Skip to Content

Proceedings of the Standing Senate Committee on
Foreign Affairs

Issue 24 - Evidence

OTTAWA, Tuesday, September 29, 1998

The Standing Senate Committee on Foreign Affairs met this day at 5:21 p.m. at the 23rd European Parliament/Canada interparliamentary meeting.

Senator John Stewart (Chairman) in the Chair.


The Chairman: This evening, on behalf of the members of our committee, I would extend a warm welcome to the delegation from the European Parliament.

The members in attendance this evening are Senator Whelan from Western Ontario, a former Minister of Agriculture; Senator Andreychuk from Saskatchewan; Senator Di Nino from Ontario; Senator Corbin from New Brunswick; and I am from Nova Scotia. I would also introduce our clerk, Mr. Serge Pelletier, and our research coordinator, Mr. Peter Berg.

Over the last 10 years, this committee has been involved in extensive studies of international trade and commerce issues. In that regard we have completed an analysis of the FTA, the NAFTA, and the World Trade Organization.

Currently, our committee has a reference from the Senate to study the importance of the Asia-Pacific region for Canada and, in that regard we released an interim report in July of 1997. The final report should be released some time the fall.

In July of 1996, the committee also released a report entitled: "European Integration: The Implications for Canada". The committee is continuing to study the consequences for Canada of the emerging European Monetary Union and other related trade and investment matters.

With those introductions and that background, I would invite you to proceed with your presentation.


Mr. Luigi Moretti, Non-Aligned Group, Italy: Mr. Chairman, this is the second day of our visit here to Canada and we have surpassed even our most optimistic expectations in terms of the number of meetings and issues we have dealt with.

I would, however, point out that perhaps it has been too long since our two delegations last met. Explanations about certain events were in order. Some clarification was also needed. We found that we had arrived at the same solutions. We have exchanged information, sometimes information about Europe. The media is not always omniscient and their analyses can differ. The press does not always accurately report events as it should. Clearly, this delegation, the association and your committee have a joint responsibility to see to the welfare of the people. You are concerned about Canada, while we are concerned about Europe. A new nation will emerge from the 15 countries that make up Europe today. Indeed, Europe is undergoing some remarkable, historical changes.

The process of change has not been easy. However, I am enthusiastic about the significance of the momentous events taking place. Not only has the Euro gone into circulation, but on the political front, we are witnessing the expansion of the European Community and the creation of a new European nation, one that will be outward-looking and part of a geographic region destined to expand, with all this entails for production and consumption, if we consider matters from an economic and trade standpoint.

Furthermore, we are taking on responsibilities vis-à-vis an extremely dangerous region, given the ideologies and ideas that are being promoted in certain countries. All of these very unstable regions are located in close proximity to Europe. Their foreign policy cannot be ignored.

Our institution has the impression that our partners have not been adequately informed about the rapid pace of these changes. Perhaps we are at fault for failing to convey this information. Perhaps what we need is a more direct organization to follow up on these momentous changes because information needs to be imparted. The consequences of these important events are far-reaching.

Clearly, from this moment forward, the world will have a third currency that cannot be discounted in trade relations. This new currency will increase trade stability. You have to realize that 15 different currencies will become one, an event of major significance.

Much criticism has been levelled at the old Europe, so dear to us and, I am certain, to Canada as well given its European origins. In passing, we very much looked forward to visiting Canada. Just meeting people with Italian names and sunny Italian dispositions brightens my day. Everyone can trace his or her roots back to Europe. Clearly there is a direct link between our two regions.

The euro is more than just a fictitious trade concept. The euro policy is an affirmation of a principle. In view of the criticism that has been directed toward us, we have come to realize how difficult it is for others to imagine a single economic unit, given that our countries have such different cultures, histories and peoples and that some have yet to achieve full democracy. Some countries are experiencing problems in terms of domestic and foreign policy. The new European model is a testimony to the will of 15 countries and to their desire to forge a new reality.

Now then, I do not wish to appear overly enthusiastic or convey the impression that the new European Union will succeed regardless of what may happen. Of course we will encounter some problems and we have to take into account the time factor. However, we must weigh the positives. At the outset, we enjoy stability, sound trade relations, secure new borders and the hope that we are offering to all of these countries in Europe that are exerting some pressures and experiencing some problems.

