- Mr. L.D. Wilgress, Under-Secretary of State for External Affairs -- Chairman
- Mr. C.M. Drury, Deputy Minister, Dept. of National Defence
- Lt.-Gen. Foulkes, Chairman, Chiefs of Staff
- Lt.-Gen. Simonds, Chief of the General Staff
- Air Vice-Marshal Miller, Vice-Chief of the Air Staff
- Mr. C.S.A. Ritchie, Deputy Under-Secretary of State for External Affairs
- Mr. R. Duder, Dept. of External Affairs -- Secretary
Mr. Wilgress opened the meeting with a reference to the difficult political situation created by M. Mayer's recent declaration concerning the need to revise the EDC Treaty. This situation had eased somewhat and recent messages from Washington and Paris indicated that the French intend to submit the EDC Treaty to the National Assembly for ratification, and to begin negotiations for additional protocols which would ensure a liberal interpretation of the provision of the EDC Treaty which requires the authority of SHAPE for the withdrawal of French troops from the European Army for service in North Africa and elsewhere. The aim of this modification would be to guard "the integrity and unity of the French Army and the French Union". It was also their intention to endeavour to obtain closer United Kingdom association with the European Army. Mr. Wilgress outlined the talks which he, Mr. Claxton and General Foulkes had had with leading European and American personalities during their recent visit to Europe on this question of the participation of British forces in the European Army.
2. There was now a more hopeful feeling in Europe concerning the new French approach to the European Defence Community. The Department of External Affairs has been looking at the political issues involved and has concluded that it would be most inappropriate for Canada to make any approach to the United Kingdom on the question of closer British association with the European Army. Moreover, there was no indication at present that the Americans had decided to make such an approach and there might be disadvantages to their doing so in view of the reaction in Europe to Senator Wiley's27 recent statement on American aid and European integration.
3. It is clear that there will have to be negotiations for an additional protocol or protocols to the EDC Treaty. This may mean that the Germans, as well as the French, and possibly others, e.g. the Belgians, will make fresh demands. In this new situation, Mr. Wilgress distinguished three possible developments in order of probability:
(a) Ratification of the EDC Treaty plus negotiation of the additional protocol(s);
(b) Some participation of British forces in the European Army;
(c) A contribution of Canadian and United States forces to the European Army.
It was agreed to discuss the political and military considerations bound up with these possible developments.
4. General Foulkes said that Field Marshal Montgomery was of the opinion that from the military point of view, the Germans are bound to dominate the European Defence Community because of the lack of French leadership. Hence there was a need for a contribution to the European Army from the United Kingdom and from the United States. General Foulkes thought that the United Kingdom Government was likely to ask us before very long what our attitude, as a Commonwealth country, would be to United Kingdom participation in the European Army. General Simonds thought that Field Marshal Montgomery's solution could be nothing but a temporary one, but that German dominance of the EDC might be postponed by British participation in the European Army provided that the Americans were willing to agree that their forces would remain in Germany so long as United Kingdom participation in the EDC continued.
5. There was general agreement that the simplest solution militarily would be German membership in NATO but it was clear that the French would not accept this. On the other hand, the United Kingdom, even if from a military point of view it could accept British participation in the European Army, would never agree to an association leading to a federation. If they did come in they would try to loosen the federal ties of the EDC Treaty. This, in turn, would give the Belgians and others an opportunity, which they would welcome, to water down the EDC concept. Hence, the only association which would be possible for the British would be one which did not involve full participation in the constitutional superstructure of the EDC. It was agreed that a contribution of American, British or Canadian corps commanders, unless it arose logically as a result of a contribution of troops to the EDC, was not possible since this would offend the national pride of both the Germans and the French. Some consideration was given to the possibility of the British having observer's status or associate membership in the higher institutions of the European Defence Community, but there was no general agreement that this was a workable solution.
6. In the particular matter of a Canadian contribution to the EDC, it was agreed that we could only go as far as the Americans. Although, militarily speaking, Canada could go into the EDC, since Canadians have to fight under other than national commanders in any case, it was thought that the Canadian people would not want their troops in a European Army unless United States troops were also included in that Army. It was also suggested that the Europeans might not welcome American, or perhaps even Canadian, participation as this might undermine the whole concept of specifically European integration.
7. Summing up, General Foulkes said that the military side of the question of US or Canadian participation in the European Defence Community would not be too difficult to overcome, but the political issues involved were not easy to solve. He gave as his opinion that if the EDC fell apart, this might well mean the end of NATO.
8. After considerable discussion, it was agreed that Canada should not offer advice to the United Kingdom on this difficult problem but that we must be prepared to answer questions which might be put to us by the United Kingdom. The meeting closed with a discussion of possible questions and suggested answers as follows:
(1) -- Q. Would Canada have any objections to the United Kingdom participating in the European Defence Community?
A. No, if such participation is considered a sine qua non of obtaining German rearmament without which no forward defence of Europe is possible.
(2) -- Q. Is Canada willing to participate in the European Defence Community?
A. The people of Canada would not agree to this unless the United States were also to come in.
(3) -- Q. If the United Kingdom and the United States came into the European Army, would Canada join?
A. In all probability, yes. We should have no grounds for staying out.
Question (1) above might be put somewhat as follows: "We are considering the grouping of part or the whole of the British Army of the Rhine within the European Army. This raises the question of the disposition of the Canadian Brigade. What are your views?" In this case, our answer would be that we should have to consider whether or not to change our affiliation with the BAOR to one with the United States Army in Europe. It was agreed that it was highly improbable that the United Kingdom would ever contemplate putting the whole of the BAOR into the EDC.
9. It was agreed that Canada must resist any attempt to put Canadians into a common uniform and to subject them to the conditions of pay, etc., planned for the European Army. The Americans and probably the British would have the same objections.
Alexander Wiley, sénateur républicain du Wisconsin, président de la Commission des relations étrangères du Sénat. Senator Alexander Wiley (R.-Wisconsin), Chairman, Senate Foreign Relations Committee.