The Prime Minister and Secretary of State for External Affairs (Mr.Diefenbaker) in the Chair,
The Minister of Public Works and Acting Minister of Defence Production (Mr.Green),
The Minister of Finance and Receiver General (Mr.Fleming),
The Minister of Veterans Affairs and Acting Minister of National Health and Welfare (Mr.Brooks),
The Minister of Transport (Mr.Hees),
The Solicitor General and Acting Minister of Mines and Technical Surveys (Mr.Balcer),
The Minister of National Defence (Mr.Pearkes),
The Minister of Trade and Commerce (Mr.Churchill),
The Minister of Justice and Attorney General and Acting Minister of Citizenship and Immigration (Mr.Fulton),
The Minister of National Revenue (Mr.Nowlan),
The Minister of Northern Affairs and National Resources and Acting Minister of Agriculture (Mr.Harkness),
The Secretary of State (Mrs. Fairclough),
The Minister of Fisheries (Mr.MacLean),
The Minister of Labour (Mr.Starr),
The Postmaster General (Mr.Hamilton),
The Minister without Portfolio (Mr.Macdonnell),
The Minister without Portfolio (Mr.Browne).
The Secretary to the Cabinet (Mr.Bryce),
The Assistant Secretary to the Cabinet (Mr.Pelletier),
The Assistant Secretary to the Cabinet (Mr.Martin).
COMMONWEALTH PRIME MINISTERS' CONFERENCE
The Prime Minister referred to the forthcoming Commonwealth Prime Ministers'
Conference which would open in London the following Wednesday, June 26th.
There were those amongst Commonwealth Prime Ministers who supported the idea of
establishing a permanent Commonwealth secretariat. Hedid not feel that this was a truly
At the moment, he was not envisaging making any very precise suggestions or
recommendations at the meeting. Hewas, however, convinced that it was in the best interests of
the Commonwealth of reasonable advancement and equal opportunities. Prime Minister Nehru of
India and Mr.St.Laurent had achieved a high degree of understanding and there was no reason
to believe that this close relationship would not continue after the change of administration in
He had been asked to make a Dominion Day speech on July 1 in London. In that speech he
proposed to stress that the present Canadian government staunchly supported the concept of the
Commonwealth and felt that its economic and trade ties should be strengthened considerably.
He might take the opportunity, at that time, to extend an invitation to the Commonwealth countries
to attend a Commonwealth economic and trade conference in Ottawa. He did not, however, plan
to make any direct reference to the economic and trade relationship between Canada and the
United States, nor was it his intention to mention the recent Suez Canal difficulties.
In the course of discussion it was suggested that it might be inadvisable to attempt to
superimpose a Commonwealth Trade Conference over the current negotiations for the
establishment of a European free trade market. On the other hand, there were those who felt that,
on the contrary, it might be useful to review the whole Commonwealth trade situation before
establishment of the European free trade area had progressed too far.
It was also suggested that the volume of trade between Canada and the United States had
perhaps gone too far at the expense of Canadian trade relations with other Commonwealth
countries and that serious study should be given to this whole problem without delay.
The Cabinet noted the report by the Prime Minister, and the comments made
during the ensuing discussion, on the coming Commonwealth Prime Ministers' meeting to be held in
London beginning June 26th, and also with regard to the speech the Prime Minister would make
in London on July 1 and to the desirability of convening in Ottawa, at an early date, a
Commonwealth Economic and Trade Conference, and agreed that Ministers who had specific
suggestions to make either on the Commonwealth Prime Ministers' meeting or on the contents of
the Dominion Day speech to be made by Mr.Diefenbaker in London on July 1, should forward
such suggestions to him in writing before his departure for London the following
1 Le premier ministre Diefenbaker était accompagné à Londres par le ministre de la Défense nationale, M.George Pearkes, M.R.B.Bryce,
et M.Jules Léger.
Prime Minister Diefenbaker was accompanied to London by Minister of National
Defence George Pearkes, R.B.Bryce, and Jules Léger.