March 3, 1947

LIB

Brooke Claxton (Minister of National Defence)

Liberal

Hon. BROOKE CLAXTON (Minister of National Defence):

Mr. Speaker, I believe no important statement ever made in this house has been received with a greater degree of unanimity by the house and throughout the country than the statement made by the Secretary of State for External Affairs (Mr. St. Laurent) on January 30 of this year regarding Canada's participation in the making of peace with Germany and Austria. The reception it received from the leaders of all parties in the house and the reception it received throughout the country showed that on this matter, as today on most matters of external policy, the Canadian people were united to a greater degree than perhaps even they themselves generally recognized. That has been demonstrated in the debate today. In moving this motion the hon. member for Peel (Mr. Graydon) said, "I stand with the government." The hon. member for Rosetown-Biggar (Mr. Coldwell) said that the government's stand had his full support and that he was in complete agreement with its general lines; while the hon. member for Peace River (Mr. Low), who has just resumed his seat, commended the government for the stand taken. This is a demonstration of Canadian unity on a great and important issue never before seen in this house, and I believe never before seen in the country in peace time. It comes out of the unity we had in time of war. The right we claim to be heard in time of peace stems from our contribution, the contribution of the whole nation, made in unity during the war.

Today I will deal with four matters, because they have been touched upon by some hon. members and because they have a bearing upon our discussion. First, there is the question of the Paris conference, the function of that conference, the role we played there and the lessons to be learned; second, whether the fact that our troops were not occupying Germany has any bearing on the present situation; third, the extent of our participation in war gives foundation for our right to work for peace; and fourth, the special position, the capacity of Canada to make a great contribution to peace at this time.

With what the hon. member for Peel said about the Paris conference I have not very much to find disfavour. Everyone knows that the role of that conference was limited. It

grew out of the Potsdam conference held in July and August, 1945, when the United Kingdom, the United States and the Soviet Union, the three nations which had carried the supreme burden in war decided they would form a council of the foreign ministers of the three powers and France to set about drafting the terms of peace with the satellites of Germany. The Paris conference stemmed from that meeting, and the meetings of the council of foreign ministers, which took place at London, Moscow and Paris. Meanwhile, in accordance with their instructions, their deputies were drafting the terms of peace with the five satellites of Germany: Italy, Bulgaria. Roumania, Finland and Hungary.

The conference was called on July 5 to meet at Paris on July 29. Its function was not to draft treaties of peace but to make representations to the council of foreign ministers as to what the drafts they prepared should contain. By the terms of invitation the council of foreign ministers was to have the final say as to what the treaties contained; and by the terms of the draft treaties themselves, the treaties with the five satellite powers were to come into effect upon their ratification by the four great powers.

When we in Canada received that invitation we could either go to the Paris conference on those terms or not go at all. The government of Canada, I believe rightly, like the other seventeen governments which received identical invitations, decided to be represented at the Paris conference by a delegation; and we considered it so important that the Prime Minister (Mr. Mackenzie King) himself headed that delegation. We did not have a large delegation. Some nations were represented by as many as three hundred. The Canadian delegation, we found, had all too few members to do good work without overtiring them. However the Canadian delegation made an effective contribution within the scope of our interest in the matters under discussion. Speaking at a plenary session at the outset of the conference, the Prime Minister made the suggestion that during the conference itself the council of foreign ministers should meet to discuss questions arising during the conference. That was one of the few constructive proposals with regard to procedure that were made during the early plenary sessions. It was well received and acted upon in part, and I believe it contributed substantially to the work of the conference.

However there is no doubt that on account of the narrowness of the terms of reference, the vagueness of the rules of procedure laid before the conference, and the acrimonious

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way in which those rules were debated at the outset-not by Canada-the work of the conference, and the atmosphere in which it was carried on, were adversely affected. Further, the fact that everything had to be translated into three languages, not simultaneously, and the fixing of October 15 for a deadline for the conference because it was necessary to meet the arrangements made for holding a meeting of the united nations assembly in New York on October 23, combined with other factors to reduce the usefulness of the conference and gave it a deadline that was almost impossible to meet without overtaxing human endurance.

For example, toward the end, the territorial commission on Italy met at nine o'clock at night and went on until next morning at six o'clock. But that record was broken by one commission which began at ten o'clock one morning and continued until nearly three o'clock the following afternoon, making twenty-eight and a half consecutive hours of sitting.

The way in which the discussion developed on the issues which came before the conference tended to emphasize the vote and the manner of voting. Peace cannot be made either by votes or vetoes; peace must be made by understanding, patiently worked out by people who have the interests of peace at heart.

The conference finished its work on October 15 and, with regard to a number of matters on which the council of foreign ministers had not been able to reach agreement prior to the conference, the conference expressed its views. Those views were received and considered by the council at its meetings in New York and undoubtedly contributed to the settlements that were ultimately arrived at in December.

Now the treaties have been signed. By and large they are not bad treaties. But I have every conviction that they are better treaties by reason of the fact that the Paris conference was held; they are better treaties by reason of the fact that seventeen nations were called in to consultation with the four great powers in working out the texts of the agreements.

The Paris conference showed what should be avoided in holding a peace conference; but it did not show that a conference should not be held; indeed, quite the contrary.

With relation to the hon. member for Peel's suggestion, that we should have put ourselves on record earlier, may I say I do not think it would have been possible at one conference to have expressed oneself at great length with regard to the procedure that was to be followed at another conference.

The final discussions in plenary session on the text of the treaties and recommendations began on October 7. The conference had to close on October 15, and there were exactly six sitting days for the final discussions, and also for the votes. Voting took almost half the time. So that everything anyone had to say had to be compressed into a very short space.

But to show that we did not need to wait until now to criticize the procedure, I should like to put on record the observations I made at the final session. On October 8 I said this:

We hope the experience gained at this conference will not be wasted. For example every delegate here knows of one deficiency or another in the rules of procedure. These rules should be examined and amplified in the light of our experience. Suggestions might be made with regard to machinery for preparing the drafts of the other peace treaties which have still to be evolved. We hope that before this conference concludes, or soon after, nations wishing to do so should be encouraged to put forward the suggestions for the procedure to be adopted in making the peace for Germany and Japan.

