-I am deeply appreciative of your courtesy in permitting me to say a few words of thanks to hon. gentlemen who have greeted me this afternoon, for their goodwill, and particularly to the members of the party to which I belong for this gift of beautiful roses.
To-day I end my eighty-third and begin my eighty-fourth year. It is an old age, at least the sixth of Shakespeare's seven ages. I am reminded of that fact when I recall that it was fifty-seven years ago that I attended my first session in this House of Commons. I was then, in the words of Disraeli, a gentleman of the press, and had no other escutcheon, sitting in the gallery of the fourth estate, commenting upon the proceedings of parliament. That work I carried on for seven consecutive sessions, until, in 1888, succeeding my father, I was elected to sit in this chamber. It is, if I may be forgiven for mentioning it, an example of that bonne entente which should prevail among all classes and all provinces that for seventeen consecutive years two persons resident in the city of Montreal in the good old province of Quebec have represented in the House of Commons a constituency in the heart of the province of Ontario, twenty to forty miles north of the city of Toronto.
Parliament in 1882 enabled me to see in the flesh and to become personally acquainted with many of the members of the parliament of 1878. It is an evidence of the brevity of life and the swift passing of time that, of the men who were in the House of Commons when I first entered it, one only in all Canada other than myself survives-I refer to that distinguished citizen known as the grand old man of Ontario, Sir William Mulock. It has so happened that, of the eleven prime ministers Canada has known since confederation, I have sat in parliament with ten-Sir John A. Macdonald, Hon. Alexander Mackenzie, Sir John Abbott, Sir John Thompson, Sir Mackenzie Bowell, Sir Charles Tupper, Sir Wilfrid Laurier, Right Hon. Arthur Meighen, Right Hon. R. B. Bennett, and the right hon. gentleman (Mr. Mackenzie King) who at
Mr. R. S. White
present rides the whirlwind and directs the storm. If I could apply to myself the lines of Henley-
I am the master of my fate;
I am the captain of my soul.
-I would choose to sit in parliament under the twelfth prime minister, the present leader of the opposition (Mr. Manion).
I have received at the hands of hon. gentlemen many kindnesses and expressions of goodwill, which encourage me to hope that I may have something of "that which should accompany old age-honour, love, obedience, troops of friends;" aye, Mr. Speaker, troops of friends, the very salt and savour of life, without whom existence would be bleak and barren indeed.
So once more I give you all my thanks and the assurance of that abiding gratitude so finely expressed as "the memory of the heart."
Topic: MR. R. S. WHITE EIGHTY-THIRD ANNIVERSARY OP BIRTHDAY OP THE MEMBER FOR ST. ANTOINE-WESTMOTJNT