February 2, 1937 (18th Parliament, 2nd Session)


Richard Bedford Bennett (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Right Hon. R. B. BENNETT (Leader of the Opposition):

Mr. Speaker, on behalf of those who are associated with me, as well as for myself, I wish to express our grateful appreciation of the kind and sympathetic words spoken by the Prime Minister (Mr. Mackenzie King), in his capacity as leader of the House of Commons, concerning the loss we have sustained in the passing of one of our numbers.
I can add little to what has been said by the leader of the government. Mr. Wilton was first known to me last year when he was a candidate for Hamilton West. I learned that he had touched the life of his community at many points. He had been a journalist, which is the kindergarten and high school-very often the university- from which the men who come to this house graduate. He had been a telegrapher and more latterly had been interested in business in a larger way. He had served his city as aider-man and had been an enterprising and devoted mayor. Many desirable improvements were made in the city of Hamilton through his initiative. Mr. Wilton was of a most friendly disposition; he was kind and considerate, and most thoughtful of others. Perhaps that fact,
The late Herbert Earl Wilton

together with the long years of faithful service he had rendered to his fellow citizens, enabled him to survive the deluge of 1935.
We will miss him greatly, not only because of his friendly and kindly disposition but because he possessed what is characteristic of so many of his type, common sense. He had sound judgment and a keen appreciation of public opinion. The people of Hamilton will mourn one who was their friend, and those who have known difficulties and trouble will sorrow greatly because of his passing. We will miss his sterling sense. I recall not long since reading what a great man said respecting a statesman of his day who had not had the benefits of academic training, but who was regarded in his own country as one of the foremost men of his time. This distinguished commentator said: "I would rather have half an hour of his common sense expression of opinion on the problems of my country than the considered opinion of many others for long periods of time." Mr. Wilton was to us not only a valued colleague, not only a friend, but one whose common sense could be said to be a cross-section of the great community in which he lived. His loyalty to Hamilton was perhaps his distinguishing characteristic, and his willingness to help that community in any possible way was always manifest.
We are reminded that in the midst of life we are in death; for it was only on Friday last that Mr. Wilton was in this chamber, and now he has passed from us. I am sure that his wife and children will read with satisfaction and pleasure, tempered of course by their great sorrow, of the fact that in the chamber in which he served so short a time he had made so many friends, and that he merited the views expressed by the right hon. the Prime Minister in the statement which he has made to-day. As our expression of the sense of loss we have sustained is conveyed to the bereaved they will have the assurance of our recognition that he who now has gone from us made some contribution in this chamber to the public life of the country he loved so well.

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