May 4, 1948

LIB

William Henry Golding (Deputy Chair of Committees of the Whole)

Liberal

The ACTING SPEAKER (Mr. Golding):

Order. I must remind the hon. member that his time has expired.

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?

Some hon. MEMBERS:

Go on.

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SC

John Horne Blackmore

Social Credit

Mr. BLACKMORE:

If the house is kind enough to endure this a little longer, there are a few more things I should like to say. America gives no evidence of realizing how ruinous have been the policies she has followed. Every move she makes and has made throughout the decade now closing indicates her determination to continue prosecuting policies identical with those that wrecked her, and with her the world, in the great depression.

Her stand on Bretton Woods indicated failure to understand the facts. I will not read what I have here, but hon. members wrho desire to read it can find the statement made by Henry Morgenthau at the meeting before they adopted Bretton Woods; they will find it at page V, the first paragraph, wherein appears a declaration indicating the failure of the United States to understand trade realities in any degree.

Her stand on Geneva and the Havana treaties indicates the same attitude entirely, utter failure to appreciate realities in the world at large.

Now the question is: What shall Canada do about it? Shall Canada seek independence, or co-operation with Britain, or absorption into the United States, or subservience completely to the united nations? Just what is involved?

I would say: Let us seek earnestly to change our financial system and our policies with respect to domestic and international affairs. Let us seek co-operation with the British and with other states willing to co-operate with us. Let us seek for greater imperial preferences and greater use of the sterling area.

Let us seek to cultivate and regulate the private enterprise system for production whereby we shall be able to increase production abundantly to supply the needs of our own people and help to support those people of the world who may need our assistance.

As regards the united nations, what shall we do?

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LIB

William Henry Golding (Deputy Chair of Committees of the Whole)

Liberal

The ACTING SPEAKER (Mr. Golding):

Order. The hon. member has exhausted his time.

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SC

John Horne Blackmore

Social Credit

Mr. BLACKMORE:

I understood I might have two or three minutes more in which to finish what I have to say.

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LIB

William Henry Golding (Deputy Chair of Committees of the Whole)

Liberal

The ACTING SPEAKER (Mr. Golding):

With the consent of the house, but I notice that some hon. members are calling "time," and the hon. member has exceeded his limit.

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SC

Robert Fair

Social Credit

Mr. FAIR:

The last speaker had forty-five minutes without interruption.

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CCF

Stanley Howard Knowles (Whip of the Co-operative Commonwealth Federation)

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

Mr. STANLEY KNOWLES (Winnipeg North Centre):

Mr. Speaker, I rise to speak on just two phases of the question of external affairs which is now before us. I enter the debate only because, in my view at any rate, I have something to contribute with respect to the two phases of the question to which I shall make reference.

First of all, I wish to say a few words about the move in the direction of western

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union, Atlantic union, or a regional association, whatever one may call it. Then I shall say a few words about the rivalry in the world today between communism and western democracy.

With respect to the first of these two questions, I should like to read a paragraph from a speech made in this house on March 26, 1945, as recorded at pages 209 and 210 of Hansard of that year. The question before the house at that time had to do with the sending of a Canadian delegation to the San Francisco conference. I quote:

Let me put it in this way. I feel that there are three fundamental conditions which are basic to the success of a world organization, and I trust that the San Francisco conference will see to it that these three basic conditions are met. First of all, if a world organization is to succeed, it must have authority to enact international law. In the second place, such an organization must have authority to enforce that law. In the third place, it must have the capacity to retain the authority vested in it by the consent of the governed.

I confess, Mr. Speaker, that the paragraph is taken from a speech which I made on that occasion; and without quoting further from it, I may say that I went on to develop each of those three points in a speech every word of which still holds true.

Some might think that one who laid down such high principles as those would be perfectionist in his approach. I made it clear in that speech that, although I was an idealist, I was not a perfectionist. I indicated my belief that government at the international level was the only hope, and I dared to believe that, some day mankind would reach that point. But I also said this:

Our delegation must bring back the best charter they can, but the first consideration is that the delegation bring back to Canada a charter, even if it is not absolutely perfect, for the next parliament of this country to consider, and I trust to ratify.

I wish to make it clear that conditions in the world today do not leave room for mere perfectionism. But they call for idealism, and I feel that we should be reminded from time to time of principles such as those I have just quoted; for, after all, we are not going to have any effective international organization until we achieve those principles.

