January 27, 1937

CCF

Thomas Clement (Tommy) Douglas

Co-operative Commonwealth Federation (C.C.F.)

Mr. DOUGLAS:

Would there not be economic force.

Topic:   WORLD PEACE
Subtopic:   PROPOSAL THAT CANADA SUGGEST TO THE UNITED STATES THE CONVENING OF A WORLD PEACE CONFERENCE
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LIB

William Lyon Mackenzie King (Prime Minister; Secretary of State for External Affairs; President of the Privy Council)

Liberal

Mr. MACKENZIE KING:

Economic force! We have had enough experience to know that economic force sooner or later means military force. We had an object lesson of that last year. May I say to my hon. friend who has just interrupted me that if he and I could control world forces there might not be trouble for anybody, because we know exactly what we would do; but surely we must all realize that forces which are not only beyond the control of individuals, but beyond the control of nations and of continents, are operating in the world to-day. The condition in Europe is not the result of a desire for war on the part of any English speaking community. It is not the result of any such desire on the part of the French republic or on the part of many other nations that I could mention. We have yet to discover that it is the desire of any nation. But the danger is there and we know that we are facing it. In those circumstances let us not begin to tell other countries what they should do until we tell them what we ourselves are prepared to do in helping to meet the emergency. When it comes to the League of Nations and its reliance upon force as the means of attaining its ends, we get right into the very situation from which my hon. friend who has moved this resolution would like to take us away altogether. Force begets force. If we are to rely for peace upon force, let us squarely face the situation and realize that we as well as other nations must be prepared to make our contribution in terms of force.

Wand Peace-Mr. Mackenzie King

But, Mr. Speaker, I do not want to enter to-day into a discussion of League of Nations affairs, nor do I wish to go over ground that was traversed in a previous debate. My purpose in rising this afternoon thus early in the debate is simply to point out that the specific suggestion which is made in my hon. friend's resolution constitutes the one thing about it which the government is called upon to consider. - The substantive portion of the resolution reads:

That, in the opinion of this house, the government of Canada respectfully suggest to the president of the United States the desirability of convening a world conference for the securing and maintenance of peace.

In other words, this country is to suggest to the United States the calling of a world conference to secure and maintain peace. Now, irrespective altogether of what views we may entertain as to the effectiveness of a world conference to achieve the end in view, it must be apparent that there are great considerations of national policy that must be taken into account by any country that would enter at this time upon the calling of a world conference for such a purpose, and those considerations, it seems to me, are a matter for consideration by that country alone. It is not the business of one country to tell another what its policy should be. I think that must be apparent. It is inconceivable that the president of the United States, with the interest he has taken in world affairs, with the concern he has already shown for the maintenance of peace, has not had under his own consideration and that of his colleagues the very question my hon. friend has suggested. But whether he has or has not, that is his own affair. For us to suggest that a conference should be called would be simply to embarrass the president in the reply which it would be necessary for him to make. At most he could say that the subject was one to which he would be glad to give consideration. I am not sure that if he were considering the matter favourably a suggestion to the United States from another country would help him to attain the object he had in view.

Let me say a word with regard to world conferences. I am not sure that a world conference would achieve any good end at the present time and it might make things a great deal worse. It seems to me, our generation has gone a little mad on the question of conferences. A conference is often a very convenient way of appearing to be doing something while in reality very little may be achieved. The more I see of conferences the less patience I am coming to have with

them. Certainly world conferences are not likely to be very successful in achieving the object they may be called together to attain. We have had several world conferences and I do not believe that any of them have been very successful.

But in a consideration of the calling of a world conference there are many important matters of policy which a government would have to take into account, and I mention these because they are involved in the question whether this country should ask the United States to take the step proposed. There is the matter I have already referred to, namely, the question whether in the belief of the government a world conference is likely to achieve the end for which it is called, or whether that end could not better be achieved by conferences with individual nations, taking up questions with individual nations or groups of nations primarily concerned in the matters under discussion, rather than by bringing into a discussion a large number of nations which can have only an indirect interest and whose participation might only serve to embarrass the entire situation.

But there is the further point as to whether the time is ripe for a world conference such as has been suggested. There is for example the question as to whether other nations would be prepared to go into such a world conference. That is an all important matter, and before any country would take a step as momentous as that of calling a world conference, I should think it would find it necessary to ascertain from other countries whether they would be willing to participate. If a world conference were likely to meet the end my hon. friend has in view I should be inclined to think that the League of Nations might be expected to operate more effectively to that end than some new conference which might be called, for the simple reason that the league has at hand much of the machinery necessary for such a purpose. It has already given long attention to matters that are pertinent, and if the league has found it impossible, with all its background and with all that it has in the way of actual knowledge of conditions, with experts to advise in a multitude of directions, then I question very much whether the president of the United States, beginning anew, would be able to accomplish much in the direction desired. If Germany, Japan and other countries do not wish to be in a league of nations which represents all the countries of the world, is it probable that they would immediately participate in a conference called by the president of the United States. And unless they participated in such a conference, does my hon.

