Mr. Solon E. Low (Peace River):
Mr. Speaker, I am sure that I speak for all the members of this group when I say that we were grieved to learn that this morning a plane accident had snuffed out the lives of a number of our American friends, among whom was Hon. Laurence A. Steinhardt, ambassador to Canada. I find it hard to think of words to express the sorrow we feel at the untimely passing on Canadian soil, through an accident, of so many citizens of our great and friendly neighbour to the south.
If I speak mostly of Mr, Steinhardt it is not that I feel less grief over the loss of his companions on the plane, but because he was the spokesman and mouthpiece of his country in Canada.
I knew Mr. Steinhardt, having met and talked intimately with him on a number of occasions after he came to Canada in 1948. On those occasions I felt the warmth of his pleasing personality and admired his great ability. I felt that he was a real friend of our country. He displayed a keen interest in Canada, in our development, and in all we are trying to do. We had the feeling that here was a diplomat of prime stature, having such an understanding of this country as well as of his own, and possessed of such unusual wisdom, that he could draw our two great countries together into closer co-operation in all our efforts. This I think he did.
The world is far too short of ambassadors of good will. Mr. Steinhardt was indeed one of these, and therefore his loss is all the more tragic at this time.
I wish, on behalf of the group which I represent, to express our deepest sympathy to Mrs. Steinhardt, her daughter, and the relatives of the late ambassador in their bereavement, and to the government of the United States, which has lost one of its most brilliant representatives. We must not forget those who are left to mourn each of the others who lost their lives in that most regrettable accident this morning. Our heartfelt sympathy and humble prayers go out to them also.