March 22, 1945

On the orders of the day: Mr. JEAN-FRANQOIS POULIOT (Temis-couata): Since members of parliament are receiving letters daily asking for information on the housing policy of the government, I would ask the minister concerned to be good enough on the orders of the day to-morrow to make a statement of policy and inform hon. members of what is going on, and also to tell the house when the publications regarding housing will be ready for distribution. We have been expecting some of them for months; we are told every day they are coming off the press, but so far we have not received them. I hope it may be possible to have this statement to-morrow.


James Lorimer Ilsley (Minister of Finance and Receiver General)


Hon. J. L. ILSLEY (Minister of Finance):

I can make a statement to-morrow as to when the regulations are likely to be available to the public. They have been in course of preparation for some time, and I understand they will be available soon. The other part of the hon. gentleman's question, as to what is going on, is a little indefinite, but I will make a brief statement to-morrow.

Topic:   HOUSING

Jean-François Pouliot

Independent Liberal


Thank you.

Topic:   HOUSING



On the orders of the day:


Agar Rodney Adamson

Progressive Conservative

Mr. A. R. ADAMSON (York West):

I should like to address a question to the Minister of Veterans Affairs. Unfortunately I have not had an opportunity of giving him notice, for which I apologize. Has there been any reconsideration of the government's decision to exclude Canadian firefighters who have seen service overseas from the benefits of the service men's gratuities?


Hon. IAN A MACKENZIE@Minister of Veterans Affairs

I can assure my hon. friend that this matter is now before the government for consideration.



On the orders of the day:


Thomas Langton Church

National Government

Mr. T. L. CHURCH (Broadview):

On a question of privilege, Mr. Speaker, I wish to call attention to a special article in the

Toronto Star of last evening referring to the opposition in connection with the debate now in progress in the house, in which it says that no member of the opposition was ready to take part. It goes on to refer to one of us over here as Richard the Unready, whereas the King of England they had in mind was Ethelred the Unready. I was ready to go on Tuesday night, but I understood we were not expected to take part in the debate that day. I may add that in debates I have adopted here the slogan of the Queen's Own Rifles of Toronto "Ready, aye ready."




On the orders of the day:


Gordon Graydon (Leader of the Official Opposition)

National Government

Mr. GORDON GRAYDON (Leader of the Opposition):

May I suggest to the Prime Minister that to-morrow, if it appears that the present session will go beyond Easter, he might make a statement to the house, for the convenience of hon. members who are here, as to what the adjournment will be over the Easter week-end.




The house resumed, from March 21, consideration of the motion of Mr. Mackenzie King to approve a resolution to send representatives to a conference of the united nations at San Francisco to prepare a charter for the maintenance of international peace and security.


Arthur Wentworth Roebuck


Mr. A. W. ROEBUCK (Trinity):

I have been impressed, Mr. Speaker, during the course of this debate with the unanimity of opinion expressed by hon. members with regard to the resolution before the house. The Prime Minister stated that he thought the resolution would be non-eontentious, with which view the hon. member for York-Sunbury (Mr. Hanson) seemed to agree. Since then there has been a sweet reasonableness in the speeches of hon. members that has been delightful and yet somewhat surprising, when one considers that in the debate on this resolution this house is approaching the most momentous question that has confronted this assembly since the declaration of war. And yet that is reasonable enough as well, because who among us at the close of this terrible war would refuse to join at least in the hope for international peace and security? The blood of the fallen millions ini two wars on the battlefields of both Europe and Asia call to us who still live to take such

San Francisco Conference

action as is within our power to see that there be not reenacted the tragedies of 1914 and 1939.

Were Canada to defeat this resolution, were she to refuse to send a delegation to San Francisco, she would forfeit the high position she has now secured in the councils of the world. That would be the result should she stand aside at this critical time and refuse to join in the struggle which must confront the delegation to San Francisco.

I submit that this resolution should carry unanimously, and I congratulate the Prime Minister (Mr. Mackenzie King) upon his masterly presentation of the subject in opening the debate. I rejoice that the Canadian delegation to San Francisco will be led by a statesman of the knowledge and wisdom of the present Prime Minister of Canada.

