August 3, 1956

COMMITTEE ON ESTIMATES


Sixth report of special committee on estimates.-Mr. Tucker.


BUSINESS OF THE HOUSE

CHANGE IN ORDER OP PROCEEDINGS

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, it occurred to me today that we might facilitate the business of parliament by changing the order of business a little bit to dispose of the first three items on the orders of the day so that in the other place they might be considering these matters while we were going on with other things. I would suggest to the house that we take the third reading of Bill No. 388, third reading of Bill No. 349 and third reading of Bill No. 343 this morning in that order, and then go on with the estimates as I indicated last evening.

Topic:   BUSINESS OF THE HOUSE
Subtopic:   CHANGE IN ORDER OP PROCEEDINGS
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EXTERNAL AFFAIRS


On the orders of the day:


LIB

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

Liberal

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

Mr. Speaker, the representatives of the governments of France, the United Kingdom and the United States issued a communique last evening after their conference in London. I just received the text of the communique a few moments ago, and perhaps because of the importance of the matter involved it might be of interest to the house to have the text read into the record.

Topic:   BUSINESS OF THE HOUSE
Subtopic:   EXTERNAL AFFAIRS
Sub-subtopic:   STATEMENT BY FRANCE, UNITED KINGDOM AND UNITED STATES ON SUEZ CANAL
Permalink
LIB

Louis-René Beaudoin (Speaker of the House of Commons)

Liberal

Mr. Speaker:

Is it agreed?

Topic:   BUSINESS OF THE HOUSE
Subtopic:   EXTERNAL AFFAIRS
Sub-subtopic:   STATEMENT BY FRANCE, UNITED KINGDOM AND UNITED STATES ON SUEZ CANAL
Permalink
?

Some hon. Members:

Agreed.

Topic:   BUSINESS OF THE HOUSE
Subtopic:   EXTERNAL AFFAIRS
Sub-subtopic:   STATEMENT BY FRANCE, UNITED KINGDOM AND UNITED STATES ON SUEZ CANAL
Permalink
LIB

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

Liberal

Mr. St. Laurent (Quebec East):

It reads as follows:

The governments of France, the United Kingdom and the United States join in the following statement:

1. They have taken note of the recent action of the government of Egypt whereby it attempts to nationalize and take over the assets and the responsibilities of the Universal Suez Canal Company. This company was organized in Egypt in 1856, under a franchise to build the Suez canal and operate it until 1968.

The Universal Suez Canal Company has always had an international character in terms of its shareholders, directors and operating personnel and

in terms of its responsibility to assure the efficient functioning as an international waterway of the Suez canal. In 1888 all the great powers then principally concerned with the international character of the canal and its free, open and secure use without discrimination joined in the treaty and convention of Constantinople. This provided for the benefit of all the world that the international character of the canal would be perpetuated for all time irrespective of the expiration of the concessions of the Universal Suez Canal Company. Egypt as recently as October, 1954. recognized that the Suez canal is "a waterway economically, commercially and strategically of international importance", and renewed its determination to uphold the convention of 1888.

2. They do not question the right of Egypt to enjoy and exercise all the powers of a fully sovereign and independent nation, including the generally recognized right under appropriate conditions to nationalize assets not impressed with an international interest which are subject to its political authority. But the present action involves far more than the simple act of nationalization. It involves the arbitrary and unilateral seizure by one nation of an international agency which has the responsibility to maintain and to operate the Suez canal so that all the signatories to, and beneficiaries of, the treaty of 1888, can effectively enjoy the use of an international waterway upon which the economy, commerce and security of much of the world depends. This seizure is the more serious in its implications because it avowedly was made for the purpose of enabling the government of Egypt to make the canal serve the purely national purposes of the Egyptian government rather than the international purpose established by the convention of 1888.

Furthermore, they deplore the fact that as an incident to its seizure the Egyptian government has had recourse to what amounts to a denial of fundamental human rights, by compelling employees of the Suez canal company to continue to work under threat of imprisonment.

3. They consider that the action taken by the government of Egypt, having regard to ail the attendant circumstances, threatens the freedom and security of the canal as guaranteed by the convention of 1888. This makes it necessary that steps be taken to ensure that the parties to that convention, and all other nations entitled to enjoy its benefits, shall in fact be assured of such benefits.

4. They consider that steps should be taken to establish operating arrangements under an international system designed to assure the continuity of operation of the canal, as guaranteed by the convention of October 29th, 1888, consistently with legitimate Egyptian interests.

5. To this end they propose that a conference should promptly be held of parties to the convention and other nations largely concerned with the use of the canal. The invitations to such a conference to be held in London on August 16th, 1956, will be extended by the government of the United Kingdom to the governments named in the annex to this statement. The governments of France and the United States are ready to take part in the conference.

