They were delegates to the united nations assembly.
Mr. ST. LAURENT: They were part of the Canadian delegation, but they also happen to be leaders of other parties in the house. If either of them will say to me that he would like to share with me responsibility for the report before it is printed, I shall be very glad to accept that offer.
Views have been expressed here which require some explanation of the pertinent facts, but by and large, up to the difference of view which I have indicated with respect to the last part of the speech of the hon. member for Vancouver South, there was fairly unanimous approval of the policy of the government in this matter of the peace settlements in Europe; and I thought that was very much as it should be. Of course the government has to take responsibility for the decisions made with respect to external affairs, just as it has to take responsibility for the decisions it makes in domestic matters. But we have endeavoured to make only decisions of the kind that would commend themselves to the Canadian public at large, and we felt that it would be very much to the interest of Canada to have Canadian policy with respect to external affairs, not the policy of a party government but the policy of Canada, and we have endeavoured to form our delegations in such a way, and to make our decisions along such lines as would carry out that intention. We have frequent opportunities to manifest
our differences of views about matters of domestic policy. I hope that will suffice, and that we shall not have to divide on these matters which affect our external relations.
The position being asserted by the western allies, other than the great powers, with respect to the peace settlements should not surprise three or four of those great powers, but apparently it has come as somewhat of a surprise to our Russian friends. As the hon. member for Vancouver South has pointed out, to a certain extent that may be understandable if one recalls the sequence of events from the beginning of the war to the final surrender of Germany. Poland, Holland, Belgium and France were soon overrun and their armies, as armies supported by independent states, ceased to exist. For a time the United Kingdom and the dominions stood alone against the axis forces. There were detachments of resistance members of the Polish army, the Dutch army, the Belgian army and the French army, but they were based on the soil of the United Kingdom and fought as part of the forces that were coordinated in the United Kingdom.
Then the U.S.S.R. was attacked and constituted a separate front. The United States was attacked, sent troops both to the orient and to the European front and was looked upon as a third group.
Of course we all realized that you cannot fight a war without coordination of efforts, and to achieve coordination there was a conference between Mr. Churchill and Mr. Roosevelt in the early days. There had even been a conference between them on the high seas even before the United States got into the war, and the document known as the Atlantic charter followed as a result of that conference.
Then, after the United States were attacked, a solemn declaration was signed in Washington on January 1, 1942, by the allied nations to the effect that they approved the Atlantic charter, and stating:
Each government pledges itself to employ its full resources, military or economic, against those members of the tripartite pact and its adherents with which such government is at war;
Each government pledges itself to cooperate with the governments signatory hereto and not to make a separate armistice or peace with the enemies.
That was signed by, I believe, twenty-five allied nations, including all the twenty-one who were at the peace conference. And that undertaking, not to make a separate peace, implied, I think, the other undertaking that there would not be a peace made which had
not been discussed between those who were going to make it to see if they could not make it a joint peace.
Nevertheless the first time there was any personal contact between the representatives of the western powers and the Russians, such contact was between Mr. Churchill, Mr. Roosevelt and Mr. Stalin. Their foreign ministers issued and they themselves approved the Moscow declaration of October 30, 1943. It seemed at that time that all those who were fighting the axis powers were being spoken for at this conference by the three great civil leaders I have mentioned, namely Mr. Churchill, Mr. Roosevelt and Mr. Stalin. There they declared that they would jointly pledge their united action for the prosecution of war until their respective enemies would surrender, and they stated:
They recognize the necessity of establishing at the earliest practicable date a general international organization, based on the principle of the sovereign equality of all peace loving states . . . for the purpose of maintaining international peace and security pending the reestablishment of law and order and the inauguration of a stystem of general security, they will consult with one another and, as occasion requires, with other members of the united nations with a view to joint action on behalf of the community of nations.
It states that they will consult with one another and, as occasion requires, with others of the allied nations, with a view to joint action on behalf of the community of nations.
At Dumbarton Oaks the proposals for the establishment of the united nations were drawn up. In those proposals there was included as chapter 12 the following transitional arrangements:
Pending the coming into force of the special agreement or agreements referred to in chapter 8, and in aeordanee with the provisions of paragraph 5 of the four-nation declaration, signed at Moscow, on October 30, 1943, the states parties to that declaration should consult with each other and as occasion arises with other members of the organization with a view to such joint action on behalf of the organization as may be necessary for the purpose of maintaining international peace and security.
That was in the Dumbarton Oaks proposals. Then the Dumbarton Oaks proposals were followed by the Yalta conference, in the Crimea. Again, the Yalta conference was a conference between Mr. Churchill, Mr. Roosevelt and Mr. Stalin; and there they agreed to set up a control commission for Germany. They stated:
Under the agreed plan, the forces of the three powers will each occupy a separate zone in Germany. Coordinated administration and control have been provided for under the plan through a central control commission consisting of the supreme commanders of the three powers, with headquarters in Berlin. It has been agreed
that France should be invited by the three powers, if she should so desire, to take over a zone of occupation and to participate as a fourth member of the control commisison. The limits of the French zone will be agreed by the four governments concerned through their representatives on the European advisory commission.
At the time of San Francisco we knew that was the way in which they were interpreting this transitory provision which had been put into the Dumbarton Oaks proposals; and when the Dumbarton Oaks proposals were being discussed at San Francisco hon. members who were on the delegation will recall what objection was taken to the continuation of that system, whereby the three or four were going to dominate the situation.
If hon. members will refer to page 63 and following of the report they will find summarized a record of the objections made.