May 29, 1984

?

Walter David Baker

Mr. Baker:

The reason I pointed this out and regardless of what the hon. gentleman says, Mr. Speaker, both are motions and the rule applies to motions. A bill is a motion, a resolution is a motion. This is dealt with in Erskine May and in Beau-chesne under motions. The point of order I raised deals with the sections on motions. Could Your Honour, who was in the chair at the time, rule on the question now?

Topic:   PRIVATE MEMBERS' BUSINESS-MOTIONS
Subtopic:   NUCLEAR DISARMAMENT
Sub-subtopic:   ADVISABILITY OF DECLARING CANADA A NUCLEAR ARMS FREE
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LIB

Harold Thomas Herbert (Deputy Chair of Committees of the Whole)

Liberal

The Acting Speaker (Mr. Herbert):

The Chair has been looking into this matter in the last while. Our records indicate

Nuclear Disarmament

that the motion referred to by the Hon. Member for Gander-Twillingate (Mr. Baker) could be one of two Bills that have been debated in the House, namely Bill C-204, which was defeated, and Bill C-203 which is essentially the same as the Bill which was debated.

The Chair at this point is in some difficulty inasmuch as one can now express some reserve as to whether Bill C-203 should have been debated in view of the fact that Bill C-204 had already been defeated. However, that brings up the problem we have at the start of a session when Bills are put on the Order Paper and by our system it is possible for Members to be putting similar bills on the Order Paper at the same time.

The motion which is before the House today is essentially of the same substance as the Bill. The Chair would like a little more time to look into this matter, just a few more minutes, and it proposes to allow the Hon. Member for Beaches (Mr. Young) to complete his remarks on the motion before the House. We will then render a decision on the point of order that has been raised.

Topic:   PRIVATE MEMBERS' BUSINESS-MOTIONS
Subtopic:   NUCLEAR DISARMAMENT
Sub-subtopic:   ADVISABILITY OF DECLARING CANADA A NUCLEAR ARMS FREE
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NDP

Neil Young (Whip of the N.D.P.)

New Democratic Party

Mr. Neil Young (Beaches) moved:

That, in the opinion of this Flouse, the Government should consider the advisability of declaring Canada a nuclear arms free zone and that it should consider the advisability of prohibiting the deployment, testing, construction and transportation of nuclear weapons and associated equipment through and within Canada and that it should consider the advisability of prohibiting the export of goods and materials for use in the construction and deployment of nuclear arms; and

That, the Government should consider the advisability of encouraging cities, provinces and states throughout the world to undertake similar action.

He said: Mr. Speaker, this motion is indeed similar to the measures proposed in the private members bills introduced by my colleagues, the Hon. Member for The Battlefords-Meadow Lake (Mr. Anguish) and the Hon. Member for Selkirk-Inter-lake (Mr. Sargeant). All three measures would prohibit the deployment of nuclear weapons in Canada. They would also prevent the transit of nuclear weapons through Canadian territory and waters. They would make it unlawful to develop, test, or produce nuclear weapons or components of nuclear weapon systems in Canada or the export of same.

My motion is somewhat different from the other two measures proposed by my colleagues, but nonetheless equally important. My motion calls upon the Government of Canada to take a leadership role in encouraging others throughout the world to follow the example set by this House of Commons if this motion is adopted.

I do not think I overstate the case when I say that the arms race has brought us face to face with our own annihilation. There are now some 50,000 warheads in the arsenals of the two superpowers alone. Some may think it trite to make reference to the maxim that you do not put a smoking gun on stage unless you intend it to be used, but I think that maxim sums up for us the dilemma we have forced upon ourselves in the rush to augment national security by threatening the security of another nation with nuclear weapons.

Until recently the theory that governed the strategic thinking of the superpowers has been that of deterrence, that it

May 29, 1984

Nuclear Disarmament

would be suicide for the other side to launch an attack so long as we retained a credible threat of a retaliatory strike. However, with the advance in nuclear weapons technology and changing attitudes in the White House and the Kremlin, the theory of deterrence is beginning to unravel. The weapons being developed today can be launched from thousands of miles away and still hit their target with almost pinpoint accuracy. Their value is not so much as retaliatory second strike weapons but as counterforce, first strike weapons; weapons that can take out the nuclear missiles of the other side before they can be launched. Pentagon strategists are shunning mutually assured deterrence in favour of Nuclear Utilization Theories, NUTS.

