December 15, 1947

THE LATE EARL BALDWIN OF BEWDLEY

TRIBUTE TO FORMER PRIME MINISTER OF THE UNITED KINGDOM

LIB

William Lyon Mackenzie King (Prime Minister; President of the Privy Council)

Liberal

Right Hon. W. L. MACKENZIE KING (Prime Minister):

Mr. Speaker, I believe it will be the wish of hon. members that before we proceed further with the business of the house some slight tribute should be paid on behalf of our parliament to the name and memory of a former prime minister of the United Kingdom who had over many years close associations with Canada and who, in fact, was a member of the privy council of this country. I refer, of course, to the Right Honourable Earl Baldwin of Bewdley, who passed away at the advanced age of eighty years on Sunday morning.

The unparalleled events of the last few years have more or less overshadowed the careers of not a few of those who in the two previous decades were among the most prominent in public life. That is particularly true of the career of Lord Baldwin, who resigned the premiership of the United Kingdom at the time of the coronation, and who for some years past has been living in semi-retirement. When Earl Baldwin died, there passed from the scene of world politics, one who in his day was pre-eminent among British statesmen.

Baldwin was for some twenty-nine years a member of the British House of Commons. During those years he was outstanding as a parliamentarian. He was three times Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, covering in all a period of some twelve years. In that time he played a foremost part in a solution of the vexed problems which were then before the nation. It was his fate to have been in office and to have occupied the first place in British public life for most of the difficult years between the two great wars.

I shall not attempt in anything I say this afternoon to comment upon either the policies of his administrations or upon specific acts of his government. This would not be the time or place for that. But I should like to say a word in regard to the outstanding place which Stanley Baldwin, as he was known at the time, held at the time and will always

hold in relation to the affairs of the British commonwealth of nations. I believe it to be a fact that no one, at that particular time, had a better understanding of relations between the different nations of the commonwealth and of what was best calculated to further harmony and effective co-operation between them than had the late Earl Baldwin. I think his administration may be credited with having guided the development of the commonwealth along lines which made possible the close co-operation which existed in the testing time of war.

It may not be within the recollection of all present that it was during the conference of 1926, over which Baldwin presided, that the government of the United Kingdom, in combination with the governments of 'the other nations of the British commonwealth, gave formal recognition to what we now speak of as the doctrine of the equality of status of the nations of the commonwealth. That doctrine found expression in legal form in the Statute of Westminster, which will ever remain one of the great documents in British history.

Canadians regardless of party affiliations, retain many cherished memories of Lord Baldwin's visits to our country. Hon. members will remember that it was Stanley Baldwin who was the first prime minister of the United Kingdom to visit Canada while in office. Fortunately it has become a natural thing for us to have visits from prime ministers of the United Kingdom. This parliament and this country has been visited by others who have since held that high office-Mr. Ramsay MacDonald, Mr. Churchill, and Mr. Attlee have all been here as prime ministers of the United Kingdom-but Mr. Baldwin was the first British statesman who while holding the office of Prime Minister felt it a duty to his own country and to the commonwealth to visit this dominion as the oldest and largest of the overseas nations. Hon. members will recollect that Baldwin came out at the time of the diamond jubilee of confederation and was accompanied by the then Prince of Wales. He visited Canada again in 1932 at the time of the economic conference. Wherever he went throughout Canada in 1927 and 1932 he received the warmest of welcomes from the people of this country.

It was also under Baldwin's government that the first high commissioner came to

The Late Earl Baldwin oj Bewdley _

Ottawa to represent the government of the United Kingdom in this country. The example thus set has since been followed in representation of their governments in the other countries of the commonwealth by all the nations of the commonwealth. These are links with Britain and with other parts of the commonwealth which have proved their enduring worth.

