June 22, 1920


On the motion of Rt. Hon. Sir Robert Borden (Prime Minister) the House went into committee to consider the following proposed resolution, Mr. Boivin in the Chair: Resolved, That it is expedient to amend the Pension Act, chapter 43 of the statutes of 1919 and to provide:- 1. That the salaries of the two commissioners shall be increased from $5,000 to $6,000 per annum. 2. That the commission shall award pensions to or in respect of members of the force who have suffered disability in accordance with schedule A hereto, and to or in respect of members of the force who have died in accordance with schedule B hereto. 3. That the provisions of section 12 relating to cases of intemperance or improper conduct, shall not apply when the death of a member of the force has occured on service. 4. That section 13, relating to the time within which application must be made for pension, be amended to provide that application may be made within three years after the date of the completion of his treatment by the Department of Soldiers' Civil Re-establishment when he was retired or discharged direct to such treatment or undertook such treatment within six months after his retirement or discharge. 5. That section 14 be amended to provide that pensions shall be awarded according to rank or acting rank at the time of appearance of "the injury or disease" instead of "the disability," and that the same amendment do apply to cases of voluntary reversion. 6. That section 17 relating to suspension of pension on imprisonment be amended to provide that payment may be re-considered upon the pensioner's release in accordance with the extent of his disability then shown to exist. 7. That section 22 of the said Act relating to persons receiving several pensions be repealed. 8. That subsection one of section 23 relating to pensions to children be amended to provide that no pension shall be paid to or in respect of a child who, if a boy, is over the age of sixteen years or, if a girl, is over the age of seventeen years, except when such child and those responsible for its maintenance are without resources and,- (a) such child is unable owing to physical or mental infirmity to provide for its own maintenance, in which case the pension may be paid while such child is incapacitated by physical or mental infirmity from earning a livelihood provided that no pension shall be awarded unless such infirmity occurred before the child attained the age of twenty-one years; and provided also that if such child is an orphan the commission shall" have discretion to increase such child's pension up to an amount not exceeding orphans' rates: (b) such child is following and is making satisfactory progress in a course of instruction approved by the commission, in which case the pension may be paid until such child has attained the age of twenty-one years. No pension shall be paid to or in respect of a child after its marriage. And, further, that in subsection two of this section, the term "appearance of the injury or



