May 18, 1965


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 Prime Minister relating to a statement which he allegedly made during a visit to his constituency and Elliot Lake regarding the uranium deal with France, to the effect that this deal is now in danger of falling through because of failure to obtain the right of inspection by Canada of the uses to which the uranium supplied by Canada could be put. I should like to ask him about this situation because of the doubts which have arisen, and because of his statement that if the deal should fall through the Government would continue stockpiling.

Topic:   URANIUM
Subtopic:   STATEMENT BY PRIME MINISTER RESPECTING SALE TO FRANCE
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LIB

Lester Bowles Pearson (Prime Minister)

Liberal

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

Mr. Speaker, it is my best recollection that I did not say anything during the week end which would indicate that the negotiations with France are in danger of falling through. I have said in the House, and repeated this over the week end, that ministerial discussions are about to begin in respect of this matter. It was our hope that the Minister of Trade and Commerce would be in Paris by now meeting with French authorities, but his arrival there has been delayed for a few days. We hope as a result of these ministerial meetings this very important contract will be agreed upon.

I have already said, however, that in view of the optimistic future of the uranium industry, which is now clear, that industry should be maintained in a viable position. If that can be done by a contract of the kind we have been discussing with France, that would be a very satisfactory way of doing it, but if this has to be done in some other way the Government will give consideration to that alternative method.

Inquiries of the Ministry

Topic:   URANIUM
Subtopic:   STATEMENT BY PRIME MINISTER RESPECTING SALE TO FRANCE
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PC

John George Diefenbaker (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Diefenbaker:

Mr. Speaker, can the Prime Minister, without revealing the general discussions that are taking place, say whether the reports appearing in certain world newspapers are well founded, to the effect that France takes strong objection to any interference in the uses that it may wish to make of the uranium, but wants a free hand to do what it will with the uranium it purchases?

Topic:   URANIUM
Subtopic:   STATEMENT BY PRIME MINISTER RESPECTING SALE TO FRANCE
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LIB

Lester Bowles Pearson (Prime Minister)

Liberal

Mr. Pearson:

Mr. Speaker, we are conducting negotiations with the French Government, and while these negotiations are taking place it would be quite inappropriate for me to discuss the position that the French Government might be taking.

Topic:   URANIUM
Subtopic:   STATEMENT BY PRIME MINISTER RESPECTING SALE TO FRANCE
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RA

David Réal Caouette

Ralliement Créditiste

Mr. Real Caouelfe (Villeneuve):

Mr. Speaker, I should like to direct a supplementary question to the right hon. Prime Minister.

Did he state, over the week end, in Elliot Lake that even if the trade agreement with France, with regard to uranium, did not go through, the federal government would keep the mines in operation there, stockpiling uranium in Canada if necessary, while waiting to find other markets in the world?

Topic:   URANIUM
Subtopic:   STATEMENT BY PRIME MINISTER RESPECTING SALE TO FRANCE
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LIB

Lester Bowles Pearson (Prime Minister)

Liberal

Mr. Pearson:

Mr. Speaker, I have just given the position of the Government on this matter. Perhaps I had better read the exact words I said on this point, as they were read from a text:

Given the long term requirements for uranium and the probable price structure in years to come, the Canadian Government would have to consider what steps it should take to sustain a uranium industry, if the level of sales which could be achieved through the negotiation of contracts at the present time was not in itself entirely capable of maintaining a viable industry.

What we as a Government propose to do, Mr. Speaker, is to maintain a viable industry.

Topic:   URANIUM
Subtopic:   STATEMENT BY PRIME MINISTER RESPECTING SALE TO FRANCE
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PC

Roderick Arthur Ennis Webb

Progressive Conservative

Mr. R. A. Webb (Hastings-Frontenac):

Mr. Speaker, I should like to direct my question to the Prime Minister. According to last night's newspapers he made the statement to the citizens of Elliot Lake that if necessary to maintain the economy of that area the Government would consider stockpiling uranium again. Will the Prime Minister give the same consideration to the people of the Bancroft area and, if not, will he announce that a national park will soon be established in the Bancroft area?

Topic:   URANIUM
Subtopic:   STATEMENT BY PRIME MINISTER RESPECTING SALE TO FRANCE
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LIB

Lester Bowles Pearson (Prime Minister)

Liberal

Mr. Pearson:

Mr. Speaker, the statement I made referred to a viable industry and not to any particular area concerned with the industry.

