Volume #25 - 124.|
RELATIONS AVEC LES ÉTAT-UNIS
QUESTIONS DE DÉFENSE ET SÉCURITÉ
SYST&EGRAVE;ME DE DÉTECTION LOINTAINE DES MISSILES BALISTIQUES
Note du sous-secrétaire d'État aux Affaires extérieures|
pour le secrétaire d'État par intérim aux Affaires extérieures
le 10 novembre 1958|
BALLISTIC MISSILE EARLY WARNING SYSTEM (BMEWS)|
We understand that the attached memorandum on this subject will be brought before Cabinet on November 12, by the Minister of National Defence. The memorandum recommends that the United States be authorized to proceed with activities in Canada connected with the BMEWS project under terms and conditions to be set out in an exchange of notes between the two Governments. A United States draft note was forwarded to us in July and has been considered by interested Canadian Government Departments. The suggestions for revision of the United States draft are contained in the paper which forms part of the attached submission to Cabinet. That paper has been approved by senior officials of the Departments concerned including representatives of this Department.
The draft note submitted by the United States in July was designed to cover in general terms activities in Canada connected with the establishment by the United States of an early warning system against ballistic missiles. At this stage, the United States activities which would affect Canada are almost entirely in the communications field, i.e., the establishment of communication links from BMEWS radars in Thule and in Alaska. The agreement, if concluded, would cover only the "passive" element of a defence system against missiles, i.e., detection and warning equipment. The "active" element of the system, i.e., heavy radars and anti-missile missiles, will form the other essential part of the system. We have as yet little indication of United States plans in this respect which would affect Canada.
Ministers have recognized the importance of the missile threat to Canada and have agreed that it is appropriate for Canada to participate in defence systems designed to meet this threat. The Canadian Government has already given its approval to a number of specific installations connected with the system which the United States wished to build in this year's construction season. These approvals are noted in paragraph 3 of the paper included in the attached submission. This piece-meal approach to the problem has bothered Ministers but they have recognized that the state of the art is so primitive that circumstances force ad hoc decisions.
Some concern has been expressed even in service quarters that we are not being kept fully informed of developments in the United States in the field of anti-missile weapons. One factor of importance in this connection is the rivalry which exists between the United States Air Force and the United States Army as to who will control the anti-missile weapons. Our object must be to participate as effectively as we can in the development of the whole anti-missile defence system while entangling ourselves as little as we can in the inter-service struggle going on in United States.
Officials of the interested Departments have agreed that it would be desirable when forwarding Canadian comments on the United States draft note of July to indicate that the Canadian Government is anxious to have full details as early as possible on the active phase of the anti-missile defence system. This point was made by the Canadian Section at a recent meeting of the Permanent Joint Board on Defence. The Canadian Section pointed out that such information was extremely important both from the point of view of military planning and Canadian defence production.
A number of detailed observations are made in the attached paper which are not of special concern to this Department. Some of them will no doubt be dealt with by the Ministers of Defence Production and Transport. The Minister of Defence Production is particularly anxious that as early as possible in the development cycle of new weapons connected with the active phase of missile defence Canadian industry should be given an opportunity to participate. The Minister of Transport is concerned with the implications for Canadian Government telecommunications policy of the provision of military communication facilities which run through Canada to other countries.
I recommend that you give your concurrence to the attached paper in order that this Department may reopen negotiations with the United States authorities on a satisfactory exchange of notes to cover this first phase of BMEWS activities in Canada.179
[PIÈCE JOINTE 1/ENCLOSURE 1]
Ottawa, November 7, 1958
The United States are establishing a number of high powered radars to detect and track ballistic missiles approaching North America. One of these radars is being established at Thule, Greenland, and one in Alaska. To enable instantaneous and reliable communication of information from these radars to NORAD Headquarters a rearward communication system is required. Parts of this system will pass through Canadian territory.
On July 11th, 1958, a proposed note, covering U.S. communication proposals, was received by External Affairs. A Canadian interdepartmental group was established with representation from the various government departments concerned to study the contents of the proposed note. This group made a report to the Panel on Economic Aspects of Defence Questions, and the Panel, after consideration of the paper, which is attached hereunder, recommend that authority be granted to enter into negotiations with the United States for the exchange of notes covering the establishment of that portion of the communications system passing through Canada, in accordance with the conclusions arrived at by the interdepartmental group.
I concur in this recommendation.
[PIÈCE JOINTE 2/ENCLOSURE 2]
BALLISTIC MISSILE EARLY WARNING SYSTEM - OVERALL AGREEMENT
1. The United States, as an integral and essential part of the North American Continental Defence System in which Canada is a partner, has undertaken a programme to provide facilities for detection and early warning of a possible attack by ballistic missiles. The United States state there is a need for two separate highly reliable communications routes required from each of the Ballistic Missile Early Warning System (BMEWS) sites in Greenland and Alaska to NORAD. The proposed long-lines communications support for the BMEW System is outlined in Appendix "A".?
2. The BMEW System is planned not as an independent system, but takes into account other communications needs and facilities in the area, which will mutually support one another.
3. One of the detection installations is planned for Thule, Greenland, and its effectiveness will depend on the establishment of reliable communication to support the installation. Due to the indicated urgency of taking certain preliminary steps in connection with this project in advance of the consideration of an overall agreement on conditions covering the BMEW System, Canada has been requested to deal with certain aspects of the project on a piece-meal basis. This has resulted in the following developments:
Proposed Overall Agreement
4. The United States Embassy, in a letter dated July 11, 1958, have submitted a proposed draft note for an overall agreement which would govern the use of Canadian communication facilities and the establishment of certain new facilities in Canada in support of the Ballistic Missile Early Warning System. The United States have also furnished the substantive portions of a proposed letter from the USAF to the Department of Defence Production covering the construction and procurement of electronics equipment under the proposed BMEWS Agreement.
5. There may be need to clarify with the United States authorities exactly what facilities they are seeking to have covered by the exchange of notes which they have proposed. On the face of it, the United States note could be considered to cover communication facilities designed to serve not only the Thule station, but also the Fairbanks station. As it is proposed to differentiate between the Thule System and the Fairbanks System, this approach should be made clear in the exchange of notes.
6. The interested Canadian departments have examined the United States proposed draft note and have established that in general it follows the format most recently agreed to in the Statement of Conditions on the SAC Refuelling Base Agreement, and other notes, including those on the Distant Early Warning Line.
7. Significant matters covered by the draft overall agreement as prepared by the U.S. are as follows:
8. In addition to the matters referred to in the preceding paragraph, the United States in furnishing explanatory comments on the draft agreement, have indicated that it is possible that certain forward acquisition radar sites and missile sites may be proposed for location in Canada. They indicate that the planning and development work have not progressed to the point that any useful forecast can be made at this time of the implications for Canada of the active missile defence. If and when any additional sites are contemplated, they have proposed that an addendum to the BMEWS agreement, adopted by mutual agreement, should be the method of covering such activities in Canada.
9. Comments of representatives of interested Canadian departments on the U.S. draft and supporting documentation, are as follows:
10. It is recommended that the following conclusions be taken into account: