March 3, 1947

PC
PC

Howard Charles Green

Progressive Conservative

Mr. GREEN:

I thank the minister for his correction. Again, I would point out, we find Great Britain on our side. On February 27, last week, there were press dispatches from

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London, one being headed "Bevin upholds Canada's Stand. Says smaller fighting allies should have peace voice.":

''Having regard to the sacrifices made in two wars by the dominions they must be adequately consulted in the settlement not merely at the stage when the treaty is being drafted but in changes now' being considered," Bevin said.

Up to the present time that is the picture. Apparently it is not known how far Canada can participate when the council of foreign ministers meets one week from today.

The situation, Mr. Speaker, is very difficult. It is not just as simple as it was made to appear this afternoon, and it is a situation that will not be met by threats in this house or across Canada. I mean threats against the "Big Four". Nor will it be met by whining or by weeping or wailing here in Ottawa. That type of approach is far more likely to prevent us from getting proper treatment than it is to help. The situation is made quite difficult because this great power procedure has been accepted among the nations, including Canada. I would refer the house to a statement of the Secretary of State for External Affairs, to be found at page 7 of Hansard of this year, which illustrates the point:

We are fully aware of the major interest in this settlement of those states which, because of their power or proximity, must carry the main responsibility for enforcing it.

That has been the procedure not only in the council of foreign ministers but also in the security council. All the nations taking part have recognized that there are four or five great powers. In reality there are three great powers: the United States, Russia and Great Britain, with France and China added as the other two. That fact has been recognized principally because the league of nations failed for the reason that it had no power to enforce its decisions. There was a good deal of talk, and worth-while talk, but no power behind its decisions, and rightly or wrongly the nations decided this time that there had to be power. That is why the big nations were given a preferred position.

Another great difficulty is that if there are too many sitting in there is apt to be confusion. I believe that was the situation at Versailles. There were so many nations there that at times there was the utmost confusion and great difficulty in working out the treaties. As Professor Corbett says, a town meeting cannot run a war, and I think the same is true of a meeting for the purpose of drawing up a peace treaty. I merely point out these difficulties to show that the situation is not as simple as it was made to appear this afternoon.

I make these suggestions. First of all, let 83166-62

Canada get all the representation she can. I am all for that and every one in the house is for it. Let us get just as much representation as possible. But let the minister when he speaks make Canada's position clear. It has not yet been made clear. For example, do we want the conference extended from four nations to twenty-one or twenty-two or twenty-three? Is that what we want? Do we want a conference in which all the nations I mentioned a few minutes ago shall be represented on an equal footing? Do we want preference over any of the other belligerents? If so, over what group are we asking the preference? What kind of hearing do we want? What kind of participation do we want?

These are questions to which this house and the Canadian people are entitled to have answers and they have not been answered today. I would ask- the minister to make these points clear. I suggest that the Canadian government should propose a procedure now. Let the Canadian government say what it thinks is fair, what it thinks these great powers should grant in the way of an opportunity for Canada to take part in the meetings of the conference.

A further suggestion is that if we are not granted the right of full participation we should take advantage of our membership in the British empire. Let us send a representative to Moscow with the British foreign minister, because Canada is a partner in the British empire, and right from the start the real fact has been that the third great power is not Great Britain alone but the British empire. Over half or approximately half of the power used during the war was empire power as distinguished from the power of Great Britain alone, and Great Britain has always been the first to recognize that fact. But our Canadian government has never been so willing to do so. That, however, is the fact, that the third great power is in reality the British empire as a whole.

There could have been, perhaps could yet be, empire discussions on these German and Austrian treaties. I see by Saturday's press that Great Britain and France are having discussions about the treaties. They are negotiating a treaty. A press dispatch states:

While it is assumed that there has been discussion between France and Britain on various problems relating to Germany which will come before the four-power foreign ministers at Moscow, it is not considered probable that Britain and France will take up identical standpoints during the Moscow conference.

