Hon. HUGH GUTHRIE (Leader of the Opposition):
Mr. Speaker, on behalf of those
who sit on your left in this chamber, may I thank my right hon. friend the Prime Minister (Mr. Mackenzie King) for the befitting and generous tribute which he has just paid to the memory of one whom we held in great respect, whom we held very dearly in this quarter of the chamber. I did not know the late Mr. Flemming personally until he came here for the first time about two years ago; but one was at once struck with his ability, with his kindheartedness, with his wonderful fund of information in regard to public affairs in this country. What struck me most was that even as far back as a year or two ago he seemed to have himself a realization that he was afflicted with some malady which would in the near or distant future result fatally. He told me last session that his health was rapidly failing and he did not know how long he would be able to continue. But he always exhibited patience, cheerfulness and courage, although he was well aware that the vital forces were daily growing weaker and weaker.
He was a man of outstanding ability, a very able speaker, an excellent debater, a man who had risen to the highest position in his native province, and who, had he been spared in this
chamber, would have proved to be one of the ablest and most useful of our membership. But during all the time that he sat in this chamber I am satisfied that he had a hard fight against the ill health which constantly pursued him. I am sure that the whole chamber will deeply regret his death. We on this side realize that we have suffered a tremendous loss. We have lost a political friend, a personal friend, and a great ally in the Conservative party.