Dinner in Honour of His Excellency, the Right Honourable Roland Michener C.C., C.D., Governor General of Canada
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The Empire Club of Canada Addresses (Toronto, Canada), 19 Nov 1970, p. 130-149


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Michener, The Right Honourable Roland, Speaker
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Dinner in Honour of His Excellency, the Right Honourable Roland Michener C.C., C.D., Governor General of Canada. Musical programme by The 7th Toronto Regiment Band—Royal Canadian Artillery, Directed by Capt. Geo. MacRae. Pipe Major John Wakefield, C.D., Toronto Scottish Regiment. Toast to the Empire Club of Canada by Mr. H.N.R. Jackman, First Vice-President. Response by Mr. Ian Macdonald, Past President. Address by the Governor General. "The Role of the Crown in the Canadian Constitution." Our legacies from Britain, and from France. The joint legacy of the Monarchy from both countries. Some history and background to our constitutional monarchy. The choice of the Fathers of Confederation to continue the Monarchy. The Crown in Canada today in theory and in practice: how it works, according to the British North America Act, and what the speaker means by the "Crown." Internal matters involving the Crown that are still referred to The Queen. Reference made to The Queen in Canada's external relations. Canada's participation in the Commonwealth and in the society of nations as a fully independent and self-governing state and how this is so. The place for the institution of monarchy in Canada. Two aspects discussed here: the exercise by the Governor General of the functions of the Head of State, and the method of removal of the Governor General. How these aspects are stated in the Federal position paper issued last February. The term of office of the Governor General. Public opinion as regards the monarchy. Some concluding remarks, including the "fact the very right to criticize is a tribute to the success of our parliamentary democracy under a monarchical system. Whatever the merits of the constitutional monarchy, it is far from dead!"
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19 Nov 1970
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English
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Full Text
NOVEMBER 19, 1970
Dinner in Honour of His Excellency, The Right Honourable Roland Michener C.C., C.D., Governor General of Canada
CHAIRMAN The President, Harold V. Cranfield
GRACE The Right Reverend George B. Snell, Lord Bishop of Toronto.
MUSICAL PROGRAMME
The 7th Toronto Regiment Band--Royal Canadian Artillery, Directed by Capt. Geo. MacRae.
Pipe Major John Wakefield, C.D., Toronto Scottish Regiment.
After the introduction of the Head Table Guests

DR. CRANFIELD:

It is traditional in the Empire Club of Canada that we recognize our Club by proposing a toast to the Club. We are fortunate that Mr. H. N. R. Jackman, our First Vice President, has consented to propose the Toast to the Empire Club of Canada, Mr. Jackman:

MR. JACKMAN:

Mr. Chairman, Your Excellency, My Lord Bishop, Gentlemen:

Sixty-seven years ago almost to this day, a small group of public spirited citizens met in this City, and took the initial steps which lead to the formation of The Empire Club of Canada.

It was the belief of these men that weekly luncheons addressed by prominent men, speaking with authority upon the issues of the day, would lead to a more informed and enlightened community.

The name "The Empire Club of Canada" was chosen not because our founders had any undue chauvinistic affection for monarchial or imperial forms of Government--but because they were conscious of the magnificent legacy that we in Canada, a free and independent people, had received from our mother country; our ideals of British liberty and justice; our parliamentary institutions; rule under the Common Law and those enduring principles that we so often now take for granted. Our founders believed that this legacy could be strengthened if men of reason and intelligence kept themselves continually informed upon the issues of the day.

In the intervening 67 years, our Club has heard some of the greatest men, not only in Canada but in the entire western world. If the sum total of the contribution these speakers have made to history can be measured by their impact and influence upon their fellow man, then this Club has indeed played an historic role.

Now, as we enter the decade of the 1970's, a new generation of Canadians is coming to the fore--a generation born to an age of affluence--a generation which has had no personal experience of either World War--wars though tragic in their circumstances--served twice in this century to bind our country together in great common cause. Many of our young people not only question the direction in which our society is leading them, but seriously challenge the very bases upon which our democratic decisions are based.

We live in a period of tension and unease. To a small minority of our community, tactics of confrontation, terrorism and violence have become an accepted way of effecting political and social change.

