February 14, 1955 (22nd Parliament, 2nd Session)


William Earl Rowe

Progressive Conservative

Hon. W. Earl Rowe (Acting Leader of the Opposition):

Mr. Speaker, while it has been agreed that any debate on the statement given by the right hon. Prime Minister (Mr. St. Laurent) to the house take place at a later date, I do wish just to comment that we did expect a much fuller statement on the conference than we have received today. It is rather a surprise to me that the Prime Mini-50433- 714
Commonwealth Conference ster has made his report on such an important conference so brief. It is very difficult for us in the opposition to realize just why so many of the things that we thought might have been brought out in the open were not mentioned in the statement.
The tragic possibilities that are implied in hydrogen development make us all more or less stand aghast as to how far mankind has gone in planning its own destruction. As the right hon. Prime Minister has well said in the words of the Right Hon. Sir Winston Churchill, it may be-we all pray that it will be so-that the powerful destructive forces may destroy war rather than mankind itself.
As the Prime Minister stated, the Formosa situation developed at the same time as the conference and it is difficult to see how any such conference could deal very effectively with a situation like that with the seventh fleet of the United States moving alone to stand between Formosa and the mainland of China.
I rather regret that something more was not said and more details given as to how far the conference got on economic problems. I do feel that despite these international tensions we should not be overlooking entirely the problems of our own people in our own daily lives. These rather terrifying tensions are likely to be with us for some time but I do think that our common economic progress is vital to the strength and livelihood of our whole scheme of defence and influence in the world.
I am not going to enlarge on this but I just want to say that speaking for myself, and I think for the party which I lead temporarily, I am disappointed that the Prime Minister's statement was so very brief.

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