disease" shall be substituted for the words occurrence or appearance of the disability." 9. That subsection 3 of section 25, relating to pensions for disabilities, be amended to provide that no pension shall be paid for a disability or disabling condition which at such time was wilfully concealed, was obvious or was a congenital defect. 10. That subsection 2 of section 26 be amended to provide that whenever a pensioner is required by the commission to be medically reexamined he shall be paid a reasonable amount for travelling expenses, subsistance and loss of wages. If any pensioner, after notice by registered mail, unreasonably refuses or neglects to present himself for medical re-examination, his pension shall be suspended and no pension shall be paid him in respect of the period during which such refusal or neglect continues. 11. That the provision of subsection 1 of section 27 of an extra alloVance for total disability be amended to provide that the addition to the pension may be not less than $250, and not exceeding $750 per annum. 12. That subsection 2 of section 27 be amended to provide that if such member of the forces holds the rank of Commander and Captain under three years seniority (Naval) or Lieutenant Colonel (Militia) he shall be entitled to an addition to his pension not exceeding ninety dollars per annum, if he holds the rank of Lieutenant Commander (Naval) or Major (Militia) to an addition to his pension not exceeding three hundred and ninety dollars per annum, and if he holds the rank of Lieutenant (Naval) or Captain (Militia) to an addition to his pension not exceeding six hundred and fifty dollars per annum. 13. That the provisions of paragraph (b) of section 28, relating to the time from which pension shall be paid, be amended, to provide, that in the case in which a pension is awarded to an applicant the appearance of whose injury or disease which caused his disability was subsequent to his retirement or discharge the pension shall be paid from the day upon which the application for pension has been received. 14. That section 30 be amended by adding thereto the provision that when a pensioner commences treatment under the jurisdiction of the Department of Soldiers' Civil Re-establishment and his pension, including the pension, if any, for his dependents, is greater than the pay and allowances issued by that department, there shall be deducted from such pension towards the cost of maintenance in hospital an amount equal to the difference between such pension and such pay and allowances. 15. That the provisions of subsection 3 of section 31, relating to the maintenance of parents, be repealed, and in lieu thereof it be enacted that when a member of the forces, previous to his enlistment or during his service, was maintaining or was substantially assisting in maintaining one or both of his parents, an amount not exceeding one hundred and eighty dollars per annum may be paid to him for each of such parents as long as he continues such maintenance. 16. That section 32 be repealed, and in lieu thereof it be enacted that when a pensioner pensioned on account of a disability has died and his estate is not sufficient to pay the expenses of his last sickness and burial, the Commission may pay such expenses, or a portion thereof, but the payment in any such case shall not exceed one hundred dollars. 17. That the provision of subsection 1 of section 33 be amended to provide that no pension shall be paid to the widow of a member of the forces unless she was married to him before the appearance of injury or disease which resulted in his death. 18. That subsection 2 of section 34 be repealed and in lieu thereof it be enacted that in cases in which a member of the forces has died leaving a widow or a widow and children or orphan children entitled to pension in addition to a parent or person in the place of a parent who previous to his enlistment or during his service was wholly or to a substantial extent maintained by him, the Commission may, in its discretion, award a pension to each such parent or person not exceeding one hundred and eighty dollars per annum. 19. That subsection 4 of section 34 be repealed, and in lieu thereof it be enacted that,- (a) In cases in which a member of the forces has died leaving more than one parent or person in the place of a parent who were wholly or to a substantial extent maintained by him, the pension for one such parent or person may be increased by an additional amount not exceeding one hundred and eighty dollars per annum and the total pension apportioned between such parents or between the parent and such other person. (b) The pension to any parent or person in the place of a parent shall be subject to review from time to time and shall be continued, increased, decreased or discontinued in accordance with the amount deemed necessary by the Commission to provide a maintenance for such parent or person, but in no case shall such pension exceed the amount of pension prescribed for parents in Schedule B of this Act. (c) When a parent or person in the place of a parent has unmarried sons residing with him or her who should, in the opinion of the Commission, be earning an amount sufficient to permit them to contribute to the support of such parent or person, each such unmarried son shall be deemed to be contributing not less than ten dollars a month towards such support. (d) The pension to a widowed mother shall not be reduced on account of her earnings from personal employment or on account of her having free lodgings or so long as she resides in Canada on account of her having an income from other sources which does not exceed two hundred and forty dollars per annum. (e) The pension to a parent or person in the place of a parent shall not be reduced on account of the payment to such parent or person of municipal insurance on the life of a deceased member of the forces. 20. That section 38 be repealed, and in lieu thereof it be enacted that pensions awarded with respect to the death of a member of the forces shall be paid from the day following the day of the death except,- "(a) in the case in which a pension is awarded to a parent who was not wholly or to a substantial extent maintained by the member of the forces at the time of his death, in which case the pension shall be paid from a day to be fixed in each case by the Commission; and "(b) in the case of a posthumous child of a member of the forces, in which case the pension for such child shall be paid from the date of its birth." 21. That section 46, relating to supplementary pensions for disability in respect of members of the Allied Forces other than those of Canada, be amended to make this section applicable only to persons of the rank of Warrant Officer or of a higher rank. 22. That section 47 he repealed and it be inact-ed in lieu thereof that when a person of the rank of Warrant Officer or of a higher rank in any of His Majesty's naval, military or air forces other than the naval, military or air forces of Canada, or when a person in the naval, military or air forces of one of His Majesty's Allies who was domiciled and resident in Canada at the beginning of the war has died during the war or thereafter as the result of a disability incurred during the war or demobilization and his widowed mother, widow or children have been awarded a smaller pension than they would have been entitled to under this Act in respect of his death, such widowed mother, widow or children shall be entitled, during the continuance of their residence in Canada, to such additional pension as will make the total of the two pensions received by them equal to the pension that would have been awarded if the person aforesaid had died in the military service of Canada." 23. That the following provisions be added to the said Act:- "47a. The pensions which are now being paid by Great Britain for disabilities or deaths which occurred during the South African war to or in respect of members of the Canadian Contingents which served in that war shall hereafter be supplemented during the continuance of the residence in Canada of the recipients of such pensions by such additional pensions as will make the total of the two pensions received by them equal to the pension that would have been awarded if they had been disabled or had died in the military service of Canada during the war. "47b. The pensions which are now being paid to or in respect of members of those forces who served in the Fenian Raid or Northwest Rebellion, during the continuance of the residence in Canada of the recipients of such pensions, shall hereafter be increased to the rates set forth in Schedules A and B to this Act." 24. That Schedules A and B of the said Act be repealed and the Schedules A and B to these Resolutions be substituted therefor. 25. That all cases affected by the proposed Act shall be reviewed and future payments shall be made at the rates and in accordance with the provisions set forth herein. Provided that when death or disability has occurred previous to the coming into force of the proposed Act, the provisions of the Act shall not operate to remove from any applicant for pension any rights which he had in virtue of the Pension Act. 26. That the Act to be based upon these Resolutions shall come into force on the first day of September, 1920. Resolution reported. Sir ROBERT BORDEN thereupon moved for leave to introduce Bill No. 198 to amend the Pension Act. [DOT]* Motion agreed to, and Bill read the first time. At Six o'clock the House took recess. 2514 After Eecess. The House resumed ait Eight o'clock.


PRIVATE BILLS.

SECOND READING.


Bill No. 193 for the relief of Nora Dowle.- Mr. Douglas (Strathcona).


THE LEAGUE OF NATIONS.

STATEMENT BY SIR HERBERT AMES, FINANCIAL DIRECTOR OF THE SECRETARIAT.


On the motion for the House to go into Committee of Supply:


UNION

Herbert Brown Ames

Unionist

Sir HERBERT AMES (St. Antoine):

Mr. Speaker, nine months ago, at the desire of ithe Prime Minister, I went overseas to accept the position of Financial Director of the League of Nations Secretariat. At that time, I knew little of the work or of the conditions under which it was to be carried on. I had read the covenant; I believed in its ideals and as a Canadian was proud of Canada's prompt decision to enter the League, but my action was influenced by faith rather than by sight. I found but little evidence of life. The Treaty was as yet unsigned. The League of Nations was unborn. The prophets of evil on every hand gave little hope of future success. I had a certain amount of foreboding, I will admit, lest I should find myself reaching for a shadow and losing a reality.

But I am here to-night, Mr. Speaker, in an altogether different attitude of mind. The League of Nations is no longer a dream; it is a reality; it has being; it has form; it has organs; it functions. Many difficulties have been overcome; many dangers avoided. There are .still difficulties and dangers in the way but I am to-day convinced that ultimate success is reasonably sure, so convinced that I am ready to stake my future on this issue.

It is for this reason that I have returned to place before this sympathetic audience, this House in which I have served for 16 years, and in which I am glad to believe I have many true friends, an appreciation of the situation as I know it, and to record a solemn declaration that in my judgment, in entering the League of Nations, Canada has made no mistake. I would ask permission, Mr. Speaker, 'to submit proofs for this assertion and also to be allowed to urge still further co-operation, if that be possible.

