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


Thomas Langton Church

Progressive Conservative

Mr. T. L. CHURCH (Broadview):

The motion before the house is one to adjourn the house to take up a specific matter of urgent public importance. I am sorry that in dealing with these questions the politicians' have thrown away more than our forces gained in the last two wars. They have just thrown it to the four winds of heaven, for a song.
I wish to refer to one or two matters tonight. In the first place, I am opposed to the policy which has been adopted regarding the united nations. As you know, Mr. Speaker, the next meeting is supposed to be held at Moscow. One meeting was held at
Paris. It was started at San Francisco by the late President Roosevelt, who had an idea he was forming a new league of nations which would take the place of the one which caused the second war. None of the leaders went to San Francisco. Mr. Stalin did not attend there; Mr. Churchill did not attend there; President Roosevelt had died and did not attend there. They sent supernumeraries to chloroform the people, with the result that the "Big Four", as they called themselves did not accomplish anything. There is nothing big about the way they are handling the business, because the united nations organization is going to turn out to be a second league of nations, if one may judge from the way it is conducted. Mr. Attlee said on Saturday he was disappointed at the first year of the united nations organization. They give luxurious banquets and pay fantastic salaries. Even Moscow is complaining about the way UNO is carried on, particularly the security council. We all know about the deputies and all the rest of the frills which we have had since they started.
What are the facts on this particular matter? In the first place Sir Wilfrid Laurier, the then leader of the Liberal party, acted quite differently from the present leader of the foreign affairs department. Away back at the time of the diamond jubilee celebration in 1897 Sir Wilfrid Laurier said of the empire: "Invite us to your councils if you want our aid at any time." He was first in the diamond jubilee procession, and he said, "When Britain is at war Canada is also at war."
What is the policy today of hon. gentlemen opposite? I asked this question awhile ago:
Has the government been consulted or advised by either the government of Great Britain or any of the dominions on the abandonment of the Suez canal and Cairo military base by Great Britain.
This is the reply I received:
Commonwealth governments keep each other informed on matters of foreign policy in accordance with the practice prescribed by Mr. Attlee, Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, in the House of Commons in London on May 8, 1946, as follows:
"It is our practice and our duty as members of the British commonwealth to keep other members of the commonwealth fully and continuously informed of all matters which we are called upon to decide, but which may affect commonwealth interests. The object is to give them an opportunity of expressing their views in confidence if they so desire. These views are taken fully into account, but the decision must be ours, and the other governments are not asked, and would not wish, to share the responsibility for it. Dominion governments follow the same practice.
Peace Treaties

They do not. That was never the policy of the dominions and Great Britain at any time. I can tell you this, Mr. Speaker, that in the first great war one million men went of their own free will from the dominions to the aid of the mother country, went over under their own status, sovereignty, and autonomy; 130,000 of them fell on the field of battle, and what they did changed the whole history of the civilized world. But do we ever hear now of their achievement? I say, Mr. Speaker, that Canada is not going to be talked out of the British empire by all the Attlees, the Morrisons, the Cripps and the rest of them. Canada will have to be fought out of it. These British members never believed in our empire and want it to go into liquidation as their speeches for years show.
I was opposed to the policy of the government in connection with the meeting in Paris, at Moscow, Potsdam, Yalta, Casablanca, London, Washington and Quebec. The policy which I humbly suggest is this. It is not in the interests of responsible government that we should have a number of different parties to represent Canada in foreign affairs. The government of the day, so long as it is the government, must be responsible for deciding these foreign affairs questions, instead of trying to shunt them off onto somebody else, asking the opposition to throw out the lifelines, so to speak, in order to save them and their separatist policies; for that is what they do when they invite the various parties in the house abroad to take part in foreign meetings.
We had a number of distinguished visitors in this chamber addressing us at one time or another, such men as Prime Minister Curtin of Australia, the Prime Minister of New Zealand, Mr. Fraser, Anthony Eden, Mr. Churchill and others. They came and made certain representations to us and they did not propose that there should be any interference with our autonomy or sovereignty. What they did advocate was empire councils, as in the days of Sir Wilfrid Laurier, which would go into all these matters and come to some satisfactory conclusion, some basis upon which the members of the British commonwealth could take joint action. But they did not succeed in their efforts to secure an empire conference to deal with defence, trade and immigration and for a common empire foreign policy to speak with one voice.
For four hundred years the mother country has saved the world and safeguarded its freedom. At the time of Philip of Spain, of Louis XIV, under Napoleon, and twice in our own generation under the Kaiser and Hitler, the mother country has saved mankind from slavery and dictators.

