October 29, 1973

ROUTINE PROCEEDINGS

STATEMENT BY MINISTER ON MISSION TO SOVIET UNION AND VISIT TO YUGOSLAVIA

LIB

Alastair William Gillespie (Minister of Industry, Trade and Commerce)

Liberal

Hon. Alasiair Gillespie (Minister of Industry, Trade and Commerce):

Mr. Speaker, I welcome the opportunity to make a brief statement about the mission which I led to the U.S.S.R. between October 14 and 19 in connection with the Third Mixed Commission under our intergovernmental agreement on co-operation in the industrial application of science and technology. In addition, I would also like to report that after the mission to Moscow I visited Belgrade to sign the first bilateral trade agreement between Canada and the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia.

During my stay in Belgrade I had discussions with a number of senior Yugoslavian officials, including Prime Minister Bijedich, Dr. Vratusha, Vice-President of the Federal Executive Council, and Dr. Ludwiger, the trade minister, on a wide range of questions affecting trade and economic relations between our two countries. Yugoslavia has become a promising market for Canadian manufactured goods and I look forward to further growth in this trade in the future.

These visits are part of a pattern to seek out new and promising trading opportunities for Canadian exporters.

Accompanying me on my visit to the U.S.S.R. were 36 senior Canadian industrialists representing a large number of companies. This is by far the largest delegation of businessmen a Canadian minister has led to the Soviet Union. This initiative on the part of the Canadian government highlights the business thrust of the activities which have been taking place under our agreement with the Soviet Union.

During the visit, Canadian businessmen associated with the eight working groups set up under the intergovernmental agreement held a large number of meetings, over 80, with their Soviet counterparts. We concluded, as page 4 of the protocol makes clear, that there were a number of important specific opportunities already under negotiation that should be continued and, indeed, some of the businessmen of the delegation remained in Moscow to carry out this work. There was a general consensus among the members of the delegation that the work of our mission represented an important step forward in Canada-Soviet trade and economic relations.

The Soviet Union is becoming an increasingly important market for high technology machinery and equipment

from western countries. I am convinced that there are significant opportunities for Canadian manufacturers to compete for this business. My department has been making vigorous efforts to ensure that Canadian exporters are placed in the best possible position to take advantage of these opportunities.

In addition to my discussions with L. N. Efremov, First Deputy Chairman of the State Committee for Science and Technology, who led the Soviet delegation to the third meeting of the Mixed Commission, I had the opportunity to meet with the First Deputy Chairman of the Council of Ministers, K. T. Mazurov, and other Soviet ministers and senior officials. In these discussions we agreed that there is substantial scope for expanding and diversifying Canada-Soviet trade.

Pursuant to Standing Order 41(2) I should like to place on the table of the House, in both official languages, the protocol which I signed on behalf of the Canadian government on Friday, October 19.

Topic:   ROUTINE PROCEEDINGS
Subtopic:   STATEMENT BY MINISTER ON MISSION TO SOVIET UNION AND VISIT TO YUGOSLAVIA
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?

Some hon. Members:

Hear, hear!

Topic:   ROUTINE PROCEEDINGS
Subtopic:   STATEMENT BY MINISTER ON MISSION TO SOVIET UNION AND VISIT TO YUGOSLAVIA
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PC

Paul Theodore Hellyer

Progressive Conservative

Hon. Paul Hellyer (Trinity):

Mr. Speaker, I am sure the House is pleased to see the minister back safely and to note the additional groundwork undertaken by him in anticipation of increased trade with the Soviet Union.

We read in an Associated Press despatch from Moscow that although the minister felt solid progress had been made in the talks, a breakthrough had yet to occur. The minister is reported to have said: "It is like building a house. You have to clear the site, design the building and lay a foundation. Perhaps not much shows, but a lot of solid work has been done. The test will be to see what appears above ground in the next two or three years." Like the minister, we shall watch the results with great interest and anticipation.

We note, also, that the minister visited Yugoslavia. We hope he managed to visit Dubrovnik for a couple of days, a favourite spot of many people who travel to that part of the world. Yugoslavia offers interesting possibilities for expanded trade. As a matter of fact, it is possible that the rate of expansion of trade with Yugoslavia may be even greater than with the Soviet Union. This is partially, at least, attributable to the fact that the Yugoslavs have been turning more in the direction of personal initiative, including some private enterprise.

The minister tells us his visit was part of a pattern. We welcome the pattern to the extent that the minister, the Prime Minister (Mr. Trudeau), and other members of the government visit countries abroad with the idea of establishing better relationships and developing opportunities for trade. We would hope, however, that in doing so the minister and the Prime Minister will not neglect those

October 29, 1973

Trade

areas of the world which have traditionally been our major trading partners, in particular, the United States, Britain, Japan, the European Community, and now the Pacific rim countries and South America which offer a tremendous potential to Canadians.