Europe will, of course, need to develop a foreign policy. It cannot do that alone. It needs the cooperation of its partners, of those countries which traditionally and historically have been its allies. Some issues remain outstanding and the outcome of events in the Soviet Union remains uncertain. Europe cannot ignore events taking place in Albania either. This very urgent situation will have to be resolved as soon as possible. From a geographic standpoint, the Soviet Union Is considered part of Europe. You are a committee of wise senators and therefore you can surely grasp the complexity of this situation and the broad responsibilities that we must assume.

All of our delegates prepared themselves enthusiastically for this visit. My colleagues informed me that they had reviewed the agenda and identified issues they felt were important. Officials made some comments, noting that the agenda appeared rather gruelling. I feel, however, that the issues we are discussing are extremely important. We should therefore be prepared to make some sacrifices and to assume our responsibilities and I think that everyone is proud of being part of the process.


Mr. Anthony Wilson, PSE, United Kingdom, European Parliament: We have a question for your committee but, before I pose it, I will relay a short anecdote. Not long ago, it gave me great pleasure to meet with the president of Cadbury's Chocolate. While we were discussing cocoa, the composition of chocolate, cocoa imports and oil imports into Europe, I put to him that famous speech by Nkrumah at Ghana's independence. He said, "On our independence day, the leaders of the world came to wish us well. On the following Thursday, we were bankrupt because the world cocoa wholesaler dropped the price of our staple product." He looked very embarrassed, and said it would never happen again.

We talk a lot about our aid. We do not have a foreign department, as such, within the European Union, but we do have a parliamentary committee. We are now probably the biggest giver of aid to the world. We talk about helping self-sustaining economies rather than investing in cash crops. We still talk in these terms. Does your committee have a responsibility in this area and, if so, what position and policy do you adopt, and what are you developing?

The Chairman: Before we proceed further, I would mention that two senators have recently entered the room: Senator Pat Carney from British Columbia, a former Minister of International Trade; and Senator Stollery from Ontario.

I invite my colleagues to participate in the topic you mention. My impression is that, over the years, the committee has not dealt directly with the matter you raise. We have been involved in the Free Trade Agreement with the United States, with the NAFTA, with the World Trade Organization, and then in studies of the kind I mentioned such as the study of the implications for Canada of European integration.

There is no doubt the topic you raise is important, but our current studies have pre-empted our time. Perhaps other members of the committee can supplement what I have said or correct it. When I said "correct it", I noticed Senator Andreychuk brighten up.

Senator Andreychuk: I would not presume to correct you, Mr. Chairman.

One of the difficulties we have encountered in committee has been that certain senators have certain perspectives on foreign policy that are of greater interest to them. However, in the last couple of years, trade has raised different issues and new concepts. The World Trade Organization and European integration expansion has been a concern. I would certainly not sell our committee short because the issues of aid and development are related directly to trade. Therefore, we do deal with it.

Some of us are very preoccupied with human rights and the impact of that. We deal with human rights and aid as an ancillary issue to some of the broader topics. For example, our Asia-Pacific report will have a chapter on human rights. We have pursued, from every perspective, the subjects of trade and development and aid with various speakers.

The Chairman: Senator Andreychuk's comments have been most helpful.

Senator Di Nino: Mr. Wilson, perhaps you can assist us with some of the issues we are dealing with as a Senate committee and in this country. You have stated that the European Community is the largest aid giver of any body. That includes the U.S. How do you arrive at a budget for aid? How do you determine which causes are deserving? How do you determine the amount of money to be given? Do you use a certain formula? Do you have a committee which deals with that?

Mr. Wilson: We have various policies. We regularly meet with representatives of organizations of the African, Caribbean and Asian countries, and we have signed agreements with them. Much of the aid we give is covered by those agreements.

We deal mainly with non-governmental organizations within the government's acceptance. Our parliamentary committees vote the budget according to the forecast of expenditure within those agreements. Within the growing powers of the European Parliament, the budget is the area where we do have power. Expenditures cannot be made unless we agree to them. Our area of interest is development aid. We are not involved in other foreign policy aspects, such as defence, security, et cetera. Our involvement is in aid and trade. We constantly debate how trade and aid can be married.

Senator Di Nino: Is aid tied in some way to trade?

Mr. Wilson: Not yet, though the concept is beginning to be argued.

Mr. Pietro Antonio Di Prima, PPE, Italy, Chairman: There are very different legal systems within the framework of the community budget. The legal bases are the mandatory expenses and the voluntary expenses.

