January 21, 1942

MESSAGE FROM THE GOVERNOR GENERAL'S SECRETARY

LIB

Georges Parent (Speaker of the Senate)

Liberal

Mr. SPEAKER:

I have the honour to inform the house that I have received the following message:

Ottawa, January 6, 1942.

Sir:

I have the honour to inform you that the Right Hon. Sir Lyman Poore Duff, G.C.M.G., acting as the deputy of His Excellency the Governor General, will proceed to the Senate chamber on Wednesday, January 21, 1942, at 8.10 p.m., for the purpose of proroguing the present session of parliament.

I have the honour to be, sir,

Your obedient servant,

F. L. C. Pereira, Assistant Secretary to the Governor General.

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VACANCIES

LIB

Georges Parent (Speaker of the Senate)

Liberal

Mr. SPEAKER:

I have the honour to inform the house that during the recess I

received communications from several members, notifying me that the following vacancies had occurred in the representation, viz.:

Of Right Hon. Ernest Lapointe, member for the electoral district of Quebec East, by decease; .

Of Arthur B. Damude, Esquire, member for the electoral district of Welland, by decease;

Of Hermas Deslauriers, Esquire, member for the electoral district of St. Mary, by decease;

Of Alan Cockeram, Esquire, member for the electoral district of York South, by resignation.

I accordingly issued my several warrants to the chief electoral officer to make out new writs of election for the said electoral districts, respectively.

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CONTROVERTED ELECTIONS ACT

JUDGMENTS RELATING TO ELECTION FOR THE ELECTORAL DISTRICT OF STANSTEAD

LIB

Georges Parent (Speaker of the Senate)

Liberal

Mr. SPEAKER:

I have the honour to inform the house that I have received from the Honourable Mr. Justice E. Fabre-Surveyer and the Honourable Mr. Justice Errol M. McDougall, two of the judges of the Superior Court of Quebec selected for the trial of election petitions pursuant to the Dominion Controverted Elections Act, notes of judgment rendered by the said judges relating to the election for the electoral district of Stanstead.

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RIGHT HON. ERNEST LAPOINTE TRIBUTES TO THE MEMORY OF THE LATE MINISTER OF JUSTICE

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, since we last assembled here the membership of this House of Commons, of parliament itself, and indeed the public life of Canada, has sustained a loss than which, over many years, none has been so great. It is a loss which comes particularly close to every member of the chamber; but by no one other than by the hon. member for Lotbiniere (Mr. Hugues Lapointe) could it be felt more deeply than by myself. Of the loss to this house, the vacant seat at my side is more eloquent than words could be.

The Right Hon. Ernest Lapointe whose death we so greatly mourn to-day was the senior member of the House of Commons. Mr. Lapointe entered the house as member for Kamouraska in 1904, and had been a member ever since. Upon the death of the Right Hon. Sir Wilfrid Laurier in 1919 Mr. Lapointe succeeded Sir Wilfrid as member for Quebec East. At the time of his death

Right Hon. Ernest Lapointe

Mr. Lapointe had been a member of this House of Commons continuously for nearly thirty-eight years. During recent years he had no superior, and few if any equals, in parliament. He enjoyed the respect, the admiration and in no small degree the affection of members of all parties. He was regarded by Canadians everywhere as a great Canadian.

Mr. Winston Churchill is fond of describing [DOT]himself as a child of the House of Commons. That apt description of himself might, in equal justice, have been applied to Ernest Lapointe. He was a child of the Canadian House of Commons, learned in its principles, its procedure, and fully seized of its meaning to the nation.

When he came,here first as member for Kamouraska, Quebec, he set himself the hard and honourable task of mastering the ways of the house, and of perfecting himself in the use of the English language. So well did he succeed in both particulars that no one possessed wider understanding and knowledge of parliament, and its authority, or greater capacity for debate in both official languages, than the late Minister of Justice.

In his public life, Mr. Lapointe maintained throughout the highest standards of personal and political integrity. In politics, as in all else, he was incapable of underhand methods or of any form of meanness. He despised cunning and subterfuge, self-advertisement, and, above all, anything that savoured of arrogance, intolerance and coercion. He loved liberty, and fought valiantly to defend its principles and to broaden its bounds. Every worthy cause had in him a fearless champion. His sympathies were with the people in their struggle for constitutional and economic freedom. He was ever solicitous of the rights of minorities and of the welfare of those in humble circumstances.

