June 17, 1958

LEBANON

PC

Sidney Earle Smith (Secretary of State for External Affairs)

Progressive Conservative

Hon. Sidney E. Smith (Secretary of State for External Affairs):

Mr. Speaker, with your permission I should like to give a statement to the house. I desire to inform the house of the steps which the United Nations is taking in connection with the crisis in Lebanon, and the role which Canada is once again being called upon to play.

The security council resolution of June 11 under which the United Nations group in Lebanon is functioning grew out of the complaint submitted by Lebanon regarding interference in its affairs by the United Arab Republic. The operative part of the resolution-passed, as hon. members of the house I am sure know, with the full concurrence of 10 of the 11* members of the council, including Canada, with only the U.S.S.R. abstaining-meets the essential requirements of a constructive United Nations intervention. It calls for the urgent dispatch of an observation group to proceed to Lebanon-and I quote from the resolution that was adopted by the security council:

... so as to ensure that there is no illegal infiltration of personnel or supply of arms or other materiel across the Lebanese border;

-and it authorizes the secretary general to take the necessary steps to that end.

Because of the need for haste the secretary general turned in the first instance to the United Nations truce supervision organization in Palestine-UNTSO-to form the nucleus of the substantial military observer corps that he will require to assist the political team of three which will constitute the observation group proper. This team consists of three highly qualified and experienced men selected

Lebanon-United Nations Intervention by the secretary general; a Norwegian, an Ecuadorian, and an Indian. The Norwegian -General Bull, commander of the Norwegian air force-arrived in Beirut on June 15, preceded a day or two earlier by 15 military observers from the UNTSO staff, including one Canadian, Major G. D. Mitchell. All these UNTSO officers are assigned on a temporary basis only, but I need hardly say that the secondment of a Canadian officer from the TSO to this urgent and highly important task of getting the UN operation under way was arranged with the full approval of our Department of National Defence.

General Bull had not been on the ground for more than a few hours when it became apparent to him that the modest sized observer corps which had at first been envisaged would be entirely inadequate for the task in hand, having regard to the complexity of the situation and the mountainous nature of the frontier areas. He promptly reported to the secretary general that a minimum of 100 military observers would be essential to the success of the operation. The secretary general thereupon requested Canada and 13 other countries to supply additional observers from their regular armed forces on a basis of the utmost urgency. Of the other countries so approached Finland, Netherlands, Norway, Italy, Chile and Denmark have accepted, and several others are momentarily expected to do so.

I need hardly tell the house that the Canadian government too has responded speedily to the secretary general's appeal. Ten Canadian officers have already been chosen for this assignment, and they should be on their way to Lebanon within 48 hours. The ultimate scope of the United Nations operations in Lebanon is not yet clear, and the secretary general himself is leaving for Beirut tonight to examine the situation on the spot.

The task with which he and the observation group have been entrusted by the security council is a delicate and difficult one. The success or failure of this initiative has, of course, immediate significance for Lebanon's security and possibly for peace in the area as a whole. But it could have far wider implications; it represents a further test, perhaps a crucial one, of the United Nations ability to deal rapidly and effectively with international disputes of a kind likely to lead to open conflict.

Topic:   EXTERNAL AFFAIRS
Subtopic:   LEBANON
Sub-subtopic:   STATEMENT AS TO STEPS TAKEN BY UNITED NATIONS
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LIB

Lester Bowles Pearson (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Liberal

Hon. L. B. Pearson (Leader of ihe Opposition):

Mr. Speaker, I am sure the house will have heard with great interest the statement of my hon. friend, and I can assure him of the full support of our party in

[Mr. Smith (Hastings-Frontenac) .1

the action which the government has taken so speedily and I think effectively to ensure Canadian participation in this United Nations peace-preserving effort. I would also express the hope, Mr. Speaker, that if the situation should deteriorate in Lebanon to the point where the legitimate government there might be overthrown as a result of intervention from outside, any further steps that might have to be taken would be taken not by any individual government but under the auspices of the United Nations.

Topic:   EXTERNAL AFFAIRS
Subtopic:   LEBANON
Sub-subtopic:   STATEMENT AS TO STEPS TAKEN BY UNITED NATIONS
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CCF

Herbert Wilfred Herridge

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

Mr. H. W. Herridge (Kootenay West):

Mr. Speaker, the members of this group listened with great interest to what the Secretary of State for External Affairs has just read, and are pleased to note that he is utilizing the machinery for the maintenance of peace established in great part through the efforts of the former secretary of state for external affairs.

Topic:   EXTERNAL AFFAIRS
Subtopic:   LEBANON
Sub-subtopic:   STATEMENT AS TO STEPS TAKEN BY UNITED NATIONS
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SUMMIT CONFERENCE


On the orders of the day:


CCF

Herbert Wilfred Herridge

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

Mr. H. W. Herridge (Kootenay West):

Mr. Speaker, I wish to address a question to the Prime Minister. As a keenly interested frontline political observer, would the Prime Minister give the government's reaction to Premier Khrushchev's latest letter to President Eisenhower, asking for a clarification of the west's attitude toward a summit conference?

