Chapter I - United Nations and Other International Organizations

Part 1

United Nations

Section A - Congo

1. DEA/6386-40

Memorandum from Under-Secretary of State for External Affairs to Secretary of State for External Affairs

TOP SECRET. CANADIAN EYES ONLY. [Ottawa], January 12, 1961
Reference: NATO Telegram 47,† Brussels Telegram 23 of January 10.†

Request for Nato Support of Belgium’s Congo Activities

On January 10 Ambassador Rothschild, Belgian expert on African affairs recently returned from the Congo, addressed the Political Advisors’ Committee of NATO on the validity of the Belgian action in permitting Colonel Mobutu’s troops to enter the Congo from the Belgian Trust Territory of Ruanda-Urundi on January 1, and requested NATO support for Belgium in defending its action.

According to the Belgian account of the incident, Colonel Mobutu asked permission from both the UN and Belgium to send troops into Bukavu in Eastern Kivu Province (now controlled by pro-Lumumba forces) via Usumbura in Ruanda-Urundi. The Belgians state they only just received the message and had not returned any answer before about 200 Congolese troops reached Usumbura on December 30 and 31 from Luluabourg in five aircraft which they had commandeered from the Sabena subsidiary, Air Congo. These troops had with them on arrival at Usumbura a photocopy of the note of the Congolese Foreign Minister requesting permission to use facilities there because those at Bukavu were inadequate. In the circumstances, according to the Ambassador, the Belgian authorities decided to allow the troops to land and to transport them to the Congolese frontier by truck. At least some of the troops were so transported, made an unopposed entry to the Congo, and reached Bukavu. After initial negotiations between this group and the pro-Lumumba forces at Bukavu, a fight developed in which this group of Colonel Mobutu’s troops were badly beaten and almost all were captured.

On January 2 the UN Secretary-General charged Belgian authorities in Ruanda-Urundi with complicity in the incursion. On January 7 the USSR permanent representative at the United Nations, V.A. Zorin, demanded that the Security Council be convened to discuss “the threat to peace and security resulting from new acts of aggression by Belgium against the Congo” and further charged that the Belgian actions “represent an open armed intervention . . . and a gross violation of the international status of the trusteeship territory of Ruanda-Urundi.” A Security Council meeting is being held today to discuss this charge.

The Belgians in their defence to be presented to the Security Council claim:

  1. The trusteeship agreement grants Belgium over Ruanda-Urundi, in matters of security, the rights and powers of a sovereign state. Although it was physically impossible for Belgian authorities to prevent the landing of Mobutu forces at Usumbura because Kasavubu’s request was late in reaching Brussels, they did not go beyond the rights and powers of a sovereign state when they authorized Congolese forces to land.
  2. Article 6 of UNGA resolution of September 20 states that “without prejudice to the sovereign rights of the Republic of Congo” all states should refrain from direct and indirect provision of military aid to the Congo, etc. According to the Belgians, Kasavubu, who asked for the right of transit through Ruanda-Urundi, is generally recognized as being the legal authority of the Congo. They were therefore justified in agreeing to his request; otherwise Kasavubu might have accused them of interpreting the resolution in a manner prejudicial to the sovereign rights of the Congo.
  3. The Belgians claim that Mobutu’s operation was not a full-fledged military operation but could be considered as much a negotiating mission as a military undertaking.

In his statement to the PAC the Belgian Ambassador stated that Belgium and the West have both an interest and a moral responsibility in the Congo and added that Belgium could not make the necessary effort in the Congo alone. In respect to the Usumbura incident he stated that Belgium had very little time in which to examine the question before being presented with a fait accompli by the arrival of the troops. It was true that the Belgian authorities in Ruanda-Urundi could have disarmed the Kasavubu troops by force but nobody knew how serious the resulting fight would be. In any case there were political reasons for not taking this course of action; the Belgians wished to support the Kasavubu Government and did not see that the request was in conflict with the Security Council resolution which called upon member states not to hinder the Congolese Government in the exercise of its authority. He further stated Belgium’s argument that it is usual in times of peace to permit the passage of troops from a friendly country into another part of that friendly country. The Ambassador concluded by stating that Belgian reports indicated that the UAR and the Communists were definitely bent on setting up a separate government in Orientale Province. The decisions taken by the more extreme African leaders, at their meeting just concluded in Casablanca, pointed up the grave dangers to the West in the Congo situation. He concluded that it was necessary to face Communist-Afro-Asian unity with Western unity.

The Belgian argument received some support from the Netherlands representative who agreed on the need for unity on the part of the West in facing the Communist bloc.

The Belgian appeal raises a number of important questions. In the first place it is necessary to consider whether the facts, as states by the Belgian representative, are accurate. Then there is the question of the validity of Belgium’s legal defence of its actions. There is the question of whether the dangers arising out of the Casablanca meeting have been accurately stated. Finally, there is the question of Canada’s response – in the light of these other considerations – to Belgium’s appeal for NATO solidarity.

The Facts of the Incident

We have no alternative, at the moment, to accepting the Belgian version of what happened. This situation might change, however, if the Secretary-General, for example, or the USSR representative, were to submit clear evidence which is not now available to us. In the meantime some scepticism may be permitted. It was no secret that some sort of expedition was planned; the requisition of the aircraft was public knowledge; anyone familiar with local circumstances would have known that they could not land at Bukavu and that Usumbura was the most logical landing-place. This much information, at least, was available, directly or by simple deduction, not only to the Belgians but to the UK, the US and probably others. It is difficult, moreover, although perhaps not wholly impossible, to believe that Belgium would not have been aware of the whole plan of the operation from the many Belgian advisers attached to the Leopoldville régime.

The Belgian Case

As to the general validity of the Belgian case, it appears that Belgian authorities acted contrary to paragraph VI of the September 20 UNGA Resolution in providing, in fact, passage and assistance to the military force from Luluabourg. Even granting that Kasavubu, as the recognized head of the Government of the Congo, has a legal right to request passage through Ruanda-Urundi from Belgium and even assuming, which is not certain, that Belgium, as the administering authority, would under normal circumstances have the right to grant this passage through its trust territory, nevertheless it would be under no obligation to do so and under the present circumstances its action is contrary to the UNGA Resolution which forbids “assistance for military purposes.” There also seems to be no justification for transporting the troops to the border instead of requiring them to depart from Ruanda-Urundi in the aircraft in which they arrived.

The Casablanca Conference

It is doubtful whether the Casablanca meeting of African leaders added significantly to the dangers inherent in the Congo situation. These dangers include the possibility of civil war on an increasingly broad scale, with significant forces withdrawn from UN command but remaining in the Congo and aiding the Stanleyville régime; the possible defeat or forced withdrawal of remaining UN forces; and the possibility of open great-power intervention. These dangers remain very real. They were perhaps at their most menacing, however, in December, when the move to withdraw forces from UN command first gained momentum; they have, if anything, diminished slightly since then, if for no other reason simply because the worst possibilities have not materialized. It may be doubted whether the threats and demands of the extremist African leaders are more menacing for having been formally repeated at Casablanca; it might even be argued that they are less so, since leaders noted for the intemperance of their utterances have found so little new to say. There remains the threat to take “appropriate action” at an unspecified time, if the UN does not meet the demands of the African leaders. Without discounting this threat, however, one can doubt whether it really confronts the West with a new and newly-menacing situation.