Mr. Lapointe was the most unselfish of men, as he was also the most chivalrous and patriotic. His natural talent, his gift of eloquence, and the charm of his personality, would have won for him the highest place in any profession he had chosen to follow. He preferred to forgo entirely the security which the practice of the legal profession might have brought to his family and himself, and to devote practically the whole of his life to the service of his country. For himself, he sought . no personal preferment or recognition, but was ever ready with praise and encouragement for others. What perhaps is greater than all else, and what more than all else served, to reveal the noble patriotism which inspired his life throughout, is the personal sacrifice at which his great services were given to his country.

With his great abilities and endowments, Lapointe, had he been so minded, might have accumulated, if not a personal fortune, at least sufficient of this world's goods to have enabled him to look forward to years of comparative leisure, freed from the strain of public life and the anxiety it brings with it with respect to health and fortune. To the end of his days he chose, instead, to devote his great talents entirely to his country's services.

Time and time again, although his health was not without some impairment by the years of strain he had already endured, he put out of his mind all thought of respite, retirement, or reward, and chose to continue his membership in this House of Commons, in order that, if spared by Providence, he might continue to take to the end his place in the forefront of battle. Here, to my mind, is-evidence of true greatness and of the noblest type of character.

Law, as we all know, was his chosen profession. Such practice of his profession as he enjoyed was with him merely a stepping stone to the wider field of service to the state in the parliament of his country. Had he given to the practice of law the time and energy which he devoted to politics and public affairs, his name would, I believe, have found its place in the list of distinguished jurists who have occupied the highest judicial positions in our country.

Had circumstances been but very little different, he would, I believe, most certainly have achieved the highest position in political life. When the Liberal convention of 1919 was held, Lapointe had been for fifteen years a member of parliament, having sat continuously as a member since 1904. He had had much parliamentary experience, and spoke fluently in both languages, and was recognized as an outstanding leader in parliament. I myself had had but a very few years of parliamentary experience. Though elected in 1908, and in the house until 1911, I was without a seat in the house between 1911 and 1919. I had not a seat in parliament at the time the convention was held. Despite his longer parliamentary experience and his stronger claims, Lapointe resolutely refused to allow his friends to put his name forward at the convention, and, instead, supported my candidature. From that time on, he gallantly accepted the role of lieutenant and associate, which, to the end, he filled with unswerving loyalty and magnificent devotion.

I like to feel that we shared together the succession of Laurier. While to me came the high honour of succeeding Laurier in the

Right Hon. Ernest Lapointe

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NAT

Richard Burpee Hanson (Leader of the Official Opposition)

National Government

Hon. R. B. HANSON (Leader of the Opposition):

Mr. Speaker, we have all listened with great respect and emotion to the eloquent tribute which my right hon. friend (Mr. Mackenzie King) has paid to the memory of his friend and our colleague. May I be permitted in my own humble way to add a brief word by way of tribute to a man whom I always respected but with whom I was not so intimately associated.

In endeavour and achievement, the brilliant career of the Right Hon. Ernest Lapointe is, in many respects, unique in the political and parliamentary history of Canada.

Bom in a country district, in the rural countiy of Kamouraska in the province of Quebec, some sixty-five years ago, without any inherited advantages beyond those common to many another country boy, by industry and native ability he successively attained the status of leading advocate in the city of Riviere du Loup, King's Counsel at the age of thirty-two, member of parliament for his native county and for Quebec East for thirty-seven years, minister of the crown for fifteen years, holding the high and important Justice portfolio for a longer period than any of his predecessors, and dean of the House of Commons-a record of achievement attained in Canada by but few, if any. And, finally, in 1937 he was sworn of His Majesty's Imperial Privy Council, probably the highest honour at present open to any Canadian subject of His Majesty.

On the death of the Right Hon. Sir Wilfrid Laurier, the mantle of that great Canadian as

leader of our French-Canadian compatriots fell, by common consent, upon the shoulders of Mr. Lapointe; and throughout his career he carried that mantle with distinction and with credit both to himself and to his own people.

During the years of his service in the ministry of this dominion he had the privilege of participating in many international, imperial and dominion conferences; and he won for himself international recognition.

Although I did not have the honour of meeting him until after I had entered parliament in 1921, I recall that on the occasion of the Liberal convention in 1919, to which my right hon. friend has alluded, when my right hon. friend was elected to the leadership of the Liberal party, Mr. Lapointe made a speech which in my mind at least marked him as an outstanding figure in the ranks of his party; and his inclusion in any ministry formed under Liberal auspices was accepted by the country as a matter of course.

