June 3, 1965

NATIONAL DEFENCE

NATO-STATEMENT FOLLOWING PARIS MEETING OF DEFENCE MINISTERS

LIB

Paul Theodore Hellyer (Minister of National Defence)

Liberal

Hon. Paul Hellyer (Minister of National Defence):

Mr. Speaker, I should like to give a brief report of the meeting of NATO Defence Ministers held in Paris on Monday and Tuesday. You may recall that a decision was taken at the Council of Ministers held in Ottawa in May, 1963 to commence a study of strategy, force goals and the use of economic resources. A study has been undertaken by the Council in permanent session, constituted as a military committee and working in cooperation with the major NATO military commanders.

In considering the question of strategy a theoretical discussion arose which indicated a rather sharp divergence of views. A preliminary report was presented to the Council of Ministers in December last, for their consideration.

In the December discussion it seemed apparent to me that the divergence of opinion related more to the theoretical discussion than to the real contingencies with which the Alliance might be faced. With this thought in mind, I suggested holding a Defence Ministers Meeting with the object of examining the real situation in the hope that the wide areas of agreement would come into focus and the differences, if they exist, would prove to be largely irrelevant. The suggestion, which was supported by one or two other Ministers, included the recommendation that the meeting be as informal as possible to permit a full, frank exchange of views on vital issues.

The conference which concluded Tuesday afternoon was even more productive than I had hoped for. A consensus did emerge to the effect that the differences were largely theoretical and that the areas of agreement are in fact very great. Agreement was reached and decisions taken which provide the political direction for the Military Committee in the continuation of its studies in the months ahead. I think it is fair to say that the informality of the restricted session assisted

Ministers in reaching a consensus and taking the necessary action.

One of the most important decisions was in respect of force goals for the next planning period. It was the opinion of Ministers that force goals should not be unrealistic in calling for increases in manpower and expenditure obviously and demonstrably well beyond any possibility of implementation. The Ministers, therefore, directed the Military Committee to continue the study of realistic force goals, in co-operation with the military commanders, to the end that they be ready for consideration by the Council of Ministers in December.

[DOT] (2:40 p.m.)

The Military Committee was instructed to undertake studies on a number of other subjects, including certain specific contingencies. One area of particular interest to Canada is consideration of NATO's capability to respond to aggression on the northern or southeastern flanks. Last year Canada committed a battalion group to the Allied Command Europe Mobile Force for possible employment with the balance of the force on the flanks. As Canada has adopted a policy of developing a mobile force with a global capability, I indicated our willingness to consider to what extent our forces might co-operate with similar forces from other members of the alliance.

As has been reported in the press, the United States has proposed a committee of four or five Ministers of Defence to consider possible ways of improving and extending allied participation in nuclear planning, including improved communications. This is a very interesting suggestion and it was welcomed as deserving further consideration.

In summary, Mr. Speaker, I think the conference was very fruitful. It was in the nature of an experiment, and produced a most worthwhile discussion together with positive results. I would not wish to give the impression that there are no remaining problems, but I do want to emphasize the spirit of co-operation and good will which characterized the meeting. The decisions taken underline the broad areas of agreement in principle and will permit the alliance to continue its important work dedicated to the deterrence of aggres-

1922 COMMONS

NATO Defence Ministers' Meeting sion and the maintenance of stability in the European theatre.

Topic:   NATIONAL DEFENCE
Subtopic:   NATO-STATEMENT FOLLOWING PARIS MEETING OF DEFENCE MINISTERS
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PC

Gordon Minto Churchill

Progressive Conservative

Hon. Gordon Churchill (Winnipeg South Centre):

Topic:   NATIONAL DEFENCE
Subtopic:   NATO-STATEMENT FOLLOWING PARIS MEETING OF DEFENCE MINISTERS
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NDP

Thomas Clement (Tommy) Douglas

New Democratic Party

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

Mr. Speaker, the statement made by the Minister is somewhat barren of information. As a matter of fact one could learn a good deal more about what happened at the NATO meeting in Paris by reading the newspapers than by perusing the statement just made by the Minister.

The Minister has told us that there was a divergence of opinion on the matter of strategy. He has not told us what the divergence of opinion was about, or how it was resolved.

