February 20, 1959

HOUSE OF COMMONS DEBATES

OFFICIAL REPORT


Friday, February 20, 1959


NATIONAL DEFENCE

ANNOUNCEMENT OF GOVERNMENT POLICY ON AIR DEFENCE


Righl Hon. J. G. Diefenbaker (Prime Minister): Mr. Speaker, with the leave of the house I should like to make a somewhat lengthy statement on the subject of one facet of the national defence of Canada because, after all, the effectiveness or otherwise of the measures taken for national defence until international peace under law is obtained constitutes the passport either to survival or destruction. The announcement I wish to make has to do with the decision regarding our air defence which was foreshadowed in the statement made by me to the press on September 23 last. The government has carefully examined and re-examined the probable need for the Arrow aircraft and Iroquois engine known as the CF-105, the development of which has been continued pending a final decision. It has made a thorough examination in the light of all the information available concerning the probable nature of the threats to North America in future years, the alternative means of defence against such threats, and the estimated costs thereof. The conclusion arrived at is that the development of the Arrow aircraft and Iroquois engine should be terminated now. Formal notice of termination is being given now to the contractors. All outstanding commitments will of course be settled equitably. In reaching this decision the government has taken fully into account the present and prospective international situation, including the strategic consequences of weapon development and the effects of the decision I have just announced upon Canada's ability to meet any emergency that may arise. Work on the original concept of the CF-105 commenced in the air force in 1952, and the first government decision to proceed with the development and with the production of two prototypes was taken late in 1953. The plane was designed to meet the requirements of the R.C.A.F. for a successor to the CF-100 to be used in the defence of Canada. At that time it was thought some five or six hundred 66968-9-78 aircraft would be needed by the R.C.A.F., and their cost was forecast at about $1,500,000 to $2 million each. From the beginning, however, it was recognized by the previous government, and subsequently by this government, that the development of an advanced supersonic aircraft such as the 105 and its complicated engine and weapon system was highly hazardous, and therefore all decisions to proceed with it were tentative and subject to change in the light of experience. This was known to the contractors undertaking the development, to the air force, and to parliament. The development of the Arrow aircraft and the Iroquois engine has been a success although, for various reasons, it has been much behind the original schedule. The plane and its engine have shown promise of achieving the high standard of technical performance intended, and are a credit to those who conceived and designed them and translated the plans into reality. Unfortunately these outstanding achievements have been overtaken by events. In recent months it has come to be realized that the bomber threat against which the CF-105 was intended to provide defence has diminished, and alternative means of meeting the threat have been developed much earlier than was expected. The first modern long range bombers with which Canada might be confronted came into operation over five years ago, but the numbers produced now appear to be much lower than was previously forecast. Thus the threat against which the CF-105 could be effective has not proved to be as serious as was forecast. During 1959 and 1960 a relatively small number of modern bombers constitutes the main airborne threat. It is considered that the defence system of North America is adequate to meet this threat. Potential aggressors now seem more likely to put their effort into missile development than into increasing their bomber force. By the middle of 1962 the threat from the intercontinental ballistic missile will undoubtedly be greatly enhanced in numbers, size and accuracy, and the I.C.B.M. threat may be supplemented by submarine-launched missiles. By the middle sixties the missile seems likely to be the major threat and the long range bomber relegated to supplementing the major attack by these missiles. It would 1222 HOUSE OF Government Policy on Air Defence be only in this period, namely after mid-1962, that the CF-105 could be fully operational in the Eoyal Canadian Air Force. The United States government, after full and sympathetic consideration of proposals that the U.S. air force use the Arrow, reached the conclusion that it was not economical to do so. Already the U.S. air force has decided not to continue with the further development and production of U.S. aircraft having the same general performance as the Arrow. The development of interceptor aircraft that is now proceeding in the United States and abroad is on different types. Since my announcement of last September much work has been done on the use of a different control system and weapon in the Arrow. These changes have been found to be practical. Although the range of the aircraft has been increased it is still limited. It is estimated that with these changes the total average cost per unit for 100 operational aircraft could be reduced from the figure of about $12,500,000 each to about $7,800,000 each, including weapons, spare parts and the completion of development, but not including any of the sum of $303 million spent on development prior to September last. The government has taken no decision to acquire other aircraft to replace the CF-100, which is still an effective weapon in the defence of North America against the present bomber threat. The Minister of National Defence and the chiefs of staff are now engaged in further studies of the various alternatives for the improvement of our defences. Canadian requirements for civilian aircraft are very small by comparison with this huge defence operation, and frankness demands that I advise that at present there is no other work that the government can assign immediately to the companies that have been working on the Arrow and its engine. This decision is a vivid example of the fact that a rapidly changing defence picture requires difficult decisions, and the government regrets its inevitable impact upon production, employment and engineering work in the aircraft and related industries. As all in this house will appreciate, this decision has been a very difficult one for the government to take, not only because of the immediate disturbance it is bound to cause to those who have been working on the Arrow and related items but because it means terminating a project on which Canada had expended a very large amount of money and in which Canadians have demonstrated the high level of their technical work. However much I might hope that the project be continued in the sense of pride of achievement to avoid immediate dislocations which