I should like to mention one other important matter, with which Stanley Baldwin was immediately concerned and which had an important bearing on our own relations with the crown. I refer to the part he played in what might have resulted in a critical constitutional crisis at the time of the abdication of King Edward VIII. So tactfully and ably did Baldwin act in that very difficult situation that, without lessening the friendship he enjoyed with the Sovereign to whom he had been prime minister, he was able, at the same time, to inform the British House of Commons of the situation that had arisen and advise acceptance of the abdication of the king.

I should perhaps also mention the general strike that took place in Britain in 1926, and w'hat was spared Britain at the time, and possibly other nations since, by the able manner in which that situation was also met by Mr. Baldwin. He possessed unquestionably a unique gift of reconciling differences as they arose in his own country. It was one of the great objectives of his life. In that very critical situation his conduct once more was such as to commend itself not only to Britain but to all parts of the British empire.

While sharp differences of opinion exist as to some of the policies of his administration, Baldwin himself was always highly respected for his whole-hearted and selfless devotion to Britain's welfare and to British interests as he conceived them. Patriotism and public service were the watchwords of his career. He was a great Englishman and a great gentleman. He had a close and personal attachment to the English countryside and country life; a keen appreciation of literature, to which he himself made important contributions. His natural simplicity and sincerity of manner endeared him to his followers, and brought him many friends.

So far as Canada is concerned, I might add, Mr. Speaker, that the name of the late Earl Baldwin of Bewdley will always hold a high place in the minds of our people, and, to those who knew him and were privileged to enjoy his friendship, a place of deep affection in their hearts as well.

Topic:   THE LATE EARL BALDWIN OF BEWDLEY
Subtopic:   TRIBUTE TO FORMER PRIME MINISTER OF THE UNITED KINGDOM
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PC

John Bracken (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Progressive Conservative

Mr. JOHN BRACKEN (Leader of the Opposition):

Mr. Speaker, I wish to associate

myself and the party I lead with the tribute paid by the Prime Minister (Mr. Mackenzie King) to a former prime minister of Great Britain. Earl Baldwin was a British prime minister well known to Canada. As our own Prime Minister has said, he was one of the first holding that high position in Britain to visit this country during his tenure of office.

I recall very well his first visit to Canada about twenty years ago. When he spoke in the city of Winnipeg it was from my own window in the second storey of the parliament buildings to a vast assemblage on the grounds outside. I can remember still his interest and the sympathetic manner in which he treated the early history of that part of Canada.

I recall, too, very well his second visit to Canada, I think in 1932. This was at the time of the empire trade discussions in this city. At that time he came 'to us not as the prime minister of Great Britain but as president of the executive council in the coaltion government of Ramsay MacDonald. I recall the great hopes he had for further commonwealth and empire co-operation. It is interesting to recall at this time the faith he had in the encouragement of trade between different parts of the commonwealth.

History will say of Baldwin that he was a generous citizen. It is said of him that he turned back to the state all the wealth it had permitted him to make during the first world war. I think too, that history will speak of him also as a great and typical Englishman, an astute and capable parliamentarian and as one of the outstanding public figures in Great Britain in the interwar period.

Topic:   THE LATE EARL BALDWIN OF BEWDLEY
Subtopic:   TRIBUTE TO FORMER PRIME MINISTER OF THE UNITED KINGDOM
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CCF

Major James William Coldwell

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

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

Mr. Speaker, death is a great leveller. No matter how high a position a man has held in public life, in the British commonwealth or any other country, he goes the same way as the humblest citizen, and we are reminded of that today.

Like the Prime Minister I do not propose to comment on Mr. Baldwin's record as a ship he enjoyed with the sovereign to whom the time nor the occasion to do so. As to the work that he did, I think it will be appraised in the light of the history of the period through which we are passing. It is difficult to make a correct appraisal of any political leader who has lived over the last number of years and who played a prominent part in the affairs of our respective nations.

House of Commons

With regard to Mr. Baldwin's part and place in the history of world relationships, when all the facts are known of the times in which we have lived the correct appraisal will be made and I propose to leave that to history. But may I say that with the relatives whom he leaves behind we wish to express our sympathy.

