January 1, 1962

BUSINESS OF THE HOUSE

STATEMENT BY PRIME MINISTER ON ITEMS TO BE DEALT WITH

PC

John George Diefenbaker (Prime Minister)

Progressive Conservative

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

Mr. Speaker, with the consent of the house I should like to make a statement on the business of the house. I should like to commence, of course, by wishing all hon. members of the house the very best during the new year, within the limitations that hon. members opposite fully understand.

With the resumption of the sittings it is natural that hon. members would like to have a general idea of the business to come before the house. At the time of adjournment on December 20 there were 24 items of business on the order paper. Several more are being added today and will appear in Votes and Proceedings. These will include a resolution to permit the introduction of an extensive bill to amend the provisions of the Railway Act, based on recommendations made by the MacPherson royal commission. Also there will be a resolution arising out of certain recommendations of the O'Leary royal commission on publications. In due course there will be some further measures, including one to amend the Unemployment Insurance Act following the report of the Gill committee. It is evident, therefore, that the house faces a heavy volume of work during the remainder of the present session.

The house might also wish to have the view of the government-and I hope this is shared by hon. members in all parts of the house-in relation to the sequence of business. Parliament has already voted approximately ten twelfths of the estimates of the current 1962-63 fiscal year. I hope all hon. members will concur with the government's desire to have these estimates passed in their entirety as soon as possible and thus avoid any necessity for further votes of interim supply. It is no more the wish of the government than it is that of hon. members in the opposition that further fractional amounts be voted in the absence of approval of the estimates in the ordinary manner in committee of supply and by the enactment of an appropriation bill.

To date in the present session there has been one supply motion and the estimates of the following departments have already been moved into committee of supply: external affairs, agriculture, labour, transport, post office and national revenue. I propose and suggest that representatives of the three parties, who have already met, should continue to meet with the leader of the house to discuss a method of expediting consideration of the estimates for the fiscal year 1962-63.

Some time ago I gave an assurance that it was the desire of the government to introduce the budget for the 1963-64 fiscal year earlier than has been the custom in the past. The early disposal of the estimates for 1962-63 will enable the Minister of Finance to bring a budget before the house accordingly.

There have been a number of requests for a debate on external affairs. Indeed, the house has been desirous of an opportunity to consider a number of matters comprised within that department. It was also, it appears, the general desire than an early opportunity should be given for a debate on questions pertaining to national defence. The government concurs in these wishes and proposes to call the estimates of the Department of External Affairs for consideration in committee of supply on Thursday and Friday of this week. In this way the fullest opportunity for the discussion of these questions will be provided. In other words, during the course of the discussion following the opening on the subject of external affairs the whole question of defence could be considered even though the estimates in that regard would not be by motion before the house. We are prepared to make available every opportunity in this regard to the end that this most important matter, which in the last two or three weeks has received considerable attention outside the house, may receive the consideration of hon. members.

This is a very heavy program of government business awaiting the attention of the house, and it is obvious that the co-operation of all parties-I emphasize "all parties"- will be necessary if this volume of business is to be transacted within a reasonable period of time. Without going into any matter which might cause division or diversion in the house at the moment, may I say that the government is prepared to propose an extension of the hours of sitting or any other measures

27507-3-184

Business of the House

which may be acceptable to the house so as to facilitate the transaction of this business. I express the hope that the discussions among the representatives of all parties in his chamber which commenced this morning at the invitation of the government will be fruitful in devising plans to give effect to the cooperation so generally, I think, desired both in this house and outside.

Topic:   BUSINESS OF THE HOUSE
Subtopic:   STATEMENT BY PRIME MINISTER ON ITEMS TO BE DEALT WITH
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LIB

Lester Bowles Pearson (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Liberal

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

I am sure all members of the house, and certainly we on this side, have listened with great interest to the Prime Minister's proposals some of which, if I understand him correctly, would represent a drastic alteration of the rules of the house. We shall, of course, take these proposals into immediate consideration from the opposition point of view, having regard to our responsibilities as an opposition both to the country and to parliament, and with a desire to co-operate with the government within the rules which protect the rights and the freedom of members of the House of Commons and the rights and freedom of the people.

