December 17, 1952

MR. POWER FELICITATIONS ON ANNIVERSARY OF ELECTION TO PARLIAMENT

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 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.

(Translation) :

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.

(Text):

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PC

George Alexander Drew (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Progressive Conservative

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

Mr. Speaker, may I join with the Prime Minister not only in extending the warmest good wishes which can be expressed to the hon. member whose name is before us today, but also in stating that we do honour ourselves in recognizing public service which is marked by an anniversary of this nature.

To hold the continued support, respect and affection of those who have sent him here for half man's allotted span, according to biblical terms, is in itself a very great achievement, and something that should warm the heart and be a source of permanent satisfaction to any human being. I feel sure that today the warmest recollection in the mind of the hon. member for Quebec South (Mr. Power) is the friendly personal support of those who have said "well done" to the man they chose to represent them for all these years.

As has been said, he is one of those members who came to this house with a family tradition, which undoubtedly was a help to him in placing himself before the people of that constituency; but also undoubtedly it helped him in another way, because it is obvious that from his youth he had been imbued with traditions of public service and of the place of parliament in our free way of life as constantly expressed in what he said in this house in the years that have followed.

It must be a great source of satisfaction to him to know that he holds not only the respect of all hon. members, but also their genuine affection. In the sometimes arduous and sometimes very vigorous exchange of differing opinions as to the way that public affairs can best be conducted, it is significant that the hon. member for Quebec South has been known at all times to those in different parts of the house, whether they shared his political views or not, as Chubby Power, and as a man whom they respected at all times, whether they shared his own particular political interpretation of the best way the country could be served at any time.

This country will always be deeply indebted to Chubby Power for the service he gave as minister of national defence for air during war. Whatever other accomplishments may be recorded beside his name, it will never be forgotten that Canada was in large measure the training pool from which there went out to different parts of the world young men of different nationalities who took their places in what has become the

most critical aspect of military activity in these modern days. His name will always be associated with that great training program under which young men from the whole commonwealth came here to the wide spaces of Canada, trained for battle, and went out and served the common cause of freedom under that imaginative and successful program.

He established his own reputation for service in the field of battle in the first world war, and was decorated with the Military Cross for valour, serving with that branch of the service which has not at all times expressed its utmost respect for that branch of the service to which I have the privilege to belong. But whether the infantry always shared the opinion of the artillery that members of the artillery always noticeably expressed themselves, the fact remains that members of the artillery, of the engineers, of the air force, of the navy or of any other branch of the service always did recognize that the infantry is the queen of battles, and that when a man rises to the command of a company, and acting command of a battalion, and is decorated with the Military Cross, as Chubby Power was during world war I, that indeed is something that commands the respect of every one of us.

He will be remembered in another way. Some members leave an imprint in this and in other parliaments because of an interest in a particular field of public activity. In addition to his administrative responsibility, may I say with the deepest sincerity that, so far as I have been able to ascertain from my own reading, no member in this house has more clearly stated the fundamental principles of parliament than has the hon. member for Quebec South on many occasions. I hope that he may follow a course which can be extremely useful to others and that, in book form, he will accumulate many of his own statements in regard to the traditions of this great institution, and add of course those other comments that he could make with the long knowledge he has gained over these past thirty-five years.

I could not help appreciating the sentiment with which the Prime Minister referred to the words of the hon. member for* Quebec South when he spoke of his first speech, and of his last, prospective, political speech. I have not heard it suggested that this indicated any possibility of a translation to a higher realm, but I would hope that, in whatever capacity his future speeches may be made, all of us may have the pleasure of continuing association with him, whatever field of public service he continues to occupy.

To him, as the dean of the house, young in vigour, young in spirit and with a great accumulated knowledge, we pay our respects. And I know that at the same time he would wish us all to join in our thoughts on this historic occasion the great service of his wife to the common cause in which they have engaged. I am sure that all of us would wish him to convey to his very charming wife, who has been so closely associated with him in all these activities, our best wishes for her happiness in continuing association with a great member of this parliament.

