December 3, 1979

LIB

Pierre Elliott Trudeau (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Liberal

Right Hon. P. E. Trudeau (Leader of the Opposition):

Mr. Speaker, I have a question for the Prime Minister, as we enter the fifth week of the hostage-taking incident in Iran. As, over the last few days, the heads of the European Economic Community have decided to make a collective statement denouncing that incident-I hope they do not have to apologize to the members of the European Parliament, as our foreign minister did when I asked that the statement be made at the heads of government level-I would like to know, and the House would like to be informed by the Prime Minister whether he has taken steps toward getting that type of statement from the seven participants at the Tokyo Summit, which would constitute a reinforcing of our solidarity with the United States.

Topic:   ORAL QUESTION PERIOD
Subtopic:   EXTERNAL AFFAIRS
Sub-subtopic:   IRAN CRISIS-COLLECTIVE STATEMENT DENOUNCING HOSTAGE-TAKING
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PC

Charles Joseph Clark (Prime Minister)

Progressive Conservative

Right Hon. Joe Clark (Prime Minister):

Mr. Speaker, 1 naturally welcome the decision taken by the leaders of the European Economic Community at Dublin. 1 think their statement was strong and unequivocal and indicates that they stand, as Canada does, very strongly in support of the efforts of the United States to have Iran respect international law.

Pursuant to suggestions made by the right hon. Leader of the Opposition and others, I have been in touch with some of the other countries represented at the Tokyo Summit. It is my view that it would not be particularly productive to have the wealthy nations of the world, represented at the Tokyo Summit, gathered together at that forum or as emanations of that forum to add to statements which each of those nations has already made individually, or in other forums.

Topic:   ORAL QUESTION PERIOD
Subtopic:   EXTERNAL AFFAIRS
Sub-subtopic:   IRAN CRISIS-COLLECTIVE STATEMENT DENOUNCING HOSTAGE-TAKING
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LIB

Pierre Elliott Trudeau (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Liberal

Mr. Trudeau:

A supplementary question, Mr. Speaker. When it comes to upholding international law, I am not quite

Oral Questions

certain how the Prime Minister thinks the size of one's pocket-book can affect the declaration. Surely the members of the EEC did not look to their pocketbooks before making that statement. The Prime Minister fails to see the point, once again, that it is collective action and collective decisions which are noted and needed at this point, not individual statements by Canada or someone else. The Europeans have understood that.

1 should like to ask the Prime Minister, once again, if he could tell us if he is working toward some international statement of co-operation of the leaders of the seven nations. Could he tell us what kind of statement he is looking at? Is it merely a statement of protest at the breach of international law, or is he seeking to get a commitment from various friends and allies of the United States that they would be 'prepared to impose international sanctions on Iran or any other country which acted in breach of international law?

Topic:   ORAL QUESTION PERIOD
Subtopic:   EXTERNAL AFFAIRS
Sub-subtopic:   IRAN CRISIS-COLLECTIVE STATEMENT DENOUNCING HOSTAGE-TAKING
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PC

Charles Joseph Clark (Prime Minister)

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Clark:

Mr. Speaker, I would have thought that, of all people in this House, the right hon. Leader of the Opposition would have understood that in a situation as delicate and as complex as this, the purpose of Canada and other countries in seeking to uphold international law should not be simply to be heard, but should be, rather, to be effective in trying to bring influence to bear on the Iranian authorities.

Topic:   ORAL QUESTION PERIOD
Subtopic:   EXTERNAL AFFAIRS
Sub-subtopic:   IRAN CRISIS-COLLECTIVE STATEMENT DENOUNCING HOSTAGE-TAKING
Permalink
?

Some hon. Members:

Hear, hear!

Topic:   ORAL QUESTION PERIOD
Subtopic:   EXTERNAL AFFAIRS
Sub-subtopic:   IRAN CRISIS-COLLECTIVE STATEMENT DENOUNCING HOSTAGE-TAKING
Permalink
PC

Charles Joseph Clark (Prime Minister)

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Clark:

I am not interested, and I think most Canadians are not interested, in finding a forum for Canada to speak. We have plenty of those forums, and we have been effective there. What I am interested in, and what I think other countries in the world are interested in, is finding a variety of means by which the authorities in Iran can be persuaded to respect international law.

Consequently, we as the Government of Canada have taken a role of leadership, through a variety of the forums open to us, that we believe will have influence on the Iranians. We have done that at the United Nations; we have done that through the Commonwealth; we are doing it through Franco-phonie. We are doing that individually and bilaterally with other countries. That will continue to be our approach, to try to amass as much as possible a range of influence upon the Iranian authorities to encourage them to respect international law. Our interests will be in the response of Iranian, not the response of Canada.

