July 7, 1972

TRIBUTES TO MR. SPEAKER

PC

John George Diefenbaker

Progressive Conservative

Right Hon. J. G. Diefenbaker (Prince Albert):

Mr. Speaker, if I may be permitted to do so I would like to make reference on this, the last day of the session and probably of this Parliament, to the services rendered to Parliament and to freedom itself by you, Mr. Speaker, as the presiding off'cer during this and the previous Parliament.

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Some hon. Members:

Hear, Hear!

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PC

John George Diefenbaker

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Diefenbaker:

I do so as one who has served under several Speakers. What I am about to say represents, I think, the views of all members of the House who have been greatly impressed by the manner in which you have discharged your responsibilities.

I recall on one occasion a former Prime Minister, the Right Hon. Mackenzie King, saying in the House:

There are under British parliamentary institutions two symbols of authority-the Crown which speaks of the sovereignty of loyalty, the Speaker who speaks of the sovereignty of Parliament.

Much could be said, of you, Sir, all of which would be complimentary, but I can summarize what I have in mind by quoting from the translation of the Latin words on the throne that you occupy:

An impartial hand is an aroma

Mindful and faithful,

A mind conscious of rectitude.

You have discharged your duties with consummate ability. You have combined authority with compassion. The degree of impartiality you have displayed in the discharge of your duties has been such that you will always be looked back on by the present and future generations in this House as one who, in his person, epitomized the finest traditions of the Speakership.

I add one word respecting your wife who in the discharge of her duties has done so with a consideration and regard for the office you are holding and together you have honoured this institution.

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Some hon. Members:

Hear, hear!

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LIB

Pierre Elliott Trudeau (Prime Minister)

Liberal

Right Hon. P. E. Trudeau (Prime Minister):

Mr. Speaker, I might begin by saying that, as with many of the words of the right hon. gentleman from Prince Albert, his words today are very thoughtful, very well said, very appropriate. But as often happens I cannot necessarily see myself agreeing with the premise, that is to say, that this is the

last day of this Parliament. I concede that I have less experience than the right hon. gentleman in such forecasting games, and therefore I am-

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NDP
LIB

Pierre Elliott Trudeau (Prime Minister)

Liberal

Mr. Trudeau:

As the hon. member says, I was not correct as to the date on which Parliament or this session might end. But because I have great confidence in the right hon. member's political acumen, I am at least prepared to concede the possibility of his premise-

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Some hon. Members:

Oh, oh!

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LIB

Pierre Elliott Trudeau (Prime Minister)

Liberal

Mr. Trudeau:

-and therefore find it appropriate to say on behalf of all members of our caucus that we have had constant admiration and respect for your authority, Mr. Speaker.

ITranslation]

More particularly, although your talents as an orator are still unknown to most of us, your talents as Speaker are eminently visible. We have also been in a position, every day of this session, to see that we had good reason to respect your authority which was founded on a great deal of patience, much wisdom, an outstanding knowledge of parliamentary procedure and finally, on a sense of humour which always made us welcome your rulings even when they went against our wishes.

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NDP

David Lewis

New Democratic Party

Mr. David Lewis (York South):

Mr. Speaker, I have not had the very long experience in Parliament that the right hon. member for Prince Albert (Mr. Diefenbaker) has but I have had a little longer than the Prime Minister (Mr. Trudeau), although not very much. May I put it to you this way, Sir, that in my several years in Parliament I have often come to the conclusion that the sign of the real greatness of a Speaker is when the only people who occasionally become annoyed with him are ministers of the Crown.

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Some hon. Members:

Hear, hear!

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NDP

David Lewis

New Democratic Party

Mr. Lewis:

Mr. Speaker, I think it would be gilding the lily and uncomfortable and embarrassing to you if I went on at length. I say to you, Sir, that every one of my colleagues has had the greatest admiration not only for the manner in which you have carried out your duties but for the fairness and impartiality which you have always shown, for the dignity you have exhibited throughout, a dignity that, to your great distress, you were not able to get from the members of the House on occasion.

I also join the right hon. gentleman from Prince Albert in expressing my admiration of Madame Lamoureux and her companionship to you in your duties.

July 7, 1972

Tribute to Mr. Speaker

Some of us in my party at least, and I believe in other parties, had hoped that the admiration in which you have been held as Speaker would have persuaded everybody in the House to create a situation whereby you could continue as Speaker without having to fight elections on a partisan basis. I regret that this has not been done. I hope it may still be done, whether or not this is the last day of Parliament.

When we adjourn today, Mr. Speaker, I can assure you that all of us will return to our constituencies with a feeling of admiration, respect and, what is perhaps more important, very deep affection for you as a person and as Speaker of this House.

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Some hon. Members:

Hear, hear!

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SC

Henry P. Latulippe

Social Credit

Mr. Henry Latulippe (Compton):

Mr. Speaker, on behalf of my Creditiste colleagues, I join the spokesmen of the other parties in expressing our admiration and thanking you for all that you have done for us in the past. I want to praise you not only for your fairness but also for your fine performance. May I thank you on behalf of the Canadian people, especially my constituents. I wholeheartedly agree with the kind words said about you and while voicing again our admiration, I wish you a long life and hope that you will again be with us at the next session.

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IND

Paul Theodore Hellyer

Independent Liberal

Hon. Paul Hellyer (Trinity):

Mr. Speaker, perhaps you would permit me, as your seatmate and as deputy leader of the independent group that sits in this corner of the House, to associate myself with the words that have been spoken by the right hon. member for Prince Albert (Mr. Diefenbaker), the Prime Minister (Mr. Trudeau) and the leaders of the other parties.

As a person who has had the pleasure of sitting in this House for many years I have come to respect and appreciate the wonderful contribution that you have made to this House and to the traditions that it embodies. It is not an easy task that you have filled so very well. It is a lonely position. Yet you have managed somehow to be kind but at the same time to be fair, to be gentle but at the same time to be just. This is a great tribute to you.

May I join in this expression of appreciation to you and to Madame Lamoureux who has stood by your side and who in her own right has made a very great contribution to the affairs of this country. May we wish you well, and health and happiness in the knowledge that you hold our respect and affection for the contribution you have made.

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Some hon. Members:

Hear, hear!

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IND

Lucien Lamoureux (Speaker of the House of Commons)

Independent

Mr. Speaker:

Hon. members will have noted that today I have not complained of the length of speeches.

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Some hon. Members:

Hear, hear!

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IND

Lucien Lamoureux (Speaker of the House of Commons)

Independent

Mr. Speaker:

Actually, I held back a little wondering whether there would be more contributors to the debate. If there are none, I will deliver a ruling. It will be a very simple one.

The words of praise that have just been spoken leave me speechless, which is obviously a very proper attitude

for the Speaker. I will, therefore, simply say from the bottom of my heart a very sincere thank you to hon. members. I want to assure them of my appreciation not only for the much too generous words that have just been spoken but also for the extraordinary co-operation they have extended to me during my term of office as Speaker of the House of Commons.

We all know, of course, that the Speaker cannot discharge his responsibilities in this House without the complete co-operation of hon. members, without their understanding, tolerance and charity. This has been given to me in large measure. For this I am extremely grateful to hon. members.

I thank you, dear colleagues, for your unfailing generosity to me and I wish you all good luck.

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July 7, 1972