April 10, 1937

CORONATION OF KING GEORGE VI

PRESENTATION OF ADDRESS TO HIS MAJESTY ON THE OCCASION OF HIS CORONATION

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, possibly the house would grant me permission, before the presentation of reports by standing and select committees and motions, to present as the first order of proceeding on what promises to be the concluding day of the present session, the resolution which appears in my name.

Topic:   CORONATION OF KING GEORGE VI
Subtopic:   PRESENTATION OF ADDRESS TO HIS MAJESTY ON THE OCCASION OF HIS CORONATION
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LIB

Walter Edward Foster (Speaker of the Senate)

Liberal

Mr. SPEAKER:

By leave of the house.

Topic:   CORONATION OF KING GEORGE VI
Subtopic:   PRESENTATION OF ADDRESS TO HIS MAJESTY ON THE OCCASION OF HIS CORONATION
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LIB

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

Liberal

Mr. MACKENZIE KING:

In connection with the coronation ceremonies it has been arranged that addresses are to be presented to His Majesty the King by the prime ministers of the self-governing dominions and representatives of the Indian and colonial empire. It has^ seemed to me that the significance of the address from Canada would be enhanced and, also, that it would add to the pleasure of His Majesty in receiving the address were it to take the form of a resolution of both houses of parliament expressive of the sentiments of the people of Canada as a whole as conveyed by their representatives in parliament.

I have prepared an address which I believe will meet with the approval of members of all parties. It is intended to form part of the resolution. I have submitted the text of the resolution to my right hon. friend the leader of the opposition (Mr. Bennett) who has kindly consented to second it. At the beginning of the session the house passed a resolution expressing its sentiments of loyalty and support to His Majesty. As I spoke at some length on that resolution I shall not at the moment do more than read the resolution, which contains the proposed address, the words of which speak for themselves. I therefore beg to move, seconded by Mr. Bennett:

That an humble address, in the following words, be presented to His Majesty the King, on the occasion of His Majesty's Coronation:

To the King's Most Excellent Majesty:

Most Gracious Sovereign:

We, the members of the House of Commons of Canada, in parliament assembled, desire respectfully to renew, on the occasion of Your Majesty's coronation, the assurance of our united loyalty and support, and to offer our heartfelt good wishes for Your Majesty's reign.

Since your accession, we have not failed to recognize, in Your Majesty's public utterances, the assertion of those principles under which the prerogatives and powers of government, vested in your person, are held and exercised

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Coronation of King George VI

only according to law and custom sanctioned by general consent. Justice, civil liberty and ordered freedom, thus secured, constitute a most precious heritage. These time-honoured principles, permeating the relations of your peoples and their homelands one with another, have served to create a community of free states, responsible for their own destinies, yet resolved to conserve their common inheritance as one of the treasures of mankind. The solemn form and character of Your Majesty's coronation, comprehending both the old and the new, will, we believe, afford a more vivid sense of the meaning and value of the crown, thereby strengthening the bonds of mutual trust and affection between the sovereign and his peoples.

To Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth we desire also to express our sentiments of loyalty and devotion. We rejoice that the great responsibilities of the throne are shared by one who already holds a place in the affections of your peoples, and whose example fosters those simple and homely virtues which beautify character and enrich family life. The companionship in service thus enjoyed, while ensuring your personal happiness, will afford to Your Majesty support and strength in the discharge of your public duties.

Through this stormy and baffling era in human affairs, the throne has remained broad-based upon the people's will. The crown, symbolizing the unity and the free association of the nations of the British commonwealth, continues to embody the principles of government which they hold most sacred, and their common attachment to the ideals of freedom and of peace. We pray, that under divine blessing and guidance, the foundations of constitutional government may be firmly maintained, and that Your Majesty may be vouchsafed strength and wisdom commensurate with your exalted and exacting task.

Topic:   CORONATION OF KING GEORGE VI
Subtopic:   PRESENTATION OF ADDRESS TO HIS MAJESTY ON THE OCCASION OF HIS CORONATION
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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):

The language which has been used in the address we have just heard read appropriately expresses, I believe, not only the collective but the individual sentiments of the members of this house with respect to the throne and person of His Majesty the King, and with respect to his consort the Queen. I say "the throne and person," because it now is clearly apparent that but for monarchical institutions it would not be possible to maintain our commonwealth of nations. The monarchy is an absolute essential to the maintenance of that commonwealth. It will be recalled that in the days of great confusion in France the electors were asked to express an opinion upon a single question: Will you be governed by Louis Napoleon or by an assembly? And the electors answered: By Louis Napoleon. It is obviously clear that in the closing years of the nineteenth century and the beginning of the present one, we thought that democratic institutions had made such progress that any question of that kind would be answered unquestionably in favour of an assembly. Yet to-day as we survey Europe we realize that in at least

three of the great nations of the world the dominance of a single personality in government is apparent, and that the influence, the far-reaching influence, of a single individual upon the destinies of the world was never more pronounced in modem civilization.

