Mr. Speaker, as the only current member of the House who was here when the Hon. Lloyd Francis was Deputy Speaker and Speaker of the House, I am pleased to have been asked by my NDP colleagues to speak on their behalf in tribute to my former colleague.
The Hon. Lloyd Francis led a life of distinguished public service stretching from his service in the RCAF during the second world war through a career in the civil service and municipal and federal politics, as an ambassador, and in more recent years as an international election observer.
Speaking of the war, I certainly have fond memories of discussions with him about his time in Manitoba with the Commonwealth air training program. I believe he was stationed at Rivers, Manitoba.
By his own admission in his book Ottawa Boy, it was his time as Deputy Speaker and Speaker that he felt was his greatest opportunity to contribute to his country.
The part he played in reforming the administration of the House of Commons, although very unpopular at the time, and the part he played in defending the Chair and by extension Parliament from an unruly mob during the debate on the patriation of the Constitution were both significant contributions to the evolution and preservation of Parliament. Let his refusal to be intimidated on the night that the Chair was threatened be his parliamentary legacy and a pointer for all of us to the value of a parliamentary culture in which yelling is no substitute for argument or wit or procedural acumen.
To his family we offer our sincere condolences and our gratitude for a life well lived in service to community and country.