March 19, 1954

LIB

William Alfred Robinson (Deputy Speaker and Chair of Committees of the Whole of the House of Commons)

Liberal

The Chairman:

At this time I wish to thank the hon. member for Greenwood for sending up his amendment in typewritten form. It is of considerable assistance to the chair. Might I also make this suggestion, that hon. members might be kind enough to send to the Chair two copies of amendments because I am advised by the law clerk it assists him if he also has a copy.

Topic:   EXPORT AND IMPORT PERMITS ACT
Subtopic:   EXTENSION OF CONTROL OF STRATEGIC MATERIALS
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LIB

John Horace Dickey (Parliamentary Assistant to the Minister of Defence Production)

Liberal

Mr. Dickey:

From the wording of the suggested amendment, I presume the hon. member for Greenwood intends to require the tabling of any intergovernmental arrangement or commitment within the time specified in the wording of the amendment. If that is correct, I am afraid I am advised the amendment could not be accepted.

The only intergovernmental arrangement or commitment that is in force so far as clause 3 of this bill is concerned is, I am advised, the United Nations resolution to which reference was made in the debate in committee last evening. In so far as paragraph Cc) of clause 5 is concerned, there is no formal intergovernmental arrangement or commitment at present in force. Under clause 5 (a) there are some informal arrangements between governments which are not reduced to the form of a treaty or protocol or anything of that nature between the governments, but which are agreed upon between the responsible ministers of the governments concerned and which have the effect indicated in my earlier remarks.

It would therefore, Mr. Chairman, be impossible for the government to undertake to table intergovernmental arrangements or commitments between governments that had

not been reduced to formal documents between those governments. Information relating to those arrangements and the placing of goods on the import control lists as a result of such arrangements is given to parliament in the annual report that is tabled in parliament each year, and in the future would be included in such annual reports. In that way parliament would be fully informed of any action which it was found necessary to take under this section. I feel that perhaps would meet the wishes of the hon. member and the committee, to have the full information before parliament, as is suggested in the amendment.

Topic:   EXPORT AND IMPORT PERMITS ACT
Subtopic:   EXTENSION OF CONTROL OF STRATEGIC MATERIALS
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PC

James MacKerras Macdonnell

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Macdonnell:

Would it meet the requirements the parliamentary assistant has laid down if we inserted the words "the terms of"? In other words, it would be the terms of it which would be tabled. We want to be reasonable in the matter. It is only a question of information. Would that meet the difficulty the parliamentary assistant has indicated? If not, would he suggest some other wording?

Topic:   EXPORT AND IMPORT PERMITS ACT
Subtopic:   EXTENSION OF CONTROL OF STRATEGIC MATERIALS
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PC

Edmund Davie Fulton

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Fulton:

Perhaps the words "the effect of which" might be suggested.

Topic:   EXPORT AND IMPORT PERMITS ACT
Subtopic:   EXTENSION OF CONTROL OF STRATEGIC MATERIALS
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LIB

John Horace Dickey (Parliamentary Assistant to the Minister of Defence Production)

Liberal

Mr. Dickey:

I am informed by the officials that these lists, and any changes made in the lists under the powers contained in the Export and Import Permits Act, and which are contained in the bill before the committee, are published in the Canada Gazette, and are therefore public and available to all hon. members as well as to the trade. Perhaps that is sufficient notice to hon. members of action taken under this power.

Topic:   EXPORT AND IMPORT PERMITS ACT
Subtopic:   EXTENSION OF CONTROL OF STRATEGIC MATERIALS
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PC

James MacKerras Macdonnell

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Macdonnell:

I am aware of that; but it seems to me this is not a very onerous request, when we ask that these requirements should also be tabled in parliament.

Topic:   EXPORT AND IMPORT PERMITS ACT
Subtopic:   EXTENSION OF CONTROL OF STRATEGIC MATERIALS
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LIB

Clarence Decatur Howe (Minister of Defence Production; Minister of Trade and Commerce)

Liberal

Mr. Howe (Pori Arthur):

Some of the arrangements may be confidential. It would not be possible to cover all the arrangements made. These are international arrangements, made usually in concert at least with the United States and the United Kingdom. I should think it would hardly be possible to comply with the suggestion of the hon. member.

Topic:   EXPORT AND IMPORT PERMITS ACT
Subtopic:   EXTENSION OF CONTROL OF STRATEGIC MATERIALS
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PC

James MacKerras Macdonnell

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Macdonnell:

Does the minister appreciate that the wording of the proposal is that we be given "the effect of it". In other words, we are not asking for a report, word by word, but rather for the effect of such report.

Topic:   EXPORT AND IMPORT PERMITS ACT
Subtopic:   EXTENSION OF CONTROL OF STRATEGIC MATERIALS
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LIB

Clarence Decatur Howe (Minister of Defence Production; Minister of Trade and Commerce)

Liberal

Mr. Howe (Pori Arthur):

Would the hon. member be satisfied with our tabling the Canada Gazette where these matters are referred to? I do not think we can say that that procedure covers all the arrangements 83276-200

19, 1954 3157

Export and Import Permits Act made; but at least it is the working advice to the exporting and importing public of the regulations as they stand from day to day.

Topic:   EXPORT AND IMPORT PERMITS ACT
Subtopic:   EXTENSION OF CONTROL OF STRATEGIC MATERIALS
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PC

Edmund Davie Fulton

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Fulton:

Is not the point this, that that which is published in the Canada Gazette is the order in council made placing an article on the import permit list?