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CCF

Angus MacInnis

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

Mr. Angus Maclnnis (Vancouver East):

Mr. Speaker, it is with great pleasure that I associate myself and those in this group not only with the words but also with the spirit of what has been said by the Prime Minister (Mr. St. Laurent) and the Leader of the Opposition (Mr. Drew).

This is indeed a great occasion. I would say that, so far as the membership of this House of Commons is concerned, it is unique; because it is not given to very many of us who come here to represent continuously a constituency that has sent a member here for over a third of a century.

The Leader of the Opposition has referred to the service the hon. member for Quebec South rendered to this country when he was minister of defence for air. As one who was a member of the house at that time, and as one who met so many of the men who were in the Canadian air force in those days, I can say that I, too, believe that perhaps that was one of the greatest services he has rendered the people of this country. His presence as minister was surely a comfort to many of the young men who joined the R.C.A.F. I can attest to that from what has been said to me not only by men in the air force but by others who had occasion to know what was being done at that time.

But, after all, I do not believe the character of a man or his work can be measured in terms of the heights he has reached or the posts he has held. The true character of a man is that, after having reached these heights, he is ready to give up everything he has gained, if he finds that there are conditions that he cannot go along with. The hon. member for Quebec South demonstrated that he was able to do that. Whether or not we agree with his reasons for doing it, we must honour the man for what he did.

Again I say it is with the greatest of pleasure that I associate myself with the words and the spirit of what has been said by the two hon. gentlemen who have already spoken.

Felicitations to Mr. Power

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SC

Solon Earl Low

Social Credit

Mr. Solon E. Low (Peace River):

Mr. Speaker, thirty-five years of continuous service in the House of Commons is indeed a remarkable parliamentary record. To hold the respect and the support of constituents for so long a period of time is a real achievement, especially when, as in this instance, it has had to be done in the thick of political rivalry.

I have tried, since this little ceremony of tributes began this morning, to think of some parallel. The only one that comes to mind is not in the human realm at all. It so happens that I am a great lover of wildlife, particularly birds. Canada geese have always excited my admiration-and I hope the hon. member about whom we are speaking will not think that I am calling him a wild goose. However, there are some characteristics I should like to have in common with the one about which I am going to speak.

Not long ago I visited the Jack Miner foundation at Kingsville, and while I was there those in charge netted about 700 geese, and proceeded to band those that had not been banded. Amongst them they discovered one old fellow they had banded in 1931. It was evident that for twenty-one continuous years that old fellow had flown, perhaps from Louisiana, to the bird sanctuary at Kingsville, and then from there to the James bay area and back again, a distance of perhaps six thousand miles each year. He had been able to avoid accidents and to survive, and to continue to lead the V-shaped formation unerringly to the sanctuary.

That is no mean record; it is a real achievement. It took wisdom, adaptability and a whole lot of common sense to do it. I am quite sure that, in paying respect to the hon. member this morning, no better parallel could be drawn than this, and the statement that he has achieved an even better record than the old goose in the sanctuary who was able to fly so long back and forth across the country, and still remain alive-especially with people shooting at him and trying to destroy him.

All joking aside, I wish to join with all others in honouring the hon. member on this day, and to assure him that he has the undivided good will and sincere wishes, for a long and happy future, of all those for whom I speak in the House of Commons.

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LIB

Jean-François Pouliot

Liberal

Mr. Jean Francois Pouliot (Temiscouaia):

Mr. Speaker, after the gracious speeches delivered by the Prime Minister (Mr. St. Laurent), the Leader of the Opposition (Mr. Drew) and the leaders of the other groups, will you please listen to the voice of the rank and file.