It is therefore a matter of great satisfaction to us to know that amidst the conditions under which we have lived and are living, our limited constitutional monarchy has survived, "broad-based upon the people's will," and is likely to endure so long as the powers of the sovereign are exercised with the advice and consent of those whom the people select as their government. The reasons, therefore, for our attachment to the throne as well as to the person of the sovereign are apparent. The throne, the crown, express that sense of unity which is manifested by British subjects everywhere, and it is also the symbol of the free association of nations which constitutes our empire.

His Majesty, like his father, was a second son. He succeeded to the throne under extremely difficult circumstances. But he brings to bear upon the problems with which he must deal broad common sense, wide experience, and a devotion to duty second to that of no sovereign who has ever reigned. These qualities and that disposition will in the judgment of those well able to express opinions be of extreme value to us all in the days that lie before us. It was a great constitutional writer who said:-

The sovereign under a constitutional monarchy such as ours has three nights: the right to be consulted, the right to encourage, and the right to warn, and a king of great sense and sagacity would want no other.

I do not know that any words could more aptly express my view with respect to the functions of the sovereign, than those which I have just read.

I am sure that our attachment and loyal devotion to the throne and person of His Majesty find expression also in our devotion to Her Majesty the Queen. Her tact and charm, her hereditary claim to the affections of the people, give her a position of singular influence at this time. I think one might modify slightly the words of the great poet laureate and say that she commanded not only the reverence of the people but their affection, and that these are closed "in her as mother, wife and queen."

I regard it, Mr. Speaker, as a great privilege and a high honour to be associated by the Prime Minister (Mr. Mackenzie King) with the resolution which has just been read. The Prime Minister, speaking not as the

Elections and Franchise

chief of a party but as the leader of the House of Commons, has in the resolution spoken for us all. And as he presents it to our sovereign he will have the satisfaction of knowing that he expresses, not the opinion of a man or of a government, but of all Canadians, whose loyalty and devotion to the crown and person of the sovereign and his consort will find expression on all occasions so long as those constitutional safeguards are maintained which make for the peace of our country, the freedom of our people, and the rights and liberties of the subject.

Topic:   CORONATION OF KING GEORGE VI
Subtopic:   PRESENTATION OF ADDRESS TO HIS MAJESTY ON THE OCCASION OF HIS CORONATION
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Motion agreed to. Right Hon. W. L. MACKENZIE KING (Prime Minister): Perhaps the Speaker will read the resolution. The members of the house standing, Mr. Speaker read the resolution in both languages, and the house sang God Save the King. ELECTIONS AND FRANCHISE


MOTION FOR CONCURRENCE IN FINAL REPORT OF COMMITTEE ALLOWED TO STAND

LIB

Charles Edward Bothwell

Liberal

Mr. C. E. BOTHWELL (Swift Current):

Mr. Speaker, I move, seconded by Mr. Taylor (Nanaimo), that the second and final report of the special committee on elections and franchise acts, presented in this house on Tuesday. April 6, be concurred in.

Topic:   MOTION FOR CONCURRENCE IN FINAL REPORT OF COMMITTEE ALLOWED TO STAND
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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 had hoped that possibly the hon. gentleman would be content, in view of the fact that no final conclusions were arrived at, to permit the report to lie on the table without concurrence being moved. There are many matters of great concern that should be discussed when this report is before this chamber. I realize that the shortness of the session made i't impossible for final and definite conclusions to be arrived at, and I realize that the report contemplates a continuance of the work of the committee at another session. Under those circumstances might it not be wise to leave concurrence in abeyance, at any rate?

In a moment I propose to make a suggestion to the leader of the government (Mr. Mackenzie King) with respect to another matter; perhaps I can make it now. Might it not be desirable with respect to these matters which involve differences of opinion, sometimes acute, and which have to do with the consideration of matters of very great moment to us all and to

the people of the country as a whole, that it should be understood that the hon. member will have an opportunity to place upon the order paper next session a notice of motion for concurrence in the report? Then there would be an opportunity to discuss the matter before the committee reconvened to consider questions that are of such fundamental importance in connection with ascertaining the will of the people of the country in connection with their form of government.

