Right Hon. Brian Mulroney (Prime Minister):
Mr. Speaker, today, we are convoking a new Parliament, a new assembly
of the Canadian people. Many Members of this Parliament have never sat in the House of Commons before, including many of those sitting on the Government side, and it is indeed important for an institution like Parliament to be revitalized through the democratic process.
At a moment like this it is useful to recall the words of a great parliamentarian, Edmund Burke. He said:
Parliament is not a congress of ambassadors from different and hostile interests ... But Parliament is a deliberative assembly with one interest, that of the whole-
These words we should imprint in our minds as we gather to elect a Speaker to preside over our deliberations and act as the custodian of the rights of all Members.
The role of Speaker is the noblest centrepiece of our democratic system. Going back as far as Sir Thomas Hungerford under Edward III, the Speaker of the House of Commons has been the guarantor of Parliament's privileges and the curator of Parliament's traditions.
The House functions effectively to the degree and to the extent that the Speaker understands and applies his role as an absolutely impartial arbitrator. He is not the servant of the Government or the servant of special interests but the servant of the House. He must be impeccably fair and unfailingly conscious of the duties and the rights of the individual Member.
The words of Speaker Lenthall to Charles I have echoed magnificently down the corridors of time:
I have only eyes to see and ears to hear as the House may direct.
Never has there been, in my judgment, a truer or more accurate formulation of the Speaker's function.
The Speaker represents the House in its entirety. He presides over its proceedings and interprets its procedures. He directs the work of its Members according to rules dictated by custom, tradition and dignity. The Speaker must often draw on his personal qualities and skills. He must have a thorough knowledge of the role and procedure of the House of Commons. He must be able to interpret the intentions of its Members. He must be able to adapt to the circumstances and at all times have a clear perception of the atmosphere and spirit appropriate to the House. Finally, he must be able to preside over the debates in both official languages of Confederation.
November 5, 1984
Election of Speaker
It is not absolutely necessary that he be newly married-
Subtopic: ELECTION OF SPEAKER
Sub-subtopic: MR. JOHN WILLIAM BOSLEY, MEMBER FOR THE ELECTORAL DISTRICT OF DON VALLEY WEST