May 22, 1963

EXTERNAL AFFAIRS

REPORTED COMMITMENT OF CANADIAN AIR DIVISION TO NATO NUCLEAR COMMAND


On the orders of the day:


PC

John George Diefenbaker (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Progressive Conservative

Right Hon. J. G. Diefenbaker (Leader of the Opposition):

Mr. Speaker, I should like to ask the Prime Minister whether the Canadian Press dispatch is correct when it says, "Canada today committed its eight-squadron air division in Europe to a NATO nuclear command." The article points out that speeches were made by the Secretary of State for External Affairs (Mr. Martin) and the Minister of National Defence (Mr. Hellyer), that the subject was the projected interallied nuclear force, and the commitment of the Canadian air units to NATO was agreed to.

Topic:   EXTERNAL AFFAIRS
Subtopic:   REPORTED COMMITMENT OF CANADIAN AIR DIVISION TO NATO NUCLEAR COMMAND
Permalink
LIB

Lester Bowles Pearson (Prime Minister)

Liberal

Right Hon. L. B. Pearson (Prime Minister):

Mr. Speaker, as the interallied nuclear force which is under consideration by NATO has not yet been established, the question of a commitment of the Canadian squadron to that force does not yet arise. This is a matter under discussion at the council meeting which is now going on; it is one matter on the agenda. The Canadian policy in regard to this particular matter will be known when the council meeting finishes.

Topic:   EXTERNAL AFFAIRS
Subtopic:   REPORTED COMMITMENT OF CANADIAN AIR DIVISION TO NATO NUCLEAR COMMAND
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PC

John George Diefenbaker (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Diefenbaker:

Mr. Speaker, whether or not there is an actual commitment until the final decision has been made, did the Canadian representatives undertake that they would commit Canadian forces overseas to this body in the event that such a body was set up?

Topic:   EXTERNAL AFFAIRS
Subtopic:   REPORTED COMMITMENT OF CANADIAN AIR DIVISION TO NATO NUCLEAR COMMAND
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LIB

Lester Bowles Pearson (Prime Minister)

Liberal

Mr. Pearson:

Mr. Speaker, the right hon. gentleman knows that it would be quite inappropriate to make public the instructions of the Canadian delegation to the council meeting of NATO while that council meeting is going on. That is a procedure which he followed himself in respect of previous council meetings of NATO when nuclear and other matters were under consideration.

Topic:   EXTERNAL AFFAIRS
Subtopic:   REPORTED COMMITMENT OF CANADIAN AIR DIVISION TO NATO NUCLEAR COMMAND
Permalink
PC

John George Diefenbaker (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Diefenbaker:

Mr. Speaker, that latter statement is entirely incorrect.

Topic:   EXTERNAL AFFAIRS
Subtopic:   REPORTED COMMITMENT OF CANADIAN AIR DIVISION TO NATO NUCLEAR COMMAND
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?

Some hon. Members:

Order.

Topic:   EXTERNAL AFFAIRS
Subtopic:   REPORTED COMMITMENT OF CANADIAN AIR DIVISION TO NATO NUCLEAR COMMAND
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PC

John George Diefenbaker (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Diefenbaker:

I am not going to have the Prime Minister make such a statement

about what stand we took, when it is incorrect. Does he suggest that the people of Canada should be bound by the stand taken by this government without disclosing it to parliament? That is all I want to know.

Topic:   EXTERNAL AFFAIRS
Subtopic:   REPORTED COMMITMENT OF CANADIAN AIR DIVISION TO NATO NUCLEAR COMMAND
Permalink
LIB

Lester Bowles Pearson (Prime Minister)

Liberal

Mr. Pearson:

The right hon. gentleman, when he was head of the government, already committed those eight squadrons to a particular role in NATO and informed the House of Commons about it when he returned from the NATO council.

Topic:   EXTERNAL AFFAIRS
Subtopic:   REPORTED COMMITMENT OF CANADIAN AIR DIVISION TO NATO NUCLEAR COMMAND
Permalink
PC

John George Diefenbaker (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Diefenbaker:

Not at all.

Topic:   EXTERNAL AFFAIRS
Subtopic:   REPORTED COMMITMENT OF CANADIAN AIR DIVISION TO NATO NUCLEAR COMMAND
Permalink

RUSSIAN PROPOSAL THAT MEDITERRANEAN BE MADE NUCLEAR-FREE ZONE


On the orders of the day:


NDP

Thomas Clement (Tommy) Douglas

New Democratic Party

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

have a question for the Secretary of State for External Affairs. Since, unfortunately, he is not in the house, I wonder if I might direct it to the Prime Minister.

In view of the Soviet proposal yesterday that the Mediterranean area be declared a zone free of nuclear weapons, would the minister inform the house what attitude the Canadian delegation to the NATO conference will adopt toward this proposal, and whether it will be examined in the light of the Eden plan, the Rapacki plan and other proposals aimed at mutual disengagement and disarmament in central Europe?

Topic:   EXTERNAL AFFAIRS
Subtopic:   RUSSIAN PROPOSAL THAT MEDITERRANEAN BE MADE NUCLEAR-FREE ZONE
Permalink
LIB

Lester Bowles Pearson (Prime Minister)

Liberal

Right Hon. L. B. Pearson (Prime Minister):

This, as the hon. member will realize, is a very important proposal indeed, if it turns out to be in the terms which have been made public. It will undoubtedly have to receive careful consideration not only by this government but by all the other members of NATO. In that consideration it will have to be related to the earlier proposals for disengagement in other areas to which the hon. member referred. It will also be interesting to find out whether the Mediterranean area to which the Soviet proposal refers includes, for instance, the Black sea. Until all these matters are considered, and until the question has been discussed with our friends in NATO, perhaps at the current meeting, it would be premature for me to make a statement.

Topic:   EXTERNAL AFFAIRS
Subtopic:   RUSSIAN PROPOSAL THAT MEDITERRANEAN BE MADE NUCLEAR-FREE ZONE
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NDP

Thomas Clement (Tommy) Douglas

New Democratic Party

Mr. Douglas:

Could I ask the Prime Minister whether he would make a statement as early as possible when some decision has been reached?

Inquiries of the Ministry Mr. Pearson: Yes, I shall be glad to make a statement on this matter at an appropriate moment.

Topic:   EXTERNAL AFFAIRS
Subtopic:   RUSSIAN PROPOSAL THAT MEDITERRANEAN BE MADE NUCLEAR-FREE ZONE
Permalink

LABOUR CONDITIONS

GREAT LAKES-PROGRESS TOWARD SETTLEMENT OF DISPUTE


On the orders of the day:


May 22, 1963