April 9, 1954

THE LATE RODNEY ADAMSON

LIB

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

Liberal

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

Mr. Speaker, we were all profoundly shocked when we learned early yesterday afternoon of the terrible aircraft accident at Moose Jaw which snuffed out instantaneously the lives of the thirty-one passengers of the T.C.A. air liner, of the four members of its crew, of the pilot of the R.C.A.F. trainer craft involved with the liner in a mid-air collision, and of one more person on the ground suffocated in the ruins of a home destroyed by the flaming wreckage of the planes.

Our warmhearted sympathy reached out at once to all those so tragically bereaved.

But for each one of us in this house our grief became an even more personal thing when the liner's passenger list was made public and Mr. and Mrs. Adamson's names appeared in it. It is truly said that despite our differences in political outlook friendships are formed in this house without regard to party lines. No political difference ever stood in the way of becoming a friend of Rodney Adamson. Our colleague had qualities that endeared him to all of us. His unassuming manner was but one of the many aspects of his solicitude for his fellow men, and throughout his life he used his abilities to the full to work and to fight in their interests.

He was only thirteen years of age when the first world war broke out but somehow, despite his youth, he contrived to serve his country overseas as a pilot before the conflict was over. When the second world war broke out he might well have felt that he had already done his duty to his country in warfare, but his patriotism was such that he could not take any easy course. Once more he served overseas as an officer in the Lome Scots.

He was first elected to this house in 1940 for the Ontario constituency of York West and was returned by his constituents in each succeeding general election. With characteristic vigour he displayed his interest in a wide variety of the activities of parliament and was one of the official opposition's first-line debaters. Those of us who sit on this

side of Mr. Speaker, while not agreeing with all of the things he said, listened to him with respect, for we knew that when Mr. Adamson spoke he spoke after careful preparation and with strong conviction.

He will be remembered in this chamber chiefly, I think, for his interest in conservation and in the development of our resources in the best interests of all Canadians. It will be recalled that during this session he emphasized, and it needed emphasis, the importance of our great northern region. The loss of our colleague and his devoted wife is a real one, and our heartfelt sympathy is extended to their children and their families. It is also extended, Mr. Speaker, to you personally and by all of us on this side of the house, to the Leader of the Opposition and the members of his party both in the house and in the country.

Topic:   THE LATE RODNEY ADAMSON
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PC

George Alexander Drew (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Progressive Conservative

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

Mr. Speaker, I know that the members of families of both Mr. and Mrs. Adamson will appreciate the words of sympathy that have been expressed by the Prime Minister on behalf of all of us. It is always a tragic thing to realize that those with whom we have been so closely associated day by day have suddenly been taken from us, but there does seem to be a particularly tragic aspect to this accident when we realize that both of them, Rodney and Cynthia as we knew them, were with us only a few days ago, gay, vigorous and so friendly to everyone they met. As the Prime Minister has said, friendships are not in any way limited to the parties with which we are associated, and I know that there was warm and affectionate friendship for both of them in every part of this house.

Rodney Adamson came of a military family. In the first world war his father had commanded that very famous regiment, the Princess Patricia's. The son, both in the first war and the last war, served his country well. He continued his military interests.

As has already been pointed out in the press, Rodney Adamson went to some pains to keep himself informed. At some considerable risk he and his wife spent some time beyond the iron curtain seeking to learn something of what was taking place there. He served his own constituency and his country well. For fourteen years he has represented a large and very important part

The late Rodney Adamson of Ontario. We remember him best for his constant and unfailing interest in the conservation of resources, particularly the mining resources of this country. He was an advocate of free gold, and will always be remembered as one of those who had deep and strong convictions concerning the importance of gold in supporting the economy of our country.

At a time when there may be too great a tendency towards conformity, Rodney Adamson was an individualist. He never hesitated to express his own views with clarity and firmness, whether or not they happened to be the views that were generally accepted. He was the chairman of the committee of our party on natural resources, and we relied greatly on him and his knowledge of that subject. His wife was keenly interested in public affairs, and also served in uniform with distinction during the last war, when she commanded the Canadian women's army corps in Italy. She knew Europe well. She followed both domestic and international affairs, and the two of them were a very effective team in all that they were doing here in Ottawa. Of both of them, I think it could be appropriately said that they died on active service.

What happened in this case does emphasize the fact that all the members of this house are called upon to accept certain responsibilities which impose inescapable risks. Last night he was to have spoken in Calgary at a political meeting. This afternoon he was to have attended a reception specially arranged for him by his father's old regiment, the Princess Patricia's, in Calgary. This evening he was to have addressed that very famous organization, the United Services Club of Calgary. His public service activities were continued right to the end.