I am also pleased that probably included in the delegation will be the amiable gentleman who leads the official opposition-although I must confess that so far he has contributed very little to the debate on the subject. But I would suggest that, if the delegation is to have a Progressive-Conservative wing, we place in the estimates the price of an alarm clock, so that when they are there they will have their speeches written on time. It might be worth while were we to pay the cost of some vitamins, to pep them up a bit, and enable them to recover from that inferiority complex in international affairs which has always afflicted members of that party.

The resolution provides, in the first instance, that we accept the invitation to San Francisco, and secondly that we approve the principles and purpose of the Dumbarton Oaks proposals

__in effect the maintenance of international

peace and security. Those proposals are put forward as a satisfactory general basis for discussion. The government's policy is expressed in the resolution. It is easy indeed for the house to approve in a general way any effort to maintain peace and security. The young lives and the treasure we have poured out in these last few years in the melting pot of war, and the horrors through which humanity has passed, are sufficient guarantee of our sincerity in that regard. We want no more of war with its loss and its bereavements.

It is easy to determine that Canada's delegates should go to the conference, but it is much more difficult to decide what our delegation should do when it gets there. Lest there be any misunderstanding in this regard, let me point out that the Dumbarton Oaks proposals are not a statement of Canadian government policy. Except as an observer, Canada was not even there, and Canadian representatives took no part in the discussion which preceded the statement of proposals. They are the proposals of the big four who were there and therefore Canada is free to express het welcome or her commendation of the proposals, if she feels that way-or to criticize them. She is free to improve them if possible. The proposals were drawn without the presence of the great body of the allied nations. I think it is fair, therefore, to assume that the proposals will be modified, perhaps materially modified, when the smaller nations are heard. I sincerely hope that they will be changed in the discussions to take place at San Francisco; for in my opinion the Prime Minister and his associates will need all the wisdom they possess if this conference is not to be wrecked on the tangled skeins of these practical proposals. It will take all the wisdom and good will of our delegation and other delegations to assure that the international house of cards which may be erected in San Francisco does not collapse in wrack and ruin as did the house of the league of nations.

There are many reasons advanced as to why the league failed in the crisis. But in my humble opinion, one of the primary reasons for the failure of the league of nations was that the big four assumed to boss the show. The next reason was that the nations, including the big four, failed to carry out in action the high principles they expressed in memoranda. It was because of the lack of effectiveness and will to hold together, and the set-up which in practice gave to the big four undue control in the councils of the nations. It was because the small and medium nations permitted themselves to be treated as inferiors. Had the set-up of the league of nations been more democratic; had it been in very truth a parliament of the world, the United States would probably have joined in the deliberations. Confidence would have developed among the nations, and in the time of testing they might have relied upon collective security instead of each trying to save his own hide, with a total disregard for the welfare of others.

According to the Dumbarton Oaks proposals, the same general scheme is to be followed. The big five in matters of vital importance assume to be the whole thing. Frankly, I wonder how likely of permanent success is such an arrangement.

Let me pause to commend the men who at Dumbarton Oaks framed these proposals. They made a good beginning. One must realize that the Dumbarton Oaks proposals are an offer by the big five to all other allied nations of a scheme of association entirely satisfactory to themselves, something

San Francisco Conference

to form a basis of discussion and of bargaining when these delegations meet shortly in San Francisco.

The real purpose of the institutions to be set up in San Francisco is the establishment of an organization to maintain international peace and security, a consummation devoutly to be wished. To this end it is proposed that we constitute a security council of eleven nations and endow that council with the drastic and terrible responsibility of peace and war. If you will turn to page 16 of the pamphlet containing the Dumbarton Oaks proposals, published by the wartime information board, you will notice that the council in question is empowered to settle any dispute which constitutes in its judgment a threat to international security. To that end it may take such action by air, naval or land forces as may be necessary. Then if you will turn to page 17 of the pamphlet, you will note that all the members, not the eleven only who constitute the council for the time being, are expected to make available to the security council the armed forces, facilities and assistance which may be necessary. This is qualified only by the fact that the military assistance shall be in accordance with the agreements concluded among themselves. That is a powerful organization for concentrating in the hands of a few the military forces of the united nations.