The act of declaring Canada a nuclear weapons free zone would be one of complying with the oft-repeated call of the United Nations for the establishment of such zones. Regardless of what some Members may think of the United Nations, it would be foolishness to dismiss U.N. recommendations for nuclear weapons free zones throughout our planet. The first nuclear weapons free zone was established in the Antarctic in 1961. The treaty for the prohibition of nuclear weapons in Latin America was concluded in 1967.

Here are two areas of the globe where through negotiations and agreement we have been able to prevent nuclear weapons and the threat of their use from casting a shadow. Since then, serious proposals for the creation of nuclear weapons free zones have been advanced for Africa and for the Balkans, for the Middle East, the Mediterranean and for Central Europe, for South Asia, the South Pacific and for the Nordic countries of Europe. We, in Canada, have a unique opportunity to add another large region of the globe to the area now free from the threat of nuclear weapons, without the complicated negotiations to include other countries in the nuclear weapons free zone.

I want to quote from the Final Document of the 1978 United Nations Special Session on Disarmament. It reads:

The establishment of nuclear weapons free zones on the basis of arrangements freely arrived at among states in the region concerned constitutes an important disarmament initiative. The process of establishing such zones should be encouraged with the ultimate objective of achieving a world free of nuclear weapons.

We as Canadians can and must do a great deal to influence the political climate in a way which encourages disarmament agreements. We can and must do a great deal to put political and technical constraints on the nuclear strategies of both the U.S.S.R. and the United States. I am confident that creating a nuclear weapons free zone in Canada would do both.

Recently I read that Emergency Planning Canada wants to spend some $40 million on a network of 650 nuclear fallout shelters. In my view, planning for these kinds of civil defence measures is perpetrating a cruel hoax on the Canadian public. One comment which caught my attention was that our emergency planners think this network of shelters will do the trick, because they assume Canadian territory they would not be the target of a Soviet nuclear strike.

Our emergency planners better think again. How can they possibly assume when we in Canada develop, test and produce nuclear weapons components and when NORAD is providing targeting information to nuclear-armed aircraft, that Canadian territory would not be targeted? What logic would spare Canadian territory when nuclear-armed Trident submarines pass back and forth through the Strait of Juan de Fuca en route to their base at Bangor, Washington? When we have three Loran C stations in Canada providing navigational data to pinpoint the accuracy of U.S. submarine-launched nuclear weapons, and when Canadian patrol aircraft provide precise targeting data for American hunter/killer submarines to attack Soviet nuclear weapon submarines, it is foolish and naive to think Canada would be spared in a superpower nuclear exchange. The major threat to our national security comes from the potential of a nuclear war between the two superpowers. It is only in our own self-interest to do everything possible to prevent that from happening.

Many Canadians have been convinced by the Government that Canada in the last 15 years has steered a non-nuclear course. Many Canadians have come to see the arms race as something perpetrated by the superpowers. However, how many of them know about Canada's role in the arms race? How many of them know that our Department of Energy, Mines and Resources gathers gravitational data in the Arctic which is used to improve the accuracy and the counterforce capability of U.S. ballistic missiles? How many of them know about the anti-submarine warfare training and the torpedo training for U.S. nuclear submarines at Nanoose Bay, Vancouver Island? How many Canadians are aware that nuclear capable British Vulcan bombers do low-level flight training at Goose Bay, Labrador? How many Canadians know that we still store U.S. air to air nuclear-tipped missiles here and, if called upon, we would launch them from Canadian Forces Voodoo interceptors? Not too many Canadians, I should think.

While it is true that Canada has never developed nuclear weapons on its own, its nuclear free course is a bit of sham. We are tied into the United States nuclear weapons program militarily and industrially through a myriad of bilateral agreements between the two countries. Under the terms of defence production sharing arrangements, Canadian companies have gained access to the lucrative American weapons market. Many companies trying to win production subcontracts on American weapons systems are given financial asisstance through the federal Government's Defence Industry Productivity Program. It should come as no surprise that neither Canadian arms contractors nor Canadian government officials have made a distinction between nuclear and conventional weapons production. The $166 million federal aid budget is equally available to companies bidding on nuclear and/or conventional weapons contracts.

