March 1, 1943 (19th Parliament, 4th Session)


William Lyon Mackenzie King (Prime Minister; Secretary of State for External Affairs; President of the Privy Council)



There are on the order paper two consecutive questions by the hon. member which, I submit, should neither be answered nor should they have appeared on the order paper, because even if unanswered they might be interpreted as disclosing information which it would certainly be in the interests of the enemy to have and which would be against our national security.
The first question is, "Is there a detachment of the United States Air Force stationed on the south shore of the river St. Lawrence? The first part of the next question is, "Has the government of the United States constructed certain establishments or bases on the shores of the Saguenay?" There are other questions which arise out of these two, but I think my hon. friend will see that, were I to answer either question in the affirmative, assuming it was correct so to do, I would be disclosing information which should not be disclosed.
* However, to relieve the minds of hon. members I shall make the following statement in regard to what the hon. member has in mind.
As a matter of fact there is no detachment of the United States Air Force stationed on the south shore of the St. Lawrence river, but from time to time and as occasion requires detachments of United States aircraft and personnel operate at various points in Canada with the consent and cooperation of the Cana-

dian government. The Canadian authorities have cooperated in making Canadian air facilities available to such United States detachments, as part of the agreed arrangements for our own defence. In a number of instances lands have been acquired by the Canadian government for the development of air fields by the United States government for military use under war conditions. In no case has any territory been ceded under any form or under any conditions. The text of our agreement with the United States government for the return at the close of hostilities of facilities in Canada which have been acquired or constructed by the United States during the prosecution of the war was tabled in the House of Commons on February 1 and may be found in the Votes and Proceedings for that date.

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