Right Hon. J. G. Gardiner (Acting Prime Minister):
Mr. Speaker, I am sorry the Prime Minister (Mr. St. Laurent) is not here on this occasion, because I am sure he would have considered it a privilege to agree with what has been said by the leader of the opposition (Mr. Drew). Indeed, he probably would have taken it upon himself to express the congratulations which have been so well expressed by the leader of the opposition.
Since the Prime Minister is not here, however, I find myself in the position of speaking for the group who sit on this side of the house, and on the other side, nearest to you, Mr. Speaker, as well; and in doing so I want to join with the leader of the opposition in the expression of the points of view he has just stated. During the Boer war, General Smuts was one of the leaders who at that time opposed us, and after the war ended in peace he took a leading part in bringing together the peoples of the southern part of the African continent, in very much the same manner as the leaders on this continent had on a previous occasion brought together the two great races here. I have no doubt that had men such as Montcalm lived through the battles of those days and
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Felicitations to Field Marshal Smuts settled in this country, to carry on in relation to what has happened since they would have taken much the same position as General Smuts has taken in South Africa.
I would remind hon. members that when the terms of peace were being discussed and new organizations were being set up in South Africa to meet the new situation, Canada was copied perhaps to a greater extent than any other part of the British commonwealth. From that time until this, General Smuts has taken a great interest in what has been going on in this country, and in doing so has tended to bring our peoples closer and closer together. By applying the same practices and principles in the southern part of Africa as were followed here, he has done much in many parts of world to promote the interests of the commonwealth as they have been promoted here.
For these reasons it gives me great pleasure to join the leader of the opposition in extending congratulations to this grand old man who in his own country has seen so many of his efforts brought to fruition.
Subtopic: TRIBUTES AND FELICITATIONS ON HIS EIGHTIETH BIRTHDAY