January 28, 1943



House of Commons

Befmtes Thursday, January 28, 1943


The parliament which had been prorogued on the twenty-seventh day of January, 1943, met this day at Ottawa for the dispatch of business. Mr. Speaker read a communication from the Governor General's secretary, announcing that His Excellency the Governor General would proceed to the Senate chamber at three p.m. on this day, for the purpose of formally opening the session of the dominion parliament. A message was delivered by Major A. R. Thompson, Gentleman Usher of the Black Rod, as follows: Mr. Speaker, His Excellency the Governor General desires the immediate attendance of this honourable house in the chamber of the honourable the Senate. Accordingly the house went up to the Senate chamber. And the house having returned to the Commons chamber:


Right Hon. W. L. MACKENZIE KING {Prime Minister) moved for leave to introduce Bill No. 1, respecting the administration of oaths of office. Motion agreed to and bill read the first time.



Thomas Vien (Speaker of the Senate)



I have the honour to inform the house that when, the house did attend His Excellency the Governor General this day in the Senate chamber, His Excellency was pleased to make a speech to both houses of parliament. To prevent mistakes, I have obtained a copy, which is as follows: Honourable Members of the Senate:

Members of the House of Commons:

As you enter upon your duties at the beginning of this new year, you will be heartened by the improved position of the united nations.

In the first year of war, most of the countries of Europe lost their freedom and became the victims of nazi occupation and oppression. In the second year, Italy, already at war, joined her power with that of Germany in an effort to seize new territories in Africa, as well as in Europe. In the third year, Japan entered the world conflict in the expectation of becoming the master of the orient. These actions disclosed the pre-arranged schedule of world domination planned by the axis powers. Each, at the appointed time, sprang upon its unoffending neighbours.

During these years, the nations which were attacked, and others still enjoying freedom, were necessarily on the defensive. For three years, the free nations continued to gather strength, at the same time affording such mutual aid, one to the other, as opportunity permitted.

In their attempt at world conquest, the forces of aggression still continue their campaigns of terror and violence. The world scene, however, has vastly changed from what it was a year ago. Enemy forces, everywhere, have been halted by stubborn and successful resistance. In many parts of the world, the allied powers have taken the offensive.

At Casablanca, in North Africa, a meeting, unprecedented in history, has just been concluded between the Prime Minister of Great Britain and the President of the United States. During their conference, they were in communication with the Premier of the Soviet Union and the Generalissimo of China. At the conference, the leaders of Great Britain and the United States, both military .and civil, agreed on a war plan for 1943 designed to maintain the initiative in every theatre of war.

In the western hemisphere, the peoples now present a virtually united front against the axis powers.

The government has maintained close relations with the nations with which Canada is united in the common struggle. Direct diplomatic representation has strengthened our relations with China and the Soviet Union, and with the several allied governments now temporarily resident in the United Kingdom. The establishment of diplomatic missions to nations of the Americas is broadening the friendly relations between those countries and Canada.

Our .armed forces are on active service in all parts of the world. Their strength has been steadily increased. They are equipped with the most modern and efficient weapons of war. In actual combat, they have served with distinction and gallantry.

In the present year, the progressive expansion of the navy will be continued. The army program will include the maintenance and reinforcement of the overseas army of two corps, and the maintenance of units and formations required for the territorial 'and coastal

Governor General's Speech

defence of Canada and other areas in the western hemisphere. The air force will continue its three-fold activities of air training, patrolling our coasts and coastal waters, and sharing in aerial combat overseas. Increased responsibilities will be assumed for the maintenance of Canadian airmen and Canadian squadrons serving abroad.

As an integral part of Canada's total war effort, ships, aircraft, weapons, munitions and other supplies will continue to be provided, not only for Canada's forces, but in vast quantities as well for the forces of our fighting allies. In order to provide for the financing and for the allocation to the united nations of Canadian war production, a measure which will make provision for the establishment of a Canadian war supplies allocation board will be submitted for your approval.

A joint committee representative of the Departments of Agriculture of Canada and the United States has been agreed upon to coordinate the efforts of the two countries in the production of food for the united nations.

The immediate object of the united nations is the defeat of the axis powers. Joint planning of operations on a world scale has accompanied preparations for intensive warfare. The united nations also aim at rendering aggression impossible in the future. Their governments, in addition to planning jointly for the prosecution of the war, have already entered into consultation regarding post-war problems. Achievement of their aims requires the establishment of conditions under which all peoples may enjoy equality of opportunity and a sense of security.