Blit they are obviously discussing the settlements between themselves. Great Britain, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, South Africa and India could have met to decide what

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terms they want put in these treaties, and probably Canada could have got agreement to the submissions we had filed with us here on January 30. Then those submissions could have been presented at Moscow as the joint submissions for the peace treaties. Certainly Great Britain would not have objected to that procedure. You see, Mr. Speaker, no other belligerents are in the same position as are the nations of the British empire. Our organization as an empire is such that the various nations of the commonwealth can sit in, and we could take advantage of that position now. I suggest that, if we cannot get full participation in any other way, we should follow that course. Later, when the conference is called, we could attend as a nation, just as we did the conference called for the settling of the treaties with the satellite states; and we would, of course, ratify the settlement, treaty, or whatever it might be, individually as Canada.

These peace settlements or treaties are the unfinished business of the second world war. They are not, as I have already pointed out, to be confused with the united nations organization. We fought and won the war as a British partnership. For one whole year we stood against the enemy alone and saved civilization; we stood and fought as an empire, and we could make the peace treaties in the same way.

In conclusion, let me place just two questions before the house and before the Canadian people. First, how can Canada exert the most authority in world affairs? Second, how can Canadians best make sure of world peace? I submit that the answer to both those questions is as follows. Not only by her stand as a nation on the issues that come up, but also by strengthening the British empire. That is the best way for us to have our ideas put into effect. I have an authority for that statement Right Hon. Vincent Massey. Speaking in Vancouver on November 15, 1946, he used these words:

We have, in my belief, far greater influence in the world as a member of the British family than otherwise would be ours. We have, in a sense, a double status. I am quite sure from any experience that I may have been able to gain that the fact that Canada appears on the international scene, not only as an important country on her own account-which we are-but also as a member of a great association gives her both enhanced prestige and increased importance.

World peace is the greatest concern of every thinking Canadian. In the world today we have two giant powers, the United States and Russia, each very conscious of its strength,

(Mr. Green.]

each in effect having a veto over any actions by the other nations because they have such great strength. Those two great nations have ideologies that are totally different, as was pointed out this afternoon by the hon. member for Chambly-Rouville (Mr. Pinard). If they alone dominate the world scene, sooner or later they will clash; and if they ever clash, Canada will be the Belgium of a third world war. Canada will be the nut in the nutcracker if that happens. The surest way to prevent a clash is to have a strong British empire. It will relieve the tension between the United States and Russia and it will help western Europe to remain democratic.

The empire will always be for peace. Why do I say that? There are several reasons which, I think, cannot be disputed. In the first place, it is so far-flung that it must have peace. It has always been vulnerable in the more remote parts, but today, with the development of modern weapons, Great Britain herself is vulnerable. More and more the empire is dependent on a working united nations. I do not think it can be questioned either that toJay Great Britain is the most ardent for peace of the three great powers.

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Howard Charles Green

Progressive Conservative

Mr. GREEN:

As I said, I think of the three, Great Britain is the most ardent for peace. So I repeat that the answer to these questions is: not only by Canada's stand as a nation but also by strengthening the British empire. I believe that the majority in every party in this house will agree with that. Certainly that is the opinion of everybody in my own, the Progressive Conservative party.

Let us see to it that Canada stands beside Great Britain. You have only to look at the Ottawa Journal of last Friday and you will see this heading, "Britain asking United States to take over in Greece." In the first paragraph of a report from Washington we find these words:

Britain, her domestic economy near the breaking point, was reported in congressional and diplomatic quarters today to have proposed that the United States take over her commitments in Greece on a large scale.

We all know that Britain is in serious trouble. Let Canada accept more responsibility for keeping the empire strong. Canada has grown stronger during the war, much stronger than she was before, largely because she was remote from the fighting. We were able to develop and to grow strong. I believe that eventually Canada will be the strongest

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nation in the empire. Let us show the world that this man Tim Buck did not speak for Canada when he spoke last week in London-

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Howard Charles Green

Progressive Conservative

Mr. GREEN:

-London, England, and as reported in the press, used these words:

Tim Buck, English-born leader of Canada's Labour Progressive party, today told a conference of empire communists that the Canadian government "wants to see the empire maintained -preferably by the blood and sweat of the British people."

