Lionel Chevrier (Minister of Transport)
Oh, yes, it did.
Subtopic: DEPARTMENT OF EXTERNAL AFFAIRS
Oh, yes, it did.
That debate did not in any
way relate to the transfer of the registry of ships that had been under the control of communist China to Canadian registry, thus being able to fly the Canadian flag.
You said that the debate
did not in any way relate to this matter. I say it did in some way relate to this matter. Very much did it relate to this matter.
If the minister had been listening he would have heard what I said. I said very clearly that it in no way related to the major subject under discussion here, and I made it quite clear what it was and what it is.
You are remembering it now.
It was the transfer of these ships to Canadian registry. In so far as the interjection made by the parliamentary assistant is concerned, I would point out that he was inaccurate in suggesting that the general debate at that time had disclosed that all these ships had been delivered. It did not. It disclosed the number of ships which were under contract and at that time the Minister of Trade and Commerce expressed the expectation that the contracts would be completed later that year.
We, of course, have not had an opportunity since that time to be informed as to the fulfilment of those details. In so far as the ships which were transferred are concerned, I would suggest that when this item is called again it probably can be disposed of very quickly if the government in the meantime will have obtained the essential information which they have and which they can give to this house. They are in position-
That is exactly what the Minister of Public Works desired at the beginning of this debate.
You had better run along and get your report.
The government has simply been evading the real facts in this case and trying to create the pretence that they cannot give information which would fully disclose what is the situation. This is an interesting sequel to the debate in 1949. It was a strange transaction then. This came before the house to ratify an irregular payment by the government. That payment was an obligation that had been incurred in excess of the original contract amount. That was disposed of at that time.
Anyone who wishes to refer to the debate on that day will see that the government was very fully informed in regard to the Ming Sung Company and in regard to the nature of its activities and in regard to where it carried on business. The thing that should be remembered in this is that this is a company primarily operating in communist China. The interesting thing is that the government was prepared to accept a statement from that company delivered to them in Hong Kong as more reliable than a statement sent here by men who were working on these ships or working on ships out of Hong Kong and who, we have every reason to believe, were interested in the welfare of the shipping.
This situation is not merely an incident, it is a symptom of conditions. If this government were really taking a firm stand in regard to communism instead of its attitude in regard to trade with communist China,
Supply-External Affairs this would not have happened, and we would not so easily have made this of definite advantage to a company now operating within communist China.
Mr. Fournier (Hull):
Mr. Speaker, on
Monday we intend to take up four noncontentious bills. Three of them, Bill No. 372, Bill No. 373 and Bill No. 374, relate to income tax agreements with Sweden and France.
There is not one with China, is there?
Mr. Fournier (Hull):
We do not know yet. The fourth is Bill No. 376, respecting the construction of a line by Canadian National Railway Company from Sherridon to Lynn lake. Then we will take up the resolution in the name of the Minister of Veterans Affairs to amend the Returned Soldiers Insurance Act. I could not get this through the other day because the hon. member for Royal was not here, but he assured fie it was not contentious and that they were anxious to have it proceeded with. Then we will take up the resolution in the name of the Minister of Finance to make certain grants to municipalities in respect of federal properties situated therein; then Bill No. 296, an act to amend the Income Tax Act. That is the bill of the day. Then we will take up Bill No. 194, an act to amend the Emergency Gold Mining Assistance Act. That is not contentious either.
At eleven o'clock the house adjourned, without question put, pursuant to standing order. [The following items were passed in committee of supply]:
85. Passport office administration, $194,568. 86. Representation abroad-operational-including payment of salaries of high commissioners, ambassadors, ministers plenipotentiary, consuls, secretaries and staff appointed as directed by the governor general in council, notwithstanding anything to the contrary in the Civil Service Act or any of its amendments, $4,492,816. 87. Representation abroad-construction, acquisition or improvement of buildings, works, land, new equipment and furnishings, $228,940. 88. Representation abroad-to authorize the construction, acquisition, improvement and furnishing of properties for Canadian government offices and residences abroad, payment therefor to be made in foreign currencies that are not convertible into Canadian or United States dollars and that may be used only for governmental or other limited purposes and that have beep acquired in respect of reparations or pursuant to the settlement of claims
Supply-External Affairs arising out of military operations or war expenditures, or in exchange for other such currencies so acquired, $1,042,500. 89. To provide for official hospitality, $20,000. 90. To provide for relief of distressed Canadian citizens abroad and for the reimbursement of the United Kingdom for relief expenditures incurred by its diplomatic and consular posts on Canadian account (part recoverable), $15,000. 91. Canadian representation at international conferences, $225,000. 92. Canadian section of Canada-United States permanent joint board on defence including $7,500 for the chairman, notwithstanding anything contained in the Civil Service Act, $10,000. 93. Grant to the United Nations Association in Canada, $10,000. 94. Grant to the Canadian Red Cross Society (for international activities of the Red Cross), $25,000. B-General- The Canadian government's assessment for membership in the following international or commonwealth organizations- 95. United nations organization, $1,466,100. Specialized agencies- 96. Food and agriculture organization of the United Nations, $109,000. 97. International labour organization, $256,300. 98. United nations educational, scientific and cultural organization, $327,800. 99. International civil aviation organization, $114,630. 100. World health organization, $231,200. 101. Commonwealth economic committee, $16,830. 102. Commonwealth shipping committee, $510. 103. Inter-allied reparations agency, $7,000. 104. Inter-American committee on social security, $4,700. 105. The Canadian government's contribution to the administration of the general agreement on tariffs and trade, $14,300. International civil aviation organization- 106. To provide the international civil aviation organization with office accommodation at cost, $66,604. International joint commission- 107. To provide for preliminary studies and surveys of the mid-western watershed, $10,000. 108. To provide for Canada's share of an investigation on the matter of air pollution in the vicinity of Detroit and Windsor, $40,000. 109. To provide for Canada's share of the expenses in connection with the St. John river reference, $50,000. 110. To provide for Canada's share of the expenses of the Niagara Falls reference, $50,000. Terminable services- 111. Commonwealth consultative committee on south and southeast Asia (for technical assistance), $400,000. External affairs- 566. To authorize and provide for working capital advances in the current and subsequent fiscal years to maintain cash and bank balances at Department of External Affairs posts abroad, subject to regulations of the treasury board, the amount of advances hereby authorized outstanding at any time not to exceed $300,000.
Monday, June 18, 1951