I do not know that 1 agree altogether with that. 1 would have thought there are some questions that could have been discussed in that committee, such as some that were discussed in this debate, where there might have been a better opportunity for an exchange of views, for bringing in people to bring testimony, and so forth, purely on questions of external affairs and not only on national defence. In making these comments, you will see that I am following the tradition of being non-partisan. I do not mind raising questions of this kind which 1 think are important to the functioning of this institution.
Another reason for the relevant ineffectiveness is that the Canadian side of interparliamentary associations, or at least the elected members from this side, do not report to anybody, either to the House or to a standing committee. Recently I had the experience of being co-chairman of the Canada European Parliamentary Association which underlined the curious position of the Canadian side. With the approval of Mr. Speaker, a subcommittee was formed to examine more closely relations between Canada and the EEC with respect to nuclear energy.
At the conclusion of our subcommittee discussions which took place first in Brussels and then in Ottawa, the European side insisted upon the preparation of a communique or a report which they wished to make to their parent body, the European parliament, so we agreed to the preparation of a report-but I had nowhere to send it. I gave it to Mr. Speaker, who was the
December 20, 1977
only authority I could find who could receive this report. I sent copies for information purposes to the committee, which is now defunct but one will understand the problems which arose. This was an important report which should have been referred to a standing committee for discussion. At least it ought to have appeared in print. As it is now, it resides in Mr. Speaker's hands and in the hands of the members of the committee for their information, but I have no machinery for its transmission.
Topic: GOVERNMENT ORDERS
Subtopic: EXTERNAL AFFAIRS