In view of your approval of the Departmental memorandum of February 4 on security clearances in the Secretariat of ICAO, Mr. Ritchie to-day telephoned to Brigadier Booth, the Canadian Representative on the Council of ICAO. He told Brigadier Booth that we were quite concerned about the accounts we had heard to the effect that the Secretary-General of ICAO intended to permit the facilities of ICAO Headquarters to be used for the distribution and collection of security questionnaires issued by the United States authorities. He then outlined our suggestion that some other way could be found of achieving United States security objectives without having ICAO circulate the questionnaires or collect them for return to the United States authorities and that even if the Secretary-General did circulate the questionnaires it should be made plain that he was doing so on behalf of the United States Government. Brigadier Booth telephoned back later in the day to say that he had now had an opportunity to speak to the Secretary-General on this subject. The Secretary-General had in fact handed out the questionnaires to the sixteen American employees in the internationally recruited group of the Secretariat. (These seem to be the numbers involved although there may be Americans among the locally engaged Secretariat.) In doing so, the Secretary-General had explained that he was only acting as a post office for the American authorities. The employees would reply direct to the United States Consulate in Montreal. Fingerprinting would also take place at the United States Consulate. The Secretary-General asked to be informed, as a matter of record, what employees had filled in the questionnaires. This procedure was working quite smoothly. No American employees so far had objected to filling out the questionnaires and there had been no publicity. Should any publicity questions be asked by the press, the Secretary-General would reply in the terms of a short statement which he had drawn up.
2. Brigadier Booth had also spoken to Admiral Smith, the United States Representative, who had prepared a short statement himself on the United States position to be used should necessity arise. The statement stressed that the United States authorities were anxious to ensure the highest integrity of United States employees in the Secretariat. Brigadier Booth said that the situation seemed well in hand and he did not anticipate any unpleasant developments.
3. He added that the possibility might of course arise of some member of the Secretariat refusing to fill in the questionnaire or of the questionnaire resulting in an adverse report on an American member of the Secretariat. The Secretary-General had informed the United States authorities that in either of these events, he would receive a statement of the facts from the United States authorities but that these would be in no way binding upon him to take any action with regard to the employee in question.
4. We are today informing the American Embassy in an informal fashion of the interest which we take in this problem in so far as it concerns ICAO.2
2 Note marginale:/Marginal note: This matter seems to have been very sensibly handled in Montreal -- a pleasing and possibly a valuable contrast! L.B. P[earson]