Right Hon. C. D. Howe (Minister of Trade and Commerce):
Mr. Speaker, I should like
to make an announcement regarding trade conferences. Last week, as hon. members know, a meeting of the Canada-United Kingdom continuing committee was held here in Ottawa, and during the week end my colleague, the minister of external affairs (Mr. Pearson), issued a short summary of the profitable discussions which took place. Discussions with the British West Indies followed the United Kingdom talks and are now completed.
A delegation of officials of the French government arrived in Ottawa this morning to discuss a number of problems pertaining to trade between our two countries. Members of this delegation spent yesterday in Toronto at the international trade fair, where they were welcomed as honoured guests and were able to see the merchandise of many countries now on display there. This afternoon the French delegation will begin meetings with officials of government departments concerned. It is expected that these discussions will be carried on for two or three days. The tariff agreement completed recently at Torquay between Canada and France was evidence of the desire which exists on both sides to create opportunities for trade.
Tomorrow, May 30, the minister of customs of New Zealand, who is also the associate minister of finance of that country, will arrive in Ottawa to discuss trade problems with the Canadian government. We welcome this timely visit of a distinguished minister of the crown from a sister commonwealth country. Canada has traditionally enjoyed
valuable trade relations with New Zealand, and we hope that the groundwork will be laid at the present meetings for further expansion.