February 7, 1936




William Lyon Mackenzie King (Prime Minister; Secretary of State for External Affairs; President of the Privy Council)


Right Hon. W. L. MACKENZIE KING (Prime Minister):

Mr. Speaker, I rise to move the resolutions of which I gave notice yesterday. The text of both resolutions appears upon the order paper. I shall propose two motions, each of which my right hon. friend the leader of the opposition (Mr. Bennett) has kindly consented to second. For the convenience of the house the motions will be dealt with as one in the speeches that will be made.

In the last session of the last parliament, members of all parties in the House of Commons united in extending to His Majesty King George V, and to Her Majesty the Queen, the congratulations of the House of Commons of Canada upon the celebration by His Majesty of the silver jubilee of His Majesty's accession to the throne. A new parliament has since come into being. A new king is to-day upon the throne.

In the first session of this new parliament, as recently elected members, it is our duty, on behalf of those we represent, as, indeed, it is also our sad privilege, to convey to His Majesty King Edward VIII the expression of our profound sorrow at the bereavement His Majesty has sustained in the death of his beloved father, our late sovereign, King George V, and to express to His Majesty our own personal allegiance and loyalty; also to express our heartfelt sympathy to Her Majesty Queen Mary.

In the tributes paid His late Majesty on the occasion of the completion of the twenty-fifth year of his reign, there will be found the silver lining to the cloud of the world's sorrow to-day. It may truly be said of mortals, be

their station high or low, that kindly words to the living are better far than many eulogies of the dead. There must be consolation in the heart of Queen Mary, in the heart of King Edward, as there is in our own hearts, that all that could be said to-day was said at that time, and said to better effect, and that, long before his earthly life drew to its close, King George knew how greatly he was beloved by all his subjects, and how universally esteemed he was by all men and nations.

At the close of the day there will often be seen, at the distant horizon in our Canadian skies, that silver light "that never was on sea or land," as the sun, in a blaze of glory, sinks to its rest. Such, it seems to me, will be the world's memory of the passing of our sailor king, as he left these shores for others beyond our ken.

I would not venture, in the presence of a sorrow so manifest as that we have witnessed in all parts of the world, to add anything at this time to the expression of our own grief. Nor shall I seek to repeat what was said in this house, and elsewhere throughout the empire, less than a year ago, and which has found new and deeper meaning in the events of the past few weeks. I shall content myself with expressing on behalf of the parliament of Canada, in common with other parliaments of the empire, our warm appreciation of the tributes paid our late sovereign iby those in authority and others in foreign countries, making special mention, as having reference to our immediate neighbour, of the many fine tributes paid the memory of King George by the president, the press, and the people, of *the United States. International feeling has never found nobler expression, nor have foreign nations come at any time into more friendly touch with our own, than in the sincerity and depth of the sympathy they have shown with the nations of the British Commonwealth in their sorrow and loss.

May I say just a word of the personality of King George V, and of our sympathy with Her Majesty Queen Mary, also of what seems to me to have been of greatest significance in His late Majesty's life and reign.

It is impossible, I believe, to overestimate what we owe, and indeed, what the world owes, to the personality and personal example and endeavours of King George. Had His Majesty been a different type of person, the course of current events in Britain and elsewhere throughout the empire might also have been vastly different. It was what King George was as a man, that accounts most for what he was as a king. His personality permeated all be said and did, and left its glow

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upon his words and actions. He was intensely human, simple and natural in his tastes, gentle and kind in disposition. He liked best those things which contribute most to human happiness-the joys of home, the companionship of friends, the quiet of the countryside. Sandringham meant much more to him than Buckingham Palace or Windsor Castle. In private and in public life he was highly honourable. He stood for rectitude. He had a profound sense of duty, and he reverenced truth and justioe. Above all, he was "benignly vested with humility"; and he possessed that gift, which God alone can bestow, "a wise and an understanding heart."

There is something which will appeal to all men in the incident narrated by the Archbishop of Canterbury to his congregation only a few evenings ago. His Grace told them of a conversation he had had with the late king at the time of the silver jubilee, after its celebrations were over. His Majesty said to the Archbishop, "I cannot understand it all" -'referring to the overwhelming outburst of public tributes that he had received-"I cannot understand it all, for after all I am only a very ordinary sort of fellow." There was something even more appealing, profoundly moving, indeed, in the -words which we ourselves heaYd as we listened to the last of the king's messages, the one given by His Majesty from Sandringham on Christmas day. Referring to the silver jubilee rejoicings and the personal link between himself and the people, which he said he valued more than all else, King George also said: "How can I fail to note in all the rejoicing, not merely respect for the throne, but tihe warm and generous praise for the man himself who, may God help him, has been placed upon it."

It was the man thus revealed amid the trappings of royalty, and unspoiled by the pomp and pageantry of palaces and courts, which caused King George to be so deeply beloved. It was that which, in the words of His Excellency our new Governor General, will cause him to live in history as "a king who came closer than any other monarch to the hearts of his subjects." I believe it may truly be said that there never was a better king.

Here may I pause to say that, while King George's was a wonderful life, made great through real character, His Majesty was ever the first to acknowledge how much his power and influence for good was due to and enhanced by the beneficent influence of Her Majesty Queen Mary.

