May 20, 1955

EXTERNAL AFFAIRS


Second report of standing committee on external affairs.-Mr. Picard.


DIPLOMATIC INSTRUMENTS

DISTANT EARLY WARNING SYSTEM


Hon, L. B. Pearson (Secretary of Slate for External Affairs): I wish to table copies in English and in French, Mr. Speaker, of an exchange of notes between the Canadian ambassador in Washington and the Secretary of State of the United States of America, dated May 5, 1955, constituting an agreement between the Canadian and United States governments covering the construction and operation of the distant early warning system.


CUSTOMS TARIFF

CANNED MIXED FRUIT


On the orders of the day:


CCF

Stanley Howard Knowles (Whip of the Co-operative Commonwealth Federation)

Co-operative Commonwealth Federation (C.C.F.)

Mr. Stanley Knowles (Winnipeg North Centre):

Mr. Speaker, may I ask a question of the Minister of Finance? Has the minister now seen press reports that the government is sounding out other GATT countries regarding an increase in the tariff on mixed fruits and that this is one of the one or two other items, along with ethylene glycol, which he mentioned in his budget speech? Are there any other items slated for a tariff boost at this session?

Topic:   CUSTOMS TARIFF
Subtopic:   CANNED MIXED FRUIT
Sub-subtopic:   REFERENCE TO GATT
Permalink
LIB

Walter Edward Harris (Minister of Finance and Receiver General; Leader of the Government in the House of Commons; Liberal Party House Leader)

Liberal

Hon. W. E. Harris (Minister of Finance):

Mr. Speaker, I think the house will have appreciated the manner in which my hon. friend beclouds the issue by the wording of his question. He asks, has the minister now seen press reports. The answer is yes. Then he goes on to say, "and that this is one of the one or two other items... which he mentioned in his budget speech." I presume if I answered yes to that in connection with one question he would say I had then agreed that mixed fruits were in fact among those being discussed at Geneva, and I have no intention of saying that. So if my hon. friend would drop the "and" I could answer the question.

Then as to the second question, "Are there any other items slated for a tariff boost at

50433-250J

this session?" I made it clear in my speech as reported at page 2738 of Hansard that there were in fact two items by name. I also said at page 2739 that it may be necessary to introduce those items-that is, the question of ethylene glycol and possibly one or two others -into the resolution as amendments at the time we are in committee. And, sir, we will give the house notice of any such resolution in the normal way.

Topic:   CUSTOMS TARIFF
Subtopic:   CANNED MIXED FRUIT
Sub-subtopic:   REFERENCE TO GATT
Permalink
CCF

Stanley Howard Knowles (Whip of the Co-operative Commonwealth Federation)

Co-operative Commonwealth Federation (C.C.F.)

Mr. Knowles:

May I ask a supplementary question? Does the minister care to answer my first question with the word "and" deleted?

Topic:   CUSTOMS TARIFF
Subtopic:   CANNED MIXED FRUIT
Sub-subtopic:   REFERENCE TO GATT
Permalink
LIB

Walter Edward Harris (Minister of Finance and Receiver General; Leader of the Government in the House of Commons; Liberal Party House Leader)

Liberal

Mr. Harris:

The answer I gave yesterday was that these negotiations are secret.

Topic:   CUSTOMS TARIFF
Subtopic:   CANNED MIXED FRUIT
Sub-subtopic:   REFERENCE TO GATT
Permalink

NATIONAL DEFENCE

RADAR WARNING LINES

PC

John George Diefenbaker

Progressive Conservative

Mr. J. G. Diefenbaker (Prince Albert):

Arising out of the action of the Secretary of State for External Affairs in tabling these agreements between the United States and Canada, is the minister in a position to advise what is Canada's proportionate share of the cost, in respect of the distant early warning line, the mid-continent line and the "Pinetree" line? What is Canada's proportion of the expenditures being made, and in the construction work done by the United States to what degree is Canadian sovereignty maintained?

Topic:   NATIONAL DEFENCE
Subtopic:   RADAR WARNING LINES
Sub-subtopic:   SOVEREIGNTY
Permalink
LIB

Lester Bowles Pearson (Secretary of State for External Affairs)

Liberal

Hon. L. B. Pearson (Secretary of Stale for External Affairs):

Mr. Speaker, I am not in a position to give the exact proportions of cost borne by the two countries in respect of the three lines, because the total cost has not yet been determined. However, I might make a short statement on the point raised by my hon. friend in the last part of his question.

Hon. members will recall that the statement on the over-all joint Canada-United States warning system, published as appendix B to Hansard of February 22, 1955, emphasized that experience has shown that projects of this nature can be carried out most effectively by vesting responsibility for all phases of the work of construction and installation in a single authority. Accordingly it had been agreed that Canada would construct the mid-Canada warning line and the United States the distant early warning line.

3956 HOUSE OF

Inquiries of the Ministry

This exchange of notes establishes conditions which will enable the United States to build the distant early warning line as rapidly as possible in the interests of the defence of the two countries. At the same time it preserves the principle enunciated in the joint declaration of February 12, 1947, on defence co-operation, that all co-operative arrangements will be without impairment of the control of either country over all activities in its own territory. In particular the agreement provides for the effective participation by Canada in the operation of the distant early warning system, the character of such participation to be determined on the basis of studies to be carried out during the construction phase. These studies are already under way, but I should point out that they will not be completed for a considerable time and for the present there is nothing to be added to the statement made by the Prime Minister on the matter in this house on February 22 last.

Topic:   NATIONAL DEFENCE
Subtopic:   RADAR WARNING LINES
Sub-subtopic:   SOVEREIGNTY
Permalink
PC

John George Diefenbaker

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Diefenbaker:

May I ask a further supplementary question, Mr. Speaker. Is there anything secret about the cost of the midcontinent line, or the McGill fence, which is being constructed by Canada? Now that we know that the cost is being borne by Canada, what is to be the total cost of this line?

Topic:   NATIONAL DEFENCE
Subtopic:   RADAR WARNING LINES
Sub-subtopic:   SOVEREIGNTY
Permalink
LIB

Lester Bowles Pearson (Secretary of State for External Affairs)

Liberal

Mr. Pearson:

As I understand it, Mr. Speaker, there is nothing secret about the cost of the mid-continent line, which is being borne by Canada, but I have not the figures. Indeed I am not sure whether the total figures are available yet, because all the costs of construction are not known. There is nothing secret about the matter, however, and as soon as the costs are known they can be made available to the house.

Topic:   NATIONAL DEFENCE
Subtopic:   RADAR WARNING LINES
Sub-subtopic:   SOVEREIGNTY
Permalink

TAXATION

AUTOMOBILES

May 20, 1955