March 3, 1947 (20th Parliament, 3rd Session)


Gordon Graydon

Progressive Conservative


There is something more to it than that.
Mr. ST. LAURENT: Nor is it possible
that the Soviet government is under any misapprehension as to who will bear the burden of German aggression if ever it is renewed. It is to countries such as ours on this continent that the U.S.S.R. would again look for the industrial production that would have to be mobilized and used.
I should like now to indicate our attitude generally to the proposals on procedure which emerged in London. In our comments on procedure we have had two main objects in view. One has been to provide for a more satisfactory participation of the associated powers at a stage when their views could have some effect. It proved to be very difficult at Paris to have anything changed that the great powers had previously agreed upon. The second has been to avoid a repetition of the annoyance of that process by which the allies were assembled in Paris to discuss the terms of settlement with Italy and other satellite states at a time when you could not get anything altered without very great difficulty. In the Canadian view, the procedure best suited to achieve these objects would be to give the associated powers an opportunity to consider and comment on the drafts at an early stage. We recognize that the primary responsibility for the settlement will rest with the four great powers. We realize that the general principles of peace will be established by the council of foreign ministers, and we realize that they may insist on the right to review the settlement before the draft is put into final form for signature.
On the other hand, between the meetings at which the council of foreign ministers indicate the general principles of settlement acceptable to them at the meeting which will open next Monday, and the time when there will be drafts ready for signature, there will be ample opportunity for the work of dozens of committees on the terms of this settlement. There will have to be dozens of working committees to consider and prepare the detailed material that will have to
be incorporated in the final statute or treaty.
At the Paris conference in 1946, the conference, after a preliminary debate on procedure, separated into ten different committees; these committees had subcommittees, and it was in these committees and subcommittees that such achievements as did result from the conference were made. It was only here that the associated states had any real opportunity to recommend revisions of the text.
The Canadian government believes that a process similar to the commission stage of the Paris conference should be introduced at a much earlier period in the preparation of the settlement with Germany.

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