April 28, 1949

LIB

Brooke Claxton (Minister of National Defence)

Liberal

Hon. Brooke Claxion (Minister of National Defence):

Yesterday the hon. member for Peel (Mr. Graydon) asked for a statement on the situation in China, and I am now glad to give him one.

Communist troops began crossing the Yangtze river in force on April 21, encountering little opposition. Nanking, which was not defended, was entered some time on April 23 or 24. Communist armies are advancing towards the coast and the city of Shanghai.

Most Canadians in the Yangtze valley are now in Shanghai. One hundred and eighty-nine persons are registered as Canadians with the Canadian vice-consulate in Shanghai. In January, 1948, and twice in November, 1948, the Canadian embassy warned Canadians in north and central China that, in view of the spread of the civil war, all those who could do so should leave. Many followed the embassy's advice and returned to Canada. On April 25 the Canadian vice-consul published a notice in the Shanghai newspapers repeating and emphasizing this warning.

Canadians who wished to leave Shanghai, following the vice-consul's notice, were given an opportunity to embark aboard a Dutch passenger vessel bound for Hong Kong. Reports from the vice-consul indicate that the majority of Canadians now in Shanghai plan to remain in the city. The foreign community in Shanghai has taken all possible precautions to protect themselves in case there might be a period of disorder in the city.

.HOUSE OF COMMONS

Canadian Nationals in China

Some weeks ago two North Star aircraft were lent by the Royal Canadian Air Force to Canadian Pacific Air Lines, in order that survey and familiarization flights might be made prior to the establishment of regular flights to the Far East by Canadian Pacific Air Lines. I should like to express appreciation to the president of Canadian Pacific Air Lines, who has just returned from China, and who has placed one of the North Star aircraft at the disposal of the Canadian ambassador in case it should be required to assist in evacuating Canadians. This aircraft, which has already been into Shanghai, is now standing by at Hong Kong.

As I informed the house on January 28, the Canadian destroyer, H.M.C.S. Crescent was dispatched on a training cruise to the Far East in order to be available for the assistance of Canadians in an emergency. This ship is still in far eastern waters, and is ready to render assistance if required.

The Canadian ambassador, Mr. Justice T. C. Davis, and his male staff, have remained at their posts in Nanking. This city has been cut off from rail and telephone communication with Shanghai, but word has been received by radio that all members of the embassy in Nanking are well. The wives and children of the members of the embassy in Nanking, and the female staff, were withdrawn from Nanking some months ago. The Canadian vice-consul in Shanghai, Mr. Frank Ballachey, is looking after the interests of Canadians in that area. I feel sure that the house will appreciate the willingness of our officials in China and their staffs to remain at their posts in the face of the difficult circumstances now prevailing.

Topic:   QUESTION AS TO SAFETY OF CANADIAN NATIONALS
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PC

Gordon Graydon

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Graydon:

I should like to ask the minister one question. Has he information as to how many Canadian nationals there actually are in China, or is it not available through the usual sources?

Topic:   QUESTION AS TO SAFETY OF CANADIAN NATIONALS
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LIB

Brooke Claxton (Minister of National Defence)

Liberal

Mr. Claxton:

I did not expect to be asked that today, and I have not looked at that matter for some months, but my recollection is that there were then in all China 841 Canadian nationals. Of those a very considerable proportion were in areas outside those affected. Quite a few Canadian nationals, of their own desire, particularly missionaries, have remained behind, and are now in that part of China occupied by the communist armies.

Topic:   QUESTION AS TO SAFETY OF CANADIAN NATIONALS
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PC

Gordon Graydon

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Graydon:

In view of the fact that China appears to be divided at the moment into north and south sections, is it the intention of the embassy to move to any other part of China in the near future?

Topic:   QUESTION AS TO SAFETY OF CANADIAN NATIONALS
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LIB

Brooke Claxton (Minister of National Defence)

Liberal

Mr. Claxton:

That will depend on the development of events, but there is no immediate

intention of moving the embassy. It is expected that the ambassador will wish to remain at Nanking until conditions settle down, and then his future movements will depend on circumstances.

