June 6, 1947

PC

Howard Charles Green

Progressive Conservative

Mr. GREEN:

Oh, no.

Mr. ST. LAURENT: Those are not the

exact words-or for purpose of manning an establishment under their own control? The answer to that question is in paragraphs 2 and 5 of the Prime Minister's declaration of February 12, 1947. Paragraph 2 reads:

General cooperation and exchange of observers in connection with exercises and with the development and tests of material of common interest.

Paragraph 5 says:

. . . without impairment of the control of either country over all activities in its territory.

That is the purpose for which they are here.

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PC

Howard Charles Green

Progressive Conservative

Mr. GREEN:

If I may interrupt the

minister, my question was whether the troops were in Canada for training or, in some cases, to establish posts.

Mr. ST. LAURENT: Here the answer is

given that they are here for training in the broad sense. I do not know that it is for training of the individuals but it is.

... to increase the familiarity of each country's defence establishment with that of the other country.

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And:

General cooperation and exchange of observers in connection with exercises and with the development and tests of material of common interest.

I suppose that would come under the general classification of training. It is not something designed to improve the military prowess of the man who is here. It is a test of the material and equipment, so that the knowledge acquired from the test may be made available to others than those who are in personal attendance.

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PC

Howard Charles Green

Progressive Conservative

Mr. GREEN:

I do not wish to interrupt

the minister, but if I may be permitted to do so I should like to ask him one other question. Is there not quite a difference between that and establishing United States posts in Canada?

Mr. ST. LAURENT: [DOT] Oh, yes.

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PC

Howard Charles Green

Progressive Conservative

Mr. GREEN:

It should be easy enough to explain whether or not there are to be United States posts established in Canada.

Mr. ST. LAURENT: There are not to

be United States posts established in Canada under the policy stated by the President and by the Prime Minister on February 12, 1947. I hope there will never be anything more than at present, but no man can undertake to say that situations will not change-

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LIB

Ian Alistair Mackenzie (Minister of Veterans Affairs; Leader of the Government in the House of Commons; Liberal Party House Leader)

Liberal

Mr. MACKENZIE:

That is so.

Mr. ST. LAURENT: -and that there may not, unfortunately, be some time when all Canadians will be glad to see posts established here.

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LIB

Ian Alistair Mackenzie (Minister of Veterans Affairs; Leader of the Government in the House of Commons; Liberal Party House Leader)

Liberal

Mr. MACKENZIE:

Especially on the

Pacific coast.

Mr. ST. LAURENT: I have great sympathy with much that was said by the hon. member for Muskoka-Ontario (Mr. Macdonnell), but when he said that we could not tolerate that there be anywhere the idea that another war might, unfortunately, sometime become possible, I think that is going much too far. If that were the case, how could any responsible government come to parliament and ask it to vote $226,709,331 for defence preparations for one fiscal year? And how can any of the hon. gentlemen opposite be making speeches to the effect that we are not doing enough in that line?

The third question raised by the hon. member was, What consent is required for the presence of such personnel here? The consent required is the arrangements worked oht by the personnel of the general staffs of the two countries within the terms of this statement of policy made on February 12, 1947. They, within the terms of that policy, can work out

arrangements which, I am sure, hon. members with military experience will say should be left to the military authorities and should not be directed as to details by the members of this house.

' Mr. GREEN: Does the cabinet not pass at all on any of these invitations to foreign troops to come to Canada?

Mr. ST. LAURENT: The cabinet passes upon the general policy, and if there is anything in contemplation which is not just routine for the carrying out of the policy declared to parliament, then the matter will have to come back to the cabinet, and would probably come back to the cabinet in the form of a recommendation of the joint permanent board on defence. The general staff has no authority to go beyond the ordinary routine of carrying out what has been stated to be the policy of the two countries. That brings me to a point which I think it is important to make, and it affords an answer to another question: Why was this not put in the form of a treaty like the treaty between Australia and New Zealand?

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PC

Howard Charles Green

Progressive Conservative

Mr. GREEN:

Before the minister leaves that other point, may I ask him whether the inviting to Canada of United States troops who are now here was considered by the cabinet, or whether it was merely done by the general staff?