The Appeal to NATO Solidarity

It would appear from the foregoing that there are legitimate doubts as to whether we know the full story of the Bukavu incident (although we might not wish to say this openly) and that the Belgian case is by no means above criticism, even on Belgium’s own account of the facts. Finally there does not appear to be any new and overwhelmingly menacing situation which would make Western unity of overriding importance.

There would seem to be no reason, therefore, to alter our usual stand that NATO solidarity as such is not essential in a UN context. This is all the more the case insofar as the Congo is concerned, bearing in mind that we have continued to support the Secretary-General, and that the Secretary-General and Belgium are directly opposed to each other on this issue.

I recommend, therefore, that we do not respond to Belgium’s appeal for NATO solidarity in this instance. Since Canada is not a member of the Security Council, however, I would hope that we would not find it necessary to make any public statement of our position.

Would you agree that the foregoing assessment might be transmitted to Mr. Ritchie and to Mr. Léger?

N.A. R[OBERTSON]

2. DEA/6386-40

Memorandum from Head, Defence LiaisonFootnote 1 Division, to Under-Secretary of State for External Affairs

TOP SECRET. CANADIAN EYES ONLY. [Ottawa], January 16, 1961
Reference: African and Middle Eastern Division’s Memorandum of January 12, 1961, to the Minister.

Request for Nato Support for Belgium’s Congo Activities

You have asked for our views on the enclosed memorandum by our African and Middle Eastern Division to the Minister.Footnote 2

  1. My first remark is that the memorandum has been overtaken by events in the United Nations Security Council where the U.S.S.R. and the three Afro-Asian countries have failed to secure the condemnation of Belgium for having allowed the transit of Congolese troops through Ruanda-Urundi. The United States, the United Kingdom, France, and all the other members of the Security Council, except for the U.S.S.R. and the Afro-Asians, abstained on a resolution which would have found Belgium guilty of violating its trusteeship over Ruanda-Urundi. The matter is likely to come up in the General Assembly, however, as the U.S.S.R. Representative, Mr. Zorin, indicated that he considered the issue should be brought before the Assembly although he did not say whether he would request such action before the Assembly resumes its regular session in March.
  2. It also seems to me that our African and Middle Eastern Division has misinterpreted somewhat the Belgian appeal for “Western solidarity” in the Congo. I think you will agree that Ambassador Rothschild, when he addressed the Political Advisers Committee, did not ask for a formal expression of NATO solidarity on the Ruanda-Urundi incident. He was at pains, of course, to defend the action taken by his authorities in this particular instance, but his appeal for “Western solidarity” was of a more general character. As reported by our NATO Delegation in their telegrams 45 and 47 of January 10,† Ambassador Rothschild, in the course of his address to the Political Advisers Committee, raised three problems, namely: (1) the transit of Congolese troops through Ruanda-Urundi; (2) political problems in Ruanda-Urundi; and (3) relations between the Belgian and the Congolese Governments. It is true he prefaced his remarks by stating that “Belgium and the West have both an interest and a moral responsibility in the Congo” and that Belgium “had to have the support of some other NATO countries in attempting to defend the area against the United Arab Republic and the Communist Bloc,” but he asked for an exchange of views only on the General Assembly’s recommendation to delay the elections in Ruanda-Urundi. Insofar as his appeal referred to the Usumbura incident, it was probably directed to the NATO members of the Security Council, who, as you know, gave some support to the Belgians in that forum.
  3. The memorandum also suggests that the Belgian version of the Usumbura incident must be accepted with some scepticism. While this may be true, it seems to me that the Security Council’s refusal to condemn Belgium has a bearing on what position Canada should take if and when the question comes before the General Assembly. The Belgian version of the incident has not been openly challenged by the Western members of the Security Council and their friends. While it might be inadvisable to base recommendations to the Minister on the Belgian version of the incident only, our judgment of the Belgian behaviour must not be based on mere suppositions, even though these suppositions may have some foundation. I would suggest that we try and obtain more information from our United States and United Kingdom colleagues, in the light of the discussion in the Security Council.

W.H. BARTON

3. DEA/6385-40

Memorandum from Head, European Division, to Under-Secretary of State for External Affairs

TOP SECRET. CANADIAN EYES ONLY. [Ottawa], January 18, 1961
Reference: African and Middle Eastern Division’s Memorandum of January 12, 1961 to the Minister.

Request for Nato Support of Belgium’s Congo Activities

We note that in its memorandum under reference, the African and Middle Eastern Division recommends to the Minister that we do not respond to Belgium’s appeal for NATO support of its actions in permitting Colonel Mobotu’s troops to enter the Ruanda-Urundi territory.

  1. The recommendation of the African and Middle Eastern Division is based on the following reasons:
    the facts of the incident: doubt is cast on the Belgian version of what actually happened in the Ruanda-Urundi. – While the Belgians would understandably try to present their case in the best possible light, we do not think for our part that this is a sufficient reason in itself to assume that facts have been distorted. We have heard nothing to this effect from the Americans or the British and the United Nations has not yet provided any such evidence. When this question came to a vote in the Security Council, all NATO powers and non-communist or non-Afro-Asian states sitting on the Council abstained;
    the Belgian case: the African and Middle Eastern Division argues that Belgium acted contrary to paragraph 4 of the September 20 United Nations General Assembly resolution. – We are not in a position to comment on this assertion but presumably Legal Division or UN Division could offer useful views;
    the Casablanca Conference: the memorandum under reference contends that the Casablanca Conference did not add significantly to the danger inherent to the situation in the Congo. – While this may be so and while strictly speaking assessing the situation would not come within our responsibilities, it nevertheless seems to us that a potentially explosive situation still prevails in the Congo, particularly in the Orientale Province where efforts are being made to set up a separatist pro-communist government, and where at the same time UAR troops technically withdrawn from the United Nations command still remain.
  2. On the other hand, we find some merit in the Belgian case as set forth by Ambassador Rothschild. Leaving aside the legal aspect of the question, we find that on political grounds there is much to be said in favour of the middle-of-the-road course of action taken by the Belgians. It seems difficult to see how they could have done otherwise. Had the Belgians not met half-way the Congolese request, their action could have had serious consequences on their relations with the present United Nations-recognized Congolese Government and it is not unlikely that the morale of Colonel Mobutu’s troops would have been adversely affected. This is a risk which the Belgians could hardly afford. We think that they have not gone too far either way: they have not prevented Mobutu’s troops from crossing the Ruanda-Urundi, but they have not given them all assistance they could have given in other circumstances.
  3. In fact we are of the opinion that this incident raises the broader problem of Belgium’s relations with the Congo as a whole. Not to mention its economic aspects, the basic problem is a long, close and mutually profitable association with the Congo which the Belgians do not consider desirable to break up completely. We do not see either the necessity of a complete break up even though the Belgians may have made serious mistakes since last July. On the other hand, while there seems to be little doubt that the Belgians are better suited than anyone else to provide the assistance needed by the newly independent Congo, the Soviet Bloc, some Arab and Asian countries, certain quarters in the United Nations, as well as a number of more extremist Congolese are bent on getting all the Belgians out of the Congo and on breaking up all links between the two countries. The purposes of these manoeuvres are obvious. Still there remains a majority of Congolese who would wish to retain Belgian assistance, though, of course, on a different basis than before independence. It seems that in the face of all this, the Belgians have come to consider that the Congo has now definitely become part and parcel of the East-West struggle. Hence Western-minded Congolese leaders like Kasavubu, Tshombe and Mobutu, who are friendly towards Belgium, are given all the support and assistance they need. In view of Belgium’s special position in the Congo and of the state of its relations with Lumumba, we think that there is some justification in this policy, until at least a Congolese leaders’ round-table conference has settled some of the outstanding problems. After all, there is no evidence that the suppression of the Belgian “presence” in the Congo would be any guarantee against Soviet, communist or Arab penetration.
  4. What worsens the situation in our opinion are the strained relations between the United Nations and Belgium on the Congo, particularly with regard to assistance. This provides the communists and the Arabs with welcome opportunities to brew storms in tea cups. Until a modus vivendi between the United Nations and Belgium is reached, there will not be much room for improvement. It is not irrelevant to note in this connection that ever since September 20, 1960,Footnote 3 the Belgians have made serious efforts to reach agreement with the United Nations on this question. The United Nations have not been able to be nearly as forthcoming.
  5. In view of the foregoing, the reasons not to respond to the Belgian request do not appear as obvious to this Division as they do to African and Middle Eastern Division. I might add in this respect that we fully concur with the comments made by Defence Liaison I Division in their memorandum of January 16 to you on the nature of the Belgian request for NATO support.

