Volume #20 - 491.|
RELATIONS WITH THE UNITED STATES
DEFENCE AND SECURITY ISSUES
Ambassador in United States|
to Secretary of State for External Affairs
March 9th, 1954|
U.S.-CANADA MEETING OF CONSULTATION OF MARCH 4|
I wanted to give you some preliminary comments on the meeting of consultation with the United States authorities which was held in the State Department on March 4. Since I am leaving Washington today on my western tour, this despatch will be held so that it may go to you with our final record of the meeting. I have seen and approved a draft of the record, but since it is customary to compare our notes with those kept on the United States side, so that our two records are in no substantial disagreement, it will be a few days before our record can be put in shape for transmission to you with this despatch.
2. This meeting was not, perhaps, wholly satisfactory in relation to Soviet intentions. But I am not sure that we could have expected much more on this subject and the meeting did have real value for us particularly in relation to continental defence. The "agenda" put forward by the State Department met the suggestions which we had made. It had seemed to us that, since the meeting was to be held so shortly after the Four Power meeting at Berlin, it would be natural for the U.S. side to start with a discussion of the results of that conference and so lead into the United States estimate of Soviet intentions as they were related to various trouble spots in the world. In the event Bowie told us little about the Berlin Conference that we did not know already through our normal contacts with the State Department and the examination of trouble spots did not produce much. A good deal more time might have been spent (though with what profit I do not know) on the political implications of the new United States strategy.
3. The most extensive discussion at the meeting concerned military matters. This was perhaps not surprising in view of the agenda and having in mind the military background of the Chairman. Admiral Radford's contribution to the discussion was interesting even though his prepared remarks on the new United States strategy contained a good deal of material which had already been made public, for example in the interview with Admiral Radford, published in the U.S. News and World Report of March 5. We were not able to explore very deeply Radford's thinking as to how United States atomic capabilities were to be applied to local incidents of aggression. (General Foulkes was to have a further discussion with Radford and possibly he was able to go into this subject more fully.) On the other hand Radford's forthright declaration of continued United States support of NATO was re-assuring although I am not certain that our European colleagues would have been similarly impressed. He said categorically that United States commitments to NATO would not be decreased but he also made it clear that they were not likely to be increased in any significant degree.
4. I believe that the progress report which we gave on Canadian activity with respect to the mid-Canada early warning line made a real impression on our United States colleagues. 49 I believe that at this high level they appreciate now our intention to co-operate to the greatest extent possible in the better defence of the continent. Progress reports of this type given from time to time can, I believe, ease the work of those officials who are responsible for the detailed day-to-day work in this co-operative project.
5. You will note from the report of the meeting that our views on the Indo-China situation in relation to the forthcoming Geneva Conference were solicited 50 and that General Foulkes was asked to put on paper some of his informal ideas on civil defence organization for the benefit of United States authorities. Bedell Smith did, too, express the gratification of the United States Government at the Canadian attitude towards the grant of United States military aid to Pakistan and especially for the remarks made by the Prime Minister while he was in India. 51
6. In summary, I think that the meeting added something to our store of knowledge on current United States thinking on the extent of the Soviet threat to the security of the free world and of the steps which can best be taken by the United States to counter-act that threat. I was encouraged, as I am sure you will be, by the fact that Bedell Smith expressed the emphatic opinion that not too long a period of time should be allowed to lapse between these meetings of consultation. They provide a good informal channel through which we gain access to the high level thinking of United States political and military authorities and, while some may turn out to be less useful than others, we should, I believe, continue to make use of them whenever we think the occasion demands. I have said before that I do not think we should debase the currency by having too many meetings of consultation but I think we must bear in mind the expressed willingness of the United States authorities and particularly the Under-Secretary of State, Bedell Smith, to arrange for the meetings whenever we want to have them.
7. We have in addition gained some experience in the procedural aspects of the meetings which may allow us to make better use of future meetings of consultation. I think, for example, we should tend to discourage the growth on the United States side of too great an emphasis on formal "briefing" of the meeting by some individual. It will always be necessary that someone lead off the proceedings but I believe that the sooner the discussion stage is reached at these meetings the better they are likely to be. This in turn leads me to believe that it would be wise to make the agenda items as general as possible so that we need feel less limited in our questions. Finally, I think there is something to be said for limiting even more strictly the numbers of those attending. The larger the meetings become the more difficult it is to achieve that intimacy and informality in discussion which is likely to make the consultations most useful to us.
P.S. March 11. Six copies of our final record of the meeting of consultation of March 4 are attached. This record has been compared with the record kept on the United States side.
The meeting which was held in the State Department under the Chairmanship of General Walter Bedell Smith, the Acting Secretary of State was attended by
Admiral Arthur W. Radford, Chairman, United States Joint Chiefs of Staff,
The Honourable John A. Hannah, Assistant Secretary of Defense (Manpower and Personnel),
Mr. Robert Murphy, Deputy Under-Secretary of State,
Mr. Robert Bowie, Director of the Policy Planning Staff of the State Department, and State Department representative on the National Security Council Planning Board,
Mr. Hayden Raynor, Director of the Office of Commonwealth and Northern European Affairs, State Department,
Mr. R. Gordon Arneson, Special Assistant for Atomic Energy Affairs to the Secretary of State, for the United States Government, and by
Mr. A.D.P. Heeney, Canadian Ambassador to the United States,
General Charles Foulkes, Chairman of the Canadian Chiefs of Staff,
Mr. R.A. MacKay, Acting Under-Secretary of State for External Affairs,
Mr. R.B. Bryce, Clerk of the Privy Council and Secretary to the Cabinet,
Mr. G.P. deT. Glazebrook, Minister, Canadian Embassy,
Rear Admiral H.G. DeWolf, Chairman of the Canadian Joint Staff, Washington,
Mr. J.J. McCardle, Canadian Embassy, for the Canadian Government.