Topic:   ORAL QUESTION PERIOD
Subtopic:   EXTERNAL AFFAIRS
Sub-subtopic:   IRAN CRISIS-COLLECTIVE STATEMENT DENOUNCING HOSTAGE-TAKING
Permalink
LIB

Pierre Elliott Trudeau (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Liberal

Mr. Trudeau:

Mr. Speaker, I think the Prime Minister is on solid ground when he asks for effective action and not merely expressions of indignation. But it seems to me that that is what the world has been having a lot of in the past month, expressions of indignation, of solidarity for the United States, and the whole point of my question, Mr. Speaker, is that it has not been effective. A month will have elapsed tomorrow since the taking of the hostages. We have not been effective. When we met in Bonn a couple of summers ago, we took effective action

December 3, 1979

Oral Questions

against hijacking by deciding that we would all act collectively against those who perpetrated any hijacking.

What I want to know now from the government is whether it is contemplating such a form of action or declaration, a declaration of solidarity with the United States indicating that if we do not act collectively against this international terrorism, at least we would support the United States in imposing sanctions on its own against any country like Iran which is perpetrating indignities against the United States.

Topic:   ORAL QUESTION PERIOD
Subtopic:   EXTERNAL AFFAIRS
Sub-subtopic:   IRAN CRISIS-COLLECTIVE STATEMENT DENOUNCING HOSTAGE-TAKING
Permalink
PC

Charles Joseph Clark (Prime Minister)

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Clark:

Mr. Speaker, we are, naturally, considering whether sanctions by Canada, by the United States or by anyone else would be effective. At this stage, we think what will be effective is not a show of force in relation to Iran, except the force of international opinion, and we are trying through a variety of initiatives, public and private, to bring to bear upon authorities in Iran the view of Canada and the view of other countries which respect international law that the situation now existing in Iran is not acceptable.

I repeat to the House, and I repeat to the right hon. Leader of the Opposition who, of all members in this House, should understand the delicacy of the situation, that this is not a matter where a desire for domestic publicity should be allowed to interfere with the effectiveness of international action.

Topic:   ORAL QUESTION PERIOD
Subtopic:   EXTERNAL AFFAIRS
Sub-subtopic:   IRAN CRISIS-COLLECTIVE STATEMENT DENOUNCING HOSTAGE-TAKING
Permalink
?

Some hon. Members:

Hear, hear!

Topic:   ORAL QUESTION PERIOD
Subtopic:   EXTERNAL AFFAIRS
Sub-subtopic:   IRAN CRISIS-COLLECTIVE STATEMENT DENOUNCING HOSTAGE-TAKING
Permalink

UNITED STATES DECISION NOT TO PURCHASE OIL FROM IRAN-POSSIBLE ASSISTANCE FROM CANADA

LIB

Allan Joseph MacEachen (Official Opposition House Leader; Liberal Party House Leader)

Liberal

Hon. Allan J. MacEachen (Cape Breton Highlands-Canso):

Mr. Speaker, I will attempt to avoid seeking publicity in putting this question, and follow the modesty of the Prime Minister who has never been known to seek publicity on any subject.

Topic:   ORAL QUESTION PERIOD
Subtopic:   UNITED STATES DECISION NOT TO PURCHASE OIL FROM IRAN-POSSIBLE ASSISTANCE FROM CANADA
Permalink
?

Some hon. Members:

Oh, oh!

Topic:   ORAL QUESTION PERIOD
Subtopic:   UNITED STATES DECISION NOT TO PURCHASE OIL FROM IRAN-POSSIBLE ASSISTANCE FROM CANADA
Permalink
LIB

Allan Joseph MacEachen (Official Opposition House Leader; Liberal Party House Leader)

Liberal

Mr. MacEachen:

But more seriously, Mr. Speaker, the Prime Minister has talked about effective action and a range of influences, especially the necessity of supporting the United States. In view of the fact that a high official in the Carter administration had a statement attributed to him over the weekend, that allies of the United States were prepared to do everything they could to help the hostages, except to hurt themselves-it seems to me that that reflects the feeling of isolation that is growing in the United States-has the Prime Minister explored within his government or with other governments the possibility of assisting the United States this winter because of its decision not to purchase any more oil from Iran by making available, in concert with other nations, some additional supplies?

