Right Hon. L. S. ST. LAURENT (Secretary of State for External Affairs): Mr. Speaker, I should like to answer a question put on March 22 by the hon. member for Peel (Mr. Graydon) as to the intention of the government with respect to objectives set out in the joint statement on Trieste issued on Saturday, March 20. by the governments of the United States, the United Kingdom and France. The first part of this declaration reads as follows:
The governments of the United States, United Kingdom and France have proposed to the governments of the Soviet Union and Italy that those governments join in agreement on an additional protocol to the treaty of peace with Italy which would place the free territory of Trieste once more under Italian sovereignty.
In his address before the plenary session of the Paris conference on August 2, 1946, the Prime Minister (Mr. Mackenzie King) said:
Our concern as a nation is to see that, as far as we can help to make them so, the peace treaties will be based upon broad and enduring principles of justice and equity. Canada seeks no territory, no reparations, no special concessions of any kind, but we do seek to build a lasting peace.
On October 8, 1946, the head of the Canadian delegation, the Hon. Brooke Claxton, speaking before the plenary conference, stated with reference to the statute of Trieste:
The compromise for which the large majority of the commission eventually voted followed the lines laid down by the council of foreign ministers. The Canadian delegation supported the creation of the free territory of Trieste in the hope that it will possess genuine independence under the authority of the united nations. This hope, however, is based upon the belief that in the last resort Yugoslavia, which was in the forefront in the Avar against the axis forces, will find it possible to play a leading role in supporting a pacific and progressive solution of this most difficult aspect of the Italian settlement.
This hope has not been realized. In reply to the question of the hon. member for Peel, therefore, I wish to state that it is the intention of the Canadian government to support the proposal of the governments of the United States, the United Kingdom, and France to return the free territory of Trieste to Italy by revision of the peace treaty with Italy.