Volume 25 is the second of two volumes documenting the period from 10 June 1957 to 31 December 1958, the first eighteen months of Prime Minister John G. Diefenbaker's Progressive Conservative government. The earlier volume focused on Canada's active participation in three multinational organizations - the United Nations, the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, and the Commonwealth. It also contained chapters on atomic energy and relations with Western European countries. This volume documents Canada's relations with the United States, the Middle East, the Far East, Eastern Europe and the Soviet Union, and Latin America.
Cold War defence and security issues continued to dominate the attention of Canadian foreign policy - makers during the period covered by this volume. As the documentation in Chapter I indicates, the Conservative government inherited from the outgoing Liberal administration a Canadian - American defence agenda containing a number of critical and contentious items. The most important issue was the plan to integrate operational control of North American air defence forces. Based on two submissions prepared by the Department of National Defence [Documents 10 and 11], Prime Minister Diefenbaker personally approved the formation of the North American Air Defence Command (NORAD) on 24 July 1958. Alarmed that a matter of such magnitude had not been vetted by Cabinet, officials in the Department of External Affairs convinced the Secretary of State for External Affairs, Sidney Smith, to lobby his Department of National Defence counterpart to seek an intergovernmental exchange of notes [Document 20]. General George Pearkes, the Minister of National Defence, consented to Smith's request. These efforts to formalize NORAD arrangements were given added urgency by Diefenbaker himself, who sought to deflect growing Parliamentary criticism of the deal and to prevent details of inter-departmental dissension from reaching the public [Document 25]. Subsequent negotiations with American officials proceeded smoothly, and diplomatic notes were exchanged in May 1958. Cabinet ministers also sought to establish political oversight of NORAD operations through the creation of a ministerial committee, a proposal that was initially opposed by the Department of External Affairs. Eventually, Canadian and American negotiators agreed to create an oversight committee that would be responsible for studying all bilateral security matters. Diefenbaker and President Dwight D. Eisenhower approved the formation of the Canada- United States Committee on Joint Defence during Eisenhower's visit to Ottawa in July 1958. Canadian Ministers and their American counterparts subsequently convened the first meeting of this Committee in Paris in December 1958 [Document 135].
The second major defence and security issue confronting the Diefenbaker government was the status of the CF-105 interceptor programme. Space limitations only permit the printing of a small percentage of documents concerning the cancellation of the Avro Arrow. Moreover, much of this unprinted archival material rests exclusively in the domain of domestic defence policy with little applicability to the conduct of Canadian foreign affairs. Nevertheless, the documents included in this volume provide a detailed look at the efforts of senior bureaucrats and Cabinet ministers to respond to the foreign policy implications of the Arrow decision. During the first seven months of 1958, the prohibitive costs of the Arrow and the potential decline of the Soviet manned bomber threat clouded the future of the CF-105 production programme. But as late as 31 July 1958, Robert Bryce, the Clerk of the Privy Council and a trusted Diefenbaker advisor, informed the Prime Minister that the Arrow programme should be continued [Document 69]. Diefenbaker and Pearkes, however, in a decision reminiscent of their agreement to implement NORAD, privately decided to scrap the CF-105 [Document 70] following Pearkes' visit to Washington in the first week of August. During the next six weeks, the proposal to cancel the Arrow topped the agenda of the Cabinet Defence Committee and the full Cabinet; ultimately, the decision was made to continue the development programme for the Arrow until 31 March 1959 [Documents 88 and 89]. Additional documentation details the decision to adopt the BOMARC missile and the negotiation of a production sharing agreement with the United States.
The introduction of nuclear weapons into the North American air defence umbrella was intimately related to the formation of NORAD and the decision to rely on the BOMARC instead of the CF-105 to counter the Soviet military threat. The United States first pressed Canadian officials to incorporate atomic capabilities into the continental defence shield in December 1957 [Documents 26 and 27], and Cabinet cautiously approved exploratory negotiations aimed at stockpiling nuclear weapons on Canadian soil at Goose Bay. Department of External Affairs officials, however, quickly emphasized that Department of National Defence attempts to minimize or ignore the political ramifications of deploying nuclear weapons in Canada were misguided, since it involved switching from a passive defence role to the "provision by Canada of facilities to enhance the striking power of the Strategic Air Command offensive forces" [Document 35]. After the Cabinet Defence Committee discussed the issue in a detailed fashion in April 1958 [Document 55], military talks continued throughout 1958. The decision to acquire BOMARC missiles altered the tone and urgency of the debate. As the BOMARC required nuclear warheads to function effectively, the Canadian government was now logically committed to acquiring nuclear arms for use by Canadian forces. Cabinet subsequently agreed to begin the "difficult and complicated" negotiations to secure nuclear weapons [Document 95], and intensive inter- departmental consultations occurred to prepare ministers for the December 1958 Joint Committee on Defence meeting in Paris. The most important matter discussed by the Joint Committee proved to be the contents of a draft statement to be made in the House of Commons about Canada's decision to negotiate terms for acquiring nuclear weapons, including the ultimate political control over their potential use.
