Hon. W. Ross Macdonald (Speaker of the House of Commons):
Pandit Nehru, it is indeed a great honour for me, the Speaker of the House of Commons of Canada, to extend to you, the Prime Minister of India, the sincere appreciation of the members of our parliament for the eloquent and enlightening address which you have delivered this afternoon.
We realize that the words which you have
spoken before the few hundred men and women who have had the good fortune to be present and to have heard you, and to have seen you, were in fact addressed to all the people of Canada. Thousands of Canadians this afternoon have not only heard your speech but also have heard the radio commentators describe this history-making scene in the Canadian House of Commons, when the Prime Minister of an ancient country of the east was received as a friend by the Prime Minister of a new country of the west-both countries being self-governing nations and forming part of one great peace-loving community, the commonwealth of nations.
Oh, east is east, and west is west, and never the twain shall meet.
However, it is too often forgotten that he also said:
But there is neither east nor west, border, nor breed, nor birth.
When two strong men stand face to face, though they come from the ends of the earth!
This afternoon we have seen the Prime Minister of India and the Prime Minister of Canada, two strong men from the opposite ends of the earth, standing face to face on the floor of the House of Commons of Canada and cordially greeting each other without any thought that there is either west or east.
May I, the First Commoner of Canada, express to you, the first Prime Minister of India, the appreciation of all the people of Canada for your presence here this afternoon; and may I extend to you the very best of good wishes for your personal health and happiness and for the general well-being of the people whom you represent.