conference committed to support those articles of the draft peace treaties on which previous agreement had been reached. It was only in respect of the unagreed articles, therefore, that the states attending the Paris conference were allowed any real freedom of action.
In these circumstances the opportunity given us to influence the settlements under discussion at Paris was not great. The Prime Minister in his opening address made known to the conference Canada's misgiving over procedures which permitted so limited a participation in the work of peace-making. Canada, he said, had a vital interest in these treaties and desired to see them established on principles of justice and equity which would lead to a lasting peace.
In spite of the limitations imposed on the conference at Paris, it was nonetheless possible for the Canadian delegation to make a valuable contribution to the drafting of the peace treaties, particularly in respect of articles which had not previously been agreed upon by the council of foreign ministers. The Paris conference was able to adopt, by the necessary two-thirds majority, a number of recommendations which were subsequently used in the New York meetings of the council of foreign ministers as a basis for discussion. The principles of these recommendations were in many cases adopted and incorporated in the final texts. Such important questions as the establishment of the free territory of Trieste, the freedom of the Danube, the settlement of disputes arising out of the interpretation or execution of the treaties, and the settlement of the amounts of reparation payable by the ex-enemies to the allies, were all of this category. The conference also did useful work in clarifying and improving the text of many articles in both agreed and unagreed sections of the treaties. In this connection, the present Minister of National Defence, in his capacity as chairman of the legal and drafting commission, made a particularly useful contribution to the conference.
I should like now to table the final texts of the treaties with Italy, Roumania, Hungary and Finland as signed today in Paris. I wish also to table a statement prepared by the Minister of National Defence, which will supplement the few remarks I have made on this subject. For the convenience of the house, I would ask that this statement, which covers some eight pages of single-space typewriting and which would be rather lengthy to put on
Hansard, be printed as an appendix to Votes and Proceedings. It would then be available to all hon. members.
The final texts of the treaties will be published in the Treaty Series by the Department of External Affairs, and copies will be made available to all members in due course and before the matter is brought before the houses of parliament for ratification.