No. Never mind Mr. Haul-tain ; he has very little influence with this government. Now these two gentlemen had the preparation of these schedules. We have their own statement as evidence, and do not require any other. Now the hon. gentleman representing Edmonton and the hon. gentleman representing -Strathcona knowing the great pull each of these towns would exert in order to get the seat of government, naturally were representing their constituencies and acting in their interest, and in their interest only: Why ? Because the Minister of the Interior at that time was a private member representing Edmonton, and the hon. gentleman representing Strathcona was not representing Alberta or Calgary. As a result, what did the member for Strathcona admit in this House ? Why, he said, I looked over Athabaska, I figured out all .these stores, all these mills, the immense amount of capital invested in Athabaska, and I concluded that that portion of Atha-
baska lying north of Alberta should be cut in two and two representatives be given it. By reason of the population? Not at all, but by reason of the immense amount of wealth, as he put it, .that was invested in these enterprises in that portion of Athabaska. As a result he concluded, and no doubt Edmonton approved of his conclusion, to cut Athabaska in two and give it two representatives. That is what they did, that was tlie starting point. Then they said : We will divide the other portions of Alberta into twenty-three districts. That is what they did. Then the next move was this : Calgary polling the largest vote of any place in Alberta, they cut that vote out. Why ? Because it was the largest vote polled in Alberta. Then they come up to Edmonton where there was not so large a vote, and they cut that out. In order to do what ? To divide that portion of the territory north of Red Deer, township 38 into a certain number of constituencies, according to the number of votes polled less those in Edmonton. And the same rule applied to the south. And'it was by these means that the hon. gentlemen put thirteen representatives in the north and twelve in the south. Now if there was no government seat to be chosen these arrangements would have no importance. But they knew there was to he a government seat chosen, and they wished to procure a representation that would decide where the government seat should be situated. And that is what these gentlemen had in view at the time they made this schedule, there is no question about it. Now if the First Minister wanted to be fair, what would he have said? He would have said that previously to the introduction of this Bill on the 21st of February these schedules must be prepared, as the schedules are prepared in connection with every other Bill when it is introduced. But in the preparation of these schedules what course must he pursue in order to do justice to all classes in Alberta ? And what would my right hon. friend have said then to the member for Edmonton and the member for Strathcona ? You consult with the defeated candidates for Calgary and Alberta, and you four gentlemen between you map out what the different constituencies ought to be in Alberta, and when you do that I will embody it in this Bill and submit it to parliament, and we will have a fair representation, at least one that will be satisfactory to our friends.
But, not so. The Dixie line which my right hon. friend mentioned has been created by his own conduct or that of his friends in tbe preparation of these schedules and the Dixie line or the Red Deer line will be heard of for many years to come by reason of the way in which these schedules were prepared. What follows from this legislation ? We are preparing schedules here for the purposes of an election which will take place-within six mouths of the passage of this Bill. It is our duty and it ought to be the Mr. INGRAM.
duty of our hon. friends on the other side of the House to provide for a fair representation of the different parts of the province of Alberta as created by this Bill, so that when the representatives*of the people meet in the legislature of the new province they can select any place they desire to be the seat of government for all time to come or so long as they feel disposed to continue it at the place decided upon. That would have been the proper course, but that course has not been followed on this occasion and that is what the people of Alberta are complaining of. Apart from my hon. friend from Calgary (Mr. McCarthy) what interest has any member of the opposition in the question as to where the seat of government shall be ? What Interest is it to me whether Edmonton, Medicine Hat, Red Deer or any other place is selected as the government seat ? It is of no interest to me but it is of some interest to me 'to know that the new province shall have no friction created by any legislation passed by this House. A good deal has been said about those newspapers from which quotations have been read. My hon. friend from Calgary quoted some statements made by the Liberal press of Calgary. I can understand that and I shall not be influenced by what the Liberal or the Conservative press says in the city of Calgary because I look upon them as prejudiced and biased witnesses as I do upon the Tory newspaper which is edited in Edmonton, and which has expressed its approval of the distribution which favours the establishment of the government's seat in Edmonton. These newspapers have no influence on me because they are prejudiced witnesses, but it is interesting to note what the press of Medicine Hat, Lethbridge and other places that have no idea of getting the government seat have to say. South of Red Deer the press complain of this division but north of Red Deer the press are satisfied. On the south side there are Liberals and Conservatives opposed to this division because they have not been treated with that spirit of fairness which the right hon. premier ought to have displayed towards them. Does the right hon. gentleman believe that we have no reason for complaint ? I believe we have every reason to complain because this is not merely a question of the selection of the government seat. If we are giving these people representation it should be so carefully given to them that no man north or south of Red Deer should have any cause to find fault with the division. If instead of shutting out our Conservative friends entirely they had been given an opportunity of sitting down with the hon. gentlemen opposite we would have come to some conclusion which would have removed all this friction that is liable to continue for years to come. The hon. Minister of the Interior has found fault with Mr. Haultain. He says that Mr. Haultain should have called the assembly together for the
