An Address by PETER THORNEYCROFT, M.P. President of the Board of Trade, London, England
Joint Meeting with The Canadian Club of Toronto and the Board of Trade, Toronto.
Friday, June 11th, 1954
CHAIRMAN: The President, Mr. James H. Joyce.
MR. THORNEYCROFT: I thank you for this opportunity of addressing a few words to such an important and representative audience.
Since I spoke at the opening of the International Trade Fair at Toronto twelve days ago I have travelled far and seen much of Canadian enterprise and effort. I have been deeply impressed both with the extent of your resources and with the energy with which you exploit them. While in Vancouver I had an opportunity of saying a few words about the value of mutual trade between us. The more dollars we earn in trade with Canada the quicker we can rid ourselves of the unnatural restrictions we have been forced to impose on dollar trade. Three days ago at Jasper I met the Canadian Manufacturers' Association, and discussed with them some of the technical advances of United Kingdom industry and how best they could be linked with the vast achievements of Canadian enterprise.
Today I want for a few moments to look outside this field of Canadian-United Kingdom trade, and see how jointly we should face the world beyond. Certain it is that we must face it together. I think we are doing so. The United Kingdom and Canada have learnt to cooperate with mutual profit in exciting developments right across this country. One of the best examples is in this City in the form of the Toronto Subway. You will remember what Mr. Duncan said at the opening of that Subway.
". . . Those beautiful cars in which you have travelled were built in the ancient city of Gloucester in the shadow of the Cotswold hills. The rails on which they run were made in Canada and in the United States. Those gleaming glass surfaces which you have admired in the stations were rolled in Yorkshire and put together in Ontario. The signal system came from London. The steel which lies embedded in the structure was the product of the United States and Great Britain, of Belgium, of Germany and of Luxembourg. Truly an international project."
That, speech epitomizes what I want to say today on how Canada and the United Kingdom can co-operate in meeting the problem of the world outside and how such cooperation can be of benefit to both of us. As man has learned to move faster and faster, and increased his power over matter and over space, so the world has shrunk. Lands once beyond our horizon are now reached in a few hours by luxury air liners, or for that matter by heavy bombers. In this new small world of ours, it is no longer possible to shut out the forces and misfortunes of our neighbours. Walls no longer count for very much. The Great Wall of China and the Maginot Line are equally archaic, and I may say equally irrelevant to a city which can shrink to the size of a bomb crater. The barriers which tower above us are not walls but curtains and they stand not against aggression and violence, but against co-operation, friendship and understanding.
Paradoxically, the existence of these barriers has stimulated co-operation and understanding in the free world. They have led among other things to the creation of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, one of the most remarkable examples of international co-operation which the world has seen. Let it not be forgotten that the organisation owes much to the vision and the initiative of Canadian statesmen, and not least Mr. St. Laurent. Through NATO Canada has contributed a Western European Defence Force stationed beside our own in Germany. In addition Canada has provided mutual aid to the tune of $300 million a year including substantial expenditure on the air training scheme. That training scheme itself is probably an outstanding example of international cooperation in the field of defence. The pilots, I may say, gain more than skill in the management of modern air craft, they gain a knowledge of Canada and friendship both with Canadians and trainees of many nationalities.
I have spoken first of co-operation for defence, for defence is also basic to our needs and our emergencies, but our co-operation goes, of course, much further and it needs to do so. The struggle for men's minds is not an unimportant part of what is going on in the world. If we are to win in that struggle we must have a joint and demonstrable success in the economic and commercial policies we pursue. Prosperity like peace is indivisible.
It is these thoughts which have dominated the commercial policy of our two countries and also, may I add, have dominated the policy of the United States of America. We have felt the need of combined operations, not only against the threat of aggression, but against the wants, the poverty, the hunger of the world. There is today a greater awareness of the needs of populations in other parts of the world than perhaps at any other time in our history. It is this realisation which has made possible the bold conception of the Colombo Plan. South and South-East Asia are a long way from Toronto, but what happens there can have a great impact upon what happens here, and not only alas in the field of commerce. South Asia contains a half of the world population. It contains too much poverty and hunger. It is estimated that by 1970 its numbers will have increased by ten times the total population of Canada. Developments there, apart from common humanity, must have an immense impact upon economies elsewhere. It is in places such as this that markets are fashioned and the size and scope of world demand are finally decided.
What is needed is capital, equipment and skill, and it is a measure of the size of Canadian statesmanship that Canada should have contributed these things so generously in the development of Asia. Certain it is that Canada's great gift of wheat saved millions from hunger, and that Canadian funds have played large part in a number of great capital developments in India and in Pakistan.
I have mentioned only two of the bodies, NATO and the Colombo Plan through which you and we are cooperating in the international field. There are, of course, many more and I do not intend to work my way through the list of them today. I have perhaps said enough to illustrate that we are both engaged in practical co-operative efforts in places far from our own shores. But if it is important that we co-operate with other countries it is above all important that we should co-operate with one another. Few countries have more to gain than Canada and the United Kingdom from the mutual exchange of goods, of ideas and human beings. That is why I attach particular importance to the trainees and the scholarship schemes, which exist between the United Kingdom and Canada, and I mention in particular the Athlone Fellowship. There can be no finer way of pooling both our ideas and resources.
With the job you have to do at home, and it is certainly a large one, you might have been excused in concentrating upon it rather than looking at the world outside. Probably in history few nations have developed at such a pace as Canada, and at the same time had the vision and vitality to take part and often inspire the great schemes of international co-operation that are being fashioned at the present time. We are proud to be associated with you in these combined efforts to secure the peace efforts we make in the domestic field, whether in Ottawa and prosperity of the world. They are tasks which none of us could tackle single-handed. If we neglect them the or London, can only have a limited effect. The real pathway to success in international trade lies in the direction of building up world trade as a whole. What happens outside our frontiers is at least as important as what happens within them. In Canada and in the United Kingdom we have recognised this basic truth, and we are not hesitating to devote our energies jointly towards finding a solution.
THANKS OF THE MEETING were expressed by Mr. James H. Joyce, President of The Empire Club of Canada.