December 20, 1957

PC

Gordon Minto Churchill (Minister of Trade and Commerce)

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Churchill:

Mr. Speaker, I do not know the particulars of the order the hon. member has mentioned, and I have no information on that particular subject at this moment.

Topic:   MISSION TO UNITED KINGDOM
Subtopic:   REQUESTS FOR STATEMENTS BY MINISTER
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CCF

Major James William Coldwell

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

Mr. M. J. Coldwell (Roselown-Biggar):

May

I ask a supplementary question, Mr. Speaker. Do I understand that an office is to be established in the city of Ottawa to encourage British sales in Canada? The question I have in mind is this. Will this office also promote orders for sales to the United Kingdom or encourage two-way trade? Is this merely an office to promote the sales of British goods in Canada, or is it a reciprocal arrangement which will also promote the sale of Canadian goods in Britain?

Topic:   MISSION TO UNITED KINGDOM
Subtopic:   REQUESTS FOR STATEMENTS BY MINISTER
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PC

Gordon Minto Churchill (Minister of Trade and Commerce)

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Churchill:

Mr. Speaker, the purpose of the establishment of an office in Ottawa, which I announced when we landed at Dor-val yesterday, is to complete the work of the mission. The members of the mission are preparing reports which will be sent in to this office, and those reports will be analysed and summarized. A general report of the work of the mission in its entirety will be published, and all that will take some time.

In order to make an immediate start I thought it wise to set up an office in the building now occupied by the Department of Trade and Commerce, No. 1 building on Wellington street. I have placed in charge of that office Mr. Peter Stursberg, who rendered invaluable assistance to the mission while it was in the United Kingdom. He, along with Mr. Parlour of the trade and commerce department who acted as secretary of the mission while it was overseas, will maintain contact with the members of the mission and with their counterparts in the United Kingdom, and in the course of four to six weeks will assemble all the information, which will then be incorporated in the report. At the same time that office will provide any immediate information which may be required' by people in the United Kingdom. I did not conceive it as being a permanent office, as: one of the articles in one of the papers indicated. It is for the purpose of completing the task of the mission.

Inquiries of the Ministry

Topic:   MISSION TO UNITED KINGDOM
Subtopic:   REQUESTS FOR STATEMENTS BY MINISTER
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LIB

Paul Joseph James Martin

Liberal

Hon. Paul Martin (Essex East):

May I ask

a supplementary question, Mr. Speaker. The minister will remember that before he went to England I asked him whether he was going to take advantage of his visit not only to head the official trade mission, but more particularly-and I think the house will regard this as more important-whether he was going to discuss with the British government its proposal for freer trade arrangements between Canada and the United Kingdom, and whether or not he was going to take advantage of his visit to give more precise information about the Canadian proposal made by the Prime Minister for the transfer of purchases from one country to another.

Can the minister say now whether or not he has had discussions about these two important proposals with members of the British government, and can he give the Canadian people some information as a result of those discussions?

Topic:   MISSION TO UNITED KINGDOM
Subtopic:   REQUESTS FOR STATEMENTS BY MINISTER
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PC

Gordon Minto Churchill (Minister of Trade and Commerce)

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Churchill:

Mr. Speaker, I think everyone appreciates the interest of the hon. member for Essex East in stimulating trade. I did not have the opportunity which he thought perhaps I might have to discuss with the United Kingdom government these important and weighty problems. The mission had two distinct objectives. One was to investigate thoroughly the productive capacity of British industry, and the second was to draw to the attention of the people in the United Kingdom the great advantages that lie ahead for Canada.

We visited 100 manufacturing establishments in the United Kingdom; we travelled about 1,500 miles through England, Wales, Scotland and Ireland. Our time was fully occupied in making that investigation, in discussing with British businessmen their problems and pointing out to them the advantages that lie ahead in this country. When you consider that more than 1,200 British firms asked permission to meet and talk with members of our mission you will fully appreciate that we did not have much time for any other activities.

Hundreds of those who asked to see the members of our mission were accommodated in London, in Manchester, in Glasgow and in Leeds, and sat down and talked in small conference groups or face to face with members of our mission. I participated in some of these conferences; but with all this activity going on-and the hon. member for Essex East has been on various missions abroad himself-he will fully appreciate that there was not an opportunity to discuss at great length, as would be necessary, the problems

involved in his question with regard to trade with the United Kingdom along the lines he was suggesting.

Topic:   MISSION TO UNITED KINGDOM
Subtopic:   REQUESTS FOR STATEMENTS BY MINISTER
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LIB

Paul Joseph James Martin

Liberal

Mr. Marlin (Essex East):

Mr. Speaker, may I ask a further supplementary question. I thank the minister for his statement in which he said he discussed trade problems with officials of the British government and with private individuals. May I ask him whether he is in a position now to say whether the government is giving serious consideration to the British proposal, which I understand is the only way by which the proposal made by the Prime Minister could be validated under GATT?

Topic:   MISSION TO UNITED KINGDOM
Subtopic:   REQUESTS FOR STATEMENTS BY MINISTER
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PC

Howard Charles Green (Minister of Defence Production; Minister of Public Works; Leader of the Government in the House of Commons; Progressive Conservative Party House Leader)

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Green:

Well, that is a speech.

Topic:   MISSION TO UNITED KINGDOM
Subtopic:   REQUESTS FOR STATEMENTS BY MINISTER
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LIB

John Whitney Pickersgill

Liberal

Mr. Pickersgill:

What did we have from the minister?

Topic:   MISSION TO UNITED KINGDOM
Subtopic:   REQUESTS FOR STATEMENTS BY MINISTER
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PC

Gordon Minto Churchill (Minister of Trade and Commerce)

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Churchill:

Well, Mr. Speaker, I do not object to commenting at length on any of these questions if that is desired.

