Mr. JOHN BRACKEN (Leader of the Opposition):
Mr. Speaker, I am sure the
members of the house have listened not only with interest but with entire approval to the remarks of the Secretary of State for External Affairs (Mr. St. Laurent) with respect to this important matter. We, of course, have not seen anything of the documents except as they have appeared in the press. I want to thank the minister for taking the steps necessary to make those documents available to us now. I have just one question to ask. He has indicated that the provisional attitude of the government with respect to this matter will appear in the documents which he has tabled. Will the minister table all relevant documents at the earliest opportunity?
I should just like to say one thing further. In so far as we have been able to gather the attitude of the government, I personally wish to commend them for it. Canada played her part honourably in the war. Personally I feel that it would be an insult to this nation if she were denied the right to sit in at the discussions and settlement of the terms of peace with Germany. Without committing ourselves to approval of the details of whatever the government may have done, I do commend them for their general approach.
Having said that, may I take the opportunity of congratulating the minister on his appointment to the portfolio of External Affairs. I only hope that he will tell us more in the next few months than his predecessor has told us in his term of office. It was my privilege to sit with the right hon. gentleman for six or eight weeks in November and December last at the United Nations general
assembly; if he will only carry on as well here as he did there in those first two months, I predict that he will be a success in his new portfolio and that the members of the House of Commons will be well informed on external affairs. We wish him every success in his new office.
Mr. ST. LAURENT: The leader of
the opposition (Mr. Bracken) asked if all the relevant documents would be tabled. I do not know of any that would be relevant, other than the terms of the invitation that was received through the embassy in Washington, the first communication that was made to the deputies on January 14, and the covering letter referred to in the statement of today. I should be glad to add those to the documents tabled, and they will constitute the complete file of matters that were put in writing in. that connection.
Subtopic: MESSAGE RECEIVED BY THE CANADIAN AMBASSADOR TO THE UNITED STATES AND TELEGRAPHED TO THE SECRETARY OF STATE FOR EXTERNAL AFFAIRS ON JANUARY 4
Sub-subtopic: STATEMENT FOR PRESENTATION TO SPECIAL DEPUTIES OF THE COUNCIL OF FOREIGN MINISTERS