25 JANUARY 1908, Page 17

In the Canadian House of Commons on Monday Sir Wilfrid

Laurier made an important statement on Senate reform. He believed in the principle of a Second Chamber, but thought that the Senate should have less than the present eighty-seven Members. The United States Constitution was inferior to the Canadian in many ways, but its Senate might well be imitated. He would like to give each Canadian province equal repre- sentation in the Senate. As there were nine provinces, and each ought to have six Members, the Senate would be redueed to fifty-four Members. "This," he said (we quote from the Times), "would be sufficiently large and not cumbersome." In one way this scheme would be anomalous, as the province of Prince Edward Island would have more representation in the Senate than in the House of Commons ; but Sir Wilfrid Laurier thinks the objection "not insuperable." In his opinion, all the provinces should have an equal voice in at least one Chamber, and further, the Senators should be appointed for a limited time. At present, being appointed for life by the Government, they are virtually State pen- sioners. The effect of Sir Wilfrid Laurier's proposal, in spite of the reduction of numbers, would surely be to increase the resisting power of the Senate. The Liberal Premier of Canada seems really to want a Second Chamber that shall not , be merely an inanimate brake controlled ultimately by the other House, but actually a co-driver of the affairs of State.