The life partnership of the queen meant everything to the late king. She was ever at his side in sickness and in health. Together

they shared, for forty-two years, the joys and sorrows of married life, and for over a quarter of a century, the great responsibilities of the throne. By untiring devotion to duty, and self-sacrificing lives, they ever sought to give expression to their love for the people and their desire to serve.

In her great sorrow, the queen may well be comforted by the knowledge of what, throughout his life and reign, her tender ministrations and loving companionship meant to the late king. There should be comfort, as well, in the thought that the love of the people for the king was inseparable from that of their love for the queen.

In her sorrow and loss, I think I may honestly say that there is felt, for Her Majesty Queen Mary, by every member of this house, a personal sympathy which it would be impossible to express in words.

Of the contributions made, to the period of his reign, by King George's personality, and His Majesty's personal endeavours, the most apparent was that towards the unity and good will of all parts of the great empire over which he reigned.

The contribution began with His Majesty's early life at sea, and his subsequent visits to the outlying dominions and India. It was developed, after his accession to the throne, by the catholicity of His Majesty's interests and his close identification with the varied activities of the people. It received heightened emphasis in his immediate contacts with members of the defence forces, at the time of the great war. It was a constant factor at all the great conferences in London.

This contribution found its widest and most intimate expression in the addresses King George made to his subjects at the time of His Majesty's recovery from his severe illness six years ago, and as I have already indicated, in radio broadcasts delivered from time to time, and, more particularly on Christmas day, in the last two years. It was at these times that we all heard for ourselves His Majesty's voice, and were made to feel the friendliness and tenderness of his nature. We gained a new consciousness of the nearness of our relationship to each other, because of our deeply cherished common relationship to him. We felt ourselves drawn together as members of one great family, as he sought to have us share with him the joys and sorrows of his personal life, and as he pictured to us his conception of empire in terms of the loyalties of home and the affection of family ties.

A second great contribution, a contribution closely allied to the one first mentioned, was that made towards the position and per-

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manenoy of monarchy. In the wise and conciliatory manner in which King George dealt with the serious problems which confronted him at the time of his accession, he won the immediate confidence of his ministers. This, during his reign, he never lost. While ministers and governments changed, all alike found in him a wise counsellor and friend. By the steadfast way in which, throughout his reign, King George upheld constitutional government, he won the confidence of parliaments and the people. All knew and felt that he would seek to see that government was carried on without fear or favour to any interest or class. Thus it was that under King George, monarchy and democracy were not only reconciled, but became allied in an effort to preserve what was best in both.

The events of King George's reign-the political and social unrest, a long war, and a difficult peace-were such that with a less wise and less popular sovereign, the throne itself might constantly have been in jeopardy. As it was, notwithstanding far-reaching constitutional and parliamentary changes, and swift and unprecedented change in the organization of human society, the British monarchy grew in public confidence and in international prestige.

There was another equally great contribution made to his day and generation by King George, through his personality and personal endeavours. It was the contribution of more in the way of a spirit of good will and mutual helpfulness between persons of all ranks and classes; a wider recognition of the common human lot.

Having regard to the troubled and unsettled nature of the times in which he lived, and in which we continue to live-to the changing social order-I believe it is impossible to overestimate the value of this contribution. King George, himself, saw in it not only the surest method of maintaining the blessing of peace, but the only means of effectively solving the economic ills which beset us. He hoped that the spirit of mutual helpfulness would grow and spread. By word and by example, he did all in his power to foster and develop it.

There is one more contribution which King George's personality and personal endeavours made to the world of his day of which I should like to speak. It constituted, I believe, the supreme aim of his life. It was the promotion of friendship among all men and all nations. In the quarter of a century during which he reigned, it was given King George to witness more of war, of strife, and of unrest than the world had known

rMr. Mackenzie King.]

in any corresponding period of time, or. indeed, at any time. Perhaps this, more than any other reason, caused him to stress so strongly the importance of human friendships, and to believe that friendly relations with all nations should constitute the cornerstone of British foreign policy.

Whatever the cause, it was friendship between the peoples of different countries, and friendly relations between nations, that His Majesty sought most to keep before his own peoples and foreign states. This aim was expressed in deeply impressive words in the message of thanksgiving cabled to all parts of the empire in the spring of 1929, when King George referred to the sympathy shown him by unknown friends, in many countries, at the time of his illness.

"I long to believe," His Majesty said, "it is possible that experiences such as mine may soon appear no longer exceptional: wrhen the national anxieties of all peoples of the world shall be felt as a common source of human sympathy and a common claim on human friendship."

Even more impressive, as being a part of the king's last message, from which I have already [DOT] quoted, were the words we heard expressed with so much feeling as we listened to his voice on Christmas day. Let me recall those words:-

In Europe, and in many parts of the world, anxieties surround us. It is good to think that our own family of peoples is at peace with itself and united in one desire to be at peace with other nations-a friend of all, an enemy of none.

"A friend of all, an enemy of none." In these words we find the life purpose of our late king. It was the image he sought to impress on the nations of the British commonwealth, as clearly and distinctly as his own royal effigy is stamped upon their coinage. How largely he succeeded in fulfilling the great purpose of his life is apparent in the tributes which have been paid his memory by peoples of all -races and climes, and by every nation under the sun.

" A friend of all, an enemy of none." It is, as such, that, throughout all time, King George will be remembered. What comparable epitaph has found its place upon a royal tomb!

