Volume #25 - 113.|
RELATIONS AVEC LES ÉTAT-UNIS
QUESTIONS DE DÉFENSE ET SÉCURITÉ
L'ambassadeur aux États-Unis|
au secrétaire d'État aux Affaires extérieures
Top Secret. Priority.
le 21 juin 1957|
Nugent of the Canadian Desk has transmitted to us copy of a draft reply to Mr. Heeney's letter of March 1/57,167 to Mr. Robert Murphy, on the subject of consultation on alerts. In doing so, he has indicated that the draft reply has been approved by the President. From the procedure which has been followed, we take it that this is by way of an advance notification of the reply we may expect shortly to receive formally from the State Department.
Text of reply begins:
Dear Mr. Ambassador:
I refer to Ambassador Heeney's letter dated May 14/56,168 to Mr. Murphy's letter dated December 4/56,169 and to Ambassador Heeney's letter dated March 1/57, concerning the proposal that Canada and the USA should consult when either government concludes that alert measures are necessary or desirable to both countries. It was further proposed that such consultation would take place both through diplomatic channels and through military channels at the respective chiefs of staff level.
It is my understanding that the consultation under consideration pertains to initiation of alert measures brought about by the declaration of a national emergency, or a nation-wide civil defense emergency. Further, the alert measures which we are concerned with in this proposal are those measures leading not only to the alerting of all branches of the armed forces but also to action which would affect the populace of the nation as a whole. They would not include those partial or limited measures such as increased conditions of operational readiness which do not involve or directly influence the population at large.
It is my further understanding that the consultation through military channels will be conducted at the level of the USA Joint Chiefs of Staff and the Canadian Chiefs of Staff Committee rather than at some lower command level, and that such consultation may be accomplished through the chairman, a member, or a designated representative of each body. This, of course, would not preclude command consultation and liaison at subordinate military echelons in the accomplishment of their mutual defense tasks.
With these considerations in mind, my government concurs in the statement of understanding set forth in subparagraphs (1), (2) and (3) of the second paragraph of your Embassy's letter dated March 1, 1957 as follows:
(1) In a situation in which either government concludes that alert measures are necessary or desirable, both in the USA and Canada, the two governments agree to consult through the diplomatic channel and through the respective Chiefs of Staff of the two countries. Such consultation will precede the institution of alert measures by either government except in the following extreme circumstances: if either government considers an attack on North America to be imminent or probable in a matter of hours rather than days, consultation might, of necessity, coincide with or even follow the institution of separate alert measures by either government. If either government is impelled by the time factor to take alert measures before initiating consultation, it agrees immediately to inform the other government of the action taken and to consult with the other government as soon as possible.
(2) In any case, the freedom of action of either government to take appropriate measures for its own defense or that of other treaty partners shall remain unaffected.
(3) If either government considers more detailed arrangements necessary, either government is free to make further proposals.
These arrangements will support other existing bilateral arrangements between our two governments and will supplement, not displace, agreed NATO procedures dealing with alerts and warning of attack.
My government agrees that the correspondence consisting of Ambassador Heeney's letter dated May 14/56, Mr. Murphy's letter dated December 4/56, Ambassador Heeney's letter dated March 1/57, and my present letter should constitute an agreement between our two governments on this subject, effective today.
167Voir/See Volume 23, Documents 91-92.
168Voir/See Volume 23, Document 83.
169Voir/See Volume 23, Document 84.