Every effort must be made to ensure, after the close of hostilities, the establishment, in useful and remunerative employment, of the men and women in our armed forces and in war industries. My ministers have already begun to explore the international agreements and domestic measures which will help to secure adequate incomes for primary producers and full employment after the war. With your approval, the select committee on reconstruction and reestablishment, appointed at the last session, will be reconstituted.

It is in the general interest that freedom from fear and from want should be the assured possession of all. A nation-wide plan which would provide insurance against the inevitable consequences of major economic and social hazards is essential if this objective is to be attained.

In Canada, a considerable measure of social security has already been provided through federal enactments establishing annuities, unemployment insurance, and pensions for the aged, the blind and for disabled veterans; and through provincial enactments related to accidents, sickness and hospitalization, widows' and mothers' allowances and maternity benefits. There is, however, no approach to a nation-wide plan of social security.

My ministers believe that a comprehensive national scheme of social insurance should be worked out at once which will constitute a charter of social security for the whole of Canada.

The government accordingly proposes to recommend the early appointment of a select committee to examine and report on the most practicable measures of social insurance, and the

steps which will be required to ensure their inclusion in a national plan. Among matters which will be referred to this committee for study and consideration will be the establishment of a national system of health insurance.

In accordance with the provisions of the British North America Act you will be invited to consider a bill for the redistribution of representation in the House of Commons.

You will be asked to make provision for the appointment of parliamentary assistants to those of my ministers whose duties have become particularly onerous because of the demands of war.

Members of the House of Commons;

You will be asked to vote the necessary grants to enable our country to make its utmost contribution to the winning of the war.

Your attention will be invited at the earliest convenient date to the government's financial proposals. These will include the further development of the method of payment of the personal income tax in the year in which income is received, thus carrying to its logical conclusion the approach made last year to the collection of taxes on a current basis.

Honourable Members of the Senate:

Members of the House of Commons:

We have reason to be profoundly grateful for the improved position of the united nations. We must be careful, however, not to be misled by recent successes. The submarine menace has been growing, not diminishing. Decisive battles have still to be fought and won. Eor some time past, the movement of munitions and supplies overseas has been seriously restricted because of submarine activities. Until that grave menace is effectively controlled there is always the danger that reinforcements and supplies in sufficient volume may not reach the battle zones. As areas of conflict close in, fighting will increase in intensity and ferocity. The hardest battles, the heaviest sacrifices, may be in the future. Only the utmost sustained effort on the part of all the united nations will ensure the defeat of the axis powers.

In again inviting your careful consideration to the all important matters which will engage your attention, I pray that Divine Providence may guide and bless your deliberations.


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) moved:

That the speech of His Excellency the Governor General to both houses of parliament be taken into consideration on Friday next, and that this order have precedence over all other business, except the introduction of bills, government notices of motion and government orders, until disposed of.


Motion agreed to.




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, yesterday,

The Official Opposition

before concluding the business of the late session, in accordance with parliamentary procedure I announced to the house certain changes which had taken place in the ministry since this house had adjourned some six months earlier. To-day I take it as a part of my duty as leader of the house to draw attention, not to changes in the ministry, but to changes which have taken place in the opposition, in particular in the position of leader of the opposition.

May I say that had my hon. friend the former leader of the opposition, the member for York-Sunbury (Mr. Hanson), not told me personally on Tuesday evening last that 'he had definitely made up his mind that he would insist upon asking his followers in this house to relieve him immediately of the duty of leadership of the opposition and that his followers were meeting the day following to consider the situation, I certainly would have been very greatly surprised at the announcement which came over the radio last night and which also must have surprised all hon. members of this house. However, as we now know, the members of the official opposition met yesterday and, very reluctantly I am sure, accepted the resignation of the then leader of the opposition and later on selected for appointment as leader of the official opposition in this house my hon. friend the member for Peel (Mr. Graydon). I should like, therefore, immediately to extend to the new leader of the opposition my warmest personal congratulations and to extend to him in equal measure the heartiest congratulations not only of all members on this side of the house but, may 1 say, of all hon. members of this House of Commons. My hon. friend is to be greatly congratulated on the expression of confidence which the members of his party have given him in the choice which they have made. May I say I think the choice is one which members of the House of Commons of all parties will greatly welcome.

