March 19, 1951

THE LATE KARL HOMUTH

LIB

Louis Stephen St-Laurent (Prime Minister; President of the Privy Council)

Liberal

Right Hon. L. S. St. Laurent (Prime Minister):

Mr. Speaker, I am sure I can feel I am speaking for all members of this house when I say how deeply shocked all of us were to learn today of the sudden death of one whom all of us had come to regard as a personal friend, Mr. Karl Homuth, the member for Waterloo South. I am sure Mr. Homuth was one of the most popular of our members, and would himself like to be remembered, first of all, as a good companion and a warm personal friend of each one of us on both sides of the house.

When I saw him take part in the division in the house only last Thursday I hoped, as I know most of us hoped, that he was recovering his health which had been so seriously impaired in these last years. I feel that all of us, regardless of party, were of the opinion that the house would be better for having him once more in a position to take an active part in its proceedings.

I will not attempt any long or detailed review of the late Karl Homuth's public service. As hon. members know, he was elected to the Ontario legislature over thirty years ago, in the general election of 1919, and he was re-elected at several subsequent elections. From the time he was elected to this house at a by-election in 1938, until his death, he was successful on every occasion in retaining the confidence and support of the majority of the electors of his constituency.

No doubt a large measure of the support he was given was the result of the political allegiance of the electors in his constituency. But I am told, and I am sure no one here will find it difficult to believe, that a large measure of support came as a personal tribute from his friends and neighbours in Waterloo South.

I should like to express our sympathy to the leader of the opposition (Mr. Drew) on the loss of one of his senior supporters, and to ask you, Mr. Speaker, to extend the sympathy of all hon. members to Mrs. Homuth and her children.

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PC

George Alexander Drew (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Progressive Conservative

Mr. George A. Drew (Leader of ihe Opposition):

Mr. Speaker, it was indeed a very great shock to all of us to learn this morning of Mr. Karl Homuth's very sudden

and wholly unexpected death. As the Prime Minister (Mr. St. Laurent) has so graciously said, he was a very warm friend of all the members of this house, regardless of their party affiliations. I think that few members here maintained their friendships on so broad a basis. For many long years he had been a figure well known here and well known throughout the country because of the vigorous views he had expressed, but views nevertheless expressed in such a way as to be accepted even by those against whom they were directed, in the generous and friendly spirit in which they were made.

Mr. Homuth was one of the many men who had served the public in a great many capacities; and over the broad field of public service that is open to every Canadian. As has been already pointed out, he was a member of this house continuously from 1938. Throughout those thirteen years he gave loyal and constant service to the people of the constituency which chose him. He also served for many years in the Ontario legislature. Prior to that he had served in the municipal council of Preston. His public service embraced the municipal, the provincial and the federal field. In each of those fields he was a good citizen in all that those words mean.

Many people are perhaps too often unaware of the extent of the service which is given by a good member to his constituency, and which is not in any way indicated by the contributions he may make to the debates in the House of Commons, or even to service on the committees. Karl Homuth played his full part in the debates of this house and in the work of the many committees. I think perhaps the members of the government know better than anybody else in this house that he was always an active representative of the people of his own constituency, no matter what their political affiliations were, in connection with every department of government where his services were required. That is a great and important part of the work of members of this house. I am sure that there were few members who were more successful in vigorously and correctly interpreting the needs of their own community than was the late Karl Homuth.

I join with the Prime Minister and, I am sure, with all the members of this house, in the expression of profound regret to his wife

The late Karl Homuth

and his family who have suffered this great and tragic loss. Karl Homuth will be remembered by everyone here as a good friend, a good Canadian and one who served his own community faithfully and well.

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CCF

Major James William Coldwell

Co-operative Commonwealth Federation (C.C.F.)

Mr. M. J. Coldwell (Roseiown-Biggar):

Mr. Speaker, twice during the last few days I have been reminded of some lines I read some years ago, that:

Death rides on every passing breeze.

He lurks in every flower.

