I am happy that my hon. friend the leader of the opposition and I have been able to agree on so many things, even if we cannot agree on everything. It was not to be expected that we should have an absolute love feast and that we should see eye to eye on every question, but on the whole I am glad that the Bill has received the approval of my hon. friend, and that we shall have his concurrence in making it as perfect as possible and as fair between party and party as it is possible to make it. I have a brief reference to make to one or two observations of my hon. friend (Mr. Borden). He has referred to the view held at one time in this House by two eminent friends and subsequent colleagues of mine, then Mr. Louis H. Davies and Mr. David Mills, both of whom are now members of the Supreme Court. I remember very well the occasion upon which these two gentlemen strongly expressed the view that the parliament of Canada was not competent to deal with the Redistribution Act, but that the parliament of Canada could create-not only that it could create but that it should create-a power to make the redistribution although it could not do the work itself. This view was held by these two gentlemen and it was strongly supported, but as my hon. friend knows this view was not generally accepted. I do not notice that my hon. friend (Mr. Borden) himself expresses an opinion, and he no doubt has one, upon this question. Whatever may be his view I shall not press to know it at the moment, but I will point out that the government thought that upon this question, though perhaps the question may not be free from doubt-I would not go so far as that probably-though the contrary view is held by eminent authorities. we thought the safest course was to follow the practice which has hitherto
been accepted and have the redistribution made by parliament itself. I have no doubt that parliament can create a power to do the redistribution, but the power is also vested in parliament, and all governments up to the present time have interpreted it in that way. I believe it was more in accordance with the public interpretation of popular government to have that supreme power carried into effect by parliament itself. The other question to which the hon. gentleman (Mr. Borden) has referred is a far more serious one; namely, the method of counting the votes and distributing them. My hon. friend has stated, and rightly stated, that upon this point we are absolutely bound by the British North America Act; we are not at liberty to assign so much to this province or so much to the other province; we must follow the results of the census, according to "the terms laid down In the British North America Act. But there can be a way of counting the votes and ascertaining that proportion. We have received a very strong appeal from some of the provinces, particularly from the province of New Brunswick, and my hon. friend the Minister of Justice has taken the precaution to have this matter referred to the Supreme Court and to have as speedy a decision as possible. Whether or not it would be advisable to carry it to the Judicial Committee of the Privy Council is a matter on which it is premature to pronounce. I suppose that in this we will be guided very much by the judgment of the Supreme Court. If that judgment be of such a character ns to leave no doubt, either one way or the other, there would be no necessity to push the matter further. Perhaps it may be advisable to do so, but the government are not prepared to decide that point definitely at present. My hon. colleague the Minister of Justice, has taken steps to have the matter referred to the Supreme Court and have a decision as speedily as possible, and I hope that in a few weeks we will be able to nnnounce that decision.