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Howard Charles Green

Progressive Conservative

Mr. GREEN:

Well, you yourself have advertised him a good deal. Tim Buck was never much of a friend to either Great Britain or Canada.

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Howard Charles Green

Progressive Conservative

Mr. GREEN:

Yes. He was working hard for the minister in the last election.

Let us help Great Britain in every way possible. She has suffered grievously to save civilization. Her people are showing the same courage and the same sturdy character that they showed after Dunkirk and right through the war. No people on earth are more deserving of support and encouragement from the other nations of the world. I believe that Canada now, in 1947, holds the key to the future of the British empire and, perhaps, through that empire, holds the key to the peace of the world.

Right Hon. L. S. ST. LAURENT (Secretary of State for External Affairs): Mr. Speaker,

with the first part of the speech of the hon. member for Vancouver South (Mr. Green) 1 was finding myself in entire agreement because, as I will show in just a moment, my notes were along the lines of what he was saying, and I hope I may be able to add something to that very informative part of his address. With respect to the second part of his speech, as I understand its implications, I must say I am in sharp disagreement. I am not prepared to recommend to this house that we go back to the pre-statute of Westminster days.

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Howard Charles Green

Progressive Conservative

Mr. GREEN:

On a question of privilege,

Mr. Speaker, I did not say anything of the kind. If the Secretaiy of State for External Affairs is trying to twist my speech to take that meaning from it he is being unfair and unjust to himself. I can assure him that

I did not have that meaning, and that I am just as strong for Canada as he is, or any other member on that side of the house.

Mr. ST. LAURENT: I said the implications of the hon. member's speech led me to believe that he wished us to retrace steps which I was not prepared to recommend retracing.

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Howard Charles Green

Progressive Conservative

Mr. GREEN:

You were 100 per cent

wrong.

Mr. ST. LAURENT: I trust that the hon. member will not suspect me of trying to twist his speech. It is on Hansard; it can be read and appreciated, and will speak for him.

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Howard Charles Green

Progressive Conservative

Mr. GREEN:

That suits me.

Mr. ST. LAURENT: And I think those

who read it will find in it the implication I found in listening to it. With respect to that position, I am not prepared to recommend to the house that there be a common voice for the empire. That question has been discussed more than once in this house, and we have come to the conclusion, at least on this side of the house, that Canada was going to have a foreign policy of its own and was not going to be merely the instrument to carry out a foreign policy made up for us elsewhere.

The government has welcomed this debate, and I am sure all hon. members have welcomed it. The hon. gentleman said there should be more frequent opportunities for debates on external affairs. I trust there will be more frequent opportunities for such debates; but by general agreement since the house met we have been dealing, up to the present time, with that emergency legislation which requires to be passed before March 31. In the course of the session there will be many opportunities to discuss external affairs, because many times the government will have to come to parliament to ask for its ratification of agreements that have been entered into; and there can also be other occasions when the external affairs of the country may be discussed.

The hon. member says there should be reports of the position taken by Canada at these international conferences. No doubt the hon. member knows of this report on the united nations conference on international organization which was put out as conference series 1945, document No. 2. I can say to the hon. member that one is now being prepared, because I have had something to do with it over the last several weeks, and I trust that it will be made available very shortly, much in the form of this report, on

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what took place at the meetings of the general assembly. If those hon, members opposite who attended the conference want to see the draft reports prepared by the officers of external affairs before they are published, they are welcome to do so. I have had to go over them, and it is quite a bit of work. I found, as one might expect from the staff which had been assembled in the Department of External Affairs before I got there, that this work has been ably done; and I am sure the officers of the department as well as myself would welcome the interest other hon. members of the house who were on these delegations might take in the drafts before they are published. But I think it would be going rather far to ask the leaders of the other parties to approve in advance documents to be put out by the government. We have felt that we should do our best to put them out in such form that they would not deserve criticism; but we did not think we could reasonably ask the leaders of the other parlies to approve them in advance.

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Howard Charles Green

Progressive Conservative

Mr. GREEN:

They were delegates to the united nations assembly.