2. The agenda of the meeting consisted of two items,
(a) review of the Berlin Conference and its implications respecting the United States estimate of Soviet intentions,
(b) the new U.S. military strategy and its implications, particularly regarding continental defence.
3. The Chairman opened the meeting by referring to a conversation which he had been having with General Foulkes as to the desirability of issuing some public statement by the Canadian and United States Governments outlining the progress which had so far been made in the building up of the defences of the continent. He suggested that any such public announcement should be drafted with a view to anticipating criticisms that not enough was being done in this vital field. The Chairman suggested that the possible issuance of a press release might be considered by Canadian and United States authorities.
4. The Chairman then went on to mention the various and important demands on the time of senior officers of the State Department. He indicated that it now seemed likely that Mr. Dulles would have to remain in Caracas at the current meeting of the Organization of American States for a longer period of time than had been anticipated, probably until the fate of certain proposals which would constitute a political Monroe Doctrine against the international Communist conspiracy was decided. He said that the United States, while it had not outlawed the Communist party, was well aware of the infiltration which had been achieved in the Western Hemisphere by the agents of international Communism. In the circumstances, therefore, Mr. Dulles would probably stay only a short time at the Geneva Conference and Bedell Smith would remain there indefinitely as Head of the United States delegation.
5. The Chairman, referring to the Berlin Conference, said that it had been quite impossible to resist French pressures for discussion of Indo-China at the Geneva Conference which had been agreed on at Berlin, although it was recognized by the three Western Foreign Ministers that such a discussion was not without grave danger. In Indo-China the Navarre Plan was being implemented successfully. French military authorities were confident of eventual victory in Indo-China. However the press had over-played the "real estate" victories of the enemy, and this press coverage, together with other factors, had made it difficult to refuse a high-level discussion of the situation in Indo-China. The Navarre Plan would not come to full flower this fighting season. The plan envisioned the development of 54 native battalions by the end of this year and further battalions next year which would constitute a satisfactory posture of strength vis-à-vis the enemy. The French military authorities, he said, were now convinced, as they had not been in the past, of the fighting quality of properly trained native battalions.
6. The Chairman said that the United States Government was fully aware that great pressure for a negotiated settlement in Indo-China would develop at Geneva, before the necessary strength was built up to permit acceptance of a sound solution of the problem. The whole subject was under the most intensive study within the United States Government and the problem of what attitude the United States would eventually take was as yet unsolved. The idea of agreement to a coalition government in Indo-China would appear tempting at Geneva but so far as the United States was concerned was unacceptable since it would be the beginning of the end of anti-Communist rule in Indo-China. The military authorities of the United States Government regarded any artificial division of the country as completely unacceptable especially since there was no fixed line of battle as there had been in Korea. The Chairman indicated that the United States Government would be grateful for any views the Canadian Government might wish to present on the matter.
7. Mr. Bowie presented the conclusions of the United States Government on Soviet intentions as they had been revealed at the Berlin Conference.
8. The European objective of the Soviets had been revealed as an unshakeable intention to maintain the present Soviet military and political position in Germany and Austria at all costs. This determination was especially evident with respect to the Austrian Peace Treaty. The concessions offered by the three Western Foreign Ministers and by the Austrian authorities, although generous in the extreme, had no effect on the Soviet position. Molotov argued that no Austrian Peace Treaty was possible because of the imminence of EDC and the resultant possibility of an anschluss. United States authorities regarded his arguments on this score as completely insincere and simply advanced in an attempt to mask the real determination of the Soviet Union not to budge from Austria. The objective was perhaps not so clear in the discussions with respect to East Germany because of the many side issues which were involved, but the United States representatives were convinced that the Soviet Union was not prepared to agree to anything which would lead to the end of its control in East Germany. The Soviet Union would not be satisfied with any European security guarantee. United States representatives thought it probable that even if the Soviet Union were prepared to agree to a neutralization of Germany, it would not agree even within that framework to the liquidation of the East German régime.
9. The second main objective of the Soviet Union at Berlin had been the defeat of EDC. Mr. Bowie indicated that there was evidence that the USSR genuinely feared German re-armament as a threat to its security and that this was the essential reason for the Soviet position with respect to EDC. Molotov made it clear that the only safeguard acceptable to the Soviet Government, so far as Germany was concerned, was Soviet control of any/all German Government. Democratic processes might be good enough for other people or for other governments but were not suited to this situation so far as the Soviet Government was concerned. Molotov, in private discussions, made clear the Soviet belief that if EDC were defeated in 1954 it would be consigned to the archives. An intensive drive by the Soviet Union in this calendar year to defeat EDC might therefore be expected. So far as tactics were concerned the Soviet representatives completely disregarded the opinion of both East and West Germans and focused attention on French opinion. They attempted by every means to exploit the French fear of a rearmed Germany and to prove that, in this instance at least, the French interest lay in combining with the Soviet Union to exert strict control over Germany. Some attempt was made to appeal to opinion in the United Kingdom favourable to the neutralism of Germany. United States representatives regarded this as only incidental to the main effort directed at the French.
