They have not enabled the farmers of this country to increase their real income. The best way to prosperity for farmers throughout the country is through the expansion of markets at home and abroad. We will have expanding markets abroad only as we improve our trade policies, and I will have something to say later about the right hon. gentleman's observations on the Minister of Trade and Commerce (Mr. Sharp) and his enunciation of trade policy in London. We will have expanding markets at home only as the consumers of Canada again make rapid progress in prosperity and in income.
Therefore the first priority in the programs of this government for agriculture and for
every other element of the economy is economic expansion. That is to the interest of the farmer just as much as it is to the interest of the people who live in towns and cities. As we restore and maintain economic expansion, this government will also have programs, practical, forward-moving programs, to help the farmer take advantage of improving opportunities. That, Mr. Speaker, is our pledge and that is the effective way of doing things rather than merely talking about them.
The right hon. gentleman asked me this afternoon if we were going to change our policy with regard to export credits for agricultural products now that we were in office. I would remind him if he needs reminding, because he must have known the facts, that export credits for agricultural products, including export credits for sales to countries behind the iron curtain, were a policy which was initiated by the previous Liberal government just as the policy embodied in ARDA for better land use was initiated by the previous Liberal government in its land use committee in the Senate. You can be sure, Mr. Speaker, that the Liberal government now in office will build on and expand those policies which it initiated in the early 50's.
I should like to say a word or two now about a matter mentioned by the Leader of the Opposition this afternoon which is very much in our minds and which embodies serious problems and great opportunities. I refer to the problem of the direction which should be given to confederation at this time, the problem of biculturalism and the proposal of the government to set up a royal commission to go into this problem, the terms of reference of which as submitted to the heads of government in the various provinces were tabled this afternoon.
I cannot imagine anything at this time more serious to the progress, indeed, to the survival of our country as a confederation than a successful solution to this problem. The determination of this government is that the partnership of English and French speaking people in this country shall become truly equal. I say that directly and very earnestly, and I am sure there is no single member of the House of Commons, to whatever party he may belong, who will take exception to that resolve. I emphasize as an English speaking Canadian to the English speaking parts of the country that this must be done. The partnership must be a true one and, equally important, it must be felt by all concerned in the country to be a true one.
For that purpose our confederation must be given new direction or the strains within it, of which we are all conscious particularly at
this time, might well become, though there is no reason why they should become, tragically destructive.
But I want to say something else, Mr. Speaker, and with equal seriousness to my fellow Canadians in other parts of Canada who speak French, though I am sure not all of them need this advice. Perhaps not many of them need this advice just as perhaps not many of the English speaking Canadians need the kind of reference I just made a moment ago to the necessity for co-operation and resolution on their part to make our partnership equal. When we assert the need for equality in our partnership, we must not neglect also to assert the purpose of this partnership. English speaking and French speaking people worked together, Mr. Speaker, to found, to build and to develop a country, a country with diversity as well as with cooperation and unity, a country different from other countries in this hemisphere and many other countries in the world, particularly in its diversity and in its biculturalism.
But you cannot have a bicultural country without having a country. So Quebec, to be Quebec, must be Quebec in Canada. Our purpose, therefore, in working together now must be for all of us to maintain and develop our Canadian identity, the Canadian fact. That is the nature, surely, and that must be the purpose of our partnership.
This afternoon the Leader of the Opposition said our Canadian identity is not easy to preserve. It has not been easy to preserve in the past and it certainly will not be easy to preserve in the future. The influences that could submerge it are pervasive and powerful and very much in all our minds. The facts of geography, the facts of history have always meant that the establishment of a Canadian identity required positive leadership and action by the government of Canada. The facts of modern science and modern industry reinforce the need, especially in the economic field. Quebec, which is a province different from other provinces because it is a motherland to people who live in other provinces as well as being a province of Canada, needs the means to remain Quebec. The government of Quebec must have the resources to meet the needs of today as well as to fulfil the aspirations of centuries.