World Peace-Miss Macphail

friend believe that the conference would meet the present-day situation? One has only to mention these things to appreciate some of the considerations which a country must take into account in dealing with a suggestion of this sort.

I would like to mention to the house what actually was apparent to the minds of those who were at the meeting of the League of Nations last year. There the view seemed to be that the fewer the nations that got into discussions of the present world situation at that moment the better it would probably be in the end, so far as the solution of existing difficulties was concerned. What the British and the French representatives at the League of Nations were most anxious to bring about was a conference of the big powers in Europe, the powers immediately concerned. They felt that if Germany, Italy, France, Britain and Belgium could get together in a round table conference it might be possible to work out some solution of the existing difficulties. Great Britain has been working to t/hat end for a year or more, but she has not yet succeeded in bringing those nations together in round table conference. When that is the fact, is it likely that these same powers would go into a world conference that might be called by the president of the United States? These are considerations of which a government has to take account before it accepts the responsibility of extending an invitation to another country to take action with respect to world affairs, consideration of which would have to be taken as well by the government to which the invitation was extended.

I am sympathetic with much my hon. friend has said, but his motion asks that an invitation be extended. It would have to be extended by the government of Canada. Were we to take this course suggested, I believe we would be departing from a principle which cannot be too closely observed, the principle, namely, that it is not in the interest of nations that any one country should tell other nations what they should do in matters involving great questions of national policy. An act of that kind on the part of this government would be certain to be construed as an interference in the domestic affairs of the United States, and I am sure that my hon. friend would be the last who would wish to have such an impression created.

An answer that might suggest itself to the minds of some in the United States who might be ^ opposed would probably be that as an imperial conference is to be held in Britain within the next few months it might be well

31111-21J

for Canada to suggest that the scope of the conference be enlarged to embrace a world gathering to deal with the world situation. Does any one suppose that if a suggestion of this kind came to this parliament we should think of passing it on to the British government? The sooner we realize that there is no panacea for world peace, and that perhaps the last of all panaceas is a world conference, the better it will be in the end for the peace of the world.

Miss AGNES C. MACPHAIL (Grey-Bruee): I am glad that the hon. member

for Winnipeg North (Mr. Heaps) placed this resolution on the order paper, if for no other reason than that the Prime Minister (Mr. Mackenzie King) has admitted that he has lost his confidence in conferences. So far as I can recall, in the last half-dozen or possibly ten years he has had a great deal of confidence in conferences-I am speaking of conferences with respect to national affairs-and has always been able to delay action by painting a gloomy picture of what would happen, if anything were done without a conference-I was wondering who it was to whom he wae directing the first part of his speech. It was? a tirade, but I did not know against whom he directed it. The hon. member for Winnipeg North certainly had not said anything that would call for the first part of the Prime Minister's speech, and therefore it must have been somebody else he had in mind when he made the remarks he did. I do not think that suggesting to the United States that they call a conference would be interfering in their national affairs, any more than I think that if they had extended an invitation to Canada to attend the Buenos Aires conference that would have been interfering in Canada's national affairs.

A world conference as proposed by the hon. member for Winnipeg North would have one great merit; it would take the heads of the nations of Europe out of Europe and bring them to a continent which is in some degree sane. One fault with all the world conferences is that they were held in the wrong place. We should stop having conferences about world affairs in Europe. Europe has played much too large a part in determining world affairs, and if the heads of the European powers had to travel across the ocean as often as they want other people to travel across it to attend their conferences they might realize how wide that ocean is, which would be one thing gained. If the conference were called it might not accomplish much, but merely bringing the European leaders out of Europe might do some good. Then there

World Peace-Mr. Bennett

.s always the chance of the boat sinking, and that might help more than anything else. It would be a nice quiet way of getting rid of a lot of trouble. Certainly extending an imperial conference to include world powers would not start a world conference off well, because it would be too much an imperial affair from the beginning.

At least the introduction of this resolution sannot have done any harm. The speech made by the hon. member for Winnipeg North was good, and was beneficial to the house. The debate at any rate will suggest the idea to President Roosevelt, even though he may not care to act on it.

Topic:   WORLD PEACE
Subtopic:   PROPOSAL THAT CANADA SUGGEST TO THE UNITED STATES THE CONVENING OF A WORLD PEACE CONFERENCE
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CON

Richard Bedford Bennett (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Right Hon. R. B. BENNETT (Leader of the Opposition):

It is not often that I wholly agree with the observations of the Prime Minister (Mr. Mackenzie King), but in this instance he so nearly expressed my own views that I shall make my observations exceedingly brief.

It would not only be futile to suggest to the United States the calling of a world

conference, but in my judgment it would be

I shall use the harsher word, although the Prime Minister did not-impertinent to do so. I cannot think it would be anythingshort of that for the Dominion of Canada to suggest to the president of the United States what he should do. He has advisers; he has knowledge of world conditions; he is as deeply concerned in every matter with which this resolution deals as we are, andfor eleven million people on the northern

half of the American continent to suggest to the head of a state of one hundred and twenty million people that he should do something affecting world problems is in my judgment little short of impertinence.

As far as the next question is concerned I can only say that I would hardly agree with the mover of this resolution (Mr. Heaps) that the United States is at this moment exactly the country to call such a conference. The United States at the present time is spending larger sums on armaments, has to that end made commitments of more hundreds of millions of dollars, than ever before in its long history, and that notwithstanding the Kellogg-Briand pact. This is a fact which must be faced.

I can readily understand my right hon. friend making the observations he did with respect to conferences. He, like myself, had very great hopes of the Kellogg-Briand pact, but we know it was a broken reed-let us face it frankly. We all had hopes of the League of Nations. It failed because the

United States ceased to be a member of it, although its former president called the first assembly. There never was an effective league of nations when the United States ceased to be a party to it. This is the real fact; let us face it squarely.

Then there is one other matter to which attention should be directed. When the right hon. gentleman was speaking about his faith in conferences he was only saying what is being said by statesmen in many parts of the world. I heard one of the most responsible British statesmen say that he felt it was useless for Great Britain to take part in further world conferences or conferences respecting matters such as are suggested should be dealt with by this resolution. I have not forgotten that a great world economic conference was called in 1933. I know one man, two men. three, who were urged by the president of the United States to expedite in every possible way the work of that conference, yet the conference had hardly met and organized before the president of the United States torpedoed it, for reasons which have never yet been made public. In his judgment conditions in the world were such that it was necessary for him to take the action he did.

I did not understand the right hon. gentleman to suggest that family conferences may not be of the greatest value. By family conferences we mean, in Canada, conferences between the provinces and the dominion, or conferences of the nations comprised in the British commonwealth of nations.

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LIB

Ernest Lapointe (Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada)

Liberal

Mr. LAPOINTE (Quebec East):

The disarmament conference was not a great success.

Mr .BENNETT: I was going to mention

that. The Washington conference on naval armaments did accomplish something, but who will say that the results were at all commensurate with our hopes and expectations? Then my friend the Minister of Justice mentioned the disarmament conference. This house knows, what he was good enough to suggest, that all the world was hopeful that all the world would proceed to disarm. But alas 1 see what the effect was upon the people of the little islands in the North sea that we call the British isles. Their idealism was such that under the then prime minister they endeavoured to give effect to it-indeed, did give effect to it, in a manner and to an extent unequalled by any people who ever attempted to give effect to a principle.

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LIB

Thomas Reid

Liberal

Mr. REID:

And nearly ruined themselves.

World Peace-Mr. Church

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CON

Richard Bedford Bennett (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. BENNETT:

Quite so; and to-day with feverish activity they are endeavouring to retrieve their position.

As the Prime Minister was thinking aloud this afternoon, Mr. Speaker, I think he was giving expression to views which many of us hoid. We all desire to attain an end, and we would all willingly make any sacrifice we could to attain it. But alas! we realize that any efforts that have been made thus far to induce all mankind to follow a course to attain that end have been fraught with disappointment. Not that I do not firmly believe that they have served a useful purpose; for the mere fact that nations have met together and discussed their problems and gained an insight into one another's difficulties, has been of the utmost value to the world. But when an hon. member suggests that Europe after all is rather insignificant in matters of this kind, we must not forget that thus far the great nations of the world which have been effective in foreign matters have been those of Europe and Asia. America has a declared policy to play no part in what she calls entangling alliances with Europe. Her freedom from responsibility with respect to European affairs and her unwillingness to participate in world movements that have for their purpose the accomplishment of the ends to which this resolution refers have had an injurious effect upon the general state of public opinion with respect to the influence of the western world upon world problems. I say that reluctantly; nevertheless it is a fact and we may as well face it.

Is any good purpose to be served by suggesting that this government, which is the people of Canada, should advise the chief executive of one hundred and twenty million people that the proper thing for them to do is to call a world conference looking to the ends of peace, when they are engaged more feverishly than ever before in their history in arming themselves, and have on many occasions declared that they have no desire to involve themselves in either responsibility or concern with respect to direct participation in world affairs? I cannot but think that the mere suggestion itself carries its own refutation, and it would be regarded as little short of impertinence by any thoughtful people. I make these observations in no spirit of criticism of the people of the United States. It is their right to do as they please, and their president reflects their views. It would be impertinent for us to tell them how to run their business, and we would regard it as highly impertinent for them to tell us how to run ours. I think that with their good sense1 and their extreme

concern for their own welbbeing they will discharge their duties and functions in a manner that will not be unworthy of their history and traditions. This country would not be advancing the cause of peace or its own interests by undertaking to tell other countries how they should conduct their business, especially when we have so much of our own to attend to, the proper conducting of which merits the united effort of all of us.

