Right Hon. W. L. MACKENZIE KING (Prime Minister):
Mr.'Speaker, I wish to table, in English and French, an exchange of notes between Canada and the United States, dated January 27, 1943, relating to the postwar disposition of certain defence projects, installations and facilities constructed in Canada by the United States.
To carry out joint plans for the defence of this continent, and to facilitate the transportation of war materials to fighting fronts, the Canadian government has agreed to the stationing of United States military units at certain places on Canadian territory. This is part of the same programme of war-time cooperation which has resulted in units of the Royal Canadian Air Force operating from Alaskan bases.
In carrying out the defence programme, moreover, arrangements have been made whereby the United States government has supplied materials for, or has defrayed the
Joint Defence Projects
cost of, the construction of a number of projects, installations or facilities on Canadian soil.
The arrangement under which this programme has been effected is of a purely wartime character. It is not contemplated that the contribution which the United States is thus making to the common defence will give that country any continuing rights in Canada after the conclusion of war. Indeed, with regard to most of the projects that have been undertaken in this country by the United States, agreements have already been made which make the post-war position completely clear. An example with which hon. members will be familiar is to be found in the text of the exchange of notes providing for the construction of the Alaska highway.
In order that there may be no possible doubt as to the principles to be followed in the postwar disposition of the various defence projects to which the United States has contributed, the permanent joint board on defence recently recommended that the two governments approve a formula which would state these principles in clear terms. The formula which was proposed by the defence board was examined by the two governments and was approved by both. It has now been embodied in the exchange of notes I am about to table.
An examination of the notes will make it apparent that the agreements with the United States do not prejudice in any way Canadian post-war liberty of action. I ought to add that I am informed by those most directly connected that with respect to these projects, not only is Canada free from any post-war commitments, but that we have not at any time been asked by the United States to enter into such commitments.
The terms of the exchange of notes will make it clear that should Canada undertake to contribute to the joint defence by constructing installations or facilities in Alaska or elsewhere on United States territory, the same principles would reciprocally apply.
Subtopic: EXCHANGE OP NOTES BETWEEN CANADA AND THE UNITED STATES AS TO POST-WAR DISPOSITION