I have undoubted confidence that the idealism of the great majority of our young will lead Canada during this its second century to a richness of existence undreamed of by any in this room. But, I am equally convinced that if our country is to achieve its destiny in peace and harmony free from extremism and civil turmoil, there is an increasing need for organizations such as The Empire Club of Canada, an Empire Club which allows free men to express free ideas; an Empire Club which serves not only to educate and inform but provides the means whereby all points of view, including, and perhaps especially, those of the disenchanted and the dispossessed, can be heard so that we can build a greater understanding among all men.

Freedom cannot be preserved unless it is pursued. To those of us who value our traditions, the duty and responsibility of The Empire Club is clear.

I am reminded of the words of that very great Canadian, the late Arthur Meighen, who on an occasion similar to this, stated in prose which only his mastery of the English language could create:

"The chords of memory unite us with the past, and this is the time and this the place when all of us should catch the spirit and hear the voice of our noble founders--those men whose children to the second and third generation adorn our gathering now. If those men could speak, they would call on us to keep ever in front the vision which inspired our fathers--they would urge us to be conscious of our mighty heritage, proud of the Imperial Fountain of our freedom, worthy of those ideals of British liberty and justice which have sent their light forth and their truth among all races of men. To our history, our principles, our traditions, let us be faithful to the end."

Mr. Chairman; Your Excellency; Gentlemen, I ask you to rise and drink a toast with me to The Empire Club of Canada.

DR. CRANFIELD:

The response to the toast will be proposed by my distinguished predecessor, Mr. Ian Macdonald, who graced the Presidency with such accomplishment last year. I have great pleasure in asking Ian Macdonald to respond to the Toast to the Empire Club of Canada. Mr. Macdonald.

M R. MACDONALD:

I can never participate in any toast without being reminded of A. P. Herbert's poem "After Dinner" in which I recall, among others, the following lines:

"The dog, considered a sagacious beast, Does not give voice when he has a feast. Nor does the cow go mooing about the mead, To tell the world that she's enjoyed her feed. The cannibal, when he has had his fun, Does not propose the toast of anyone. Oh, what a wise and wonderful thing, If every toast were silent like--'The Queen'."

However, Mr. Chairman, there must be exceptions to every rule and of course, for The Empire Club, speaking is our medium and listening our means of receiving the message. For The Empire Club, the spoken word is truly "a happy medium" and our messages--taken together--have provided a continuous contemporary chronicle of public affairs.

I believe, although I have no first-hand confirmation, that a book was published in Britain recently, entitled: "A Complete Listing of Former Members of Parliament Broken Down by Age and Sex." Of course, such a thing could never happen in Canada--the publication, that is, not the infirmity. A breakdown of Empire Club speakers over 67 years would reveal few areas of social, political and human concern unattended. Indeed, for 67 years, the Club has provided this city and, indeed, this country with a weekly oracle--often Delphic, but forever dependable! I believe that such a proud claim will be possible in the year 2000, as readily as in 1970, provided our forum remains relevant to the society about us.

Traditions must always be treated as a springboard and not as a straightjacket. Such was the peculiar genius of the British Empire, such is the evolutionary character of the current Commonwealth, such is the strength and conviction of Canadian unity.

Where should this tradition be propelling us today? That is the question! The story is told of a man stopping Gilbert of Gilbert and Sullivan in the street and saying, "I like your new operetta, Bloodigore." "No," said Gilbert, "Rudigore." "Oh well, what's the difference," he was asked, to which he replied: "It's the difference between, I like your ruddy complexion and I don't like your bloody cheek." I hope I am not guilty of the latter if I attempt an answer to that question. Sixty-seven years ago yesterday, on November 18, 1903, a small group of men concerned for British unity in Canada gave birth to the Empire Club. Today, the playing-field is transformed and the players scarcely recognizable, but the ultimate goal remains unchanged--to assure an abiding Canadian unity, achieved through the inherited lessons and values of centuries gone by. Those lessons, those values remain as relevant, as eternal, and as universal as ever: peace, order and good government; loyalty and self-effacement; compassion and human understanding.

The ultimate purpose of our system of constitutional monarchy and parliamentary democracy is greater than even .the head of state or any one parliament. It is a way of life, in which the right to legislate and the responsibility to oppose are equally relevant, provided opposition is not by clandestine destruction but open declaration, not by threat of terror but by intellectual integrity, not by vindictive violence but by peaceful persuasion.

