PRIVILEGE-MR. POULIOT PRESS REPORTS OP INTERVIEW WITH SIR HAROLD ALEXANDER
Mr. JEAN-FRANCOIS POULIOT (Temis-couata): Mr. Speaker, in my capacity as a member of parliament I should like to raise a question of privilege which is of vital importance to Canada. The newspapers of last evening and this morning carried a report of an interview with Sir Harold Alexander, who has been selected a'S the next governor general of Canada. The Montreal Gazette has this heading: "Canadians met by Alexander." The Montreal Daily Star of yesterday has this heading: Alexander eager for job in Canada. Hopes to cement U.S. friendship. Then in the Ottawa Citizen of last evening we find this heading: Alexander hopes he will aid relations. New viceroy, preparing for journey here, "Thinks there is a real job" in Canada. I will read two paragraphs from the dispatch published in the Montreal Gazette, as follows: In an interview at his home near Windsor Forest he expressed hope that his post in Ottawa will aid in cementing still further the friendship among Britain, Canada and the United States.
I should like the hon. member to state briefly the question-of privilege he would like to put before the house.
Yes, sir; but in the first place I must read the two paragraphs to which I object most strongly. I have read the first one, and I shall now read the second one, as follows:
The 54-year old- field marshal-
The hon. member must be permitted to state his question of privilege.
The 54-year old field marshal considers his military career ended but he said he was looking forward to his duties at Ottawa because "I think there is a real job there".
I regret that the future governor general of Canada-
I think it ill behooves any hon. member to discuss the future governor general of Canada.
I should like the hon. member to state briefly his question of privilege. I do not think the hon. member is violating the rules by talking about the distinguished and gallant gentleman he has just mentioned, since he has not yet been sworn in as governor general.
I am greatly surprised that those who object to my question of privilege are precisely those who were shouting when the Minister of Finance held that the government obtained the power from the crown. Sir, as a member of parliament, as a member of the Canadian House of Commons, I resent very deeply what has been said by Sir Harold Alexander in his country place near Windsor Forest. The governor general of Canada is the personal representative-
Atomic Energy-Agreed Declaration
I rise to a point of order, Mr. Speaker. Frequently members rise on a question of privilege to refer to a matter of great national importance. Surely this is not of that importance, and the hon. gentleman ought to realize it.
When the hon. member for St. Paul's passes the book to the hon. gentleman, it is the night informing the darkness.
I must insist on the hon. member stating his question of privilege; otherwise I shall have to ask him to resume his seat. I would ask him to state his question of privilege, make a personal explanation, and leave the matter at that.
Exactly, sir; that is what I am doing. I am stating that now the governor general of Canada is described as the personal representative of the king, who reigns and does not govern. Therefore, the governor general has nothing to do with the executive business of the government. I consider that what Sir Harold Alexander said is a personal reflection on the Prime Minister, who is now in Washington. I hope that the gentleman in question will take the trouble to meditate and to learn in silence the duties ' of his new job before giving other interviews to the press about matters with which he is not at all familiar.