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Subtopic:   PROPOSAL THAT CANADA SUGGEST TO THE UNITED STATES THE CONVENING OF A WORLD PEACE CONFERENCE
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CON

Thomas Langton Church

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. T. L. CHURCH (Broadview):

Mr. Speaker, if the motion before the chair represents the best policy that the members of the Cooperative Commonwealth Federation can produce in this house, it amounts to nothing more or less than separatism. As I see it, the time has come when this house should look after our own domestic affairs and leave international affairs to experts, and we have very few of them in this house or out of it. Do the members of the party who introduced this resolution propose to have Canada become an adjunct o'f the United States in matters of foreign policy and defence? We see in this very resolution the extreme to which separatism has gone in this country since it was started a few years ago. Separatism in all its forms-that is what the motion amounts to. We, Mr. Speaker, are part and parcel of the British Empire; our foreign policy is largely defined by the motherland, yet this resolution ignores altogether the motherland and the other dominions and proposes to go to the United States looking for peace, when there is no such thing to be obtained from any league of nations. A few years ago it was Woodrow Wilson who started this League of Nations. We have now had seventeen years of peace pacts and peace agreements on four continents, and the net result of the policy of open diplomacy which Woodrow Wilson preached has been absolute failure.

This resolution, as I see it, would have us go to the United States and ask them to found a sort of new league of nations to create peace. As was said by a very great statesman, no one wants war, and in not dissimilar circumstances on the eve of the Crimean war, Stratford Canning wrote:

The extreme desire for peace, if care be not taken, may bring on the danger of war.

And it did bring about the Crimean war. This resolution is not only separatism, but it is a pan-American resolution and ignores the fact that Canada is part and parcel of the British Empire. We have practically no defence policy of our own. I asked five or six times in this house last session what the defence policy of Canada was, and I got no answer

World Peace-Mr. Church

To-day we are dependent on the mother country for our defence on land and sea and in the air, and when resolutions such as this are introduced into parliament it is no wonder that some of the leading statesmen in the old land ask themselves if the dominions are not becoming a drag on the mother country. That is what they are becoming-a drag on the motherland.

Within the past few years we have had about a hundred peace pacts. We had a conference in Washington, and then we had the Kellogg pact, and while Secretary Kellogg was preaching peace from the housetops in one portion of the capital, the Secretary of State for War brought down a budget of several hundred million dollars for defence. That is the kind of peace policy they have over there. I say the principle of this resolution is separatism, and you can see to-day the results of separatism on the peace of the world. If we could have some respite from peace pacts for the next ten years we might possibly attain peace in the world.

In. 1919 Canada signed the treaty of Versailles as a separate nation, and then a separate seat for Canada was demanded and secured at the Assembly of the League of Nations. In March, 1923, the Halibut treaty was signed at Washington by Canada as a separate nation. The imperial conference of 1923 affirmed the right of Canada to sign separate treaties. In 1924 Canada acted separately on the Dawes plan, and in that year Canada urged that the Colonial Laws Validity Act be repealed. In 1926 there was another imperial conference and the right was affirmed of each dominion to make separate and independent treaties not binding on any other country. We were given sovereign powers, and we saw the results in the Kellogg note. Separatism has gone far enough in this country. Some would abolish appeals to the privy council; others would abolish the office of lieutenant governor. Many innovations have been made during the last few years, with the result that we have nothing but a policy of separatism in this country, and this resolution, Mr. Speaker, practically says that Canada is a separate country from the mother country, like Spain or Ireland. We are bound to the mother country by ties of loyalty and affection. The governor general is also now merely a viceroy and removed from getting any advice from Downing Street.

Furthermore, the policy of the United States with regard to European affairs has already been laid down. It is against the constitution of the United States to take any part in European wars, and the senate foreign relations committee have control. The policy of their

administration is non-intervention in European affairs, and if parliament passed a resolution such as this, she would simply make a laughing stock of herself in the eyes of the other dominions and of the mother country. Separatism in this country and in the other dominions is one of the things that makes it almost impossible for the motherland to have a foreign policy. As an eminent writer says in the English Review of August, 1936:

One of the chief weaknesses of the empire to-day is the uncertainty as to the line it will take as a unit, A few years ago the prime minister of a European power said to me, "The difficulty of dealing with your country is that one never knows where the rest of your empire stands. The signature of the French Foreign Minister is binding on all the territory of France, at home and overseas; but the British Foreign Secretary cannot commit the dominions." That is perfectly true, and it is a truth that must be faced by those who greet every advance of the centrifugal forces as a step forward.