So that I had in mind at Paris in October the view expressed by the hon. member for Peel today in March, and I believe I expressed this kind of view more fully than any other delegate among the twenty-one nations at the conference. None of those who spoke dealt with the questions of procedure and the lessons to be learned from our experience at Paris as fully as I had done in these and in other observations in my short speech.

Now, with regard to the second point, namely as to whether or not the withdrawal of the Canadian forces from western Europe had any effect whatever on our present position, I submit to you, Mr. Speaker, and to the house there is no proof whatever that the return of Canadians to their homeland, many of whom had been absent for six years, had any effect whatever on our position abroad, or in the making of the peace. To the contrary, I say there is positive proof that it had no effect. That is seen in the position occupied by Belgium and Holland which have had occupying forces in part of the German territory, in one of the zones. Yet they are receiving treatment no different from that received by Canada at the present time.

There was never any hint that the presence of occupying forces would give more weight to anyone's voice in Europe. There was never any suggestion that that would improve Canada's position with regard to representation on the allied military government or the control council at Berlin. Canada was never invited to become a member of either; she was never

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offered a zone. And without having a role, how could she play a more important part than she has played?

We are represented at Berlin by a mission; and having been there, I say that our mission is on exactly the same footing as that of the other representatives which have missions in Berlin at this time, but which are not among the Big Four having representation on the control council and the allied military government, namely the United Kingdom, the United States, France and the Soviet Union. There are no others. And there is no evidence-no proof-that the presence of any force Canada might have in Europe would change our position by so much as an ounce of more power or weight.

Further, I would ask my hon. friend this question: What is his idea of the size of the occupying force it would be necessary for Canada to have, in order to have some weight? Would it be five thousand or ten thousand or fifteen thousand Canadians kept from their homes?

And I further ask my hon. friend this question too: How could we, with a force of that size, exercise any influence and make our people in Canada believe that the continuing absence from Canada of their loved ones was earning something for Canada either in terms of prestige or power, or in the civilizing influences which our force might exert in western Europe? We thought that rather than keep forces in Europe, eating food in Europe, it was much better to send food to Europe; and no country has a better record than Canada on that.

But, Mr. Speaker, our right to be heard in making the peace does not depend upon whether or not we had five thousand or ten thousand soldiers of Canada in Europe a year after the war. Our right depends upon how many sailors, soldiers and airmen of Canada we had in Europe and in the fighting centres of the world during the war. The record of Canada is one which speaks for itself and one which I am sure hon. members opposite would be the first to say-if they have not already done so-would give us as workers for peace the right to stand side by side with the nations with whom we fought shoulder to shoulder, as brothers in arms. Canada entered the war voluntarily by the act of its own government, and with the support of its own parliament, as a free people, on September 10, 1939. We entered the war against Japan on December 7, 1941, the day of Pearl Harbor. In neither case was Canada attacked. We did not wait to be attacked. We entered the war because our own interests were involved, because we saw that freedom, like peace, like trade and

prosperity, is indivisible, and we saw that the best place to defeat the enemy is before he comes to your gates, as far off as it is possible to reach him.

We entered the war in no half-hearted fashion. We entered the war and stayed right through, and I ask the people of Britain if they think that our flyers who helped them during their hour of need in the Battle of Britain did not earn the right to have a voice in the peace? I ask the peoples of Europe if the bridge of ships with which we did half the work of keeping open to the other side was not a major factor in giving the allies, and not the enemy, a chance to say what the peace shall be? I ask the people who stood our bombing, and who afterwards thanked us for it, if those great clouds of bombers that we sent over night after night softening up the enemy did not help to pave the way to victory? I ask the people of western Europe, of France, of Normandy and Dieppe, of Belgium, The Hague and1 Bergen-op-Zoom, what they have to say about Canada's part in the war and what their vote would be as to what our part should be in the peace? It was my privilege to be there this autumn during the almost three months of the Paris conference and I heard what they said. It was a moving thing, Mr. Speaker, to go through the streets of Falaise and Caen and along the beaches from St. Aubin to Arro-manches and visit the scenes from which Canadians had come more than three hundred years ago, to find there Frenchmen with the same names as those we know in Quebec, standing in front of the houses sometimes of necessity shelled and bombed by our men, standing there with tears of gratitude in their eyes for Canada and cheers for Canada and for the part we had played in their liberation. It was a moving thing to make that great pilgrimage with the Prime Minister. I do not believe the people of Canada have yet appreciated that was one of the greatest events in the whole experience of those parts of France, that a Canadian Prime Minister should go there from village to village and be received, not only on his own account, but as the representative of a country which they had reason to be grateful to and with which they had special ties of love and affection and which they regarded as a principal factor in their being once again free. The same was true of the channel ports and as we journeyed through Belgium and Holland. If every Canadian visited Europe for just a few days, he would get a truer view of his own country; he would find then that there is no country

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and no people on the face of the earth more respected, better liked and more envied than Canada today.

What the hon. member for Rosetown-Biggar (Mr. Coldwell) said about this situation in Europe is all too true, and it was a useful thing that I should have seen it. What I saw was saddening. While it sent me back home prouder than ever of being a Canadian, more grateful than ever of the fact that I happen to have the good fortune to bo born in Canada,, it made me also more full of recognition of the responsibility which is ours because of our good fortune.

And, Mr. Speaker, I cannot think that when our part in war is considered that the people abroad are unmindful of the fact that Canada was the third greatest industrial nation in the war. Why, there is not a single country in Europe that has not received aid from Canada at one time or another. They speak there of the miracle of Canada's production and of her war effort.