May I preface my remarks with this statement, that, in my opinion, our inter-

national relationships should be free from partisanship. This is the spirit and the example of the League as it functions today. I trust that the spectacle of political division on international questions exhibited by a nation not far distant from us, may toe a sufficient object lesson to induce Canadians to resolve that, in so far as their international relationships are concerned, polities shall not be permitted to enter that domain. There are many internal issues upon which we can with more or less profit disagree, but in the front which we may present to the world, let there toe no evidence of disunion. .

The Treaty of Peace came into force on January 10, 1920. On that date, the League of Nations was officially born. Although plenipotentiaries of all the assembled powers signed the Treaty of Versailles, formal ratification and adhesion was deemed to 'be necessary. During the past five months 24 of the 32 original signatories have duly ratified the Treaty. The matter is still in doubt in respect of China, Equador and the Hodjas, although it seems probable that China by accepting the Austrian Treaty, will become a member of the League of Nations. Only 5 out of the 45 possible original members have definitely abstained from entering the League. These are: The United States, Cuba, iHayti, Honduras, Nicaragua. It would not be too much to assume that the abstention of the United States was responsible for similar action by the 4 smaller powers.

During the two months which followed the coming into force of the Treaty of Peace, I am free to confess there was considerable anxiety as to whether the invited States would join the League. These States had not participated in the war. They were, for the most part, but little weakened by the period of world unrest. They included a number of the most advanced peoples, where representative government had reached its highest development. It is a significant fact, and one which has brought great encouragement to the well-wishers of the League that within the sixty days, every invited State, after debate and full consideration, decided to mter the League of.Nations. There were ividences in the letters of adhesion that not all of the invited States considered the Covenant as a perfect instrument, tout no member entered the League with reservations, preferring rather as a member of the [DOT]League to exert influence within that body for such amendments as might be deemed desirable.

Thus, the League of Nations already contains thirty-seven States. In addition, a number of new nations have applied for admission, and it seems probable that, at the next assembly, even some of the former -enemy States may be taken in.

Already 37 Powers, with a total population of 850,000,000 people, have joined this League and there is little doubt that before another year has passed, that number will have grown to 45 or even 50. Never in the history of the world, has so large a number of independent nations joined together for common ends.

The Covenant, familiar to you all and often discussed in the House, is the Charter of the League of Nations. It sets forth, not only the objects to be attained, but it also advocates the means whereby these ends are to be secured. In the five months which have elapsed .since the birth of the League, What progress has been made, what plans formulated, what machinery set in motion! To endeavour to answer these questions, is the purpose of such observations as I may toe able to offer to this House.

The organs of the League of Nations are three in number,-The Assembly, or general gathering of members; the Council or Executive Committee of the League and the Secretariat of permanent international Civil Service. Let us see what has been done towards the development of these organs and the utilization of them in fulfilling the purposes which the League is 'intended to serve.

It was the original intention -of the authors of the Peace Treaty that the first meeting of the Assembly should be held in Washington in November of 1919 and when I went over to take my place on the Secretariat nine months ago there "was every expectation that this plan would be carried out. The abstention, however, of the.United States made a Washington Assembly impossible, in fact, postponed the Assembly for a year, so that it will not take place until November, 1920, when it will be held at Brussels. Instead then of commencing its career by a meeting of the Assembly, the Council has first been brought into being as the authority of the League. This Council at present comprises eight members. Four represent the principal Allied Powers-Great Britain, France, Italy and Japan. There is a vacant chair at the table, which speaks volumes. Four other members of the Council represent the League at large; theoretically, the smaller states. At present, these seats are occupied

by representatives from Spain, Belgium, Greece and Brazil. When a special question, in which a state is interested, comes up for consideration, that state may have an ad hoc member. Thus, when measures for combating typhus were considered at the fourth meeting of the League, the Polish delegate sat at'the table and participated in the deliberations.

Within the past five months, there have been 6 meetings of the Council of the League of Nations: 3 held at London, 2 at Paris and 1 in Rome. The members have not been idle and the record of work done is, I think, worthy of our consideration. Without going over the agenda of each successive meeting, I will try to deal with the results of the six meetings.

The subjects dealt with are divisible into three classes which may be thus described:-First, those in fulfilment of special tasks laid upon the (League of Nations by the Treaty of Versailles and subsequent Treaties similar to it. Secondly, constructive measures having for their object the creation of permanent institutions designed to establish a basis for future international co-operation. Third, special duties of an emergent character, thrust upon the League in consequence of post war conditions. Of what has been done along these lines, I now propose to speak.

Specific Tasks.

In the drawing up of the Treaties of Peace and the re-arrangement of the map of Europe, there were certain geographical areas, certain ethnological units, left in suspense. Where possession of these areas was in dispute between former enemies, to have assigned them to the care of either of the disputants would have been to have left a continiung incentive for war. It was therefore decided that the care should be given to a third party and that third party is the League of Nations. Take for example, the case of the Saar Basin. It lies between France and Germany, with a population 'of 700,000 people engaged mainly in the production

of coal. France, whose coal areas had

been devastated during the German occupation, demanded control of this supply, which was Jabsolutely necessary for her industrial rebuilding. But to have placed

700,000 Germans under the control of France would have been to have invited a war of revenge. On the other hand, to have left the coal area under the control of Germany, would have rendered the French supply of this necessity most precarious and to have threatened French industrial life with extinction. It was necessary, therefore, to operate the area with justice to both contending parties. The League of Nations Council at its first meeting set up a Commission to administer the Saar Basin, in accordance with the terms laid down in the Treaty. This Commission has for Canadians a peculiar interest in that one of the most active and successful members of the Commission is the well known ex-mayor of Winnipeg, Mr. R D. Waugh.

I might give the House many interesting facts regarding Mr. Waugh's successful administration. Within the fehort period since his appointment, he has not only demonstrated his fitness for this important post but has brought credit upon Canada and Canadians.

Another example of a specific task enjoined by the Treaty is the governance of the free city of Dantzic. Here again, a difficult problem faced the makers of peace. Access to the Baltic Sea is a necessity to Poland, in order to engage in foreign trade, but this access could only be secured by detaching a port, formerly German, and making it available for Polish commerce. To have given Dantzic to Poland, or to have left Dantzic in the control of Germany, would have precipitated another war. Dantzic has, therefore, been placed under the authority of the League of Nations. The Council has appointed Sir Reginald Tower, a British administrator who distinguished himself in South America as High Commissioner, with instructions to draw up a constitution, to hold popular elections, and in the capacity of administrator and arbiter to establish settled conditions of government, on terms that will be just to all. This he is doing under the guarantee of the League of Nations. The free city of Dantzic will make treaties with Germany and with Poland, and the League of Nations will see to it that fair play is given to all concerned.

Other treaties will doubtless create similar areas,1 the responsibility for which the League of Nations, as the only impartial body in the world, will be called upon to assume. These then are the specific tasks laid down in the Treaties, the most urgent of which have been already successfully accomplished.

Constructive Measures.

The League of Nations Council has taken a number of decisions, looking towards

the erection of permanent institutions designed to establish a basis for future international co-operation. Laying foundations is slow and laborious work but if the world is in fututre to avoid war, organizations must be created to remove the causes of possible friction. The League is not a superstate but an association of free nations. It is an instrument of cooperation. It does not impose its views upon unwilling members but it composes different views into a common agreement.

How is this done? An illustration may perhaps make it plain. As an undisputed axiom, we admit that "No nation lives to itself alone." Unhealthful conditions, for example, in one country, cannot fail to endanger all other countries. You cannot have cholera in Greece without danger of cholera in New York. It is the business of us all that each nation maintain healthful conditions. It is desirable, therefore, that effective health laws be as nearly universal as possible and that united action in emergencies be readily secured. This, therefore, is one of the subjects with which the League of Nations may legitimately deal, let me repeat not as a superstate but as a means of co-operation. Here is the "modus operandi " generally followed.

A small international expert committee is first created in liaison with the Secretariat of the League of Nations. This committee prepares a plan. A larger international conference of experts is next apppoint-ed to consider and probably amend this plan. It is then reported to and approved by the Council of the League. The next step is to draft a convention or model Act and distribute this among the members of the League, with a request that each State put through legislation as nearly as possible along the lines indicated. The Secretariat of the League watches legislation and reports thereon through the medium of its health section. The States which finally ratify this convention are bound by it and while you have no international parliament, yet after a score of nations have passed the same Act, the result is not different from what it would be had one parliament the power to impose a single Act upon all. Thus, there is no coercion, no imposing of views. Each nation has a consultive part in the making of the draft Act. No nation is bound to accept it even after it has been prepared, but it is hoped that an Act thus prepared will be so reasonable and so elastic that it can secure general support. Similar action on the part of many becomes united action on the part of all.

Topic:   THE LEAGUE OF NATIONS.
Subtopic:   STATEMENT BY SIR HERBERT AMES, FINANCIAL DIRECTOR OF THE SECRETARIAT.
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COURT OF INTERNATIONAL JUSTICE


