February 6, 1967

LIB

Joseph Jacques Jean Chrétien (Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Finance)

Liberal

Mr. Chretien:

Mr. Speaker, I did just want to make one comment. The hon. member said that in the budget-

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LIB

Lucien Lamoureux (Speaker of the House of Commons)

Liberal

Mr. Speaker:

Order, please. The hon. member cannot make a comment. He can ask a question if the hon. member who has the floor allows him to do so.

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LIB

Joseph Jacques Jean Chrétien (Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Finance)

Liberal

Mr. Chretien:

Is the hon. member aware that in the budget last March which dealt

February 6, 1967 COMMONS DEBATES 12721

Proceedings on Adjournment Motion

with the general economy for this year the as part of Canada, you have to say that what-government made the provision that a lot of ever may have been the government meas-the additional measures introduced at that ures or the government's intentions in these time would not be applicable to the designat- particular matters, they are far from being a ed areas? Probably the hon. member is not howling success.

aware of that. May I call it ten o'clock, Mr. Speaker?

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NDP

Max Saltsman

New Democratic Party

Mr. Saltsman:

Mr. Speaker, I am very well aware of that item to which the hon. gentleman refers; but if the government considers that that particular item will do anything more than put a false hope into the hearts of people in the designated areas it will have to examine that idea again. Because that is all that measure will do.

May I call it ten o'clock?

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LIB

Lucien Lamoureux (Speaker of the House of Commons)

Liberal

Mr. Speaker:

I am informed that the hon. member has three minutes to go before his time expires. Is it the wish of the house that the hon. member be allowed to terminate his oration?

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LIB

John B. Stewart (Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Public Works)

Liberal

Mr. Stewart:

May I help the hon. member out by asking him a question?

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NDP

Max Saltsman

New Democratic Party

Mr. Saltsman:

I thank hon. members for permitting me to conclude.

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LIB

John B. Stewart (Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Public Works)

Liberal

Mr. Stewart:

May I ask the hon. member a question to spin out his speech? Would he tell the house whether in fact he is opposed to the designated area program, not in its details, but as a general program? I would not want him to leave any misunderstanding on that score.

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NDP

Max Saltsman

New Democratic Party

Mr. Saltsman:

I am not opposed to the concept of designated areas, Mr. Speaker, but certainly I do not think that the proposals the government has introduced can be considered the least bit satisfactory in meeting the needs of the people in the designated areas. If I recall the occasion on which I spoke on this subject, I called the program a cruel hoax. I said it was a program that looked as if it offered hope and encouragement, but that it would fail miserably and would not develop the kind of opportunities that were needed in those parts of Canada.

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LIB

John B. Stewart (Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Public Works)

Liberal

Mr. Stewart:

Would the hon. member admit that these are pretty vague words he is now tossing around?

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NDP

Max Saltsman

New Democratic Party

Mr. Saltsman:

All I know is that the way to judge a program is by its effectiveness. If you look around this country and note the depressed areas which have not achieved the level of prosperity to which they are entitled

[DOT] (10:00 p.m.)

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LIB

Lucien Lamoureux (Speaker of the House of Commons)

Liberal

Mr. Speaker:

I gather the hon. member's time has about expired.

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LIB

Donald Stovel Macdonald (Parliamentary Secretary to the Secretary of State for External Affairs)

Liberal

Mr. Macdonald (Rosedale):

So has the hon.

member.

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LIB

Lucien Lamoureux (Speaker of the House of Commons)

Liberal

Mr. Speaker:

Order, please.

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PROCEEDINGS ON ADJOURNMENT MOTION


A motion to adjourn the house under provisional standing order 39A deemed to have been moved.


EXTERNAL AFFAIRS-NORTH VIET NAM-USE OF FUNDS GIVEN FOR AID

NDP

Herbert Wilfred Herridge

New Democratic Party

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

Mr. Speaker, I am glad to have the opportunity to speak for a few minutes about a question which is important to all members of the house who have any feelings for their fellow-men. On January 26 I asked the following question of the right hon. Prime Minister, to be found at page 12260 of Hansard:

My question is based on a statement contained in a question asked of the Prime Minister by the hon. member for Bow River on January 24 in which he said, as recorded at page 12159 of Hansard:

"To review my question, it referred to $50,000 of aid to Viet Nam of which ninety per cent was going to North Viet Nam, to the Viet Cong, for purposes other than to assist civilian victims."

Has the Prime Minister received a letter from Dr. A. M. Inglis, chairman of the committee on Canadian aid for Viet Nam civilians, which committee, I might mention, is sponsored by a number of Canadians including the leader of our party and the hon. member for Kootenay West, which outlines the facts with respect to the distribution of this aid-

There was more questioning and the hon. member for Bow River (Mr. Woolliams) asked supplementary questions. I say that the lusty member for Bow River had been misinformed. I expect the parliamentary secretary this evening will be better informed than the hon. member was when he asked the question.

