March 20, 1945

LIB

Roy Theodore Graham

Liberal

Mr. R. T. GRAHAM (Swift Current):

Mr. Speaker, I desire first of all to record my whole-hearted and unqualified approval of the resolution introduced by the Prime Minister (Mr. Mackenzie King). Not only do I approve the principle contained therein, but my approval extends particularly to its wording. On this particular occasion the wording of the resolution is important because, in general terms, it indicates the instructions from the government and parliament of Canada to the delegation which will go to San Francisco to speak for the country.

You, Mr. Speaker, and other hon. members, will have noted that while in general terms the resolution approves the Dumbarton Oaks agreement as a basis for discussion, its terms are sufficiently flexible to permit of improvement, and to permit of the Canadian delegation doing all within its power to improve if possible the agreement reached at Dumbarton Oaks. Then, finally, in recognition of the fact that Canada is a democracy, and that no agreement reached at San Francisco could in the long run be efficacious or useful unless it had

San Francisco Conference

behind it public opinion in Canada, the resolution provides that before the charter adopted at San Francisco can be binding upon or accepted by Canada, the Canadian parliament will have an opportunity to discuss the complete proposal, and to pass judgment thereon. So, as I say, I am particularly pleased with the way in which the resolution appears before the house, in respect of both its subject matter and its wording.

There are some issues which in their very nature transcend party lines, or which do not develop that cleavage of opinion which generally divides the different parties and groups in the house. Surely if there ever was an issue before the House of Commons worthy of the united support of all hon. members it is the one now before us. The history of Canada in the present generation must make clear to all of us the fact that there is one issue on which we should stand united, namely that of preventing if possible a recurrence of war and the sacrifice and suffering that follows in its wake. Canada cannot stand aside from seeking a solution to this age-old problem.

As hon. members know, this country is as peace-loving as could be imagined. In my lifetime I have not known of any responsible leader of any political party in Canada, or any other person prominent in our public life, showing any desire to embroil Canada needlessly in a war. So I say the people of Canada are whole-heartedly behind anything that may bring hope of permanent peace and security to a world in which Canada forms a small but very important part.

I join in the hope already expressed in this debate that we will find that degree of unity in the House of Commons, in the editorial pages of our press, over the radio and in the hearts and minds of our people which may in its turn enable the delegation from Canada to promote unity among the nations of the world in the setting up of this organization, which holds out such high hopes to the whole of the human race.

In this connection I think it proper to call to the attention of hon. members an expression used in May of last year by the Prime Minister upon his return from the conference of prime ministers in London. On that occasion the house paid him a well-deserved tribute of friendship, and in replying he said that if the speech he made in London had any value it was because he recognized that the things that unite us are so much greater than the things that divide us. That is what prompted him to make the appeal, not only to the members of the British commonwealth but to the nations of the world, for support of those

principles that will lead us to a better world, a world in which there would be some hope of permanent peace.

I am not sure that all of us recognize the immensity of the task we have embarked upon. There are those who, with some justification, do not believe that there is any hope of setting up an organization that will be able to outlaw war. If one were a pessimist he would have to agree that the history of mankind, particularly the history of our own day and age, would justify that attitude. I do not class the hon. member for York-Sunbury (Mr. Hanson) as being one of these, yet he gave to-day an indication of a line of thought that is understandable when he suggested that the position of the world depends, not upon the contribution that Canada and the smaller countries can make, but upon the good will and the purposes of the three great powers, the United States, Russia and Great Britain. We must however rise above these fears and set ourselves to the task, no matter how great the difficulties.

From our viewpoint, if perhaps not from the viewpoint of others, one of the cornerstones of any such organization must be a sufficient degree of unity, a great degree if you will, between the two great English speaking democracies, our mother country, Great Britain, and our neighbour to the south, the United States. Canada has done and can do much to cement their friendship and cooperation. These countries are joined together by a common language, a common political philosophy, by aims and objectives which are the same because of their history; and yet if one considers the aftermath of earlier wars he finds that even those two great democracies, if they so desired, could find issues upon which to divide or which would create sufficient dissension to make it impossible for them to cooperate in a world security organization. To illustrate, I need only direct your attention to the position in the Pacific and the trade rivalries that of necessity exist between those two great countries. If it is difficult for those countries, and our country, to find a unity of purpose sufficient to bind them together as united nations, when one thinks of other nations not so bound together by ties of language and of common philosophies it is easy to be overwhelmed by the difficulties of the task that lies ahead. Again I say we must look upon these difficulties as but a challenge to overcome them.

The third great power of to-day, Russia, is just as important in the final outcome of the setting up of this organization. Unity between Great Britain, the United States and Russia

San Francisco Conference

is of course one of the true keystones of any organization that may be set up. Russia has emerged from a great revolution which occurred some twenty-five or more years ago. She has been engaged in the tremendous task of consolidating her position as a world power and of developing the economic life of a great self-sustaining empire. We know that if the united nations organization is to be fruitful in its results it must be established on an appreciation of the things that unite these three great powers, the United States, Great Britain and Russia and not upon the things that might possibly divide them.

Let me read a statement made by Sir Norman Angell which I think illustrates what I have in mind. Referring to the place of Russia and our relationship to Russia, he says:

The issue this time will not depend so much on guarantees to France as to Russia. For obvious geographical and military reasons, Russia will have the last word concerning future treatment of Germany. Again the same point arises: the outcome will depend, not so much upon whether we can trust Russia, as upon whether Russia can be brought to trust us, to trust that we of the "capitalist west" will not combine against her "in defence of capitalism," and that we will, if she is attacked, come to her aid just as twice within a quarter of a century we went to the aid of France.

We should be realistic in our approach to the task that lies ahead. We must approach this problem so that we shall be able to count on that degree of cooperation between all the powers that will be necessary to make a success of any organization we may hope to set up in San Francisco.