10. Soviet intentions with respect to Far Eastern matters might be classified under two headings: the drive for recognition of the Government of Communist China, and a possible genuine interest in some high-level meeting on Far Eastern matters. The attempt to gain recognition for Communist China seemed to be one of Molotov's main tasks. In every possible and some impossible circumstances Communist China was mentioned. This effort was most ridiculous in Molotov's suggestion that the United States and Communist China might be associated as observers in any scheme designed to guarantee European security. It was impossible to know whether this effort was made simply to placate Communist China or because the Soviet Union felt a real need for Chinese partnership. There were some grounds, although this was less certain, for the belief that the Soviet Union was genuinely interested in the convocation of a high-level meeting on Far Eastern subjects. The best evidence of this was Soviet acceptance of the restricted agenda and Soviet agreement to a meeting on Korea, under conditions which the Communist representatives at Panmunjom had refused to accept. Until the last moment Bidault had held out for conditions which would have allowed discussion of Indo-China only after a satisfactory discussion of the Korean situation and after Chinese assistance to the Viet Minh had been brought to an end. However the French Government "caved" and Bidault found himself unable to resist the Molotov offer which eventually was adopted. Bidault realized that discussion of Indo-China at the Geneva Conference involved grave dangers for France but yet he could not be put in the position of resisting any move to bring an end to the Indo-China war. One could only speculate as to Molotov's motives in this regard but it seemed reasonable to suppose he had one or all of the following objectives:
(a) To convene a meeting in which France would participate and in which a possible settlement in Indo-China could be used as a lever to pry the French away from acceptance of EDC.
(b) A real desire to bring about more settled conditions in the Far East because of Soviet uneasiness that the trouble spots there were getting somewhat out of control.
(c) To provide for a conference on Indo-China which could only be to the advantage of the Communists since almost any settlement which would be made under the present circumstances would lead to difficulties between France and the Associated States and eventually to Communist control of the whole peninsula.
11. Other less important indications of Soviet intentions were revealed at Berlin. Molotov made many efforts to split the three Western Ministers, not only on EDC and the Five Power Conference but also on such matters as the promise of increased East-West trade. The conduct of the Soviet representatives throughout the Conference suggested some desire on their part for a relaxation of tensions, in that their manner was not so pugnacious as usual. However it was evident that while the Soviet representatives might be seeking to lower the atmosphere of tension they were not prepared to give anything for such a relaxation. It was possible, of course, that their somewhat more restrained conduct of business was meant merely to contribute material for the use of their peace propagandists. The stress laid by Molotov on the desirability of holding further Big Power meetings was evident but the motives behind this move were not clear. Molotov may have hoped to divide the Western Foreign Ministers by his vague suggestions as to what might be accomplished at additional Big Power meetings, or his efforts may have been designed to prevent a clear-cut breaking-point on the problem of a European settlement which would tend to crystallize Western opinion against Soviet intransigence. Finally Molotov's references to disarmament were interesting but there was little to guide the Western delegates as to their real meaning. It was possible that they were merely designed for the use of Communist peace propagandists.
12. Aside from these indications of definite Soviet intention, Mr. Bowie indicated that he brought away three main impressions from the meeting;
(a) that there was a Soviet desire to keep the door of the conference room open;
(b) that the Soviet attempt to reduce tension without modifying its foreign policies might be a possible indication of the growing importance of Soviet domestic problems, and
(c) that the Soviet stand with respect to East Germany and especially Austria might indicate the growing influence of the Soviet Army on Soviet policy since the Army was in the best position to assess the effects on other Soviet satellites of any restrictions on Soviet military activity in these two areas.
13. The Chairman then turned to consideration of the situation in the Middle East. He outlined the course of events which had led to the recent announcement of United States military aid to Pakistan within the framework of the Turkish-Pakistan Agreement. About a year and a half ago the Pakistan Government had informed the United States Government that it would have to reduce its defence forces by two divisions because the economy could not support them. At that time the Pakistan representatives had also indicated, however, that their country was "prepared to stand up and be counted" as a foe of communist imperialism but that it could offer little practical assistance without military aid from the United States. The United States Government was faced with a dilemma. It was thoroughly alive to the difficulties which would arise in United States-Indian relations as a result of United States military aid to Pakistan, which would be regarded by the Indian Government as a breach in the Asiatic neutrality bloc. The United States Government could not, however, in view of its stated objectives, refuse to accept the support of a willing ally in the fight against Communist imperialism. Further, the United States Government had made it clear that it did not accept the concept that neutrality was possible in the event of the outbreak of a major war. It was the United States' view, and it had been stated many times publicly, that no neutrality bloc could act as a bridge between the Free and the Communist worlds. The United States Government did indicate, however, that it would find it easier to grant military aid to Pakistan if it could be done within the framework of some area defence agreement under the United Nations.