But the fly in the ointment is in the constitution of the council, which you will find described on page 11 of the pamphlet. This reads:

The security council should consist of one representative of each of eleven members of the organization. Representatives of the United States of America, the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics, the Republic of China, and, in due course, France, should have permanent seats.

The remaining six seats are to be competed for by the forty or fifty other united nations on a two year basis without the privilege of reelection. I do not wish to go through all the details of this constitution, with its voting privileges and so on. Sufficient it is for my purpose to say that the control of the armed forces which may be placed at the disposal of this council is to be in the hands of the permanent members of the board.

It has been urged in countless debates since these proposals were made that this control by the so-called great powers is made inevitable by the recognition of the facts of military might-as the Prime Minister phrased it, "the

fact of might in this imperfect world." One cannot be a realist and not recognize the logical consequence of the possession of power, but those who assume the right to make decisions should furnish the military might necessary to enforce them. There is an old saying that he who pays the piper calls the tune. I think the reverse statement should be equally true, that he who calls the tune should pay the piper.

The Canadian people, it will be found, are not prepared to be the tail of any one's kite- international ox otherwise. I notice that Anthony Eden, the British foreign secretary, seemed to have recognized that fact in a statement which appeared in yesterday's paper; I read from the Toronto Star:

There can be no freedom in the world unless the smaller states can be joined with the great powers in the protection of their common interests. Their right to their own way of life must be respected.

Note this sentence:

They must have their due share in making great decisions.

Mr. Eden must have realized that unless the smaller nations have had their share in the making of decisions of prime importance, they will not long cooperate in carrying them out. If it is necessary that we have a number of permanent members on the security council, to the exclusion of and superior to the great body of the united nations, then I ask, why is it that Canada is not included? I have been surprised Mr. Speaker, in the course of this debate to observe the readiness with which members on all sides of the house have accepted on the part of our nation the role of a second class power. I submit to you that a nation that is able to enlist something slightly fewer than a million men in its armed forces, that has a hundred ships of war upon the sea and thousands of its airmen in the skies, that is able to pour out something in the order of twenty billion dollars for the war effort before this coming year is concluded-I submit that such a nation holds no inferior place among the nations of the world. When it comes to enforcing decisions of the security council, when militaiy action or economic sanctions are the order of the day, the concurrence of Canada will be essential to success.

I have been told that the reason we are not included among the permanent members of this board is that it is economic and military power that counts. If that is so, Mr. Speaker, how can it be said that France and China have anything comparable to the military and economic power of the Dominion of Canada?

San Francisco Conference

At all events, we are not fighting among ourselves as are the people of China-due, I grant you, to the statesmanship of the Prime Minister that we are not fighting among ourselves!

It may be answered that it is not present power that counts but rather potential power. If that be so, Mr. Speaker, who, I ask you, will look into the future and will limit the potential power of this great Dominion of Canada?

Perhaps the real answer to this question why Canada is not placed in the upper class lies in the fact that Canada is a part of the British empire, and it has been assumed1 by those who know less of our constitution than, do we that Great Britain speaks for the rest of the selfgoverning dominions, including this country of Canada. If Great Britain is to speak for Canada, let me point out that it involves both advantages and dangers. If the British delegation speaks on behalf of Canada, the question at once arises as to how the British delegation is to be selected. Does Canada have a voice in the selection and instruction of that delegation? If not, is Canada to revert in foreign affairs to the colonial status from which we have so slowly and painfully emerged during the century that has passed? And what, Mr. Speaker, becomes of the imperial conference resolution of 1926 in which it was declared that Great Britain and the self-governing dominions are equal in status, and not inferior one to the other in any aspect of their domestic or foreign affairs?

