Sir WILFRID LAURIER.
The surprise of my hon. friend from East Elgin (Mr. Ingram), who is generally fair, is my own surprise. I am very much astonished at the surprise he manifests. When he says that there is a serious discrepancy between the figures furnished by the government and those furnished by my hon. friend from St. Antoine, I take direct issue with him. I say there is no serious difference at all between the figures furnished to the House by myself and my colleague of the Interior ai#d those furnished by the hon. member for Calgary and the hon. member for St. Antoine. This is a very plain statement; let us verify it. I said yesterday that we based our information upon the number of votes recorded at the last Dominion election, the number of votes registered for the same, and the figures of population in the census of 1901. These were three, not all, of the sources of information upon which we proceeded. The number of votes re-248*
corded, as I obtained it from the Clerk of the Crown in Chancery, was 20,962. These figures- were not disputed. According to the statement given to me by my hon. friend from Calgary, for which I acknowledge his courtesy, the number of votes recorded in the last- election in the different constituencies of Alberta, with the exception of Peace River and Atkabaska, is put at 20,700, a difference of 262. Is there any very serious discrepancy there ? With regard to the number of votes registered in those constituencies, the figure I gave was 29,950, while the figure given to me by my hon. friend from Calgary was 30,077, a difference of 127. The addition in the one case was made by the Clerk of the Crown in Chancery from the books of the votation furnished to him; the same books were furnished to the hon. gentlemen on the other side of the House, and they made their own addition ; yet the results correspond, with only the small discrepancies I have mentioned. Another source of information is the population according to the census of 1901. ~ I gave the population for these various constituencies at 69,441. Up to the present moment I have not seen these figures challenged. Therefore, I say there is no differeuce or dispute as to the figures on which we base our division. I shall have further remarks to make on this subject, but for the moment I simply call the attention of my hon. friend from East Elgin to the fact that practically there is no difference between the figures given on one side and on the other.
Topic: PROVINCIAL GOVERNMENT IN THE NORTHWEST.