Topic:   EXTERNAL AFFAIRS
Subtopic:   SUMMIT CONFERENCE
Sub-subtopic:   REQUEST FOR REACTION TO LETTER FROM PREMIER KHRUSHCHEV
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PC

John George Diefenbaker (Prime Minister)

Progressive Conservative

Right Hon. J. G. Diefenbaker (Prime Minister):

I do not think any clarification is necessary regarding the attitude of the free world toward a summit conference. In so far as the letter from Premier Khrushchev to the President is concerned, all I have seen regarding that would indicate an attitude somewhat akin to a desire to hold up the possibility of convening a summit conference. I would think that the attitude of Canada, as of the western world, is an expression of the hope that a summit conference can and will be achieved after the necessary preliminaries have taken place and the necessary conferences at a lower level to assure that when it does take place it will bring about the achievement of results rather than expectation alone.

Topic:   EXTERNAL AFFAIRS
Subtopic:   SUMMIT CONFERENCE
Sub-subtopic:   REQUEST FOR REACTION TO LETTER FROM PREMIER KHRUSHCHEV
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LIB

Lester Bowles Pearson (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Liberal

Hon. L. B. Pearson (Leader of the Opposition):

I have a supplementary question, Mr. Speaker. May I ask the Prime Minister whether it is contemplated in the discussions which are now going on that Canada should take part in this proposed summit conference?

Topic:   EXTERNAL AFFAIRS
Subtopic:   SUMMIT CONFERENCE
Sub-subtopic:   REQUEST FOR REACTION TO LETTER FROM PREMIER KHRUSHCHEV
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PC

John George Diefenbaker (Prime Minister)

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Diefenbaker:

I do not think there is anything I can add to what has already been said in that regard.

Topic:   EXTERNAL AFFAIRS
Subtopic:   SUMMIT CONFERENCE
Sub-subtopic:   REQUEST FOR REACTION TO LETTER FROM PREMIER KHRUSHCHEV
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REPORTED INTRODUCTION OF CONFIDENTIAL LETTER BEFORE U.S. SENATE COMMITTEE


On the orders of the day:


CCF

Douglas Mason Fisher

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

Mr. D. M. Fisher (Pori Arihur):

I should like to direct a question to the Secretary of State for External Affairs in connection with an answer he gave me on May 21 with regard to the appearance of a confidential letter from the Prime Minister of Canada in the hands of the United States authorities. Has the Secretary of State for External Affairs determined from Senator Morris how he obtained the letter? If not, has any check been made on the progress of the letter before it started into external affairs channels?

Topic:   EXTERNAL AFFAIRS
Subtopic:   REPORTED INTRODUCTION OF CONFIDENTIAL LETTER BEFORE U.S. SENATE COMMITTEE
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PC

Sidney Earle Smith (Secretary of State for External Affairs)

Progressive Conservative

Hon. Sidney E. Smith (Secretary of Stale for External Affairs):

I have been informed that the United States senator to whom reference has been made has refused to disclose how he got that letter. Every check has been made as to the fate of that letter, but I have nothing further to give to the house than I had when I answered the question approximately two weeks ago.

Topic:   EXTERNAL AFFAIRS
Subtopic:   REPORTED INTRODUCTION OF CONFIDENTIAL LETTER BEFORE U.S. SENATE COMMITTEE
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LIB

George James McIlraith

Liberal

Mr. Mcllraiih:

A supplementary question. Is that the reason the senator was refused the right to speak on the C.B.C.?

Topic:   EXTERNAL AFFAIRS
Subtopic:   REPORTED INTRODUCTION OF CONFIDENTIAL LETTER BEFORE U.S. SENATE COMMITTEE
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PC

Sidney Earle Smith (Secretary of State for External Affairs)

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Smith (Haslings-Fronlenac):

Mr. Speaker, that astonishes me.

Topic:   EXTERNAL AFFAIRS
Subtopic:   REPORTED INTRODUCTION OF CONFIDENTIAL LETTER BEFORE U.S. SENATE COMMITTEE
Permalink
CCF

Douglas Mason Fisher

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

Mr. Fisher:

A further supplementary question. I should like to ask for an elaboration of the minister's answer. Does it mean that the Secretary of State for External Affairs can assure us that as far as it is known the letter did not disappear from the office of the Prime Minister?

Topic:   EXTERNAL AFFAIRS
Subtopic:   REPORTED INTRODUCTION OF CONFIDENTIAL LETTER BEFORE U.S. SENATE COMMITTEE
Permalink
PC

Sidney Earle Smith (Secretary of State for External Affairs)

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Smith (Haslings-Fronlenac):

I cannot speak for the office of the prime minister of that day.

Topic:   EXTERNAL AFFAIRS
Subtopic:   REPORTED INTRODUCTION OF CONFIDENTIAL LETTER BEFORE U.S. SENATE COMMITTEE
Permalink

INDUSTRY


On the orders of the day:


June 17, 1958