Right Hon. W. L. MACKENZIE KING (Prime Minister):
Mr. Speaker, members of parliament will have already learned with satisfaction that a treaty of mutual guarantee was signed this morning at Brussels by representatives of the governments of the United Kingdom, France, Belgium, the Netherlands and Luxembourg. This pact represents a partial fulfilment of the idea of a western European union put forward by the United Kingdom foreign secretary on January 22 last. This pact is far more than an alliance of the old kind. It is a partial realization of the idea of collective security by an arrangement made under the charter of the united nations. As such it is a step towards peace, which may well be followed by other similar steps until there is built up an association of all free states which are willing to accept responsibilities of mutual assistance to prevent aggression and preserve peace.
May I read, in this connection, two articles of the western union agreement:
Article III. The high contracting parties will make every effort in common to lead their people towards a better understanding of the principles which form the basis of their common civilization and to promote cultural exchanges by conventions between themselves or otherwise.
Article IV. If any high contracting party should be the object of an armed attack in Europe, the other high contracting parties will, in accordance with the provisions of article LI of the charter, afford the party so attacked all the military and other aid and assistance in their power.
Hon. members will, I am sure, also welcome the significant statement made to the congress of the United States at noon today by President Truman in which, referring to the Brussels agreement which had just been signed, he spoke of the determination of the United States to help those five western European nations to protect themselves.
The Canadian government has been closely following recent developments in the international sphere. The peoples of all free countries may be assured that Canada will play her full part in every movement to give substance to the conception of an effective system of collective security by the development of regional pacts under the charter of the united nations.
Subtopic: SIGNING AT BRUSSELS OP TREATY OF MUTUAL GUARANTEE