Mr. ROBERT FORKE (Brandon):
Mr. Speaker, amidst the pressing duties of life we are sometimes called upon to pause for a moment and to realize that here we have no abiding city. The House has lost four valuable and highly esteemed members through death. I should like to add a few .words of tribute to the memory of those departed members, but I shall not speak at any length after the very eloquent and feeling speeches
which we have had from the right hon. the Prime Minister and the right hon. the leader of the Opposition (Mr. Meighen). I had not a long acquaintance with any of the deceased, but sitting here day by day, month after month, during the last session of parliament, one could not help forming a fair estimate of the men whose loss we now deplore.
The late Mr. Kennedy, I think, must very easily have impressed all new members as being a man of ability and character, whom it was well to know, a real man in every sense of the word. He undertook a great task and discharged it faithfully and creditably, and I am sure we all keenly regret his death. In Mr. Kennedy's decease the Prime Minister has lost a valuable friend and the government an able counsellor, while the country at large has suffered an equal loss.
In Hon. Mr. Stewart, too, we all recognized a man of ability, one who proved a shining light in this House and whom we could all admire. We know his record, and I am sure we deeply deplore the fact that he will be with us no longer. It did not require very much discernment, nor much knowledge of character, to realize not only that Mr. Stewart was a man of ability, but that also he was of a kindly and genial nature. Surely we all sincerely regret the loss of these two bright lights.
I shall not labour the fine qualities of Dr. Blackadder. Studying him across the floor of the House, I came to admire him. I learnt that he was a highly valued member of his community, and that he had lived a useful life and had done much service for his country. Not only the House, but his constituents as well, will greatly miss him.
Of Mr. Lafortune a great deal might be said. As I sat in this chamber last session I could not help being impressed by the assiduous attention he paid to his duties, as well as by his regular attendance throughout the session.
I cannot speak about his past services, not having been acquainted with him, but I am confident he must have been greatly beloved by his constituents. He had lived a long and useful life, and having done his day's work he has been called home and has gone to rest at eventide. With the other two eminent speakers who have referred to these departed gentlemen, I think it is but fitting that some intimation should be given to the bereaved, as has been done this afternoon, of the esteem in which those who have gone were held in this House, and whose presence we shall greatly miss.
On motion of Mr. Mackenzie King, the House adjourned at 4.45 p.m.
Thursday, February 1, 1923
Subtopic: TRIBUTES PAID BY RIGHT HON. MESSIEURS MACKENZIE KING AND MEIGHEN, AND FORKE.