Hon. L. B. Pearson (Leader of the Opposition):
I feel that the Prime Minister was right, Mr. Speaker, when he said that all hon. members would recognize the gravity of the decisions that we, in parliament, are called upon to make in these defence matters by reason of the almost unbelievable nature of the world in which we live. There is no doubt about that.
It would not be appropriate, I think, for me to comment at any length on the substance of the very important statement which the Prime Minister has made, a statement of far-reaching importance in regard to defence and a statement of importance also in regard to our relations with our allies, particularly on this occasion our relations in defence matters with the United States of America. It is a statement of importance also in regard to the industrial and economic development of our own country.
I do not intend at this time, Mr. Speaker, to attempt to make any observations or any comments on the decision the government has made in regard to the CF-105 or on the fact that this decision is being made in February, 1959 rather than earlier. There is no doubt, and the Prime Minister's statement has pointed it up, that we in this country have to co-ordinate our defence policy with our neighbour on this continent and also with our allies in the Atlantic community, and that in this collective defence, which is the only kind of defence which makes any sense in the world about which the Prime Minister has spoken, Canada has to play a full and effective part.
Our obligations in that regard-and I am sure the Prime Minister will agree with me- are not lessened in any way by the decision the government has made with regard to this particular aspect of defence policy. The Prime Minister has said that the government is engaged in further studies of various alternatives for the improvement of our defences. This statement points up at least in my mind, Mr. Speaker, the desirability- indeed, as I see it, the necessity-of a complete and comprehensive study through a committee or a subcommittee appointed for the purpose not merely of government policies that have been announced but of the whole concept of Canadian defence policy in the world in which we live. Where are we going from now in this vital matter?
The Prime Minister has mentioned one alternative to the kind of defence equipment we have been using in the past-and which in the case of the CF-105 is now to be cancelled-in the Bomarc missile. Surely if we are going to make this change from an interceptor developed and built in Canada to a missile developed and built in the United
States, then we must be confident in our own minds-all of us who have an obligation in parliament in this matter-that this change is going to increase our defence capacity. The principle which the Prime Minister has enunciated in his statement and which should guide not only Canadian but United States policy in this matter is the principle of the pooling of our resources continentally and on an Atlantic basis for collective defence. Surely that does not mean that Canada is to be asked to take part in collective continental defence in so far as planning and operation are concerned but not in so far as the development of resources and industrial capacity are concerned.
The Prime Minister has mentioned the matter of the availability both in Canada and for our forces who are defending Canada in Europe
and who are defending the peace in doing so-of nuclear warheads for the weapons which may be required. I think he was quite right, Mr. Speaker, in emphasizing, as the Secretary of State for External Affairs has emphasized inside and outside the house, the tragic results that might occur if the manufacture of these nuclear weapons were extended to other countries beyond those which now manufacture them. I do not think anybody in this house wants to see that happen.
I recall, if I may mention it, speaking about this matter last summer and expressing the hope that at the United Nations assembly perhaps some progress might be made by members of that organization taking a self-denying ordinance that they will not be responsible in their own countries for the manufacture of nuclear weapons. It is bad enough to have these weapons of mass destruction in the hands of two or three super powers, but it would be infinitely worse if they were in the hands of 15, 20 or 25 other powers. I therefore agree with the Prime Minister that anything that can be done to limit the extension of manufacture of these weapons should be done. I welcome his statement that these nuclear weapons are not to be manufactured in Canada.
Nevertheless, with regard to the nuclear warheads of Bomarc missiles and defensive weapons of that kind, it seems to me it would be quite insupportable, as long as they are used, to have Canadian air squadrons without them and United States squadrons on the same airfield with them. I say that without qualifying in any way my hope that the day may come when all nuclear weapons may be removed from the armouries of nations. It does not seem to me that the two things at the present time are incompatible.
I think our defence policy-and I mention it on the broadest ground of principle-
Government Policy on Air Defence should be based on the kind of deterrence which the Prime Minister said is now essential. At this time we may require weapons for defence purposes while also seeking disarmament, a search in which we must not falter no matter how frustrating and disappointing it may seem to be.
That appears to be all that should be said on this side at this time, Mr. Speaker, with regard to this vitally important statement. The Prime Minister has said that the policy of the government is to ensure the security of Canada-and I mentioned this at the beginning of my statement-by all efficient and reasonable means at our disposal and in concert with our strong and trustworthy allies. That is essential in the world in which we live. But there is a better way of ensuring the security of Canada than even by collective defence. That way is by removing the causes of discord and conflict, thereby establishing peace and good will among peoples. That is the only permanent basis for security in this world.
Subtopic: ANNOUNCEMENT OF GOVERNMENT POLICY ON AIR DEFENCE