By the same token, Mr. Speaker, Canada needs the means to be Canada. The government of Canada must have the resources to act for Canada in the domestic and in the international fields, especially in the most important search for peace and security in the world in which Canada has played, and can continue to play, an important and constructive part, but only if it is a Canada strong and united. Canada will not be strong 28902-5-5
The Address-Mr. Pearson unless it is united. There is no conflict here, Mr. Speaker. There is merely the need for partnership. The aspirations of Quebec, the cultural identity Quebec wishes to sustain and develop, mastery in our own home, these things which the people of Quebec are asserting would not be possible within a weak country. They would not be achieved by restricting the actions of a federal government that are necessary to meet the needs that are common to us all and that are within the federal jurisdiction.
So we must be very clear about this. The government I have the honour to lead will strive for biculturalism and equal partnership. It will equally strive to be an effective government, able to do what today is necessary for the effective good government of a country. I hope and believe, Mr. Speaker, that the royal commission which it is hoped and expected will soon be set up will help us to achieve this objective of biculturalism with diversity. There is no reason why we should not achieve it.
This afternoon the Leader of the Opposition asked my views, and the views of the government, on certain international matters. I propose to deal with them, but not at length, because there will be an opportunity later in the debate for my colleagues, especially the Secretary of State for External Affairs (Mr. Martin), to go into more detail on some of these matters. The right hon. gentleman asked what our attitude was towards the United Nations. Our attitude towards the United Nations, the attitude of this government, will be the same as it was from the founding conference at San Francisco to 1957 when the Liberal government left office. During that period, Mr. Speaker, I think it was established that the policy of the Canadian government towards the United Nations was one of the firmest possible support, the most constructive support. I believe our reputation and prestige at the United Nations during those years stood high, as I believe it stands high today. We on this side will do our best to play a full part in all the activities of the United Nations, especially in the search for international peace and security through disarmament, beginning with nuclear disarmament, and in nuclear disarmament beginning with the abolition of tests.
If we take that stand with regard to the activities of the United Nations, we will have to take a positive stand with regard to the contributions we must make to keep the United Nations going at a time when there are pressures and forces which would weaken, if not destroy it, if only from a lack of that financial support which is so miniscule in reference to the amount we spend on other
62 HOUSE OF
Mr. Pearson things devoted to the destruction of men rather than to the creative activity of men living together.
We are all very conscious of a fact the right hon. gentleman mentioned this afternoon, that the NATO council is meeting in Ottawa during this week. NATO has been the foundation of the foreign policy of Canadian governments ever since it was formed in 1949, and it will continue to be so. This week we have the honour of acting as host to the foreign and defence ministers of NATO countries who will be coming to Ottawa for the annual spring ministerial meeting of the council. The last time that Ottawa was privileged to receive the NATO council was in 1951, when some important decisions were taken. I think we can all derive satisfaction from the military effectiveness of the organization as it has developed during these years, an effectiveness in defence which has expressed itself in deterrent form with very good results; in that since NATO was formed, and it was formed at a time when it looked as if the red army might be moving right across western Europe, it had just entered Czechoslovakia; in that since that time of tension and danger in Europe after world war II, no single piece of western European territory has fallen as a result of communist or totalitarian expansion.
I think the North Atlantic Treaty Organization can take some credit for that good result. I think also, Mr. Speaker, we can take some satisfaction in the fact that since NATO met here last NATO has developed into one of the main forums for the co-ordination of the external policies of the Atlantic countries. Although, in the field of non-military co-operation it has not got nearly so far as all of us hoped it would go when article 2 was put into the treaty. Even in the field of foreign policy consultation as opposed to the mere exchange of information NATO has not got so far as some of us hoped it would go. But in so far as economic co-operation is concerned there have been other institutions growing up in these intervening years which have been more effective than NATO in bringing about economic co-operation on a somewhat wider basis than NATO itself. In so far as political consultation is concerned I think NATO is considerably more effective than it was in 1951.
The three day meeting of the council is to take place in the west block. The opening ceremony will be held on Wednesday morning in this chamber and will be addressed by the current president of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs in Britain, Lord Home; by the secretary general of NATO, a distinguished civil servant of the Netherlands, Mr. Dirk Stikker and by myself. Canada will be
represented at this meeting by the Secretary of State for External Affairs (Mr. Martin) and by the Minister of National Defence (Mr. Hellyer).
