April 14, 1969

ROUTINE PROCEEDINGS

NATIONAL DEFENCE

LIB

Léo Alphonse Joseph Cadieux (Minister of National Defence)

Liberal

Hon. Leo Cadieux (Minister of National Defence):

Mr. Speaker, in the absence of the Secretary of State for External Affairs (Mr. Sharp) who would normally report to the house on the spring NATO ministerial session, and because there has been a great deal of interest regarding this particular session, I have undertaken on his behalf to make the following report to hon. members of this house.

With your permission, Mr. Speaker, I should like to table copies in English and French of the communique which was issued at the conclusion of the regular spring meeting of ministers which I attended in Washington last Thursday and Friday with the Secretary of State for External Affairs.

Part of the Washington meeting was devoted to commemorating NATO's twentieth anniversary but the ministers showed little inclination to dwell on the past accomplishments of the alliance. Their attention was focused instead on problems of the future, both immediate and long term.

The immediate issue was to decide how to get on with the resolution of east-west problems. Soviet intervention in Czechoslovakia had set back hopes for improving east-west relations, but there was agreement in Washington that a continuing dialogue between members of NATO and the Warsaw Pact was the only rational course. NATO's 15 member governments therefore agreed on a policy of gradually renewing contacts with the Warsaw Pact countries and of exploring all possibilities for negotiations that might help resolve their outstanding differences with the east.

The ministers discussed at some length the proposal for a European security conference contained in the communique issued by the Warsaw Pact in Budapest on March 17. The

conclusion was that a European security conference as conceived in the Budapest declaration posed serious difficulties, because the proposed terms of reference called for recognizing the continued division of Germany and existing borders in central Europe. To accept in advance the Communist position on these issues would clearly pre-judge the outcome of the conference. A number of the delegations in Washington, including that of Canada, considered that if the east was now seriously interested in the possibility of holding a European security conference, they might be prepared to accept realistic terms of reference. The NATO ministers agreed steps should be taken to test thoroughly the intentions of the eastern European countries, particularly on issues which might be negotiable. There was general agreement that if a conference were held it should include both the United States and Canada.

At the Washington meeting a significant new dimension was added to the ministers' discussions. It was the question of what the members of the alliance might do collectively to assist in the search for solutions of the social problems facing modern societies and in the attempt to close the gap between the properous developed countries and those of the developing world. It was acknowledged that many aspects of these questions were already being considered in other international bodies but there was a general disposition to see if NATO could help to find new and better ways of sharing views and experiences on them.

The Canadian delegation's principal aim was to ensure that NATO would use to the full its capacity to contribute to the early improvement of east-west relations. The paper on east-west relations which the ministers had before them was based on a Canadian draft and its conclusions were largely reflected in the results of the meeting.

[DOT] (2:10 p.m.)

In the main Canadian statement which was delivered by the Secretary of State for External Affairs, emphasis was placed not only on

April 14, 1969

NATO Report

east-west relations generally, but on the importance we attach to the early initiation of talks between the United States and the Soviet Union on the limitation of offensive and defensive strategic nuclear weapons. The Secretary of Staite for External Affairs also expressed our hope that, once begun, these talks would be pursued, despite any temporary setbacks on other fronts. He joined other spokesmen in welcoming the United States government's willingness to enter into bilateral negotiations with the Soviet Union on a number of world problems, including the limitation of nuclear arms, and the United States pledge to consult its partners as these negotiations progress.

The Secretary of State for External Affairs underlined the importance which Canada attaches to including China in any attempts to settle major world problems. He informed the meeting of the steps taken thus far toward establishing diplomatic relations with the Peking government and that we have now had a response from the Chinese, indicating their willingness to enter into substantive discussions. These will be taking place in Stockholm through the two embassies with our embassy reinforced as necessary by sending officials from Ottawa. The expectation is that these discussions will get underway in about a month's time. There is no indication of how long this will take. We are anxious for them to succeed, but they will be essentially confidential and are not likely to be helped if carried out under the glare of constant publicity.