There are different categories of voluntary expenses, for example, aid. We will hear from delegations who apply for aid for a specific geographical area. Those requests are assessed, and they move on to the budget control commission. Certain categories of spending are authorized. The expenses of Parliament are decided on by the commission and Parliament authorizes these expenses. The budget is discussed in Parliament and approved by Parliament.

If Parliament does not approve the budget, the executive order comes into play. As our colleague Mr. Wilson said, there are certain aspects in the budget. For example, aid is a separate category.

You must understand that, if emergency assistance is required, you must provide immediate aid. I have tried to explain in a few words the budgets of the European Community.

The budget is one-twentieth of the resources of the European Community. It is one-twentieth of the GDP of every country of the EC.

Senator Whelan: Mr. Chairman and fellow parliamentarians, I come from an ethnically diverse area of Canada. The constituency that I represented in Parliament for 22 years had 72 different ethnic groups. My wife is German; I have a Finnish sister-in-law; a Romanian brother-in-law; a Hungarian sister-in-law; two German brothers-in-law; and I live in an Italian community where they call me "Gino".

I was also president of the World Food Council which was a group of 36 ministers of agriculture from around the world. Canada at that time was the largest donor in the world of food to Ethiopia. Canada gave more to Ethiopia than any other nation in the world at that time.

I disagree with some of the things that we are doing with regard to food aid now. We have such tough economic measures in place that, it is said, people will die for lack of aid before we get our economic house in order. That comment applies not only to Canada but to many of the nations in the world. That, to me, is not a humanitarian approach to take.

Aid in the form of providing funds for education is also very important, and that is lacking in many parts of the world. In some areas, marketing systems are non-existent. We teach people about how to produce, but we teach them nothing about marketing.

Some of the changes in the World Trade Organization only aggravate the situation. For instance, Mr. Katz, the man who has been telling the United States of America and the rest of the world how to trade in agriculture products, says their farmers are producing a surplus and that we must have more free trade in the world. This would lead to flooding the world with their product, products that they do not know what to do with because they have no controls on production.

In Germany and France you are paying the farmers $5 a bushel for their wheat. There is a subsidy of $171 an acre. We pay our farmers no subsidy. They are going on the world price for the wheat. If our farmers received $5 a bushel for wheat, we would have wheat coming out of our ears.

Wheat production has increased tremendously in Europe, as has barley production.

I used to attend many meetings in Europe. The OECD was going to create a better world. In the World Trade Organization has hired a big bureaucracy and pays them four or five times as much as the Prime Minister of Canada or probably the Chancellor of Germany receive. We, as parliamentarians, have increasingly less to say about what goes on in the world.

We produce wine in Canada, which may amaze some people. Most of the wine producers here are immigrants who came from Europe: from Germany, Italy, Portugal, from the Balkans. We produce good wine. We have an extremely difficult time selling that wine in Europe because you have rules that we do not think are completely fair.

When I fly on an Air Canada airplane, I inquire as to what kind of wine is available. The reply is: We have French; we have German; we have Italian. When I fly Alitalia or Air France or any other European airline, they say: We have German wine. Air France serves French wine. I find such practices unacceptable. Over 50 per cent of the wine consumed in Canada is imported.

I believe that some of the rules about our use of names are trade restrictionist.

Mr. Chairman, in our overview of Canada's current trade irritants with the European Union, I do not think one of them is our aid to the rest of the world. The trade irritants are related to what our farmers are telling us is bad.

When I was young, I studied to be a tool and dye maker. I also worked in factories.

Mercedes-Benz is buying Chrysler in Canada. It is now a big, joint operation. It will be the world's fourth largest auto producer. It has recently bought a large truck manufacturing plant in Southwestern Ontario. We have some reservations about this.

Our major trade with the United States is not related to the Free Trade Agreement. It is trade that is guaranteed under an auto pact that we signed back in the 1960s when it was agreed that so much of the North American market belonged to us, and so much belonged to the United States. Many of our economists call that "free trade".

When talking about free trade in agriculture products, we are guided by section 11 of the GATT. That section allows us to have supply management for our poultry and dairy products. These producers are not affected by APEC because the cost-price formula that they use is very fair. If their input costs go down, the price to the consumer and to the processor goes down. However, this was taken away from our farmers. We are using high tariffs now.

That was taken away from our farmers by the World Trade Organization, this new global organization. I do not call it global. I call it "gobble". We gobble up one another.

I realize, Mr. Chairman, I have rambled all over the agriculture trade world.