The hon. member for Peel has been in parliament now for some seven years, if I am not mistaken. He came into the house in 1935 and has been here continuously ever since. He has been a whip of his party. He has also been the chairman of the national committee of his party. He has a wide experience not only in political life generally but particularly in this house, and he brings to his position as leader of the opposition exceptional qualifications. He has-perhaps he will allow me to say it-great charm of manner, a pleasing disposition, also fine intellectual attainments. He has participated in the debates freely and always in a manner


which I think has met with the general approval of the house. I can say to him with very great confidence that I am sure he will do honour to himself in the position which he is now holding.

I must say to him that I wonder now that,, when the convention of his party was held! at Winnipeg recently, he was not made the choice of his party at once, instead of the party taking two or three bites of the cherry -in this case it might perhaps be called a plum. For its own reasons the party thought best to make other arrangements.

My hon. friend has this also certainly ter his credit, that he is neither too young nor too old for the position. May I say to him that I can speak with some degree of authority as to the position of leader of the opposition, because I held the post which he now occupies, for a period of some seven years and the experience which I had at that time gave me a very full understanding not only of the great responsibilities of the position but of its anxieties as well. I say to him immediately that I shall welcome opportunities of conference with him concerning matters which pertain to the business of the house. I hope in that connection he will not hesitate to make any demands upon me which at any time he may find advisable.

While I am speaking of the change of position in the leadership of the opposition of this house I think it might not be inappropriate for me also to make reference to the change in the leadership of the party of which my hon. friend is a member. When we met in this house at the beginning of a new session a little over a year ago the party of which my hon. friend is so distinguished a member, had just chosen a leader who, however, never made an appearance in the House of Commons, and for a year my hon. friend the member for York-Sunbury (Mr. Hanson) was in the position of having to lead the opposition and his party in the House of Commons but of not being the leader of the party in the larger sense of the word. I notice that at the convention of the party in Winnipeg that same procedure has been repeated. As a result we have to-day my hon. friend the member for Peel leading the opposition in this house while the chosen leader of the party is without a seat in the house. I mention this because in connection with our parliamentary institutions I hope that such a practice is not going to be permitted to grow into a custom. I take no exception to the compliment which the party of my hon. friend pays us on this side of

The Official Opposition

the house, in having two or three leaders.

I do believe that the British parliamentary system more or less demands that a political head of a party which occupies the position of an official opposition, should be occupying a seat in parliament. Although I do not wish to have my hon. friend believe that we are anxious to see him leave the position he now occupies, I hope that in the interests of parliamentary practice the chosen leader of the opposition will seek a seat in the house at an early date.

In speaking of changes, I should1 perhaps mention also the change that has been made in the name of the party opposite. However, I have been long enough in this parliament to see six changes in the name of the party, so evidently change of name so far as it is concerned has grown into a custom. I shall not say more on that at the present moment.

Now, Mr. Speaker, may I say a word in reference to my friend the hon. member for York-Sunbury (Mr. Hanson), who 'has held the position of Leader of the Opposition in this house since the early spring of 1940. When Mr. Hanson undertook to accept the position of Leader of the Opposition in this house he did so, I know, only because of the ^highest sense of public duty. At that time, Sie told me personally, and I know as well :from>

his intimate friends, that he was not feeling any too strong physically and had -reason to know that he must take particular [DOT]care of his health if he were to be able to [DOT]carry on for any length of time in public life. I know too that, after having been in the position of leader for a year or more, my hon. friend was anxious then to give up the leadership of the opposition because of the strain which that position involves; and now, in the third year, he has found it imperative to ask that he should be relieved of its duties.

As I have said, I know something of the anxieties and the responsibilities of a leader of the opposition as well as of a leader of the government. I must say frankly to my hon. friend that I have been amazed at the successful manner in which he has carried on his duties in this House of Commons over a period of three years, for I know something of the strain that he was undergoing all the time. However much any of us may have difEered in our political views, I believe the entire membership of this House of Commons has had the greatest admiration for my hon. friend in the sense of duty he has shown. He has been an example to us all in the manner of his fulfilment of the duties of his high office and for the way in which he has carried on from day to day, month to month, and now .as it has become from year to year. I think


his performance all circumstances considered has been simply wonderful, and I am glad to have this opportunity to tell him so. Many times from this side of the house my colleagues and myself have marvelled how he found it possible to be in his seat the moment the house opened and to be there throughout the sessions, afternoons and evenings, almost without exception. I think it is true that no other member of this House of Commons has been as continuously in his seat during the past three years as the former leader of the opposition.

May I also say to him that I think this house and the country are alike indebted to him for what he has contributed in that time to the discussions and to the carrying on of the business of parliament. He came into the leadership of the opposition with an experience almost second to none of the members on his side of the house. He brought not only his wide business and legal experience but also a knowledge of parliamentary affairs gained over a long period as a member of parliament. For some fourteen years my hon. friend had been a member of this house before he became leader of the opposition; since that time there have been added three more years. He had served as a minister of the crown; as we all know, he is one who is widely read in matters of government and well informed on the questions of the day; and he has greatly contributed to the work of .this house. May I say that I thank him warmly for the manner in which he has cooperated with myself and my colleagues in the business of the house during this period of war. There has been no period of histoiy comparable to the present; there has been no time in the affairs of the world when there have been so many problems of the gravest nature, and the business of this house could not be carried on at all at a time such as the present if there were not a spirit of real cooperation between the government, the opposition and other members in parliament. Now I want to say quite frankly, while not taking exception to much in the way of criticism, that the criticism which the government has met with from outside of parliament, where persons are not as well informed on the public questions of the day as are most hon. members of the house, has been much more severe than the criticism in relation to the management of affairs in these years of war which has come from the members of this house, regardless of the party to which they belong. I put that down to the sense of real responsibility which my hon. friend himself has had, and which has been shared by other members in the house.

The Official Opposition

I do hope that, in giving up the position which he has held with such distinction, my hon. friend will find in the relief from the heavy burdens of that office an opportunity to gain full restoration of his health and that he will be spared many years to enjoy some of the rewards of the service which he has given to this parliament and our country.

In the name of parliament and of the country I take great pleasure in saying to my hon. friend that I think he has merited the thanks of both.


Major James William Coldwell

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

Mr. M. J. COLDWELL (Rosetown-Biggar):

There are a few rare occasions in this house when the measure of a man can be taken and when tribute can be paid to a person apart altogether from the views which he may hold. I am glad, therefore, this afternoon that the Prime Minister (Mr. Mackenzie King) has paid tribute to the hon. member for York-Sunbury (Mr. Hanson). We have disagreed sharply in principle and on policy from time to time, but I think the hon. member for York-Sunbury has won the respect of all members of the house regardless of our political opinions and other affiliations.

The Prime Minister has eulogized his faithfulness to duty, which he has performed so well, and I am not going to enter into any details of that description. All I wish to say to the hon. member is this, that we join in wishing him many years of life in which he may look back upon this occasion, which I think must be to him a source of real personal gratification.

The leadership of the opposition is a very important position in o-ur British and Canadian parliamentary institutions. Upon the shoulders of the leader of the opposition there devolves a responsibility which is perhaps exceeded only by that of the Prime Minister himself, and I am quite sure we all feel that the hon. member for York-Sunbury has fulfilled that high office ably and well.

I should like to congratulate the hon. member for Peel (Mr. Graydon) upon having been selected to act in the capacity of house leader in the absence of the leader who was chosen at Winnipeg. The hon. member has been here for the same length of time as I have been myself, and during the seven years we have grown to know him, we have grown to like him. Although I disagree sharply with the point of view of the Conservative party, nevertheless I appreciate the fact that to-day the party itself has chosen, to lead it in this house, a young man who has a great deal of charm of manner and who has always shown to all of us a keen sense of fair play. I wish him a long tenure of his office.


John Horne Blackmore

Social Credit

Mr. J. H. BLACKMORE (Lethbridge):

Mr. Speaker, if there is one thing in this country which we can very well afford to get along without from this time forward it is playing politics. I have been favourably impressed, since the hon. member for York-Sunbury (Mr. Hanson) assumed the responsibility of leader of the opposition, with the degree to which it seems to me he was free from ulterior political motive in the things he said. I desire to congratulate him upon that fact. Many times he was frank and sincere in his expressions to the point at which, perhaps, from a political point of view, he may have been described as indiscreet; but anything which he might have lost through any apparent indiscretion as a result of frankness was more than made up, I think, by the respect which was engendered, at least so far as I was concerned, by his frankness, his sincerity, and his sense of honour in carrying out his duties in this house. Everything else that I should like to say in this regard has already been said, and I therefore simply associate myself with those who have already spoken.

May I also congratulate the member for Peel (Mr. Graydon) upon the assumption of duties which he will find anything but pleasant as the days go by. I have no doubt he is public spirited enough to exert himself to the very limit in the discharge of his responsibilities. I doubt that in the whole history of the Anglo-Saxon race there has ever been a time when we needed more than we do to-day men of vision, men of open mind and men of honour, men who are capable of learning new things and learning from the old where that is found necessary. I wish to congratulate the hon. member upon the degree to which I believe he possesses the qualifications which are necessary to enable him to come under the classification which I have indicated. I may say, as I remarked to him this afternoon when I congratulated him personally, I shall be listening most attentively to all that he says.


Richard Burpee Hanson

National Government

Hon. R. B. HANSON (York-Sunbury):

Mr. Speaker, I should be a little less than human and have an entire absence of pride and vanity in my make-up were I not deeply touched by the kind expressions with respect to myself to which utterance has been given here this afternoon by the Prime Minister (Mr. Mackenzie King) and by the leaders of. the two groups to my left.

My first words to you, sir, and to the Prime" Minister are, many thanks but not good-bye. If I have contributed in any measure to>


The Official Opposition

government of this country and to the national effort during this trying time of crisis, I shall feel amply repaid. I unbosomed my soul to the members of this house on May 16, 1940, when I said that in accepting this position even temporarily I did not intend to engage in a day-to-day dog-fight over political subject matters. I have tried to keep to that path. How far I have succeeded in aiding the government in its war effort, in a constructive manner, and at the same time tempered by criticism which may have been sharp at times, I shall leave you to judge.

I should like to extend my personal thanks to the members of this house and to you, sir, for the courtesy which has been extended to me at all times. One of the efforts which I made was to maintain and, if possible, to enhance the dignity of parliament. Parliament is a great institution and, if it is allowed to degenerate, it will but deserve the condemnation of the people who have sent us here. It is one of the fundamental duties of members, and those of us who are entrusted for the time being with the responsibility of leadership, to make parliament not only the vital thing it ought to be, but an institution which will command the respect of the whole country. That is one of the very bases of our democratic institutions, and I hope, indeed I am sure, that my worthy and able young successor will make that one of his main objectives.

I am not here to-day to pronounce any swan-song. I am not leaving the precincts of this house. But I felt that I could not carry on the responsibilities of leadership of the opposition for any further period. I hope to make some contribution to the discussions and to the work of the committees of the house as long as I am a member. In leaving the official position which I have held I trust I shall carry with me the respect and friendship of every individual member of this house, and I shall value that more than the applause of the multitude.

I have lived now a fairly long life. I have had my full share of the ups and downs of public life and of political battle, and I may say to you, sir, that in the declining years of my life the thing that I crave most is the respect and regard of my fellow citizens, which I have had in such full measure from the people who sent me here. I thank you.


Gordon Graydon (Leader of the Official Opposition)

National Government

Mr. GORDON GRAYDON (Leader of the Opposition):

Mr. Speaker, my first word as

leader of His Majesty's Loyal Opposition in the House of Commons perhaps should be a word of appreciation of the help and guidance

that my predecessor, whom you have just honoured by expressions of appreciation, has given me from time to time. I share fully the sentiments which have been voiced in that regard this afternoon. I am perhaps not able to express them as well as some who have spoken before me; but from the bottom of my heart I say to the hon. member for York-Sunbury (Mr. Hanson) who retired yesterday from the onerous duties of the office of leader of the opposition, that I join in the hope that he may be spared to enjoy a long and happy life as a private member of this house -at least until such time, if I may say so to the Prime Minister (Mr. Mackenzie King) without discouraging him-until such time in the very near future as we on this side of the house shall form the government.

At this time of course I did not intend to enter into any matters of controversy. But the Prime Minister was of a somewhat different mind, and for that reason I want to express one or two opinions before I proceed to what in the first instance I had intended to say.

The Prime Minister has a great and natural charm in dealing with young men like myself. I fancy that I should be careful and beware of the blandishments of the Prime Minister, lest I fall into some trap, which I know he would not purposely lay for me. But let me say this to the Prime Minister, with the courtesy that I learn from him-because of that he is a master. He spoke about the absence from the house of leaders of the opposition who are really leaders, as compared to acting leaders such as I-temporary leaders, if you like. Well, even those of us who are rather young can remember the days when the present Prime Minister was himself in similar situations. I remember very well, when I was younger and perhaps more impressionable than I am now, feeling that on two occasions at least the position in which the present Prime Minister found himself was a veiy difficult one. Sir, I take heart from what the Prime Minister has said this afternoon with respect to our outside leadership and inside leadership more perhaps than from anything else he could have said; because if we have the same success with ours that he had with his, I warn him to beware in the years to come.

