Volume #22 - 443.|
ORGANISATION DU TRAITÉ DE L'ATLANTIQUE NORD
PROGRAMME DE FORMATION DES ÉQUIPAGES D'AÉRONEFS
Note du sous-secrétaire d'État aux Affaires extérieures|
pour le secrétaire d'État aux Affaires extérieures
le 18 avril 1956|
109TH MEETING OF CABINET DEFENCE COMMITTEE APRIL 19, 1956|
ITEM III: REDUCTION OF NATO AIRCREW TRAINING
At a meeting of the Standing Group last fall, General Foulkes stated that NATO aircrew training under the Canadian Mutual Aid Programme would come to an end with the intake year 1957-58. This was substantially in line with statements made by Mr. Campney in the House of Commons on July 14, 1955, and at the NATO Ministerial Meeting last December.8 These declarations were not based on a Cabinet decision to terminate the aircrew training programme, however, but rather on the absence of Cabinet authority at present for its continuation after 1957.
2. At its meeting, the Chiefs of Staff Committee considered a draft Memorandum to Cabinet Defence Committee in which the need for funds to finance the additional regular force air defence squadrons and bases was related in part to the proposed reduction or termination of the aircrew training programme after 1957. Our departmental representative at the meeting pointed out that, while there might be valid reasons for reducing or terminating the programme, the proposal to do so was of sufficient importance to require consideration, on its merits, in a separate submission to the Cabinet Defence Committee. As a result, the attached Memorandum to Cabinet Defence Committee was prepared in the Department of National Defence.
3. The Memorandum recommends that approval in principal be given to terminating the present Canadian NATO air training scheme upon completion of the 1957-58 period. I understand that the Chairman, Chiefs of Staff, is anxious to obtain this decision now so that he may announce it at the meeting of the NATO Military Committee in Paris on April 27. General Foulkes is due to leave Ottawa for Europe on April 21.
4. The second recommendation is that approval be given to an examination with the military authorities of Norway, Denmark and The Netherlands, of arrangements to train a limited number of their aircrew in Canada after 1957.
5. I would be reluctant to recommend that you support these recommendations at this stage. In the first place, the problem has been considered only from a military standpoint. There has been no opportunity for it to be considered by an appropriate inter-departmental committee, such as the Panel on the Economic Aspects of Defence Questions, or even for adequate study of it by the interested civil departments. As I understand that officials of the Department of Finance support this view, Mr. Harris may possibly say something along these lines at the meeting.
6. In the second place, there has been no adequate exploration of the possible repercussions through our missions in the countries concerned. Without such exploration, it is difficult for this Department to judge accurately what the political effects of a reduction of the Canadian contribution to the NATO aircrew training programme might be, either on the Alliance as a whole, or on those NATO members who have been relying on Canadian facilities to give their future pilots the type of comprehensive training required by NATO standards. As regards the impact on the Alliance as a whole, it would seem to be most desirable, where possible, to adhere to the principle that major decisions affecting the Alliance should not be irrevocably taken and announced unilaterally, but that there should first be an opportunity for consultation between Members through appropriate channels. As regards the effect on individual members, it would be difficult to accept, without exploration of the political implications, the statement that only Norway, Denmark, and possibly The Netherlands, will need training facilities in Canada after 1957. It is obvious, for example, that great care should be exercised not to create unnecessary friction with Greece at this time, in view of the uncertainties of that country's position in the Alliance. (As it happens, we received last week from our Ambassador in Athens a telegram? reporting on a request by the Greek Chief of Air Staff for information on whether vacancies will be offered to Greece in the 1957-58 Canadian aircrew training programme and, if so, how many. Mr. MacDermot gave us to understand that the Chief of the Air Staff intended in future to take up all available places for NATO aircrew training offered by Canada.) The possible susceptibilities of the Turkish authorities should also be examined carefully.
7. It occurs to me that there might be some advantage in seeking from SACEUR a formal statement of his views on the most desirable future arrangements from the point of view of the Alliance as a whole, which could be referred to in discussions with the various national authorities concerned. The present memorandum includes as an appendix an estimate by SHAPE of the air training requirements after 1956, but on future arrangements for meeting these requirements it quotes only an informal report by General Gruenther, which was presumably intended for Canadian eyes only.