Mr. ST. LAURENT: They were part of the Canadian delegation, but they also happen to be leaders of other parties in the house. If either of them will say to me that he would like to share with me responsibility for the report before it is printed, I shall be very glad to accept that offer.

Views have been expressed here which require some explanation of the pertinent facts, but by and large, up to the difference of view which I have indicated with respect to the last part of the speech of the hon. member for Vancouver South, there was fairly unanimous approval of the policy of the government in this matter of the peace settlements in Europe; and I thought that was very much as it should be. Of course the government has to take responsibility for the decisions made with respect to external affairs, just as it has to take responsibility for the decisions it makes in domestic matters. But we have endeavoured to make only decisions of the kind that would commend themselves to the Canadian public at large, and we felt that it would be very much to the interest of Canada to have Canadian policy with respect to external affairs, not the policy of a party government but the policy of Canada, and we have endeavoured to form our delegations in such a way, and to make our decisions along such lines as would carry out that intention. We have frequent opportunities to manifest

our differences of views about matters of domestic policy. I hope that will suffice, and that we shall not have to divide on these matters which affect our external relations.

The position being asserted by the western allies, other than the great powers, with respect to the peace settlements should not surprise three or four of those great powers, but apparently it has come as somewhat of a surprise to our Russian friends. As the hon. member for Vancouver South has pointed out, to a certain extent that may be understandable if one recalls the sequence of events from the beginning of the war to the final surrender of Germany. Poland, Holland, Belgium and France were soon overrun and their armies, as armies supported by independent states, ceased to exist. For a time the United Kingdom and the dominions stood alone against the axis forces. There were detachments of resistance members of the Polish army, the Dutch army, the Belgian army and the French army, but they were based on the soil of the United Kingdom and fought as part of the forces that were coordinated in the United Kingdom.

Then the U.S.S.R. was attacked and constituted a separate front. The United States was attacked, sent troops both to the orient and to the European front and was looked upon as a third group.

Of course we all realized that you cannot fight a war without coordination of efforts, and to achieve coordination there was a conference between Mr. Churchill and Mr. Roosevelt in the early days. There had even been a conference between them on the high seas even before the United States got into the war, and the document known as the Atlantic charter followed as a result of that conference.

Then, after the United States were attacked, a solemn declaration was signed in Washington on January 1, 1942, by the allied nations to the effect that they approved the Atlantic charter, and stating:

Each government pledges itself to employ its full resources, military or economic, against those members of the tripartite pact and its adherents with which such government is at war;

Each government pledges itself to cooperate with the governments signatory hereto and not to make a separate armistice or peace with the enemies.

That was signed by, I believe, twenty-five allied nations, including all the twenty-one who were at the peace conference. And that undertaking, not to make a separate peace, implied, I think, the other undertaking that there would not be a peace made which had

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not been discussed between those who were going to make it to see if they could not make it a joint peace.

Nevertheless the first time there was any personal contact between the representatives of the western powers and the Russians, such contact was between Mr. Churchill, Mr. Roosevelt and Mr. Stalin. Their foreign ministers issued and they themselves approved the Moscow declaration of October 30, 1943. It seemed at that time that all those who were fighting the axis powers were being spoken for at this conference by the three great civil leaders I have mentioned, namely Mr. Churchill, Mr. Roosevelt and Mr. Stalin. There they declared that they would jointly pledge their united action for the prosecution of war until their respective enemies would surrender, and they stated:

They recognize the necessity of establishing at the earliest practicable date a general international organization, based on the principle of the sovereign equality of all peace loving states . . . for the purpose of maintaining international peace and security pending the reestablishment of law and order and the inauguration of a stystem of general security, they will consult with one another and, as occasion requires, with other members of the united nations with a view to joint action on behalf of the community of nations.

It states that they will consult with one another and, as occasion requires, with others of the allied nations, with a view to joint action on behalf of the community of nations.

At Dumbarton Oaks the proposals for the establishment of the united nations were drawn up. In those proposals there was included as chapter 12 the following transitional arrangements:

Pending the coming into force of the special agreement or agreements referred to in chapter 8, and in aeordanee with the provisions of paragraph 5 of the four-nation declaration, signed at Moscow, on October 30, 1943, the states parties to that declaration should consult with each other and as occasion arises with other members of the organization with a view to such joint action on behalf of the organization as may be necessary for the purpose of maintaining international peace and security.

