Howard Charles Green
Furthermore, I cannot agree with his sweeping condemnation of the united nations. However I do suggest, through you, Mr. Speaker, to the members of the house that this bill brings up considerations which are far-reaching and which should be thought out carefully, not only by members of the house, but also by the Canadian people at large.
The bill, as we know, is entitled the Visiting Forces (United States of America) Act, and it is described as an act to make provision with respect to forces of the United States of America when visiting Canada and with respect to the exercise of discipline and to the internal administration of such forces.
This bill is carrying into peace time a wartime provision. We are now being asked to
enact in peace time a wartime provision; and if we do so it will be the first time a foreign nation has possessed in Canada in peace time the rights given by this measure.
I think it is worth while for us to go back a few years and consider just what position has been taken in Canada with respect to forces from other countries. First of all, I would refer hon. members to the Visiting Forces (British Commonwealth) Act, to which the Secretary of State for External Affairs (Mr. St. Laurent) also referred this evening, and which was passed in 1933. I presume it was passed as a result of the Statute of Westminster, to carry out the provisions of that statute. In effect, it gave authority to the officer of any troops from another nation of the commonwealth visiting Canada to discipline his troops. *
But it was more restricted than the present bill in certain respects; for example, in section 3 there is provision that the officers are to have power only in matters concerning discipline and in matters concerning the internal administration of such force. There is no such restriction in the bill before the house tonight. It is true that such restriction appears in the description of the bill, and in one of the side-notes, but it does not appear in any actual sections.
There are also several other differences between the act relating to the British commonwealth and this measure which relates to the United States. One of them is that provision is made for attaching troops from the force of one of the other commonwealth nations to the Canadian force. That is found in section 6, where provision is made for the temporary attachment of commonwealth troops to a Canadian force. But that provision is not found in the bill before us this evening, and I do not understand why it has been omitted. It does seem to me that if but very few United States troops are to come to Canada, they could be attached to Canadian units.
The next significant step was taken in 1938. Hon. members who were here at that time will recall that on July 1 the Right Hon. R. B. Bennett raised the question of Canada's having refused to allow airmen from Great Britain to come here and train. A most significant debate took place on that occasion, and I shall read to the house a portion of the statement made on that occasion by the Prime Minister (Mr. Mackenzie King). He took the position that for the British to send airmen here to train would be the equivalent of setting up on our shores a foreign military station.
I quote from page 4527 of Hansard, of that year, where the Prime Minister said:
I must say that long ago Canadian governments finally settled the constitutional principle that in Canadian territory there could be no military establishments-
And, mind you, this was only to establish a training school for airmen.
-unless they were owned, maintained and controlled by the Canadian government responsible to the Canadian parliament and people.
Then he went on to say:
Such domestic ownership, maintenance and control of all military stations and personnel is one of the really indispensable hall marks of national sovereign self-government and an indispensable basis for friendly and effective cooperation between the governments of Canada and those of other parts of the British commonwealth of nations, including the government of the United Kingdom.
That was just nine years ago, in 1938.
Outside its homeland a state may have military stations and quarter military personnel in countries which it "owns," in its colonies or "possessions," or in its mandated territories according to the trust deed, or in countries over which it has assumed or been yielded, by some arrangement, what amounts to a protectorate. But no country pretending to sovereign selfcontrol could permit such a state of affairs or its implications and consequences. I need only add that what I have said has. of course, to be sharply distinguished from the case of actual war where a country may have to permit its partners, associates or allies to maintain, operate and control military establishments and forces within its territory, forced to do so by the actual strategic or tactical necessities and for the purposes, but only for the purposes, of the actual joint war.
That was in 1938. Then in 1939, the following year, the present Minister of Veterans Affairs (Mr. Mackenzie), who was then Minister of National Defence, announced that arrangements had been made by which British airmen might be brought to Canada to train. I am going to read to the house the terms under which they were to be allowed to come here. The minister is reported on page 3259 of Hansard of that year as follows:
While the final detailed technical arrangements have still to be completed, it is possible to say now that agreement has been reached on a scheme whereby pilots from the United Kingdom will come to Canada to be given the intermediate and advanced stages of training-
These are the significant words:
-under the auspices of the Canadian Department of National Defence.
Then the war came on.
Subtopic: UNITED STATES-DISCIPLINE AND INTERNAL ADMINISTRATION WHEN IN CANADA