N.B.: The detail displayed about each honorary degree recipient varies, as
the database was compiled from a variety of sources. However, more information may
be available at the University Archives.
Convocation date: November 6, 1965
Discipline / contribution: Canadian constitution ; literature
Citation / biographical information:
Eminent Chancellor: It seems obvious that Francis Reginald Scott, Queen’s Counsel, Doctor of Laws, former Dean of Law at McGill, and a member of the Royal Commission on Biculturalism has become a part of the Establishment in Canada. This is a matter for amazement for many men, not least of all for FrankDegree received: Doctor of Laws
His beginnings, it is true, were orthodox enough: Bishop’s, Oxford and McGill, and at Oxford, Magdalen College as a Rhodes Scholar. Perhaps it was a reaction to all of this, perhaps because he was a man of letters before he became a man of law, but surely Frank Scott was not reverent in the face of power. He gave his time to politics and poetry and in them he worked for a new order to overthrow the old. He strove mightily, but with generosity and wit barbs were sharp but never mean. His writings became extensive in Law as well as in Political Science and Poetry, and as a professor at McGill he established his reputation as teacher and constitutional lawyer. He served as National Chairman for the CCF from 1942-1950 and on committees and commissions unnumbered. He was a founding member and first president of the Association of Canadian Law Teachers. He acted as Counsel to the Saskatchewan government in Constitutional Conferences on two separate occasions, and as Counsel in leading cases in constitutional law. He became a Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada in 1947 and Dean of Law at McGill in 1961.
Throughout his career he has been admired by his students and by his colleagues, respected by his opponents, and recognized by all as a gentleman and a scholar. It is nonetheless simple justice that on occasions like this, no new experience for him, he should be reminded of his words about a more or less fictional political leader, “Now full success has brought him wealth and ease, with lots of honorary LLD’s.”
Eminent Chancellor, on behalf of the Council and Senate, I present to you Francis Reginald Scott and ask that you confer on him the degree of Doctor of Laws, honoris causa.
Degree presented by: Otto Lang, Dean of Law
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