Topic:   BUSINESS OF THE HOUSE
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PC

Benjamin Cope (Ben) Thompson

Progressive Conservative

Mr. R. N. Thompson (Red Deer):

Mr. Speaker, we in this corner of the house are gratified that there is a prospect of getting down to the really serious business which is our responsibility in this house. However, in considering the remarks which the Prime Minister has just made I would remind him that this is not only a question of co-operation by all parties in the house; it is also a question of follow up and carry through as far as the government is concerned on what is done.

I trust that as we discuss this point amongst ourselves, as we have already heard about from our house leaders, we will have the assurance that we really are going to make progress in this outline of work which has been given to us. I assure the Prime Minister that for our part we are only too anxious to get down to the real business which is before us, and in so far as it relates to our own responsibilities I can assure him that we will co-operate in every reasonable manner. Certainly there is a great deal of business which needs to be done. We realize that before we can get down to the business of a new budget we have to clear the supply motions regarding the last budget. We must also clear the needed interim supply motion. As this relates to work that is our essential business, I hope we can really settle down to the prospects of work in the new year. We will give our wholehearted co-operation to it.

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Thomas Clement (Tommy) Douglas

Mr. T. C. Douglas (Burnaby-Coquitlam):

Mr. Speaker, the proposals which the Prime Minister has just made were, I understand, conveyed to the whips of the various groups

at a meeting held this forenoon. No opportunity has been given to transmit those views, certainly to myself and I suspect also to the leaders of the other groups, and certainly no opportunity has been given to discuss them with the members of this house. I think that opportunity will have to be given for consideration before any decision can be made.

Mr. Speaker, I do want to point out, for this group that the proposals ask for a tremendous surrender by the members of this house of their rights and responsibilities. We still have five supply motions which have a place in our parliamentary system. Except for two or three departments which have been opened, we still have to bring in all the departments. The purpose of going through estimates is not only to pass sums of money but to provide members with an opportunity to question ministers regarding policies and programs, and to ascertain something about the working of each department. What we are being asked to do is to surrender all of this and to pass in a lump sum great quantities of money without any opportunity for a thorough investigation of the work of the departments. I point, for instance, to defence as a good example. It is now being suggested that we have a two day debate on defence and external affairs. Is this a substitute for a thorough opportunity in committee of supply to question the ministers concerned and get information regarding their departments? It is the kind of information we must have.

I wish to say that it seems to me to be almost completely unheard of that any members of parliament should be requested to undertake this vast surrender of their responsibilities without a much greater opportunity for discussion as between the groups than has been provided so far. We shall be glad to consider this suggestion and to discuss it with the leader of the house and on the floor of the house when this matter is before parliament itself.

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PC

John George Diefenbaker (Prime Minister)

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Diefenbaker:

I shall not reply to what the hon. gentleman has said, Mr. Speaker, except to say that there is no surrender. I am asking for the consent of the house.

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EXTERNAL AFFAIRS

PC

John George Diefenbaker (Prime Minister)

Progressive Conservative

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

Mr. Speaker, I think I should now make a statement with regard to the meetings with President Kennedy and Prime Minister Macmillan. At Nassau before Christmas I had discussions with the President of the United States and Prime Minister Macmillan on the grave policy questions facing the western alliance in the political and defence

fields. I also had extensive discussions with Mr. Macmillan on the various problems of mutual interest to our two countries, and had the benefit of his views on the United States-British talks which had taken place prior to and for a short time after my arrival there.

