Mr. Maurice Foster (Algoma):
Madam Speaker, I want to call the attention of the House today to the fact that a week from tomorrow, on June 25, will be the 25th anniversary of the election of 1968 when some 96 members of Parliament were first elected.
This was a very historic election. Some 64 Liberals, 16 Progressive Conservatives, 9 New Democrats and 7 Creditistes were first elected. There are members who are still in the House who were among that group of 96 members of Parliament first elected in 1968, including the Deputy Prime Minister. That group also included the former Leader of the NDP, Mr. Broadbent, the former leader of the Ralliement Creditiste, Mr. Andre Fortin, who was unfortunately killed in a very sad and tragic accident, the former Speaker of the House, Mr. Jerome, the former Lieutenant-Governor of Ontario, Lincoln Alexander, many judges, four or five senators and a number of provincial party leaders.
There are only six members left in the House today. The member for Vegreville who is the Deputy Prime Minister, the Deputy Chairman of Committees of the Whole, the hon. members for Yorkton-Melville, Regina- Lumsden, York Centre, Davenport and me. After this Parliament, as was mentioned earlier this afternoon, only two members will be running again in the next election. They are the hon. member for Yorkton-Melville and the hon. member for Davenport. We congratulate them on their tenacity, stamina and political longevity.
I might mention in passing that the Speaker of the House, Mr. Fraser, ran in 1968. Unfortunately he was not elected at that time but he has often extended great hospitality to the class of '68. There was the annual dinner and reception, sponsored by the Speaker and his wife, Cate. I want to extend my good wishes to them today as tributes are being paid.
We also often adopted the hon. member for Papi-neau-Saint-Michel. He was not exactly in the class of '68 as he was actually elected in a by-election in November 1967. However he has always hung around
with the gang. Our theme song this afternoon might be They're Breaking up that Old Gang of Mine because after this election there will probably be only two in the House.
As we look back on that election in 1968, we were just coming off the centennial celebration. Clearly the country was in a mood of great confidence and great determination. There was a certain esprit de corps which we did not really have last year. I hope the country will regain that esprit de corps when the new Parliament, the 35th Parliament of Canada, is gathered together this fall or early next winter. Even though we have many problems in this country, with that kind of spirit, confidence and enthusiasm I think we can overcome those problems.
To my colleagues who were elected in 1968 and other friends throughout the House I extend my very good wishes. Being here these last 25 years has been one of the most exciting, challenging, stimulating and rewarding experiences of my life. I am sure that is true for every other member, especially those who are retiring with this Parliament.
Topic: ORAL QUESTION PERIOD
Subtopic: HON. JOHN FRASER