1398 COMMONS

Inquiries of the Ministry [Translation]

Topic:   URANIUM
Subtopic:   STATEMENT BY PRIME MINISTER RESPECTING SALE TO FRANCE
Permalink
SC

Marcel Lessard

Social Credit

Mr. Marcel Lessard (Lake SI. John):

Mr. Speaker, I should like to direct a supplementary question to the right hon. Prime Minister.

In its negotiations with France Canada insists on control requirements and wants to be assured that this uranium will not be used for military purposes. Why does Canada insist on those conditions in a deal with France, while the same conditions were not imposed when similar arrangements were made with Great Britain and the United States?

Topic:   URANIUM
Subtopic:   STATEMENT BY PRIME MINISTER RESPECTING SALE TO FRANCE
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LIB

Lester Bowles Pearson (Prime Minister)

Liberal

Mr. Pearson:

Mr. Speaker, there is a distinction, in that the arrangements with the United States and the United Kingdom covering uranium were made during the war. Those arrangements were recognized after the war, and the purpose of the United Nations intervention and the United Nations resolutions for setting up certain regulations was for the prevention of the spread of nuclear weapons to other countries.

Topic:   URANIUM
Subtopic:   STATEMENT BY PRIME MINISTER RESPECTING SALE TO FRANCE
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RA

David Réal Caouette

Ralliement Créditiste

Mr. Caouette:

Mr. Speaker, may I put a

supplementary question?

The right hon. Prime Minister's explanations are not clear. Does he mean that agreements arrived at after the war are about the same as, or identical to those we are now trying to reach with France and that if the United States wanted to buy Canadian uranium now the government would say to them: we agree to sell uranium to you, but we forbid you to use it for nuclear weapons or for non-peaceful purposes?

Topic:   URANIUM
Subtopic:   STATEMENT BY PRIME MINISTER RESPECTING SALE TO FRANCE
Permalink
LIB

Lester Bowles Pearson (Prime Minister)

Liberal

Mr. Pearson:

Mr. Speaker, I do not think I can add anything to what I have said. There are certain international commitments undertaken by Canada and established by the United Nations. We are bound by those commitments. I do not want to go beyond that at this time.

Topic:   URANIUM
Subtopic:   STATEMENT BY PRIME MINISTER RESPECTING SALE TO FRANCE
Permalink

EXTERNAL AFFAIRS


RUSSIA-NEWSPAPER ATTACK ON CANADIAN MILITARY ATTACHE: On the orders of the day:


PC

Michael Starr (Official Opposition House Leader; Progressive Conservative Party House Leader)

Progressive Conservative

Hon. Michael Starr (Ontario):

Mr. Speaker, I wish to address a question to the Secretary of State for External Affairs with regard to a matter which has been brought to my attention. The U.S.S.R. publication, Izvestia, has

DEBATES May 18, 1965

launched a personal attack upon Colonel Curtis Greenleaf, our senior military attache in Moscow, using such terms in describing him as "hooligan". Can the Minister say whether this is a form of retaliation arising out of events that took place recently involving certain U.S.S.R. attaches in Ottawa? What action is the Government taking to protect the reputations of our representatives abroad?

Topic:   URANIUM
Subtopic:   EXTERNAL AFFAIRS
Permalink
LIB

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

Liberal

Hon. Paul Martin (Secretary of State for External Affairs):

Mr. Speaker, I have not seen the article to which my hon. friend directs my attention, but I shall make a point of looking at it forthwith. In the meantime I may say, of course, we have every confidence in our military attache.

Topic:   URANIUM
Subtopic:   EXTERNAL AFFAIRS
Permalink

On the orders of the day:


NDP

Herbert Wilfred Herridge

New Democratic Party

Mr. H. W. Herridge (Kootenay West):

wish to direct a question to that most amiable gentleman the Secretary of State for External Affairs. In view of reports in today's press that the United States Government has now switched its support from the dictatorship in the Dominican Republic to the democratic forces, is the Minister in a position to give the House any information with respect to this change of position?

Topic:   URANIUM
Subtopic:   EXTERNAL AFFAIRS
Sub-subtopic:   DOMINICAN REPUBLIC-REPORTED CHANGE IN U.S. POSITION
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LIB

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

Liberal

Hon. Paul Martin (Secretary of State for External Affairs):

I am sure the hon. gentleman will not misunderstand me if I say I sometimes find it difficult to understand why he persists in showing such an unfriendly attitude toward our neighbour, the United States. I shall have to examine the question and see whether there is anything I can usefully say.

Topic:   URANIUM
Subtopic:   EXTERNAL AFFAIRS
Sub-subtopic:   DOMINICAN REPUBLIC-REPORTED CHANGE IN U.S. POSITION
Permalink

May 18, 1965