In addition, Litton Systems was granted $49 million to secure the production contract for the Tercom guidance system of the Cruise missile. Boeing of Canada now has an application before the federal Government to sweeten its bid on a production subcontract for the MX missile re-entry

May 29, 1984

system. Boeing and Bristol Aerospace, both Winnipeg companies, have been doing developmental work with an eye toward production contracts on the MX missile for the last year.

Over the years the Government has given money to Canadian Vickers to produce parts for American nuclear submarines, to Hawker Siddeley to produce the launcher for the Lance nuclear missile, and to Heede International to build loading equipment for Trident and Poseidon nuclear weapon submarines. We would be better off without these contracts. If the concern of the Government is jobs, let me say that American studies on industrial conversion show that we could create twice as many jobs by investing in health care and education than by investing in weapons production.

Canada has not kept its hands clean of the arms race. The unwillingness of successive governments to begin even to strike an independent strategic policy has allowed us to drift into complicity in the nuclear weapons program of the United States. Declaring Canada a nuclear weapons free zone would not require us to end the long friendship between the two countries. I have no doubt that the friendship would endure. After all, what kind of friendship is it that could not endure our decision to take a strategic policy which promised to help reduce the threat of nuclear destruction?

Declaring Canada a nuclear weapons free zone would only be consistent with the Government's rhetoric about our nonnuclear role in the world. It would be an act consistent with the efforts of the United Nations to establish such zones in the world. It would enhance our reputation internationally as a country willing to take action in its advocacy of peace. By declaring Canada a nuclear weapons free zone, we would be taking concrete steps toward reducing the nuclear threat which hangs over the heads of all Canadians, which hangs over the heads of all people of the world.

There is another dimension to the nuclear arms race with which I should like to deal because in my view it goes to the heart of our concern. I am referring to our ability to achieve global peace while we fail to recognize adequately the existence of widespread social and economic injustice in the world. The U.S. Arms Control and Disarmament Agency recently reported that we will spend a total of some $1 trillion in 1985 in the global arms race. We could make a significant step in the direction of achieving global peace if we were to direct some of those moneys, if not all, toward eradicating the sources of that economic and social injustice to which I have just referred.

The United Nations has estimated that one half of the Third World countries have no safe drinking water supplies, yet we have the means available to provide clean water within 10 years if we had the political and moral will to do so. We could do the same for the hundreds of thousands who are dying of hunger throughout the world. We have the technology and the expertise to achieve it.

It is estimated that some 130 million children are denied access to any kind of education and that 800 million adults are considered illiterate throughout the world. If we used some of the armament expenditures, we could provide the schools and

Nuclear Disarmament

teacher training which would alleviate that sorry condition. In addition, we know that air and water pollution is responsible for the increase in deaths from such diseases as cancer, asthma and heart disease. We could implement a global cleanup of our environment. We have the technology which would put a stop to our environment being used as one of the biggest sewage disposal systems the world has ever seen.

In addition, the World Health Organization estimates that some ten children die each minute of measles, diptheria and tuberculosis. Only 10 per cent of the Third World's population of 18 million people are immunized against disease. In addition to that, some 50 million young people enter the workforce each year. Because there are no jobs, they face prolonged periods of unemployment.

If we believe that Third World problems are totally disassociated from our problems in Canada, perhaps we should consider spending some of the billions of dollars we set aside for death and destruction to solve some of our social problems. It is a known fact that three out of every five single women over the age of 65 in our country are living in abject poverty. More often than not, our native population is living in conditions which should not be ignored by any civilized society. Ten per cent of all Canadians are disabled or handicapped. In that group the unemployment rate is between 70 per cent and 90 per cent. Some 11 per cent of our total workforce is unemployed and 18 per cent of our young people are out of work.

Those facts surely tell us that our priorities are all screwed up. Why do we find it necessary to spend $ 1 million a minute on arms to kill, maim and destroy when we could better spend those resources for socially useful purposes? It was only several months ago in Private Members' hour in the House that we were discussing cancer, the dreaded disease which nearly every Canadian has been touched by in one way or another. If we were to take a sizeale chunk of the money we spend to destroy the human race and property and put it into cancer research, the people I have spoken to in that field feel that in all probability we could come up with successful treatment of that disease which touches every family in the world.

For all those reasons I hope that the House will agree to this motion and refer it to committee where witnesses can be heard and it can be examined in more detail than we will have time for in the House. I urge Members to support this motion.