8. In the light of these considerations, I recommend that consideration should be given to deferring a decision on this question to enable a submission to be put forward following appropriate consideration by all departments concerned. It is possible that the conclusions of such a submission would not differ greatly from those of the present memorandum, but at least all relevant considerations, including the impact of such a decision on our relations with the countries of NATO, would have been taken into account. In addition, I think there should be consultation, through both political and military channels, with the authorities of all interested Governments, concerning their needs for the training of aircrew after 1957.
9. Alternatively, if it is felt that a decision should be taken now, to enable General Foulkes to make a statement to the Military Committee, I suggest that this decision should be to the effect that the NATO authorities be informed officially that the Canadian Government has decided to terminate the present aircrew training programme with the 1957-58 intake year, but that the Canadian authorities are anxious to consult with the authorities of the interested Governments, concerning their needs for the training of aircrew after 1957.
Note du ministre de la Défense nationale
Memorandum from Minister of National Defence
REDUCTION OF NATO AIRCREW TRAINING
1. The NATO air training agreement, covering a three year period, ends with the intake year 1957-58. This training plan had for its aim the initial manning of the front line aircraft of the countries concerned and it would appear that this goal will be reached by 1957. Appendix "A"? indicates SHAPE's estimate of this position.
2. Canada has played a major role in this achievement and by 1957 will have trained sufficient pilots to man 80% of the operational forces assigned to SACEUR. The NATO Council has now agreed that maintenance of force goal is a national responsibility, and it would appear that aircrew training to meet attrition falls into this category.
3. This matter has been discussed informally with the Supreme Allied Commander, and General Gruenther reports as follows:
(a) "upon completion of the 1956-57 training programme, Turkey, Greece, Italy, France, Belgium, and Portugal will be manned at acceptable aircrew levels. In addition these countries have in being indigenous training programmes which are capable of replacing their aircrew attrition; and
(b) at the same time period, Norway, Denmark, and Holland will be manned at acceptable aircrew levels, but there will be a continuing requirement for replacement of attrition losses. Neither Norway nor Denmark have established indigenous training programmes. Holland possesses an indigenous training programme, but it is apparent that the aircrew production will not meet all attrition requirements. Based on the above there is a continued long range requirement for training to support attrition replacement for Norway and Denmark and for overcoming the annual deficit forecast for Holland. The approximate magnitude of these annual deficits are Norway - 80; Denmark - 60; Holland - 30.
(c) Because of the adverse weather conditions in the northern countries and the small number of students involved, it is not considered feasible to establish indigenous air training facilities in the Scandinavian countries. Such action would be disproportionately expensive for the return achieved and could only be accomplished at the expense of some other military activity of importance to the NATO defence effort. The continuance of training in North America appears to be the most satisfactory solution. Even if Canada is unable to continue the present arrangements on a reduced scale, I would recommend the continuation of training in North America on the basis of separate bilateral arrangements."
4. The Chiefs of Staff have given this entire matter careful study and consider that it would be advisable not to renew the existing Canadian NATO air training scheme on the completion of the 1957-58 period and to investigate, instead, the possibilities of making bilateral arrangements with Norway, Denmark and perhaps Holland for a limited number of students who could be fitted into the RCAF air training system without the requirement to maintain additional and special facilities for this purpose. To assist NATO countries to increase their air training self-sufficiency, consideration should also be given to the preparation of further mutual aid programmes. Such aid programmes might include the provision of Harvard trainer aircraft which will become surplus as a result of curtailment of training in Canada, and the possible provision of advanced T33 jet trainers for those countries required to operate advanced flying units.
5. The acceptance of this proposal to reduce NATO aircrew training in Canada will result in a manpower saving of about 495 officers, 1870 airmen, 580 civilians, and an annual financial saving of about $31,000,000 comprised of personnel and aircraft operating costs. These savings are urgently required to apply against the costs and manpower requirements for the RCAF in its air defence build-up in Canada.
6. The Chiefs of Staff recommend, and I concur, that approval in principle be given to:
(a) terminate the present Canadian NATO air training scheme upon completion of the 1957-58 period;
(b) investigate with the military authorities of Norway, Denmark and Holland arrangements to train a limited number of aircrew who can be accommodated in the RCAF air training system without involving additional facilities.