April 1, 1949

REPORTS OF COMMITTEES

RAILWAYS, CANALS AND TELEGRAPH LINES FIRST REPORT


Mr. L. O. Breilhaupt (Waterloo North) presented the first report of the standing committee on railways, canals and telegraph lines, and moved that the report be concurred in. Motion agreed to.


RAILWAYS AND SHIPPING

SECOND REPORT


Mr. H. B. McCulloch (Pictou) presented the second report of the sessional committee on railways and shipping.


THE MINISTRY

UNION OF NEWFOUNDLAND WITH CANADA

LIB

Louis Stephen St-Laurent (Prime Minister; President of the Privy Council)

Liberal

Right Hon. L. S. St. Laurent (Prime Minister):

I should like to inform the house of certain changes in the ministry on the occasion of the union of Canada and Newfoundland. Hon. James A. MacKinnon has resigned as Minister of Mines and Resources and has been sworn in as a minister without portfolio. He remains a member of the treasury board, and also Acting Minister of Trade and Commerce and Acting Minister of Mines and Resources.

Before announcing the further changes I should like to read to the house Mr. MacKinnon's letter of resignation and my reply. The letter from Mr. MacKinnon is as follows:

Minister of Mines and Resources Canada

Ottawa, Ontario, March 21, 1949.

Dear Mr. St. Laurent:

I have been thinking further along the lines of our recent conversation in which I informed you that my doctor advised me that I should, under no circumstances, consider seeking re-election to the House of Commons. I believe I should now make a public announcement to our friends in Edmonton West, so that they may be able to give immediate consideration to the choice of a candidate to contest the next general election. If you approve, I shall advise the Liberals of Edmonton West accordingly this week end. .

I have been very happy to be associated with the government responsible for completing the work of the Fathers of Confederation, bringing to a successful conclusion the union with Newfoundland. As

you know, I have been looking forward to being relieved of onerous departmental duties. I might make a further contribution to the harmonious completion of the union with Newfoundland by placing my portfolio at your disposal at this time.

It is, of course, going to be a wrench to sever my connection with a government I have been so happily associated with for so many years, but even apart from the state of my health, I feel it is desirable to keep bringing new blood into the administration, as we have been doing steadily for some years, in order to maintain the combination of experience and youthful energy which has enabled the party to serve Canada so well over the years.

I should be glad, therefore, if you would feel perfectly free to act on this suggestion of mine if it will lit in with your plans.

May I repeat here what I said to you personally- how proud and happy I am to have been associated for so many years with our late leader, Mr. King, and just recently under your own great leadership.

Assuring you of my continuing admiration and loyalty, I am,

Yours faithfully,

Jas. A. MacKinnon

To this letter I replied as follows:

Office of the Prime Minister Canada

Ottawa,

March 23, 1949.

Hon. James A. MacKinnon, M.P.,

Minister of Mines and Resources,

Ottawa.

Dear Mr. MacKinnon:

I am grateful for your characteristically generous letter of March 21. No one can regret more than I do that your health will no longer permit you to face the rigours of a campaign for re-election to the House of Commons, particularly as your retirement will remove one of the small band of colleagues who have been with me since the first day I appeared in the council chamber.

At the same time, I know how arduous and devoted your services have been and how greatly you deserve some relief from the exacting responsibilities you have borne so long and with such distinction.

I agree, therefore, that it would be advisable to make an announcement now of your intention not to be a candidate in the next general elections.

Like you, I am impressed with the importance of doing everything we can to make the people of Newfoundland feel their province is a full partner from the first day of union. Your readiness to make your portfolio available will enable me to make certain rearrangements which will ensure full representation of Newfoundland in the ministry. I am sure all Canadians will be grateful for your patriotic suggestion that you make this personal contribution to the success of the new union.

I am going to ask you, however, to remain in the government as a minister without portfolio at least until the end of the present session. I feel it would be most unfortunate not to have the point of view of Alberta fully represented at the council table in the next few critical months.

It is my hope that the number of supporters of the government who will be returned in Alberta in

The Ministry

the next elections will be such that the only difficulty will be to choose the member who is best qualified to represent the interests and viewpoint of your province in the government of the nation.

I confess, however, it is not going to be easy to find anyone who could serve Alberta and all Canada with greater devotion than you have done over the past decade; and I hope you are going to continue for many years, though with lightened burdens, to contribute of your wisdom and experience to the public interest.

