March 8, 1962

LIB

Paul Joseph James Martin

Liberal

Mr. Martin (Essex East):

Mr. Chairman, we are discussing further methods by which we can meet the current financial difficulties of the United Nations organization which the Prime Minister referred to last fall, speaking

Supply-External Affairs in Toronto, when he said that it was the government's intention at the next general assembly, presumably that of next September, to move a resolution condemning the Soviet union for its colonial policy, its subjugation of former nations, of people who formerly enjoyed the advantages of a free society. I think the house generally will agree with the observations made by the Prime Minister on that occasion, as indeed we had, in the condemnation levelled against the Soviet union's colonial policy and its practice of a new type of imperialism, as set out in the speech he made to the general assembly in the autumn of 1960.

I think it should be noted that what the Prime Minister said on that occasion in the United Nations, and what he said last fall regarding Canadian intentions for the assembly in the fall of 1962, did not break new ground.

I would not wish anyone to misunderstand what I am saying. I think it was well that the Prime Minister of Canada spoke the mind of the Canadian people and expressed the views of those in this house with regard to this matter. In a matter of such importance, I think it equally important to remember, however, that the Leader of the Opposition in particular, the prime minister in the former government as well, and others, too, took opportunity from time to time at the United Nations to use the procedures there available to condemn the Soviet union for its policy of subjugation, for its denial of the normal processes open to people in a free society. I think it is well that we recall some of the words that were used by Canadian spokesmen in the general assembly as well as in this house.

The Prime Minister said that at the next general assembly the Canadian government would cause to be placed before the general assembly a resolution condemning the Soviet union for its colonial policy. At that time I expressed the view that, commendable as was the Prime Minister's statement, it was regrettable that we should have waited until the next general assembly. He spoke in the month of November. The general assembly was still in session. There was actually before the assembly at that time a resolution that did not embody the precise terms of the Prime Minister's intention but to it could have been an annexed amendment, expressing Canada's view of the regressive step taken by the Soviet union towards the subjugated nations of Europe.

I expressed the view that the government of Canada through the Prime Minister ought

to give instructions to the Canadian delegation to see to it that we expressed condemnation right there and then in the general assembly, at a time when the Soviet union was attacking Britain as well as other countries for its colonial policy, overlooking of course the progress that has been made notably by Britain in this regard. However, that step was not taken. I am not rising to oppose the intention to do that kind of thing at the next general assembly. However, what the Prime Minister said was not new. There are many people in this country-and some of them are represented by distinguished members in this house-whose friends and relatives, many of whom are now dead, have become the victims of Soviet imperialism and colonialism. For instance, I have before me some observations made by the Leader of the Opposition in the general assembly of 1949 when, among other things, addressing himself to Mr. Vyshinsky, the spokesman for the Soviet union, he said this on December 1:

If Mr. Vyshinsky really wishes to do something about the preservation of peace, he should try to persuade his government to pay some attention to the fear in the world of this new imperialism; to the concern which is deep and widespread about the methods which it adopts to spread its influence, and the threats to peace which are inherent in those methods.

Then he went on to say this:

Within the USSR sphere ol influence-the new Soviet empire-have been included many peoples who previously had their own free governments: Finns, Estonians, Ukrainians, Latvians, Lithuanians, Poles, Rumanians.

He expressed the same view in more general terms on September 26, 1949, in the same general assembly. Then on September 27, 1950, speaking on a resolution having to do with the war in Korea the Leader of the Opposition said as follows:

This war in Korea is but the continuation by armed and open aggression of the policies which communist imperialism has been pursuing by other means. It is part of the theory of communism that the disruptions and dislocations of a post-war period give to the communist minority its best chance to seize power by force and maintain it by the terror and repression of a police state. Systematically the forces of communist imperialism, in these last years, have been trying out their theories in the four corners of the world.

Then again in 1956, he spoke in the general assembly. On November 4, 1956, he said this:

This is a sad-

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PC

Henry Frank Jones (Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Veterans Affairs)

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Jones:

I rise on a point of order, Mr. Chairman. I do not like to interrupt the hon. member for Essex East in his third or fourth speech since eight o'clock but I wonder whether he could relate his remarks to the item we are considering, namely item No. 688 of the estimates. It would be helpful if that could be done.

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LIB

John Whitney Pickersgill

Liberal

Mr. Pickersgill:

Since the hon. member has seen fit to interrupt my hon. friend in order to raise a point of order, I should like to say a word about the point of order. As hon. members know, an attempt has been made to bring a certain matter before the United Nations. We are discussing an item having to do with the financing of the United Nations. It seems to me that what my friend the hon. member for Essex East was doing on this occasion was showing that the government, in taking this course which my hon. friend was supporting, was operating on historic lines which had been followed by Canada under the previous government as well as under this government ever since the United Nations was established. It seems to me that on this the eve of the anniversary of the birth of the great Ukrainian poet Shevchenko, thinking as we do of the thousands of our fellow citizens whose families and friends are behind the iron curtain, we should not attempt any narrow interpretation of the rules in connection with a subject of such deep interest to them and one which the government itself has said should be considered in the United Nations.

