May 29, 1984 (32nd Parliament, 2nd Session)


Mr. Stark@

In new York I met with two representatives; the ambassador and one other. In Canada, I have discussed this with Ambassador Alexander Yakovlev at the Soviet Embassy and with the ambassadors of other Warsaw Pact nations. We had a representative of the Soviet Union at our conference last November on a panel with an American who said-stressing that they do not need a referendum in their country. He said publicly that they would support it in the UN and conduct it in their country. As I mentioned earlier, it would be a very inefficient, in fact, misleading initiative unless we were sure the Soviet nations would also participate. Frankly, we would have folded up the organization, Operation Dismantle, in 1979 had we not had an indication that the Soviets would participate.
Everyone knows that the Soviets did not participate and are not going to participate. The final proof of that might be a news item in The Globe and Mail dated May 23, and I quote:
Soviet dissident jailed for circulating petition
A member of an unofficial Moscow peace group has been jailed for 15 days for collecting 300 signatures on a petition calling for improved U.S.-Soviet relations, dissident sources said yesterday. Alexander Rubchenko, a 24-year-old artist, was sentenced Monday on charges of hooliganism. He was one of four members of the "Group of Trust" picked up on Friday. The others were released after police warned them they will be ordered to live away from Moscow if they petition people again. One member of the group said they will continue collecting signatures.
Therefore, this is going to be a one-sided effort if it ever did come to pass that we would declare ourselves to be a nuclear free zone, and convince other states to do likewise. So that I do not get accused of talking out this Bill, I will draw my remarks to a conclusion before six o'clock, Mr. Speaker.

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