May 28, 1940 (19th Parliament, 1st Session)

NAT

Richard Burpee Hanson (Leader of the Official Opposition)

National Government

Hon. R. B. HANSON (Leader of the Opposition) :

I was not unprepared for the announcement which the Prime Minister (Mr. Mackenzie King) has just made. A day or two ago he intimated to me that owing to the seriousness of the situation and the consequent tax upon his time it would be almost impossible for him to give to the affairs of the House of Commons the attention which he has given in previous sessions. I can appreciate that, and I believe that all members of this house will be prepared to excuse him from attendance, except perhaps upon the most important occasions. As I have intimated more than once, we shall try to facilitate in every way the business of the house. I am sure that the Minister of Justice (Mr. Lapointe) who will be taking the place of the Prime Minister as leader of the House of Commons, is quite capable of carrying on the business of the country.
With respect to the suggestion that the two ministers of national defence may find it necessary to be absent, I can quite understand that, but I should like to say that we would not care to excuse them entirely from attendance when measures which they are promoting and in which they are vitally interested are before the house. I do not think that I can add anything further on this occasion.

Topic:   THE MINISTER OF JUSTICE TO ACT AS LEADER OF THE HOUSE
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