May 20, 1963

LIB

Lester Bowles Pearson (Prime Minister)

Liberal

Mr. Pearson:

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

The Address

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.

28902-5-5J

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]

Topic:   SPEECH FROM THE THRONE
Subtopic:   CONTINUATION OF DEBATE ON ADDRESS IN REPLY
Permalink
PC

John George Diefenbaker (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Diefenbaker:

Mr. Speaker-

Topic:   SPEECH FROM THE THRONE
Subtopic:   CONTINUATION OF DEBATE ON ADDRESS IN REPLY
Permalink
?

Some hon. Members:

Sit down.

Topic:   SPEECH FROM THE THRONE
Subtopic:   CONTINUATION OF DEBATE ON ADDRESS IN REPLY
Permalink
LIB

Lester Bowles Pearson (Prime Minister)

Liberal

Mr. Pearson:

-the views of the government of British Columbia also to this signed treaty; sealed and delivered.

Topic:   SPEECH FROM THE THRONE
Subtopic:   CONTINUATION OF DEBATE ON ADDRESS IN REPLY
Permalink
PC

John George Diefenbaker (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Diefenbaker:

Mr. Speaker, would the Prime Minister allow a question and say what changes he has asked to be made in the treaty, or is he going to obscure the issue by the words that he just uttered, which are of no meaning?

Topic:   SPEECH FROM THE THRONE
Subtopic:   CONTINUATION OF DEBATE ON ADDRESS IN REPLY
Permalink
?

Some hon. Members:

Shame.

Topic:   SPEECH FROM THE THRONE
Subtopic:   CONTINUATION OF DEBATE ON ADDRESS IN REPLY
Permalink
LIB

Lester Bowles Pearson (Prime Minister)

Liberal

Mr. Pearson:

Mr. Speaker, I would not be a very astute negotiator with the United States if I gave details to the house in public at this time, before we have even begun to discuss the matter with the province of British Columbia, let alone Washington, except in terms of general principle that we should reopen the treaty. If I said what we were demanding to have done to the treaty to make it acceptable to us in its final form, I would be a far worse negotiator than I used to be.

Topic:   SPEECH FROM THE THRONE
Subtopic:   CONTINUATION OF DEBATE ON ADDRESS IN REPLY
Permalink
PC

John George Diefenbaker (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Diefenbaker:

Alibi.

Topic:   SPEECH FROM THE THRONE
Subtopic:   CONTINUATION OF DEBATE ON ADDRESS IN REPLY
Permalink
LIB

Lester Bowles Pearson (Prime Minister)

Liberal

Mr. Pearson:

When the Leader of the Opposition talks about the iniquity of having suggested that we have to go to Washington before we go anywhere else in order to obtain Washington's approval to changes that Washington is being asked to make, I would remind the right hon. gentleman that this afternoon he warned us to be very careful of establishing a 12-mile limit, because Washington might not like it. I think I appreciate the importance of that warning because, as he pointed out, 80 per cent of our fish exports go to the United States, but I feel confident that we can establish our own jurisdictional zone of 12 miles, as I believe 50 other countries in the world, including the United Kingdom, have done, without getting into the kind of trouble with the United States that my hon. friend had a particular genius for getting into when he was prime minister.

Topic:   SPEECH FROM THE THRONE
Subtopic:   CONTINUATION OF DEBATE ON ADDRESS IN REPLY
Permalink
PC

John George Diefenbaker (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Diefenbaker:

You can always get agreement by surrender.

Topic:   SPEECH FROM THE THRONE
Subtopic:   CONTINUATION OF DEBATE ON ADDRESS IN REPLY
Permalink
?

Some hon. Members:

Be quiet.

Topic:   SPEECH FROM THE THRONE
Subtopic:   CONTINUATION OF DEBATE ON ADDRESS IN REPLY
Permalink
LIB

Lester Bowles Pearson (Prime Minister)

Liberal

Mr. Pearson:

I can also state that regarding the obligation to discharge certain commitments for the common defence undertaken by the previous government, the commitments to carry out certain roles which cannot be carried out effectively, as the right hon. gentleman has so often pointed out, without the use of nuclear ammunition for the warheads and weapons required for the role, in order to discharge these commitments we have entered into negotiations with the United States, taking up where the right hon. gentleman and his colleagues left off some time ago. We have begun these negotiations for a bilateral agreement between our two countries, without which no technical agreement can be made, for the joint control of nuclear warheads. The bilateral political negotiations to this end which were carried on for such a long time by the previous government have been resumed. They will cover defensive nuclear weapons systems for Canada, as well as other matters which have been the subject of previous discussions with the United States including, of course, the role of the air division and the use of the Honest John weapon with our forces attached to NATO in Europe.