The old-time view of Canada's position within the empire as expressed by Kipling has long passed-"Daughter am I in my mother's house, but mistress in my own." That was a broadminded statement when Kipling penned those famous words, because it conceded to Canada autonomy in local affairs, but impliedly it asserted, as the facts then were, that Canada did not have control of her foreign affairs. Kipling would not write those words to-day did he know the changes that have taken place. Canada now is daughter in no man's house though still mistress in her own. She is the equal of any member of the British commonwealth and occupies no different relation to any other member from that which that member occupies to her.

It is important, in my view that these fundamentals of Canada's status be borne in mind by the delegates who attend the San Francisco conference. Let it not be forgotten by those delegates that Canada is a north American nation and that she has interests and problems which are essentially different from those of the nations of Europe and Asia. She is a north American nation and all that

this implies. With the United States on the south, with the great Soviet republic on our west, and with Great Britain on our east, Canada is strategically placed. In such a midway position no one can speak for Canada but Canada herself, and no one can act for Canada except with Canada's consent. I think this is thoroughly realized, though so far unexpressed, by the Prime Minister who will lead this delegation. I should like to read you a word from his speech:

It is the view of the government that the constitutional position within the organization of important secondary countries should be clarified-

That is, our position should be clarified.

-and that the delegation from Canada should exert the utmost effort to secure due recognition of their relative standing among the nations of the world.

No doubt the Prime Minister had Canada ini mind when he spoke these words. I hope that the members of this delegation will go to San Francisco bearing vividly in their minds the fact that they are there to further the cause of peace and security, to protect the interests and the future of the dominion which they represent, and to promote the future of mankind.

The Prime Minister, in the remarkable and capable speech with which he opened this debate, has said that our contribution to the fashioning of victory is far beyond what we could have expected six years ago, and that our contribution to the maintenance of peace and security may be even greater. That is true. The Prime Minister also said, as reported on page 30 of Hansard,'.

It is important that our representatives should speak with a clear, strong and united voice.

With that statement I heartily agree. I wish that I could imbue every member of this delegation with the militant and aggressive Canadianism which I myself possess. I would add to that excellent statement: speak not only with a strong voice but with a bold and confident voice, fully realizing and maintaining the dignity and importance of the brave country which it is their privilege to represent. The ancient leader Joshua, speaking in Israel, used these words, "Be thou strong and very courageous", and I repeat his words to the members of this momentous delegation, "Be thou strong and very courageous", and let them bear in mind throughout their most important deliberations that any human institution which they may set up for the exercise of military and economic power which they hope will endure must be based upon a foundation of democracy, of equality, and of respect for every member represented. If the security

San Francisco Conference

council is to endure, it must be subject to democratic control by all members who participate in the dangers and the costs of its decisions.


Howard Charles Green

National Government

Mr. H. C. GREEN (Vancouver South):

Mr. Speaker, the resolution under debate today provides for endorsement by this house of the acceptance of the invitation extended to the government of Canada to attend the conference at San Francisco; it provides that the house shall recognize that the establishment of an effective international organization for the maintenance of international peace and security is of vital importance to Canada and that she should become a member; further that the house approves of the purposes and principles set forth in the proposals of the four governments, known as the Dumbarton Oaks and the Yalta proposals, and considers that such proposals provide a basis for the discussion of the charter of the proposed international organization. The resolution does not provide that by accepting it this house shall be taken as approving all these proposals as distinguished from the purposes and principles; it merely states that the proposals are to be considered as a basis for discussion. Then it provides that the representatives of Canada shall be instructed to further the preparation of an acceptable charter for an international organization, and finally that such charter shall, before ratification, be submitted to the Canadian parliament for approval.

Anyone in this house or elsewhere in Canada who believes in world peace must approve this resolution. Surely it is obvious now that there can be world peace only if there is some effective world organization. So there is in my opinion nothing controversial about the resolution itself.

But the case is different with the proposals that were submitted to this house and to the nation by the Prime Minister (Mr. King) in his speech of two days ago. He outlined some of the changes which this Canadian government will ask in the proposals, and gave us some idea of the policy of the government with regard to an international organization. It is true that he did not give us as many details as some of us would have liked, but he did give a rough outline of the proposals which the present Canadian government will present at San Francisco. To-day I propose to criticize some of these proposals. I shall try to do that, not for the sake of criticism, but having always in mind the aim that Canada may make the greatest possible contribution to world peace.