In speaking of him in this way and of the services that he performed, may I mention the fact that we had a very clear expression of the extent to which party lines leave no divisions at a time like this. I do want to say that no one could have been more thoughtful than was the Minister of Trade and Commerce (Mr. Howe) in his attention to all the details connected with this very tragic event. I think it would be appropriate that I should also say that I do realize that this has been a great blow to him. Whatever differences of opinion there may have been at any time in regard to the details of administration or otherwise, I am sure there is no one in this house who has ever questioned the deep and abiding devotion of the Minister of Trade and Commerce to that service with which he has been so closely

associated. The safety record of Trans-Canada Air Lines has been one of which all Canadians can be proud.

It is an unhappy circumstance that we should now be expressing sympathy in the death of one of our own members and his wife on the occasion of the first fatal accident there has been in so many years. I know the sympathy of every member here will go out in full measure to the mother and father of Mrs. Adamson; to the brother of Mr. Adamson; and particularly to their sons, one of whom is only five years old. The thoughts of all of us will be with them not only now but in the years ahead. At the same time may I say that our sympathy is extended to the families of all those who died in this terrible disaster. All Canadians will be thinking of them in their sorrow.

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CCF

Major James William Coldwell

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

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

When the first news of this unaccountable accident reached the house, Mr. Speaker, there was general consternation because of the loss of life involved. Then, too, as the Leader of the Opposition (Mr. Drew) has said, because of the exceptionally fine record of Trans-Canada Air Lines there was a feeling of regret that this happening should have occurred yesterday. But when later in the afternoon we learned that one of our own members and his wife, Mr. and Mrs. Adamson, were passengers on the plane there was not only the general feeling to which I have already referred, but a feeling of deep regret and deep sorrow at the loss of one of our members for whom all of us had a very high regard.

Rodney Adamson came here in 1940. I remember well when he came. I recall that we thought of him as a very kindly, friendly, new colleague. Throughout the years he vindicated the feeling we had at the outset of his appearance here. It is indeed a tragedy that he should be taken from our midst at this time, and with him his very charming wife. They leave two children behind and, as the Leader of the Opposition has said, not only will they be in our minds today, but I am sure that many of us will think of them throughout the days to come.

I should like to say, too, that we join with everyone in this house not only in expressing sympathy to the father and mother of Mrs. Adamson, to Mr. Adamson's brother, whom some of us know, and to the children, but to those bereaved friends and relatives of the others who died under these tragic circumstances. We think of the crew of the plane, because the crews of our Trans-Canada Air Lines are exceptionally careful-the splendid

record they have built up indicates that. We sympathize with them. We sympathize with the relatives of the passengers who were lost in this tragic occurrence.

As has been said here, when something of this sort strikes us, both as a House of Commons and as a country, I know that there is genuine sorrow for those who suffer under such tragic circumstances. We sympathize, too, with the friends and relatives of the woman on the ground who lost her life so suddenly when the flaming parts of the plane struck a home in the city of Moose Jaw. Perhaps later on, when an investigation has been made, it will be possible to say what error of judgment accounts for all this; and that brings to our minds that, after all, human judgment is often very unreliable. And so, on my colleagues' and my own behalf, I join with everyone in the house in expressing our sympathy to all who have been bereaved. I should like also to associate myself with the very genuine remarks of the Leader of the Opposition (Mr. Drew) in regard to the right hon. Minister of Trade and Commerce (Mr. Howe) who has shown such a keen interest in and is so justly proud of the great air line he has done so much to build.

Topic:   THE LATE RODNEY ADAMSON
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SC

Ernest George Hansell

Social Credit

Mr. E. G. Hansell (Macleod):

Mr. Speaker, I am certain that the leader of this party would want me to express the feelings of our group. We join with others who have expressed sympathy on the sudden passing of Mr. Rodney Adamson and his wife. It brings to our minds once again the forcefulness of that truth, that we know not what a day may bring forth.

Mr. Adamson's office was in the same corridor as the offices of this group, and it meant that our paths very often met. At such times we had the opportunity to chat for a few moments with him. We felt he was a man who formed real convictions, and whose convictions really meant something to him. He will be missed by his party, because I am sure he was a most valuable asset to it. He will also be missed by the House of Commons and by his host of friends.

We join with others in offering our sympathy to those of his loved ones who are left to mourn his loss.

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PC

Margaret Aitken

Progressive Conservative

Miss Margaret Aitken (York-Humber):

Mr. Speaker, I should like to add my words of tribute, because in doing so I feel I am voicing what is in the hearts of the people that Rodney Adamson represented in this Canadian parliament for so many years.

