February 12, 1934

CON

Peter McGibbon

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. McGIBBON:

I was paired with the hon. member for Quebec South (Mr. Power). Had I voted I would have voted against the resolution.

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CON

William John Loucks

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. LOUCKS:

I was paired with the hon member for Macleod (Mr. Coote). Had I voted I would have voted against the resolution.

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LIB

John Vallance

Liberal

Mr. VADLANCE:

I was paired with the hon. member for Wentworth (Mr. Wilson). Had I voted I would have voted in favour of the government giving consideration to the question.

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LIB

Joseph Georges Bouchard

Liberal

Mr. BOUCHARD:

I was paired with the hon. member for Welland (Mr. Pettit). Had I voted I would have voted against the resolution.

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LIB

Fizalam-William Perras

Liberal

Mr. PERRAS:

I was paired with the hon. member for Stanstead (Mr. Hackett). Had I voted I would have voted against'the resolution.

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CON

Charles-Philippe Beaubien

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. BEAUBIEN:

I was paired with the hon. member for Compton (Mr. Gobeil)

I did not know how he was going to vote, sc I did not vote.

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LIB

Charles A. Stewart

Liberal

Mr. STEWART (Edmonton):

I was paired with the Minister of the Interior (Mr. Murphy). Had I voted I would have voted against the resolution.

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UFA

Donald MacBeth Kennedy

United Farmers of Alberta

Mr. KENNEDY (Peace River):

I was paired with the Minister of National Defence (Mr. Sutherland). Had I voted I would have voted for the resolution.

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LIB
LIB

Joseph-Fernand Fafard

Liberal

Mr. FAFARD:

I was paired with the hon. member for Levis (Mr. Fortin). Had I voted I would have voted against the resolution.

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LIB

Joseph-Arthur Bradette

Liberal

Mr. BRADETTE:

I was paired with the hon. member for East Algoma (Mr. Nicholson) . Had I voted I would have voted against the resolution.

At six o'clock the house took recess.

After Recess

The house resumed at eight o'clock. CANADA'S FOREIGN POLICY

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PROPOSED REFERENCE TO INDUSTRIAL AND INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS COMMITTEE FOR STUDY AND REPORT

UFA

Michael Luchkovich

United Farmers of Alberta

Mr. MICHAEL LUCHKOVICH (Vegre-ville) moved:

That, in the opinion of this house, the whole subject of foreign policy of Canada be referred to the committee on industrial and international relations for study and report.

He said: Mr. Speaker, the resolution moved by myself and seconded by the hon. member for Winnipeg North Centre (Mr. Woodsworth) reads as follows:

That, in the opinion of this house, the whole subject of foreign policy of. Canada be referred to the committee on industrial and international relations for study and report.

My remarks on this motion might be prefaced by the question: Hias Canada a foreign policy and, if so, what is that foreign policy? The foreign policy of Canada should be considered relatively in order to arrive at any intelligent understanding of the problem. Thus, the promotion of our commercial and financial interests abroad, the provision of maximum security at home and the minimum of commitments in order to achieve this end, just about sum up what is involved in such a policy. If Canada has a foreign policy, very few people realize the fact or knowing so, have an intimate knowledge of the working thereof. This lack of knowledge is not limited to the rank and file in Canada. I wonder how many hon. members of this house could explain Canada's foreign policy? Yet in this great age of interdependence of nations a knowledge of foreign policy is absolutely essential. More and more clearly are people beginning to realize the economic unity of the world and the impossibility of any country living unto itself. Things have come to a pass where our neighbour's troubles are merged with our own difficulties and where a solution of the latter cannot be hoped for without n solution of the former. While foreign policies Olr. Roberge.]

must always envisage the possibility of war, they must at the same time strive peacefully for peaceful objeots. At 'the present time the world is clamouring for peace, but there is no peace. It awaits the return of prosperity, but there is no prosperity, for we cannot have the latter without a propagation and realization of the former. We cannot have our cake and eat it too; we cannot make an omelette without breaking the e>ggs. We cannot maintain peace without the application of the essential contributory factors; we cannot return to prosperity without a cultivation of the peaceful arts and pursuits incidental thereto.

Canada's foreign policy primarily must be considered from two angles. First, our status in the British commonwealth of nations and, second, our attitude to the rest of the world, especially the United States. Our foreign policy must really be considered from a threefold angle. First, there is our position on the North American continent with our close proximity to the United States; there is our attitude to Great Britain and the other dominions, and there is our attitude as a member of the League of Nations. For many years Canada was regarded as a colony, as a mere child that had to be looked after until it reached the age of maturity. This weaning process lasted until comparatively recent times when Canada began to ask for the right to do things on her own initiative. Prior to 1914 everything was conducted through British diplomatic channels but consequent upon a series of imperial conferences as well as the passage of the Statute of Westminster in 1931, a large degree of autonomy was allowed the various dominions. Therefore, Canada to-day is considered as an equal partner in the British commonwealth of nations, a sovereign state, a sort of daughter in her mother's house but mistress in her own. If Canada is now on an equality with the mother country, as has been said already, it would naturally imply freedom of control by Great Britain in the conduct of the foreign policy of this country but the actual conduct of foreign affairs seeims likely to be carried on for some time yet by Great Britain.

Canada's weakness in this respect is due to the lack of a developed foreign policy technique, an experienced personnel and a diplomatic tradition. There is also the tendency of each sovereign member of the commonwealth to adopt the regional rather than the collective idea of security. The term " general policy " is used somewhat loosely for the diversified interests of the various members of the commonwealth will preclude any real commonwealth foreign policy. The foreign

Ccinnda's Foreign Policy-Mr. Luchkovich

interests of the members of the commonwealth being regional rather than general, foreign policy machinery possibly will have to be set up to strengthen the political cooperation between those members of the commonwealth which, in a specific region, may have mutual interests or even mutual conflicts. For instance, Great Britain and Canada are interested in the United States and that country must be considered as the keystone of our foreign policy.