The Prime Minister made some complaint about the custom or practice that had grown up. I take it he saw the growth of that practice beginning in the South York election. There are those in the country-certainly I would not want to subscribe to this view myself-who then felt that at that time the

The Official Opposition

Prime Minister himself contributed in no small measure to the growth of that custom and practice. In calling that to his attention may I assure him at once that it never was my view.

However, I wish also to say this-and with it I shall have finished with these perhaps facetious observations. We have had such a rush of progressive legislation since December 11 last that many persons across Canada are calling for an annual convention of the Progressive Conservative party. They feel that that is the way to cause progressive legislation to be brought forward by the present government. The Prime Minister may perhaps say that we have been having almost annual conventions. Let me say, Mr. Speaker, that if I thought another convention would help to prod the government into greater action, such as was so greatly needed, we would always be glad indeed to assist and cooperate in any way we could.

Seriously, sir, I do deeply appreciate and have been greatly moved by the kind words of the Prime Minister. Sitting in this House for seven years I think I have learned to sift the wheat from the chaff, and I believe there was a good deal of the wheat of sincerity in what the Prime Minister said this afternoon with respect to myself. I want him to know how very deeply I appreciate it, and what a great comfort and help his words are to me as I assume this exacting office.

To the leaders of the other groups I wish to say a similar word of appreciation. One of the things that I think a man treasures and prizes most highly in public life is the friendship he succeeds in building up not only among those of his own party but among hon. members all over the chamber. One of the things I value most highly is that I believe I have as many friends throughout this chamber as perhaps any other hon. member in the house -at least I like to think I have. For this reason I particularly like the tone of the utterances of those who spoke this afternoon. I did note in the remarks of one of the speakers an expression of the hope that I should have a long tenure of office as leader of the opposition. Perhaps it was a veiled but pointed hint that someone in any event was hoping Mr. Bracken would not find a seat in this house too soon. I always remember a close personal friend who sat -where the Minister of Mines and Resources (Mr. Crerar) now sits, the late Right Hon. Ernest Lapointe. For him I had an exceedingly high regard. When I was appointed national chairman of the then Conservative party, he came over to my seat and, calling me by my first name, as he did on all occasions outside of the house,

said: "I have been thinking what I should say to you. It has taken me some time to make up my mind. But, Gordon, I have this to say to you now: in your new job as national chairman I wish you success, but not too much!" I think perhaps that sums up pretty well what many hon. members in the house might like to say to me.

While in times of peace one might regard elevation to the high office of leader of His Majesty's Loyal Opposition as a great personal honour, and even to-day one cannot overlook that aspect of it, I regard my appointment at this time not as a personal honour but rather as a widened and extended opportunity for service at a critical time in Canada's history. It seems to me that transcends all matters of personal honour. May I go further and say that when one talks of service, and the opportunities for service, I think one is saddened and sobered by the realization of how little we actually do in this chamber as compared with the members of our armed forces who, in zones much more dangerous than this, are rendering service of a kind that we cannot approach here. Therefore this afternoon, when I think of the honours that may come to any civilian and the opportunities for service which may present themselves to any of us from time to time, my thoughts go back to those other services being rendered.

This afternoon I feel very humble as I undertake this responsibility. You, Mr. Speaker, will understand the reasons underlying that humility, because this position carries with it no small responsibility. Particularly is that so for one who has been in the House of Commons for only seven years and who has never occupied a position in the cabinet or government of this country. I am, however, at least fortified by my resolve to give to the extent of my capacity, my ability and my energy, limited though they may be, in the interests of our dominion and of the war effort generally. May I add that I hope I may have the health and strength to lead this party, temporary though that leadership may be, in such a way that we as a party may be able, without taking anything away from any other classes in this country, to do something worth while for the armed forces, for labour and for agriculture. For them, I hope I may be a spokesman.

With those objectives clearly in mind, I am now dedicating this Progressive Conservative party to these and such other aims as we may feel would make for a greater contribution by this country in perhaps the greatest time of stress through which this nation has had to pass.

Extradition Treaty

I thank you, Mr. Speaker, for your indulgence this afternoon. It has not been easy for me to make my maiden speech as leader of the opposition, but my task has been made much easier by my feeling that this house has given me an indication of a confidence which I shall not lightly forget in the days that lie ahead.



January 28, 1943