April 28, 1959

EXTERNAL AFFAIRS

FOOD FOR PEACE CONFERENCE

PC

John George Diefenbaker (Prime Minister; Secretary of State for External Affairs)

Progressive Conservative

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

Mr. Speaker, on April 17 I made a statement about the forthcoming food for peace conference and stated that a little later I would place before the house the composition of the Canadian delegation.

This ministerial meeting will take place in Washington on the 4th and 5th of May and the Canadian government will be represented by the Minister of Trade and Commerce and the Minister of Agriculture. The delegation will also include Mr. McNamara, chief commissioner of the wheat board, and government officials from the departments of trade and commerce, finance, agriculture and external affairs, as well as from the Canadian embassy in Washington.

The chairman of the Canadian delegation to the meeting of officials which is now taking place in Washington is Mr. G. R. Paterson, chief of the agricultural and fisheries branch of the Department of Trade and Commerce, who will be assisted by officials of the departments concerned, the wheat board and the Canadian embassy in Washington.

Topic:   EXTERNAL AFFAIRS
Subtopic:   FOOD FOR PEACE CONFERENCE
Sub-subtopic:   REPRESENTATION
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GERMANY

STATEMENT ON CANADA'S POSITION

PC

John George Diefenbaker (Prime Minister; Secretary of State for External Affairs)

Progressive Conservative

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

Mr. Speaker, on April 22 I gave the house an account of the stage that had been reached in the preparations by the four western powers for the negotiations with the Soviet union which are to commence in Geneva on May 11. I mentioned on that occasion that a committee of experts from the United States, the United Kingdom, France and West Germany was engaged in compiling draft proposals for the western side. That work has been completed.

Yesterday in the United Kingdom House of Commons the foreign secretary, Mr. Lloyd, gave an account of the hopes and expectations for the Geneva meeting. It is apparent from a reading of his speech that as yet it has not been found possible to go

into detail about the exact negotiating position of the western countries. However, Mr. Lloyd was able to say enough to show that the United Kingdom, in its thinking on the problems to be examined in Geneva, is following much the same viewpoint as that expressed on behalf of the Canadian government. We have been aware of the similarity of our views as a result of discussions with the United Kingdom Prime Minister and Mr. Lloyd when they were in Ottawa recently.

Specifically, the Canadian government is associated in public, as it has already been in private, with the United Kingdom belief in the need for real negotiations, and we give complete support to the three major aims which Mr. Lloyd set forth. The western powers should try to achieve some progress first toward the reunification of Germany on acceptable terms. Canada reaffirms the right of the people of West Berlin to choose their own system of society along with satisfactory arrangements for free access to that city. As well, there should be a reduction in tension and an improvement of stability in Europe.

These three aims represent in general the viewpoint expressed by Mr. Lloyd. There are formidable difficulties in the way of achieving them. It may turn out that the foreign ministers' conference at Geneva and the summit meeting which it is expected will follow may be but the beginning of a series of consultations with the Soviet union on these vital problems. That in itself would be an advance. As the western foreign ministers are about to begin the final preparations I think the house would want me to assure them that they have the full understanding of this house and of the Canadian people in the task that faces them.

Topic:   GERMANY
Subtopic:   STATEMENT ON CANADA'S POSITION
Sub-subtopic:   RESPECTING NEGOTIATIONS WITH RUSSIA
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NOVA SCOTIA

REQUEST FOR STATEMENT


On the orders of the day:


LIB

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

Liberal

Hon. Lionel Chevrier (Laurier):

Mr. Speaker, may I direct a question to the Minister of Mines and Technical Surveys. Would the minister tell the house whether he saw the premier of Nova Scotia yesterday, and whether he has anything to say about the long term coal policy of the government?

Inquiries of the Ministry

Topic:   NOVA SCOTIA
Subtopic:   REQUEST FOR STATEMENT
Sub-subtopic:   FOLLOWING DISCUSSION WITH PREMIER
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PC

Paul Comtois (Minister of Mines and Technical Surveys)

Progressive Conservative

Hon. Paul Comtois (Minister of Mines and Technical Surveys):

Mr. Speaker, I thank the hon. member for Laurier for having given me notice of his intention to ask this question. The best I can do, I think, under the circumstances is to read the press release issued yesterday afternoon after the conference:

A conference was held today between representatives of the government of the province of Nova Scotia and that of Canada to consider the scope of the study into the long term problems of the coal industry, which was promised by the Prime Minister when he announced the subvention program for the current year.

