June 27, 1955 (22nd Parliament, 2nd Session)

CCF

Angus MacInnis

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

Mr. Angus Maclnnis (Vancouver-Kingsway):

Mr. Speaker, the policy of my party with respect to the Senate is that it should be abolished and of course I am in favour of that policy, though I must admit I never could get very enthusiastic about it because I could never see clearly how we would set about to abolish the Senate. I felt that if we formed the government the first thing we would have to do would be to get somebody in the Senate to represent us there, even at the opening of parliament, and once having embarked on that course we probably might consider changing our policy of abolition.
It is rather strange that at this time we should hear so much talk about restoring the Senate to its former place in the government of the country. If the Senate has fallen from its former place of usefulness in the governmental set-up of the nation, surely there must be some reason for that. I do not think the reason can be that the present Prime Minister is not filling the vacancies fast enough. I imagine if the Prime Minister felt he needed to have more representatives in the Senate he would fill the vacancies very quickly.
As for myself, I do not think it would make a particle of difference to the other place, to this house or to the country at large if 22 new members were appointed to the Senate. You cannot get anything more from the Senate than you are getting from it now. It has become the fifth wheel on the governmental machine, and in my opinion it is really no use to try to restore that wheel to usefulness by attaching some sort of power to it, putting a new tire on it or any of the other things that one does with a wheel.

Topic:   SENATE REFORM
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