International peace and security cannot be attained or kept by passing resolutions or by junketing trips to international conferences, whether they are at Geneva or San Francisco or any other place. It cannot be attained or kept by speeches at such conferences, but only by each nation being prepared, in the first place, to cooperate on friendly terms with all other nations, and, in the second place, to combine at once with other nations to fight any aggressor. That is another lesson we should have learned from this second world war. I have always thought that the basic principle in considering how world peace may be attained and kept is very clearly set out by Sir Norman Angell in his book entitled "Let the People Know". At page 50 he gives that principle as follows:

It is this exceedingly simple and basic social principle: unless the community-whether it be a community of persons or of states-is prepared to use its combined power for the defence of the individual member who is made the victim of lawless violence, there can be neither law, nor peace, nor justice, nor stable civilization.

Therefore for Canada it all adds up to this: she must be prepared to furnish fighting men for service abroad. It is to be hoped that there will never be fighting on Canadian soil. Surely Canadians should hope that any fighting which takes place will be as far away from our shores as possible. This means that we must be prepared to furnish fighting men for service anywhere in the world; it means, putting it on a personal basis, bringing it back to the Canadian father or mother in the home, that Canadians must be prepared to have their sons die abroad to protect some other nation; because we realize that only in that way can peace be maintained. It follows as surely as the night the day that only in that way can our homeland of Canada be secured. The Canadian House of Commons, the Canadian people, had better face that fact, had better realize that there may be a price to be paid in Canadian blood for world peace. I believe that Canadians will face it and will be prepared to pay that price. But it did not help to have the Prime Minister use these words in this speech of March 20, 1945, as reported at page 26 of Hansard of that date:

As they stand, the acceptance of the proposals would in no way commit Canada to send forces beyond Canadian territory at the call of the security council.

I realize that that statement can be interpreted in two ways. It can be said that what was meant was that in the first agreement between Canada and the new world organization which provides for the forces that Canada must furnish, there would also have to be special provision if these troops

San Francisco Conference

were to be sent beyond the boundaries of Canada. But it may also be interpreted in another way, and I fear that it will be interpreted the other way by some of the Prime Minister's followers in the election campaign this year. It can be interpreted to mean that when trouble comes Canada will not have to send any men beyond her boundaries unless there is an agreement made at that time that such shall be done. If every nation or only a few nations take that position, there will be no effective world organization. The tragedy of his statement is that it gives the impression that in entering a world organization Canada has not very much to worry about, that there is very little obligation.

May I suggest to the Prime Minister that it would have been far wiser for him to adopt the attitude taken by that great leader the Right Hon. Winston Churchill when in 1940 he told the British people that he could offer them nothing but blood, sweat and tears. He received their whole-hearted support because he took that attitude. It would have been far wiser-and the Prime Minister can still make his position clear-to tell the Canadian people that there will probably be a price to pay, that almost certainly sooner or later Canadians will have to die abroad with the young men of the other peace-loving nations in order to suppress aggression; and it should be pointed out that for such a cause the sacrifice would be worth while.

The Prime Minister showed the same attitude with regard to Canada imposing sanctions. His statement will be found at page 29 of Hansard of March 20, where he used these words:

It would seem to be desirable to develop some procedure whereby states not represented on the security council-

Which, of course, under the present provisions will be Canada's position most of the time.

would not be called upon to undertake serious enforcement action without the opportunity or participating in the council's proceedings, or without agreeing separately to-

Here is the damaging part of the statement.

or without agreeing separately to join in executing the decisions of the council.

That would probably mean a delay. It might defeat the whole purpose of sanctions being imposed. It is too much like the attitude taken by this same Canadian government back in 1935 concerning the imposing of sanctions on Italy. I hold in my hand a press dispatch of December 2, 1935, which reads as follows:

When Doctor Walter A. Riddell, Canada's permanent advisory officer at Geneva suggested on November 2 to the league of nations committee of eighteen that sanctions against Italy should be extended to include oil, coal byproducts, iron and steel, he was expressing "only his own personal opinion, not the views of the Canadian government," according to a lengthy statement issued by acting Prime Minister Ernest Lapointe on Sunday.

