ITEM I: 105TH MEETING CABINET DEFENCE COMMITTEE, JUNE 7, 1955
MEASURES TO BE TAKEN ON AND AFTER WARNING OF ATTACK
Volume #21 - 166.|
ORGANISATION DU TRAITÉ DE L'ATLANTIQUE NORD
Note du sous-secrétaire d'État aux Affaires extérieures|
pour le secrétaire d'État aux Affaires extérieures
le 4 juin 1955|
ITEM I: 105TH MEETING CABINET DEFENCE COMMITTEE, JUNE 7, 1955
The preparation of this submission (Doc. D 11-55?) was begun following consideration by the NATO Council on July 1, 1953, of a paper outlining the three-phased alert system. At that time the Council agreed that negotiations should commence between military commanders and national authorities leading to the approval of the proposed NATO Alert Measures. The proposed SACLANT Alert Measures are listed in Appendix "A" to the submission; the proposed SACEUR Alert Measures are contained in Appendix "B". Paragraph 12(a) of the submission recommends that:
"(a) The Canadian Government accept the NATO Alert Measures which have been proposed by SACEUR and SACLANT."
2. The NATO Alert Measures which appear to be of some concern to this Department are listed in enclosure 1 to this memorandum. They relate to:
(a) the evacuation of non-combatants from Europe;
(b) the diversion and evacuation of merchant shipping from exposed areas.
These matters are referred to in the Departmental War Book. The specific provisions in the War Book relating to them will of course have to be reviewed.
3. In addition to requesting approval of the NATO Alert Measures, the submission recommends in paragraph 12(c) that:
"(c) the Canadian Government approve, for use in Canada, the three-phased system of alerts and the Canadian Military Alert measures contained at Appendix "C"."
As Reinforced Alert measure No. 20 in Appendix "C" will necessitate the calling out of certain Reserve Forces and units, paragraph 12(d) recommends that:
"(d) the Minister of National Defence be given authority to call up specified Reserve forces and units on the declaration of a Reinforced Alert, or a General Alert if the War Measures Act is not in force."
The fourth recommendation, in paragraph 12(b), is that:
"(b) the proposed amendments to Chapter II of the 1948 Government War Book as contained in the proposed revision, attached as Appendix "D", be approved."
4. The adoption by Canada of the three-phased system is logical, and perhaps inevitable, not only because standardization of procedure and nomenclature throughout NATO is inherently desirable, but also because substantial Canadian forces are committed to NATO commanders. This has, however, important political consequences. At present, as outlined in enclosure 2,? the Cabinet reserves the right to decide when the various precautionary measures are to be implemented, and when the War Measures Act is to be invoked and the Defence of Canada Regulations are to be put into effect. The NATO documents, while recognizing that each government reserves to itself the authority to commit its nation to war, and that agreement from political authorities to authorize the implementation of preliminary measures will be obtained through the Council if time permits, propose that in a sudden and extreme emergency:
(a) Supreme Commanders and their immediate subordinates be authorized to declare the Simple Alert;
(b) Supreme Commanders be authorized, in consultation with individual governments concerned and the Standing Group, to declare the Reinforced Alert;
(c) Supreme Commanders be authorized, in the event of an overt act of armed aggression anywhere in NATO area, to call upon national authorities to implement such of the [ho] General Alert measures as they deem necessary.
5. The only reference in the submission to procedures for declaring Alerts in Canada is in paragraph 9 which reads as follows:
"Under normal conditions it is expected that the Cabinet or the Cabinet Defence Committee will authorize the calling of an alert, but that under extraordinary circumstances it is expected that their authority would be delegated to the Minister of National Defence." (my underlining)
As you know, we have proposed in concert with the United Kingdom that tripartite agreement should be reached on procedures leading up to the declaration of Alerts.31 The elaboration of Canadian procedures is dependent on the result of these negotiations. In the meantime, however, I am strongly of the view that the underlined part of paragraph 9 should not be allowed to stand unquestioned. I have already argued at a recent meeting of the Interdepartmental Committee on the War Book, when this submission was considered, that, if any Minister is to have the authority to declare an Alert under extraordinary circumstances, this must be the Prime Minister. Failing him, the authority would, I suppose, fall on the Minister of National Defence, who would, of course, consult other Ministers to the extent permitted by circumstances.
6. For your information, planning is well under way for the rapid and effective handling of indications intelligence, including the setting up of a full-time Indications Room in the Department of National Defence. No further action is being taken, however, until tripartite agreement has been reached.
NATO ALERT MEASURES OF SOME DIRECT CONCERN
Note: These are all SACEUR's measures, and are listed in Appendix "B" to the submission. SACEUR requests agreement by Governments now that they will implement these measures on request during an Alert.
I. THE EVACUATION OF NON-COMBATANTS FROM EUROPE
Category 2, No. 1
(a) "National authorities are requested and military commanders are directed to prepare to evacuate allied non-combatants (Category A) from the allied occupation zones of Germany and Austria, and from other countries in Allied Command Europe as designated by national authorities." (Simple Alert).
Category 2, No. 13
(b) "National authorities are requested and military commanders are directed to proceed with the evacuation of allied non-combatants (Category A) from the allied occupation zones of Germany and Austria and from other areas in Allied Command Europe, as designated by national authorities." (Reinforced Alert).
"Allied non-combatants" would include dependents of service personnel for which the military authorities are responsible. However all other classes of Canadians in these areas would be the responsibility of our Missions under our Emergency Plan for Evacuation.
II. THE DIVERSION AND EVACUATION OF MERCHANT SHIPPING FROM EXPOSED AREAS
Category 2, No. 3
(a) "National authorities are requested to advise, discreetly, ocean and coastal shipping agencies and shipowners that a period of international tension exists and that efforts should be made to diminish traffic of allied or friendly shipping in certain specified European areas." (Simple Alert).
Category 2, No. 5
(b) "National authorities are requested and military commanders are directed to consider local problems and make all discreet preliminary preparations possible for the evacuation of shipping and port equipment from Allied ports in Europe which would be dangerously exposed at the outbreak of hostilities. This measure includes the issuing of "Discreet" and "Inspired Warnings" to shipowners." (Simple Alert).
Category 2, No. 17
(c) "National authorities are requested and military commanders are directed to recommend strongly the diversion of allied or friendly shipping from hostile ports and waters, and from those allied or neutral ports and waters which would be dangerously exposed at the outbreak of hostilities." (Reinforced Alert).
Category 2, No. 19
(d) "National authorities are requested and military commanders are directed to recommend strongly and to prepare the evacuation of merchant shipping and port equipment from allied ports in Europe which would be dangerously exposed at the outbreak of hostilities." (Reinforced Alert).
Except in so far as this Department maintains liaison on shipping matters with the Department of Transport, it would not appear that questions relating to the measures to be taken are a departmental responsibility. The Canadian Missions in Brussels, Copenhagen, Helsinki, Oslo, Stockholm and The Hague are responsible for shipping matters in those ports. In all other European ports, the United Kingdom authorities take care of Canadian shipping matters. Consequently some arrangements will have to be made concerning simultaneous action through these two separate channels.