The Diefenbaker government also addressed a number of critical cross-border economic issues, many of which concerned restrictive import measures adopted by both Ottawa and Washington. Canada contemplated raising duty values on fruits and vegetables and placed restrictions on turkey and fowl imports. The Department of External Affairs believed these measures violated Canadian GATT obligations, a view shared by the American government, which protested Canadian actions as "disappointing in the context of the need for expansion of world trade so often stressed by leaders of the Canadian government" [Document 188]. Canadian officials were equally concerned with new American restrictions on crude oil and lead and zinc imports, as well as the perennial problems posed by American surplus disposal policies under Public Law 480. Ottawa issued a flurry of strongly worded diplomatic notes objecting to Washington's policies, with seemingly little effect.
Despite these important trade irritants, a major breakthrough was made in the complex negotiations designed to secure agreement with Washington to develop the Columbia River Basin. The Diefenbaker government established the Cabinet Committee on the Columbia River Problems, which eventually proved able to establish liaison mechanisms with the provincial government of British Columbia in October 1958. Diplomatic notes exchanged between Ottawa and Washington in November and December 1958 [Documents 223 and 225] laid the basis for formal negotiations to commence through the International Joint Commission.
Chapter II of this volume documents Canada's foreign policy towards the Middle East, a region which also continued to be a flashpoint for East- West tensions. Ottawa remained committed to a peacekeeping role in the aftermath of the 1956 Suez Crisis and reaffirmed its participation in the United Nations Emergency Force (UNEF) in July 1957 [Document 256]. Moreover, the Canadian delegation to the Twelfth Session of the United Nations General Assembly played a leading role in placing UNEF financing on a sound and permanent footing. The Diefenbaker government also worked diligently to maintain Canada's embargo on shipments of military equipment to the Middle East, approving a comprehensive policy to control the export of arms in September 1957 [Document 236]. This policy came under increasing scrutiny as a result of the Israeli government's requests to secure military equipment from Canada. These representations were most forcefully made during the visit of the Israeli Foreign Minister, Golda Meir, to Ottawa in October 1958 [Document 388].
These Middle Eastern matters, however, were overshadowed by an international crisis in Lebanon and Jordan in the summer of 1958. Continued Soviet economic penetration of the Middle East and the union of Egypt and Syria to form the United Arab Republic (UAR) had steadily increased tensions in the region early in the year. By the spring, Lebanon and its weak pro-Western government headed by President Camille Chamoun was effectively under siege. Canada was active in seeking UN assurances for Lebanon and agreed to serve in the United Nations Observer Group in Lebanon (UNOGIL) in June 1958 [Document 326]. But the bloody overthrow of the pro-Western Iraqi monarchy resulted in Lebanon's immediate call for military support, and American and British troops landed in Lebanon and Jordan to preserve the existing governments in Beirut and Amman. The American intervention activated NORAD states of readiness protocols and brought home to Ottawa for the first time the unforeseen and far-reaching implications of North American defence cooperation [Document 66]. Eventually, in August 1958, an Emergency Special Session of the United Nations General Assembly was convened to defuse the crisis. While Sidney Smith reported from New York with typical Canadian modesty that he was "not ashamed of Canada's contribution" to the special UN debate [Document 382], the American reaction was more gratifying. United States Secretary of State John Foster Dulles praised Ottawa's diplomatic effort as "the key to a successful outcome" [Document 383].
As much of the documentation in Chapter III indicates, Cold War themes dominated Canadian foreign policy in the Far East. Ottawa was keenly interested in policy issues concerning Communist China. Canadian officials, spurred on by the desire to increase Sino-Canadian trade, again evaluated the merits of recognizing the Peking government, before deciding that there was "no clear cut balance of argument discernible" on the issue [Document 466]. Washington, of course, remained implacably opposed to any change in the West's longstanding opposition to the recognition of Communist China. President Eisenhower emphasized this in personal discussions with Prime Minister Diefenbaker [Document 7], while the State Department followed up the President's démarche with a "comprehensive but somewhat dogmatic" [Document 468] aide-memoire in August 1958 insisting on the maintenance of a common Western front.