While our material contribution of industrial production and food totalled some twelve billion dollars in war, Canada's contribution since the war in the work of restoring what had been destroyed, in the work of laying the foundations for peace, in the work of rehabilitation-Canada's contribution has been second to none throughout the world in terms of her population. In mutual aid we gave $2,471,000,000; in military relief $84,700,000; contribution to the United Kingdom in 1942, $1,000,000,000; to UNRRA, $154,000,000; in wheat to Greece, $12,600,000; or a total of $3,722,300,000. That is the financial measure of our aid to other countries during the war and in the immediate post-war period. But think of it in terms of human lives. I was in Greece, and saw there the people of that country, and the king, their Prime Minister and his ministers had their first opportunity of expressing personally through a Canadian minister to the people of Canada their gratitude for our contributions. From August, 1942, on, we sent 14,000 tons of wheat per month to Greece, and that meant the difference between life and death by starvation for about half the Greek population. That is a country which is grateful.

In addition to what I have just said, aid has been given in the form of loans by Canada to the United Kingdom, $700,000,000 in 1942 and $1,250,000,000 in 1946, a total of $1,950,000,000; a wheat loan to the Soviet Union of $10,000,000, and credits provided under the Export Credits Insurance Act of $750,000,000, or a total of $2,710,000,000 in loans by Canada.

There is hardly a part of Europe that you can visit today where you do not see a Canadian truck carrying some Canadian produce at some time or another to render relief and aid to the people.

I ask, Mr. Speaker, if the people of France and the French government do not feel that we should be heard and participate fully in preparing the peace that we had such a large part in maldng possible for them? I ask too, the people of the United Kingdom, not only because of their historic relations with us, not because of gratitude because that should not exist between our countries, but because from the beginning to the end we worked together, because we had a common interest in victory, a common interest in freedom and a common interest in peace. I believe they and our friends in the United States will not hesitate to support our position.

And I ask, Mr. Speaker, the representatives of the Soviet Union if they will not remember that when they were carrying such a large proportion of the total burden of war we helped with as much materials as we could get to them, to the extent of millions and millions of dollars. We helped with munitions of war, with drugs, with technical assistance and even with the blood of Canadians going to them in blood banks.

Altogether our men overseas were the best ambassadors that any country ever had. The role of representing Canada abroad is made easier because of the respect and affection earned for us by the sailors, the soldiers and the airmen of Canada. They have done this for Canada and also for the other countries whose good fortune it is to have been on the winning side. We all contributed to that, and our contribution-whether it is measured in industrial or food production, in contributions of money and food after the war, in soldiers fighting up the whole long length of Italy from Sicily to the Po, our soldiers fighting from the beaches of Normandy right through to the Rhine-was the third greatest among the allied nations on the western front. But it is not only on account of contributions to victory that the Canadian people would expect to have participation in the peace, but also because we have shown our capacity in peace.

It has been the fortune of hon. members present, the leader of the opposition (Mr. Bracken), the hon. member for Peel (Mr. Graydon), the hon. member for Rosetown-Biggar (Mr. Coldwell) and many others to have the honour to represent Canada at international conferences. I believe that if one goes through the long record of conferences- there were ninety-eight last year-the more important ones, UNRRA, the foundation of

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the bank and the fund, the food organization, the economic and social organization, PICAO, the international refugees committee and the trade conference which is now under way, as well as the various conferences of the united nations, he will find that Canada has played not a boastful, vauntful place, but a useful place, a place which has been recognized by others attending these conferences as objective, fair-minded, free from self-seeking and always headed and staffed by people well informed, well briefed and competent to do their job.

I ask the hon. members I have mentioned, who have taken part in these conferences, if they will not bear me out in saying that as they moved around among the other delegations, whether it be our good friends to the south or the Latin-American countries; whether it be the Europeans or the Soviet Union and its associated countries, no matter what the countries are, they found that their representatives usually were ready to say that they were surprised that Canada, a country of twelve million people, should be able to secure the representation that she has been fortunate in having in international conferences. I believe that the hon. gentlemen whom I have mentioned would also agree with me that in our Department of External Affairs we have a group of representatives of our country which is second to none throughout the whole world today. Incidentally, from what I have seen at several of the conferences, I believe that they are seriously overworked and I hope that when the Secretary of State for External Affairs (Mr. St. Laurent) brings down his estimates he will secure support from the house to ensure that we do not continue to put the burden on our representatives abroad that we do today.

In addition to what we have been able to do at these conferences, there is the very special position of Canada. Canada has no particular or selfish interest or demands. That was the view expressed by the Prime Minister at Paris-and repeated on every occasion when the occasion arose. We want nothing from any nation except the chance to work with them- to lay the foundations of a lasting peace and of that degree of prosperity among all nations which is an essential ingredient of peace.

Canada has a special interest in international security because of our dependence on world trade. We have a special stake in peace because almost thirty-five per cent of our national production ordinarily comes from world trade; but that also gives us a particular equipment with which to see the needs of other nations. Another reason why we can play a part is the nature of our people them-

selves, the fact that we are essentially a people of minorities, which gives us a special position to understand minority and other similar questions.

It was not just coincidence that at the Paris conference one of the members of the Canadian delegation, Lieutenant-General Pope, head of our military mission at Berlin, was asked to sit in with the representatives of Hungary and of Czechoslovakia to try to act as an umpire in a discussion of some of their vexed minority problems. Hon. members with experience will agree with me that the times when Canadians, because of their experience and because of their objectivity, are asked to act either as chairmen, as draftsmen or as the third men in the ring for an informal discussion, are positively embarrassing. Then, too, because of the nature of our people, because some thirty per cent have as their mother tongue French it usually follows that our delegates are more bilingual than those of other countries. That was so at Paris when practically every member of the Canadian delegation had a working knowledge of both French and English. That gave a tremendous advantage in discussions with other nations.

Mr. Speaker, we have a new-found capacity to be of service in the cause of international peace. That lies in the unity of the Canadian people as represented in the house and through the country on this all-important question. It is no longer possible for some hon. members who take a colonial point of view or a totally nationalist or isolationist point of view to say that they represent any substantial part of the Canadian people. These are the noisy extremes; but in the wide centre lies the great bulk of the Canadian people who recognize our position in the world, recognize how it has been won, recognize the obligations and the opportunities it gives. The people who take this view are not only in a majority but as represented by spokesmen for all parties of the house, newspapers from end to end of the country and people everywhere they are the great bulk of the Canadian people. On this as, I believe, on all fundamental questions where the vital interests of Canada are involved we stand together, and this debate is important as showing it.

Now let us see what the position is. The council of foreign ministers met and had a long series of discussions at New York when they discussed the terms of the treaties with the five satellite powers which were ultimately settled in December. They had a limited number of meetings, discussing preliminary arrangements with regard to the treaties with Austria and Germany, and having done that

Peace Treaties

they said their special deputies would hear representations with reference to those treaties. When the special deputies met in London we made the representation which was read in this house by the Secretary of State for External Affairs (Mr. St. Laurent) on January 30 and which received such universal support. On receipt of that recommendation the special deputies met, and it is well understood everywhere that they were unable to agree unanimously on the procedure, and they had no power to decide anything in the absence of agreement. Therefore the matter is now referred to the council of foreign ministers who will be meeting at Moscow. They will consider it and our hope is that they will make some arrangement, satisfactory we trust to this and other countries in a similar position, which will recognize not only our right to work with them in determining the main lines of the peace but also the fact that on the record, and because of our position, we can render useful and constructive assistance in that great work.

We are not interested in this for reasons of status. Our status as a nation does not depend upon any council of foreign ministers; it has been won and settled for all time. This is a question of procedural machinery, a question of working out something which we believe to be of vital importance. We believe it to be such because we believe we can make a useful contribution toward what we all have in mind and all people everywhere have in mind ; that is, that having won the war and won the right to say what the terms of peace shall be, we can now lay the foundations of peace again for ourselves as a first instalment of that better world for which we hoped and worked and fought, and which it is now in our power to have.

Topic:   PEACE TREATIES
Subtopic:   GERMANY AND AUSTRIA-CANADIAN SUBMISSIONS -MOTION FOR ADJOURNMENT UNDER STANDING ORDER 31
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LIB

Roch Pinard

Liberal

Mr. ROCH PINARD (Chambly-Rouville):

I wish to offer my sincere congratulations to the Minister of National Defence (Mr. Clax-ton) on his great contribution to this afternoon's debate. By this, we can judge his contribution to the international conferences, which has been along the same line. I wish also to congratulate other hon. members who have taken part in the debate.

Since this debate allows the discussion of international affairs, and since we are dealing with the treaties to be signed both with Germany and with Austria, I do not wish to let this occasion pass without underlining certain deficiencies which, because of their seriousness, may, in my opinion, endanger and in considerable measure, the collective effort of

nations of good will toward the betterment and stabilization of enduring peace in international relations.

If it is true that during the last conflict the democratic nations, with whom we were then pleased and proud to join, shared in the common fortunes of total war; if it is true that we have the right on our side, it must also be recognized that it is now their common duty and ours to work with our enemies toward peace. Even if it is admitted by all that the right was on the side of the victorious nations, let us not trample that right under foot, because it would then become the principal argument of our opponents and a good reason for them to refuse to accept conditions of peace which no victorious nation has ever acquired the right to impose upon a vanquished people.

We have seen the reactions of the Italian people and even of its unstable government at the time of the signature of the Italian peace treaty-signs of discontent and strong protests coming from a nation which we thought did not even have strength left to speak, so much had it suffered and is still suffering. That government hesitated to sign a treaty the contents of which may well correspond to the complete subjection of the nation itself. Must it not be contended that the Italian peace treaty, in which Canada could not participate as she wished, already contains the seeds which eventually may produce a revolution? Has it not been overlooked that this overpopulated nation, the resources of which are insufficient to ensure a decent standard of living for its people, is in absolute need of other resources and of the advantages of a world market?

I will not contend that imperial Italy should have been reestablished, but I think the rest of the world should provide for that nation, which has always been one of the most cultivated and civilized, the means whereby it may maintain itself today. Italy has the right, as every other nation, victorious or defeated, to enjoy the fundamental liberties which will allow it to survive in the dignity which is indispensable to any free nation.

An important warning may result from the publication of the terms of the Italian peace treaty and from the reaction of the Italian people itself, and it should serve as a guide in the drafting and discussion of the other treaties to be signed, like the treaties we are dealing with this afternoon: the Austrian and German treaties.

So far as I am concerned, I have approved the gesture of our Canadian government, which refused to sanction the clauses of these

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other treaties with Austria and Germany before having been given an opportunity to voice appropriate representations before the council of foreign ministers appointed by the four great powers. I imagine such an attitude was dictated to our government only by its wish not to accept any other clauses or conditions than those which could be of benefit to our own country, and which are indispensable to the achievement of our ultimate aim, which is the establishment of peace on a firm and solid basis.

Canada has every right to insist upon active participation in the peace settlement with Germany and Austria. That right was clearly expressed by the Secretary of State for External Affairs (Mr. St. Laurent) when he said in this house on January 30 last in his statement, which can be found at page 7 of Hansard:

In the waging of war, however, Canada contributed her resources of men -and material without reserve. No question of partial participation arose. It should be possible, therefore, to ensure for Canada an opportunity to contribute to the negotiation of peace on the same basis of honourable partnership that characterized her contribution to the war.

So far as Germany is concerned, it is to be hoped that with this nation, whose illegitimate ambitions and desires for domination have been the constant cause of fear, an equitable solution will be found. In this respect I wish to say that the treaty must not have the effect of giving Germany another opportunity to wage war, but at the same time it must not produce the result of driving that nation to such a state of misery that injustice will be created, the consequence of which will be even greater.

So far as Austria is concerned, I entirely approve the statement made by the Secretary of State for External Affairs in the name of the Canadian government. The statement, as reported in Hansard, at page 761, supports the recognition of Austria as a free and independent state. I also approve the statement concerning the maintenance of the democratic system in the new nation in order to avoid a new anschluss. The duty lies, then, with the security council of the united nations organization to see to it that care is exercised to protect the rights of these Austrian people to enjoy freedom and also to have a government of their own choice. But to avoid the danger of an injustice in that respect would it not have been good policy to invite the nations which were defeated to participate also with us and to become themselves immediately

members of the united nations organization which has assumed the task of preparing this new order in the world?