I should like, however, to apply those principles in a practical way to the situation which is developing at the present time. I am afraid I cannot go along with those who say the united nations has failed and therefore we should throw it overboard completely and launch out on a new program for some other organization in the attempt to achieve world government. Rather, I feel we must

try, within the framework of the united nations, to do that, namely, to move in the direction of government at the international level. The position of the party to which I belong is clear in that regard. In a statement on foreign policy which our national council issued recently, we said:

The C.C.F. reaffirms its belief that steps should be taken to develop the -united nations into an effective organ of government at the international level.

As I have already said, I should like us to apply that vision, if you will, or those principles which I have already stated, to the practical situation that is before us at the present time. What we have now is the feeling on the part of the government, and on the part of many other western countries in particular, that we must take advantage of articles 51 and 52 of the charter of the united nations and develop regional associations.

I agree. Further, that is the position of the group to which I belong, which has been expressed so well by the recent statement of our national council. I quote again:

The great strides now being taken toward the economic and political union, of the western European democracies are the most encouraging factor in the present world situation. Such regional associations are provided for in the charter of the united nations.

In a moment I am going to read another paragraph from that statement, but before I do so I want to say this. My concern about this move in the direction of regional associations is that we move forward and not backward. If these regional associations are merely military alliances, if they are simply a case of reviving balance-of-power politics, we are receding from the position the world achieved when it adopted the charter of the united nations. But if, on the other hand, in setting up these regional associations, we move forward toward something that approaches government at the international level-at least within any regional association to which we belong-we shall be keeping to the letter the terms of the charter of the united nations and we shall also be bringing into being something better.

I believe it was an hon. member on the government side who said last night that the united nations provided a floor for world relationships, but not a ceiling. In other words, it is our duty to see to it that we do not take any retrograde step, but we are completely free to take a forward step. That indeed is the position of this group with respect to any association of nations that we make within the framework of the united nations as provided

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for in articles 51 and 52 of the charter. The position of our party again is clear:

The developing west European union is not, and must not he, a mere military alliance. It provides for close economic co-operation between the member nations, such as the planned use of raw materials and man-power and the formation of a customs union. Canada and the other nations of the British commonwealth should plan their trade and resources to strengthen this union of democracies.

Not only was that point well developed by my leader, the hon. member for Rosetown-Biggar (Mr. Coldwell), when he spoke a few days ago in this debate, but the strength of the position that he took has been recognized by the press of this country. I have before me one editorial, but there are many others that have responded to the positive note which the leader of the C.CfF. sought to inject into this debate with respect to this whole question of regional associations. I suggest that hon. members should not take too much for granted about these articles 51 and 52 of the charter without referring to them once in a while. As I read article 51, it seems to me that it provides for nations getting together on a military basis, only in the event of armed attack. In other words, if we are using articles 51 and 52 to develop military alliances that are only military alliances-in the absence of armed attack-we are violating the spirit of the united nations charter. Article 51 of the charter reads in part as follows:

Nothing in the present charter shall impair the inherent right of individual or collective self-defence if an armed attack occurs against a member of the united nations, until the security council has taken the measures necessary to maintain international peace and security.

I need not read the rest because it does not get away from the spirit of that first sentence. On the other hand, although mere military alliances within the framework of the united nations would be against the spirit of the charter, article 52 provides for the kind of thing that we refer to in our C.C.F. national council statement and the positive stand that the leader of this group took the other day. Let me read a part of article 52:

1. Nothing in the present charter precludes the existence of regional arrangements or agencies for dealing with such matters relating to the maintenance of international peace and security as are appropriate for regional action, provided that such arrangements or agencies and their activities are consistent with the purposes and principles of the united nations.

2. The members of the united nations entering into such arrangements or constituting such agencies shall make every effort to achieve pacific settlement of local disputes through such regional arrangements or by such regional agencies before referring them to the security council.

3. The security council shall encourage the development of pacific settlement of local disputes through such regional arrangements or by such regional agencies either on the initiative of the states concerned or by reference from the security council.

Then there are other paragraphs-both in this and succeeding articles-which I shall not take time to read, but they develop the idea that it is wholly in keeping with the charter and principles of the united nations for nations to group themselves together for positive purposes to attain peace and human accord.

