Right Hon. R. B. BENNETT (Prime Minister):
Mr. Speaker, a week ago to-day the hon. member for Winnipeg North Centre (Mr. Woodsworth) asked a question with respect to the visit of a Japanese warship to Vancouver. The question was asked without
notice, and I gave him a very unilluminating answer. I proposed later to give him a detailed answer, but he was not in his place. As he has not been in his place for the last few days perhaps I should now answer his question, because there has been a great deal of comment in the newspapers for some weeks with respect to this visit and its so-called imperialistic tendencies.
The hon. member's inquiry presumably relates to the visit of a Japanese training squadron, consisting of two cruisers. In October, 1932, the Japanese minister inquired from the chief of the naval staff as to whether there would be any objection to the proposed visit on the part of the Canadian government. The chief of the naval staff was authorized to advise the Japanese minister unofficially, there would be no objection to the visit of this training squadron and, on the twenty-first January, 1933, a formal request for such consent was addressed to the Secretary of State for External Affairs, by the Japanese minister. The formal consent of the Canadian government was communicated to the Japanese minister by note dated February 2, 1933.
Arrangements were made by the interested departments of the Canadian government for harbour and landing facilities, police, customs, immigration and other details, and the necessary information was communicated to the appropriate authorities of the government of British Columbia.
Commander T. Seno of the Japanese navy, and the Japanese consul at Vancouver are, with the authority of the Japanese minister, acting as liaison officers between the local Canadian officials and the Japanese squadron.
The Japanese training squadron has visited both Canada and the United States frequently, in the course of the last ten years. The giving of the consent of the Canadian government to this visit, and the arrangements for courteous treatment, are in accordance with international custom and practice.