On Friday we learned of the death of a distinguished civil servant in the person of Mr. Riddell. This morning we were equally shocked at the loss of one who has been here a long time, one who, as both the Prime Minister (Mr. St. Laurent) and the Leader of the Opposition (Mr. Drew) have said, ably and well served his community and his country in this house and in representations before government departments.

Those of us who knew Karl Homuth in the old days, before his recent illnesses, remember him as a man full of vigour, whose witty interjections in this house often brought peals of laughter from all sides. He was never unkind; he was always friendly.

Those of us who have been associated with him for a long time, and even those who did not know him as well, today join the Prime Minister and the Leader of the Opposition, indeed all members of this house in regretting his passing and in expressing deepest sympathy to his widow, his immediate family and his brothers, who, I believe, have worked closely with him throughout the years.

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SC

Solon Earl Low

Social Credit

Mr. Solon E. Low (Peace River):

Mr. Speaker, sudden deaths such as that of our late good friend Karl Homuth are always shocking. I am sure that a pall of gloom has settled over us all. Yet, sir, though he is considered to be dead, that is not my attitude at all. I do not look upon Karl as being dead. I look upon him as having gone away on a journey. But we shall miss him sorely, just the same, while he is away on that journey.

I have formed the habit of taking men as I have found them. I found that Karl was a good man. He was always good to me; he was always friendly and congenial. Often, as he passed down the corridor by the open door of my office, he would drop in with a word of greeting or to tell me the latest joke. On such occasions he was always pleasant and jovial. After he had left I invariably felt that the world was a better place because of men like him.

I know that Karl had been in indifferent if not poor health for the past several years or even more. We do not know just how long it was, because he never complained.

In all the time that I knew him I never once heard him complain. Only Friday last, when he returned to this house after a considerable absence, during which, I am told, he had a serious illness, he dropped in for a moment; and although he admitted that he was rather weak, he was still cheerful and uncomplaining.

I looked upon Karl as a warm friend, and I shall miss him in his long absence from us. My sympathies, Mr. Speaker, go out to his family in this hour of their sorrow, and to the Conservative party in the loss of a devoted and loyal supporter.

(Translation):

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LIB

Alcide Côté

Liberal

Mr. A. Phileas Cote (Maiapedia-Malane):

Mr. Speaker, I wish to say a few words in French to associate myself with those who have already expressed their sympathy on the occasion of the death of our friend, Mr. Karl Homuth. If, in this Holy Week, anyone should feel guilty for having prevented him from displaying his talents to the full during the last parliament, it is we of the "Little Chicago" group whose heckling I admit and regret. Fortunately, Mr. Karl Homuth was too broadminded and too much of a gentleman to hold that against us. If I have enjoyed the friendship of a member of the opposition like Karl Homuth, it is because he was big enough to put himself above anything we, without thinking of his illness, may have done to annoy him in the house. In fact, I was perhaps one of the first to shake his hand on his return to the house last Thursday.

I cannot express the regrets of the whole "Little Chicago" group, not being authorized to speak for the rest of its members. However, in view of Mr. Karl Homuth's attitude, I must say that I personally regret having said anything that may have offended a man who did so much good.

(Text):

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LIB

Daniel (Dan) McIvor

Liberal

Mr. Daniel Mclvor (Fori William):

Mr. Speaker, if I may be permitted to do so, I should like to make a request. It is known that Karl Homuth not long ago composed a prayer, or poem, in which he described life as a game, the bible as the book of rules, and God as the great Captain. I think it would be fitting if the leader of the opposition (Mr. Drew) could secure this prayer or poem and have it sent to us as a memorial. I make this plea because I was the first Liberal to meet Karl Homuth when he came upstairs; and I will not forget saying to him: "On behalf of the honest Liberals in the house, we bid you welcome." He said: "Thank you for the information." From that time we were warm friends.