Felicitations to Mr. Power

I am happy to join the countless friends of Chubby Power in extending to him, to Mrs. Power and their children our warmest congratulations and best wishes on the occasion of this anniversary. I know Chubby Power as a glamorous figure in politics, because he was endowed-and he still is-with a gift that could never be defined by the civil service commission, a pleasing personality. The hon. member has been well known for his good sportsmanship, his humour and his wit. His success in politics may be due to his good judgment, but I think it is mostly due to his remarkable "flair".

All speakers have referred to his brilliant war record and the fact that he was minister of national defence for air for many years. It is to his credit that he has never been considered to be a brass hat.

Thirty-five years in politics is a long time. I remember when the late Ernest Lapointe celebrated a similar anniversary. During these thirty-five years the hon. gentleman has represented in this house the heart of the capital city of the province of Quebec, the part within the old fortifications. This includes the court house and there have been many judges who voted for Chubby. The basilica was in his riding and Chubby has represented three cardinals and two archbishops. The legislative buildings are outside the walls of Quebec city, but he has represented countless lieutenant governors and four premiers of Quebec. Not only that, he represents Laval university with I do not know how many rectors and professors. On an occasion like this would he not be deserving of an honorary degree from Laval university?

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LIB

Maurice Boisvert

Liberal

Mr. Maurice Boisvert (Nicolet-Yamaska):

Mr. Speaker, as an associate of the hon. member for Quebec South (Mr. Power) during many struggles for the cause of Liberalism in the province of Quebec, I want to join with others, especially with the Prime Minister (Mr. St. Laurent) and the Leader of the Opposition (Mr. Drew), in what was said about the hon. member. They have put before us so truly his qualities and outstanding personality. I wish Mrs. Power and him many years together, warmed by the esteem of all the people of Canada.

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SC

John Horne Blackmore

Social Credit

Mr. J. H. Blackmore (Lethbridge):

Mr. Speaker, I had the privilege of being in the house during the time when the hon. member who is now being honoured was carrying the exceedingly heavy portfolio which he carried through the war and to which reference has been made. I think there is one thing that should be recorded. When the hon. member was putting his estimates through the house he was always cheerful

and jovial. I think he was the most cheerful and happy member of the cabinet I ever saw in my life when putting through his estimates. He never had any trouble getting his estimates past the house. I am quoting from memory, but there was an item one time about which some hon. members were concerned and they began to probe in an effort to get some information, and the hon. member I believe said, "I don't know a darn thing about it at all." The item passed right there.

There is one other thing that I believe all hon. members would desire to know. This is something which I am sure the children and descendants to the latest generation of the hon. member for Quebec South (Mr. Power) will be glad to know. I had the fortune and misfortune of having a son in the air force. I was fortunate because of his service and sacrifice for this great nation and empire which we all love. I had the misfortune because of the sorrow caused by his loss.

We lost track of our boy after he got to England and no effort that we could put forward could locate his address. I finally decided that I would ask Chubby Power if he could do anything for me. You can imagine a man as busy as he was-building the commonwealth air training plan and taking care of the thousand and one details that needed to be looked after-being asked by an ordinary member of parliament to locate his son. He said to me, "I will send a signal off at once and locate him right away." Inside of an hour my office was called and the address of my boy was given to me. I was also assured that he was well, sound, and serving in England.

That indicates just one of the qualities of the hon. member for which he was loved by our people. I know that in our home one of the comforting thoughts we have when our minds go back to the terrible loss that we sustained in the death of that boy is the fact that the minister of national defence for air was interested enough in him and his welfare and in us and our welfare to take time from an exceedingly busy life to find out where that boy was located and give us his address.

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LIB

Elie Beauregard (Speaker of the Senate)

Liberal

Mr. Speaker:

If the hon. member for Quebec South speaks now he will close the debate.