14. The Chairman digressed for a moment to indicate to the meeting the general thinking of the United States Government with respect to a Middle Eastern Defence Organization. He said that the original concept of a Middle Eastern Defence Organization had had to be discarded or at least indefinitely delayed. It might be possible to arrive at an agreement involving "bits and pieces of the Middle East" but even this was uncertain. However, an agreement of the Northern tier of nations in the Middle East, that is Turkey, Iran, Iraq and Pakistan, did seem possible and practical. The present Government of Iran was more favourably disposed towards the West than the Mossadegh Government had been. Iran need no longer be written off and might join in an area defence agreement at the proper time. The Government of Iran, however, had been unable to go far publicly in this respect because of its dispute with the United Kingdom over an oil settlement. The Chairman said that within the last day or two there had been some evidence that an Anglo-Iranian agreement was in sight which would involve operation of the oil fields by a consortium made up 40 percent by the Anglo-Iranian Company, 40 percent by United States companies, and 20 percent by French companies and Royal Dutch Shell. So far as Iraq was concerned there was some willingness on the part of its Government to participate in an area defence agreement but the basic hostility between Iraq and Israel created political difficulties. The Chairman suggested that, while this basic hostility existed and was fanned by violent speeches made for domestic political consumption by leaders on both sides, there were grounds for belief that the situation would ease in the not too distant future. In the circumstances the United States Government had welcomed the association of Turkey and Pakistan, the two ends of the line, as a step towards the future development of a broader area agreement among the Northern tier of nations. The Chairman said that only thirty million dollars had been requested of Congress for United States military aid to the Middle East. He believed it would be better spent in Pakistan and Turkey than spread thinly throughout the whole area. The United States Government regretted that President Eisenhower's message to Mr. Nehru had not been accepted in the spirit in which it was written but was happy that Indian reaction had not been sharper. He expressed the gratification of the United States Government for the attitude which had been taken publicly by the Canadian Prime Minister in this matter.
The New United States Strategy
15. Admiral Radford introduced the second item on the agenda with an analysis of United States defence policy. 52 Between the end of the last war and the beginning of 1950 the United States followed a policy of defence retrenchment which left her in an extremely weakened condition at the time of the outbreak of the Korean war. He said it was fortunate that the Communists chose to move aggressively before "we had cut our heads off". In addition the aggression occurred in the one place, Korea, where the United States could fight. Within a year United States military strength had been increased from less than a million and a half to three and a half million men. This had been possible only because of the large reserve of trained manpower which existed in the United States as a result of World War II. United States military authorities realized that there was something essentially unfair in once again placing the burden of combat on men so recently exposed in World War II and who, although they could be regarded as trained reserves, had become a bit rusty. It was not long before the inequities of this situation were brought to the attention of Congress which passed legislation limiting the service of these reserves to two years. By the end of 1952 and especially in 1953 the period of obligatory service for a large percentage of the reserves came to an end and a very high proportion of them elected to return to civilian life.
16. Concurrently with the build-up of manpower, there had been a tremendous build-up in war matériel towards a peak emergency to come in 1954. It was evident to the authorities by 1952 that this planned build-up could not be achieved because it was being done under conditions of only partial mobilization. It could only have been achieved within a controlled economy. Ultimately, therefore, the objective was moved from 1954 to 1955 and then to 1956. However, United States military authorities were well aware that there was a need for planning beyond the period of most intense crisis. It was obvious, therefore, that no matter what Administration had assumed office last year, planning for the "long pull" would have had to be a main effort. In April of last year, therefore, President Eisenhower had put the task to the new Chiefs of Staff of building a defence machine for the United States within the economic resources of the country and not requiring deficit financing for its support.
17. Admiral Radford said that military planners traditionally are not required to take economic factors into their military consideration. In this case, however, the service chiefs agreed that a sound economy was as integral a part of national security as was the military establishment. Admiral Radford said that he, as Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, found it easy to agree to this concept since he was convinced that United States military aid to its allies had been an important factor in preventing further Soviet expansion. It was not difficult, he said, to get the agreement of the Chiefs of Staff. It was with the idea that the military establishment of the United States should be built without prejudicing the health of the national economy that the Chiefs of Staff took their "new look" at United States defence requirements. The service chiefs arrived at a figure of thirty-four to thirty-five billion dollars and this was regarded by the Treasury and the Bureau of the Budget as an amount which would be considered a reasonable annual outlay for the purely military functions of the United States Defense Department. The Chiefs of Staff were aware that an additional five to six billion dollars, annually, would be available for military aid and expenditures on atomic energy.
18. Another factor, which had had to be taken into consideration in the reassessment made by the service chiefs, was that of manpower. It had been possible between 1950 and 1953 to bring service strength up to 3 1/2 million personnel by the draft, by voluntary enlistment in the Air Force and Navy, and by calling on the reserve pool. It was, however, a fortuitous circumstance that that reserve pool existed. It is estimated that approximately 1 million men turn 18 each year in the United States of which 700,000 to 800,000 can be considered prospective additions to the armed forces. In their reassessment of United States defence strength the service chiefs estimated that the maximum defence forces which could be maintained over an indefinite period based on this United States manpower pool and without dipping into reserves would have to be limited to approximately 3 million personnel. There may be some change in this situation in 1960 when it is estimated that the manpower pool will take a significant jump. Admiral Radford indicated that while manpower, therefore, was a factor, cost was the most important factor which was taken into consideration by the service chiefs. They came up, therefore, with these figures which have now been made public: i.e. Army-approximately 1 1/2 million men; Air Force-975,000; Navy and Marine-800,000. The service chiefs agreed to these manpower ceilings, however, on the understanding that they were valid only if the world situation did not deteriorate significantly and if certain overseas commitments were to be reduced. In addition the service chiefs were able to assume that they would be permitted to use atomic weapons when that use seemed desirable and particularly in support of ground troops (i.e. the tactical use of the atomic bomb).
19. He said that the service chiefs still have not finished their study of the reserve structure. It was for this reason that they wanted to get back into the United States as much as possible of the United States Army in order that it could devote attention to building up a reserve structure which would be capable of producing trained manpower under conditions of emergency mobilization. No recommendations have yet been made to Congress on the reserve structure. However, the military authorities believe that any new plan should require reservists to join reserve units during the six year period in which they are obligated to be a part of the United States Reserve Army. While the obligation exists at the moment that soldiers discharged from active service continue in Reserve status for six years, an insignificant number of these reservists became associated with reserve units. The service chiefs are well aware that the voluntary enlistment rate in the Air Force and the Navy was kept up only because of the pressure of the draft and because a shooting war was going on in Korea. With reductions in monthly draft calls and the ending of the fighting in Korea, the Navy and the Air Force may have a good deal of trouble reaching the manpower ceilings which have been established. Finally the service chiefs are acutely aware that there is a lack of re-enlistment and believe that more inducement must be offered if the quality of the services (aside from the quantity) is to be increased. It is re-enlistments which increase the quality of an Army not first enlistments or draftees. In the short run therefore the problem of maintaining the desired qualitative standards, especially in the Air Force and the Navy, is more one of obtaining trained manpower than of appropriations. He pointed out the obvious inconsistency of the present circumstances in which, under GI benefits, an individual is given $6,000. if he leaves the service and only $300 if he re-enlists. This factor of increased quality is of special importance in the field of continental defence where the first requirement is to have a large organization of highly trained individuals of above-average intelligence. The increasing technical complications of Air Force operations underline the need for re-enlistments.
Discussion of Soviet Intentions and the New United States Strategy
20. The meeting then proceeded to discuss the briefs which had been presented by Mr. Bowie and Admiral Radford. The Chairman emphasized his opinion that not too long a period of time should be allowed to elapse between these meetings. Mr. Heeney recalled the original purpose of the meetings, pointing out that they had been begun in a time when international tensions seemed somewhat greater than at the moment, and when it seemed possible that the United States Government might feel compelled, at short notice, to employ the atomic bomb. The decision to hold periodic meetings of "consultation" developed from views exchanged between President Truman, Prime Minister Attlee and Prime Minister St. Laurent in December 1950. These meetings had been designed to provide for informal exchange of information and views and for a review of the "danger spots" with particular reference to situations in which the United States might consider using the atomic bomb. 53
21. Mr. Heeney indicated that, from the Canadian side, there seemed to be nothing of importance to add to Mr. Bowie's interpretation of the Berlin Conference. He did ask, however, whether other United States sources of intelligence support the general proposition that seemed to be accepted by the West, that international tension was now less than it had been even though Soviet long-term objectives had not changed. The Chairman thought that this was true when the usual limitations on intelligence estimates were taken into consideration. He stressed, however, that while there might be some indication of relaxation in tension, we were faced for an indefinite period with the threat of possible Soviet aggression which was serious enough to make it imperative that we be given the maximum of warning of any indications of the possible renewal of direct Soviet aggression. He thought that the view was somewhat less strongly held that we might be exposed to a sudden and surprise attack, "say the day after to-morrow", but not to the extent of reducing the sense of urgency concerning the development of the necessary continental defence.
22. Admiral Radford pointed out that the Canadian authorities were aware of the United States military estimate that the Soviet Union was unlikely to launch a war of aggression within the next three years. They were also aware, however, that it was the United States military estimate that the Soviet Union had the capability of launching a war any time and that one could not discount the dangers of an accidental outbreak of war. He was anxious, he said, that no doubt should be left in anyone's mind as to how the United States military regarded the idea that tension had been relaxed. He suggested that the relaxation of tension was more in our minds than in the minds of Soviet planners and that the Soviet Union was keeping up a pressure on the West which should cause us as much concern today as it did three years ago. In those three years, of course, Western strength had grown more rapidly relative to Soviet strength, but since Soviet strength had never been seriously reduced after World War II, this should be cold comfort to us. He envisioned the Soviet threat as a three-pronged offensive on the psychological, economic and military fronts. It was possible, with some assurance, to estimate the military threat. It was almost impossible to estimate the extent of the psychological and economic threat and it was here that he thought the West would have its greatest problems.
23. The Chairman elaborated on Admiral Radford's point. He said that in the United States estimate the Soviet Union would not actively seek to launch a war in the next three years. On the other hand there was no significant change in Soviet foreign policy, even though that policy involved the possibility that the Soviet Union would be led into war. As time went on continued Soviet adherence to such policies might in fact make more acute the danger of the sudden outbreak of war. He stressed the difficulty of defining relaxation of tension, but however it was defined, it should not be interpreted by the West as grounds for any decrease in Western defence efforts.
24. Mr. Heeney expressed general agreement with this United States estimate. He then turned to a discussion of the implications of the new United States strategy for its allies. He recalled that in the formative years of NATO, Canadian representatives had done all they could to assist their United States colleagues in encouraging efforts on the part of the alliance to build up its strength. At the last Council meeting, however, the emphasis was shifted from the concept of the particular year of crisis to that of the "long pull" and it was agreed, with the full concurrence of the United States, that more consideration would have to be given to the economic basis of the NATO defence effort. This emphasis on better defence for less cost, taken together with public discussion of the United States "new look" in defence strategy, has raised in the minds of some of our European colleagues the fear that the United States might be embarking on a policy of gradual disengagement from its commitments abroad and turning away, in some measure at least, from support of the concept of collective security. Some chose to interpret the scheduled withdrawal of two United States divisions from Korea as further evidence of disengagement. While Canadian authorities could appreciate the factors which had led to certain re-adjustments in United States defence strategy, it was often difficult to combat such interpretations of United States intentions by friends in ignorance and by enemies in malevolence who criticized the United States. It was in this respect that these meetings of consultation were so important. They provided the Canadian authorities with an opportunity to get further information at a high level on the motives which underlay United States policy re-adjustments and put them in a better position to answer the questions posed by their European colleagues. He was certain that the United States Government appreciated the necessity of consultation with its allies on matters of such extreme importance as United States defence strategy. Without consultation the allies of the United States might be kept in as much doubt as the potential aggressor as to the real intentions of the United States.