It was that state of affairs that was responsible for the Statute of Westminster. The same writer also says of South Africa, after mentioning that the representatives of the empire were not unanimous on sanctions:

Whether the time has come to modify the statute is another matter, but in the meantime the line taken by South Africa with regard to sanctions is a warning to the government not to enter into commitments which may lead to a war in which the dominions might refuse,to participate.

So we see where the policy of separatism has landed the empire.

I do not wish to speak with disrespect of the motion which the hon. member (Mr. Heaps) has introduced. No doubt he is sincere in the observations he has made. The present president of the United States has always been a friend of Canada, but for us to depend on the American people for our protection on land, on sea and in the air is another thing. I am utterly opposed to the doctrine of pan-Americanism, of which we hear so much talk in the house; I am opposed to a policy of separatism, or to one whereby we must depend on the Monroe doctrine, or any other mythical doctrine which would not affect the British Empire in time of war, or protect anyone.

There are people in Canada who believe in a policy by which we would be more closely connected with the United States. Great Britain stands before God to-day as the trustee for the peace of the world. We have more to expect from her than from any other nation. We have seen the results of peace pacts and disarmament. I say that disarmament has brought the mother country

World Peace-Mr. Church

to the very brink of war in the Mediterranean. As many statesmen have said in the British House of Commons, England to-day is no longer a first class power. The disarmament policy nearly dismembered and disrupted the whole empire.

There are some in Canada who believe in the policy enunciated in the resolution. The League of Nations has been a complete failure. When we realize the way it has functioned in the last few years we must know that we can expect nothing from it so far as the securing of peace is concerned. In my opinion Canada should get out of the league altogether while the going is good, if we wish to support this kind of endeavour. We have spent about $3,000,000 on it, and it brought us to the verge of war in connection with sanctions in Italy, its dealings with Spain, and its treatment of other crises.

In an able article entitled "Whither England," by Douglas Jerrold, appearing in the English Review of July 1936, he states:

France we have driven deliberately out of the orbit of our diplomacy into the arms of Russia.

In the article Mr. Jerrold shows what peace conferences have amounted to. We have had about a hundred of them, and now another is proposed. Mr. Jerrold continues:

Italy we have challenged, with results wholly disastrous. To Japan we have delivered moral lectures. The Norwegians, for so long our most sincere friends in Europe, we have deeply offended by our sanctionist policy. The United States see in our shameful diplomatic defeat not a quixotic gesture in favour of the sanctity of written obligations (the only written obligation which concerns America we have repudiated), but a justification of their own policy of non-intervention in Europe.

In a few months, owing to her policy of entering into peace pacts, England lost her position of a first-class power. The ink is hardly dry on these pacts before the bargains are broken by the very nations who were signatories to them. And other side agreements behind the scenes are made secretly, the results of which would offset the terms of the original pacts.

In view of the resolution before us we may well ask: whither Canada? If the policy outlined by the mover of the resolution is to be that of Canada, then the sooner we get out of the British Empire the better. It seems to me that those in church and state who hold the views of pacifists are, unwittingly or unwillingly, doing Canada a disservice. Pacifism means a refusal to defend or protect our king or country.

Pacifism means neglecting our duty to other countries dependent upon us, and, as I say, those who preach it are unknowingly doing their country a disservice. In the past few years we have seen the result of peace folly, and, as I see it, it is the duty of government to-day to bring down a proper defence policy for Canada. We talk about the few-extra dollars provided in the estimates this year for a defence policy-why, that is no defence policy at all. We receive protection from the British fleet, which protects Canada's shores. The mover of the resolution would appeal to the United States, a country which could transport hardly a single soldier to France without the protection of the British fleet. Despite the non-intervention policy of the United States, in the late war what happened? That very country, upon which we are asked to depend, had to depend upon the British fleet during the whole war period for the defence of her shores, and yet we are asked to accept them as our protector in case of future trouble.

There are some in Canada who believe that in the event of war a general election should be called. The Prime Minister (Mr. Mackenzie King) indicated a few nights ago that within fifteen days parliament would be called, and that a resolution would have to be passed by the House of Commons before one soldier could be sent out of Canada. Did anyone ever hear of such a policy? No doubt the next war will be fought in the air, and before we can call parliament things will be happening. Within a few hours aeroplanes travelling two hundred and fifty miles an hour will be coming towards us. They would be in the country before a general election could be called, or before we could get the ballot boxes ready. The day' will never come when Mr. General Election will become commander in chief of the British forces or admiral of the British fleet. Before we could act, the air fleet of the enemy would have passed over Canada and within five or six hours would have destroyed all municipal institutions, barracks, canals, railway terminals, public utilities and parliament buildings, and injured civilian non-combatants. After doing this they could return to their base within a few hours without damage to themselves.