The Secretary of State for External Affairs and I used the occasion of the meeting to explain to our allies the outcome of our defence policy review as it will affect our approach to NATO in the future. We confirmed Canada's intention to remain in the alliance and informed the members of the decision to embark on a planned and phased reduction of the size of the Canadian forces now stationed in Europe. We explained that in carrying out this decision, the government intended to consult closely with Canada's allies. The purpose of consultation would be to enable us to take account of the views of our allies as plans are made regarding the nature and the timing of the reduction of our forces in Europe and the extent and location of Canada's continuing military contribution to NATO. The Secretary of State for External

Affairs stated that account would also be taken of any international developments which might have a bearing on the balance of security in Europe and elsewhere.

A number of the ministers referred specifically to Canada's recent decision. While they welcomed our intention to remain in the alliance, they expressed the hope that the decision to reduce our forces in Europe would not be carried out in such a way as to jeopardize the security of the alliance or the prospects for east-west negotiations. With these considerations in mind, they welcomed our undertaking to consult them on our plans.

Topic:   ROUTINE PROCEEDINGS
Subtopic:   NATIONAL DEFENCE
Sub-subtopic:   NATO-REPORT ON SPRING MINISTERIAL SESSION
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PC

Robert Lorne Stanfield (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Progressive Conservative

Hon. Robert L. Stanfield (Leader of the Opposition):

Mr. Speaker, I think it is rather a pity that this is the first opportunity we have had in parliament to discuss this new policy of the government-whatever it may be-which was announced the day after the house recessed. Quite apart from any personal opinion I might hold in this regard, I think it would be rather difficult for the government to persuade the people of this country that the step taken, as announced on the day after the house recessed, did not demonstrate considerable contempt for this ancient institution.

I really feel for the minister who has just spoken because it must have been rather difficult for him to carry this message to Washington and to attempt to explain to our NATO allies the Prime Minister's policy in respect of defence-whatever that policy might be. We cannot help but feel this way on the twentieth anniversary of the establishment of NATO, a time that reminds us of the part Canada played in the establishment, the foundation and the development of this alliance.

I agree of course that the immediate issue was to decide how to get on with the resolution of east-west problems. I agree with that wholeheartedly. I agree of course that the ministers were wise to explore to the full the possibility of the countries of the east being serious with regard to the detente. The fact that this should be the theme of this meeting of NATO ministers emphasizes to all of us how inappropriate was the decision of the government of Canada to announce on the eve of that meeting its decision to reduce its support of the NATO alliance, and thereby to that extent-which is to a considerable extent-reduce and weaken the position from which the NATO countries would be conducting any such negotiation with the countries of the east.

Topic:   ROUTINE PROCEEDINGS
Subtopic:   NATIONAL DEFENCE
Sub-subtopic:   NATO-REPORT ON SPRING MINISTERIAL SESSION
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?

Some hon. Members:

Hear, hear.

April 14, 1969

Topic:   ROUTINE PROCEEDINGS
Subtopic:   NATIONAL DEFENCE
Sub-subtopic:   NATO-REPORT ON SPRING MINISTERIAL SESSION
Permalink
PC

Robert Lorne Stanfield (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Slaniield:

Topic:   ROUTINE PROCEEDINGS
Subtopic:   NATIONAL DEFENCE
Sub-subtopic:   NATO-REPORT ON SPRING MINISTERIAL SESSION
Permalink
NDP

Francis Andrew Brewin

New Democratic Party

Mr. Andrew Brewin (Greenwood):

Mr. Speaker, I understand from the statement of the minister that he and his colleagues explained to the representatives of our allies in Washington precisely what was meant by the proposed planned and phased reduction of the size of our Canadian forces in Europe. I wonder if he left them as much in the dark as we have been left on this subject. I do not believe any member of the opposition at least has the haziest notion of what planned and phased reduction is in process. We do not know whether the words used by the Prime Minister are words of political compromise or whether they cover up a serious intention and plan to change the role of Canada, as we in this party have made clear from time to time we believe it should be changed.