Topic:   PRIVATE MEMBERS' BUSINESS-MOTIONS
Subtopic:   NUCLEAR DISARMAMENT
Sub-subtopic:   ADVISABILITY OF DECLARING CANADA A NUCLEAR ARMS FREE
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LIB

Harold Thomas Herbert (Deputy Chair of Committees of the Whole)

Liberal

The Acting Speaker (Mr. Herbert):

The Chair would like to comment further on the point of order raised by the Hon. Member for Gander-Twillingate (Mr. Baker). The Chair proposes to read from Erskine May's Twentieth Edition a paragraph which is found on page 379 under the general heading "Rules governing subject-matter of motions". Under the heading "Matters already decided during the same session" one reads:

A motion or an amendment which is the same, in substance, as a question which has been decided in the affirmative or negative during the current session may not be brought forward again during that session.

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May 29, 1984

Nuclear Disarmament

Whether this rule would apply as between a motion and a bill is a difficult matter to decide, but it is unlikely that substantially the same question could be raised by a motion and a bill as a whole. A motion can do no more than affirm in general terms the desirability of legislation while a bill is likely to contain qualifying provisions and conditions, sufficient to differentiate its subject-matter from that of a motion. In any case a bill and a motion have different purposes. The question has been raised, but so far no case for the application of the rule has been made out.

The Chair has looked at the motion and at the two Bills to which reference was made. As the Chair has said, Bill C-204, which was presented to the House by the Hon. Member for Selkirk-Interlake (Mr. Sargeant), was defeated. Bill C-203, which on the surface appears to be essentially the same but has a few changes in paragraphs, was presented by the Hon. Member for The Battlefords-Meadow Lake (Mr. Anguish). Inasmuch as the motion which is before the House contains the key words "in the opinion of this House, the Government should consider the advisability of', and under those circumstances it is just an expression of opinion of the House, the Chair has no difficulty in allowing debate to continue on the motion.

However, the Chair will take this opportunity to suggest that it will be looking closely at the similarity of the two Bills, Bill C-204 which was defeated, and Bill C-203 which has been brought forward already for debate in this session. The Chair will consider whether there can be resumption of debate on Bill C-203 at the appropriate time. Therefore, for continuing debate on the motion, the Hon. Member for Thunder Bay-Atikokan (Mr. McRae).

Topic:   PRIVATE MEMBERS' BUSINESS-MOTIONS
Subtopic:   NUCLEAR DISARMAMENT
Sub-subtopic:   ADVISABILITY OF DECLARING CANADA A NUCLEAR ARMS FREE
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LIB

Paul Edmund McRae

Liberal

Mr. Paul E. McRae (Thunder Bay-Atikokan):

Mr. Speaker, I find myself rising for the second time in three days to debate essentially the same motion. I respect the ruling of the Chair on this. I find the motion supportable and support the intent of the motion, but I worry about why we are debating a Bill three times which really will do nothing to prevent the holocaust which I think is going to occur if we do not bring the super powers together to stop the warring which is going on.

I do not think that our being pure is going to influence either of the super powers in the direction in which they must go. In response to a question asked of the very distinguished Rear Admiral Carroll at a gathering in Toronto in March, he said that the armaments, the computerization of arms, the speed and so on would make a nuclear war very probable in about six to eight years. We all know there is no possibility that human life could continue in any normal fashion after such a war. The social values which we all appreciate would cease to exist under these circumstances. It seems that a hardness has developed between the two super powers at this point which could very well continue, depending upon what happens in the American election. I have no qualms about talking about American internal politics because the Ambassador from that country has no qualms about talking about how we run our operation.

I believe that unless there is a change in the scene in the United States, this hardening will become much worse. I would be much happier if I heard Members of the NDP

talking about this very serious problem rather than seeing the answer as our being pure.

The problem possibly stems from the attitude of Hon. Members on the other side. Because they essentially have not held power or been close to power for the last 20 years, they find it hard to deal with reality. When we have to deal with our relationship with NATO, when we have to deal with the Government of the United States and the Government of the Soviet Union and when we have to try and move those Governments, the problem becomes very different.

Let me give you an idea of that. Let us suppose that tomorrow, a motion is put before the House to support the ten points common ground that were listed by the Prime Minister (Mr. Trudeau). Suppose that motion contains some additional points calling for no first use and no testing of the Cruise. Those are things that I support. However, if we along with the other countries presented such a motion to the two super powers, something which I think should be done, then the same thing would happen as happened to the motion of the four-continent group, a motion into which I have been very proud to have had some input. Within 20 minutes, the U.S. Government would reject the entire thing. How would that do anything in terms of closing the gap between the two super powers?

Topic:   PRIVATE MEMBERS' BUSINESS-MOTIONS
Subtopic:   NUCLEAR DISARMAMENT
Sub-subtopic:   ADVISABILITY OF DECLARING CANADA A NUCLEAR ARMS FREE
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NDP

Neil Young (Whip of the N.D.P.)

New Democratic Party

Mr. Young:

What do you suggest?

Topic:   PRIVATE MEMBERS' BUSINESS-MOTIONS
Subtopic:   NUCLEAR DISARMAMENT
Sub-subtopic:   ADVISABILITY OF DECLARING CANADA A NUCLEAR ARMS FREE
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LIB

Paul Edmund McRae

Liberal

Mr. McRae:

If we do not close the gap, then the war occurs. We are pure, we are not doing anything wrong, but how are we closing that gap? It seems to me that we would then invalidate anything that could happen because the two super powers would not speak to us.

I would like to begin to understand the dimensions of this issue. I simply do not believe that in this world, Canada will be able to change anything. One might think that we could change things by bringing the two super powers together. In those ten points of common ground to which I have referred many times, there are areas about which both sides can agree and there are more to those areas than what appears on the surface. Then, with the right negotiating techniques, we may be able to change things.

I would remind Hon. Members on both sides of the House that the issue we are dealing with today will be a very large issue in the elections in both the United States and Canada. Both countries will be holding elections during almost the same period of time. If there is a change in the U.S. Government after the November election, then we will be faced with a new situation and we will have a chance to develop these things. I believe that that is what will happen. However, I am opposed to trying to inject ourselves into a situation in which we would hope for some successful negotiations between the two super powers in such a way that we would automatically and without any question be rejected. I do not think that that will achieve anything positive. In fact, I think it may achieve the very opposite.

May 29, 1984

Let us talk about what is happening now. I would like to talk about this hardness that exists. There is a group called the Arms Control Association in the United States which has a very distinguished board of directors. That board includes people like Admiral Gayler, the former Commander in Chief for the Pacific of the United States Navy; Gerard Smith, a former arms-control director for the U.S. Government; Paul Warnke, a former arms-control director for the Carter U.S. Government; Robert McNamara, a former Secretary of Defence; and others. These people recently commissioned a study and a report which indicated that the Reagan Government has basically destroyed arms control negotiations. It indicated that such arms-control measures as the START talks and SALT I and SALT II will be destroyed.

Topic:   PRIVATE MEMBERS' BUSINESS-MOTIONS
Subtopic:   NUCLEAR DISARMAMENT
Sub-subtopic:   ADVISABILITY OF DECLARING CANADA A NUCLEAR ARMS FREE
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NDP

Leslie Gordon Benjamin

New Democratic Party

Mr. Benjamin:

Mr. Speaker, I rise on a point of order. The resolution of the Hon. Member for Beaches (Mr. Young) deals with establishing nuclear free zone in Canada and with Canadian non-participation in the testing, construction, deployment and transportation of nuclear weapons. The Hon. Member has yet to address himself to the contents of the resolution and I am wondering if the chair would be prepared to caution the Hon. Member to speak to what Canada can do and not to what former American Ministers of Defence can do.

Topic:   PRIVATE MEMBERS' BUSINESS-MOTIONS
Subtopic:   NUCLEAR DISARMAMENT
Sub-subtopic:   ADVISABILITY OF DECLARING CANADA A NUCLEAR ARMS FREE
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LIB

Harold Thomas Herbert (Deputy Chair of Committees of the Whole)

Liberal

The Acting Speaker (Mr. Herbert):

Order, please. I will accept the point raised by the Hon. Member if he is attempting to suggest that the Hon. Member for Thunder Bay-Atiko-kan (Mr. McRae) is not speaking to the motion. However, the Chair finds that the subject matter is sufficiently broad. The remarks of the Hon. Member are in order.