Here we may well take our leave of him whom we knew and loved so well, and with thankful as well as loyal hearts hasten to declare our allegiance to our new king.

There are many reasons why we may with confidence welcome the accession of Edward VIII to the throne of his ancestors. The new king comes of a royal family which has inherited and been true to great traditions of

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public service. Many of us still vividly recall the passing of Queen Victoria. Four years before her death she had celebrated the diamond jubilee of her accession to the throne. Most of the generation of that day ihad known no other sovereign. It seemed, at that moment, as if the British throne would never again have so revered and illustrious a sovereign. That was thirty-five years ago. Since that time the son and the grandson of Queen Victoria have occupied the throne, and each has left a memory revered, not by British peoples only, but by all men and nations.

The death of Queen Victoria occurred between the dissolution in Canada of one parliament and the convening of another. By a rather remarkable coincidence, the first day of the meeting of the new parliament after the death of Queen Victoria-Canada's ninth parliament-was, as has been the first day of this the eighteenth parliament, on the 6th of February. Speaking, in 1901, as I am now speaking to the newly assembled members of the House of Commons, the Right Honourable Sir Wilfrid Laurier, referring to the new king, also Edward by name, declared that he who was a wise prince would be a wise king; that the policies which had made the British empire so great under his predecessor would also be his policies, and that the reign of King Edward VII would be simply a continuation of the reign of Queen Victoria.

In expressing our feelings toward our new king, I can think of no words more appropriate than words similar to those used by Sir Wilfrid Laurier in reference to Edward VII. He who has been so beloved as a prince, will, we believe, be beloved in even greater measure as a king. We believe that the policies which have made for unity and friendship under his predecessor will also be his policies, and that the reign of King Edward VIII will be simply a continuation of the reign of King George V.

In his first public utterance as sovereign, Edward VIII declared to his privy council that he was determined to follow in his father's footsteps in upholding constitutional government, and in working for the happiness and welfare of all classes of his subjects. These words His Majesty repeated in a message to the British House of Commons, written in his own hand, and which contained, as well, a reference to the manner in which King George was ever actuated by a profound sense of duty.

We did not need to be thus assured that it would be King Edward's determination to follow in the way his father had set before him. Along more paths than one he has already followed in his father's footsteps. There is scarcely a part of the British empire King


Edward did not visit during the years he was known to us all as the Prince of Wales. His knowledge of the empire and its problems is infinitely greater than was that of King George at the time he came to the throne. His personal friendships with his subjects are vastly more numerous. He is no stranger to government or matters of state. Time and again he has taken his part as representative of the crown on ceremonial and other occasions, and in all parts of the world. The British peoples in different parts of the world had come to look upon him, in his visits to foreign countries, as their ambassador at large. King Edward VIII comes to the throne to-day with a wide knowledge of his people and their problems.

Nor can there be any mistaking King Edward's deep interest in social problems, or his desire for friendship with all men and nations. All who have followed his career know that he has much at heart the condition of those whose struggle is against poverty and adversity. His visits to the industrial areas, his interest in the housing problem, his desire to rid the cities of Britain of their slums, his advocacy of other forms of social betterment and social service, speak for themselves. What he saw of war in France and Flanders, and, even more, what he knows of the legacies it has left, have given him a passionate desire for peace. To the interest and power manifested in these directions as Prince of Wales will now be added the authority and prestige of the throne.

It is not the new king's part in government, so much as our own, that, it seems to me, calls for concern at this time. That King Edward lias a profound sense of duty, and that he will uphold constitutional government, and that at all times he will have uppermost the welfare and happiness of all classes of his subjects, there is not the least doubt. It must not be forgotten, however, that terrible as were many of the years of King George's reign, King Edward has come to the throne at what may yet be seen to be the most critical and difficult period in the history of the world.

Constitutional government, while it places great responsibilities upon a sovereign, places even heavier responsibilities upon his advisers. An ill-advised W'ord, an error in judgment on the part of those in authority, may, in times like the present, precipitate the most appalling of situations. King Edward himself has foreseen this. He made it plain at the moment he was proclaimed king. Having given his pledge to uphold constitutional government, and to work for the happiness and welfare of all classes of his subjects, His

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Majesty concluded his address to his privy council in the following words:

I place my reliance upon the loyalty and affection of my people throughout the empire, and upon the wisdom of their parliaments, to support me in this heavy task, and I pray that God will guide me to perform it.

"The wisdom of their parliaments!" This is now the recognized foundation on which rests, not only the security of the crown, but the security of the peoples of the British commonwealth. Who will say that it may not constitute the security of human society and


As members of one of the parliaments of the empire, well may we join with our new sovereign in praying that God will guide us in the performance of our task.

With these words, Mr. Speaker, I beg to move, seconded1 by Mr. Bennett, that a humble address be presented to His Majesty the King in the following words:

To The King's Most Excellent Majesty:

Most Gracious Sovereign:

We, Your Majesty's dutiful and loyal subjects, the House of Commons of Canada, in parliament assembled, humbly beg leave to express our deep sympathy with Your Majesty in the affliction and loss you have sustained by the death of the late King, Your Majesty's beloved

Your Majesty's sorrow is shared by the people of this dominion, whose representatives we are. King George V, by His fidelity to duty. His public service, and His constant endeavour to advance the well-being and happiness of all classes, had greatly endeared Himself to His Canadian subjects. We remember with gratitude His unremitting efforts to secure friendship and peace among the nations of the w*orld. In common with all parts of the empire, we shall ever deeply cherish His memory.