I suggest to the government that it is time not just to talk about a phase two, but to let the country into its confidence as to precisely what it has in mind and to consult parliament about this. The Prime Minister has made a statement which has been heralded as a

April 14. 1969

NATO Report

highly important and deep seated review of a crucial phase of our foreign and external policy. This was done the day after parliament adjourned. Here we are back again today and the Minister of National Defence makes a statement in which he says that he informed our allies, but he did nothing to inform this house about the crucial details. I was pleased, as I am sure other members of the house were, to find that in the consultations at NATO there seems to have been a new emphasis on the manner of organizing a detente. We in this party warmly welcome that because we want to make it perfectly clear that in our view NATO cannot continue to have the loyalty and credibility of its member nations unless it ceases to be merely a bureaucratic military alliance continuing policies that were appropriate in the past and that are no longer appropriate at the present time.

I am inclined to regret that the proposal for a European security conference seems to have been pushed aside, although perhaps that is wrong and it is really to be explored. May I say that we in this party will give our warmest support to anything that this government does while it is a member within NATO to see that NATO is used for the purpose of organizing and arranging a new security system in Europe.

To end these remarks, may I express the hope that the minister's announcement is only a brief prelude to a full discussion both in this house and in the defence committee of the urgent defence and external affairs policies which call for decision at the present time.

Topic:   ROUTINE PROCEEDINGS
Subtopic:   NATIONAL DEFENCE
Sub-subtopic:   NATO-REPORT ON SPRING MINISTERIAL SESSION
Permalink
RA

Gérard Laprise

Ralliement Créditiste

Mr. Gerard Laprise (Abilibi):

Mr. Speaker, my remarks concerning the statement made by the Minister of National Defence (Mr. Cadieux) will be rather brief.

I wish to thank the minister for sending me a little in advance a copy of this statement, but I would like to point out to him, however, that it was drafted only in English. Nevertheless he did take the trouble to give us a few extracts in French and the interpreters did the rest.

I am happy, as everyone is, to find out that following this conference commemorating NATO's twentieth anniversary, steps have been taken to continue or intensify negotiations in order to improve, if possible, through NATO, the security of Europe.

As far as am concerned', I believe that as long as there are negotiations, as long as there is a dialogue, one can hope for improvements in the existing differences. However, I still have a doubt, because if we consider the billions of dollars the existing powers are spending year after year for armaments, we can but ask ourselves whether this is serious. For instance if we look at the statistics for the year 1967, we shall see that in the countries we know approximately $6 billions have been spent on depelopment work and $150 billions on armaments. And when one spends 25 times more on armaments than on development, one must ask oneself if this is logical and what one is after, on the Warsaw Pact side as on the NATO side.

Mr. Speaker, the minister tells us that other matters were discussed, such as the external aid the member countries of NATO can provide.

I believe that we could do a lot more by reducing arms expenditures, by increasing our assistance to the developing countries, and by helping the European countries to pursue their development and to meet their own needs.

And that is why, Mr. Speaker, I agree that Canada should continue her contribution to NATO, but recall her troops home as soon as possible. If necessary, she can, at a given time, contribute to the defence of Europe.

I conclude my remarks by saying, as did the Leader of the Opposition (Mr. Stanfield) at the beginning of his observations, that the brief statement made this afternoon is far from completing the one made after the adjournment for Easter. I hope, Mr. Speaker, that we will get the chance, very soon, to discuss and study in detail our participation to the defence of Europe, to NORAD and to the defence of the free world in general.

[DOT] (2:30 p.m.)

