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, it is seldom we advance very far in any parliament before we are reminded that, one by one, our ranks are certain to be thinned by the hand of death. Mr. D'Arcy Britton Plunkett, representative for Victoria, is the first member of the new parliament to have been taken from our midst. His death occurred only yesterday after an exceedingly brief illness, so brief in fact that many hon. members of the house were not aware of his indisposition until they read that he had passed away.
Mr. Plunkett was in his sixty-fifth year, and was unmarried. The circumstance that his death should have occurred in this city while he was attending to his parliamentary duties, that for this reason he should have been away from the many friends and associations of the constituency he represented, and that because of the seriousness of his illness it was impossible for any of his fellow members and associates in this city to have much in the way of contact with him in his last days, adds not a little to the feeling of sadness which we all experience at this time.
Mr. Plunkett entered parliament in a byelection in December, 1928. He was reelected at the general elections of 1930 and 1935. I shall leave it to my right hon. friend the leader of the opposition (Mr. Bennett) to speak of his public services. To my right hon. friend Mr. Plunkett was not only a very loyal supporter but a very true personal friend. I hasten at once to express to him on behalf of the government and of all hon. members on this side, and also to hon. members of his party our feelings of very sincere sympathy with them in the loss they and
their party have sustained. May I say that the sense of personal loss which they experience will I am sure be shared in large measure by all who sat in previous parliaments with Mr. Plunkett, and also by others whose privilege it was to come to know him since the opening of the present parliament.
I should like on behalf of all hon. members to add a brief expression of sympathy with Mr. Plunkett's brothers and his nephews, who I understand, are his only immediate surviving relations and also a word of sympathy with the city of Victoria, which has lost its representative in this parliament.