February 2, 1955 (22nd Parliament, 2nd Session)

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Murdo William Martin

Mr. Marlin:

I do not think I would be fair to the hon. member if I indicated it was my intention at this time to debate the proposition, but rather to offer a suggestion or two which I believe, upon reflection, he might agree deserve consideration at this time, and that is that in view of the admittedly important current situation, this house would not want to engage at this time in a discussion
760 HOUSE OF
External Affairs-Formosa which, I am sure, would not help the situation. I am not saying this by way of criticizing my hon. friend's initiative in the matter, but just to impress upon him that I believe, from the opportunity I have had and the government has had of perusing dispatches which have come to us, that what I have just said is a fully responsible statement.
The hon. member for Prince Albert (Mr. Diefenbaker) had given me notice of his intention to ask a question dealing with this matter. Perhaps I might anticipate his proposed question simply by saying that, in answer to what he was going to ask me about the situation, I was not going to be able to say very much more than to observe, as the house has already noted, that there have been important developments in the Formosan situation since the Secretary of State for External Affairs made his statement on January 25.
On Saturday last the President of the United States signed the joint resolution which hds been passed by the House of Representatives and the Senate by very large majorities, as the house knows.
The security council of the United Nations met on Monday to consider communications from New Zealand and the Soviet union both relating to the current situation in the Formosa strait. It was decided to take the New Zealand item first, and the security council decided to invite representatives of communist China to take part in the discussion on this item. The government is glad that this invitation has been extended, and hopes that the Chinese communists will agree to participate in security council attempts to arrange a cease-fire.
Since these suggestions were made to me in written form by permanent officers in the Department of External Affairs I have noted that on January 25 my colleague, the Secretary of State for External Affairs, in answer to a question put by the hon. member for Rosetown-Biggar, said, in part:
I think X can say that any move or proposal within the United Nations or through diplomatic channels which could serve to achieve the purpose as stated in the President's message "to improve the prospects of peace in the area" will be warmly welcomed by the parliament and by the people of this country.
My final observation is this. The hon. member for Rosetown-Biggar did make reference to the press reports of meetings that are now current in London. Those meetings are private. But I can say to my hon. friend that I am quite satisfied, as I am sure he would be, that in view of the discussions that are taking place in London, and also in view of the fact that the security council is currently in session on this very matter, I do not think

anything I could say, or, if I may say so with great respect, anything anyone else could say at this time, would help in the matter.
The subject as I said is now before the security council. Discussions are in progress there, and an attempt is being made to try to bring the parties together; I would therefore urge that this House of Commons cannot really and profitably add or do anything useful at this time.

Topic:   EXTERNAL AFFAIRS
Subtopic:   FORMOSA
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