May 25, 1961 (24th Parliament, 4th Session)


John George Diefenbaker (Prime Minister)

Progressive Conservative

Right Hon. J. G. Diefenbaker (Prime Minister):

Mr. Speaker, with the permission of the house I should like to refer to the presence in the gallery of the Prime Minister of Israel, Mr. David Ben-Gurion, the valiant nation builder of modern Israel. He is not unknown to Canada, having been here on more than one occasion, the first of which was in 1917 or 1918 when, following the Balfour declaration for the acceptance of the setting up of a national home for the Jews, he belonged to the Royal Fusiliers who were then taking their training in Windsor, Nova Scotia.
Throughout the years he has given leadership to his country. Our distinguished visitor is no stranger to parliament. He has served in the knesset, the parliament of his country, for many years, and represents that belief in parliamentary democracy which has been an essential element of his life and dedication. He comes from a land where our religious faith originated and from which many of the values of western civilization have been derived. Since the creation of his country in 1948 the people have been engaged in a remorseless struggle against climate and economics. As the leader of that nation he has earned admiration for the perseverance which has enabled him and those associated with him to meet almost insuperable obstacles in the directions I have indicated.
We welcome him to Canada for the position which he occupies, and for the contribution that the people of the Jewish race have made to Canada over a period of slightly more than 200 years. I am sure I speak for hon. members everywhere when I say that we extend to him the warmest of greetings and good wishes, and through him to the president and people of Israel.

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