March 3, 1947 (20th Parliament, 3rd Session)

PC

Howard Charles Green

Progressive Conservative

Mr. GREEN:

That suits me.
Mr. ST. LAURENT: And I think those
who read it will find in it the implication I found in listening to it. With respect to that position, I am not prepared to recommend to the house that there be a common voice for the empire. That question has been discussed more than once in this house, and we have come to the conclusion, at least on this side of the house, that Canada was going to have a foreign policy of its own and was not going to be merely the instrument to carry out a foreign policy made up for us elsewhere.
The government has welcomed this debate, and I am sure all hon. members have welcomed it. The hon. gentleman said there should be more frequent opportunities for debates on external affairs. I trust there will be more frequent opportunities for such debates; but by general agreement since the house met we have been dealing, up to the present time, with that emergency legislation which requires to be passed before March 31. In the course of the session there will be many opportunities to discuss external affairs, because many times the government will have to come to parliament to ask for its ratification of agreements that have been entered into; and there can also be other occasions when the external affairs of the country may be discussed.
The hon. member says there should be reports of the position taken by Canada at these international conferences. No doubt the hon. member knows of this report on the united nations conference on international organization which was put out as conference series 1945, document No. 2. I can say to the hon. member that one is now being prepared, because I have had something to do with it over the last several weeks, and I trust that it will be made available very shortly, much in the form of this report, on
Peace Treaties

what took place at the meetings of the general assembly. If those hon, members opposite who attended the conference want to see the draft reports prepared by the officers of external affairs before they are published, they are welcome to do so. I have had to go over them, and it is quite a bit of work. I found, as one might expect from the staff which had been assembled in the Department of External Affairs before I got there, that this work has been ably done; and I am sure the officers of the department as well as myself would welcome the interest other hon. members of the house who were on these delegations might take in the drafts before they are published. But I think it would be going rather far to ask the leaders of the other parties to approve in advance documents to be put out by the government. We have felt that we should do our best to put them out in such form that they would not deserve criticism; but we did not think we could reasonably ask the leaders of the other parlies to approve them in advance.

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