February 15, 1937

THE LATE MATTHEW McKAY

LIB

William Lyon Mackenzie King (Prime Minister; Secretary of State for External Affairs; President of the Privy Council)

Liberal

Right Hon. W. L. MACKENZIE KING (Prime Minister):

Mr. Speaker, hon. members will have observed from this morning's press that since the house adjourned on Friday evening last another hon. member has been taken from our midst by the hand of death, the member for Renfrew North, Doctor Matthew McKay. Doctor McKay's death is the fifth since its last session, that has taken place in the membership of this house; he is the fourth hon. member to have been taken from this side of the house.

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Doctor McKay was one of the oldest members of parliament. There seems to have been some doubt as to whether he was the oldest member of this house. I believe it is a fact that Doctor McKay was born in Simcoe county, Ontario, on October 5, 1855. In terms of actual years, therefore, it would appear that he was the oldest member of the House of Commons. Be that as it may, his appearance certainly belied his years; few men of advanced years have appeared keener or more active than did Doctor McKay. His vivid personality and his energetic ways would have led one to believe that he was nearer sixty than eighty.

It is a little difficult for those who were not in the house with Doctor McKay from 1921 to.1925 to appreciate, what his life meant to this House of Commons and to the country. Indeed, it is difficult to judge from the doctor's years in parliament how continuous, how keen and persistent was his interest in public affairs. He was in point of fact, a member of this House of Commons only during the present parliament and the parliament of 1921 to 1925, though he was a candidate in the general elections of 1926 and of 1930. He took in the house very little part in debate; singularly enough, while he was fearless and outspoken on the public platform, owing to a certain timidity of nature or reserve he hesitated to speak to any extent in the House of Commons. The number of his speeches was very few indeed. It would be a mistake, however, to. attempt to measure, simply by his achievements in the House of Commons, the influence in public life of one who has played an important part in public affairs. It would be indeed unfortunate for public ^ life itself if the most useful public activities were necessarily restricted to membership in parliament. Doctor McKay all through his life had been deeply interested not only in municipal affairs of the community in which he lived, but also in provincial politics and federal politics. He was one who believed it was possible to render great service to his country through serving well the political party whose interests he believed it was best for him to serve. He looked upon a party not as an end in itself, but as a means to an end, a means whereby men and women who feel and think alike on great problems are able to unite their efforts to ensure the putting into effect of principles and policies in which they believe. It is difficult to express how much a political party owes to men of Doctor McKay's type.

The late Matthew McKay

Their politics are based upon principle, and for principle, they are prepared to make almost any sacrifice, no matter how great. They never know the meaning of defeat. To them the justice of the cause is everything.

Doctor McKay had deep convictions with respect to Liberal principals and policies. As regards old country politics, he was very much of the school of Mr. Gladstone. In federal politics he was a loyal, ardent and uncompromising follower of Sir Wilfrid Laurier; in provincial affairs he was one of the school of Oliver Mowat. Doctor McKay was familiar in all their details with the politics of the part of the country in which he lived. He was one to whom leaders went to seek counsel and advice with respect to policies arid as regards the conditions governing in their respective communities. His name and his interests had an immediate association with what we speak of as the Ottawa valley. It might almost be said that there has not been a political battle, either provincial or federal, of any significance fought in the Ottawa valley in the last fifty years in which Doctor McKay did not participate or with respect to which in some oapacity his political services were not sought on behalf of the party to which he belonged. I imagine he rather liked to be thought of as a political war-horse, and indeed he was that in every sense of the word. I can think of no one in our public life more deserving of the term "old reliable." For these reasons he played the all-important part which he did over a period, as I have said, of fifty years.

It would be a great mistake, reflecting on a life of service as long as that which the doctor enjoyed, realizing the extent of his achievements, of the honours which crowned his efforts towards the end, to think at this time only, or mostly, of the loss which we of this House of Commons have sustained. Rather may we rejoice at what has been given by way of inspiration, by such a life and such an example, to the young people of our country who have a desire for community and public service and who hope to play a part in public affairs.

Within a few months, Doctor and Mrs. McKay would have celebrated their golden wedding anniversary. This morning, as I was writing a line of sympathy to Mrs. McKay, there came suddenly to my mind those lines of Robert Browning:

Grow old along with me!

