July 15, 1947 (20th Parliament, 3rd Session)


Richard Langton Baker


Yes. A report is made to the house from time to time. It is a continuing activity which, of course, would

be 'different from the procedure here in Canada. Provision is made that-and I read from the act:
A report of a boundary commission under this act showing the constituencies into which they recommend that auy area should be divided shall state, as respects each constituency, the name by which they recommend that it should be known, and whether they recommend that it should be a parliamentary county or division of a parliamentary county or a parliamentary borough or division of a parliamentary borough.
Then the secretary of state lays the recommendation before parliament together with the statement of 'the reasons for the modifications which are indicated. Then the draft is approved by resolution of each house of parliament. That, commission is one which is above partisanship. Parliament still rules; parliament still controls; bub parliament would no't act unfairly against, a political opponent. If the recommendation of this committee were to the effect that a certain change should be made, it would adopt it even though it might be helpful to an opponent. The commission is composed of the Speaker of the House of Commons, who is chairman of all four commissions. The commission for England consists of the chairman, the registrar general, the director general of the ordnance survey and two other members, one appointed by the secretary of state and the other by the minister of health; and no member of the House of Commons or of either house of parliament of Northern Ireland is permitted to act on such committee. The purpose there is simply to do away with this decennial fight which 'takes place over the question of redistribution. Over and over again, as one reads the record, one can only be dtruck by the fact that there have been wrongs done in the past. But the Prime Minister, over and over again, when wrongs were done, was one who loudly protested and took a stand on behalf of those better things which I ask him on this occasion to carry into effect in connection with the present measure.
I do not intend, sir, to follow an acrimonious method. I shall place 'the facts before the Prime Minister, through you. The first fact I place before the committee is this. While in certain constituencies there is little or no interest on the part of the electors, by-elections take -place such as the one yesterday and only a small proportion of the people entitled to vote cast their ballots.

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