HENRY DAVIS

4. DEA/6386-L-40

Secretary of State for External Affairs to Permanent Representative to North Atlantic Council

TELEGRAM ME-13 Ottawa, January 20, 1961
SECRET.
Reference: Your Tel 91 Jan 17.†
Repeat for Information: London, Permis New York, Washington, Paris, Brussels, Leopoldville (, Geneva, Cairo (Deferred).
By Bag Capetown, Tel Aviv, Lagos, Accra, Moscow, Dublin from London.

Belgian Policy in Congo

The following notes on Canada’s attitude towards Belgian activities in Congo could serve as the basis for a Canadian statement in the PAC if one appears to be necessary.

  1. Because of its position as one of the few non-African or Asian countries on the Secretary-General’s Special Advisory Committee, and the need to maintain a reputation for disinterestedness if it is to play an effective role, Canada has been obliged to take a detached public position as regards developments in Congo.
  2. Apart from wanting to see Congo restored to conditions of stability and progress, Canada has two main objectives (a) to ensure as far as possible that UN effort in Congo is impartial and does not repeat not fail and that its capacity to play an effective role in situations of this sort is preserved, and (b) to ensure that Congo is able to maintain its unity and independence and that the situation there should not repeat not become a threat to international peace.
  3. As regards Belgian activity and the regrettable lack of co-operation between Belgium and the Secretariat, we recognize that Belgium and Belgian nationals have qualifications for helping Congo out of its present difficulties. To serve this end and without in any way apportioning blame for past misunderstandings, we hope that Belgium will see the advantage of seeking fuller cooperation with UN Secretariat. We would further hope that Belgian Government would exert greater influence with Belgian nationals who are in Congo under independent auspices or intending to return to cooperate fully with UN and its agencies.
  4. Insofar as current developments in Congo are concerned, we are encouraged by the efforts of the Conciliation Commission and hope it may make a positive contribution towards bringing the political crisis to an end. We think it important that there should be at the earliest possible date a renewed effort at consultation and conciliation of all Congolese leaders and the proposed round table conference would seem to offer an opportunity for this. We hope that a provisional Congolese government commanding the widest possible measure of political support can be set up quickly.
  5. You might find it useful to quote passages from statements by Mr. Nesbitt in UNGA on December 19 as follows: On the importance of supporting UN effort “Canadian Government considers that UN operations in Congo are of a significance which goes far beyond their immediate impact on the situation in that country … My government could have wished at different times that different courses of action had been pursued in Congo. It could have sought to influence UN operations to serve particular purposes which Canada believed should be served. But we have considered that it was important to resist these temptations and to exercise a degree of restraint even when events were taking place, the immediate results of which were not repeat not to our liking. “In Canadian view, what is at stake in Congo is not repeat not only the future of that unhappy country, important though that is, but the continuing effectiveness of UN peace-keeping machinery.”
  6. Our view of the activities of Soviet Bloc in Congo “… The real objectives of these propagandistic attacks by Soviet Bloc must surely be clear to all states represented here. These are: to achieve control where they can; to subvert what they cannot repeat not control; and to destroy what they cannot repeat not subvert to their own ends. This applies to UN itself, whose success in promoting the welfare and genuine independence of new states is threatened by such policies. It particularly applies in the case of Congo, where the development of peace, tranquility and self-determination on anything but Soviet terms is impeded by every device at their command which they judge will not repeat not result in the ultimate conflict.”

[H.C.] GREEN

5. DEA/6386-40

Memorandum from Under-Secretary of State for External Affairs to Secretary of State for External Affairs

CONFIDENTIAL [Ottawa] January 25, 1961

Recommendation of Congo Advisory Committee for Release of Mr. Lumumba

In his telegram 126 of January 23† Mr. Ritchie reports on the January 20 meeting of the Congo Advisory Committee at which it was the consensus that the Secretary-General should communicate with President Kasavubu to recommend the liberation of Mr. LumumbaFootnote 4 so that he might participate with other leaders in negotiations for a political settlement. The Secretary-General sent such a telegram on January 20, the text of which is contained in Mr. Ritchie’s telegram 131 of January 23.† This same telegram contains the text of a message of January 21 from Foreign Minister Bomboko which constitutes a reply to Mr. Hammarskjöld and which in effect rejects the request to release Lumumba. Mr. Bomboko asserts that this effort of the Advisory Committee constitutes intervention in Congo affairs.

This is the first time that the Secretary-General has recommended that Lumumba be released from custody to engage in political negotiations and he has thus raised an issue of considerable importance which will, no doubt, be a subject for continuing discussion in the Advisory Committee and outside it. In the circumstances Mr. Ritchie will require some sort of guidance on the attitude he might be expected to express.

The telegram attached for your approval† sets out some comments for his guidance.Footnote 5 It expresses agreement with Mr. Ritchie’s view that it would be difficult, particularly in the Advisory Committee, to oppose the liberation of political prisoners in the Congo with the aim of encouraging political conciliation. On the other hand it points out that there are a number of considerations regarding the timing of Lumumba’s release. The telegram reinforces the view that Lumumba should be treated by due process of law, including the right to a trial without delay. The point is also made that the U.N. might put off any major initiatives in the Congo until the Conciliation Commission has completed its task and made its report. We have also suggested that concern about inhumane treatment should not be concentrated on Lumumba but should be more generally directed. In view of today’s press reports about imminent troop withdrawals from the Congo, a separate memorandum† is being submitted on this subject.

N.A. R[OBERTSON]

6. DEA/6386-40

Ambassador in Belgium to Secretary of State for External Affairs

TELEGRAM 68 Brussels, January 26, 1961

SECRET. PRIORITY.
Repeat for Information: London, Washington, NATO Paris, Paris, Permis New York.

Congo

When I called on Foreign Minister today to make representations about Geneva tariff negotiations he took the occasion to speak to me about Canadian policy toward Belgium and Congo.

