Mr. Flint, during the recess it was the pleasure of His Excellency the Governor General to call to the Privy Council and the Cabinet Mr. Brodeur, who at the first meeting of this parliament after the general election had been elected Speaker of this House. Our first duty, therefore, is to appoint a Speaker. I believe I am expressing the sentiments of both sides of the House when I state that Mr. Brodeur discharged the duties of the high office to which he had been called in a manner which was eminently satisfactory to all sides of this House, and that in the discharge of those duties he displayed the qualities which should be inherent in the office-above all, those of dignity and impartiality. We have reason to belive that the same qualities will be found in a like degree in the person of Mr. Belcourt, member for the city of Ottawa, and therefore I offer the name of Mr. Belcourt as a fit and proper person to be the Speaker of this House. I move, seconded by Sir Richard Cartwright :
ELECTION OF SPEAKER.
Belcourt, Esquire, member representing the electoral district of Ottawa, do take the Chair of this House as Speaker.
Mr. R. L. BORDEN (Halifax).
Mr. Flint, before the motion is put I desire to say that
I do not rise for the purpose of offering any opposition to the motion which has been proposed by the right hon. the Prime Minister. I believe that the hon. gentleman whose name has been proposed is in every way worthy of our confidence and of the trust which the House proposes to place in his hands. The dignity which is thus conferred upon him is great, but the responsibility is not less great. He represents not only those with whom he has been politically associated, but also those who sit on this side of the House. He thus stands between the majority and the minority as the guardian of the honour and dignity of the House in every respect. It is necessary that he should preside over the House not only with dignity and learning, but also with wisdom and tact. In extending my congratulations to the hon. gentleman, let me say that I do so with every confidence that he will, in every possible sense, fulfil worthily the responsibilities which are thus to be placed upon him.
Motion agreed to. And the Clerk of the House having declared Mr. Belcourt duly elected, he was conducted to the Chair by the Prime Minister. Mr. SPEAKER ELECT, standing before the Chair said : (Translation.) The great honour which the House has just conferred upon me does not for one moment cause me to forget or overlook my unfitness and unpreparedness for the performance of the honourable but difficult duties of the Chair. Consequently, I request, and confidently entertain the hope, that the hon. members will on all occasions extend to me their indulgence and support in upholding the honour, dignity and integrity of the House. I shall follow the example of ray predecessors, and particularly of the hon. gentleman who has just vacated the seat, and who discharged with such brilliancy the duties which I affl now called upon to fulfil; and I shall endeavour to exercise on all occasions the strictest impartiality. I wish to offer to the House my humble and grateful acknowledgments for the gieat honour which they have conferred upon me by unanimously electing me to be their Speaker. The keen sense I feel of my own unfitness and unpreparedness is only relieved by the hope, which I am confident I may entertain, that the hon. members of the House will on all occasions extend to me that indulgence and support, , without which I would fail to perform, to the satisfaction of the House and my own, the very honourable and very difficult duties of the Chair. In that expectation and in the determination to exercise on all occasions the strictest possible impartiality, and to fob low the example of my predecessors, and more particularly of the hon. gentleman who has lately vacated the seat which I am noW privileged to occupy, perhaps I may venture t° hope that the best traditions, the honour ^iii ?lgnlty and the integrity of the House win oe always preserved and maintained.
Sir WILFRID LAURIER journment of the House. moved the ad- L. BORDEN. Before the House adjourns, might I put a question to my right hon. friend. I understoood that all the correspondence and papers relating to the Alaskan boundary question were to have been printed and distributed during the recess, that, I believe, has not been done, and I would be glad to know from my right hon. mend when these papers will be placed before the House. I believe they have already been laid before the imperial parliament, but there are not copies available for the members of this House with the exception of two or three in the library.
Sir WILFRID LAURIER.
I may inform my hon. friend that a portion of the papers is now in the hands of the printers and will be down probably this week. Later on I expect to bring down another batch of the same correspondence.
Motion agreed to, and House adjourned nt 3.25 p.m.
Friday, March 11, 1904.