We welcome Your Majesty's accession to the throne of your ancestors. We desire, in so doing, to express to you our loyalty and devotion. It is our firm conviction that Your Majesty will ever seek to promote the happiness and to protect the liberties of all your people. As members of the parliament of Canada, we wish to assure Your Majesty that, in the discharge of these great responsibilities, it is our desire and determination to uphold and

support Your Majesty, to the utmost of our

authority and wisdom.

I would also move, seconded by Mr. Bennett, that the following message of condolence be sent to Her Majesty Queen Mary:

Your Majesty:

We, the House of Commons of Canada, in parliament assembled, respectfully beg leave to tender to Your Majesty our heartfelt sympathy in your great sorrow and bereavement. Wo share Your Majesty's grief and loss in the passing of our late sovereign. King George V, who was greatly beloved by all his subjects.

We pray that, at this time. Your Majesty may be comforted and sustained by the

remembrance of what your loving companionship meant to the late King throughout his life and reign; by memories of service shared; and by the sympathy and love that everywhere surrounds Your Majesty in your great sorrow.


Richard Bedford Bennett (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Right Hon. R. B. BENNETT (Leader of the Opposition):

Mr. Speaker, the observations made by the right hon. Prime Minister (Mr. Mackenzie King) represent the heartfelt expression of opinion of this house. He speaks not as the chief of a great party, but as the leader of the House of Commons, and lengthy observations on my part should therefore be unnecessary. But tradition necessitates my making at least a few observations on behalf of those who sit with me, and are affiliated with me politically, so that we may be associated with what has been said.

I do not suppose that in the history of our institutions as we have them there has ever been any such manifestation of popular emotion as that which followed the death of His Majesty King George V. In city, town and hamlet, and in remote sections of the prairie, men and1 women regarded the death of King George as a personal sorrow. So far as I have been able to read, never before has it been given to a sovereign to touch the hearts of the people as did King George Y. As one observer has said, it is difficult to express the reasons why, but on the other hand it is not- difficult to understand the causes.

The late king might well be said to have been the hereditary president of our empire. He was olosely in touch with his people. When he succeeded to the throne, having travelled over every part of his vast empire, having circumnavigated the globe before he was heir apparent to the throne and having served in the navy with great distinction, he was acquainted with every part of his vast dominions. When he ascended the throne, he asked the people to permit him to follow in his father's footsteps, and he referred to the great anxiety of King Edward VII to ameliorate the conditions of his people. At that time, when our late king had ascended the throne, the duties of the sovereign were defined as safeguarding the treasures of the past and preparing the path of the future. All the glories, all the achievements, all the security of law' and order, all the developments of ages-these treasures had to be safeguarded. But with changed conditions, with the growth of a new democracy, with the extension of the franchise, with the balance of power changed from what it had been, a new path had to be made; that pathway had to be prepared. Such was the obligation of the new sovereign.

Death oj King George V

I wonder if for a moment one could contemplate what has transpired since then? Shortly after his accession to the throne he had to deal with complex constitutional problems, the like of which no former sovereign had had to consider, although his father had dealt with them in part. Later, and only very shortly after his accession to the throne, the most desolating war of all the ages came upon us. In its aftermath we had a long, long struggle to get back to prosperity. We were faced with the necessity of a readjustment of our conditions, and painful effort to overcome the difficult situation that had been brought about. In all this the king was not only the head of the state but the inspired leader of his people, the wise and sagacious statesman, the man of broad vision who saw beyond the narrow confines of the day and who looked into the long to-morrows. In the industrial centres, in the great and teeming population he laid the foundation of affection and regard which made possible the development, the safeguarding, the securing upon a permanent basis of those institutions of ours as we have them to-day. What an achievement ! The safeguarding of the treasures of the past, proving that it was not inconsistent with the maintenance of the great dignity of kingship to maintain the closest touch with the people in the freest democracy of the world. Never have men's liberties been more amply secured, never has freedom been upon a broader base than in the United Kingdom during recent years. This achievement, while it has been in no small measure attributable to the prescience of wise statesmen, must always in the last analysis be attributed to the dispassionate attitude of the sovereign, far removed from political parties, free from the partisanship of contending chiefs of parties in the state, and concerned wholly with the happiness, welfare and well-being of his people.

He had his reward, for when King George passed beyond, never was a throne more firmly established or more securely supported by the people's will; it had survived the struggles of the war, the internecine strife of parties following upon that great conflict; it had survived the days when the struggle for prosperity was still in the minds of the people and had emerged stronger, more enduring, than ever in its w'hole history. And so as he passed to his reward our late king was sure that he had preserved the treasures of the past and was able to hand on to his successor a priceless legacy, a legacy which cannot be defined in words, a legacy which he himself enriched by his toil, by his vision, and by his appreciation of his responsibilities.

The pathway of the future must be prepared. The statute of Westminster has secured for the autonomous dominions overseas an equality of status with the motherland herself, an equality in every particular in matters affecting domestic and foreign policies, all owing allegiance to the same crown and associated together in the commonwealth of nations. So far as we in this parliament are concerned, we may indeed say that constitutionally the pathway of .the future has been prepared.