During my tenure of office in this house, he was unfailingly courteous in debate to me personally and I believe to all of the members of this house. At times his utterances rose to heights of eloquence all too rarely heard nowadays in this chamber.

In our views on political questions we were probably as far apart as it was possible to be. This was quite natural, since we were reared and educated in quite different schools of political thought. But I cherish the belief that while he held firmly to his own views on great political questions and problems, he accorded to the views of others, no matter how strongly and sincerely he disagreed with them, the same respect which he expected should be accorded to his own convictions.

I regarded as one of his most outstanding speeches the one which he delivered in this parliament on March 31, 1939, on the question of Canada's neutrality in war time. At that time I did not have the honour of a seat in this house, but I recall having read that speech with more than ordinary interest, profit and appreciation. On many occasions I quite frankly disagreed with his concept and interpretation of Canada's constitutional position. But I say in all truth and sincerity that because of that speech, I was prepared to and did forgive him much of what I considered to be heterodox. I warmly commend portions of that speech to all thoughtful students of the Canadian constitution and of our relations in the British commonwealth.

His life and his life's work are too near to enable us, his contemporaries, properly to appraise his place in Canadian history. But

Right Hon. Ernest Lapointe

one feature stands out prominently throughout his life and career, one that now redounds and will forever stand to his honour and credit-his intense love for his native land.

To my right hon. friend and to those associated with him I extend our sincere sympathy in the great loss which he personally and his party in this house and the country have sustained. One by one the oaks fall. Their passing is a challenge to all of us to hold high the standards which our predecessors have raised in this country.

To Madame Lapointe and to the immediate members of his family I extend also our sincere sympathy. I recall the pride with which he witnessed his son take his seat as a member of this house in 1940 and, at the first session of this parliament, rise in his place to move the address in reply to the speech from the throne. At that time I offered to Mr. Lapointe my personal congratulations in the words of a great imperial statesman on a similar occasion in the imperial parliament: "It was a speech which must have been dear and refreshing to a father's heart." And I recall with pleasure the note of thanks which he subsequently sent to me.

To these, his loved ones, we offer sincerely and respectfully these expressions of solace and sympathy.

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CCF

Major James William Coldwell

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

Mr. M. J. COLDWELL (Rosetown-Biggar):

Mr. Speaker, on behalf of the group with which I am associated I join in the expressions of sympathy for the family of the late Right Hon. Ernest Lapointe and of regret that he has been taken from us in the midst of this period of crisis and of tragedy. We may not always have agreed with him, but every member of the house, as has been already said, recognized his sincerity, his integrity, and his love for the Dominion of Canada.

We realize that in his passing Canada has lost one of her most outstanding sons, and we join with other members of the house in an expression of regret at his passing and of appreciation of the good work that he has done for all the people of this dominion. We express, too, our sympathy with the Right Hon. the Prime Minister (Mr. Mackenzie King); for he has suffered, we know, a personal loss which is greater perhaps than we realize.

On behalf of our group, therefore, I join in the expressions of sympathy to his bereaved family and friends. We trust that Madame Lapointe especially may be sustained in the great loss which she has suffered.

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SC

John Horne Blackmore

Social Credit

Mr. J. H. BLACKMORE (Lethbridge):

Mr. Speaker, perhaps very few statesmen of

the British commonwealth of nations have had, on their passing, such beautiful things said about them as have been said to-day by the various speakers concerning the Right Hon. Mr. Lapointe. It is greatly to his credit that there is in all of these expressions no statement which appears to be an exaggeration.

Members of my group desire to join with those of other groups and parties in the house in sincere sympathy with the Prime Minister (Mr. Mackenzie King) in the loss he has sustained, in heartfelt condolence with the members of the late Mr. Lapointe's family in their bereavement, and in high appreciation of the great life of a very good man.

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LIB

Pierre-Joseph-Arthur Cardin (Minister of Transport; Minister of Public Works)

Liberal

Hon. P. J. A. CARDIN (Minister of Public Works) (Translation):

Mr. Speaker, I wish to add a few words in French to the tributes which have just been registered in the political history of this country by the leaders of our various political parties. The unanimity of sentiment and of sorrow expressed by these political leaders clearly indicates the extent of the respect the late minister enjoyed in this house and of the prestige he exercised throughout Canada. The tributes justly paid to the great memory of the Right Hon. Ernest Lapointe will, I am sure, bring some consolation to the members of his family and some alleviation of their grief.