In conclusion, may I thank you again for all the help and encouragement you have given me over the years and, particularly, in these last few difficult months.

With warmest regards,

Yours very sincerely,

Louis S. St. Laurent.

Topic:   THE MINISTRY
Subtopic:   UNION OF NEWFOUNDLAND WITH CANADA
Sub-subtopic:   TRIBUTES TO MR. MACKINNON
Permalink
CCF

Major James William Coldwell

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

Mr. M. J. Coldwell (Roseiown-Biggar):

Mr. Speaker, many of us who have been in the house with the hon. member who is now relinquishing his post would like to say that we have appreciated his genial manner, his courtesy and his unfailing friendliness toward all of us.

I do not wish to make any reference to the political implications of the correspondence which has been read, but I do wish to say to Mr. MacKinnon how deeply we regret that he is obliged to retire for reasons of health. We wish him many long years to enjoy the honours that are deservedly his.

Topic:   THE MINISTRY
Subtopic:   UNION OF NEWFOUNDLAND WITH CANADA
Sub-subtopic:   TRIBUTES TO MR. MACKINNON
Permalink
PC

Arthur Leroy Smith

Progressive Conservative

Mr. A. L. Smith (Calgary West):

Mr. Speaker, I join in the sentiments expressed by the hon. member for Rosetown-Biggar (Mr. Coldwell). Inasmuch as the oldest friendship I have-and it is a very personal friendship-among the membership of the house has been with my old friend from Edmonton West, I cannot let this opportunity go by without saying a word about him.

Our friendship goes back a long way. I knew him first when I was a high school student in Regina and he was attending normal school. That makes him older than I, in the normal course of events. I next knew him when I took a hockey club up to Edmonton; and while he did not play hockey, he arranged things so that we did not have a single chance of success. We were defeated. He is the finest wangler-and I do not use that word politically at all-and the greatest arranger of things, with that genial manner, that grand smile, and an outlook which embraces everyone, that I have ever met in my life.

I say to him politically-and in this I pay him the greatest compliment I could pay to anyone in the House of Commons-that we on this side of the house are unanimous in our opinion, one which has become a judgment, that we have always received straight and fine treatment from him, right from the beginning of his holding office until the present time.

I need hardly say that the only difference I have ever had with him has been a political one; and I am content even with that, because he succeeded where he lived, and I succeeded where I lived. I am sure, sir, that all in the House of Commons will agree with me when I say that through his leaving the house will be poorer. And let me add that so far as the welfare of Canada is concerned, it could not have been in better hands than those of my old friend Jim MacKinnon.

Topic:   THE MINISTRY
Subtopic:   UNION OF NEWFOUNDLAND WITH CANADA
Sub-subtopic:   TRIBUTES TO MR. MACKINNON
Permalink
SC

Solon Earl Low

Social Credit

Mr. Solon E. Low (Peace River):

Mr. Speaker, as a fellow Albertan I too would like to say just a word of appreciation of the friendship of the hon. member and of many favours he has done for me, though we have been on opposite sides of the house. May I add I have never taken a matter to Mr. MacKinnon which he did not give his utmost attention and most sympathetic consideration.

He has been helpful to me ever since I came to the house. Being comparatively new in the federal field, naturally I had to look to someone to give me help. I must say-and I acknowledge it freely-that I always received most sympathetic assistance from the minister in every way he could possibly give it.

I regret very much the necessity of his having to leave the house and the ministry at this time. Let me add that the people of Alberta generally, without regard to their political affiliations or colour, will definitely regret seeing Jim MacKinnon leave the administration. He has many friends outside the Liberal party, and many friends outside Alberta.

I extend to him sincerely, on behalf of our party in the House of Commons, the kindest possible wishes for many years of happiness and contentment.

Topic:   THE MINISTRY
Subtopic:   UNION OF NEWFOUNDLAND WITH CANADA
Sub-subtopic:   TRIBUTES TO MR. MACKINNON
Permalink
PC

Joseph Henry Harris

Progressive Conservative

Mr. J. H. Harris (Danforih):

Mr. Speaker, perhaps a word from one of those known to be more closely associated with the urban population of our country might be in order. For a quarter of a century it has been my privilege and pleasure to know Mr. MacKinnon. In those days when he sat in this chamber as a private member-a high privilege for anyone to enjoy-I learned to know and respect him. In common with a mutual friend, the late Allan Fraser, secretary-manager of the National Dairy Council of Canada, in other days we were able to ' espouse the cause of the dairy interests in this country.