  1. Mr. Wigny said he was concerned that Canada had not repeat not given Belgium more support in UN. Moreover it had seemed to him that at NATO the Minister had attached such overriding importance to UN and to relations with UN members as to give impression that he was attaching less importance to NATO and to relations with NATO members.
  2. I replied that I believed there existed a genuine difference of opinion between Belgians and Canada as to how best to promote our common interests. As Belgium’s ally and friend Canada felt that given the present political balance in the world and in UN and given Canada’s membership on UN Advisory Committee on Congo and Canadian troops in Congo, the best way for Canada to help was to avoid taking sides too openly. I also drew Minister’s attention to position Canadian representative took at PAC meeting and said I thought he would there find support for one of main Belgian contentions, the value of Belgian presence in Congo.
  3. Mr. Wigny said he welcomed having the matter put to him in this light but he nonetheless hoped that Canada would re-examine the position and reconsider her attitude, and would come to the conclusion that our common interests would best be served by supporting Belgium more openly and fully in UN and elsewhere.

[SYDNEY PIERCE]

7. DEA/6386-40

Permanent Representative to United Nations to Secretary of State for External Affairs

TELEGRAM 220 New York, February 3, 1961
CONFIDENTIAL.
Repeat for Information: Washington, London, NATO Paris, Paris, Geneva, CCOS, DND, CGS, CAS, DNI, DMI, DAI, Ottawa from Ottawa, Cairo (Deferred) from Ottawa.
By Bag Pretoria, Accra, Lagos, Moscow, Dublin, Tel Aviv, Leopoldville from London.

Congo: New Usa Approach

Noyes (USA) called on me this afternoon to explain, on instructions from Washington, a new USA approach to the problem of the Congo. He read from a brief the main portion of which is as follows: Begins: The approach is as follows:

  1. A broadly based Congolese Government should be established as soon as possible. If various member states support this and encourage those concerned to establish a broadly based government, we believe it can be achieved and can bring about stability in Congo. A return to constitutionality under the Chief of State is essential.
  2. We also support the proposal of Secretary-General for a new mandate giving UN authority to bring under control all principal military elements in Congo and thus to neutralize the role of Congolese forces in the politics of the country. Under this mandate UN troops could undertake training of Congolese troops. We would also expect UN to step up its efforts to prevent all outside assistance from coming into the Congo.
  3. The UN civilian operation in the Congo should be increased and improved so that it can effectively assist the Congo and provide the only channel for external assistance. When the military neutralization of Congolese forces is at least well under way and it is certain that a civil war has been averted, we believe that Secretary-General would be able to obtain the release and secure the protection of political prisoners. We also believe the establishment of a new, moderate and broadly based government would be essential if Secretary-General can be expected to have any success on this question. Ends.
  1. Noyes described this as a genuine effort to find a middle of the road approach which would command the approval of the more moderate Afro-Asians and the acquiescence at least of all the interested powers. He hoped that in this way the powers concerned could draw back gradually from the “abyss” that faced them if UN failed in the Congo.
  2. In reply to my question he said he thought that the two processes of pacification and forming a broadly based government could proceed together. Indeed he seemed to envisage that pacification and neutralization of the Congolese forces would flow from the political agreement that would come in the course of establishing a broadly based government, and that other means of enforcing the new mandate proposed for Secretary-General would only be considered if this did not repeat not succeed. You will see that this approach bears a considerable similarity to that described to us by Weischhoff (our telegram 216 February 3† refers).
  3. Noyes said that they were very anxious to hear our comments and to have our active support if possible. Grateful for your views. We shall comment at greater length in separate telegram.

[C.S.A.] RITCHIE

8. DEA/6386-C-40

Secretary of State for External Affairs to Permanent Representative to United Nations

TELEGRAM ME-101 Ottawa, February 6, 1961
CONFIDENTIAL.
Reference: Telegrams Permis New York 220 Feb 3 and Washington 353 Feb 4.†
Repeat for Information: London, Paris, NATO Paris, Brussels, Geneva, Cairo (Deferred) (Priority).
By Bag Pretoria, Accra, Lagos, Moscow, Dublin, Tel Aviv, Leopoldville from London.

Congo

Please let the appropriate USA officials in Washington and New York know that the Canadian Government appreciates their having informed us of the new USA attitude to the Congo problem. The USA approach appears to us to be constructive and sensible and generally pretty close to the line you have been following in the Advisory Committee.

  1. The following observations are preliminary, pending further study of USA proposals and receipt of more detailed information as to how it is proposed that they should be implemented.
  2. In general we concur in the basic USA premises, i.e. that the UN is the key to the Congo problem; that the UN action in the Congo must be supported and re-invigorated; and that its failure would have very serious consequences.
  3. We agree that the UN should seek to further an early return to constitutionality and the formation as soon as possible of a broadly based Congo Government. We doubt whether this can be done without making some concessions to the elements which attach great importance to the early release of Lumumba. We would support the Secretary-General’s policy under which all military elements in the Congo might be brought under control and neutralized: though we do not underestimate the difficulties in doing so. We attach great importance to the objective of a more effective UN civil operation, with the UN recognized as the only channel for external assistance. It should be noted that one prerequisite to achieving this objective would be the full agreement and understanding between the Secretariat and the Belgian Government which has hitherto been lacking. Perhaps the USA Government and others can make their influence felt to this end.
  4. On the further points in the two telegrams under reference our preliminary observations are as follows: (1) Release of political prisoners: We understand and have some sympathy with the reasons for the suggestion that this should await “neutralization” of the military elements and success in forming a broadly based government. However it may have to be faced that the immediate release of Lumumba may be a condition set by some of the Asian and African powers for their cooperation in achieving any of the general objectives now set forth. (2) Tactics and timing: We would fully concur in the desirability of having all three parts of the USA programme go forward as nearly simultaneously as possible. We also would urge the desirability of talking freely and frankly with all interested governments particularly Asian and African. We continue to recognize the necessity of supporting the Secretary-General who can give the necessary lead more effectively and acceptably than any of the Great Powers. Our views and those of the USA are identical that the Secretary-General’s efforts to rebuild the UN forces must be supported. So far as the replacement of Dayal is concerned we are worried lest an effort to have him removed might make the situation even more difficult than it is. If there were general agreement on the objectives to be pursued we could all probably work more satisfactorily with Dayal than has been the case in the past.
  5. Central to the achievement of the objectives which Canada and the USA would wish to see achieved in the Congo is the cessation of outside interference. We have mentioned above that Belgian cooperation will be required. But it is no less essential that the Soviet Union, the African extremists and the Western countries reach some sort of “hands-off” agreement before pacification of the Congolese army, political conciliation and national reconstruction can proceed. It seems to us that there is a degree of mutuality of interest for both east and west in the Congo and that a basis for agreement exists.

[H.C.] GREEN

9. DEA/6386-40

Permanent Representative to United Nations to Secretary of State for External Affairs

TELEGRAM 242 New York, February 9, 1961
CONFIDENTIAL.
Reference: Our Tel 220 Feb 3 and Your Tel ME-101 Feb 7.
Repeat for Information: Washington, London, NATO Paris, Paris, Geneva, DND, CCOS, CGS, CAS, DNI, DMI, DAI Ottawa from Ottawa, Cairo (Deferred) from Ottawa.
By Bag Pretoria, Accra, Lagos, Moscow, Dublin, Tel Aviv, Leopoldville from London.

Congo

Thank you for your reference telegram. We shall pass on to USA Mission your appreciation of their approach and your preliminary observations.