On this side of the house we have heard the Prime Minister (Mr. Mackenzie King) express praise and regret on behalf of those who are saddened by the loss of a leader whom they loved, respected and supported. On the other side of the chamber political opponents have in all sincerity paid tribute to the memory of the great man who is no more and have, across all political barriers, acknowledged the merit and the worth of the man who had long been the recognized and respected leader of French Canada. From all sides the worth of the great man whom we mourn is admitted. Everywhere all hearts were saddened by the premature death of so important and respected a man as Right Hon. Ernest Lapointe. Today all of us, Liberals, Conservatives and members of the other political groups, are, so to speak, united around the grave of this great man, exchanging fraternal handshakes and consoling one another on the loss of a big brother.

Mr. Lapointe's career and his success in public life show what can be accomplished in a country governed and directed by the spirit of our democratic institutions for which we are now fighting.

Born of humble parents, educated in a college of his native province, Mr. Lapointe climbed all the rungs of the social and political ladder to become one of the most eminent men, not only of Canada, but of the world. It is the

Right Hon. Ernest Lapointe

democratic system that has made possible the development of this great mind, that has permitted this man of lowly origin to attain so high a place in the political sphere and do so much good to his fellow-citizens. Today, I repeat, in a deep feeling of brotherliness we console one another. Let us all hope that this brotherly spirit which animates us at present will continue throughout the difficult times which lie ahead, so that we may preserve the great spirit of national unity which is so necessary to Canada and which was so dear to the man whom we now mourn.

Mr. Speaker, I heartily subscribe to the sentiments expressed by those who have spoken before me. With deep emotion I bend in thought over this great tomb and mingle my sorrow with the' chill rays of our winter sun, which, at this moment illumines with a sad smile the humble corner of Canadian soil where rest in peace most sure the ashes of a great Canadian.

Mr. L.-PHILIPPE PICARD (Bellechasse) (Translation): Mr. Speaker, I may, at this

moment, use the words of the French writer: "The man whose irretrievable absence leaves in the hearts of those dear to him a void which can never be filled again, was one of the dearest friends fate had bestowed on me," and, shall I add, an incomparable teacher whose acts have been my inspiration as well as an example of civic devotion.

I shall not be alone, Mr. Speaker, to miss this great figure who is no more. All the members of this house, irrespective of political convictions, will feel his absence; this fact is amply proved by the speeches we have just heard. This brave, frank and open face, reflecting all that our race, attached to its soil, has given us of goodness and fortitude, tempered and refined by culture, taste and economic independence, will remain graven in our minds and his memory will hover over this house long after we, who have been fortunate enough to know Mr. Lapointe, have disappeared.

I have, Mr. Speaker, neither the gifts nor the ability to relate his life and draw the useful lessons it could teach us, or to paint a portrait of a man with whom you were so well acquainted that it is useless to endeavour to eulogize him, but I should feel that I had not shown all the friendliness, affection and admiration that I feel towards him, if I restrained from doing homage to his memory even in a very inadequate manner.

It has often been said that at each period of a nation's life some men appear who, whether called or made by circumstances, exemplify national thoughts and aspirations and become the interpreters of their fellowcitizens and, often, determine their evolution. Destiny sets these men up and the people recognize them when their time to serve has come. Such has been the case all through the history of the French-Canadian people. There has always been someone, at the opportune moment, to attract the attention of the masses and acquire the desired degree of ascendancy over them. One such man is now mourned by French Canada. This providential man has gone at the height of his career and at a time when his countrymen were in the greatest need of his stabilizing influence, his support, his advice.

Ever since the advent of our constitutional liberty, very few men have played so great a part as Ernest Lapointe in the development of our national destiny. The first among them, and perhaps the only one to assert himself through combativity and; almost through violence, was the patriot Papineau. The others, Lafontaine, Cartier, Laurier and Lapointe were brought upon the scene through the course of events and they were selected by their fellow-citizens. They were trained political men. They all passed through a more or less lengthy period of gestation. They prepared themselves while remaining constantly in contact with the people, and when their moment came, they brought to the councils of the nation, besides a cultured mind, a deep knowledge of popular reactions, which is an essential equipment for the leaders of a free nation, of an enlightened body of electors.

For Lapointe, that preparatory period was comparatively long, but as it had begun early, he was still young when, in 1916, he brought himself to the attention of the whole country. Three years later, when he became the member for Laurier's constituency in Quebec, he was only forty-three years old, but he already had fifteen years of experience in dominion politics, and the young small-town lawyer, devoted to the interests of his rural electors had become an experienced parliamentarian, quite familiar with matters of national importance.

Lapointe was selected by his fellow-citizens as being the one who best embodied their opinions, their wishes and their mentality, and he preserved to the end those traits that had brought him to their attention; to the end of his life also he never ceased to understand his electors and to interpret their thoughts in matters of public administration.

The knowledge that he was interpreting the opinion of the great majority of his compatriots imparted to him a perfect equanimity and an absolute confidence, even in spite of the petty attacks to which public men are

Right Hon. Ernest Lapointe

exposed. The great concourse of people we saw at his funeral was a most eloquent reply to his bitter though not numerous critics.

Through their deep sorrow, commensurate with the position that Lapointe occupied in our national life, the people recognize the ties that united them to him, and the tragic loss caused by his demise.

As Reverend Father Gaudreault has so aptly said: "When the tragic event became known, it was as if a bolt from the blue had uprooted an oak. And the gap still remains. An oak-tree cannot be replaced in a few days!"

After the eloquent words we have heard, the stirring tributes from the Prime Minister and the Minister of Public Works, there is little more about Lapointe's career to be said1 that has not yet been stressed or remains unknown.

Everyone will admit that Lapointe, of all the parliamentarians, was the most conversant with the rules and customs of the house, the most able to authoritatively point out a precedent to justify an interpretation of the complex procedure. The political life of our country since 1904, was his own life; he knew all the details and this familiarity with the present, was supplemented by a thorough knowledge of Canadian history from the union until the present days.

In the house, he was a redoubtable adversary, first for his ready intelligence and wit, but above all for his historical erudition, his reliable memory and his assiduousness to the meetings of the house during his entire parliamentary career. However, everyone has noticed that, in spite of his eagerness in the fight, in the course of the debate, he had a method of attack all his own which, although very effective, did not leave room for any rancour, but kept the adversary his friend outside of this house.

As for his accomplishments, it would be too much of a task even to outline them, but I would like the members to make it their personal duty to "honour his memory in following the ideals to which he had dedicated his best endeavours."

The utterances, writings, acts, undertakings of Mr. Lapointe, everything that goes to make up his works, must stand as a beacon to guide those who attempt to speak in the name of the French-Canadian race.

(Text) My only excuse for taking a few more minutes of the time of this house is that, over a period of thirty-five years, in fact since my early childhood, I have known the Right Hon. Ernest Lapointe intimately, and that I have been privileged to serve him in the capacity of private secretary during two periods of five years each, from 1925 to 1930 and from

1935 to 1940. Over that time there grew on my part for him not only admiration but devotion and affection, and I would have considered it amiss of these sentiments not to rise to-day, no matter how sad a task it is for me to speak in the past tense of a man who two months ago was yet in this house and who seemed destined to carry on in the line of duty for many years to come.

Upon Ernest Lapointe's first election in Quebec East, in 1919, Toronto Saturday Night stated: .

The province of Quebec has never had a stronger champion-save Sir Wilfrid himself-[DOT] on the floor of parliament than Mr. Lapointe. He possesses the passionate love of his native race which marks so many of his compatriots. He is, however, essentially a Canadian, and not merely a French-Canadian. For that reason, he has the confidence and esteem of his fellow countrymen as a whole.

This was true, Mr. Speaker, and Mr. Lapointe's nationalism was broader than that of the pseudo-nationalist element of his province, one which saw beyond the borders of Quebec and embraced Canadian citizenship with full equal rights and full equal opportunities for all. It was the nationalism of Laurier blossoming forth in harmony with the evolution of the country from colonial-dominion status to that of equal partner with the mother country.

Ernest Lapointe remained true to his racial group, but, as in the case of Laurier, endeavoured to promote their interests by bringing them to the full benefits of a closer association with the rest of Canada on a footing of complete equality. He went far to reach his aim in that he obtained better understanding within his party, and, I may say, even in this house, between the two races, better cooperation, amongst the duly elected representatives of the people. Unfortunately, his life's work, like that of most great men, was not yet completed; it was even in certain parts menaced, when he had to lay down the sword, and much remains to be done to ensure the realization of Laurier's and Lapointe's dreams of a country united by the fraternal spirit of cordial understanding and friendly sharing of our natural inheritance.

