Mr. George A. Drew (Leader of the Opposition):
Mr. Speaker, in rising for the first time as a member of this house, may I pick up the
remarks of the right hon. the Prime Minister where he left off and join in the expression of regret at the untimely death of Mr. Dubois. One of the members of our party, the hon. member for Stanstead (Mr. Hackett), who knew him personally, will make some remarks in regard to him. I can only say, from the conversations I have had with those who knew him well, that he was highly regarded by all the members of the house, and that we share in the deep feeling of regret at his untimely loss.
I wish sincerely to congratulate the Prime Minister (Mr. St. Laurent) on his assumption of the high and responsible office to which he has been called. In the conduct of the affairs of government during the time that he has that responsibility I extend to him my best v/ishes for his good health and for the strength to carry on the arduous duties which fall to his lot. I wish also to thank him for the remarks he made about my own entry into this house. This is, of course, a different arena to that in which I have been for some time past. I thank the Prime Minister for his advice as to the duties of a leader of the opposition. There is one thing, however, that perhaps might be borne in mind, namely, that the rules of the provincial legislature and those of the House of Commons are quite similar, and that I had some years' experience as leader of the opposition in the Ontario legislature. Perhaps because of that fact, together with the fact that I saw changes take place, I have not the same feeling of permanence that may occupy the minds of some people. However, I know that the general summary of the responsibilities of the leader of the opposition was well put forward, in spite of the fact that the Prime Minister had not had the opportunity of sharing my experience. I hope that I shall be able to conduct myself in this office along the lines that have been suggested.
I wish to join in the felicitations which have been extended to the new members who have entered this house today, as I have. I wish to join in the remarks that have been made about the right hon. member for Glengarry (Mr. King) in regard to his return to good health. I know that I share with everyone here the feeling of satisfaction at seeing him present and in good health today, and I hope that condition continues. To each of the new members who have assumed their responsibilities, some of them almost as recently as I myself, I can only say that 1 wish them well in the tasks they have undertaken. In the conduct of the affairs of parliament under our system, it will be my duty to co-operate on such occasions as co-operation is indicated, and, on those occasions on which it is not
indicated, to put forward before the house the point of view which would seem to me to advance the best interests of the country.
Naturally I wish to express particular pleasure at the entry into the house today of the hon. member for Digby-Annapolis-Kings (Mr. Nowlan). He is a great addition to the House of Commons. The marked confidence displayed by those who know him well in his constituency where the vote was taken was a great personal tribute, a recognition of his abilities, and I think it sufficiently indicates what may be expected of him here in the House of Commons.
Before I close these brief remarks may I say that I wish to pay great tribute to my friend the hon. member for Neepawa (Mr. Bracken) and to express the satisfaction I feel in the knowledge that he will be sitting here beside me in the house so that I may have the advantage not only of his friendship and advice but of his long years of training which have been referred to by the Prime Minister in his opening remarks. Mr. Bracken served his province extremely well for the longest period that any premier has occupied that office in any province of Canada.
Topic: CHANGES IN MEMBERSHIP
Subtopic: RETIREMENT OF MR. BRACKEN AS LEADER OF THE OPPOSITION-WELCOME TO NEW MEMBERS THE LATE LUCIEN DUBOIS