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LIB

Charles Gavan Power

Liberal

Hon. C. G. Power (Quebec South):

Mr. Speaker, in the thirty-five years that it has been my privilege to take part in debates and to close one or two, I cannot recall one where the words used by the speakers who went before me were so uniformly kind, tolerant, generous and magnanimous. Even my hon. friend who compared me to a wild goose was

probably unaware of the fact that there are few greater legendary heroes in the history of Ireland than the wild geese who were obliged to flee their country in order to remain faithful to their faith and to their king.

I have other friends outside the house who, having considered the events of the past few days as they concerned me, were somewhat perturbed lest the laudatory remarks and even the adulation which has been showered upon me, as they said, on account of a sort of careless promenade on the fringes of Canadian history during the past third of a century, might affect my better judgment, and they have furnished me with certain quotations which I hope are not too irrelevant but which may perhaps be considered to be salutary. One is from the Hansard of the British House of Commons of March 7, 1945, Mr. Winston Churchill speaking:

I have only two more minutes to speak, and I will devote them to my noble friend, the father of the house. He is a comparatively young father of the house; he has many years of useful life before him. We still hope they may be years of useful life in this house, but unless in the future his sagacity and knowledge of the house are found to be markedly superior to what he has exhibited today, I must warn him that he will run a very grave risk of falling into senility before he is overtaken by old age.

It is perhaps well that I should take note of this warning and that I do not indulge in semi-senile maunderings about the good old days. Perhaps I might quote another little piece, I hope not quite so relevant but still salutary. It is an epitaph on the politician:

Here, richly, with ridiculous display,

The politician's corpse was laid away,

While all of his acquaintances sneered and slanged,

X wept: for I had longed to see him hanged.

These lines are from the writings of Hilaire Belloc who, strangely enough, was a member of parliament in the British House of Commons. I rather suspect that he must have been for long years a member of the opposition faced with a vociferous, turbulent and arrogant majority. I too in the course of my career have been twice on the opposite side. I have had the privilege of sitting in two parliaments as a member of the opposition and can well remember the irritation and the anger which were occasioned by what I then considered to be the arbitrary and dictatorial acts of the members of the government. I am quite sure that my good friend, the hon. member for Inverness-Richmond (Mr. Carroll), when he sat in the house as one of the heroes of the Liberal filibuster against the naval bill in 1912-as a humble camp follower I had the privilege of sitting in the gallery at that time -must have had his moments of blind rage when first closure was introduced into this

Private Bills-Divorce

house and his beloved and idolized leader, Sir Wilfrid Laurier, had to submit to the gag.

But as the years went by those of us who changed our positions in the house were able to look at similar proceedings with a certain degree of calmness and perhaps satisfactory equanimity. Therefore I suppose' the strength of one's emotions and one's feelings is largely to be gauged by the lapse of time and the geographical situation in which we find ourselves. Nevertheless there does develop over the years a feeling of kindly tolerance which grows into comradeship and finally develops into true and strong friendship as between members of this great institution, the House of Commons. Even Belloc himself, whom I have already quoted, must have come to that conclusion, because in his later years he had this to say:

From quiet homes and first beginning Out to the undiscovered ends,

There's nothing worth the wear of winning But laughter and the love of friends.

As for me, to paraphrase the poet, all I can say is:

My thanks, my friends,

My thanks, my foes;

My love to these,

My peace with those.

