Volume #18 - 1033.|
Note de la Direction de l'Amérique et de l'Extrême-Orient|
pour le sous-secrétaire d'État aux Affaires extérieures
le 17 juin 1952|
PROJECTED VISIT OF A CANADIAN TRADE MISSION TO LATIN AMERICA HEADED BY THE RIGHT HONOURABLE C.D. HOWE|
Attached, if you concur, is a memorandum for the Minister's information concerning the proposed visit to Latin America this autumn of the Minister of Trade and Commerce accompanied by several of his officers and a group of Canadian businessmen.
In this Department we have been endeavouring to formulate a Latin American policy paper, and last fall discussions were held under the chairmanship of Mr. Heeney with various officers from Trade and Commerce. The draft paper included the suggestion of a visit of a Canadian Goodwill Mission to Latin America to be headed by a Cabinet Minister. Since it was decided that the emphasis in this area was to be placed on trade, the Minister of Trade and Commerce logically was the most suitable person to head the delegation.
Mr. W.F. Bull, the Deputy Minister, took this matter up with Mr. Howe recently and the latter has agreed to the trip. Preliminary plans for the group are now being formulated, based on the same type of mission as went to South Africa headed by Senator MacKinnon, when the latter was Minister of Trade and Commerce, and travelled there accompanied by a representative group of Canadian businessmen.
pour le secrétaire d'État aux Affaires extérieures
Memorandum from Under-Secretary of State for External Affairs
HEADED BY THE RT. HON. C.D. HOWE
You might already be aware that Mr. Howe has agreed to lead a Canadian trade delegation to Latin America and the Caribbean area in October and November of this year.
2. The Department is satisfied that this is a very happy development, not only in the field of trade but also more generally in a strengthening of our relations with Latin America. At the official level, we have been considering the idea for some time.
3. Present plans call for the type of Mission which Senator MacKinnon headed to South Africa, Mission composed of Department of Trade and Commerce officials and a group of Canadian businessmen. These would be selected by the Department of Trade and Commerce, bearing in mind their interest in Latin America but also taking into consideration suggestions made by such associations as the Canadian Manufacturers Association and the Canadian Exporters Association. This is a welcome proposal from our point of view because, as you may remember, there was some criticism at a recent Canadian Exporters Association meeting by their members as to the amount of cooperation given to them by Canadian Government officials abroad.
4. Mr. Howe will be accompanied by Mr. W.F. Bull, Deputy Minister, Mr. A.L. Savard, Latin American Area Officer and one of the Minister's Private Secretaries.
5. Two itineraries are being considered:
(a) A short tour during which the Mission would visit Cuba, Brazil, Trinidad, Venezuela, Colombia, Guatemala and Mexico. The tour would last about five weeks.
(b) A more extensive tour which would include the West Coast countries of Peru and Chile as well as a visit to Argentina and Uruguay.
5. [sic] The first itinerary presents little if any political difficulties, although countries like Argentina, Peru, Chile and Uruguay will not be too happy to be left out altogether. The second tour raises the problem of a visit to Argentina, and we have been consulted informally by the Department of Trade and Commerce about the advisability of such a visit at this time.
6. Canadian trade with Argentina has fallen badly due to the restrictions and difficulties placed in the way of international trade generally by the Peron Government. A visit by Mr. Howe might give a fillip to the situation and bring from increased interest in trade with Canada. It is doubted, however, whether any immediate results could be achieved; long-term prospects could, however, be served. Our information from Argentina indicates that the Peron régime has been weakened in the last year by economic difficulties and the question arises as to whether Mr. Howe should go there at a time when Peron is in such a predicament. We are inclined to feel that, because of the nature of the visit which is basically one of trade, Mr. Howe should not be advised not to go to Argentina. It would be up to the businessmen to decide whether the trip is worth it or not from their point of view. We should point out, however, that should Mr. Howe's itinerary include Chile and Peru and exclude Argentina, this could have a bad effect on our relations with that country. The choice therefore would be either to agree on itinerary (a) or (b), including Argentina.
7. You will have noticed that no suggestion is made that a representative from this Department be included among the officials accompanying Mr. Howe. This is not very satisfactory from our point of view. A representative of this Department accompanied the three earlier trade missions to Latin America. This has proven useful not only to the mission but also to our offices in Latin America, as well as to the Department. The role of such an officer would be to advise the Head of Delegation on matters of policy, to act as liaison officer between the Department of Trade and Commerce and our own diplomatic missions and between the trade mission and the Foreign Offices of the countries to be visited. While the presence of such an officer is not essential for the success of the visit, it seems to me that all concerned would benefit from it. Perhaps an External Affairs officer, if he were well chosen, could play an even more important role on the mission as adviser on our external trade policy generally. I am thinking of people like LePan or Warren who, if they could be spared, would, during the negotiations in the Latin American countries, avoid many pitfalls.
8. The time of the visit of this Mission to Latin America raises in a rather acute form the problem of the establishment of diplomatic missions in Uruguay, Venezuela and Colombia. With your concurrence, I would suggest that we endeavour to have those Missions opened before Mr. Howe's visit. Otherwise, there will be awkward problems and, in Colombia and possibly Uruguay, the Mission would have to be introduced to the local authorities by the United Kingdom Ambassador. This should be avoided. I realize that it will not be easy to find qualified personnel for those three Posts but we should, in my view, make a very serious effort to meet this problem which has already been in abeyance for some time.1
9. Your directives would therefore be required on the following points:
1) If you agree with the general considerations advanced in paragraph 6, you might consider it appropriate that we advise the Department of Trade and Commerce that there is no objection to itinerary (a), and that on the while, we do not feel we should raise any objection towards itinerary (b) as long as Argentina is not excluded.2
2) Would you wish us to take up with the Department of Trade and Commerce the desirability of attaching one of our officers to the Mission?3
3) Do you agree that we should attempt to open our Missions in Uruguay, Venezuela and Colombia in advance of the tour?4