June 15, 1951

LIB

Jean-François Pouliot

Liberal

Mr. Pouliot:

Mr. Chairman, I will be

serious, but you will excuse me, sir, if I am not solemn. A number of years ago Theodore Roosevelt used to say that to be successful in any discussion one had to use a sweet voice and carry a big stick.

Topic:   WEIGHTS AND MEASURES ACT
Subtopic:   GENERAL REVISION
Sub-subtopic:   WEIGHING AND MEASURING DEVICES, ETC.- CONCURRENCE IN SENATE AMENDMENT
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?

An hon. Member:

Talk softly.

Topic:   WEIGHTS AND MEASURES ACT
Subtopic:   GENERAL REVISION
Sub-subtopic:   WEIGHING AND MEASURING DEVICES, ETC.- CONCURRENCE IN SENATE AMENDMENT
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LIB

Jean-François Pouliot

Liberal

Mr. Pouliot:

Unfortunately from the end of the war until last December the United Nations had a big voice and no stick at all. There were provocative speeches at each meeting of the United Nations, and it was impossible to come to any peaceful agreement. In 1947 it was decided that Canada was to become a member of the security council. In an article entitled, "Do We Want Peace or War", which I wrote after having read a series of remarkable articles published in L'Action Catholique by Mr. Lorenzo Pare, then president of the press gallery, and who is just as modest as he is well informed, I wrote as follows:

Let Marshall, Bevin, Bidault and the others remain silent to listen to St. Laurent speaking to Molotov. If he is listened to, the peace effort of Canada will be greater than its war effort.

Unfortunately the prime minister of the time did not accept that suggestion, and Canada was represented on the security council by a bellicose gentleman who did absolutely nothing to promote peace.

Topic:   WEIGHTS AND MEASURES ACT
Subtopic:   GENERAL REVISION
Sub-subtopic:   WEIGHING AND MEASURING DEVICES, ETC.- CONCURRENCE IN SENATE AMENDMENT
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?

An hon. Member:

Who was that?

Topic:   WEIGHTS AND MEASURES ACT
Subtopic:   GENERAL REVISION
Sub-subtopic:   WEIGHING AND MEASURING DEVICES, ETC.- CONCURRENCE IN SENATE AMENDMENT
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LIB

Jean-François Pouliot

Liberal

Mr. Pouliot:

If my hon. friend does not know, he should not sit here.

Topic:   WEIGHTS AND MEASURES ACT
Subtopic:   GENERAL REVISION
Sub-subtopic:   WEIGHING AND MEASURING DEVICES, ETC.- CONCURRENCE IN SENATE AMENDMENT
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SC

Ernest George Hansell

Social Credit

Mr. Hansell:

It is the description we do not recognize.

Topic:   WEIGHTS AND MEASURES ACT
Subtopic:   GENERAL REVISION
Sub-subtopic:   WEIGHING AND MEASURING DEVICES, ETC.- CONCURRENCE IN SENATE AMENDMENT
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PC

Julian Harcourt Ferguson

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Ferguson:

We do not recognize him from the description.

Topic:   WEIGHTS AND MEASURES ACT
Subtopic:   GENERAL REVISION
Sub-subtopic:   WEIGHING AND MEASURING DEVICES, ETC.- CONCURRENCE IN SENATE AMENDMENT
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LIB

Jean-François Pouliot

Liberal

Mr. Pouliot:

That is unfortunate, but I refer my friend to the files of newspapers of the time. I must express my appreciation to the Secretary of State for External Affairs who has twice vindicated me. The first time was on June 11, 1950, in the Cartier byelection, when he repeated what I had said a long time before, that the United Nations could not guarantee the security of any country. The second time was after my remarks of June 29, 1950, about the Korean situation. I do not refer to his ironical and uncalled for comparison of the same day to Neville Chamberlain, as found at page 4392 of Hansard, but to his trans-Canada broadcast of five months later, on December 5, 1950, when he stated that an attempt through diplomacy to reach a modus vivendi with the Asian communist world is not appeasement. That is to be found at page 439 of the external affairs bulletin for December, 1950.

