January 18, 1966 (27th Parliament, 1st Session)


John George Diefenbaker (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Progressive Conservative

Right Hon. J. G. Diefenbaker (Leader of the Opposition):

Mr. Raymond, there have been occasions when the Prime Minister and I have not been in complete agreement. There have been other occasions when we have had varying degrees of assent. But this is one occasion when he will have achieved a majority, I might add an overwhelming one, in the nomination that he has placed before the house.
Mr. Lamoureux, of course, in his three years as Deputy Speaker has discharged his responsibilities with tact, with wisdom, with humour, and above all with a sense of impartiality to which I am very happy to pay my tribute. Indeed, the manner in which Mr. Lamoureux conducted himself leads me to look forward with hope, an assured hope, that the rights and privileges of parliament will be upheld, without which this institution
January 18, 1966

cannot take the place that it should in the preservation of our country.
If parliament is accepted as being the essence of our democracy, the position of Speaker is indeed the cornerstone. I am most happy to join on this occasion in expressing not only the hope but a deep assurance that on the basis of the experience we have had in previous parliaments, the prerogatives and greatness of our past will have in him a protector, as well as a protector of the privileges and traditions of this institution. Above all, we shall have the assurance that the minorities shall have their rights.
I believe it is particularly important at this time that a man such as the hon. gentleman should be Speaker; for if there is an acceptance, as I hope there will be, of the principle that there shall be no appeals from the Speaker's rulings, the responsibility that will rest on his shoulders will be manifestly greater than that which rested on the shoulders of the many distinguished Speakers who have occupied that position.
It is in that spirit, as one who has a deep affection for everything for which parliament stands, that I believe, if this House accepts the motion that has been made we will be taking a forward step toward the maintenance of those things that are greater than life itself, the preservation of our freedom.
I never get over the novelty of this place. Today we have seen again the formalities of the past. There are those who would abolish these, but to me they are of the essence of the British tradition of political and parliamentary democracy.

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