February 1, 1958 (23rd Parliament, 1st Session)


James Garfield Gardiner


Mr. Gardiner:

When the Minister of
Finance got on his feet a few moments ago the first remark he made was that the nerves of some people on this side of the house seemed rather frayed and as a result they were taking certain actions. Ever since I was a small boy I have heard people say that when your nerves are frayed, the first thing you do is to go up in the air. Well, that is what the leader of the government did today. This action he is going to take-and I am not in his confidence as to what- that action will be-must have been given just about the same amount of thought as the words which he used during the election. He did not go very far towards carrying out these ideas.
I am certain that the right hon. gentleman did not really know until very recently what he was going to do today, and I am not too sure he knows even yet. He could not have consulted many people about it, because no one else seemed to know what he was going to do, or when he was going to do it, and since he found it necessary to take an aeroplane it may be, though I do not know how high up he went, that he intended to follow that Sputnik which was shot up into the air yesterday and which is now circling the world. He may have been doing that. I do not know. But in any case he did the usual thing that people do when they are nervous

he shot up into the air. Judging by the fact that one of the ministers who accompanied the Prime Minister returned to this chamber some time ago, that 'plane must have been back for some time. At last, the hon. gentleman is here in his place, but he still does not seem to have made up his mind to do whatever it is he may have in mind to do.
It is now five minutes to six, and with the house closing at six o'clock there is very little time left to him in which to say anything about it; and in that short space of time I should like to be able to say to him that he had better be able to show very plainly

just why he is doing this, and all about it, because there is going to be an awful lot of talk about the things that have happened in this session during the next two months.
There are going to be discussions across this country of the kind that were foretold at the time when I spoke on the address. I have gone through this kind of thing before in the province of Saskatchewan in 1929 and again, I repeat, on the same issue as that on which we were switched out this time. In 1929 we did not have a majority in the house and so we did not do what the group did here on this occasion. We did not say to them: such and such things are going to happen. We said: we will meet the members and find out. We met the members in session and were voted out, and we went across to the other side of the house and sat there. The new government sat there for five years. They took every year they had the chance to take, and at the end of that five years after we had discussed all the things they did or did not do in the five years they were there, they did not elect anybody to the house. Just before they went to the country they came to me and asked me if I would drop out of politics and take over the presidency of the University of Saskatchewan. That would have been a very fine thing, but I said this to them: 1 came into politics some years ago, and I am going to stay in politics until my constituency votes me out. And they have never done so.

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