I should like particularly to associate myself with what was said by the right hon. the Prime Minister as to the terrible obligation and responsibility-and I use the word "terrible" advisedly-that rests upon the parliament of this senior dominion of that great overseas empire, a responsibility the contemplation of which is calculated almost to overwhelm one. Sometimes it well might be that a chance word, a wrong attitude of mind, a lack of appreciation and understanding, perhaps a desire to serve an immediate purpose, political or otherwise, might involve considerations of the greatest moment not to Canada alone but to every part of the British commonwealth of nations, and thus affect the welfare and peace and happiness of the whole world.

The predominant aim of the late king, as he himself has said, was to maintain constitutional government in all its strength and power. Many a time his advisers have not been slow to tell us that we have hada closer appreciation and understanding of advice given to our sovereign, and of action taken by him than we have ever had in any other age in our history. One cannot but realize that at times there have been acute differences of opinion between the sovereign and his advisers; but never was there a moment when the sovereign, having considered and discussed these matters with his ministers, did not follow' the constitutional course of giving effect to tho advice he had received. Frequently he wa.I able to modify the views that were expressed.Frequently he was able by discussion and

argument to convince those who were his advisers that other courses than those contemplated should be taken, but always in the end the action taken was the action of his ministers.

His influence we cannot to-day appraise. We should not attempt it; it will be for history to determine that. We are too near the picture. But this we do know, that those who had to deal with him in matters of state and those who from time to time had dis-

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cussions with him of problems affecting the welfare of one-quarter of the world's population were unanimous in the view that he was a constitutional sovereign. By his wide experience, by his great knowledge of men, through the life of his contact with successive ministries, he had been able to achieve so detached a position and so sound a judgment, such great wisdom and sagacity, that his influence was at times decisive in matters of the gravest importance to every part of the world. That I think was exemplified particularly in the formation of what was known as the national government. The historian of even to-day has told us how great that influence was; but that sound constitutional sovereign was never unmindful of the fact that, although one-quarter of the world's population owed allegiance to his throne, there was a wider world than that over which he reigned, and the constant endeavour of King George was to maintain good relations between Great Britain and indeed the British empire and every part of the world, so that the influence of this commonwealth of nations might always be an agency for peace and for the happiness of mankind. That in itself was a great ideal. The accomplishment of it obviously is impossible for human minds or human men, but the effort to achieve it was never lacking.

There was a side of the late king which we must not overlook, and that was his influence on the national character and life, not only through his constant appearances with the queen before the public, but in the observations which from time to time he was pleased to make, not only in the Christmas day broadcasts but also by their example. And what finer example for the poorest or the most humble in the country could there be than that of the family life of King George V? He was a respecter of all the conventions of life, a religious man in the truest and best sense, tolerant of all, knowing that his subjects belonged to many races and professed many faiths. He kept the Sabbath holy. He maintained that regard for conventions that has made, as we all know it to be true, the home and family the keynote of our greatness; for the greatness of this empire, so far as it is reflected from its centre or from its overseas dominions, lies in the fact that its foundations are set in the homes of the people. No work was done on Sunday, the day of rest. Never was he lacking in religious observance wherever he might be, whether it was in the private chapel in a great palace or in the little church in the parish of Sandringham ; whenever his health permitted he was there. The force of his example upon his

people and upon the world of good living, of high regard for home and family, I would place as the greatest possible influence that has been exercised by our late king upon the world at large.

There is one word I might say and perhaps I will be forgiven for saying it. The Prime Minister referred to a statement made by the Archbishop of Canterbury. I was privileged to represent this parliament last May, and during the course of conversation the late king used words almost similar to those used by the Archbishop of Canterbury. He said to me that he could not understand why there was manifested such evidences of affectionate regard on the part of the people. He added, "I am a very ordinary man, but I have done my best." Never shall I forget the way in which those words were spoken. Not, "I have done my duty," but "I have done my best." Could anything be finer? Could anything better than that be held up to the youth of this or any other country? Vicissitudes, sorrows, the death of mother, sister, son, illness nigh unto death-all these things had crowded into that busy life-but he had done his best. Perhaps that thought was in the minds of his people when they showed such affection, affection as has never been shown to a mortal king so far as we have record. It was not reverence, or respect, or admiration; it was real love and affection. It was the reward for virtue, courage, dignity, toil, self sacrifice; for, in the words of Kipling, never asking a man to do other than what he himself would do. Was prohibition to be enacted, was the use of spirits to be denied in the kingdom, the king would also follow that course. Were there restrictions upon food, the king must subject himself to them. No sacrifice did he shrink from that his subjects had to bear. With the life of toil and sacrifice he reached the reward that he spoke of in those beautiful words, not in his last Christmas message but in the Christmas message of 1934, when he said:

If I may be regarded as in some true sense the head of this great and widespread family, sharing its life and sustained by its affection, this will be a full reward for the long and sometimes anxious labours of my reign of well nigh five and twenty years.

