I do not know what the hon. gentleman has in mind but I have a feeling he must be referring to someone else. Be that as it may, I do want, on behalf of the Prime Minister to thank those of you who were so kind as to express good wishes and congratulations on this occasion. I should like to join with those who have preceded me in paying a special tribute to the Speaker of the house for his patience, to the Deputy Speaker and to those who are on his staff, to the members of the press gallery, to the staff generally and to all those who are responsible for the administration of the House of Commons.
I think, too, I would be remiss in my duty- and I am sure no one will take offence at this-if I omitted to say a special word of commendation to the leader of the house for the manner in which he has acted as a negotiator in many of the problems and difficulties which arose. I am sure this would not have been possible, especially since my hon. friend has not occupied this particular position before, had it not been for the cooperation he received from the house leaders on the other side-the house leader of the official opposition, as well as the leaders of the various other groups.
Mr. Speaker, I would be remiss if I did not convey to the house our appreciation for your work and for the work of all those who are responsible for the administration of the house.
If I speak a little longer than usual, it is because we have a few minutes to go before the Gentleman Usher of the Black Rod arrives.
I take the occasion to wish you a merry Christmas and a happy new year.
I extend the same wishes to all my colleagues on both sides of the house, and I would add "le paradis a la fin de leurs jours".