In 1952, the Department of External Affairs emerged from a three-year administrative reorganization undertaken to enable the Department to sustain its expanded operations at headquarters and abroad.1 In April, Arnold Heeney, who as under-secretary had been responsible for the project, left that post to become Canada's first permanent representative to the newly established North Atlantic Council in Paris. Heeney was succeeded by Dana Wilgress, the High Commissioner to the United Kingdom. Norman Robertson replaced Wilgress in London. In September, there were other changes in the under-secretarial group. R.A. MacKay and R.M. Macdonnell were appointed as assistant under-secretaries, following the departures of Escott Reid, the deputy under-secretary, who became High Commissioner to India, and H.O. Moran, who was named Ambassador to Turkey. In November, Charles Ritchie was promoted from assistant to deputy under-secretary. Post expansion, which had slowed considerably during the reorganization, resumed in 1952, although at a more measured pace than that of the early postwar years (Chapter I). The new missions created were primarily designed to promote Canada's trade interests abroad (document 36).
The Korean conflict continued to dominate the international agenda, with the armistice negotiations between the American-led United Nations Command and North Korean and Chinese authorities occupying increasing attention (Chapter II). Given the central role of the United States in the conduct of the war and in the armistice talks, that country's policies were a major preoccupation of Canadian officials. Faced with the tendency of American policy makers to act unilaterally, Ottawa pressed upon Washington the importance of providing full information and adequate opportunities for consultation in advance of contemplated actions. Canadian officials also sought to maximize the role of the United Nations in deliberations on Korea in order to enhance their capacity to influence American policies. In this, Canada achieved mixed results, although it was instrumental in persuading the United States to agree to an Indian-sponsored General Assembly resolution on the release of prisoners of war, which American officials had initially been unwilling to accept.
Beyond Korea, the Canadian delegation to the United Nations was involved in a wide range of issues which came before the organization (Chapter III). Although Canada had little direct stake in such matters as the Palestine Conciliation Commission, South West Africa, and Tunisia and Morocco, it took considerable interest in them. Its approach was conditioned by its NATO and Commonwealth associations in the context of continuing East-West tension. An important tribute to the role that Canada had played at the United Nations since its foundation was the election of L.B. Pearson as President of the Seventh Session of the General Assembly in October 1952.
The delegation's participation in certain issues at the United Nations required the involvement of departments other than External Affairs (Chapter IV). While working relations with other departments were generally cooperative, on occasion there were differences. This was the case with regard to the Disarmament Commission. Because of the unwillingness of National Defence officials to cooperate in the formulation of policy, the delegation was unable to participate fully in that body's deliberations. Similarly, External Affairs and the Department of Finance were at odds over the principles governing voluntary contributions to United Nations agencies. External viewed with some concern attempts by Finance to attach strict financial performance criteria to Canada's contributions. It favoured a more flexible approach which would facilitate the operation of worthwhile programs. Within functional international organizations, the two departments were in general agreement that well-conceived programs, sound budgetary and administrative practices, and equitable financial contributions by participating states were important in ensuring effective operation.
The reorganization of NATO which resulted in the creation of a secretariat, headed by a Secretary-General and a permanent council, headquartered in Paris, required the establishment of a permanent Canadian delegation to the organization (Chapter V). One of the major matters occupying the delegation and policy makers in Ottawa during 1952 was the question of working out satisfactory arrangements for consultation between the "Big Three" (the United States, the United Kingdom and France) and the other members of the alliance. Although Ottawa was interested in establishing suitable liaison arrangements between NATO countries and Australia and New Zealand, it remained opposed to extending the alliance's responsibilities to the dependencies of European powers. On this basis Prime Minister St. Laurent strongly opposed a French request to direct to Indochina military assistance offered to France as mutual aid.
The Canadian government was engaged in negotiations for air agreements with Mexico and Peru, which would establish new links with those countries (Chapter VI). In addition, Ottawa had to deal with a concerted attempt by a group of Arab, European and Latin American states at the Sixth Session of the International Civil Aviation Organization to transfer the organization's headquarters from Montreal to Europe or Latin America. The group's main goal was to lessen the influence of the United States in civil aviation matters. Also important was the cost of maintaining the headquarters in Montreal, and the refusal of Premier Maurice Duplessis' government and the City of Montreal to grant privileges and immunities falling within their jurisdiction to the organization and its employees, a factor that constrained Ottawa's capacity to deal with concerns that were raised. The Assembly narrowly defeated the proposal.
Commonwealth relations were primarily concerned with economic issues following the balance of payment crisis experienced by several sterling bloc countries in late 1951 (Chapter VII). How to strengthen the position of the bloc was the main focus of the meeting of Commonwealth Finance Ministers in January, and the Commonwealth Economic Conference, attended by heads of government, in late November and early December. Canada's role in those deliberations reflected its interest in maintaining a liberal system of international trade, as well as its own export position vis-à-vis sterling area countries. Colombo Plan matters also occupied considerable attention in Ottawa, although by 1952 the focus had shifted away from policy to the administration of Canada's program, and negotiations for future projects.
Canada's relations with the United States were dominated by strategic and economic issues (Chapter VIII). The growth of Soviet military capabilities led to an increasing emphasis on North American air defence, the impetus for which came from the United States. Canadian military authorities, who approached American requests for new defence projects from the standpoint of military necessity, sought to intensify cooperation in some areas. For instance, in early 1952, a senior Canadian air force official advanced the concept of an integrated North American air defence command (document 698). External Affairs officials, by contrast, tended to be more sensitive to the implications of bilateral defence arrangements for Canadian sovereignty.