The agreement reached by Britain and the United States at Nassau represents the first firm commitment to certain ideas concerning military policy in the western alliance which has been evolving for some time. I refer to problems mainly affecting the control of the nuclear deterrent forces of the west. The British and United States leaders agreed that in order to develop new and closer arrangements for the organization and control of the NATO defence effort, a start could be made by subscribing to NATO some of the nuclear forces already in existence, and in particular allocations from United States strategic forces, British bomber command and from tactical nuclear forces now held in Europe. This latter suggestion has relevance for Canada and in the NATO council is now the subject of intensive discussion in which Canada is fully participating. For the longer term the British prime minister and the president agreed to the furnishing of Polaris missiles to Britain to be made available for inclusion in an eventual NATO multilateral nuclear force, with a similar offer to France.

At Nassau the whole question was raised of how political and military control would be exercised in the future within the western alliance. The discussions among the western allies are bound to continue for many months to come, and I would not expect any firm decisions in the near future. The Nassau agreement aims at preserving an objective long sought by this government, namely a limitation of the further enlargement of the nuclear family in the national sense.

It was also agreed at Nassau by the two leaders in question that in addition to having a nuclear shield it was important to have a non-nuclear sword and to increase the effectiveness of conventional forces available to the alliance. It has been the policy of the Canadian government to support the build-up of conventional forces in Europe. The house will recall that on the occasion of the Berlin crisis in the autumn of 1961, Canada increased the strength of its forces in Europe. The purpose of increasing the conventional strength is to ensure that if the western alliance is ever faced with aggression from its enemies it will have sufficient strength in non-nuclear forces to avoid the disastrous choice between surrender and all-out nuclear war.

27507-3-184J

Statement on Nassau Meetings

These are the important questions of strategy which are now in the process of being exhaustively examined in the NATO council. Indeed, I believe that the whole future direction and shape of the military forces of NATO are now in process of review. The enormous costs of modern weapons systems and the speed with which they become obsolescent dictate the utmost care in reaching final decisions. It would be premature at this stage to say anything further about western defence policy until there is a clear indication as to whether or not some form of NATO multilateral nuclear force can be worked out.

I realize that the communiques in question have received full press coverage, but hon. members in the house might like to have these joint communiques tabled. If the house agrees, I therefore suggest that they be tabled.

Topic:   BUSINESS OF THE HOUSE
Subtopic:   EXTERNAL AFFAIRS
Sub-subtopic:   STATEMENT BY PRIME MINISTER ON NASSAU MEETINGS
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Thomas Clement (Tommy) Douglas

Mr. Douglas:

Printed in Hansard.

Topic:   BUSINESS OF THE HOUSE
Subtopic:   EXTERNAL AFFAIRS
Sub-subtopic:   STATEMENT BY PRIME MINISTER ON NASSAU MEETINGS
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PC

John George Diefenbaker (Prime Minister)

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Diefenbaker:

The hon. member for Burnaby-Coquitlam suggests that they be placed on Hansard. If that is agreeable, I am within the desire of the house.

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Subtopic:   EXTERNAL AFFAIRS
Sub-subtopic:   STATEMENT BY PRIME MINISTER ON NASSAU MEETINGS
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PC

Daniel Roland Michener (Speaker of the House of Commons)

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Speaker:

By leave, the Prime Minister asks to have these statements printed in Hansard as part of the record. Is it agreed?

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Subtopic:   EXTERNAL AFFAIRS
Sub-subtopic:   STATEMENT BY PRIME MINISTER ON NASSAU MEETINGS
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?

Some hon. Members:

Agreed.

[Editor's note: For text of communiques

above referred to, see appendix "A".]

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Sub-subtopic:   STATEMENT BY PRIME MINISTER ON NASSAU MEETINGS
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LIB

Lester Bowles Pearson (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Liberal

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

Mr. Speaker, I am sure we on this side have listened with great interest to the Prime Minister's observations on the recent conference at Nassau, and have learned from him what indeed we had previously learned from the press, that the question of a NATO nuclear deterrent was given further consideration by the leaders of the three governments at Nassau; this matter, indeed, has been under consideration now for a good many years going back to the days when those members of NATO, including Canada, first accepted a commitment in NATO which cannot be discharged effectively without nuclear arms.

