WEATHER STATION AND RADIO RANGE
AT PADLOPING, BAFFIN ISLAND
Attached for your information is a copy of a letter from the Deputy Minister of Transport, dated March 24, 1953, stating that the Department of Transport will be unable to undertake the operation of Padloping weather and radio station due to a shortage of staff?. Since the situation at Padloping is a very good example of Canadian failure to fulfil its responsibilities in the Arctic, I thought it advisable to give you a brief recapitulation of past history in connection with this station.
2. On January 28, 1947, Cabinet approved the taking over by Canada of weather stations which had been set up during the war by the United States in Northeastern Canada. The transfer was to be made on a progressive basis over a three year period, commencing in 1947. Among the stations listed for transfer in 1949-1950 was Padloping. The Journal of the October 1949 meeting of the PJBD states that unless sufficient Department of Transport personnel were available at an earlier date the combined meteorological and radio range station at Padloping would be taken over in the summer of 1951. This statement was noted specifically by Cabinet Defence Committee at a meeting held on November 23, 1949.
3. On June 16, 1951, the Deputy Minister of Transport wrote to this Department stating that it had been found impossible to recruit sufficient radio operators to man the Padloping Island station, and therefore, the Department of Transport would be unable to assume this commitment at least during 1951 and possibly not in 1952. He asked whether it would be possible to have the United States continue to man the station until the Department of Transport could take it over. Although some dismay was expressed within External Affairs at this situation, the Department of Transport request was passed on to Washington and the United States agreed to continue the operation of Padloping until Canada was in a position to take over.
4. The attached letter from the Deputy Minister of Transport suggests that the decision as to when Canada will take over Padloping is being given a further indefinite hoist. This raises the question of what action, if any, should be taken by this Department. It is suggested as a first step that you might wish to have the matter discussed at the next meeting of the Advisory Committee on Northern Development.37 For your information, a copy of the letter from the Deputy Minister of Transport has already been referred to the Secretary of the Advisory Committee.
Note marginale:/marginal note: Yes. W[ilgress]