October 30, 1973

ROUTINE PROCEEDINGS


[ English]


EXTERNAL AFFAIRS

ANNOUNCEMENT OF PARTICIPATION BY CANADIAN

LIB

Mitchell William Sharp (Secretary of State for External Affairs)

Liberal

Hon. Mitchell Sharp (Secretary of State for External Affairs):

Mr. Speaker, the Security Council of the United Nations demanded on October 25 by resolution 340 that an immediate and complete Ceasefire be observed in the Middle East and that the parties return to the positions they held on October 22 when an earlier Security Council resolution had first called for a ceasefire. In the resolution of October 25 the Council decided to set up immediately, under its authority, a United Nations emergency force. Canada was asked to participate in this force by a note from the Secretary General dated October 27 and in a further note of October 29 the Secretary General confirmed that this request was acceptable to both sides to the conflict. The government gave this request the most serious and urgent consideration and toward this end a team of officials from the Department of External Affairs and the Department of National Defence joined the Canadian delegation to the United Nations to consult with officials of the United Nations Secretariat about the precise nature of the contribution requested from Canada.

According to the report of the Secretary General, which was adopted by the Security Council on October 26, it is intended that this force be of a temporary nature to assist in facilitating conditions under which negotiations toward a settlement can take place. The force is to supervise the implementation of the ceasefire and the return of the parties to their positions of October 22. It will use its best efforts to prevent a recurrence of the fighting. The force is an impartial peacekeeping force composed of formed military units which will be interposed between the parties: it will thus operate on the assumption that the parties to the conflict are taking all necessary steps to comply with the relevant decisions of the Security Council. The force will be under the command of the United Nations, vested in the Secretary General and under the authority of the Security Council. The command in the field will be exercised by a force commander appointed by the Secretary General and responsible to him. The force is to be of a defensive character only and is not to use force except in self-defence.

The force at full strength will probably number about

7,000 men. Aside from Canada, Austria, Finland, Sweden and Ireland have been requested to provide troops and the

first contingents of Austrians, Finns and Swedes arrived in Cairo from Cyprus on October 26. The only areas of operation contemplated at this time are the east and west banks of the Suez Canal system from Port Said through Ismailia to Suez. In the fulfilment of its tasks the force will have the co-operation of the miltary observers of the United Nations Truce Supervisory Organization.

On October 27 Canada was asked by the Secretary General to provide the logistic component of the force including, in particular, air support, transport, communications, ordnance and related logistic facilities. The Secretary General considers it vital to the efficient and effective operation of the force that Canada provide the logistic support.

Canada has consistently stressed a number of conditions for its participation in peacekeeping operations and observer missions. A basic condition is met by the fact that the United Nations will be the continuing political authority to which the force reports. Moreover, the Secretary General will make his reports public. He has listed the following essential conditions for the force. It must (a) have the full confidence and backing of the Security Council; (b) operate with the full co-operation of the parties concerned; (c) function as an integrated and efficient military unit; (d) enjoy freedom of movement and communication and other facilities that are necessary for the performance of its functions, and (e) be granted all relevant privileges and immunities provided for by the United Nations convention on privileges and immunities.

Given these conditions which lead us to hope the force should be an effective one and able to contribute to a climate in which negotiations between the parties can take place, the Canadian government has decided to inform the United Nations Secretary General, in response to his request, that Canada has agreed to participate in the United Nations emergency force for the Middle East for the initial six-month period described in the Secretary General's report. I am further informing the Secretary General that the Canadian contribution will consist of a logistics component in accordance with his request and with the conclusions reached after discussion of details of this contribution between Canadian and UN officials. Finally, I am informing the Secretary General that we intend to conclude with him financial and other arrangements to regulate Canadian participation and that the treatment accorded Canada should be no less favourable than that accorded to other contributing countries.

We shall be placing on the order paper a resolution seeking the approval of parliament for the government's decision to participate in the UNEF.

Topic:   EXTERNAL AFFAIRS
Subtopic:   ANNOUNCEMENT OF PARTICIPATION BY CANADIAN
Sub-subtopic:   TROOPS IN UNITED NATIONS PEACEKEEPING FORCE IN MIDDLE EAST
Permalink
?

Some hon. Members:

Hear, hear!

Topic:   EXTERNAL AFFAIRS
Subtopic:   ANNOUNCEMENT OF PARTICIPATION BY CANADIAN
Sub-subtopic:   TROOPS IN UNITED NATIONS PEACEKEEPING FORCE IN MIDDLE EAST
Permalink
NONE

Lucien Lamoureux (Speaker of the House of Commons)

No affiliation

Mr. Speaker:

The hon. member for Saint-Hyacinthe.