I have said before in this house, and I wish to repeat it to-day: There can be no true Canadian sentiment when EnglishJCanadian citizens think in terms of empire and Britain and when French-Canadians consider their province and not Canada as their country. I might also add: There can be no real and effective cooperation as long as the majority keep all the benefits for themselves and give their minority partners the crumbs from the table, the dribbling drops from an overfull

Right Hon. Ernest Lapointe

bucket, and also when the minority does not equip itself better to force the others to recognize its competence. This is part of the problem that was ever present in Lapointe's mind in these last few years, that still remains to be solved and that still demands the energies and good will of those who believe that in its solution lies the ultimate greatness of the country.

Ernest Lapointe's own parliamentary career is a splendid example of the value of preparedness achieved over quite a number of years of obscure work and patient assimilation. It can fee said that from his arrival here, in 1904, he "made his way silently and single-handed to the front", and that after the long early years of training, "he rose by the upward gravitation of natural fitness." His career is also a model of tolerance and understanding because his outlook on all questions was broad and liberal. A champion of fair play, of liberty and of social justice, he was deeply convinced that the democratic institutions, so dearly conquered over intolerance and absolutism, were our most precious heritage, and although he always granted others the right to their opinion, he could never understand as sane the gesture of a free man who decried1 democracy and advocated totalitarianism.

A good lawyer, a brilliant platform speaker, an outstanding statesman, Lapointe .was above all a great parliamentarian, and it is in the House of Commons that he lived most of the great moments of his public life.

Two paragraphs from Sir William Harcourt's speech in the British House of Commons on the occasion of Mr. Gladstone's death, at this moment come naturally to one's mind:

What inspires confidence and sympathy in the midst of conflicting opinion is the belief that a man is acting from sincere conviction, that what he is doing is that which he honestly believes to be for the advantage of his country.

On this count I think all members of this house will agree with me that Ernest Lapointe was most deeply imbued with a sense of civic duty and most deeply conscious of his responsibilities, and that for him the first criterion to be applied to all ideas, to all measures, was their advisability or their timeliness for the good of the country at large, and I may state that all his decisions were motivated by his desire to make Canada a great, prosperous and united country.

There is one more quotation from Sir William Hareourt which I should like to read, because it applies so well to Mr. Lapointe:

He greatly reverenced the House of Commons. He desired to maintain its reputation as the

great organ of the will of a free people. . . . His conduct in the House of Commons, whether in government or in opposition, bore all the marks of a lofty spirit. He respected others as he respected himself and he controlled both by his magnanimity. He was strong but he *was also gentle; he was to us not only a great statesman, but a great gentleman. . . . The House of Commons was greater by his presence, as it is greater by his memory.

I need not say here how heartily I join with those who have spoken this afternoon in offering to Madame Lapointe; their daughter, Madame Ouimet, and their son, my friend and our colleague, Lieutenant Hugues Lapointe, the assurance of my deep sympathy.

In closing, I wish to make mine these words of a great English Liberal leader, Mr. Asquith, on the demise of another great Liberal, Sir Henry Campbell-Bannerman:

He has gone to his rest, and to-day in this house, of which he was the senior and most honoured member, we may call a truce in the strife of parties, while we together remember our common loss, and pay our united homage to a gracious and cherished memory.

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LIB

Hervé-Edgar Brunelle

Liberal

Mr. H. E. BRUNELLE (Champlain):

In

1933 a large group of citizens of my city of Cap de la Madeleine formed a social and political organization which they called the Club Lapointe. I have the honour of being the president of that club, and, aware as I am of the inspiration which the members derived from their patron, I feel that I might be looked upon as negligent in my duty were I not to say a word of tribute to the memory of the late Minister of Justice, and to express my profound sympathy to his wife and family.

At home a special confidence was placed in the late Minister of Justice, and on this occasion I must crave the privilege of expressing in a humble manner the heartfelt sentiments of my friends. After the eloquent addresses which have been made in this chamber this afternoon, and particularly the address of the Prime Minister (Mr. Mackenzie King), who so kindly and feelingly spoke of his late friend and colleague, the only merit my words can have is that of sincerity.

