In the spring of 1951, the Cold War entered its chilliest and most dangerous phase yet. The prospects of war were immediate and frightening. The Soviet Union's apparent willingness to support China's intervention in Korea convinced Canadian observers that Moscow was willing to risk a "third world war" to achieve its territorial and strategic objectives. The North Atlantic alliance, despite its efforts to rearm, remained dangerously weak. The Red Army, Canadian officials estimated, could "occupy Western Europe to the Pyrenees in three months." A Communist advance against the whole of Southeast Asia sweeping through IndoChina, Burma, Malaya and Indonesia all the way to India and Pakistan was considered "an early possibility." Persia (Iran) and the Middle East were also threatened. "In short," warned a December 1950 memorandum to Cabinet, "recent Communist successes disclose the stark possibility that, either in the course of a general war or as a result of piece meal attrition, the whole of Asia and Europe, apart from the United Kingdom, Spain and Portugal, might fall rapidly under Soviet domination."1 Inevitably, these circumstances had a profound impact on Canadian foreign policy in 1951. They reinforced Ottawa's desire to moderate American behaviour in Asia, while simultaneously spurring Canada to greater efforts to deter war in Western Europe and the North Atlantic.
As the new year began, Ottawa's attention was firmly fixed on the crisis in Korea, where Washington's growing determination to have the United Nations declare China an aggressor threatened to transform a limited police action into a full scale war. Lester B. Pearson, the Secretary of State for External Affairs, returned to New York in early January and redoubled his earlier efforts to broker a cease fire between China and the United Nations (Documents 19 to 78). At the same time, the Prime Minister, Louis St. Laurent, who was meeting in London with his Commonwealth colleagues, tried hard to ensure that India and its non aligned friends would continue to support the West should a truce prove impossible to arrange (Documents 525 to 540). These documents, which reflect the urgency and concern that gripped Canadian policy makers during the first few months of the year, provide a rare and fascinating glimpse of St. Laurent and Pearson pursuing similar diplomatic objectives from different sides of the Atlantic
Their efforts, however, were ultimately in vain. The United Nations General Assembly approved an American sponsored resolution in early February 1951 that branded China an aggressor. This action, which effectively excluded China from the international organization for two decades, would tax the ingenuity of successive generations of Canadian policy makers as they searched for evermore subtle ways to break down China's isolation (Document 949). Although Canada supported the United States' resolution, it did so only reluctantly. "Emotionalism has become the basis of [American] policy,"2 complained Pearson, who turned to Hume Wrong, his friend and Canada's long serving Ambassador to Washington, for assurance about American foreign policy (Document 81). Unsatisfied with Wrong's report (Document 85), Pearson asked the Department of External Affairs to examine in general Canada's relations with the United States. Although this study was never completed, and its background papers proved too long and numerous for publication here, it led to a noteworthy conclusion. In an oft cited speech delivered to a joint meeting of the Empire and Canadian Clubs in Toronto on 10 April 1951, Pearson acknowledged that "the days of relatively easy and automatic political relations with our neighbour are, I think, over."3
This was particularly true of defence relations between the two countries. Even as these ties grew closer and more extensive during 1951, managing them became increasingly difficult. Canadian airspace was gradually incorporated during the year into an informal, but very real, program for the joint defence of North America. In early January, Cabinet approved plans to extend dramatically the radar system on which the defence of North America was eventually erected (Documents 651 to 675). Subsequently, the two countries agreed to allow interceptor flights to disregard national borders when pursuing airborne intruders (Document 753) and to reinforce automatically each other's air force in the event of hostilities (Document 754). The Department of External Affairs and the Chiefs of Staff Committee began slowly to wrestle with the implications of appointing a Canadian officer to assist the American commander responsible for defending the eastern portions of North America, where the process of integration was most advanced (Documents 747 to 751). These complicated issues of command and control ushered in a new era in bilateral defence relations, culminating in the establishment of the North American Air Defence Command in 1957.
The United States, however, wanted more than just Canada's cooperation in the defence of North America; it also wanted secure access to bases and facilities in the Canadian north. The growing American military presence in Canada was an issue that had worried Liberal governments intermittently since the middle of the Second World War. In 1951, an American request for a long term lease at Torbay, Newfoundland again placed the question before Cabinet. J.W. Pickersgill, the Prime Minister's special assistant, and Brooke Claxton, the Minister of National Defence and an increasingly important influence on foreign policy, insisted that Canada no longer grant long term leases to the United States (documents 714 to 746). It remained unclear at the end of the year how the two countries would deal with the continuing American requirement for bases in Canada.
Finding ways to exert Canada's sovereign rights in other contexts was even more difficult. The American request for a "canopy agreement" that would allow the United States to import and store nuclear weapons at Goose Bay continued to raise disturbing questions about Canada's role and responsibilities in American nuclear strategy and involved the two countries in a series of lengthy discussions (Documents 682 to 713). For a while, they experimented with an ad hoc arrangement under which the United States kept Canada abreast of those international developments that might eventually prompt it to employ nuclear weapons. In exchange, the Canadian government promised to meet any American request for facilities with alacrity (Documents 697 and 699). This arrangement quickly proved unsatisfactory; it met neither Washington's need for unfettered access to its bases in Canada nor Ottawa's wish to be consulted about such consequential use of its territory. As the year ended, the two countries continued and they would do so until the mid 1960s to wrestle with this dilemma.
