Volume #17 - 651.|
RELATIONS AVEC LES ÉTATS-UNIS
QUESTIONS DE DÉFENSE ET SÉCURITE
RÉSEAU D'ÉCRANS DE RADAR
Extrait des conclusions du Cabinet|
le 24 janvier 1951|
DEFENCE PROGRAMME; REPORT FROM CABINET DEFENCE COMMITTEE|
(a) Extension of the Aircraft Control and Warning System in Canada
47. The Minister of National Defence reported that a proposed extension of the aircraft control and warning (A.C.W.) system in Canada was included in the new defence programme. This required separate consideration as it involved collaboration with the U.S. Air Force in operating a large project on Canadian soil.
Under North Atlantic Treaty arrangements, Canada and the United States had the task of defending their region and the concept developed for such defence was that areas containing the essential elements of North American war-making capacity should be protected. For this purpose, it was essential to have an A.C.W. system which could detect enemy bombers, disseminate warnings and control interceptor aircraft.
In view of the serious international situation, the U.S.A.F. had suggested extension of the authorized Canadian A.C.W. programme of nine stations in the Montreal-Ottawa-Toronto and Canadian Pacific Coast areas. The R.C.A.F. and the U.S.A.F., jointly, had prepared a plan for establishment of a larger integrated network in Canada by July, 1952, and the Permanent Joint Board on Defence had discussed a possible formula for U.S. collaboration in the network, which would operate in conjunction with the A.C.W. system in the United States.
Under the plan, there would be additional stations in the two Canadian areas mentioned, and also stations in the Lower St. Lawrence-Southern Labrador-Newfoundland, Northern Labrador, and Northern Ontario-Manitoba areas, bringing the number of stations in Canada to 31 (with an additional U.S. station in Greenland).
The formula discussed by the P.J.B.D. provided that each country would pay one-half the capital cost of 19 stations - including the 9 authorized - and that the United States would pay the capital cost of the remaining 12. This would mean an outlay for Canada of some $45 million, plus that for any necessary Canadian married quarters, which was no more than the unshared cost of the 9 stations originally planned. The total capital cost to the United States (including the Greenland station) would be about $114 million. Canada would pay one-third - about $12.5 million - and the United States two-thirds of the recurring costs of the 27 stations and the U.S.A.F. would be responsible for the recurring costs of the 4 stations in Northern Labrador. Owing to manpower difficulties, the R.C.A.F. could man initially only 13 stations, requiring about 2400 officers and men - or 960 more than the 9 authorized stations. The remaining 18 stations, which would not be near main centres, would be manned by some 2300 Americans, although Canada would reserve the right to man any of these without prejudice to the U.S. financial contributions.
The Canadian government would have title to land and immoveable property at the 31 stations and the United States could dispose of its share of moveables when they were no longer required. As much as possible of the equipment for the stations would be bought in Canada, where it was thought a substantial part of the electronic equipment could be produced. Canadian contractors, through Defence Construction Corporation, would build as many as possible of the stations, although the U.S.A.F. would construct the stations in Northern Labrador (and Greenland). Any U.S. civilian contractors employed on the network would use Canadian labour and materials as much as possible and would be subject to normal employment and taxation practices.
Cabinet Defence Committee had recommended acceptance in principle of these proposals so as to permit the Canadian section of the P.J.B.D. to participate in a Board recommendation to the two governments along these lines.
An explanatory memorandum was circulated.
(Minister's memorandum, Jan. 22, 1951 - Cab. Doc. D-271)?
The United States would consider its contributions to the project as measures of self-defence and not mutual aid to Canada. The division of costs was based on the relative importance of each station to the air defence of each country. One great advantage of the project was that Canada would not bear the responsibility alone for bombers that penetrated to the United States. Unlike earlier plans for a ring of early warning and fighter stations across the North, this scheme would be practicable and effective. Tests had been carried out at the proposed sites. The project would add vital depth to the extensive system being developed in the United States. While a system of only 31 stations could not be one hundred per cent effective, it would add greatly to the efficiency of North American defences and the equipment contemplated was likely to be the best procurable for some years. It might be desirable to make some additions to the network at a later date. A radar network had been the basis of the defence of Britain during the war. The top U.S. defence authorities attached the greatest urgency to construction of the network.
The defences of Alaska, including the A.C.W. system, were being built up. It had been considered that the most likely Soviet bomber route would be through the northeastern area of the continent but the prevailing winds would make the northwestern route attractive. The Soviets were believed to have B-29-type bombers that could make one-way raids on any part of North America but did not yet appear to have six-engine or jet bombers with long-range capabilities. Considering estimates of Soviet stocks of atomic bombs, only one or two centres in Canada would be likely to be attacked with such bombs at this stage. If the Soviets attempted to use a Canadian Arctic station as a bomber base, warning would be received and it was expected that such a base, which would have immense supply problems, could be immobilized rapidly.
Operating in conjunction with the proposed radar network, there would be, by 1954, 9 Canadian regular fighter squadrons, and also 10 reserve squadrons which could be brought to a high level of efficiency with two or three months of intensive training. These squadrons could be used elsewhere during an emergency, if the air defence position permitted.
48. The Prime Minister said that experts considered the proposed network an essential warning system rather than a static defence line; that the equipment to be used was technically sound; and that there would be forces available to make use of the "early warning" provided. The formula proposed for U.S. participation in the scheme seemed reasonable. Under new legislation the U.S.A.F. was not expected to require leases.
49. The Cabinet, after further discussion, agreed in principle to proposals discussed by the Permanent Joint Board on Defence for the creation in Canada of a Canada-U.S. aircraft control and warning system, and agreed to the Canadian section of the Board participating in a recommendation to the two governments for the establishment and operation of this system under arrangements of the type considered by the Board on January 10th, 1951.