So we hope that in the dying weeks of the present administration-

Topic:   ROUTINE PROCEEDINGS
Subtopic:   STATEMENT BY MINISTER ON MISSION TO SOVIET UNION AND VISIT TO YUGOSLAVIA
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?

Some hon. Members:

Hear, hear!

Topic:   ROUTINE PROCEEDINGS
Subtopic:   STATEMENT BY MINISTER ON MISSION TO SOVIET UNION AND VISIT TO YUGOSLAVIA
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?

Some hon. Members:

Oh, oh!

Topic:   ROUTINE PROCEEDINGS
Subtopic:   STATEMENT BY MINISTER ON MISSION TO SOVIET UNION AND VISIT TO YUGOSLAVIA
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PC

Paul Theodore Hellyer

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Hellyer:

-the Prime Minister and his colleagues will do all they possibly can to repair and invigorate the trade relationships that exist between our country and the established trading nations of the world and to augment our opportunities in the less developed areas as well.

Topic:   ROUTINE PROCEEDINGS
Subtopic:   STATEMENT BY MINISTER ON MISSION TO SOVIET UNION AND VISIT TO YUGOSLAVIA
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NDP

John Edward Broadbent (N.D.P. Caucus Chair)

New Democratic Party

Mr. Edward Broadbent (Oshawa-Whitby):

Mr. Speaker, I welcome the minister back from his visit to the Soviet Union and Yugoslavia.

I join with the hon. member for Trinity (Mr. Hellyer) in expressing hope that the contacts that have been made so far will soon lead to concrete contractual relationships in terms of orders for goods from our country by the Soviet Union and Yugoslavia. In turn, of course, it is anticipated that such orders would be reciprocated by Canadian orders for goods to be supplied by those countries. The talks are making progress, the minister informs us, but up to this point we have not seen concrete results on either side. I certainly hope we shall see them soon.

There is one problem to which no reference was made either in the minister's statement or in the protocol tabled by the minister, probably for understandable reasons. I refer to the problem of foreign ownership of so much of the sophisticated industrial plant located in this country in relation to making sales to either the Soviet Union or Yugoslavia. It would be interesting to know what proportion of the businessmen who accompanied the minister on this trip were, in fact, representatives of United States-owned or other foreign-owned companies in Canada. It seems to me that if there were a substantial number the results of this trip would not necessarily be of benefit to this country.

We have seen the development of a good rapprochement

between the U.S.S.R. and the United States, a cooling down of the high level of heat in terms of the tension that existed between these two countries in the past, with increasing trade talks between them. Therefore the conclusion seems to be rather ominous for us in terms of increasing trade in the precise areas regarding which the minister says the Soviet Union may require exports from the west. Why should Canadian subsidiaries of American companies expect to get orders from the Soviet Union? It seems to me much more likely that United States parent firms of Canadian subsidiaries, either through offering lower prices or by other means, will make sure that contracts go to the United States. This illustrates there is a need to move much more rapidly than the government has indicated it is prepared to in order to regain a greater degree of control over our own industry, particularly advanced, technologically sophisticated industry.

I welcome the minister's return from his attempts to expand trade with the Soviet bloc countries. In welcoming this initiative I should like the minister to note that since he was away we have increased our deficit with our major trading partner, the United States, in automotive products this year for the first time in three years. The size of this deficit would make look like peanuts by comparison any sales we might obtain from the Soviet Union in the near future. Now that the minister has returned I hope he will come to grips with improving our trading relationship with the United States.

Topic:   ROUTINE PROCEEDINGS
Subtopic:   STATEMENT BY MINISTER ON MISSION TO SOVIET UNION AND VISIT TO YUGOSLAVIA
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?

Mr. C.-A. Gauthier@Roberval

Mr. Speaker, I should like to congratulate the minister for his trip in the Soviet Union aimed at promoting mutual understanding between our countries and I should like to tell him how hopeful we are for the success of these meetings since, in looking at the terms of agreement that we have been given, we note that these agreements are aimed at advertising Canada and Canadian products. This shows in my opinion that Canada is becoming more mature because instead of exporting only our raw materials to one or two countries like we used to do, we are now proving to other countries that we can profit from technological advances.

As for the meeting with Yugoslavian representatives, we are told that this country has become a promising market for Canadian products. I therefore believe that the time has come for Canada to export manufactured products. If we want Canada to develop, we must stop exporting regularly all our raw materials so that other countries may benefit from them. We are able to manufacture our own products from raw materials here in Canada and we have proved that we are able to export them.