The importance of defence questions in Canadian foreign policy in 1951 accounts for the attention this volume accords Canada's activities in the North Atlantic alliance. Throughout the year, the process of reorganization that was started in 1950 gathered speed. NATO's decision in late 1950 to station an integrated force in Europe created a host of legal and organizational problems for the alliance (Documents 414 to 453), not least among them the perennial question of who paid for what (documents 436 to 440). In the same vein, this volume devotes some space to the procedural problems that the re organized North Atlantic Council (Document 435) addressed as it tried to determine exactly what inter allied consultation meant (Documents 429 to 434). In addition to tracing Canada's response to these kinds of alliance wide concerns, the volume also documents the political, financial and legal considerations that arose from Canada's decision to despatch the 27th Infantry Brigade Group to Germany (Documents 393 to 428).
More important, the chapter on North Atlantic affairs examines the evolution of Canadian defence and mutual aid policy as the North Atlantic Council urged its members to step up their efforts to close the gap between the alliance's resources and its military requirements (Documents 352 to 392). Not surprisingly, the arduous rearmament campaign prompted some member states to revisit the purposes and meaning of the alliance. The United States suggested that the North Atlantic Council investigate how the allies could achieve the kind of non military cooperation envisaged in the treaty's second article. The American initiative provided an opportunity for Canadian officials to debate the merits of closer North Atlantic cooperation in an exchange of letters and memoranda which were, for the most part, sceptical of Article II's value (Documents 477 to 484). Their suspicions were not misplaced. At the same time as the council asked Pearson to chair a committee to study closer inter allied economic and political cooperation (Documents 476 and 485 to 491), it established a new mechanism to coordinate alliance activities. Composed of Britain, France and the United States, the new Temporary Council Committee acted as a kind of `star chamber' which assessed each member's contribution to the alliance (Documents 492 to 504). This experiment in co ordinating economic and military resources was hardly popular in Ottawa.
Cold War considerations influenced almost every aspect of Canadian external relations in 1951. For instance, despite the fiscal restraint program imposed as a result of the war in Korea, new posts were opened in Portugal to consolidate relations with a NATO ally (Documents 12 to 14) and in Finland to strengthen the Baltic republic's fragile independence vis a vis the Soviet Union (Documents 7 to 11). Similarly, a peace treaty with Japan was concluded (Documents 950 to 968), and the postwar settlement with Italy revised (Documents 897 to 902), in a manner designed to please these new Cold War allies. Old friendships assumed new significance in the tense bipolar context, as the documents on the sale of Canadian wheat to Norway attest (Documents 903 to 908).
International economic conditions were also shaped by the struggle between the Soviet Bloc and the United States and its allies. The problems created by the expanding global market for gold, for example, affected Canada's relations with the International Monetary Fund (Documents 294 to 296). More significantly, Ottawa found itself deeply embroiled in the work of the new International Commodity Conference, which sought to distribute scarce raw materials among the western and non aligned countries in an equitable fashion (Documents 298 to 337). In addition to helping ensure that its allies had sufficient resources to rearm, Canada continued to restrict trade with the Soviet Bloc (Documents 864 and 865) and China (Documents 946 to 948). Naturally, Cold War themes dominate the chapter which deals directly with the Soviet Union and Eastern Europe (Chapter 9). In particular, this volume documents the government's preoccupation with anticipating Moscow's foreign policy (Documents 924 to 926) and explores Ottawa's continuing efforts to wage psychological warfare in Eastern Europe (Documents 938 and 939).
The end of the year brought about a slight relaxation of East West tensions. In early July, a Soviet initiative encouraged the United States and China to begin the difficult process of negotiating a cease fire in Korea. Canada was not closely involved in every aspect of the negotiations and this volume does not try to account for the entire course of these discussions. Instead, it focuses on those developments that were of particular interest to Canada. Consequently, much of the material on this subject documents Pearson's efforts to moderate the language Washington wished to use to warn Peking of the consequences of breaching a truce (Documents 155 to 179). At the United Nations' Sixth General Assembly the reduction in international tension was evident in the Assembly's decision to combine the U.N. Atomic Energy Commission with the Commission for Conventional Armaments into a single agency (Documents 206 to 216). The new Disarmament Commission was expected to re start stalled disarmament negotiations in 1952.
The attention accorded Cold War divisions and the money spent on rearmament left a growing number of states unimpressed. In 1951 signs of a "serious rift" appeared in the West's relations with the less developed world. Like the Cold War, with which it would become inextricably linked, the division between rich and poor was destined to become a permanent feature of international relations in the second half of the twentieth century. As indigenous nationalism and pressure for decolonization grew apace in Asia and Africa, Canada was forced to navigate between its traditional allies and its newer Asian and African friends. This conflict is documented in Ottawa's response to Britain's confrontation with Egypt (Documents 909 to 915) and in its moderate approach to South Africa's dispute with India and its non aligned friends over the status of South West Africa (Documents 217 to 230).
