Volume #26 - 99.|
ORGANISATION DU TRAITÉ DE L'ATLANTIQUE NORD
STATUT DES FORCES DU CANADA
Note du ministre de la Défense nationale|
pour le Cabinet
DOCUMENT NO. 187-59|
le 3 juin 1959|
1. As one of the original signatories of the North Atlantic Treaty, Canada has consistently been a strong and active supporter of NATO. The Canadian contribution to the forces in Europe of the Supreme Allied commander in Europe, consisting of a Canadian Army Brigade Group and four wings of 1 Air Division (RCAF) constitutes an important element in the defensive shield forces of SACEUR.
2. The Brigade Group wholly, and two out of four wings of 1 Air Division, are stationed in the Federal Republic of Germany. The status of the Canadian Forces in the Federal Territory has been, and will continue to be, governed by the Forces Convention and Tax Agreement until the coming into force of arrangements to supplement the NATO Status of Forces Agreement of 1951 (NATO SOFA), to which Canada is a party.213 Such NATO Supplementary Arrangements became necessary as a result of the admission, supported by Canada, of Germany into NATO. Annex A? to this Memorandum contains a brief account of the status of the Canadian Forces in Germany since 1951.
3. In October 1955, Cabinet approved Canadian participation in the Bonn Status of Forces Conference to which the North Atlantic Council invited delegations from the Governments of those NATO States having forces stationed in Germany (Canada, Belgium, France, the Netherlands, the United Kingdom and the United States) and from the Government of the Federal Republic of Germany, with a view to their negotiating such NATO Supplementary Arrangements.214
4. For a year before the Conference opened, that is, from the conclusion of the Paris Agreements of 1954, which paved the way for the termination of the occupation régime in West Germany, the authorities of the sending States under the leadership of the Three Powers consulted continuously to arrive at common proposals to be made to the Federal Republic for rights and privileges over and above those contained in the NATO SOFA. On the basis of the views of the Canadian departments concerned, the Bonn Embassy was instructed:
(a) to ensure that the future status of Canadian Forces in Germany would be equal to that of other visiting forces;
(b) to resist any proposal that the Supplementary Arrangements be subject to reciprocity on the part of Canada or other sending States; and
(c) to be guided generally by the attitude of the Three Powers who, because of their major interests, would be carrying the main burden of the negotiations.
5. The Canadian Delegation was informed that in the opinion of the departments concerned, the common position adopted by the sending States was, from the point of view of the needs of the Canadian Forces in Germany, extreme, and would likely meet with strong opposition from the Federal Republic. That this assessment was a realistic one is apparent from the fact that the negotiations lasted for more than three years. They have finally resulted in draft texts of agreements that represent a reasonable compromise between the Forces Convention and the NATO SOFA.
6. The Canadian Delegation, in common with all other participation delegations, has now submitted a treaty complex of five multilateral agreements and a number of bilateral agreements that are listed and annotated in Annex B? to this Memorandum. The Canadian Delegation, again in common with other delegations, has recommended that the Government of Canada give its consent to early signature, which it is expected will take place sometime around June 15, 1959.
7. The proposed NATO Supplementary Arrangements meet the Canadian objectives. First, they confer on the Canadian Forces a status not only equal to that of other foreign forces in Germany, but in many respects superior to that enjoyed by Canadian Forces under the NATO SOFA in other NATO countries. Second, Canada undertakes no obligation to alter the privileges now granted to visiting forces in Canada under NATO SOFA. Third, they involve no major changes in the present modus vivendi of the Canadian Forces in the Federal Territory.
8. Although the Supplementary Arrangements are mainly procedural or administrative in character, they yield the Canadian Forces advantages not engaged as of right under the NATO SOFA, particularly in matters relating to:
(a) application (extension to accompanying civilians and dependents);
(b) criminal and non-criminal jurisdiction over members of the Canadian Forces;
(c) manoeuvre rights;
(d) logistic support; and
(e) customs, taxation and currency privileges.
These matters are dealt with in some detail in Annexes? C, D, E, F, and G to this Memorandum.
9. In the opinion of the Deputy Minister of Justice no implementing legislation is necessary to enable Canada to discharge its obligations under the proposed Arrangements.
10. All of the Agreements, except that abrogating the Forces and Finance Conventions and the Tax Agreement to which Canada was not a signatory, are open for signature by Canada. Four of the Agreements call for ratification as indicated in Annex B hereto. The Agreements as a whole, once ratified, will enter into force thirty days after the date on which the Federal Republic has deposited its instrument of accession to the NATO SOFA. Such accession is subject to the North Atlantic Council's approval which has already been granted on condition that the Federal Republic may accede to it only after those of the present Agreements which require ratification have been ratified by all Contracting Parties to them. The Agreements are linked together in such a way that none of them will come into force until those which have to be ratified are in fact ratified, thus making it desirable that action be co-ordinated by all parties concerned if further delays are to be avoided.
11. The West German press and Opposition parties have already been critical of the extraordinary length of the negotiations, and the German Government could be seriously embarrassed if there were any further delays. Some features of the Supplementary Arrangements, which are more favourable to the visiting forces than the NATO SOFA, are likely to provoke strenuous criticism within Germany. It would therefore be desirable if they could be presented to the Bundestag in the near future while there is widespread concern for the security of Berlin, and as a consequence, the presence in Germany of the visiting forces is especially appreciated. Failure or delay on the part of Canada to sign or to ratify would not only prevent entry into force of the Arrangements, but might also cast doubt on Canada's intentions in respect of the presence of Canadian Forces in Europe, and in addition could have an effect on the approval of the new Arrangements by the Bundestag.
12. Officials of the Departments of National Defence, External Affairs, Finance and Defence Production, having followed the course of the Bonn negotiations, are of the opinion that they provide an acceptable and satisfactory basis upon which Canadian Forces stationed in the Federal Republic may operate. All other governments concerned are proceeding on the assumption that they will be in a position to sign by June 15, 1959.
13. In view of the foregoing the undersigned, with the concurrence of the Acting Secretary of State for External Affairs, has the honour to recommend that the Agreements listed in Annex B to this Memorandum be signed on behalf of Canada and that authority to that effect be sought from the Governor General in Council, it being understood that further authority from Council will be sought for the ratification of those Agreements which require ratification.215
213Voir le volume 17, les documents 441 à 453./See Volume 17, Documents 441-453.
214Voir le volume 21, les documents 188 à 192./See Volume 21, Documents 188-192.
215Approuvé par le Cabinet le 30 juin 1959./Approved by Cabinet on June 30, 1959.