March 24, 1941

RUSH-BAGOT AGREEMENT EXCHANGE OF NOTES AS TO APPLICATION AND INTERPRETATION IN LIGHT OF PRESENT CONDITIONS

LIB

Thomas Alexander Crerar (Minister of Mines and Resources)

Liberal

Hon. T. A. CRERAR (Minister of Mines and Resources):

At the request of the Prime Minister (Mr. Mackenzie King), who is absent to-day, I wish to make the following statement:

1. I am tabling, for the information of members of this house and for distribution, the following documents, both in English and in French:

Exchanges of notes, June 9, June 10, 1939, and October 30 and November 2, 1940, between the Under-Secretary of State for External Affairs and the United States Minister to Canada, relating to the application and interpretation of the Rush-Bagot agreement.

2. The Rush-Bagot agreement was embodied in an exchange of notes between His Majesty's minister at Washington and the United States Secretary of State, concerning the naval force to be maintained on the great lakes (Washington, 28-29, April 1817). This exchange is to be found in the publication filed in the Department of External Affairs, entitled "Treaties and Agreements Affecting Canada, in force between His Majesty and the United States of America, with subsidiary documents 1814-1925'' at pages 12 and 13. This volume is, of course, available

Rush-Bagot Agreement

to members of this house and to the public generally in all libraries, but for the convenience of the members of the house I shall read into the record a short excerpt from Sir Charles Bagot's note, which sets forth the operative provisions:

His Royal Highness, acting in the name and on the behalf of His Majesty, agrees, that the naval force to he maintained upon the American lakes by His Majesty and the government of the United States shall henceforth he confined to the following vessels on each side-that is:

On Lake Ontario to one vessel not exceeding one hundred tons burthen and armed with one eighteen-pound cannon.

On the upper lakes to two vessels not exceeding like burthen each and armed with like force.

On the waters of lake Champlain to one vessel not exceeding like burthen and armed with like force.

And His Royal Highness agrees, that all other armed vessels, on these lakes shall be forthwith dismantled, and that no other vessels of war shall be there built or armed.

His Royal Highness further agrees, that if either party should hereafter be desirous of annulling this stipulation, and should give notice to that effect to the other party, it shall cease to be binding after the expiration of six months from the date of such notice.

3. In modern terminology it may be said that this was an agreement for quantitative and qualitative naval limitation on the great lakes. It is more than a century old and for a good while both Canada and the United States have mutually recognized that the technical scheme and definitions do not fit the actual present-day conditions, and that in fact they can reasonably and safely be waived without vitiating the underlying political spirit and objective which must be maintained.

4. It is clear from a study of the documents relating to the negotiation of the agreement and its early history that the objective of the negotiators was to provide a solution of an immediate and urgent problem arising out of the war of 1812, and the terms of the agreement themselves support the view that its indefinite continuation in force was not anticipated. The governments of Canada and the United States have in fact from time to time by informal interchanges mutually recognized certain variations from the technical scheme and definitions. The agreement itself, however, has survived unchanged for more than one hundred and twenty yeans, and with the passage of time has assumed a symbolic importance in the eyes of the peoples of Canada and the United States.

5. Recent negotiations between the Canadian and United States governments, affecting the agreement, took place in June, 1939. It was the desire of the United States government at that time to substitute other naval vessels of larger tonnage for certain naval vessels

'Mr. Crerar.]

already in the great lakes. The United States government also desired to use these vessels for training purposes and to equip them with armaments of heavier calibre than those permitted under the terms of the agreement. It was found possible to give effect to the wishes of the United States government by means of an informal exchange of notes and without the necessity of amending the agreement itself in any way.

6. The outbreak of war brought about the need for a further understanding between the two countries with regard to the problem of naval construction on the great lakes. It was therefore suggested by the Canadian government that a further "interpretation" of the Rush-Bagot agreement be made, without involving any deviation from the basic intent of the agreement, namely that important naval vessels should not be built for service on the great lakes. An understanding was accordingly effected by an exchange of notes in November, 1940, to the effect that armaments might be installed on vessels built in great lakes shipyards, but dismantled for the voyage to the sea.

7. It will be observed that the exchanges of notes, now being tabled, are in the nature of informal understandings as to the interpretation and application of the original agreement. They are not intended to rescind the Rush-Bagot agreement or to prejudice in any way the principles underlying that agreement or the underlying political spirit and objective which both countries have maintained. The position is continued whereby the great lakes are recognized as being an area in which naval armaments are not maintained by either country. At the same time, an arrangement has been worked out whereunder the resources of both countries within this area can be utilized to facilitate the defence, both of Canada and the United States, from external attack.