Inquiries of the Ministry

The list annexed to the statement is as follows:

Following Is list of countries to be invited to conference:

Parties to the convention of 1888.

Egypt, France, Italy, Netherlands, Spain, Turkey, United Kingdom, U.S.S.R.

Other nations largely concerned in the use of the canal either through ownership of tonnage or pattern of trade.

Australia, Ceylon, Denmark, Ethiopia, Federal Republic of Germany, Greece, India, Indonesia, Iran, Japan, New Zealand, Norway, Pakistan, Portugal, Sweden, U.S.A.

At the same time I received a personal message from Sir Anthony Eden explaining the real difficulties they have had in settling the list of countries to which invitations should be sent in order to have a basis which would keep the conference within reasonable limits and expressing the assurance that in spite of the fact that within that criteria Canada was not included we would be kept in the closest touch possible during the conference. I can only say that this government supports strongly the objectives of the conference as stated in this communique, and that I am replying to Sir Anthony Eden's personal communication to me that such is the attitude of the Canadian government.

Topic:   BUSINESS OF THE HOUSE
Subtopic:   EXTERNAL AFFAIRS
Sub-subtopic:   STATEMENT BY FRANCE, UNITED KINGDOM AND UNITED STATES ON SUEZ CANAL
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PIPE LINES

TRANS-CANADA PIPE LINES-PRESS REPORT GAS NOT AVAILABLE IN WINNIPEG THIS YEAR


On the orders of the day:


PC

Donald Methuen Fleming

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Donald M. Fleming (Eglinlon):

May I

ask the Minister of Trade and Commerce if he will comment on the accuracy of the report that appears today as a Canadian Press dispatch and which came over the Canadian broadcasting news this morning, to the effect that Trans-Canada Pipe Lines Limited has said that natural gas will not be available in Brandon and points east until the summer of 1957, whereas Winnipeg and Brandon had expected to have natural gas this winter?

Topic:   PIPE LINES
Subtopic:   TRANS-CANADA PIPE LINES-PRESS REPORT GAS NOT AVAILABLE IN WINNIPEG THIS YEAR
Permalink
LIB

Clarence Decatur Howe (Minister of Defence Production; Minister of Trade and Commerce)

Liberal

Right Hon. C. D. Howe (Minister of Trade and Commerce):

I can hardly understand the concern of the opposition considering that they fought like tigers to have no start made on the pipe line. I cannot understand their concern about delay, if there is delay.

Topic:   PIPE LINES
Subtopic:   TRANS-CANADA PIPE LINES-PRESS REPORT GAS NOT AVAILABLE IN WINNIPEG THIS YEAR
Permalink
PC

Donald Methuen Fleming

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Fleming:

I will tell you what the concern is. It is that you should be held to the assurances you gave to the house; that is the concern.

Topic:   PIPE LINES
Subtopic:   TRANS-CANADA PIPE LINES-PRESS REPORT GAS NOT AVAILABLE IN WINNIPEG THIS YEAR
Permalink
LIB

Clarence Decatur Howe (Minister of Defence Production; Minister of Trade and Commerce)

Liberal

Mr. Howe (Pori Arthur):

Are you speaking on the orders of the day? I communicated with the vice-president in charge of construction, and he has authorized me to make this statement:

No authorized representative has made any statement to anyone that gas will not be delivered in

western Canada this year. The company is laying pipe and expects to continue to lay pipe just as long as the supply of pipe and weather will permit. Trans-Canada has not given up hope of completing the section to Winnipeg this winter nor has it so indicated to anyone.

Topic:   PIPE LINES
Subtopic:   TRANS-CANADA PIPE LINES-PRESS REPORT GAS NOT AVAILABLE IN WINNIPEG THIS YEAR
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PC

Donald Methuen Fleming

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Fleming:

Mr. Speaker, does that mean that the information given the minister is that the telegram referred to in the dispatch as having been issued over the name of Mr. Bernard Low, vice-president in charge of sales for Trans-Canada, was not authorized?

Topic:   PIPE LINES
Subtopic:   TRANS-CANADA PIPE LINES-PRESS REPORT GAS NOT AVAILABLE IN WINNIPEG THIS YEAR
Permalink
LIB

James Garfield Gardiner (Minister of Agriculture)

Liberal

Mr. Gardiner:

Mr. Low denied it himself.

Topic:   PIPE LINES
Subtopic:   TRANS-CANADA PIPE LINES-PRESS REPORT GAS NOT AVAILABLE IN WINNIPEG THIS YEAR
Permalink

August 3, 1956