That was in the Dumbarton Oaks proposals. Then the Dumbarton Oaks proposals were followed by the Yalta conference, in the Crimea. Again, the Yalta conference was a conference between Mr. Churchill, Mr. Roosevelt and Mr. Stalin; and there they agreed to set up a control commission for Germany. They stated:

Under the agreed plan, the forces of the three powers will each occupy a separate zone in Germany. Coordinated administration and control have been provided for under the plan through a central control commission consisting of the supreme commanders of the three powers, with headquarters in Berlin. It has been agreed

that France should be invited by the three powers, if she should so desire, to take over a zone of occupation and to participate as a fourth member of the control commisison. The limits of the French zone will be agreed by the four governments concerned through their representatives on the European advisory commission.

At the time of San Francisco we knew that was the way in which they were interpreting this transitory provision which had been put into the Dumbarton Oaks proposals; and when the Dumbarton Oaks proposals were being discussed at San Francisco hon. members who were on the delegation will recall what objection was taken to the continuation of that system, whereby the three or four were going to dominate the situation.

If hon. members will refer to page 63 and following of the report they will find summarized a record of the objections made.

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Gordon Graydon

Progressive Conservative

Mr. GRAYDON:

Doctor Evatt, for instance.

Mr. ST. LAURENT: And not only Doctor Evatt. It will be seen that Canada took an active part in disputing the advisability of leaving that kind of clause in the charter of the united nations. The big powers insisted upon putting it to a vote, and it was defeated by a vote of twenty-one to nine.

There was substituted a clause which was somewhat better, but which still contained some of the objections which Canada was making to the continuance of that system, a system which may have been all right during the war. It was necessary during the war to have this small group meeting and making decisions. But it was felt that that should not be projected into the peace.

Nevertheless we got at San Francisco the best that it seemed possible to obtain, if we were to get anything; and we accepted article 106 of the charter, which is a provision along those lines, with modified language. I shall not take time to read it into the record, but hon. members will find it as article 106 of the charter.

It was not the kind of article we wanted; but it formed part of the price we had to pay, with the other smaller nations, to get the united nations charter. And it was felt that it was better to get a charter with that in it, with the veto provision in it, and the other preferred positions that were given to the "Big Five", than not to have any charter at all.

It has been suggested that we should have left troops in occupation in Germany. Well, is it suggested that they should have been part of the Russian force? Is it suggested that they should have been part of the French forces of occupation? Is it suggested that they should have been part of the United States forces of occupation? Is it suggested they

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should have been part of the United Kingdom forces of occupation? They were the only four for which provision was made, and the control commission is at the present time the government of Germany. We have a military mission there, but the head of our military mission is in the same position as an ambassador to a foreign government. He is no part of the machinery that is governing Germany at the present time. He is not part of the machinery provided for by the Yalta conference. He is our representative, as a representative of one government to another government.

The San Francisco charter was signed, and it was followed by the Potsdam conference. In the Potsdam conference there was established this council of foreign ministers. It was established by the great powers and was composed of their foreign ministers. The council was given the immediate task of drawing up, with a view to submission to the united nations, treaties with Italy, Bulgaria, Roumania, Finland and Hungary to propose a settlement of territorial questions outstanding on the termination of the war in Europe. It was then also agreed that the council would be utilized for the preparation of a peace settlement for Germany, to be accepted by the government of Germany when a government adequate for the purpose was established. The only provision made with respect to any of the others of the allies was the following:

Whenever the council is considering a question of direct interest to a state not represented thereon such state should be invited to send representatives to participate in the discussion and study of the question.

With respect to Germany it was provided that German militarism and nazism will be extirpated and the allies will take in agreement together, now and in the future, the other measures necessary to assure that Germany shall never again threaten her neighbours.