The documents which I now table contain the correspondence referred to in the statement I have just made, and they are submitted in both English and French.

Topic:   RUSH-BAGOT AGREEMENT EXCHANGE OF NOTES AS TO APPLICATION AND INTERPRETATION IN LIGHT OF PRESENT CONDITIONS
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NAT

Richard Burpee Hanson (Leader of the Official Opposition)

National Government

Hon. R. B. HANSON (Leader of the Opposition):

What the minister has told us, if I followed him aright, is that within recent years there has been a reinterpretation of the Rush-Bagot treaty, without going through any particular formality; but I do not understand that the principle of the treaty has been in any way waived. My recollection, without having looked up the matter for a long time, is that this was a treaty to which effect was given by the senate of the United States.

Questions

Topic:   RUSH-BAGOT AGREEMENT EXCHANGE OF NOTES AS TO APPLICATION AND INTERPRETATION IN LIGHT OF PRESENT CONDITIONS
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LIB

Thomas Alexander Crerar (Minister of Mines and Resources)

Liberal

Mr. CRERAR:

The documents speak for themselves. It is referred to as an agreement.

Topic:   RUSH-BAGOT AGREEMENT EXCHANGE OF NOTES AS TO APPLICATION AND INTERPRETATION IN LIGHT OF PRESENT CONDITIONS
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NAT

Richard Burpee Hanson (Leader of the Official Opposition)

National Government

Mr. HANSON (York-Sunbury):

It is

referred to in both ways.

Topic:   RUSH-BAGOT AGREEMENT EXCHANGE OF NOTES AS TO APPLICATION AND INTERPRETATION IN LIGHT OF PRESENT CONDITIONS
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LIB

Thomas Alexander Crerar (Minister of Mines and Resources)

Liberal

Mr. CRERAR:

In any case I am not informed as to what has taken place down through the years. I presume my hon. friend the leader of the opposition has reference to this statement:

The governments of Canada and the United States have, in fact, from time to time by informal exchanges, mutually recognized certain variations from the technical scheme and definitions.

Topic:   RUSH-BAGOT AGREEMENT EXCHANGE OF NOTES AS TO APPLICATION AND INTERPRETATION IN LIGHT OF PRESENT CONDITIONS
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NAT

Richard Burpee Hanson (Leader of the Official Opposition)

National Government

Mr. HANSON (York-Sunbury):

That is, a reinterpretation.

Topic:   RUSH-BAGOT AGREEMENT EXCHANGE OF NOTES AS TO APPLICATION AND INTERPRETATION IN LIGHT OF PRESENT CONDITIONS
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LIB

Thomas Alexander Crerar (Minister of Mines and Resources)

Liberal

Mr. CRERAR:

I regret that I am not in a position to inform my hon. friend as to what they were, but doubtless that information can be made available. The documents tabled contain the exchange of notes in 1939 and 1940.

Topic:   RUSH-BAGOT AGREEMENT EXCHANGE OF NOTES AS TO APPLICATION AND INTERPRETATION IN LIGHT OF PRESENT CONDITIONS
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UNEMPLOYMENT INSURANCE

AMENDMENT OF ACT TO PROVIDE FOR COOPERATION AS TO MEDICAL CARE OR COMPENSATION


Hon. H. A. BRUCE (Parkdale) moved for leave to introduce Bill No. 21, to amend the Unemployment Insurance Act, 1940. He said: Mr. Speaker, the purpose of this bill is to provide that the unemployment insurance commission created by the Unemployment Insurance Act, 1940, shall cooperate with other authorities in the dominion or provinces for the purpose of collecting information concerning any plan for providing medical care or compensation in cases of ill-health. The provisions were found in the Unemployment and Social Insurance Act, chapter 38 of the statutes of 1935. This act, having been declared to be ultra vires by a majority of the supreme court, and subsequently by a judgment of the privy council delivered the 28th day of January, 1937, was repealed in 1940 by section 103 of chapter 44 of the statutes of that year, being the Unemployment Insurance Act, 1940. The competency of parliament to legislate in regard to unemployment insurance now has been settled by the amendment to the British North America Act of 1940. It is highly desirable to reintroduce these health provisions into our dominion law. Motion agreed to and bill read the first time.


QUESTIONS


(Questions answered orally are indicated by an asterisk.)


STORAGE OF WHEAT

SC

Mr. JOHNSTON (Bow River):

Social Credit

1. How much did the government pay elevator companies for the storage of wheat during each of the last ten years?

2. How much did the government pay farmers for the storage of wheat during the same years?

3. Does the government pay storage to the elevator companies while the wheat is in transit to the terminal elevators?

4. If so, for how many days, and how much has been paid in this regard during the above period?

Mr. MacIvINNON (Edmonton West):

1. The wheat board was established August 1, 1935, and there is no record, therefore, of any storage which was paid prior to that date.