The British Empire is not a political but a moral entity, almost wholly dependent for its existence upon sentiment. AH the members thereof mutually enjoy certain traditions, laws and institutions but it is doubtful if any general foreign policy would be possible except in the case of certain major issues. In so far as security is concerned, as I have said already, both Great Britain and Canada must regard the United States as being the keystone of their foreign policy, but the same oould not be said of South Africa. For instance, what connection is there between New Guinea and the Canadian Northwest? Living in close proximity to a powerful neighbour, Canada certainly must have interests in common with that neighbour. There are many who believe that both the United States and Canada are opposed to the superstate idea of the League of Nations as well as to any foreign entanglements in Europe. The Monroe doctrine gives Canada potential protection from foreign attack while the British navy affords both actual and psychological security on both coasts. Canadas position on the North American continent and her growing interests in the Pacific identify still further her relations with the United States in connection with far eastern questions.

Anomalies in the foreign policy situation must undoubtedly appear. While the United States affords Canada a potential protection, the Dominion of Canada nevertheless is not in the least inclined to join any pan-American union that would involve Canada in contentious issues between the United States and the Latin American republics. Any discussion of foreign policies would then have to take into consideration the question whether or not Canada should undertake political and economic obligations in matters in which this country has merely a remote and indirect [DOT] interest.

As regards British-Canadian relations it has often been asked whether such obligations should bind Canada as a fully sovereign power or state. The following wording in Article

IX of the Locarno Treaty of Mutual Guarantee, 1925, has been recommended as a remedial routine practice:

The present treaty shall impose no obligation upon any of the British dominions, or upon India, unless the government of such dominions, or of India, signifies its acceptance thereof.

Our associations with Great Britain have provided us with a large available market as well as with military and naval protection. On the other hand, it has involved us in many controversies and conflicts. What therefore, Mr. Speaker, shall be the attitude of Canada in the event of British participation or entanglement in another European or far eastern war? Competent observers throughout the world feel that war is imminent in both these fields. Is the entrance of Great Britain to involve Canadian participation as well? That is a matter which I think is worth discussing in the committee on industrial and international relations.

The League of Nations, to which Canada belongs, and which in theory at least was supposed to be a sort of superstate, bears little relation to its pattern, the covenant. In an ideal international society the League of Nations might provide complete security, and in addition enable its members to deal justly with such matters as trade, tariffs, currency, and so forth, but the events of the past three years indicate that we have not yet reached this utopian stage, and it is desirable, while keeping the league ideal in mind as our ultimate goal, to examine the realities of the world situation. In a real world we must deal with conditions, and not theories. The League of Nations, while it is an ideal, has nothing more practical to offer than persuasion to set right a world where might still seems to be the only dominating force. No one will say that Japan had any just claim to Manchuria, but she took it nevertheless with the tacit consent of countries which looked upon that action as a check upon Russian designs in Europe.

How are you going to deal with nations that regard their own interest as primary and that of other countries as secondary, or which consider their own survival alone as important, and the destruction of other countries as a matter of indifference? How are you going to apply the Kellogg peace pact to outlaw wars when at the same time it permits of defensive war? Even Japan has claimed that her recent warlike activities in Manchuria and China were prompted by defensive considerations. Other countries have also done the same thing in the past.

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Canada s Foreign Policy-Mr. Luchkovich

In the present unstable condition of Europe most of its countries are more interested in political and defensive relations than in economic. Unhampered by an impending attack, Canadians doubtlessly think more of economic relationships when dealing with foreign policies. There is no Versailles treaty to bother Canada and the United States, but that treaty has split Europe into two clear-cut camps-the status quo and revisionist groups, which will sooner or later come to grips on the European continent. The Versailles treaty, instead of settling matters, has only aggravated the situation. It has turned Europe into a sort of political and ethnological crazy quilt. Frontiers were fixed on no principle, ethnological, geographical or equitable, but were rather dictated by animosity, vindictiveness, Chauvinism and greed. The dispossessed countries swear to regain their lost territories, and the victorious states just as vigorously defend their ill-gotten gains. With Europe virtually sitting on top of a volcano which might at any moment erupt and light a flame throughout the world, the formulation of a Canadian foreign policy in regard to that continent is a matter of extreme delicacy and great caution.

What interests Canada is the possibility of British participation in such a war, and the effect of such participation on this dominion. 'Canada has had some experience of the external sacrifices and of the internal dissension caused by such participation, and it is a real question whether this dominion would survive as a political entity such another experience. Should Canada refuse the mother country support, or for that matter, should the remainder of the commonwealth refuse support to any one of its members whose existence was threatened, this one unifying tie will have disappeared and the empire as we understand it will have ceased to exist. To paraphrase the words of Hamlet, to be or not to be a member of the British Commonwealth of Nations would then be the question. Pulling somebody else's chestnuts out of the fire is too poor a reason for Canada to get mixed up in a war in which she is not at all directly interested, but on the other hand the breaking-up of the empire might be too great a sacrifice for her to stay out. Popular opinion in Canada would then have to be the deciding factor as to the action to be taken; for the empire is not a rigid but an elastic organization composed of the constituent elements, owing a common allegiance to the whole, but retaining the right to control its own domestic and foreign

affairs. If it is not desirable that Great Britain or any of the dominions should control those foreign affairs that are of primary concern to one dominion, so it is equally impossible and undesirable for the dominions to seek to control those foreign affairs which primarily affect Great Britain. But where the issues are of primary concern to all parts, they must then be dealt with by the empire as a whole. In the last great world war public opinion in the various dominions decided on participation along with the mother country. But a similar decision in another such contingency may not be unanimous. Foreign affairs nowadays have to do very largely with economic questions such as trade, tariff, coal or oil concessions, international debts, immigration, fisheries, power or navigation rights in boundary waters. As has already been pointed out by me, the tendency of Canada is to coordinate foreign relations with her economic relationships. Our policy, therefore, is formulated with a view to foster or improve our trade and commercial relations. For many decades the European market has absorbed the surplus products of this continent such as wheat, cotton, oil and many highly finished manufactures.

