April 7, 1987

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Some Hon. Members:

Hear, hear!

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Martin Brian Mulroney (Prime Minister)

Progressive Conservative

Right Hon. Brian Mulroney (Prime Minister):

Mr. President, in the House of Commons, for me, that is known as 82 per cent of a standing ovation.

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Some Hon. Members:

Oh, oh!

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Martin Brian Mulroney (Prime Minister)

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Mulroney:

But we are not going to forget it.

Mr. Speaker of the Senate, Mr. Speaker of the House of Commons, Mr. President and Mrs. Reagan, Mesdames et Messieurs:

Mr. President, I welcome you to this House. I should at once thank you for arranging your schedule so that your visit here would result in the cancellation of Question Period.

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Some Hon. Members:

Oh, oh!

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Martin Brian Mulroney (Prime Minister)

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Mulroney:

If you would like to stay around all week-

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Some Hon. Members:

Oh, oh!

Almost 30 years ago, Prime Minister John Diefenbaker, in introducing President Eisenhower here in this Chamber, described him as the "leader of a mighty state" and as "someone who comes to us as a good neighbour and friend". There are Hon. Members of this Parliament here today who were present in this Chamber three decades ago. They would agree, I am sure, that much has changed since then, but they would agree as well that unchanged is the sincerity of our

friendship and the profound respect our peoples have for democratic values and for each other.

We are aware this is the bi-centennial year of the American Constitution-a declaration of freedom and independence which has been a light of inspiration and hope to so much of mankind for two centuries.

Our two countries-different in so many ways-share more than a common border in a continent. We share in the advance of liberty and human dignity in a world still darkened by oppression, still bearing the stain of racism and intolerance. We share, as well, respect for our sovereign right to act in the best interests of the people we serve. We would hope for other peoples and other nations something of our own ongoing experience of trust and confidence and mutual respect.

Mr. President, you will know that much is different from your last visit to the House of Commons. The change is reflected in our joint agenda.

Canadians view with increasing concern the effects of acid rain upon our environment. But this is more than a Canadian problem. It is a transboundary problem which requires a transboundary response.

I urgently invite the United States administration and the American Congress to join with this Parliament, and the Government of Canada in concluding a firm bilateral accord which will provide a North American solution to acid rain.

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Some Hon. Members:

Hear, hear!

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Martin Brian Mulroney (Prime Minister)

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Mulroney:

In this matter, time is not our ally but our enemy. The longer we delay, the greater the cost. For what would be said of a generation that sought the stars but permitted its lakes and streams to languish and die?

Mr. President, you have described our present bi-lateral negotiations as presenting the opportunity for concluding-in your words-an "historic trade agreement".

With regard to trade and the trade agreement, Mr. President, if such a trade agreement is fair to both countries, it will be good for both peoples.

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Some Hon. Members:

Hear, hear!

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Martin Brian Mulroney (Prime Minister)

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Mulroney:

We are determined that this opportunity shall not pass in this generation, because the prosperity and competitive advantage of the next generation may well depend on it.

April 7, 1987

As we are linked in commerce and trade, so are we linked in the defence of our continent through NORAD, and in the defence of the Atlantic Alliance through NATO. As we are partners in progress, so are we partners in defending our democratic way of life.

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Some Hon. Members:

Hear, hear!

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Martin Brian Mulroney (Prime Minister)

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Mulroney:

Canada is not a neutral nation. We are not, and never have been, mere spectators in the struggle between freedom and tyranny.

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Some Hon. Members:

Hear, hear!

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Martin Brian Mulroney (Prime Minister)

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Mulroney:

Canada's credentials have been richly earned both in the defence of freedom and in the pursuit of peace.

Geographically situated between the two superpowers, Canada lives in the shadow of nuclear armaments.

[ Translation]

Our people, deeply concerned about the arms race, are now encouraged by recent prospects for arms reduction. If the United States and the Soviet Union can conclude an agreement on short and medium range missiles, other arms reductions accords can follow.

A new day can begin. As President Eisenhower said in this House: "Beyond the shadow of the nuclear cloud, the horizon is bright with promise." Regrettably, after three decades that promise remains unfulfilled.

But with strength, solidarity and resolve, that promise may yet be secured.

It is the promise of a world in which a liberalized trading system works for the benefit of the developing, no less than the developed nations.

It is the promise of a world free of international terrorism, which our two Governments remain firmly resolved to combat.

It is the promise of a world free from the evil of apartheid, because the majority in South Africa cannot and must not remain in political and economic bondage.

It is the promise of a world where children learn tolerance and lead lives that exemplify it.

Those are but a few of our mutual obligations to a larger world, a world which looks to our two countries as beacons of liberty, of prosperity and generosity of spirit.

Mr. President, Sir Winston Churchill described the relationships between our nations as "an example for every country and a pattern for the future of the world". In testimony to that, this unique and enduring relationship has been celebrated

recently by a joint resolution of the American Congress and the Parliament of Canada which proclaims July 2 and 3, the two days between our respective national days, as the "Canada-United States days of peace and friendship".

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Some Hon. Members:

Hear, hear!

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Martin Brian Mulroney (Prime Minister)

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Mulroney:

Our respective legislators have served their constituents well.

Six years ago, on your first visit to this Chamber, Prime Minister Trudeau said: "I wish you well in your task and comfort in your burden. May part of that comfort come from the assurance of Canada's abiding friendship for your country and your people".

Mr. President, I make mine the words of Prime Minister Trudeau. As we once again welcome you and Mrs. Reagan in our midst, you will know that that sentiment remains indeed unchallenged and unchanged in this House, in this Parliament, and in this country.

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Some Hon. Members:

Hear, hear!

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Martin Brian Mulroney (Prime Minister)

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Mulroney:

May I say to you, Mr. President, and to you, Mrs. Reagan, that in Canada you are among friends.

Ladies and gentlemen, the President of the United States.

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Some Hon. Members:

Hear, hear!

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April 7, 1987