March 6, 1961

COMMITTEES OF THE HOUSE

STANDING ORDERS

PC

Roderick Arthur Ennis Webb

Progressive Conservative

Mr. R. A. Webb (for Miss Aiken) moved

that the fifth report of the committee on standing orders, presented to the house on Thursday, March 2, be concurred in.

Topic:   COMMITTEES OF THE HOUSE
Subtopic:   STANDING ORDERS
Sub-subtopic:   REPORT OF STANDING COMMITTEE
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Motion agreed to. Third report of standing committee on miscellaneous private bills-Mr. McCleave.


UNITED NATIONS

STATEMENT ON CLASH AT MATADI

PC

Howard Charles Green (Secretary of State for External Affairs)

Progressive Conservative

Hon. Howard C. Green (Secretary of State for External Affairs):

Mr. Speaker, the house will wish me to make a statement about the incident which took place over the week end in the Congo when Canadian soldiers were involved in fighting between United Nations forces and Congolese troops at Matadi, a port city on the Congo river some 160 miles southwest of Leopoldville, and the chief sea supply centre for United Nations operations in the Congo.

At about noon on Saturday, March 4, Leopoldville time, elements of the Conogolese army attacked a United Nations force stationed at Matadi. This force consisted of Sudanese infantry and a detachment of the Royal Canadian Corps of Signals which was operating the communications station for the United Nations command at that centre. The United Nations force returned the fire. The building in which the communications station was housed was hit by anti-tank, mortar and small arms fire.

Direct communications between the United Nations headquarters in Leopoldville and Matadi ceased at about 4.30 p.m. Saturday, Leopoldville time.

As soon as information of the attack was received in Ottawa on Sunday morning the Canadian permanent representative in New York, under my instructions, got in touch with the secretary general to try to establish the facts and to express the grave concern of the Canadian government about the fate of our men.

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I also instructed the Canadian consul general in Leopoldville to see President Kasa-vubu and the Congolese central authorities to express the anxiety and indignation of the Canadian government at the treatment of these and other Canadian personnel sent out to the Congo as part of the United Nations effort to restore stability and order. He was instructed to call upon them to do everything in their power to ensure the safety and protection of Canadian personnel. He was also to approach the representative of the secretary general in the Congo and the United Nations commander to obtain the release of our men.

Yesterday afternoon I received a report from our permanent representative in New York that a cease-fire had been arranged by the United Nations authorities with the Congolese at 11 a.m. local time on March 5. A period had been arranged for the exchange of prisoners and for the restoration of order, and for this purpose a mixed United Nations-Congolese commission was being set up. This report gave the names of the Canadians involved in the fighting as follows: Captain G. E. Belanger, Staff-Sergeant L. H. Harris, Sergeant F. B. Wood; Signalmen C. G. Bates, R. M. Beggs, C. B. Bostwick, G. A. Janules, D. J. Murphy and H. B. Strike.

In this initial report no Canadian casualties were listed but seven Sudanese troops were reported missing. It was stated that the secretary general had sent a protest direct to President Kasavubu about the Canadian and other detainees. Yesterday afternoon I received a further report from the Canadian permanent representative who had been informed by UN headquarters in New York that eight of the nine Canadians whose names I have given had been released and brought from Matadi to Leopoldville by United Nations plane. Three of our men were described as slightly wounded.

It was stated that Captain Belanger had not been included among those released by the Congolese forces to the United Nations. Captain Belanger had gone out to arrange a cease-fire at about four o'clock Congo time, March 4, and had not been seen thereafter. He was therefore listed as missing and action was taken to have his next of kin informed.

However, according to a report received half an hour ago, Captain Belanger has since arrived unhurt in Leopoldville. After the anxiety caused by the prolonged uncertainty

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Clash at Matadi in Congo about his fate, I am sure the house and Canadians everywhere will share my relief at this good news.

