Right Hon. L. S. Si. Laurent (Prime Minister):
Mr. Speaker, amongst the first to follow upon your instructions of a moment ago, that the doors of the gallery be opened, we see His Excellency Monsieur Rene Pleven, president of the council of ministers of the French republic, and those who accompany him on a visit which does us honour, Their Excellencies ambassadors Parodi, Alphand and Guerin, the latter of whom is now in Canada, and Miss Sicard.
All our colleagues, I am sure, will wish to extend to them their most heartfelt greetings and to thank them for showing by their presence here the sincerity of the co-operation between European countries and those of North America in our common undertaking to build up a military force of sufficient strength, based on sound national economies, on economies so closely bound as to deter any aggressor.
Mr. Rene Pleven, in common with many of us here, Mr. Speaker, boasts of an ancestry whose roots go deep in the soil of Brittany. He has all the qualities and qualifications which we value so highly, among them that of being perfectly bilingual. He is fluent in the two languages which are official in this house. I know from my own privileged experience in relations with them that those who are with him on this occasion are also bilingual. That can only add to the warmth of the welcome we extend to them on this occasion, because it will enable us to feel that, in whichever language the proceedings of our house are conducted in their presence, they will appreciate that our problems and our concerns are the same as theirs, and are the same as those of free men and women all over the world. Our own hopes for world peace are based1 on the prompt co-operative action of all of us, and the visit with which we are honoured at this time is concrete evidence that that action is being vigorously undertaken.