March 16, 1956

HOUSE OF COMMONS DEBATES

OFFICIAL REPORT


queen's printer and controller of stationery OTTAWA, 1956



Friday, March 16, 1956


RAILWAYS AND SHIPPING

CONCURRENCE IN FIRST REPORT OF SESSIONAL COMMITTEE


Mr. H. P. Cavers (Lincoln) presented the first report of the sessional committee on railways and shipping owned, operated and controlled by the government, and moved that the report be concurred in. Motion agreed to.


EXTERNAL AFFAIRS

APPROVAL OF PERMITS FOR ARMS

LIB

Louis Stephen St-Laurent (Prime Minister; President of the Privy Council)

Liberal

Right Hon. L. S. St. Laurent (Prime Minister):

Mr. Speaker, I wish to make a short statement about arms shipments. In accord with the policy of the government to give consideration to all applications for arms shipments as they come forward, as I have stated in the house on more than one occasion is being done, yesterday the cabinet approved three such applications for Israel. Those applications were considered in the light of the tensions now existing in the Middle East, as I said they would be when they came before the cabinet, and it was felt that although the basic tensions remained there has been in the last few days some easing of the apprehensions that existed when Sir John Glubb was removed from control of the Arab legion and when there were being some clashes on lake Tiberias. There are now discussions going on as to how the United Nations might intervene effectively in the interest of facilitating a peaceful solution of the problem.

The first of the applications approved was for 1,754 units of 25-pounder ammunition which had been before the cabinet for some time and which has been referred to more than once in this house.

Two other applications were submitted to the cabinet yesterday for defence equipment for Israel and were approved with export permits being granted. One concerned a small order for electronic equipment valued at $1,200 consisting of 40 units for converting wireless sets from direct to alternating current. The other covers $136,361.59 worth of spare parts for Sherman M-IV tanks.

The history of this order is that in 1954 an export permit was granted for an order for Israel valued at $565,071.36 for tank parts without breech blocks or arms. This order has been referred to already on earlier occasions, on January 24 and January 26, by the Secretary of State for External Affairs (Mr. Pearson). Full delivery did not take place during the validity of this permit which expired on July 16, 1955. A new permit with a validity for six months only was approved on July 26, 1955, to cover the undelivered portion of the order originally placed in 1954. The second permit expired on January 26, 1956, with delivery still uncompleted.

Hon. members will remember that in the meantime there was a temporary suspension of all shipments to the Middle East which was imposed on January 20. Application was made on February 3 for a permit to cover the unshipped balance amounting in value to $136,361.59 and it was that application which was referred yesterday to the cabinet and approved.

ILatenl

Topic:   EXTERNAL AFFAIRS
Subtopic:   APPROVAL OF PERMITS FOR ARMS
Sub-subtopic:   SHIPMENTS
Permalink

MIDDLE EAST

INQUIRY AS TO PENDING


On the orders of the day:


PC

George Alexander Drew (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Progressive Conservative

Hon. George A. Drew (Leader of the Opposition):

Mr. Speaker, I wish to direct a question to the Prime Minister. In view of the fact that the government has announced this morning a decision in regard to arms shipments, will the Prime Minister tell the house whether there are any other applications pending from any of the countries in the Middle East at this time and, if so, what countries and what applications they are?

Right Hon. L. S. St. Laurent (Prime

Minister): There are two applications from the government of Israel which came before the cabinet yesterday and with respect to which decision was deferred. If and when a decision is made on those applications, an immediate announcement will be made to the house.

Topic:   MIDDLE EAST
Subtopic:   INQUIRY AS TO PENDING
Sub-subtopic:   APPLICATIONS FOR ARMS SHIPMENTS
Permalink
PC

George Alexander Drew (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Drew:

I wish to ask a supplementary question in regard to that. Has the government now adopted a policy of dealing with shipments of arms and military equipment by order in council?

Inquiries of the Ministry

Topic:   MIDDLE EAST
Subtopic:   INQUIRY AS TO PENDING
Sub-subtopic:   APPLICATIONS FOR ARMS SHIPMENTS
Permalink
LIB

Louis Stephen St-Laurent (Prime Minister; President of the Privy Council)

Liberal

Mr. St. Laurent (Quebec East):

As I stated to the house, Mr. Speaker, whenever there appear to be political repercussions involved in an application, it is referred to the whole council for consideration.

Topic:   MIDDLE EAST
Subtopic:   INQUIRY AS TO PENDING
Sub-subtopic:   APPLICATIONS FOR ARMS SHIPMENTS
Permalink
PC

George Alexander Drew (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Drew:

Does that mean that it is political considerations that guide the government in determining how the decision will be made?

Topic:   MIDDLE EAST
Subtopic:   INQUIRY AS TO PENDING
Sub-subtopic:   APPLICATIONS FOR ARMS SHIPMENTS
Permalink
LIB

Louis Stephen St-Laurent (Prime Minister; President of the Privy Council)

Liberal

Mr. St. Laurent (Quebec East):

It is the

international political situation.

Topic:   MIDDLE EAST
Subtopic:   INQUIRY AS TO PENDING
Sub-subtopic:   APPLICATIONS FOR ARMS SHIPMENTS
Permalink
PC

George Alexander Drew (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Drew:

Then could we now take it that there is a policy under which the government will not ship arms or equipment unless the cabinet has decided and there is an order in council dealing with it?

Topic:   MIDDLE EAST
Subtopic:   INQUIRY AS TO PENDING
Sub-subtopic:   APPLICATIONS FOR ARMS SHIPMENTS
Permalink
LIB

Louis Stephen St-Laurent (Prime Minister; President of the Privy Council)

Liberal

Mr. St. Laurent (Quebec East):

No, Mr. Speaker, there are no orders in council dealing with it, but there is consideration given by the cabinet to all those matters, and there is a minute of a decision when it is made by the cabinet.

Topic:   MIDDLE EAST
Subtopic:   INQUIRY AS TO PENDING
Sub-subtopic:   APPLICATIONS FOR ARMS SHIPMENTS
Permalink

March 16, 1956