I have in my hand a letter written by Major General A. E. Wrinch, C.B.E., C.D.,

12722 COMMONS DEBATES February 6, 1967

Proceedings on Adjournment Motion National Commissioner of the Canadian Red Cross Society, addressed to A. M. Inglis, Esq.,

M. D., F.R.C.S. (C), Canadian Aid for Viet Nam Civilians, P.O.B. 2543, Vancouver 3, B.C. I wish to quote a couple of paragraphs from the letter:

During my recent visit to Geneva on League of Red Cross Societies business, I took the opportunity of discussing this subject with Mr. Roger Gallopin, Executive Director of the I.C.R.C. Mr. Gallopin stated that the needs among Viet Nam civilians everywhere are great but are almost certainly greatest in N.L.F. territory and next in North Viet Nam. Medical and first aid supplies are the priority item and the I.C.R.C. has been shipping these to Hanoi for care of wounded and sick civilians in both North Viet Nam and N.L.F.-controlled territory-those for North Viet Nam being consigned to the Red Cross Society of that country, those for

N. L.F. territory to an N.L.F. representative in Hanoi whose address was provided-

And again, later:

"The I.C.R.C. urgently needs more money for purchase of supplies as funds donated by the Red Cross Societies of various countries have been largely disbursed. Although permission has not yet been granted for an I.C.R.C. delegate to function in North Viet Nam and N.L.F.-controlled territory, the I.C.R.C. seeks our support of their program in these areas. Acknowledgment of previous shipments to North Viet Nam has been received and Mr. Gallopin has no reason to suspect that the goods have not been properly used. He urges us to participate."

As you will realize, the above represents a change of attitude on our part which resulted from the very useful conversations that I had with Mr. Gallopin of the international committee of the Red Cross in Geneva.

This letter is signed by Major-General A. E. Wrinch, National Commissioner of the Canadian Red Cross Society.

Now I should like to quote from a letter I received from Dr. Inglis dated January 9, in which he says:

The needs of all parts of Viet Nam are recognized by the Canadian Red Cross which has sent assistance to all areas.

The concluding paragraph is as follows:

Meantime, your readers can assist all civilians in Viet Nam by sending donations to this committee at P.O. Box 2543, Vancouver 3, B.C. We have already received more than $20,000 and have set an objective of $50,000 for 1967 because of the escalation of the war. These funds are distributed in the approximate proportions of population and need; 45 per cent to the north, 45 per cent to the National Liberation Front areas, and 10 per cent through the international committee of the Red Cross to civilians in strategic hamlets in Saigon-controlled areas.

That letter is signed by Dr. A. M. Inglis, Chairman of Canadian aid for Viet Nam Civilians, Vancouver.

I am sure the hon. member for Bow River (Mr. Woolliams) would not have asked the question he did had he been fully aware of the facts. This miniscule aid which we Canadians are sending to the people in North Viet Nam and South Viet Nam is a drop in the bucket compared with the millions being spent daily there now, but they serve to indicate to those people that we have a heart for suffering people everywhere. I look forward to hearing the parliamentary secretary's reply.

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LIB

Donald Stovel Macdonald (Parliamentary Secretary to the Secretary of State for External Affairs)

Liberal

Mr. D. S. Macdonald (Parliamentary Secretary to Minister of External Affairs):

I

appreciate this opportunity to put on record again the response which was given by the Prime Minister several days ago to the hon. member for Bow River in connection with the question he raised.

As the hon. member for Kootenay West (Mr. Herridge) has said, some question was raised at that time as to the validity of transfers of funds for medical assistance in North Viet Nam and as to the use to which such funds were being put. I would draw attention to the response given by the Prime Minister on January 26 last as recorded at page 12260 of Hansard in which the right hon. gentleman said:

Our information is that the supplies that may be going to Viet Nam are medical supplies, and there is no authorization required under our law to send medical supplies to any part of the world.

The Prime Minister as well made it clear that there is in no sense a violation of Canadian law in this particular program of sending medical supplies to North Viet Nam.

With respect to the questions and answers on January 24, the hon. member for Kootenay West (Mr. Herridge) suggested I might be able to clarify the matter further. However, modesty compels me to admit that the answer given by the right hon. gentleman on January 24 as reported at page 12159 cannot be improved upon. After pointing out that there was no objection to transferring funds, or nothing in the law to prevent the transfer of funds, the Prime Minister went on to say:

As to the second aspect of the question, concerning the use made of supplies or funds sent to North Viet Nam once they have reached their destination, we have no knowledge in that regard and I doubt whether the government of North Viet Nam would regard it as within the responsibilities of our representative on the international commission to seek such information.

February 6, 1967 COMMONS

[DOT] (10:10 p.m.)

I understand that the international committee of the Red Cross has endeavoured to obtain this kind of information with respect to its own consignments to North Viet Nam but without avail. However, I also understand that a representative of the Canadian friends committee was in Hanoi recently and did have an opportunity to talk with representatives of the North Viet Nam Red Cross.

The hon. member has put on record this evening a statement by the international representative of the Red Cross stating that they have no reason to be apprehensive about the misappropriation of funds made available to the North Viet Nam Red Cross. As the Prime Minister has pointed out, there is no effective way the Canadian government could scrutinize how Canadian funds were being used in this regard. The hon. member has also referred to the statement in the letter of Dr. Inglis that no government funds have been made available to North Viet Nam. As was pointed out earlier today by the Secretary of State for External Affairs (Mr. Martin), in fact there has been no request for assistance from North Viet Nam.

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February 6, 1967