This council of foreign ministers prepares drafts for the treaties with the five satellite powers, and the big powers did then respect the letter and probably the spirit of the undertaking of January 1, 1942. They prepared drafts and then they called a conference of all those who should make peace together and not peace separately, as had been agreed in the Washington declaration. We sent a delegation to that conference and at the opening of the conference the Prime Minister said that it was not satisfactory. He said:

Let us frankly admit that the course which has been followed has not, in all respects, been that which some of us had hoped for. That perhaps may be said of all the countries represented here. We in Canada felt that the

measure of our participation in the war against aggression would have warranted a similar measure of participation in the decisions of peace. In the event, these hopes are not being realized.

Nevertheless the draft treaties were submitted to them and were discussed, I think, for seventy-six days, and the results of those discussions were sent back to the council of foreign ministers. The council met in New York and accepted many of the recommendations that were made and finally determined the form which the- treaties would have and fixed the date for their execution in Paris, the 10th of February. Of course we were not satisfied with the procedure, which was long-drawn out in Paris. We felt and we still feel that if the others had been associated with their preparation at an earlier stage there would not have been this long wrangling over trying to have modifications made at the Paris conference. Nevertheless w'e signed the treaty and one of these days after the 31st of March the treaties will be brought to this house and submitted for its action.

With respect to the other settlements, in Washington the council of foreign ministers, which derives no authority from us, expressly said: We are going to elect special deputies who will meet in London and who will hear the views of the governments of the neighbouring allied states or other allied states who participated with our armed forces in the fight against Germany and who wish to present their views on the German problems. They will also consider questions of procedure with regard to the preparation of a peace treaty with Germany and will submit a report on these matters to the council of foreign ministers by February 25, 1947. The same deputies were instructed to proceed with the preparation of a treaty with Austria and to take into consideration proposals already submitted or that might afterwards be submitted by the governments of the allied nations and to hear the views of those governments on the draft that they were instructed to prepare; they were also to submit their report on the 25th of February.

The secretary of these special deputies invited us to submit our views. We were concerned lest the submitting of our views at that time might be taken by the council of foreign ministers as satisfying us with respect to the kind of treaty we would be expected to sign with them to carry out this undertaking not to make a separate peace, and we said: No, that is not good enough. We are not satisfied with merely submitting views to your deputies. That is not appropriate to our participation in the war. We must have a larger share than

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that in the settlement of the European situation. We sent in the document which I communicated to this house on the 30th of January. We got no answer to that document but we received an invitation to appear before the deputies. We instructed the high commissioner to ask the deputies if they could give us any assurance that if we complied with their invitation their principals would not regard that as satisfying us as to our participation in the making of the peace. They replied: Under our instructions we can give no assurances. We had preliminary views about what the settlement should be and as wre did not want to appear before the deputies, we sent in a statement of our views with a covering letter saying: We understand that by sending these views to you we are not prejudicing our right to be further associated in the preparation of the settlement.

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Major James William Coldwell

Co-operative Commonwealth Federation (C.C.F.)

Mr. COLDWELL:

Was any attempt made to get in touch with the other nations who were in much the same position as ours, particularly other members of the British commonwealth like Australia?

Mr. ST. LAURENT: Our high commissioner in London was in constant communication with the representatives of the other dominions and with the representatives of other allied nations, and we were informed by him of the communications passing between him and the high commissioners of the other dominions and the representatives of the other allied nations.

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Major James William Coldwell

Co-operative Commonwealth Federation (C.C.F.)

Mr. COLDWELL:

Was there any suggestion of joint action being taken?

Mr. ST. LAURENT: No, there was no question raised of any joint action to be taken by the allied nations. Each one made his own position known in that regard.

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Gordon Graydon

Progressive Conservative

Mr. GRAYDON:

I know we are not in committee, but as a matter of information will the minister tell us what was the main objection that Canada took to appearing before the deputies?

