terms, six retiring each year and each being eligible for immediate re-election. The powers assigned to the council are important. The council may make or initiate studies and reports with respect to international economic, social, cultural, educational, health and related matters and may make recommendations to the general assembly with respect to any such matters, to the members of the united nations and to the specialized agencies concerned. It may prepare draft conventions for submission to the general assembly. It may call international conferepces on matters falling within its competence. It may set up commissions in the economic and social fields.
We have had it reported to us that the Canadian delegates played a leading part in writing the sections of the charter dealing with the social and economical council. Canada gave leadership, it is our proud boast, in writing in these sections of the charter. Let Canada follow that up in succeeding sessions of the assembly and of other bodies of the united nations organization and try to give the nations of the world leadership in the social and economic fields. It may be that there is our greatest opportunity to make a great and lasting contribution in the international field. Let us seize that opportunity; let us by all means urge that Canada be given a place on that council.
In passing, I want to lay stress on this, because in an earlier address this afternoon there was, I thought, a suggestion to the contrary. There was a suggestion that the Christian conception of the sanctity of the individual had been completely overlooked by the framers of this charter, that there was contained in it no bill of human rights. It is true that there is not to be found in the charter as it stands to-day in precise terms a bill of human rights, but provision is made right in the sections I have read-as a matter of fact it is one of the first duties laid upon the social and economic council-that it should frame such a charter of human rights. How can anyone give any other reading to those sections of the charter? Regard must be had for human rights and the fundamental freedoms, the freedoms that are to be put before all men and all nations as their right.
I do not see how it could be better put than it is right in these sections. The whole of the work to be done by the united nations in years to come was not done at San Francisco. How could it be? Those who went there were framing a charter; they were setting up an organization through which these nations in years to come should seek to work out those purposes and objects which have been declared to be the purposes of all the nations,
and one of the greatest of those objects has been set forth as the safeguarding of the rights of human beings the world over.
I do not think any hon. member should be invited to subscribe to this charter without full appreciation of certain facts. In the first place, no international organization or international agreement can be of any benefit to mankind which does not command commitments from nations. If one is simply thinking about the kind of organization which will permit us to subscribe to or reject proposals from time to time, I do not think much can be expected from that type of agreement. If we have any hope of seeing this united nations organization made the means and vehicle for the establishment of peace throughout the world for years and years to come, commitments-binding commitments-must be entered into; and had our delegates brought back from San Francisco anything less than an agreement which called for commitments on the part of this and other nation members, they would have failed in their duty.
We are asked to make certain commitments. We are also asked to pledge ourselves to adhere to the commitments wei now enter into. It may be thought by some a rather trite observation, but the history of the world -yes, including the history of this country- has shown that nations have sometimes entered into commitments and then have sought, when it suited their purposes, to deny adherence to their commitments. The commitments which are involved in this charter are in the field of the defence of nations, not just our own nation, but a contribution to the defence of nations which majr be attacked by aggressors, and which we are called upon to assist, as undoubtedly this country' would be. We are called upon to make commitments in the field of diplomacy, and in our social and economic programme.
As good a summary as I have seen of the commitments which Canada undertakes under this charter is contained in a brochure issued by a worthy organization, of which I am proud to have been a member for many years, the United Nations society in Canada, formerly known as the league of nations society. This is the way it describes the more important pledges which Canada undertakes in this charter:
1. To conduct our foreign policy and international relations on the basis of the principles set forth in the charter.
2. To accept and carry out (in accord with predetermined arrangements) the decisions of the security council even if the use of force is involved.
3. To endeavour to settle all disputes by peaceful means.
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4. To enter into agreements with the security council placing facilities at its disposal, under specified conditions, and providing methods of implementing its decisions.
5. To endeavour to mantain high standards of living, full employment, and a high level of cultural development.
6. To cooperate with other nations in the solution of economic problems.
7. To accept the jurisdiction of the international court of justice.
8. To register all international agreements with the organization and to accept the principles outlined in the charter as the basis upon which such treaties must be based.
Let me, in passing, offer this one observation. These principles must guide us not only in our international relations but also in our internal policy. We have given our national pledge that we subscribe to this charter, that these are the ends we shall seek to serve not only in the external sphere but in our internal relations as well.
In the matter of fulfilment I offer this observation, and it is not an idle observation having regard to the history of the past two decades.
" If we do not fully subscribe to these commitments, if we do not mean to carry them out to the letter, it would be far better if we rejected the charter now. Far better to administer a quick coup de grace than slow poison.
Let us for a moment look back over the unhappy history of the past two decades, and it is well that we sho'uld have this in mind because I hope we are taking a realistic point of view in our approach to this charter. In the first place we watched treaty after treaty, solemnly entered into by many nations, broken, and not only by aggressor nations-Versailles, the pact of Paris, the Kellogg-Briand pact, Locarno, and Munich. We have seen, too, apart from outright breaches of treaties, situations where it was found impossible for nations to agree. Let us remember the failure of the disarmament conference which sat from 1932 to 1934, sixty-one states of the world meeting together with the highest object and being unable to enter into an agreement. The situation we have seen in the recent meeting of foreign secretaries of the great powers is not a new one, and we do not need to be overly alarmed. We regret it, but it is not new in international relations. '
With repect to the League of Nations-and I offer no apology for saying a word concerning the League of Nations-there is a fundamental similarity of aims and objects between this charter and that of the league. The League of Nations covenant was intended to provide machinery to prevent war and to punish aggression. It could have prevented war if it had been used. It was based on collective security, and that must be our ultimate
hope of lasting peace. The same things which reduced the League of Nations to impotency to prevent war can do the same thing with respect to the united nations organization. It rests with the member nations and, in the last analysis, with the peoples of the world to say whether this machinery shall be used for the purpose for which it was intended, or whether it shall be allowed to atrophy, as was the machinery provided by the covenant of the League of Nations; and with us Canadians [DOT] there rests an obligation in that respect no less than the obligation resting upon any other people the world over.
It is very easy to blame other people and to say that they are responsible for the failure of the league, but a review of history would not do us any harm. The last thing that we Canadians ought to do is to adopt in this field a "holier than thou" attitude toward other nations. I do not profess to be one of those Canadians who conceive patriotism in such terms as to overlook everything that has not done honour to our country. Canada after the last war, in the twenties, through her delegates at Geneva did on many an occasion lift her voice in the direction of weakening the covenant.
Let us not forget that the voice of this nation was not raised in denunciation of Japan in 1931 when the Manchurian episode was before the League of Nations. Let us not forget what happened in the fall of 1935 when the League of Nations, through the committee of eighteen, was getting machinery under way to apply economic sanctions to-Italy to deny her the coal, oil and iron which she so badly needed to wage aggression on hapless Ethiopia. It remained for the government of Canada, our country, to instruct its delegate to have nothing further to do with the proposals for the application of sanctions against Italy.
Canada, our country, led the retreat from the sanctions front that had a chance of that time of beating back aggression. Yes, let us not forget, too, that this nation went on selling to Japan all that country wanted while it was waging aggressive war upon the Chinese for four and a half years before Pearl Harbor; and much of the lumber that went into those Zero aeroplanes came from Canadian forests.
Let Canadians have a full realization of the seriousness, the gravity of the commitments that parliament is proposing to take to-night on their behalf. Let us not throw away the great work done by the League of Nations in the fields of economic and social cooperation. I can only mention the work of the international labour organization. That was not set up
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