Bearing in mind then that this is the usual modus operandi, what has the Council of the League accomplished by way of constructive measures during the past five months? First, it has taken the preliminary steps for the setting up of a permanent Court of International Justice. If the world in certain of its activities, is hereafter to be governed by a code of international agreement if treaties are to be observed, if conventions concurrently ratified are to be lived up to, there must be an accepted tribunal to interpret international law and to decide in cases of dispute. Almost the first step taken by the Council of the League of Nations was towards the establishment of the permanent Court of International Justice. It is no quick or easy task. Immense issues are involved. Every nation and member of the League is likely to be called upon to plead before that court. All are interested in its constitution and anxious that it operate with absolute justice. It is realized that if the court becomes what is hoped, for a state to decline to accept its rulings will be to place itself in opposition to the public opinion of the world. While only the assembly can give to any plan final approval, the council is charged with the task of working out the scheme. This work is already in hand. Ten eminent jurists have been selected and have agreed to serve. Among them is Lord Philli-more of England and Mr. Boot of America. They are already in session at The Hague and are expected within two months to finish their report, which in due time through the council will reach the assembly. It is hoped that the beginning of 1921 will see the International High Court of Justice fully constituted and in operation. International Financial Conference. The present financial situation of Europe is exceedingly grave. Disaster to some of the war exhausted nations is certain unless by the help of others they can come through the next few years. At the second meeting of the Council of the League, this question was squarely faced. What no individual nation could do without being suspected of interested motives, the League of Nations in the name of all is able to undertake. It has called a conference to discuss the situation from the international point of view, to consider the remedies that may be applied and to make a report to council for action. The invitations went out in April. The twenty-five principal nations have been in- vited to send their delegates. Mr. Ador, former President of the Swiss Republic has consented to act as president. The date of the meeting has been several times postponed and is even yet not definitely fixed. The reason is that the first step towards the final rehabilitation of Europe must be a definite understanding as to the extent of Germany's obligations under the reparation clauses of the Treaty. The first item on agenda for the international convention conference is a report on reparations and war debts, then will follow an inventory of resources and a discussion on the conditions upon which loans may be made. It is hoped that the limited loanable resources of the world can be conserved and utilized for the assistance of such nations only as are willing to help themselves. When this conference is over, doubtless there will grow out of it a Permanent Economic Commission, which will hereafter advise the 'Council of the League of Nations on questions of this character and obviate the necessity, should future crises arise, of the assembling so large a convention as this is designed to be. Permanent Transit Commission. Another matter that has given rise to much discussion is that of transit. At first sight it might appear that this is eminently a European question. Iln its aggravated aspects it certainly seems so at present. It is a question not unfamiliar to Canadians for we share with the United States water transit privileges on our St. Lawrence river and the Great Lakes and our experience with the use of those facilities may render our advice of advantage to others. Our condition, however, is simplicity in-deed compared with that of modern Europe. With the central empires broken up into a number of states, each more or less jealous of the other, each trying by conserving its own resources and by taxing foreigners to get back to a solvent basis, there is great danger that freedom of transport will be curtailed. Europe is traversed by transcontinental railways, but instead1 of, as with us, running from ocean to ocean within the boundaries of one jurisdiction, a traveller from Paris to Constantinople, or freight shipped from Rome to Berlin, would have to traverse the territories of several governments. This is even more true with respect to the rivers of Europe, which rise in the central mountains and seek the sea in four different directions. The Swiss who desire to bring freight from salt water must deal with three governments; Germans who wish to send a cargo from the sources of the Rhine to the Black Sea must deal with five States. It is evident that each country1 traversed thinks only of itself and the difficulties affecting transport are innumerable. Discrimination leads to retaliation, retaliation to friction, and friction to war, and if European nations are to dwell at peace, some means must be devised to remove this contentious subject from political discussion. This then is one of the problems to which the Council of the League of Nations is addressing itself. It is endeavouring to set up a central authority, a court of review, whereby a fair exchange of facilities for the benefit of all may. displace discrimination and retaliation. A conference of the interested nations is to be held in 'Spain in December. Already steps are being taken to prepare for that conference, also a draft of an agreement is being drawn. The League is setting up a permanent Board of experts to advise Council on all transit matters. At the present moment we are in touch with a Canadian railway man whose services we may decide to secure as a member of the expert Commission. If irritation, as between nations over transport problems, can be removed and mutual co-operation facilitated, much will have been accomplished towards the establishment of permanent peace. Armaments. Now, as to the much-discussed question or armaments. If wars are to cease, competition in armaments must come to an end. One of the most important functions of the League is to bring this about. Human nature being as it is, nations that for generations have been armed to the teeth will not willingly divest themselves of their means of self-defence unless assured by some impartial authority that their neighbours will do likewise. The disarmament of Europe, beginning first with the Central Powers, must proceed gradually and proportionately, but the result, we believe, can be attained by perseverance. Already the League Council has commenced work along this line. At our meeting in Rome there were present by request a number of military, naval and air experts from many lands. It was decided to appoint a permanent advisory committee composed of twenty-seven members whose duty it should be to assemble facts and prepare statements for future consideration. The general question of disarmament will not come up at the first assembly of the League, as the time is not sufficient for the