Our task, then, is to ensure that the proud claim to a "true North strong and free" shall remain as valid in 2003 -as in 1903, for that is what this Club stands for. And so we are determined to maintain a platform from which an empire of ideas will continue to flow, to the end that those words of the Greek philosopher Solon be forever so:

"My native commonwealth, I will not transmit lessened,

but larger and better than I have received it."

DR. CRANFIELD:

It is with a great deal of pleasure that I have the honour of introducing to you Mr. Sydney Hermant, the President of Imperial Optical Limited and the illustrious President of the Empire Club of Canada twenty years ago. Mr. Hermant's interest continues unabated in the Club as his son Peter Hermant is one of our rising Directors and Sydney himself is still actively associated with the Club as a Member of the Empire Club Foundation. Mr. Hermant will present the Scroll of Office to His Excellency and I now call on Mr. Sydney Hermant.

MR. HERMANT:

Mr. Chairman, Your Excellency, Members and Guests of the Empire Club of Canada:

This is a very special occasion in the long and distinguished history of this Club.

Members will recall that the Honourable Roland Michener--a long-time member of the Club, a former Member of Parliament and Speaker of the House--was elected as President at the Annual Meeting held on April 30th, 1964. On July 6th of that same year, after spending many hours planning for our forthcoming season, and after presiding at just one special meeting held in May, Mr. Michener convened an emergency meeting of the Executive Committee and announced that on that very day the Prime Minister of Canada had appointed him as High Commissioner to India and that he would be leaving to exercise that high office in August.

Happily for the Club, Colonel Robert Hilborn, who graces our Head Table this evening, and who had been working very closely with our President, agreed to succeed and carry on for the balance of Mr. Michener's term of office, and it was a most successful one.

We were, therefore, particularly pleased when His Excellency, following in the tradition set by several of his distinguished predecessors, honoured us by becoming our Honorary President.

It must be said, however, that we regard you, Your Excellency, as something more than an Honorary President ex officio because we think of you as one of us who enjoys the esteem and personal friendship of so many of your fellow members.

In expressing our respect and appreciation, we reaffirm our loyalty to the Crown, which, as never before, represents justice and the common law which is the very basis of our civilized society and our way of life; and, if I may be presumptuous enough to say so, our respect and affection for Her Gracious Majesty The Queen.

I am particularly grateful to General Legge for having accorded me the honour and privilege of presenting Your Excellency with this Scroll of Office as Honorary President of our Club, and expressing our gratitude for your service to Her Majesty, to the Commonwealth, to a united Canada, and to your fellow members.

I will now read the text of the Scroll signed by our distinguished President, Dr. Harold Cranfield, and our Secretary, Group Captain Waddell, and would then invite Your Excellency to do us the honour of addressing this great Dinner.

HIS EXCELLENCY:

Mr. President: As I have been an ordinary member of The Empire Club of Canada for more years than I can recall--usually in good standing--it is a great pleasure to be here with you tonight.

It is also a bit overwhelming to find myself the Honorary President, and even more so to be incontestably confirmed in that high office by this impressive certificate.

Sydney Hermant is an old friend who always speaks with truth and frankness. It is, therefore, the more appreciated that he has given me so much honour, and the more understandable that he did not spare my feelings. However, I shall not try to defend myself, nor should I complain. This change of status gives me the right, in the Club, to "representation without taxation," very pleasant but constitutionally unorthodox. Secondly, these proceedings are evidence of what I value most: your goodwill and friendship. Finally, I take your invitation to be a mark of tribute both to my office as Governor General, and to our gracious lady Queen Elizabeth of Canada.

It has been suggested that I speak on "The Role of the Crown in the Canadian Constitution," an agreeable subject in the sense that it gives me an opportunity to talk about a feature of our system of government to which I have always been committed in theory and in which I am now deeply involved in practice.

On the other hand, the subject puts me in the unenviable position of talking about myself, or at least about my activities, a position I once described as being the last refuge of a speaker who has nothing to say! '

In Canada we are the heirs, because of ancestry, of Europe's two most influential cultures, those of Britain and France. (I hope that my Irish friends present will not object to being excluded in with the British.) And, of course, many Canadians have brought with them other cultural influences which have added to our heritage.

To France we owe a highly developed language and literature, a love of the arts, and amongst other things the gaiety and hardheadedness of the Gauls. The great French Revolution of 1789 came just too late to be part of her legacy to New France, unless recent events in Montreal can be related to it as a sort of second growth.

