Mr. L. J. Pigeon (Joliefie-L'Assomplion-Montcalm):
Mr. Speaker, at the outset I wish to congratulate you on your re-election to the speakership of the house. I congratulate also the hon. member for Longueuil (Mr. Sevigny) who has been elected chairman of committees,
212 HOUSE OF
The Address-Mr. Pigeon as well as the hon. member tor Spadina (Mr. Rea) who has been elected deputy chairman. My congratulations go also to the mover (Mr. Lafreniere) and seconder of the address in reply to the speech from the throne (Mr. Nielsen).
Mr. Speaker, allow me to pay heartfelt tribute to the right hon. Prime Minister of Canada (Mr. Diefenbalter) who is, in truth, head of a great political party, that of national unity. This has been affirmed and demonstrated by the Canadian people themselves, as is evidenced by the fact that at this time every province in this country is well represented in our party. At the time they were in power, my hon. friends in the opposition used to claim that they were the party of national unity, in spite of the fact that only a few provinces were represented in their ranks.
All Canadian provinces, "a man usque ad mare", have sent a large contingent of Conservative members to the House of Commons because they recognized in the right hon. Prime Minister a symbol of national unity, a unity which will be realized through the conservation of the distinctive characteristics of the component parts.
The member for Prince Albert has paid tribute to Canadian womanhood by entrusting the lady representative of the constituency of Hamilton West (Mrs. Fairclough) with an important portfolio. This is an encouragement to Canadian women to take part in the life of the nation. My best wishes also go to all her colleagues in the cabinet.
Mr. Speaker, is there any need for me to recall that I represent one of the largest constituencies in this country, in point of area, and one of the richest in the fields of agriculture, forestry, manufacturing or tourist travel?
The honest and hard-working people of my constituency are counting on government help to solve its numerous problems. I thank the English-speaking people of Rawdon and Terrebonne Heights who have put their confidence in me.
I also thank the French-speaking people who form the majority in my constituency and who have given me their support. Is that not the symbol of Canadian unity?
In the constituency of Joliette-L'Assomp-tion-Montcalm there are two institutions of higher learning which are over a century old, the seminary of Joliette, staffed by the Clercs de Saint-Viateur and the college at L'Assomption, staffed by secular priests. Both those institutions have given the Canadian nation a large number of brilliant men.
At the end of this month Assumption college, my Alma Mater, will commemorate the 125th anniversary of its foundation. I should
Topic: SPEECH FROM THE THRONE
Subtopic: CONTINUATION OF DEBATE ON ADDRESS IN REPLY