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CON

James Arthurs

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. ARTHURS:

Cotton?

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UFA

Michael Luchkovich

United Farmers of Alberta

Mr. LUCHKOVICH:

United States cotton. I had reference to this continent. Of late years, however, the accumulating bankruptcy consequent upon the last war has left Europe so weak and impoverished as to make it impossible to call forth anything like the trade the European market used to command in prewar days. Extreme economic nationalism is not only strangling trade among the various countries of Europe but directed toward keeping out Canadian products from what was and still might be a valuable market. It has also been suggested that Canada's position on the North American continent and her growing interest in the Pacific make her foreign policy on far eastern questions usually identical with those of the United States, that is, as regards matters of defence and security. Yet trade with the far east is a very desirable object. In 1930 the trade mission which was sent from this country to the orient to investigate trade possibilities there brought back the report that China and Japan constituted Canada's greatest and richest potential market. But how is Canada going to reconcile her desire for security with her desire for better markets? In this regard how is she going to reconcile her alliance with the United States with her

Canada's Foreign Policy-Mr. Luchkovich

status in the British commonwealth of nations? In an article dated June, 1933, in The Round Table, it is stated:

The strain put upon the relations between Canada and the United Kingdom because of the divergence of policy between the governments of the United States and the United Kingdom on the Sino-Japanese dispute has not yet had time to show its full effects. It may be that Sir John Simon has thrown Canada into the arms of the United States, as Professor Arnold Toynee sugested at Chatham House in February of last year. Be that as it may, the events of the last two years have shown how difficult it is for Canada and the United Kingdom to cooperate on foreign policy in matters concerning the far east, because of that fact that the foreign policy of the United Kingdom is at present dominated by European considerations, whereas the interests of Canada will in the future be mound up more closely with Far Eastern than European developments. But only a few Canadians are at present giving any consideration to the effect of far eastern affairs on Canada's future relations with the United Kingdom. Most of us are fervent believers in the doctrine of solvitur ambulando.

Since Canada has secured autonomy in the imperial field, she will naturally strive to secure or enlarge her activities in the international field. In other words, a foreign policy will have to be developed in Canada. Hitherto, being still in the colonial stage, all Canada's foreign responsibilities were handled by the mother country; but Canada having come of age, as it were, the necessity for clarifying her ideas on the realities of the international position has become readily apparent. The need is especialy urgent in view of the present right of each dominion to negotiate directly with foreign governments and also the established principle that this dominion is bound by a treaty signed by its representatives.

An attempt has been made in this short address briefly to touch upon some of the political combinations on which our foreign policy must be based. Great Britain as the mother country, the United States as a friendly neighbour and powerful state, and the far east as a potential market or potential source of attack, form a triangle in our poli-cal existence around which most certainly our foreign policy has to be formulated. Of course in this regard the continent of Europe cannot be ignored or excluded, but Europe is not as immediate a menace as is the far east. The aim of this address is to draw attention to Canada's capacity to form and pursue a consistent foreign policy and to this end to point out to the house the necessity of a committee to study the whole matter. This may be a strange procedure, but in this regard I have a precedent in the United States which has a

foreign relations committee to which matters pertaining to foreign policy are usually referred. This body incidentally has power not only to advise, but also to withhold consent. In Canada, however, the matter of foreign policy is solely in the hands of the federal government. Few members know what is being done in this connection since the matter in Canada is not subject to constructive parliamentary criticism as it is in the United States. In view of Canada's rapid development and increasing international relationships it is thought the subject of foreign policy should receive greater consideration both within and without parliament. It has been suggested that to this end courses for the training of graduates in diplomacy should be given in all our Canadian universities and certainly a great deal more attention should be paid to this subject in parliamentary spheres. I know of no better body where this subject could be discussed than the committee on industrial and international relations. In view of our growing importance in the international field, a knowledge of foreign policy by parliament and the public at large is urgent. As to the actual administration of foreign affairs, there is no question that a competent and sufficient staff of properly trained men is necessary, but as to the actual elucidation of the matter and the dissemination of knowledge on such subjects, I know of no better method than 'to refer the whole matter to this committee on industrial and foreign relations for study and report.

If Canada is now a grown-up member of the commonwealth, then it is time that she should play her part like a mature person. This continual tugging at the maternal apronstrings and running to cover under the parental wing, as v^as Canada's metaphoric position prior to the passing of the Statute of Westminster and the various imperial conferences of recent times, most certainly would not be in keeping with the dignified status we now have in the British commonwealth and as a member of the League of Nations. If Canada is now daughter in her mother's house and mistress in her own. her policy should be formulated accordingly. The fearful cry-baby colonial inferiority complex of the past should make way for a more mature and dignified dominion status attitude. One obvious indication of such a stage of maturity would be the formulation of a real and genuine Canadian foreign policy. If Canada really is a nation, as we have recently been told she is, then one manifestation thereof would certainly be the formulation of such a policy.

I do not see why the whole matter of Canada's foreign policy should not be con-

Canada's Foreign Policy-Mr. Woodsworth

sidered and discussed by the committee on industrial and international relations for study and report. Why could not the various delegates that we have been sending to Europe and the League of Nations during the past few years give some report to the house on what is going on over there? We have at least two former ministerial delegates to the League of Nations, in the persons of the Minister of Railways (Mr. Manion) and the Minister of Justice (Mr. Guthrie), who most decidedly could tell us a great deal about it. This house could gather a vast amount of information if the matter were dealt with by the industrial and international relations committee. If the government is fearful of divulging certain information to the public at large it could easily ask that committee to hold some of its meetings in camera, or else give orders to the press not to report matters discussed therein. This is no unusual request, as matters of foreign policy are continually being discussed in the United States committee on foreign relations. Why, then, the reluctance to set up a similar committee in Canada? I am not asking for a new and separate committee; all I am requesting of this house is that the whole subject of the foreign policy of Canada be referred to the committee on industrial and international relations for study and report.

