Mr. Gerard Duquet (Quebec East):
Mr. Speaker, one will understand that being member for Quebec East and succeeding Mr. St-Laurent who had represented this constituency for 15 years, I wish to join my humble voice to that of the previous speakers and pay tribute to a great man who has just disappeared, the right hon. Louis St-Laurent.
I knew Louis St-Laurent quite well. For 15 years, I was not only closely involved in his political activities in the riding of Quebec East, but I had many opportunities of holding most interesting conversations with him. What always impressed me about this former Prime Minister of Canada is the dignity and composure of his conversations that made him so interesting as well as engaging.
In 1965, when it was a matter for me of being a candidate in the riding of Quebec East, I recall that the first person whom I visited and asked for advice was the right hon. Louis St-Laurent. And I still remember his words: Duquet, you have been in politics long enough and acquired a lot of experience; if you really want to be a candidate and become a federal member of Parliament in Ottawa, the only advice I can give you is to do it with the
July 25, 1973
same dignity as I myself tried to fulfill my mandate, always in a spirit of truth and in the specific purpose of trying to serve your fellow citizens.
Mr. Speaker, with such advice coming from such a man, it has been easy for me, for eight years, to fulfill my mandate and succeed the Right Hon. Louis St. Laurent in the riding of Quebec East. The people of this constituency have maintained a sort of veneration for this great man and I am convinced that in the riding of Quebec East people are now crying because of the announcement of the death of Mr. St. Laurent, even though, due to his old age, we had to expect that.
Therefore, Mr. Speaker, I would like to pay tribute, like previous speakers, to Mr. Louis St. Laurent. To my mind, his death will leave quite a gap, not only in Canada, in this House and in the province of Quebec but everywhere he has been; it will stir deep emotion in all those who have known him; that is why I wanted to make a few modest remarks.
On behalf of the people of the riding of Quebec East, which I represent and which he so worthily represented from 1942 to 1957, I offer to the House of Commons, to the St. Laurent family, my very deepest and most sincere condolences.
Topic: ROUTINE PROCEEDINGS
Subtopic: THE LATE RIGHT HON. LOUIS ST. LAURENT TRIBUTES TO FORMER PRIME MINISTER