25. The Chairman said he was fully aware of the problem raised by Mr. Heeney for United States representatives were faced with similar questions at every turn. He said he thought he would be breaking no confidence in referring to a comment made by President Eisenhower at a meeting earlier that day of the National Security Council. The Council was considering the first long-term planning paper (and the Chairman emphasized it was the first such paper) designed to present United States policy objectives not in terms of the next year or the current budget or the present Administration, but in terms of the long-range interests of the United States. The President had commented that responsible United States authorities would be fools if they did not realize that United States planning has to be in generations, in the same sense as Soviet planning had been since the success of the Revolution. The Chairman assured the meeting that United States commitments to NATO and EDC were as firm as they had ever been. He said, however, that because people must be constantly reassured, even of the obvious, the United States Government intended to reaffirm publicly these commitments in the not too distant future.
26. The Chairman said that while the United States Government fully appreciated the important implications that United States defence policy had for NATO and EDC, it also seemed reasonable that the European allies should take into account the emergency build-up of United States defence forces between 1950 and 1953, the amount of foreign military aid granted by the United States, its contributions in manpower and money to NATO, and the expense of United States support of the French in Indo-China. All these efforts had cost a great deal of money and there were Europeans who worried about economic collapse in the United States. It was in these terms that the new look in United States defence had to be explained to the European allies of the United States. He hoped that on their side they realized how important it was that France ratify the European Defence Community treaty this year. They must also be convinced that the late awakening of the United States to an awareness of the paucity of its continental defences was not a return to isolationism. The shoring up of those defences in the face of known Soviet capabilities was an act of pure military prudence and of vital importance to the defences of the Western world. Mr. Heeney asked if it was correct to assume that the United States continued to place the same weight as in the past on NATO as a deterrent to Soviet aggression. The Chairman replied that such an assumption was correct.
27. Admiral Radford pointed out that NATO and the United States had no alternative to the "long pull" and that the West must continue to live with the Soviet threat. The West is stronger than it was a few years ago and to the degree that it is stronger, there is probably some relaxation of tension. But there has been no removal of threat. A world divided between two powerful antagonists is not a happy world, but a situation of tension is preferable to atomic warfare. In his estimate a world divided between two major powers, in one of which only the desire for peace exists, is much more exposed to the danger that war will break out than is a world divided between two powers, both of which are ready for a war but which are prepared to exist without it under conditions of constant tension. The Chairman supported Admiral Radford's argument by referring to the fact that it was the lack of a power balance which in two instances led to the outbreak of major world wars. Any sense of security would be false unless it is firmly based on increased and increasing allied strength.
Continental and Civil Defence
28. General Foulkes said he would like to express on behalf of the Canadian services their appreciation for the willingness of the United States authorities to convene such meetings of consultation as this. Following along the line of thought which Mr. Heeney had developed, it would be much easier to deal with questions concerning the new United States defence policy which might be asked by European colleagues when opportunities such as this meeting were presented at which the Canadian authorities could learn more about United States intentions. In addition, United States views put forward at these meetings were obviously of great importance to Canadian planners as they tackled the problems of how best to provide adequate defences for Canada. He went on to refer to the problem of providing appropriate civil defence for Canada in the light of the increased capabilities of the Soviet Union to launch a successful atomic attack on the continent. He expressed the hope that it might be possible to issue some public statement on the work which had already been done on the mid-Canada early warning radar chain before the United States film on the 1952 hydrogen bomb test at Eniwetok was made available for public showing. The Chairman said that public showing of the film was still being delayed in spite of pressure from civil defence authorities for its release. In this the State Department have supported the Defense Department's view that it should be held up until at least after the Geneva Conference. In answer to a question by Mr. Heeney as to why there seemed to be a "second round" of articles in the press on continental defence, the Chairman said he thought civil defence authorities were responsible. They had found that they had to scare people thoroughly if they were to get their appropriations through Congress. It went even further than the question of money, in that civil defence authorities were finding it very difficult to interest the citizenry in the subject. This was one of the reasons why these authorities were pressing so vigorously for the release of the film. State Department and Defense Department authorities, however, were concerned that the use of such a scare technique might get out of hand and result in impossible demands being made upon the Government for expenditures in the field of continental defence. Mr. Bryce said that the same problem of perspective existed for the Canadian Government and asked if any decisions had been taken in the United States as to the limitation of the size of urban areas or the dispersion of industry and government.