Mr. J.S. WOODSWORTH (Winnipeg North Centre): Mr. Speaker, I should like to be allowed to congratulate my colleague (Mr. Luchkovich) on his very fine presentation of what I regard as a most important problem. As I came into the chamber to-night a friend said: The trouble with this resolution is that it deals with a matter that is very academic.

I am afraid that pretty well represents the attitude of the large majority towards these questions; yet when we come to think of it, a few years ago we passed through the great world war which meant the loss of the lives of a large number of Canadians and the burden of an almost intolerable debt. One might think that having been precipitated into that conflict we would from then on take rather seriously our relationships with other nations. We are carrying the burden entailed by paying pensions and trying to raise the money to pay the interest on the war loans, and yet have little to say, and I believe are thinking very little, about our world relationships.

Last September in the city of Toronto there was held under the auspices of the Canadian Institute of International Affairs a British commonwealth relations conference which gave a good deal of attention to the question

of Canada's foreign policy in relation to that of the empire. Although this conference was entirely unofficial and its meetings were held in camera, the discussions which took place were very illuminating indeed and ought to be of service throughout this country. I will not give the names of the delegates from the different dominions, other than perhaps those of the United Kingdom as they are best known to most of us. They included Viscount Cecil, Right Hon. Sir Herbert Samuel, Donald B. Somervell, Sir John Power, Philip J. Noel-Baker, Mr. Gathorne-Hardv, Hamilton W. Iverr, Professor Arnold J. Toynbee, John W. Wheeler-Bennett, and Professor A. E. Zimmern. That perhaps will give some idea of the character of the men who sat for some days and discussed questions of the kind referred to by the hon. member for Vegreville (M. Luchkovich)

I should like to read two paragraphs from the report of the rapporteur of the commission which dealt with the machinery required for cooperation in foreign policy. These paragraphs bring us right to the heart of the resolution before the house to-night:

There was general agreement that the supply of information furnished to dominion governments by the foreign affairs department of the Dominion office was full and regular, communications passing from the foreign office daily to those governments through the Dominions office. Copies of these documents were also supplied regularly to all the high commissioners in London, except to the High Commissioner of New Zealand who is content to receive only such documents as he a_sks for specially. An Australian member that the Australian liaison officer was able to perform a very useful function in amplifying and interpreting information by daily personal contact with the officers of the Dominions office, Foreign office, service department and other offices.

There was an equally general admission that the information forthcoming was neither passed on to nor discussed adequately by members of parliament, by the newspapers, or by the public. It was recognized that some of this information was necessarily confidential, but it was believed that much of it might profitably be passed on to parliament and the press. It was suggested that classification of Foreign office information as confidential, discretionary, or free might facilitate its dissemination, but it was objected that classification might make it easier for a harassed minister to shelter himself behind confidential dispatches. The trouble went deeper than that. It was noted that interest in the parliaments of South Africa and New Zealand at all events in the work of the J.L.O. was much greater than in the political work of the league and external affairs generally, partly at least because regular reports on the work of the I.L.O. were laid on the table. Generally speaking, in all dominions it was admitted that too often information on external affairs could only be extracted by questions in the house.

Canada's Foreign Policy-Mr. Woodsworth

I think probably that statement, which was compiled to represent the consensus of opinion of those present from all the dominions, fairly described the position in our own country.

Until very recently, in fact until the war, there was only one foreign country with which we had any close associations, the United States. And since we have always had an unguarded border there has been very little danger of military action there. Our relationships with the United States, on the whole, have had to do very largely with international trade. Possibly it is owing to that fact as well as to our distance from Europe that it is only in recent years that any question has arisen with regard to general world policies. But I submit that, as has been pointed out so clearly by the hon. member for Vegreville (Mr. Luchkovich), we have come to the point when we can no longer go along indifferent to the great world movements about us and to our relationships with the other nations. Whether we like it or not, since the war Canada has been drawn into world currents.

First of all, there is the question of our relationship to the United Kingdom and the whole British Empire. If all the parts of the British Empire were self-governing dominions, the question would foe exceedingly complicated, but in addition we have dependencies of all kinds, crown colonies, protectorates and so on, in almost every part of the world. It cannot be gainsaid that the conquests of Great Britain in earlier years have laid an enormous burden upon the motherland. As we look back over history we must confess that to a very considerable extent empire has meant and probably still means exploitation.

Without going into that matter, however, I would point out in this connection that so far as we are concerned, the policies of Great Britain in Egypt, in India, in Afghanistan, in Japan and in remote islands of the sea might very easily involve her in wiar, and if Great Britain is involved in war it is a question as to where Canada stands. It is all very well to say that Canada would respond immediately as she did in 1914. I am not at all sure of that. The question is whether we, with our status a3 a self-governing dominion, can be or should be called upon to join with Great Britain if she gets into some difficulty over policies concerning wrhich we had no control whatever, and in the making of which we have had no voice. That is an exceedingly important question.

Not long ago a prominent Canadian public man suggested that Canada should withdraw

from the League of Nations on the ground that matters were becoming so complicated that possibly it would be as well for us to get out while the going was good. I suggest, Mr. Speaker, that the selfsame argument that would lead us to leave the League of Nations would force us to sever our connection with the British Empire. The members of the British Empire are almost as far-flung as are the members of the League of Nations itself. The fact is that as long as we have a common crown we cannot very well remain indifferent to the policies of the United Kingdom. So surely it is an important thing that at this stage, in a time when we are not yet involved in war, we should know what our policy would be in case certain contingencies should arise.

Not only is Canada a member of the British Empire; she is also a member of the League of Nations, and as a member of the league she has undertaken some very serious responsibilities. I do not think most hon. gentlemen have stopped to think what really is involved in our membership in the league. I Should like to quote two paragraphs from the Treaty of Peace with regard to our commitments under the covenants. Article 16 states:

Should any member of the league resort to war in disregard of its covenants, under articles 12, 13 or 15, it shall ipso facto be deemed to have committed an act of war against all other members of the league, which hereby undertake immediately to subject it to the severance of all trade or financial relations, the prohibition of all intercourse between their nationals and the nationals of the covenantbreaking state, and the prevention of all financial, commercial or personal intercourse between the nationals of the covenant-breaking state and the nationals of any other state, whether a member of the league or not. . . .

