July 16, 1964

ANNOUNCEMENT OF SALE TO CZECHOSLOVAKIA

LIB

Harry William Hays (Minister of Agriculture)

Liberal

Hon. Harry W. Hays (Acting Minister of Trade and Commerce):

Mr. Speaker, I wish to inform hon. members that the Canadian wheat board is announcing in Winnipeg today that it has negotiated a contract for the sale of approximately 500,000 metric tons of wheat for shipment to Czechoslovakia. This sale, totalling approximately 18.4 million bushels, is for shipment during the period August to November, 1964.

This is the second sale made to Czechoslovakia under the provisions of the long term agreement signed on October 29, 1963. Of the 500,000 metric tons purchased, 230,000 tons represent the completion of the quantity that Czechoslovakia had agreed to buy during the first year of the agreement, and the balance of 270,000 tons applies against the second agreement year which commences October 30, 1964.

Payment for the wheat is to be made on the basis of 10 per cent at time of shipment with the balance to be paid in equal instalments, plus interest, at two, two and a half and three years respectively. These credit arrangements were authorized by the government of Canada under the provisions of the Export Credits Insurance Act.

On the orders of the day:

Topic:   ANNOUNCEMENT OF SALE TO CZECHOSLOVAKIA
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PC

Robert Simpson

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Robert Simpson (Churchill):

I have a question for the Minister of Trade and Commerce. In his absence perhaps I may direct it to the acting minister or the Minister of Agriculture. It relates to the grain sale which was announced today by the Minister of Agriculture. Could the house be informed whether it was made clear to those negotiating on behalf of Czechoslovakia what financial benefits could accrue both to Czechoslovakia and to western farmers by agreeing to the shipment of a considerable amount of this grain through the port of Churchill? If this was not made

clear to them, will the minister assure the house that it will be made clear to them in future.

Topic:   ANNOUNCEMENT OF SALE TO CZECHOSLOVAKIA
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LIB

Harry William Hays (Minister of Agriculture)

Liberal

Hon. Harry W. Hays (Minister of Agriculture):

I am sure this would have been done by the Canadian wheat board. The hon. member may like to know that last year we shipped a record amount of wheat through Churchill, and I suppose we may even exceed that record this year.

Topic:   ANNOUNCEMENT OF SALE TO CZECHOSLOVAKIA
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PC

Robert Simpson

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Simpson:

That is always good news; we have always broken records since 1957. I should like to have an assurance that in these negotiations the possible savings to both the purchaser and to the western farmers are made clearly known to the negotiators for the other country concerned.

Topic:   ANNOUNCEMENT OF SALE TO CZECHOSLOVAKIA
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LIB

Harry William Hays (Minister of Agriculture)

Liberal

Mr. Hays:

I would be glad to direct this

request to the chairman of the wheat board. [Translation]

Topic:   ANNOUNCEMENT OF SALE TO CZECHOSLOVAKIA
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RA

David Réal Caouette

Ralliement Créditiste

Mr. Real Caouelte (Villeneuve):

Mr. Speaker, may I put a supplementary question?

The Minister of Agriculture stated at the same time that Czechoslovakia would pay 10 per cent on shipment of the wheat. Could the minister tell us what rate of interest will apply to the balance Czechoslovakia is to pay Canada over a period of two and a half to three years?

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LIB

Harry William Hays (Minister of Agriculture)

Liberal

Mr. Hays:

I cannot state the exact amount of interest, but I would be glad to look into it and let the hon. member know.

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COMMUNICATIONS

CANADIAN PARTICIPATION IN INTERNATIONAL SATELLITE SYSTEMS


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 direct a question to the Acting Prime Minister in connection with the international satellite communication system. What was the basis upon which Canada decided to make a contribution to this system; and is the minister in a position to give the reason why the

Inquiries of the Ministry United States defence department has withdrawn from the satellite communication consortia and what the effects of the withdrawal of the United States will be on probable costs?

Topic:   COMMUNICATIONS
Subtopic:   CANADIAN PARTICIPATION IN INTERNATIONAL SATELLITE SYSTEMS
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LIB

Paul Joseph James Martin (Secretary of State for External Affairs)

Liberal

Hon. Paul Marlin (Acting Prime Minister):

I will ask the Minister of Transport to answer that question.

Topic:   COMMUNICATIONS
Subtopic:   CANADIAN PARTICIPATION IN INTERNATIONAL SATELLITE SYSTEMS
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LIB

John Whitney Pickersgill (Minister of Transport)

Liberal

Hon. J. W. Pickersgill (Minister of Transport):

I should not like, Mr. Speaker, to make a statement without very careful reference to the documents, but my impression is that it was not a sudden or precipitate withdrawal. The way in which the satellite communication system is being worked out is that it would provide for participation by any countries which wished to participate. I think hon. members will quickly appreciate that this might have certain consequences from the point of view of certain types of military communications. I do not think it was contemplated that even though the defence services of the United States or any other country did not participate directly in the satellite system itself, that would not mean that certain types of communications would not use that system in exactly the same way as the defence forces now use other communication systems than their own.

