July 4, 1967

UNITED NATIONS

MIDDLE EAST-CANADIAN POSITION RESPECTING PENDING RESOLUTIONS


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 would ask the Secretary of State for External Affairs to place before the house the position of the Canadian government in respect of the several resolutions now before the United Nations general assembly. In particular I would ask him to clarify the position outlined in a speech by Ambassador Ignatieff on the Pakistan resolution calling for the nullification of Israel's annexation of the old city of Jerusalem. Is that interpretation the stand of the Canadian government? Is this a correct interpretation, although contrary to suggestions made by the Prime Minister, according to various representatives of the Jewish faith? Has the government decided to vote in favour of a resolution to nullify the action taken by Israel in asserting municipal government to cover the entire city?

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LIB

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

Liberal

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

Mr. Speaker, one of the difficulties in answering such a question on orders of the day is that it is not possible to go into all aspects of the situation. There are a number of resolutions before the general assembly at the present time. This particular resolution has not been dealt with and may not be voted on today, according to the most recent information. There are discussions presently taking place in connection with this resolution, and until these discussions have been completed I do not believe it would be responsible to go beyond what I have said.

However, with regard to another resolution, that standing in the name of the Latin American countries, there is a provision in the final operative paragraph that note should be taken of resolutions passed by the 1949 assembly of the United Nations calling for the establishment of an international regime in Jerusalem. This resolution reaffirms earlier recommendations for an international regime,

but proposes that consideration of this question should not be taken until the next general assembly.

We had not voted for the 1949 resolutions but we were in favour of international supervision and protection of access to the holy places of the three great religions. I do not believe at this time I could go beyond that.

The resolution to which my hon. friend referred is in the name of Pakistan. It calls for an expression of opinion from the United Nations assembly asking the government of Israel not to proceed with the annexation of Jerusalem. It does not do so in exactly those terms, but that is the implication of the resolution. That resolution is now being discussed in private consultations.

If Canada were to take the position suggested by my right hon. friend it might be inconsistent with the position we took in our statement at the general assembly, when we said that there should be no precipitate action taken, no freezing of any negotiating positions, and that there should of course be, as Israel will provide, access to the holy places. But let there be no doubt about this; with regard to the Latin American resolution Canada will not agree to the withdrawal of Israeli forces unless it is related to the termination of belligerency, and also to the recognition of the basic issues involved. This was covered in the six points made by the Prime Minister when he spoke here six weeks ago.

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PC

John George Diefenbaker (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Diefenbaker:

Mr. Speaker, with great respect to the minister I would not consider that statement as much of a clarification. I will come back to the question. On the Pakistan resolution, of which the minister was kind enough to give the purport, is it a fact that Mr. Ignatieff indicated in the assembly that Canada would support that resolution? That is the first question. The second question is this. The hon. gentleman said I had suggested certain action by Canada. That is not so. I asked a question concerning what Canada's stand is going to be. I am trying as hard as I can to understand what it is. That is the reason I asked the simple question, how does Canada intend to vote on the Pakistan resolution?

July 4, 1967

Inquiries of the Ministry

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Mr. Marlin@Essex Easl

My right hon. friend should have no difficulty in understanding the Canadian position-

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PC

John George Diefenbaker (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Diefenbaker:

I do not know it.

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Mr. Marlin@Essex Easl

-because even though my right hon. friend does not like the response, it was stated to him in clear terms. I think everyone else in this house understood it. The resolution is before the assembly, and consultations are being carried on in respect of it. I have indicated that Canadian policy is as stated by me at the general assembly; that is, that there should be no precipitate action and that whatever action is taken in respect of the holy places in Jerusalem should be under the supervision of the United Nations organization.

My right hon. friend shakes his head. I hope that in putting this question he is really doing so for clarification, in an effort to help resolve this problem, and not-

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LIB

Lucien Lamoureux (Speaker of the House of Commons)

Liberal

Mr. Speaker:

Order.

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Mr. Marlin@Essex Easl

-to give the impression that we entirely support the position of one of the parties involved in this situation.

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LIB

Lucien Lamoureux (Speaker of the House of Commons)

Liberal

Mr. Speaker:

Order.

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PC

John George Diefenbaker (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Diefenbaker:

I cannot allow that to go.

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LIB

Lucien Lamoureux (Speaker of the House of Commons)

Liberal

Mr. Speaker:

Order. There has been a question and a supplementary question by the right hon. Leader of the Opposition. Two answers have been given by the Secretary of State for External Affairs. I wonder whether perhaps we should allow a supplementary by one of the other members.

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PC

John George Diefenbaker (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Diefenbaker:

I cannot allow the statement to stand unchallenged. I rise on a question of privilege. The minister suggested that the question I asked was not for the purpose of obtaining information, and I must say that I certainly succeeded in getting none; that much is proven. I asked him a simple question. Surely there is not going to be a continuation of the evasion and obfuscation that has been displayed here this afternoon. How is Canada going to vote on the Pakistan resolution? If that has not been decided let the minister say so.

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LIB

Lucien Lamoureux (Speaker of the House of Commons)

Liberal

Mr. Speaker:

Order, please. The right hon. Leader of the Opposition has asked the question now for the third time and we have heard two replies, which consumed about ten minutes. I suggest we should now allow a supplementary question by another member.

[Mr. Diefenbaker.)

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SC

Robert Norman Thompson

Social Credit

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

Mr. Speaker, I should like to ask the Secretary of State for External Affairs whether Canada has taken any steps to recommend the appointment of an international or United Nations commissioner for the city of Jerusalem or whether she has taken any initiative toward recommending a mediator between Israel and the Arab nations representing the United Nations or any other international body.

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Mr. Marlin@Essex Easl

Before the security council there is a resolution standing in the name of Canada, which has not yet been disposed of. It provides for the appointment of a representative of the Secretary General to try to bring about negotiation between the parties. There is likewise provision in the non-aligned resolution for a similar arrangement.

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SC

Robert Norman Thompson

Social Credit

Mr. Thompson:

I should like to go back to my supplementary question, asking whether Canada has taken any initiative toward recommending the establishment of a commissioner or mediator to act in respect of the conflicting parties in the Middle East crisis. He did not answer that question.

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Mr. Marlin@Essex Easl

Mr. Speaker, I thought I said clearly that in the resolution we have put before the security council there is provision for that very suggestion. The hon. member asks if we will agree to appointing a mediator, or if we have taken any initiative in this regard. To this I say yes; in the security council we have done so by a resolution standing in Canada's name and we will also try to do so by our votes in the general assembly if the assembly is called to recommend the appointment of a mediator.

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July 4, 1967