The best is yet to be,

The last of life, for which the first was made;

"for which the first was made." I could not but think that when fifty years ago Doctor and Mrs. McKay began life together in Pembroke, his public as well as his married and professional life was then just having its beginnings. He brought to his profession and to the community a mind well trained and stored with information gathered at the public school, at the normal school and at Queen's university. He brought habits of industry as well as habits of thought, and these he sought to turn not alone to his individual and personal advantage, and to the furtherance of the work of his profession, but also to the good of the community in which he lived. He there began the bringing up of a young family, seeking to give to his children educational advantages greater even than those which, as a lad, he himself had been privileged to enjoy. He began to interest himself in community activities and public work, serving at one time on the school board, at another in municipal affairs, and offering himself on different occasions as a candidate for parliament. He became president of the political association of his party and, increasingly the moving spirit in its affairs.

Such were the beginnings of his life. Let us look for a moment at "the last of life, for which the first was made." We see him at the close of life occupying a foremost position in his profession, and looked to by the community generally for guidance and direction in its different activities. We see him with children grown up, themselves taking an honourable part in affairs, and surrounded by grandchildren, bringing their comfort and their Cheer to his advancing years. We see him when nearly eighty years of age, signally honoured by his fellow citizens as mayor of the town in which for fifty years he had lived and carried on his work. We see him at the same great age returned a second time, and with a large majority to the parliament of Canada as a member for the constituency in which he had lived throughout that half century of time. More than that, we see him, as his life draws to its close, a national figure much respected by members of parliament of all political parties, and greatly beloved by those of the party to whom he belonged.

For such a life we have reason to be deeply thankful. It is true that we shall miss him keenly, particularly those of us on this side; our loss is very great indeed. I am sure that to every one of us, as I know it is to myself, the doctor's sudden passing has brought a

The late Matthew McKay

sense of personal loss which it would be difficult to describe. We shall miss him about these halls. We shall miss him in our political gatherings. We shall miss him in our campaigns. But we shall be grateful always, I believe, that one who was spared to serve his country up to eighty years of age and beyond has left behind a career so honourable and a name so greatly honoured.

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CON

Richard Bedford Bennett (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Right Hon. R. B. BENNETT (Leader of the Opposition):

Mr. Speaker, I should like to join with the leader of the house in his expression of the loss which the house has suffered through the death of one of its number-which reminds me that the sickle of the grim reaper has been very busy of late in this chamber. I should like also to join in offering my sympathy to the right hon. gentleman and his party in the loss they have sustained through the passing of an experienced supporter of their cause and their principles. Doctor McKay was not personally well known to me, but I knew him as a doughty warrior, as one who had firm convictions as to the policies of his party and a robust and vigorous manner of expressing them. That he occupied a very important place in the councils of his party was apparent, I think, to us all.

It is somewhat difficult to look back upon a life that extended over so many years. He was a boy of twelve when confederation was accomplished, and, if my information is correct, he participated in every general election from 1873 to 1935. He was familiar with the giants of the Liberal party in its early days, and he might be regarded as a cross-section of that fine type of Scotsman that came into Canada in the early days and made so great a contribution to the laying of our foundations, legislatively and otherwise. The firmness of his convictions reminds one of Morley's observation that fidelity to conviction is one of the mainsprings of human progress. There are those who would seriously differ from that view, but I think that Doctor McKay's life, his work and his experience, were eminent justification of its soundness.

In this Ottawa valley, and particularly in the community in which he lived, Doctor McKay played a noble part. He was known to almost everyone of importance in his riding and many who were not of his party, and, as the leader of the house has said, his contribution to the public life of this country may be measured, not by his presence or absence from this house, but rather by the influence of an example in public and private life that cannot but be of the utmost value in the years that are before us. For it has well been said by one

whose name escapes me, that if a star were quenched on high, its light still travelling on would influence men for many years.

So, when a great man dies,

For years beyond our ken,

The light he leaves behind him lies Upon the paths of men.

It may be said of Doctor McKay, not that he was a great parliamentarian, not that he participated actively in the legislation of the house, but rather that, by the influence of his example in his profession, in his public service to his community, in his service through small organizations that are so vita! to the creation of sound public opinion, in the councils of his party, on the hustings, and, if I may use the term, in the organization work of his party-believing that party was intended to serve the public and existed for the state and not the individual-his life was indeed one of great usefulness to this country.

It is a tribute to him that after nearly fourscore years of life in the community he was elected to the House of Commons in 1935, when he was about eighty years of age. That in itself is a striking tribute to his qualities of heart and of mind and to the influence of his life upon his fellow citizens; for it does not often happen thus, especially in view of the fact that he had had but one term in this house during all those years.