29. Admiral Radford said that in his opinion civil defence authorities should concentrate on building up a sound professional staff and should leave the "arm waving and emotion" to voluntary organizations. He said that there had already been pressure for large-scale civil defence exercises in the United States but that the Defense Department was attempting to have them delayed, for in his opinion they were likely to give rise to more trouble than they were worth. The Chairman said that the United States Government was working on the problem of dispersion of industry and government. In this field the generous loan and depreciation benefits granted to new industries which would locate themselves in relatively isolated areas was a powerful lever. No steps were being taken to limit the size of urban areas, primarily because no one had been able to decide how it could be done successfully. Admiral Radford said that the whole question of dispersal of industry had to be most carefully considered, for it was important that highly industrialized centres not become pockets of depression. Most of the plans offered for really large-scale dispersion were simply not realistic. The natural trend in industry siting at the moment was on the outskirts of large cities. Some workers travelled as much as 30 and 40 miles from the large cities in which they lived to the plants in which they worked. It was the height of foolishness to locate a plant 30 or 40 miles from the city for its protection while the workers required to operate the plant lived in congested cities exposed to the most disastrous effects of atomic bombing. The Chairman referred to the war-time experience of the Allies in Germany where it was finally decided that the human element was the only really vulnerable one in German aircraft production. Only when German aircraft workers were seriously discommoded did production fall off. Bombing of the plants alone had very little effect.
30. General Foulkes said that he was coming around to the view that civil defence must be brought in line with our present thinking of the Soviet capabilities to attack the continent. In Canada and, so far as he knew, in the United States present civil defence activity followed the lines of that carried out in London during the last war. It was what he called the "village pump system", i.e. local civil defence organizations working in their immediate areas. In the changed circumstances brought about by the possible use of the atomic bomb the civil defence organization would go up with the rest of the town. There was, it seemed to him, a need for a civil defence organization which could be moved from place to place and which was controlled centrally. Survival would be the dominating factor in the first 30 days of atomic attack and it was essential, therefore, that some civil defence organization should be capable of reducing the impact immediately the war broke out. He wondered if it might not be possible to use the bulk of the static armed forces in the country for this work, those who, for example, would normally be concerned with handing out quartermaster stores and administering large army camps. So far as he could see some such organization would be the only alternative to an expansion of a permanent civil defence organization of the type presently in existence. He thought that mobile columns might be organized whose task it would be immediately upon the outbreak of war to transport such members of the armed forces as had been assigned civil defence duties to areas of greatest need. In addition prior attention would have to be given to the dispersal of hospital supplies and protective equipment.
31. Admiral Radford said he was in complete agreement with this concept of a civil defence organization. The Chairman said he would certainly like to have these views on paper for examination by the United States authorities. It was pointed out by General Foulkes and Mr. Bryce that these ideas did not have Canadian Government approval but were merely the preliminary opinions of the Chiefs of Staff. However, they agreed that some consideration might be given to passing the views in writing and informally to the United States authorities.
32. General Foulkes said that the Canadian authorities felt that they had increasing reason for concern that little if any warning would be given before a Soviet attack. The extent of the warning which might be expected obviously had an important bearing on defence planning. In recent conversations with General Gruenther it had been indicated that probably three days' warning was all that could be expected. Admiral Radford said that at the moment, because of the lack of adequate early warning systems on this continent, the United States Joint Chiefs are assuming that they would be given no warning whatsoever of an attack. So far as NATO was concerned, he too had been talking to General Gruenther and found his worry to be that even if he had three to five days' warning he would probably be unable to use it since he would not be able to convince some of his European colleagues of the imminence of attack. They might even argue that to make such overt moves as would be necessary to reduce the success of a surprise attack would only serve to ensure that that surprise attack take place. The problem in the United States to which the Joint Chiefs had been giving some thought was over what period of time could an alert status be maintained. Could you, for example, have every one on 100 percent alert for a few days or weeks, with reductions in the degree of alert as the danger passed? What they really hoped to evolve was a degree of alert which could be maintained successfully in this country without loss of public interest over an indefinite period.
33. Both sides agreed that the problem of what degree of warning we would get of a Soviet attack was one to which a great deal of thought had to be devoted.
34. General Foulkes said that this problem of time of warning was of immediate concern to the Canadian service authorities. With Canadian air squadrons in Europe the problem was one of achieving maximum flexibility. If we were assured that adequate warning would be given it would not be necessary to have stations fully manned and it would be possible to rotate personnel in such a manner as to do away in large measure with the need for permanent housing in Europe for dependents.
Reserves for Europe
35. The problem was also directly relevant to the question of getting reserves to Europe in time to stem the initial Soviet ground attack. If there was not sufficient warning to get reserves to Europe, not only would we be at a serious disadvantage in ground strength but even the effect of the tactical use of atomic weapons would be seriously lessened by our inability to force the enemy to concentrate. There was a question in his mind also as to whether the strategic reserve to be built up in the United States would be of any use in Europe if there was to be no warning or very little warning. Admiral Radford agreed on the importance of as much advance warning as possible. The question of supplying reserves to Europe was one which gave him great concern. It was "fantastic" in his opinion to believe that the U.S. NATO commitment of two divisions by D+30 days could be honoured. The best that could be done in the most ideal circumstances would be the provision of these two divisions in D+45 to D+60 days. The aim of the NATO defence organization was the provision of balanced collective forces and in his opinion the European allies must be brought to realize that it was their job to provide the bulk of the ground troops which would meet the initial attack of the enemy. In this context, of course, a German contribution of manpower was essential. He said that when he spoke of the tactical use of the atomic bomb he had in mind a deep tactical offensive use which was something short of strategic bombing and something more than tactical bombing in front of our own troops. He thought it was important that in our planning we did not give the enemy more capability than he had. For example, he said that some of the Soviet planes which alarmed us so far as continental defence was concerned are the same planes which alarmed General Gruenther in Europe. In NATO we are fully aware of the logistic problems which will have to be met in keeping our forces supplied. The enemy will have many of the same problems and there are grounds for thinking that we are solving them faster than he is.
