April 9, 1943

EXTERNAL AFFAIRS

ESTABLISHMENT OP CANADIAN CONSULATE GENERAL IN NEW YORK

LIB

William Lyon Mackenzie King (Prime Minister; Secretary of State for External Affairs; President of the Privy Council)

Liberal

Right Hon. W. L. MACKENZIE KING (Prime Minister):

Mr. Speaker, I wish to

make an announcement with respect to the establishment of a Canadian consulate general in New York city.

The government has decided to establish a Canadian consulate general in the city of New York. It is expected that the new office will be opened about May first under the direction of Mr. Hugh D. Scully as consul general.

This will be the first Canadian consulate general, and it is fitting that it should be opened in the largest city of the United States of America. The immediate need for the establishment of the new office is the great increase in Canadian activities in the New York area. Under pressure of war conditions these activities have taken on a new variety, and a new urgency; and the government believes that these facts make it desirable that we should have in New York a central agency under the direction of a capable and experienced administrator to keep in close and effective touch w'ith all aspects of Canadian interests in that area. The new consulate general will be able to relieve the British consulate general of the considerable volume of work it has for so long and so ably carried on for Canadians residing or doing business in this district.

The Canadian government trade commissioner's office in New York city, which has been under the direction of Mr. Douglas S. Cole for the last nine years, will be incorporated in the consulate general. Mr. Cole will continue to perform his present duties with the title of Senior Trade Commissioner in the United States; he will also be a member of the staff of the consulate general with the rank of consul.

The New York office of the wartime information board under Mr. Harry Sedgwick will be attached to the consulate general.

In addition to acting as a central agency for the organization of Canadian activities in New York, the new consulate general will conduct the usual business of a consular office. This includes work in the fields of shipping, nationality, passports and other documentation, estates, customs, taxation, and in general the protection and furtherance of Canadian interests.

In addition to Mr. Scully and Mr. Cole

the staff of the consulate general will include, as consul, Miss K. Agnes McCloskey, whose long and efficient service in the Department of External Affairs is well known throughout the public service. Miss McCloskey will be the first woman to receive a senior appointment in the Canadian external service. Mr. L. B. Ausman, assistant Canadian government trade commissioner in New York city, and Flying Officer P. E. Morin, D.F.M., will be appointed vice consuls. The consulate general will be established at Rockefeller Center on the corner of 5th avenue and 50th street in New York city.

The jurisdiction of the consulate general will cover the states of New York, Connecticut and New Jersey except for the counties of Atlantic, Burlington, Camden, Cape May, Cumberland, Gloucester, Ocean and Salem.

While it is not proposed to establish any other consular offices at the moment, it is a reasonable assumption that expanding Canadian interests and responsiblities will require that the situation be reviewed from time to time.

Topic:   EXTERNAL AFFAIRS
Subtopic:   ESTABLISHMENT OP CANADIAN CONSULATE GENERAL IN NEW YORK
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NAT

Gordon Graydon (Leader of the Official Opposition)

National Government

Mr. GORDON GRAYDON (Leader of the Opposition):

May I ask the Prime Minister if this is the first consular office to be opened in the United States of America?

Topic:   EXTERNAL AFFAIRS
Subtopic:   ESTABLISHMENT OP CANADIAN CONSULATE GENERAL IN NEW YORK
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LIB

William Lyon Mackenzie King (Prime Minister; Secretary of State for External Affairs; President of the Privy Council)

Liberal

Mr. MACKENZIE KING:

Yes-Canadian consulate.

Topic:   EXTERNAL AFFAIRS
Subtopic:   ESTABLISHMENT OP CANADIAN CONSULATE GENERAL IN NEW YORK
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NAT

Gordon Graydon (Leader of the Official Opposition)

National Government

Mr. GRAYDON:

The Prime Minister made reference to the attachment of Mr. Harry Sedgwick, of the wartime information board, to the consular office which is to be set up in New York. I assume that does not mean that Mr. Sedgwick will be under the direct supervision of the consul general, but rather that he will be just attached to the office.

