January 17, 1957

COMMONWEALTH RELATIONS

SUGGESTED CONFERENCE OF PRIME MINISTERS ON TRADE AND OTHER MATTERS


On the orders of the day:


PC

John George Diefenbaker (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Progressive Conservative

Mr. J. G. Diefenbaker (Leader of the Opposition):

Mr. Speaker, I would like to ask the Prime Minister what will be his attitude to the suggested conference of commonwealth prime ministers, which I understand is being placed before the various prime ministers by the new Prime Minister of Great Britain. Does he at this time consider, having regard to the possibility of the United Kingdom entering into a free trade arrangement with Europe, that at the same time something in the nature of a British commonwealth trade conference would be acceptable and indeed needful?

Topic:   COMMONWEALTH RELATIONS
Subtopic:   SUGGESTED CONFERENCE OF PRIME MINISTERS ON TRADE AND OTHER MATTERS
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LIB

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

Liberal

Mr. Si. Laurent (Quebec East):

Would the hon. gentleman repeat the last words of his question?

Topic:   COMMONWEALTH RELATIONS
Subtopic:   SUGGESTED CONFERENCE OF PRIME MINISTERS ON TRADE AND OTHER MATTERS
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PC

John George Diefenbaker (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Diefenbaker:

Would the Prime Minister not consider that in view of the possible adherence by the United Kingdom to a European free trade agreement, at this time something in the nature of a commonwealth trade conference in so far as Canada is concerned is not only requisite but needful?

Topic:   COMMONWEALTH RELATIONS
Subtopic:   SUGGESTED CONFERENCE OF PRIME MINISTERS ON TRADE AND OTHER MATTERS
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LIB

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

Liberal

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

These conferences have always been very useful. We have had no information other than newspaper reports of any consideration being given at this time to an attempt to arrange a conference. Of course at this time it would be somewhat inconvenient. I have some legislative proposals that I hope to be able to submit to parliament, and I also hope to be able to be here when they are being discussed in parliament.

I can assure the hon. gentleman that, if there is a suggestion for a conference of representatives of the governments of the United Kingdom and other commonwealth countries, the matter will be given very serious and careful consideration, because we do realize, as I think most Canadians do, the value of these exchanges of views and of the need to arrive at decisions which, of course, each government has to arrive at 82715-214

on its own responsibility, but which do all tend to the achievement of the same objective.

Topic:   COMMONWEALTH RELATIONS
Subtopic:   SUGGESTED CONFERENCE OF PRIME MINISTERS ON TRADE AND OTHER MATTERS
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PC

John George Diefenbaker (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Diefenbaker:

Perhaps the Prime

Minister will also answer the other question: whether having regard to these economic developments in Europe he would give consideration to convening a commonwealth trade conference in order to assure and maintain Canada's trade.

Topic:   COMMONWEALTH RELATIONS
Subtopic:   SUGGESTED CONFERENCE OF PRIME MINISTERS ON TRADE AND OTHER MATTERS
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LIB

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

Liberal

Mr. Si. Laurent (Quebec East):

No, Mr. Speaker, at this time we would not consider that we should attempt to convene a conference on trade until we have further information as to what exactly are the problems the new government in the United Kingdom would consider as having top priority in discussion with the representatives of other commonwealth governments.

Topic:   COMMONWEALTH RELATIONS
Subtopic:   SUGGESTED CONFERENCE OF PRIME MINISTERS ON TRADE AND OTHER MATTERS
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PC

John Borden Hamilton

Progressive Conservative

Mr. John B. Hamilton (York West):

Mr. Speaker, I should like to direct a question to the Prime Minister supplementary to the questions asked by my leader. In view of the fact that there is an indication that the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom might desire a meeting of the commonwealth prime ministers and that he may also be going to Washington, would the Prime Minister consider requesting the convening of such a meeting of commonwealth prime ministers in Canada?

