November 30, 1979 (31st Parliament, 1st Session)


James Alexander Jerome (Speaker of the House of Commons)


Mr. Speaker:

I hope that the House will permit me to add just a word in respect of these two colleagues.
[ Translation]
First of all, Senator Renaude Lapointe was Speaker of the Senate during the five years I was Speaker of the House in the last legislature, and we have assumed responsibilities jointly on several occasions for special events on Parliament Hill and also in connection with events outside Parliament, including interparliamentary relations. I am pleased to congratulate Mrs. Lapointe and to thank her most sincerely for her co-operation in the past, because she was a fine Speaker of the Senate during the five years of the last Parliament.
In respect of our colleague, the choice could not have been a better one. He has now become the father of the House of Commons, a title which I am sure he will carry with great distinction. It is on this very day that he celebrates his first election to Parliament 37 years ago-a remarkable achievement.

November 30, 1979

I want to repeat, very briefly, a true story. During the first month when I was Speaker of the previous Parliament, 1 was interviewed for the first time on a television public affairs show. In the midst of the program a question was put, as were other questions, for which 1 was quite unprepared. It was roughly as follows, "As a new Speaker, are you concerned that when you are in the chair some of the procedural experts in the House might trap you one day? What would you do, for example, if Stanley Knowles were to catch you totally off base on a procedural decision or a procedural problem?"
The answer I made at that time was, 1 hope, a proper compliment to the man who is being so honoured today. I replied, "My understanding of Stanley Knowles over the years that I have had the chance to work with him up to this point is that his love of Parliament would take precedence over his desire to get one up on anybody, including the Speaker. The chances are that he would probably prefer to have a private word with me to correct me. He would get more satisfaction out of knowing that he had thereby demonstrated his knowl-ege, which is well known, and at the same time had equally served the Chair and Parliament."
When I first saw him after that, I was flattered when he said he was most pleased with that answer. It was a compliment which 1 intended sincerely at that time. I hope it reflects the feelings of all hon. members at this moment of adulation of a man who could hardly be better deserving of the honour he is going to receive. We ail join in congratulating him at this moment.
Oral Questions
ing figure because it is the average age of the members of this caucus. If you believe in averages, then all of these members around me were just babies 37 years ago today.
What I want to say about service in this place is, not that if you stay around long enough you get honours such as this, but that it is extremely rewarding to hear from Canadians out there-pensioners, veterans, women, people facing poverty or other difficulties-that they appreciate the fact that they have a friend at court; they appreciate that one has tried to do things to make life better for them. The reward that I value most for my years of service thus far is the fact that many expressions of appreciation come to me from right across the country.
I am grateful for the honour that is being conferred today. 1 accept it, if I may, on behalf of my constituents of Winnipeg North Centre who have elected Mr. Woodsworth and me to this House for a total of 54 of the last 58 years. But I think of my constituency not just as those who live within the bounds of Winnipeg North Centre, but those all over Canada for whom 1 have tried to be a voice in this House. It is on their behalf that I am happy to accept this honour.
1 say again to my colleagues in all parties in the House that 1 am deeply touched by the warmth of their expressions to me on this occasion.
[Editor's Note: Members of the House stood and applauded.]

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