For fifteen or sixteen years pacifists have had their way with peace pacts and peace folly. We now see the lack of wisdom in failure to evolve a defence policy. To-day Europe is an armed camp. Against whom is Germany arming? Is she arming against Great Britain? France is arming; Italy is arming-they are all in the same position.

World Peace-Mr. Cahan

We see evidence of an absolute failure of the policy preached from the housetops seventeen years ago by Mr. Woodrow Wilson; we see evidence of the utter folly of his recommendations. The house would be unwise to pass the resolution proposed by the hon. member. As a matter of fact, in view of the Statute of Westminster I believe the resolution is out of order. Moreover, it does not commend itself to the wisdom or judgment of the people of Canada.

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CON

Charles Hazlitt Cahan

Conservative (1867-1942)

Hon. C. H. CAHAN (St. Lawrence-St. George):

Mr. Speaker, I rose before to say

a few words of appreciation of the very excellent address delivered this afternoon by the Prime Minister (Mr. Mackenzie King), but my leader, the right hon. the leader of the opposition (Mr. Bennett) has expressed more felicitously than I could have done the views which I entertain.

May I add one word in regard to a suggestion made by the hon. member for Winnipeg North (Mr. Heaps) to the effect that Canada should enter the so-called pan-American conference and take part as a member in that conference. After living seven or eight years in Mexico I believe I know something about it, something about the central American states, something about the states of South America, something about Haiti, and something about Cuba, all of which I have visited, and I am convinced that one of the most unfortunate political manoeuvres which could be adopted by the government of Canada would be to enter as a participating member in any pan-American conference or union. We to the north of the United States have few interests in common with those states. By uniting with them in a union we would add -nothing to our economic and very little to our intellectual or cultural strength. I am convinced that the idea suggested by the hon. member for Winnipeg North should be deprecated.

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CCF

Abraham Albert Heaps

Co-operative Commonwealth Federation (C.C.F.)

Mr. HEAPS:

I do not think I said that

we should join with them; I was just referring to some remarks of the Minister of Justice (Mr. Lapointe).

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CON

Charles Hazlitt Cahan

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. CAHAN:

The record will show. I

understood the hon. member to suggest to the Prime Minister that he had made answer on another occasion that Canada had not been invited to participate in that conference. I understood the hon. member for Winnipeg North to deprecate that statement being made, and to suggest that, if an invitation had been given, he would have been quite in favour of Canada accepting.

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CCF

Abraham Albert Heaps

Co-operative Commonwealth Federation (C.C.F.)

Mr. HEAPS:

I do not say that I would

have been favourable.

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CON

Charles Hazlitt Cahan

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. CAHAN:

I do not wish to take up

the time of the house, except to add that if there comes a time when Canada is invited to become a member of a pan-American union or association, I trust the Prime Minister will not accept any such membership or will not send any representatives to such a conference until parliament has had an opportunity to discuss the various phases of the matter. To-day a Canadian can go to Mexico, to Central America, to South America, even to Haiti or Santo Domingo or Cuba under a Canadian passport. He is received with respect in every one of these states. The people in those countries have no feeling that Canada is a hostile neighbour. They have no suspicion that Canada is attempting to assert suzerainty or sovereignty in any degree over their political policies or their political future.

I suggest with great deference that our entering into such a union would provoke difficulty and embarrassment for any government of Canada. I do not wish to go into the matter in too great detail, but I ask hon. members to look at the map of South America and study its geographical situation. The fact is that South America is further away from us than the European states. Mexico, Central America and the Pacific coast of South America were undoubtedly settled originally by aborigines who came from over the Pacific. There were great Indian races that settled in Mexico, Central and South America, such as it then was, they developed civilizations of their own. They never succeeded in migrating in great numbers across the Andes to the Atlantic coast. We find Indian tribes settling around the south in Patagonia; and the same migration taking place in the northern part of the South American continent, but the whole wide sweep of the Atlantic coast had practically no indigenous population and was left open to settlement by European immigrants.

The Spanish came to Uruguay, or rather into the district which subsequently became Uruguay, and they came into the states which were united into Argentina. There they developed a Spanish civilization and a Spanish culture with no large admixture of indigenous races or of Indian blood. In cities like Montevideo or Buenos Aires you find a Spanish civilization. The labouring classes are mostly Italian, but you realize you are among white people. When you talk to them you realize that they have a civilization and a culture which are most admirable. But the

World Peace-Mr. Rowe (Athabaska)

situation is different in Brazil. The Portuguese settled that magnificent territory of theirs with negro slaves. They brought them in by the tens of thousands, and the present population is largely an ad-mixture of negro races, dominated by the Portuguese. To the north there is Venezuela. Any one who has been to Caracas will have seen an old-fashioned Spanish-American city. The dominating race is Spanish, but the great majority of the population is Indian. Colombia is a great Indian state. There is a Spanish civilization and culture in Bogota, the capital, but the population of that state is made up of Indian races. Bolivia and Paraguay are populated largely with Indian races, many of whom still live in a savage state. Peru is Indian, but Chili is not. The Spaniards who early settled in Chili wiped out the Indian races and the present population is almost pure Spanish. But there is not one democratic state among them all. They are ruled largely by military dictatorships which are changed from time to time by force of arms in times of insurrections. They look upon Canadian conditions with admiration.