I need not recall the other difficulties, such as the Polish question, and the place that France will understandably seek to gain in this world. One could go over the continents of this earth and in each he will find problems that require the utmost degree of tolerance, the utmost of understanding, the utmost of friendly help if solutions are to be found for the problems that exist, and if the causes of war are to be removed so that this new organization may have some possibility of success.

The history of Canada is to no little degree a lesson in the wisdom of -tolerance and understanding. I hope the Canadian representatives at San Francisco will have in mind some of the lessons that we have gained throughout our history. I recall the brief session of this house last November. The issue then before the house was one that excited, not only a great deal of controversy -but considerable heat in some portions of the house. After everything that could be said seemed to have been said, the debate still continued. I remember a friend of mine coming to sit beside me. He

asked me if I did not think it was an imposition that the members had to listen to the hon. member who was then speaking, and who insisted on making his contribution to that particular debate. While I would have liked the house to get through its business and permit us to go home, I said to him: "Instead of complaining we Canadians should be thankful indeed that we have in this House of Commons an institution that permits us to settle our disputes, and any crisis which may arise in the nation's history, in the manner in which we met that particular crisis, if you care to call it that. How blessed are we that, instead of bullets and armed revolutions and unexpected clashes of armed forces, we have found in our democratic institutions a safety valve of expression which permits our people through their elected representatives to speak their minds, to claim the opportunity to present the viewpoints of their constituents in this House of Commons, and after what is on some occasions a lengthy debate, to accept as a nation the verdict of the majority." So as I say, in Canada's history surely we have learned some lessons which those whose duty it will be to represent Canada not only in the San Francisco conference but in the subsequent organization, may bring to that organization -and help to build up and strengthen it in the work it proposes to do.

Still more so is this true of the British commonwealth of nations. I -recall the remarks of the Prime Minister (Mr. Mackenzie King) in the speech which he made in London last year, when, addressing both houses and referring to Britain and the commonwealth, he used these words:

So long as Britain continues to maintain the spirit of freedom, and to defend the freedom of other nations, she need never doubt her preeminence throughout the world. So long as we all share that spirit we need never fear for the strength or unity of the commonwealth. The voluntary decisions by Britain, by Canada, by Australia, by New Zealand, and by South Africa are a supreme evidence of the unifying force of freedom.

The British commonwealth of nations is of course the earliest league of nations, if you care to call it such, of which the world has record, and in its over-all results, I think all of us must agree, its success has made, time and time and time again, a great contribution to the freedom of all nations, not only those that are partners in the commonwealth. When I think of the British commonwealth I always have in mind some of the examples which are afforded by the history of this group. One is the history of Ireland, particularly southern Ireland; the other is the history of the Union of South Africa. I believe that it is a great

San Francisco Conference

tribute to the reality of the freedom permitted by the British commonwealth that the Irish Free State has exercised its right as an autonomous state to stay out of this war. I disagree with its decision but I recognize the historical value of its right to make that decision. On the other hand the Union of South Africa is fighting by the side of Canada and other component parts of this great commonwealth in the war in which we are now engaged. In considering these contrasted situations, one must first trace the history of the relationship between Great Britain and Ireland, the long period of disunity, occasionally of repression, of frequent application of the special crimes act, and of attempts to enforce upon Ireland certain decisions of the central power; and note the results of that policy. Think on the other hand of the result of Britain's wisdom, immediately upon the conclusion of the South African war, in giving to the Boers complete freedom to govern themselves within the framework of the British commonwealth. When I see the dividends which that policy of tolerance and generosity has paid in the results which have flowed from it, I say that the commonwealth of nations has set an example to the united nations which they may well respect and follow, and from which they can draw useful lessons.

In reflecting upon Canada's war effort, the magnitude and amazing success of which in its contribution to the common cause is generally recognized, I am struck by the advantages we have reaped by profiting by the mistakes wdiich were made in the last war and in the period which followed that war. In the setting up of an organization to preserve international peace and security, I believe we would be wise, as most of the speakers have indicated, to study the experiences of the past, and observe why the efforts which were made after the last war were not as successful as it was hoped they would be. Some of those errors are quite apparent. One was that the task was not undertaken until the completion of the war. Over sixty nations gathered at Versailles without the unifying influence of a common war effort and attempted to find by discussion there a basis of peace and of the establishment of a league of nations. Looking back, one is not in the least surprised that in the atmosphere of selfishness, hatred and bitterness engendered by the war, the human beings who led the conference at that time found it impossible to establish a successful institution. I am delighted that in our day we have shown wisdom in not waiting until the end of the war to sow seeds which in time may grow into a strong

and vigorous organization to preserve the peace of the world. I think too that we have gained greatly from the conversations which have taken place between the heads of states and from the various conferences which have led up to the one which is to take place in San Francisco.

Another mistake which was made in 1919 was in tying the league of nations covenant to the peace treaties, which were signed as it were under duress by enemy nations. One of the wisest things that those who took part in the Dumbarton Oaks conference did was to separate completely from the work of the united nations organization the task of dictating or enforcing peace terms between the belligerents in this war. It will give that organization the opportunity to stay apart from the inevitable dissatisfaction w'hich will result from those peace treaties, signed1 under duress, as necessity dictates, with all the implications of continued occupation and control which they must contain. So I am greatly encouraged, as I say, that in these conferences, seeking to eliminate a good many of the things which might divide the larger conference, we have already taken many steps towards ensuring the success of the San Francisco conference. You will recall that as early as May, 1943, at Hot Springs in Virginia, a conference was called to consider and make recommendations with regard to food and agriculture. Then at Atlantic City a little later there was another conference to deal with relief and rehabilitation; then at Bretton Woods a conference to deal with monetary and financial matters, and finally the conference held at Dumbarton Oaks to consider the setting up of the framework of an organization to preserve international peace and security. It is true that the organizations dealing with these specific matters are functional in their character, as has been said; but it is hoped, as indicated by the suggestions for a charter contained in the Dumbarton Oaks agreement, that finally the assembly of the united nations will undertake the task of correlating the activities of these different economic and socially-minded groups.