Topic:   EXTERNAL AFFAIRS
Subtopic:   ESTABLISHMENT OP CANADIAN CONSULATE GENERAL IN NEW YORK
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LIB

William Lyon Mackenzie King (Prime Minister; Secretary of State for External Affairs; President of the Privy Council)

Liberal

Mr. MACKENZIE KING:

Yes; not incorporated in the office but attached to it.

Topic:   EXTERNAL AFFAIRS
Subtopic:   ESTABLISHMENT OP CANADIAN CONSULATE GENERAL IN NEW YORK
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NAT

Richard Burpee Hanson

National Government

Hon. R. B. HANSON (York-Sunbury):

Will Mr. Scully be under the Department of External Affairs? Will he be leaving the Department of National Revenue?

Topic:   EXTERNAL AFFAIRS
Subtopic:   ESTABLISHMENT OP CANADIAN CONSULATE GENERAL IN NEW YORK
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LIB

William Lyon Mackenzie King (Prime Minister; Secretary of State for External Affairs; President of the Privy Council)

Liberal

Mr. MACKENZIE KING:

Mr. Scully will be retiring from his present position in the Department of National Revenue and will become the head of the consulate general in New York. That office will be under the Department of External Affairs.

Topic:   EXTERNAL AFFAIRS
Subtopic:   ESTABLISHMENT OP CANADIAN CONSULATE GENERAL IN NEW YORK
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LIB

Jean-François Pouliot

Liberal

Mr. POULIOT:

Would the Prime Minister be kind enough to table the orders in council concerning these appointments?

Topic:   EXTERNAL AFFAIRS
Subtopic:   ESTABLISHMENT OP CANADIAN CONSULATE GENERAL IN NEW YORK
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LIB

William Lyon Mackenzie King (Prime Minister; Secretary of State for External Affairs; President of the Privy Council)

Liberal

Mr. MACKENZIE KING:

Yes.

The War

Topic:   EXTERNAL AFFAIRS
Subtopic:   ESTABLISHMENT OP CANADIAN CONSULATE GENERAL IN NEW YORK
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THE WAR

REQUEST FOR GOVERNMENT STATEMENTS FROM TIME TO TIME AS TO PROGRESS OF OPERATIONS


On the orders of the day:


NAT

Gordon Graydon (Leader of the Official Opposition)

National Government

Mr. GORDON GRAYDON (Leader of the Opposition):

Before the orders of the day are called I wish to make a suggestion to the Prime Minister in connection with the house procedure. I shall be only a moment; I thought this was the most appropriate time to present it.

In some of the remarks made by hon. members from time to time during the last couple of weeks, it has been brought to the attention of the Prime Minister and of the government that there should be some announcement, some governmental statement, preferably by the Prime Minister, from time to time with respect to the progress of the war generally.

On one occasion it was suggested that a statement on the war might be made periodically to the house by the Prime Minister. If my memory serves me well, during the session of 1940, and again in 1941 the Prime Minister did make to the house statements which, while perhaps not comprehensive, did at least inform the house and the country of the progress of the war with more emphasis than would be given in the ordinary press statement. I am sure the Prime Minister and the members of the house will agree with me that at the present moment we are passing through one of the most serious stages of our whole war effort. We have a victory loan campaign coming on, with appeals being made to the people from time to time, and a foundation for their success is that the people should be made fully aware of the seriousness of the war. I therefore respectfully suggest to the Prime Minister that he should on auspicious and appropriate occasions follow the practice he followed in previous sessions of giving to the house and the country a statement on the war, giving us the bad news and also the good news where it may be appropriate to do so. None of us would ask that the Prime Minister should make public information which would in any way be of comfort or aid to the enemy, but I do believe that it would strengthen the morale of our country if on particular occasions when a statement could normally be expected from the Prime Minister he would make such a statement to the house and the country.

