William Ross MACDONALD

MACDONALD, The Hon. William Ross, P.C., Q.C., LL.D.

Personal Data

Brantford (Ontario)
Birth Date
December 25, 1891
Deceased Date
May 28, 1976

Parliamentary Career

October 14, 1935 - January 25, 1940
  Brantford City (Ontario)
March 26, 1940 - April 16, 1945
  Brantford City (Ontario)
June 11, 1945 - April 30, 1949
  Brantford City (Ontario)
  • Deputy Speaker and Chair of Committees of the Whole of the House of Commons (September 27, 1945 - April 30, 1949)
June 27, 1949 - June 13, 1953
  Brantford (Ontario)
  • Speaker of the House of Commons (September 15, 1949 - June 11, 1953)
  • Leader of the Government in the Senate (January 1, 1953 - June 1, 1957)

Most Recent Speeches (Page 1 of 527)

May 4, 1955

Mr. Macdonald:

Mr. Chairman, I take it that

Mr. Ilsley is not suggesting that there will not be another conference. The premier of Quebec who is not here said he would come back at any time.

Subtopic:   THE BUDGET
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May 12, 1953

Hon. W. Ross Macdonald (Speaker of fhe House of Commons):

Mr. Chairman, I wish also to express my deep appreciation to the Prime Minister for having been sworn of the privy council this afternoon. It is indeed an ancient institution with great traditions. I consider it a great honour to be a member of the privy council and a loyal subject under Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II. I am deeply grateful to the members of the House of Commons for the acclaim with which they greeted my name as one of those who was sworn of the privy council this afternoon. I can assure members of the House of Commons that I consider it not only a great honour but also a great responsibility, and that I shall try to carry out the great responsibilities of the high office as a member of Her Majesty's privy council.


I wish to thank the Prime Minister for having recommended me to become a member of Her Majesty's Privy Council in Canada.

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April 5, 1951

Hon. W. Ross Macdonald (Speaker of the House of Commons):

Mr. President, the

Speaker of the Senate has expressed to you in the beautiful French language our appreciation of your eloquent and inspiring address. May I add an expression of appreciation in the English language. Canada is a bilingual country, and whether we speak in French or in English we speak the language of Canada.

The President of France

Canada over the years has been honoured by visits by the heads of state of several great countries, but never in its history by the President of France. Canada was discovered by a Frenchman in 1534. Our existence, therefore, has been known for 417 years, and although it could hardly be said that we have waited all those years for this visit, nevertheless I can assure you, Mr. President, that the warmth of our welcome is in direct ratio with the warmth of the 417 summers of our existence.

As we listened to your address this afternoon we recalled that when we go back to the birth of our nation we go back to France. It is interesting to note that when the first Frenchman arrived in Canada he sailed up those great waters which were to be known as the St. Lawrence or St. Laurent, and that when the first president of France to visit Canada arrived in our country he was greeted by a great prime minister bearing the same name, St. Laurent.

It was Jacques Cartier, a Frenchman from St. Malo, who first set foot in Canada and carried the cross and the fleur-de-lis to the island of Hochelaga. It was another Frenchman, Champlain, who established the first

colony in Canada and founded the city of Quebec. It was a French Jesuit priest, Marquette, who first sailed in a frail canoe through the treacherous waters which led to the great lakes and on to the Mississippi. It was French civilization which was first implanted in Canada. Since that time we have added the customs, the traditions, the language and the literature of the British, and, in more recent years, of many other countries. In 417 years we have grown from a trading post, to a colony, to a nation. The progress which we have made would not have been possible had we not been blessed with peace. Throughout our history we have never had an extensive war within our boundaries. Geography, partly, has made that possible for us. We trust that in the future the good sense and the unselfish spirit of mankind will make that possible for France.

On behalf of the members of the House of Commons of Canada I would ask you to extend greetings to the members of the national assembly of France, and to assure them that your visit has made even stronger the ties which bind Canada and France together as friendly peace-loving nations. Vive la France! Vive le Canada! Vive le Roi! Vive le President!

Friday, April 6, 1951

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May 31, 1950

Hon. W. Ross Macdonald (Speaker of the House of Commons):

Honourable members of the Senate and of the House of Commons: From time to time our parliament has been honoured by visits from internationally known statesmen. Once again this honour has come to us. Today we have had the privilege of receiving the Prime Minister of a new nation which has been formed by people of ancient lineage and great traditions. The history of our country is very short compared to that of the country of our distinguished visitor, but we are a few years older in the status of nationhood. We are both young nations. I am sure we were all very much pleased to hear our Prime Minister say that we are sister nations; and then,

Hon. Liaquat Ali Khan shortly after, we were happy indeed to hear our distinguished visitor say that we belong to the same family circle.

Pakistan and Canada have many things in common. Allow me to mention but one. Both countries are bordered by powerful nations which speak the same or a similar language, and which have the same customs and traditions. Canada has lived in peace with her powerful neighbour for nearly 150 years. I am sure that I speak for all our members when I say that we hope our younger sister, Pakistan, will enjoy with her neighbour the same peaceful relations as her elder sister, Canada, has enjoyed with her neighbour.

Mr. Liaquat Ali Khan, may I express to you our admiration for the statesmanship which has already been demonstrated by you in facing the problems which have confronted you. We are deeply impressed by the high morale of your people and their faith in the belief that their new status as a sovereign independent nation will gradually bring to them a better way of life.

Mr. Liaquat Ali Khan, on behalf of the members of the Canadian House of Commons, I extend to you our deep appreciation for your very informative and inspiring address this afternoon. Our Prime Minister has asked you to convey a message to all your people. May I, as Speaker of the House of Commons, ask you upon your return to Pakistan to carry our greetings to your constituent assembly, and to tell your members how happy Canadians were today to have in their houses of parliament the Prime Minister of Pakistan.


Thursday, June 1, 1950

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October 24, 1949

Hon. W. Ross Macdonald (Speaker of the House of Commons):

Pandit Nehru, it is indeed a great honour for me, the Speaker of the House of Commons of Canada, to extend to you, the Prime Minister of India, the sincere appreciation of the members of our parliament for the eloquent and enlightening address which you have delivered this afternoon.

We realize that the words which you have

spoken before the few hundred men and women who have had the good fortune to be present and to have heard you, and to have seen you, were in fact addressed to all the people of Canada. Thousands of Canadians this afternoon have not only heard your speech but also have heard the radio commentators describe this history-making scene in the Canadian House of Commons, when the Prime Minister of an ancient country of the east was received as a friend by the Prime Minister of a new country of the west-both countries being self-governing nations and forming part of one great peace-loving community, the commonwealth of nations.

Kipling said:

Oh, east is east, and west is west, and never the twain shall meet.

However, it is too often forgotten that he also said:

But there is neither east nor west, border, nor breed, nor birth.

When two strong men stand face to face, though they come from the ends of the earth!

This afternoon we have seen the Prime Minister of India and the Prime Minister of Canada, two strong men from the opposite ends of the earth, standing face to face on the floor of the House of Commons of Canada and cordially greeting each other without any thought that there is either west or east.

May I, the First Commoner of Canada, express to you, the first Prime Minister of India, the appreciation of all the people of Canada for your presence here this afternoon; and may I extend to you the very best of good wishes for your personal health and happiness and for the general well-being of the people whom you represent.


Appendix B

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