This diplomatic debate over the desirability of recognizing Peking was quickly superseded by the outbreak of another serious crisis in the Taiwan Straits. The strategic impact of American military actions in the Pacific caused Sidney Smith to personally warn the American Ambassador that the Canadian government was "gravely concerned" about the crisis and the possible complications of a declaration of a state of readiness by NORAD commanders involving Canadian air defence forces [Document 427]. Throughout the crisis, Canadian officials in Washington and at the United Nations in New York monitored the situation with keen interest prior to the gradual de-escalation of tensions in the region in October 1958.
Canada remained most closely exposed to the Asian Cold War through its membership in the International Commissions for Supervision and Control. In Laos and Cambodia, Ottawa believed that the Commissions had served a useful purpose but that the time had come for their dissolution. This volume documents the diplomacy involved in the April 1958 Cabinet decision to withdraw unilaterally from the Laos Commission if India and Poland did not agree to dissolution; this Commission eventually adjourned sine die in July. However, no documentation on the Cambodian Commission is included in this volume as the deadlock that developed over dissolution of this Commission in 1956 documented in detail in Volume 23 was not resolved in the period covered by this volume. Arthur Blanchette, the head of the Canadian delegation in Phnom Penh, summed up the Canadian attitude towards the inertia of the Cambodian Commission when he informed his superiors that "rarely in the course of human events has so much money been spent by so many countries to so little avail"1. The Diefenbaker government recognized that the Vietnam Commission continued to play an important role in preserving a semblance of political stability in the region in the face of North Vietnamese attempts to destabilize the South Vietnamese regime. For this reason, Canada was alarmed at American proposals advanced in the summer of 1958 to increase the number of United States military advisors in Vietnam. Strong representations made by Canadian officials - who feared the destabilizing effects of Washington's plans - failed to sway American opinion.
As the documentation in Chapter IV indicates, Eastern Europe and the Soviet Union remained high on Ottawa's foreign policy agenda. Cabinet continued to devote attention to the problem of Hungarian refugees, although an unfortunate jurisdictional dispute between the Department of External Affairs and the Department of Citizenship and Immigration resulted in Canada's refusal to admit thousands of needy Hungarian refugees and the embarrassment of Canada's chief immigration representative in Geneva. A Soviet diplomatic initiative in December 1958 resulted in an exchange of correspondence between Soviet Premier Nicolai Bulganin and Prime Minister Diefenbaker and spurred early East-West discussions aimed at the convening of a summit meeting. Moscow's increasing confidence on the international stage and internal changes in the Soviet Union also prompted debate within the Department of External Affairs about Soviet intentions and Western strategies for containment. A widely- circulated paper prepared in the Department ultimately called for the West to adopt a "patient and piecemeal approach" within a "grand and imaginative design" to secure East-West cooperation [Document 520].
For the first three months of the Conservative mandate, John Diefenbaker held the portfolio of Secretary of State for External Affairs in addition to his duties as Prime Minister. Throughout his term in office, Diefenbaker maintained a keen interest in international affairs and insisted on personally addressing critical foreign policy issues himself, as evidenced by his handling of the NORAD and CF-105 situations. Diefenbaker's tendency to make key foreign policy decisions also resulted from his suspicion of senior Department of External Affairs officials, some of whom he viewed as "Pearsonalities" due to their perceived allegiance to their former political master. As a result, Robert Bryce arranged in August 1957 to have H. Basil Robinson appointed as a full-time liaison between the Prime Minister's Office and the Department, a responsibility that Robinson handled with distinction. In September 1957, Diefenbaker selected Sidney Smith, President of the University of Toronto, to fill the position of Secretary of State for External Affairs. An able academic administrator, Smith failed to carve out an independent role for himself as foreign minister before his sudden death in March of 1959.
Both Diefenbaker and Smith were able to draw on the advice of a veteran group of senior External Affairs officials during the first eighteen months of the Progressive Conservative administration. Jules Léger continued to serve as Under-Secretary of State for External Affairs until Norman Robertson replaced him in October 1958. R.M. Macdonnell assisted Léger and Robertson as Deputy Under- Secretary from September 1958 (this position had been vacant from May 1957). The Department depended on the services of four Assistant Under- Secretaries during the period covered by this volume: John Holmes, Douglas LePan, W.D. Matthews, and Marcel Cadieux. Cadieux also served as the Department's Legal Adviser.
No major changes in representation occurred at Canada's most important posts abroad until the autumn of 1958. Norman Robertson served as Ambassador in Washington until 10 October 1958 before he returned to Ottawa to assume his duties as Under-Secretary. A.D.P. Heeney replaced Robertson in Washington. Jules Léger left Ottawa to become Canada's Permanent Representative to the North Atlantic Council and Representative to the Organization for European Economic Cooperation in September 1958; he replaced the retiring Dana Wilgress in these posts. In June 1957, Diefenbaker appointed George Drew as High Commissioner to the United Kingdom. David Johnson served as Canada's Ambassador in Moscow from September 1957.
