Mr. R. L. BORDEN.
There is a disquieting rumour throughout the country, to which the right hon. gentleman (Sir Wilfrid Laurier) might address himself, that, although the minister in question, like the kitten, has left the cream for the time being there is being prepared for him an exceedingly dainty dish of cream which will be served up in due season. We do not know whether that may be the case or not; but, perhaps it would be well for the right hon. gentleman, remembering the analogy which he gave to the House some time ago, to tell us whether or not there is anything in this rumour.
But, in all seriousness, Mr. Speaker, I do think it is due to the House and to the country that the Prime Minister should state what the intention of the government is in regard to the filling of the portfolio. The government, in defiance of all constitutional usages and of constitutional rules laid down by themselves on many occasions intend, apparently, to press this measure through parliament without having in the cabinet any minister who is more especially responsible for the Northwest Territories. We should be informed, in view of the delay in filling this position, what is the cause of that delay and also when the Prime Minister expects to fill this portfolio. Or, if he does not propose to fill it in the immediate future, may I not, respectfully, and with every right, ask him to announce to the House and to the country what the difficulties really are which prevent him, at the present time, from calling to his cabinet some gentleman from the Northwest Territories or elsewhere, who, in the cabinet, will particularly represent these Territories.
Subtopic: ABSENCE OF MINISTERS AND CABINET VACANCY.