Volume #16 - 993.|
RELATIONS AVEC L'EUROPE DE LEST
Note du conseiller en matière de politique au service international de Radio Canada'|
le 24 février 1950|
NOTES ON MEETING HELD ON FEBRUARY 24 AND ATTENDED BY MESSRS. ANDERSON AND MACDERMOT, ROGERS AND MCCORDICK|
I. Policy Guidance
1. The meeting agreed that it was desirable to give the I.S. a statement of the Department's conception of the aims and purpose of the I.S. The I.S. at present considers that its chief aims are
(a) to "put Canada on the map",
(b) to build up an audience informed on and well disposed towards Canada (note it would be useful to have a large ready made audience should the I.S: some day have to be turned into an instrument of psychological warfare), and
(c) to help promote Canadian trade in those regions where trade, goodwill and information are to some extent interlocked.
It is desirable that the Department's statement make clear what other aims should be added to the above. It would seem that the time has now come when consideration should be given to some change in emphasis without sacrificing the I.S.'s deserved and respected reputation for objectivity. News must remain accurate and objective (although the selection of items does provide the means of "slanting" to some extent). However, commentaries and news analyses may be used to a far greater extent than at present as a weapon in the cold war.
2. At present policy is applied negatively in Montreal, i.e., scripts, etc., are examined for inaccuracies and are, in a manner of speaking, censored. In this process it is often difficult to distinguish policy from the personal opinions of the I.S. Policy Section. The positive side of policy must now be built up by providing the I.S. with regular guidance from the Department within the framework of the general aims of the I.S. to be established.
11. Background Material
1. It is desirable that the Policy Section of the I.S. and, when necessary, the heads of the Area Sections be provided with some of the background material on which the Department has based its policy recommendations.
2. Mr. McCordick will be able to see all necessary material when he comes to Ottawa, but it will have to be decided in the light of security and the needs of the I.S. what despatches, Foreign Office prints, Departmental memos and documents provided by the Information Research Department of the Foreign Office should go to Montreal.
3. Two security problems arise:
(a) Physical. In Montreal Mr. McCordick will be provided with good locks for his office doors to which only he and Mr. Dilworth will have keys. Cleaning women may enter only when Mr. McCordick is there. (However, the working conditions in the I.S. are such that Mr. McCordick will not be able to lock his door every time he leaves his office.) The I.S. will also supply a good filing cabinet which it is said cannot be opened from behind with a paper knife.
(b) It is not certain to what extent all members of the I.S. can be trusted with confidential material. The meeting agreed, as will be mentioned below, that Mr. McCordick would have to decide in each case what material to show to members of the I.S. other than Mr. Dilworth.
1. Ottawa. The meeting agreed that Mr. McCordick should come at frequent though not necessarily regular intervals to Ottawa and that he should be briefed on policy by
(a) reading relevant despatches and memoranda,
(b) talking to Heads of Divisions and other officers of the Department and attending such special meetings as it may be necessary to convene,
(c) receiving from the Department memoranda prepared in various Divisions for the express purpose of providing policy guidance to the I.S.
It should be decided how Mr. Benson can best be fitted into the procedure.
2. Montreal. Mr. McCordick will hold policy briefing meetings, usually directly on return from a visit to Ottawa but also at other times if necessary. He will make some general remarks on what he has learnt in Ottawa and on the broader aspects of policy and will then make additional remarks of special interest to the various areas. This will be followed by questions and discussion to clarify doubtful points. Mr. McCordick will have to use his discretion to determine what background material should be provided at this policy meeting, what should be shown separately to the Policy Section of the I.S. and what should be given after the meeting to the heads of the language sections.
The application of positive policy guidance should have the following results:
(1) Officers of the Department should become accustomed to thinking in terms of the I.S. as an instrument of Canadian foreign policy and to bearing its needs in mind when reading despatches, writing memoranda and so on. It may at first be burdensome to require Divisions to prepare policy memoranda, but when the Divisions become accustomed to thinking in terms of the I.S.'s aims and needs this should become a less irksome routine.
(2) The negative or censorship side of the Policy Section's functions in Montreal will probably always be necessary but as positive guidance becomes increasingly effective; script writers will be able to produce scripts requiring less and less editing. At the same time the morale of the I.S. should benefit by receiving guidance and evidence of interest from Ottawa to replace the present feeling of isolation and neglect.
It will be seen from the above that policy guidance should assume three forms:
(1) Statement of the Department's view of the general aims and purpose of the I.S.
(2) Regular provision of guidance plus background material. This guidance may be applicable to all languages of the I.S. but more frequently it will probably vary in nature arid emphasis for the different programmes.
(3) Specific requests by the I.S. for guidance. Occasions frequently arise when the I.S. needs a directive on short notice dealing with a news item or event which has suddenly come to the fore. It is hoped that when asked by telephone or teletype, the Department will in most cases be able to provide guidance on short notice.