Mr. M. J. Coldwell (Roseiown-Biggar):
Mr. Speaker, may I too rise for the twofold purpose the Prime Minister had in mind when he rose to speak a few moments ago: first, to pay tribute to the right hon. gentleman who led the government for so long and the opposition until today. I hope he will have health and strength to remain with us and to give the parliament of Canada the advice he can give for a good many years yet.
The right hon. gentleman came here, I remember, in 1942 at a time of very great difficulty during the war, and gave freely of himself, having relinquished the practice of a profession in which he not only shone but, indeed, gloried. That was a great sacrifice on his part, and I think the country appreciated it, just as the country appreciates the services he has rendered to this nation as minister of justice, as minister of external affairs and as prime minister. And I am quite sure the right hon. gentleman knows that, whatever the fortunes of his party on June 10 of last year, that was no reflection upon the former prime minister himself.
We join the Prime Minister in expressing our regret that he has felt it necessary to lay down the reins of the leadership in which he was so distinguished and in wishing him well in the future.
I want to join the Prime Minister, too, in congratulating the hon. member for Algoma East (Mr. Pearson). I have known him now for a number of years and have been closely associated with him from time to time at international conferences. I have the highest regard and the greatest respect for him, and his only misfortune is that he is associated with the Liberal party. I could wish otherwise, because I have sometimes found my own mind running along the same channels as the hon. gentleman's mind in international affairs at least.
Topic: LEADER OF THE OPPOSITION
Subtopic: TRIBUTE TO OLD, WELCOME TO NEW