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LIB

Jean-François Pouliot

Liberal

Mr. Jean Frangois Pouliol (Temiscouata):

Mr. Speaker, it is always a mournful sight to see the flag on the peace tower at halfmast. When one comes up the hill and sees the flag at half-mast the first question he asks is: For whom? Today I learned to my great surprise that Mr. Homuth had passed away. It was a great shock to me, although I knew that he had been ill. Last year he seemed to have recovered completely. I take this opportunity to add to the fine and well deserved tributes which have been paid to him.

We hear a lot about the fundamental freedoms, but there is no better example of the fundamental freedoms than this House of Commons. Members may hold diametrically opposite views, but when they depart this life their passing is lamented by the leaders and members of all groups in the house. We realize that in this house opinions are free, and the views of each member of parliament are respected by all.

I knew Mr. Homuth well enough to regret his passing, and I offer my deepest sympathy to the leader and other members of his party, his family, and his friends.

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LIB

Louis Orville Breithaupt

Liberal

Mr. L. O. Breithaupt (Waterloo North):

Mr. Speaker, as the member representing the riding of Waterloo North I wish at this time to pay a tribute to my dear departed friend, Mr. Karl Homuth. We did not think along the same political lines, but I think we were pretty much of one mind when it came to human values and friendships. Karl, as he was affectionately known to all of us in that part of the country, will be missed greatly. I wish at this time to add my tribute to those that have been paid to our late departed friend by the Prime Minister (Mr. St. Laurent), the Leader of the Opposition (Mr. Drew), and other hon. members.

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PC

Lewis Elston Cardiff

Progressive Conservative

Mr. L. E. Cardiff (Huron North):

Mr. Speaker, I cannot allow this opportunity to pass without having a word to say. Karl Homuth was one of my closest friends. He was a member of this house much longer than I have been. In the 1940 elections, when the Liberals won, leaving us only forty seats, Karl was my next door neighbour. He and I were the only ones left in that end of the province. Again in 1949, when there was another Liberal victory across the country, Karl and I were the only two left. I think perhaps he has been nearer to me than most.

He was a kindhearted man. I never knew him to hold spite against anyone. He had his own views, and he could express them before his first illness; but I think he held the respect of practically everyone on the other side of the house. I know that we are all going to miss him very much.

Reports and Papers

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RAILWAYS, CANALS AND TELEGRAPH LINES FOURTH REPORT CONCURRENCE IN RECOMMEN- DATION RESPECTING TRANS MOUNTAIN OIL PIPE LINE COMPANY

LIB

Louis Orville Breithaupt

Liberal

Mr. L. O. Breiihaupt (Waterloo North):

Mr. Speaker, I have the honour to present the fourth report of the standing committee on railways, canals and telegraph lines. By leave of the house I should like to move, seconded by the hon. member for Cariboo (Mr. Murray):

That the recommendation contained in the fourth report of the standing committee on railways, canals and telegraph lines respecting a charge on the proposed capital stock of Bill No. 115 (Letter M-l of the Senate), intituled: An act to incorporate Trans Mountain Oil Pipe Line Company, be concurred in.

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Motion agreed to.


SUPPLEMENTARY ESTIMATES, 1950-51


A message from His Excellency the Governor General transmitting further supplementary estimates for the financial year ending March 31, 1951, was presented by Hon. Douglas Abbott (Minister of Finance), read by Mr. Speaker to the house, and referred to the committee of supply.


TRANS-CANADA AIR LINES TABLING OF ANNUAL REPORT


Mr. G. J. Mcllraiih (Parliamentary Assistant to the Minister of Trade and Commerce): I beg leave to table the annual report of Trans-Canada Air Lines for the year 1950.


PRIVATE BILLS

FIRST READINGS-SENATE BILLS


Bill No. 164, for the relief of Hortense Marie Therese Loiese Neveu.-Mr. Winkler. Bill No. 165, for the relief of Eileen Florence Alma Hinton Johnson.-Mr. Winkler. Bill No. 166, for the relief of Ritchie Leslie McEwen.-Mr. Winkler. Bill No. 167, for the relief of Catherine Marie Littlefield Stirling.-Mr. Winkler. Bill No. 168, for the relief of Marie Rose Vachon Orr.-Mr. Winkler.


March 19, 1951