August 6, 1960

UNITED NATIONS

ORDER IN COUNCIL MAINTAINING TROOPS ON ACTIVE SERVICE

PC

John George Diefenbaker (Prime Minister)

Progressive Conservative

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

Mr. Speaker, I wish to table a copy of order in council giving authority for the maintenance on active service of officers and men of the Royal Canadian Navy, the Canadian Army and the Royal Canadian Air Force, not exceeding 500 in number at any one time, as part of or in immediate support of the United Nations forces in the Congo.

Topic:   UNITED NATIONS
Subtopic:   ORDER IN COUNCIL MAINTAINING TROOPS ON ACTIVE SERVICE
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EXTERNAL AFFAIRS

UNITED KINGDOM

PC

John George Diefenbaker (Prime Minister)

Progressive Conservative

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

Mr. Speaker, by leave of the house I should like to make an announcement with regard to the government program for assisting NATO countries to set up strategic stockpiles of wheat flour. Hon. members will recall that on June 1 of last year I informed the house of the government's intention to ask parliament for $10 million for that purpose. I stated at that time that I had made this proposal, in general terms, at the meeting of the heads of the governments of NATO countries in Paris in December, 1957, whereby I suggested the establishment of a food bank amongst the NATO countries for use in the event of any outbreak of hostilities. I expressed at that time the willingness of the Canadian government to play its part in the establishment of such food reserves, and these facts were communicated to the house on July 19, 1958.

Negotiations with the NATO allies took longer than was expected. It was not until April of this year that the first agreement under the program was completed, and on April 26 the Secretary of State for External Affairs informed the house of the conclusion on the preceding day of an agreement with Norway under which Canada would provide 20,000 tons of wheat flour for wartime emergency stockpiling purposes in that country.

I am now able to announce the conclusion on August 5 of an agreement with the United Kingdom under which Canada will provide 30,000 tons of wheat flour later this year for wartime emergency stockpiling in the United Kingdom. Provision has already been made by the house in the supplementary estimates of the Department of External Affairs for the expenditures required under this agreement and the agreement with Norway.

The agreement with the United Kingdom took the form of an exchange of notes between the Secretary of State for External Affairs and the high commissioner for the United Kingdom. These notes set out the terms and conditions under which the flour will be provided by Canada and stored by the United Kingdom. With your leave, sir, I now wish to table copies of the notes, both in English and in French.

The agreement provides that 30,000 tons of flour, suitably packaged for long storage, will be delivered to Canadian seaports to be specified by the government. The United Kingdom will inspect and assume title to the flour at these ports, with all expenses thereafter being borne by the United Kingdom government. They will transport the flour to the United Kingdom, where it will be stored for emergency use should war occur. When it is no longer fit for human consumption it will be replaced by the United Kingdom, so as to maintain the original level of the stockpile at the initial amount.

Topic:   EXTERNAL AFFAIRS
Subtopic:   UNITED KINGDOM
Sub-subtopic:   ANNOUNCEMENT OF ESTAB- LISHMENT OF WHEAT FLOUR STOCKPILE
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LIB

Lester Bowles Pearson (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Liberal

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

Mr. Speaker, I think it is unfortunate that the NATO organization itself was not able to make arrangements for the establishment on a broad and collective basis of a NATO food bank, an idea which was put forward by the Canadian member of the council I think two and a half years ago.

In view of the impossibility at this time of doing that, I think bilateral arrangements between Canada and NATO members are useful and, as the Prime Minister has pointed out, one such arrangement has been made with Norway. That has been supported in this house, and we also heartily support that which has been proposed with the United Kingdom as a form of mutual economic aid- perhaps in this case modest aid-which is appropriate for Canada and helpful to the countries receiving the assistance.

Inquiries of the Ministry

Topic:   EXTERNAL AFFAIRS
Subtopic:   UNITED KINGDOM
Sub-subtopic:   ANNOUNCEMENT OF ESTAB- LISHMENT OF WHEAT FLOUR STOCKPILE
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CCF

Harold Edward Winch

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

Mr. Harold E. Winch (Vancouver East):

Mr. Speaker, we in the C.C.F. welcome most warmly the announcement that has just been made by the Prime Minister. Our party has long proposed and supported the principle of a world food bank to be available in case of any emergency throughout the world.

We are most happy that an arrangement has now been made, not only for the establishment of the principle of the world food bank but to provide for its utilization and replacement if it is not called upon. We most certainly hope there will be continued success in the extension of the principle of a world food bank to aid in case of emergency in countries in desperate need.

Topic:   EXTERNAL AFFAIRS
Subtopic:   UNITED KINGDOM
Sub-subtopic:   ANNOUNCEMENT OF ESTAB- LISHMENT OF WHEAT FLOUR STOCKPILE
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THE LATE RIGHT HON. ARTHUR MEIGHEN ANNOUNCEMENT OP STATE FUNERAL

PC

John George Diefenbaker (Prime Minister)

Progressive Conservative

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

Mr. Speaker, I rise on another matter, simply to announce that on Monday morning at eleven o'clock in the forenoon there will be a state funeral for the late Right Hon. Arthur Meighen at St. Andrew's United Church in the city of Toronto.