Mr. ST. LAURENT: I do not know to what extent it is proper for me to go in attempting to describe accurately to this house the measures being taken by our general staff to do what the country expects them to do if it is to provide them with $226,000,000. I am not going to attempt to do that.

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PC

Howard Charles Green

Progressive Conservative

Mr. GREEN:

That is not answering the question.

Mr. ST. LAURENT: Well, if it is not answering the question, then the question will not be answered by me.

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PC

Howard Charles Green

Progressive Conservative

Mr. GREEN:

All right.

Mr. ST. LAURENT: It was suggested that the subject matter of this bill might be referred to the committee on external affairs. To that course we are unalterably opposed. But after the bill gets its second reading, if members of the house want the bill referred to the committee on external affairs and want to question the officers of the general staff in that, connection, the government has no objection whatever to the bill going before the committee on external affairs, and the hon. member for Vancouver South can go there and ask these questions. The hon. member knows as well as I do that there are

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things which should not be stated in public debate. I am not in a position to draw the line. The members of the general staff are in a position to determine what it is proper for them to say publicly and what it would be improper for them to say in public. I am not in a position to do so, and I cannot and will not attempt to answer any better than I have done.

With respect to the question as to why this matter was not put in the form of a treaty; well, hon. members have been very much concerned over the effect that even these joint statements might have in raising further suspicion in the minds of members of other governments. We do not overlook that. It does not bring us to the point where we refuse to recommend to parliament the appropriation of hundreds of millions of dollars for the preparation of defence. It does not deter us from doing the things that are recommended to us by those who are in charge of our general staff as being the prudent and proper things to do. But it 40es make us cautious; it does cause us to try to avoid doing anything unnecessary or anything which might be treated as alarming. We felt that if a treaty were made it would be seized upon as evidence supporting the impression that exists-I will not say how it is created-* as to the wide gulf between the two ideologies of the east and the western democracies, and as evidence that the countries of the western democracies are lining up, ganging up, against the rest of the world. And it was quite unnecessary. What was contemplated was merely the continuation of a policy that had been in operation for a number of years, and it was so stated by the Prime Minister in his declaration. If hon. members will read that declaration they will find that the Prime Minister was at pains to point out that since August, 1940, when the creation of the joint board on permanent defence was announced, it was stated by the President of the United States that the board-

. . . shall commence immediate studies relating to sea, land and air problems including personnel and material. It will consider in the broad sense the defence of the north half of the western hemisphere.

That was a year and a half before the United States became a belligerent in the last terrible war. The Prime Minister then declared that even the 1940 statement was merely a logical development of what had preceded it, and described in what manner that policy had been carried out in this country. Further, he went on to say that there was no treaty, no binding undertaking to continue; that it was a matter of cooperation along

parallel lines, to which both parties would conform so long as it suited them to do so, but to which neither party was bound for any time beyond that during which it suited its policies to do so. The declaration further stated that the decision was made-

... as a contribution to the stability of the world and to the establishment through the united nations of an effective system of worldwide security. With this in mind each government has sent a copy of this statement to the secretary general of the united nations for circulation to all its members.

Some of the debate in this house has almost implied that the adoption of this bill would be an alternative to Canada's participation in the united nations; and some of the debate would set up, on the one side, the hoped-for advantages to be derived from the united nations and, on the other, those to be derived from this kind of cooperation between Canada and her neighbour to the south. Well, it seems to me that is giving the Canadian public an entirely false impression. The corner-stone of Canada's policy, the corner-stone of the policy of our neighbour to the south, is the strength and validity and efficiency of the united nations organization; and that will ever continue to be the corner-stone of their policies. In spite of the many disappointments all of us have felt about the progress toward an efficient organization as contemplated by the charter of the united nations, I am still hopeful, as the hon. member for Muskoka-Ontario said, that the common sense of mankind all over the world will finally prevail and will allow us all to make the united nations organization an efficient working instrument for world peace and world security. But until we have a further demonstration of its ability to protect each one of us, then each one of us has to do his share to meet the conditions of a troubled world as they still exist; and that is the only justification for asking this parliament this year to appropriate 8226,000,000 for our national defence.