Documents in this volume were selected primarily from the records of the Department of External Affairs and the Privy Council Office. Additional documents were chosen from the files of the departments of Trade and Commerce and Citizenship and Immigration, and from the private papers of Cabinet ministers and senior government officials. In preparing this volume, I was given unrestricted access to the files of the Department of External Affairs and generous access to other collections. A complete list of the archival sources consulted to prepare this volume is found on page xxv.
The selection of documents in Volume 24 is guided by the general principles outlined in the Introduction to Volume 7 (pp.[bb]ix-xi), as amended in the Introduction to Volume 20 (p. xxiii). In short, the series attempts to provide a "self-contained record of the major foreign policy decisions taken by the Government of Canada," by concentrating on Canada's most important bilateral and multilateral relationships and on the major international issues that directly involved Cabinet members and senior bureaucrats in substantive policy decisions.
Despite the fact that nearly five decades have elapsed, significant portions of the key documents pertaining to the acquisition of nuclear weapons included in this volume have not been declassified by the Privy Council Office and the Department of National Defence under the terms of the Access to Information Act. Approximately seventy lines of text from the Cabinet Conclusions of 9 December 1958 [Document 134] and 22 December 1958 [Document 137] discussing Canada's proposed nuclear weapons policy remain closed to researchers. Four lines of text from the Cabinet Conclusions of 24 January 1958 [Document 120] discussing American military refuelling facilities in Canada have been withheld. The NORAD Terms of Reference attached to Document 45 are also not printed. The names of several private citizens have also been removed from Documents 242, 243, 245, 247, 253, 254, and 459 to protect their identities under the terms of the Privacy Act.
The editorial apparatus employed in this volume remains identical to that described in the Introduction to Volume 9 (p. xix). A dagger (†) indicates a Canadian document that is not printed. Editorial excisions are shown by an ellipse (...). The phrase "group corrupt" indicates decryption problems in the transmission of the original telegram. Words and passages that were struck out by the author, marginal notes, and distribution lists are reproduced as footnotes only when important. Unless otherwise indicated, it is assumed that documents have been read by the intended recipient. Proper and place names are standardized. The editor has silently corrected spelling, capitalization, and punctuation, as well as transcription errors whose meaning is clear from their context. All other editorial additions to the documents are indicated by the use of square brackets. Documents are reprinted in either English or French, depending on their original language.
Many individuals collaborated in the preparation of this volume. The Historical Section continues to rely on the staff of the National Archives of Canada for help in locating relevant records. In particular, Paulette Dozois and Maureen Hoogenraad responded quickly to requests for assistance. At the Privy Council Office, Ciuineas Boyle, the director of the Access to Information and Privacy Division, and Herb Barrett facilitated access to classified Cabinet records for the period and declassified several documents that are printed in this volume. At the Diefenbaker Canada Centre, Bruce Shepard, the Director, Johnson Kong, and Rob Paul provided invaluable assistance during my stay in Saskatoon and responded quickly to many subsequent requests for information. Basil Robinson steered me toward important documentation contained in his personal papers. Finally, Father Jacques Monet, s.j., graciously granted permission for me to view the papers of Jules Léger.
Ted Kelly helped research portions of this volume and supervised the production process with great efficiency. Boris Stipernitz, Liz Turcotte, and Michael Carroll provided invaluable assistance in researching extensive sections of this volume. Christopher Cook conducted archival research and proofread the manuscript. Hector Mackenzie and Mary Halloran provided advice and moral support during the editing process. John Hilliker, the long-time general editor of this series, and his successor, Greg Donaghy, carefully scrutinized the manuscript in its entirety and offered constructive and detailed suggestions for improvement. The series would not be possible without the support of the former director of the Communications Programs and Outreach Division, Gaston Barban, and Roger Bélanger and René Cremonese, the successive directors of the Outreach Programs and E[eib]-Communications Division. I remain solely responsible for the final selection of documents in this volume.
The Historical Section provided the supplementary text and coordinated the technical preparation of this volume. Aline Gélineau typed and formatted the manuscript. Gail Kirkpatrick Devlin proofread the manuscript and composed the List of Persons. The Translation Bureau supplied the French for most of the captions and ancillary texts. These were carefully edited by Francine Fournier of the Communications Services Division.
Finally, my wife, Robbie, patiently endured another extended period of separation while I completed this volume. I thank her for her continued support.
1Phnom Penh Letter 23?, Commissioner, ICSC, Cambodia to Under-Secretary of State for External Affairs, November 26, 1958, DEA/50052-C-40.