At this time I can only add that the Canadian government is deeply conscious of the indignation which must fill the hearts of all Canadians at the way in which Canadian troops have been treated by the Congolese forces. The Canadian government, through the United Nations Congo advisory committee in New York, is consulting with other governments which have forces under the United Nations command about the serious situation resulting from the apparent lack of control by Congolese authorities over their own troops, and about measures which can be taken to remedy the situation.

The United Nations is taking steps to build up the strength of its forces, and it is hoped that the presence of reinforcements will enable it to give increased support to its operations, especially in outlying areas.

Topic:   UNITED NATIONS
Subtopic:   STATEMENT ON CLASH AT MATADI
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LIB

Lester Bowles Pearson (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Liberal

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

I am sure all members of the house will have heard with both interest and relief the statement the minister has just made about the position of our Canadian troops with the United Nations forces in the Congo. There has, understandably, been created during the week end anxiety about that position in view of the reports which have come from the Congo; and while I think all Canadians realize that our members of this force have to face difficulties and dangers in an unprecedented operation of this kind, especially when facing troops of the local governments who seem to get out of control much too easily, nevertheless we all feel that whatever security can be given to them by the United Nations should be given. In particular, I think, anxiety was created by reports in the press to the effect that United Nations forces in defending themselves against the attacks were at times runing out of ammunition.

We can all join the minister in the tribute he has paid to our forces in the Congo, who have shown courage and discipline beyond all praise.

Topic:   UNITED NATIONS
Subtopic:   STATEMENT ON CLASH AT MATADI
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CCF

Herbert Wilfred Herridge

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

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

am sure all Canadians were concerned over the reports which were being received over the week end, and on that account we particularly appreciate the statement made by the Secretary of State for External Affairs. Also, I might say, we congratulate him on his prompt inquiries into this situation which so greatly concerned the Canadian people.

I am sure everyone is relieved to know that all the personnel who were mentioned are now safe. I am certain it is correct to say that this incident highlights the fact that

Canadian troops and forces in the Congo are taking risks and making great sacrifices for a cause to which we are all devoted.

Topic:   UNITED NATIONS
Subtopic:   STATEMENT ON CLASH AT MATADI
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BUSINESS OF THE HOUSE

SUBSTITUTION OF NAME OF SPONSOR OF MOTION

PC

Orville H. Phillips

Progressive Conservative

Mr. O. H. Phillips (Prince):

By unanimous consent it has been agreed that the name of Mr. Macquarrie (Queen's) be substituted for that of Mr. Macdonald (Kings) as sponsor of the notice of motion No. 7 as set out in the routine proceedings and orders of the day.

Topic:   BUSINESS OF THE HOUSE
Subtopic:   SUBSTITUTION OF NAME OF SPONSOR OF MOTION
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PC

Daniel Roland Michener (Speaker of the House of Commons)

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Speaker:

The house has heard the request which has been made. Is there unanimous consent forthcoming for the change?

Topic:   BUSINESS OF THE HOUSE
Subtopic:   SUBSTITUTION OF NAME OF SPONSOR OF MOTION
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?

Some hon. Members:

Agreed.

Topic:   BUSINESS OF THE HOUSE
Subtopic:   SUBSTITUTION OF NAME OF SPONSOR OF MOTION
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MOTIONS FOR PAPERS

ORDERS IN COUNCIL FIXING DUTIES


Motion No. 50-Mr. Benidickson: For copies of orders issued by the Minister of National Revenue since December 1, 1958, under the provisions of section 38 of the Customs Act for the purposes of fixing duties.


PC

Marcel Joseph Aimé Lambert (Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of National Revenue)

Progressive Conservative

Mr. M. J. A. Lambert (Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of National Revenue):

Mr. Speaker, in the absence of the minister, who has not completed the examination of the documents, may I ask that this motion be allowed to stand.

Motion stands.

Topic:   MOTIONS FOR PAPERS
Subtopic:   ORDERS IN COUNCIL FIXING DUTIES
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UNEMPLOYMENT INSURANCE COVERAGE INSTRUCTIONS

FORESTRY

March 6, 1961