Representing the province of Nova Scotia were Premier Robert L. Stanfield and Hon. E. A. Manson, minister of mines, who met with the Minister of Mines and Technical Surveys, the Minister of National Revenue and Mr. Wilbur Uren, chairman of the dominion coal board.

The conference considered the industrial as well as the mining problems of the coal mining areas of Nova Scotia. There was agreement as to the importance of the coal industry, and the urgency of conducting such a study in order that a solution could be reached of the problems which have confronted this industry for such a long period of time. It was agreed that the improvisation and uncertainty which has dogged the lives of those associated with the industry should be removed in so far as possible.

There was also a full expression of views between the parties concerned and the ministers will report to their respective governments where the matter will be further considered by their colleagues.

It was emphasized by spokesmen in the group that this was simply a preliminary meeting to be followed by further consultations in the near future.

Topic:   NOVA SCOTIA
Subtopic:   REQUEST FOR STATEMENT
Sub-subtopic:   FOLLOWING DISCUSSION WITH PREMIER
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LIB

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

Liberal

Mr. Chevrier:

May I ask a supplementary question, sir. Has any consideration been given to those who will be undertaking this study?

Topic:   NOVA SCOTIA
Subtopic:   REQUEST FOR STATEMENT
Sub-subtopic:   FOLLOWING DISCUSSION WITH PREMIER
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PC

Paul Comtois (Minister of Mines and Technical Surveys)

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Comtois:

We will consider the matter, Mr. Speaker, and as soon as we reach a decision the house will be informed.

Topic:   NOVA SCOTIA
Subtopic:   REQUEST FOR STATEMENT
Sub-subtopic:   FOLLOWING DISCUSSION WITH PREMIER
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CCF

Herbert Wilfred Herridge

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

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

would like to ask a supplementary question. Have there been any discussions between members or officials of the government of British Columbia and members of the federal government with respect to the difficulties of the coal mining industry in that province?

Topic:   NOVA SCOTIA
Subtopic:   REQUEST FOR STATEMENT
Sub-subtopic:   FOLLOWING DISCUSSION WITH PREMIER
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PC

Paul Comtois (Minister of Mines and Technical Surveys)

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Comtois:

No, Mr. Speaker.

Topic:   NOVA SCOTIA
Subtopic:   REQUEST FOR STATEMENT
Sub-subtopic:   FOLLOWING DISCUSSION WITH PREMIER
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DRIED POLLOCK

REPORTED CEILING PRICE SET BY JAMAICA


On the orders of the day:


LIB

Hédard-J. Robichaud

Liberal

Mr. H. J. Robichaud (Gloucester):

I would like to direct a question to the Minister of Trade and Commerce, notice of which I sent to his office at 11.45 this forenoon. In view of recent action by the government of Jamaica in placing a low ceiling of 13J cents at the retail level on dry pollock, and this

at a time when Canadian exporters have over 4 million pounds of this commodity on hand, what action, if any, is being taken by the government to protect this market for our Canadian producers?

Topic:   DRIED POLLOCK
Subtopic:   REPORTED CEILING PRICE SET BY JAMAICA
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PC

Gordon Minto Churchill (Minister of Trade and Commerce)

Progressive Conservative

Hon. Gordon Churchill (Minister of Trade and Commerce):

Mr. Speaker, notice of the question of the hon. member was duly received at 11.45 a.m. The answer had already been prepared, because a week ago we were aware of this situation. On April 21 we were advised of the Jamaican government's intention to place a retail price ceiling of one shilling per pound on dry salted pollock. Immediately on receipt of this information our trade commissioner in Jamaica was instructed to make strong representations to the Jamaican authorities. The trade commissioner has now advised us that effective April 27 the retail price ceiling on dry salt pollock has been removed.

It is my understanding that the Jamaican minister of trade and industry will be meeting tomorrow with fish importers in Jamaica to work out new conditions covering the importation of salt fish. I can assure the house that the strongest representations will be made by our trade commissioner in Jamaica to ensure that Canadian exporters continue to enjoy favourable terms of access to this important and traditional market. It would be unfortunate if discriminatory action were taken by the Jamaican authorities which would lead in any way to a deterioration in the close and friendly relations between Canada and Jamaica.

Topic:   DRIED POLLOCK
Subtopic:   REPORTED CEILING PRICE SET BY JAMAICA
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April 28, 1959