are regrettable, defence requirements constitute the sole justification for defence procurement. Having regard to the information and advice we have received, however, there is no other feasible or justifiable course open to us. We must not abdicate our responsibility to assure that the huge sums which it is our duty to ask parliament to provide for defence are being expended in the most effective way to achieve that purpose. Now I wish to turn to another aspect of defence. As previously announced the government has decided to introduce the Bomarc guided missile and the Sage electronic control and computing equipment into the Canadian air defence system, and to extend and strengthen the Pinetree radar control system by adding several additional large radar stations and a number of small gap filler radars. Canadians will be glad to know that agreement in principle with the United States defence department has now been reached on the sharing of the costs of this program. Under this arrangement Canada will assume financial responsibility for approximately one-third of the cost of these new projects. The Canadian share will cover the cost of construction of bases and unit equipment, while the United States share of approximately two-thirds of the cost will cover the acquisition of technical equipment. Such division of functions is necessary for the reason that the United States is well advanced in the planning and implementation of this program and the development of the technical equipment required for it. By dividing the sharing of costs uniformity of construction will be ensured and the dangers of differences in technical equipment will be avoided. With regard to the construction of bases in Canada, work will be carried out as a practical matter by Canadian construction companies employing Canadian labour and material. It is intended that the bases when complete will be manned by Canadian military personnel. As for the technical equipment which is to be financed by the United States, both governments recognize the need for Canada to share in the production of this equipment. Within the principles of production sharing the United States government and the Canadian government expect that a reasonable and fair share of this work will in fact be carried out by Canadian industry. To that end a number of groups of officials representing both countries have been established to initiate the production sharing activities and to deal with the problems involved. I might add that early next week the Minister of Defence Production will make full information available to the house in this connection. Now, sir, while time is required to work out all the necessary details between our governments, considerable progress has already been made and several contracts have been placed. The production-sharing concept also covers the broad range of development and production of military equipment for North American defence generally. Procedures are currently being evolved between officials of the two governments whereby greater opportunities than have existed in the past will be afforded Canadian industry to participate in the production of technical equipment related to programs of mutual interest. Under the irresistible dictates of geography the defence of North America has become a joint enterprise of both Canada and the United States. In the partnership each country has its own skills and resources to contribute, and the pooling of these resources for the most effective defence of our common interest is the essence of production sharing. Believing that parliament and the people of Canada are determined that this nation shall play its full part in terms both of quantity and quality in deterring and resisting aggression, the government intends that the Canadian forces will be well equipped and well trained for the Canadian share of these tasks in a balanced, collective defence. In keeping with that determination careful thought is being given to the principles that in our opinion are applicable to the acquisition and control of nuclear weapons. The government's decisions of last autumn to acquire Bomarc missiles for air defence and Lacrosse missiles for the Canadian army were based on the best expert advice available on the need to strengthen Canada's air defence against the threat to this continent, and on its determination to continue an effective contribution to the NATO shield. The full potential of these defensive weapons is achieved only when they are armed with nuclear warheads. The government is, therefore, examining with the United States government questions connected with the acquisition of nuclear warheads for Bomarc and other defensive weapons for use by the Canadian forces in Canada, and the storage of warheads in Canada. Problems connected with the arming of the Canadian brigade in Europe with short range nuclear weapons for NATO's defence tasks are also being studied. We are confident that we shall be able to reach formal agreement with the United States on appropriate means to serve the common objective. It will of course be some 60968-9-784 Government Policy on Air Defence time before these weapons will be available for use by Canadian forces. The government, as soon as it is in a position to do so, will inform the house, within the limits of security, of the general terms of understanding which are reached between the two governments on this subject. I wish also at this time to give the house an indication of certain basic considerations in the government's thinking on the question of the acquisition and control of nuclear weapons. The first important consideration is the government's belief in the importance of limiting the spread of nuclear weapons at the independent disposal of national governments. My colleague the Secretary of State for External Affairs stated in the external affairs committee on July 29 last that it took but little imagination to envisage the dangers of the situation if the know-how with respect to the production of nuclear weapons were disseminated in numerous countries of the world. The prospect of further dissemination of such techniques continues to be a matter of fundamental concern to the government. As a contribution to this objective, it is the policy of the Canadian government not to undertake the production of nuclear weapons in Canada, although we believe that Canadian scientists and technicians are quite capable of producing them. Second, we intend to leave no avenue unexplored in the search for an acceptable agreement on disarmament with the Soviet union, even though we must reluctantly admit the need in present circumstances for nuclear weapons of a defensive character. The objective of disarmament must ever be kept in view, even though in the experience of the past it may be capable of only partial realization. For example, we believe that agreed zones of inspection in the Arctic to guide against surprise attack would be steps necessary to be taken in the context of a larger disarmament plan. Canadians will continue to support effective measures for disarmament, but in the meantime we cannot minimize the importance of providing the strongest deterrent to aggression and of protecting the deterrent power against surprise attacks. Third, there is the consideration of Canada's commitments to support the collective security of the NATO alliance. Whether Canada's effort is made directly in continental defence-the defence of the Canada-United States region of NATO-or whether it is made on the continent of Europe, Canada's contribution will be made in concert with the efforts of our NATO partners. It is our intention to provide Canadian forces with modern and efficient weapons to enable them to fulfil their respective roles.