But what is being done today in connection with Germany and Austria? It is inconceivable that English people in the Elizabethan or Victorian era under Burleigh and Palmerston or the French under Louis XIV or the Americans under Monroe or Lincoln could have dreamt of submitting their personal concerns of state control or of surrendering their sovereign rights and national interests of their country to the control of any international organization. It was never heard of in the old days. Why is it now suggested to hand over sovereignty by the deputy minister of foreign affairs in an address in Toronto?
At the time of the Venezuela controversy an eminent prime minister of Great Britain, Mr. Arthur Balfour, made a famous speech in 1896, in which he declared that the time must come when some statesmen of greater authority than Monroe will lay down the doctrine between English-speaking peoples that war is impossible. For my part, so far as a private member has any say in such matters. I refuse to be a party to the liquidation of the British empire. The British empire has stood for centuries like the rock of ages, for the peace and security of the world. Next to the Christian church, the British empire has been the greatest agency for the good of humanity, the greatest civilizing force in the world. No human organization has done so much to preserve the liberties of mankind as Britain has done for four centuries now.
As I say, the Prime Minister of Australia and New Zealand came here and asked to have a conference with this dominion, and to create an empire council. What was our reply? Canada replied that we had no commitments; that parliament must decide. Then came the meeting at Lake Success. I think we shall have next year to change the name to "Lake Failure", for what success did we have there? None whatever. Australia and New Zealand were anxious to have a conference in 1946 on these various empire matters, but they got no satisfaction from this country.
I say, Mr. Speaker, that Canada must accept her responsibility as the senior dominion for what has been done, and failure to have the empire act as a unit. But one reason why we have nothing to say in connection with the peace terms is that instead of banding together with the other dominions and with the mother country, we have pursued a separate policy and separatism is the cause of our not having anything to say in the peace terms. If we had hung together we would have had a large say in the peace terms, not none at all. It has been said that Britain was the hardest country in the world to make a treaty with, for the

Peace Treaties
reason that there were so many separate states to deal with. That was what Clemenceau and the Premier of Prance said. That is true, because we are not banding together; we are not working along with the mother country, but acting with so many different voices.
We have a deputy minister suggesting that we should give up our sovereignty in connection with the security council. Fancy that!
I am opposed to the policy of the government. We have given up our bases. Where would we have been in the last war if we had given up Gibraltar, the Cape, the far east, the Suez, Alexandria and the West Indies, and the other bases around the world? Our position would have been impossible. The fact is, we have been under pressure to remain neutral. I cannot understand why the deputy head of the external affairs department should suggest that we must throw away our sovereignty. I do not know where we would have been in the last war if we had followed any such advice. The Right Hon. Mr. Nash, referring to the status of the British empire, proposed that meetings should be called to decide all these matters through an empire council.
The fact is that we need a good ambassador at Moscow. Why do we not send a man like General Montgomery? Why not follow the practice that was followed after the war between the north and the south on this continent, when great soldiers and sailors demonstrated that they could make good representatives in foreign countries. Field Marshal Montgomery's visit to Moscow has shown us the possibilities in this direction. He received every honour at the hands of the Russians. Premier Stalin went out of his way to entertain Lord Montgomery. He was given a fine fur coat and was also photographed in the uniform of a Russian marshal. He invited the chief of the Russian general staff to visit England. His portrait appeared in Russian newspapers together with accounts of his military service. The newspapers in England were greatly taken with it.
What was done so far as the Paris conference was concerned? We sent a whole carload of people there, twenty-five in all. Everyone had an advisor-first secretary, second secretary, third secretary; all kinds of people, where two or three would have done with a whole lot of advisers who were only amateurs as diplomats and learned by experience. The list is given on page thirty-five. There was one more sent to New York, to Lake Success. And what success did they have? They would have had more success if they had stayed at home; if they had stayed away from Paris they might have done better. Did they say
anything about the German peace treaty and the Austrian peace treaty? No. Just more talk and nothing done, and it was turned over to the deputies to meet with the smaller nations.
As you well know, Mr. Speaker, the smaller nations will have nothing to say in the peace terms. Why? Because in the general security council any one of the "Big Four" can veto what the others do, and we agreed to all this at San Francisco. Have they not done that? They used the veto at Paris where we had all this delegation. Messrs. Truman, Bevin and Stalin agreed on Poland matters and on the Baltic countries, Finland and Norway. They will do it all over again at the meeting in Moscow on March 10. The small dominions will have very little or nothing to say over there. If we had acted with Britain and the other dominions we would have had a share. The papers reported, the Toronto Star and Telegram and others: "Canada
Snubbed by Big Four". Her request to have something to say in the peace terms was vetoed. Then we have the Russian delegate, Feodor Gousev, wanting to ignore Canada altogether. Then we have the reply of the Secretary of State for External Affairs (Mr. St. Laurent), in which he is reported to have had correspondence and tabled it in Hansard. Then we have the newspapers reporting with regard to the smaller nations and the way they were treated by the "Big Four" and the terms set up to ignore them and snub them. What a spectacle and show this whole UNO is!
It serves us right, after the experience we had with the first league of nations. Why do we go on then relying on the deputies and security councils and all that sort of thing when there is no world security? Another article reports that the Secretary of State for External Affairs warns Canada not to forget United States ties, and that is the correct thing to do. Britain got out a white paper on the security council, on Paris, about the meeting over there of the deputies, and all that. It has called forth a great deal of criticism. Britain has at the present time a million men and women under arms and 450,000 labour men to support and service and produce for them. The United States has practically no force in Germany. Neither has Canada, which has withdrawn its forces. Where is security going to be? Security will be just a scrap of paper as they leave Britain to do it all. You have here these deputies, we are told, some of them sitting in security committee now. We are told that they get into these Lake Success halls, with all the luxury described by the Patriot; the luxurious banquets, of about fifteen or twenty courses, the fantastic salaries,
Peace Treaties

