Right Hon. L. S. St. Laurent (Prime Minister):
Mr. Speaker, all hon. members will have learned of the air disaster this morning in which the United States ambassador, the Hon. Laurence Steinhardt, lost his life.
It was my painful duty this morning, in company with the Secretary of State for External Affairs (Mr. Pearson), to call at the chancellery, at the United States embassy and also at the residence of the United States minister, Mr. Julian Harrington, to express the sympathy of the government and of the Canadian people on the tragic death of the ambassador, of the United States minister's son and of three officers of the United States Air Force. I feel sure all hon. members would wish to join in that expression of sympathy.
I should like at this time to read into the permanent records of parliament the statement I have already given to the press concerning this terrible disaster. My statement is as follows:
All Canadians will be shocked by the news of the air disaster in which the United States ambassador, Hon. Laurence Steinhardt, lost his life.
The death of Mr. Steinhardt is a grievous loss to the foreign service of the United States in which he has had such a distinguished career. For Canada it is the loss of an understanding friend who believed deeply in the value to each other and to the world of the friendly association of our two countries, and who contributed day by day in countless ways to the strengthening of our common bonds.
The tragedy is heightened by the fact that the son of Mr. Julian F. Harrington, the United States minister in Canada, also lost his life.
The sympathy of the Canadian people will be extended ini full measure to Mrs. and Miss Steinhardt and to Mr. and Mrs. Harrington in their bereavement, and to the families of the three officers of the United States Air Force who also lost their lives in this disaster.
In the name of the government and people of Canada, I have sent a message of sympathy to the President of the United States.
Perhaps it would be appropriate to place the text of this message on the record. It is as follows:
Ottawa, March 28, 1950
Harry S. Truman,
President of the United States,
I was shocked to learn a few minutes ago of the tragic death this morning of the Hon. Laurence
Steinhardt. My regret will be shared by all Canadians; for in the comparatively short time Mr. Steinhardt was in this country he had won the respect and admiration of us all. I am sure that they would wish to join me in extending to you personally and to the people of the United States generally a message of sympathy in the loss of this devoted and experienced servant of his country.
Louis S. St. Laurent