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Henry Frank Jones (Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Veterans Affairs)

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Jones:

Speaking further on the point of order, Mr. Chairman, may I say that it was certainly not my intention nor did I wish to suggest a narrowing of the debate beyond its proper limits. As is the case with the hon. member for Bonavista-Twillingate, I am prepared at all times, as I have done in the past, to pay tribute to Taras Shevchenko, that great poet of the Ukrainian nation. I do not know how that subject got into the debate but inasmuch as it has I am sure that all members of the committee will take advantage of the opportunity to affirm again support for this great poet. However, on the point of order, Mr. Chairman, I merely wish to bring to your attention the suggestion that the energies of the hon. member foi Essex East and his remarks should be directed towards the particular point we are discussing.

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LIB

Paul Joseph James Martin

Liberal

Mr. Martin (Essex East):

I thank the hon. member for his contribution. As was said by the hon. member for Bonavista-Twillingate, I was simply expressing my approval of the general statement made by the Prime Minister on this important matter, one which concerns so many groups in this country, and to which he intended later to give expression in the United Nations, as indeed he did himself a year ago. In discussing this matter so related to the United Nations which we are discussing I was simply pointing out that the course followed and the observations he made had been pursued and made by those who preceded him.

Supply-External Affairs

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James MacKerras Macdonnell

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Macdonnell:

Is anyone questioning

that?

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LIB

Paul Joseph James Martin

Liberal

Mr. Martin (Essex East):

Yes. I am grateful for that question. My hon. friend knows perfectly well that there are those who question this. That is why I have taken the time of the committee to put before it this vital matter, one that affects many people in this country. I have many of them in my constituency. They expect me and others to deal with this matter. There are people who question it. What I was saying was this, however. I was referring to a quotation of remarks made by the Leader of the Opposition on November 4, 1956 when, addressing himself again to the colonial policy of the Soviet union, he said this:

Mr. President, notwithstanding the words of the Soviet delegate, in the past 24 hours we have witnessed in Hungary one of the greatest and grimmest betrayals in history.

This is a sad and desolate moment for all who have been striving for the extension of freedom and justice throughout the world.

For ten years all the resources of a great empire were used to weaken and destroy all feeling for national and personal freedom in Hungary and the other countries of eastern Europe on whom communist regimes have been imposed after world war II by foreign forces.

Are we not all happy in this House of Commons to know that not only the present Prime Minister and the Secretary of State for External Affairs but the Leader of the Opposition, as leader of the opposition and more particularly as secretary of state for external affairs, and the two prime ministers who were in office prior to this government's coming into office and after the foundation of the United Nations in 1945 all gave expression to views which in principle were of the same character and tenor. It is important to realize that what the Prime Minister said was a continuation of policy. When we realize the freedom that we enjoy in this country and that people in the other free lands of the western world and elsewhere enjoy, when we think of the subjugation of people in Czechoslovakia, Poland, Hungary, the Ukraine and elsewhere, I think it is up to us in this free parliament to take whatever means we can to assert our dissatisfaction with the policies of a government that have resulted in such subjugation. That is what the Prime Minister and others in Canada have done.

My final comment about this is that I would have preferred the Prime Minister not to wait for the next general assembly but, as I said, to have instructed the Canadian delegation to take formal action at the last assembly to express once again, as was expressed by others in other years, our regret that colonial policy as practised by the Soviet union had resulted in the denial to so many

Supply-External Affairs millions of people behind the iron curtain of that freedom which we all cherish and regard as vital for the development of human personality.

But there is one other aspect of this matter, in addition to taking steps at once, which occurred to me last fall and to which I gave expression after discussing it with members of our party. The United States, through the president had said that if there was going to be a general conference on a divided Berlin and a divided Germany, it would be anxious to see that the subject matter of such a conference should not be confined to the question of a divided Germany or a divided Berlin. I think it was the United Kingdom government that said that such a conference should deal primarily with that question. The United States thought at that time at least that such a conference might encompass a discussion not only of the problem of Germany but of the major problems that divided east and west at that time. While we are not one of the occupying powers, it occurred to me, because we have at least a constitutional link with the declaration made by the occupying powers as to their right of access to West Berlin, that if there was going to be a package deal, Canada might seek to persuade the major western powers that they should include on their agenda a consideration of the problem that we have been discussing in the last few minutes and that part of the settlement should be the restoration of freedom to the people in these subjugated lands.