Topic:   COMMONWEALTH RELATIONS
Subtopic:   SUGGESTED CONFERENCE OF PRIME MINISTERS ON TRADE AND OTHER MATTERS
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LIB

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

Liberal

Mr. St. Laurent (Quebec East):

No, Mr. Speaker, the Canadian government would not consider at this moment substituting this action for what may be felt by the new Prime Minister of the United Kingdom to be the most urgent action that he should take. The government of Canada will co-operate wholeheartedly with the government of the United Kingdom in trying to arrange anything that may be felt there to be the most urgent matters that require to be dealt with.

Topic:   COMMONWEALTH RELATIONS
Subtopic:   SUGGESTED CONFERENCE OF PRIME MINISTERS ON TRADE AND OTHER MATTERS
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PC

John Borden Hamilton

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Hamilton (York West):

A supplementary question, Mr. Speaker. In view of the statements made by both the Prime Minister and the Secretary of State for External Affairs, does the Prime Minister not think this country might take the initiative at this time?

Topic:   COMMONWEALTH RELATIONS
Subtopic:   SUGGESTED CONFERENCE OF PRIME MINISTERS ON TRADE AND OTHER MATTERS
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LIB

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

Liberal

Mr. St. Laurent (Quebec East):

No, Mr. Speaker, the Prime Minister does not feel that this country should take the initiative

324 HOUSE OF

Inquiries of the Ministry to try to determine what should be the policy of the United Kingdom government. That we think is the responsibility, which I am sure will be discharged to the best of his ability, of the new Prime Minister of the United Kingdom.

Topic:   COMMONWEALTH RELATIONS
Subtopic:   SUGGESTED CONFERENCE OF PRIME MINISTERS ON TRADE AND OTHER MATTERS
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REQUEST FOR STATEMENT ON PLANS FOR DEVELOPMENT OF ALBERTA TAR SANDS


On the orders of the day:


PC

Howard Charles Green

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Howard C. Green (Vancouver-Quadra):

Mr. Speaker, will the Prime Minister, or the Minister of Trade and Commerce, make a statement to the house concerning the reports that the new Prime Minister of Great Britain has under consideration what is described as a dramatic plan for the development of the Alberta tar sands? I think reports indicate that copies of this plan, which is under study, have been submitted to the Minister of Trade and Commerce. This would appear to be a very far-reaching development, and it would be of interest to the house and the country if either the Prime Minister or the Minister of Trade and Commerce would explain just what is under way.

Topic:   REQUEST FOR STATEMENT ON PLANS FOR DEVELOPMENT OF ALBERTA TAR SANDS
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LIB

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

Liberal

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

Mr. Speaker, so far as I am

aware the only communication we have had on the subject came from Mr. Carol Wilson, who was formerly general manager of the atomic energy commission of the United States and is now the president of a private firm. He wrote about a plan for developing the tar sands to meet the present oil shortage in Europe. There was nothing new in the letter that I could find, other than suggesting immediate development. He said he sent a copy to the then British ambassador in Washington. I answered the letter and said we were watching with interest the tar sands situation, but we felt that at the moment it is not a development that was justified by present prices for the product. We regard it as more in the nature of a reserve for the future. That is all I have heard on the subject. We have nothing whatever from the British government. As to whether that government is interested or not I have no information.

Topic:   REQUEST FOR STATEMENT ON PLANS FOR DEVELOPMENT OF ALBERTA TAR SANDS
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REPORTED CEILING ON EXPORTS OF MANUFACTURED COTTON GOODS


On the orders of the day:


CCF

Hazen Robert Argue

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

Mr. H. R. Argue (Assiniboia):

Mr. Speaker,

I should like to direct a question to the Minister of Trade and Commerce. Can the

minister comment on the news report that Japan is going to place more ceilings on the export of manufactured cotton goods to Canada? What is the purpose of such action? Is such action not likely to adversely affect the sale of Canadian goods to Japan?

Topic:   REPORTED CEILING ON EXPORTS OF MANUFACTURED COTTON GOODS
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January 17, 1957