If I may be permitted, I should like to relate an incident which occurred in Mexico some years ago. I knew President Diaz of Mexico quite well. One day he came out with me to see a great Canadian work that was being carried on in the valley of the Necaxa river. At that time we were building one of the largest dams in the world to develop a water fall eight times the height of Niagara. If I remember correctly, the drop in the pipes was 1,356 feet. After lunch President Diaz came out on to the verandah of a cottage on the mountain side smoking his cigarette. He laid his revolver down on a little square table in front of him just in case some trouble might arise. He looked with great astonishment at the trains running up and down the valley below carrying materials for this great dam and hydro-electro power installation. There were thousands of men at work throughout the valley. He expressed appreciation and admiration of the work. He turned to me and said, "Signor Cahan, I do like you Canadians." Rather taken aback, I asked, "Why, Your Excellency?" He puffed his cigarette for a moment or two and then he replied, "You Canadians live north of the forty-ninth parallel of latitude and we Mexicans live south of the Rio Grande. That fact alone should make for the eternal friendship of the two peoples." Thirty years ago that same feeling prevailed to my knowledge in many, if not all, of the states of Central and South America. Conditions have since undoubtedly changed as the United

States have become more powerful, both economically and politically, yet despite repeated South American conferences I believe that feeling still exists in every state south of the Rio Grande.

Why should we enter hastily and without due consideration into that association of embroilment and, for us, continuous embarrassment? I trust that before this or any other government of Canada enters into the pan-American union, it will take all existing conditions into consideration and will remember that by the members of that union the Canadian government and the Canadian people are now respected and esteemed; participating in that union they would simply become embroiled in strife and difficulty. I wished to say this in reply to my hon. friend because I have heard much of late on some public platforms and read in the public press suggestions that it is the duty of Canada to assume, what the Americans are trying to escape, a sort of supervision over the political affairs of some of the so-called Latin-Ameri-can states, which are not Latin, and which are American simply because that name has been given not only to North America and Central America but also to the continent of South America.

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SC

Percy John Rowe

Social Credit

Mr. P. J. ROWE (Athabaska):

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CCF

Angus MacInnis

Co-operative Commonwealth Federation (C.C.F.)

Mr. ANGUS MacINNIS (Vancouver East):

Mr. Speaker, I wish to say a few words in support of the motion of my colleague from Winnipeg North (Mr. Heaps), of which I am the seconder.

First of all I think the Prime Minister (Mr. Mackenzie King) is unduly sensitive over criticism of the increased expenditure for armaments in this country. As a matter of fact the member for Winnipeg North scarcely referred to the matter. All he did say, as I recall it, was that we in Canada must have caught the armament fever that was so prevalent in other parts of the world. Surely the Prime Minister must be very sensitive if he objects to a statement of that kind. Is it possible that his conscience troubles him and that he cannot justify the expenditures that are now proposed? At the moment I cannot find any other reason for his sensitiveness.

World Peace-Mr. Maclnnis

One point that was emphasized both by the Prime Minister and by the leader of the opposition (Mr. Bennett) was that it would be an impertinence on the part of this government to suggest to the government of the United States what they should do in their domestic affairs. But, Mr. Speaker, I do not think this resolution asks the house or the government to interfere in any way with the domestic affairs of the United States. Owing to the many failures we have seen, owing to the failure of the League of Nations and of the many efforts that have been made to bring about some form of international cooperation that would ensure to the world an enduring peace, the mover of the resolution asks that this government approach the president of the United States and ask him, because of his position, to call a world conference to discuss the question of world peace. The suggestion may not be a good one, it may not be a wise one, but certainly the resolution does not suggest that in asking the president of the United States to do such a thing we are in any way meddling with the domestic affairs of that country.

The resolution indicates that the League of Nations has failed to bring about permanent peace, and I believe all hon. members realize the truth of the assertion. I suggest we should try to find out why it has failed. Some of us believe it has failed principally because it was not so much interested in the maintenance of world peace-a world peace on a proper basis of social justice-as it was in the maintenance of the status quo. In other words, it was more intent on maintaining the advantages obtained by military force in the last war than it was in the maintenance of world peace, and it is for that reason many of us believe it failed. No doubt there were other reasons.