matter to receive the previous study which it will require, but the Permanent Advisory Committee will soon be at work. Already several tasks have been assigned to it for immediate performance. It will be asked to consider the fixation of armaments that shall be allowed for each state seeking admission to the League. They begin with those who seek admission to the League by insisting that their armaments shall be reduced to the minimum. It has also been requested to work out a plan for registration and control over the exportation of arms to backward countries. Probably when the second meeting of the Assembly is held in 1921, the question of disarmament will be the principal subject that will be considered. Mandates and Minorities. On the conclusion of former wans, the unchallenged dictum has been that to the victor belong the spoils. The conquered provinces have been divided solely that they might be the better exploited for the benefit of the new masters under whose dominion they fell. But the Treaty of Versailles has ushered in a new principle. It is that strong nations should be asked to administer backward areas, detached from former combinations, as a trust for the benefit of the governed until such time as the new countries become capable of self government. It is to General Smuts that the credit for this idea is usually given. Among other instances it is to be worked out in the former German possessions in Africa. The various peace treaties designate certain nations as mandatories of governed areas. Now a mandate is a written instrument emanating from the League of Nations and it lays down duties and obligations which the mandatory must accept. The League cannot itself accept a mandate. It is, however, the referee, the guarantor of their observance. Once a year each mandatory must make report to the League of Nations. The League is setting up a permanent section of experts that will examine these reports and transmit to the Council their views regarding the conduct of each mandatory. This organization is well under way but the sudden death of an eminent American, selected to be head of this section, has delayed progress. By the time, however, that the mandates are accepted the machinery for examining and reporting upon their operations will be ready. I need not describe what is being done to create a Permanent International Health Commission, for this has already been dealt with. Similar measures are being taken in respect to white slave traffic, the opium traffic and other evils mentioned in the Covenant. Registration of Treaties. In so far as the League of Nations can make it so, the era of secret diplomacy has passed. Treaties made between kings or between governments without the knowledge of the governed, have been in the past fruitful causes of war. The League stands for open diplomacy. Every Treaty henceforth made by any member of the League must be registered with the League. If unregistered, the Treaty is not binding. When presented for registration, the Treaty is subject to examination by the experts of the League. If found to contain provisions contrary to the spirit or letter of the Covenant, the Treaty must be revised. If the nation refuses to revise its Treaty, it is expelled from the League by that very act. The Council of the League of Nations has already sanctioned the steps necessary for the setting up oif a department for the registration of Treaties. If I am rightly informed, the head of that department will be a Uruguayan. As a record, then, of accomplishment in the brief period that has elapsed since the coming into force of the Treaty, let me enumerate the constructive agencies that have been brought into being: 1. International Health Organization. . 2. Permanent Court of International Justice. 3. International Financial Conference and Commission. 4. Permanent Transit Commission. 5. Advisory Committee on Military, Naval, and Air Questions. 6. The Mandatory and Minority Section. 7. A Department for the Registration of Treaties. This certainly is not an unsatisfactory record. While it is not really a part of the League of Nations, the International Labour Office, which was constituted when the Treaty of Versailles came into being, and in the drafting of the provisions concerning which our own Prime Minister (Sir Robert Borden) had no inconsiderable part, was really the first to get upon its ifeet and to get off to a good start. It is well established and is, I understand, taking up its permanent home this month in Geneva, where it has acquired a property and from which it will be able to function, greatly, I think, for the benefit of the world. There has been some criticism with regard to the advis- ability of establishing an International Labour Office, but I think we must admit that the improvement of the conditions under which workingmen carry on their life work is a laudable and praiseworthy object. Hitherto one of the greatest obstacles in attaining that end has been the fact that while the more advanced countries have been willing to adopt the progressive legislation, the more backward countries would not do so; therefore the more progressive a nation was the more it was submitted to the competition of nations that would not observe such laws. When, therefore, it is possible to unite the peoples of the world in a common agreement bringing the backward nations up to the level of the more progressive, we are able to feel that, the labouring people of any country will be well treated without thereby submitting that country to ruinous competition from other parts of the world. Emergent Measures. I want to speak a few of the emergent measures for which the League has been responsible, because1, although I think it will be admitted that the list I have given is already formidable, it does not by any means cover all that t-he League has accomplished in the five years that have passed since it came int-o official being. Already emergencies have arisen calling for co-operation, in order that by united effort disaster may be warded off and suffering .alleviated. Of such a nature is the proposed action to meet the typhus epidemic now spreading in Central Europe. With the Western-hound bands of wretched prisoners, ragged, emaciated, and covered with vermin, released from detention camps in Siberia and Russia, there is being introduced into Central Europe, typhus, cholera, and bubonic plague. The newly-formed nations in financial straits suffering from lack of supplies and medicine can make no adequate stand against this invasion. If Central Europe is to be saved from an awful calamity, from the decimation of its population, the paralyzing of its trade and the necessary quarantining of large masses of people, the progress of this epidemic must be stopped soon. Poland, Roumania, Youga-Slavia and other newly-born nations are unable, individually, to wiith-stand the flood. United action is called for. At the March meeting of the League of Nations, delegates from Poland brought to the attention of the Council these terrible facts. Shortly afterwards there was to meet in London, a convention of health experts. The Council of the League specially requested these experts to examine the Polish situation and to listen to what the Polish delegates had to say. [DOT] This, the Convention did, and reported to the Council on the imminense of the danger, and the measures necessary to check the plague. Now, the League of Nations, as at present constituted, has not the power to raise money by assessment in excess of the regular expenses of the Secretariat. It was estimated that to fight the typhus plague, from two to three million pounds sterling would be required. The Council authorized the setting up of a skeleton organization and named Colonel Kenyon Vaughan Morgan, Chief Commissioner and Doctor Norman White, Medical Commissioner, the former to supervise the purchase and shipment of necessary supplies, and the latter to organize the medical, nursing and quarantine staff, in order that it might be possible to draw a sanitary cordon across eastern Europe from the Baltic to the Black Sea, and fight the typhus plague along the line. The nations belonging to the League will be asked in the name of humanity to subscribe the funds necessary to protect Central Europe and the world from this great danger. It is hoped that Canada's response will be generous. Surely no task assumed by the League is more important than the organization of an inter-national -sanitary corps preparing to combat contagious diseases where they arise and thus protect the world from the plagues that have ravaged it in previous centuries. Another emergency question that has exercised the Council of the League was in respect to war prisoners left stranded in far distant Siberia. It is estimated that originally there were no less than 250,000 of these unfortunates left in prison camps several thousand miles distant from the lands in which they had enlisted. England -and the United States by joint effort are bringing back about 72,000 of these men, mostly Czecho-Slavs. and Roumanians, allies, as hon. members will see; but the great mass of these unfortunate prisoners are in Western Siberia; they are Austrians, Hungarians, Germans, Poles, Jugo-Slavs, and others. I need only to mention those names to show the House at a glance how impossible it would be to have united action on the part of those peoples. The nations to which they belong cannot, unaided, raise the money to bring them home. Only a united effort, backed by the guarantee of solvent states, will enable those nations to raise loans bv