The right hon. gentleman asked me this afternoon to declare myself once and for all, finally and irrevocably for or against membership in the organization of American states. The right hon. gentleman having avoided making any such declaration himself for six years has now, with the new freedom given to him by opposition-and I understand and appreciate his position-come out boldly against Canada's entry into the organization of American states. If I understand what he said this afternoon, as far as he and his party are concerned the doubt is resolved. There would be no membership in that organization. We on this side will, in due course, declare the policy of the government in this matter. It has taken hon. members opposite six years; they might give us a few more weeks. I might point out to the Leader of the Opposition that the organization of American states is itself becoming a little worried about the proliferation of membership in that body, due to the emergence of a great many new states in the Caribbean not all of which, apparently, they think are qualified for membership. So perhaps we ought to wait and see what the criteria for membership are before we make up our own minds whether we would accept an invitation to join the organization if one should be forthcoming.

I must say I was not greatly impressed by the argument used this afternoon by the right hon. gentleman against membership- the argument that we were being pressured into this by the President of the United

The Address-Mr. Pearson States. I can assure him that there was no pressure put on me with regard to this or any other matter when I visited the president a week or so ago. To say that the President of the United States, as the right hon. gentleman indicated-I think he was quoting with approval from a newspaper-wants us in this organization so that we shall vote like Bulgaria votes in the communist bloc is not worthy of the O.A.S. or of the president, or of the Leader of the Opposition himself.

The right hon. gentleman then accused us on this side of downgrading the commonwealth of nations. We have not downgraded the commonwealth; we have never done so. Indeed, one of the proudest achievements of the party to which I belong is that it has done so much through its successive leadership and members to convert the old British empire into the commonwealth of nations- a commonwealth which has new and enlarged fields of value and usefulness open to it because of the accession of African and Asian members, though a commonwealth which is very different indeed from the old commonwealth which used to be the toast of every after dinner speaker on this subject. It is not going to be nearly as easy to make this organization into such a constructive and effective international organization as it could be. It will not be as easy to do this as it was perhaps, in earlier days when the form of membership was somewhat different from the form which has recently been brought about by a considerable increase in membership of states which do not have the same economic approach to international affairs and which do not always have the same attitude internationally as the older members were accustomed to have. This situation will create new problems for the commonwealth as well as new opportunities.

The right hon. gentleman said the Minister of Trade and Commerce (Mr. Sharp) who is at Geneva at the moment wrote off the commonwealth as a trading unit in recent discussions at the commonwealth conference in London. I say there is not a shadow of evidence to support that statement. I have with me a verbatim account of everything which the Minister of Trade and Commerce said in this regard in London, though I do not intend to detain the house by putting it on the record. He adopted a constructive policy in all his statements, not only in those with regard to the desirability of increasing trade in the commonwealth-not by dramatic statements of 15 per cent diversions but by reducing barriers to trade between members of the commonwealth as part of a general process of reducing obstacles to trade throughout the world. He did say, and he is quite right,

66 HOUSE OF

The Address

Mr. Pearson that to build up a commonwealth as an exclusive trade bloc would be unsatisfactory and unwise. I do not think anyone wants that.

He went from London to Geneva. He will be back tomorrow because of the unfortunate developments in Geneva which have set back the progress we hoped would be achieved there. He went there with instructions to do everything possible on the part of the Canadian government to implement the principles of the Kennedy program which is imaginative, constructive and far reaching, to reduce trade barriers and obstructions. But the Kennedy program in its application of a linear 50 per cent cut to all tariffs would work out unequally in different countries, as was explained and made clear to Governor Herter when he was here.

It is not intended that every country should be subject to the same mathematical terms in the application of the principle. That is obviously impracticable. But it was intended and required that there should be reciprocity of advantage, which means reciprocity of concession; if one member of GATT could not make the 50 per cent concession mathematically it must make a concession in relation to the benefit received. That is the kind of negotiation intended, and that is what the GATT ministerial conference was hoping to do.