Normally the spring meeting of NATO is an occasion for foreign ministers to take account of the international situation. The foreign ministers and the defence ministers who are accompanying them to this meeting have been asked to make a review of discussions which have been taking place in the permanent council concerning certain proposals regarding the organization of the defensive forces of the alliance. So, in addition to the general review of foreign affairs which customarily takes place there will be a review of discussions that have been going on as to how to increase the defensive strength of the alliance.
Some information on matters to be discussed at the forthcoming meeting is, of course, already in the public domain. Hon. members, however, I am sure will appreciate that NATO ministerial meetings are held in restrictive private session and it would not be appropriate for me to make public, in advance of the meeting, the position the Canadian delegation will take on the various subjects that will be under discussion. But, I am not transgressing any rule of NATO when I say Canada will support those proposals which will be under discussion, and which we believe, after hearing the discussions, are likely to strengthen the defensive capacity and the cohesion of the Atlantic states. We remain, as a government, prepared to make a contribution from this country to that end.
It is an open secret, in fact I do not think it is a secret at all, that among the measures that will be proposed to strengthen the defensive strength of the NATO alliance will be the question of an inter-allied nuclear force, and what is called a multilateral nuclear force, which is a new idea and which provides for multinational manning of certain submarines, and perhaps surface vessels, with nuclear arms and nuclear capability.
It is sometimes forgotten, but it must not be forgotten, that NATO as an organization accepted nuclear arms for defence and deterrence as far back as December, 1957 at a meeting of the council of that time. The Canadian government at that time supported the acceptance of such nuclear arms for NATO, for defence and deterrence. Indeed paragraphs 20 and 21 of the communique issued by the NATO council issued on December 19, 1957, a communique which was accepted by the Canadian delegation and the Canadian government through that delegation, read as follows:
To this end, NATO has decided to establish stocks of nuclear warheads, which will be readily
available for the defence of the alliance in case of need. In view of the present soviet policies in the field of new weapons, the council has also decided that intermediate range ballistic missiles will have to be put at the disposal of the supreme allied commander Europe.
The deployment of these stocks and missiles and arrangements for their use will accordingly be decided in conformity with NATO defence plans and in agreement with the states directly concerned. The NATO military authorities have been requested to submit to the council at an early date their recommendations on the introduction of these weapons in the common defence-
Therefore, Mr. Speaker, ever since the acceptance of that resolution the Canadian government has accepted the proposition that NATO itself, with NATO control, should develop a nuclear capacity and deterrence for protection.
The Leader of the Opposition said this afternoon that the statement I made yesterday in the house-and I repeated it this evening, that a final decision by the Canadian delegation will be given to the NATO council meeting, which meeting undoubtedly will be held in private-that that decision not to make public our position at this time vindicates the attitude taken by the right hon. gentleman in saying we should do nothing about the nuclear commitment which had been undertaken, nothing about implementing that nuclear commitment, until the NATO council actually met in Ottawa. But, Mr. Speaker, it is quite clear from the nature of this meeting that there will be no discussion, let alone any recommendation, about the actual role undertaken by any member of the alliance.
No question therefore will arise at this council meeting, and this must be well known by members of the previous government, of a change of policy for Canada unless the government represented at this NATO meeting reverses at once the decisions made years earlier by the government of Canada, and Canada abandons at once the role undertaken for the Royal Canadian Air Force to implement that decision, and I can assure the house we do not intend at this council meeting to abandon that role. We intend to take steps, as we are presently taking steps, to implement that role until that role is changed.
It may well be that at the NATO council meeting there may be a recommendation that the defence policy of the coalition should be re-examined. I would hope that could be done, just as Canada's defence policy will be re-examined in this house and by a special committee of this house. But until that reexamination results in an alteration of our policy we propose to discharge the commitments of that policy, so there is no relationship between the forthcoming council meeting and that decision at all.
The Address-Mr. Pearson
A decision that may or may not be taken at the council meeting, I do not know if there will be such a decision, will be in relation to the re-organization of the nuclear forces of NATO; the forces in NATO which now have a nuclear capacity. The only question that will arise here is whether those forces will be under a separate NATO nuclear command; whether the R.C.A.F., if it discharges the nuclear role accepted for it, should continue its present position in the NATO command or whether it should be under a separate NATO nuclear command organization. That is the question before the north Atlantic council and that question itself does not affect the role already undertaken for Canada by the previous government.
