Volume #15 - 884.|
RELATIONS WITH THE UNITED STATES
CRUISE OF USS EDISTO
Under‑Secretary of State for External Affairs
to Secretary of Chiefs of Staff Committee
December 21st, 1949|
WINTER ARCTIC CRUISE OF THE U.S.S. "EDISTO"|
Attached are copies of Note No. 307 of December 19, from the United States Embassy† requesting permission for the U.S. Navy icebreaker, U.S.S. "Edisto", to enter Canadian waters in Hudson Strait, Davis Strait and Baffin Bay in the course of a winter cruise in the Arctic regions for the purpose of developing naval information on northern conditions and the practicability of winter operations in the Arctic regions.
It will be noted that "Edisto" is due to sail from a United States port on January 18, 1950.
We are informed that the ship will also sail to Denmark Strait (between Greenland and Iceland) and gather that this training cruise will be similar to the one made last winter when "Edisto" sailed to Davis Strait, Baffin Island (without managing to enter Canadian waters in the Strait or the Bay), the East and West coasts of Greenland and Iceland. In this connection, please see the letter of November 15, 1948, from Mr. Snow of the State Department to Mr. Magann of the Embassy in Washington and subsequent correspondence on your file CSC 5‑1‑7†
"Edisto "'s 1949 cruise was approved by the Canadian Government, insofar as Canadian Arctic waters were concerned, on the understanding that:
(I) as usual in the case of a U.S. Service project in Canada, the U.S. Navy would invite representatives of Canadian Departments to participate. (A total of four representatives from the R.C.N., R.C.A.F., Mines and Resources and Transport accompanied the ship);
(2) copies of all reports resulting from the expedition's activities in the Canadian Arctic would be made available to the Canadian Government;
(3) if landings in the Canadian Arctic were effected, there would be no taking of game or disturbance of the Eskimos;
(4) the U.S. Navy would provide in advance of the expedition half a dozen copies of its Operation Plan and its Projects Folder for the voyage (or similar material), so that the competent Canadian authorities would have details of the activities likely to be carried out in the Canadian Arctic;
(5) the U.S. Navy would apply for N.W.T. licenses for any scientists accompanying the ship to the Canadian Arctic who were not regular members of the U.S. Armed Forces‑the applications to indicate the names and addresses of those concerned, the nature and scope of the work they desired to carry out in the Canadian Arctic and the scientific organizations that they would be representing on the cruise. Under the recent Security Panel Recommendations, regarding security on Arctic matters, such applications would now presumably have to accompanied by assurances from the U.S. authorities that their observers had been cleared.
As last winter Washington informed us at the last minute that the U.S. Navy had arranged to take journalists on the cruise, it would seem advisable to inform the U.S. authorities that publicity on the Canadian portion of the cruise and on any Canadian participation in it should be subject to the publicity directives on CanadaU.S. defence activities and that it is assumed that Ottawa will be consulted in advance if the U.S. Navy has any thought of inviting press representatives.
As the U.S. Navy is anxious to complete arrangements for the cruise at the earliest possible opportunity, I should appreciate it if you would let me know at your earliest convenience whether the Chiefs of Staff and the Minister of National Defence have any objection to "Edisto" entering the Canadian Arctic waters mentioned‑if practicable‑in the course of its Arctic cruise and, if not, whether they wish to attach any conditions to such entry7 On the basis of last winter's experience, I suppose it is debatable whether Canada could properly insist on sending observers when it is by no means certain that ice conditions will permit "Edisto" to enter Canadian waters in the areas mentioned by the U.S. Embassy.
Should the cruise be approved and it is decided to ask that representatives of Canadian Departments be taken on it, there will, of course, be very little time to settle the questions that will arise in connection with the Canadian party and it will be very difficult to settle them rapidly if they are not handled through Service channels. I would, therefore, suggest, provided you are agreeable, that approval of the cruise, and any conditions attached to such approval, be communicated to the State Department and that all remaining matters‑apart from publicity‑be co‑ordinated in your office and, insofar as contact with the U.S. Navy is concerned, dealt with through Service channels. In view of this suggestion, I am attaching a copy of a memorandum of today's datet outlining, on the basis of last winter's experience, the action that will have to be taken if the State Department is informed that it is desired to send Canadian representatives on the cruise.
Copies of this letter and its enclosures are being sent to the Deputy Ministers of Mines and Resources and Transport with the request that they be good enough to send to you any comments or suggestions that they might wish to make with regard to the 1950 cruise. I am also sending copies of this correspondence to the Commissioner, R.C.M.P., for his information.
7Le ministre de Is Défense nationale et les chefs d'état‑major approuvèrent la venue de la croisière scion les arrangements spécifiés (1‑5). Celle approbation fut signalée au ministers des Affaires extérieures le 29 decembre 1949.