Right Hon. W. L. MACKENZIE KING (Prime Minister) moved:
That standing order 63 be amended by striking out the -words "and international" in subsection (j) and adding after subsection (k): (1) On external affairs, to consist of 20 members, 8 of whom shall constitute a quorum.
He said: Hon. members will recall that it was suggested by the leader of the opposition (Mr. Bracken) a few days ago that the committee on industrial and international relations should be divided into two separate committees, one having to do with labour and industrial relations and the other with commonwealth and foreign relations-I think those are the words my hon. friend used. I mentioned that at a previous session of parliament the same suggestion had been made. It was, I think, by my hon. friend the leader of the C.C.F. group (Mr. Coldwell). At the time I intimated that that course might be advisable.
As I said the other day, I think it is desirable to have two separate committees, one on industrial relations and the other on external relations. I chose the words "industrial relations" and "external affairs" as being sufficiently comprehensive to include all that has
been suggested. The leader of the opposition suggested, if I remember rightly, a committee on "labour and industrial relations". Of course, labour is one party to industry, and by using the expression "industrial relations", other parties, which would include management, capital and the community, would be included. I should think the more comprehensive designation would be the preferable.
In regard to international relations my hon. friend suggested "commonwealth and foreign relations". Here again I feel that the term "international relations" or "external affairs" would be broader and would include everything which is suggested by "commonwealth and foreign relations". The term "external affairs" has been used by different governments of the commonwealth in dealing with matters pertaining not only to relations between the different nations of the commonwealth, but also with regard to matters that relate to foreign countries. It is important that the distinction should be kept between foreign affairs and those affairs that might be regarded as interimperial or commonwealth. But all are included in the term "external affairs". The term was used when the Department of External Affairs was created to cover both relations within the commonwealth and relations .ith foreign countries. I therefore feel it would be preferable to use the term "external affairs rather than commonwealth and foreign relations".
The conference which was held in London in 1926 drew up a statement of the relations as they now exist within the commonwealth, and^ defined the position which had been attained by the dominions as well as by the United Kingdom. In what is known as the Balfour declaration the term used is "domestic and external affairs," there being no subordination one way or the other between the dominions in regard to the control of their own affairs, whether domestic or external, and the United Kingdom and its control of its affairs, domestic or external.
In these circumstances I would suggest that to use the term "industrial relations" in the one case and "external affairs" in the other for the names of the two committees would be the more appropriate; and may I say that the government is only too happy to have these two committees established in place of the one which at present exists.