At the end of world war 1 such was the attitude taken by the victorious nations and it was by no means the reason which brought about the failure of the league of nations. The reasons for such failure were totally different and had nothing to do with such a policy and I shall have a few words to say about that.

I find, Mr. Speaker, in this refusal of the united nations to invite the defeated nations to become active members and parties to its deliberations one of the first deficiencies in the present world effort toward the establishment of peace. It is my contention that these nations had also the right, through newly organized and democratic governments, to make their representations; and it appears to me to be an undeserved punishment inflicted upon these people to impose upon them conditions of peace which they do not have an opportunity to discuss. Of course the injustice would not appear to be too serious if such procedure were only an attack upon their legitimate pride; but if, on the other hand, the treaties were unjust and vexatious, it will be the world at large which will suffer in the future the consequences of such an attitude.

I wish now to discuss and deal with a mistake which is far greater in consequences and which has been the constant subject of protests by a great number of nations. I wish to refer to this veto privilege attributed to the five great powers in the security council of the united nations organization by article 27 of the charter. At the beginning of negotiations and before the adoption of the charter, every nation was given to understand that such a decisive right was one of the most essential of conditions and that it was, in fact, the condition sine qua non of the formation of the organization itself. These greater powers, justly conscious of their tremendous effort during the war, and also, of course, of their importance in the world scene, decided then to insist upon that right of veto before agreeing to become members of the organization. If such a right had not been granted to them, it appears to be true that the charter would never have been signed; and it also appears to be true that the united nations organization might never have been born. But, the importance of this question of veto cannot be minimized at the present time. To illustrate that fact, I wish to quote from certain remarks made on October 28, 1946, at

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the general assembly in New Yorfc, by the representative of New Zealand, Mr. Carl Berendsen. This is what he then said;

What have we got there? What h^e we got there as a result of the charter? We have an organization under which each of the five great powers reserves to itself the right in every case, for any reason, however capricious,_ to decide whether it will or will not take in any proposed resistance to aggression. More than that, much more, we have an organization under which each of the five great powers reserves to itself the right to say not only whether it will take part, but whether the organization as a whole can be allowed to function at all.

A few minutes ago, Mr. Speaker, I was saying that all nations were forced to accept the granting of the veto right to the great powers in order to allow the formation of the united nations organization. Well, today one is allowed to ask himself, with the New Zealand representative, if the granting of the said right does not have the effect of preventing the organization itself from functioning and operating. In any event, one thing is sure. This veto privilege, when thoughtlessly used-as was the case for some great powers- has the result of preventing the organization from functioning properly and toward the common interest as defined in the charter. This veto right sanctions the principle of the unanimity of the great powers on all the important decisions the security council has to reach for the maintenance of world security. One of the reasons which brought about the failure of the league of nations-and I should say, in my opinion, the most important of such reasons-is found in the fact that the league attempted to apply the principle of unanimity of all nations, great or small, in the solution of world problems. In other words, to be binding, a decision had to be approved by all members of the league. As soon as some nations began to bear the faults or consequences of that policy, they abandoned the league of nations one after the other. As a result, the organization itself remained under the sole control of one or two greater nations at the expense of the others and also at the expense of peace itself.

The principle of unanimity of all nations, as applied by the league of nations, was mere utopia; while the principle of unanimity of the five great powers, as put into practice by the united nations organization, is a definite injustice. What would have been the ideal solution is, in my opinion, the application of a principle of majority, or at least of absolute majority. In such case, any decision, to become effective, would require the approval of the absolute majority of the members. It may be admitted that the great

powers did not make too frequent a use of this veto right allowed by the charter. Nevertheless, it may also be said that such privilege was mostly and abusively used by Russia as a constant threat, and in many circumstances that nation obtained advantages which have endangered and are still endangering world security. It has also been the case where other nations have been deprived of the recognition of certain essential rights because Russia has refused to comply with certain demands and has opposed, or threatened to oppose them with its veto privilege. As a result of all the compromises which the other nations were compelled to accept one after the other to the benefit of Russia, we are now faced by a fact of great seriousness.

The first intention of all nations to avoid after the last war was the creation or formation of spheres of influence in the world; and yet, because of this veiy defect to which I have just referred, our world of today finds itself once more in the presence of two distinctly different groups, both formed with different nations. And every day since, one may see that cleavage is still getting deeper and deeper, and that communist domination is ever growing and endangering world security. On each side of the barricade two different ideologies are dominating and inspiring the policy of the nations of the two groups, and it is an everyday admission that a secret fight is already going on between them. That imaginary line, which separates the two camps, and which was termed by Winston Churchill not so long ago as being the iron curtain, does not appear to be only a division between frontiers, but a real fighting line. Russia itself has accepted the appellation given by the former British Prime Minister and the Moscow radio offers to its listeners today a programme called "Around the Iron Curtain". It does not seem to me too late to intervene; but one of the sure ways to succeed would be the disappearance of the veto right which the great powers have obtained in the security council. As far as Russia is concerned, it has categorically refused to abandon that right, upon which it established all its influence and to which it is constantly having recourse to prevent the repression of the many injustices it has been guilty of in the past. In the name of the United States, Mr. Byrnes, former secretary of state, was more conciliating when he declared in a recent speech:

We must cooperate to build a world order; not to sanctify the status quo, but to preserve peace and freedom based upon justice, and we must be willing to cooperate with one another

veto or no veto-to defend with force, if necessary, the principles and purposes of the charter of the united nations.

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commons

In so far as Russia is concerned, through her minister of foreign affairs, she gave her attitude on October 29 last at New York. Here is what Mr. Molotov then said:

Imagine, gentlemen, that the campaign to repeal this so-called veto were to be crowned with success. What would the political consequences be? It is quite obvious that the repudiation of the principle of unanimity of all the great powers-and this is what is actually behind this proposal for the abolition of the veto-would mean in practice liquidation of the united nations organization because this principle is the cornerstone of this organization.

