Mr. E. S. ZAPLITNY (Dauphin):
Mr. Speaker, I would not be rising to speak again in this debate had it not been for the introduction of the new amendment and subamendment, and another matter which came up in the house in the last few days. Before speaking to the amendment and the subamendment, I should like to refer to the other matter, which has to do with displaced and stateless persons in Europe.
The Address-Mr. Zaplitny
I wish to associate myself with the remarks of the hon. member for Vegreville (Mr. Hlynka) and the hon. member for Rosthem (Mr. Tucker) in that regard. There are two points that stand out above all the others and I should like to emphasize them while I have the opportunity in this debate. I might say in passing that both these hon. members made a very good case for what they were talking about, and I wish to take this opportunity to congratulate the hon. member for Rosthem on the promotion he has received, as announced by the Prime Minister (Mr. Mackenzie King) to-day. I want to say all the complimentary things I can about the hon. member for Rosthern, because later on I may have something different to say.
The two points I should like to bring out are these. First, it appears evident that a great number of people are scattered throughout Europe who find themselves classified as displaced or stateless. That is, they are being shuffled around from one country to another, and there seems to be some evidence that there is a move afoot to repatriate them forcibly. Now, I believe, and I think hon. members will agree with me on this, that one of the great principles of the Atlantic charter was freedom of choice, or self-determination. In that connection I should like to read article III of the Atlantic charter.
That is, Mr. Churchill and the Late President Roosevelt.
-respect the right of all peoples to choose the form of government under which they will live; and they wish to see sovereign rights and selfgovernment restored to those who have been forcibly deprived of them.
That is a principle I believe we and all freedom-loving, democratically-minded people can support, and on this basis I make my appeal. I believe the present government, in every way possible, should make its influence felt on behalf of these people, so that they will have freedom of choice and a certain amount of self-determination. I realize that there are difficulties to be overcome; the task is not easy, but on the other hand I believe we should avoid the use of steam-roller tactics in dealing with human beings. Regardless of the country from which they came originally, these are human beings. We know there are people in Europe who for one reason or another do not wish to return to where they lived before the war. I do not want to go into the political implications, because this is not the place for that, but I do want to bring out the humanitarian angle and the fact that if we are to follow the spirit as well
as the letter of the Atlantic charter it will be necessary for us to throw our influence on the side of freedom of choice.
The other point I want to bring out in that connection is the fact that a request, of which I am sure hon. members have received copies, has been made by various Ukrainian organizations across Canada for permission to send direct assistance to their relatives and friends in Europe. I know from personal experience that people who have relatives across the water, whether on the continent or the British isles, are very anxious about their welfare. As an example I should like to remind you of the effort organized by the Kinsmen's clubs during the war to send milk to Britain. For this purpose they established a fund, to which many people cheerfully donated. This milk was used to supplement the assistance being sent through regular channels such as the Red Cross, UNRRA and so on. In this country we have approximately 300,000 people of Ukrainian origin, practically all of whom have relatives living on the continent of Europe. Though I am Canadian born I too have relatives across the water, and I am sure hon. members will appreciate our motives when we ask for permission to send direct assistance to our relatives or those with whom we are acquainted, whose situation we understand, in order to supplement the assistance being provided through regular channels. The request is not made because we have no confidence in UNRRA or the Red Cross; it is only because we feel that in a direct personal way we can assist these bodies which are doing such great work. I hope when the Prime Minister (Mr. Mackenzie King) makes his visit to Europe he will take full advantage of the opportunity to find out everything he can in regard to these displaced persons, so that when he returns the government will be in a position to make some comprehensive statement of policy to guide this house in any future action we may take in that respect.
I should like now to refer for a few moments-and I am going to be brief, because I realize that this debate has gone on for a long time-to the amendment and the subamendment. We are asked by the Progressive Conservative group to accept an amendment asking for ninety per cent of parity.
Topic: GOVERNOR GENERAL'S SPEECH
Subtopic: CONTINUATION OF DEBATE IN REPLY