October 30, 1973

Middle East Peacekeeping Force

Topic:   EXTERNAL AFFAIRS
Subtopic:   ANNOUNCEMENT OF PARTICIPATION BY CANADIAN
Sub-subtopic:   TROOPS IN UNITED NATIONS PEACEKEEPING FORCE IN MIDDLE EAST
Permalink
?

Some hon. Members:

Hear, hear!

[ Translation]

Topic:   EXTERNAL AFFAIRS
Subtopic:   ANNOUNCEMENT OF PARTICIPATION BY CANADIAN
Sub-subtopic:   TROOPS IN UNITED NATIONS PEACEKEEPING FORCE IN MIDDLE EAST
Permalink
PC

Claude Wagner

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Claude Wagner (Saint-Hyacinthe):

Mr. Speaker, I can hear shouts of glee from the other side of the House. I would point out that we all rejoice about the fact that the federalist option has prevailed over the separatist option.

However, Mr. Speaker, seeing the smiles of my friends on the other side, I fear that the leader of the Social Credit Party of Canada (Mr. Caouette) does not share the same impression.

Mr. Speaker, it would have been better a few moments ago if the Secretary of State for External Affairs (Mr. Sharp) had given us his statement in time so that we could consider it. Unfortunately, as usual, we received it two minutes before the House met and we have been unable to read through it. I think that hon. members will end up rising on a question of privilege. If members of all parts of the House wish for dialogue and solidarity, they on the other side of the House will have to extend to us a minimum of courtesy.

Generally speaking we are in agreement with the statement of the Secretary of State for External Affairs. Once more, the world nations called upon Canada and once more Canada is prepared to serve. The parties involved must admit Canada's impartiality on the national scene.

On Monday, October 22, my party, through my colleague from Hillsborough (Mr. Macquarrie) welcomed with the Secretary of State for External Affairs the cease-fire requested by the Security Council under the joint auspices of the United States and the Soviet Union. Made again since then, this call for a cease-fire received a positive answer. The cease-fire is really a first step and fruitful negotiations may be expected now.

The application of the cease-fire calls for the co-operation of unbiased countries, of competent and representative countries at the world level.

We are delighted by the fact that Canada meets those sets of criteria and may contribute to the cease-fire and bring peace back to this part of the world.

It will be noted that, this time, important factors should be considered which distinguish the government's position from that we occupied at the time of the Viet Nam crisis, since today first the cease-fire exists, second, the UN, an international organization, is playing a major role in the application of the cease-fire and, third, the parties involved through normal diplomatic channels have clearly stated their position, expectations and reserves.

We approve Canada's participation to the extent of our resources and competence, both in the logistics field and in the communications field, to the peace effort in the Middle East. My colleague for Hillsborough stated as recorded on page 7075 of Hansard for October 22, 1973 and I quote:

I am sure all the people of Canada would want us, their representatives, to indicate that this country is prepared to make some efforts and, indeed, some sacrifices if, under the proper auspices and with reasonable hope for success, the kind of force the minister mentioned should be set up. I believe we should sacrifice

[Mr. Speaker.)

something for peace in the Middle East because in doing that we would be doing much more. We would be sacrificing something for the peace of the whole world.

There is no question that Canadians are desirous of a lasting peace and a lasting settlement in the Middle East. In this regard any participation on the part of our government through which we can assist in bringing that settlement about is worth while. Our previous experience in the Middle East and our experience in Viet Nam surely make any warnings I could offer the minister redundant. The perils of involvement without acceptance from both sides are obvious and clearcut. As my leader has stated, we have a duty to participate in any reasonable effort to bring peace in the Middle East. The government has a duty to satisfy itself that our involvement in the peacekeeping force will represent a meaningful contribution that cannot better be made by some other country. If that is the case, then involvement in the peacekeeping force is more than justified.

Topic:   EXTERNAL AFFAIRS
Subtopic:   ANNOUNCEMENT OF PARTICIPATION BY CANADIAN
Sub-subtopic:   TROOPS IN UNITED NATIONS PEACEKEEPING FORCE IN MIDDLE EAST
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NDP

Francis Andrew Brewin

New Democratic Party

Mr. Andrew Brewin (Greenwood):

Mr. Speaker, I should like to preface my remarks with a brief and mild protest over the fact that we received this important and sensitive statement about two o'clock as we walked into the House.