Well, for political reasons the prime minister of the time did not permit his secretary of state for external affairs to be in continuous attendance during the meetings at Lake Success; but the present minister had the honour to represent the whole white race on the cease-fire committee which was appointed not so long ago. His two fellow members were the president of the security council, the representative of Iran, Mr. Entezam, and Sir Benegal Rau of India. That was the first time, since Senator Dan-durand presided over the league of nations and played an important p'art in the drafting of the treaty of Locarno, that a Canadian had been given such responsibilities, by unanimous consent of a majority of the members of the United Nations. This also was in line with what I said in the house on June 29 of last year.

I am not to go back at length over the past, but you know, Mr. Chairman, that truth is eternal and the right to express it as one finds it cannot be questioned. I spoke on June 29, 1950. The session was prorogued the next day. On July 1 a self-appointed technician in international affairs, who is just that, wrote in the editorial page of one of the Ottawa newspapers that I was not a good Canadian just because I had expressed sincerely my views. He said, "That man Pouliot is not a good Canadian." It did not impress me. No one has yet succeeded

in terrorizing me, and I am completely indifferent to what is said about me by any journalist. But following the line of the United Nations some years ago, after having been abused in another newspaper by another swelled-headed editor, I went to the human rights committee of the House of Commons. There I lodged my complaint and asked for redress of the wrongs. The committee did nothing.

Some people may be concerned about what is said of them by some self-complacent members of the press gallery. I do not care. I find them bigoted and ignorant. I find them just as intolerant as anyone can be. It may have happened after a luncheon at the Rideau club; I do not know and I do not care. I just mention that to suggest to my fellow members not to pay any attention to any unpleasant remark that is made about them by any member of the press gallery.

Strange to say, after that young man went on a long trip to Colombo he stopped in Egypt and Turkey. There he went to the legislative buildings, and he was haunted by the souvenir of the hon. member for Rosetown-Biggar and, believe it or not, by my own. I do not know if it was in Ankara or in Cairo, but he said, "Here we see also the Coldwells and Pouliots who sit here." Then after the minister had spoken as he did on December 5, that journalist repeated exactly what I had said on June 29; I did not refer to him as "that man so and so." It was of no importance at all.

I am not to speak any longer. I am going home today to refresh myself, and I thank the committee for being so attentive to the remarks I have made.

Topic:   WEIGHTS AND MEASURES ACT
Subtopic:   GENERAL REVISION
Sub-subtopic:   WEIGHING AND MEASURING DEVICES, ETC.- CONCURRENCE IN SENATE AMENDMENT
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PC

George Randolph Pearkes

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Pearkes:

Last evening when the house was in committee of supply a sordid story of a disgraceful international episode was revealed, reminiscent of the dark days of the middle ages when fortresses were betrayed and commanders were sold for a bag of gold. A few years ago the Canadian government underwrote the sale of some seven ships to the nationalist government of China. I understand the loan was jointly guaranteed by the then government of China and the Canadian government. Those seven ships were operating in Chinese waters until the fall of the nationalist government. At that time the banks and other interests concerned became somewhat alarmed as to whether the Canadian shipyards wotild ever be paid for those vessels.

We learned last night that the Canadian government then took back those ships under Canadian registry and the Canadian flag. Since then the payments have been made to

Supply-External Affairs the banks because of the fact that some of those ships have carried on a disgraceful trade between the British port of Hong Kong and the communist ports on the mainland of China. We were told last night that two of the ships have been captured and taken over by the communists. Those ships were operating up the Yangtze river; but the other five ships were still permitted to ply between Hong Kong and the communist ports on the south coast of China. Apparently the communists are making no attempt whatever to seize the other five ships. No doubt the two ships on the Yangtze were seized because if they had left the mouth of the river and gone across the sea of Formosa the United States naval vessels blockading the entrance to the Yangtze river might have seized them, and they would not have been able to bring to China the commodities they were carrying in their cargoes. But no attempt was made to seize those other vessels which are operated by the Ming Sung Industrial Company, because, had they seized the vessels in the communist port, obviously they would not have been able to enter Hong Kong and take again and again to the communist ports the materials which the communists were so anxious to obtain. Eyewitnesses in Hong Kong report that essential war materials are daily included in those cargoes carried by those ships of Canadian registry and flying the Canadian flag. This happens at a time when Canadian destroyers are in the China seas; when Canadian men are fighting in Korea for democracy and are opposed by Chinese formations helping the North Koreans; at a time when not many miles away from these ports of southern China, Canadian missionary nuns have been imprisoned without just cause and have been submitted to treatment which comes quite close to being torture.

