May 15, 1931 (17th Parliament, 2nd Session)

CON

Richard Bedford Bennett (Prime Minister; Minister of Finance and Receiver General; President of the Privy Council; Secretary of State for External Affairs)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Right Hon. R. B. BENNETT (Prime Minister) moved:

That it is expedient that parliament do approve of the accession, in respect of Canada, to chapters I, II, III, and IV of the General Act of 1928 for the Pacific Settlement of International Disputes, subject to the following conditions:-[DOT]

International Disputes-Mr. Bennett
1. That the following disputes are excluded from the procedure described in the General Act, including the procedure of conciliation:
(i) Disputes arising prior to the accession, in respect of Canada, to the said General Act or relating to situations or facts prior to the said accession;
(ii) Disputes in regard to which the parties to the dispute have agreed or shall agree to have recourse to some other method of peaceful settlement;
(iii) Disputes between His Majesty's government in Canada and the government of any other member of the League of Nations which is a member of the British commonwealth of nations, all of which disputes shall be settled ill such manner as the parties have agreed or shall agree;
(iv) Disputes concerning questions which by international law are solely within the domestic jurisdiction of states; and
(v) Disputes with any party to the General Act who is not a member of the League of Nations.
2. That His Majesty in respect of Canada reserves the right in relation to the disputes mentioned in article 17 of the General Act to require that the .procedure described in chapter II of the said act shall be suspended in respect of any dispute which has been submitted to and is under consideration by the council of the League of Nations, provided that notice to suspend is given after the dispute has been submitted to the council and is given within ten days of the notification of the initiation of the procedure, and provided also that such suspension shall be limited to a period of twelve months or such longer period as may be agreed by the parties to the dispute or determined by a decision of all the members of the council others than the parties to the dispute.
3. (i) That, in the case of a dispute, not being a dispute mentioned in article 17 of the General Act, which is brought before the council of the League of Nations in accordance with the provisions of the covenant, the procedure described in chapter I of the General Act shall not be applied, and, if already commenced, shall be suspended, unless the council determines that the said procedure shall be adopted.
(ii) That in the case of such a dispute the procedure described in chapter III of the General Act shall not be applied unless the council has failed to effect a settlement of the dispute within twelve months from the date on which it was first submitted to the council, or, in a case where the procedure prescribed in chapter I has been adopted without producing an agreement between the parties, within six months from the termination of the work of the conciliation commission. The council may extend either of the above periods by- a decision of all its members other than the parties to the dispute.
And that this house do approve of the same, subject to the said conditions.
He said: Mr. Speaker, I assume that hon. members of the house have had an opportunity of reading the General Act of 1928, which has been distributed through the distribution office. It will be observed that the motion, in terms, approves of the accession in respect of Canada to chapters 1, 2, 3 and 4 of
the General Act of 1928. This act is called the General Act for the Pacific Settlement of International Disputes, and under that act the first methods to be applied are conciliatory methods, the first chapter being entitled "'Conciliation." Article IV of that chapter provides that the commission of conciliation shall be composed as follows:
The commission shall be composed of five members. The parties shall each nominate one commissioner, who may be chosen from among their respective nationals. The three other commissioners shall be appointed by agreement from among the nationals, of third powers. These three commissioners must be of different nationalities and must not be habitually resident in the territory nor be in the service of the parties. The parties shall appoint the president of the commission from among them.
To the other provisions I will not refer, because I take it that hon. members are probably quite familiar with the general act itself.
Chapter 2 refers to the judicial settlement of disputes:
All disputes with regard to which the parties are in conflict as to their respective rights shall, subject to any reservations which may be made under article 39, be submitted for decision to the Permanent Court of International Justice, unless the parties agree, in the manner hereinafter provided, to have resort to an arbitral tribunal.
It is understood that the disputes referred to above include in particular those mentioned in article 36 of the statute of the Permanent Court of International Justice.
Article 39, which comes under the provisions of the General Act, refers to the reservations, which do not apply to those who accept the General Act. I do not think it necessary to take up the time of the house in reading them. So far I have dealt with chapter 2.
Chapter 3 deals with settlement by another method altogether-that is, by arbitration: first, conciliation; second, by course to the International Court of Justice; and third, by arbitration. Article 21 reads:
Any dispute not of the kind referred to in article 17 which does not, within the month following the termination of the work of the conciliation commission provided for in chapter I, form the object of an agreement between the parties, shall, subject to such reservations as may be made under article 39, be brought before an arbitral tribunal *which, unless the parties otherwise agree, shall be constituted in the manner set out below.
It is, perhaps, unnecessary to do more than observe that the tribunal shall consist of five members, each of the parties nominating one member, who may be chosen from among their respective nationals. The two other arbitrators and the chairman are to be chosen.
1628 COMMONS
International Disputes-Mr. Bennett
by common agreement, from among the nationals of third powers-very much like the provisions with respect to commissions for conciliation.
Chapter 4 deals with the general provisions of the act itself. I do not think it necessary to refer to the articles of that chapter, because it will be observed that the resolution provides that it is expedient for Canada to approve of the accession to chapters 1, 2, 3 and 4 of the act. Then follow the provisions, in the resolution, with respect to the exceptions from the operation of the act. These are important. May I direct the attention of the house to them:
^ 1. That the following disputes are excluded from the procedure described in the General Act, including the procedure of conciliation:
(i) Disputes arising prior to the accession, in respect of Canada, to the said General Act or relating to situations or facts prior to the said accession.
That is a reasonable provision inserted by the governments of Great Britain, Australia and Canada, for it takes ou't of the operation of the General Act, the settlement either by way of conciliation, by recourse to the courts, or by arbitration, of such disputes as arose prior to the accession of this country to the General Act or relating to situations or facts prior to such accession.
(ii) Disputes in regard to which the parties to the dispute have agreed or shall agree to have recourse to some other method of peaceful settlement.
It frequently happens, for instance, that methods may be devised by countries for the settlement of disputes peacefully, which would take such disputes out of the operation of this act. In other words, we will rely upon this act with respect to the matters which we have agreed to settle peacefully. Then:
(iii) Disputes between His Majesty's government in Canada and the, government of any other member of the League of Nations which is a member of the British commonwealth of nations, all of which disputes shall be settled in such manner as the parties have agreed or shall agree.
That, of course, is a much wider question. It has been felt that members of the same family should settle their differences, if any, by recourse to methods entirely different from the methods that would be adopted for the purpose of settling differences between a member of the family and strangers. Discussions have taken place from time to time as to the method by which a court could be constituted within the empire for the settlement of empire differences. This provides that members of the commonwealth of nations known as the British Empire, who are members of the

League of Nations, shall not have recourse to the provisions of the General Act for the settlement of any disputes or differences that may arise between them.

Topic:   GENERAL ACT OF 192S PACIFIC SETTLEMENT OF INTERNATIONAL DISPUTES -APPROVAL OF ACCESSION IN RESPECT TO CANADA
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