Government Policy on Air Defence Believing that the spread of nuclear weapons at the independent disposal of individual nations should be limited, we consider that it is expedient that ownership and custody of the nuclear warheads should remain with the United States. The requirements of Canadian and United States legislation on atomic energy will continue to apply, and there will be no change in Canada's responsibility to regulate all flights of aircraft over Canadian territory. Our two governments have assumed joint responsibility for the air defence of Canada and the continental United States, including Alaska, and have implemented their responsibilities through the establishment of the North American air defence command. The Canadian government exercises with the United States government joint responsibility for the joint operations of the command, including the use of defensive nuclear weapons if necessary. In the event that these defensive weapons are made available for use by NORAD, they could be used only in accordance with procedures governing NORAD's operations as approved in advance by both governments. Such weapons, therefore, would be used from Canadian territory or in Canadian air space only under conditions previously agreed to by the Canadian government. With respect to decisions as to procedures concerning custody and control of nuclear warheads for use by Canadian forces operating under the supreme allied commander in Europe and the supreme allied commander in the North Atlantic ocean, those decisions will be subject to negotiation with the appropriate NATO partners concerned and with those commanders. I feel sure, Mr. Speaker, that hon. members will recognize the gravity of the decisions we are called upon to make in these defence matters, by reason of the almost unbelievable nature of the world in which we live. I should like to emphasize the government's desire to ensure the security of Canada by all efficient and reasonable means at our disposal and in concert with our strong and trustworthy allies. May I say, sir, that I thank the house for giving me this opportunity of making this lengthy statement. In so far as matters such as defence are concerned, I believe that the decisions and discussions will in the future, as in the past, remain above partisan political considerations. It is in that spirit that I place this matter before the house. This is a decision that could not be arrived at without much soul-searching and one which we believe, in the light of the expectations of the future, will be considered right.


LIB

Lester Bowles Pearson (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Liberal

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.

Topic:   NATIONAL DEFENCE
Subtopic:   ANNOUNCEMENT OF GOVERNMENT POLICY ON AIR DEFENCE
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CCF

Hazen Robert Argue

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

Mr. Hazen Argue (Assiniboia):

Mr. Speaker, the announcement made by the Prime Minister this morning is most important and far-reaching. It will mean for Canada the end of large expenditures on the CF-105. The fact that we have been able to develop the CF-105 to the present point should convince all Canadians and the world that we have a fund of scientific knowledge and a body of technicians capable of keeping Canada, if not in the vanguard, almost in the vanguard of extremely important scientific developments.

However, important as are accomplishments in this field, I think the announcement that the CF-105 is not to be further proceeded with demonstrates and underlines the need for co-operation with regard to defence matters. I am certainly no expert in this field, but it would seem to me that one of the reasons we are caught in this dilemma today, and that the government has felt it necessary to end this development, is that for some reason or another there has not been the kind of co-operation between Canada and the United States which is necessary to the development of an adequate defence system; and no provision, as has seemed to have been the case, that Canada develop the CF-105 and the United States develop some other type of aircraft. So we have reached the point today of ceasing our own development.

The Prime Minister has said, if I understood him correctly, that at least at this time there are no orders to be assigned immediately to the company producing the CF-105. It seems to me that was making a far-reaching statement without giving much hope to the people

Government Policy on Air Defence who are engaged in that industry at the present time. It would seem to me that the hardship that will result from unemployment in this industry, if nothing is done, is something the government should study most carefully, and should have been studying most carefully. It appears to me that there should be other plans for alternative employment within the industry, if possible, for the production of other things such as, perhaps, aircraft for peaceful uses. It seems to me that there certainly should be action that would prevent lay-offs of thousands of Canadians, thus adding to the unemployment rolls and making it more difficult for Canada to regain a state of full employment.

