Right Hon. L. S. St. Laurent (Prime Minister):
Mr. Speaker, I think I should inform the house about the exchange of messages with London concerning the visit by Sir Winston Churchill and Mr. Eden to Washington at the end of next week. As soon as we heard that a date had been set for that visit we made inquiries through the office of the United Kingdom High Commissioner here in Ottawa and through our own High Commissioner in the office of commonwealth relations in London as to the possibility of their coming to Ottawa on the occasion of their visit to this continent.
Yesterday morning I received personally from Sir Winston Churchill a very cordial message in which he said he always enjoyed a conference in Canada but could not make any plans at the present time. Following that message I had this message sent to the Secretary of State for Commonwealth Relations of the British government:
Having heard that Sir Winston and Mr. Eden are coming to Washington, my colleagues and I would like to assure them that, if it were convenient for them to visit Ottawa on their way back, they would be most warmly welcomed and that we would much appreciate the opportunity of hearing direct from them their appreciation of the present situation.
I quite understand, however, Sir Winston's difficulty about making plans at present for such a visit and I would not like him to feel any embarrassment if circumstances made it necessary for him to decline our invitation at this time.
This morning I received this personal message from Sir Winston which I am glad to communicate to the house:
So glad to get your telegram. I have every hope of coming to Ottawa for a day or a day and a half during the 29th of June, 30th of June and 1st of July, if it is convenient to you. Mr. Eden, to whom I have spoken, will be delighted to come too. I do not want any public meeting but we shall be honoured to meet your cabinet.
Subtopic: VISIT TO OTTAWA BY SIR WINSTON CHURCHILL AND MR. EDEN