The members of the league agree, further, that they will mutually support one another in the financial and economic measures which are taken under this article, in order to minimize the loss and inconvenience resulting from the above measures, and that they will mutually support one another in resisting any special measures aimed at one of their number by the covenant-breaking state. . . .

It may be said that we are not going to take these covenants very seriously.

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CON

Peter McGibbon

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. McGIBBON:

Japan did not, did she?

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LAB

James Shaver Woodsworth

Labour

Mr. WOODSWORTH:

Neither did Canada ; if we had done so, Japan would not have gotten away with things as she did. That treaty of Versailles, which at the time was supposed to give promise of an era of peace, surely ought to mean something to us. If it means nothing whatever, I suppose the only thing for us to do is to get out of the league, but at the present, moment we are members

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Canada's Foreign Policy-Mr. Woodsworth

of the league and as such are bound in honour, as well, I take it, as by what might be considered international law, to live up to our obligations.

More than that, however, we are not only members of the British Empire and of the League of Nations; whether we like it or not we are living in a closely integrated world. It is all very well to say that we should get out of the British Empire, if anyone does say so, or that we should get out of the League of Nations, as somebody has suggested. But we cannot get out of the world, and to-day the world is one vast neighbourhood. We can no longer maintain the policies of isolation which were possible for the United States and Canada until a comparatively few years ago. In the old days we used to think we could drive here, there or yonder without anyone to say us nay. To-day we cannot get through the city streets without rules of the road, traffic policemen and traffic signals of all kinds. In a modern, congested city street it is simply impossible to get along without having some very definite conventions by which we may determine our relationship to our neighbours.

That is the kind of world in which we live to-day. We cannot possibly live an isolated life. In the old days we might very well have said, "Well, if China and Japan want to go to war let them go to it; we will stay safely on this side of the Pacific." That would be quite an impossible thing for us to-day. Surely we have not forgotten that it was a murder away in Serbia that was the match that brought about the conflagration which spread to all parts of the world. We can no longer remain isolated; whether we like it or not we are in contact with the other nations of the world, even those in the most remote parts, and in my judgment we must build up some sort of world arrangement, some collective system, or we can look forward only to chaos and disaster in the years to come.

Without developing that thought further, though I think it is a vitally important question, I should like to point out that so far as this house is concerned we have in practice very few opportunities for the discussion of foreign policy. It is true that we may ask a question of the minister to which generally speaking, we do not receive any very illuminating answer. AVe may wait throughout the session until estimates are under consideration. Why it is. I do not know, but frequently the estimates for the Department of External Affairs come up for consideration about the last day of session when every hon. member

is tired out and wants to get away. I have noticed year after year, that there has been practically no chance for careful consideration of these matters.

I do not know that I could better illustrate the situation than to describe what occurred in connection with the very question concerning which one of the members interjected a remark, namely, the Manchurian affair. On November 18, 1932, I asked the Prime Minister the following question as to Canada's policy in the far east: "What, if any, is the policy of His Majesty's government in Canada in regard to the situation in the far east and to the Lytton report?" His reply, as it appears in Hansard of November 21, 1932 is, in part, as follows:

Perhaps I can best serve what I conceive to be the public interest by indicating that it is not thought desirable to enter into a discussion at this time with respect to a matter of this kind, for it not only cannot serve the public interest but would be anticipating action which might be taken, and therefore is to be deprecated. . . . Our relations to this matter arise primarily from the fact that we are a member of the league of nations and we must sit on that report and determine what action shall be taken to give effect or otherwise to the recommendations therein contained . . . but the broad general rule is that a matter that is sub judice, that is to say, a matter that is being considered by a body charged W'ith authority as is the league of nations-the assembly-with quasi judicial powers . . . should not be the subject of expressions of opinion publicly.

That, to me, is a most extraordinary statement. The League of Nations, a deliberative body of which we were a member, were considering a report. The league was not a court; the matter was not sub judice, but was one for general consideration. Yet, we in this House of Commons were denied the opportunity on that occasion of either discussing the matter or obtaining a statement as to the policy of the government.

The next reference to this matter was on December 8, 1932, when, at Geneva a statement was made by Mr. Cahan, Secretary of State, which aroused almost consternation across Canada. In an article appearing in Interdependence, March, 1933-a journal issued by the League of Nations Society in Canada-Professor Soward made the following devastating criticism:

A speech which never once endorsed directly league principles, which departed from our position of last March, which singled out the injured party for most of the recrimination, is not the sort of speech which some of his distinguished Conservative predecessors at Geneva, like Sir Robert Borden, Sir George Foster or Sir George Perley would have made.

Canada's Foreign Policy-Mr. Woodsworth

It falls far below the standard they set. Mr. Cahan's attitude is not the sort which Mr. Meighen assumed in the Imperial conference of 1921 when the renewal of the Anglo-Japanese alliance came before the conference.

Members will recall that Mr. Meighen took the position that our policy must be very closely related to that of the United States.

The next we heard of the far eastern questions was on January 30, 1933, when in a rather ambiguous statement the Prime Minister said:

The Secretary of State had his instructions, and he made it abundantly clear-I saw him in London-that his speech as a whole did not in any sense depart from them, although isolated sections of it might leave the impression that he was endeavouring to support one particular phase of the situation rather than another. I think the speech as a whole shows no departure from the general principles which I indicated to the house as being the views of the government in matters of this kind.

And he concluded:

As he will be back here very shortly he will be able to explain the situation fully.

The next development in that matter was a pronouncement of Canada's position by Doctor Riddell, and if I have had to criticize the ambiguity of the Prime Minister's statement and criticize the statement of the Secretary of -State I must confess that the statement given on behalf of this government by Doctor Riddell was an excellent one. Next we learned that Canada had become a member of the advisory council

which, I should judge, would be a rather important position-in connection with the Sino-Japanese situation. Since that time, with one exception to which I shall refer, we have had no information whatsoever with regard to the situation in the far east, and to this day we do not know what the policy of the government is.

