Right Hon. L. S. St. Laurent (Prime Minister):
Mr. Speaker, I am sure every hon. member of this house would be appreciative if you would allow us to take a few moments at this time to pay a tribute of felicitations and good wishes to the hon. member for Quebec South (Mr. Power). Though to look at him it might be difficult to believe it, it is a fact that today he is starting the 36th year of continuous membership in this house. It is not only because of the length of his membership in the house but much more because of the manner in which he has discharged his responsibilities and duties here that we are all so happy to acclaim him as the dean of this chamber in years and in experience. In paying honour to him, Mr. Speaker, I think that we are honouring ourselves by manifesting our admiration for the manner in which he acts as a member of parliament. We shall also continue to honour ourselves if we walk in his footsteps.
I am not going to attempt this morning even to summarize the hon. gentleman's career, but I wish to say that during the whole decade that preceded his first election to this house on December 17, 1917, he had already won much public acclaim. He was one of that brilliant quartet of Power brothers who spread the fame of the real amateur athletes of Quebec throughout the country by their achievements in the hockey arenas of that time and by their valiant efforts to bring to Quebec as often as possible the great Stanley cup.
We of Quebec were thrilled at his gallant conduct in the armed forces during the first great war and certainly were distressed when we heard that he was wounded overseas twice, once so grievously that he had to be invalided back home. But the admiration in which he was held by his fellow citizens of Quebec soon had an opportunity to manifest itself, because in 1917 there came into being in Quebec city the new constituency of Quebec South of which he has been the distinguished representative here ever since its creation.
There is no doubt, of course, that at that first election he was aided in his campaign
by the high esteem in which his family had been held for many years by the people of the city of Quebec; but it was not long before his own personality affirmed itself not only among his constituents and among his fellow members of parliament but throughout the whole Canadian nation; and it has constantly grown as the years of his service to the Canadian public added themselves to each other.
Among the many great services he has rendered to the Canadian nation, perhaps none has been more important or more permanent in its effect upon the, Canadian people than the fact that the Irish Chubby Power became the idol of the French-speaking electors of the constituency he has represented in this house. I will not advert to his other great public services; but in his person and in his career is found a demonstration that good men and good women of good will, whatever be their origin or their mother tongue, can work together harmoniously in the great task of building a united new nation on this North American continent. That is something towards which the efforts of our distinguished colleague have been highly effective and will prove of long permanent service to this young nation. I was unfortunately prevented, by circumstances over which I could have no control, from attending the dinner that was tendered to him in our home city last Saturday evening. I understand that on that occasion he said that the first political speech St. Laurent had ever made was for a Power and that the last political speech that Chubby is likely to make would be a speech for St. Laurent. We have long been friends, but my years are somewhat longer than his, and though I trust that as long as it is my good fortune to take any part in public affairs my conduct will be such that Chubby Power will be able to carry out that promise, I do hope for him and for the benefit of his fellow citizens that he may be making political speeches long after it has ceased to be possible for me to take part in public affairs.
While not wanting to repeat what I have already said, I nevertheless wish to say, in the other language used in the election campaigns participated in by my friend from Quebec South (Mr. Power) that I believe I am echoing the thoughts of all those who live
Felicitations to Mr. Power in that particular constituency, whatever their political faith, when 1 say that we have the very greatest esteem and affection for him.