In the second inquiry, that dealing with agricultural implements, the evidence has been veiy extensive, and there are many questions about which there are differences, one of them being as to whether the evidence warrants the conclusions arrived at, which of course is a vital consideration that necessitates the evidence being read over. The purpose has been served of holding the investigation, taking the evidence and making the report. So I suggest to the leader of the house that it might be quite satisfactory if an assurance were given that notice would be placed on the order paper by the chairman of the committee or someone in his behalf, if by any accident he should not be here next session. The matter then would be fully discussed and hon. members of the house in the meantime would have an opportunity to consider the evidence, which is highly important, remembering that there is not complete unanimity of opinion with respect to the conclusions that have been arrived at.

I make that suggestion not for the purpose of delay but having regard to the efforts which have been made by all to avoid as far as possible the lengthy discussion of matters that possibly we should have discussed. I suggest that a useful purpose would be served in the conduct of public business if we treated these matters as lying on the table, enabling them, by appropriate action, to be discussed next session from the standpoint of concurrence. I think then we would feel that we had made at least some contribution to the expedition of public business and the closing of our deliberations to-day.

Topic:   MOTION FOR CONCURRENCE IN FINAL REPORT OF COMMITTEE ALLOWED TO STAND
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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):

I thank my right hon.

friend the leader of the opposition (Mr. Bennett) for the suggestion he has just made. I would say at once that personally I concur fully in the view he has expressed. I greatly fear that it would be considered by the people of the country that we had accepted the report in a purely formal way if we were to adopt it without at least some discussion and without giving to its recommendations the careful consideration which their importance demands.

Farm Implements

In the circumstances I am inclined to believe it would meet with the approval of hon. members of the house generally if what my right hon. friend has suggested were understood to be the undertaking of the government with respect to the subject of the report, namely that at an early stage of the next session the chairman of the committee or any other hon. member may bring before the house the subject matter of the report with a view to a very full discussion of its recommendations. Meantime ample opportunity would be afforded hon. members not only to peruse the report itself, but to look into the evidence on which it is based. In the circumstances I hope the chairman of the committee will agree not to press concurrence at this stage.

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LIB

Charles Edward Bothwell

Liberal

Mr. BOTHWELL:

I wonder if we might carry the last paragraph of the report, namely that part which recommends the printing of the evidence and report.

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CON

Richard Bedford Bennett (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. BENNETT:

Quite. That could be done by a substantive motion.

Topic:   MOTION FOR CONCURRENCE IN FINAL REPORT OF COMMITTEE ALLOWED TO STAND
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LIB

Charles Edward Bothwell

Liberal

Mr. BOTHWELL:

I move:

That the evidence and second and final report of the special committee on elections and franchise acts, presented to the house on Tuesday, April 6, be printed in bluebook form, 2,000 copies in English and 500 copies in French.

Topic:   MOTION FOR CONCURRENCE IN FINAL REPORT OF COMMITTEE ALLOWED TO STAND
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LIB

Walter Edward Foster (Speaker of the Senate)

Liberal

Mr. SPEAKER:

The motion for concurrence in the report is dropped. It is now moved by Mr. Bothwell, seconded by Mr. Taylor (Nanaimo) that the evidence and report of the committee be printed.

Motion for concurrence stands.

Motion for printing agreed to.

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FARM IMPLEMENTS COMMITTEE

MOTION FOH CONCURRENCE IN SECOND REPORT ALLOWED TO STAND

LIB

John Frederick Johnston

Liberal

Mr. J. F. JOHNSTON (Lake Centre):

Mr. Speaker, in order that the report of the special committee charged with the matter of looking into the prices of farm implements may be in exactly the same position as the report with which the house dealt a minute ago, I desire to move that the second report of the special committee on the prices of farm implements be concurred in. I shall then take the responsibility, so far as I am able, of concurring in the suggestion of the leader of the opposition (Mr. Bennett) and the Prime Minister (Mr. Mackenzie King). But I want also to move that the report be printed.

Topic:   FARM IMPLEMENTS COMMITTEE
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LIB

Ernest Lapointe (Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada)

Liberal

Mr. LAPOINTE (Quebec East):

And the evidence.

Topic:   FARM IMPLEMENTS COMMITTEE
Subtopic:   MOTION FOH CONCURRENCE IN SECOND REPORT ALLOWED TO STAND
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CON

Richard Bedford Bennett (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. BENNETT:

The evidence was printed from day to day.

Topic:   FARM IMPLEMENTS COMMITTEE
Subtopic:   MOTION FOH CONCURRENCE IN SECOND REPORT ALLOWED TO STAND
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April 10, 1937