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Sub-subtopic:   STATEMENT BY PRIME MINISTER ON NASSAU MEETINGS
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PC

Benjamin Cope (Ben) Thompson

Progressive Conservative

Mr. R. N. Thompson (Red Deer):

Mr. Speaker, with regard to the remarks of the Prime Minister concerning the Nassau conference, I should only like to say that these and other statements which have been made since then have drawn to our attention and also to the attention of the public at large the need of a general debate on defence matters. I trust that if the work program that has been suggested can be agreed to we can then look forward in the very near future,

2900 HOUSE OF

Report on Canada-Japan Committee this being no time for a debate on this subject, to a full discussion of this very 'vital matter.

Topic:   BUSINESS OF THE HOUSE
Subtopic:   EXTERNAL AFFAIRS
Sub-subtopic:   STATEMENT BY PRIME MINISTER ON NASSAU MEETINGS
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Thomas Clement (Tommy) Douglas

Mr. T. C. Douglas (Burnaby-Coquitlam):

Mr. Speaker, all I want to say is that we are developing the habit of dealing with very important matters on motions, when the Prime Minister or the Secretary of State for External Affairs makes a statement and each of the leaders makes some impromptu remarks. This all points up the need of an opportunity for a very full discussion of this question in the House of Commons.

As far as our group is concerned, I want to say that we view with increasing apprehension the suggestion of a multinational nuclear power being built up in NATO, and we will certainly welcome an opportunity for an early discussion of this matter on the floor of the house.

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PC

Donald Methuen Fleming (Minister of Finance and Receiver General)

Progressive Conservative

Hon. Donald M. Fleming (Minister of Justice):

Mr. Speaker, I should like to make a brief report to the house on the first meeting of the Canada-Japan ministerial committee which was held in Tokyo on January 11 and 12.

Hon. members will recall that the Canada-Japan ministerial committee was established during the visit of Prime Minister Ikeda to Ottawa in June, 1961. Its terms of reference as set out in the joint communique issued by the two prime ministers are as follows:

The two prime ministers agree that in view of the increasing importance of Canadian-Japanese relations, there should be established a Canadian-Japanese ministerial committee which would not be a negotiating body but would provide a valuable means of contact between ministers of the two countries. The activities of the committee would consist primarily of visits of ministers to each other's country from time to time to exchange views on matters of common interest, particularly in the economic field, and to familiarize themselves with the problems of the other country.

At this first meeting of the committee my colleague the Minister of Fisheries and I had the honour to represent Canada, together with the under secretary of state for external affairs, the deputy minister of trade and commerce, the deputy minister of national revenue (customs and excise), the Canadian ambassador to Japan, and other officials. The Japanese representatives were the minister for foreign affairs, the minister of finance, the minister for agriculture and forestry, the minister for international trade and industry, the minister of state and director-general of the economic planning agency, and the Japanese ambassador to Canada.

[Mr. Thompson.)

All those who participated regarded this meeting as an outstanding success. It demonstrated clearly the valuable contribution this committee can make toward closer relations between Canada and Japan, which are already very friendly, and toward developing a fuller understanding in each country of the problems and aspirations of the other.

As I shall be tabling copies of the communique I need not recount the outcome of this meeting in full detail. I should like, however, to mention some of the most important items.

The meeting began with a general review of economic conditions and prospects in both countries. This was followed by a comprehensive discussion of trade relations between Canada and Japan. This discussion was forthright and candid, yet completely friendly throughout. We reviewed the remarkable growth of trade in both directions since the conclusion of our trade agreement in 1954, and there was general agreement that there were excellent prospects for the continued expansion of mutually beneficial trade.

