February 11, 1936 (18th Parliament, 1st Session)


William Lyon Mackenzie King (Prime Minister; Secretary of State for External Affairs; President of the Privy Council)


Right Hon. W. L. MACKENZIE KING (Prime Minister):

At the conclusion of his
long address yesterday, my right hon. friend the leader of the opposition (Mr. Bennett) said that he would like very much to offer to this side of the house his helpful cooperation in the difficult task with which governments of the present day are confronted. I think it was a fortunate thing for my right hon. friend that he made that statement at the end of his speech rather than at the beginning, because until the moment he made it there had been, I must say, nothing in his remarks which could have been construed as in any way helpful. They were, indeed, directly the opposite.
May I say to the leader of the opposition that he has had a long and exceptional parliamentary experience. He spoke very often from this side of the house of the great burden which rests on the shoulders of a prime minister, and the need on the part of the Prime Minister for the cooperation of hon. members in all parts of the house. I hope the right hon. gentleman will keep that in mind now that he is on the other
side of the house. I shall welcome very much, the government will welcome, what he is able to give in the way of cooperation in dealing with the great problems which we have before us for consideration from day to day in these times. I hope that my right hon. friend will not again find it necessary to spend his time wholly in criticism or sarcasm, or in remarks that for the most part are facetious and in no way constructive or helpful.

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