Volume #26 - 192.|
RELATIONS WITH THE UNITED STATES
DEFENCE AND SECURITY ISSUES
Ambassador in United States|
to Secretary of State for External Affairs
TELEGRAM WISER 73|
TOP SECRET. WISER. OPIMMEDIATE.
April 9th, 1959|
Reference: Our Tel WISER 72 Apr 9. 397
TEXT OF REVISED SCHEDULE B AND TEXT OF DRAFT USA NOTE
Following is text of draft of Revised Schedule B dealing with movement of aircraft across the border and with methods of clearing flights of USA service aircraft over Canadian territory (WISER procedures): Begins: Methods of clearing flights of USA military aircraft over Canadian territory where the movement of nuclear weapons is involved.
Note: All USA military aircraft carrying nuclear weapons are to comply with the restrict-tions on routing, heights, and numbers laid down in Schedule A, Part I, Section 1. Nothing in this schedule relates to overflight by interceptors armed with nuclear rockets, which are covered by other arrangements.
Code Letter Y Type of Flight
Flights carrying nuclear weapons or nuclear components thereof which are undertaken as part of routine deployments, stockpiling, increasing readiness posture or emergency dispersal of nuclear weapons, using bases in Canada and/or overflying Canadian territory. This category includes bomber or transport aircraft carrying nuclear weapons.
Flight programs covering a 6 month period will be cleared at governmental level (State-External Affairs). Individual flights to be cleared in advance between Chiefs of Air Staff. Necessary modification to, and contingency requirements not included in the flight programs will be cleared in advance between Chiefs of Air Staff.
Code Letter Z
Flights carrying nuclear weapons or nuclear components thereof and engaged on strikes or deployments for strikes using bases in Canada or overflying Canadian territory. This category covers the case where an immediate strike is contemplated. Government-to-Government. (State Department-External Affairs). At the earliest possible indication of such a requirement, a request will be submitted through previously arranged channels to allow expeditious action by Canada. Ends.
Following is text of draft USA Note on the Need for Revision of the MB-1 Overflight Agreement: Begins:
I have the honor to refer to the exchanges of notes of February 19 and June 28, 1957, and May 12 and June 30, 1958, between our two governments, authorizing the carriage of MB-1 weapons over Canada by USA interceptors under certain conditions.398 These agreements have greatly enhanced the joint air-defense capability of our two countries. This capability, the USA Government believes, can be still further enhanced, particularly in view of the recently establi-shed North American Air Defense Command, by modifying the existing agreement in the respects set forth hereinafter.
There are four features of the existing arrangements which the USA Government believes should now be reconsidered and modified to reflect prospective technological advances and the long-range air defense needs of NORAD.
First, arrangements to date have been made on a year-to-year basis and the present agreement will expire in a matter of months, on July 1, 1959. It has been contemplated that these provisional arrangements would be supplanted at an appropriate time by more permanent arrangements. In view of the establishment and successful operation of the integrated North American Air Defense Command, the USA Government believes it would now be appropriate and operationally advisable to accord these arrangements the same duration as NORAD.
Second, the existing interim agreement concerns only the MB-1, a specific model of air defense weapon. The USA Government believes that the language should take account of the fact that technological advances may produce weapons of different nomenclature during the many years NORAD may continue.
Third, the interim arrangements apply to an area which geographically is much smaller than the area of NORAD responsibility. In view of the present and prospective range of nuclear-capable interceptors, operating from the USA, including Alaska, it seems advisable to the USA Government that existing geographical limitations should be removed in order that these inter-ceptors may carry out their functions everywhere within the area of NORAD's responsibilities.
Finally, the interim arrangement could impair the potential effectiveness of the interceptors involved by limiting their nuclear-capable flights to conditions of air defense warning yellow or red. The effect of this restriction is to preclude overflights during the critical period between first warning of approaching air attack and actual hostile penetration of the air defense combat zone. The USA Government considers that warning of approaching air attack justifies the taking of prompt defensive measures in response and that, therefore, it is necessary to launch these flights when a condition of at least air defense readiness has been declared by CINCNORAD.
Accordingly, the USA Government proposes that henceforth USA interceptor aircraft under the operational control of NORAD be authorized to carry nuclear air defense weapons over Canada in accordance with the following principles:
1. The authorization shall continue in force for the period of operation of the integrated North American Air Defence Command.
2. Such aircraft armed with nuclear air defense weapons may enter Canadian air space whenever a condition of air defense readiness, or a higher state of alert, is declared by CINCNORAD. Such aircraft may land at, and take off from, military airfields in Canada.
3. The rules for interception and engagement of hostile aircraft over Canadian territory shall be those established from time to time by the Canadian Government for Canadian military aircraft over Canadian territory, or as established by CINCNORAD upon approval by the appropriate authorities of the two governments.
4. The USA Government will continue to take the utmost precaution in designing nuclear air defense weapons, and will exercise equal precaution in establishing operational procedures, to insure a minimum possibility of public hazard when employment of such weapons is necessary. Representatives of the RCAF will continue to be thoroughly informed by the USAF concerning both storage and operational safety measures.
5. The USA Government will take measures to insure that the Canadian Government is immediately notified of any crash in Canadian territory of a USA military aircraft carrying nuclear air defense weapons.
6. In accordance with such agreements as have been or may be concluded between the two governments with respect to the transfer of atomic information, and pursuant to detailed arrangements between the USAF and the RCAF, designated RCAF personnel will be provided with training necessary for appraisal, monitoring, and decontamination in the event of accident involving nuclear air defense weapons. In the event salvage is necessary, the USAF will send trained personnel at any time, upon request of the RCAF, to assist in the operation.
7. Any information to be released by the two governments, jointly or separately, concerning this subject will be processed in accordance with the understanding of March 19, 1951, which governs the release of publicity relating to joint Canadian-USA defense plans and operations.
If the foregoing principles are acceptable to your Government, I propose that this note and your reply thereto shall constitute an agreement between our two governments, replacing the current MB-1 overflight agreement effective on the date of your reply.
Accept, Excellency, the renewed assurances of my highest consideration. Ends.
397Voir/See Document 172.
398Voir le volume 25, document 26, note 60./See Volume 25, Document 26, footnote 60.