Topic:   THE LATE EARL BALDWIN OF BEWDLEY
Subtopic:   TRIBUTE TO FORMER PRIME MINISTER OF THE UNITED KINGDOM
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PRIVATE BILLS

EXTENSION OF TIME FOR PRESENTATION OF PETITIONS

LIB

Ralph Maybank (Parliamentary Assistant to the Minister of National Health and Welfare)

Liberal

Mr. RALPH MAYBANK (Winnipeg South Centre) moved:

That on account of the pending adjournment of the house the six weeks' period allowed by standing order 92 for the presentation of petitions for private bills be deemed to expire on Friday, February 20, 1948, instead of on Thursday, January 15, 1948.

He said: Probably the motion needs no

amplification, but it is presented because of the fact that owing to the adjournment there will be a period of time when petitions cannot be laid on the table of the house. This is the procedure that has been followed at least twice in the past, one occasion being in 1940.

Topic:   PRIVATE BILLS
Subtopic:   EXTENSION OF TIME FOR PRESENTATION OF PETITIONS
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Motion agreed to.


DAIRY INDUSTRY ACT

PROPOSED REPEAL OF PROVISION PROHIBITING MANUFACTURE, IMPORTATION AND SALE OF BUTTER SUBSTITUTES


Mr. JAMES SINCLAIR (Vancouver North) moved for leave to introduce Bill No. 4, to amend the Dairy Industry Act. Motion agreed to and bill read the first time.


APPOINTMENT OF DEPUTY CHAIRMAN OF COMMITTEES OF THE WHOLE

LIB

William Lyon Mackenzie King (Prime Minister; President of the Privy Council)

Liberal

Right Hon. W. L. MACKENZIE KING (Prime Minister):

Mr. Speaker, I wish to move, seconded by the Secretary of State for External Affairs (Mr. St. Laurent):

That Mr. William Henry Golding be appointed as deputy chairman of committees of the whole house.

I might draw the attention of hon. members to standing order 56, section 5, which reads as follows:

At the commencement of every session, or from time to time as necessity may arise, the house may appoint a deputy chairman of committees who shall, whenever the chairman ot

committees is absent, be entitled to exercise all the powers vested in the chairman of committees including his powers as deputy speaker during Mr. Speaker's unavoidable absence.

Hon. members will recall that the hon. member for Huron-Perth (Mr. Golding) was chosen by the house for this position at a previous session, and from the many tributes that were paid to him at the time, I hardly need say a word in support of his nomination today. I am sure it is one that will be welcomed by hon. members in all parts of the house.

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PC

Thomas Langton Church

Progressive Conservative

Mr. CHURCH:

I should like to ask the Prime Minister whether any consideration has been given to giving this hon. gentleman some remuneration for his services. He presided in the committee of supply last session during the hot weeks of July.

Topic:   APPOINTMENT OF DEPUTY CHAIRMAN OF COMMITTEES OF THE WHOLE
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LIB

William Lyon Mackenzie King (Prime Minister; President of the Privy Council)

Liberal

Mr. MACKENZIE KING:

My hon. friend will probably recall that last year I made the suggestion that suitable remuneration should be attached to this position, on account of the many duties it involves and the time and care that the hon. member had to give to the duties of the office. I am sure the house would gladly have made the necessary appropriation, but the hon. member said that he himself preferred not to take any remuneration. I hope that during the course of the present session he will see his way clear to allow the house to give the kind of recognition, financial, or in some other way, that we should like to give.

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PC

Thomas Langton Church

Progressive Conservative

Mr. CHURCH:

Why not give him a decoration? A Cobden medal might be suitable.

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Motion agreed to.


BILL OF RIGHTS

QUESTION OF LEGALITY-REPLIES RECEIVED FROM PROVINCIAL ATTORNEYS GENERAL AND DEANS OF LAW SCHOOLS

December 15, 1947