Mr. Jean Francois Pouliot (Temiscouata):
Mr. Speaker, the tributes paid to the memory of Mr. John Ritchie MacNicol were fitting and well deserved. I knew him well and liked him. He was an excellent member of parliament, spending his time during the session either in the house or in his office getting information for his summer travels. He was more than a traveller; he was an explorer and prospector. He never missed an opportunity to improve his knowledge about Canada, his beloved country; and he never missed an occasion to help anyone. As one of his colleagues, I remember many instances of his political courage; he was most useful in his own way. I cannot forget it. He was scholarly and well informed. He was endowed with a high degree of public spirit, and
his career was useful not only to his constituents, not only to the city of Toronto which he loved, not only to the province of Ontario, but to the whole country. Whenever he had a practical suggestion to make, he looked so happy. He looked happier only when he had support for his suggestion.
Sir, I must say that although some of our political beliefs were different, we were very good friends, just as I was with the late Tommy Church, who was a close friend of Mr. MacNicol. Tommy used to call Mr. MacNicol "John R.," and so did I. John R. used to call Mr. Church "Tommy", as we all did. They were fine men; they represent the glorious past of the Conservative party.
Mr. MacNicol has occupied high positions in the party. If I recall aright, he was president of the dominion Conservative association, and presided over one of the conventions that selected a leader. He saw to it that there was a fine book published with the names and pictures of all the delegates. He gave me one.
May I be permitted to recall one incident in particular when Mr. MacNicol helped me a great deal. It was during the difficult sessions of the civil service committee. I had some difficulty with my Conservative colleagues who wanted some information to be considered confidential. I spoke of it to someone who spoke to somebody else, and the somebody else spoke to Mr. MacNicol, who saw the leader of his party. Things were arranged so that we could get the information required, but it took a lot of good will and good disposition. Mr. MacNicol was always there whenever he was needed to give a hand to his colleagues.
I must recall to hon. members that his family and Mr. Mackenzie King's family were very close friends, and tributes were paid to Mr. MacNicol in the house by the former prime minister. I cannot do otherwise than tell my leader that I am delighted that he has paid such a fine tribute to the memory of a great member of parliament and a great Canadian. I congratulate the leader of the opposition, the leader of the C.C.F. group (Mr. Coldwell) and the leader of the Social Credit group (Mr. Low) for having also spoken so well about a beloved colleague who has just passed to the great beyond.
Subtopic: EXPRESSIONS OF REGRET AND SYMPATHY