  1. We fully agree that we should pay tribute to the motives of USA Government in making this effort to stop the drift in the Congo and to rally moderate opinion behind a constructive approach. Like you we also think the basic ideas behind this approach are commendable and are nearer than previous Western policy to the Canadian approach as expressed for example in the Advisory Committee. In particular we agree with the emphasis on forming a broadly based Congolese Government and on a more effective UN role in preventing outside interference. We also believe USA is wise in seeking a consensus of the interested states on such a policy rather than in trying for an early resolution in the Security Council. However UK is somewhat disturbed that USA has sprung this policy on others without sufficient advance consultation and preparation. When we asked Noyes on February 7 he said it was still too early to form any impression of reactions to the approaches they had made.
  2. When it comes to the practical steps required to implement these USA ideas we have found widespread doubts here. As far as we can gather USA envisages that the broadly based Congolese government will result mainly from conciliation between Kasavubu and Mobutu and Tshombe, although “empty chairs” might in the process be left for representatives from Stanleyville. The Americans do not repeat not envisage the release of Lumumba, or the convening of parliament, until after such political agreement is reached because they fear that if he is released before it will simply add to the chaos; they do not repeat not anticipate too much trouble from Gizenga because their reports suggest that his influence is waning. However many of us share your doubts that some of the Asian-African governments not repeat not to mention the Communist governments would ever accept a government as “broadly based” which did not repeat not include Lumumba. This might well prove a sticking point in negotiation with them. One possible compromise which was suggested some weeks ago by the Indian Permanent Representative in the Advisory Committee might be the release of Lumumba (and all other political prisoners) for the specific purpose of participating in negotiations leading towards a return to constitutional government in Congo but without prejudging Lumumba’s guilt or innocence under Congolese law. Perhaps the UN might in some way be made responsible for the safekeeping and protection of Lumumba during the period of the negotiations although the Secretary-General has previously expressed in the Advisory Committee some hesitation about such an arrangement which might lead to the accusation that the UN was acting as Lumumba’s jailer.
  3. There is also widespread uncertainty here about the relationship between the political and the pacification processes in USA approach. USA ideas do not repeat not seem to be completely settled on this point but their main emphasis appears to be on achieving a political agreement which would bring about a broadly based government and at the same time some sort of arrangement for “neutralizing” the Congolese forces perhaps by getting them to deposit their arms in barracks as part of a new UN “training” scheme. On the other hand, UN Secretariat seems to put the emphasis on disarming the Congolese forces as a prerequisite for political conciliation and on changing the UN mandate in whatever way is necessary to achieve this although such a change in mandate might involve the use of force to disarm the Congolese army. Such proposals certainly pose very difficult questions both of principle and of practice. It would seem hard to justify an attempt to impose the disarmament of the Congolese forces on President Kasavubu who is under the constitution their Commander-in-Chief and if he continues to oppose the idea forcible disarming might be held to be a serious interference in the domestic concerns of Congo. Moreover any extension of UN mandate in this direction might involve UN contingents in direct hostilities with recalcitrant Congolese armed forces in a way which was certainly not repeat not contemplated when national contingents were originally allocated to Congo operation. It is hardly necessary to underline the practical difficulties in the way of disarming of “neutralizing” the Congolese armed forces, many of which have of course split up into local levies attached to various provincial leaders. It is hard to see how such a process could be brought about except as the consequence of some measure of political settlement rather than as a prior condition for that settlement. Perhaps a first step could be taken in at least discouraging the Congolese Government and the various warring provincial régimes from undertaking new military adventures against each other.
  4. Any consideration of these problems brings one back to what you describe in paragraph 6 of your reference telegram as the “central” question as to whether USSR, the African extremists and the Western countries can reach some sort of “hands off” agreement before the entire process of settlement in Congo can proceed. This indeed seems to us the overriding condition for progress. If it can be attained the Russians might restrain the supporters of Lumumba while it would certainly be necessary for the Western powers to talk very plainly to the Belgians about the dangerous effects of some of their actions. Unfortunately from this point of view the new USA initiative has already apparently awakened Belgian suspicion and opposition. We understand that the Belgian mission to UN were offended at being informed of these new American ideas at the last moment and that they (and indeed the French also to a certain extent) are very negative in their reaction. We learned that a direct conversation on Congo took place February 6 between Stevenson and Zorin without we believe leading to any positive results and with continued Soviet insistence on the immediate release of Lumumba.Footnote 6 However this is no repeat no doubt only a preliminary skirmish.
  5. It seems that the Americans have not repeat not yet thought out the question of the relationship between external assistance channelled through UN and bilateral Belgian assistance. However they have indicated that they intend to put greater pressure on the Belgians to cooperate fully with UN in this field.
  6. Finally we should perhaps point out that the Americans here have explained that this approach to Congo problem is the first big foreign policy effort of the new USA administration, that they are extremely serious in their determination to see it succeed and that its fate is likely to influence significantly the future USA attitude toward UN.

10. DEA/6386-40

Memorandum from Under-Secretary of State for External Affairs to Secretary of State for External Affairs

RESTRICTED Ottawa, February 13, 1961

Reported Death of Lumumba

I attach for your consideration a suggested statement† in case a question is asked in the House on this matter.

  1. We telephoned New York and were informed by Mr. Ritchie that although the United Nations is still not in a position to confirm officially the death of Mr. Lumumba, the Secretary-General and the delegations are accepting the fact that Lumumba is dead as reported by the Katanga Government today. The manner and circumstances of his death however have yet to be clarified. At the meeting of the Security Council this morning the Secretary-General suggested that there should be an official investigation of the Katanga Government’s report and in this was supported by the United States Delegate, Mr. Stevenson. The Soviet Representative queried the impartiality of the Secretariat to conduct such an investigation but the Council apparently upheld the Secretary-General and agreed to adjourn until Wednesday pending further investigation by the Secretariat.

N.A. R[OBERTSON]

11. DEA/6386-40

Permanent Representative to United Nations to Secretary of State for External Affairs

TELEGRAM 268 New York, February 14, 1961
CONFIDENTIAL. PRIORITY.
Reference: Our Tel 258 Feb 13.†
Repeat for Information: Washington, London, NATO Paris, Paris, Geneva, DND, CCOS, CGS, CAS, DNI, DMI, DAI Ottawa from Ottawa, Cairo (Deferred), Brussels from Ottawa.
By Bag Pretoria, Accra, Lagos, Moscow, Dublin, Tel Aviv, Leopoldville from London.

Congo

My Irish, Danish, Swedish and Norwegian colleagues and I had a very informal exchange of views Monday afternoon following the Security Council meeting. All were of course very preoccupied with the recent turn of events. In fact our general assessment of the situation was in terms which could scarcely have been darker even if we had known at that time that USSR would make the move it has today in calling for the removal of Hammarskjöld, the end of UN activity in Congo within a month and the recognition of Gizenga as head of Congolese Government.

  1. We were all agreed that death of Lumumba would gravely prejudice the development of the new USA approach to Congo. Of the four essential elements of that approach, the two dealing with the formation of a broadly based government and the release of political prisoners would seem either hollow or impractical in the new circumstances. Something might, however, still be made of the other two, that is, the prevention of external intervention and the neutralization or disarming of Congolese armed forces.
  2. With respect to the situation within the Congo itself, with the developing possibilities of massacres and reprisals, etc., UN force might now very well be forced into very difficult positions.
  3. Since this gloomy gathering the task statement of Soviet position has darkened the prospects still further. It is interesting however that Afro-Asians particularly UAR and India are still talking of the need for a compromise resolution in the Security Council which might attempt to stave off a deterioration in Congo. Loutfi (UAR) spoke to me of such a resolution yesterday and we learn that today Jha is working on a possible text which might be based on (a) neutralization of ANC forces in Congo and prevention of civil war; (b) withdrawal of all Belgian military and para-military personnel from Congo; (c) an investigation by a subcommittee of the Security Council of the circumstances of Lumumba’s death.
  4. It is too early to say what prospects such a relatively moderate approach may have but at least at the moment the Afro-Asians apart from Mali and Guinea do not repeat not appear to have associated themselves with extreme Soviet position.

