Canada, House of Commons Debates, “Newfoundland”, 20th Parl, 3rd Sess (16 July 1947)

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Date: 1947-07-16
By: Canada (Parliament)
Citation: Canada, House of Commons Debates, 20th Parl, 3rd Sess, 1947 at 5728.
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[Page 5728]



On the orders of the day:

Mr. JOHN BRACKEN (Leader of the Opposition): I should like to direct a question to the Secretary of State for External Affairs.
In view of the fact that Newfoundland delegates have been here for some time, and
that we are hoping this will be the last day of the session, I should like to ask the minister if he is in a position to give us a progress report with respect to the discussions as to the future relations of Newfoundland and Canada. I have not given the minister any notice of this question. I should be satisfied to have him delay his answer until later on in the day, but I think that before we leave some statement should be made.

Right Hon. L. S. ST. LAURENT (Secretary of State for External Affairs): I do not think that I would be in any better position later in the day than I am at this moment to answer the question. There have been several meetings with the delegation from Newfoundland, and at the last general meeting of their delegation with our representatives several subcommittees were established to consider various aspects of the problems being explored.

All I can say is that on both sides there is evidence of the sincerest desire to get at all such facts as it would be important for the citizens of the two countries to consider in drawing their conclusions as to whether at this time it is possible to find a basis of closer union that would be of mutual advantage to the two countries. There is the sincerest desire on both sides to smooth out all suggestions of what at first might appear to be difficulties standing in the way. The matter has not progressed to a stage where anything definite can be stated about it, but it is further advanced than it was when this delegation came here, and the advance has been in the right direction. There are still very cordial and hopeful efforts being made on all sides to arrive at something that would appeal to the citizens of both countries.

Mr. BRACKEN: I am sure the house, and the public as well, will welcome the statement of progress by the Secretary of State for External Affairs. If I may be permitted to make one observation, I would say that it is the sincere view of every hon. member that the government will meet with a very great measure of success in its discussions with the Newfoundland delegates.

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