The Right Hon. Ernest Lapointe died on November 26 last; but the period of time which has elapsed since his passing away has not even begun to make us forget him, and that empty seat before us, where the least imagination makes one still see his genial face and strong, imposing body, is a sight that is both painful and1 depressing. His personality, his broad-mindedness no doubt made a lasting impression upon those who knew him. As one of the members from the province of Quebec, during the six years I have been in this house I have always been glad and proud that he occupied such a high position in the

Right Hon. Ernest Lapointe

government of this nation and such a place of honour in the mind of the Prime Minister of Canada. In the political field as in other fields he practically always met with personal success, and while other statesmen have had at one time or another in their lives to face defeat, he was spared that trial to a great extent. But success and glory never made him look or feel otherwise than modest in his nobility and valour. Successive personal victories did not alter his kind and sensitive heart. During his public career there came from the press of this land, from the press of other countries, from his political foes as well as from his political friends, such praises concerning him as might have made others think that the summit was attained. But such infatuation was unknown to Ernest Lapointe; he simply went his way looking up and looking ahead as though guided simply by the word "Excelsior."

It is my belief that the remembrance of his humble beginnings in life caused him always to prefer simple testimonies of confidence to admiration expressed with a flourish. In reality have not all great men such kind dispositions? In support of this belief may I tell this house of an incident which took place in 1935 when the Right Hon. Mr. Lapointe came to my city of Cap de la Madeleine to address a meeting on my behalf during the election that was then taking place. It was his first appearance in my city. He addressed an immense meeting. In fact, whenever and wherever he was- to speak, the crowd always had the aspect, in numbers and enthusiasm, not of a local, but I might rather say, of a regional or provincial gathering. Before the meeting, while I was accompanying him to the platform through the dense crowd, an elderly and dignified lady managed to get near us and said to me, "I wish I could say a word to, or even touch the minister"; whereupon I told Mr. Lapointe what she had said and he stopped, shook hands with her and spoke to her, ending with these words, which were said with emotion as I saw his lips quiver: "Madame, vous me faites penser a ma mere. Merci." "Madam, you make me think of my mother. Thank you."

A noble heart, a noble thought! And when the greatest of all the great men of the day*, the Right Hon. Winston Churchill, lately having set foot in the United States, saw with his own eyes and felt in his own heart that the whole American continent was thrilled by his presence, when he became aware of the majesty of the reception tendered him he also thought of the one who had given him life, and said, "I wish my mother could have seen this." There was another nobleman, but one who had the same noble thought.

The testimony of confidence by the old lady, to which I have just referred, made a deep impression on the mind of the late Minister of Justice. He did not forget it, although he must have forgotten many other expressions of veneration. He told it to his friends and to some of his colleagues. He told it in my presence. On several occasions afterward, when during sessions I happened to meet him he would ask me in his pleasant way if my people were always of the same faith. Indeed, Mr. Speaker, they were.

May I say in conclusion that the people in my constituency, the people in the province from which I come-yes, the people throughout the whole of Canada, had faith in Ernest Lapointe. On November 26 last, when his death-knell was ringing in the air, making the fatal announcement that that most sympathetic of public figures would no more be seen alive, a cruel chill ran down the backs of thousands and thousands of Canadians who realized that a noble but humble soul had departed. They realized that an honest and ardent apostle of good-will and tolerance had just closed his eyes to the land he served so well, to the people he liked-people who so much needed men such as the late minister and his worthy friend the Prime Minister (Mr. Mackenzie King), two real Canadians, loyal and true to each other who, like Baldwin and Lafontaine, gave us a most admirable example of a united Canada.

Mr. JEAN-FRANgOIS POULIOT (Temis-couata) (Translation): Mr. Speaker, I have

listened with deep emotion to the speeches delivered by the right hon. Prime Minister (Mr. Mackenzie King), the hon. leader of the opposition (Mr. Hanson) and others of our colleagues in commemoration of the; great man recently deceased, the late Minister of Justice. All these eulogies were eloquently uttered, but they would be but idle words if we failed to piously observe his memory.

Mr. Lapointe was first my friend, then my chief, but he remained my friend after becoming my chief. He did me the honour of often thinking as I did. I could not always think as he did, because the opinions he expressed were not always only his own, but also those of his colleagues.

I tender my heartfelt sympathy to my chief, the Prime Minister of Canada, in the heavy loss he has just sustained. It is sufficient to glance at the newspapers of August, 1919, to see how important a role the regretted Mr. Lapointe played at the Liberal convention held in the city of Ottawa to select a successor to our deceased leader, Sir Wilfrid Laurier. Certain candidates put forward by the financiers

Right Hon. Ernest Lapointe

received a large measure of publicity in the newspapers, but in the room where the delegates assembled, the memory of Sir Wilfrid Laurier was still lingering on. Mr. Lapointe's great success among the delegates from all the provinces in his appeal on behalf of the present leader of the Liberal party was due to his insistence on having them select as leader of their party a man who had been faithful to Laurier, who had never betrayed him, who had followed him in defeat and who was ready to revive this tradition for the good of the party. In thus appealing to the memory of Laurier, Mr. Lapointe contributed more than anyone else to the election of the man who is to-day and, I hope, will long continue to be the Prime Minister of Canada.

Mr. Speaker, it was touching indeed to hear at St. Lin the Minister of Justice's last message to the people of Canada. It was a eulogy of the man who had been his chief, of the man he so greatly admired, of the man under whose orders he had served for fifteen years-seven years while the great leader was in power and eight years while the great leader was in opposition. It was his last message to the Canadian people. We.must never, Sir, forget the memory of the man whose death has left such a void in this House of Commons. The reason why I sometimes followed Mr. Lapointe blindly is that I had confidence in his uprightness, in his integrity, in his afoolute honesty.

During the touching ceremonies that took place on the occasion of the funeral, both in Quebec and Riviere-du-Loup, many things have been said; however, at Riviere-du-Loup, the old parish priest of St. Patrick, a venerable old man, gave expression to thoughts which I shall be allowed, I hope, to repeat at this moment. They were uttered while the remains of our lamented Minister of Justice lay in state in the mortuary chapel at the Riviere-du-Loup City Hall. During his Sunday sermon, Reverend Roy, parish priest of St. Patrick, Riviere-dunLoup, while inviting his parishioners to pray on the remains of the dear departed, added the following words: "He was an outstanding Canadian whose memory we should cherish and bequeath to our descendants. Go, my dear brethren, see him, show *him to your children. For them, as for us, he will become a model of faith and enlightened patriotism."

Mr. Lapointe did not use dual arguments, one set for Quebec and a different one for the

other provinces. What he told our Englishspeaking fellow-citizens was identical to what he said to his French-speaking compatriots. Everywhere he used the same language and, my leader said so only a few moments ago, during the last general election, he visited the whole country, as far as Vancouver, where he supported one of my friends seated on the government side of the house, and the arguments he used in Vancouver were exactly the same as those he used in Quebec, Montreal or any other Canadian city.

Neither did he care for appeals to prejudice. He was far above all prejudice. While making himself respected, Ernest Lapointe was gaining respect for his compatriots, and that is the reason why his disappearance from the political scene is so keen a loss for Canada.

Mr. Speaker, I frequently had occasion to discuss informally with Mr. Lapointe matters of public interest in which we were mutually concerned and I never feared to open my mind fully to him. I had no secrets from him. I spoke to him as if he had been an elder brother, and I was never rebuked by him. There have been, of course, periods that were very sad for him. He did not always succeed in bringing others to accept his views. But he always succeeded in commanding the respect of all his fellow-citizens, which is the finest tribute that can be paid to him.

Mr. Speaker, once again I tender my deepest sympathy to the Prime Minister of Canada, and to Mr. Lapointe's family, to Madame Lapointe, his distinguished wife, to our excellent and popular colleague the hon member for Lotbiniere (Mr. Hugues Lapointe) and to Madiame Ouimet.

Topic:   RIGHT HON. ERNEST LAPOINTE TRIBUTES TO THE MEMORY OF THE LATE MINISTER OF JUSTICE
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LIB

Georges Parent (Speaker of the Senate)

Liberal

Mr. SPEAKER:

I assume the house will wish me to convey to Madame Lapointe and her family some expression of the tributes paid to-day to the memory of Mr. Lapointe, and I shall be very glad to do so.

Topic:   RIGHT HON. ERNEST LAPOINTE TRIBUTES TO THE MEMORY OF THE LATE MINISTER OF JUSTICE
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THE WAR

PROCLAMATIONS DECLARING THE EXISTENCE OF A STATE OF WAR WITH ROUMANIA, HUNGARY, FINLAND AND JAPAN


On the order for motions:


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 wish to lay on the table of the house copies in English and French of proclamation dated Ottawa, December 7,

4462 COMMONS

Taxation^-Agreements Witth Provinces

1941, declaring that a state of war with Rou-mania, Hungary and Finland exists and has existed in Canada as from December 7, 1941.

Also copies in English and French of a proclamation issued on Monday, December 8, 1941, declaring that a state of war with Japan exists and has existed in Canada as and from December 7, 1941.

Topic:   THE WAR
Subtopic:   PROCLAMATIONS DECLARING THE EXISTENCE OF A STATE OF WAR WITH ROUMANIA, HUNGARY, FINLAND AND JAPAN
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TAXATION

January 21, 1942