-Some of us had been hoping that throughout the session we would have a chance to ask questions of the government, but no opportunity was granted until the estimates for the Department of External Affairs came up for consideration. The estimates were passed without any discussion whatever, one item being held over. Later, in the final rush, the item came before the committee at a time when very few hon. members knew th-a-t this important subject would be under consideration. On that occasion the Secretary of State made a statement which, at that late stage of proceedings, no one had a chance to discuss.

I place this matter before the house not in order to promote a discussion of the Japanese question -at this time, but rather -to indicate the lack of information regarding government

policy and the lack of opportunity given to hon. members to discuss matters of vital public importance.

I said a little while ago that we are a member of the League of Nations. We are also a member of the International Labour Organization. Each year delegations go to attend the conferences of these bodies. We have not had the advantage of having a report from our delegates. I am not blaming the present government for this; I do not want to be misunderstood. Attention is being called to this situation in the hope that possibly it may lead to the development of a procedure which will be more satisfactory than the -one which has come down to us from the past. It is true that last year Sir George Perley on his return from the disarmament conference did make a statement to the house, but it has not been the practice for us to have any statement from delegates returning from -the League of Nations. I believe all hon. members would be pleased to hear a report from the Minister of Railways, who has made some very excellent speeches outside the house. We should have the advantage of such speeches in the house.

One cannot attend the sessions of the House of Commons at Westminster without feeling that we enter there a very different atmosphere. England, although not actually a part of the European continent, is just on the edge and it is natural that European affairs should enter into discussions of ordinary matters of policy. We recognize that the parliament of the United Kingdom must discuss affairs relative to the whole British Empire and in Great Britain an opportunity is given for such discussion. A number of voluntary committees representing all sections of the house are continuously at work considering matters pertaining to foreign affairs.

I think it is taken for granted that an informed public opinion on these matters is highly desirable at the present time, but how can we hope that the public will become greatly interested in them if they receive no discussion in this parliament, if they are considered to be so far removed that members of parliament will not take the trouble to make inquiries concerning them or to discuss them as they would matters nearer home? It would seem to me that if the proposal of the hon. member for Vegreville (Mr. Luch-kovich) were carried out, it w-ould go a long way towards stimulating public opinion in this regard.

Hon. members will recall that a few years ago a committee on industrial and interna-

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Canada's Foreign Policy-Mr. Woodsworth

tional relations was set up. A number of industrial matters were referred to that committee, such as minimum wages, unemployment insurance and so on. Unfortunately the law officers of the crown stated that a great many of these matters came under provincial jurisdiction and nothing very definite in the way of legislation came out of the inquiries. So far as I can recall, only one matter relative to international affairs was referred to the committee. This was the motion of the hon. member for Southeast Grey (Miss Mac-phail) that scholarships should be established for the study of international affairs. Again there was no very definite result from the inquiries of the committee because it was considered that this might be an educational matter and that provincial jurisdiction might be involved.

But there are other important matters which clearly come under federal jurisdiction. What are we going to do about the league? Are we going to continue our membership and, if so, what policy is Canada to advocate? I think we ought to know. Negotiations have been going -on between Sir John Simon and Italy, and as far as an outsider can determine, these negotiations might very easily weaken the influence of the league. I am glad to see the Prime Minister (Mr. Bennett) in the house this evening, and I think we harm the right to know from him the attitude of the government in respect to this matter. It seems to me that Canada being a member of the league, we members of parliament have a right to information on such matters. If the government has formed some policy, the country should be informed as to what it is. The same thing is true in connection with the disarmament question. We have been a member of that conference which has dragged on year after year and which now seems destined to absolute failure. The conference has not been formally disbanded but in the meantime the making of munitions of war is being carried on at a tremendous rate. Are we making any representations to the league in this regard?

I am well aware that numerically Canada is a small nation, but the Prime Minister likes to tell us that we are the fifth exporting nation in the world. If that is so, we ought to be sufficiently important in world affairs to have something to say with regard to this matter. In one visit abroad to the league I was told again and again that Canada occupied a strategic position in world affairs through being a part of the British commonwealth of nations and being located on the North American continent side by side with the United

States. It was stated that Canada might be reasonably looked to to interpret the attitude and viewpoint of the United States toward other parts of the empire and to the League of Nations. I wonder if that is true?

Since Canada is located on the Pacific as well as on the Atlantic, we have vital interest in what is going on in the far east. One can hardly read the despatches recently appearing in the press without being apprehensive of the ultimate breaking out of trouble between the United States and Japan. Every careful student of international affairs must recognize dangerous possibilities in the present situation. If friction should break out and war should ensue, can any one believe that Canada would be able to keep out of the conflict?

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?

An hon. MEMBER:

Why not?

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LAB

James Shaver Woodsworth

Labour

Mr. WOODSWORTH:

Some hon. member asks "why not?" There is a definite possibility of aerial warfare. The United States owns Alaska and there is a considerable gap between the Alaskan panhandle and Seattle. Undoubtedly, planes going backward and forward would pass over our territory and I do not think it would be very long before our position would become extremely delicate. It is all very well for hon. members resident in the east to believe that any future trouble will be largely in- Europe, but they should not forget that Canada has a western outlook. The problems of the orient are of vital importance to us and we ought to know what our policies are with regard to them. We ought to know whether we are likely to follow the policy of Great Britain or the policy of the United States, which latter we did at the time Mr. Meighen threw his influence against the renewal of the Anglo-Japanese alliance. We ought to know the policy of the government on- such matters.

It may be said that questions of this kind should be left to the Department of External Affairs; I do not think they should. They have not been so left in Great Britain. I recognize that a great deal of the information which comes to us from Great Britain as well as some of the information from our embassies in Japan, Paris and Washington, must be considered as confidential, but some of it ought to be available to hon. members of this house. We should not be left in the dark as to the main lines of the government's foreign policy.