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PRIVATE BILLS

FIRST READINGS


Bill No. 49, for the relief of Mina Eisenthal Hamerman Segal, otherwise known as Mina Eisenthal Segall.-Mr. Winkler. Bill No. 50, for the relief of Agnes Charlotte Quamme Higgins.-Mr. Winkler. Bill No. 51, for the relief of Agnes Mary Perkins Pereira.-Mr. Winkler. Bill No. 52, for the relief of Rosalia Marie Sepchuk Maniloff.-Mr. Winkler. Bill No. 53, for the relief of Anne Reddie Banks Carruthers Beaudoin.-Mr. Winkler. Bill No. 54, for the relief of Doris Isabell Dalzell Bennett.-Mr. Winkler. Bill No. 55, for the relief of Costanza Marzitelli Boisvert.-Mr. Winkler. Bill No. 56, for the relief of Gladys Emily Miller Young.-Mr. Winkler. Bill No. 57, for the relief of Francoise Ernout Fisher.-Mr. Winkler. Bill No. 58, for the relief of Margaret Girvan Hill.-Mr. Winkler. Bill No. 59, for the relief of Fernand Ratelle.-Mr. Winkler. Bill No. 60, for the relief of Charles Meela Voyinovitch Seifert.-Mr. Winkler. Bill No. 61, for the relief of Lily Isenberg Kwavnick.-Mr. Winkler. Bill No. 62, for the relief of Doreen Mae Walmough dit Watmough C o 1 s o n.-Mr. Winkler. 820 HOUSE OF Questions


QUESTIONS

ROYAL CANADIAN AIR FORCE

LIB

Samuel Rosborough Balcom

Liberal

Mr. Balcom:

What is the ground-air ratio of officers and men in the Royal Canadian Air Force?

Topic:   QUESTIONS
Subtopic:   ROYAL CANADIAN AIR FORCE
Sub-subtopic:   GROUND-AIR RATIO OF PERSONNEL
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LIB

Joseph-Adéodat Blanchette (Parliamentary Assistant to the Minister of National Defence)

Liberal

Mr. Blanchette:

The ratio of qualified aircrew and aircrew under training to non-flying list personnel is 1 to 6-2.

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Subtopic:   ROYAL CANADIAN AIR FORCE
Sub-subtopic:   GROUND-AIR RATIO OF PERSONNEL
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CENTRAL MORTGAGE AND HOUSING PROPERTY

PC

Mr. Lennard:

Progressive Conservative

1. What was the price paid for the land upon which the head office building of Central Mortgage and Housing Corporation is being erected?

2. What is the size of the property?

3. What acreage will be covered by the building?

4. What will be the completed cost of the building?

5. What will the auditorium cost?

6. What will the dance floor in the auditorium cost?

7. What will be the completed cost of landscaping the grounds surrounding the building?

8. What was the complete cost of the house erected for the former owner of the property?

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Subtopic:   CENTRAL MORTGAGE AND HOUSING PROPERTY
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LIB

Robert Henry Winters (Minister of Resources and Development)

Liberal

Mr. Winters:

Yesterday the hon. member for Wentworth stated on the orders of the day that, with the exception of one day, this question had been on the order paper since July 2, and expressed the hope that he would get an early answer. Since the hon. member's remarks might give the impression that there had been many previous occasions to answer this question, perhaps I should say that it appeared first in Votes and Proceedings on Wednesday, July 2, 1952 and in Routine Proceedings and Orders of the Day on Friday, July 4. It will be recalled that the house adjourned on the same day and that there was no opportunity then to answer the question.

The question reappeared on the order paper on Friday, November 21. Since that time hon. members have been debating the speech from the throne, and there was only one occasion on which questions were answered. That was Wednesday, December 10. On that particular day I was unable to be here because of a business engagement elsewhere, and this, therefore, is the first opportunity I have had to answer the question. The answer is as follows:

1. An average of $824.30 per acre.

2. 281-5 acres.

3. The building and its grounds cover 21-3 acres.

4. The construction contract is not yet closed. Estimated completed cost $2 million.

5. The auditorium is part of the general contract and is estimated to cost approximately $40,000.

6. The recreation floor is part of the general contract and the central section which is a spring floor is estimated to have cost about an additional $2,500 more than standard floor construction.

7. The landscaping is incomplete. The estimated completed cost, $35,000.

8. Central Mortgage and Housing Corporation did not erect a house for the former owner nor have they any knowledge of the cost of the house erected by him.

Topic:   QUESTIONS
Subtopic:   CENTRAL MORTGAGE AND HOUSING PROPERTY
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December 17, 1952