If the minister will permit a question at this point, was any assurance given to that delegation in May, 1943, that any amendments made would first be shown to them before being embodied in a protocol?
Mr. ST. LAURENT: No, and I must say to the hon. member that no such assurance could be given. It would be contrary to the comity of nations to undertake to make public the negotiations being carried on with a friendly nation for the purpose of concluding a treaty. What assurance was given was that efforts would be made to obtain a satisfactory protocol and that of course no arrangement could-come into effect until the treaty had been ratified, and it would not be ratified until it had been publicized and there had been an opportunity for considering all such objections as might be proper to be urged against ratification. It is for the purpose of allowing such persons as may feel they have an interest in opposing the ratification of the treaty to be heard that I make the suggestion that before debating the treaty and protocol it be referred to a committee where these persons may make their representations, so that when we come to debate the merits or demerits of the arrangement it may be upon the report from the committee which will include such objections as may have been submitted.
Subtopic: APPROVAL OF TREATY AND PROTOCOL, CANADA-UNITED STATES, 1942 AND 1945