Could) anything be finer than that? Five and twenty years of toil and then his reward is sharing the life and being sustained1 by the affection of his subjects. There we might leave it, but something else was said that no man can forget. It was a great author who once said that of the four sweetest words in our language, "home" and1 "mother" were two. Of the king's devotion to his mother everyone is aware, but who can forget the words that he

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used on his accession to the throne with respect to his wife? Not "Queen" as we use- the word, but this is what he said on that May day when he ascended the throne:

I am encouraged by the knowledge that I have in my dear wife one who "will be a constant helpmate in every endeavour for our people's good.

With all the pomp and1 pageantry surrounding the throne, the late king in ascending it spoke of his "dear wife." For twenty-five years she was his constant partner in joy and sorrow, she shared with him all the joys and all the woes of that great office. At the end, in the ancient hall at Westminster, I heard him utter these words:

I have been blessed in all my work in having beside me my dear wife, of whom you have spoken so kindly.

I happen to know that one of the things that gave His late Majesty the greatest pleasure was the thought that on the day on which that speech with amplifiers and broad-oasts was carried to every part of the kingdom, a workman, speaking to a fellow workman, said, "Why, Bill, he is just like you and me. Did you hear him? He spoke with feeling when he spoke of his wife; he felt just the way we do when we speak about ours." I happen to know that gave to His Majesty the greatest joy possible. One of his subjects, humbly illiterate if you will, living a life of relative poverty, recognized the choking accents of his sovereign as he spoke of his dear wife at the close of that memorable address. He said, "I have been blessed in all my work in having beside me my dear wife." What a tribute to home and mother!

Our hearts go out, not to the great queen who has ennobled her high position and filled it with dignity and honour to the pride of all subjects of the king, but -to the widowed mother, bereaved of husband, mourning his passing, who has now become the subject of her son. It is in that sense I join with the right hon. gentleman in his moving reference to Her Majesty. It is in that sense that we adopt this address of condolence to her in her great loss.

There remain but a few words to speak of the young man who has succeeded to the throne of his fathers as Edward VIII. He is no stranger to us. Frequently he has visited our country. His democratic attitude toward life, his wide knowledge of men, his clear conception of his obligations and responsibilities, his extraordinarily fine training in all the obligations of kingship enable him to come to the throne equipped as was his father or, as the Prime Minister has said, perhaps better

fitted by travel to discharge the great and onerous duties of his high office. We render him the homage of our grateful hearts. We offer him the tribute of our affection because when he came here in 1919 there was no human, however hardened, no citizen, however old, who could look upon that smile without emotion. It charmed, it fascinated, it commanded the respect and admiration of all.

With the lapse of time, with the growth of knowledge, and with wider understanding, greater wisdom and much greater sagacity, he succeeds to the throne of his fathers, equipped to oarry on the work so successfully initiated and carried on by George V. We are his subjects; but we wish him well, not because of his kingly office, not because we owe him allegiance, but because he embodies in his person those attributes which we would have possessed by the head of our state, the head of Canada, speaking, as he does, in the terms of the British North America Act and of the statute of Westminster, through His Excellency the Governor General, the personal representative of that king.

But there is another side; and depressed as we are, as we contemplate conditions in the world around us, worried as we all are with the thought of grim realities that cannot be cast away with a few words, or dealt with in rounded sentences-the vast, grim realities of world conditions as they are-we' thank God with grateful hearts that He has given us the great king whom we have had and who has passed to his reward, having had three score years and ten of active life, filled with anxiety and sacrificing toil for his people. We thank the Giver of all good and perfect gifts for that great life; we thank Him that His Majesty's Consort the Queen still lives, and that He has given us, in the person of our new king, one who will maintain the high traditions of a great office and will carry forward, as he himself has said, by every means within his power, the policies, the point of view and the ideals of his father who has passed to his great reward.

Here I close, hoping with all hon. members of this house, as all human beings must hope, for brighter and better days, hoping that an all-seeing Providence may direct men of wisdom so to advise their sovereign, that the dark possibilities to which the Prime Minister has alluded may never become actualities, but that with wisdom, fearing God and loving the king, we may serve our day and generation as our great departed king served his.

Death oj King George V


Ernest Lapointe (Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada)


Hon. ERNEST LAPOINTE (Minister of Justice) (Translation):

Mr. Speaker, it is

for me a great honour and an important duty to second the resolution of the right hon. the Prime Minister (Mr. Mackenzie King) expressing to His Majesty the King and to Queen Mary the sentiments of profound and respectful sympathy that the death of King George V has called forth from the hearts of the Canadian people.

Throughout his entire life, by his dignity, his universally known kindness, as well as by the conscientious performance of his duties, his devotion to the interests of the empire and his strict adherence to constitutional rules and practice, the sovereign who has just departed has merited the fidelity and affection of his subjects, -while at the same time fulfilling the ideal of the monarch, friendly to peace and respectful of the liberty of individuals and of nations.

It is during his glorious reign and with his cooperation that Canada has evolved from the status of a colony to that of a nation, free but ever loyal to its king. This is for us Canadians a particular reason to honour the memory of him who thus accepted to become in a manner more directly the sovereign of this country of ours, which is gradually and peacefully progressing from adolescence to national maturity.

As a representative in this house of the French population, I am sure that I faithfully interpret the sentiments of my compatriots when I say that the departed king has instilled into the hearts of all of us feelings of respect, of loyalty and of love that only truly worthy, truly great kings can inspire.