We listened with interest to the Prime Minister's statement that there would be a sharing of the defence costs of North America. We emphasize to the United States, as I am sure do all members of parliament, that we feel a very substantial part of the orders necessary for this type of defence should be placed in Canada in order that our economy should not suffer from the necessity of having to spend large sums of money on collective defence while at the same time not receiving our proportionate share of the orders.

The Prime Minister has said, and the Leader of the Opposition has agreed, that there is great danger attached to the dissemination of nuclear weapons among a great many hands. That of course is true. It is easy for us who have these weapons to point out this danger, but the nations which do not have the weapons seem to think it is necessary for their national pride to obtain such weapons, and this being the case I think it is all the more necessary for all nations to devote their full energies to the reaching of an international agreement on disarmament.

While the government has not fully declared its policy in this regard, I would hope that the Canadian government in dealing with the NATO countries as far as Germany is concerned would advocate within those councils a neutralized Germany within a neutralized large area of central Europe as an alternative to nuclear weapons within that area and the great dangers that this would involve.

I believe we are in a position today to have some hope with regard to the forthcoming negotiations with the Soviet union. We believe that social democrats and freedom loving people in Europe in growing numbers are coming to think there can be an agreement with regard to Germany under which we make some concessions in return for other concessions, all of which will lead to greater security for peace in the world.

We are talking today about the CF-105. We are talking today about protection against a potential aggressor. That is important. It is important to peace and it is important to our future. But are we going to arm ourselves in adequate fashion against a potential act of aggression that may never happen-we all hope it will never happen-while at the same time playing no part in the tremendous surge of energy now being devoted to the conquest of outer space? It would seem to me that because of the great scientific advance toward the conquest of outer space much of the conflict which has been going on between the west and the east as far as jurisdiction and the control of people and the economics of the earth are concerned might in the near future be transferred largely to the conquest of outer space, and I suggest that within a partnership for this very important peaceful operation Canada should also be playing its full part.

If we had such an operation it would seem to me that in this way we should be doing something to protect our security in the days ahead. Defence, necessary as it is, is a negative thing, and I suggest it is time that Canada played an active part in the thought that is being given by leading people in the United Nations to the conquest of disease throughout the world, the promotion of medical and health facilities, and greater emphasis on the conquest of hunger and the removal of hunger from all parts of the world.

The announcement by the Prime Minister is important and far-reaching. We hope that in the days ahead Canada, in this and other ways, will play a constructive role in securing the peace of the world.

Topic:   NATIONAL DEFENCE
Subtopic:   ANNOUNCEMENT OF GOVERNMENT POLICY ON AIR DEFENCE
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BUSINESS OF THE HOUSE

REQUEST FOR DEBATE ON EXTERNAL AFFAIRS


On the orders of the day:


LIB

Lester Bowles Pearson (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Liberal

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

Mr. Speaker, particularly in view of the statement the Prime Minister has just made on defence policy, I wonder if he could inform the house whether an opportunity will be afforded at an early date to discuss external affairs, a subject which is a related aspect of defence.

Topic:   BUSINESS OF THE HOUSE
Subtopic:   REQUEST FOR DEBATE ON EXTERNAL AFFAIRS
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PC

John George Diefenbaker (Prime Minister)

Progressive Conservative

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

Mr. Speaker, I hope hon. gentlemen in all parts of the house will agree to have a day set aside for the discussion of external affairs, and if it can be arranged among the various leaders next Thursday will be a possible date. In so far as a general discussion of defence is concerned, we hope that within the very near future the defence estimates will be available so the fullest discussion can take place.

Incidentally, may I be allowed to say this; that the manner of the speeches of both hon. gentlemen today indicates that this is a subject which is above all partisan considerations. I do think a word should be said respecting the contributions made by both the Leader of the Opposition and by the hon. member for Assiniboia.

(Translation):

Topic:   BUSINESS OF THE HOUSE
Subtopic:   REQUEST FOR DEBATE ON EXTERNAL AFFAIRS
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UNEMPLOYMENT INSURANCE

INQUIRY AS TO AMENDMENTS TO ACT THIS SESSION


On the orders of the day:


PC

Louis-Joseph Pigeon

Progressive Conservative

Mr. L. J. Pigeon (Jolieiie-L'Assompiion-Montcalm):

Mr. Speaker, I should like to direct a question to the Minister of Labour. Could he tell us if he is considering any amendments to the Unemployment Insurance Act during this session?

Topic:   UNEMPLOYMENT INSURANCE
Subtopic:   INQUIRY AS TO AMENDMENTS TO ACT THIS SESSION
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?

An hon. Member:

This is mentioned in the speech from the throne.

(Text) :

Topic:   UNEMPLOYMENT INSURANCE
Subtopic:   INQUIRY AS TO AMENDMENTS TO ACT THIS SESSION
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February 20, 1959