John Borden Hamilton
Mr. Hamilton (York West):
Mr. Chairman, perhaps I might be allowed to take one or two minutes in connection with this item. I think my remarks will relate to it.
Last evening I read a very interesting article which appeared in the Toronto Evening Telegram of that date, written by Mr. James M. Minifie. The title of the article is "And Now: The Ultimate Missile". Mr. Minifie was referring to material which apparently he had at his disposal in Washington in connection with the ICBM, the intercontinental ballistic missile, and he referred to the fact that giant strides were being made in connection with a counter missile that would require the very best and latest type of radar detection in order to be put to work.
In his article Mr. Minifie mentioned that minutes would be very vital in connection with the detection of the ICBM by the counter missile, and apparently the indications are that a new D.E.W. line will be required located 500 or 600 miles farther north than the one which is being constructed at the present time. I might read from this article
his reference to the fact that a new D.E.W. line would be required. Mr. Minifie says:
Success in this fantastic project-
That is the development of a counter missile; those are my words, Mr. Chairman. -would have important repercussions in Canada. For one of the essentials would be another D.E.W. line, 500 or 600 miles farther north, running from Ellesmere island westward out over the Arctic ice. This sea area is regarded by Canada as Canadian territory on the sector principle by which eastern and western boundaries are carried northwards to the pole.
The United States however does not recognize this principle, and might not concede Canada's claim if it were formally presented which has not yet been done.
The indication further on in the article is that the chief of research and development of the United States army, Lieutenant General James M. Gavin, is thinking of the same thing because he is quoted as saying:
As we look ahead we see considerable pay-oft in being able to put stations out on the polar ice cap to detect missiles early in their flight, perhaps detect them at the instant of take-off.
The ability to live out there, to reinforce out there, to explore and patrol out there may be of great importance to us in the immediate future in fact.
Mr. Minifie goes on to say:
Thus consideration is being given by the United States armed services to American military occupation of an area which Canada considers its own.
Mr. Chairman, the hon. member for Calgary North dealt with the over-all picture in the northern area, and the fact that there is considerable concern as to the continuation of at least the show of Canadian sovereignty in that area.
We now have an indication that a further step is being planned, and I do not think the hon. member for Calgary North referred to this. Here is a situation in which we are now informed that steps may be required to be taken in the foreseeable future by the country to the south of us in order to provide a form of continental defence for all of us which may bring into dispute two theories concerning the ownership of the polar ice cap north of the Canadian land mass. Mr. Minifie's article indicates that it might be wise to make plans here to ensure that when the time comes there will be no dispute concerning our claims to sovereignty in this area, and to establish it beyond any question of doubt.
I would ask the minister if any steps have been taken to consider this problem, if there have been any discussions between his department and any department in Washington or among his department and any other department of this government and Washington to deal with this particular problem? It seems to me there is no point in waiting until the
Supply-Northern Affairs horse is out of the barn before closing the door. If we are going to be faced with a new D.E.W. line situation our government should now be taking steps to ensure that there is no question about our sovereignty in this particular area. I think we all welcome assistance from the United States in terms of continental defence and it is absolutely essential that we receive it, but I do believe it should be under conditions which are acceptable to the mass of the Canadian people.