Right Kon. L. S. St. Laurent (Prime Minister): Mr. Speaker, I felt that my first public reference to the subject matter of the statements issued this morning by the President of the United States of America and by the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom should be in this house.
In the course of Mr. Truman's statement he said:
We have evidence that within recent weeks an atomic explosion occurred in the U.S.S.R.
Ever since atomic energy was first released by man, the eventual development of this new force by other nations was to be expected. This probability has always been taken into account by us.
Nearly four years ago I pointed out that "scientific opinion appears to be practically unanimous that the essential theoretical knowledge upon which the discovery is based is already widely known. There is also substantial agreement that foreign research can come abreast of our present theoretical knowledge in time." And, in the three-nation declaration of the President of the United States and the prime ministers of the United Kingdom and of Canada, dated November 15, 1945, it was emphasized that no single nation could in fact have a monopoly of atomic weapons.
This recent development emphasizes once again, if indeed such emphasis were needed, the necessity for that truly effective enforceable international control of atomic energy which my government and the large majority of the members of the United Nations support.
On this occasion I would only say that the government of Canada associates itself fully with these observations, as it had done with the decision to make public the information contained in these statements.
May I express the hope that with new knowledge may come a new sense of a shared responsibility for and an equal interest in agreeing on an effective enforceable international control of atomic energy so that this new force can be used solely for peaceful purposes.