Before I conclude, there is one other matter I wish to mention. I think we should have more of a war mood in this house than

we have had during this session. I do not intend in saying that to reflect upon anyone in this chamber, because what I have said may be but a reflection of general conditions throughout the country. Nevertheless, I feel it is our duty to develop more of a war-time psychology in this house, and the Prime Minister can give leadership in this matter. The Department of National Defence and the press from time to time give out reports with respect to medals and decorations that have been won by individual members of our armed forces for gallantry on the sea, on the land or in the air. We have speeches made in this house from all sides which, in my opinion, are of much less importance to the people of Canada than the announcements of these decorations for gallantry, and I suggest that such announcements might well be made to the house and the country by the Prime Minister himself or the Minister of National Defence. I know that the Prime Minister will accept my suggestion in the spirit in which it is offered. I believe that such a practice would improve the tenor of our proceedings here, and I make the suggestion with the sincere desire that the country shall know that we really have our minds on the war.

Topic:   THE WAR
Subtopic:   REQUEST FOR GOVERNMENT STATEMENTS FROM TIME TO TIME AS TO PROGRESS OF OPERATIONS
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LIB

William Lyon Mackenzie King (Prime Minister; Secretary of State for External Affairs; President of the Privy Council)

Liberal

Right Hon. W. L. MACKENZIE KING (Prime Minister):

Mr. Speaker, I accept in the spirit in which my hon. friend has offered it the suggestion which he has made.. May I say to him that no one in this house has emphasized more strongly than I have from time to time the importance of the house giving its attention to matters pertaining to the war rather than to some of the domestic questions which it has been discussing. If my hon. friend will look over the proceedings as recorded in Hansard he will find that the time of the house which has been taken up by the matters other than those relating to the war has not been so taken up by hon. members from this side to anything like the extent that it has been by hon. gentlemen opposite. There has been. I think it is reasonable to say, far too much timfe taken up with discussion of domestic questions to the exclusion of more important matters pertaining to the war.

As my hon. friend will recall, in order to-facilitate and expedite the business of the house, he and I and other leaders of the house met together and decided upon a programme which we thought would serve that end. and certain measures were made a sort of "order of the month", and the order which was then set down has been strictly followed ever since.

The War

I must say that I was surprised that in the appointment of some of the standing committees the time of the house should have been taken up longer than was necessary simply to appoint the committees. Matters were discussed which might well have been left until after the committees had had opportunity to go ahead with their work.

Topic:   THE WAR
Subtopic:   REQUEST FOR GOVERNMENT STATEMENTS FROM TIME TO TIME AS TO PROGRESS OF OPERATIONS
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NAT

Gordon Graydon (Leader of the Official Opposition)

National Government

Mr. GRAYDON:

Of course there was a reason for that.

Topic:   THE WAR
Subtopic:   REQUEST FOR GOVERNMENT STATEMENTS FROM TIME TO TIME AS TO PROGRESS OF OPERATIONS
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LIB

William Lyon Mackenzie King (Prime Minister; Secretary of State for External Affairs; President of the Privy Council)

Liberal

Mr. MACKENZIE KING:

We spent a week or more on the appointment of the committees with respect to social security,-reconstruction and rehabilitation. There may have been a reason for the long discussion that took place at that time but I submit that it would have been much better to have the discussion at a later period in the session after the committees had had a chance to get on with their work and make some report. Similarly a lot of time was taken up in discussion on the appointment of other committees. There have been motions on going into supply and ways and means, and matters discussed which might well have been deferred until a later time. I do not want to take exception in particular to that, but I must say that there has been a great waste of time in the discussion of many matters here. I cannot think of anything which could be described as a greater waste of time than the discussion we had in the house the day before yesterday in regard to an address which was delivered the other evening by Mr. B. K. Sandwell of Toronto. The thought that Mr. Sandwell or anybody else in this country holding a prominent position and having to do with the moulding of public opinion is disloyal because he ventures to suggest that there is such a thing as loyalty to humanity at large as well as to other institutions seems to me quite ridiculous. That the greater part of the afternoon should have been taken up in a discussion of that character shows how far remote hon. members are in some parts of the house from realizing that a war that affects the whole future of mankind is being waged at this moment. _