Topic:   PRIVATE MEMBERS' BUSINESS-MOTIONS
Subtopic:   NUCLEAR DISARMAMENT
Sub-subtopic:   ADVISABILITY OF DECLARING CANADA A NUCLEAR ARMS FREE
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LIB

Paul Edmund McRae

Liberal

Mr. McRae:

Mr. Speaker, perhaps I might explain to the Hon. Member for Regina West (Mr. Benjamin) that I am trying to deal with the questions of where we must go and of what is fundamental. I support what Hon. Members of the New Democratic Party are trying to do. However, I think that the issue is not fundamental. We have spent four days discussing this particular issue when there are far more fundamental issues dealing with the arms control business at stake.

One thing that has bothered me for a long time is that I have never been able to accept the idea that I can come to the House, stand up and be pure and say that I want this and that without having one iota of consideration for how I will make the change that I want. If I believe in something, then I must fight to make a change. If I am standing back being pure, taking absolutely no notice of what is going on around me and not doing my best to change things, then I do not think that I am doing my job.

I feel that we are facing the most dangerous situation that one could imagine on this earth and I do not think that this motion will change it. I think that there are far more serious things we must address, and that is what I am trying to say. I am trying to break down the issue and I am trying to show that there are far more important things that we can do. If we do some of the things which we all want to do, we might very well wreck our chances of doing something more important.

Nuclear Disarmament

That is what I am trying to explain to the House. I think it is very relevant to the motion before us.

I would like to return to this serious issue. A two-track decision was made through negotiations on behalf of NATO countries and Warsaw Pact countries by the two super powers. The two super powers came to no solution and the Arms Control Association has indicated that one of the prime reasons for that was that the Government of the United States presented a series of ideas that sounded great to the uninitiated public and made the government look like it was really going after arms control and really making big concessions when to those who understand the issue and have spent years dealing with the issue, the ideas were totally meaningless. These kinds of ideas go on and on. These are the kinds of things that happen, and so we are faced with a situation that is far different from the one with which we thought we were faced, so those talks broke down.

The same thing happened with the START talks. The President of the United States promoted the idea that the U.S. and the Soviet Union should come to an agreement to get rid of most of their land-based ICBMs. That sounded like a reasonable proposition. He said: "We will get rid of ours, you get rid of yours". However, the President admitted to a group of Congressmen in October that he did not know that the Soviet missiles were four-to-one land based and the American missiles were four-to-one sea based. By asking the Soviets to back down on all of their land based missiles he perhaps, as he said to some Congressmen, sounded one sided. Those are the kinds of negotiations that were going on at the START talks. I condemn people in our Government for refusing to push hard to have the START talks and the INF talks together. There were all kinds of quid pro quos in there if one got away from the simple notion of dealing only with talks on intermediate missiles. These are the serious things which have been going on.

When the President of the United States initiates an idea about star wars and states that missiles can be prevented from entering the United States when he knows perfectly well that there is an anti-ballistic missile agreement which will be broken if the star wars program goes ahead, he and this very important group of tough Americans-not soft non-Soviets or anything of that nature-are undermining world peace in a very serious way.

These are the issues. It is not a Canadian problem. I do not think that we as Canadians are going to create a war. Peace is an international problem. I get very worried when I hear that if we as Canadians remain pure and stay within ourselves and do not worry about the rest of the world we are doing our share. That is what is happening in the peace movement. We are becoming less and less concerned about what is happening out there.

If I were looking for a nuclear free zone to create, it would be in central Europe. It is absolutely essential that we reach very shortly that situation so that we will not have Pershing II

May 29, 1984

Nuclear Disarmament

missiles, SS-20s, SS-21s and SS-22s sitting on the border across from each other, four to six minutes from the other side. That is where a nuclear free zone is so important. The very essence of the problem will be the accidental use of a Pershing missile; not so much the accidental use of the missile, but the assumption that it is being used because of a computer breakdown or a time shortage. These are the vital issues which we should be dealing with.

It would be nice to say-and I have fought as hard as anyone to have this happen-that we will not build these weapons in Canada. The fact is that the danger will come from outside and we will have to be a part of it. I have mentioned some of the things which the distinguished group of Canadians who are involved with the Arms Control Association have been worried about. If I were an American today, and I was-

Topic:   PRIVATE MEMBERS' BUSINESS-MOTIONS
Subtopic:   NUCLEAR DISARMAMENT
Sub-subtopic:   ADVISABILITY OF DECLARING CANADA A NUCLEAR ARMS FREE
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NDP

Leslie Gordon Benjamin

New Democratic Party

Mr. Benjamin:

Mr. Speaker, I rise on a point of order. I wonder if the Hon. Member would permit a question as he is a Canadian and not an American. We are not interested in what he would say if he were an American. Would he permit a question?

