Mr. M. J. Coldwell (Roseiown-Biggar):
Mr. Speaker, I wish to rise on a matter of personal privilege. An editorial in the Montreal Gazette this morning refers to the NATO statement made by the C.C.F. national council and a reference therein to "the control of NATO by the military and certain American influences." It then goes on to say:
Somebody decided to ask the C.C.F.'s national leader, Mr. M. J. Coldwell. In the House of Commons, Mr. Coldwell cleared his throat and made the startling announcement. These certain American influences were President Truman and Mr. John Foster Dulles!
No such statement was made in this house by me. In explanation may I say that it is a distortion of a question and answer asked by Mr. Arthur Blakely on the C.B.C. program "press conference" recorded last Friday for broadcast tonight. Reference to this conference until broadcast is, I am informed, entirely unethical but this is a matter for the press gallery and the C.B.C. However, this morning I had the C.B.C. play back the recording to be broadcast tonight and I wish to place on the record a stenographic report of Mr. Blakely's question at the conference and my answer. The question by Mr. Blakely was:
The inference-a clear inference-if these certain American influences are not the military-now who are they?
My answer was as follows:
Mr. Dulles said not long ago that we could not take a negative attitude on China. For example, we had to take a positive attitude. In other words, we had to carry on the war against China and even the president himself, as you will recollect, made the statement that we had a choice of a premeditated war-or what was the other phrase-a negotiated settlement-and if you had been in the United States, as I have been recently, you would realize that there is a very large amount of public opinion being worked up by commentators and others in the United States for a positive war. That is what I had in mind.
My authorities for the answer I made, which of course was from memory since for my part this was an unrehearsed discussion, was that Mr. Dulles, appearing before the
United States senate committee and urging the removal of the Peking government, said:
We cannot expect a change to take place automatically. To realize such a change will require something besides a negative and purely defensive policy in Asia on the part of the free world, notably the United States.
I think the meaning is quite clear. My reference to President Truman, of course, was of a somewhat different character and was based on my recollection of a reference made on March 21 by the hon. member for Peace River (Mr. Low) to the president's speech before congress on March 6, 1952, reported on page 698 of Hansard as follows:
In his message to congress, and dealing with what has come to be known as a mutual security program, the President of the United States said that there are only two alternatives, namely premeditated and deliberate war, or an American withdrawal to the western hemisphere.
I am certain that the hon. member's reference was made on what he regarded as a reliable newspaper's report of the president's speech. I must say, however, that at noon today I looked up the text of the president's speech and I regret to say that I do not think the newspaper report interpreted it correctly. However, it does not alter the fact that both Mr. Blakely's original article and the Gazette editorial, to which I have referred, are distortions of my own attitude, as I am sure listeners will appreciate when they hear the broadcast tonight.
Subtopic: STATEMENT OF C.C.F. NATIONAL COUNCIL EDITORIAL IN MONTREAL "GAZETTE"