When I asked questions as to the nature of the cargo which was being carried, the Minister of Trade and Commerce informed this committee that he could not say whether the ships were carrying contraband on their trips to Canton and up the Yangtze river, but he hoped that they were not. If they were, he did not know what could be done about it. I suggest to the minister, through you, that the Canadian people expect this government will do something about it, and do it without any further delay.

I received my information direct from Hong Kong in a letter dated June 4, 1951, and sent to me personally by the general secretary of the China coast navigating and engineer officers guild. This is an organization of merchant marine officers sailing the China seas. It is a responsible organization. The

Supply-External Affairs communication reaches me over the signature of Mr. George T. Lloyd, general secretary of that guild, I propose to read this letter, as it contains information, and will draw the attention of this committee to the situation which I believe exists in Hong Kong today. It reads:

I am directed to draw your earnest attention to what is regarded here as a scandal exploited by a few Canadian speculative Shylocks, and which has been considered in Hong Kong to be nothing less than a profitable evasion of commonwealth maritime laws. Then there is the larger and human aspect: Canadian (?) vessels carrying war materials to Red China to murder Canadian soldiers who espouse the democratic cause and risk their lives for love of country.

The points we desire to emphasize in order to arouse public interest are the following:

1. The vessels of the Ming Sung Industrial Company (of Canada) are at the time of writing employed in the following trades: Hong Kong-

Macao, passengers and cargo; Hong Kong-Macao-Canton, passengers and cargo: Hong Kong-Canton, cargo only.

2. Canton is a port under the direct control of a government with which the government of the Dominion of Canada has no relations nor political contact.

3. What are the vessels carrying? Eye witnesses state that included in the daily cargoes is essential war materials. This is cold, concrete fact.

4. These vessels are trading under the Canadian flag, and have it painted prominently on both sides. They wear the Canadian ensign in Chinese communist ports we know.

5. These Canadian (sic.) vessels are officered and manned by Chinese (one has a Russian captain), who naturally have to bow and bend to the whims of the governing authority in Canton. The manning, of course, is contrary to the manning regulations of Canada and the British commonwealth. All this is officially sanctioned and tolerated, so that speculators may profit in gold.

6. The Ming Sung Industrial Company trades in China under the flag of the "People's Republic of China"-a government not as yet recognized by the Dominion of Canada. Chinese vessels, manned by Chinese, carrying war materials to Chinese Reds.

7. Canadian vessels are required to carry officers holding certificates issued within the commonwealth. Yet the seven vessels referred to have been trading under the flag of the Dominion of Canada since July 1, 1950, with the full consent of the government of the Dominion of Canada and the Hong Kong government acting on behalf of the United Kingdom. Regulations have been evaded.

8. The merchant navy officers organizations, both in Canada and Hong Kong, have earnestly and repeatedly taken up the matter with the various governments concerned, with no result, nor has a satisfactory reason ever been furnished by the various governments as to why such a grotesque state of affairs is permitted to be perpetuated in spite of legitimate protest.

In conclusion, it must be emphasized that cargoes are arriving in Canton in Canadian (?) bottoms to the disgust and discomfort of Canadians serving overseas. Can you for one moment imagine Canadian vessels conveying war materials to communist China to be used against men and youths of our own blood and breed? If your imagination cannot rise to that level, let anyone of an inquiring mind travel to Hong Kong and see what has been described as unchallengeable fact.

The scandal exists!

[Mr. Pearkes.l

If the gold profits are being made in Canada, are blood-dipped dollars worth the lives of Canadian men and youths?

Conscience revolts and rebels at the thoqght of it all.

Yours faithfully,

George T. Lloyd, General Secretary

I indicated earlier that the Minister of Trade and Commerce knew of these facts, or many of them, as is disclosed in the remarks that he made last night. I think the people of Canada would much prefer to see those ships sink to the bottom of the ocean than to feel that they are carrying war supplies to a country whose armies are engaged against the personnel of Canada. They would much prefer to write off that loss, whatever it may be. I believe that the shareholders of the banks and of the trading companies concerned would rather lose that money than feel that it is tainted with the blood of Canadian soldiers.