We all know the procedure of our select committees. In such committees an informal atmosphere prevails. The members do not sit in opposing ranks as we do here in th,e house. In the committee we sit around the room and the discussion is very informal in

Canada's Foreign Policy-Mr. Bennett

character. Further than that we can call witnesses. I would think that at least in the beginning, if this suggestion is adopted, we might have the Under Secretary of State for External Affairs come before the committee and tell us what he is free to tell. I am quite sure that he would be glad to give a great deal of valuable information, as he did at the time the resolution of the hon. member for Southeast Grey was under consideration. Further, it would seem to me a very reasonable proceeding that the delegates to the League of Nations and the International Labour Organizations should be present before that committee and make a report. After that, as we all know, these reports would be given publicity by the press, and these proceedings would form the basis for discussions throughout the entire country.

I am not suggesting that we in Canada will at one bound attain a fullfledged foreign policy. Our policy will approximate, I should judge, to that of the motherland, but we ought to know what the policy of the motherland is, and adopt a definite attitude toward that policy. Every intelligent citizen of Canada ought to be kept informed.

I am glad to support a resolution of this' kind, not only because it gives us the opportunity of a discussion of such questions early in the session before the final rush sets in, but also in the hope that the government will give serious consideration to what seems not an unreasonable suggestion, and one that might be of great practical value to this country.

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CON

Richard Bedford Bennett (Prime Minister; President of the Privy Council; Secretary of State for External Affairs)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Right Hon. R. B. BENNETT (Prime Minister) :

Mr. Speaker, I have just returned from a meeting where I was endeavouring to impress upon those present the importance of some of the matters to which the hon. gentleman who has just resumed his seat (Mr. Woodsworth) has spoken. I was endeavouring to point out that in this country we have a citizenship that begins with the municipality, and from there extends to the province. In the province we have our citizenship as Canadians, and then our citizenship as members of the British Empire. From that we have a world citizenship arising out of our relations with the League of Nations and our commitments under the Treaty of Versailles.

I did venture to point out the difficulties of any Canadian having a clear appreciation of the complexities, indeed almost insuperable, that have to be overcome in order that we may have a clear perspective of our world citizenship. I cannot but think that while it is highly desirable that we should not for a moment lessen our activities and our desire

to promote peace and the reign of law and the rule of reason, we must not by the observations we make here or elsewhere endeavour to induce the people to believe that we .are a nation with the power and the authority to assert our views in the degree expressed by the hon. gentleman who has just resumed his seat.

We occupy a position midway between the Occident and the orient, and our influence is of course great because of that fact. We are deeply interested in the eastern civilization because of trade and because of the fact that upon the Pacific there are thousands of miles of our coast line. We are interested, of course, in the European civilization and vitally interested in the policies that are pursued by Great Britain.

But I need hardly point out to this house what every member realizes, that the foreign policy of the British Empire is perhaps the most difficult thing to contemplate that man can think of. Why? Because you have autonomous communities in South Africa, in New Zealand1, in Australia, in Canada, and we have claimed and have been accorded rights equal so far as general principles are concerned to those possessed by the citizens of Great Britain. But we have neither the might of a navy nor the force of an army, and when we in the international field endeavour to express our views we are measured, unfortunately still in this day, by our ability to carry forward any undertaking to which we commit ourselves.

Those members of this house who have followed with care, and some have-some have not because of the very nature of the complex problems involved, and with the duties cast upon them from other angles they have not had the time to give to it-those who have given thought to the matter will realize that this country has steadily endeavoured to promote peace and disarmament. On ail occasions where the opportunity has offered the Canadian people have at once supported every measure, international or otherwise, that would insist upon developing an atmosphere of peace-the Kellogg-Briand pact, questions relating to the arbitration of justiciable disputes, the maintenance of our representation at the League of Nations with respect to the International Labour Office, attendance upon the meetings of the League of Nations-all these things that could be done by this young dominion to promote the cause of peace have been done.

With respect to disarmament, what is the position of this dominion? Will the hon. gentleman who has taken his seat suggest for a single moment that the views of Canada

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Canada's Foreign Policy-Mr. Bennett

with respect to disarmament have in the very nature of things been seriously considered abroad? What have we to disarm? Will any hon. member say? All we can do is to throw the weight of our influence and the weight of our assistance and votes towards every cause that looks towards bringing about disarmament. In the short time that I have been responsible for any foreign affairs, I have always expressed it in these words, as I did on the occasion of the visit to this country of Mr. Ramsay MacDonald, that so long as nations have armaments, just so long will you continue to have the invitation to use them. 'Whether you like it or not, tanks, aircraft, torpedoes, submarines, all these forms of armament, if they are constructed, tend to develop the view that they should be used. There are those commentators upon the late war who believed that it was entirely attributable to the fact that a moment was reached when with all the developments that had taken place in the construction of arms, and with the equipment of troops, they could no longer be held in leash, and conflict was inevitable.

To the extent of our ability this country has thrown itself with all its force on the side of peace and disarmament. Whether it be the government that was lately in office or this administration, it matters not; for ever since rye have had a voice that voice has been raised for peace and for disarmament.

But now the question is raised in this chamber as to the lack of facilities for discussion. When the estimates are before this house discussion can be prolonged for days to obtain b.y question and answer any information that might be desired. So far as the production of papers is concerned, any hon. member who desires to do so can read the journal of the League of Nations. It must be within the memory of the house that within the last few weeks an appeal has been made to the Canadian people over the signatures of the leader of the opposition (Mr. Mackenzie King), the hon. gentleman who has just taken his seat (Mir. Woodsworth) and myself, asking for more study on the part of the people of the problems that are involved. We believe as a result some good has already been accomplished; local organizations, branches of the League of Nations, have been created in small communities for the purpose of systematic study, through the publications of the league and through the journal, its newspapers, of just what are the problems that have to be considered.