ATOMIC ENERGY AGREED DECLARATION BY THE UNITED STATES, THE UNITED KINGDOM AND CANADA '
Hon. L. S. ST. LAURENT (Acting Secretary of State for External Affairs): Mr. Speaker, the Department of External Affairs has just received over the wire the text of a declaration signed this morning by the President of the United States, the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom and the Prime Minister of Canada, and I think it will be of interest to hon. members to have the text of this declaration at once. It is as follows: Atomic Energy Agreed Declaration by the President of the United States, the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, and the Prime Minister of Canada The President of the United States, the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, and the Prime Minister of Canada, have issued the following statement: 1. We recognize that the application of recent scientific discoveries to the methods and practice of war has placed at the disposal of mankind means of destruction hitherto unknown, against which there can be no adequate military defence, and in the employment of which no single nation can in fact have a monopoly. 2. We desire to emphasize that the responsibility for devising means to ensure that the new discoveries shall be used for the benefit of mankind, instead of as a means of destruction, rests not on our nations^ alone, but upon the whole civilized world. Nevertheless, the progress that we have made in the development and use of atomic energy demands that w-e take an initiative in the matter, and we have accordingly met together to consider the possibility of international action: (a) to prevent the use of atomic energy for destructive purposes; (b) to promote the use of recent and future advances in scientific knowledge, particularly in the utilization of atomic energy, for peaceful and humanitarian ends. 3. We are aware that the only complete protection for the civilized -world from the destructive use of scientific knowledge lies in the prevention of war. No system of safeguards that can be devised will of itself provide an effective guarantee against production of atomic weapons by a nation bent on aggression. Nor can we ignore the possibility of the development of other weapons, or of new methods of warfare, which may constitute as great a threat to civilization as the military use of atomic energy. 4. Representing, as we do, the three countries which possess the knowledge essential to the use of atomic energy, we declare at the outset our willingness, as a first contribution, to proceed with the exchange of fundamental scientific inlormation and the interchange of scientists anu scientific literature foT peaceful ends with any nation that will fully reciprocate. 5. We believe that the fruits of scientific research should be made available to all nations, and that freedom of investigation and free interchange of ideas are essential to the progress of knowledge. In pursuance of this policy, the basic scientific information essential to the development _of atomic energy for peaceful purposes has already been made available to the world. It is our intention that all further information of this character that may become available from time to time shall be similarly treated. We trust that other nations will adopt the same policy, thereby creating an atmosphere of reciprocal confidence in which political agreement and cooperation will flourish. G. We have considered the questioii of the disclosure of detailed information concerning the practical industrial application of atomic energy. The military exploitation of atomic energy depends, in large part, upon the same methods and processes as would be required for industrial uses. We are not convinced that the spreading of the specialized information regarding the practical application of atomic energy, before it is possible to devise effective, reciprocal, and enforceable safeguards acceptable to all nations, would contribute to a constructive solution of the problem of the atomic bomb. On the contrary, we think it might have the opposite effect. We are, however, prepared to share, on a reciprocal basis with others of the united nations, detailed information concerning the practical industrial application of atomic energy just as soon as effective enforceable safeguards against its use for destructive purposes can be devised.
Atomic Energy-Agreed Declaration 7. In order to attain the most effective means of entirely eliminating the use of atomic energy for destructive purposes and promoting its widest use for industrial and humanitarian purposes, we are of the opinion that at the earliest practicable date a commission should be set up under the united nations organization to prepare recommendations for submission to the organization. The commission should be instructed to proceed, with the utmost dispatch and should be authorized to submit recommendations from time to time dealing with separate phases of its work. in particular, the commission should make specific proposals: (a) for extending between all nations the exchange of basic scientific information for peaceful ends, (b) for control of atomic energy to the extent necessary to ensure its use only for peaceful purposes, (c) for the elimination from national armaments of atomic weapons and of all other major weapons adaptable to mass destruction, (d) for effective safeguards by way of inspection and other means to protect complying states against the hazards of violations and evasions. 8. The work of the commission should proceed by separate stages, the successful completion of each one of which will develop the necessary confidence of the world before the next stage is undertaken. Specifically it is considered that the commission might well devote its attention first to the wide exchange of scientists and scientific information, and as a second stage to the development of full knowledge concerning natural resources of raw materials. 3. Faced with the terrible realities of the application of science to destruction, every nation will realize more urgently than before the overwhelming need to maintain the rule of law among nations and to banish the scourge of war from the earth. This can only be brought about by giving wholehearted support to the united nations organization, and by consolidating and extending its authority, thus creating conditions of mutual trust in which all peoples will be free to devote themselves to the arts of peace. It is our firm resolve to work without reservation to achieve these ends. The City of Washington, The White House, November 15, 1945. Harry S. Truman President of the United States C. R. Attlee Prime Minister of the United Kingdom W. L. Mackenzie King Prime Minister of Canada
Hon. GROTE STIRLING (Yale):
May I ask the Acting Secretary of State for External Affairs whether he anticipates that this declaration will be followed1 by any step to be taken in this parliament?
Mr. ST. LAURENT: I have nothing to add to the declaration. It puts emphasis on the declared intent of the president and the two prime ministers to promote the setting up of a commission. I would assume that all concrete proposals recommended by the com-
mission in that regard will be submitted, as are all these international arrangements of major importance, for the consideration of the houses of parliament.
Subtopic: AGREED DECLARATION BY THE UNITED STATES, THE UNITED KINGDOM AND CANADA '