Hon. Allan J. MacEachen (Deputy Prime Minister and Secretary of State for External Affairs):
Mr. Speaker, at the last meeting which I held with Secretary Shultz, the question of the Pacific salmon negotiations was fully discussed. At that time I made the suggestion that we ought to take some new steps and inject some renewed impulse into the negotiations, and raised the idea of representatives along the lines mentioned by the Hon. Member.
Since that time Mr. Shultz has appointed a personal representative and I have asked the Hon. Mitchell Sharp to act as the representative of the Secretary of State for External Affairs. Mr. Sharp has accepted. I think that he is particularly qualified to act in this capacity because, through his experience as the Northern Gas Pipeline Commissioner, he has established a personal relationship with quite a number of the persons who will be involved in this negotiation.
I make particular reference to the Senators to whom the Hon. Member has referred, because without their co-operation I doubt whether it will ever be possible for Canada to reach an agreement. We have been very close to an agreement from time to time, but in each case we have had to draw back because of some new element that was injected into the talks mainly by one State or the other, in the person of one of the Senators.
Topic: ORAL QUESTION PERIOD
Subtopic: EXTERNAL AFFAIRS