which their unfortunate nationals can be returned. Here is where the League of Nations comes in. The council selected Dr. Fridtjof Nansen, the well known Norwegian explorer, whose reputation as an organizer stands high in Europe, and whose knowledge of Siberian conditions is surpassed by none, to take up this work backed by the League. He is at present passing from point to point in Europe, securing from all available sources a knowledge of the facts. He is consulting with all remedial agencies at present engaged in this cause. On the completion of his report, which should be laid before the next meeting of the Council, it is expected that an arrangement can he made to guarantee funds whereby transportation and necessities can be provided to bring to their homes those who have survived the awful ordeal of the last three years. Here again we have an example of united effort being able to do what individual effort could not accomplish. The nations interested could not unaided bring back their own men. They could not disentangle them if they were able to bring them back. But the united effort of the I.eague, which will guarantee to the nations concerned all the necessary funds, which in time v. ill probably be paid back by the nations interested, will, by joint action, bring back these unfortunate men. The condition of Russia is a constant menace to peace. It is most difficult to secure reliable information as to the present Government and its operations. Reports aie most conflicting. They lead to doubt and disagreement in regard to policies on the part of the various nations that receive them. It has been felt to be absolutely necessary that an impartial enquete be held and that the true facts regarding Russia be laid before the Council of the League To this end, preparations have been made to send an international commission of inquiry to visit Russia. Permission is asked from the Soviet Government for freedom to go and return for the right to move freely and make untrammelled inquiry, and for the guarantee for immunity for the witnesses that might be examined. As yet. however, no satisfactory reply has been received. The commission has been chosen and is ready to proceed. The responsibility for refusing to admit it will fall upon the Soviets. If they are unprepared to submit to impartial investigation, it must be that their operations will not stand the light of inquiry. If, however, the investigation takes place, out of it may come united action on the part of the nations and the pacification of Russia may follow. The League Council has at several of its meetings given careful consideration to the Armenian question. That sympathy for these unfortunate people is universal, no one denies. The League, however, cannot, [DOT]itself, accept a mandate, as it has neither funds nor army to enforce its decisions. A mandate was offered to America. It is deeply to be regretted that this offer was not accepted. In the end, it seems not improbable that upon the League will fall the task of finding a mandatory for Armenia and securing international guarantees that wall render the responsibilities not too great for a single State to assume. Since I left London, the Council has held a special meeting to deal with a request of Persia for assistance to resist a Russian invasion. Persia is a member of the League. She is entitled to and will receive the necessary support. These are the questions that hav occupied the attention of the Council at the six meetings that have been held during the past five months. The first budget of expenditure has been ratified and approved. The selections made by the secretary general in connection with the Secretariat have been agreed to, subject to the ultimate approval of the Assembly. Rules of procedure under which the Council shall carry on its business have been drawn up and are in force. Thus it will be seen that foundations wide and deep have been truly laid for the erection of an organization for the maintenance 'of world-wide peace. One has only to read the history of the previous Leagues to see that they failed mainly because no provision was made for a permanent working organization. This lesson has been truly learned. The League will not undertake tasks that it cannot perform. It is building up an organization, however, that will be capable of assuming heavy responsibilities. As financial director, it has been my duty to be present at several meetings of the Council, both in public and private sessions. Perhaps it may interest the House to have some idea of the impression that the work of these meetings has made upon me. I am convinced that these men who attend as representatives of their countries the meetings of the Council of the League, men of reputation and experience and of exalted standing in their several countries, are sincere. I do not think that they would waste their time in making long journeys and attending sessions sometimes lasting a week or ten days, if they did not feel that their work was worth while, and that there would be some ultimate results attained. The Governments which send them also seriously regard tr.e Council of the League of Nations. Whenever a meeting is held in a national capital it is staged under the most dignified conditions, and every courtesy and facility is afforded for carrying on its deliberations The meetings are necessarily both public and private. At the public meetings the resolutions are presented and passed. No vote is ever taken except at public meetings. The "rapporteur" who presents the resolution supports it by a carefully prepared statement, and this is given to the press for circulation. The private meetings are more informal. At them there is a frank expression of views, a clear appreciation of conditions. Article 5 of the Covenant requires that a unanimous decision shall be arrived at by the Council on all questions, save where in the Covenant a majority is specifically stated to be sufficient. I have been greatly struck by the fact that although six meetings have been held and 51 score of important questions dealt with, every decision has been unanimous. An agreement is not always arrived at when the question is first presented. Divergent views frequently develop. They are received and weighed with the utmost consideration. Every effort is made to arrive at a decision that all can accept. I have seen the same resolution come up at meeting after meeting and be repeatedly modified until finally acceptable to all. "The will to agree" is the spirit of the Council of the League. Had the United States been a member of this Council she would have found that no decision has been arrived at since the League came into being that her representative would not have concurred in. On my return I expect to attend the seventh meeting of the Council, which will be held at St. Sebastiano, in Spain, towards the end of July. The principle business at that meeting will be the drawing up of the agenda for the consideration of the first Assembly. The first Assembly of the League of Nations is to be held in Brussels in November, 1920. It will be the most important gathering in the history of modern times. At least 36 States will be represented. With the admissions that will probably be agreed to, this number will be brought up to 40 or more. The position attained by Canada in the League of Nations marks a long step forward in our constitutional development. In the Assembly Canada is on equality with the other States. She is eligible for a seat on the Council, although, in view of the fact that the representative of the British Empire will always have a seat in. that body, it is not likely that Canada's claim would be pressed. She has the right, however, of voting for the election of one half of the Council. Her voice will help to determine the composition of one half its membership. Further, Canada has the right of direct access to the Council on any question specially affecting our interests. Our representatives may state their case at the fountain head. Still further, we have the right of ad hoc participation and voting in the Council. Any question intimately affecting Canadian interests will not be dealt with by the Council unless the Canadian representatives are seated at the Council Board, In view, then,''of Canada's position as a full member of the League of Nations it is important that her deputation at the Assembly should include her foremost statesmen. I understand that the Prime Minister in this House some time ago gave the assurance that when the Constitutional Conference was held, perhaps a year from now, the several parties in this House would be invited to participate^ May I respectfully submit that the conditions which concern participation in the Assembly of the League of Nations do not materially differ from those to which he referred, and that if his proposal is good in the first instance, it may be equaly sound in the second. Furthermore, it is extremely important that before the Assembly meet®,, the representatives of the various parts of the British Empire should hold converse together and mutually study the question which will come up. We can already foresee some of the subjects that the Assembly will have to consider. They will deal with the admission of new States. A number of the smaller friendly nations have already asked to be admitted. It is possible that some of the former enemy States may be considered ready to be associated with the League in its work. The coming Assembly will elect half the Council for the coming year. It will probably also consider some suggested amendments to the covenant, for it is admitted that this is not a perfect instrument and as time goes on and new conditions arise it may, by the consent of all, be