I should therefore like to ask the Secretary of State for External Affairs a few questions on this point. When were the two ships that are reported by the Minister of Trade and Commerce to have been seized in the Yangtze, seized or taken over by the communists or people's republic of China? Did the Canadian government make any protest at the time that those two ships were seized? Are these ships still being operated by the Ming Sung Industrial Company? Does that company operate or maintain agencies or have connections throughout communist China at the present time?

It will be noted that in the letter I read it was claimed that ships of the Ming Sung Industrial Company were now operating under the flag of the people's republic of China in Chinese ports. I should like to know whether this Ming Sung company, which I believe is a big organization with many ramifications, operates in communist China at the present time. Then I should like to ask this question: On whose authority were those ships, their officers and crews, given exception from the marine laws passed by this parliament?

Topic:   WEIGHTS AND MEASURES ACT
Subtopic:   GENERAL REVISION
Sub-subtopic:   WEIGHING AND MEASURING DEVICES, ETC.- CONCURRENCE IN SENATE AMENDMENT
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PC

John George Diefenbaker

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Diefenbaker:

And was it under order

in council?

Topic:   WEIGHTS AND MEASURES ACT
Subtopic:   GENERAL REVISION
Sub-subtopic:   WEIGHING AND MEASURING DEVICES, ETC.- CONCURRENCE IN SENATE AMENDMENT
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PC

George Randolph Pearkes

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Pearkes:

That was another point I

had noted. Was it by order in council? Has some secret order in council been passed, or was it just on the written authority of some minister? Finally, I should like to know how much money has still to be paid for these vessels; and if so, what payments have been made to date, and by whom.

I feel that these are points upon which the country deserves enlightenment. If the Minister of Trade and Commerce does not know how this problem can be solved, I think we must rely upon the Secretary of State for External Affairs to find a solution. The Minister of Trade and Commerce said that it was not his baby. He passed it over to external affairs, to transport, to finance, or to somebody else. But the people of Canada will not tolerate this sort of thing. Appeals are being made today for the youth of Canada to serve in Korea. The people of Canada are, I think, ashamed-and certainly I am-to think that this government has any part or parcel of any transaction which will enable supplies to be sent to the enemy. If it is a matter of money-if this government would have to pay money if the payments were not made to the shipyards-th,en I say: Let us pay that money and let our hands be clean. We do not want to have any money that is tainted with the blood of our soldiers.

Topic:   WEIGHTS AND MEASURES ACT
Subtopic:   GENERAL REVISION
Sub-subtopic:   WEIGHING AND MEASURING DEVICES, ETC.- CONCURRENCE IN SENATE AMENDMENT
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LIB

Lester Bowles Pearson (Secretary of State for External Affairs)

Liberal

Mr. Pearson:

Mr. Chairman, the hon.

gentleman who has just spoken has asked for certain information. He also has put a question on the order paper dealing with this point. He will get that information; and when he gets it, I think he will be sorry that he made some of the statements he made this morning. He bases those statements on a letter, on evidence which he had with him; and from his remarks I assume that he associates himself with the accuracy of those statements, or their inaccuracy. He has called them, I think-to use his own words-"cold concrete facts."

Topic:   WEIGHTS AND MEASURES ACT
Subtopic:   GENERAL REVISION
Sub-subtopic:   WEIGHING AND MEASURING DEVICES, ETC.- CONCURRENCE IN SENATE AMENDMENT
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PC

George Randolph Pearkes

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Pearkes:

Those were the words which were used in the letter. I was quoting the letter.

Topic:   WEIGHTS AND MEASURES ACT
Subtopic:   GENERAL REVISION
Sub-subtopic:   WEIGHING AND MEASURING DEVICES, ETC.- CONCURRENCE IN SENATE AMENDMENT
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LIB

Lester Bowles Pearson (Secretary of State for External Affairs)

Liberal

Mr. Pearson:

Yes; that is what I am suggesting. The hon. member has based his serious allegations against the government on a letter which he has quoted to the committee, and with which, I assume, he associates himself as to its accuracy. I want to say now, Mr. Chairman, that when he gets the information which we shall be extremely glad indeed to give him, I think he will not be so happy about the source of his information. In his remarks this morning he talked about scandals, about disgraceful trade, about eyewitnesses in Hong Kong testifying that these ships are loading war materials daily for the Chinese communists; and he has made other statements of that kind which do not correspond with the information which we have and which, I can assure him, is at least as authoritative; I think it is much more authoritative than is

Supply-External Affairs the letter which he has just read to the committee. When the information is given, however, the committee will itself be able to judge as to the validity of my statement.

