Mr. Frederic Dorion (Charlevoix-Saguenay):
Mr. Speaker, at the outset I wish to state very clearly my attitude on this question, which is generally acknowledged to be the most important of any that have been submitted to this house. The Atlantic treaty carries with it consequences of the utmost gravity for the signatory nations, consequences which will affect the economy of our country and the very life of our countrymen, especially those who may be called upon to serve in our armed forces.
Because of the well-known objective of the Kremlin, because of the manifest desire of the communists to spread their ideology throughout the world by any and every means, because of their refusal to co-operate with other nations in the establishment of an enduring peace, which is the goal of all civilized nations, and, more than anything, because of the real danger of sudden armed aggression against one or more of the countries which are not under communist control,
an aggression which would not fail to spread to our shores, wherever it may have originated, there is no doubt that we are duty-bound to subscribe to the pact.
There is no doubt, that what has made this treaty necessary has been the failure of the United Nations to give us the results and the protection we had expected.
And now, Mr. Speaker, may I refer in passing to a previous debate on the external policy of this country which took place exactly four years ago when we were called upon to voice our feelings in the matter of Canada's participation in the San Francisco conference.
To the great dismay of many hon. members,
I had submitted that the organization then being set up could not give satisfactory results. I now quote the words I used on that occasion:
What reason have we to believe that the proposed conference at San Francisco will offer any better guarantee of results than did previous ones?
I believe that, not only does this conference fail to offer better expectations but, because of its very organization, it cannot avoid driving the world to anything but another war.
All hon. members know that the conference will be controlled by only the three powers. These are the three powers which at present are fighting alongside each other-but for how long? What would become of the conference if tomorrow one of those three great powers happened to disagree with either of the other two?
If the powers controlling the conference could all be described as democratic powers, we might possibly entertain some hopes: but when we know that the one which up to now has imposed its will upon all the others is a dictatorial power, exactly like those against which we are now fighting, we are not very hopeful nor can we rely very much on the results which may flow from the conference.
Then, when we see that Poland, the country which should have been the first to be asked to participate in the conference, and for whose safety our country was drawn into the war, is not only cast aside but has been broken to pieces in order to please that dictator, who is about not only to control the conference but also to govern all Europe after the war, we have serious cause for concern.
The events we are witnessing today clearly show, in my estimation, that we were right in entertaining certain fears at that time.
Thus a few days ago, at a press conference, Mr. Dean Acheson, United States secretary of state, said this:
The United Nations, he said, is not working as effectively as we hoped because one of its members has attempted to prevent it from working.
Today, when we are entering upon a new road, I wish to point out that the pact to which we shall be a party involves certain dangers, certain deficiencies which should
North Atlantic Treaty
have been avoided if we wish to obtain for the world the results we expect.
The first thing that impresses us, as pointed out just now by the member for Argenteuil (Mr. Heon), is the materialistic spirit in which this treaty seems to have been conceived.
I do not see any reason why the countries signing that treaty, all of which were Christian, had not seen fit to place the agreement under the protection of divine Providence.
Those who wish to protect themselves against communism, to spare the people the hardships and the suffering engendered by that doctrine are unmindful of the fact that the fight against evil requires the help of God from Whom all that is good proceeds. Complaints are voiced against the persecutions now conducted against religions behind the iron curtain. We are told that once again Christendom must be saved. That being so, let no one hesitate to proclaim the principles to be defended and to request the assistance of the Supreme Being.
Down to the end of the last century, no treaty of any importance was signed by sovereign states without the signatories expressing their faith in divine Providence.
For instance, if we look at the first treaty of Paris, which was signed on September 26, 1815, by Austria, Prussia and Russia, we find that the preamble contains the following words:
Their Majesties, the Emperor of Austria, the King of Prussia and the Emperor of Russia, as a consequence of the important events which have occurred during the past three years in Europe, and especially as a result of the blessings lavished upon these by divine Providence wherein these states place their hope and confidence, etc, etc.
Several other states subsequently joined the first three signatories. On being invited to sign the treaty Great Britain informed other nations that her constitution would not permit her to take part in it. The Prince Regent, later King George IV, wrote to the three monarchs stating that he wholeheartedly approved the principles put forth to the effect that the divine rules of Christian religion should guide their conduct. He added that he made it a point to put those principles into practice.
Some time later, on November 20, 1815, following the Napoleonic adventure known in history as "The Hundred Days", another treaty was signed at Vienna by Austria, Spain, France, Great Britain, Portugal, Prussia and
Topic: NORTH ATLANTIC TREATY
Subtopic: COLLECTIVE SELF-DEFENCE WITHIN UNITED NATIONS CHARTER CANADIAN PARTICIPATION IN WASHINGTON CONFERENCE