Topic:   ORAL QUESTION PERIOD
Subtopic:   UNITED STATES DECISION NOT TO PURCHASE OIL FROM IRAN-POSSIBLE ASSISTANCE FROM CANADA
Permalink
PC

Charles Joseph Clark (Prime Minister)

Progressive Conservative

Right Hon. Joe Clark (Prime Minister):

Mr. Speaker, we would certainly be prepared to consider that.

Topic:   ORAL QUESTION PERIOD
Subtopic:   UNITED STATES DECISION NOT TO PURCHASE OIL FROM IRAN-POSSIBLE ASSISTANCE FROM CANADA
Permalink
LIB

Allan Joseph MacEachen (Official Opposition House Leader; Liberal Party House Leader)

Liberal

Mr. MacEachen:

Mr. Speaker, on another point related to that, may I ask the Prime Minister, has he explored or is he prepared to explore, in concert with other nations, taking the

step which the United States has already taken, namely, to declare that it will no longer rely upon sources in Iran for oil supplies? Would he explore that possibility and consider it possibly with other nations as a way of giving some teeth to his readiness to apply sanctions in this situation?

Topic:   ORAL QUESTION PERIOD
Subtopic:   UNITED STATES DECISION NOT TO PURCHASE OIL FROM IRAN-POSSIBLE ASSISTANCE FROM CANADA
Permalink
PC

Charles Joseph Clark (Prime Minister)

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Clark:

Mr. Speaker, certainly, again, we would be prepared to consider that to see whether it would be effective. I repeat to the hon. member and to the House that what we are interested in here is not simply showing the extent of our support for the United States, for North American reasons, but what we are interested in here is to try to mobilize international opinion in a way that will have an effect upon the authorities in Iran.

It may be that indications of support for the United States, of the kind to which the hon. member refers, would be useful. If so, we will certainly consider them seriously. But I think it is important for me to underline to the House how essential it is, in circumstances like this, for us to act with some calm, to act in a way that is designed to have influence upon authorities in Iran as our primary purpose, and not to let that primary purpose fall prey to any subsidiary domestic purpose.

Topic:   ORAL QUESTION PERIOD
Subtopic:   UNITED STATES DECISION NOT TO PURCHASE OIL FROM IRAN-POSSIBLE ASSISTANCE FROM CANADA
Permalink

NATURAL RESOURCES

NDP

John R. Rodriguez

New Democratic Party

Mr. John Rodriguez (Nickel Belt):

Mr. Speaker, my question is for the Minister of Energy, Mines and Resources. In view of the fact that a particularly serious situation exists in the iron ore mining industry in Ontario, with four out of nine iron ore mines closing in the last 18 months, with a loss of over 1,200 jobs, the fact that the Ontario steel industry now imports 58 per cent of its iron ore, most of it from the United States, and the fact that mines in Atikokan and Capreol can still provide this iron ore, will the minister tell the House what steps he plans to take to investigate the situation and to get these mines and men working again?

Topic:   ORAL QUESTION PERIOD
Subtopic:   NATURAL RESOURCES
Sub-subtopic:   CLOSING OF IRON ORE MINES-CALL FOR INVESTIGATION AND ACTION TO PREVENT
Permalink
PC

Ramon John Hnatyshyn (Minister of Energy, Mines and Resources)

Progressive Conservative

Hon. Ray Hnatyshyn (Minister of Energy, Mines and Resources):

As the hon. member knows, Mr. Speaker, there has been a downturn in the demand for steel from Canadian producers, as well as with respect to iron ore from mines in Canada. Part of this is attributable to increased production in the United States. We in the department are very much involved in monitoring this situation. In conjunction with my colleagues in cabinet, we will continue to watch the situation in order to see what can be done to improve the circumstances in Canadian mines and with regard to steel producers.

Topic:   ORAL QUESTION PERIOD
Subtopic:   NATURAL RESOURCES
Sub-subtopic:   CLOSING OF IRON ORE MINES-CALL FOR INVESTIGATION AND ACTION TO PREVENT
Permalink
NDP

John R. Rodriguez

New Democratic Party

Mr. Rodriguez:

Mr. Speaker, I will direct my supplementary to the Prime Minister, because trying to get an answer from the minister is like trying to find eggs in a cuckoo clock.

Topic:   ORAL QUESTION PERIOD
Subtopic:   NATURAL RESOURCES
Sub-subtopic:   CLOSING OF IRON ORE MINES-CALL FOR INVESTIGATION AND ACTION TO PREVENT
Permalink

December 3, 1979