Right Hon. W. L. MACKENZIE KING (Prime Minister):
Mr. Speaker, since its last sitting, this house has suffered the loss of another of its members, the thirteenth since the present parliament assembled, fortunately the only one in the present session.
Hon. members will have learned, with deep regret, of the sudden passing of Mr. Peter Sinclair, one of the members for the constituency of Queens, Prince Edward Island.
Mr. Sinclair had been in regular attendance at the sittings of the house since we reassembled here in January. He was in his seat as recently as Friday last. It was only on Saturday last that he became indisposed, and it was thought advisable that he should go to the civic hospital for treatment. Neither in Mr. Sinclair's own mind nor in that of others, had there been, at the time, any anxiety concerning the possibility of his recovery. His death was wholly unexpected, and the word of it in this morning's press must have occasioned a shock to his many friends in this house, and will be particularly felt in his native province.
Mr. Sinclair had little more than completed his fiftieth year. He was returned to the House of Commons at the last general election. His political career, though short, had not been without promise. He was elected to the legislature of Prince Edward Island in 1927, and became a minister without portfolio in the government of Hon. A. C. Saunders in the following year. He continued as a member of the legislature till 1931. He suffered defeat in the provincial elections of that year and retired into private life for a while, giving his time to farming and to business activities. In the general elections of 1935 he became one of the Liberal candidates for Queens and as already mentioned was returned as a member of this parliament.
Mr. Sinclair came of a family in Prince Edward Island well known for its interest in public affairs and possessed of a fine tradition of public service. His father, Peter Sinclair, after whom he was named, had, in his day, been a member of the legislature of Prince Edward Island, and one of the representatives in this House of Commons of the constituency which his son subsequently represented. For many years the same constituency was represented in this house by his brother, the Hon. John Sinclair, who was a member of a former Liberal administration, and is at present, as hon. members are aware, a member of the senate. Like his brother, the senator, Peter
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Sinclair had been throughout his life a member of the Liberal party in Prince Edward Island, and active in his advocacy of its principles and policies. He took a special interest in all that pertained to the welfare of his native province. He was most loyal in the support which, at all times, he accorded my colleagues and myself, and we feel deeply a loss which will be shared by all members of the party in this house and by the people of Prince Edward Island.
In the short time he was a member of this house, Mr. Sinclair had not had opportunity to take much part in its proceedings. Being, however, of a kindly, generous and friendly disposition, he made many friends among its members.
The sadness of Mr. Sinclair's passing at so early an age is increased by the circumstance that he leaves behind a widow and seven children. You, Mr. Speaker, I am sure, will convey to Mrs. Sinclair and the members of the family, in their bereavement, the expression of the very sincere sympathy felt for them by all members of this house.