Mr. W. G. Weir (Poriage-Neepawa):
Mr. Speaker, I rise on a question of privilege which I am sure that you and the house will willingly grant to me. You may have noticed that there were a few members absent from this chamber last Friday. The reason for their places being vacant was that the board of trade of the city of Toronto extended an invitation to the entire membership of the House of Commons to be their guests for three days this last week end.
Something over 130 members and their wives, amounting in all to a party of over 200 people, accepted that invitation. This visit to Toronto was one of the best good will trips which it has ever been our privilege to be associated with. It was handled from start to finish in a magnificent manner. On behalf of the members of the House of Commons who made this trip I want immediately to express our warmest appreciation to the board of trade for the arrangements made and the manner in which they were carried out. We spent three full days there, and every moment there was something planned for our enjoyment or something of interest for us to see.
While one would not wish to single out individuals, I do think that special reference should be made to Mr. Gerald Godsoe, president of the board of trade, and Mr. F. D. Tolchard its manager, who were mostly responsible for the arrangements. They were with us continuously, and did everything they could to make our visit both profitable and enjoyable. I think I should also mention the courtesy of the individual members of the board of trade in inviting members to their homes last evening. We from distant places are also indebted to the members of the House of Commons from Toronto who assisted in every way, thus adding to the pleasure of our trip, particularly in meeting their friends.
I think a special reference should be made to the Toronto transportation commission, which placed their buses at our service in the numerous trips we made throughout the
city, as well as the Toronto police commission, who saw to it that no one got lost or went astray.
We acknowledge as well the courtesies extended to us by His Honour the Lieutenant Governor, the premier and government of Ontario, the mayor and city council of Toronto, the Massey-Harris Company, Canada Packers Limited, A. V. Roe Canada Limited, the Toronto harbour commission, the management of Hart House, the staff of Sunnybrook hospital, and the Maple Leaf Gardens.
Of special interest to the ladies in the party, visits were arranged to the Toronto art gallery, the Sick Children's hospital, Sunnybrook hospital, and the Royal Ontario museum.
In addition, Mr. Speaker, you will appreciate knowing that the programs handed to us on our arrival were printed in both French and English.
This brief acknowledgment does not permit one to say all that should be said. There are, however, two items of sufficient general interest which might properly be mentioned-One is the Regent park housing development, and the other the Toronto rapid transit system. When some of us visited Toronto three years ago these developments were being talked about and planned. Today they-are both well under way. The Regent park: housing development is one of the first joint undertakings looking towards the removal of slum dwellings and replacing them by fully modern low rental housing units. The rapid transit underground development is the first of its kind to be attempted in the Dominion of Canada, and reflects great credit to the people of Toronto for their faith and foresight in looking to the future.
The city of Toronto, Mr. Speaker, "sold" Toronto to the membership of the House of Commons in a magnificent manner, and in so doing has given the people of other parts of Canada, from the Yukon and Mackenzie territories to our baby sister province of Newfoundland, an opportunity of seeing something of the problems of a large and growing industrial city, and how it attacks them. Toronto has of course long been recognized as the leading industrial and financial centre of Canada, with connections all over the country and in many places outside of Canada. It is recognized as well as
Parliamentarians' Visit to Toronto the educational and cultural centre, at least for the English-speaking portion of our population. It has kept itself well to the forefront through its two annual exhibitions, its international trade fair, and the numerous conventions which have selected Toronto as their meeting place. It is also recognized as having a very good hockey team, and, as we from Manitoba have found out, an equally good rugby team.
It is just about one year ago, Mr. Speaker, that a large part of the province of Manitoba, including the cities of Winnipeg and St. Boniface, suffered one of the most serious disasters in property destruction that has ever happened in Canada, through the flooding of the Red river. The generous response in material and financial aid from all over Canada, and from many places outside of Canada, was immediate, magnificent and generous. Among those first to offer aid in a very practical and generous manner was the city of Toronto, and as a Manitoban I want to add this as a further word of appreciation.
This acknowledgment is inadequate and far from being complete. We profited by every moment spent in Toronto, and, what is more important, we met and made a lot of new friends.
The board of trade of Toronto and all those [DOT]associated with our visit are to be compli-.[DOT]mented, both for promoting the idea in the first place, and, even more so, for the manner in which it was carried out. On behalf of the members of the House of Commons .and their ladies who made the trip we say: 'Thank you, Toronto board of trade.