Recently the United States State Department handed to our Embassy in Washington a draft
Aide-Mémoire proposing that the Canada-United States-United Kingdom Combined Policy
Committee, established in 1943 to further the atomic bomb project, be reactivated with expanded
terms of reference.
The United States proposals (attached as Appendix A) stem directly from the Declaration of
Common Purpose53 signed by President Eisenhower and Prime Minister Macmillan in October of
1957 which emphasized the need for interdependence, particularly in the broad defence field.
Revisions to the United States Atomic Energy Act, passed by Congress at its last Session, as
noted in the draft Aide-Mémoire, permit more extensive co-operation to be carried out in the
nuclear field. Reactivation of the Combined Policy Committee along the lines proposed is
considered by the United States and the United Kingdom (which has agreed to the United States
proposals) to be a logical next step forward as it would provide an umbrella for practical forms of
co-operation in military research and development, in both the nuclear and non-nuclear fields,
and appropriate Ministerial machinery through which the various forms of technical co-operation
could be guided and stimulated. It would also obviate any difficulties which the setting up of any
new machinery would create.
The United States Government is now proposing that the revised Combined Policy
Committee be given authority to establish broad policy and procedures for scientific and
technical co-operation in research and development for military purposes, both nuclear and non-
nuclear. It would operate within the limits of the constitutions and statutes of the Governments
represented on it, and would continue the functions at present performed by the Combined
Development Agency with regard to procurement and allocation of uranium ore. The more
specific responsibilities it would assume are set out in the attachment to the draft Aide-Mémoire.
The United States also propose that the membership of the reactivated Committee would be,
for the United States, the Secretary of State (who would be chairman of the Committee), the
Secretary of Defence, and the Chairman of the Atomic Energy Commission, or their alternates;
for the United Kingdom the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs, the Minister of Defence and
the Chairman of the Atomic Energy Authority, or their alternates; and for Canada, the Secretary
of State for External Affairs, the Minister of National Defence and the President of the Atomic
Energy Control Board, or their alternates.
- The draft Aide-Mémoire proposes three principal changes in the terms of reference as drawn
up in 1943.
Canada, nominally at least, would be a full member of the Committee rather than merely
represented on it. Representation for the three countries would be equal both qualitatively and
numerically. It should be noted, however, that Canadian representatives would be unable to
participate in all of the proposed sub-groups. The revised United States Atomic Energy Act
would still restrict certain exchanges with Canada on, for example, matters dealing with atomic
warheads. This might also be the case in the field of nuclear propulsion, although it is anticipated
that it will be possible to devise flexible procedures to meet the problem.
The Committee would become involved in the non-nuclear as well as the nuclear aspects of
scientific and technical weapons research and development.
As the three Governments would each have two Ministers on the Committee, it would be
possible to facilitate a higher degree of political supervision and control of matters falling within
the Committee's responsibilities.
- It is believed that Canada should agree to the United States proposals and accept
membership on the reconstituted Committee for the following reasons:
The United States proposals clearly reflect recognition on the part of the United States and
the United Kingdom of the useful role which Canada can play in the technical aspects of
weapons development and of Canada's interests in this field.
Canada would also benefit greatly from the additional information concerning current United
States and United Kingdom projects which membership on the reactivated Committee would
provide, and which would be of positive benefit in connection with our share in the defence of
Membership would also provide a further channel of influencing thinking, particularly
United States thinking, on research and development questions and possibly, eventually, certain
defence production questions which might arise, although it is not the present intention of either
the United States or the United Kingdom to extend the scope of the Committee's functions to the
Accordingly, the Secretary of State for External Affairs
that the Cabinet
approve Canadian membership on the Combined Policy Committee reactivated along the lines
proposed in the United States draft Aide-Mémoire.
[PIÈCE JOINTE 1/ENCLOSURE 1]
DRAFT AIDE MÉMOIRE
The United States Government believes that in order to advance co-operation among the
United States, the United Kingdom and Canada in research and development in military fields
where the three countries have mutual defence interests, it would be useful to establish some
supervisory institutional arrangement. It is suggested that for this purpose the Combined Policy
Committee be reactivated with appropriate new guidelines.
The Combined Policy Committee was established by the agreement of August 19, 1943, in
order to facilitate co-operation in atomic matters among the three allies. After the end of World
War II such co-operation became much more limited, and the Combined Policy Committee for
some years now has functioned only to a small extent and through correspondence. Of two
subsidiary organizations which were also established, the Combined Development Agency
(originally the Combined Development Trust) and the sub-group of scientific advisers, only the
Combined Development Agency has continued actively in its field, the joint procurement of
In the fields of non-atomic weapons research and development various arrangements for co-operation
among the three countries have now been established, principally among the military
services. Some of the co-operation carried out under these arrangements is quite extensive and it
is desired that this shall continue in the fullest possible way. More extensive co-operation in
atomic fields may also now be carried out under new United States legislation, and it is believed
that it is mutually agreed among the three countries that it is in their common interest to carry this
out to the fullest extent possible. Co-operation in both atomic and non-atomic fields, it is
believed, would be facilitated by centralized supervision.