We have a long history of trading with Britain and with Europe. We have a very strong relationship with them. I believe our chairman has suggest that we should have more of these kinds of meetings. I can remember a minister from what was then West Germany at an OECD meeting in Paris saying that, if we had held these kinds of meetings before, we probably never would have had a war because we would have had that kind of understanding from working together towards solving our problems.

This is the same room where the G-7 leaders met. This is the same room where we created Confederation, when we put English and French Canada together. The Europeans said that it would not last 10 years but here we are, 131 years later, the envy of the world. We built a nation of people from all over the world.

Our agriculture industry is one of the best and strongest in the world. We produce 55 per cent of our food further north than any other country in the world, utilizing science and research, and programs that provide incentive for our farmers to be productive, and we want to have a level playing field.

Senator Carney: You do not get a speech from Senator Whelan, you get a seminar. I do not intend to cover those issues.

I want to apologize for being late. This meeting corresponded with the appointment of the first Chinese-Canadian senator to the Senate in 131 years of Confederation. We have never had a Chinese Canadian in the Senate. Since, in the region that I represent, one-third of the population in the largest city is Asian, from all parts of Asia, I know that you will excuse me for my attention to that event before coming here.

Senator Whelan: You were not too late because the Bloc held up the meeting for a long time.

Senator Carney: To be candid, my question is one seeking information. We have all been very interested in the change of leadership in Germany, which we have not had a chance to digest. We have not had a chance to really learn too much about this change. May I ask you, simply for information purposes for us, how is the change in leadership going to affect the European Union and, particularly, the Europe Monetary Union? We have some interest in that in Canada. I do not expect you to be able to give us a detailed report, but I ask this of you because you are the first group we have had a chance to talk to about it. I know you have talked to those in the Department of Foreign Affairs and this matter must have been raised. What can you tell us about this very significant event?

Mr. Di Prima: First I want to respond to Senator "Gino's" question. I followed what you said attentively. It was, in fact, a piece of history. The relationship of our states makes it possible to talk about this. Your age makes it possible to talk about this.

The globalization of markets carries a great danger, which is selfishness on one hand, and a lack of solidarity on the other. The European Community very often runs the risk of having this interpretation put on its actions because, every time there is the accusation that we are helping farmers with their agricultural products, perhaps we do not manage to make the outside world understand that we have an obligation of solidarity within Europe.

We have an important function, and that relates to the distribution of our structural project funds. Our main objective is to help certain regions by the allocation of funds from the quota that I mentioned.

There is no doubt that southern Europe must absorb different cost factors. I am sure Mr. Wilson will support me in that statement. Regions of the former Soviet Union, those covered by the Warsaw Pact make greater demands on the structural program funds. Projects cost much more there than in southern Europe. We realize that a kind of cross-solidarity should take place and, in that regard I am referring to geography. As such, to counter-balance this, we have created a fund to which we devote greater resources. This is a fund for a program that will be directed to countries along the Mediterranean basin in order to balan(null)ce the geographic area that has specific needs.

As for the request from Senator Carney, you are fortunate to have as a member of this delegation a colleague who is German and who can give an immediate response to your question. He was part of this election in his nation.

There is no doubt that Germany with its 99 members in the European Parliament, with its level of contribution, with its leadership represented by its leader, had and still has great importance for Europe. However, for modern day Europe and for the Europe of the future, it will not be the change of a government, a change within a single state, that will change the vocation of Europe. We are deeply convinced of that.

As to the image of Europe with this new result, I can say that I feel sorry for Mr. Kohl who was part of my political group. We have been aware of certain internal difficulties in Germany for a long time. Our problem was that election campaigns and results are not based on what has gone on before. Historical data gives you no guidance when it comes to winning an election campaign. An election campaign is won on the basis of prospects. Since Europe represents the prospect of a continent and an agenda for that continent, the loss of an election campaign or of an election round will not halt the process of integration of Europe. Thank you.

Senator Carney: When we visited Germany during our study on the European Monetary Union, we recognized how deeply committed Mr. Kohl was to the concept and how important it was. It is within that parameter that I am asking if there is likely to be a change. We would very much like to hear from Mr. Schnellhardt.

Mr. Schnellhardt, Second Vice-Chairman, PPE, Germany: As a German, may I say a few words about the elections in Germany? Obviously, I give the chairman the prerogative of answering.

I smiled to a certain degree when listening to the chairman because his country has known many, many changes that have not necessarily had an impact on development. Sometimes governments change more rapidly than one changes one's shirt in Italy.