While many nations accepted the principle of the league, they did not accept it in spirit. The two notable league failures to which the mover of the resolution and the hon. member for Athabaska (Mr. Rowe) referred, namely its failure to stop Japan in Manchuria and Italy in Abyssinia, are so well known and so fresh in our minds that they deserve more attention. In my view the prestige of the league could have survived its failure in Manchuria, but its failure in Abyssinia destroyed it, or made effective work in future very difficult.

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LIB

Paul Joseph James Martin

Liberal

Mr. MARTIN:

On its political side?

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CCF

Angus MacInnis

Co-operative Commonwealth Federation (C.C.F.)

Mr. MacINNIS:

I find it difficult to distinguish its political from its economic side. There may be-probably is-a difference, but if we cannot settle the world's political differences we cannot settle its economic differences. It may be the other way about, and I am not going to argue the point at this time.

The league failed in the Abyssinian affair largely because the two principal nations who could act in the circumstances, would not act because of self interest. France would not act because she was afraid of losing Italy's cooperation in the event of future aggression on the part of Germany, and Great Britain would not act because, as Sir Samuel Hoare said, she was unwilling to "risk a single ship in defence of Abyssinia."

That is not the spirit in which the league was formed. Great Britain would not be risking ships in the interests of Abyssinia; she would be risking ships in the interests of the whole system of collective security. Because the league failed to stop aggression in Abyssinia we are now faced with greater and graver dangers than we were before. I am in favour of a league of nations, but I am just as much convinced as the Prime Minister, probably more convinced than he is, that we cannot have a league without assuming certain obligations. We cannot have a system of collective security or a system which will ensure the security of the various nations in the event of attack without every nation assuming its obligations in the circumstances.

The Prime Minister accused hon. members in this part of the chamber of wanting a league of nations that had some force. He stated that there had been a suggestion of a league of nations with teeth in it, and his observation was that force begot force. If the right hon. gentleman can apply that observation to the collective force of the league of nations, then I say it is more applicable to the armaments of the nations. There is no such thing as adequate defence, because the minute one nation has adequate defence it becomes a menace to another nation, and it, in turn, must increase its armaments so that it has adequate defence against that nation which first secured adequate defence. That must be so, so long as we have the present system of alliances and balance of power. There is no way in which we can overcome the difficulty except through the acceptance of a league of nations.

It must be a league of nations or chaos, and I prefer a league of nations with the definite provision that obligations as well as security, will be involved. I am convinced we cannot have security without obligations. It would appear however that at the present time the league does not seem to be able to function.

World Peace-Mr. Heaps

The motion suggests that in its wisdom the government should approach the president of the United States and ask him, as the person best fitted in the circumstances, to call the nations of the world together in an effort to find a formula for peace. I do not admit that in so proceeding we would be interfering with the domestic affairs of the United States, and if we fail we have failed in a just cause. I see no reason why the government could not accept the suggestion.

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CCF

Abraham Albert Heaps

Co-operative Commonwealth Federation (C.C.F.)

Mr. A. A. HEAPS (Winnipeg North):

Mr. Speaker, I shall take this opportunity to reply to some of the observations that have been made this afternoon. It is not my intention to deal with the remarks of certain hon. members in reference to the pan-American conference, because, although that matter may have some bearing on the discussion of the resolution before the house, its importance in that connection is not, in my opinion, such as to call for extended comment at this time.

In his defence of the attitude he takes, namely that of refusing to suggest that the president of the United States call a conference, the Prime Minister (Mr. Mackenzie King) first of all stated he was rather tired of the conferences held in the past and was afraid of conferences which might be held in the future. That observation is a peculiar one when we remember it was only yesterday that the Prime Minister indicated his willingness to call another national conference in Canada. Not only was he in favour of such a conference to discuss a complicated question, but the suggestion was first made by the right hon. the leader of the opposition (Mr. Bennett). Now, within a few hours after expressing themselves as being in favour of a conference in Canada, they rise in this chamber and say they are sick and tired of calling conferences.

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CON

Richard Bedford Bennett (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. BENNETT:

I distinctly stated that I had no reference to interprovincial or family conferences, and I assume the Prime Minister meant the same thing.

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CCF

Abraham Albert Heaps

Co-operative Commonwealth Federation (C.C.F.)

Mr. HEAPS:

While the right hon. gentleman makes a reservation, I still believe the principle is the same. I believe the Prime Minister said he was tired of the conferences that we had had in this country in the past, and did not know whether they were conducive of the good which it had been anticipated they would produce. I am speaking from memory, but if I am not mistaken-

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LIB

William Lyon Mackenzie King (Prime Minister; Secretary of State for External Affairs; President of the Privy Council)

Liberal

Mr. MACKENZIE KING:

I did not say last year; I was speaking generally and in particular of world conferences.

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January 27, 1937