April 20, 1943 (19th Parliament, 4th Session)


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



They might and they might not. It would be a help, undoubtedly-probably, over a period) of time, a very great help. But there are some hon. members who to-day are, and through the years will be too much engaged in professional or other duties, to feel free to act in positions of assistants to ministers. Also may I add that some hon. members may prefer to maintain more of what they would consider to be complete freedom of action in the house. The appointments should not in any way affect one's freedom to express one's own view; but there are some hon. members who would prefer, I know, not to fill the positions of assistant to ministers in
parliament, but who might be quite prepared to fill positions of ministers, if such appointments were to be offered to them.
There is this further fact, that a number of hon. members in the house who would be well qualified to fill the positions of assistants to ministers and, indeed, appointments to the cabinet, to-day are serving in His Majesty's forces in other parts of Canada, and abroad. If I am not mistaken some seventeen members of the house are in His Majesty's forces, fourteen of whom I am proud to say are hon. members from this side of the house. There may be more than that, I am not sure, but those are the figures I have. Certainly these hon. members, in virtue of the part they are taking in the war, will be among those that the government-and governments of the future -will wish to consider in all possible connections.

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