Another question was, how long will this act operate? I think this act, if it is passed in its present form, will operate for a long time. I think it will operate as long as a government supported by this party is in power, and that is too indefinite a period to attempt to place any limit upon it. But it can operate only when there are forces of a friendly nation on Canadian soil. If it should ever happen that hon. members opposite, either the group nearest Mr. Speaker or a group further removed, were in control of the government of Canada, it would be they who would decide whether or not forces of a

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friendly power could remain on Canadian soil. If their decision were that there should be none, then the act would not operate.

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LIB

Ian Alistair Mackenzie (Minister of Veterans Affairs; Leader of the Government in the House of Commons; Liberal Party House Leader)

Liberal

Mr. MACKENZIE:

That would never

happen.

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PC

Howard Charles Green

Progressive Conservative

Mr. GREEN:

You think you are going to be there forever?

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LIB

Ian Alistair Mackenzie (Minister of Veterans Affairs; Leader of the Government in the House of Commons; Liberal Party House Leader)

Liberal

Mr. MACKENZIE:

For a long time.

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LIB

James Horace King (Speaker of the Senate)

Liberal

Mr. SPEAKER:

Order. I have to tell the right hon. minister that already he has spoken for forty minutes.

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?

Some hon. MEMBERS:

Go ahead.

Mr. ST. LAURENT: There were other things I intended to say, but I do not think they need to be said. If I have unanimous consent, however, I wish to deal with the sixth of the hon. member's questions. That was, what would be the control over such training or other operations as would take place on Canadian territory? The answer is to be found in paragraph 5 of the joint statement of the President and the Prime Minister:

As an underlying principle all cooperative arrangements will be without impairment of the control of either country over all activities in its territory.

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PC

Howard Charles Green

Progressive Conservative

Mr. GREEN:

Does that mean that there will be Canadian officers in command of these United States troops?

Mr. ST. LAURENT: In these joint operations, if the thing is being done in Canadian territory, the principle is that there must be Canadian command. That command will be exercised through the ordinary channels, not exercised directly by the Canadian commander over the individual in the United States group. The supreme command over the operation is to be Canadian when the operation is carried out in Canada. Of course there will be a United States command in such cooperative exercises or tests as are carried out in United States territory. I thank hon. members for their indulgence.

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CCF

Major James William Coldwell

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

Mr. M. J. COLDWELL (Rosetown-Biggar):

Mr. Speaker, I should like to say a word and I am going to be brief about it. I do not think that, on the whole, this debate has served the best interests of good relations between nations with which we are friendly. I regret very much that the debate has been taken as an- occasion and opportunity to criticize the policy or the attitude of the UB5.R. and of the United States. Many of the things that have been said in this debate would have been much better had they remained unsaid, but they have been said. I

do not think some of the extravagant statements should be taken to represent the point of view either of this parliament or of the country generally.

I wish to say something about the suggestion of the Secretary of State for External Affairs (Mr. St. Laurent) regarding the amendment moved by the hon. member for Regina City (Mr. Probe). A short time ago a bill introduced by the hon. member for Winnipeg North Centre (Mr. Knowles) was before the house. It had to do with retirement and superannuation of railway employees. I remember distinctly that it was suggested that, instead of the second reading of the bill being pressed that evening-it was thought by hon. gentlemen on the government side, and by the minister, I think, that even if it were enacted it could be improved-it should be referred to the committee before being read the second time.

My understanding was-and I think the minister has confirmed this-that, while the bill itself might not come back to the house in the same form, the substance of the bill could come back in the form of a bill. If the substance were the same as that which had been sent to the committee, then it would come back for second reading of the bill, but otherwise it would mean that the substance would be incorporated in a new bill and the matter dealt with in that way. It seems to me that the two cases are analogous. If it was good to send one bill to the appropriate committee it ought to be good to send this bill to the appropriate committee also.