To Britain we owe personal liberty under the law, and democracy on the parliamentary model; Irish humour and Scottish bagpipes.

The Monarchy we derive from both Britain and France.

Had the French monarchy prevailed in the early struggle for North America, this part of the continent might well have followed the political vicissitudes of the Napoleonic and French empires and republics and arrived at something quite different from our present Federation.

It was a Frenchman, Andre Siegfried, who said in describing the English contribution to western civilization that England was "the only country to understand . . . that liberty and authority are not contradictory terms, that liberty can be enjoyed without disorder, and that authority can be exercised without tyranny."

In considering the roots of our constitutional monarchy, it is worthwhile recalling that parliament was originally derived from the authority of the Crown. It is also an historic fact that the Crown over the centuries won its greatest dignity and power in and through parliament.

It was an American historian who coined an apt phrase for the contribution of the Crown to English constitutional liberty, "self-government at the King's command."

It was my predecessor and a long-time friend of the Empire Club of Canada, Viscount Massey, who put it this way:

"When the Crown was given up for a few years in England under Cromwell, it was brought back as much for the sake of Parliament as for its own sake, and since then the two institutions have grown together, inseparable,-each growing in power and prestige."

With this background, it is not surprising that the Fathers of Confederation chose deliberately to continue the Monarchy. Of this choice, Senator Eugene Forsey said recently:

"Macdonald took special pains, in the Confederation debates, to make absolutely clear that the delegates at Quebec had been perfectly free to drop the monarchy but that there had not been even the faintest suggestion of the kind; on the contrary, there had been a unanimous desire to retain it . . . no one was more eloquent and emphatic on this than Cartier. . ."

and why not? Up to that time

"Not one square inch of the new dominion's territory had even been under any government but a monarchy; . . ."

(unless one counts a comic government established in 1867 at Portage la Prairie by one Thomas Spence, founder and president, under the name of The Republican Monarchy of Caledonia. Even Louis Riel flew the Union Jack beside his provisional government flag and . . .

"William Lyon Mackenzie, after living in the United States, had begged to be allowed to come back to Canada as a 'loyal subject of the Queen', adding that if he had known beforehand what a republic was really like, nothing would have induced him to rebel."

The Crown in Canada, Today

So much for the past. What of today?

It is a timely subject because the monarchy, like all of our political institutions, is always changing and developing, and because at this time we in Canada are in the midst of making deliberate changes in our constitution--very deliberate, one might think!

First I should say something of how it works, although this is pretty generally known, particularly amongst such wellinformed and earnest Canadians as follow the addresses given from this rostrum. Then I shall refer to the attitude of Canadian governments, as they appear from the constitutional debates now going on, and then give some estimates of present public attitudes. The future I leave to the angels, if they do not fear to tread.

Even the present is perilous ground for a Governor General.

As you all know, it is not really the role of my office to declare policy in such matters, unless you regard the Speech from the Throne as my own invention. In any case, that Speech has been made for this year.

I have to be careful also with my speculations on such subjects, even in the relative freedom of such a friendly forum as this. There always seems to be some member of the Fourth Estate lurking in the wings or sitting under the lectern.

Perhaps I should say that by the "Crown" I mean the formal "institution apart from the incumbent of the moment; kings and queens come and go, but constitutionally and legally the Crown goes on forever, relatively undisturbed by the impermanence of sovereigns" (or Governors General). [Dawson, 4th edition, p. 157] Furthermore, I mean the Crown in Canada as it has been since the 1926 Imperial Conference, and The Queen in Canada, as she has been styled since 1953.

In practice, the real executive power rests in the Cabinet, chosen and headed by the Prime Minister, depending in theory on the confidence of the Crown and in fact on the confidence of the House of Commons. In theory, the Prime Minister and the Cabinet advise and, if formal action is required, it is the Crown that orders. In fact, as we all know, the truth in the maxim "The King can do no wrong" depends on his doing nothing for which the country will not blame his advisers--not him.

In theory, there is a reserve of power in the Crown, seldom used in practice. It is a limitation on arbitrary or irresponsible action on the part of those who wield the real power. Furthermore, the form in which this reserve of authority is preserved is in itself a sort of check on any usurpation of direct command by a government which might be tempted to overstay or overplay its constitutional role. For example, it would be a bold or reckless Minister who would try to present a money bill to parliament without the approval of the Governor General, although such approval is given as a matter of course.