[C.S.A.] RITCHIE

12. DEA/6386-40

Memorandum from Assistant Under-Secretary of State for External Affairs to Under-Secretary of State for External Affairs

CONFIDENTIAL [Ottawa], February 16, 1961

The Situation in the Congo

Over the last few days the situation in the Congo, which was already deteriorating, has taken a sharp turn for the worse as the result of the death of Lumumba. The Soviet Union are repudiating the Secretary-General and a number of African governments have recognized Mr. Gizenga as the head of the legitimate Congolese Government.

  1. The implications of these recent developments are potentially extremely serious, both in the Congo and generally. In the Congo it is possible that fighting may develop between Gizenga on the one side and the United Nations on the other. As an alternative which is no less disturbing, the United Nations might withdraw with a very substantial loss in prestige to cut down its losses and then at best there would be chaos in the Congo for a good long while. There is, however, a danger, should the United Nations withdraw, that Gizenga with Soviet assistance might become involved in a struggle against Katanga with Belgian and U.S. assistance. This would open up a new hot and cold war front in the centre of Africa. It is not inconceivable that the conflict might not be limited to Africa. The situation in the Congo is therefore potentially extremely serious.
  2. The trouble unfortunately is not limited to the Congo. By challenging the Secretary-General, in allowing aid to be given to the Gizenga Government, the Soviet Union seems to be determined to wreck the special contribution to stability in the world which the U.N. might have been able to make in spite of the present Charter limitations. Furthermore, the Soviet Union seems to be making a determined bid for at least a zone of influence in Africa, extending the present foothold it has in Guinea. There is no doubt that part of this is related to the permanent objectives of Soviet policy. It is also conceivable that they have skilfully taken advantage of our own mistakes and, in particular, of the ill-advised Belgian reluctance to pull out of the Congo. There may well be on the part of the Russians a desire to pick up as many trumps as they can in preparation for the Summit meeting with Kennedy. In return for concessions as to the United Nations or in Africa, the Russians may be in a better position to obtain from the United States advantages in other areas which are of more immediate or substantial interest to the Soviet Union, e.g. Berlin, Germany, etc. The situation is complicated by the fact that a number of African countries seem to have espoused the Soviet view of the situation and to be supporting Soviet manoeuvres. Another element in the situation is that the important neutral countries or uncommitted countries, such as India, Ceylon, and to a certain extent Yugoslavia and Egypt, are either passive or siding with the Soviet Union. The danger therefore is that if the situation is allowed to deteriorate, the United Nations ability to assist in maintaining peace will be substantially reduced and Soviet power in the world will be increased as a result of their acquiring control over the Congo.
  3. The conclusion of the above cursory analysis would seem to be that the Soviet operation may succeed unless uncommitted countries are prepared to intervene to frustrate it and it seems that, for the West and for Canada in particular, the problem, insofar as the situation in the Congo and that of the United Nations, is that of determining whether anything can usefully be done to induce these uncommitted states to do anything to prevent what would in fact be a major Soviet victory.
  4. It seems to me that the real issue is not whether the Secretary-General is adequate or not and whether a collegiate system should be introduced in the structure of the United Nations, but whether it is not in the interests of small, medium and uncommitted countries to take immediate and energetic action to salvage what can be salvaged of existing U.N. machinery for independent action to sustain peace and security in the world. If Hammarskjöld is compelled to resign and the United Nations in general or in the Congo is discredited, it seems to me that there will be a tendency to deal with international problems on a naked power basis and that this will increase the dangers of war and reduce the potential role which the medium and uncommitted countries can play in the preservation of peace. If this conclusion is accepted, it seems to me that the efforts of countries like Canada should be directed to promoting a greater appreciation on the part of other countries, particularly the uncommitted countries, as to the urgent need for ensuring that the structure of the United Nations is not allowed to disintegrate and the U.N. effort in the Congo is not brought to an immediate end, even though this does not necessarily mean that it should be conducted along the lines envisaged by the Secretary-General. In the circumstances, it seems to me that it would be open to Canada to appeal to some of the leading statesmen of uncommitted countries to take stock of the situation and to consider whether they do not agree that a continuation of the U.N. effort in the Congo in some fashion and a maintenance of some freedom of manoeuvre for the U.N. are not linked and whether this does not mean that, together with such Western countries as are directly involved in the Congolese situation, they should not seek to find a solution to that situation which would involve making maximum use of U.N. facilities in such a way as to elicit African cooperation.
  5. There is at the moment in operation a Conciliation Committee. The trouble with this Committee is that it is not fully representative of the elements vitally involved in this situation and that the outcome of its deliberations is unlikely to affect the situation materially. In view of developments in the last few days, is it not realistic to assume that a number of African states have taken up a position in support of Soviet objectives while a certain number of other states are hesitant to pursue this course and that no solution which does not take into account this polarization of the Congolese situation is likely to be acceptable. The two elements therefore to be reconciled are a division of African opinion on the Congolese issue and the need to rally neutral opinion in support of U.N. machinery.
  6. Would it not be possible to achieve this objective in suggesting to the leaders of uncommitted countries that one possible approach to a solution might be to arrange, under United Nations’ auspices, for a meeting of leaders of African states directly concerned at the highest level to consider urgently what steps might be taken to bring to Congolese situation under control before it is allowed to threaten peace more directly. I have in mind that perhaps the President of the Assembly might call a meeting of African states which might consider measures to be recommended to the Security Council with a view to providing a solution of the present Congo difficulties. There is an advantage in asking Africans to deal with an African situation but I do not think that the issue with which we are faced concerns the African states alone and I do not think that the United Nations should abdicate completely to African states in the present circumstances. There is bound to be a problem as to the composition of the meeting. This is a matter for negotiation but if the worst came to the worst, I do not think that the West should accept less than a 50-50 proposition. I envisage that the African leaders might come up with suggestions concerning the introduction of arms into the Congo, the withdrawal of “volunteers,” the supervision of the kind of assistance which should be provided, etc.

M. CADIEUX

13. PCO

Extract from Cabinet Conclusions

SECRET [Ottawa], February 16, 1961
Present

  • The Prime Minister and Acting Secretary of State for External Affairs (Mr. Diefenbaker) in the Chair,
  • The Minister of Finance (Mr. Fleming),
  • The Minister of Transport (Mr. Balcer),
  • The Minister of Veterans Affairs (Mr. Churchill),
  • The Minister of Justice (Mr. Fulton),
  • The Minister of National Revenue (Mr. Nowlan),
  • The Minister of National Defence (Mr. Harkness),
  • The Minister of Citizenship and Immigration (Mrs. Fairclough),
  • The Minister of Fisheries (Mr. MacLean),
  • The Minister of Labour (Mr. Starr),
  • The Postmaster General (Mr. William Hamilton),
  • The Solicitor General (Mr. Browne),
  • The Minister of Mines and Technical Surveys (Mr. Comtois),
  • The Minister of National Health and Welfare (Mr. Monteith),
  • The Minister of Defence Production (Mr. O’Hurley),
  • The Minister of Public Works (Mr. Walker),
  • The Minister of Forestry (Mr. Flemming),
  • The Secretary of State (Mr. Dorion),
  • The Minister of Northern Affairs and National Resources (Mr. Dinsdale),
  • The Minister without Portfolio (Mr. Halpenny).
  • The Secretary to the Cabinet (Mr. Bryce),
  • The Assistant Secretary to the Cabinet (Dr. Hodgson).

