February 24, 1966

PARLIAMENTARY RESTAURANT

MOTION FOR APPOINTMENT OF JOINT COMMITTEE


On the order: Government notices of motion: February 22-The Minister of Public Works-The following proposed motion-That a joint committee of the Senate and House of Commons be appointed respecting the parliamentary restaurant: That twenty five members of the House of Commons, to be designated at a later date, act on behalf of this house as members of the said committee and report from time to time, and that standing order 67 (1) be suspended in relation thereto; and That a message be sent to the Senate acquainting their Honours thereof.


LIB

Lucien Lamoureux (Speaker of the House of Commons)

Liberal

Mr. Speaker:

Pursuant to section 2 of standing order 21 this government notice of motion stands transferred to and ordered for consideration under government orders at the next sitting of the house.

Topic:   PARLIAMENTARY RESTAURANT
Subtopic:   MOTION FOR APPOINTMENT OF JOINT COMMITTEE
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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 regret that I was unable to communicate with the Prime Minister in this regard; I had no information on the matter until we arrived back here a few minutes ago. Has the Prime Minister anything to say regarding the coup in Ghana involving the overthrow of the Nkrumah administration; and what is the position in that country of the 100 or so Canadians who usually live there?

Topic:   PARLIAMENTARY RESTAURANT
Subtopic:   EXTERNAL AFFAIRS
Sub-subtopic:   GHANA-REPORTED OVERTHROW OF GOVERNMENT BY MILITARY FORCES
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LIB

Lester Bowles Pearson (Prime Minister)

Liberal

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

Mr. Speaker, as my right hon. friend knows I have had only a few moments to look at the overnight telegrams, but I did examine this particular one. While it is not definitive, in that there may have been developments since this message was sent, it did indicate that there was a military coup early in the morning; that there was some firing which went on for a comparatively short time, then Accra became calm.

What will be the further course of the move against the government, of course, I do not know at the present time. It seems to have been a military revolt against the existing government. The disturbances have been short and were reduced to a minimum, according to the message I received.

With regard to the position of the Canadians in Accra, we are told that at the present time there is no cause for anxiety. There are a good many Canadians there, but the information I have at the moment indicates that they were not in any danger of any kind. I will be glad to keep the house and my right hon. friend informed of events as they occur.

Topic:   PARLIAMENTARY RESTAURANT
Subtopic:   EXTERNAL AFFAIRS
Sub-subtopic:   GHANA-REPORTED OVERTHROW OF GOVERNMENT BY MILITARY FORCES
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PC

John George Diefenbaker (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Diefenbaker:

I know the Prime Minister did not have time to look into this matter, Mr. Speaker, but at the same time I should like to ask a question which I think is uppermost in the minds of many Canadians, and it is this. What is the basis upon which recognition is granted of an insurgent group that takes over government in this way? What length of time is usually allowed to elapse before a government ceases to exist diplomatically, and recognition is given to an incoming government? Is this insurrection and the ousting of the Nkrumah government of such a nature that early recognition may be expected?

Topic:   PARLIAMENTARY RESTAURANT
Subtopic:   EXTERNAL AFFAIRS
Sub-subtopic:   GHANA-REPORTED OVERTHROW OF GOVERNMENT BY MILITARY FORCES
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LIB

Lester Bowles Pearson (Prime Minister)

Liberal

Mr. Pearson:

Mr. Speaker, it is not easy or wise to be dogmatic in regard to the conditions which warrant recognition after a government has been overthrown. It depends, of course, on circumstances. Sometimes the new government is given recognition very quickly, as in the case of Nigeria a few weeks ago. At other times we have waited. A most important consideration is whether the new regime seems to be in control of the country, a control which is at least tacitly admitted by the country's people in so far as this can be ascertained.

Another consideration is that we should get in touch at once with our friends, and especially with our friends in the commonwealth, to see if they have information that we have not got. Very often we act in concert in these matters.

I do not think I can add anything more at the present time, Mr. Speaker. There have

February 24, 1966

Inquiries of the Ministry been occasions, and I think that the instance of Nigeria was one of these occasions, when we in this country gave no formal recognition but just carried on under the assumption that there had been a change of government, there might not be the kind of revolution which required formal recognition.

I am not sure whether that is the situation which will apply to Ghana. In the Nigerian situation we acted in concert with other commonwealth governments, which took the same attitude we did, that no formal recognition of the new regime was required.