The minister said that he was accompanied by more than 36 Canadian industrialists. I hope that there are many true Canadian industrialists. I am thinking here of the regional industrialists. As everyone knows, in my region we manufacture the biggest slasher-trimmer in the world and we export it all over the world.

I believe that the time has now come for the minister to promote the manufacture of Canadian products.

I therefore congratulate the minister and encourage him in his efforts to conquer world markets.

Topic:   ROUTINE PROCEEDINGS
Subtopic:   STATEMENT BY MINISTER ON MISSION TO SOVIET UNION AND VISIT TO YUGOSLAVIA
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AIR CANADA

NDP

David Orlikow

New Democratic Party

Mr. David Orlikow (Winnipeg North):

Mr. Speaker, I should like to propose a motion under the provisions of Standing Order 43. In view of the fact that senior officials of Air Canada assured employees of the company in Winnipeg who are on strike that no transfers of employees to Montreal would be made, and these are taking place, I should like to move:

October 29, 1973

That the action of Air Canada in moving its computer operations from Winnipeg to Montreal, with the consequent forcing of another group of employees to move from Winnipeg, be referred forthwith to the Standing Committee on Transport and Communications.

Topic:   ROUTINE PROCEEDINGS
Subtopic:   AIR CANADA
Sub-subtopic:   MOVING OF WINNIPEG COMPUTER OPERATIONS TO MONTREAL-REQUEST FOR UNANIMOUS CONSENT TO MOVE MOTION
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NONE

Lucien Lamoureux (Speaker of the House of Commons)

No affiliation

Mr. Speaker:

Is there unanimous consent?

Topic:   ROUTINE PROCEEDINGS
Subtopic:   AIR CANADA
Sub-subtopic:   MOVING OF WINNIPEG COMPUTER OPERATIONS TO MONTREAL-REQUEST FOR UNANIMOUS CONSENT TO MOVE MOTION
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?

Some hon. Members:

Agreed.

Topic:   ROUTINE PROCEEDINGS
Subtopic:   AIR CANADA
Sub-subtopic:   MOVING OF WINNIPEG COMPUTER OPERATIONS TO MONTREAL-REQUEST FOR UNANIMOUS CONSENT TO MOVE MOTION
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?

Some hon. Members:

No.

Topic:   ROUTINE PROCEEDINGS
Subtopic:   AIR CANADA
Sub-subtopic:   MOVING OF WINNIPEG COMPUTER OPERATIONS TO MONTREAL-REQUEST FOR UNANIMOUS CONSENT TO MOVE MOTION
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NONE

Lucien Lamoureux (Speaker of the House of Commons)

No affiliation

Mr. Speaker:

There is not unanimous consent.

Topic:   ROUTINE PROCEEDINGS
Subtopic:   AIR CANADA
Sub-subtopic:   MOVING OF WINNIPEG COMPUTER OPERATIONS TO MONTREAL-REQUEST FOR UNANIMOUS CONSENT TO MOVE MOTION
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PROPOSED ESTABLISHMENT OF COMPUTER OPERATIONS CENTRE AT WINNIPEG-REQUEST FOR UNANIMOUS CONSENT TO MOVE MOTION

NDP

Stanley Howard Knowles (N.D.P. House Leader)

New Democratic Party

Mr. Stanley Knowles (Winnipeg North Centre):

Mr. Speaker, if the House is not prepared to send this matter to committee, perhaps unanimous consent would be given to the making of a declaration by the House. I therefore ask leave under the provisions of Standing Order 43 to move, seconded by the hon. member for Winnipeg North (Mr. Orlikow):

That in the opinion of this House the government should call on Air Canada to establish the centre for its computer operations at Winnipeg and thus avoid yet another exodus of Air Canada employees from Manitoba.

Topic:   ROUTINE PROCEEDINGS
Subtopic:   PROPOSED ESTABLISHMENT OF COMPUTER OPERATIONS CENTRE AT WINNIPEG-REQUEST FOR UNANIMOUS CONSENT TO MOVE MOTION
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NONE

Lucien Lamoureux (Speaker of the House of Commons)

No affiliation

Mr. Speaker:

Is there unanimous consent?

Topic:   ROUTINE PROCEEDINGS
Subtopic:   PROPOSED ESTABLISHMENT OF COMPUTER OPERATIONS CENTRE AT WINNIPEG-REQUEST FOR UNANIMOUS CONSENT TO MOVE MOTION
Permalink
?

Some hon. Members:

Agreed.

Topic:   ROUTINE PROCEEDINGS
Subtopic:   PROPOSED ESTABLISHMENT OF COMPUTER OPERATIONS CENTRE AT WINNIPEG-REQUEST FOR UNANIMOUS CONSENT TO MOVE MOTION
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October 29, 1973