and all that kind of thing. They are the ones settling the peace of the world. They are also immune from the law. Their officials live in luxury, pay no taxes, aiming to control the world's finances, the world's food, the world's shipping, the world's aviation, and to dictate to nations and taxpaying individuals how they shall live, what they shall spend, what food they shall eat and the very way they shall travel. A most dangerous set-up, a danger to human freedom, a danger to freedom of trade, and most certainly the fertile breeding ground of the next war. Then Time magazine, commenting on this London newspaper, the one article of Time reproduced in the Canadian Social Crediter just last month, referred to the united nations educational, scientific and cultural organization:
United nations organization is an evil organization at the back of which are dark forces who would trap the Anglo-Saxon race and enslave the world.
U.N.O. is built upon the sand and its doom is as certain as the league of nations which faded away unwept, unhonoured and unsung.
From the international standpoint the only coalition which can save the world is a coalition of the British empire and the United States of America.
That is correct. In addition to that, what have we? We have Time magazine saying that the UNO has deliberately ignored the Almighty in all its deliberations. I believe that is right. How does it come about that the government of the day can send a group made up of its members and of other leaders of the house to New York, others to Paris, some to London and now some are going to Moscow? How does it come about that we are ignoring the policies of the late Sir Wilfrid Laurier? How is it that the dominions are not willing to make an agreement of that sort? They are not international at all. If we are not willing to join with other branches of the empire, the other dominions, as one family in a uniform empire policy of cooperation and collaboration with the mother country, as the leader from Australia and others told us in this chamber, we were together for war and we should continue to be together for peace in the interests of the country, instead of relying on all these outside organizations. Internationalism is a funny thing. It consists of a whole lot of sham. One war led to another. Why should we not, I said, have a league of nations of our own, to start with the British empire? As has been well said) today, the only league of nations that has ever achieved any success is the British empire. The United States knows that; the world knows it; and out of this war there should emerge a greater league of nations, namely, the British empire.
IMr. Church.]
Lord Milner said in 1919, speaking at Oxford, it was a most strange anomaly to hear the self-governing parts of the British empire should be joining a league, binding themselves by a formal tie to a number of foreign nations, when they had heretofore been unwilling to enter similar obligations with one another.
That is a fact. Where would the United States be if they spoke with forty-six voices, the way this country is supposed to speak by separate empire views with the dominions ail separate? Clemenceau has said, as have other French leaders, that we were the hardest country in the world to. make a treaty with, for the reasons given, that we speak with so many different voices. As I say, I protested against the thing. The mother country went to war on account of Poland. She declared war. She sacrificed everything she had for that great little land. But here you have had a meeting at Moscow of the "Big Three," and what did they do? They signed away the rights of the countries on the Baltic, Finland, and the rest. We had nothing to say about it. This is what a great writer said-and I think he is one of the greatest writers and the greatest missionary bishop of the Church of England; and I am very proud of him and the empire part he has played in two wars;
I refer to the Right Reverend Bishop Renison of Moosonee diocese, who comes from the riding of the hon. member for Cochrane. I am a great admirer of his whole life work for God and king and country. He said in a brilliant article of February 26, in the Globe and Mail; that what we need at the present time is a Job among the nations of the world. We have never had one. The bishop just last week was referring to this need on the very same day of announcements of the UNO and Moscow we that day had up in the house. What does he say? He says: of the glories of Britain and her empire!
We wonder whether there has ever been a Job among the nations of the world; if not, it would seem that we have one now. The legend of the British empire is only about seventy years old. It was Disraeli who first proclaimed the little white queen as empress of India, but ever since the diamond jubilee, this ancient conception of might has dominated the world's idea of the British family of nations. We almost forget that Shakespeare and Nelson did not live in an empire.
Let us look for a moment to what this people have done during a thousand years. When the Roman legions were withdrawn in the fourth century, the little islands off the coast of Europe seemed to have no future, but from this cradle something has gone to the ends of the earth which will never be forgotten. The spirit of adventure, the genius of the seas, the pioneer-