The Situation in the Congo

  1. The Prime Minister, as Acting Secretary of State for External Affairs, said that the government of Mr. Gizenga, as successor to Mr. Lumumba, had already been recognized by the U.S.S.R., Ghana, Guinea and the United Arab Republic. It appeared likely that Mr. Gizenga would try to establish his government in other parts of the Congo. He deplored the disorders that had occurredFootnote 7 on the previous day at the United Nations Security Council. He expressed gratification, however, at the forthright statement by President Kennedy at a televised press conference later on that day, that the United States would act to support the United Nations if any nation should take unilateral action in the Congo.
  2. During the brief discussion it was stated that Mr. Gizenga had a force of 2,000 troops, and might soon attack Stanleyville.
  3. The Cabinet noted the statement of the Prime Minister, as Acting Secretary of State for External Affairs, on the situation in the Congo.
    . . .

14. DEA/6386-C-40

Memorandum from Under-Secretary of State for External Affairs to Secretary of State for External Affairs

CONFIDENTIAL [Ottawa], February 20, 1961

Congo – use of RCAF North Star Aircraft

You will recall that the commitment entered into by the Canadian Government last September to provide two North Star flights per week in support of the external airlift for the U.N. forces in the Congo was extended for a further period of ninety days last December. This extended period will expire on March 9, 1961 and the U.N. Secretariat has now requested that it be again extended for at least an additional period of ninety days. The reason given by the U.N. is that although normal supply requirements for the ONUC are now sea-lifted, the twice weekly North Star flights provided by the Canadian Government continue to be an essential part of the support operation.

  1. In view of recent developments in the Congo, and of the public position which the Government has taken on them, it would seem more than ever essential that the U.N. presence there be maintained and adequately supported logistically, and that Canada should not take any action which might suggest a declining interest in the ONUC, or which might imply that we intend to scale down Canadian participation in the Force. For this reason, I would recommend that the further extension requested by the U.N. be granted subject to re-consideration of the problem in the light of developments during the additional ninety-day period. I attach for your signature, if you agree, a letter† along those lines to the Minister of National Defence.Footnote 8

N.A. R[OBERTSON]

15. DEA/6386-C-40

Memorandum from Under-Secretary of State for External Affairs to Secretary of State for External Affairs

CONFIDENTIAL [Ottawa], February 21, 1961

Congo: Security Council Debate

Early this morning, the Permanent Mission in New York reported by telephone on the outcome of the Security Council debate on the Congo situation. At that time, the Council had rejected the Soviet draft resolution, calling for the dismissal of the Secretary-General and the withdrawal of the United Nations operation in the Congo, by a vote of one in favour, eight against and two abstentions (Ceylon, United Arab Republic). The Council had adopted the draft resolution, submitted by Ceylon, Liberia and the United Arab Republic, and containing a clarified programme for the United Nations operations in the Congo, by a vote of nine in favour, none against and two abstentions (France and the Soviet Union). The Council was still considering another draft resolution, submitted by the African-Asian members, which dealt with the political assassinations and called for an investigation of them. We learned later that this third resolution was not adopted because it failed to have the support of seven members of the Council (the Western powers abstained).

  1. The result in the Council has been hailed by the press as a defeat for the Soviet Union and a victory for the Secretary-General. Certainly, the Soviet attempt to remove the Secretary-General through Council action has been blocked. However, the Secretary-General has not been specifically supported by the African-Asians because their draft resolution, while calling for further United Nations action, makes no direct reference to the Secretary-General.
  2. By implication, of course, the Secretary-General will continue to be the executive authority in the implementation of the three-power resolution. The African-Asians can be expected to play an active part in seeing to it that the various provisions of the draft resolution are carried out. Some of these, like the withdrawal and evacuation of “all Belgian and other foreign military and paramilitary personnel and political advisers not under United Nations command, and mercenaries” will probably require complementary diplomatic action to persuade the governments concerned to co-operate. The impartial investigation of political assassinations in the Congo and the punishment of “perpetrators of these crimes” is another provision which may be difficult to implement.
  3. Some of the elements which contributed to the success of the Council deliberations appear to have been:
    1. The firm stand taken by the United States in support of a continuing role for the United Nations. The United States representative made clear to the Council and to all members of the United Nations that the United States would not stand idle in the face of a United Nations collapse in the Congo but would take action to prevent chaos in that country and to counter any outside interference. This strong statement had the effect of persuading the African-Asians to rally behind the United Nations effort in the Congo and to take the steps necessary to make the United Nations operation more effective. The African-Asians were made to realize that, if both the Soviet Union and the United States meant business, the Congo would not only become battleground in the cold war but perhaps the scene of actual fighting involving the Great Powers. Fear of this result prompted the African-Asians to unite in an effort to preserve the United Nations approach.
    2. India shifted its position significantly by concentrating immediate attention on the need to avert civil war in the Congo and to restore order. Before Christmas, the Indians strongly supported Lumumba and called for the immediate convening of parliament. More recently, they have emphasized the urgent need to restore peace and security and, in effect, conditions in which there could be an early return to constitutional government. This important shift of emphasis has not been reflected so much in the public statements of India as in the essence of the position the Indians have taken in recent negotiations behind the scenes in New York. India is now prepared, according to reports, to give strong military support to the United Nations in the Congo.
    3. The position of the United Arab Republic has been interesting and important. The fact that Nasser has chosen to take the initiative in the Security Council rather than to follow Guinea and Mali in supporting the Soviet Union suggests that he may have had his own reasons for wishing to loosen once again the Soviet embrace. Nasser may have regarded, moreover, that open conflict between Gizenga and Kasavubu, each supported from outside, was a risk which he was not prepared to run. It may also have been his calculation that Gizenga in the short term would not be strong enough to resist the combined fighting force of Kasavubu and Tshombe. A return to the United Nations approach could be expected to take the heat out of the situation and allow time for re-organizing the Gizenga faction for the eventual political show-down.
  4. The critical factor in the situation now may be the reaction of Belgium and perhaps France. If these countries are prepared to co-operate with the United Nations, it seems possible that with increased military and economic strength the Organization may be able to make headway on the programme contained in the three-power resolution. Particularly, the Belgian position may depend on the degree of pressure which is exerted on Belgium’s allies, principally the United States and the United Kingdom. The United States, however, appears firmly committed to the United Nations approach and this would imply a determination to render diplomatic support as well as the material assistance needed by the United Nations.
  5. Quite apart from the Belgian attitude will be that of Tshombe. For a time at least, he may believe that he can defy the United Nations. However, if the United Nations presence in Katanga can be reinforced and if the external props are removed, his position will be less tenable and he will be better disposed to reach accommodation with the other political leaders in the Congo.
  6. While there is cause for mild optimism about the fact that the Security Council has been able to reach a decision in favour of further action by the United Nations in the Congo, it would be a mistake not to be cautious about the difficulties. In trying to prevent civil war, for example, the United Nations could become involved in heavy fighting. The main source of satisfaction surely is that the United Nations has been authorized to continue its effort, that the initiative has passed to the African-Asians, who seem disposed to support the United Nations, and that United Nations has a fair opportunity to recoup its losses in the Congo.