These words were evidently an undisguised threat by Russia to put an end to the organization or to withdraw from it if her right of veto was repealed. In such case, would it be necessary to declare, with Mr. Richard Law, member of the opposition in the British House of Commons and former state minister in the Churchill government, that the possibility of a united nations organization without Russia must be considered? Let us hope that the world will never have to face such a solution, which would entail the declared hatred of the rest of the world against Russia.

There is another defect that I wish to mention briefly, even if its importance may be considerable; that is, the lack of a precise policy concerning atomic energy for war purposes. In an attempt to justify the use of the atomic bomb against Japanese cities, many reasons have been given. In a military sense it seems that the United States, which had given to Japan repeated warnings, could be excused for having used that weapon of destruction, the horror of which no human imagination can fully appreciate. But, morally speaking, it appears that the American conscience would have felt much more at ease if such weapon had been used against strictly military objectives. The results on the enemy morale would have been as profitable. But it remains to posterity to render a truer judgment on these facts. Fortunately, considerable benefit in having experimented with the bomb has been derived by the world in its quest for a lasting peace. The use of the atomic bomb may have served as an example and a good lesson. The world knows now part of the destructive powers of that horrible weapon and it is to be hoped that it will be of benefit to all.

The foreign minister of the U.S.S.R. subsequently protested against the adoption of the Baruch plan concerning atomic energy; in the name of his own country he submitted a new plan, but it seems to me that the Russian plan is not any better than the United States plan in that it would result in making known to the whole world the secret of the manufacture of these bombs. The conscience of all civilized human beings, even of those who happen to be the most warlike, would not dare to accept the principle that the use of atomic energy should be advocated for war purposes. But I still believe that the best way to prevent such a disaster remains in the acceptance of this double policy: first, the means of manufacture should not be made known, but should be kept secret; second, all the nations of the world should forbid the use of atomic energy in time of war. Let us hope that the united nations will discover a formula which will satisfy all peoples of good will and at the same time give to the world at large the peace of mind which it definitely needs in this matter.

Another step must also be taken; a general policy of disarmament must be agreed upon and adopted by all the members of the united nations. And the enforcement of such policy must be carefully instigated by the security council representatives. But in order to enforce the policy of disarmament, let me say that it is absolutely necessary that this iron curtain I was referring to, and which divides Europe from Russia, must be lifted if world security is to be attained.

But, all those deficiencies I have already discussed lose their importance if our attention is directed now to the only problem which dominates all the others at the present time, the solution of which is entirely indispensable for world security. I wish to refer to a more adequate and efficient organization of the help to be given to the peoples in need. How useless all the work accomplished by the united nations seems, if nations at large are to forget, neglect or lose sight of their main obligation, which is to help those populations which were devastated during the war.

From all sources, the most painful information is given to us. In a common voice, all correspondents, travellers and observers reveal a state of affairs which is nearly indescribable. From all theatres of war, from all regions where fate has struck, from all European countries, we receive the most alarming reports. Homes have been destroyed along with the houses themselves; families have been scattered and are constantly being divided; children who have not become orphans on account of the war do not accept any more the authority of their parents,, who cannot help them and give them the essential necessities of life. So they have preferred to abandon the family idea, which only appears to them as a burden, and they run away in order to try themselves to obtain by all possible means what they need in order not to perish by hunger and cold. Every day, our newspapers

Peace Treaties

inform us, sometimes with the necessary reserve, of new catastrophes which do not seem to stop falling upon these miserable populations. Yet let us not forget that we also, as civilized human beings, must bear a heavy responsibility in our conscience and in our very hearts for these divided and scattered families and for these devastated homes. The great majority of all these people who suffer and die in continental Europe are not responsible for what happens to them, for the misery they must sustain, for the hunger and cold which is their lot; they are as innocent as we are of the crimes of certain nations or governments which have thrown them into such misery.

For this reason they are not interested in the reproach of those who governed them, who betrayed them and forced them into war; they are not interested in the punishment to be imposed upon those who have been sentenced as war criminals; they are not interested in all these conferences where words of revenge or punishment are so often pronounced; they are not interested in these international meetings where reference is constantly made to the great principles of justice and order; they are not interested in the draft treaties, border discussions or quarrels between governments; I would even say that they have no interest at present in the efforts of the united nations toward the establishment of peace itself. What they wTant, what they claim, is immediate help so that they will 'not die of cold or starvation. Let us not forget that these populations, left to their own initiative and not directed by any discipline, have become perfect prey for those subversive ideas which today have invaded the world; misery does not reason well. A generous and orderly system of help constitutes the best defence against such ideas as communism, for instance, which threatens today to destroy our way of life which we must continue to defend and to preserve.

It would be useless now to discuss the causes of some of the delays and the reason for the failure of our efforts to help the nations and populations in need. The example of Yugoslavia, whose government used practically all the. UNRRA assistance it received to build and reinforce its army which today helps in no small way in keeping this nation enslaved, should serve again as a warning. It is absolutely essential that the economic and social council of the united nations organization, of which our country has been elected a member, should take complete charge of the administration and distribution of the funds to the 8.3166-61

people in need. It is up to that council to work patiently for the reconstruction of the post-war world.

It is comforting to know that, in spite of all these shortcomings the world seems to succeed well enough in curing its numerous wounds. It would be unjust to declare that nothing has been done and that the united nations organization has produced nothing so far in the construction of this new post-war world. On the contrary, the efforts have been great and the results have been remarkable.

The whole world seems to gain hope because it believes that nations of good will are at work. This is how the Minister of National Health and Welfare (Mr. Martin) expressed himself in one of his recent speeches in Quebec: [DOT]

(Translation):

We are on the road to the establishment of law and world cooperation; our journey is something of a forced march, along with unknown fellow-travellers, in the dark of night, through unexplored territories. Although aware of the dangers lurking along the way, we realize that we shall fall a prey to greater calamities by not going along. We have organized our group and we are already on our way.