Peace Treaties
ing instinct, the power of commerce, the sense of law and order, a great literature, these belong to the ages. It has seemed many times as if her power was done, but over and over again she has surprised her enemies and her friends. Eight years ago she literally stood alone. While others hesitated she resolutely made up her mind to defy the lightning. She gathered power much greater than her own to stand by her side, and then at last victory was won.
During the past two years the plagues and boils of Job have been the lot of the British people. They were starved during the war, and still they undertook to feed their enemies. Before United States came into the war they threw their wealth and their savings of the centuries into the furnace; they began life again poorer than some of their enemies in natural resources and reserves, and then they are overtaken by dramatic events which are the result of the white man's greed in all parts of the world.
After the first great war there was a book called "The Rising Tide of Colour," which prophesied that the white man's hegemony was finished. One-half of the human race lives in Asia. Japan in two short years did something that Asia will never forget; not victories only, but cruelty and humiliation have done something which will change the history of the world. Think of Egypt and what it owes to Cromer and men like him. The Suez canal will probably no longer be a British highway. The four hundred millions of India are soon to be turned loose on the world; we have just read a story of Kipling called "The Man Who Was." Burma and Malaya may follow suit. Job in the days of his humiliation said that the boys on the street didn't salute him any more.
The world today is filled with village gossip; every one knows that material things are not the measure of life for men or nations. The patience, courage and the silence of the British people is not the least or the last of their glorious contribution to the story of mankind.
If any other hon. members wish to contribute to the debate I shall conclude, but I should like to say something further about the security council and the Paris conference. The work done there in connection with Germany and Austria has been a dismal failure. The talk that has taken place so far, and that will go on next week at Moscow, reveals a dismal situation, with poverty, hunger, disorder, violence, social upheaval and industrial stagnation dominating the entire continent. A few oases still remain in the north and west where law, work and relative well-being prevail, but the other conditions I have mentioned are so widespread and so menacing that limits cannot be set to their potential contagion. If these conditions go on without change, death and desolation must inevitably follow on a scale such as Europe has not known since the thirty years war, and much of the towering edifice of western civilization must crumble and perish. That is something our representatives at Moscow should remember.
Against this background the real issues at Paris, and next week at Moscow, become
clearer. The Germans are difficult to understand; they are in fact so difficult to understand that all attempts to reeducate them seem doomed to failure. The average German possesses neither a sense of cause and effect nor a sense of perspective, and therefore has no critical faculty. The Germans interrogated during the war seemed both immature and highly credulous. What Emperor William II began, Hitler finished. There always was in Germany, and still is, a surfeit of slogans and a lack of common sense. So, as I say, I see very little good that will come out of the proposed conference.
Now, Mr. Speaker, I am going to conclude in order to permit the hon. member for Muskoka-Ontario (Mr. Macdonnell), who has a wide knowledge of these matters, a few minutes in which to address the house; anything further I have to say can be postponed to another occasion. This day, I believe, has not been wasted; it is a day we shall remember for a long time to come. We have seen that in this house there are one or two who are not afraid to say something about the British empire, which saved our shores and the shores of the United States for two and a half years, during much of which she was. save for the five dominions, fighting alone. If it had not been for the British empire and the dominions we would have had the awful horrors of war on our own soil, in Quebec and the maritime provinces, and along the United States seaboard.

Full View