STATEMENT BY THE PRIME MINISTER,
THE RIGHT HONOURABLE JOHN G. DIEFENBAKER, P.C., Q.C., M.P.,
SUNDAY, OCTOBER 28, 1962.
Mankind will breathe more hopefully now that there is an early prospect that the threat to the Western Hemisphere from long-range Soviet missiles in Cuba will be removed. This prospect has resulted from the high degree of unity, understanding and cooperation among the Western allies.
In this the Canadian Government has played its full part. Indeed Canada was the first nation to stop overflights of Soviet aircraft so as to prevent war material being carried to Cuba and as well to that end instituted a full search of all Cuban and Czech planes which are entitled under international agreement to use Canadian airport facilities. The introduction of missiles into the Western Hemisphere has brought the world too close to disaster for anyone to indulge -in either self congratulations or complacency at this time. I know there will be universal relief that in the last two days the outlook for the peaceful solution of the Cuban problem has greatly improved but there is a continuing need for negotiation on this and other potential sources of threats to world peace.
The United Nations deserves special mention for the worthy and constructive role it has played in this crisis. It has provided a forum in which the issues could-be discussed, and the good offices of the Acting Secretary-General brought into effective action. In the days ahead the United Nations will have further heavy responsibilities in verification of the carrying out of the undertakings which have been given by Chairman Khrushchev.
Now what of the future? Some days ago I expressed the hope that out of this critical situation good might ultimately come. I believe that in the negotiations which will follow the immediate settlement of the Cuban crisis there lie broad possibilities for progress in the settlement of other issues between East and West. If the present settlement is fully accepted this will be the first time that agreed measures of disarmament are to be carried out under international inspection.
This gives hope for the future in the general field of disarmament for up to the present the Soviet have demanded that international agreement for disarmament should be free from inspection – a course which would be dangerous in the utmost to the free world.