I do not know whether the government has taken any steps along this line, but I suggest to the Secretary of State for External Affairs, who I know is interested in these matters, that in his discussions with his opposite numbers, particularly from the United States and the United Kingdom, he should express what I believe the Canadian people would want him to express, that is our view that in the settlements we seek to make with the Soviet union to bring about a better understanding between east and west, consideration should be given to the steps we feel should be taken by the Soviet union to accord to the people of the subjugated nations the freedom which, since the United Nations came into being in 1945, has been accorded to over a billion people who now enjoy freedom under the canopy of selfdetermination, extended to them in many instances as a result of the decision of former colonial powers. This is a matter that concerns many millions of people in the world. I do not think for one minute that any hon. member will take exception to the views I have expressed tonight.

I am glad to have put on the record not only the views of the Prime Minister, but alongside them, the views on the same subject of the Leader of the Opposition, uttered at a time when he had the opportunity open to him as a member of a government to express the strong feeling that Canadians have against the subjugation of these people, whose sons and daughters now take part in the Canadian family. This should be one of the objectives of our foreign policy. I am sure it is. If it is, we should not hesitate to speak about it in this house.

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PC

Howard Charles Green (Secretary of State for External Affairs)

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Green:

Mr. Chairman, the hon. member for Essex East really has not been aware of just what has been going on. I think most other people in Canada know that the Prime Minister in particular has been in the lead among all western statesmen in urging that these subjugated peoples must be freed. All that is necessary is to read and to follow the reports in the Russian press to realize Who it is who is considered to be the main western statesman demanding freedom for these peoples.

It is all very well for the hon. member for Essex East to wake up on March 8, 1962, and realize that there is a problem, but the government acted on it many long months ago and has been acting continuously during the intervening period. At the United Nations in the fall of 1960 when the heads of state were in attendance it will be remembered that Premier Khrushchev made his strongest appeal on the question of colonialism. He demanded that all colonies should be freed by the end of that year. The reason the Soviet leader did this was that all of the new members of the United Nations, particularly the African but also some Asian countries, are highly emotional on the question of colonialism. They cannot understand why anybody in the world should have to live in a colony. The Russians never lose an opportunity- those of us who have been in New York have seen this-to try to make trouble for the west because of this deep conviction of the African and Asian countries. This was Premier Khrushchev's main line of attack in the session of 1960. He made an exceedingly strong speech on the question of colonialism. It fell to our own Prime Minister to be the first western leader to speak after Premier Khrushchev had spoken, and in his speech our Prime Minister devastated the arguments of Premier Khrushchev. There were Liberals there with our delegation and they told me personally that it had been a magnificent speech, one of the finest speeches ever made by a Canadian prime minister.

It had the effect of ruining the Russian initiative for the whole session of 1960 on

the question of colonialism. I am not questioning that speeches had been made in earlier sessions by those who then represented the government of Canada. But I do not believe there was ever a more magnificent speech made in the United Nations by any Canadian than the speech made in the fall of 1960 by our own Prime Minister. Certainly, there was never a more powerful appeal on behalf of the subjugated people of Europe.

Then, the hon. member for Essex East insinuates that last fall the Prime Minister should have had action taken in the United Nations. He knows very well, just as well as any of us who have been at the United Nations know, that this came up late in the fall just when the business of the United Nations was finishing. All the committees with the exception of the fourth committee, which is the trusteeship committee, finished their work before Christmas. It is true that the first committee met occasionally in the resumed session after Christmas, but practically all the work of the United Nations was finished before Christmas.

It would have been utterly absurd for an attempt to be made in the dying days of that session to tack on an amendment to some other resolution and hope thereby to deal with this question. The Prime Minister took the proper stand when he said in November that this subject would be dealt with at the next session of the general assembly. It is all very well to try to leave the inference that the Prime Minister made a big speech in 1960 and then did nothing about it ever since. If representatives are to be judged on that basis then I could easily say that the present Leader of the Opposition made a speech in 1949 and then did nothing about it ever since. I do not make that accusation because it is not fair. On the same basis, I am afraid it is not very fair to the hon. member for Essex East to try to insinuate tonight that the Prime Minister of Canada has not been following up on this issue which is so dear to his heart and for which he has fought so long, even long before he came into this House of Commons.

We all recognize why this subject has been dragged in tonight. It was dragged in as a sort of pre-election speech. I do not doubt but that the people across the country will realize that is exactly what the hon. member for Essex East had in his mind. But do not make any mistake about it, the government has been fighting for the subjugated people of Europe since it came into power and will continue to do so. We only hope we will have the support of the opposition party in that effort.

