Hon. L. B. Pearson (Secretary of State for External Affairs):
Mr. Speaker, I am tabling three copies, in English and in French, of the text of the international sugar agreement. Possibly I might make a short statement on this agreement.
Hon. members may be aware that Canada was represented at the United Nations conference on sugar which was held in London last year from July 13 to August 25 inclusive, and from which emerged an international agreement for the regulation of the production and marketing of sugar. Under the provisions of the international sugar agreement, governments which were represented at the conference may accede to the agreement by depositing an "instrument of accession" with the United Kingdom government. Sufficient governments, including the governments of the United Kingdom and of the United States, have now deposited their instruments of ratification or notified their intention to do so to bring the agreement into force from January 1, 1954. The agreement is to remain in force for five years.
My purpose in rising at this time is merely to inform the house of the intention of the government to participate in the international sugar agreement, copies of which I have now tabled. The government does not propose, however, to accede formally to the agreement until hon. members have had an opportunity to study its provisions and to offer any comments or submit any questions with respect to its provisions. This opportunity to discuss the sugar agreement will be afforded when the estimates of the Department of Trade and Commerce are before the house.