And so the British North America Act formally invests the executive authority of Canada in The Queen and names her as Commander-in-Chief. She in turn passes these on to the Governor General. The latest definition of the Governor General's powers was made by Letters Patent in 1947 in these terms:

"And We do hereby authorize and empower Our Governor General, with the advice of Our Privy Council for Canada or of any members thereof or individually, as the case requires, to exercise all powers and authorities lawfully belonging to Us in respect of Canada . . ."

That seems to be, and is, a pretty complete delegation, and so it is in practice. It enables the Governor General to fulfil in Canada all of the functions of a Head of State and since the appointment of Canadians as Governors General they have tended to do so, identifying themselves more fully as the one person in Canada who symbolizes the unity of its people and the continuity of its institutions.

Nevertheless, in the ordinary course of government, some internal matters involving the Crown are still referred to The Queen. They are:

a) confirmation of awards of Canadian honours by the Governor General;

b) a change in the title of The Queen as Queen of Canada, if that were to occur;

and of course c) the appointment of a Governor General.

Even when The Queen comes to Canada, as she has done every two or three years, and as she did last July, and will again next May, the Governor General carries on normal business for the Crown, and The Queen only acts if expressly requested by her Canadian Ministers to do so.

In our external relations, reference is made to The Queen more often, namely for the appointment of Canadian Ambassadors to foreign countries, the signing of their letters of credence, the signature of Full Powers for the executing of treaties in the Heads-of-State form, the granting of agrement for foreign ambassadors, and (God sparing everybody from this one) authorizing a declaration of war.

All of these could be legally done by the Governor General without reference to the Sovereign, although it might be a trifle embarrassing for the Governor General to have to appoint his own successor!

Of course, if The Queen could reside in Canada as our Head of State, these divisions of the Crown's functions would not arise, or if she were free to devote herself to Canadian external relations, for example by making state visits to foreign countries in her capacity as Queen of Canada, our independent identity abroad could be fully maintained.

But we have to remember that she is also "Elizabeth II, by the Grace of God of the United Kingdom and her other realms and territories, Queen, Head of the Commonwealth, Defender of the Faith". Her other realms comprise 12 other states of the Commonwealth which recognize her as Queen. She is Head of the Commonwealth to 14 other Commonwealth states which have adopted republican forms, the most recent being Guyana on February 23rd, 1970, and to four states which have their own monarchs.

By reason of these preoccupations and her absence from Canada except for periodic visits, her function as Head of State and Commander-in-Chief and all the powers of the Crown, with the exceptions noted, are in fact exercised by the Governor General.

As it is, state visits by the Governor General, such as those made by my predecessors to the United States of America, and more recently by me to the four Commonwealth countries of the Caribbean, have been accepted and understood by the countries concerned as fully representative of the Canadian State and are doubtless capable of further extension.

Canada is able to play its part in the Commonwealth and in the society of nations as a fully independent and self-governing state because practice has advanced in this direction ahead of the letter of the written part of the Constitution.

The Constitutional Conference held its first meeting in Ottawa in February 1968, and its most recent meeting was last September.

The monarchy has come in for some mention. Preliminary positions have been taken and published by the Federal and Provincial Governments and their advisers. There have been some indications from Quebec that a Provincial President might suit the Province better than a Lieutenant Governor. The method of opening its final session of the National Assembly showed a desire for a change. In general, however, the attitude in the constitutional discussions appears to reflect a view that the institution of monarchy in Canada has served us well and that its reform has no great priority in the present round of constitutional changes.

Nevertheless it does have a place.

I should like to discuss two aspects:--the exercise by the Governor General of the functions of the Head of State, and the method of removal of the Governor General. They are stated in the Federal position paper issued last February as follows:

1. Canada should continue to be a sovereign state of which The Queen is Head of State.
2. The Governor General should exercise all the functions of the Head of State.
3. He should hold office at pleasure but should only be removed before the expiry of five years from the date of assumption of office for cause, by a joint address of both Houses of Parliament.

The third suggestion made in the Canadian constitutional paper: that a Governor General should not be removed before the end of five years except for cause and by a joint address of both Houses of Parliament, would cure an obvious weakness in his status.

Five years has been the average term of service since Confederation, although each of my Canadian predecessors, Mr. Massey and General Vanier, completed seven years.

