FAR EASTERN COMMISSION-CANBERRA CONFERENCE-Canada's interests
On the orders of the day:
Right Hon. L. S. ST. LAURENT (Secretary of State for External Affairs): Mr. Speaker, I should like to answer a question asked on December 9 by the hon. member for Vancouver South (Mr. Green). Replying to the hon. member, I undertook to see what information could be given the house at this time regarding arrangements for a Japanese peace conference.
There has not as yet been any definite date, site, or procedure fixed for the Japanese peace conference, although all the principal countries concerned appear to be agreed on the desirability of proceeding at an early date with the drafting of a peace treaty for Japan, with a view to the re-establishment of peace in the Far East.
The first proposal for the convening of a Japanese peace conference was made by the United States government on July 11 of this year. It suggested that a conference of representatives of the eleven states, members of Far Eastern Commission, namely Australia, Canada, China, France, India, The Netherlands, New Zealand, the Philippines, the United Kingdom, the United States, and the U.SjS.R., should be convened as soon as practicable to discuss a peace treaty for Japan. Such an eleven-power conference was advocated because it would provide a broad representative basis of participation to include all those nations with a primary interest in Japan. It was the view expressed by the United States government that other states at war with Japan might be given an opportunity to present their views while the peace treaty was being drafted and that after draft-
Japanese Peace Treaty
ing had reached a sufficiently advanced stage it should be considered by a general conference of all the states at war with Japan. It was proposed that decisions at the preliminary eleven-power conference should be adopted by a simple two-thirds majority.
The Canadian government welcomed these proposals made by the United States government and viewed with satisfaction the provision that the eleven powers primarily interested in the settlement with Japan participate fully from the beginning in the preparation of the treaty. Canada noted with approval the suggestion that voting should be by a simple two-thirds majority.
Australia, France, India, The Netherlands, New Zealand, the Philippines, and the United Kingdom also accepted the United States proposal without any important reservations. China and the U.SJS.R. did not agree to the procedure suggested.
The Soviet union took the view that the question of convening a conference for drawing up a peace treaty with Japan should be provisionally examined by the council of foreign ministers, composed of representatives of the United States, Great Britain, the Soviet Union and China only.