Therefore I come back to the paragraph I quoted at the outset of my remarks, from my own speech of March 26, 1945, when I suggested that an effective international organization would have to have the authority to enact international law, authority to enforce that law and the capacity to retain the authority vested in it by the consent of the governed. If, because of present difficulties, we cannot get full implementation of those principles in the united nations at large, I would hope that in any smaller grouping to which Canada is a party we might make a serious effort to achieve the implementation of those principles, looking toward the day when we might extend further the area in which they would apply.

I know there are members in the house who will say that is visionary. But I submit that the people of this country and of the world at large, are looking for their leaders to be men of vision and to take us, not back into the war and misery that power politics and military alliances produced in the past, but forward into some hope of peace on earth and good will amongst men.

I leave that, to turn to the other matter about which I said I wanted to say a few words. I shall pick my words as carefully as I can, because I know how easy it is to be misunderstood when one talks on this subject.

Almost every member who has taken part in the debate-at least all of those who have referred to the conflict between communism and western democracy-have said that the real way to combat communism is for democracy to do a better job. I wholly and completely agree with that view; it is absolutely right. But, Mr. Speaker, I have felt that in the minds of many of those who have made that statement -and some of them have said it in so many words-there has been a smug satisfaction that democracy is doing a better job, and that therefore the battle against the menace of communism is won. It is that smug satisfaction that everything is all right in our society which, I suggest, is one of the greatest dangers at the present time.

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Last evening, when my colleague the hon. member for Winnipeg North (Mr. Stewart) was speaking on this matter, he said something to the effect that the worst fifth columns in this country were slums and disease. A member of the group to my right who was sitting near me-and I need not mention his name, because no one w-ill take objection to it- turned to me and said, "Are there no slums in Russia?" I said, "Yes; in fact I have seen them."

That brief conversation which took place right here in the House of Commons, part of which is recorded in Hansard and part of which was off the record, points up the very thing I have in mind. We too easily make comparisons between absolute conditions. We are too ready to make comparisons between housing in Canada and housing in the Soviet union, between the clothes we wear in Canada and the clothes worn by the Russian people, between the food we have to eat and the food they eat -between our whole material standard of life and their material standard of life.

I happened to be one of very few members who have had the privilege of visiting the Soviet union. Two years ago I spent a short time in the city of Moscow. I am the one who knows this-and let no one interject it before I say it-that, having been in that country for only eight days, I am not an expert on life in the Soviet union. But I can verify the fact that our economic conditions in this country and the standard of living for the masses of our people are definitely better than those of the people of the Soviet union. So far as I am concerned, hon. members do not need to read books to prove that to me; I have seen it.

To be fair. I must say that in some other phases of life, particularly in the arts, the Russian people are away ahead of us. We do not come near them in the development or enjoyment of the theatre, in all its various branches. They have a culture that is very interesting. I felt, from what I saw, that they are ahead of us at least in the extent to which they make medicine available to their people; and they are ahead of us at least in their eagerness with respect to education.

I am not going to go into those phases of Russian life at greater length. I just wished to say that much to give a fair picture; indeed every time I have talked about my visit to the Soviet union I have tried to report both the black and the white. Every country, indeed, has both. At the present moment, however, we are not discussing those things in respect of which they may have made greater advances than we have. Today I am accepting and verifying the fact that economically, so far as

our material standard of life is concerned, we in Canada are definitely ahead of the Soviet union.

The tendency on the part of the people, when they know that, is to sit back smugly and say, "You see, we are delivering the goods better than communism; we are doing a better job and, therefore, ipso facto, the battle against communism is won."

The point I wish to make is this, that people do not make comparisons in that way. Our people in the cities, towns and rural sections of this country do pot compare their standard of living with the standard of their counterparts in the Soviet union, or vice versa. What the people of Canada do is to compare their standard of living today with what it was a few years ago. What they are interested in is the progress which will be made in Canada within the next few years. Similarly the people in the Soviet union compare their standard of living, not with the better standard in the outside world-which I confess they do not know much about-but with what their conditions were, ten, twenty or thirty years ago, or back in the days of the czarist regime.

The result is that, even with material conditions that are admittedly poor in the Soviet union, one will find there a people who have faith in their regime, and tremendous hope for the future. It is almost a religion with them; you can feel it. One is amazed at their faith when he sees the physical conditions roundabout; but against that faith in the future, despite their poor economic conditions, one has to set on our part a fear of the future, a sense of frustration and a sense of futility and hopelessness in the minds of our people, despite our better conditions. It is because of that I feel there is particular merit in the last paragraph of the statement which the C.C.F. national council prepared, which says:

The blind fear of another world war must be translated into dynamic social action which will bring to a war-torn and hungry world the bread, the freedom and the peace which are the right of all its peoples.