In the family of the British dominions, George V has magnificently incarnated the principle of unity, of duration, that gives to the members of this wTorld-wiide association the inspiration and the means to accomplish their respective tasks and to fulfil their common destiny. In fact, as a French writer has said, the king " represents the nation in all of its characteristics that are continuous, unchangeable, eternal."

If Goethe was right in saying: "Nothing is great that does not endure," history will record that- it is the reign of George V that ensured the survival of constitutional monarchy in the world.

Parliament honours itself this day in rendering, on behalf of every citizen of the country, its homage of just gratitude -to him who has so nobly lived his life as a man and so usefully fulfilled his mission as a king.

To His Majesty King Edward VIII to Queen Mary, to the whole royal family so cruelly stricken, Canadians respectfully extend

[Mr. Bennett.3

sympathies all the more sincere because of the profound grief they themselves feel.

I desire in addition to assure His Majesty the King that our loyalty and fidelity to him, our respect for his person and our attachment to British traditions will be the same under his reign as they -have been under that of his illustrious predecessor.

Mr. J. II. BLACKMORE (Lethbridge): Mr. Speaker, it has been a great delight to me to hear the expressions of loyal devotion to our king and queen. I should like to add to those expressions just a few words on behalf of the people whom I represent, the loyal social credit people throughout the Dominion of Oanada. AVe rejoice in our king; we rejoice in the British monarchy; we have rejoiced particularly in the good work of King George. I am reminded of the words of Tennyson in his great poem on the Death of the Duke of AVellington, wherein he speaks of-

That sober freedom out of which there springs .

Our loyal passion for our temperate lungs.

That sober freedom, difficult to define but nevertheless a remarkable characteristic of the race to which we have the privilege to belong, a sober freedom out of which there springs a loyal passion for constitutional monarchy. Starting in the last century, about 1820, there became intensified one of the greatest struggles for the liberty of man in this world's history. It first became really manifest in Great Britain when the reform bill of 1832 was passed. From that time on and throughout that century, culminating in 1917, there was an incessant and tireless struggle of the common man upward to freedom; a struggle to gain representative institutions, responsible government, freedom to vote as he chose through the secret ballot and universal suffrage. And through all that struggle, steadily with the people was the temperate monarchy of Great Britain, particularly through the years of Victoria the Good, when the greatest number of those battles were fought. Through all those years the monarchy of Britain was with the common man, with the people. I am reminded of a little poem which I shall modify slightly; I believe it expresses the thought as I see it:

As to the bow the cord is,

So to Britain is the monarchy.

Though it bends her it obeys her;

Though it draws her yet it follows.

A most remarkable condition, which I believe has not been known in all this world's history before, but a condition verily true.

Commencing in 1920, or perhaps a little before, the British people began to discover

Death oj King George V

that they were engaged in another desperate struggle upwards towards freedom. The leaders had recognized it before. We are struggling towards economic liberty equal to the political liberty which we have achieved. In the struggle for economic freedom I believe I see, sir, a British monarchy true to its finest traditions as exemplified in His Majesty King George V, still bending the empire and still leading, yet still obeying and still following. We find His Majesty on June 12, 1933, making a statement in the following words. He was speaking before a great economic conference which but for those words perhaps have been hopelessly abortive, but which as a result of those words had an influence upon mankind. The words were:

It cannot be beyond the power of man so to use the vast resources of the world as to ensure the material progress of civilization. No diminution in these resources has taken place. On the contrary, discovery, invention and organization have multiplied their possibilities to such an extent that abundance of production has! itself created new problems.

I submit, sir, that in those words our beloved monarch, whom we mourn from one corner of this British Empire to its remotest bounds, recognized the great struggle which was then commencing and expressed his sympathy with the toiling millions of us who are striving upward towards economic freedom. And I rejoice that our new sovereign, Edward VIII, in whom I feel we are justified in placing such great hope, has already manifested on several occasions similar vision. At one time when he was visiting the mining areas in the north of England, as the king saw the out-ofwork miners in their grim homes it caused him to exclaim, "Whait a ghastly mess it all is! It makes me positively sick. What is the cause of all this? It cannot go on. It is a blot on England." And again at a later time, speaking before the international congress on commercial education in July, 1932, he said; " Our urgent task is to bring consumption and production into proper relationship-not a simple but a quite possible task."

Mr. Speaker, I rejoice in those words. I look forward with confidence, and I pray, with you and the other hon. members here, that God will direct that man in ruling this country and will direct the statesmen who are called to advise him in the various great dominions of the British Empire, in such a way that all shall work together under God to bring consumption into harmony with production, and go forward in the great struggle for economic liberty. And may the Lord fulfil in King Edwards' case the promise made in His behalf by a great hymn writer:

For I will be with thee thy troubles to bless,

And sanctify to thee thy deepest distress.


James Shaver Woodsworth

Co-operative Commonwealth Federation (C.C.F.)

Mr. J. S. WOODSWORTH (Winnipeg North Centre):

Mr. Speaker, on this special occasion our party desires to join with others in expressing our respect for the late king and our sympathy with Her Majesty, Queen Mary.

My memory goes back to the death of Queen Victoria. There was then a sense of profound personal loss, coupled with a feeling that the bottom had dropped out of everything. Perhaps it is because I am older in years, too nearly a contemporary of His late Majesty, that I do not experience just those emotions to-day. My own point of view, and I fancy that of many others, has changed. Many years ago, when a young man in England, I was profoundly stirred by the well known lines of Ebenezer Elliott:

When wilt thou save the people?

O God of mercy! WThen?

Not kings and lords, but nations!

Not thrones and crowns, but men!

This point of view has been too long neglected, but in expressing and emphasizing it perhaps some of us have hardly realized the place which the king has filled in the life of the empire. The king embodies, as it were, in 'himself the great British tradition. Those who have come under the spell of Westminster Abbey will know what I mean. From the figures of shadowy legend down through a long line of kings, some good, some bad; through victories and defeats; through constitutional changes, by incorporating ideals and institutions of other lands and civilizations, and again by sharply' distinguishing our own type from others, this tradition has been built up. Not in disparagement of any other nation or culture, and not as though we had already attained, either were already perfect, we are proud to call ourselves British.

And again the king is a symbol of the unity of the commonwealth. I prefer the word "commonwealth" to the word "empire," because I detest the older imperialism and all its works. But the voluntary association of a number of politically self governing dominions is a great achievement. Indeed it encourages one to hope for a yet wider unity. Even in Victoria's day the poet laureate dreamed of the parliament of man, the federation of the world. It would be the crowning glory of England if she could give an effective lead in the establishment of world peace.

Further, the British king as a constitutional monarch represents the adaptation of old forms and institutions to new needs and new functions. "Compromise" in the sense of the

Death oj King George V

sacrifice of principles is a despicable thing, but compromise as the discovery of a working arrangement through which various points of view are reconciled and some advance made in the difficult art of learning to live together-such compromise is essential to successful democratic government. Herein, per-naps, lies the peculiar genius of the British people. Without too violent a break with the past, the national life has again and again been revolutionized. In various countries monarchies have given place to dictatorships. In England, political democracy has broadened down from precedent to precedent. When I affirm that it must broaden still more I believe that I am in line with the best British tradition.

The king is a symbol, but much more than an inanimate symbol. He is flesh and blood as we are. To-day the empire mourns the passing of a man, a son, a husband, a father. Burns, in making a plea for the common man, declared: "A man's a man for a' that." One might thus plead for those who inherit high office-a man's a man for a' that. As one recalls the court life of an earlier day; as one thinks of the domineering, strutting heads . of some modern nations, one cannot but be thankful for certain qualities exhibited in the personal and official life of our late king.

King Edward comes to the throne in days of strain and stress at home and abroad. He, and all of us, face an uncertain future. I should like to think that the sympathy expressed by the king, when the Prince of Wales, at the time of the miners' strike, to which reference was made by the last speaker, will characterize not only the new king but also his advisers in Great Britain and throughout the empire.

The proclamation "The king is dead. Long live the king!" is of little importance unless we set ourselves with determination to bring in the better day.

Ring out false pride in place and blood,

The civic slander and the spite;

Ring in the love of truth and right,

Ring in the common love of good.

Ring out old shapes of foul disease;

Ring out the narrowing lust of gold;

Ring out the thousand wars of old',

Ring in the thousand years of peace.


Martha Louise Black

Independent Conservative


Mr. Speaker, it seems to me that I would be derelict in my duty to the women of my beloved constituency in the north and to the women of Canada generally if I did not join my voice to the voices of the right hon. Prime Minister (Mr. Mackenzie King) and my right

hon. leader (Mr. Bennett). Her Majesty the Queen has set the women of Canada an example of devotion to home life, devotion to family and devotion to the business that comes up every day by which we must all profit, and I should like to be allowed to join in this tribute of regret and sympathy to that beautiful woman.


Motions agreed to.


Mr. MACKENZIE KING moved the adjournment of the house. He said: There is no necessity of any ancillary motions, since I understand identical resolutions were adopted in the Senate to-day. As this concludes the order of business for this afternoon I now move the adjournment of the house.


Richard Bedford Bennett (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Conservative (1867-1942)


Perhaps before 'the house adjourns the right hon. gentleman would indicate whether or not it would be possible to lay on the table a report of the dominion-provincial conference. I think perhaps we should have some official record before the debate proceeds on Monday. I recall the right hon. gentleman asking, me the same question in happier days-


Ernest Lapointe (Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada)


Mr. LAPOINTE (Quebec East):

And what was the answer?


Richard Bedford Bennett (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Conservative (1867-1942)


The answer was that we

did our business without keeping any minutes and disposed of it very promptly, with a unanimity that could have been hardly expected in view of the fact that the provinces were not all of one political faith.


William Lyon Mackenzie King (Prime Minister; Secretary of State for External Affairs; President of the Privy Council)



I recall quite

well asking my right hon. friend if he would table a report of the dominion-provincial conferences held during his day, and his reply that he had no report to table. I am happy to say that my reply to him will not be the same. I shall be pleased to lay on the table of the house on Monday the report of the dominion-provincial conference, which I think will bring satisfaction to all members of the house including even my right hon. friend. If he wishes to have a copy before Monday, I shall be glad to see that one is sent to his office.


Richard Bedford Bennett (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Conservative (1867-1942)


I should greatly appreciate it.

Motion agreed to and the house adjourned at 4.35 p.m.

The Address-Mr. Slaght

Monday, February 10, 1936

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February 7, 1936