June 27, 1947 (20th Parliament, 3rd Session)


Arthur Leroy Smith

Progressive Conservative

Mr. A. L. SMITH (Calgary West):

Mr. Speaker, I crave your indulgence and that of the house for only a moment. I wish to pay my tribute, if for no better reason than that Lord Bennett and I come from the same place, and' I have known him I think perhaps longer than and almost as well as anyone here. In 1898 he came to Regina as a member of the northwest legislature; I was a youngster visiting at my parents' home. At that time the northwest territories had a government. Sir Frederick Haultain was the premier, and the late Senator Ross, who lived next door to us, was the other member of the northwest cabinet. This morning I took occasion to look up some information concerning those days, and found there was only one copy left anywhere in the world of the budget of 1898. The total amount for that huge territory was 8224.925.24. The contribution to agriculture, for example, was 89.485. Much has happened since then; that is why I had occasion to look up these things. I remember that when he came, there was no opposition. I used to run up in the evenings, because they had evening sittings
The Late Lord Bennett

even then, to listen to the debate; and I remember that Mr. Bennett-and this was not unlike him-formed an opposition. The fact that he was the only member of that opposition did not make a bit of difference; one way or the other.
Since then, as I have said, many, many things have happened, and he indeed played a big part in those things. I have seen him only two or three times since he went to England, but I knew of him there from people who came back to us. His home, his ability, his friendship were thrown open to all Canadian soldiers during the second world war. I knew him as a politician, as an advocate; and in any matter on which I had anything to do with him in a forensic way we at all times found him a warrior brilliant and unafraid. In the vast storehouse of his mental equipment I think perhaps his greatest asset was the most phenomenal memory it has been my good fortune to observe. For all the members of this House of Commons, for the staff and members of the press gallery who knew him, I believe it can be truly said that this day a great soul has moved on. I conclude with a couplet by Lord Tennyson in his Ode on the Death of the Duke of Wellington:
Yea, let all good things await Him who cares not to be great,
But as he saves or serves the state.
That was Bennett.

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