The Secretary of State for External Affairs (Mr. St. Laurent) said something similar to that in his speech, when he called for the full use of the dynamic of democracy. The hon. member for Cariboo (Mr. Irvine) has pointed out that that must be something more than words. The point I make is this, that when the various parties in the house-whether in the house or out in the country-call for better housing conditions for our people, when we call for plans to take care of the health of our people, when we call for adequate old age security, when we call for democracy in industrial relations, not just begrudgingly giving a

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little bit here and there, but democracy to the full; when we do that we are asking for something more than just those things in themselves, we are asking for that which will give our people some sense of hope for the future, some feeling of dynamic interest in the job that we are trying to do in this country, some confidence that we are on the way to better things.

I agree wholly with all of those who have said that the only way to combat communism is for western democracy to produce something better. I agree wholly-and as I have said already I am one of those who, at least to myself, can verify it-with the statement that in terms of material conditions our standards are higher; but I doubt if anyone can gainsay my statement that we have not that sense of dynamic confidence, that sense of hope which is so important if we are to win this battle. The place for it to be won is in our own country, in the minds and hearts of our own people. Our job is here at home; let us get on with it.

When hon. members state their belief that what counts is democracy delivering the goods I call upon them not to follow that up with smug satisfaction that we are already doing that, but rather to put everything that we have into improving our conditions, into giving our people the confidence that next year and five years later and ten years from now things will be just that much better in this country than they are now. Never mind comparisons with absolute conditions in the Soviet union; never mind comparisons with conditions in the United Kingdom or the United States; what counts is the progress we are making here.

I am satisfied that if we will put some real energy into, and show some real vision in connection with, improving our own social conditions, we will build up in our people a faith and confidence that will completely get rid of this fear of the menace of communism that exists today.

I just wanted to talk on these two things. I hope that in the developing of regional associations we will do our best to move on to government at the international level, and I hope that in this struggle against communism we will really strive to solve the social problems that we have here at home. That is our job, let us get on with it.

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SC

Ernest George Hansell

Social Credit

Mr. E. G. HANSELL (Macleod):

Mr. Speaker, I have a few words I should like to say in this present discussion of Canada's position in this complicated world and the foreign policy which this country now holds. I am happy to take part in this debate on foreign policy, because it is a source of satis-

faction to me to find such a list of speakers as we have had during the several days of debate on this important subject. I think it shows that we are interested not only in our own local affairs but in the relationship of Canada to the rest of the world and the relationship of other nations of the world to Canada.

Perhaps the reason for this more than usual interest in international affairs is that great world problems are facing us today, problems of such magnitude that to solve them or not to solve them may mean the difference between the survival of our present civilization and the extinction of that civilization from the universe. The solution is not an easy one, as the Secretary of State for External Affairs (Mr. St. Laurent) has already told us.

Most of us who have taken part in this debate I think do so as mere infants, as babes in the woods trying to find our way through the darkness of international complexities. In the face of such problems, our diplomatic statesmen appear to me to be like the little boy who took the clock apart to see what made it tick, only to find that it was impossible to put it together again.

I listened with tremendous interest to the speech made by the minister of external affairs in opening this debate. At the time I thought it could be labelled an historic speech, one of great significance, but I cannot avoid feeling that it was not without its weaknesses. In analysing the minister's speech, I do not believe I could do better than was done last night by one of my colleagues, the hon. member for Vegreville (Mr. Hlynka). He told the house that the position of the government could be set out under eight main headings. I am not going to repeat what he said last night because it was too well done, but I should like to enumerate those headings.

1. There was ,the announcement by the government of a definite foreign policy.

2. More emphasis had been placed upon Canada's national sovereignty.

3. There was a dispelling of the "one world" dream.

4. The government had taken a definite stand against communism.

5. The re-vitalizing of democracy in Canada.

6. The end of the policy of isolationism.

7. The recognition and a return to a balance-of-power arrangement.

8. Canada's internal and external armed

security. _ _

I mention those eight headings which were diagnosed by my hon. friend, and I emphasize that, while these eight headings indicate

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the government's present external or foreign policy, the Social Credit group in this house have been advocating these same eight things ever since we came here in the session of 1936. For thirteen years we have been telling the government these things, and at last they are beginning to listen to us. I do not know whether it is the force of our arguments that has brought them to a realization of the truth, or whether it is the force of world events and circumstances. Perhaps I had better say the latter because I want to be as modest as I can. But at least it gives us a little heart and the hope, Mr. Speaker, that eventually the government will adopt some of the other things we have been advocating. Although we have been right throughout all these years, we have been either criticized or smeared or ignored. You see, over the years we just were not quite in style; we were not wearing the political new look, so no one bothered to look at us. But whether we were in style or not does not worry us very much. What we have been advocating over the years may not have been very popular, but I say this, and I trust it will ever remain so, that we would rather be right than popular.

