Joe Clark, the Conservative politician from the prairies who began his pursuit of power in his teen-age years, was sworn in as Canada's 16th prime minister today, one day before his 40th birthday.
Taking the oath of office in a nationally televised ceremony, Clark introduced his Cabinet, which included the country's first woman foreign minister, Flora Macdonald.
Nevertheless, a 29 new ministers paraded in front of a larger-than-life picture of Queen Elizabeth and Prince Philip, it became obvious that Clark had failed to attark any new figures from the French-speaking province of Quebec to serve in the new government.
The ceremony was held in the splendid ballroom of Rideau Hall, the residence of Gov. Gen. Edward Scheyer, where the Conservatives clinked glasses of champagne to mark the end of 16 years of Liberal rule.
Notably missing was Pierre Trudeau, the Liberal prime minister for the past 11 years, who was defeated by Clark in the May 22 elections. In a nostalgic scene earlier in the day, Trudeau called on Scheyer to formally tender his resignation, then peeled away in his convertible sports car in the manner typical of earlier years when his flair and style captured the imagination of Canadians.
The new government appeared to be composed mainly of members of the left wing of the Conservative Pary, with only a sprinkling of conservatives. The only member of an earlier Conservative administration of Prime Minister John Diefenbaker is Jacques Flynn, who was appointed justice Minister and attorney general.
Flynn is one of two people from Quebec in the Senate, which is an appointed body. The other Quebec senator and Quebec's two elected members of the House where given minor Cabinet posts. Under the Canadian system only members of Parliament can serve as department heads.
It is known that Clark was deeply disappointed over his failure to induce several prominent Quebec figures to join his government. The prime minister can recruit outsiders by using his prerogrative to appoint them to the Senate.
Before his election Clark had said privately that he would seek to involved a greater number of French Canadians in the government in an effort to reassure @uebec, whose provicial government, bent on independence, is preparing to ask its population to vote themselves out of the 12-year-old Canadian federation.
The election victory added a sense of urgency to Clark's plan since the Conservative Party has been virtually eliminated in Quebec and is confined essentially to English Canada.
As a result most key Cabinet jobs went to English-speaking Canadians.
Macdonald, the 53-year-old foreign minister, has little background in foreign affairs. She is known as an intelligent and energetic person and once served as executive director of the Committee for Independent Canada, a private group formed to combat what it viewed as excessive U.S. influence.
Political observers, pointing to her outspoken comments during recent national unity debates, said it was unlikely that she would be able to develop as close a rapport with Secretary of State Cyrus Vance as did her predecessor Don Jamieson.
The New Finance minister is John Crosbie, a Newfoundland businessman who served in a similar capacity in the provincial government. He holds the general Conservative view critical of excessive government interference, but is viewed as a moderage on fiscal policy.
Allan MacKinnon, 62, who retired as an Army major before going into politics, was appointed defense minister. He is committed to increased defense spending and greater Canadian contributions to NATO.
MacKinnon will also review a plan to buy $2 billion worth of fighter planes in the United States. The Trudeau government had narrowed its choice to General Dynamics and McDonnell-Douglas, but the Conservatives had indicated that they are not wedded to the choice between F16 and F18A aircraft and that they may be interested in the more expensive F14.
The new minister Of Commerce, trade and industry is Robert de Contret, a close Clark adviser, and the minister of transportation is Don Mazankowski, a former car dealer in Alberta.
Two of the most important government departments were given to relative unknowns. William Jarvis was placed in charge of federal-provincial relations, a key post in a country ridden by provincial rivalries and threatened by Quebec separatism.
Raymond Hnatyshyn, a Saskatchewan Lawyer, was placed in charge of the country's energy, mines and resources.
The Cabinet reflects a shift of wealth and power to western Canada. Clark is not only the youngest Canadian prime minister, but he is the first to come out of the west.
Of the 29 ministers, nine come from the west and 14 from Ontario, the most populous province. Quebec, where 6.3 million of Canada's 22 million people live, has four minsiters. But only Flynn is in the so-called inner Cabinet circle of nine ministers where power and influence are concentrated.
While the Conservations have not won a majority of the parliament's 282 seats, they are strong enough with their 136 seats to run the country for at least a year by pursuing a cautious legislative program. CAPTION: Picture, Joe Clark, right, is sworn in as Governor General Edward Schreyer and his wife, center, look on. Canadian Press via AP