36. He summed up his appreciation of this situation in the following terms: If NATO was ever to be the instrument in the defences of the free world which it was supposed to be it would soon have to have a German military contribution. 54 The United States was prepared for the indefinite future to maintain the present level of its forces in Europe. Any additional power which NATO needed from outside Europe could not be in the form of ground troops, at least in the initial stages. It was nonsense to believe that reserves could be moved from the United States in time to have any effect on the early stages of the battle. On the other hand the Air Force was highly mobile and could bomb both strategically and tactically almost from the outset of the war.
37. The new Chiefs of Staff had, in their reassessment of United States defence strength, also stressed the importance of a build-up of a strategic reserve of men and matériel in the United States. While some of that reserve strength would probably be moved to support the NATO ground effort as soon as such a move was possible, some elements of it would be kept for eventual use against the Soviet Union in the right place at the proper time. A build-up of Western strength on the ground in Europe which might eventually lead to stalemate with Russian forces would not serve the purposes of the West. The new Chiefs of Staff had believed, therefore, that they must have immediate control of sufficient reserve strength so that it could be committed where it would best serve the interests of the free world.
38. General Foulkes agreed that in the initial stages at least any Russian ground attack would have to be met with the NATO troops on the ground and NATO commanders could not plan on the usefulness of reserves from overseas. Some discussion ensued between the Chairman, Admiral Radford and General Foulkes as to the possibility of stockpiling equipment in Europe for reserves in order that the personnel might be moved quickly by air. Admiral Radford said that there was no present intention on the part of the United States authorities to stockpile equipment in this fashion. The Chairman said that more attention would have to be given to the problem of marrying up troops and stockpiled supplies.
Mid-Canada Early Warning Line
39. General Foulkes then gave the meeting a progress report on the mid-Canada early warning radar line, pointing out that it was not, as some people tended to regard it, a southern line but one which bordered on the sub-Arctic. With the aid of a map he indicated the progress of the site survey now underway on which the RCAF and USAF have co-operated. Before dealing in detail with the site survey, he recalled for the meeting the requirements which had been set up for the radar line to meet requirements up to 1960; that it must be capable of handling aircraft at speeds up to 550 knots, flying singly or in groups, from 200 ft. to 65,000 ft.; that the interval between the stations be not more than 30 miles; that information that the line had been crossed had to reach Air Defence Command headquarters within three minutes; and that it had to be capable of discerning friend from foe, even though it was essentially a warning line and not an identification device. To assist in the identification process it would be necessary to introduce conventional scanning radar at certain points across the line. Canadian authorities favoured the setting up of a number of gates in the line through which all friendly aircraft would have to pass. Not only would this help in the identification of friend and foe, but it would introduce a flying discipline for civilian aircraft in time of peace, which would be useful in time of war. He said that Canadian authorities thought that in peacetime the line would serve the civil purpose of locating lost aircraft. If an aircraft did not use the gates someone would be sent up to investigate.
40. General Foulkes went on to indicate the progress of the site reconnaissance in the various sectors of the line. Work on the Atlantic and Pacific sectors would be delayed somewhat because of heavy snows, but the reconnaissance of the other three sectors would probably be completed by the end of this month. The difficult location of the line might prove valuable in the long run in that the possibility of sabotage would be reduced. Some of the line would, for example, have to be serviced by helicopter. A target date of June 1st had been set for the completion of reconnaissance of the whole line. It was estimated that the line, or a major part of it, would be in operation by the end of 1956. Individual sectors of the line might be put in operation as they were completed without waiting for the whole line to be completed. It was estimated that 400-500 men would be sufficient to operate the whole line. Tests of a pilot model of the line would probably be run in March. The line when completed would provide at least three hours early warning in Canada and more extended warning in the United States. Admiral Radford expressed enthusiastic interest in the North-South line running south from Churchill since it was the first indication he had had that such a line was being built.
41. Admiral Radford said that the United States Service chiefs were anxious to proceed rapidly but surely with the development of adequate early warning systems, although there had been some attempt to stampede them into acceptance of schemes of unproven reliability and practicability. General Foulkes said that the Service authorities in Canada had the same aim and hoped therefore to be able to test the mid-Canada line before giving attention to any more distant early warning system. The question of some public statement on the progress of the work was raised again, and Admiral Radford gave General Foulkes a draft press release which, it was proposed, might be released by Senate Armed Services Committee with respect to the briefing it had received from the United States Joint Chiefs of Staff on the problem of continental defence. Admiral Radford said that it was completely innocuous, but he would not agree to its release until it had been discussed with Canadian authorities.
42. General Foulkes made reference to one final point with respect to continental defence which was of some concern to Canadian authorities. The Canadian public would be inclined to question any development which would require the presence in Canada of USAF squadrons for the purposes of continental defence when a Canadian air division was in Europe. While this could be explained in military terms, it was not politically desirable. 55 The Chairman and Admiral Radford said they fully appreciated the Canadian problem.
43. The meeting ended with agreement on both sides that no mention of these meetings of consultation should be made in any public statement, but that responsible authorities of both countries might be asked to co-operate in the preparation of a draft press release or public statement concerning the progress of installations for continental defence. 56