Topic:   PRIVATE MEMBERS' BUSINESS-MOTIONS
Subtopic:   NUCLEAR DISARMAMENT
Sub-subtopic:   ADVISABILITY OF DECLARING CANADA A NUCLEAR ARMS FREE
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LIB

Paul Edmund McRae

Liberal

Mr. McRae:

I will do that.

Topic:   PRIVATE MEMBERS' BUSINESS-MOTIONS
Subtopic:   NUCLEAR DISARMAMENT
Sub-subtopic:   ADVISABILITY OF DECLARING CANADA A NUCLEAR ARMS FREE
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LIB

Harold Thomas Herbert (Deputy Chair of Committees of the Whole)

Liberal

The Acting Speaker (Mr. Herbert):

Ordinarily there is no provision for questions. However, if there is unanimous consent, the Member has two minutes remaining in the time allotted to him. Does the House give its consent?

Topic:   PRIVATE MEMBERS' BUSINESS-MOTIONS
Subtopic:   NUCLEAR DISARMAMENT
Sub-subtopic:   ADVISABILITY OF DECLARING CANADA A NUCLEAR ARMS FREE
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?

Some Hon. Members:

Agreed.

Topic:   PRIVATE MEMBERS' BUSINESS-MOTIONS
Subtopic:   NUCLEAR DISARMAMENT
Sub-subtopic:   ADVISABILITY OF DECLARING CANADA A NUCLEAR ARMS FREE
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LIB

Paul Edmund McRae

Liberal

Mr. McRae:

If I have only two minutes, Mr. Speaker, I think that I can get along without the question. I have a very serious point that I want to ensure the House understands.

If I were an American today and was centre to centre-right in my leanings, which I am not, I would be very, very concerned about the policy that the Reagan Government is taking in the United States. I do not think that the United States stands taller than it did before. I think that it stands weaker. It stands weaker because it has created far, far more dangers: the deployment of the Pershing II, the flight trajectory, and the threat of four to six minutes. These kinds of things are the tensions which create a war. There are far more SS-20s than there were before. There is a very large build-up in the Sea of Japan, the Kuril Islands and the surrounding areas of Soviet Typhoon submarines. Each submarine has 80 warheads. That kind of build-up is there.

There is a breakdown in the NATO alliance which is very serious, certainly at the political level. There is great concern among people in NATO about whether the alliance will continue in the way it has. I am speaking from the point of view of an American who would be of the middle to middle-right persuasion. We have a Lebanese situation which is frightfully dangerous and ridiculous. As well, there is the Grenada scene and the situation in Central America.

The most important issue is not whether we declare ourselves a nuclear free zone and test the Cruise, it is what will happen in the United States in the next six months. Anything

we can do to help that situation, I am in favour of that. But, I will not count on us getting involved in something which will discredit Canada or create a situation in which we are turned down again. We cannot afford that situation. Although I agree with the Hon. Member, I am worried about other things which his Party does not seem to be worried about.

Topic:   PRIVATE MEMBERS' BUSINESS-MOTIONS
Subtopic:   NUCLEAR DISARMAMENT
Sub-subtopic:   ADVISABILITY OF DECLARING CANADA A NUCLEAR ARMS FREE
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LIB

Harold Thomas Herbert (Deputy Chair of Committees of the Whole)

Liberal

The Acting Speaker (Mr. Herbert):

Order, please. I regret to interrupt the Hon. Member but his time has expired. Is the Hon. Member for Regina West (Mr. Benjamin) rising on a point of order?

Topic:   PRIVATE MEMBERS' BUSINESS-MOTIONS
Subtopic:   NUCLEAR DISARMAMENT
Sub-subtopic:   ADVISABILITY OF DECLARING CANADA A NUCLEAR ARMS FREE
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NDP

Leslie Gordon Benjamin

New Democratic Party

Mr. Benjamin:

No, Mr. Speaker, for debate.

Topic:   PRIVATE MEMBERS' BUSINESS-MOTIONS
Subtopic:   NUCLEAR DISARMAMENT
Sub-subtopic:   ADVISABILITY OF DECLARING CANADA A NUCLEAR ARMS FREE
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LIB

Harold Thomas Herbert (Deputy Chair of Committees of the Whole)

Liberal

The Acting Speaker (Mr. Herbert):

For continuing debate, the Hon. Member for Victoria (Mr. McKinnon).