Topic:   QUESTION AS TO SAFETY OF CANADIAN NATIONALS
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PRAIRIE FARM ASSISTANCE

DROUGHT CONDITIONS IN WESTERN CANADA- INQUIRY AS TO AMENDMENT OF ACT

LIB

Louis Stephen St-Laurent (Prime Minister; President of the Privy Council)

Liberal

Right Hon. L. S. Si. Laurent (Prime Minister):

The hon. member for Wood Mountain (Mr. Argue) asked yesterday about proposed amendments to the Prairie Farm Assistance Act. The information I have received is that proposed amendments to the Prairie Farm Assistance Act have been drafted by the Department of Justice on instructions from the officials of the Department of Agriculture, but have not yet had the final approval of the minister, and have not yet been submitted to council.

Topic:   PRAIRIE FARM ASSISTANCE
Subtopic:   DROUGHT CONDITIONS IN WESTERN CANADA- INQUIRY AS TO AMENDMENT OF ACT
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PRIVATE BILLS

INTERPROVINCIAL PIPE LINE COMPANY

LIB

William Alfred Robinson

Liberal

Mr. W. A. Robinson (Simcoe East) moved

the first reading of Bill No. 238 (from the Senate), to incorporate the Interprovincial Pipe Line Company.

Motion agreed to and bill read the first time.

Topic:   PRIVATE BILLS
Subtopic:   INTERPROVINCIAL PIPE LINE COMPANY
Permalink
LIB

James Horace King (Speaker of the Senate)

Liberal

Mr. Speaker:

When shall the said bill be read the second time?

Topic:   PRIVATE BILLS
Subtopic:   INTERPROVINCIAL PIPE LINE COMPANY
Permalink
LIB

Louis Stephen St-Laurent (Prime Minister; President of the Privy Council)

Liberal

Mr. St. Laurent:

Now.

Topic:   PRIVATE BILLS
Subtopic:   INTERPROVINCIAL PIPE LINE COMPANY
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CCF

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

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

Mr. Knowles:

Next sitting of the house.

Topic:   PRIVATE BILLS
Subtopic:   INTERPROVINCIAL PIPE LINE COMPANY
Permalink
LIB

James Horace King (Speaker of the Senate)

Liberal

Mr. Speaker:

Mr. Robinson (Simcoe East) moves that the said bill be now read the second time.

Topic:   PRIVATE BILLS
Subtopic:   INTERPROVINCIAL PIPE LINE COMPANY
Permalink
CCF

Major James William Coldwell

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

Mr. Coldwell:

Next sitting of the house. I thought we were meeting this morning to deal with interim supply. After all, the question of supply for a period of four months is of great importance and should take precedence over these bills. I suggest that we defer second reading of these bills until later this day.

Topic:   PRIVATE BILLS
Subtopic:   INTERPROVINCIAL PIPE LINE COMPANY
Permalink
LIB

Louis Stephen St-Laurent (Prime Minister; President of the Privy Council)

Liberal

Mr. St. Laurent:

Later this day.

Topic:   PRIVATE BILLS
Subtopic:   INTERPROVINCIAL PIPE LINE COMPANY
Permalink
CCF

Major James William Coldwell

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

Mr. Coldwell:

Or next sitting of the house.

Topic:   PRIVATE BILLS
Subtopic:   INTERPROVINCIAL PIPE LINE COMPANY
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LIB

Louis Stephen St-Laurent (Prime Minister; President of the Privy Council)

Liberal

Mr. St. Laurent:

No order for second reading can be made without the unanimous consent of the house, but if it is the desire of hon. members that the order be "later this day", that will be done.

Topic:   PRIVATE BILLS
Subtopic:   INTERPROVINCIAL PIPE LINE COMPANY
Permalink
CCF

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

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

Mr. Knowles:

Is the Prime Minister making that remark with respect to all these bills, or only with respect to the first one?

Topic:   PRIVATE BILLS
Subtopic:   INTERPROVINCIAL PIPE LINE COMPANY
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April 28, 1949