The late Rodney Adamson

The constituency of York-Humber was carved out of Mr. Adamson's constituency of York West. Some of the people for whom he spoke in this House of Commons are the people for whom I speak now. I know what a loss his death, and that of his wife Cynthia, will mean to those people, whom he served so faithfully.

The people of York West and of York-Humber were proud of Rodney Adamson, and they showed that pride by choosing him again and again from 1940, onward, to represent them in parliament. He had won their respect, their confidence and their affection as a public servant and as a man of the highest integrity. In York West and York-Humber we mourn the loss of a good friend and a good servant of the people.

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NEW MEMBERS

LIB

Louis-René Beaudoin (Speaker of the House of Commons)

Liberal

Mr. Speaker:

I have the honour to inform the house that the Clerk has received from the chief electoral officer certificates of the election and return of the following members, viz.:

Of Yves Leduc, Esquire, for the electoral district of Verdun.

Of James Alexander McBain, Esquire, for the electoral district of Elgin.

Of John C. Pallett, Esquire, for the electoral district of Peel.

Of Rodolphe Leduc, Esquire, for the electoral district of Gatineau.

Topic:   NEW MEMBERS
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RAILWAYS, CANALS AND TELEGRAPH LINES


Sixth report of standing committee on railways, canals and telegraph lines.-Mr. McCulloch (Pictou).


INTERNATIONAL WHEAT AGREEMENT

ACTION OF ITALY AND SWEDEN


On the orders of the day:


PC

George Alexander Drew (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Progressive Conservative

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

Mr. Speaker, I wish to ask a question of the Minister of Trade and Commerce. It is reported today that Italy and Sweden have dropped out of the international wheat agreement, and that therefore they will not be taking up the amount of wheat they would have previously taken up-I believe the figure is 32 million bushels. Has the Minister of Trade and Commerce any comment to make on this information, in view of our present situation, and the accumulation of wheat that we have in this country?

3932 HOUSE OF

Inquiries of the Ministry

Topic:   INTERNATIONAL WHEAT AGREEMENT
Subtopic:   ACTION OF ITALY AND SWEDEN
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LIB

Clarence Decatur Howe (Minister of Defence Production; Minister of Trade and Commerce)

Liberal

Right Hon. C. D. Howe (Minister of Trade and Commerce):

Mr. Speaker, the information I have is that Sweden has decided not to ratify. Sweden had a very small quota, indeed-a matter of two or three million bushels. That country has never been a considerable buyer of wheat. This year Sweden is actually an exporting country. It has exported seven or eight million bushels.

Italy did not ratify, owing to a change in government. Italy has still not ratified. Italy has applied to the council for a reduction in their quota. A meeting will be held to determine whether the reduction will be granted or not. I understand that if the reduction is granted Italy intends to sign. To date Italy has not ratified, but Italy has not indicated an intention of not ratifying.

Topic:   INTERNATIONAL WHEAT AGREEMENT
Subtopic:   ACTION OF ITALY AND SWEDEN
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CCF

Willis Merwyn (Merv) Johnson

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

Mr. Johnson (Kindersley):

Is there any possibility of other countries with commitments amounting to 32 million bushels, and that have not ratified the agreement, taking similar action?

Topic:   INTERNATIONAL WHEAT AGREEMENT
Subtopic:   ACTION OF ITALY AND SWEDEN
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LIB

Clarence Decatur Howe (Minister of Defence Production; Minister of Trade and Commerce)

Liberal

Mr. Howe (Port Arthur):

Well, I have had no notice of these questions. The only country I recall that has not ratified is Brazil. Brazil indicated some time ago that they would not ratify the agreement, and Brazil had a considerable quota. However, Brazil is still buying wheat from North America, although they are buying outside the quota. The position is the same as that of the United Kingdom.

I think, aside from that, all the countries have ratified, except in the cases of Sweden and Italy.

Topic:   INTERNATIONAL WHEAT AGREEMENT
Subtopic:   ACTION OF ITALY AND SWEDEN
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EXTERNAL AFFAIRS


On the orders of the day:


LIB

Elmore Philpott

Liberal

Mr. Elmore Philpott (Vancouver South):

Mr. Speaker, I should like to ask a question of the Secretary of State for External Affairs. Has the attention of the minister been drawn to a publicity release issued by the Norwegian information service from Washington, D.C., on March 11, beginning as follows: "The

Scandinavian-"

Topic:   INTERNATIONAL WHEAT AGREEMENT
Subtopic:   EXTERNAL AFFAIRS
Sub-subtopic:   TRANS-POLAR FLIGHTS AIR SERVICE TRANSIT AGREEMENT
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April 9, 1954