I wish to refer for a few moments to one or twp weaknesses which I believe appear in the minister's declaration of April 29 when he opened this debate. It was an historic speech, but any speech, even one by so competent a speaker as the minister himself, will naturally contain some weaknesses. One of its greatest weaknesses was, I believe, that the minister failed to recognize that socialism as a way of life is but a mild form of communism.

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?

An hon. MEMBER:

Tut-tut.

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Ernest George Hansell

Social Credit

Mr. HANSELL:

I knew someone would

say "tut-tut" but I am going to ask the minister, does he believe there is any difference between ultimate socialism and communism? That is a question I wish he would answer when he closes the debate, if he does so.

I want him to answer another question. If communism ever gets a grip on this country as it did in Czechoslovakia, through what channels will it have to work to accomplish its ends? I say that the only body through which it can work to accomplish its ends is the socialism that is being preached in this country today, and let us make no mistake about that. The only answer that the minister can give to that question is that the only door at present open through which the communists might secure power through constitutional and peaceful means is that door

which is being proclaimed as a gospel today in Canada and is known by the self-contradictory term of democratic socialism.

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An hon. MEMBER:

Oh!

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Ernest George Hansell

Social Credit

Mr. HANSELL:

Those little tut-tuts have changed now to grunts and groans. That is also what I expected.

There is another question I would ask the minister. Should the communists ever gain power in Canada through constitutional and peaceful means, would there be any difference between the social order then in Canada and the social order as it is now in any of the Russian satellite states? I ask that question, because the only difference I can see is that one branch of socialism is preaching, "We will gain our ends by peaceful and constitutional means," and the other is saying or has said in the past, "The only way in which it can be accomplished is by revolution." Of course the Tim Bucks and the Labour Progressive party and those very open institutions which are honest enough to expose themselves and say, "Yes, that is what we once believed," may have changed their tactics and may now be saying, "We do not believe we can accomplish our ends in Canada by a revolution. We would if we could, but we do not believe we can do that now. So we must take some other tack; we must use some other method." Now what method are they going to use except infiltration into our present organizations in this country-and I mean all of them-and by taking the open door of socialism today? That is exactly what happened in Czechoslovakia. We have heard a great deal about the democratic socialism that was being practised there. But it was only the door through which the communists could enter, as they did, and they did it well.

What I am saying, Mr. Speaker, is that we have to be determined in this matter, and we have to speak the truth. We must say we are a democratic country, believing in free institutions, in free enterprise, in individual initiative, in opportunities for the individual to aspire to greater things. Either we believe in that true democracy, or we are going to the left and we believe in opening the door to a communist regime in Canada. We have to say one thing or the other. I say that the minister himself and the government must be very pronounced in this respect.

Let me read a passage from the minister's speech. At page 3441 of Hansard he said, referring to Czechoslovakia:

They were steadily and sturdily rebuilding their economy on a basis of democratic socialism. Yet their liberties have been ruthlessly wiped out by a Soviet-inspired communist fifth column.

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There is an indication there; I may be reading an inference in these remarks which is not intended. I do not want to do that. The minister can say it is not there, if he wishes, but in reading it I find an indication that the minister himself believes that there is such a thing as democratic socialism, and that such a thing is an inviting thing for Canadian people to have.

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CCF

Stanley Howard Knowles (Whip of the Co-operative Commonwealth Federation)

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

Mr. KNOWLES:

Hear, hear.

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CCF

Frank Eric Jaenicke

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

Mr. JAENICKE:

What have they in

Britain?

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CCF

Stanley Howard Knowles (Whip of the Co-operative Commonwealth Federation)

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

Mr. KNOWLES:

Is democratic socialism in Britain an open door to communism?

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Ernest George Hansell

Social Credit

Mr. HANSELL:

It may be. How do we know? Who is going to say?

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CCF

Clarence Gillis

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

Mr. GILLIS:

The British people.

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May 4, 1948