Topic:   ROUTINE PROCEEDINGS
Subtopic:   NATIONAL DEFENCE
Sub-subtopic:   NATO-REPORT ON SPRING MINISTERIAL SESSION
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NATIONAL RESOURCES AND PUBLIC WORKS

CONCURRENCE IN THIRD REPORT OF STANDING COMMITTEE

LIB

Leonard Donald Hopkins

Liberal

Mr. Leonard Hopkins (Renfrew North) moved

that the third report of the Standing Committee on National Resources and Public Works, presented to the house on Tuesday, April 1, be concurred in.

Topic:   NATIONAL RESOURCES AND PUBLIC WORKS
Subtopic:   CONCURRENCE IN THIRD REPORT OF STANDING COMMITTEE
Permalink

Motion agreed to. April 14, 1969


PRIVILEGE

MR. LEWIS-PROTEST AGAINST TIMING OF NATO STATEMENT BY PRIME MINISTER

NDP

David Lewis (Parliamentary Leader of the N.D.P.)

New Democratic Party

Mr. David Lewis (York South):

Mr. Speaker, I rise on a point of privilege affecting this chamber. Your Honour will recall that on April 2, the day on which we adjourned for the Easter recess, I rose to protest the fact that the Prime Minister (Mr. Trudeau) did not then present the decision of the government regarding its review of defence policy, a decision that we were told had to be made public by April 10. Within 24 hours of the adjournment the Prime Minister did make such a statement outside the House of Commons.

There is no sense threshing over past affairs, but I rise now to protest just as vigorously the fact that the Prime Minister did not even find it necessary to rise in his place today and table the document which he presented to the press outside this chamber on Thursday, April 3. It seems to me that at least he should have had concern enough for the work of this parliament to want to make a very important document, one perhaps even more important in his mind than in the minds of some of us, part of our parliamentary work, part of Hansard, Votes and Proceedings or what not.

This is another example of-as I called it on April 2-the cavalier treatment of this house by the Prime Minister who, I repeat did not find it necessary at least to do what is demanded of a Prime Minister-that an important document given to the press be placed before this House of Commons with some explanation as to what it meant, so that there could be a minimum of discussion of what the government presented on Thursday, April 3 after parliament adjourned. I can find no words strong enough to condemn that kind of treatment of the House of Commons by the Prime Minister.

Topic:   PRIVILEGE
Subtopic:   MR. LEWIS-PROTEST AGAINST TIMING OF NATO STATEMENT BY PRIME MINISTER
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IND

Lucien Lamoureux (Speaker of the House of Commons)

Independent

Mr. Speaker:

Order, please. Perhaps if it is the wish of the house the Prime Minister may be allowed to reply. But at the same time, in my view, the hon. member for York South has raised a grievance rather than a question of privilege. In any event, his point was not followed by a motion and I do not think the matter should now be the subject of a debate. In view of this I would think it might be inadvisable to have a debate of any nature, even by way of a statement by the Prime Minister.

Questions

I hope hon. members will agree with my suggestion that in view of the fact that there is not, in my opinion, a question of privilege here, and particularly since the point raised by the hon. member for York South has not been followed by a motion, there is no question before the house and there should not be a debate at this time.

Topic:   PRIVILEGE
Subtopic:   MR. LEWIS-PROTEST AGAINST TIMING OF NATO STATEMENT BY PRIME MINISTER
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QUESTIONS ON THE ORDER PAPER


(Questions answered orally are indicated by an asterisk)


LANGUAGE COURSES-FRENCH AND ENGLISH

RA

Mr. Beaudoin

Ralliement Créditiste

1. Does the government intend to set up a program of English or French courses for employees in federal departments and, if so, when will these courses begin?

2. If not, does the government intend to make a study on the subject?

Topic:   QUESTIONS ON THE ORDER PAPER
Subtopic:   LANGUAGE COURSES-FRENCH AND ENGLISH
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April 14, 1969