I think, too, that the great powers who took part in the Dumbarton Oaks conference, in the long run, did the cause which they seek to serve a great service by not being too specific in the setting up of the proposed organization. I was pleased this afternoon to hear the Prime Minister suggest that it might be wise to provide in the charter for a future meeting, say in five or ten years' time, in which, in the light of the atmosphere of that day, such changes could be made in the organization as were found to be necessary.

San Francisco Conference

Let us be certain of this, that at the conclusion of a war that has so devastated the world as the present one has done, the people of the world, even the statesmen of the world, since they are human, are hardly in a frame of mind conducive to the founding of an organization that hopes to perform the great service to mankind that this united nations organization, it is hoped, will render. So that we must of necessity cast our min'ds some years ahead; and, thinking in terms of that future, I believe it would be wise to give to the San Francisco conference the right to include in the charter some provision whereby the united nations will recognize the necessity of perhaps periodically reviewing the set-up and making such changes as will render it more workable and better able to fit into the framework of the worlds needs.

One of the arguments raised against the proposed plan, and it is a most natural one, is the fear that the three or four or five great powers may constitute a threat to the freedom and liberty of the smaller nations. However, like other speakers who have preceded me, I do not believe that the success or failure of the new organization will depend on the authority that is given to the members of the security council. I think we must recognize that power rests somewhere in this world, and at the moment, being realistic, we must know that the combination of the power of the United States, Russia, and Great Britain constitutes that military strength either to enforce peace or to cause another war. It is the use and direction of that power that we are concerned with, and when we must impose upon the countries possessing that military strength and power a responsibility, it seems to me to follow that we must of necessity recognize the responsibility they assume; and certainly in the earlier days of this organization we must give them the safeguards that will permit them to work without too much fear of accepting that responsibility.

I am certain that this united nations organization will not fail because we have given the great powers, too much authority. It will fail if, in the development of that organization, we do not win, along with the responsibilities that should go with it, the good will and understanding of all those great powers. The alternative of course-you and I know it-is that if we do not succeed in that purpose the great power that might disagree with the attitude of the united nations could walk out; and then of course we would have a repetition of the history of the past, and that power will inevitably attempt to gather about it-Germany perhaps, Japan perhaps, or some other nation-the countries that are discontented

with their lot in life. And then we shall find in truth two great groups of powers again facing one another with opposite purposes and different objectives.

That is the situation that inevitably leads to the outbreak of war. It seems to me therefore that Canada need not fear the authority that is given to the powers who must accept the chief share of the responsibility of preserving peace, because when we persuade them to join with the smaller powers in forming the united organization, if we succeed in convincing them that it is to the interest of each to continue to be a member of that united nations organization and make the contribution which each can, then I think there will be hope that the new organization will succeed where in that regard at least the league of nations failed.

Personally I believe that there was never in the world's history such an opportunity for gaining that measure of cooperation between the great powers as exists to-day. When we view the attitude of the people of the United States after the last war and view the attitude of the people and of the government of that great nation to-day; when we see Russia, great as it is in military strength, committed to the task of developing its own country's resources, I am convinced that the three powers, Great Britain, the United States, and Russia, have a common objective, namely, in their own interests to preserve peace. Relying upon that, I am not at all concerned at giving them a certain measure of authority in dictating the important decisions of the security council. I would ask the members of the house to consider this. We cannot hope to impose upon another country our political philosophy. We must take those countries as they are and seek to find a common purpose in pursuit of a common objective and somehow make them work to that objective and with that purpose in view.

President Wilson's remark that we fought in the first war to make the world safe for democracy is, I am afraid, not a correct statement of the position that we are in to-day. I think it would be more correctly put if we said that we are fighting to preserve for ourselves and others who believe in democracy, and who are capable of being governed by such a philosophy, the right to be so governed. But, I think every nation must accept within the framework of the united nations organization the principle that every country has the right to govern itself as it thinks best in its own interest.

San Francisco Conference

I noticed that the hon. member for Rose-town-Biggar (Mr. Coldwell) spent some time dealing with the very important subject of trade policy. With his statements, of course, I am in full agreement; but I would suggest that it is not likely that even that particular subject will be a matter for discussion at San Francisco; that it, like the other matters coming under the economic and social council of the proposed organization, will have to await the agreements between the nations and the submission of these to this parliament in due course. I think that this House of Commons and our delegates should confine themselves to the primary and paramount objective of setting up an organization that will hold out the hope to this world of the maintenance of international peace and security. I believe that if we keep that one objective in mind, bend all our unity, devote all our efforts to doing what we can to further that objective, we shall be doing what our Canadian people would have us do at San Francisco.

Sometimes it has been said that Great Britain in its hour of need always finds a great leader. Without introducing any party note into this discussion, but speaking more as a Canadian than as a member of the Liberal party, I say that Canada is indeed fortunate in sending a delegation to San Francisco which will be headed by a man of the character, experience and capacity of the present Prime Minister. I do not believe that any leader of any opposition group in this house would care to disagree with me in that. If ever a nation and if ever we as individual members of this House of Commons had an opportunity to contribute something of a worthwhile nature to the cause of world peace then surely that moment is now. In sending a delegation to San Francisco, headed by a man whose friendship with the United States and with the other members of the British commonwealth of nations is such that it will give him a position of great influence, we are doing something that I think will pay large dividends not only to Canada but to the cause of peace. I am extremely grateful that Providence has placed us in that position and given us that leadership.

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LIB

Gaspard Fauteux

Liberal

Mr. GASPARD FAUTEUX (St. Mary) (Translation):

Mr. Speaker, as has already been announced, in a few weeks there will be held in San Francisco a conference where representatives of great powers, who have brought about the victory which we hope will soon come, will become the architects whose task it will be to prepare plans and specifications and who will have to give us to-morrow that better world which has been promised for

quite a long time. Only a few years ago, when the Germans overran Europe and conquered France, Belgium, Holland, Luxembourg and the Baltic States, the leaders of those great nations succeeded in marshalling the military strength and in organizing the production of their countries in a way that enabled us to withstand the onslaught of a seemingly invulnerable enemy and reconquer the countries we had lost. Those same leaders will soon meet in San Francisco in order to work out, as I said a moment ago, plans and specifications that will ensure us, as we hope, a better world to live in after the war.

It is obvious that the citizens of European countries, which have been overrun twice within a period of twenty years, that those families who have lost fathers or mothers, sons or daughters, not to mention their worldly possessions, their farms, trades and industries, will turn their thoughts and cast their eyes in the direction of San Francisco in the hope that from that conference will emerge a formula of peace and future happiness.

The conference will hear various proposals in connection with the establishment of an international organization having the following aims:

(1) To maintain international peace and security; and to that end to take effective collective measures for the prevention and removal of threats to the peace and the suppression ef acts of aggression or other breaches of the peace, and to bring about by peaceful means adjustment or settlement of international disputes which may lead to a breach of the peace;

(2) To develop friendly relations among nations and to take other appropriate measures to strengthen universal peace;

(3) To achieve international cooperation in the solution of international economic, social and other humanitarian problems; and

(4) To afford a centre for harmonizing the actions of nations in the achievement of these common ends.

I repeat the third paragraph:

To achieve international cooperation in the solution of international economic, social and other humanitarian problems.

Mr. Chairman, at the outbreak of war, one thing has been a surprise to many and has provoked a number of questions. How is it, it was often asked, that our government or so many countries can find so much money for war purposes when, immediately before, there were no funds available to provide jobs. Overnight, war having been declared, countless billions were readily on hand for waging war. The answer was as follows: When a country is at war, people are easily incited to make sacrifices, to assume heavy tax burdens for defence and military activities. Would not

San Francisco Conference

our people or the peoples who have suffered this infernal war for five years, be willing to make the same sacrifices to maintain peace? Among the plans and specifications which the united nations conference to be held at San Francisco will consider, many will concern the best ways to ensure world peace, to prevent war among nations. Numerous measures will be investigated to establish an organization entrusted with the task of ensuring security and applying penalties on any nation guilty of aggression. Care will also be taken, unless I delude myself on the nature of the work to be undertaken in San Francisco, to organize the economical life of the various countries so that they will be satisfied without having to covet the property of their neighbours. Such a result, I believe, is feasible. The united nations, it seems to me, could ensure through their organization a sound economy for all the nations.

Everyone will admit, I think, that Canada has done wonders in controlling her economy since the beginning of the war. It is true that numerous restrictions and controls have been imposed, and that the heavy taxes which our people have had to pay have entailed sacrifices on their part.

But, on the other hand, if it has been found possible to develop our production to the point where our soldiers have been supplied with everything they needed to wage war, never before have we been so prosperous and have we seen so much money being spent.. If it is possible to so adjust the economy of a country in war time in order to attain full production, to provide employment for all our workers, to allow our farmers to achieve maximum production, then the same thing could be done in peace time if the same men who go to San Francisco, and who have so well succeeded in organizing the economy of their own country, endeavour to organize the economy of the world at large.

Indeed, not only have the countries which have united to wage war been asked to produce to the limit of their capacity, but international pools have been organized in order to provide each of the united nations with the raw materials and other supplies needed to prosecute the war.

As it had been realized that some of the united nations were short of certain products while others had surpluses, offices were set up in Washington, which are called "combined boards." in order to supply each country with the necessary foodstuffs. Those countries which had an over supply could not dispose of them without authority from the Com-

bined Food Board, at Washington, on which there were representatives of the united nations, and from Canada.

There is also an office for the control of machinery and tools and all that is needed in industry to help those countries where shortages or oversupplies exist.

Why could not such controls continue after the war in order to provide work and food and ensure the comfort of the population of the various countries? You will recall that a few years ago-and it is unthinkable that such a situation could be allowed to prevail in a civilized world-wheat growers of Western Canada did not know what to do with their grain while, on the other hand, in other countries, such as China for instance, thousands and millions of people were starving to death. Likewise, a few years ago the United States government paid bonuses to farmers to kill their hogs in order to prevent over-production while in other countries starvation was rampant.

Often enough people are asking themselves, and rightly so, especially in urban centres, in cities like the one in which I live-Montreal- what will become to-morrow of the numerous war plants where thousands and thousands of people are employed. When victory has been achieved, when we no longer need to produce tanks, aircraft, war materials, to what use will the plants be put, what will become of these workers?

The answer that comes to the mind of many is that farm implements, automobiles, radios, electric refrigerators or other appliances now indispensable in households and which at present are scarce, can be manufactured. However, a question one might also ask is: What shall we do with such goods at the end of two or three years when the people's needs have been met, if there is no export market?

A peace organization whose object would be to ensure international cooperation in the solution of international humanitarian problems in economic and social fields, or in other spheres could take action with a view to raising the standard of living of millions of people in China and in India, so that they might become purchasers for all commodities we could produce and which are to be found everywhere, even in our most humble homes, and which would be quite useful to them. To my mind, the San Francisco organization, in raising the living standard of those people, in endeavouring to improve economic and social conditions in all those countries, would accomplish efficient work for preserving world peace.

When people are unemployed, when they can find no work, and cannot earn a living, they are prone to listen to demagogues who

San Francisco Conference

expound their theories to them.. That is how Hitler took power in Germany, as Mussolini had done in Italy. In order to give their people bread and employment they had to convert their peacetime industries into war plants. After producing everything required for waging an armed conflict, they declared war, they -waged war, and they set afire not only Europe but also Asia. If I emphasize that point, it is because my constituents are still wondering, as I said at the beginning of my remarks, how it is that before war was declared there was no money for putting them to work while to-day they are required to work night and day.

My object in making these few remarks is also to plead on behalf of the people whom I represent and to whom I have stated time and again, with the leaders of Canada, of the United States and of Great Britain: If you are requested to make sacrifices for victory, if you are asked to tighten your belt so that more money may be put into the country's treasury to help win the war, if you are asked to give your sons and your daughters so that democracy and Christendom may be saved, it is because we believe that we shall destroy the nazi and fascist dictatorships and ensure a better world for you after the war.

A better world, Mr. Speaker, is not simply a world made better through the elimination of the nazis, of the fascists and of the Japanese. A better world does not simply mean victory, it means peace in victory. Peace in victory, peace in the home, peace in the country, Mr. Speaker, is brought about by employment. Such a peace is ensured in the home when heads of families can secure employment, when on their return home at night they can provide for the needs of their family. To our Canadian heads of families, our workers and farmers, it means as much work and prodtiction in peacetime as there has been during the war. We shall have peace only in so far as the leaders of Canada and the leaders of the world organize a sound economy in the various countries. I mean that people might not in peacetime destroy one another for the sake of profits, or endeavour to satisfy their ambitions by raising tariff walls to ruin their neighbours. We shall have peace in our Canadian homes and our boys shall return from Europe, in a truly better world, after having served four or five years overseas, if the leaders of the united nations can set up for after the war the world they have promised, and if they can transform a war economy into a peace economy based on the same principles and the same needs.

Mr. Chairman, I am proud to hear that Canada will send representatives to the San Francisco conference. Our country has played a great part in this world war; it has become known throughout the world and it has aroused universal admiration. I am sure that Canada who has shown herself to be a strong and1 great nation in order to win the war will show herself to be equally strong and great in order to win the peace and to ensure to the Canadian people peace in victory, thus fulfilling the promise of Canadian ideals and of a truly better future for the Canadian people.

Topic:   SAN FRANCISCO CONFERENCE
Subtopic:   PROPOSED GENERAL INTERNATIONAL ORGANIZATION FOR MAINTENANCE OF PEACE AND SECURITY
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LIB

John Gordon Ross

Liberal

Mr. J. G. ROSS (Moose Jaw):

Mr. Speaker, I believe this resolution portends one of the greatest events to take place in the civilized world of this time. It is therefore astonishing that the official opposition, which has been going across Canada from one end to the other telling the people that they are prepared to take over the government of the country, even during war or immediately thereafter, and to look after the affairs of the country, has not offered one man to say a word to-day in this debate. Perhaps they have not enough leaders. They have one outside the house and one inside-[DOT]

Topic:   SAN FRANCISCO CONFERENCE
Subtopic:   PROPOSED GENERAL INTERNATIONAL ORGANIZATION FOR MAINTENANCE OF PEACE AND SECURITY
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?

An hon. MEMBER:

Two inside.

Topic:   SAN FRANCISCO CONFERENCE
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LIB

John Gordon Ross

Liberal

Mr. ROSS (Moose Jaw):

Yes, perhaps two inside the house. Maybe it is a case of too many cooks spoiling the broth. At any rate they do not seem prepared for anything at the present time, and had to turn over to the leader of the C.C.F. party the privilege of answering in the debate.

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NAT

Gordon Knapman Fraser

National Government

Mr. FRASER (Peterborough West):

That is a lot of bunk.

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LIB

John Gordon Ross

Liberal

Mr. ROSS (Moose Jaw):

Your party is; yes, I believe you are right.

Topic:   SAN FRANCISCO CONFERENCE
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NAT

Gordon Knapman Fraser

National Government

Mr. FRASER (Peterborough West):

I had reference to what you are talking about.

Topic:   SAN FRANCISCO CONFERENCE
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LIB

John Gordon Ross

Liberal

Mr. ROSS (Moose Jaw):

When you are prepared to get up and make a speech, get up and make it. Don't sit there and interrupt.

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Subtopic:   PROPOSED GENERAL INTERNATIONAL ORGANIZATION FOR MAINTENANCE OF PEACE AND SECURITY
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NAT

Gordon Knapman Fraser

National Government

Mr. FRASER (Peterborough West):

The Prime Minister made one statement yesterday and a different one to-day.

Topic:   SAN FRANCISCO CONFERENCE
Subtopic:   PROPOSED GENERAL INTERNATIONAL ORGANIZATION FOR MAINTENANCE OF PEACE AND SECURITY
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LIB

John Gordon Ross

Liberal

Mr. ROSS (Moose Jaw):

The San Francisco conference is of great importance to Canada, as it is to all other countries. After the last war many men of good will endeavoured to set up an organization to outlaw war. As we all know, they did not altogether succeed. They partly succeeded. Although the last war was called a great world war, few countries were really harmed to any great extent

San Francisco Conference

because the fighting was in a fairly small area. One of the great nations which made an important contribution in that war and whose leader endeavoured to set up that organization let him down when he came back and would not take the place it should have taken in that organization. After the last war the great nations were not as sincere as they are to-day. I remember I had the privilege of going to Europe shortly after the last war and attending the disarmament conference held in Geneva in 1932, although not as an official delegate. Some sixty nations were represented. I spent some ten days listening to the deliberations and I was struck with the similarity of the people who were there. I could see little difference between any of the nationalities on the floor of that great conference hall. There was some little difficulty at the start of the conference when the delegates of Japan pulled out. Trouble started between Japan and China, but when the conference got under way it looked as though some real progress would be made. Things seemed to be going quite well, but finally one gentleman rose and made a fiery speech, and the conference was ended.

That conference was held in Europe in the midst of prejudices and suspicions where wars had been carried on for generation after generation, where every nation seemed to have something against some other nation. This coming conference is to be held in a new world where people are more friendly, where I think they are more advanced in their ideas. The world has had a terrible lesson in this war. Practically every country that has taken part has been devastated except our own and the United States of America.

The great powers to-day are different from the great powers of the last war. They are sincere in what they intend to do from now on. I think the world has learned the lesson it needed in order to set up an organization to outlaw war for all time. Russia is a new nation without the prejudices of the old nations of Europe. The United States is a new nation, and Great Britain has always had advanced opinions if she could only get others to do what she wished to do. Last but not least, the contribution of this new country of Canada to the conference in San Francisco will be great.

' Then there are the pan-American countries which are looking to Canada for partial leadership and to hear expounded some erf the ideas in which they believe. Canada has made a remarkable contribution in this war, a contribution recognized by everyone, especially outside Canada. She is at present the third

trading nation in the world. She has, I believe, the fourth air force in the world, and when the war is over she will have the third navy in the world. She is second in mutual aid and assistance, and she is the only country outside of the United States of America that has paid her whole way in this war and has helped her allies to get along with their own part of the war as well. For her population she has been able to supply more food, munitions, supplies, ships and the wherewithal to fight the war than any other country. Therefore she should have a prominent place in the conference at San Francisco and in the peace conference that will come later.

This afternoon the Prime Minister (Mr. Mackenzie King) referred to trade as one of the subjects that will have to be discussed in the conference. He was followed by the leader of the Cooperative Commonwealth Federation (Mr. Coldwell), who also spoke of trade as being an important issue. I was glad to hear that, because there 'have been times when my friends of that party have not taken the same view as I have in regard to trade. We all know that trade can be carried on properly only in a peaceful world. There can be no peace in the world if trade is to be directed by the nations to their own advantage by restrictions imposed at the expense of other countries. It is generally agreed now throughout the world that harmony and progress can be achieved only if trade barriers, quotas and exchange restrictions are eliminated in order that the commerce of the world may flow freely from one part to another. It is a great consolation to me as a humble individual to hear so many people speaking along this line and to know that they have finally come to see the light in regard to world trade. I have seldom made a speech in this House of Commons without advocating free trade for Canada and for the world.

History has taught us that the preparations for war start with a policy of self-sufficiency. Every time a country wants to prepare for war it starts to make itself self-sufficient in order not to have to import while the war is on. If this conference is able to steer the world to a place where nations will not be allowed to put trade barriers against each other, then it will be doing a great deal to keep us out of future wars.

On the way home from attending the disarmament conference I visited Milan. Being a foreigner and having to take a train I thought it would be best to get to the train a little ahead of time. I bought a copy of the London Daily Mail which was printed on the continent and got into a compartment designed to hold

San Francisco Conference

eight people. I started to read my newspaper. Shortly before the train pulled out, seven men came into the compartment. The train started, and these men began talking in Italian, so I could not understand anything they said. Finally I noticed particularly one man across from me. He spoke to the man next to me and they exchanged places; and this gentleman said to me in very good English, "You are an American?" I said, "No, I am a Canadian." "What part of Canada do you come from?" I said, "Saskatchewan." He said, "Out where the wheat grows?" I said, "Yes." "Well", he said, "that is a peculiar coincidence. These seven men who are with me here in the car are all wheat merchants from Genoa. We have been in Milan for a conference." Then he said to me, "Don't you think we are all a little crazy?" I said, "I don't know, maybe we are; but why do you say so?" "Well," he said, "you come from a wheat country and I understand 3'ou grow wheat?" I said, "Yes." He said, "We are all wheat merchants here. We used to import from your country twenty-five million bushels of wheat through the port of Genoa. To-day we import nothing. We are unable to buy your wheat and you are unable to sell your wheat. We over here feel that you are the same as Americans." And he said, "The United States placed tariffs against our country on many of the things we used to sell them, and therefore our country placed tariffs against the thipgs which you used to sell us. Now you find yourself unable to sell any of your grain and we cannot buy any of it, and you know what our bread is like in Italy now." There is an example of the consequences of one country placing a tariff against another.

I travelled from there to England, a eountry which for eighty-five years had had free trade and had become under free trade the greatest trading nation in the world. Largely the cause of its prosperity was free trade. Great Britain exported the greatest amount of products per head of population of any country in the world. Yet she produced very few raw materials; she had to import them from all over the world, process them and then export them. She was selling to the protected countries of the world. The wage scale in England was higher than in any of the neighbouring European countries, while she had free trade and they had protection. Her social services were much greater than those of any other country in that part of the world, while she maintained much more of her own market than did any protected country in Europe at that time. She was the great carrier of the trade of other countries, receiving tremendous returns from the carrying trade of her ships, from the insurance she

placed upon cargoes, and from the financing of her trade with other countries. At that time an election had been held in England, and the Conservative party had come into power and were bringing in a tariff for the first time in eighty-five years. Their story was that England had more men unemployed than previously, that business was not as good as it had been, and they blamed these conditions on her free trade policy. But that was not the reason; for the protected countries had suffered far more from trade depression than England had, and the fact that they had ceased to trade with one another deprived England of many millions of pounds because she could not carry their imports and exports; she could not finance cargoes or get insurance on their trade.

I had the great privilege while in England of going to the House of Lords and hearing the late Viscount Snowden speak on the tariff bill. The report of his speech is in the parliamentary debates of the House of Lords, September 8, 1931 to March 24, 1932, which will be found in the library, and I would commend to every hon. member a reading of it. It is too bad that hon. members could not have heard him. He was a little man, and crippled; when he rose to speak he had to walk with the aid of two canes to the clerk's desk in the centre of the chamber and put both hands on it. He made one of the finest speeches I have ever heard. It was not interrupted by anyone. I happened to remark to a British member of parliament who was standing alongside of me at the bar of the house that I did not notice anybody interrupting Viscount Snowden. He said to me, "A man does not generally stir up a beehive"; and I guess that was the explanation. He was a great speaker; he had all his facts and figures-and they are in the report.-which absolutely prove the case for free trade so far as Great Britain is concerned. .

Canada is vitally interested in trade, and it will be more interested after this war than ever before in her history. During the war we have developed our agricultural production over fifty per cent; we have also, developed our lumbering, our mining, our fishing and our manufacturing to the point where we must have outside markets or we cannot carry on. As a matter of fact we shall be very much interested in every conference which takes place in order that during the short period after the war, when rehabilitation is taking place in other countries, we can make arrangements, if necessary giving credits, for the promotion of our trade so that this great production may be maintained and the resultant wages amongst our people kept

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San Francisco Conference

flowing. In this matter we cannot be represented by other parts of the British commonwealth of nations because when this war is over we shall not see eye to eye with them in trade matters. Take for instance Australia, one of the countries which the hon. member for Vancouver East (Mr. Maclnnis) and I had an opportunity of visiting last summer. I am afraid that Australia will be putting up tariffs instead of taking them off when this war is over. There are in every country special interests that always want tariffs and try to find good excuses for having them imposed. While I was over there I heard certain industrialists say: "We were not prepared for war with Japan, and we had to build up certain industries so as to be able to fight this war; therefore, in order to be in a position to fight another war if it ever comes, we are going to have to build, by protection, industry in this country." That is a story that has been heard in many countries for many years. In Canada we have found during this war that in order to produce for war it was better for us to lower our tariffs than to raise them. We have found that it was better for us to allow products of one kind or another to flow freely across the boundary between the United States and Canada, because thereby both countries were able to produce more, and more economically, than they could have done without that free flow of goods.

Canada is to send a delegation to San Francisco. As the member for Swift Current (Mr. Graham) said a few moments ago, we are extremely fortunate in this country in having the Prime Minister we have to head that delegation. For many years, long before the President of the United States assumed that office, the Prime Minister was a personal friend of that man, and that personal friendship has allowed Canada and the United States, the Prime Minister and the President, to sit down together time after time during this war, and indeed before it, and work out things to the great advantage of both countries.

We must send to that conference in San Francisco men from all parties, if you will, but men of good will all of them, men prepared to go there and sit down with the representatives of other nations and discuss matters for the benefit of all nations and not just for our own little needs as we see them ourselves.

We have become a great nation during this war. We have become the leader of the secondary nations and we must be ready and willing to take our place in that conference. When that time comes the Prime Minister will select the men to go with him on that delegation, and the contribution that will be

\Mr. -T. G. Ross.]

made by him and by the delegation from Canada will have an effect on the world for many -years to come.

Topic:   SAN FRANCISCO CONFERENCE
Subtopic:   PROPOSED GENERAL INTERNATIONAL ORGANIZATION FOR MAINTENANCE OF PEACE AND SECURITY
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IND

Liguori Lacombe

Independent Liberal

Mr. LIGUORI LACOMBE (Laval-Two Mountains) (Translation):

Mr. Chairman, this house is not authorized to send representatives to the San Francisco conference, for the following reasons: In that place and time, even the Prime Minister himself (Mr. King) would not be speaking on behalf of Canada. If he does, all he says and accomplishes will be null and void. After April 17, his term as member of this house will have expired. The same thing applies to the leader of the opposition (Mr. Graydon) and every one of the hon. members of this house, including myself; our terms of office will have run out. So as to be truly representative, one needs a mandate. Neither the Prime Minister, the leader of the opposition nor any member of the present parliament will be authorized to represent Canada at San Francisco, on April 25. They will represent nobody, absolutely no one. I know of certain drafters of charters who, although authorized to do so, found out after two years of study, that they had accomplished nothing. What could we expect of such a delegation to San Francisco? Neither a charter nor any valid agreements. Such a delegation will have no authority whatever to bind Canada at the conference. Let us not take any undertakings that the next parliament will never ratify. Only a new house comprising representatives of the people could discharge the right to send delegates to the conference from its newly elected members. For my part, I refuse to vote a single cent of the public funds to defray the expenses of this delegation whose powers will be nil and whose decisions will be void, because they will be exercised or taken by persons not responsible to the Canadian people.

To allow the Prime Minister and members of this parliament to represent our country at this conference would constitute the worst form of cynicism. Safeguard of democracy and of the government of the people by the people; protector of freedom, of justice and of right; defender of Christianity and minorities; battling side by side with Soviet Russia, will Canada dare delegate to San Francisco a Prime Minister ruling without a mandate over a country with no parliament? If that should happen, nothing is impossible. Once again our constitution is trampled under foot by the very man and the very government who so many times were returned to power by arguments in defence of this constitution. Liberty, justice, right and minorities have been violated and disregarded by an administration

San Francisco Conference

that declared war and imposed conscription without authority to do so, by a nation which, without a flag of its own, is struggling against the worst economic chaos, by reason of the fault of those very people wlm are asking us to allow them to go to San Francisco in order that they may approve the principle of Canadian intervention in any part of the war-torn wmrld. No, we are already so poor that we should remain at home from now on, so that we might prepare for the return of our sons and daughters whom we may soon expect. Everything commands the Prime Minister to ask His Excellency the Governor General to dissolve parliament at once. The people of Canada have lost confidence in him long ago. I need no other proof of this but the repeated defeats of his candidates during the last two years and the recent defeat of the Minister of National Defence, Mr. McNaughton. It was a disaster and the interested parties are not ignorant of the causes of this defeat.