An important Canadian concern vis-à-vis the United States related to disagreements between the Truman administration and Congress over the conduct of economic policy. The administration's failure to persuade Congress to approve the Great Lakes-St. Lawrence Basin Agreement for the joint construction of the St. Lawrence Seaway and Power Project prompted Ottawa, with the President's approval, to proceed with its own plan. The government was also concerned about legislation imposing quotas on dairy products imported into the United States. Ottawa's anxiety stemmed from the effect of this action on Canadian exports and the possible implications for multilateral trade liberalization.
Canada's views of developments in Western Europe continued to be conditioned by its relationship with the United Kingdom and membership in NATO (Chapter IX). Although External Affairs was kept well informed of the progress of European integration by its missions abroad, the department's files contain little evidence of attempts to assess the implications for Canada. Ottawa maintained a more active interest in the work of the Organization for European Economic Cooperation, the main focus being the steps taken by European countries in the direction of currency convertibility and trade liberalization.
The government's familiarity with political developments in the Middle East, on the other hand, was limited, although the need for greater understanding was recognized. This problem was experienced especially at the United Nations where the Canadian delegation had to respond to issues, stemming from continuing Arab-Israeli tensions, which frequently came before the General Assembly. The instrumental role played by the delegation in averting a breakdown of the Palestinian Conciliation Commission, at the Sixth General Assembly, largely due to the presence of Elizabeth MacCallum, External's leading expert on the region, demonstrated the value of such expertise (document 231).
As a result of Canada's bilateral interaction with the Soviet Union and Eastern Europe being limited, much of the activity of the missions in Moscow and other Eastern European capitals consisted of reporting on developments in those countries (Chapter X). A selection of despatches indicating trends being followed by the mission in Moscow is printed.
The main focus of Canadian policy in the Far East in 1952 was Japan (Chapter XI). The coming into force of the peace treaty in April was followed by the restoration of full diplomatic relations between the two countries. The principal item on the bilateral agenda was the conclusion of a new trade agreement. Also receiving attention was the situation in Indochina. While Ottawa decided to extend qualified recognition to Laos, Vietnam and Cambodia as "Associated States within the French Union," in December 1952, it maintained a cautious attitude, rejecting renewed French efforts to secure aid to the region for NATO purposes.
The creation of new posts in Latin America during 1952, together with the decision to despatch a major trade mission to that area in early 1953, demonstrated Canada's interest in cultivating closer economic ties with the countries of the region. However, the generally negative response among External Affairs officials to an informal American overture to join the Organization of American States indicated that Canada was reluctant to play a larger political role in Latin America.
In selecting documents for this volume, I have been guided by the principles set out in the Introduction to Volume 7 (pp. ix-xi) of this series. One source of difficulty in following the principles was the huge growth of the postwar documentary record, reflecting Canada's expanding foreign policy agenda. To some extent it was possible to compensate for this by relying more heavily than previous editors on summary documents such as the reports of the weekly meetings of heads of division, Cabinet Conclusions and documents prepared for cabinet. Even so, the amount of material was such that a more selective approach had to be adopted to the source material and subjects examined.
Accordingly, I decided to confine comprehensive coverage to the files of the Department of External Affairs, the L.B. Pearson papers and the records of the Privy Council Office, the last as a result of the PCO's centrality in the Ottawa policy process. Other collections were consulted only when required to complete the examination of individual topics.
A second source of difficulty was the complexity of some subjects by comparison with the wartime and early postwar years. To have dealt with such subjects adequately would have required the inclusion of a much greater number of documents than could have been accommodated in the volume. To have done so, moreover, would have given such lengthy treatment to those subjects as to distort the balance of importance of the issues arising during the period. These considerations led to the omission of certain highly complex and detailed subjects such as the annual review and mutual aid processes in NATO. I hope that the main lines of Canadian foreign policy in the subject areas affected will be clear from the issues chosen for treatment.
Complexity was not always the reason for omitting subjects. The absence of documents on some subjects reflects the lack of material in the relevant files. This was the case with atomic energy.
The editorial devices used in this volume are similar to these described in the Introduction to Volume 9 (p. xix). A dagger (+) indicates that a document has not been printed, ellipses ... indicate an editorial excision.
I was given full access to the available records in the central registry files of the Department of External Affairs, those of the Privy Council Office and the L.B. Pearson papers. The custodians of other collections were generous in granting access to materials when requested. Two documents selected for inclusion were withheld by External Affairs and International Trade Canada. Personal information was removed from documents 284, 430, 613 and 947 in compliance with the Access to Information and Privacy Acts. The remaining editorial exclusions were made to improve the clarity of individual documents.
I am grateful to Arthur Blanchette, the former Director of the department's Historical Division, and to John Hilliker, the present Head of the Historical Section, for advice and encouragement. Janet Bax, Director of the Academic Relations Division when the work was completed, was most supportive. I was assisted in the initial selection of documents by Christopher Cook and E.A. Kelly. Our research was made easier by the cooperation received from Jeannette K. Fournier, the former supervisor of the department's Semi-Active Records unit, and the archival staff of the National Archives of Canada. The technical editing group consisted of Isobel Cameron, Geneviève de Chantal, Elizabeth Heatherington, Dawn Jones, Liza Linklater and Laurel Pardy. I thank them all.
1 The reorganization is discussed in John Hilliker and Donald Barry, Canada's Department of External Affairs: Coming of Age, 1946 1968, (forthcorning).