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NDP

Douglas Mason Fisher

New Democratic Party

Mr. Fisher:

Mr. Chairman, I have been sitting here awaiting an opportunity to speak about jackpine and tamarack and the exotic air of the virgin forest. The debate in the last hour or so has inspired me to ask the minister a few questions. I should like to say that I feel there are a few lively ghosts in this house tonight. I am thinking specifically of the hon. member for Richelieu-Vercheres, the hon. member for Bow River and the hon. member for Middlesex East. It seems to me that these particular gentlemen, in their remarks in the very recent past, have had a decided effect upon everything that has gone on in the house tonight. For that reason, I should like to come directly to the minister and ask him a couple of questions regarding comment that seems to be raging in the country and released to a certain extent by these gentlemen.

I should like to ask him first of all, has it been his experience in the United Nations that he has been hindered in any way in his operation through discovering that the former incumbent under a previous government of the position was considered to be soft to the communists?

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Howard Charles Green (Secretary of State for External Affairs)

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Green:

I am not going to comment on statements that are made outside this house by private members of the house. I suggest that the question now before the committee is on the financing of the United Nations.

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LIB

Paul Theodore Hellyer

Liberal

Mr. Hellyer:

Don't evade like the rest.

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NDP

Douglas Mason Fisher

New Democratic Party

Mr. Fisher:

Where has this discussion been? It has ranged all over and the minister is one of the ones who has been ranging.

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An hon. Member:

Get back to the item.

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NDP

Douglas Mason Fisher

New Democratic Party

Mr. Fisher:

This is an item relating to the United Nations and the discussion has ranged in many directions. The minister, not the least, has been responsible for that. Now, I should like to ask the minister straight. When you took over at the United Nations, did you find you were working under any handicap as the result of the performance of the Leader of the Opposition when he was secretary of state for external affairs? Can't you answer yes or no?

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Howard Charles Green (Secretary of State for External Affairs)

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Green:

Don't try to talk to me just in that way.

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Some hon. Members:

Oh, oh.

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Howard Charles Green (Secretary of State for External Affairs)

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Green:

If you are prepared to discuss the merits of any question dealing with the United Nations, I am quite prepared to answer a question of that kind. I am not going to deal with this. I have not made any allegations about any of my predecessors in the office of secretary of state for external affairs, and I do not intend to do so.

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LIB

John Whitney Pickersgill

Liberal

Mr. Pickersgill:

Mr. Chairman, I think this is the first time I have ever taken any part in the debates on the estimates for the Department of External Affairs. I am moved to do so this evening for two reasons. I am moved to do so first because of the last observation made by the Secretary of State for External Affairs in reply to the hon. member for Essex East. I do not believe the latter part of what the hon. gentleman said was quite worthy of the rest of his contribution to the debate, and I will tell him why. The hon. member for Essex East commended the Prime Minister throughout. He commended everything he had done about this matter, but he did point out in doing so that what the Prime Minister was doing was following historic continuity going right back to the beginning of the United Nations. My hon. friend demonstrated this point over and over again by quotations.

Now, it seems to me that the Secretary of State for External Affairs might have shown the same generosity, the same largeness of spirit, that was shown by the hon. member for Essex East by saying, that is quite true; we have followed the continuity in this matter because it represents the views of all Canadians, as it does, except for a small minority of communists in this country. The kind of implication that the hon. gentleman was seeking to make, that some of us have these matters more at heart than others, I suggest is quite unworthy of him as f suggest it is unworthy of any other Canadian. I would not say for one single minute that, because in 1953, in Winnipeg, my right hon. friend Mr. St. Laurent, at a Ukrainian-Canadian conference said this:

All decent Canadians share your desire to show the people in the Ukrainian homeland and the other countries dominated by communism who still long for personal liberty and national freedom that they are neither forgotten nor deserted.

I would not say Mr. St. Laurent felt more keenly about that than the Prime Minister. I would not think of saying it. I would say he felt as keenly, every bit as keenly. My hon. friend, the Leader of the Opposition, on September 26, 1949, long before the Prime Minister had any opportunity-I am sure the Prime Minister had the same sentiments, but he did not have the opportunity-said this, and I think the quotation has already been put on the record so I will not read it all:

Imperialism of the old kind is a rapidly diminishing force-

Then, he went on to deal with this Russian imperialism, and to point out, as my hon. friend from Essex East has pointed out this evening, how repugnant it was, how dangerous it was for the peace of the world and for everything that decent men hold dear. That is what was done. It seems to me we have

enough things to play politics about in this country without playing politics about which of us is most anxious to see other human beings liberated. That kind of politics we can well do without.

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Henry Frank Jones (Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Veterans Affairs)

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Jones:

Why don't you shut up about it?

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LIB

John Whitney Pickersgill

Liberal

Mr. Pickersgill:

I am not making comparisons.

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March 8, 1962