John Bracken (Leader of the Official Opposition)
Mr. JOHN BRACKEN (Leader of the Opposition):
Mr. Speaker, it is not given
to many men to be Prime Minister of Canada. Only eleven have held that position since confederation. The present Prime Minister is one of them. It is given to much fewer men to be Prime Minister of a democracy for twenty years. The right hon. gentleman has been Prime Minister of Canada for that long. As a matter of fact he has been Prime Minister of Canada for one-quarter of this nation's history. Whether he is to be blamed for one-quarter of the ills of all the people of Canada during that time I shall not discuss today, but I want it perfectly understood that I reserve the right to discuss it next week or next year.
On this occasion I want to express my congratulations to the Prime Minister upon
The Prime Minister
his long years of service to this country. One does not need to agree with the policies of a man in the position in which the Prime Minister finds himself today in order to pay his respects on an occasion like this. Twenty years is a long time. I can speak on that with some experience. In a rather smaller field it was my privilege to serve for more than twenty years, and when I left there were some who said that that was twenty years too long. I feel sure that there is nobody in Canada who would say that today about the present Prime Minister. I said nobody would say it today, but again I reserve that right to say what I think wise about it tomorrow or later.
I am very glad, Mr. Speaker, to have the opportunity of associating myself with those sitting with me in extending to the Prime Minister our congratulations on his long years of service. I am sure we all wish for him long life and much happiness in the days ahead.
Subtopic: FELICITATIONS ON COMPLETING HIS TWENTIETH ' YEAR IN OFFICE