Topic:   EXTERNAL AFFAIRS
Subtopic:   ANNOUNCEMENT OF PARTICIPATION BY CANADIAN
Sub-subtopic:   TROOPS IN UNITED NATIONS PEACEKEEPING FORCE IN MIDDLE EAST
Permalink
?

Some hon. Members:

Shame!

Topic:   EXTERNAL AFFAIRS
Subtopic:   ANNOUNCEMENT OF PARTICIPATION BY CANADIAN
Sub-subtopic:   TROOPS IN UNITED NATIONS PEACEKEEPING FORCE IN MIDDLE EAST
Permalink
NDP

Francis Andrew Brewin

New Democratic Party

Mr. Brewin:

However, Mr. Speaker, we in this party welcome the decision of the government to bring up for approval in the House this commitment by Canada to contribute to a peacekeeping force in the Middle East. In our view a commitment which involves Canadian personnel, substantial Canadian expenditures and risks outside Canada should be approved by the elected representatives in parliament even though the government may have the responsibility of making the decision in the first instance. This obligation is particularly clear in the situation of a minority government which we have at the present time.

Having said this, I can now say it is our view that the government's decision to participate as requested by the Secretary General of the United Nations is a decision which we will support. We think the government has a right to insist upon any such commitments being made through the United Nations which would have the moral authority of the Security Council and, through it, of the world community as a whole. Second, we think such a commitment should rightly be only undertaken with the consent of the immediate parties involved. We agree with the third condition made by the government, namely, that there should be some prospect that the peacekeeping force can serve a useful purpose. In our view these conditions have been fulfilled and, therefore, the commitment should be made.

The primary reason for saying this is that it is a contribution toward preserving the peace in one of the most explosive areas in the world. It is not simply that we deeply deplore the hostilities between Israel and her neighbours, not simply because we wish Israel in accordance with her creation as an independent state by the United Nations to continue to exist as an independent state and a state whose security is guaranteed by agreed and secured boundaries and the commitments of the world community as well as her neighbours, but also because the

October 30, 1973

continuance of deeply felt differences between Israel and her neighbours is a threat to the peace of the world.

It is only through the maintenance of peace by the interposition of an international force that the process of negotiations between Israel and her neighbours will be made possible, and in turn it is only through such negotiations that a settlement of the deeply divided issues facing Israel and her neighbours can be resolved.

We think it appropriate that it should be the United Nations which acts in this matter. We all know that the United Nations is imperfect and that it can be no better than the decisions of its members. Many people have become disillusioned with the United Nations, but we believe that the present crisis has shown once again that the United Nations is indispensable. Anything that strengthens the United Nations is of vast importance to the very existence of a peaceful world.

We know that previous peacekeeping efforts have sometimes been attended by frustration rather than by the settlement of basic disputes. It is often forgotten that without the intervention of these peacekeeping forces bloody wars might have broken out or would have been continued. One illustration is Cyprus.

The conflict between Israel and her neighbours is so deepseated that we do not believe the mere existence of a peacekeeping force will be an adequate guarantee of peace, although it will aid in the creation of a situation in which peace is at least possible.

For these reasons, and because of Canada's experience, ability and knowledge in respect of the important logistics contribution we are asked to make, we believe Canada can make an effective contribution to such a peacekeeping force and we approve of the Canadian contribution. We do not do so without deep anxiety and a recognition that the existence of such a force cannot by itself guarantee a lasting peace, but we believe it can contribute to it. It would be entirely inconsistent, in our view, with Canada's reputation as a good member of the world community to refuse to accept the invitation of the Secretary General of the United Nations, speaking in this instance on behalf of the world and in the interests of world peace.

[ Translation]

Topic:   EXTERNAL AFFAIRS
Subtopic:   ANNOUNCEMENT OF PARTICIPATION BY CANADIAN
Sub-subtopic:   TROOPS IN UNITED NATIONS PEACEKEEPING FORCE IN MIDDLE EAST
Permalink
SC

Gérard Laprise

Social Credit

Mr. Gerard Laprise (Abitibi):

Mr. Speaker, since I represent a constituency in the province of Quebec, I hope you will allow me to comment briefly on yesterday's provincial elections.

Topic:   EXTERNAL AFFAIRS
Subtopic:   ANNOUNCEMENT OF PARTICIPATION BY CANADIAN
Sub-subtopic:   TROOPS IN UNITED NATIONS PEACEKEEPING FORCE IN MIDDLE EAST
Permalink
NONE

Lucien Lamoureux (Speaker of the House of Commons)

No affiliation

Mr. Speaker:

Order, please. I hope that the hon. member will be able to keep his comments for another time. I believe that at this time his comments and those of all other hon. members should pertain to the statement made by the hon. Secretary of State for External Affairs. I admit that the hon. member for Saint-Hyacinthe took the liberty of saying a sentence or two in reply to the reactions of others. The hon. member for Abitibi will certainly understand that it would be preferable if we could keep to the statement made by the minister, at least for the moment.