Mr. ST. LAURENT: We had no objection to giving information to the deputies, but we did have objection to doing anything from which it might be argued afterwards that we had had o'ur measure of participation in the preparation of the settlement, and we were not going to consider that going before these deputies was giving us the measure of participation to which our part in the war entitled us. And it was that question which our high commissioner submitted to the deputies when they sent him this invitation: what assurance can you give us that our complying with your

invitation will not be considered as giving us the opportunity we feel we are entitled to in the preparation of the settlement? When we got no assurance in that regard we preferred not to appear, but merely to send this statement of our views with a covering letter that they were preliminary views, and that the sending of them did not satisfy us that it was giving us our proper participation in the preparation of the settlement.

It would have been desirable for the deputies to agree on some recommendation to make to their principals. They did not agree. I think I should perhaps give a little more connected account of what has taken place since I made the statement to the house on January 30. We had what we thought were constructive suggestions for the improvement of procedure in the early stages of the preparation for the settlement, and we also made available to the special deputies in London the general statement of Canada's views on the German problem. Since that time a similar, though a much briefer statement, has been sent in on the Austrian settlement.

I should now like to repeat what I said previously concerning the attitude of the government with respect to this problem. Throughout these discussions we have sought to take a constructive approach. We have no wish to delay or impede the conclusion of a peace settlement, nor have we at any time permitted mere considerations of prestige to influence our action. We have everything to gain and nothing to lose by a speedy settlement of the European situation; and we realize that unless the four European and American powers can agree, there will not be any settlement. It is not something which can be done by a majority ; it has to be something which each one will sign. It is much like the decisions of the security council, anyone can prevent it from being made, at least as far as he is concerned by refusing to sign it. But it seemed to us a sound and democratic principle that political relations among the nations are best conducted when responsibility is shared, not necessarily on a basis of equality, but as widely as possible among those whose interests are affected. It is simply because we believe in those principles that we have sought to indicate ways in which the settlement of Europe might be brought about with greater expedition and better chance of permanence if it did not appear to be a settlement dictated only by the great powers.

During the meetings in London of the special deputies concerning Germany they had before them a number of proposals as to methods to associate the allies in the prepara-

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tion of the peace settlement with Germany. These proposals are all alike, in that they all provide for associating the representatives of the other powers in the work of peace-making through periodic communication and information, and also through opportunities for consultation and study.

Some of the plans proposed the establishment of committees, the functions of which would not be such as to provide for participation in negotiations but to carry on consultations and to provide the channel of communication between the council of foreign ministers and the other allies. The proposed committees have been called committees for information and consultation. All the plans make provision for other committees with varying numbers and terms of reference for the study of questions either of general or of particular interest. All the proposals that the deputies have been considering, although they provide for consultation and study by varying methods on the part of the associated allies, do not appear to make provision in their present form for any real participation in the actual drafting of the settlement by any body other than the council of foreign ministers.

So far as we can tell, none of the plans provides that any part of the draft settlement shall be placed at the disposal of the associated allies for review and revision at any stage prior to the calling of a general peace conference. I do not think I need give a detailed account of these various proposals. Instead, I shall give some indication of the general estimate we have made of them in terms of the extent to which they fulfil what would appear to us to be the essential requirements. Before I do that, I should like to refer specifically to one of these plans, namely, the Soviet plan which the hon. member for Rosetown-Biggar (Mr. Coldwell) referred to, and of which it is easier to speak because it has been published in the press. That is why I am in a position to discuss it more fully than the others about which I have received information from our high commissioner in London and also from our ambassadors in Washington and in Paris.

The Soviet proposals, like some of the others, provide for a committee to exchange information and views. This is called, in the Soviet plan, a standing committee of the deputies. This committee would be empowered to communicate information, hear views and discuss particular subjects with interested states. It could also set up special ad hoc committees to study separate questions. Essentially the standing committee is designed to carry on consultation by the method which was used by the special deputies in London.

The most novel and, from the Canadian point of view, the most objectionable part of the Soviet plan is the distinction which it contains between associated states with direct interest and the others which it would regard as not having a direct interest. I suppose this is to carry out the terms of the Yalta and Potsdam agreements that they would consult with states having a direct interest.

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LIB

James Horace King (Speaker of the Senate)

Liberal

Mr. SPEAKER:

Order. I am sorry to interrupt the hon. gentleman but he has spoken for forty minutes.

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March 3, 1947