Mr. Speaker, I heard the point of order of the hon. member for Nicolet-Yamaska (Mr. Boisvert). He has attempted to imply that I have been reading my speech word by word. I would point to him, however, that I have extensive notes which I mean to use, and I do not believe this is against the rules of this house.
I understand, Mr. Speaker, that my present statements are ill calculated to please the hon. member, but he will have to submit to them just the same.
As I was saying, the opposition has a part to play. I think I shall keep doing my duty that way, and to fulfil the task entrusted to me. More than ever it is time to undertake Senate reform, unless we want respect for the honourable upper house to become a thing of the past.
Far be it from me to demand the abolition of the Senate. This parliamentary institution, wanted and created by the fathers of con-
federation in 1867, i.e., more than 89 years ago, has never undergone any change that would adapt it to needs and requirements of our time. In its present form, it has lost the real purpose for which it was created.
At the time the Senate was established, it was meant to undertake a more meticulous and dispassionate study of any legislation passed by the House of Commons. It was, moreover, supposed to protect minority rights. As a matter of fact, as the Leader of the Opposition (Mr. Drew), whose words I am now quoting as they are printed on page 5331 of yesterday's English edition of Hansard, so rightly said:
Its members were to be selected from those who in one way or another had brought dignity or distinction to the public life of the country. They were to be chosen by the representatives of the sovereign for their acknowledged achievements or for their moral and intellectual excellence. They were to be placed in this position which was to keep them above the ordinary influences of party strife.
Let me emphasize that last sentence:
They were to be placed in this position which was to keep them above the ordinary influences of party strife-
in order to show that today appointments to the Senate are made as a reward to those who have dedicated themselves to the promotion and triumph of political ideas for which they fought most of their life.
Mr. Speaker, may I call it six o'clock?
At six o'clock the house took recess.
Subtopic: SUPPLY SHIP "C. D. HOWE"-REPORT ON FIRE
Sub-subtopic: REQUEST FOR ELECTION-SENATE REFORM