Topic:   PARLIAMENTARY RESTAURANT
Subtopic:   EXTERNAL AFFAIRS
Sub-subtopic:   GHANA-REPORTED OVERTHROW OF GOVERNMENT BY MILITARY FORCES
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PC

John George Diefenbaker (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Diefenbaker:

That was the reason for the question. I wondered whether a new rule had evolved within the commonwealth by which, where an insurrection takes place and a change of government results, the course is no longer followed of recognizing the new regime but rather of regarding it merely as a continuation of the one that was in power at the time of the overthrow.

Topic:   PARLIAMENTARY RESTAURANT
Subtopic:   EXTERNAL AFFAIRS
Sub-subtopic:   GHANA-REPORTED OVERTHROW OF GOVERNMENT BY MILITARY FORCES
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LIB

Lester Bowles Pearson (Prime Minister)

Liberal

Mr. Pearson:

Such a development, Mr. Speaker, might become a kind of normal attitude inside the commonwealth. It has not always been the case. I think in respect of Zanzibar there was formal recognition of the change. Whether that applies to Ghana I cannot say, because I think it is too soon after the event to know exactly what will happen.

Topic:   PARLIAMENTARY RESTAURANT
Subtopic:   EXTERNAL AFFAIRS
Sub-subtopic:   GHANA-REPORTED OVERTHROW OF GOVERNMENT BY MILITARY FORCES
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SC

Robert Norman Thompson

Social Credit

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

Mr. Speaker, may I direct a question to the right hon. Prime Minister or to the hon. Secretary of State for External Affairs and ask if there is any word about the situation in Uganda that might clear up rumours we have heard, and that might also clear up rumours relating to the well-being of Canadian citizens there.

Topic:   PARLIAMENTARY RESTAURANT
Subtopic:   EXTERNAL AFFAIRS
Sub-subtopic:   GHANA-REPORTED OVERTHROW OF GOVERNMENT BY MILITARY FORCES
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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, as the Prime Minister has indicated the word we have received from our high commissioner is that according to present reports the safety of Canadians is not in question.

Topic:   PARLIAMENTARY RESTAURANT
Subtopic:   EXTERNAL AFFAIRS
Sub-subtopic:   GHANA-REPORTED OVERTHROW OF GOVERNMENT BY MILITARY FORCES
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?

Some hon. Members:

Uganda. The question was about Uganda.

Topic:   PARLIAMENTARY RESTAURANT
Subtopic:   EXTERNAL AFFAIRS
Sub-subtopic:   GHANA-REPORTED OVERTHROW OF GOVERNMENT BY MILITARY FORCES
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LIB

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

Liberal

Mr. Martin (Essex East):

I beg your pardon, Mr. Speaker. I thought the question was about the safety of Canadians-

Topic:   PARLIAMENTARY RESTAURANT
Subtopic:   EXTERNAL AFFAIRS
Sub-subtopic:   GHANA-REPORTED OVERTHROW OF GOVERNMENT BY MILITARY FORCES
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SC

Robert Norman Thompson

Social Credit

Mr. Thompson:

In Uganda, about which rumours are rampant today.

Topic:   PARLIAMENTARY RESTAURANT
Subtopic:   EXTERNAL AFFAIRS
Sub-subtopic:   GHANA-REPORTED OVERTHROW OF GOVERNMENT BY MILITARY FORCES
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PC

Gordon Minto Churchill

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Churchill:

That is a country in Africa.

Topic:   PARLIAMENTARY RESTAURANT
Subtopic:   EXTERNAL AFFAIRS
Sub-subtopic:   GHANA-REPORTED OVERTHROW OF GOVERNMENT BY MILITARY FORCES
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LIB

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

Liberal

Mr. Martin (Essex East):

Mr. Speaker, I think the wise course would be to wait and see whether those rumours have any foundation in fact.

Topic:   PARLIAMENTARY RESTAURANT
Subtopic:   EXTERNAL AFFAIRS
Sub-subtopic:   GHANA-REPORTED OVERTHROW OF GOVERNMENT BY MILITARY FORCES
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PC

Gordon Minto Churchill

Progressive Conservative

Hon. Gordon Churchill (Winnipeg South Centre):

I should like to direct a question to the Secretary of State for External Affairs concerning the country of Ghana on the west coast of Africa. Would the minister inform us how many Canadian service personnel are in that country for the purpose of training the Ghanaian army, and whether or not these men might now be recalled?

Topic:   PARLIAMENTARY RESTAURANT
Subtopic:   EXTERNAL AFFAIRS
Sub-subtopic:   GHANA-REPORTED OVERTHROW OF GOVERNMENT BY MILITARY FORCES
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February 24, 1966