When the right hon. gentleman said this afternoon we had scorned this Geneva meeting, and objected to it, he could not be farther from the facts. He was supposed to have initiated this ministerial conference some months ago. I would point out to him that this ministerial GATT meeting now taking place in Geneva originated at a meeting of the ministers of the GATT countries in Geneva from November 27 to November 30, 1961, long before the right hon. gentleman put forward the proposal in London-which he expected to be considered as a new proposal, an alternative to the United Kingdom joining the European common market. We all hope these United States and other proposals designed to reach the same objective at GATT will succeed because, with all its faults, GATT remains the best general international organization for accomplishing this purpose and the Canadian government will do its best to see that that purpose is achieved. If there is any temporary setback because of the inability of the European common market even to discuss this 50 per cent linear cut, we must find another way of achieving the same objective. This temporary setback must be only temporary, as I am sure it will be.

I have not dealt with all the points raised by the right hon. gentleman this afternoon but I can assure him that this will be done during the course of the debate. May I address

myself now to his amendment. It is one which, obviously, we on this side cannot accept. We believe the speech from the throne does embody important constructive projects and proposals which, if accepted by this house, would lead to industrial expansion, the creation of new jobs and the general economic well-being of this country. Therefore, we confidently submit the proposals in this speech from the throne to the consideration of the house. When they appear, as I hope they will shortly, in legislative form, we believe they will commend themselves in that form to the judgment of this house. In that way this government, in the first stage and the first stage only of its program of action, will have made a very good beginning indeed.

Topic:   SPEECH FROM THE THRONE
Subtopic:   CONTINUATION OF DEBATE ON ADDRESS IN REPLY
Permalink
SC

Robert Norman Thompson

Social Credit

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

Mr. Speaker, in rising to take part in this debate I should first like to take the opportunity to publicly congratulate you on your election to the office -which you now hold. We are confident that you will uphold the responsibility which has been placed upon your shoulders in an efficient and effective way. As we celebrate today as the day which is set aside as the commemorative birthday of our monarch Queen Elizabeth II, I have appreciated the remarks which have been made in regard to the health of her representative in Canada, our Governor General. We in our group wish to extend to him our sincere wishes for a speedy and a complete recovery.

I also wish to extend my congratulations to the hon. member for Northumberland (Miss Jewett) for her eloquent and pleasing presentation in moving the adoption of the speech from the throne. I am sure that the hon. member will have much to contribute to this house in debates to come. The hon. member was lavish in her praise of her leader. Perhaps her feelings in this regard cover over a basic difference which may exist relating to the philosophy, the programs and the policies of her party. Her statement, as reported on page 23 of Hansard, that:

It is through these institutions of government. .. that we can hope somehow to achieve ... the enlargement of the human spirit, the enlargement of the dignity and the quality of all individualsseems strangely different from the words of her leader, the Prime Minister, when he said in the throne debate last year that, "government cannot do everything, and the feeling that it can and that it should is one of the greatest threats to our freedom today". The switch from being in opposition to being the government may give the Liberal party a dangerous change of opinion in the power and wisdom of the government itself. We who are in the continuing opposition do not share this touching faith in the transforming power of a new party in charge of the government.

I should also take this opportunity to congratulate the Prime Minister (Mr. Pearson) and his party upon their success at the polls, which in spite of the support of practically every major newspaper in the country and a seemingly unlimited supply of campaign funds were able only to elect a minority government. However, I must confess that I have been intrigued by his plan of action for 60 days. I have a feeling that it will become known in written history as Canada's great leap forward. For the good of Canada let us hope it will be more successful than that of the country to which we are now being urged to give diplomatic recognition. It was reassuring to hear the Prime Minister speak of a second four-year plan which will follow. Perhaps this will be known as the second great leap forward.

After having listened to the former prime minister this afternoon, now in opposition, and having listened to the reply from the Prime Minister, it would seem to me that neither one has learned too much from this last election. It is high time we stopped making this House of Commons a political arena. The election is past and there is not one of us who has been elected to this House of Commons who would honestly admit that it is good for the country or good for us to have another election at this time.

Topic:   SPEECH FROM THE THRONE
Subtopic:   CONTINUATION OF DEBATE ON ADDRESS IN REPLY
Permalink
PC

Eldon Mattison Woolliams

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Woolliams:

We have heard that before.

Topic:   SPEECH FROM THE THRONE
Subtopic:   CONTINUATION OF DEBATE ON ADDRESS IN REPLY
Permalink
PC

William Heward Grafftey

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Grafftey:

He is reading the same speech.

Topic:   SPEECH FROM THE THRONE
Subtopic:   CONTINUATION OF DEBATE ON ADDRESS IN REPLY
Permalink
SC

Robert Norman Thompson

Social Credit

Mr. Thompson:

Just a minute. Certain hon. members just have to have their memories refreshed a little. I would say, as I said at the beginning of the last parliament, that it is high time we recognized that it is our responsibility as 265 elected members to this house, representatives of the Canadian people, to get down and supply some leadership in seeing that we get the legislation this country needs and expects from us. Most people are interested in debates and fights in their proper place. But surely the people of this country have more to expect from us, with the tremendous amount of money and energy expended in the election which put us here, than the use of this house as a personal tilting ground for a couple of their fellow citizens.

