. . .
DEFENCE, MODIFICATION OF CANADA-US AGREEMENT ON AIRCRAFT
21. The Minister of National Defence reported that, at a meeting to be held on April 13th, the Permanent Joint Board on Defence would consider a suggestion put forward by the United States to amend the existing Canada-US agreement on the interception of unidentified aircraft flying over Canadian and US territory. This agreement was contained in PJBD recommendation 51/4 which had been approved by the Cabinet Defence Committee on May 30th, 1951.
Sub-paragraphs (a) and (b) of PJBD recommendation 51/4 presently read as follows:
(a) Investigations by US military aircraft over Canadian territory would only occur in the case of an aircraft headed for the Canada-United States border from the Canadian side whose flight plan had not been transmitted to the US authorities; or which was off course, and then only in the event that the actions of the aircraft gave rise to a reasonable interpretation of intention to cross the international boundary; the activities of Canadian military aircraft over US territory would be similarly restricted.
(b) Close investigation with all due precaution, or interrogation, would be performed solely on unidentified multi-engine aircraft for the purpose of obtaining electronic or visual identification. No attempt would be made to order an intercepted aircraft to land, nor to open fire except when the intercepted aircraft was over the national territory of the air force performing the interception. The US Section of the Permanent Joint Board on Defence had suggested, with the concurrence of the three US services and the State Department, that these subparagraphs should be modified as follows:
a) Investigations of unidentified aircraft by US military aircraft over Canadian territory would only occur when it was not possible for a Canadian military aircraft to carry out the investigation; the activities of Canadian military aircraft over US territory would be similarly restricted. For the purpose of this agreement, an unidentified aircraft was an aircraft which entered or flew within an Air Defence Identification Zone in apparent violation of rules and regulations for operations in such zones, or when pattern of behaviour was sufficiently suspicious to justify a belief that it had hostile intentions.
(b) Close investigation with all due precaution, or interrogation, would be performed solely on unidentified multi-engine aircraft for the purpose of obtaining electronic or visual identification. The Rules of Engagement of the country over which the interception takes place would apply, with the proviso that the engagement of an aircraft was to be carried out only on orders issued by the Air Defence Commander of the country over which the interception takes place, or an officer who had been delegated the requisite powers.
The Chairman of the Canadian Section of the Permanent Joint Board on Defence had requested some indication as to the stand the Canadian Government would wish him to take on this question.
22. The Cabinet deferred decision on a US proposal that current Canada-United States arrangements concerning aircraft interception be modified, pending further consideration of the proposal by the Permanent Joint Board on Defence and submission of a report as to the details of the suggested change.