April 9, 1952 (21st Parliament, 6th Session)


Lester Bowles Pearson (Secretary of State for External Affairs)


Mr. Pearson:

I recall that. I thought the hon. gentleman used those words in describing not the treaty as a whole but one or two of the territorial aspects of it; but I gladly accept his explanation of his use of that phrase. Territories mentioned in this treaty, Mr. Speaker, which were taken from Japan, and which were described by the hon. member, were won by Japan as a result of conquest, at least as far as Formosa and Korea and one or two other islands were concerned. On the same basis by which the Japanese acquired these territories the victors in this war might very well have taken them themselves. Instead of that, the islands mentioned were not taken as territorial acquisitions by the victors but were put under United Nations trusteeship, with the United States as the trustee.
Reference was also made to article 10 of the treaty as an example of rather high-handed injustice against the Japanese. Article 10, which refers to the Peking protocol of 1901 and abrogates that protocol as far as any 55704-90
Japanese Peace Treaty benefits acquired by Japan are concerned, merely releases the Chinese from an intolerable situation under which they have suffered, if you like to use that word, for fifty years. The Peking protocol gave not only Japan but other countries the right to station their own troops in China, a right arising out of the Boxer rebellion; and I do not think it is any injustice to Japan to have that right abrogated in this treaty as far as Japan is concerned.
Also a good deal has been said by one or two previous speakers about the tyranny of imposing upon the Japanese the unconditional most-favoured-nation clause; and for that purpose article 12 was read. But though I tried to tempt the hon. member for Peace River into reading section (c) of that article, he read only sections (b) and (d). I would like to read the first part of section (c), which I think will throw a rather different light on the matter.
(c) In respect to any matter, however, Japan shall be obliged to accord to an allied power national treatment, or most-favoured-nation treatment, only to the extent that the allied power concerned accords Japan national treatment or most-favoured-nation treatment, as the case may be, in respect of the same matter.
It is a reciprocal engagement, not a unilateral engagement, which Japan undertakes as a result of that article.
The hon. member for Peel (Mr. Graydon) mentioned one or two matters last evening to which I should refer. Incidentally he indicated that definitive action had not been taken in the other place in regard to this treaty. That is not quite accurate. If he will read the proceedings of the other place for April 2 he will find that the motion of approval was adopted on that date and action was taken in that respect. The treaty itself is to be referred to a committee of the other place for subsequent examination, even though approval has been given.
Then, as I was expecting, the hon. member for Peel mentioned the Pacific pact. He indicated that as a result of this treaty another link has been established in the security of the Pacific, and he hoped that we might use this treaty, in the words of Mr. Acheson which he quoted, as a point of departure for a general Pacific security pact. I have very little to add to what I have already said on that matter. If the hon. member were interested enough to read an article by Mr. John Foster Dulles on a Pacific pact which appeared in the issue of "Foreign Affairs" from which he quoted Mr. Menzies last evening, he would get a very good argument from Mr. Dulles himself against the practicability of a Pacific pact

Japanese Peace Treaty at this time. In that article Mr. Dulles, who is a great advocate of Pacific security, said:
... it is not at this time practicable to draw a line which would bring all the free peoples of the Pacific and East Asia into a formal mutual security area.
Then he went on to explain why, and I shall not quote from his explanation except the last part of the paragraph where he says:
Lastly, but perhaps not least, is the fact that the United States should not assume formal commitments which overstrain its present capabilities and give rise to military expectations we could not fulfil, particularly in terms of land forces.
Mr. Dulles repeated that point of view in a radio broadcast on February 10 last when he was asked whether a Pacific security pact like the Atlantic pact was, in his judgment, feasible. He replied:
I don't think it is feasible on any quick timetable to put together the countries of Asia in the same way as the countries of the Atlantic.
That remains the position of the government on this matter, Mr. Speaker. Ultimately it may perhaps be the best, most practicable and most useful way of guaranteeing security in the Pacific but at the present time, like Mr. Dulles, we do not think so.
There has been general approval given in the house to the treaty, although that approval has been qualified by the leader of the C.C.F. and the leader of the Social Credit groups. Of course we must all feel, whether or not we approve of this treaty, that there are possibilities of danger arising out of it. It is a calculated risk we have to take. In this case 1 believe it is a calculated risk towards peace rather than towards war, because I do not believe this is a punitive treaty which has in it the seeds of future war. Nevertheless, we should not indulge in any excessive optimism as to what may happen now that Japan is going to be free to conduct its own affairs. The Tokyo correspondent of the Economist writing in the last edition said something which is very true and which we should keep in mind. He -said that the lacquer-thin coating of occupational reform is cracking and peeling off in most places. Japan, then, is beginning to withdraw into itself. I believe this is inevitable once occupation comes to an end.
We hope that this process will not result in the consequences for peace that Japan's policy had in the years before the war. There are of course problems ahead. In the case of Japan, these are both political and economic. There is a problem of Japan's relations with the continent of Asia and the western world. We in the west must do everything we can to make it in Japan's interest as well as to our advantage to choose the western democratic

world as her vehicle of international cooperation rather than the Asiatic communist world.
The economic aspect of the treaty, which has been so often emphasized in this discussion and quite rightly so, has within it elements of danger. As was pointed out, Japan is a country of 83 million people and must trade with the rest of the world in order to survive, even to feed herself. It is interesting to note in this connection that food production in Japan has steadily increased in the last few years, and that of course is an encouraging sign. But Japanese material prosperity does not necessarily mean that Japan will not develop the aggressive tendencies which, unfortunately, she developed in the past. The higher standard of living which we must hope the Japanese people will be able to achieve does not necessarily make for peace. In our discussion of international affairs we sometimes overlook the fact that a nation does not have to be underdeveloped to be overaggressive. In the years before world war II Japan had the highest standard of living of any Asiatic people, and whatever may have been the reason they were the most aggressive of Asiatic people.
Although we must do our part to assist Japan to build up her economy, I suggest we must not take it for granted that Japan's prosperity, of itself, means peace in Asia. It depends upon how that prosperity and how that power will be used. It is the purpose of those who drew up this treaty, and it is the hope of those who are in favour of it, that because this is the ending of a chapter Japan will use its new power and developing economic strength not for those purposes which have caused so much harm, so much damage, so much cruelty and so much suffering in the past but for the purpose of international co-operation in a great area of the world, which will lead not only to peace but to prosperity for all of us.

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