It runs through my mind now, sir, that once again, when someone must rise in his place and espouse that cause, we know we have a true friend in Mr. MacKinnon. I do not wish to let this opportunity pass without

saying that between 1935 and 1939, and from that time forward, in company with many other thousands of rural citizens of Canada who were interested in the dairy industry, we knew we always had an adviser and friend in Mr. MacKinnon.

Therefore I pay tribute to him on behalf of the rural members of the house, hoping that in the days to come he in turn will see to it that those who are interested in the dairy industry of Canada may find in him a source of advice and warm feeling toward that industry, and that they will know where to turn to get good advice. I am sure he will be ready and willing on all occasions, whether in this chamber or, as is more likely, in the other place, to look after the interests of those whom he served so well from 1935 on.

I pay tribute to Mr. MacKinnon. I have enjoyed his friendship, and I hope he may be spared many years in another place to serve Canada.

Topic:   THE MINISTRY
Subtopic:   UNION OF NEWFOUNDLAND WITH CANADA
Sub-subtopic:   TRIBUTES TO MR. MACKINNON
Permalink
PC

John Ritchie MacNicol

Progressive Conservative

Mr. John R. MacNicol (Davenport):

Mr. Speaker, I too cannot let this occasion pass without expressing my appreciation of the help the minister has given to me by way of tendering information on the occasions of the many trips I have made into northern Alberta and the Northwest Territories.

Everywhere I have gone in that part of the country I have met friends of James MacKinnon. At different places I heard about his visits to the areas to which I had gone, and learned of the high regard the people in the far north have for him. I am very sorry to hear that his health makes it imperative for him to retire.

I have a particularly warm feeling for my hon. friend for another reason. Before leaving for my last trip to the far north I had expressed to the minister a desire to get from Norman Wells to Whitehorse. Now to get from Norman Wells to Whitehorse by a Canadian plane means that you must fly down to Fort Nelson and then back to Whitehorse. I had inquired from the Canadian Pacific Air Lines what the ticket would cost, and my memory is that it was just under $500. I was quite prepared to pay that, because I wanted to go via Whitehorse to meet my good friend the hon. member for Yukon (Mr. Black) at Dawson.

You can imagine how happy I was when I arrived at Norman Wells from Aklavik to be met by an officer of the United States flying forces. He saluted and said that he was at my service, that he understood that I wanted to go to Whitehorse. At first I refused to accept the trip, having planned to go by Canadian Pacific Air Lines, but when he told me that it would not cost me one dollar, that the plane was at my service, I could hardly refuse. I learned later at Edmonton that the

The Ministry

minister had written to the chief of the United States command, who had sent on the order that saved me just under $500. Therefore, being of Scotch extraction, I want to express to another man of Scotch extraction my warm feelings of appreciation. I do hope that his health will be restored and, as the hon. member for Danforth (Mr. Harris) has said, that he will arrive in good health in another place at the far end of this building. After all, that is the anteroom to heaven.

Topic:   THE MINISTRY
Subtopic:   UNION OF NEWFOUNDLAND WITH CANADA
Sub-subtopic:   TRIBUTES TO MR. MACKINNON
Permalink
LIB

Joseph Miville Dechene

Liberal

Mr. J. M. Dechene (Athabaska):

Mr. Speaker, I cannot let this occasion pass without adding my voice to the voices of other hon. members who have expressed friendship and admiration for a man with whom I have been associated for nearly half a century. I do this not only as a member of parliament, and as one who has been associated with the minister in the fight on behalf of Liberalism in Alberta, but as a member of a family with which he has been friendly for years. My wife's family have always had the highest regard for Jim MacKinnon.

I hope that a man of his calibre, of his integrity and of his ability will be found in the ranks of the Liberal party to take his place in the cabinet by the side of the Prime Minister. It is to be regretted that public life has taken so much out of a man whom I have known as strong and virile. It indicates to hon. members of this house what a hard taskmaster politics can be.

I would ask hon. members to bear with me for a moment while I express on behalf of the French Canadians of Alberta, in the language that they speak, their admiration and love for James MacKinnon, in whom they have always had a most true and understanding friend.

(Translation):

Mr. Speaker, as the representative of close to 50,000 French Canadians in the province of Alberta, I am glad of this opportunity to express in this house the feelings of sincere and deep friendship which they have always entertained for the hon. the Minister of Mines and Resources (Mr. MacKinnon), and to wish him recovery, on their behalf, so that he may long continue to serve the Liberal party in the other place with the same ability he has displayed during the fifteen years he has spent in this house.

