Right Hon. W. L. MACKENZIE KING (Leader of the Opposition):
Replying to the
right hon. the Prime Minister, I can assure him that I am as anxious as he is, and hon. gentlemen on this side are as anxious as hon. gentlemen opposite, to conclude the discussion on this measure. I would point out, however, that what the right hon. gentleman now suggests would very materially handicap some of us who are anxious that the house in its entirety should know the position we are contending for and should have it as fully discussed as possible.
I need not point out to my right hon. friend how many members are already absent from the chamber. It is not surprising that, having been here for over seven and a half months, if we include the two months of recess, members should be anxious to get away to their homes as quickly as possible. What has happened up to the present time is that as members have felt assured that their own constituencies were safe they have for the most part left the House of Commons and returned home. Whait the Prime Minister suggests now is that we should continue the process of eliminating members from the house-I do not say he suggests this in so many words, but that would be the effect of his proposal. The result would be that when we come to discuss the really contentious part of the measure there would be but a handful of members left in the house.
I do not think it is fair to follow that course; I do not think that in the long run it would make for justice. If what we are seeking in this matter is fair play, I think we can reach a conclusion quite as expeditiously by following the regular course with respect to this measure as by adopting any exceptional method at the present time.
Redistribution-Mr. Mackenzie King