Contempt for the truth, engagements broken and national disunion, those are the results of the unspeakable attitude of a government elected five years ago on a definite programme. Because he has given in step by step, since the mobilization act, to the Imperialists and disowned the true Canadians, the Prime Minister will have lost everything by sacrificing the friends of Canada to those who are not true Canadians. We should profit by the experience of the past. Our membership in the last league of nations has brought on us only travelling and living expenses for a useless personnel in- Geneva. The voice of Canada was not heard at the conferences of Casablanca and Crimea, nor at the other conferences. The San Francisco conference will of necessity refer to the previous discussions where we were not represented. Why should Canada be represented at that meeting where the discussions will be on questions dealt with in previous conferences where Canada was ignored? To prepare a charter, as it is said in the speech from the throne? We know what those charters are worth. For two years I listened to the most eulogious speeches in praise of the Atlantic Charter, and then we were told by the President of the United States himself that it had never existed. How all that looks like the fallacious bait of the great principles that precipitated Canada into this war. The noble and lofty aim of the Allies was then to defend Poland against the German hordes and the Russian legions. And, by some cruel reversal of events, Poland is sacrificed, divided and dismembered with the complaisance of the same people who had declared war to safeguard her integrity and her

rights. It is all very well to set up an international organization to maintain world peace and security, but only through having regard to the rights of all martyred peoples to life, justice and liberty can such an organization build something lasting.

Social injustice has been one of the ultimate causes of armed conflicts. Ever since the mobilization act was passed, economic dictatorship has been supreme in Canadian developments and politics. We are ruled by commissions which have substituted themselves to genuine government. The financial magnates, many of whom control the whole national economy, are forcing their selfish views and their will upon the Canadian people. Small businesses have a growing tendency to be overwhelmed bj' the weight of monopolies. Unbridled capitalism is what is to be most dreaded. Under cover of economic liberalism and democracy, the reign of dictatorship has been established in Canada. The unlimited powers bestowed on the government and its commissions by the mobilization act have become a source of untold abuses. As long as social injustice and hatred prevail in the world, international peace and security cannot exist. All those who have some understanding of humanity and of civilization are sincerely seeking peace in the universe.

The concluding paragraph of the preamble of the resolution before the house reads as follows:

Whereas the government of Canada has accepted the invitation to send representatives to this conference.

And the first paragraph of the resolution reads thus:

That this house endorses the acceptance by the government of Canada of the invitation to send representatives to the conference.

That is a strange way to proceed. In their customary manner, the government accept the invitations take the engagements then ask parliament to approve everything.

Parliament was not consulted prior to the acceptance of this invitation by the government. The Prime Minister could have called the members together a few days earlier for the purpose of submitting this invitation to them. But no, the government, following their habitual course, decided to accept the invitation of their own accord. They now ask the house to approve the engagement they have taken without consulting the members. Too long has parliament been ignored. Each member represents in this house thousands of electors. We do not wish merely to be the laughing-stock of the invidious bureaucracy

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ruling over Canada these last five years. The cup is filled to the brim. I have unceasingly protested against this curtailment of the members' privileges since the declaration of war and the adoption of the mobilization act.

What has 'become of the supremacy of parliament so dear to the Prime Minister? What has happened these last few years to the privileges of the house? All that has been ignored, dilapidated even. The day is not far away when that dictatorship will be crushed under the weight of public opinion. The Canadian voters are only waiting for the chance to speak freely on general election day.

I call the attention of the house to the fourth paragraph of "the proposals for the establishment of a general international organization for the maintenance of international peace and security." I shall read that paragraph which I find at page 12 of the pamphlet embodying these proposals:

Should the Security Council consider such measures to be inadequate, it should be empowered to take such action by air, naval or land forces as may be necessary to maintain or restore international peace and security. Such action may include demonstrations, blockade and other operations by air, sea or land forces of members of the organization.

We realize at once the importance and the seriousness of the engagements which the delegation to San Francisco might enter into on behalf of Canada. Our air, naval and land forces would be requisitioned at any time by the future league of nations to serve anywhere in the world. And we would empower the delegates to that conference to take such actions heavy with consequences or even to discuss their advisability? I say that this should not be done before a public expression of opinion. Parliament can not and should not appoint a delegation entrusted with such powers. I refuse to believe that Canada, once the war is over, should mobilize her resources for the protection of world security. I object to the sending of a delegation of members no longer in office to that conference; it would be contrary to our constitution, to custom, and to law. With many others, I wonder if it would not be more appropriate and reasonable to restore order in our owm country, to stabilize our finances, and to prepare our youth for careers worthy of their sacrifice. In short, let us put an end to our international commitments. Let us undertake the rebuilding of our economic structure which is crumbling. Let us think first of our own, of the sons and daughter^ of Canada who will be returning to this country. They shall have the right to work and to positions worthy of their sacrifices. Up to now, the government has found twenty

billions for war purposes. We shall need as much, and maybe more for works of peace. Peace and national security for Canada should be our greatest worries. To that noble task we should devote all our energy and our resources. Let us use them for our own people and for our country. I know that my call will not be heard. At least I shall have fulfilled my duty to my country and to my people. Those who. without a mandate from the Canadian people, will go to that conference and subscribe to new commitments shall assume before history the dangerous consequences of their acts.

On motion of Mr. Stirling the debate was adjourned.

On motion of Mr. Mackenzie King the house adjourned at 10.35 p.m.

Wednesday, March 21, 1945

Topic:   SAN FRANCISCO CONFERENCE
Subtopic:   PROPOSED GENERAL INTERNATIONAL ORGANIZATION FOR MAINTENANCE OF PEACE AND SECURITY
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March 20, 1945