(Text):

Topic:   THE MINISTRY
Subtopic:   UNION OF NEWFOUNDLAND WITH CANADA
Sub-subtopic:   TRIBUTES TO MR. MACKINNON
Permalink
PC

Andrew Ernest Robinson

Progressive Conservative

Mr. A. E. Robinson (Bruce):

Mr. Speaker, after listening to the glowing tributes that have been paid to the hon. minister, I am sure I would be remiss in my duty if I did not convey to him the good feelings that come from his old home place. I appreciate that the west takes credit for having had such a man up in that district, but we in Bruce feel

The Ministry

that we are entitled to the most credit, because that is where the hon. gentleman was born, and I am sure that is where part of his heart is.

Topic:   THE MINISTRY
Subtopic:   UNION OF NEWFOUNDLAND WITH CANADA
Sub-subtopic:   TRIBUTES TO MR. MACKINNON
Permalink
LIB

James Angus MacKinnon (Minister Without Portfolio)

Liberal

Hon. J. A. MacKinnon (Minister without portfolio):

Mr. Speaker, needless to say, this is an entire surprise to me; nevertheless I appreciate these all too flattering comments from the various quarters of this house. I myself particularly like people, and I am deeply touched by what has just been said. I am most grateful.

Topic:   THE MINISTRY
Subtopic:   UNION OF NEWFOUNDLAND WITH CANADA
Sub-subtopic:   TRIBUTES TO MR. MACKINNON
Permalink
LIB

Louis Stephen St-Laurent (Prime Minister; President of the Privy Council)

Liberal

Mr. St. Laurent:

There are days in public life which are pretty grim, but it is gratifying that there can be occasions such as this when members of all parties feel that it is fitting to recognize deserving public service.

Hon. Colin Gibson has resigned as Secretary of State and been appointed Minister of Mines and Resources.

One of our new fellow Canadians, Hon. F. Gordon Bradley, of the new province of Newfoundland, has been sworn to the privy council and appointed Secretary of State of Canada.

We all rejoice in the completion of that project which has been maturing for so many years. As a mark of recognition of his service to Canada and to Newfoundland, the retiring high commissioner, Mr. Charles J. Burchell, K.C., has this morning been sworn to the Privy Council of Canada.

Before concluding this statement I should like to mention the services of four other gentlemen who have rendered exceptional service in connection with the union we are celebrating today. The first is my predecessor, the right hon. member for Glengarry (Mr. Mackenzie King), who was Prime Minister throughout the greater part of the negotiations leading to union, and who had a decisive voice in the decisions taken during that period.

I am sure that all my colleagues who shared in these negotiations will feel that I should mention especially the untiring and devoted services of the Minister of National Defence (Mr. Claxton) who was vice chairman of the Newfoundland committee, and of my parliamentary assistant, the hon. member for Grey-Bruce (Mr. Harris).

I feel that all members of the public service would also agree that special mention should be made of the able and devoted service which has been given day in and day out, and often far into the night, by Dr. R. A. MacKay, of the Department of External Affairs.

As we all rejoice in the completion of confederation, they will have a special satisfaction in the knowledge of a task well done for Newfoundland and for all Canada.

On the orders of the day:

Topic:   THE MINISTRY
Subtopic:   UNION OF NEWFOUNDLAND WITH CANADA
Sub-subtopic:   TRIBUTES TO MR. MACKINNON
Permalink
CCF

Stanley Howard Knowles (Whip of the Co-operative Commonwealth Federation)

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

Mr. Stanley Knowles (Winnipeg North Centre):

Will the Prime Minister tell us who is the Acting Secretary of State? In other words, who represents Hon. Mr. Bradley in the house?

Topic:   THE MINISTRY
Subtopic:   UNION OF NEWFOUNDLAND WITH CANADA
Sub-subtopic:   TRIBUTES TO MR. MACKINNON
Permalink
LIB

Louis Stephen St-Laurent (Prime Minister; President of the Privy Council)

Liberal

Right Hon. L. S. St. Laurent (Prime Minister):

The Hon. Colin Gibson will continue as Acting Secretary of State until the Secretary of State is entitled to sit in this house.

Topic:   THE MINISTRY
Subtopic:   UNION OF NEWFOUNDLAND WITH CANADA
Sub-subtopic:   TRIBUTES TO MR. MACKINNON
Permalink

April 1, 1949