Topic:   EXTERNAL AFFAIRS
Subtopic:   THE LATE RIGHT HON. ARTHUR MEIGHEN ANNOUNCEMENT OP STATE FUNERAL
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EXTERNAL AFFAIRS

NEWFOUNDLAND


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, I would like to ask the Prime Minister a question of which I have given notice, and I apologize for the length of it. My question is this. In view of the fact that under the terms of the agreement between the government of Newfoundland and the United States government it is provided that upon termination of the said leases or their abandonment all of the lands granted thereby shall revert to and become the absolute property of the crown in right of the government of Newfoundland, would the Prime Minister table any and all correspondence between the Canadian government and the United States government relative to the proposed abandonment by the United States of lands housing Fort Pep-perrell air force base and the United States docks at St. John's, and advise the house whether the government has taken or proposes taking any steps to discuss with the government of Newfoundland the future disposition of these bases in view of their proposed abandonment by the United States government to the government of Newfoundland?

Topic:   EXTERNAL AFFAIRS
Subtopic:   NEWFOUNDLAND
Sub-subtopic:   U.S. BASES
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PC

John George Diefenbaker (Prime Minister)

Progressive Conservative

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

Mr. Speaker, as the Leader of the Opposition has stated, he has produced a

TMr. Pearson.]

very lengthy question. I have not yet had an opportunity of examining the file. Any correspondence that may have taken place would, of course, require the consent of the other parties to this correspondence before production.

My information is that there has been no notification to the Canadian government by the United States of the intention of the United States government to vacate the area in question or, indeed, any other area. There has of course been reference in the press to the situation at Fort Pepperrell but there has been no official correspondence in connection therewith, or indeed with the United States government, on any matter arising out of the projected course.

In so far as the lease is concerned, it is a fact that in March the United States embassy informed officers of the Department of External Affairs that the United States government was contemplating the abandonment of the lease covering the Pepperrell air force base. I would point out that the lease agreement provides in article XXI as follows:

The United States may at any time abandon the leased area or part thereof, without thereby incurring any obligation, but shall give to the government of the United Kingdom as long notice as possible and in any case not less than one year of its intention to do so. At the expiration of such notice, the area abandoned shall revert to the lessor. Abandonment shall not be deemed to have occurred in the absence of such notice.

That is the end of the article in question, and as the hon. member knows, in 1953, probably at his request, the question of the reversionary right was referred to the Department of Justice.

In so far as the latter part of the question is concerned, as to whether the government has taken or proposes taking steps, to discuss with the government of Newfoundland the future disposition of these bases, may I say that according to the information that is given me there has been no correspondence between the two governments. There was a reference to this question at the dominion-provincial conference, when the attorney general of Newfoundland pointed out that there were some differences which had arisen. However, the Minister of Finance points out that this was in the private session. None the less the matter was brought to our attention on that occasion, and I am sure I breach no confidentiality of that private session by revealing that fact.

Naturally, when official notice has been received of the amendment within the provisions of the article I have quoted, in due course there will require to be the fullest consultation between the government of Newfoundland and the government of Canada.

Topic:   EXTERNAL AFFAIRS
Subtopic:   NEWFOUNDLAND
Sub-subtopic:   U.S. BASES
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LIB

Lester Bowles Pearson (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Liberal

Mr. Pearson:

Mr. Speaker, a supplementary question. In thanking the Prime Minister for his reply, may I call his attention to the fact that there is urgency in this question because I am informed that some of these areas have become a serious fire hazard due to a sharp reduction in the number of security personnel and the maintenance grant for fire protection.

Topic:   EXTERNAL AFFAIRS
Subtopic:   NEWFOUNDLAND
Sub-subtopic:   U.S. BASES
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PC

James Aloysius McGrath

Progressive Conservative

Mr. J. A. McGrath (St. John's East):

May

I ask a supplementary question of the Minister of National Defence. Could the minister inform the house whether his department has taken any steps with regard to the feasibility or practicability of the armed forces of Canada using some of the facilities vacated by the United States forces at Pepperrell?

Topic:   EXTERNAL AFFAIRS
Subtopic:   NEWFOUNDLAND
Sub-subtopic:   U.S. BASES
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PC

George Randolph Pearkes (Minister of National Defence)

Progressive Conservative

Hon. G. R. Pearkes (Minister of National Defence):

Mr. Speaker, when the Pepperrell air base is brought to care and maintenance standards by the United States air force some of the buildings will be vacated. My department has been carrying out a survey to see whether we can use any of those buildings which will be vacated.

Topic:   EXTERNAL AFFAIRS
Subtopic:   NEWFOUNDLAND
Sub-subtopic:   U.S. BASES
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ATOMIC ENERGY


On the orders of the day:


August 6, 1960