Right Hon. P. E. Trudeau (Prime Minister):
Mr. Speaker, it was with a great deal of sadness that we learned on December 21 of the death of our long-time colleague, Wally Nesbitt, member for Oxford.
Through eight elections spanning 20 years he served as one of the best known and active members of this House, both in government and opposition. He represented a beautiful rural part of southwestern Ontario and, with his skill as a lawyer and politician, never failed to do battle in parliament for his constituents and their concerns on the farms and in the small towns.
However, the interests of the member for Oxford ranged beyond his own area, his province and even his country. For years he was deeply involved in promoting Canada's voice in international affairs and was a receptive listener to the difficulties and hopes of other nations regardless of their size or level of development.
More particularly, he was deeply involved in the United Nations and during the fifties he represented Canada as an important political figure and member of our delegations in New York and Geneva.
It is quite difficult, Mr. Speaker, to make a summary of 20 years of service. I can say that in all aspects of his parliamentary life Wally Nesbitt was active. Throughout the Parliament Buildings he was the friend of all, including members of all parties as well as the members of the Press Gallery and all employees.
Last fall he courageously returned to this House after a serious illness. He quickly resumed his role to the delight of his colleagues on both sides of the chamber.
It is with particular sadness that we pay tribute to him today and extend our sympathy to his family, his many friends and the constituents of Oxford.