I think this measure does indicate a complete change in the attitude of the government of Canada now in office and of the Prime Minister (Mr. Mackenzie King) from the attitude taken in former days. I too, had Hansard of July 1, 1938, before me when the Secretary of State for External Affairs read that portion of the debate which he read; but if one is to understand the paragraph which the right hon. gentleman read one must understand the dialogue which preceded that paragraph and I propose to indicate to the house what I mean. I remember that debate distinctly, and I remember that I agreed whole-heartedly at that time with the position taken by the Prime Minister.

The bill now before us does imply a change of policy. I believe that it is essential, if Canada is to give any of her sovereignty to some other body, that portion of our sovereignty should be given to the united nations and we should not in any way surrender our sovereignty to some other foreign power, not even, may I say, to another member of the

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commonwealth of nations, let alone a nation which, though friendly, is not associated with us in that way. I remember very 'well that debate when the Prime Minister said, as reported on page 4529 of Hansard for 1938:

We have in Canada our Department of National Defence; we have our army and our air force and our naval service establishments as the British government have their army and navy and air force establishments under their own control and a responsible minister. You cannot have two military forces operating in individual countries responsible at one time or in part to the one government and at another time and in part to another government. We have to take complete responsibility ourselves with respect to everything we do and for everything that is done here.

Mr. Bennett: This is not a military force

but a training force.

Mr. Mackenzie King: I want the house and

the country to understand clearly what is being discussed. My reference was with regard to the idea of having the imperial air force set up a flying school somewhere in Canada to train their flying pilots. In short, a military station to he put down in Canada, owned, maintained and operated by the imperial government for imperial purposes.

Mr. Bennett: Not for imperial purposes.

Mr. Mackenzie King: It is for imperial

purposes. Is it for Canadian purposes?

Mr. Bennett: Yes, very much so.

May I point out that the Prime Minister said:

It is for imperial purposes. Is it for Canadian purposes?

Is it for Canadian purposes that we are inviting these troops into Canada, or is it primarily for United States purposes?

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LIB

Brooke Claxton (Minister of National Defence)

Liberal

Mr. CLAXTON:

Exclusively for Canadian purposes.

Mr. CO'LDWELL: The Prime Minister went on:

I say that we will look after our own defence in cooperation with other parts of the empire, just as they will look after their own defences in cooperation with other parts of the empire, but that cooperation will be most effectively maintained and carried out by each part managing its own affairs and being responsible to its own parliament for all its actions .in respect thereto.

Then the Prime Minister issued this interesting challenge:

I have made this statement at this time this morning so that there can be no mistake about the attitude of the Canadian government on this question, and if at any time my right hon. friend wants to go before the Canadian people and have this issue fought out, I am quite prepared at the appropriate time to go before them.

That was the statement made at that time. Let us look at what the Secretary of State for External Affairs has said. The hon. member for Vancouver South (Mr. Green) asked him

at whose invitation these troops were coming and whether their entry into Canada was supervised by the cabinet of Canada? The answer was given that the entry into Canada of troops from the United States would be under the control of the general staff and that for security reasons he could1 give us no other information. I want to say that I think Canada, at the present time at peace, should be governed by the parliament of Canada or by the executive branch of our parliament responsible to this parliament, namely the cabinet. The cabinet alone should have authority from parliament and should alone exercise that authority to bring troops of any foreign power into this country.

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LIB

William Lyon Mackenzie King (Prime Minister; President of the Privy Council)

Liberal

Mr. MACKENZIE KING:

Would my hon. friend permit me? I thought as I listened to him that he was not representing fairly what the Secretary of State for External Affairs said. I think my colleague made it perfectly clear that the government decided the policy-

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CCF

Major James William Coldwell

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

Mr. COLDWELL:

That is right as to policy.

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LIB

William Lyon Mackenzie King (Prime Minister; President of the Privy Council)

Liberal

Mr. MACKENZIE KING:

-and that under that policy a certain authority was given to the chiefs of staff, and that they would have no right to exercise any authority outside of that which is given to them by the cabinet. May I say that in these matters-and I am not disclosing any cabinet secret-it is customary, before any measure is taken under authority of that kind, for a report to be made by the minister himself to his colleagues. There is ample cabinet supervision of these matters. .

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June 6, 1947