The right hon. gentleman opposite confirmed this afternoon what has previously been said by him, I believe, and certainly by some others-certainly by my hon. friends of the New Democratic party-that we should state in this house now, before the NATO council meets and before any decision is taken, what we are proposing to do, so that the house will know in advance and will have a chance to vote on our policy in that regard. The answer to that proposition was very clearly and very well given by the right hon. gentleman when he was prime minister of the day, on September 20, 1961 in this house, as reported at 8596 of Hansard. He said this, and I am referring to the right hon. gentleman who is now the Leader of the Opposition:
The announcement of decisions of government policy on this important issue-
That is the issue of nuclear weapons:
-will be made in the house. I might also say this; that the government, when placing such decisions before the house, will, naturally, at all times afford an opportunity for discussion. However, and I emphasize this, in each of the instruments that we have, the Bomarc and the Voodoos, nuclear weapons could be used. The defensive requirements of Canada and the need for the preservation of security will be the overriding consideration in the mind of this government.
Then he went on:
No decision has been made. When a decision is made the house will be clearly made aware thereof, as I emphasized a moment ago. Speculation which has been going on in the last few weeks is based on nothing more than the views of those who, desiring one final stand to be taken, are not taking into full regard the international situation nor in the event that it should worsen, the welfare, the future and the safety of Canadians.
Then there is this sentence:
The responsibility is one which the government must take having regard first and foremost to the welfare of the Canadian people. I must add, of course, that in any stand it takes the government must ask for the support of the house. That does not mean, however, that the decision would first be tentatively placed before the house. That would
The Address-Mr. Pearson be a denial of responsible government and a denial of the principles which the hon. gentleman himself has so long advocated.
The hon. gentleman was myself, Mr. Speaker, and I still advocate those principles so clearly put forward by my right hon. friend opposite.
The right hon. gentleman had something to say this afternoon about Canada's integrity as a nation. Although I do not have his exact words, I understood him to infer that this integrity had been prejudiced by United States intervention in the recent Canadian election. He went on to add that he and his party were determined that Canadian policies should be made without dictation from any outside source. Well, Mr. Speaker, this is one of those straw men which the right hon. gentleman loves to create, set up and clothe in raiment of various colours and with various statistics, and then knock down in order to protect our country from something which he seems to think threatens it because of the policy of our party.
I would point out to him that there is surely no difference of opinion in this House of Commons that Canada determines its policies by Canadian action, without dictation from outside, in so far as any country in the world today can determine its own policies. As an indication that perhaps we were not very solid or strong in this determination to protect Canada from these threats to its integrity, especially those from across the border, the right hon. gentleman referred to the current discussions regarding the Columbia river treaty. He pointed out that I had said we had to clear this matter with Washington before we could proceed with the amendments that may be required to this treaty. Of course, I was then stating the most obvious fact in the world, because this particular treaty is one made with the United States which was signed, sealed and delivered by the right hon. gentleman to Canada after it had been signed by the United States.
We can do one of three things, I suppose, about this treaty. We can let it lapse; that is, not bring it before parliament for approval at all and refuse to ratify it. We can denounce it, or we can go to Washington-[DOT] because Washington is the other signatory to this treaty-as we would expect Washington to come to us in reverse circumstances, and say, "This treaty as it was bequeathed to us by the previous Canadian government is not satisfactory. It is not a good deal for Canada. We want some changes made to it. Are you agreeable to discussing those changes?"
We have done that, Mr. Speaker, and we have secured an expression of opinion from the other signatory to the treaty that she
would be willing to discuss this and to consider amendments, clarifications and modifications to the treaty. Having received this indication of United States willingness to have another look at this treaty to see if it can be made more satisfactory, we have gone to the government of British Columbia to initiate discussions with that government, so that when we approach Washington this time with a view to these modifications we will have-[DOT]
Subtopic: CONTINUATION OF DEBATE ON ADDRESS IN REPLY