But I should like new to turn from that phase of the question to the terms of the

resolution. I cannot accept it. No member of any administration charged with responsibility, which has a majority in the House of Commons, would accept that resolution. If I might say so, it is a very cleverly devised part of the campaign and program of my hon. friends who sit opposite and to the right. This afternoon it was the nationalization of insurance; to-morrow it may be the nationalization of the banks; to-night it is one step forward-not a responsible government any longer, but government by a committee of the house instructing the administration with respect to foreign policy. This is subtle, clever, indicating that new methods are to be adopted rather than the old, frontal attack methods that have heretofore prevailed. But the glove still covers the mailed fist.

Let us look at what representative institutions are. Is there an hon. member belonging, at any rate, to the Liberal party who does not realize that this resolution asks that the whole subject of the foreign policy of Canada be referred to the committee on industrial and international relations for study and report? That is not the way in which Canada has been governed and it is not the way in which it will be as long as we have representative institutions and responsible government. When the government departs from that policy which the house believes should be followed, a vote of censure secures its defeat. Thus England is governed; thus under a socialist administration England was governed. No committee hearing witnesses and discussions makes a report to the house as to what the government should or should not do; the government acts and upon its actions it stands or falls. The responsibility for its conduct lies with the administration and by its conduct it must stand or fall. A committee may be set up, indeed it may consider many phases of matters, but how could a government function if a committee instructed to study and report as to questions of foreign policy made a recommendation that a certain line of action should be followed without being cognizant of the facts that control and influence the action that must be taken?

Only last week I asked the Under Secretary to have prepared a white paper for circulation amongst the members of this house, containing a full and complete report of what had taken place at the disarmament conference in the way of suggestions, together with the final report, also together with the present recommendations made by the British government as to the settlement of the problems involved, and in addition, a copy of the speech of Sir

Canada's Foreign Policy-Mr. Bennett

John Simon, Foreign Secretary, in connection with the matter. I did that in order that the house might be informed before the estimates came up for consideration. But am I to be told that the government of this country, which after all has no army and no navy and is not concerned about the problem of disarmament as regards having anything to disarm, but is vitally interested in everything that affects the welfare of the world at large and that larger world citizenship which we have accepted-concerned as we are about that, am I to be told that the government is to be directed by a committee on foreign relations? If you will consider the number composing the committee, you will see that it is rather a large one. Are they to meet regularly in a room in thi3 building, to have brought before them papers and documents and to inform the government of the principles that must govern in connection with foreign policy? Foreign policy is something that changes from hour to hour, from day to day. Of course only the broad outlines of a great policy can affect the Dominion of Canada. Those broad outlines of Canadian policy are to maintain peace, to assist disarmament, to bring it about so far as our power is concerned, and, further, to lend our influence and the strength of our position by reason of our geographical situation and our numbers to offer measures that may be promoted within the British Commonwealth of Nations to secure those two ends which are fundamentally the principles upon which democracy lives, namely, the maintenance of peace and the elimination by the nations of the world of arms and equipment for war purposes.

Then there is the question of arbitration, the determination of justiciable disputes by arbitration and awards; all these matters are to be promoted. I remember when Earl Granville went to the Foreign Office, he was told by the Under Secretary: "There is not a cloud upon the sky; there never was a moment when the sky was clearer," but in four weeks the nations of Europe were locked in war. I wonder whether one realizes how difficult it is to maintain any principle of continuity with respect to our foreign relations and, on the other hand, to maintain that principle mentioned in the resolutions of 1926 and the statute of 1930, that is cooperation and association with the other nations of the British Empire for the purpose of promoting the well-being of the whole?

We certainly cannot accept this resolution; we cannot accept the responsibility that is involved in the passing of a motion such as this, but the fullest opportunity is always afforded when the estimates are before the house to make all inquiries within reason, and if the 74726-32

question is not against the public interest, it will be answered. With this proviso the fullest opportunity will be afforded to every hon. member to ask questions in connection with any matter that affects this country in respect to its relations to the rest of the world.

So far as ministers are concerned, we have only three offices abroad, one in Paris, one in Tokyo and one in Washington. On this continent we are concerned more with matters that arise from administration and trade than with matters of diplomacy as they are understood in the older countries. In Paris the position is much the same; for I do not disguise from any hon. member that our influence among the nations of Europe qua nation is measured by our guns and ships, but qua our power in conference, measured by the fact that we represent 10,500,000 people and that those people are on the northern half of the North American continent. In Tokyo we are constantly in communication with our office there. As regards difficulties of great delicacy between the great empires of Japan, China and Russia, we are kept informed every day of the problems that confront the statesmen of the old world, but who within sound of my voice suggests that the foreign policy of the Dominion of Canada with respect to Japan can affect the world position?

Now, there is such a thing as sweet reasonableness. There is such a thing as having a proper perspective. There is such a thing as being able to see a position without exaggeration, to understand that great as your country is, important as it is, great as is its influence, it is not exactly what you would call a policy-compelling influence; because we have neither of the factors that go to make it such, in a world that resorts to war for the arbitrament of difficulties. But we will endeavour, as I repeat, and I cannot repeat it too frequently, to use in every possible way the influence that comes to us by reason of our position and the strength of our position within the British Empire to uphold every effort that is made to promote peace, to advance the principle of peaceful settlement of difficulties in the world's court, and above all to secure, if it be within the wit and power of man, that disarmament which will cease to make the possession of arms an invitation to breach of the peace.

Therefore I hope that upon reconsideration the hon. member who moved this motion will realize that it is the negation of responsible government, the destruction of the very structure that has been built up through the efforts-the opposition would say their efforts, but through the efforts of Canadians of all parties, that government shall be responsible

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Canada's Foreign Policy-Mr. Bennett

to the House of Commons; and that when its policies, its conduct of foreign or domestic affairs, bring a vote of censure or condenmna-tion by this chamber, it ceases to function. For that reason we cannot accept this resolution or adopt the principle which underlies it. As I say, when the estimates are before the house the most ample opportunity will be afforded to every member to discuss until he is weary of the discussion every phase of our foreign policy, and I shall endeavour to the extent of my ability to answer any questions that are suggested.

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February 12, 1934