Topic:   PRIVATE MEMBERS' BUSINESS-MOTIONS
Subtopic:   NUCLEAR DISARMAMENT
Sub-subtopic:   ADVISABILITY OF DECLARING CANADA A NUCLEAR ARMS FREE
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PC

Allan Bruce McKinnon

Progressive Conservative

Hon. Allan B. McKinnon (Victoria):

Mr. Speaker, I am sorry to cut out the Hon. Member for Regina West (Mr. Benjamin), but having been faced with the choice a few moments ago between having to listen to his question or listening to the Hon. Member for Thunder Bay-Atikokan (Mr. McRae), it was a difficult choice to make.

I would like to compliment the Hon. Member for Beaches (Mr. Young) for producing the motion which is before the House today. I thought that he spoke very well on the subject. He has obviously done a lot of research and has presented a case which has some merit. There is quite a debate raging across the country at this time on the subject. I think that it deserves the time of the House. It is one in which people have opinions which are not diametrically opposed, but opinions which are at some variance from each other. A person would have to be a maniac not to be in favour of nuclear disarmament with the number of nuclear weapons in the world. Anything that can bring those weapons under control and disarm them is acceptable.

The Conservative policy for years has been that we would vote in favour of any measure for nuclear disarmament that would lead to a mutual, balanced and verifiable disarmament.

The resolution before us in part reads:

-the government should consider the advisability of declaring Canada a nuclear arms free zone-

I am grateful that the Hon. Member did not make the mistake that is frequently made which is to leave out "arms" and just ask for a nuclear free zone. That would no doubt upset Ontario Hydro considerably.

I think it would be in order to ask how Canada became a nuclear arms zone with nuclear arms. This is particularly important considering the sanctimonious protestations made by the NDP against the use of nuclear arms. If one reads Hansard of February 4 and 5, 1963, one will find out why Canada has nuclear arms. Those were in the days of the Right Hon. John Diefenbaker, who was then Prime Minister. Debate raged in that Cabinet. There are still least two Members of our Party who were in that Cabinet and who could provide the information if it were not for the Privy Council oath. However, it is obvious from the Hansard of the day a serious debate had

May 29, 1984

taken place in Canada during that time as to whether Canada should accept nuclear arms. The Right Hon. Lester B. Pearson, who was the Leader of the Opposition at the time, had a miraculous conversion. I believe that his speech was given in Scarborough, Ontario, which will be familiar to the mover of the resolution.

One night Mr. Pearson decided, after some 20 years of being opposed to nuclear weapons, even winning a Nobel prize for his peace activities, to suddenly be converted to nuclear weaponry for Canadians and the Canadian Forces within Canada. Then followed two days of very strong debate on the resolution which was introduced on February 4, 1963. Hon. Members interested in this subject would find it a fascinating two days of debate. The Hon. Member for Thunder Bay-Atikokan reminded me of some of the speakers whose speeches appeared in Hansard at that time. Mr. Pearson, who I believe was really quite sincerely dedicated to peace, was trying to explain why he was going to vote out the Diefenbaker Government which was insisting on not accepting nuclear weapons in Canada, namely the warheads for the Bomarc missile of that day. The debate went on with Mr. Pearson being rather devious about the motion and he was severely criticized by the Government side of the House for not being more specific about his motion. It was a supply motion. It was interesting to read the contributions made by Mr. David Lewis and Tommy Douglas who spoke for the NDP in that debate indicating that while they also greatly loved peace, they were going to vote for the Party which was going to bring nuclear arms to Canada.

Topic:   PRIVATE MEMBERS' BUSINESS-MOTIONS
Subtopic:   NUCLEAR DISARMAMENT
Sub-subtopic:   ADVISABILITY OF DECLARING CANADA A NUCLEAR ARMS FREE
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NDP

Leslie Gordon Benjamin

New Democratic Party

Mr. Benjamin:

He never said that!

Topic:   PRIVATE MEMBERS' BUSINESS-MOTIONS
Subtopic:   NUCLEAR DISARMAMENT
Sub-subtopic:   ADVISABILITY OF DECLARING CANADA A NUCLEAR ARMS FREE
Permalink

May 29, 1984