7985 JUNE 22, 1905 . 7986
purpose of approving or disapproving of the schedules. I would like to know from any man who would exercise the smallest common sense what he thinks of such a suggestion. The legislative assembly was short some six or seven members. It was expected that on the 1st of July this Bill would become law and that the assembly would cease to exist at that time. I ask any man of common sense if the taxpayers of the Northwest Territories would desire Mr. Haultain to have a general election which costs a large sum of money, to put the people to that inconvenience, for the purpose of determining whether in their opinion the schedules prepared by the Dominion government describing the limits of the constituencies in Alberta are fair or unfair. I know that if I were a large taxpayer in the Northwest Territories and if any man came to me and asked me to cast my vote for the 'purpose of determining a question of this kind, putting the Territories to a large expense, I would not vote either for that man or any party that sustained him in any *such proposition as that. It is an absurd idea. If the government had exercised sufficient care and caution to get their own friends to declare that this division was a .proper one and one that meets the views of their own party, if they did not want to give ,fair-play to this party, the government could have treated the Conservative party with perfect indifference so long as they satisfied their own friends. I am bound to say after all I have heard of this question in this House that it will be many a long year before Alberta will have this friction removed that has been created by this measure. If, after the first six months they had an election and if in Alberta the legislative assembly saw fit to divide up Athabaska and give that small population two seats we could find no fault with them, but I think they are the proper parties to determine a question of that kind and that fair representation should be given to all classes there now in order that this very friction we are complaining of will not occur in that particular section of the country. I have heard a great deal about the Athabaska and Peace River districts. That is a subject which has been before this House on many occasions. There is a committee of. the House of Commons known as the Agriculture Committee, and at no time in the experience'of the C-ommittee on Agriculture, at all events, for the last 17 years to my knowledge, has the committee been so disturbed as it was over the question which was raised in regard to the character of the Peace River district. This disturbance was brought about by this very report that has been referred to since this discussion began. A government officer, Mr. Macoun, reported to tbe Geological Survey in a report dated 1904 the results of the work done by him in the Peace River country in 1903, and there is nothing in the report to justify the extra- vagant statements made by tbe bon. member for Strathc-ona and approved evidently by the right hon. leader of the government itself. There is nothing in that official document to show the statements made by the hon. member for Strathcona to be anything like ti-ue statements. The hon. Minister of the Interior admitted himself that there are portions of this country that he had never passed through, that he had no personal knowledge of, but yet he took the opportunity on that occasion to dispute the statements made in this document. So, I say that instead of taking coloured statements, because I believe they are coloured statements that have been made by the hon. member for Strathcona and by the Calgary and Edmonton newspapers, let us take the authority of some person who is not in- . terested, as the hon. member for Strathcona is and as these newspapers are, and if we do that I think we will be able to prepare a fairer schedule than we have before us to-day. Mr. SPROULE. I understood the hon.-member for East Assiniboia to say that toe pople there were perfectly satisfied with the redistribution. Mr. TURRIFF. What I said was that the defeated Liberal candidate for the district of Alberta was in the city last week and in conversation he mentioned to me that he considered the whole redistribution of the province of Alberta was eminently fair and satisfactory. Mr SPROULE. It would be interesting to read what is said by a genteman who has been travelling through that country on business since last summer, and who Fas no interest in this question one way or the other. He writes I have been talking to hundreds of Liberals regarding the Autonomy Bills and I found half a dozen who are satisfied with thmm The people in Alberta are dissatisfied with the dividing line of the two provinces, they also want control of their own public lands. Then last but not least there is a big kick about the way the constituencies have been carved up by Frank Oliver so as it will be a sure thing that Edmonton will be made the capital. Mr. CAMPBELL. Who wrote that? Mr. SPROULE. Mr. Wr. J. Whitley, who is now in the Territories and from whom I received this letter the day before yesterday He has no interest but speaks m a casual way of what he sees from day to dav. It is the third letter I have received from him unsolicited. He speaks of the feeling of the people in regard to the educational clauses, the fact that the provinces want their own lands, and other features of the measure. There is apparently widespread discontent in that country because scarcely a letter you get from a resident there does not speak of it. What my correspondent's politics are I do not know;
he does not write from a party point of view, but he speaks of the general discontent among the people and he says that the Reformers are just as much dissatisfied as the Conservatives.
Topic: COMMONS '976