altered to meet the change. One question of special interest to us will be decided and that is the place of meeting for the second great Assembly. The covenant provided that the first meeting of the Assembly should be held in Washington. For reasons well know this could not be brought about. The first meeting will be held in Europe, but why should not the second meeting be held on the North American continent, and if held in the Western hemisphere what better place than Ottawa to give it welcome? This magnificent new building with its beautiful Parliamentary chamber would be a fitting place for the deliberations of the associated statesemen of the world. Within these ample walls we could accommodate in the numerous rooms all the delegates that could visit us. We could give them an English-French Hansard, English-French attendants, a Freneh-English press, and could place at their disposal facilities unequalled in any part of the worWf. If it is the desire of this Parliament, as representing the people of Canada,, that an invitation should be extended to the League of Nations to visit Ottawa, might I suggest that the deputation that represents Canada next November should be the bearer of this message. I have not the time to speak at length regarding the Secretariat of the League of Nations. It is an international Civil Service drawn from public and private sources throughout the whole world. It is the hands, the eyes, and feet of the League of Nations. Its duty is to collect, to digest, to distribute, to prepare information of every kind to carry into effect decisions of the Assembly in Council. My own position is that of Financial Director. My duties include the preparation of the burget, its presentation to the Council, its explanation to the various contributory Governments, the allocating of the contributions, and all matters which relate to internal financial administration. I am prepared to give to this House all details they may desire upon these matters, for Canada is a full and willing participant in the work of the League, and the message I would bring to this Parliament is that her action is appreciated and that no request for information from the people of Canada will be treated with disrespect. In closing, may I point out to this House the greatness of Canada's opportunity. Her position is unique. The abstention of the United States, needles to say, was a great disappointment to the framers of the League, but it has turned their eyes to Canada and the other overseas Dominions in greater measure than could otherwise have been the case. Not with hampering reservations, indicative of distrust striking at the very root of the spirit of mutual confidence in which alone can a League of Nations successfully operate did Canada enter the League. She accepted the pact in its fullness, believing that the interpretation of the obligations, involved would be reasonable, willing to trust and be trusted. True Canada has little by way of material gain to be secured from her participation in the League. We did not enter the war for plunder or aggrandizement. We did not enter the League of Nations for what we could get out of it. For years to come Canada's r61e will be that of helper. We joined the League for what we could give, not for what we could get. What future demands then may we expect made upon us? We shall be asked annually to pay our share of the operating expenses of Secretariat. For this we should ask no praise. It is but the redemption of a promise we have made. Further we may be asked more than once to write Canada on Europe's subscrpition list. As individuals, we help the sick, the orphaned, the poor in generous measures. There are sick nations in the world to-day, orphaned peoples, and starving States. The Canadian people may be asked to show collectively the same generous characteristics that Canadians as individuals have always evidenced. Again we shall be asked to give counsel in the Assembly of Nations, in the conferences, in the committees, and we should send of our wisest and best so that Canadian statescraft will be respected and Canadian statesmen esteemed. We shall be asked for administrators, men who in our free open land have developed qualities of action and of heart that will make them fit to assume difficult tasks of world reconstruction. Already we have given several men of this character and more will be called for. To Canada there will be no immediate return for these services. For the time being we must be content with the approval of conscience and with the esteem of the world. The day will come when those who in their hour of distress have looked to Canada for help and have not looked in vain, will pour back into our bosoms a hundredfold of that we are now giving them. Canada made no mistake in entering the League of Nations. While I thank- you, Mr. Speaker, and members of this House, of 'doing me the honour of listening so courteously to what I have said, I am free to say that I believe the League of Nations has come to stay and that we shall have our reward if we trust to it. If members of this House are desirous of asking further questions, suggested by anything I may have said or anything that may have suggested itself to them may I assure them, as I have already done during the course, of my speech, that it will only be a pleasure, in so far as I am able, to meet their inquiries. .


L LIB

Henri Sévérin Béland

Laurier Liberal

Hon. H. S. BELAND:

Mr. Speaker, 1

only avail myself of the opportunity so kindly afforded to members of this House to put any questions that they may wish to ask. The hon. member (Sir Herbert Ames) has referred in his statement to three treaties betwen two of the great nations belonging to the League. Are all three treaties, regardless of their nature, commercial, or are any of them purely political?

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UNION

Edgar Nelson Rhodes (Speaker of the House of Commons)

Unionist

Mr. SPEAKER:

It might be to the advantage of hon. members if the House should resolve itself into committee which would give a more ample opportunity for the hon. member for St. Antoine (Sir Herbert Ames) to reply. I merely make the suggestion in case there may be a series of questions asked.

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L LIB

Henri Sévérin Béland

Laurier Liberal

Hon. Mr. BELAND:

I have only two or three questions which I think will require .short answers.

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UNION

Newton Wesley Rowell (Minister presiding over the Department of Health; President of the Privy Council)

Unionist

Hon. Mr. ROWELL (President of the Privy Council):

If no hon. member wishes to speak generally on the League I think the Speaker's suggestion is a good one that vre should go into committee. We are going into Committee on External Affairs and then any question any hon. member desires to ask can be asked. I do not know whether any hon. member wishes to address the House before we go into committee.

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L LIB

Henri Sévérin Béland

Laurier Liberal

Hon. M. BELAND:

Will the hon. memb-ber for St. Antoine be prepared to answer any questions when we are in committee?

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UNION

June 22, 1920