Topic:   EXPORT AND IMPORT PERMITS ACT
Subtopic:   EXTENSION OF CONTROL OF STRATEGIC MATERIALS
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LIB

Clarence Decatur Howe (Minister of Defence Production; Minister of Trade and Commerce)

Liberal

Mr. Howe (Pori Arthur):

Yes.

Topic:   EXPORT AND IMPORT PERMITS ACT
Subtopic:   EXTENSION OF CONTROL OF STRATEGIC MATERIALS
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PC

Edmund Davie Fulton

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Fulton:

What we are seeking is the effect of the arrangement made under which that order in council was passed. I do not think that would appear merely from an examination of the commodities included in the list.

Topic:   EXPORT AND IMPORT PERMITS ACT
Subtopic:   EXTENSION OF CONTROL OF STRATEGIC MATERIALS
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LIB

Clarence Decatur Howe (Minister of Defence Production; Minister of Trade and Commerce)

Liberal

Mr. Howe (Port Arthur):

The point I have made is that the reasons for making the order may be confidential. I could not agree to tabling the correspondence leading up to the order, or anything of that sort.

Topic:   EXPORT AND IMPORT PERMITS ACT
Subtopic:   EXTENSION OF CONTROL OF STRATEGIC MATERIALS
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PC

James MacKerras Macdonnell

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Macdonnell:

May I stress again the words we have used, because we want to be co-operative. There is no suggestion of tabling the correspondence. The words we use are "the effect of which". As my colleague has pointed out, merely a list showing the results, without an explanation, is not satisfactory. What we are asking is that we might have the effect; it is not a suggestion to table the correspondence or to give a great deal of detail. It is only a suggestion to set out the effect.

Topic:   EXPORT AND IMPORT PERMITS ACT
Subtopic:   EXTENSION OF CONTROL OF STRATEGIC MATERIALS
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PC

Edmund Davie Fulton

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Fulton:

May I just offer this brief word of explanation. I think the minister and his assistant will agree-and what I am saying is not necessarily a criticism-that the power to make intergovernmental arrangements and to carry these arrangements into effect by order in council, as set out in this bill, does give a very broad measure of control over the whole Canadian economy. I make that as a statement of fact.

Therefore what we are seeking is an assurance that, before such orders in council having that broad effect on the Canadian economy are passed, parliament will be informed of the effect of the intergovernmental arrangement which has been concluded, and that we will have in broad and general terms the reasons therefor, so that we may be satisfied that the exercise of the powers conferred under the act, and by the orders in council in question, are in fact necessary. Otherwise we would not know the background for suddenly placing a certain commodity or commodities on an import control list. All we are asking is that the effect or the general terms of an international agreement upon which such order is based may be laid before parliament within a reasonable time after it is concluded.

Export and Import Permits Act

Topic:   EXPORT AND IMPORT PERMITS ACT
Subtopic:   EXTENSION OF CONTROL OF STRATEGIC MATERIALS
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LIB

Clarence Decatur Howe (Minister of Defence Production; Minister of Trade and Commerce)

Liberal

Mr. Howe (Pori Arihur):

I think we can go some considerable distance toward meeting the wishes of my hon. friends. There may be secret agreements-that is, agreements to forestall certain eventualities-that we could not table. But, generally speaking, I think we could table the information the hon. members want. Of course, every order in council implementing an agreement would be tabled in any event. But perhaps we can go farther than that. I would' not like to commit myself to laying all the information before parliament; but anything that is not of a secret nature could be tabled if that would be satisfactory.

Topic:   EXPORT AND IMPORT PERMITS ACT
Subtopic:   EXTENSION OF CONTROL OF STRATEGIC MATERIALS
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PC

James MacKerras Macdonnell

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Macdonnell:

The amendment could be altered by putting in the words "the effect of". In other words, it could be left in general terms, without demanding any detail, and accepted in that way.

Topic:   EXPORT AND IMPORT PERMITS ACT
Subtopic:   EXTENSION OF CONTROL OF STRATEGIC MATERIALS
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LIB

Clarence Decatur Howe (Minister of Defence Production; Minister of Trade and Commerce)

Liberal

Mr. Howe (Port Arihur):

Yes, "consistent with secrecy provisions", or something of that sort.

Topic:   EXPORT AND IMPORT PERMITS ACT
Subtopic:   EXTENSION OF CONTROL OF STRATEGIC MATERIALS
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PC

James MacKerras Macdonnell

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Macdonnell:

That would certainly be understood. May I read it again, just to see whether it would be satisfactory. It would now read:

-the effect of which shall be tabled in parliament within fifteen days.

The words "the effect of which" would seem to leave it pretty wide open for just a general summary.

Topic:   EXPORT AND IMPORT PERMITS ACT
Subtopic:   EXTENSION OF CONTROL OF STRATEGIC MATERIALS
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LIB

Clarence Decatur Howe (Minister of Defence Production; Minister of Trade and Commerce)

Liberal

Mr. Howe (Pori Arihur):

That may be all right. We may be able to accept an amendment with the words "the effect of which".

Topic:   EXPORT AND IMPORT PERMITS ACT
Subtopic:   EXTENSION OF CONTROL OF STRATEGIC MATERIALS
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March 19, 1954