On the orders of the day:
Right Hon. L. S. St. Laurent (Prime
Minister): Mr. Speaker, may I refer to the question asked on Monday, February 14, by the hon. member for Prince Albert (Mr. Diefenbaker) regarding the contribution by Canada to the distant early warning screen. As I have made clear, the provision of this distant early warning system is a jointly conceived Canada-United States project. The
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Inquiries of the Ministry joint plan calls for two early warning lines, one north of the settled areas of Canada and known generally as the mid-Canada line, and a second line across the most northerly practicable part of North America, known generally as the distant early warning line.
These two lines will supplement the presently operating control and warning line known as the "Pinetree" line.
Canada has undertaken to finance, construct and operate the mid-Canada line, and the United States has undertaken responsibility for the construction of the distant early warning line.
In addition to undertaking the mid-Canada line, Canada will, in respect of the distant early warning line, contribute such resources of the R.C.A.F. and the R.C.N. as can be made available, and will assist the United States in organizing and using other Canadian resources.
The participation of Canada in the operation of that line is still under consideration, and we will not be in a position to make any decision about that until more is known about the numbers and the technical skills required in connection with that distant line.
The outline I have given is a short paraphrase of two joint Canada-United States announcements made on September 27 and November 19, 1954, which were published at the time; but it might be the wish of the house to have them on record, and if so, I should be glad to table them at this time.