It does not seem likely that in the present state of constitutional conventions a Prime Minister would attempt to remove a Canadian Governor General before five years unless the gentleman in question had become persona non grata to the Canadian people as well as to the Government, but if he did, it would not be fair to expect The Queen to protect her appointee by refusing her Prime Minister's advice.

Nor would it be seemly for the Governor General, if he suspected what was in the wind, to try to beat the Prime Minister to the punch by dismissing him first!

The trend of events seems to be to establish the Governor General as the Crown in Canada for all purposes, as far as that can be done consistently with the continuation of the hereditary monarchy.

It is not easy to assess public opinion on such a subject, particularly when there has been little to arouse it. In the long run, Parliament reflects the public will, and the Press and other media give a day-today expression of it modified by their own predilections. Perhaps the public opinion polls, of which there have been at least four of considerable depth in the past year, offer the best available information. They seem to show that the monarchy is favoured in principle by 2/3 of the Canadians who were prepared to express their opinions, and that there is not much active interest in change.

For example, the Canadian Institute of Public Opinion asked this question some time ago: "Do you think Canada should continue to pay allegiance to The Queen, or do you think we should become a republic with an elected president?"

In the national sample, 50% said Yes, 33% favoured a republic, and 17 % declined to say. As one would expect, the answer was different by regions. In Quebec, 46% favoured a republic as against 23 % for allegiance, and 31 % silent. Ontario favoured the monarchy well above the national average, and the West was even higher.

Not unexpectedly, older persons (over 50 years) were stronger advocates of the monarchy than any other age group. Although even those in their 20's gave preference to the monarchy.

Another well-taken sounding showed that in Canada, exclusive of Quebec, the Crown was just not an issue to 37%, and a further 41% were rated as loyalists, although many of those older ones recognized that youth had different ideas which might have an effect in the future.

Those who have been interested enough to express their views offer quite a variety of argument in addition to points which appear from what I have said.

From the opponents of our monarchy, one hears:

1. (that) monarchies are out of fashion,
2. (that) republics give more freedom (if one is careful not to cite the Soviet Union, or numerous other republics with repressive regimes, which come readily to mind), 3. that it gives more dignity to humans to choose their own head of state,
4. that it is not Canadian but British; for this reason some regime of our own invention would be more acceptable to our multi-cultural society, S. then there is the argument: "change for its own sake".

On the other side of the case, I saw a very effective statement by one Robert H. Hilborn, M.B.E. Writing about the film on the Royal Family which ended with this cogent statement: "The strength of the monarchy lies not in the power it gives the Sovereign but in the power that it denies to anyone else," he commented as follows:

"The monarchy provides a basis for political continuity, so that parties can change but the essence and theory of government can continue .... Its influence may be more apparent than real but it is real enough for a political system that works on consent."

A second point along the same line is that the monarchy is beyond partisan politics which cannot be said of an elected head of state. In fact there have been numerous examples of battles for power between an elected president and his elected prime minister.

Third: it is our own by inheritance and choice, and contributes much to our distinctive Canadian identity and our chances of independent survival amongst the republics of North and South America.

Finally, from the polls it is clear that many Canadians refuse to consider the question at all on the simple ground that what we have works. Isn't this the acid test of any system?

I conclude by the observation that monarchy as we know it has always had its opponents and detractors. It is not difficult to lampoon many features of a system of government which has grown by trial and error, and often with the use of compromise and fictions.

In fact the very right to criticize is a tribute to the success of our parliamentary democracy under a monarchical system. Whatever the merits of the constitutional monarchy, it is far from dead!

DR. CRANFIELD:

General B. J. Legge, the Chairman of the Special Dinner Committee, has been asked to express our appreciation on this occasion. Bruce Legge is the Chairman of the Workmen's Compensation Board of Ontario, the Commander of the Militia in Ontario and was the President of the Club for the years 1958-59. Like Mr. Hermant he continues to serve the Club as Honorary Treasurer of the Empire Club Foundation. I have great pleasure in asking Bruce Legge to express our appreciation at this time. General Legge:

GEN. LEGGE:

To express the appreciation of this great audience to His Excellency is a high but overwhelming honour for a fifth speaker on the programme and because of the artistic demands of the occasion.

After the great Italian artist Pietro Annigoni had completed his masterly and romantic portrait of Queen Elizabeth in the flowing robes of the Order of the Garter, he became a world-famous success. Commissions descended upon him and he was besieged by movie stars, tycoons and jetsetters to paint their portraits. One fabulously rich young American woman cornered him at a reception in London.

