April 10, 1957

ATOMIC ENERGY

APPROVAL OF STATUTE OF INTERNATIONAL AGENCY


The house resumed, from Monday, April 8, consideration of the motion of Mr. Pearson: That it is expedient that the houses of parliament approve the statute of the international atomic energy agency signed by Canada at New York on October 26, 1956, and that this house do approve the same.


PC

Howard Charles Green

Progressive Conservative

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

Mr. Speaker, when this resolution came up for debate two days ago there was a brief statement made by the Minister of National Health and Welfare (Mr. Martin) and one even more brief made by the Minister of Trade and Commerce (Mr. Howe) and as we had not yet seen the copy of the statute of the International Atomic Energy Agency I moved the adjournment of the debate.

This evening the hon. member for St. Paul's (Mr. Michener) is going to deal with the terms of that statute but before that is done I should like to point out one or two facts with regard to the manner in which this measure has been brought before the house.

This proposed statute was signed by Canada on October 26, 1956 and of course it required ratification by parliament. For some reason or other the resolution which we are now debating was not placed on the order paper until March 30, in other words ten days ago. At that time copies of the statute had not been distributed to hon. members. Apparently one copy was tabled in February but even today copies of this extremely important statute are not available to all hon. members. We received five copies for our party and I think altogether there were only 30 or 40 copies for distribution.

The Minister of Trade and Commerce the other evening in his usual "do things in a hurry" fashion gave as an excuse for rushing this resolution through the house the fact that there was to be a meeting in September and if the Canadian parliament did not ratify the statute at this session then Canada could not be represented at the September meeting.

This way of doing things is unfortunate; it is very unfair to hon. members of the house, to the members of the press and to the Canadian people. I am afraid, however, that it is just typical of the attitude of the cabinet toward parliament. They either forgot that this statute had to be ratified by parliament or they did not care enough for parliament to bring it on in time to provide for proper consideration of the measure. That is the situation in which we find ourselves tonight.

This statute contains very far-reaching provisions having to do with atomic energy. Canada is vitally interested in what takes place in this field. This statute should have been placed before the house early in the session and there should have been provided an opportunity for it to be considered by a committee of the house which could have called witnesses and carried on a proper examination and could have found out all the implications which will follow Canada's ratification of this statute.

Last year we had a special committee on atomic energy and research; two fields which 82715-215

Atomic Energy

never should have been linked although the government saw fit to so link them. This year there should have been, in view of the fact that this particular statute was to come up, a committee on atomic energy to review the statute very carefully. If this course had not been followed then the statute could have been referred to the standing committee on external affairs.

This way of doing the country's business is not good enough even though there is to be an election this summer. The whole field of atomic energy is probably the most important field in Canada's future and yet ever since the war we have been treated like a lot of children in so far as anything having to do with atomic energy is concerned. We have been able to get a special committee appointed in, I think, only three years. There should have been a committee of this house on atomic energy right from the start, just as there has been in the United States. I am not suggesting that this committee should have had such wide powers as the United States committee has, but there should have been a committee of our Canadian type, whose responsibility would be to keep in touch with the developments in the atomic energy field.

Now that we are faced with this question tonight I can only suggest that the next parliament, no matter which party may be in the majority and no matter which party has the responsibility of forming a government, should see to it that there is either a standing committee on atomic energy or a special committee appointed every year so that this house and the people of this country will be better able to keep in touch with what is going on in this important field.

I must express regret that the government has been so indifferent to the rights of parliament as to throw this matter before us in the last few hours of the session in the form on a little booklet published in New York, I presume by what is called the preparatory commission, and then expect this house to swallow it without having been in the position to give it the consideration which it merits.

Topic:   ATOMIC ENERGY
Subtopic:   APPROVAL OF STATUTE OF INTERNATIONAL AGENCY
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CCF

Colin Cameron

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

Mr. Colin Cameron (Nanaimo):

Mr. Speaker, I must endorse the remarks of the hon. member for Vancouver-Quadra (Mr. Green) about the way in which this particular measure has been handled. I agree that it would have been very valuable to this house had the statute of the international atomic energy commission been referred to a committee so that there could have been a full discussion of the implications, the possibilities and also the limitations of the statute.

