Right Hon. L. S. St. Laurent (Prime Minister):
Mr. Raymond, now that we who have been elected to this house to form a part of the twenty-first parliament of Canada have made our first formal bow to His Majesty's representative, and have been duly reminded of our obligations under the British North America Act, the moment has arrived for us to comply with the section of the act which requires the members elected to form a parliament after a general election, and, at the first opportune moment, to choose one of their number to be their Speaker.
Four years ago my predecessor, Right Hon. W. L. Mackenzie King, as prime minister, gave an interesting resume of the provisions of the law and the requirements of practice and tradition in the selection of a Speaker, together with a precise enumeration of the qualifications it was fitting to find in the member chosen for that high office. I shall not take time today to repeat what was said on that occasion, but any hon. member who wishes to have his memory refreshed will find that interesting review in the first issue of Hansard of the twentieth parliament.
I hope and believe that the nomination it will be my privilege to make for this high office will meet with the approval of all members of the house. I am quite sure it will meet with the hearty approval of all hon. members who in previous years had the privilege of sitting with the hon. member who
Election of Speaker
is to be nominated, especially those of us who were here during the last parliament and were able to observe with what ability and distinction he fulfilled the office of Deputy Speaker and chairman of committees.
Hon. members will have understood from my last remark that it is my intention to move that Mr. W. Ross Macdonald, member-elect for the constituency of Brantford, be chosen to preside over our deliberations during this parliament.
Mr. Macdonald is still a young man. He was born not earlier than 1891, and for several years has been a distinguished member of the House of Commons. As we all know, Mr. Macdonald has had a distinguished career at the bar; his legal attainments and objective view of questions of order and procedure that might arise in the course of our deliberations cannot but commend themselves to those who know him. I am sure it is also an added pleasure to his colleagues in this house, in choosing him for this high office, to honour one who had such a distinguished career in the service of our country during the first world war.
The position of Speaker is of course a difficult one, but I am sure the qualifications of our colleague will enable him to discharge the responsibilities of that office not only with fairness and impartiality, but in such a manner as to add to the dignity of the proceedings of this parliament.
It is with a feeling of great satisfaction, Mr. Raymond, that I move, seconded by the Minister of Trade and Commerce (Mr. Howe): That William Ross Macdonald, Esquire, member for the electoral district of Brantford, do take the chair of this house as Speaker.