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Canada's prime ministers: A day of honor

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  Saturday, Feb. 4, 2006

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'Deep Dedication' Solemn Pledge by Diefenbaker

By Clark Davey
Globe and Mail Staff Reporter
Tuesday, June 11, 1957






John Diefenbaker

Regina, June 10 - For more than two hours tonight John Diefenbaker was the picture of controlled elation.

Then, with his chartered aircraft flying high above the clouds in bright sunshine, the dam of control broke.

"It's almost like the night after Waterloo," he told the handful of workers and reporters accompanying him from his home in Prince Albert to a national network TV appearance here. He was referring to the number of cabinet ministers who found for themselves that the Conservative groundswell about which Mr. Diefenbaker had talked so often in the last days in the campaign had become a politically fatal undertow.

It was while the CPA aircraft was making the 90-minute flight south that Mr. Diefenbaker and the men around him - notably his national campaign manager, Allister Grossart of Pickering and train campaign manager, George Hogan of Toronto - permitted themselves to hope that the Conservatives might be called upon to form the next government.

By the time Mr. Diefenbaker went before the TV cameras he was speaking himself of that possibility. "If we should be called upon to form the government," he said, "we will discharge our tremendous responsibilities so that everything I do as leader will be aimed at the achievement of those things which represent the yearnings and hopes of my fellow Canadians."

The Conservative chieftain, in a live television broadcast over the CBC network, said that if his party forms the government he will keep faith with the Canadian people.

"This is a moment of deep dedication rather than elation," he said in a firm voice.

He expressed gratitude for the "wonderful support" Conservative candidates had received in "every part of the country."

"A simple 'thank you' is all I can say now," he added.

Mr. Diefenbaker spoke in both French and English.

 
 


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