It is suggested accordingly, that a feasible and satisfactory means of establishing this
supervision would be to reactivate the Combined Policy Committee and assign to it the
supervisory responsibility for technical co-operation for military purposes in both atomic and
non-atomic fields. An outline of principles for the organization and activity of such a reactivated
committee has been worked out informally by representatives of the three Governments and is
attached herewith. If such a procedure meets with the approval of the three Governments a
meeting of the Combined Policy Committee could be convened at a mutually satisfactory time
and the new guidelines for the Committee adopted at the meeting. It is believed that this
procedure would have the further advantage of obviating any undue publicity being given to the
action, even though the Committee's existence would continue to be an unclassified matter.
It is understood, of course, that co-operation by each country in various particular projects,
would be governed by its relevant laws and agreements with either or both of the other two; and,
furthermore, that the supervisory function of the Combined Policy Committee would supplement
but not replace nor interfere with existing working arrangements.
The United States Government would be grateful for any comment which the Governments
of the United Kingdom and of Canada might wish to make to this suggested procedure and
[PIÈCE JOINTE 2/ENCLOSURE 2]
COMBINED POLICY COMMITTEE
The United States-United Kingdom-Canada Combined Policy Committee, which was
established by the agreement of August 19, 1943, is reconstituted for the purpose of facilitating
and supervising co-operation among the three Governments in military, scientific and technical
fields. Its activities henceforth will be governed by the following principles:
The Combined Policy Committee, operating within the limits of the constitutions and statutes
of the Governments represented, will establish broad policy and procedures for scientific and
technical co-operation in research and development for military purposes, both nuclear and non-nuclear. In the
nuclear energy field the Committee will also continue to supervise procurement
and allocation of raw materials for both military and civil purposes.
Responsibilities of the Combined Policy Committee Will Be:
To review periodically and as appropriate the scientific and technical co-operation being
undertaken and planned for the future by the three Governments in military fields.
To determine or as necessary recommend to member Governments policies and procedures
which may be appropriate to make most effective co-operation in these fields for the common
defence and security.
To give policy guidance to subordinate groups as required.
To supervise the Combined Development Agency in its continuing function of procurement
of raw materials for nuclear energy.
To allocate raw materials procured by the Combined Development Agency.
Membership of the Combined Policy Committee is as follows:
For the United States: The Secretary of State, the Secretary of Defense, and the Chairman of the
Atomic Energy Commission, or their alternates.
For the United Kingdom: The Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs, the Minister of Defence, and
the Chairman of the Atomic Energy Authority, or their alternates.
For Canada: The Secretary of State for External Affairs, the Minister of National Defence, and
the President of the Atomic Energy Control Board, or their alternates.
The Chairman of the Committee is the Secretary of State of the United States.
Organization and Procedures
The Combined Policy Committee, or appropriate members thereof, will meet as is
determined to be necessary to discharge its responsibilities.
The Secretariat, consisting of one representative from each country, will continue to assist
the Combined Policy Committee in such manner as the latter may direct. Such assistance may
include: providing an official record, preparing correspondence, keeping minutes, and making
arrangements for meetings.
Subcommittees may be established to render advice and reports to the Combined Policy
Committee, to give guidance to the technical sub-groups referred to in (5) below, and to receive
reports from the technical sub-groups. Initially, a subcommittee on nuclear aspects and a sub-committee on non-
nuclear aspects will be established. The subcommittees may be modified by
the Combined Policy Committee as may be found to be desirable. The subcommittees, or
appropriate members thereof, will meet as required.
Technical sub-groups may be formed on an ad hoc basis to facilitate the exchange and
development of information in assigned areas and report to their supervisory subcommittees on
progress achieved and problems encountered. Organization and procedures will be informal,
subject to guidance and requirements established by the subcommittees. The initial sub-groups
will be in the areas identified in the report of the United States-United Kingdom-Canada
technical discussions held in December, 1957.
The subcommittees and technical sub-groups will establish their own organization and rules
of procedure as may be required.
Decisions taken by the Combined Policy Committee will reflect approval of each
Government participating. In case of disagreement, individual recommendations will be made by
the members to their respective Governments.
Participation by each member country in specific areas of co-operation will be governed by
its relevant laws and agreements with either or both of the other two member countries.
53 Voir/See United States, Department of State, Bulletin,
VolumeXXXVII, No.959, November11, 1957, pp.739-741.
54 Approuvé par le Cabinet le 9 décembre 1958./Approved by
Cabinet on December 9, 1958.