(Text):

As far as our country is concerned, Canada, which Providence continues to protect and defend against the evergrowing dangers of these troubled times, has accomplished a task of which we must feel proud.

In this collective effort of a wounded world which tries to recover truth and peace, Canada has played a great and, at times, decisive part. The Canadian delegations to. all the peace conferences have already drawn the attention of the whole world, and such delegations have always distinguished themselves by their courage, their working spirit and also by the dignity of their members.

We know it has been no easy task; but our country, through the voices of her representatives, the Prime Minister (Mr. Mackenzie King), the Secretary of State for External Affairs (Mr. St. Laurent) and all the other delegates, has faithfully fulfilled her task.

I am happy to have this other occasion to offer the expression of my sincere admiration to the president of our last delegation to the New York assembly and also to all the other members of this delegation which, like the one sent to Paris, has brought great honour to our country by the efficiency of the work done.

Let us trust that this effort of Canada will not be in vain and that it will contribute to

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the great task to be accomplished in order to give new hope to the world and faith in a setter future to mankind.


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Howard Charles Green

Progressive Conservative

Mr. H. C. GREEN (Vancouver South):

Mr. Speaker, this afternoon we have listened to five most interesting and thought-provoking speeches. I am sure hon. members would benefit if they now had two hours in which to think about those speeches. Therefore I would ask Your Honour to call it six o'clock.

At six o'clock the house took recess.

After Recess

The house resumed at eight o'clock.

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Howard Charles Green

Progressive Conservative

Mr. H. C. GREEN (Vancouver South):

Mr. Speaker, in taking part in this debate a member can take it for granted that every sane Canadian-and of course I include all the members in the house in that description, even all those behind me- wants world peace. The problem is to chart the course that will enable Canada to make her greatest possible contribution to world peace. Discussions on external affairs are of great value in charting such a course, not only because the ministry and the private members gain knowledge from such discussions but also because they help to create public opinion across Canada, and there is great need in Canada of an informed public opinion on external affairs. I know that the newspapers of this country, both our weeklies and our dailies have been striving valiantly to bring to the attention of the public the importance of all these problems that arise beyond our boundaries, but there is still a great lack of interest in them in Canada and a great need for a more thorough understanding of external affairs.

I would advocate, Mr. Speaker, that we have debates on external affairs in this house at frequent intervals. They could be brought up on bills or on estimates or by way of motions to adjourn the house. In some way or another, by agreement between the parties, provision could be made for frequent debates on external affairs, and there is no finer way of helping the Canadian people to decide for what they stand. Then, too, the activities of the external affairs committee could be greatly increased. That committee has not yet sat this year although the session is now over a month old. It could hear representations from the various bodies in Canada interested in external affairs. There is a great work to be done by the standing committee on external affairs.

I have a further suggestion along the same line. I think factual reports of the united nations meetings to which we send delegates should be prepared which would be approved by all the parties and then be distributed widely across Canada. We are pretty much at one in our stand at the united nations meetings, and there is no reason why the leaders of the parties should not get together and approve a factual report which could be sent out to the people. I know from my own experience that it is difficult, when the house is not sitting to find out just what Canada stood for at a meeting of the united nations. It is difficult to gather from the press exactly what stand was taken and difficult to get the whole picture; so I suggest in great earnestness that some thought be given to sending out these non-partisan reports of united nations meetings. They could be distributed to all the labour unions in Canada, to agricultural associations, business organizations, churches, schoolteachers, service clubs and many other groups who would make good use of such information.

The subject of today's debate is set out in the reasons given by my good friend the hon. member for Peel (Mr. Graydon) in moving the adjournment of the house. It is as follows:

. . . the written submissions made by the government of Canada to the special deputies of the council of foreign ministers on the proposed peace treaties with Germany and Austria and the Canadian position taken with respect to a full participation of this country in the making of these treaties.

The hon. member for Peel went on to point out that this question is urgent because the council of foreign ministers is to meet in Moscow one week from today.

What is the council of foreign ministers? Members will recall that throughout the war there were meetings of the great war leaders; first of all, the Right Hon. Winston Churchill and President Roosevelt, and then, later, these two met with Premier Stalin. At the Crimean conference held at Yalta in February, 1945, those three war leaders decided that their foreign ministers should be used as permanent machinery for consultation. At Potsdam on August 2. 1945, they announced the setting up of the second council of foreign ministers. I hold in my hand a book which, I am sure, hon. members will find interesting. It is entitled "Britain; Partner for Peace". It is written by an American, Professor Percy Ellwood Corbett.

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Howard Charles Green

Progressive Conservative

Mr. GREEK:

So much the better. He is a professor of government and jurisprudence at Yale university.

Mr. ST. LAURENT: He was dean of the law faculty of McGill university.

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Howard Charles Green

Progressive Conservative

Mr. GREEN:

The book was published in 1946 and it would pay hon. members to read it. On page 89 he explains the formation of this council of foreign ministers. He said:

The Berlin conference of the "big three" announced on August 2, 1945, the establishment of a council of the foreign ministers of Britain, the U.S.S.'R., China, France and the United States. This body is-

Then he quotes' from the announcement that was made.

-"to continue the necessary preparatory work for the peace settlements, and to take up other matters which from time to time may be referred to the council by agreement of the governments participating in the council."

He goes on to point out:

It is specifically laid down that the creation of this council "will be without prejudice to the agreement of the Crimea conference that there should be periodic consultation among the foreign secretaries of the United States, the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics and the United Kingdom."

Apparently there are the two councils, the one with only three members and then the one with which we are concerned tonight which has five members. It should be noted that the work of this larger council is quite outside the work of the united nations. The peace terms have been kept away from the united nations and I think there ivas a good reason for that being done. They might very well have scuttled the united nations before it got properly sailing. At any rate this larger council has been given the responsibility of making the peace terms.

