May 6, 1938 (18th Parliament, 3rd 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):

Mr. Speaker, hon. mem-
bers of this house and the people of Canada generally will have learned with deep regret of the passing at an early hour this morning of His Grace the Duke of Devonshire, who held the high office of governor general of this country from 1916 to 1921.
The Duke of Devonshire inherited and honourably maintained an ancient family tradition of public service. Before coming to Canada he had already, as a young man, sat in the House of Commons for almost two decades and had occupied important posts in the British ministry. Nor did his active participation in the public life of the old land cease with his term as governor general. From 1922 to 1924 he served as secretary of state for the colonies, which portfolio he held at the time of the imperial conference of 1923.
But it is his years as governor general of Canada which are uppermost in our thoughts to-day. Those who were responsible for the conduct of public affairs during the Duke of Devonshire's term of office realized how much his English traits of composure, of balance and sound common sense contributed to the steadiness of national life in those critical years. In his person the Duke of Devonshire was kindly and friendly, deeply and genuinely interested in the well being of his fellows in all walks of life. Many who knew him even but slightly will recall his quiet, unremitting and generous support of worthy causes and his interest in all that pertained to Canada's social, cultural and economic activities. In his official capacity the Duke of Devonshire discharged his duties with constant regard to British tradition and British constitutional practice.
The people of Canada will recall the charming and delightful personality of the Duchess of Devonshire and the manner in which, along with the members of their lovely family, she shared the interests and labours of her husband. To Her Grace and to the members of the family in their bereavement I should like to extend on behalf of the members of this House of Commons and of the people of Canada the expression of our very sincere sympathy.

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