter required without lawful excuse, the onus of proof of which is upon him. is guilty of an offence and liable upon summary conviction to a fine of $20 for each day or part of a day in which he fails so to perform his duties. 9. Each and every person who was in the employ of any person, firm or corporation affected by this order shall forthwith return to his place of employment and shall be paid wages at the rate in effect for him on the 15th dav of May, 1946. - 10. The Minister of Labour for Canada shall request the said commissioner, the chief justice of British Columbia. G. McG. Sloan, to commence his duties as commissioner; and the bargaining representatives oi the aforesaid employees and each person, firm or corporation concerned herewith shall enter into negotiations with a view to the settlement of the matters presently in dispute between them, and shall negotiate in good faith with one another and make every reasonable effort to conclude a settlement. If by reason of such further negotiations, the parties agree upon an amount as an increase in the wage rates for the said employees, such increase shall, subject to the approval of the regional war labour board for British Columbia, be effective as and from the date upon which the employee returns to work.



Redistribution



11. Any person who (a) interferes with the exercise by the controller or any deputy controller of any of the powers, authorities and rights conferred upon him, or (b) interferes with any employee or other person seeking to comply with the terms of this order or (e) counsels or procures any person to violate this order, shall be guilty of an offence and liable upon summary conviction to a fine not exceeding in the case of (a) $5,000 or imprisonment for a term not exceeding five years or to both such fine and such imprisonment; and in the case of (b) or (c), to a fine not exceeding $500 or imprisonment for a term not exceeding six months or to both such fine and such imprisonment.


LIB

Humphrey Mitchell (Minister of Labour)

Liberal

Hon. HUMPHREY MITCHELL (Minister of Labour):

With the consent of the house I should like to make a short announcement. This afternoon I read a statement and tabled an order in council in reference to the labour dispute in British Columbia. To-night I am happy to tell the house that I have been informed through Chief Justice Sloan that both parties to the dispute have accepted the advice given them, and I understand that work will commence to-morrow.

Topic:   P.C. 2503
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BUSINESS OF THE HOUSE

LIB

Ian Alistair Mackenzie (Minister of Veterans Affairs; Leader of the Government in the House of Commons; Liberal Party House Leader)

Liberal

Hon. IAN MACKENZIE (Minister of Veterans Affairs):

Mr. Speaker, in view of the fact that the house has reverted to the order for motions, I move, seconded by the Minister of Justice (Mr. St. Laurent);

That there be an intermission in the sitting of this house this day between six o'clock and nine o'clock, notwithstanding the provisions of standing order 6 in relation thereto.

Topic:   BUSINESS OF THE HOUSE
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PC

John Bracken (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Progressive Conservative

Mr. BRACKEN:

That is acceptable to us.

Topic:   BUSINESS OF THE HOUSE
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Motion agreed to.


REDISTRIBUTION

AMENDMENT TO BRITISH NORTH AMERICA ACT AS TO RULES FOR READJUSTMENT OF REPRESENTATION


The house resumed consideration of the motion of Mr. St. Laurent for an address to His Majesty the King praying that a measure be laid before the parliament of the United Kingdom to effect an amendment to the British North America Act with respect to readjustment of the representation in the House of Commons, and the amendment thereto of Mr. Diefenbaker.


LIB

Hedley Francis Gregory Bridges (Minister of Fisheries)

Liberal

Hon. H. F. G. BRIDGES (Minister of Fisheries) :

Mr. Speaker, in continuing the debate on this important resolution, and the amendment thereto, I should like first of all to say that I have been greatly impressed by the speeches delivered by many hon. members who

have spoken before me, and I say this in all sincerity. Naturally I do not agree with all that has been said in the debate, but I wish to say what has impressed me most is that so many hon. members have done so much by way of preparation and research before making their contributions to the debate. I believe the whole house will agree with me when I say that this comment applies to members of all political parties. I feel it speaks well for this parliament, and, further, that it augurs well for the future of Canada, especially when one realizes that so many who have spoken so well are new members in the house. They have set a high standard in debate, and it will be difficult for me to maintain the same high standard. I feel, however, that it is incumbent upon me to make some remarks on this occasion, not especially because I am a member of the government, but because this resolution has been attacked by two members from my own province who are members of the Progressive Conservative party.

In 1867 there was passed by the imperial parliament what is known as the British North America Act, which is really not only the constitution of Canada, but also the constitution of the various provinces which make up our country. Time will not permit, nor is the house interested at this stage, in the details respecting all the preliminaries which led up to the passing of that act. At any rate it is sufficient to say that it was the result of Canadian statesmanship-and not British-and that it was the guiding genius of Sir John A. Macdonald, ably assisted by Sir George Etienne Cartier, Messrs. Tupper, Tilley and others, who paved the way for the passing of that act. One should add that, taking all things into consideration, they did an extremely good job. However, I feel that those of us of the third and fourth generation of Canadians since that date have just a little bit of criticism to make. They did not provide any means of amending our own constitution. The omission may have been deliberate or it may have been accidental, especially as there was little interest or little enthusiasm in the imperial parliament at the time of the passing of the act. Sir John A. Macdonald compared its progress in the British House of Commons to that of a private bill uniting two or three English parishes. The record is not clear, I believe, as to just how this omission occurred.

In discussing the question before the house, I do not pretend to do so as an authority on constitutional law. There are others in the house far more capable and competent to do so than I am. I speak, however, as one who is keenly interested in Canada and in Canada's

Redistribution

future. While I am deeply conscious of the glories of tradition, as a Liberal I do not feel that I should be steeped in tradition. I therefore do not feel that our constitution should be like the laws of the Medes and the Persians, which altereth not. I regard our constitution as being like a suit or garment which was made in 1867 to fit the Canadian body politic. It has been an extremely good suit, and it has been made of extremely good cloth. It has worn well, and still has a lot of good wear in it. But time has marched on, and the Canadian body politic has grown up. Our suit is now a bit tight in spots; and, what is more important, it is no longer appropriate for the various occasions on which we have to wear it. One obviously feels that it is necessary that it should be altered. But the questions are and will be for the future, how should it be altered and who will be the tailor who is to make those alterations? As a Canadian I feel that we should be our own tailors.

Other members of the British commonwealth have the right to amend their own constitutions, and we should have the same right. If Australia and South Africa can amend their constitutions, why should not we? However, as yet we have not yet that privilege; and it will no doubt take much study on the part of many good Canadians before some suitable machinery can be adopted to enable us to amend our constitution. As I said before, the British North America Act is the constitution not only of Canada, but also of the provinces; and in order to arrive at a conclusion as to just what the machinery should be to amend all sections of the British North America Act, it would of course, be necessary that the provinces, or the people in those provinces should be consulted. At the present time all we in this parliament can do is to pass a resolution asking the imperial parliament to amend the act. That is just what the government of the day is proposing to do in connection with this redistribution bill.

That brings us to the question as to whether or not the provinces should be consulted before we pass this particular resolution. That question has come up before, and no doubt will come up again, as long as the present system of amendment exists. I am going to repeat what our able Minister of Justice (Mr. St. Laurent) said on May 28, when moving the resolution, since it is a statement with which I am in complete accord:

The provinces, that is to say, the people of the provinces, are all represented in this parliament, and for the purposes of such matters as are confined to the jurisdiction of this parliament it is by those representatives here that

63260-165J

the people of the provinces speak. There are other matters given by the act to the jurisdiction of the provincial legislatures and the provincial governments: with respect to any of those it is my view that it would not be possible to deal with them without the consent of those to whose jurisdiction they have been confided.

With that statement of the Minister of Justice I repeat that I am in complete accord. I am sure no one in the house contends that we would be in order in passing a resolution requesting an amendment which would materially affect any of the matters which come within the exclusive jurisdiction of the provincial governments or provincial legislatures without prior consultation with those provinces. Does anyone for one minute really believe that this or any other government would dare to endeavour to amend sections 92 or 93 of the British North America Act without consultation with the provinces? If we did, I am sure the imperial parliament would not accede to that request. With regard, however, to those other matters, such as the present resolution before the house, I am firmly convinced that it is not necessary that this house should consult the provinces in dealing with this question.

I believe there have been nine amendments of the British North America Act, and only on two occasions were the provinces consulted prior to the passing of those amendments. I am sure that when the Minister of Justice makes his reply he will deal quite fully with the same. Others have spoken as to what was done by Sir Robert Borden and Sir Wilfrid Laurier in other cases. But let us consider for the moment just what happened only a few years after confederation, and when the fathers of confederation were still alive. To begin with, there is not the slightest doubt but that at the time of the passing of the British North America Act Sir John A. Macdonald was most keen that this country should have a strong central government and central parliament. It should be borne in mind that our act was passed just after the awful American civil war. Sir John and the fathers of confederation knew what disastrous consequences might occur if there were not a strong central government. He was therefore desirous that this country should be called the kingdom of Canada, but in that he did not succeed. He was also desirous that all the residuary powers not specifically assigned to the provinces should be assigned to the new government and parliament of Canada, and in that he did succeed. As we all know, this characteristic of our constitution is the direct reverse of the constitution of the United States.

R edis tribulion

After dealing with the problems which arose shortly after confederation, it was proposed to extend better terms to Nova Scotia. Mark you, that was in 1869, two years after the passing of the B.N.A. Act. On this occasion, Mr. Holton, a member of this house, on the second reading of the bill moved as follows:

That in the opinion of this house any disturbance of the financial arrangements respecting the several provinces provided in the B.N.A. Act unless assented to by all the provinces, would be subversive of the system of government under which the dominion was constituted.

That resolution was the first formal enunciation of what is known as the compact theory of confederation or the doctrine that all the provinces must be consulted and must assent before any change can be made to the constitution. The resolution was rejected on that occasion by the government of Sir John A. Macdonald and by the House of Commons, which included in its members at that time many of the actual fathers of confederation such as Messrs. Macdonald, Cartier, Galt, Tilley and Tupper, who voted against the resolution. That was in 1869, two years after confederation.

Again in 1871, two years later, the question of provincial consent was revived in connection with the passing of an act by the imperial parliament for the purpose of removing doubts as to the power of the Canadian parliament to pass the Manitoba Act. At that time Mr. Mills, then a member of the House of Commons, moved several resolutions protesting against the procedure followed by the government of the day. One of those resolutions was as follows:

That the representative legislatures of the provinces now embraced by the union have agreed to the same on a federal basis which has been sanctioned by the imperial parliament. This house is of opinion that any alteration by imperial legislation of the number of representatives of the House of Commons recognized and fixed by the 51st and 52nd sections of the British North America Act without the consent of the several provinces that were parties to the compact would be a violation of the federal principle in our constitution and destruction of the independence and security of the provincial governments and legislatures.

Again, this was a definite assertion of the theory that the provinces should be consulted before any changes should be made which would affect representation as provided by sections 51 and 52 of the British North America Act. This was only four years after confederation, but again the government, under the leadership of Sir John A. Macdonald declined to approve such a principle and the motion was rejected without debate. Not only was it rejected without debate, but I believe

it was rejected without a recorded vote. The provinces were not consulted on that occasion, and there was no united protest on their part against the procedure that was followed. The fathers of confederation were still alive and were for the most part sitting in this House of Commons. They did not either suggest or approve the procedure which is being suggested to-day by the amendment to the resolution. Surely they, with the memories of the Charlottetown, Quebec and London conferences still fresh in their minds, were in a far better position to decide what the procedure should be in such cases than should the Progressive Conservative party be some seventy or eighty years later.

The main part of the amendment to the resolution before the house reads:

Now therefore be it resolved that the government be required to consult at once the several provinces and upon satisfactory conclusion of such consultations be authorized to present an humble address to His Majesty in the following terms.

We, therefore, have again in the wording of this amendment a request to consult the provinces. The gist of the amendment seems to be in the words "that upon satisfactory conclusion of such consultations." I should like to ask hon. members on the other side of the house, when they use the expression "satisfactory conclusion" to whom do they consider that these conclusions should be satisfactory? Do they mean that these consultations should be satisfactory to this parliament? Or do they mean that they should be satisfactory to each and every one of the whole nine provinces which make up Canada? Do they mean that they should be satisfactory to seven provinces and not satisfactory to the provinces of Quebec and Ontario? Or do they mean that they should be satisfactory to some provinces and not to others?

We in this house are fully aware just how difficult a matter it is to get all the provinces to agree with the dominion government or to agree among themselves. We recently had the spectacle of an interprovincial conference which dragged on and on. I am sure that no one in this house will contend that the result of those consultations was satisfactory in any sense of the word. To my mind, the amendment to the resolution is not a practical one without further explanation as to just what the word "satisfactory" means. I am going to vote against the amendment. I do not believe it is a practical suggestion, nor do I believe, according to our constitution, that we have to consult the provinces on matters of this kind.

Redistribution

To come now to the main resolution which has been debated at considerable length from many corners of this house and which I am going to support, in my own province I am not known as a "yes" man. My political reeord there speaks for itself. I want to assure the house that I arrived at the conclusion that I would support such a proposition as is contained in this resolution only after careful study and serious consideration. I feel that in all our deliberations in this house we should remember that while we sit as representatives for certain constituencies, we are first and foremost members of this House of Commons of the parliament of Canada and that in fairness to this great country of ours we should always decide what is best for Canada as a whole.

In making this statement I know that I am on sound ground. I would direct the attention of hon. members to something which I believe has been read to them already by the hon. member for Broadview (Mr. Church). I would refer hon. members to Beauchesne's third edition, page 11, where our learned and genial Clerk quotes from Blackstone as follows:

Every member as soon as he is chosen becomes a representative of the whole body of the commons, without any distinction of the place from whence he is sent to parliament . . . that every member is equally a representative of the whole has been the constant notion and language of parliament. Every member, though chosen by one particular district, when elected and returned, serves for the whole realm. For the end of his coming thither is not particular, but genera], not barely to advantage his constituents, but the commonwealth.

That is taken from Blackstone, volume 1, page 159. He then goes on to quote Edmund Burke.

Topic:   REDISTRIBUTION
Subtopic:   AMENDMENT TO BRITISH NORTH AMERICA ACT AS TO RULES FOR READJUSTMENT OF REPRESENTATION
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LIB

Ian Alistair Mackenzie (Minister of Veterans Affairs; Leader of the Government in the House of Commons; Liberal Party House Leader)

Liberal

Mr. MACKENZIE:

To the electors at Bristol.

Topic:   REDISTRIBUTION
Subtopic:   AMENDMENT TO BRITISH NORTH AMERICA ACT AS TO RULES FOR READJUSTMENT OF REPRESENTATION
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LIB

Hedley Francis Gregory Bridges (Minister of Fisheries)

Liberal

Mr. BRIDGES:

Yes, to the electors at

Bristol. This is the quotation:

Parliament is not a congress of ambassadors from different and hostile interests; which interests each must maintain, as an agent, and advocate, against other agents and advocates; but parliament is a deliberative assembly of one nation, with one interest, that of the whole; where, not local purposes, not local prejudices, ought to guide, but the general good, resulting from the general reason of the whole.

I recommend to each and every member of this house the reading of these two articles, and I recommend not only that they read them but that they should read, mark, learn and inwardly digest them. These words should be our guiding principles in our deliberations in this house.

What do I like about this resolution? I like the fact that it is going to make a new unit of representation which, with some safeguards for the smaller provinces, treats us all alike. The unit will no longer be based upon the population of the province of Quebec. It will be based upon the population of the whole of Canada. In this way we shall all be considered alike, whether we be of French or English descent, whether we be of Scottish or Irish descent, whether we be of Dutch or Ukrainian descent or any other kind of descent.

Topic:   REDISTRIBUTION
Subtopic:   AMENDMENT TO BRITISH NORTH AMERICA ACT AS TO RULES FOR READJUSTMENT OF REPRESENTATION
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CCF

Stanley Howard Knowles (Whip of the Co-operative Commonwealth Federation)

Co-operative Commonwealth Federation (C.C.F.)

Mr. KNOWLES:

Or even Canadians.

Topic:   REDISTRIBUTION
Subtopic:   AMENDMENT TO BRITISH NORTH AMERICA ACT AS TO RULES FOR READJUSTMENT OF REPRESENTATION
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LIB

Hedley Francis Gregory Bridges (Minister of Fisheries)

Liberal

Mr. BRIDGES:

Or even Canadians, as I am myself. That is one way in which we can build up a united Canada, and I want to build up a united Canada.

What else do I like about this resolution?

I like the fact that, for the time being at least and, I think, for a long, long time to come, it sets a limit of 255 to the size to which this house can grow. If I must speak from a sectional point of view-and I do not believe I have to-in order to answer the hon. member for Royal (Mr. Brooks), who, I regret, does not happen to be in his seat at the moment, that limit of 255 is a protection and a safeguard for the maritime provinces. Under the present system there is no limit to the size to which this house can grow, and if the rest of Canada grows faster than the province of Quebec we may some day have a house of more than 255 members. It even might go as high in the distant future as 300, and if our maritime provinces did not maintain the same rate of increase we would then have a minimum of, only twenty-four members in that number of 300. One might say an increase in population of this kind could never happen, but we are, I believe, entering upon a new era in Canadian history. All one has to do is to look at the map of Canada and see how much of this country is undeveloped, and with some vision he can see that there is such a possibility.

If, in order to reply to the hon. member for Royal, I must speak from a further sectional point of view I would point out to the hon. member that under this resolution we shall have the representation in this House of Commons to which at present we are entitled by population, and by reason of this safeguard I have mentioned we shall not have fewer than ten members in a house of 255.

In my opinion, this resolution is, first of all, in the best interests of Canada, and if I must speak on the same level as the hon. member

Redistribution

for Royal and some others who have spoken from a sectional point of view, I say it is also fair to the maritime provinces. In making that statement I am fully conscious of the fact that I happen to be a member of this government and the only member of this government from New Brunswick. So far as I am concerned, I shall never turn my back on the province in which I was born and in which I have lived practically all my life. I am just as good a citizen of New Brunswick as any other member from that province. But I am also a citizen of Canada, and in addition I have the high honour to sit in this House of Commons of Canada. In my deliberations in this house I shall, I hope, always act in the best interests of Canada as a whole. I want to see a strong, virile and united Canada. We cannot, as has been said by other speakers in this house, Balkanize Canada.

I have listened to the hon. member for Cumberland (Mr. Black) and the hon. member for Royal when they have outlined the woes and misfortunes in the past of the maritime provinces. I have heard the same story ever and over again in parliament and out of parliament. I am quite frank to admit that confederation has not proved as beneficial to us as we had hoped it would be. But does any member from the maritime provinces in this House of Commons say that we should get out of confederation or secede from the union? What good has the relating of all these woes of the past accomplished? We are in confederation, and, taking it by and large, the vast majority of the people, especially the younger people of the maritimes, rejoice in the fact that they are Canadians. They fought as Canadians in two wars

not as Nova Scotians, not as New Brunswickers, not as Prince Edward Islanders. The people of the maritime provinces to-day are interested in the future, and, what is more important still, they are interested in the results to come in the future. They are interested in what legislation will be best for them. They are and have been interested in old age pensions, pensions for the blind, family allowances, and social security of all kinds. These are the things in which they are interested, much more than in relating the woes of the past. They to-day know that they can count, as they have counted, on the Liberal party under the able leadership of the Prime Minister (Mr. Mackenzie King) more than on any other party to bring about such reforms as are required.

There are two things in which I firmly believe. They are, first, a true spirit of Cana-

[Me. Bridges.]

dianism, and, second, national unity. One should be the corollary of the other. As a follower of our great Prime Minister, I shall ever follow those principles of Canadianism and national unity which have been so clearly and ably enunciated by him in the past.

I believe that this resolution is in the best interests of Canadianism and of national unity. I am a Canadian, a Canadian to the core. We are all Canadians. But let us develop a true spirit of Canadianism. I am proud of Canada, and I am proud too, as our leader said yesterday, that Canada is a member of the British commonwealth of nations. I rejoice in that membership. I do not want any misunderstanding about that.

Confederation was born in a spirit of compromise, and if this country is to become the great country we all want it to be, the same spirit of compromise which permeated the conferences of the fathers of confederation at Charlottetown, Quebec and London should ever be present in this House of Commons.

I am not going to ask the maritime members of this house to vote for what they regard as in the best interests of the maritime provinces, as did the hon. member for Royal. I am going to ask all members of this house, whether they come from the maritimes or anywhere else, to vote for what they regard as in the best interests of Canada as a whole. I want a united Canada. God save Canada from sectionalism.

Topic:   REDISTRIBUTION
Subtopic:   AMENDMENT TO BRITISH NORTH AMERICA ACT AS TO RULES FOR READJUSTMENT OF REPRESENTATION
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PC

Arthur Leroy Smith

Progressive Conservative

Mr. A. L. SMITH (Calgary West):

Mr. Speaker, I must compliment the Minister of Fisheries (Mr. Bridges) on the early part of his speech. It reached a high place in reasoning and a very high place in rhetoric. We have not heard enough of him. If, in the later stages of his speech, when the applause grew so generous, just a tinge of the soap-box entered, I am sure he can readily be forgiven for that.

I also agree with him most heartily in complimenting members on the high tone of this debate. It only fell by the wayside slightly once, and that was when my hon. friend the member for Rosetown-Biggar (Mr. Coldwell) followed the hon. member for Lake Centre (Mr. Diefenbaker) and with a shade of annoyance, for which, of course, he is forgiven, accused the hon. member for Lake Centre of reading his speech. His remarks were that he could not tell w'hen the hon. member for Lake Centre ceased quoting and when he was reading his own speech. It occurred to me at the time how greatly pleased the leader of the C.C.F. party would have been if someone could honestly say of him that he did not know when Laurier ceased speaking and the hon. member began. I am inclined to think

Redistribution

that would be a great compliment to anyone in this house, and indirectly the hon. member for Rosetown-Biggar paid that compliment to the hon. member for Lake Centre.

We were asked a couple of direct questions this afternoon, and I intend to reply to them. But before doing so I am anxious to say this. Everyone agrees that representation by population is an ideal much to be desired; but, like many other things, coming to its practical application, we cannot in this as in many other things carry it through 100 per cent. We have already in Prince Edward Island a variation from that principle, and I am happy to say that I have heard no one in this debate object to the situation as it there exists. If we go to other countries we find that the same thing prevails there. In the United Kingdom there are counties; there are boroughs; there are even members for the universities, whose electors cast two votes, one for the university member and one in the place where the voter resides. Take a little trip to the south, to the United States, and what do you find there? In the house of representatives there is representation by population, but in the senate, the more powerful from a legislative point of view of the two bodies, the representation is purely regional. In other words, the state of New York, with its teeming millions, has exactly the same representation-two-as the state of Nevada with a population not nearly as large as the city of Montreal. So that while representation by population is an ideal, I agree with what has been said by hon. members from Saskatchewan, the maritimes and elsewhere, that it cannot be carried to an extreme degree. I have in mind one constituency, that of Acadia. It is tremendously large; it is a poor constituency; it is a place where they do not get very much rain. The hon. member for Davenport (Mr. MacNicol) has been looking into that for some time and he is either going to irrigate it or bring in a rainmaker as we did at one time at Medicine Hat.

Topic:   REDISTRIBUTION
Subtopic:   AMENDMENT TO BRITISH NORTH AMERICA ACT AS TO RULES FOR READJUSTMENT OF REPRESENTATION
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LIB

Ian Alistair Mackenzie (Minister of Veterans Affairs; Leader of the Government in the House of Commons; Liberal Party House Leader)

Liberal

Mr. MACKENZIE:

We might bring in a bit of Vancouver.

Topic:   REDISTRIBUTION
Subtopic:   AMENDMENT TO BRITISH NORTH AMERICA ACT AS TO RULES FOR READJUSTMENT OF REPRESENTATION
Permalink

June 18, 1946