Sunday, July 1, 2007

A Prime Minister to his Brother

Office of the Prime Minister

July 18, 1959.

Dear Elmer,
I am in my office at the moment and it is now 3:00 P.M. and the House has been sitting continuously since 11 o'clock this morning and there is some hope that we may finish today. That is the expectation, but by the time you receive the letter you will know whether the objective was attained.

Last evening we sat until after midnight and as always near the end of the session the accumulation of work and the long hours make everybody short-tempered and bellicose. I am told that at the very moment Pickersgill is charging me with political interference, but I am not going near the place.

Olive and I hope to go out to the country place tonight no matter whether the proceedings end here, and while tomorrow will be no rest it will at least be a change. I have two major speeches to make on Monday in Quebec and have not any new material, and for that matter no ideas. Three of four have given me their suggestions and when I throw the omelet together tomorrow morning I will have to unscramble it and come up with something.

. . . While I have pressing invitations from Italy, Turkey and the Union of South Africa, I am going to stay in Canada. I have quite a number of appointments in the next few months but intend to reduce them to a minimum. I would like to speak once in each province before the next session begins although that is a big prospect.
On Monday Joey Smallwood is going to bring a Motion before the Newfoundland Legislature asking for unanimous support for a resolution condemning my Government. Two Conservative members in the Legislature, Higgins and Duffy, will leave the Conservative Party and become Independents. The other two will not, and Joey has intimated that unless the vote is unanimous he will immediately go to the country. Under those circumstances I would not sincerely have a visit to Newfoundland in mind, although I did intend to spend three days there this summer.

I can't tell you yet when we will be coming West but it will not be long. I am glad to have your report that crop conditions are good and that the rains have brought about real hope for the wheat farmers. . .

With all good wishes,

P.S. I will phone you tomorrow. Please send me a list of the accounts I paid for Mother during 1958--hospital, nurses etc.

-from Personal Letters of a Public Man: The Family Letters of John G. Diefenbaker edited by Thad McIlroy; with an Introduction by J. L. Granatstein (Toronto: Doubleday Canada, 1985) p.93-95.

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