Mr. Chairman, may I first of all congratulate the minister on a very fine introductory speech on the opening of his estimates. It was presented with thoughtfulness and clarity which made it a pleasure indeed to hear. I enter into this debate with the diffidence with which I always enter into a discussion of external affairs, because it always seems to me to be rather a specialist's task. However, we all have views on certain subjects, and perhaps I may be forgiven for presenting mine.
I am sure we are all impressed in the world today with the enormous cost of armaments; yet that cost is almost entirely due to one country, namely Russia. If it were not for the policies of Russia we could reduce our armaments and turn that money to useful purposes. Russia has been a dictatorship for so long now and her ambitions have been so apparent for so long that we take for granted this enormous expense and this cold warfare which has been going on for many years.
I suppose Russia could be considered the greatest dictatorship in the history of the world. Not only is it the greatest dictatorship but it is the most efficient, the most ruthless
Supply-External Affairs and the most immoral one. There are people who tend to regard Russia as a homogeneous state. As any student of history realizes, Russia is not a homogeneous state but is composed of a large number of states, many of which were taken by conquest or by craft and have been kept under dictatorship in some cases for centuries. I refer particularly to the Ukraine.
The Ukraine, which has been integrated by the Russian government into Russia, was always a separate state at heart, with separate customs, separate language and separate religion. There is a tendency on the part of the Russian government to try to give the impression-and many people believe it- that the Ukraine is an integral part of Russia and wishes to be an integral part of Russia. I merely wish to point out that the Ukraine never wished to be part of Russia, does not wish to be part of Russia, and would give anything on earth to be free of the Russian yoke.
I would also refer to one of the most immoral things that has happened in history, namely the seizure of Poland by the Russian army. It was definitely part of the agreement among the allies that all countries occupied by the allies would be given back their responsible government and freedom as soon as hostilities ceased. The act of treachery by which the Russians walked into Poland and have occupied it, despite its separate government, has been one of the most barefaced pieces of skulduggery that has been performed in our time.
I think what has happened recently in Poland would indicate how anxious the people are to be free of the oppressor. That has been a terrible thing. It was unfortunate in its results. It is the type of thing that reassures people that decency is not dead in countries where they have dictatorships and where they are kept down, but that people still have freedom in their hearts and that, given any type of opportunity, they will express themselves.
It is difficult to see where the possibility of freedom lies in these countries. First of all, the Ukraine has been integrated economically into Russia for so long that it is difficult to see how the people will ever attain their freedom. It is difficult to see how they can get rid of the government in Poland which is obviously supported not by the people of Poland but by the armies of Russia. However, I am convinced of one thing, and history tells us this. Evil cannot endure forever. Eventually something happens. People are intrinsically decent and they do not intend in the long run, to permit the endurance of an evil thing.
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I also say this, and I think I speak for everyone in this house. The people of Canada will never, under any circumstances, condone these tyrannies and, given any opportunity to see that they are abolished, they will certainly take that opportunity.
Topic: HEALTH AND WELFARE
Subtopic: FISHER RIVER RESERVE HOSPITAL-INQUIRY AS TO QUALITY OF TREATMENT