Volume #18 - 747.|
RELATIONS WITH THE UNITED STATES
Memorandum by Defence Liaison (1) Division|
January 11th, 1952|
MEMORANDUM FOR MR. MACKAY
At Frobisher Bay there are now about 37 members of the R.C.A.F. and about 150 members of the U.S.A.F. The R.C.A.F. is reluctant to increase its strength and might even be tempted to decrease it. Cabinet Defence Committee considers that Frobisher Bay should be a Canadian base under Canadian command and control. The situation at Frobisher Bay raises a much larger question: What is command and control?
2. I think it is quite clear that no dictionary meaning of command and control is useful to us. What we need is a definition of the term for the particular area of the Far North, for the particular time of 1952. On an air station, command and control might be exercised in one of three ways:
(1) A joint station in which the Canadians provide the commanding officer, the staff to control the important facilities especially the control tower, and the staff to provide all housekeeping facilities. Under this arrangement quite clearly the U.S.A.F. is present on a lodger basis and there is no threat to Canadian command and control,
(2) A joint station in which the Canadians provide the commanding officer and control only the important facilities, especially the control tower. Under this arrangement few Canadians would be needed and they would, of course, be far out-numbered by the U.S.A.F. which provides housekeeping in addition to performing maintenance tasks required by its own operations;
(3) A joint station with a Canadian commander but virtually no other Canadian personnel.
3. The question is which of these three is the Government prepared to accept, both at Frobisher and elsewhere in the North?
4. I think we may assume that the R.C.A.F. wishes to tie down as few men as possible in the North if the men's main function is to fly the Canadian flag and support U.S. operations. Unfortunately, the policy of appointing a Canadian commander without supporting forces can lead to administrative difficulties, and there may be some doubt whether this really guarantees the Canadian position.
5. I think it important to consider this problem now because it has arisen in immediate form at Frobisher Bay. The R.C.A.F., which this week has been discussing Frobisher Bay with the U.S.A.F., is disposed to leave at Frobisher Bay only a commanding officer and a few men to operate the control tower. This may be entirely satisfactory, but I do not think that it would be wise to accept this decision only at the service level without giving political consideration to the implications. The question is, of course, not only Frobisher Bay - Frobisher Bay is merely the first place where the question of command and control has arisen in acute form at the present stage of our defence relations with the United States.
6. I have already explored this question with W/C Hull who is sympathetic to the suggestion that political consideration should be given to this whole question of command and control. I think that it is necessary for us now to have a discussion with the R.C.A.F. (A/V/M Miller?) on our whole policy for air stations in the North.
7. Do you agree?72