The Prime Minister's statement indicates that this government is still tarred with the no-commitment stick. Those of us who were in the House of Commons before war broke out will remember that right up to the outbreak of war the foreign policy of Canada, under the present government, was that she had no commitments to anybody, league of nations, Great Britain or other dominions, United States or anybody else. I am afraid that that attitude is still in the back of the minds of the ministry. The government is still thinking along this line and is trying to leave open an exit from some of the obligations that Canada will be asked to assume at San Francisco. I hesitate to be suspicious, but it looks to me like an attempt to appease the isolationists of Canada. In any event it is a very disturbing attitude. Our delegation must make clear at San Francisco that Canada is prepared to make commitments, to stand by them not only in word but in deed and with no thought of evasion.

I now come to Canada's position under the Dumbarton Oaks security proposals. First of all there is to be a general assembly. I need say nothing about that other than that all of the nations, including Canada, will be members of the assembly and every nation will have the same authority. Then there is to be an economic and social council. That is a council set up for the direct betterment of mankind. I agree with the Prime Minister's remarks of a few days ago when he said that he hoped it would not be very long before the work of that council should become the most important -work of this new world organization, although I doubt whether that will be so for many years. I hope also that that council will always keep in mind that portion of the Atlantic charter, that great charter for humanity, which gave us the vision of a peace which would offer the assurance that all the men in all the lands might live out their lives in freedom from fear and want. There are to be eighteen members on this council, chosen by the assembly for a term of three years, and I have no doubt that in her turn Canada will be a member of that council.

Then there is to be a security council, which is given the main task in the world organization, the task of maintaining peace and security. Of course the- primary purpose of this world organization, is to stop wars and to defeat any aggressor who starts one. The

San Francisco Conference

greatest power of the security council is set out in chapter VIII, section B, paragraph 5 of the proposals, in these words:

In order that all members of the organization-

Not just the greater powers, as the hon. member for Trinity (Mr. Roebuck) suggested.

-should contribute to the maintenance of international peace and security, they should undertake to make available to the security council, on its call-

That, of course, is the reverse of the statement of the Prime Minister the other day with regard to troops serving beyond Canada on call of the security council.

and in accordance with a special agreement or agreements concluded among themselves, armed forces, facilities and assistance necessary for the purpose of maintaining international peace and security.

There are to be eleven members, six of them non-permanent, elected for two-year terms and ineligible to serve a second term immediately. Five members are to be permanent; and they are named, in chapter VI of the proposals, as the United States of America, the United Kingdom of Greait Britain and Northern. Ireland, the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics, the Republic of China and, in due course, France. Those permanent seats on the council have been allotted on the basis of power; certainly that is so in respect of the first three named; the Prime Minister put it the other day, that those are the three greatest world powers. The nations holding permanent seats are given very wide powers. In the first place, on all vital matters such as the application of force or the imposition of sanctions, they must agree, which of course means that any one of the five may veto action. That is set out in chapter VI, section C, paragraph 3 the proposals, in these words:

Decisions of the security council on all other matters-

That is, other than procedural matters.

-should be made by an affirmative vote of seven members including the concurring votes of the permanent members; provided that, in decisions under chapter VIII, section A-

That has to do with the pacific settlement of disputes, as distinguished from threats to the peace or acts of aggression.

and under the second sentence of paragraph one of chapter VIII, section C-

This refers to regional arrangements.

-a party to a dispute should abstain from voting.

That is the first very important power that is to be given to these nations holding permanent seats. In addition there is to be a military staff committee, which is provided for

in chapter VIII, section B, paragraph 9. It is really a general staff for this world organization, but in addition, to being given the power to make recommendations about the use of troops and to conduct a war it also has control over the regulations of armaments and the possible disarmament of all the nations of the world. That committee is to be composed of the chiefs of staff of the permanent members; it does not include the chiefs of staff of those who happen to be non-permanent members at the time but only the chiefs of staff of the permanent members.


March 22, 1945