John Bracken (Leader of the Official Opposition)
Mr. JOHN BRACKEN (Leader of the Opposition):
Mr. Speaker, according to the morning press, today is the anniversary of two very interesting events in Canadian history : one was the birthday in Canada seventy-three years ago of a child who later became Prime Minister of this country and is Prime Minister at the present time. Another was the entry into the House of Commons thirty years ago of a young man who has been here ever since and is with us still. I refer to the hon. member for Quebec South (Mr. Power).
On behalf of my associates and myself I wish to congratulate them both. This is one occasion when we can forget party differences and pay deserving tribute to two men who have given a large proportion of their lives to the service of their country.
I want to compliment the Prime Minister upon having reached another milestone in his career. Seventy-three years is three years over the allotted span given to man. I wish to compliment the Prime Minister upon looking so hale and- hearty in spite of his years, and we wish for him many more years to enjoy life as one of Canada's elder statesmen.
I want to compliment the hon. member for Quebec South as well. His has been a familiar figure here for more than three decades. I understand it is the longest continuous record without defeat of any living member of the House of Commons. During that period it was his privilege to have a most honoured record in two world wars. Whatever the future holds for the hon. member we shall always have pleasant memories of our association with him in this house. Whatever his future course may be 1 am sure he will take with him the best wishes of a host of friends not only inside this parliament but outside as well.
Right Hon. IAN A. MACKENZIE (Minister of Veterans Affairs): Mr. Speaker, on behalf of my colleagues on this side of the house, and I think on behalf of every single member of the house, I desire to express my
deepest gratitude to the hon. the leader of the opposition for his typically generous and well-deserved words.
Only a few months ago I had the honour, on another very significant occasion, of paying my personal tribute to my distinguished Prime Minister, and, on this great anniversary when he is seventy-three, we who are with him, around him and behind him to the limit-and I am speaking without the slightest political tinge-only hope that at eighty-three he will be in the same seat and still leader.
My friend said a very true thing. There are occasions on which we forget the acerbities and the asperities of political animosities and when we are able to rally together as Canadians honouring one who has honoured himself in the great service he has rendered to Canada. And so, sir, on behalf of this side of the house may I be privileged this afternoon to extend to you the hope for many, many continued years of great happiness, of great content and of great continued service to the country you love so well.
May I say a word to the hon. member for Quebec South (Mr. Power), one who is my best friend in the house. We were two of the greatest fellow sinners in the historic years between 1930 and 1935. I hope that for our sins during those historic years we shall be forgiven. But this at least I may say, sir. Although we exposed some terrible policies we established some faithful and enduring friendships. May I say humbly that the cause of democracy, the cause of freedom, the cause of those who have been wrongly called the common people, and whom I prefer to call the ordinary people, the simple, plain people of our country, have never had a finer champion in this Canadian confederation than the Hon. Charles Gavan Power, the member for Quebec South. May I at the same time, as his fellow sinner, extend to him very warmhearted felicitations.