I think I can say at this time that this group welcomes the statute on two grounds; one,

Atomic Energy

that it is a very small, faltering step towards what we may hope will eventually be complete international control of atomic materials; the second ground is that it is also one step, I hope, in the direction of curbing the misuse of atomic energy. For those two reasons, as I say, we are glad that this has been introduced but we do feel that there should have been an opportunity for us to find out just what lay behind the formal document; just what we could expect in the way of international control and international cooperation; just what Canada was being committed to and what we could expect to come out of it.

I feel that it is very useful as it is at present; it lays out the terms under which the signatory powers are attempting, at any rate, to control the dangers inherent in the use of atomic energy; it lays out at least partly the approach that should be made to the supply of atomic materials to those nations of the world which need them. We welcome it also because I think it may be said that this is in line with what must be an ever-increasing development throughout the world.

I have never been among those who imagine that it would be possible at any time for one to sit down and establish anything that might be called a world government by

writing a constitution on a piece of paper. I have always felt that the world will have to move carefully step by step in very much the same direction in which we are now moving through the statute of the atomic energy agency; that is, the divesting of sovereignty by signatory nations over essential materials required for the general human welfare. I would hope that this is merely the first of the statutes that will be made within my lifetime and certainly if not within mine then within the lifetime of my children. May I move the adjournment?

Topic:   ATOMIC ENERGY
Subtopic:   APPROVAL OF STATUTE OF INTERNATIONAL AGENCY
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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:

Would it be possible for us to complete this business before we adjourn?

Topic:   ATOMIC ENERGY
Subtopic:   APPROVAL OF STATUTE OF INTERNATIONAL AGENCY
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PC

Howard Charles Green

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Green:

We have another speaker.

Topic:   ATOMIC ENERGY
Subtopic:   APPROVAL OF STATUTE OF INTERNATIONAL AGENCY
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CCF

Colin Cameron

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

Mr. Cameron (Nanaimo):

I have not finished all I have to say and I note that the hon. member for St. Paul's also wishes to speak on this matter.

On motion of Mr. Cameron (Nanaimo) the debate was adjourned.

Topic:   ATOMIC ENERGY
Subtopic:   APPROVAL OF STATUTE OF INTERNATIONAL AGENCY
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BUSINESS OF THE HOUSE

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:

Interim supply tomorrow.

Topic:   BUSINESS OF THE HOUSE
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At ten o'clock the house adjourned, without question put, pursuant to standing order. Question


ANSWER TO QUESTION


The following answer, deposited with the Clerk of the house, is printed in the official report of debates pursuant to standing order 39:


TAX RENTAL AGREEMENT PAYMENTS


Question No. 275


PC

John Angus MacLean

Progressive Conservative

Mr. MacLean:

1. Have any payments been made to any provinces under the 1952 tax rental agreements, during the quarter ending March 31, 1957?

2. If so, what was the amount in each case?

3. What was the total amount actually paid to the government of Prince Edward Island under the 1952 tax rental agreement, during the fiscal year 1956-57?

4. Is any further amount still due to the government of Prince Edward Island under the 1952 agreement?

Answer by: Hon. W. E. Harris (Minister of

Finance):

1. Yes.

2. While no payments are due in the quarter ending March 31, 1957, as some provinces wished to take part at least of any amounts outstanding to revenue in the 1956-57 fiscal year, advance payments on account were made pending the receipt of the certificate of the dominion statistician on which the terminal payments due by April 30, 1957, are required to be based.

These advances were made as of March 31, 1957, as follows:

Newfoundland $ 3,000,000

Nova Scotia 5,500,000

New Brunswick 3,600,000

Ontario 42,000,000

Manitoba 5,800,000

Saskatchewan 5,500,000

Alberta 10,300,000

British Columbia 17,500,000

3. Prince Edward Island was paid the following quarterly instalments in 1956-57:

June 30, 1956 (including adjustment of $50,450.28 for

1955-56) $1,091,429.75

September 30, 1956 $1,040,979.47

December 31, 1956 $1,040,979.47

Under the terms of the tax rental agreement no payment is required to be made in the fourth quarter pending recalculation of the payments completed during the life of the agreement. The amount that normally would be due (in this case $1,040,979.47) is in effect increased or decreased by the amount of the final adjustment.

4. This cannot be finally determined pending the receipt of the certificate of the dominion statistician, as required by the agreement. Information available, however, would indicate that no further payment is due the province.

82715-215J

Thursday, April 11, 1957

Topic:   TAX RENTAL AGREEMENT PAYMENTS
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MISCELLANEOUS PRIVATE BILLS


Nineteenth report of standing committee on miscellaneous private bills.-Mr. Henderson.


April 10, 1957