Hon. Lionel Chevrier (Minister of Transport):
Mr. Speaker, I have an announcement to make concerning the office of chairman of the board of directors and that of president of the Canadian National Railways. Mr. R. C. Vaughan, who has been president since 1941, and chairman of the board of the Canadian National since 1942, reached the normal retiring age in December, 1948, but, at the request of the board of directors and with the approval of the government, consented to remain in office until such time as a successor was appointed. It is with deep regret that I announce to the house the retirement of Mr. Vaughan from the post of chairman of the board and president of the Canadian National Railways, to take effect as of January 1, 1950.
There is no need for me at this time to remind the house of the most loyal services performed by Mr. Vaughan, not only to the Canadian National Railways, with which he was closely associated since its inception, but also to the whole of Canada. In the summer of 1939 the government appointed him chairman of the defence purchasing board in Ottawa. All Canadians will recall the numerous problems that had to be solved at that time in order to prepare industry for the war effort, and the defence purchasing board was the first agency on which this responsibility was placed.
In appreciation of his distinguished services, not only with the government, but for his guidance of the largest transportation system in Canada during the war years, Mr. Vaughan, in 1946, was made a Companion of the Most Distinguished Order of St. Michael and St. George.
Mr. Vaughan, when he retires at the end of this year, will terminate a career entirely devoted to transportation. He will have completed fifty-one years of service, having been successively with the Canadian Pacific Railway, the Grand Trunk Railway, the Canadian Northern Railway, and the Canadian National Railways. His first official appointment was in 1910 as assistant to the vicepresident and general manager of the Canadian Northern Railway. He became vicepresident in charge of purchases and stores and steamships of the Canadian National in 1920. He was appointed president in 1941, and chairman of the board in 1942, at a time when the Canadian National Railways, along with the other railways in Canada, were called upon to transport men and materials in quantities unheard of before in the history of our railway transportation system. This house will agree with me when I say that our national system, under the guidance of Mr. Vaughan, contributed in no small measure to the great achievement made by Canada during the war. My colleagues in the cabinet and the members of this house will, I am sure, join with me in extending to Mr. Vaughan our very best wishes for happiness and peace of mind for many years to come.
By virtue of the Canadian National-Canadian Pacific Act, 1936, the board of directors of the Canadian National Railways have appointed Mr. Donald Gordon to replace Mr. Vaughan as president of the railway company, and the governor in council has today approved their selection and has also appointed Mr. Gordon chairman of the board of directors, both positions effective January 1, 1950.
I would like to take this opportunity to say the government is most gratified that Mr. Donald Gordon has accepted the invitation of the board of directors of the Canadian National Railways and of the government, to assume the heavy responsibilities of these positions. Mr. Gordon is, of course, well known to most of the members of this house. His wartime services as chairman of the wartime prices and trade board made his name a household word throughout Canada, and gave him as well an international reputation. He was a key figure in the mobilization of Canada's economic resources in war, and played a leading administrative role in the subsequent orderly transition to a peacetime economy. In these great tasks, and also in his position of deputy governor of the Bank of Canada, Mr. Gordon has had a wide experience and an intimate knowledge of Canada's financial and economic affairs, domestic and international, in addition to which he has been in close working contact with the day to day problems of industry, labour and agriculture. His qualities of leadership, his gift for organization, and his ability to inspire
loyalty and affection among his working colleagues, are well known to this house; and I am glad that his outstanding talents are to remain at the service of the public of Canada in the position of high responsibility he is shortly to assume.
Subtopic: RETIREMENT OF PRESIDENT AND CHAIRMAN OF BOARD OF DIRECTORS-APPOINTMENT OF MR. DONALD GORDON