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


Gordon Graydon

Progressive Conservative


Doctor Evatt, for instance.
Mr. ST. LAURENT: And not only Doctor Evatt. It will be seen that Canada took an active part in disputing the advisability of leaving that kind of clause in the charter of the united nations. The big powers insisted upon putting it to a vote, and it was defeated by a vote of twenty-one to nine.
There was substituted a clause which was somewhat better, but which still contained some of the objections which Canada was making to the continuance of that system, a system which may have been all right during the war. It was necessary during the war to have this small group meeting and making decisions. But it was felt that that should not be projected into the peace.
Nevertheless we got at San Francisco the best that it seemed possible to obtain, if we were to get anything; and we accepted article 106 of the charter, which is a provision along those lines, with modified language. I shall not take time to read it into the record, but hon. members will find it as article 106 of the charter.
It was not the kind of article we wanted; but it formed part of the price we had to pay, with the other smaller nations, to get the united nations charter. And it was felt that it was better to get a charter with that in it, with the veto provision in it, and the other preferred positions that were given to the "Big Five", than not to have any charter at all.
It has been suggested that we should have left troops in occupation in Germany. Well, is it suggested that they should have been part of the Russian force? Is it suggested that they should have been part of the French forces of occupation? Is it suggested that they should have been part of the United States forces of occupation? Is it suggested they
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should have been part of the United Kingdom forces of occupation? They were the only four for which provision was made, and the control commission is at the present time the government of Germany. We have a military mission there, but the head of our military mission is in the same position as an ambassador to a foreign government. He is no part of the machinery that is governing Germany at the present time. He is not part of the machinery provided for by the Yalta conference. He is our representative, as a representative of one government to another government.
The San Francisco charter was signed, and it was followed by the Potsdam conference. In the Potsdam conference there was established this council of foreign ministers. It was established by the great powers and was composed of their foreign ministers. The council was given the immediate task of drawing up, with a view to submission to the united nations, treaties with Italy, Bulgaria, Roumania, Finland and Hungary to propose a settlement of territorial questions outstanding on the termination of the war in Europe. It was then also agreed that the council would be utilized for the preparation of a peace settlement for Germany, to be accepted by the government of Germany when a government adequate for the purpose was established. The only provision made with respect to any of the others of the allies was the following:
Whenever the council is considering a question of direct interest to a state not represented thereon such state should be invited to send representatives to participate in the discussion and study of the question.
With respect to Germany it was provided that German militarism and nazism will be extirpated and the allies will take in agreement together, now and in the future, the other measures necessary to assure that Germany shall never again threaten her neighbours.
This council of foreign ministers prepares drafts for the treaties with the five satellite powers, and the big powers did then respect the letter and probably the spirit of the undertaking of January 1, 1942. They prepared drafts and then they called a conference of all those who should make peace together and not peace separately, as had been agreed in the Washington declaration. We sent a delegation to that conference and at the opening of the conference the Prime Minister said that it was not satisfactory. He said:
Let us frankly admit that the course which has been followed has not, in all respects, been that which some of us had hoped for. That perhaps may be said of all the countries represented here. We in Canada felt that the

measure of our participation in the war against aggression would have warranted a similar measure of participation in the decisions of peace. In the event, these hopes are not being realized.
Nevertheless the draft treaties were submitted to them and were discussed, I think, for seventy-six days, and the results of those discussions were sent back to the council of foreign ministers. The council met in New York and accepted many of the recommendations that were made and finally determined the form which the- treaties would have and fixed the date for their execution in Paris, the 10th of February. Of course we were not satisfied with the procedure, which was long-drawn out in Paris. We felt and we still feel that if the others had been associated with their preparation at an earlier stage there would not have been this long wrangling over trying to have modifications made at the Paris conference. Nevertheless w'e signed the treaty and one of these days after the 31st of March the treaties will be brought to this house and submitted for its action.
With respect to the other settlements, in Washington the council of foreign ministers, which derives no authority from us, expressly said: We are going to elect special deputies who will meet in London and who will hear the views of the governments of the neighbouring allied states or other allied states who participated with our armed forces in the fight against Germany and who wish to present their views on the German problems. They will also consider questions of procedure with regard to the preparation of a peace treaty with Germany and will submit a report on these matters to the council of foreign ministers by February 25, 1947. The same deputies were instructed to proceed with the preparation of a treaty with Austria and to take into consideration proposals already submitted or that might afterwards be submitted by the governments of the allied nations and to hear the views of those governments on the draft that they were instructed to prepare; they were also to submit their report on the 25th of February.
The secretary of these special deputies invited us to submit our views. We were concerned lest the submitting of our views at that time might be taken by the council of foreign ministers as satisfying us with respect to the kind of treaty we would be expected to sign with them to carry out this undertaking not to make a separate peace, and we said: No, that is not good enough. We are not satisfied with merely submitting views to your deputies. That is not appropriate to our participation in the war. We must have a larger share than

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that in the settlement of the European situation. We sent in the document which I communicated to this house on the 30th of January. We got no answer to that document but we received an invitation to appear before the deputies. We instructed the high commissioner to ask the deputies if they could give us any assurance that if we complied with their invitation their principals would not regard that as satisfying us as to our participation in the making of the peace. They replied: Under our instructions we can give no assurances. We had preliminary views about what the settlement should be and as wre did not want to appear before the deputies, we sent in a statement of our views with a covering letter saying: We understand that by sending these views to you we are not prejudicing our right to be further associated in the preparation of the settlement.

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