Speaking on behalf of my colleagues and myself, we are here to do business, to come to grips with the internal problems of Canada so that she can have a stronger voice in a troubled world. We are not here to waste time on trivialities, Mr. Speaker. What we need is more than just a couple of watchdogs, who apparently are only concerned in fighting between themselves as to whose

The Address-Mr. Thompson responsibility it is to watch over the house while all the time the house burns down. Yes, those are not new words. They have been said before in this house and I have said them; but I think it is even more important that we regard them carefully and with a deep sense of responsibility. That is why I say that the first job of this house is to get down to business.

Mr. Speaker, we again have a minority house, and the party with the largest number of elected members has the responsibility of forming the government, of bringing in this legislative program. We have the responsibility constructively to try to work out the best possible result from that program. The Leader of the Opposition (Mr. Diefenbaker) has stated over and over again that the throne speech is a rehash of the policies of his last government. Then he goes on to move a vote of non-confidence in these same policies. The motion says that this house

-regrets that the policies announced fail to provide full opportunity for the people of Canada to continue the social advance and large economic growth of the past year.

This really sounds more like hash than rehash. It is the intention of the Social Credit party that we will not resort to criticism just for criticism's sake.

What is our attitude going to be in this House of Commons? First of all, let us remind ourselves again that in spite of the election we have just come through this is still a house of minorities. Not much has been said about that in these latter weeks after the election, but that is what it is. We could not make the last parliament work. Can we make this one work?

Topic:   SPEECH FROM THE THRONE
Subtopic:   CONTINUATION OF DEBATE ON ADDRESS IN REPLY
Permalink
?

An hon. Member:

Ask Real.

Topic:   SPEECH FROM THE THRONE
Subtopic:   CONTINUATION OF DEBATE ON ADDRESS IN REPLY
Permalink
SC

Robert Norman Thompson

Social Credit

Mr. Thompson:

This much is for sure. If some of us do not reform our ways we will not do so. May I remind the Prime Minister that during the twenty fifth parliament his only objective was to oppose the government. He said many times that his objective was to cut the life of the minority government as soon as possible. The Secretary of State for External Affairs (Mr. Martin) and other leading members who sit on the front benches of the Liberal party expressed the same opinion. As found on page 1349 of Hansard of last session, the hon. member for Essex East stated that the members of his party were elected to oppose the government. May I ask the Prime Minister how long his government would last if members of the opposition were to adopt the same attitude he did and which he advocated last year?

I would also remind the Leader of the Opposition that we would never have had the last election if he had quit playing politics

The Address-Mr. Thompson and carried his responsibilities through to the decisive action that we should have had.

Topic:   SPEECH FROM THE THRONE
Subtopic:   CONTINUATION OF DEBATE ON ADDRESS IN REPLY
Permalink
PC

John George Diefenbaker (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Diefenbaker:

You changed your mind after the election.

Topic:   SPEECH FROM THE THRONE
Subtopic:   CONTINUATION OF DEBATE ON ADDRESS IN REPLY
Permalink
SC

Robert Norman Thompson

Social Credit

Mr. Thompson:

If the right hon. gentleman does not have more appreciation and understanding of what took place in the house last February 5, then I can understand why we went into an election. It was said over and over again during the election campaign that the prerequisite of stable government is majority government. That statement may have some worth, but certainly a majority government is no guarantee of an effective stable government. It was not during the years 1958 to 1962. Leaving out the war years, it was not from 1945 to 1957.

A minority government can be a strong government. It can be effective and it can be stable if the members who make up parliament will put their responsibilities ahead of the politics which they are too often prone to play and if the man who is entrusted with the leadership of the government will give the leadership which a minority house requires. We did not have that in 1962. We hope we will have it in 1963. Not only do we in this house hope so but the entire nation hopes so as well. During the election campaign it was said time and again that the Social Credit group in the House of Commons toppled the government and cut short the life of the twenty fifth parliament. Over and over again the former prime minister told the Canadian people that the reason the last minority house fell was the blockage of the opposition.

Topic:   SPEECH FROM THE THRONE
Subtopic:   CONTINUATION OF DEBATE ON ADDRESS IN REPLY
Permalink

May 20, 1963