Topic:   COMMUNICATIONS
Subtopic:   CANADIAN PARTICIPATION IN INTERNATIONAL SATELLITE SYSTEMS
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PC

John George Diefenbaker (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Diefenbaker:

Mr. Speaker, the minister has said it was not precipitate action on the part of the United States. However, the New York Times report indicates that this is another reversal of the Pentagon's on again-off again efforts in the development of a military communications satellite system.

I realize that it is difficult for the minister to answer without having the material before him, but I should like the minister to give the house a full answer in this regard and also to indicate what the expenditures will be on the part of Canada in this connection, as well as the reason Canada should be assuming a major responsibility in so far as the expenditure is concerned in this connection at a time when the United States, which is so necessarily interested in matters such as this, is withdrawing.

Topic:   COMMUNICATIONS
Subtopic:   CANADIAN PARTICIPATION IN INTERNATIONAL SATELLITE SYSTEMS
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LIB

John Whitney Pickersgill (Minister of Transport)

Liberal

Mr. Pickersgill:

In the first place, sir, I do not think it would be appropriate for me, with or without notice, to comment on the policies of the government of the United States. We are answerable in parliament for what we do and not for what other countries do. The only aspect of United States policy that would be of concern to us would be if the United States government decided not to participate in this system. Which agency of

the United States government may participate is surely a matter for the United States.

I have no information that the United States government, which has a chosen agency which is partially privately owned and partially publicly owned, does not intend to participate as a major partner in this project. I am quite sure if there was any decision that the United States was not participating in that way, there would be no project at all and, therefore, there would be no problem of Canada's participation.

Assuming there has been no change so far as the United States government is concerned-I feel quite sure I would have heard about it more directly than through the New York Times if there had been-and assuming that negotiations are going to go on in Washington on the basis on which I understood they were going on, which involved no participation by the United States defence department at all, then the reason Canada is participating to the extent it is is that we believe this is a venture of great importance in the communications field. This was true of the telephone cable project in which we participated some years ago. We feel this is going to be a very important means of communication, and a profitable means of communication over a long period. Hon. members will have noted only yesterday the report of the C.O.T.C. which was gratifying in that it showed a large profit was being made on their operations.

Now, it is thought there is a very distinct probability that satellite communications will supplement to a very great extent cable telephonic communications, and that this, to a great degree at any rate, is the wave of the future in communications. We felt it was desirable that Canada should participate, for exactly the same reasons we are participating in the telephonic cables, and should have a sufficiently large interest in it to have a permanent say in its direction. We feel this will be the kind of investment that will pay dividends, and I do not mean just dividends in good will or anything of that sort but cash dividends in due course to the investors.

Topic:   COMMUNICATIONS
Subtopic:   CANADIAN PARTICIPATION IN INTERNATIONAL SATELLITE SYSTEMS
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PC

John George Diefenbaker (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Diefenbaker:

I thank the minister for his explanation. Of course everybody is in agreement that Canada should participate in intercommunications. When we were in office we participated in the commonwealth telephone system, so it is not anything new. It was during our administration that it was started.

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Subtopic:   CANADIAN PARTICIPATION IN INTERNATIONAL SATELLITE SYSTEMS
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LIB

John Whitney Pickersgill (Minister of Transport)

Liberal

Mr. Pickersgill:

I am sure the right hon. gentleman does not want to misrepresent the facts. It was started by the St. Laurent government when I was a member of that government.

Topic:   COMMUNICATIONS
Subtopic:   CANADIAN PARTICIPATION IN INTERNATIONAL SATELLITE SYSTEMS
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PC

John George Diefenbaker (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Diefenbaker:

Mr. Speaker, they started a lot of things but did not go ahead, and this was one of those. Just a moment ago I was going to compliment the minister on the very good answer he gave, but now he has spoiled it all.

Does he say the United States defence department did not notify Canada as to its attitude in this regard? I must say I am surprised if there has been no communication.

Topic:   COMMUNICATIONS
Subtopic:   CANADIAN PARTICIPATION IN INTERNATIONAL SATELLITE SYSTEMS
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LIB

John Whitney Pickersgill (Minister of Transport)

Liberal

Mr. Pickersgill:

I said no such thing at all. I said it was my understanding even before we went to this conference that the United States defence department was not going to be participating in it. I believe that will be found to be the fact; but I think it is very wrong for members of the Canadian government to be interpreting the policies of the United States and the administration of the United States.

Since the right hon. gentleman has introduced the irrelevancy might I point out I was present at the cable laying at Clarenville, Newfoundland, as the representative of the government of Canada, and that was before the right hon. gentleman even became the leader of his party.

Topic:   COMMUNICATIONS
Subtopic:   CANADIAN PARTICIPATION IN INTERNATIONAL SATELLITE SYSTEMS
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July 16, 1964