March 14, 1939 (18th Parliament, 4th Session)


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



-even from the intimations that have come while I have been speaking. I do not think that any decision should be reached on this point until we see how we get along with the business between now and the time when their majesties are expected to arrive. By Easter we may have a general idea of the amount of business that remains, we shall see by then what progress has been made. I would say at once, however that when it comes to making a decision on the point, an effort will be made, with respect to whatever conclusion we arrive at, to have it in accordance with what appears to be the consensus of view of hon. members.
As regards the period of their majesties' visit to Ottawa, every effort will be made to have matters so arranged that hon. members of both houses of parliament will be able to attend all functions that may arise in connection with that visit, with regard, of course, to what may be customary with respect to a state dinner at government house. But I may say at once that the government intend to have a parliamentary dinner when their majesties are here, which will be confined to members of both houses of parliament, so that there will be opportunity for all hon. members to be presented to their majesties, accompanied, if they are fortunate enough to have them, either by their respective wives or by an unmarried daughter.
With regard to other functions, the unveiling of the national war memorial, the laying of the cornerstone of the supreme court building, the trooping of the colour on parliament hill, all these functions will be so arranged as to make special provision for the probable attendance of members of the House of Commons and the Senate.
Perhaps this would be a good occasion on which to intimate to the house what his majesty has graciously signified his willingness to do in the event of parliament having concluded its business at the time of his arrival in Canada. Should parliament have concluded its business and be prepared to prorogue, his majesty has graciously signified his willingness to prorogue parliament himself. Lest this consent on his majesty's part might be construed as an indirect way of exerting pressure on hon. members to hasten the conclusion of the session, I have asked His Majesty the King through His Excellency the Governor General whether in the event of our not having concluded our business by that time we might not have the great privilege of having his majesty assent to one or two bills which might be held for that purpose, so that hon. members could participate in a function in which the king along with members of both

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houses of parliament would be taking part in these buildings. I am pleased to announce that his majesty has graciously signified his willingness to give the royal assent to any bills which may be held for that purpose, so as to ensure that there will be at least one function within the walls of these houses of parliament at which the king and members of both houses of parliament will be present.

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