He tells the House that a consensus of agreement was reached. I would like to know what that consensus is. It was generally understood that the main divergence of opinion on strategy had to do with whether or not any attack against NATO forces in Europe should be met with either a flexible response or a nuclear response. It has been known for some time that General de Gaulle has been pressing for a nuclear response, whereas a great many of the NATO members -and I certainly share their views-have felt there ought to be a response only in terms of the kind of weapons required to meet the specific situation, that nuclear weapons be held in reserve and conventional weapons used unless it was found absolutely necessary to use nuclear weapons.

This divergence of opinion on strategy between the representatives of the French Republic and other members of NATO is a very clear and important one. How was it resolved? The Minister has not told us. I think the House ought to know. It is certainly important for the people of Canada, and for all members of NATO, to know what the thinking is of the ministers of defence who gathered at that conference.

The other matter which the Minister mentioned briefly, without giving us any information about it, has to do with the diffusion of power with respect to control of nuclear weapons. The Minister tells us that Secretary of Defence McNamara of the United States has suggested that there should be a committee of four or five to study this matter. Mr. Speaker, I am afraid that this suggestion from the U.S. Secretary of Defence is

June 3, 1965 COMMONS

too little and too late. I doubt that this will satisfy France, which has been asking for a long time for a wider framework of consultation, between the members of NATO, with respect to the use of nuclear power.

What are to be the terms of reference of this committee? What nations are going to be represented on this committee? Is its membership to be four or five? What are the Minister's views in respect of this matter? What position did the Canadian Government take when this question was being discussed?

Up to the present time the sole decision on the use of nuclear weapons has lain with the United States as the major nuclear power. Are other nations now to be in a consultative capacity, will they have a veto power, or is the final decision still to remain with the United States? What is the Canadian Government's position on this matter? The Minister does not tell us.

We appreciate the fact that the Minister has made a report to the House, which is an appropriate gesture but, Mr. Speaker, it gives us no information and I hope he will be prepared to give some information to the House at a later stage, either today or on another occasion.

Topic:   NATIONAL DEFENCE
Subtopic:   NATO-STATEMENT FOLLOWING PARIS MEETING OF DEFENCE MINISTERS
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SC

Alexander Bell Patterson

Social Credit

Mr. A. B. Patterson (Fraser Valley):

Mr. Speaker, when replying to several questions,

I believe yesterday, the Prime Minister (Mr. Pearson) indicated that the Minister of National Defence (Mr. Hellyer) would be returning to the House today and would be making a statement. We have listened to his statement and, like others who have spoken, we are disappointed in the content, or lack of content, in the report that has been given. It seems to me the Minister's statement today raised more questions than it answered. We hope that in the very near future a fuller explanation of Canada's position will be given, together with more details regarding the discussions which took place at this meeting.

[DOT] (2:50 p.m.)

The hon. gentleman referred to a divergence of views. Something has been said on this subject in the papers. But recent reports have indicated there was a closer meeting of minds at Paris on this occasion than there has been in the past-that General de Gaulle has been taking a new look at things, and that compromise was reached on various matters of importance. However, the Minister did not tell us clearly just what did take place in this regard; he indicated only that there was general agreement, more or less. He told the House that this was a very fruit-

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NATO Defence Ministers' Meeting ful exchange. As has been pointed out, it does not seem there is very much to substantiate that claim in the report which has just been made to us.

Reference was made to the establishment of force goals. These, it was said, must be more realistic than has been the case in the past. The hon. gentleman went on to tell us that discussion took place regarding a mobile force and that Canada intended to give consideration to this important aspect of defence strategy. I wish the Minister had gone into more detail and told the House how many more men might be involved and what the cost to the Canadian people might be of increasing our contribution to this type of operation. We are all in favour of participating in a mobile force of the kind suggested, but we would certainly appreciate more information in this connection.

The reference to the setting up of a committee to consider certain aspects of nuclear planning is also extremely interesting. This has been a thorny problem. It has caused a great deal of discussion among the nations of the world and we look forward to hearing some revelations of what takes place when that committee holds its meetings.

Topic:   NATIONAL DEFENCE
Subtopic:   NATO-STATEMENT FOLLOWING PARIS MEETING OF DEFENCE MINISTERS
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RA

Charles-Arthur Gauthier

Ralliement Créditiste

Mr. C. A. Gauthier (Roberval):

Mr. Speaker, we too, in this comer of the house, expected a more detailed statement from the Minister of National Defence (Mr. Hellyer), following this conference on the goals of military strategy held in Paris. We find once again that we shall learn a great deal more from the press than we did from the minister.

The minister referred to a difference of opinion as far as France is concerned, but he did not elaborate. He did not tell us whether that problem was discussed in the course of this study.

As for the mobile force supposedly contemplated, generally speaking, we are also for some kind of protection, but we want our contribution to be commensurate with our means. As a matter of fact, I find it rather strange that we are always siding with the United States, as if we were trying to vie with that gigantic military power. I feel the minister would be much better to direct our military policy to economic problems rather than toward armament, because today all small countries located near large countries turn to economic matters first to feed the hungry before thrusting a bayonet into their face.

June 3, 1965

Inquiries of the Ministry

Like the minister, we hope his trip will be successful and that he will obtain concrete results for the benefit of the Canadian people. As always, we shall look forward to read fuller details in the papers.

Topic:   NATIONAL DEFENCE
Subtopic:   NATO-STATEMENT FOLLOWING PARIS MEETING OF DEFENCE MINISTERS
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BILLS OF EXCHANGE ACT

AMENDMENT TO PREVENT FRAUD IN INSTALMENT TRANSACTIONS

NDP

William Arnold Peters

New Democratic Party

Mr. Arnold Peters (Timiskaming) moved

for leave to introduce Bill No. C-113, to amend the Bills of Exchange Act (instalment purchases).

Topic:   BILLS OF EXCHANGE ACT
Subtopic:   AMENDMENT TO PREVENT FRAUD IN INSTALMENT TRANSACTIONS
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?

Some hon. Members:

Explain.

Topic:   BILLS OF EXCHANGE ACT
Subtopic:   AMENDMENT TO PREVENT FRAUD IN INSTALMENT TRANSACTIONS
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NDP

William Arnold Peters

New Democratic Party

Mr. Peters:

Mr. Speaker, the purpose of this bill is to protect the consumer. It would attach the guarantees and warranties of the original contract to the promissory notes used in these transactions. It is my hope that this will protect the consumer against the dishonest type of company that goes out of business or fails to live up to its contract after selling the promissory note or the negotiable document to another company without there being any of the original protection for that sales contract.

Motion agreed to and bill read the first time.

Topic:   BILLS OF EXCHANGE ACT
Subtopic:   AMENDMENT TO PREVENT FRAUD IN INSTALMENT TRANSACTIONS
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EXTERNAL AFFAIRS


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 wonder whether the Prime Minister is in a position to advise if there is foundation for the view expressed by some who accompanied the Minister of National Defence to Paris, that General de Gaulle is to visit Quebec shortly but will not be visiting other parts of the country.

Topic:   BILLS OF EXCHANGE ACT
Subtopic:   EXTERNAL AFFAIRS
Sub-subtopic:   VISIT OF GENERAL DE GAULLE TO QUEBEC
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LIB

Lester Bowles Pearson (Prime Minister)

Liberal

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

No, Mr. Speaker, we have no information whatever which would substantiate that rumour.

Topic:   BILLS OF EXCHANGE ACT
Subtopic:   EXTERNAL AFFAIRS
Sub-subtopic:   VISIT OF GENERAL DE GAULLE TO QUEBEC
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On the orders of the day:


PC

Francis Alvin George Hamilton

Progressive Conservative

Hon. Alvin Hamilton (Qu'Appelle):

Mr. Speaker, my question is addressed to the Secretary of State for External Affairs. In view of the fact that Canada has recognized Outer Mongolia, does the Ambassador for Canada in Moscow intend to visit this newly recognized state?

Topic:   BILLS OF EXCHANGE ACT
Subtopic:   EXTERNAL AFFAIRS
Sub-subtopic:   OUTER MONGOLIA-VISIT BY CANADIAN AMBASSADOR
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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):

Mr. Speaker, I think the admission of Outer Mongolia to the United Nations took place some ten years ago and Canada recognized the regime about a year ago. The Ambassador has no immediate intention in this regard, but I am sure that whoever might be accredited to Mongolia would make a visit in due course.

Topic:   BILLS OF EXCHANGE ACT
Subtopic:   EXTERNAL AFFAIRS
Sub-subtopic:   OUTER MONGOLIA-VISIT BY CANADIAN AMBASSADOR
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On the orders of the day:


June 3, 1965