On the Canadian side we explained the difficulties that arose for certain Canadian industries when Japanese exports of highly competitive products were concentrated too heavily in particular lines, and we urged Japan to diversify its exports as much as possible. In this connection the Japanese representatives reiterated that Japan would adhere to the principle of orderly marketing of Japanese exports to Canada of products competitive with our own production. I should make it clear that we did not discuss the question of the levels of export restraint Japan will apply in relation to Canada in 1963. This committee is not a negotiating body, and the consultations in regard to Japan's export restraints are proceeding through the normal channels.

The committee had a particularly valuable discussion of recent developments in international economic relations. I quote from the communique:

The committee took special note of the joint initiative taken by the Prime Minister of Canada and the President of the United States in calling for a meeting of ministers to set in train a broad program for the liberalization and expansion of trade. The committee welcomed the fact that this meeting would take place under the auspices of GATT in the early part of 1963. The committee stressed the importance of achieving the broadest participation in the tariff negotiations which would follow the meeting of ministers and emphasized that such negotiations must be based upon the unconditional most favoured nation principle. The committee recognized the need to make progress in all sectors of trade.

We also discussed the forthcoming United Nations conference on trade and development. We agreed that Canada and Japan

Report on Canada-Japan Committee

should work closely together in the preparatory committee in order to ensure the success of the United Nations conference.

Since the inception of the organization for economic co-operation and development (O.E.C.D.), Japan has been an active member of the development assistance committee of that organization, but has not participated in its other activities. There is a growing recognition among members of the O.E.C.D. that Japan, as a leading industrial and trading country, could make a valuable contribution to the work of the organization and that fuller participation by Japan is therefore desirable. In our meeting in Tokyo we expressed the support of the Canadian government for full Japanese membership in the O.E.C.D.

Another important subject of discussion was our mutual interest in a number of fisheries matters. While this was not an occasion for negotiations or for seeking commitments on either side, the committee had a full and useful review of the issues involved.

It was also agreed that negotiations should be initiated between the two governments for the conclusion of an agreement for the avoidance of double taxation.

My report would not be complete without an expression of appreciation for the hospitality and friendship accorded to us on all sides during our visit to Tokyo. We received the warmest welcome by the prime minister and the other Japanese ministers, and indeed by all the Japanese we met. The arrangements made for the meeting were excellent in every respect. My colleagues and I in the Canadian government look forward to the opportunity of welcoming our Japanese friends to Ottawa when the next meeting of the committee takes place.

I am tabling copies of the joint communique. If the house so desires I would ask that the communique be printed as an appendix to Hansard.

Topic:   BUSINESS OF THE HOUSE
Subtopic:   EXTERNAL AFFAIRS
Sub-subtopic:   STATEMENT ON MEETING OF CANADIAN-JAPANESE MINISTERIAL COMMITTEE
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PC

Daniel Roland Michener (Speaker of the House of Commons)

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Speaker:

The minister proposes that the communique be printed as an appendix to Hansard. Is it agreed?

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Subtopic:   EXTERNAL AFFAIRS
Sub-subtopic:   STATEMENT ON MEETING OF CANADIAN-JAPANESE MINISTERIAL COMMITTEE
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?

Some hon. Members:

Agreed.

[Editor's note: For text of communique above referred to, see appendix "B".]

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Sub-subtopic:   STATEMENT ON MEETING OF CANADIAN-JAPANESE MINISTERIAL COMMITTEE
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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 am sure hon. members will have listened with interest to the report of the Minister of Justice on his return from his trip to Japan where he took part in trade negotiations. I had the opportunity of following some of these discussions in the columns of the English language Japanese paper, in Tokyo which pays tribute to

the work done by the minister at these meetings and which reports him as reminding, in the course of these trade negotiations, the Japanese ministers that Canada's unemployment rate is perhaps the highest in the free world. I hope the minister will not be accused of being a prophet of doom and gloom on his return.

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January 1, 1962