The council of foreign ministers met at London shortly afterwards, in September, 1945, and almost from the beginning there was trouble. I would refer hon. members to Hansard of September 27, 1945, where the hon. member for Peel asked a question about Canada's stand on complaints that had been made by Australia. She had demanded that either the five-power conference of foreign ministers should be expanded to include all countries whose armed forces contributed to victory over tyranny, or else it should be made clear that the conference was merely advisory and only a prelude to a full-scale peace conference. In answering that question, our own Prime Minister (Mr. Mackenzie King) said, as reported on page 491 of Hansard of September 27, 1945:

The Canadian government, while appreciating the invitation to nominate a representatitve to

attend the meeting of the council of foreign ministers on September 17 does not desire to avail itself of the opportunity to express its views to the council at present on the question of the Yugoslav-Italian frontier and the future of the city and port of Trieste.

But he went on to say that Canada was concerned with the effect which the peace settlement would have on the general relationship of a democratic Italy to the community of nations. And he expressed the hope that an adequate opportunity would be afforded to Canada and the other united nations which had played an active part in the Italian war to consider and discuss the contents of the peace treaty with Italy as a whole at the appropriate stage in its negotiations.

I would point out to the Minister of National Defence (Mr. Claxton) that the Prime Minister also said that he had given instructions that there be expressed to the Secretary of State for the dominions the gratitude of the Canadian government for the helpful and understanding attitude the. United Kingdom government had taken with regard to Canadian interest in the discussions of the council of foreign ministers. This afternoon I thought the Minister of National Defence was not quite fair to Great Britain when he insinuated that she was not helping us out in our present difficulties.

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Howard Charles Green

Progressive Conservative

Mr. GREEN:

It may not have been meant but it sounded like that on this side of the house.

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Howard Charles Green

Progressive Conservative

Mr. GREEN:

I am glad to have the assurance of the Minister of National Defence that that was not his intention.

Canada made no representations about the Italian treaty. The council worked on the treaties with Italy and the other satellite powers until July 29, 1946 when a conference met at Paris. It is important that we know exactly what nations were represented at that conference in Paris. I have the list in my hand. There were five great powers: the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics, the United Kingdom, the United States, China and France, and seventeen others, Australia, Belgium, Byelorussia, Brazil, Canada, Czechoslovakia, Ethiopia, Greece, India, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Poland, the Union of South Africa, Yugoslavia and the Ukrainian Soviet Socialist Republic.

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Howard Charles Green

Progressive Conservative

Mr. GREEN:

Yes, a total of twenty-one. Apparently the great powers came to that

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meeting, having agreed that they would not question any point on which there had been agreement among the five, and that only the other points could be discussed.

After the work of the conference had been finished, the council met in New York, and agreed to the final terms of these treaties with the satellite enemy states. Then the other nations, including Canada, signed the treaties. Obviously Canada was not satisfied with that procedure and was worried about the German settlement which was to come later.

The next step seems to have been in December, 1946. The council of foreign ministers meeting in New York set March 10 as the time for the next meeting and named Moscow as the meeting place, the purpose being to discuss the German and Austrian settlements. They went further and called a meeting of their deputy foreign ministers at London on January 14, the job of the deputies being to take the preliminary steps preparatory to the meeting of the council of foreign ministers itself.

When we came here on January 30 we were told by the Minister of External Affairs (Mr. St. Laurent) what had happened. Apparently on December 31, 1946, Canada was invited to make submissions to these deputies of foreign ministers. She was to make submissions in writing and to have the privilege of making supplementary submissions orally. I would ask the Minister of External Affairs to correct me if I am wrong in any of these details. After these submissions had been made, the deputies were to study them and to report to the council of foreign ministers.

Mr. ST. LAURENT: In view of the request which the hon. member has made, he said the invitation was received in December. As a matter of fact it was received by the Canadian ambassador in Washington on January 4.

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Howard Charles Green

Progressive Conservative

Mr. GREEN:

It is found on page 12 of Hansard of January 30 of this year. Canada then submitted what she called an improved procedure for the functioning of the meeting of deputies, which will be found at page 13 of Hansard. From that improved procedure it appears that Canada wanted the conference extended to include all the allies. The minister's statement is not absolutely clear on the point, but I gather that was the intent from reading what appears on page 13 of Hansard. On January 17 the deputies invited Canada to appear in London on January 25. On January 20 Canada wrrote asking an assurance that she would be given an opportunity to discuss

her submissions either with the deputies or with the council of foreign ministers. Then we find certain press dispatches on January 23. There is one from the Vancouver Province headed "Dominion to Boycott Big Four Peace Parley". It reports a statement from the Department of External Affairs.

An external affairs department spokesman said emphatically that unless Canada gets assurance she will be allowed further participation, she will have nothing whatever to do with the treaties.

The minister shakes his head and I am glad he does, because I would be surprised if an official of the department made such a statement. If it was made it was an unwise statement. The press dispatch goes on to point out that Australia was demanding full representation at all sessions of the deputies' council and expressing resentment of any efforts for a "Big Power peace".

Then there are these significant words:

Australia's demand for an equal voice with the big four powers is sharply opposed by Russian deputy foreign minister Feodor T. G-ousev.

The United States, France and Britain, in the deputies' discussion, had expressed willingness to let the smaller nations in on all discussions. The Minister of National Defence did not make clear this afternoon whether that is still the position, that all the "Big Four" except Russia have been quite willing for Canada and the other nations to take part in the discussions.

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Brooke Claxton (Minister of National Defence)

Liberal

Mr. CLAXTON:

I am sorry if I did not make it clear. That is my understanding.

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Howard Charles Green

Progressive Conservative

Mr. GREEN:

That is the minister's understanding. In any event, on January 25, Canada did not appear before the deputies although she had been invited to do so. On January 29 she was told that the deputies had no power to give the assurance that had been asked. On January 30, Canada filed written submissions concerning the German settlement and about a month later filed submissions concerning the Austrian peace treaty.

Mr. ST. LAURENT: Again because of the invitation. The hon. member calls them submissions. They were preliminary views and were stated to be such.

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March 3, 1947