Volume #17 - 7.|
CONDUITE DES RELATIONS EXTÉRIEURES
REPRÉSENTATION DIPLOMATIQUE ET CONSULAIRE
Note de la Direction de l'organisation et de l'effectif |
pour les Directions du Personnel, affairs consulaires,
européene, économique, de liaison avec la Défence et des finances
le 15 mars 1951|
I enclose a copy of despatch No. 15 of March 1, 1951 from the Minister in Stockholm concerning the possibility of sending a political officer to Helsinki.
Moran has commented on this despatch in the following terms:
I am therefore passing on to you this information for whatever comments you may care to make.
Le ministre en Suède
Minister in Sweden
DESPATCH 15 Stockholm, March 1, 1951
OFFICE IN HELSINKI, FINLAND
1. The purpose of this despatch is to enquire whether any thought has been given in the Department to the question of opening an office in Finland with a Secretary who would act as Chargé d'Affaires except when I am actually visiting that country. This officer would in the circumstances probably have to be at least F.S.O. 2 -somewhat higher rank would perhaps be desirable.
2. You will recall that at the time of the appointment of the Assistant Military Attaché to this mission, the Department of National Defence suggested that he might reverse our present procedure by residing in Helsinki and visiting Stockholm from time to time. To this suggestion I replied that in my view it would not be wise to have a Service attaché open an office in Finland without the presence there also of a political officer. I am still of this view.
3. There seems now, however, to be a definite possibility that a second department of the government, the Department of Citizenship and Immigration, will have to consider opening an office in Finland. Certainly the increase in interest in emigrating to Canada in Finland during the past months has been so great as almost to frighten us here. On one day this week some 400 letters came from Finland and it looks as if the daily average might soon reach this figure. It is, of course, quite impossible for the visa section here to deal with these and at the same time cope with the local customers to whom some 80 visas per day are being issued.
4. I would not be inclined to take the same deep objection to the opening of a visa office by itself in Helsinki as I took in the case of the proposal to send a Service attaché there by himself. I cannot say, however, that 1 would be altogether happy were we to send visa officers to that country unaccompanied by a political officer of our own Service. It might be argued that there is a precedent for this in the establishment of visa offices in Austria where we have no political officers, but it seems to me that the situation in Finland is not really comparable. First and foremost there is the deep desire on the part of the Finns that we should as soon as possible open a permanent legation in their capital and I think, although I have no basis in fact for the thought, that they would be unhappy were we to send officials of the Canadian Government of, if I may dare to put it this way, not quite so exalted status as diplomatic officers, in the first instance. In the second place, in our experience here there have been many occasions when in my view political advice to the visa officers has been useful. This would, I am sure, be even more the case in Finland.
5. There is no question in my mind that a junior officer who could act as Chargé d'Affaires in a permanent legation in Finland could find plenty to do to occupy his time. There is a certain amount of consular work and there is a wide open information field. There are also problems of registration of Canadian citizens and the determination of Canadian nationality in doubtful cases. In addition, as I suggested above, such an officer would be called upon very often to assist and advise visa officers if they were there, as they will probably have to be.
6. The arguments which I set forth above are for the most part almost self-evident truths, as I am sure you will agree. I appreciate, however, the two overriding problems which you have to consider arising from shortages of officer personnel and the necessity for economies in the expenditure of funds at the present time. These I know must eventually determine any decision in this matter. I would venture to suggest, however, that if a visa office5 is to be opened in Helsinki, the relatively small extra expense to the Canadian tax-payer of sending a political officer along as well would be justifiable.
7. I understand that the establishment for the Stockholm mission recently recommended to Treasury provides for two junior political officers. In ordinary circumstances I would prefer to have the second junior officer resident in Stockholm, specializing to some degree on Finnish affairs and perhaps visiting that country regularly and perhaps more often that we do now. If, however, another Department or other Departments in Ottawa wish to have officers permanently in Helsinki, the best plan would be to establish a mission there to which they could be attached. If this were done, the Assistant Military Attaché could live in Helsinki in accordance with the original desire of the Department of National Defence.
THOMAS A. STONE
5 Note marginale :/Marginal note: