February 21, 1947

PC

John Ritchie MacNicol

Progressive Conservative

Mr. J. R. MacNICOL (Davenport):

I listened with attention to what the minister said in introducing this bill. What I am worrying about is that the bill has not sufficient in it. Had the minister gone farther in his remarks as to what the redistribution committee should consider as rules or principles as guides to follow in determining the boundaries of the various seats, as did the minister in Australia and the minister in England in their last redistributions, the committee would have had more to guide them. The minister laid down only two rules or principles for the guidance of the committee. One of them was that municipal and county boundaries should be considered, and I presume he meant also ward boundaries within the cities.

The minister's second rule or principle was that some attention should be given to the difference between rural and urban populations. The hon. member for Winnipeg North Centre (Mr. Knowles) said something about the last redistribution bill and, in doing so, I would judge he was speaking about Ontario. I shall not have any comment to make on the schedules sent in from any other province, but I can tell the hon. member that the Ontario schedule went through unanimously. There was some little discussion in the beginning, as the hon. member for Quebec South (Mr. Power) has said, about eastern Ontario. But when that was unravelled, all the other schedules went through unanimously. I was chairman of that committee, and I will say that when the late Hon. John Elliott, who was opposition chairman, and I sat down together to set up the rules and principles to be fol-

Business of the House

lowed, we got along most amicably. I cannot speak in too high terms of the cooperation of the late Mr. Elliott, who was a member of a former Liberal government.

We followed those principles as closely as possible, and perhaps I might mention them here, so that they might serve as a guide. Of course we could not control other provincial committees. The Quebec committees at that time were somewhat contentious, as were the committees for Saskatchewan.

But for Ontario I can say that in the end the schedule from that province went through unanimously. Some of the constituencies were small, and some large; but I will say now that one of the small constituencies approved last time by the Ontario committee was referred to tonight by the hon. member for Winnipeg North Centre. I shall not suggest any change in that constituency this time. It is represented by the Prime Minister, and I am one who takes the stand that, in any redistribution, at least the constituency of the Prime Minister (Mr. Mackenzie King) should be left more or less as is. I am on the committee again this time, and I presume I shall be chairman of the Progressive Conservative group. As such, so far as I am concerned I will not advance any change with respect to the constituency of Glengarry, owing to the fact that it is represented by the Prime Minister.

Topic:   REDISTRIBUTION
Subtopic:   READJUSTMENT OF REPRESENTATION IN THE HOUSE OF COMMONS
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CCF

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

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

Mr. KNOWLES:

There are only 18,000 people in it.

Topic:   REDISTRIBUTION
Subtopic:   READJUSTMENT OF REPRESENTATION IN THE HOUSE OF COMMONS
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PC

John Ritchie MacNicol

Progressive Conservative

Mr. MacNICOL:

I know that. The constituency of the city of London, in London, England, contains only 2,000 people. But they are big enough over there not to molest that one riding, although it is small. Surely we can have one in Canada, particularly when it is the Prime Minister's riding, which can be left free from disturbance. That is my stand, anyway; and someone will have to overrule it, if it is changed.

On motion of Mr. MacNicol the debate was adjourned.

On motion of Mr. Mackenzie the house adjourned at 10.50 p.m.

Monday, February 24, 1947

Topic:   REDISTRIBUTION
Subtopic:   READJUSTMENT OF REPRESENTATION IN THE HOUSE OF COMMONS
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February 21, 1947