"Mr. Annigoni, you must paint me in the nude and I'll pay any fee you like! Money is no object."

Even the celebrity-hardened Annigoni was taken aback and pondered a moment.

"Well, O.K. I'll paint you in the nude but you'll have to let me wear my socks or I'll have no place to stick my brushes."

Gentlemen, the critics of our Canadian tradition would leave us no place to stick our brushes!

When His Excellency recently represented Canada by visiting the Caribbean on a state visit, he was picketed by some unhappy protesters. One particular placard bore the exhortation, "Down with racism". On seeing it His Excellency went over and gently took the offending sign from the astounded man's hands and said, "I'll march to that."

This is the strength of our Governor General!

In matters of change there is often wisdom in Sir Wilfred Laurier who was royally entertained during Queen Victoria's Diamond Jubilee and after much wining and dining wrote home, "I am not sure whether the British Empire needs a new Constitution but I am certain that every guest at this Jubilee will soon need one."

Indeed, such is the frenzy of the Governor General's itinerary with consequent strain on his constitution that he must often feel sympathy for another Governor General who was seen studying a little black book while he was supposed to be enjoying a party. A friend asked, "Is Your Excellency looking to see where you go next?"

"No," replied the Governor General, "I'm trying to find out where I am now."

In the Empire Club of Canada the Governor General will always know where he is--among friends.

Of course, the world is full of change and a PortugueseAmerican, Bishop Medeiros, has even been named to succeed the Irishman, Cardinal Cushing, as Archbishop of Boston, thus ending the Irish dominance of the church in a state where the Kennedys--and some other Irish--are the Democratic Party.

In good fun this tremendous change was celebrated by a new arch-priestly thanksgiving,

"Hail Mary, full of grace

The Irish are in second place."

In Canada there can be no question of first or second place but one place for all to stand without bitterness or rivalry.

Tonight, Mr. President, His Excellency appears here as an illustrious Canadian representative of a gracious Sovereign and in a long line of Governors General. I ask you to remember the Crown and the high place which its representative and our friend, The Right Honourable Roland Michener, has in the Canadian way of life.

I know that this happy evening will increase our awareness of our traditional Canadian loyalty and vitality. May we always proudly strive for an even greater Canada.

Thank you Your Excellency.

DR. CRANFIELD:

Gentlemen, would you kindly remain standing while I accompany His Excellency from the room. May I say how much the Directors and I have enjoyed this evening and I hope that your pleasure was equal to ours. This meeting stands adjourned.

After dinner an informal Reception for the Directors was held at which coffee and liqueurs were served. The Special Dinner Committee, the Directors and the officers commanding the regiments in attendance at the dinner were introduced to His Excellency who then retired.

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Dinner in Honour of His Excellency, the Right Honourable Roland Michener C.C., C.D., Governor General of Canada


Dinner in Honour of His Excellency, the Right Honourable Roland Michener C.C., C.D., Governor General of Canada. Musical programme by The 7th Toronto Regiment Band—Royal Canadian Artillery, Directed by Capt. Geo. MacRae. Pipe Major John Wakefield, C.D., Toronto Scottish Regiment. Toast to the Empire Club of Canada by Mr. H.N.R. Jackman, First Vice-President. Response by Mr. Ian Macdonald, Past President. Address by the Governor General. "The Role of the Crown in the Canadian Constitution." Our legacies from Britain, and from France. The joint legacy of the Monarchy from both countries. Some history and background to our constitutional monarchy. The choice of the Fathers of Confederation to continue the Monarchy. The Crown in Canada today in theory and in practice: how it works, according to the British North America Act, and what the speaker means by the "Crown." Internal matters involving the Crown that are still referred to The Queen. Reference made to The Queen in Canada's external relations. Canada's participation in the Commonwealth and in the society of nations as a fully independent and self-governing state and how this is so. The place for the institution of monarchy in Canada. Two aspects discussed here: the exercise by the Governor General of the functions of the Head of State, and the method of removal of the Governor General. How these aspects are stated in the Federal position paper issued last February. The term of office of the Governor General. Public opinion as regards the monarchy. Some concluding remarks, including the "fact the very right to criticize is a tribute to the success of our parliamentary democracy under a monarchical system. Whatever the merits of the constitutional monarchy, it is far from dead!"