I can only say how sincerely we on this side of the house regret his passing; for it is the severing of one of the links that join the present to the remote past-the passing of one who was able to speak intimately and with knowledge of the men who in days gone by, in the chamber of the Commons House of Parliament, did much to lay the foundations of the dominion as we now know it. It may well be said of him that he has passed to his fathers having lived a life full of good works; and those who are left behind him can say of him:

Life's race well run, [DOT]

Life's work well done,

Life's victory won,

Now cometh rest.

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CCF

James Shaver Woodsworth

Co-operative Commonwealth Federation (C.C.F.)

Mr. J. S. WOODSWORTH (Winnipeg North Centre):

Those of us who have been for any number of years in the house will recognize, I believe, Doctor McKay's keen interest in public affairs and in people, Undoubtedly he was a strong party man, but I think we all came to realize that he was also a friendly man, and perhaps now that he has gone we think particularly of his friendliness. I desire to express on behalf of

The late Matthew McKay

the members of this group our appreciation of his work in the house and to extend our sympathy to those whom he leaves behind.

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SC

John Horne Blackmore

Social Credit

Mr. J. H. BLACKMORE (Lethbridge):

May I join my voice in honouring Doctor McKay? I might tell a little incident from his life which, I believe, will be to his credit in times like these. Last year he arranged, [DOT]entirely without my previous knowledge, to have me invited to speak upon the new economics in one of the important cities in his riding. In telling me about it just before I went he said, "I wanted those leading men to know what reformers to-day are thinking and their reasons for so thinking." A man of eighty who is as open-minded as that has merited the esteem of all men, and to Doctor McKay the group which I represent accords that tribute.

Mr. JEAN-FRANCO IS POULIOT (Temis-couata): As a private member from the

province of Quebec may I pay my humble tribute to the memory of a very dear friend who has just passed. Doctor McKay belonged to the old traditionalists of the province of Ontario. He was of Scotch and Irish extraction. He was a man of very deep convictions and as the leader of the opposition (Mr. Bennett) has just said, he had taken part in every campaign in his constituency and as well in other parts of the good old province of Ontario. Did you notice, Mr. Speaker, that he was sixty-three in 1921 when he ran for the first time? He was elected on that occasion and up to last week was one of the very few members then in this chamber who were in this house when I came here in 1924. In 1926 he was sixty-eight and he ran again in the elections though he was .defeated. But he was not downhearted, for in 1930 he ran again. He was again defeated, and at that time he was seventy-two. But in 1935, when he was seventy-seven, he had the joy of his life; for then he had the satisfaction of knowing that his principles and his views were again accepted by his own electors who were his friends. On many occasions I went to him for advice, and I never regretted having done so. I shall honour his memory for a long time, and I may say that in his departure I have suffered the loss of a very dear friend. The life of a man of such deep convictions is a lesson to all of us and especially to the young. If they will cherish their convictions as Doctor McKay did his, they will enjoy the same respect from their fellow citizens.

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LIB

Daniel (Dan) McIvor

Liberal

Mr. DANIEL McIVOR (Fort William):

I should like to pay my tribute to Doctor

McKay in recalling the last word he spoke. Last week he invited some of us to attend the play-offs in the junior hockey league when the Pembroke junior team got into the finals, and he said to me, "It is our duty to encourage our youth in clean sport, and I hope you will have time to attend the game."

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RAILWAY ACT AMENDMENT


Mr. 0. L. BOULANGER (Bellechasse) moved for leave to introduce Bill No. 20, to amend the Railway Act.


?

Some hon. MEMBERS:

Explain.

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LIB

Joseph Oscar Lefebre Boulanger

Liberal

Mr. BOULANGER:

The object of the bill is to amend the Railway Act in order to give jurisdiction to the board of railway commissioners instead of following the ordinary course, in cases of damages caused by the erection of snow fences.

Motion agreed to and bill read the first time.

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GOVERNMENT RAILWAYS ACT


Mr. 0. L. BOULANGER (Bellechasse) moved for leave to introduce Bill No. 21, to amend the Government Railways Act. He said: The object is the same as that of the bill I have just presented. Motion agreed to and bill read the first time.


QUESTIONS


(Questions answered orally are indicated by an asterisk).


CANADIAN WHEAT BOARD

CCF

Mr. COLDWELL:

Co-operative Commonwealth Federation (C.C.F.)

