Right Hon. L. S. St. Laurent (Prime Minister):
Mr. Speaker, I realize that it is not customary to refer to the passing of persons who were formerly members of this house. However, in a few cases exceptions should be made, and I believe the sudden death of John R. MacNicol, the former member for Davenport, should be one of those cases.
I was shocked to learn of Mr. MacNicol's passing. For the last few months we have been corresponding with respect to a project which was very dear to him, and as a matter of fact I was in the process of acknowledging a letter he had written me only last Friday when I heard of his death. As I am sure all hon. members will agree, for many years Mr. MacNicol was a beloved and revered figure in this house. He was first elected as a Conservative in 1930, and was re-elected continuously until the general election of 1949. I suppose Mr. MacNicol was one of the most travelled members of parliament. When the house was not in session he was usually off to acquaint himself with various parts of our country and learn of the problems of those living in other provinces and territories. As a result of his travels he acquired a vast store of knowledge on matters relating to irrigation and the development of our resources generally, which he put to very good use on his return to the house.
It can be said of Mr. MacNicol, I think, that at least among members of parliament he counted none but friends. Those who knew him were struck by his kind and gentle manner, by his good nature, and by his sense of service not only to his own constituents of Davenport but to all Canadians everywhere.
On behalf of my colleagues on this side of the house I should like to express to the leader of the party to which Mr. MacNicol belonged our sincere sympathy.
Subtopic: EXPRESSIONS OF REGRET AND SYMPATHY