Right Hon. W. L. MACKENZIE KING (Prime Minister):
Mr. Beauchesne, the thought 12739-1
which is uppermost in the minds of all hon. members as we meet at the beginning of this first session of the new parliament is, I am sure, the great loss which our country, in common with all the countries of the British Empire and indeed of the world, has sustained in the death of our greatly beloved Sovereign, King George Y.
It would be our wish, at the earliest possible moment, to convey to His Majesty King Edward VIII, to Her Majesty Queen Mary, and to the members of the Royal Family, an expression of the deep sympathy of the House of Commons in their sorrow and bereavement and, also, to express to King Edward our loyalty and devotion. I have to remind hon. members, however, that the House of Commons has not a voice wherewith to communicate in these matters except through the Speaker of the house. The Speaker is the channel of communication between the commons and the crown. As yet, we have not selected a Speaker of the commons.
There is another duty of which I have also to remind hon. members, and it is that before entering upon any other proceedings we should hear from His Excellency the Governor General the reasons why His Excellency has summoned hon. members to meet him in parliament. We have just been reminded in another chamber that His Excellency does not see fit to disclose the reasons which have caused him to bring us together until the House of Commons has elected its Speaker in accordance with law.
When these two duties have been performed, I think it will be more than appropriate, and I know it will be the wish of all, that we then proceed immediately to pass an address to His Majesty the King and a message of condolence to Her Majesty Queen
Election oj Speaker
Mary. However, we are not yet constituted as a house; indeed, parliament itself cannot be said to be constituted until after the commons have chosen their Speaker. I therefore suggest that here and now we select and elect our speaker, and I wish to propose, as one who is a fit and proper person for that position, Mr. Pierre-Francois Casgrain, the member for Charlevoix-Saguenay.