On the orders of the day:
Mr. JOHN T. HACKETT (Stanstead): Mr. Speaker, before the orders of the day are called I should like to say a few words as president of the Canadian Bar Association about a man who was not only a pillar of the Bar Association, but one of its rarest ornaments.
Canadian lawyers are proud to claim the late Colonel Ralston as one of their very own. They mourn his death and will long cherish the example he has set to his profession in the various avenues of their high calling.
Perhaps I may be permitted to say here in part what I have said elsewhere about Colonel Ralston and his sudden and much lamented death.
Colonel James Layton Ralston died at the end of the day,-a day like all his days, filled with labour. He led a life of labour.
Tribute to the late Hon. J. L. Ralston
Well equipped physically and mentally, he turned to account every ounce of energy that his stout frame and powerful intellect were capable of generating. Few men in our time have successfully engaged in broader fields of endeavour; none has been more unsparing of self.
Ralston was in turn lawyer, soldier and politician. In each of these callings he
excelled; in each he left enduring marks and abiding friendships; in all, his way was lit by the lamps of a purpose that never wavered, of a courage that never weakened, and of ideals that never dimmed. Ralston was
primarily and always a lawyer. In early manhood as his first choice he went to the law; to the law he returned from both soldiering and politics. He was admitted to the Nova Scotia bar at the early age of twenty-one, and to the Quebec bar half-way through his career.
His capacious mind and its easy intake, his faithful and well-stored memory, his intellectual curiosity, his gift of orderly and lucid exposition, his endless industry, made of him one of the great Canadian advocates of his generation. He understood the meaning of professional duty in its public no less than in its private aspects. He was alive to the traditions of the Bar. He knew that it has functions of supreme importance to the life of a free country, that its members are called upon to develop and exercise qualities of leadership and guidance which are not exacted from the members of any other profession. He knew that in a democracy where all are subject to the law, and where so much depends upon the interplay of political parties for the enactment of good laws and their fair administration, the lawyer is better qualified than many to make a contribution to public life, and his he made generous, wholesome and vigorous.
He suffered the fortune and the fate of those engaged in the endless adventure of governing men-no more, no less. Ralston understood. He did not complain. He considered it a privilege to have given of his best in field and forum to the public service of his country. When this came to an end he returned to his briefs, not sad and dejected, but lighthearted and joyous. He had done his duty; he had retained his ideals; he had kept his friends.
To live in hearts we leave behind
Is not to die.