The emerging division between rich and poor is also apparent in the documentation reproduced in this volume on the debate surrounding the proposal that the United Nations establish a special fund to aid the less developed countries (Document 232 to 240). Canadian officials, overwhelmed by demands for assistance from Colombo Plan recipients (Documents 543 to 586) and from a variety of United Nations' agencies (Chapter 4), scrambled to define a coherent foreign aid policy (Documents 273 and 274). Most deeply resented what they considered to be "irresponsible" criticism levelled at Canada and its Western allies by representatives of the developing world (Documents 241 to 243).
The personal, political and bureaucratic relationships that had shaped Canadian policy in 1950 remained largely unaltered. At the top, the Prime Minister, St. Laurent, continued to work smoothly with his increasingly sure footed and selfconfident Secretary of State for External Affairs, Pearson. Arnold Heeney continued to serve as the Under Secretary of State for External Affairs. Charles Ritchie, H.O. Moran and Leon Mayrand served as the department's three assistant under secretaries.
There were no changes in leadership at Canada's most important posts: Hume Wrong remained in Washington, Dana Wilgress in London, and Georges Vanier in Paris. There was only one significant change among Canada's representatives abroad. R.G. Riddell, who became the Permanent Representative to the United Nations in August 1950, died suddenly in March 1951 and was replaced by John Holmes in an acting capacity. David M. Johnson returned from Pakistan to take over the post on a permanent basis in November 1951.
This survey of Canadian foreign policy is drawn primarily from the records of the Department of External Affairs and the Privy Council Office. These sources were supplemented where necessary by the personal papers of many of the Cabinet ministers and senior officials involved in these events and by the records of the Departments of Defence, Trade and Commerce, Fisheries and Finance. In preparing this volume, I was given complete access to the records of the Department of External Affairs and generous access to other collections. A complete list of the sources examined in the preparation of this volume may be found on page xxvii.
The selection of documents has been guided by the principles set out in the Introduction to Volume 7 (pp. ix xi) of this series. The editorial devices used in this volume are those described in the Introduction to Volume 9 (p. xix). A dagger (fi) indicates a document that has not been printed and ellipses (...) an editorial excision.
The work on this volume had already begun when I became its editor in the fall of 1992. 1 am grateful for the early start made on this project by Gaston Blanchet. The staff at the National Archives of Canada was instrumental in bringing this project to completion. Paulette Dozois, Paul Marsden and Dave Smith of the Military and International Affairs Records Unit of the Government Archives Division responded promptly, helpfully and, most important, cheerfully to my many inquiries. Michael Way, from the Access to Information Section, and Janet Murray and Michel Poitras at the circulation desk, worked hard at keeping a steady supply of raw material flowing across my desk.
Christopher Cook and Brian Hearnden served ably as research assistants throughout the enterprise. My colleague Ted Kelly, who helped edit the chapters on the conduct of diplomacy and relations with the Soviet bloc, provided indispensable assistance at all stages of the project. Angie Sauer helped with the selection of documents on Germany, and Robert Bothwell willingly contributed his knowledge on atomic energy. Former editors Norman Hillmer, Hector Mackenzie and Don Barry were always ready to help and invariably offered sound and practical advice. The general editor of this series, John Hilliker, reviewed the entire manuscript with his usual attention to detail. His comments undoubtedly have made this a better book. The series would not be possible without the support I received from the two directors of the Corporate Communications Division under whom it prospered Mary Jane Starr and Alan Darisse. I remain solely responsible for the final selection of documents in this volume.
The Historical Section continues its new practice of furnishing the supplementary text and co ordinating the technical preparation of the volume. The manuscript was typed and formatted by Aline Gelineau. Gabrielle Nishiguchi located most of the photographs in this volume. Gayle Fraser of the Canadian Institute of International Affairs helpfully supplied the picture of John Holmes and Trygve Lie. Boris Stipernitz compiled the index and skilfully caught a number of typographical errors. The department's translation bureau rendered into French the footnotes, captions and ancillary text. Our colleagues in the Corporate Communications Division, Francine Fournier and Nancy Sample, graciously provided us with editorial advice. Alan Bowker and Saul Grey of the department's Access to Information Office helped secure the release of material on the United States Strategic Air Command from the United States Department of State. Marlene Picard declassified the documents on Herbert Norman. Gail Kirkpatrick Devlin, who proofread the entire manuscript and composed the list of persons generously shared the insights garnered from her work on several earlier volumes. Mary and Katherine Donaghy put up with the domestic distractions caused by my editorial work with cheerful goodwill.
1 The reorganization is discussed in John Hilliker and Donald Barry, Canada's Department of External Affairs: Coming of Age, 1946 1968, (forthcorning).