I desire to make a statement to the house.
After His Excellency the Honourable Ray Atherton, United States Ambassador, had presented his credentials to His Excellency the Governor General, he made a formal visit to the Speakers of the Senate and of the House of Commons, that through them he might tender his respects to both houses.
Mr. Speaker Vien and I returned the visit together and took the opportunity to express not only personal congratulations to His Excellency but the appreciation of Canada that the United States of America had honoured us by accrediting as ambassador to Canada one of the most distinguished members of its diplomatic service, a gentleman whose reputation had preceded him and who in the short period of his stay here has demonstrated vividly that his high qualities have not been exaggerated.
At the same time we expressed our profound thankfulness for the unbounded confidence which existed between our two countries, a confidence strengthened and cemented by that great occasion on 25th August last when the President spoke to Canada in this our own capital.
His Excellency was good enough to say that he would wish to convey our sincere tribute to the President personally. This he did, and on Tuesday last His Excellency received
a letter from President Roosevelt. I have a copy of this letter, and I have permission to read it to the house:
The White House, Washington,
April 6, 1944.
My dear Mr. Ambassador:
I am glad that you told me in your letter of March 23, 1944, of the visit you received from Messrs. Vien and Glen of the Canadian parliament, and of their deep attachment to the great tradition of Canadian-American friendship.
At some appropriate time would you please thank them for their kind words of me, both when I was in Ottawa and when you spoke with them at the Chancery.
I wish also that you would tell them of the instinctive regard and affection for Canada and Canadians which a century and more of successful neighbourliness has engendered among Americans. It means much to us that Canadian-American relations have developed a quality all their own.
I think also that it can fairly be said that we Americans face the immense tasks ahead with greater confidence because of the practical lessons of the past, the strongly rooted cooperation of the present, and the concrete ideals we share for the future.
Very sincerely yours,
Franklin D. Roosevelt.
The Honourable Ray Atherton,
I would like to say, and I believe the house would wish me to say, that Canada affirms and endorses these utterances of President Roosevelt, articulating as they do ideals which link our two countries. We have demonstrated in what are now ages the blessings of peace between nations; we are proving now that the pursuits of peace have neither destroyed nor impaired the virility of our peoples, and we shall in the future seek, in unity to dwell, a peace which shall be for the benfit of mankind everywhere based upon justice for all.