Topic:   MISSION TO UNITED KINGDOM
Subtopic:   REQUESTS FOR STATEMENTS BY MINISTER
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LIB

Paul Joseph James Martin

Liberal

Mr. Marlin (Essex East):

No; I think it is good.

Topic:   MISSION TO UNITED KINGDOM
Subtopic:   REQUESTS FOR STATEMENTS BY MINISTER
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PC

Gordon Minto Churchill (Minister of Trade and Commerce)

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Churchill:

I have not had an opportunity to confer with my colleagues, as the hon. member for Essex East well knows, due to a considerable absence from Ottawa, and I am not at this moment in a position to give an answer to his question.

Topic:   MISSION TO UNITED KINGDOM
Subtopic:   REQUESTS FOR STATEMENTS BY MINISTER
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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 direct a supplementary question to the Minister of Trade and Commerce. In view of the fact that the hon. member for Laurier has asked for restrictions on purchases abroad and the hon. member for Essex East has asked for free trade, can the Minister of Trade and Commerce say just what it is he is being expected to reply to?

Topic:   MISSION TO UNITED KINGDOM
Subtopic:   REQUESTS FOR STATEMENTS BY MINISTER
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LIB

Paul Joseph James Martin

Liberal

Mr. Martin (Essex East):

Mr. Speaker, I rise on a point of order. The hon. gentleman from Winnipeg North Centre obviously did not listen to my questions. There is no doubt where I stand as to the desirability of freer trade, but that was not the question I asked. The question I asked was what is the government's policy with regard to this matter.

Topic:   MISSION TO UNITED KINGDOM
Subtopic:   REQUESTS FOR STATEMENTS BY MINISTER
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PC

Daniel Roland Michener (Speaker of the House of Commons)

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Speaker:

Order. That is hardly a point of order.

Topic:   MISSION TO UNITED KINGDOM
Subtopic:   REQUESTS FOR STATEMENTS BY MINISTER
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LIB

William James Henderson

Liberal

Mr. W. J. Henderson (Kingston):

Mr. Speaker, I have a supplementary question which I should like to direct to the Minister of Trade and Commerce. Could he advise the house as to the cost of this buying mission to the Canadian government?

Topic:   MISSION TO UNITED KINGDOM
Subtopic:   REQUESTS FOR STATEMENTS BY MINISTER
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PC

Gordon Minto Churchill (Minister of Trade and Commerce)

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Churchill:

No, Mr. Speaker, not at the present time. That will come later.

Topic:   MISSION TO UNITED KINGDOM
Subtopic:   REQUESTS FOR STATEMENTS BY MINISTER
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LIB

Paul Joseph James Martin

Liberal

Mr. Martin (Essex East):

All bills do.

Inquiries of the Ministry Hon. J. W. Pickersgill (Bonavisia-Twil- of goods to this country because there is an lingale): A supplementary question, Mr. imbalance in our trade as far as they are

Speaker. Could I ask the Minister of Trade concerned. They buy $2 worth of goods for and Commerce if he does not think that, in every $1 that we spend in the United King-view of the fact that this office he is setting dom. Naturally in the course of these con-up here in Ottawa is for the purpose of versations people discussed the expansion diverting trade, it would have been more of Canada's trade with the United Kingdom, appropriate to have put a businessman at its and I think that is precisely what Mr. head rather than a publicity man? Ouimet was dealing with.

Topic:   MISSION TO UNITED KINGDOM
Subtopic:   REQUESTS FOR STATEMENTS BY MINISTER
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PC

Gordon Minto Churchill (Minister of Trade and Commerce)

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Churchill:

I think not, Mr. Speaker. We have made considerable contacts with very experienced businessmen, all of whom, the hon. member will discover, were very much impressed with the activities of the mission in England and thought it was an excellent idea. Mr. Stursberg is well acquainted with these businessmen and has their entire confidence.

Topic:   MISSION TO UNITED KINGDOM
Subtopic:   REQUESTS FOR STATEMENTS BY MINISTER
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LIB

Lionel Chevrier (Official Opposition House Leader; Liberal Party House Leader)

Liberal

Mr. Chevrier:

I should like to direct to the Minister of Trade and Commerce another question arising out of the mission to Britain. I hold in my hand a copy of La Presse for Thursday evening which reports a statement made by Mr. Ouimet, one of the members of the mission and a person whom I know very well, in which he pays some tribute to the mission. Perhaps I could just preface my question with what is said. Mr. Ouimet is reported as saying:

(Translation):

The month-long journey in British territory by the 58 members of the mission was very successful and interesting in more than one respect.

The mission, stated Mr. Ouimet, "really sold Canada, a land with a great future, which ranks among the world's largest importers."

(Text):

This is the question, which I shall read in French and then translate:

Le but principal du voyage n'etait pas d'acheter de la marchandise mais plutfit de rencontrer des industriels britanniques et leur faire part du besoin de notre pays d'exporter.

"The principal object of the trip was not to buy merchandise or commodities, but rather to meet British industrialists and to advise them of the needs of our country to export." Does this statement meet with the minister's understanding of the objective of the mission to the United Kingdom?

Topic:   MISSION TO UNITED KINGDOM
Subtopic:   REQUESTS FOR STATEMENTS BY MINISTER
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PC

Gordon Minto Churchill (Minister of Trade and Commerce)

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Churchill:

Mr. Speaker, of course I shall have to check the original to see whether the hon. member's translation is accurate.

Topic:   MISSION TO UNITED KINGDOM
Subtopic:   REQUESTS FOR STATEMENTS BY MINISTER
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December 20, 1957