Right Hon. L. S. St. Laurent (Prime Minister):
Mr. Speaker, I trust I may have the indulgence of the house for a moment or two to make a short statement.
Today is the second anniversary of an historic event, the signing of the North Atlantic treaty on April 4, 1949. We entered into the treaty because we believed it was necessary for the continuing preservation of the freedom and the heritage of the Atlantic nations. It was necessary because the Soviet union had prevented the security council of the United Nations from discharging its primary responsibility for the maintenance of peace, and1 because a grave atmosphere of disillusion, anxiety and tension had been created by the enforced transformation of one eastern European state after another into a satellite of the Soviet union.
Against this background of the growing threat of communist imperialism, the North Atlantic treaty was concluded. In the two years of -its existence, by increasing the ability of the Atlantic powers to resist aggression, important steps have been taken to lessen the likelihood of war. In the military field an integrated force has been established under General Eisenhower as supreme commander allied powers in Europe. The principle of mutual aid has been revived, and Canada has shared in the mutual aid program by transferring military equipment to a number of our European allies and by providing places for our North Atlantic partners in our military and air training establishments.
The strength and determination of the North Atlantic allies to resist aggression have been increased with the growth of their deterrent military strength and of their feeling of a community of interests, political, economic and cultural. While the primary purpose of the treaty is security, the development of mutual understanding which is taking place serves a deeper purpose which has a special appeal for Canadians; the ultimate creation of a great community of free nations working together for a lasting peace.
Subtopic: SECOND ANNIVERSARY OF SIGNING AT WASHINGTON