Volume #14 - 928.|
RELATIONS AVEC LES ÉTATS-UNIS
COOPÉRATION EN MATIÈRE DE DEFENSE ET DE SOUVERAINETÉ DANS L'ARCTIQUE
COMITÉ CONSULTATIF SUR LE DÉVELOPPEMENT DU NORD
Note du ministre de la Défense nationale|
et du ministre des Mines et Ressources pour le Cabinet
le 16 janvier 1948|
NORTHERN DEVELOPMENT POLICY|
The Cabinet and the Cabinet Defence Committee have from time to time in the past two years approved various projects in northern Canada. Some of these have been undertaken in co-operation with the United States as part of the continental defence scheme. Others are part of the government's normal programme for development of northern Canada; these, too, usually have some importance from a defence standpoint. The programmes include such measures as the establishment and operation of weather stations, low frequency Loran stations, air photography for mapping purposes, and Arctic research, including the operation of ionospheric experimental stations.
2. Responsibility for the initiation and administration of civil developments in the north falls primarily - under government direction - on the Northwest Territories Council. The Department of Government chiefly concerned is the Department of Mines and Resources. Other civilian departments, however, also have direct interests, particularly the Department of Transport in respect of the weather station programme, and the Department of Health and Welfare. In many civilian undertakings in the area, the Department of National Defence also has some interest.
3. Responsibility for defence projects in the north, on the other hand, falls primarily on the Department of National Defence. Many of these projects, however, have important civilian implications and involve some responsibility on the part of one or more civilian government departments.
4. There is, therefore, a need for close and continuous interdepartmental coordination to ensure that all responsibilities are discharged effectively and in accordance with overall government policy. Moreover, it is in the national interest to ensure that problems of administration - particularly those involving United States participation in joint undertakings - are known to and dealt with by all the departments directly affected.
5. As an example of the kind of problem that is a recurring phenomenon in northern administration, reference is invited to a recent report from the Interdepartmental Meteorological Committee, which deals with the present status of the weather station programme. The United States are still operating eight weather stations in northeast Canada and the Canadian Arctic. The present programme as approved by the Cabinet calls for the assumption of full operating responsibility by the Department of Transport over a three-year period (1947-50). It is expected that two stations will be taken over next year, but it is undoubtedly desirable to accelerate the process. This problem was, in fact, discussed at the August 12th meeting of Cabinet Defence Committee, when it was decided that the attention of the Department of Transport be directed to the importance attached by the government, on grounds of policy, to the introduction of Canadian personnel to all stations on Canadian territory as soon as might be practical.
6. In conjunction with the establishment of Arctic weather stations, the United States have constructed air strips for supply purposes. Some of these are of a rudimentary character, but it has recently been learned that the United States Air Force has plans for the extension of at least one of these to a length greater than that required for weather station purposes. At present there is no adequate provision for Canadian control of these air strips except that exercised indirectly through the operational control of the related weather stations being vested in a Canadian meteorological official. Again, as has been previously reported, the United States is still operating three aerodromes in Canada - at Mingan, Fort Chimo and Frobisher Bay. Although an R.C.A.F. officer is stationed at each of these aerodromes, no plans have yet been made for their operation by Canada.
7. There are other factors in the overall problem, including transportation, communications, general administration and development, etc. For instance, the United States is at present providing all transportation, both air and sea, for these new Arctic projects. This tends, in practice, to give them a good deal of control over the operations.
8. The tendency has been for new Arctic projects to be considered separately. No provision has been made for any comprehensive review which would inter-relate all Arctic activities, presenting for the government a composite picture of the Canadian position in the Arctic and joint advice from the responsible departments on the general policies to be adopted.
9. It appears, therefore, that some joint advisory and co-ordinating body, representative of the departments primarily interested, should be formed for this purpose. The Northwest Territories Council, in spite of the breadth of its local and general responsibilities, is not adequately informed nor is it vested with the powers which would be required to undertake this task. A new comrnittee composed of senior officials of the interested government departments appears to be the best solution. The membership of such a committee should include a member of the Northwest Territories Council.
10. It is accordingly recommended that an "Advisory Committee on Northern Development" be established with the following terms of reference and composition:
(a) Terms of Reference
To advise the government on questions of policy relating to civilian and military undertakings in northern Canada and to provide for the effective co-ordination of all government activities in that area.
The Deputy Minister of Mines and Resources (Chairman)
The Under-Secretary of State for External Affairs
The Deputy Minister of Transport
The Secretary to the Cabinet
The Chairman, Canadian Section, Permanent Joint Board on Defence The Chief of the General Staff
The Chief of the Air Staff
The Deputy Ministers of Health and Welfare, the Deputy Minister of Public Works, the Chief of the Naval Staff, the Chairman, Defence Research Board, and the Commissioner, Royal Canadian Mounted Police, would be invited to attend when items of direct interest to them were being discussed; other officials would attend when appropriate. The Secretary would be provided from the Privy Council Office1
1Approuvée par le Cabinet le 19 janvier.