Let us return to the point at hand. Admittedly, we cannot reject the fact that a momentous change has taken place. However, I must try to be unpolitical inasmuch as I belong to the losing side. It is not altogether easy to answer this question.

The fact is that Helmut Kohl has played a fundamental role in the European unification process. I believe that certain developments -- and I am thinking of the development towards the monetary union, and the Maastricht agreement -- would not have developed without Chancellor Kohl. Let us say things would have been different.

I do admit that our chairman is right. The axis, France-Germany, has played a role, but one country alone has never given priority to this. There is a group that is working along these lines, with certain ideas. I have taken note that President Chirac has invited Schroeder to a meeting tomorrow. Therefore, there has been a recognition in the countries that one cannot take a defensive position, although naturally we would have preferred Chancellor Kohl. These are the basic feelings, but in the interest of European unification, we have to admit that we need to advance, and advance with Schroeder.

As to Schroeder's goals at the European level, I can say very little because we have been living through a sort of American style campaign for the very first time, with show effects, with laser, with music, and with a whole tra-la-la which probably impressed people more than the actual subjects we were discussing.

For first time since 1986 we heard "enough is enough" and "we need new faces". There was no discussion of needing to make changes because Europe, including Germany, would collapse. That was not at all the discussion, despite the high unemployment rate. Admittedly that does exist but, nevertheless, we have noted an improvement over the last few months.

I think it depends an awful lot on how the coalition is established and how the agreement looks. At the present moment, it looks as if the Reds and the Greens will be working together, the Social Democrats and the Greens. Obviously, the Greens are already playing a role, for example, in terms of the degree to which they will be able to implement their eco-tax at the transport level. Will they be able to implement this?

I do not see any reason why one would panic. I have to be apolitical here. European integration is so developed that I believe that one person alone - and I would agree with our chairman here - is not going to have any real impact. The fact is that one individual country cannot adopt a completely different stance.

I think that Herr Schroeder has understood this. In fact, he made a declaration along these lines a few years ago, where he in fact said that, although he was in favour of unification, he did not necessarily agree with monetary union. He did not agree 100 per cent with the Maastricht agreement. Obviously, you can be a little sceptical, but over the last few months he did seem to change his tune, and I believe him.

He was in the European Parliament where he made a declaration. Absolutely no negative comments came out of that declaration on European unification. He obviously talked about social democratic Europe. One would not necessarily agree with him, but I think that one has to contend with reality because, otherwise, he would not be chancellor for very long.

I have a few comments about Senator Whelan's remarks. To a large degree, I enjoy Canadian wine. I thought about how I could take a few bottles back home. I am not surprised to learn that it is Germans, Italians and Spaniards who are producing these wines.

Joking aside, I think that we are well set and, in fact, we have already discussed the fact that free trade should be fair trade. We have mentioned this already. We cannot afford total domination. The fact is that we have established structures. We have established industries. If they are to be dismantled because developments in the world require it, obviously, that will take time. I believe that certain developments have already taken place.

The WTO negotiations which will be reconducted as of the year 2000 will lead to further freeing of trade, not necessarily as free as you would like it to be, Senator Whelan, but I do not believe that will be possible. I believe we will be making progress little by little in the Uruguay Round, for example. A number of things were considered to be exceptions: We cannot do this but we can do that.

Trade, after all, requires competition. Competition leads to wealth. At the same time, one must realize that progress will be slow. Admittedly, we have a number of problems in the European Union, the situation respecting wine being one of them. The price of wheat and other agricultural products are a separate problem. In our proposals and the proposals on the table under the title, "Agenda 2000", there are, as I said, proposals that aim at dismantling barriers and advocating freer trade.

We are hoping for agreements next year and that these will have a positive outcome within the WTO. I am relatively optimistic that we will make progress.

Senator Stollery: Mr. Chairman, I have a question that really comes out of the financial disorder that we have seen around the world in the last few months and to which I have seen reference recently. It concerns the European Central Bank. Can you give me some guidance as to how this is going to work.

Many people, including the chairman of the federal reserve, say that one of the ways of dealing with financial disorder is to lower interest rates in the United States. However, some people have pointed out that we have changed the financial architecture. After January 1, it will be difficult for the federal reserve to do much with interest rates without the agreement of the European Central Bank because of the other currency bloc that has been established.

As I understand it, and I am reasonably certain of this, by law, the Governor of the Bank of England is obliged to consider only inflation as his term of reference when setting interest rates for the Bank of England.

As our committee discovered and as those of us who follow this business are quite aware, the European Central Bank has taken its terms of reference from the Bundesbank, and it is that they must maintain a strong currency. That is what we were told in Frankfurt. The Financial Times and other magazines that follow this have stated that the European Central Bank will have difficulty because of the terms of reference of the bank in setting interest rates to increase development, however you want to define that. The federal reserve will have more difficulty in, for example, lowering the interest rates because they will not be able to get an arrangement with the European Central Bank after January 1. What do you think about that?

Mr. Di Prima: I will try to provide an answer even if it is very technical. In any case, it is part of my responsibility. I do not understand the dependency of the European Bank on the Bundesbank. They are two completely different structures and they are completely independent. There is no doubt that, presently, the management takes a very technical approach. It benefits from the best representatives that every country has sent there to be on the board of directors.

However, human weakness has left its mark. One appointment resulted in a fairly distorted image of an autonomous organization which has its own structure.

Currently, England is not part of the euro system, but we hope it will decide to join soon. Therefore, England's internal mechanism will activate its own rates and delineate its own categories.

As for the United States, rates will be set on the basis of a balance between supply and demand. Presently the markets are experiencing the reversal of a situation with which we were quite familiar, that is, a stock market that had taken on excessive value respecting the performance of certain companies. Some of the expectations of these companies were beyond what was realistic, and that led to international speculation. However that, for the first time, has not affected the single European currencies.

In this crisis, the European currencies have not undergone a backlash. It was a test of the stability of the euro as opposed to the single European currencies. Perhaps we have been assisted by a strong economy such as that of Germany, but I am convinced, beyond everything else, that the true structure is that through the euro many accounts have been restored at the level of individual states. Through the effort that was made for the euro, many internal budgets, with some necessary sacrifices, have improved, and so the economy of Europe has been strengthened.

We still have to settle matters such as the public debt. However, interest rates are something that are an international matter that will be based on the volatility of the global market of today. Presently, certain European nations have interest rates of 25 per cent. You must acknowledge that the system should be fixed as soon as possible. Of course, there are experts who are more knowledgeable than myself on this, but there is no doubt that the entire system must be improved.

The Chairman: I understand that our guests have a commitment.

Senator Stollery: I have one further observation, Mr. Chairman. I will not pursue it at length.

A few weeks ago the credit rating of the Deutschbank was reduced for the first time ever because of the world financial crisis. It is said that the losses in Germany alone are half a trillion U.S. dollars. It is in that context that I posed my question about the European Central Bank's ability to deal with interest rates in concert with this.

Mr. Schnellhardt: Perhaps I could briefly respond to that comment. Obviously, we have put the question ourselves. It is clear that the authorities have got to be moved to the central bank, and this is made up of different interest rates of the different countries. We must find out the right level. If it is too high, it will be detrimental to the people who have lower levels, and vice versa.

However, I think that the rapprochement of the economies of the various countries has developed so far that the problem will not necessarily be a major one. The European Central Bank will be far more independent than the Bundesbank, and it cannot be influenced politically, although we should not hide the fact that France would like to have this influence and is trying through political influences to set up a club, if you like, to bring influence to bear on the central bank. I do not think that will succeed. I think they will take the responsibility and be independent.

They have quite clearly stated that they want to practice a price ability policy, a true value policy. That will set interest rates but it will not necessarily be an easy transition. It will take a number of weeks. Obviously, many factors must enter into the calculations. Attempts being made to find the correct level. To my mind, there is no danger of them not achieving this.

The Chairman: I am sorry we do not have more time to exchange questions and answers, views, but we must cope with the world as it is. We have appreciated your visit and the candor with which you have asked your questions and given your answers. It has been a great pleasure.

Please note that fish was not mentioned at all. It is a "four letter word", as we say. However, I see that you will be meeting with the Department of Fisheries tomorrow to discuss this very important topic. It is important, not only as it applies to relations between Canada and the European Union, but because it is a global problem. If we, in North American, and you, in Europe, cannot get together on this problem, we will have a major global concern.

Senator Carney: I should point out that the chairman comes from Nova Scotia, which is a part of the Atlantic fishery.

The Chairman: Yes. Senator Carney comes from British Columbia, which happens to be an important part of the Pacific fishery, so she shares my view, I hope. Thank you very much. Please come again.

The committee continued in camera.