The storage paid for each year ending July 31, since August 1, 1935, is as follows:

Period

ended

Elevator Government

companies elevators Combined

July 31, 1936....

July 31, 1937....

July 31, 1939....

July 31, 1940....

December 31, 1940

$* 178,805 74 * 4,958 61

327,408 19 740,669 35 502,341 42

Estimated conservatively.

$1,754,183 31 $30,264,866 02

2. Farm storage paid or accrued to March 15, 1941-$1,141,693.97. No payments were made to farmers for the storage of wheat except during the present season.

3. Yes. When the board entered into an agreement with the elevator companies in 1935, payment of carrying charges continued until two days after unload. The "two days"

was provided as being the time necessary to obtain the documents from the terminals at the head office of the companies, and for them to make delivery of the documents to the board.

The following year the companies asked for three days, on the basis that documents could not be made available in two days, and their request was granted.

Questions

Beginning with the 1939 crop, the board placed a time limit of thirteen days after date of bill of lading for which the storage would be paid. During that crop year and the present year, when lack of storage space became acute, the transit time of cars between country elevators and terminals has widened materially. Right at the present time there are cars loaded with wheat standing on practically every siding in the west, many of which will require at least a month to six weeks to reach terminal points. The "thirteen days" really represents ten days' storage with three days for delivery of documents, and is accepted in lieu of interest on delayed cars, except in extraordinary circumstances such as embargoes.

4. Crop year ended July 31, 1936-Storage paid until two days after unload.

Crop years ended July 31, 1937 and 1938- Storage paid until three days after unload.

Crop years ended July 31, 1939 and 1940- Storage paid until three days after unload, with maximum of thirteen days from date of bill of lading. The amount thus paid is not available.

Topic:   QUESTIONS
Subtopic:   STORAGE OF WHEAT
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*ARMY CANTEENS

SC

Mr. SHAW:

Social Credit

1. What are the regulations governing the operation of army canteens?

2. Do men operating army canteens in Canadian military camps receive pay and allowances over and above regular army pay?

3. If so, what are the rates of pay or allowances for this work?

4. What operating costs, if any, are charged against the revenue derived from these canteens ?

5. What are the regulations governing the distribution of profits accruing from the operation of army canteens?

Topic:   QUESTIONS
Subtopic:   *ARMY CANTEENS
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LIB

James Layton Ralston (Minister of National Defence)

Liberal

Mr. RALSTON:

My hon. friend is asking for the regulations governing the operation of army canteens. As my hon. friend will understand, these regulations are quite voluminous, and I wanted to tell him and the house that the matter of canteens, particularly the central fund and also the disposition of moneys accruing from canteen operations other than those already covered by agreements with the auxiliary services, is now being examined into by a committee appointed by the government and consisting of the following members: Mr. J. M. Maedonnell, of Toronto, general manager of the National Trust Company; His Honour Leonce Plante, recorder of the city of Montreal, and Mr. Watson Sellar, auditor general of Canada. The powers and authority of that committee are ^et. out in P.C. 7520, dated December 21, 1940, and in an amendment, P.C. 1087 of February 14, 1941. Copies of these orders will be

laid on the table. There was another order in council, P.C. 224, of January 13, 1941, which substituted His Honour Leonce Plante, recorder of the city of Montreal, in the place and stead of Mr. Rodolphe Deserres, K.C., of the city of Montreal, who had been appointed by the order in council to which I have already referred; that is, P.C. 7520 of December 21, 1940.

I shall have to ask that this question be made an order for return if my hon. friend wishes the regulations with which that committee is now dealing, but it occurred to me that possibly he would prefer to wait until the report of the committee is received. The hon. gentleman also asks some further questions, the answer to which I shall table tomorrow; that is, in regard to questions 2, 3, 4 and 5. Perhaps between now and to-morrow my hon. friend can consider whether or not he desires to drop question 1.

Topic:   QUESTIONS
Subtopic:   *ARMY CANTEENS
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NAT

Karl Kenneth Homuth

National Government

Mr. HOMUTH:

Has the minister any

idea whether that report may be received shortly?

Topic:   QUESTIONS
Subtopic:   *ARMY CANTEENS
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LIB

James Layton Ralston (Minister of National Defence)

Liberal

Mr. RALSTON:

The committee has been working since February, and I should not think it would be very long before the report is received. I shall make inquiries about that also.

Topic:   QUESTIONS
Subtopic:   *ARMY CANTEENS
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March 24, 1941