What I want to say now is that this matter came to our attention, as it did a short time ago-

Topic:   WEIGHTS AND MEASURES ACT
Subtopic:   GENERAL REVISION
Sub-subtopic:   WEIGHING AND MEASURING DEVICES, ETC.- CONCURRENCE IN SENATE AMENDMENT
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PC

John George Diefenbaker

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Diefenbaker:

When was that?

Topic:   WEIGHTS AND MEASURES ACT
Subtopic:   GENERAL REVISION
Sub-subtopic:   WEIGHING AND MEASURING DEVICES, ETC.- CONCURRENCE IN SENATE AMENDMENT
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LIB

Lester Bowles Pearson (Secretary of State for External Affairs)

Liberal

Mr. Pearson:

When we received a letter from the same organization to which the hon. gentleman has referred. We received that letter, I think, last week. That was the first time, to my knowledge-and I am speaking only for myself at this moment-that any suggestion had been made that these ships were being improperly used. As soon as that letter was received, I at once took the matter up with my colleagues in the cabinet, and we sent a telegram at once to the Canadian official representative at Hong Kong requesting him to check up on those allegations and to give us all the information that it was possible for him to give. We have also taken the matter up with the United Kingdom authorities at Hong Kong. So far, although our information is not complete, we have not received any information which would justify the allegations made in the letter to which my hon. friend has referred. On the contrary, we have received specific information challenging those allegations and stating that they could not be supported by evidence.

There will be an opportunity to discuss this matter in detail. It concerns the Department of Finance as well as the Department of Trade and Commerce and the Department of Transport. But I want to assure the committee now that we have had the charge which has been levelled against this company -that of transporting war material to China -denied flatly by representatives of the company-

Topic:   WEIGHTS AND MEASURES ACT
Subtopic:   GENERAL REVISION
Sub-subtopic:   WEIGHING AND MEASURING DEVICES, ETC.- CONCURRENCE IN SENATE AMENDMENT
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?

Some hon. Members:

Oh, oh.

Topic:   WEIGHTS AND MEASURES ACT
Subtopic:   GENERAL REVISION
Sub-subtopic:   WEIGHING AND MEASURING DEVICES, ETC.- CONCURRENCE IN SENATE AMENDMENT
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LIB

Alphonse Fournier (Minister of Public Works; Leader of the Government in the House of Commons; Liberal Party House Leader)

Liberal

Mr. Fournier (Hull):

Just wait a minute until the minister completes the sentence.

Topic:   WEIGHTS AND MEASURES ACT
Subtopic:   GENERAL REVISION
Sub-subtopic:   WEIGHING AND MEASURING DEVICES, ETC.- CONCURRENCE IN SENATE AMENDMENT
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LIB

Lester Bowles Pearson (Secretary of State for External Affairs)

Liberal

Mr. Pearson:

-and the evidence we have received from other sources also supports that denial. It must be remembered that before the ships can leave Hong Kong, they have to get customs clearance from the government of Hong Kong. It must also be remember'd that regulations are in effect in Hong Kong to prevent strategic material of any kind from going to communist China. It must also be remembered that the Canadian government has regulations to that end, and those regulations have been in effect for many months. And we have done what we can to make sure that nothing of a strategic nature can get to China at this time. I am not going to say anything further about it at this time. But

Supply-External Affairs we will have all the information, and I hope when we get the information it will be quite clear that this government has not connived in any way at shipments of any strategic materials to the Red government of China.

The hon. member in the early part of his speech talked about two of our ships operating in the Yangtze river. There are no ships of Canadian registry or flying the Canadian flag that we know of operating in the Yangtze river at all.

Topic:   WEIGHTS AND MEASURES ACT
Subtopic:   GENERAL REVISION
Sub-subtopic:   WEIGHING AND MEASURING DEVICES, ETC.- CONCURRENCE IN SENATE AMENDMENT
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PC

Donald Methuen Fleming

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Fleming:

The Minister of Trade and Commerce said so last night.

Topic:   WEIGHTS AND MEASURES ACT
Subtopic:   GENERAL REVISION
Sub-subtopic:   WEIGHING AND MEASURING DEVICES, ETC.- CONCURRENCE IN SENATE AMENDMENT
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June 15, 1951