Reference: My Tel 293 Jun. 11.†
Repeat Disarmdel, Permis New York from Ottawa (Information).
CALL ON MR. BREZHNEV
I began the talk by saying that as representative of Canada I wished to pay my respects to Mr. Brezhnev on his appointment to his (group corrupt). Mr. Brezhnev thanked me and then surprised me by asking if the physical conditions under which we work were such as to enable us to do our work properly. I took advantage of this to openly mention fact that we had inadequate office space and hoped the office building now under construction would soon be ready for occupation.
2. Mr. Brezhnev then said that the Soviet Union attached importance to good relations between Canada and USSR. Did I think they were satisfactory? I replied that though our bilateral relations were reasonably good there was room for improvement. However I pointed out that our relations with USSR depended to a large extent on East-West relations and no repeat no one could say that they were now good. Mr. Brezhnev without pressing the point said the Soviet view that USA Government was solely responsible for events at Paris3was well known. I replied this was not repeat not our view. However, I went on, instead of dwelling on past we should now look to the future. Even though there was little prospect of an early summit meeting negotiations would we hope take place with USSR at various lower levels. I mentioned the importance we attach to the work of Ten Power Disarmament Committee and referred to Mr. Diefenbaker’s letter to Mr. Khrushchev of June 6.†
3. Mr. Brezhnev was forthcoming and said he entirely agreed with the views I had expressed. The USSR also attach great importance to the work of Disarmament Committee and hoped the Soviet proposals which were made only after very serious consideration would receive attention from the West that they deserved.
4. I then said I was sure my government hoped trade and cultural relations between our two countries would expand. Brezhnev first took up point about trade. He said Canada was a very rich country and that there should be possibilities of “unlimited” trade between our two countries. So far he said we had only scratched the surface. About exchanges Brezhnev said Soviets would welcome expansion of exchanges between our two countries. He pointed out there were many more exchanges with USA than Canada which were not repeat not accounted for by differences in population.
5. I mentioned fact that breakdown of Summit had not repeat not affected adversely visitors in USSR since they had spoken to me of warm welcome which they had [received]. Brezhnev said he could assure me that visitors from Canada would always receive a warm welcome.
6. Brezhnev then asked me some questions about Canada. He was interested in our wheat production industry, climate and so forth.
7. Brezhnev, I am satisfied from this talk, intended to create impression that Soviet Government despite outcome of Paris meeting wished to continue negotiations with West on disarmament and other questions and to expand trade and cultural relations with West. In other words he gave impression that Soviet Government was anxious to avoid a return to worst period of Cold War.
David M. Johnson
3En d’autres termes, l’échec de la Conférence au sommet. Voir chapitre II, 2e partie.
That is, the failure of the summit conference. See Chapter II, Part 2.