Right Hon. W. L. MACKENZIE KING (Prime Minister):
Mr. Speaker, hon. members will have learned with deep regret of the passing, during the Easter recess, of the hon. member for Kenora-Rainy River, Mr. Hugh McKinnon.
Before resuming our sessional duties, I should like to express the sense of loss we experience to-day as we realize he is no longer with us.
Mr. McKinnon was a member of this house for nearly ten years, having been first returned to parliament in a by-election in September, 1934. He was reelected at the general elections in 1935, and again in 1940.
Mr. McKinnon was bom in Kenora, and at the time of his death had all but completed his fifty-ninth year. His interest in. public life first manifested itself in municipal affairs and, later, in provincial affairs. He was, for a time, member of the town council of Kenora, and at the age of forty-one was a candidate for the Ontario legislature. Though unsuccessful in the contest, he lost none of the personal popularity he enjoyed among those who knew him best, and when first nominated as a candidate for the federal parliament he carried the constituency by a majority of over six thousand.
Mr. McKinnon will be remembered by his fellow-Canadians for his deep interest in and practical knowledge of the problems of labour, and of railway labour in particular. He himself had become a locomotive engineer when he was scarcely twenty-one years of age, and his knowledge of our country's political as well as industrial problems was gained in the school of practical experience. He was a devoted member of the Brotherhood of Loco-
The late Hugh B. McKinnon
motive Engineers. There could be no higher testimony to his ability and , fidelity than the regard in which he was held by the entire membership of this enlightened and powerful organization. Recognition of this confidence found expression as early as 1928 in his appointment as one of the technical advisers to the Canadian delegation to the conference of the International Labour Office of the League of Nations, which was held at Geneva that year.
As we in this parliament recall our association with the late Mr. McKinnon, we think of him as one of the kindliest and most modest of men, faithful in his attendance at house sittings, constant in his interest in its proceedings, and deeply solicitous in his own quiet and unassuming way, of the well-being of his fellowmen wherever opportunities to serve their interests arose.
In my last conversation with him in one of the lobbies of this house, he spoke with great earnestness of some of the problems he saw looming on the horizon and of the manner in which he believed they could be most effectively met. I need hardly add that our conversation had to do with the closest possible cooperation of all classes in the prosecution of the war, and in the solution of post-war problems.
Our country and our parliament owe a great debt to men of the type of the late Mr. McKinnon, who look to what is best in human nature, and whose constant effort it is to remove distrust, and to establish confidence wherever that is possible in the affairs of industry and of the state.
I personally feel very deeply the loss of so loyal a supporter and so true a friend as Mr. McKinnon was to me at all times. This sense of loss I know is shared to the full by my colleagues and by all hon. members who sit on this side of the house. I know I can say, wholly irrespective of party political affiliations, that Mr. McKinnon's passing will be felt by all hon. members as a distinct loss to the membership of this house.
Mr. McKinnon is survived by his wife and seven children, four daughter and three sons, two of 'whom, still young in years, are serving in the armed forces, both have been overseas.
I would ask you, Mr. Speaker, to convey to Mrs. McKinnon and to all the members of her family, the expression of the great respect in which her late husband's memory is held by all members of this house, and of the deep sympathy felt by hon. members for her and for all the members of her family in their bereavement.