May 31, 1929 (16th Parliament, 3rd Session)


Richard Bedford Bennett (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Hon. R. B. BENNETT (Leader of the Opposition):

Mr. Speaker, may I, on behalf of those who are associated with me to your left as well as on my own, express my great sympathy with the Prime Minister (Mr. Mackenzie King) and his party in the loss they have sustained by the death of a beloved colleague? Mr. Lanctot possessed those qualities that endeared him greatly to those with whom he was associated, and I can
readily understand the reason for the moving sentences with which the Prime Minister expressed the sense of the loss sustained by him and his party in the passing of Mr. Lanctot. It was my privilege to know Mr. Lanctot for many years. I did not know him nearly so intimately as the Prime Minister and his colleagues did, but I knew enough of him to realize something of his sturdy character, sterling qualities and the devotion he gave to the service of his country. It may wel be said that he was desirous at all times of adding to his store of knowledge. Perhaps some members of the house will recall a speech that he made on one occasion in which he indicated that he came here a young man desirous of learning and that he had learned much by his experience in this house.
He was a very devout man and a son of his church in the true sense. I think from a brief conversation I had with him that he would describe himself as a Canadian with all that it involves-a son of the soil who loved his native province with a devotion that was sometimes touching, one who loved the soil as only perhaps a Canadian can who is proud of his country, proud of its achievements, and looks forward to its future with great hope.
He was a man of real integrity of character, and his views were not easily disturbed once he had arrived at a conclusion. While my hon. friend the Prime Minister described him as a very strong supporter of his party, I am bound to say that in the discussions that I have had with him, not less than in some of his public utterances, there was a strong indication that while his views were generally in accord with those of the Prime Minister, he held very conservative principles and I think most of those who knew him well will agree that that was so.
I am glad to associate myself with the Prime Minister in the sympathy that he has expressed for Mr. Lanctot's family, who have lost a loving and devoted husband and a father whose memory will be cherished with pride and satisfaction. He has rendered service to his country. His character and his achievements will serve as an example to those who come after him in the community in which he lived. His love of his country was manifested in every possible way in which it could be done within the sphere of his influence. The quotation which the Prime Minister has made from the poet Gray I would supplement with this other stanza:
No farther seek his merits to disclose,
Or draw his frailties from their dread abode,
(There they alike in trembling hope repose,)
The bosom of his Father and his God.
Business o] the House

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