Privilege, Mr. O'Connor

Topic:   EXTERNAL AFFAIRS
Subtopic:   ANNOUNCEMENT OF PARTICIPATION BY CANADIAN
Sub-subtopic:   TROOPS IN UNITED NATIONS PEACEKEEPING FORCE IN MIDDLE EAST
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SC

Gérard Laprise

Social Credit

Mr. Laprise:

I thank you for your comments, Mr. Speaker. As Quebec is still in Confederation I thought I could make such a comment.

Mr. Speaker, as the two previous speakers opposite, I received the statement of the Secretary of State at 2.10, precisely when he had finished reading it.

However, it was difficult for me to study it thoroughly, but on behalf of my party I approve the decision taken by the Canadian government to support the dispatch of a force to supervise the truce in the Middle East, because we feel that this decision is valid. However, I remain quite pessimistic considering the requirements laid by the Security Council of the UN to the belligerents. In the statements made at the Security Council and during the numerous debates which followed and which I heard at the UN, I felt sorry that no mention was made of the heart of the problem existing in the Middle East since the establishment of the State of Israel, that is the Palestinian refugees. Unfortunately, it seems that this essential point was forgotten over there. In the declaration handed out by the Secretary of State for External Affairs, and according to resolution 340, there is mention of the decision taken in the night of October 21 to 22, I believe, and of resolution 338 regarding the ceasefire and the return to the boundaries set on that date.

Once again, Mr. Speaker, the events of 1967 are forgotten. I think that the war of 1967 was the prime cause of the resumption of hostilities in October 1973. Once again the recommendation of resolution 242 is forgotten. Mr. Speaker, I think that even a force of 7,000 fully-armed men, with all possible communications equipment, would find it difficult to maintain peace in this part of the world because the basic cause is still present.

I am nevertheless happy, Mr. Speaker, that the United Nations have stated that Canada is considered as a possible participant in the force and that it is the only country with the military means and experience. So, I think this is something which should not necessarily cause us to brag about: our armed forces have experience not only in the Middle East but also in the international field. They are known everywhere for their efficiency.

Mr. Speaker, in my opinion we should go far beyond the Security Council's recommendations if we really want to restore peace in that area and that is what everybody wants.

We approve such a decision and we would like very much to do much more in this line than what is now being done.

[ English]

Topic:   EXTERNAL AFFAIRS
Subtopic:   ANNOUNCEMENT OF PARTICIPATION BY CANADIAN
Sub-subtopic:   TROOPS IN UNITED NATIONS PEACEKEEPING FORCE IN MIDDLE EAST
Permalink

PRIVILEGE

MR. O'CONNOR-BUILDING OF CINDER BLOCK WALL ACROSS ENTRANCE TO OFFICE

?

Mr. Terry@

Mr. Speaker, I rise on a question of privilege. On returning to my office after lunch today I was confronted by a crew of workmen constructing a cinder block wall across the entrance to my office in the Confederation building. The workmen could offer no explanation except that they had tendered the job

October 30,1973

Agriculture

last Friday and were ordered to have it completed by today.

On election to this position exactly one year ago today I assumed it was to last for more than one year. In fact, I assumed that the job would last until I was defeated in a subsequent election, until I resigned, or until I died. So far as I am aware, none of these events has occurred. I would suggest that this action constitutes a breach of my privileges and I ask you Mr. Speaker, to order it stopped.

Topic:   PRIVILEGE
Subtopic:   MR. O'CONNOR-BUILDING OF CINDER BLOCK WALL ACROSS ENTRANCE TO OFFICE
Permalink
NONE

Lucien Lamoureux (Speaker of the House of Commons)

No affiliation

Mr. Speaker:

I am sure the hon. member has a very valid question of privilege. If I were Caesar I would say: let the wall come down. But I will only say that the matter will be looked into. I am sure there must be a misunderstanding somewhere. The hon. member can count on my cooperation to ensure that the matter will be looked into forthwith and I will report to him within the next few minutes.

Topic:   PRIVILEGE
Subtopic:   MR. O'CONNOR-BUILDING OF CINDER BLOCK WALL ACROSS ENTRANCE TO OFFICE
Permalink

AIR CANADA

October 30, 1973