The hon. member for Chambly-Rouville (Mr. Dupuis) is nearer the Tories than I am because he has been supporting the Liberal party, which is on the road to imperialism and Toryism, and since 1940 it has been in accord with the Tories. So that a Liberal Tory or a Conservative Tory is nothing but a Tory.
Mr. Speaker, before proceeding with the remarks I intend to make this evening, I wish to take up a statement in the speech delivered by the hon. member for Gaspe (Mr. Roy). I want to state immediately that I do so in the best spirit, simply to do justice to the hon. member for Beauharnois-Laprairie (Mr. Raymond). The hon. member for Gaspe said that the hon. member for Beauharnois-Laprairie blamed him for having, last year, demanded that Canada participate to the allied conferences. On the contrary, the hon. member voted last year for the proposal made by the hon. member for Gaspe. What he took the hon. member to task for, was the inconsistency of the attitude he takes this year against our being a party to the San Francisco conference with that he took last year when he urged upon the government that we be represented at the allied conferences. The government of the United States of America, on behalf of itself and of the governments of the United Kingdom, of Russia and other countries, has invited the government of Canada to send representatives to the conference of the united nations to be held an April 25, 1945, at San Francisco to prepare a charter for a general international organization for the maintenance of international peace and security.
I am not opposed to the setting up of a powerful organization that would strive to maintain peace and to adopt joint and efficient measures to prevent and eliminate all threats to peace, to encourage good relations between all nations and to establish international cooperation.
I do not think any one would object to such an organization that, would be truly democratic.
Does not the Pope, in the speech he delivered over the Vatican station on Christmas eve:
Consider that the unity of mankind and the community of peoples is a moral necessity and the crowning-piece of social progress.
And the Pope added:
The recognition of that principle is the key to both the future and the peace. No world reform, no peace guarantee can break away from that principle without losing its strength and without being inconsistent.
The inalienable rights of the individual require as their safeguard the authority of the state. The same holds true for the nations. Their individual sovereignty will always run
the risk of being violated by a stronger neighbour if it is not supported by the supreme authority of a truly democratic league of nations.
By these words, the Pope recognizes the necessity of an international organization for the maintenance of world peace.
And further down in his same message, Pious XII does not hesitate to confer the widest powers to a central authority which he would like to see.
invested, by general consent, with the supreme power to kill at its source any menace of individual or collective aggression.
In case of aggression, judicial intervention by the other nations will follow and the organization for the maintenance of peace will punish the aggressor by means of economic, or other, sanctions. However, whatever powers this authority may possess, it must never sanction any injustice nor detract from any right to the detriment of any nation, be it amongst the victorious, the neutral or the defeated countries.
Mr. Speaker, it is evident to-day that the people are divided between an ardent longing for peace and a genuine terror at the thought that this horrible war may be but the prelude of something still more dreadful.
Surely the world of to-morrow will not resemble that which we have known. There has been too much disruption, too much suffering.
The proposals set forth by the four great powers and which are to serve as the basis for the discussion of the functioning of this organization, are not all acceptable; some are even fundamentally opposed to the principles of democracy; I refer more particularly to the membership of the security council and to the right of veto granted certain powers. It shall be the duty of our representatives to oppose these suggested proposals.
A careful study of the decisions reached at Yalta by the leaders of the three great powers, viz., the United States, Russia and England, shows that these decisions are based much more on a brutal policy of force than on a policy of sound justice and right. The organization to be set up must see to it that such abuses are eliminated.
What has become of the Atlantic charter to which we had pinned so many hopes? We are now told that it was not a legal document involving real obligations. Was that all a joke? Or are we regarded as fools at the present time?
The decisions taken at Yalta will have to be reviewed by our delegates in view of the injustices which they involve and because they
San Francisco Conference
are not binding. President Roosevelt himself has given the American delegates who will represent their country at the San Prancisco conference the assurance that they were in no way bound by the decisions taken at Yalta, although the American government and the President himself were present at that meeting. Who would now suggest that such decisions could be binding on our Canadian representatives?
The bishops of Scotland have used harsh words in condemning the Yalta compromise, saying "that a Christian nation had 'been sacrificed to an atheist and totalitarian state."
The Polish government in London and their followers have no alternative; they must, whether they like it or not, yield to that decision even though they may feel that such an agreement places them in the hands of Russia.
Let us remember the fate of heroic Poland, set forth as the first motive of our participation in the war.
After having so gallantly withstood nazi opposition, Poland was entitled to the admiration and protection of all civilized nations; and particularly as regards the three great powers, she had secured the right to a restoration of the boundaries she had before 1989.
Since the opening of this debate, Mr. Speaker, some hon. members have contended that if we participate in the San Francisco conference we will be required to participate in any future war. I do not see how, by taking part in a conference the object of which is to discuss the setting up of an international organization for the maintenance of world peace and security, we would commit ourselves to a greater extent than if we had remained at home.^ On the contrary, the aim of the San Francisco conference is primarily to discuss means to prevent future conflicts.
Further, it must be remembered that the decisions taken at San Francisco, which will be accepted by our representatives, must be ratified by parliament before becoming binding upon Canada. For my part, if I feel that those decisions are opposed to the interests of Canada, which I want free and independent, I shall vote against them.
Mr. Speaker, I was elected to oppose the war policy of the present government. I was and I still am opposed to the participation of our country in that disastrous conflict. I already went on record as against conscription and billion-dollar gifts to foreign countries, and I also voted against all those measures.
It is suggested today that we should participate in the establishment of an international organization for the maintenance of peace and
security. I agree with that principle and I believe that our government should send delegates to that conference.
I have no objection to Canada's participation in the conference as a free and independent nation, due regard being given to our interests. However, I wish to say, at this stage of the debate, that to my mind it is more important that our country should be represented at the San Francisco conference than that she should attend conferences of the British commonwealth, which unfortunately, smack of imperialism.
I consider that we should always have a free hand.
I wish to recall to Canada's delegates at the San Francisco conference, so that they may be guided by them, the following words of the late Governor General, Lord Tweedsmuir:
Canada is a sovereign nation and cannot take her attitude to the world docilely from Britain or from the United States or from anybody else. A Canadian's first loyalty is not to the British commonwealth of nations but to Canada and to Canada's king and those -who deny this are doing, to my mind, a great disservice to the commonwealth.
Mr. Speaker, the words I have just quoted are now more important than ever, and we cannot repeat them too often.
In the past, we have resented, and rightly so, the fact that we have not been invited to conferences held by the great powers, and at which decisions of deep concern to our country were taken. This time, we are invited to participate in the discussions, to state our views, to cooperate in the working out of the charter of an international organization for the maintenance of international peace and security. I do not see why we should withhold our cooperation.
I have not approved the war measures of the government, but I approve their peace measures, and this is one of them.