1. Was surplus wheat held by the wheat board at July 31 last, from the 1935 crop of wheat, from previous crops or both?

2. How was the unsold surplus divided between crops of various years?

3. Does the government consider that the farmers have any share or interest in such surpluses?

4. Can the farmers expect any further payments from such surpluses?

5. If so, when, approximately, will the cheques be issued?

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Subtopic:   CANADIAN WHEAT BOARD
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LIB

Mr. ROGERS: (Minister of Labour)

Liberal

1. Yes, from the 1935 crop also from wheat purchased by the Canadian Wheat Board from the Canadian Co-operative Wheat Producers Limited.

2. 2,030,761 bushels of 1935 crop, 82,667,891 bushels of wheat purchased from Canadian Cooperative Wheat Producers Ltd.

Questions

3. The report of the wheat board indicates that there is no surplus profit on the crop of 1935 to be distributed.

4. Answered by No. 3.

5. Answered by No. 3.

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RETURNED SOLDIERS' PENSIONS AND MEDICAL TREATMENT

CCF

Mr. MacNEIL:

Co-operative Commonwealth Federation (C.C.F.)

1. What steps have been taken to implement the recommendation of the special committee on pensions and returned soldiers' problems as approved last session, that a board of psychiatrists and neurologists be convened to consider pensions and medical treatment policy as affecting mental, psychopathic, or neuropathic disabilities?

2. If such board has been convened, what is its personnel?

3. Have the findings of such board been reported upon to the Department of Pensions and National Health, and will such findings be made available for consideration of the House of Commons?

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LIB

Mr. POWER: (Minister of Pensions and National Health)

Liberal

1. The board was duly convened.

2. Dr. R. Angrove, Chief, Neuropsychiatric Services, Ste. Anne's Hospital.

Dr. W. Baillie, Chief Neuropsyehiatric Services, Christie St. Hospital, Toronto. Secretary, Academy of Medicine, (Neuropsychiatric Section).

Dr. Gaston Lefebvre de Bellefeuille, Professor of Neuropsychiatry, University of Montreal.

Dr. George Boyer, Toronto, Chief, Consultant Division, Toronto General Hospital, Faculty of Medicine, Toronto University.

Dr. J. P. S. Cathcart, Chief, Neuropsychiatric Services, Dept. Pensions and National Health.

Dr. Harry Dover, Consultant Neuropsychiatrist, Ottawa Civic Hospital.

Dr. C. B. Farrar, Professor of Psychiatry, University of Toronto. Director of Toronto Psychiatric Hospital, Toronto.

Dr. S. M. Fisher, Instructor in Medicine, University of Western Ontario.

Dr. A. A. Fletcher, University of Toronto Faculty of Medicine. Consultant Neuropsychiatrist, Toronto General Hospital.

Dr. Grant Fleming, Dean), Faculty of Medicine, McGill University. Professor of Public Health and Preventive Medicine, McGill University Medical Director, Canadian National Committee on Mental Hygiene.

Dr. W. Leslie, Chief, Neuropsychiatric Service, Deer Lodge Hospital, Winnipeg.

Dr. Hugh Laidlaw, Chief, Pathological Services, Ottawa General Hospital.

Dr. F. H. Mackay, Professor in Neurology, McGill University. Chief, Neurological Division, Montreal General Hospital.

Dr. George Mason, Calgary. Chief Consultant Psychiatrist, Province of Alberta.

Dr. A. T. Mathers, Winnipeg. Dean, Faculty of Medicine, University of Manitoba. Director, Winnipeg Neuropsychiatric Hospital. Chief Psychiatrist, Provincial Services.

Dr. W. J. McLean, Lecturer, University of Western Ontario. Chief, Neuropsychiatric Division, Westminster Hospital.

Dr. W. T. B. Mitchell, Associate Professor, Mental Hygiene, McGill University. Chief, Provincial Mental Hygiene Clinic, Montreal.

Dr. Daniel Plouffe, Chief, Neuropsychiatric Services, Province of Quebec. Superintendent Bordeaux Hospital for Insane.

Dr. C. S. Roy, Superintendent, St. Michel Archange Asylum, Mastai, P.Q.

Dr. Colin Russel, Clinical Professor of Neurology, McGill University. Chief, Medical Division, Montreal Neurological Institute.

Dr. R. S. Stevens, Medical Consultant, Ottawa Civic Hospital.

Dr. G. H. Stevenson, Superintendent, Ontario Hospital, London, Ont. Professor of Psychiatry, University of Western Ontario.

3. Yes. The findings of the Board of Psychiatrists and Neurologists were laid on the table of the house to-day.

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Subtopic:   RETURNED SOLDIERS' PENSIONS AND MEDICAL TREATMENT
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February 15, 1937