I am only too anxious to make in this house what contribution I can in the way of informing hon. members of the situation as it exists in the world to-day. May I say that I hope I have reason to believe that every hon. member of this house reads from day to day something of what appears in the press, and not only that but listens attentively to broadcasts made by Mr. Churchill, commentators and others with respect to existing conditions. Such contributions as I might make would of necessity be in large

part simply a rehearsal of much with which hon. members ought already to be familiar.

The making of a special statement in parliament with respect to the present position of the war is not something which a prime minister can take on lightly. Mr. Churchill himself when making an important speech, as he did some days ago directed the attention of the British parliament to the fact that the last time he had made a speech dealing with the war situation as a whole was in November last. Of necessity Mr. Churchill speaks in the British House of Commons on the different situations as they arise and as they are known to him before they are known to anyone else in the world, unless it be also to the President of the United States on matters affecting particularly the United States. I cannot reveal matters which should not be disclosed, and for me simply to reecho what is known already to all hon. members might be a somewhat questionable procedure. I might be accused of unnecessarily taking up the time of the house. I have had in mind making a statement with respect to the situation in the world generally when we come to deal with external affairs. I have hoped that a statement of the kind might be made approximately at the time the war appropriation bill was being considered. That I think would be the proper time. I hope to be able to make a statement touching on different aspects of foreign and other external relations, which I think hon. members may wish to hear, soon after the Easter vacation. But I can only do so much in the course of a day and a week. I assure hon. members that if I am not speaking or listening to what others are saying in this house, I am working as hard as I possibly can somewhere else. If there were others to whom I could delegate some of the responsibility that I have to carry I would do it this afternoon. All of us in the administration are working as hard as we possibly can, but there are some things which from the point of view of responsibility are greater than others, and for a prime minister of any one of the countries that are at war to-day to speak with respect to the war situation as it is affecting the world is a very large responsibility and one which has to be exercised with a great deal of discretion and, in so far as one can command it, wisdom.

I have in the last day or two been endeavouring to get my thoughts sufficiently upon the existing situation in a comprehensive way to be able to deliver in Toronto a week from next Monday an address in particular on Canada's position in relation to what I regard as the most serious of all

The War

aspects of the war as it affects us. I hope that what may be said in the way of a nation-wide broadcast will be regarded as equally important as if the same pronouncement were made in this chamber.

Topic:   THE WAR
Subtopic:   REQUEST FOR GOVERNMENT STATEMENTS FROM TIME TO TIME AS TO PROGRESS OF OPERATIONS
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NAT

Gordon Graydon (Leader of the Official Opposition)

National Government

Mr. GRAYDON:

Will the speech of the Prime Minister on that occasion be broadcast?

Topic:   THE WAR
Subtopic:   REQUEST FOR GOVERNMENT STATEMENTS FROM TIME TO TIME AS TO PROGRESS OF OPERATIONS
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LIB

William Lyon Mackenzie King (Prime Minister; Secretary of State for External Affairs; President of the Privy Council)

Liberal

Mr. MACKENZIE KING:

I understand it will, but I may be mistaken. I hope that if it is not broadcast but should be printed, or both, hon. members will not by any chance feel that the government has been over extravagant in having spent the money necessary for that purpose.

I have tried from time to time as important announcements have to be made affecting Canada in particular to make them in this house. I shall continue so to do, and so far as my limited abilities and time and strength will permit I shall be only too happy to give such reviews from time to time as I think hon. members may wish to have.

Topic:   THE WAR
Subtopic:   REQUEST FOR GOVERNMENT STATEMENTS FROM TIME TO TIME AS TO PROGRESS OF OPERATIONS
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April 9, 1943