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


Paul Joseph James Martin


Hon. Paul Marlin (Essex East):

Mr. Speaker, in the absence of the Leader of the Opposition and on behalf of the Liberal opposition I am happy to join the Prime Minister in extending a sincere welcome to Canada and to this
parliament, to the distinguished Prime Minister of Israel, the head of government in that dynamic little state.
On the occasion of his visit to this parliament it is appropriate that we should remind ourselves that Canada has been in the forefront of almost every vital step in the development of the state of Israel since 1947, when partition was first voted. This, too, is an occasion to recall that partition itself was urged and actively supported by the Canadian representative on the United Nations special committee on Palestine, Hon. Mr. Justice Rand, then of the Supreme Court of Canada. It was he who, along with others, pleaded for the creation of a Jewish state.
Then, of course, I am sure that all members will recognize the fact that is was the Leader of the Opposition who actively lead the move to admit the newly created state of Israel to the family of nations. Canadians generally, I think, are proud that he has been recognized for those efforts.
The applause that greeted the remarks of the Prime Minister, when he extended a welcome to Mr. David Ben-Gurion, as prolonged and as sincere as any we have had in a long time in receiving a foreign visitor, indicates our admiration not only for Israel but for the great statesman who is its prime minister. Mr. David Ben-Gurion is a man of action but he is also a man of thought. Like Balfour and Smuts, he has been able to combine the qualities of the statesman with those of one who loves philosophy and learning generally. His life has been dedicated to the survival of the Jewish people. History will demonstrate that, along with Herzl and Weiszman, he is truly one of the fathers of his country, this boy who at the age of 17 left Russia to come to what he calls Zion. Mr. David Ben-Gurion is a man of the world, and he has fought for the rights of man everywhere.
The Prime Minister mentioned yesterday that he recalled with satisfaction his own visit to Israel, and I wonder, Mr. Speaker, if I may just make this personal note. The last time I saw Mr. David Ben-Gurion was in the desert, in his kibbutz, in Israel. I shall never forget the remarkable and memorable day I had with him there in 1958. So in welcoming him here today I can characterize our visitor in no better words than those used
Visit of Prime Minister of Israel in 1958 by Hadassah in its award to Israel's premier tor distinguished humanitarian service:
With insight derived of wisdom, with perseverance and courage inspired by prophetic vision, guided always by the spiritual teachings of the holy Bible, he has translated the moral concepts of our ancient heritage into a humane and democratic leadership, this assuring for Israel and himself a unique and honourable place in the history of man's struggle for freedom.

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