N.A. R[OBERTSON]

16. DEA/6386-40

Memorandum

SECRET [Ottawa], February 24, 1961

The Congo

A new phase of developments in and relating to the Congo has been opened, with the passage by the Security Council on February 21 of an Afro-Asian resolution designed largely to forestall the prospect of civil war in the wake of the death of Patrice Lumumba. Some encouragement may be drawn from this active re-association of some of the leading African and Asian countries with the UN effort to reverse the trend toward disintegration in the Congo. At the same time, the limitations of the current initiative cannot be ignored. As the Secretary-General pointed out in welcoming the resolution, it provides a “stronger and more clear framework” for UN action, but does not broaden the legal basis for UN involvement or provide any “new means for implementation.” Moreover, the alignment of external forces behind the various conflicting elements within the Congo continues to aggravate the situation; since the announcement of Lumumba’s death the Stanleyville régime headed by his lieutenant, Antoine Gizenga, has been formally recognized as the legal government of the Congo by most Soviet bloc countries, and by several African states including the UAR and Ghana. Nevertheless, a Security Council resolution promoted by Afro-Asians which reaffirms the paramount role of the UN in sorting out affairs in the Congo offers a fresh start for all concerned, and an opportunity to introduce new effectiveness into the UN action. The principal clauses of the resolution call for cessation of all military operations, with force to be used by the UN as a last resort to secure compliance; evacuation of all Belgian and other foreign, non-UN military personnel and political advisers; investigation of Lumumba’s death; convening of parliament in secure conditions; and reorganization of the Congolese armed forces. While apparently unexceptionable from an objective viewpoint, these proposals have aroused sharply adverse reactions from several of the more actively interested parties both within and outside the Congo. Both the Ileo Government in Leopoldville and the Tshombe régime in Katanga have made clear their opposition to having their forces neutralized. The Soviet Union, which had utilized the Congo debate in the Security Council for an assault of unparalleled ferocity on the person of the Secretary-General, may be expected to continue exploiting every opportunity to undermine the UN operation. Belgium will have difficulty in reconciling itself to the unequivocal demand for further and rapid limitation of Belgian influence. Most critical for the successful implementation of the Security Council resolution, however, will be the response of the leading Afro-Asian states. How realistic and effective this response will be can only be tentatively assessed at this stage.

Co-sponsorship of the resolution by the UAR, which has represented a principal focus of support for Lumumba and in this cause has given physical as well as moral support to the Gizenga régime, may indicate that the UAR has reached a point of decision in its Congo policy. Although it has withdrawn its contingent from the UN force, and while it undoubtedly will seek to interpret the Security Council resolution in a manner favourable to the Stanleyville régime, the UAR with the departure of Mr. Lumumba from the scene may find its way clear to work gradually back to a less negative attitude toward the UN effort.

The Commonwealth country which has been most directly involved in the Congo, Ghana, also was openly committed to the support of Lumumba. Nevertheless, Prime Minister N’Krumah has persistently clung to the principle of a primary role for the UN in the Congo, no matter how vigorously he has condemned the implementation of the UN mandate. Ghana so far has maintained its 1200-man force in the Congo, and apparently has made some effort to persuade Morocco to keep its contingent there as well. In a message of February 18 to the Secretary-General, Mr. N’Krumah indicated his deep concern at the further deterioration of conditions in the Congo, and outlined a comprehensive plan for reorganizing the UN activities under an exclusively African UN command. Although Ghana was not directly associated with the February 21 resolution, several elements in it may be expected to appeal to Prime Minister N’Krumah.

Of the other African states which have most vigorously supported Lumumba, Guinea and Mali remain vociferous in their endorsement of the Gizenga régime and in condemning the UN operation. Morocco has taken a much more cautious position; although it has declared its disillusionment with the UN exercise, there have been indications that Morocco is wavering in its determination to withdraw its 3200-man contingent, part of which still remains in the Congo.

Leaving aside the participants in the Casablanca meeting, several African states – and in particular Ethiopia, the Sudan, Tunisia and the remaining former French territories – have taken a stand generally supporting the UN effort, and have avoided strong commitments to any single faction in the Congo. An exception is the pro-Kasavubu Government of the Congo (Brazzaville) Republic. Nigeria, with 1500 troops and considerable influence (the President of the Conciliation Commission is a Nigerian) also takes a firm stand in support of the UN role. Nigeria was associated with the drafting of the Security Council resolution of February 21, for which it expressed strong support.

India has been an active participant in the UN exercise in the Congo, and it seems likely that its involvement may assume increased importance. In addition to maintaining a 780-man non-combatant contingent in the Congo, India has several of its nationals in top positions in the UN Congo structure. These include Rajeshwar Dayal, the Secretary-General’s political representative, and Brigadier Rikhye, his military adviser. India’s position has been that the Congo parliament represents the only acceptable source of a constitutional solution to the struggle for power within the country. This also involved support for Lumumba as Prime Minister, but any other Prime Minister chosen legally by parliament probably would be equally acceptable. India recognizes Kasavubu as head of state. While emphasizing the importance of a distinctively Congolese solution to the country’s problems, India has shown grave concern at the prospect of collapse of the UN effort, urging that this would be disastrous both for the Congo and for the UN. Against this background India expressed strong support for the February 21 resolution, and indicated that it would make whatever further contribution to the UN operation might become desirable.

Malaya contributes a contingent to the UN force in the Congo, and it seems likely that Malayan participation will be expanded. Pakistan has contributed a contingent of non-combatant troops to the U.N. operation and in its public pronouncements has conveyed support for the Secretary-General and the UN role.

The general position of the remaining members of the Commonwealth – the U.K., Australia, New Zealand and South Africa – in respect of the Congo has been to avoid involvement in the country’s internal conflicts, and to support the UN effort on a pragmatic basis.

Soviet policy in respect of the Congo has involved vehement support for pro-Lumumba elements, and correspondingly violent opposition to Mobutu, Kasavubu and Tshombe. The difficulties of the UN operation have been exploited in destructive criticism of the UN structure and Mr. Hammarskjöld personally, while the attitudes of Belgium and the “imperialist” Western powers generally have been vigorously attacked as well. The recent Soviet resolution before the Security Council, calling for complete withdrawal of the UN forces from the Congo within a month and removal of Mr. Hammarskjöld from his office, received only the Soviet vote, with the UAR and Ceylon abstaining. The Soviet Union abstained on the successful Afro-Asian resolution.

Belgium, with close traditional ties to the Congo and large numbers of nationals employed by both the Tshombe and Kasavubu régimes, retains considerable influence there. Belgian policy presumably has been to support first Congo unity and hence the Kasavubu Government and, if this régime fails, to fall back on support for Tshombe and his régime in Katanga where the bulk of Belgian investments are concentrated. More recently the Belgian Government has shown a tendency to encourage cooperation of Belgian nationals with UN officials in the Congo; but how far this measure of cooperation will survive or be extended under the recent Security Council resolution remains to be seen. The Belgian position is strongly supported by Portugal and, in a more discreet way, by France.

The United States under the Kennedy Administration has adopted a more dynamic approach to the Congo problem. Its declared support for the Secretary-General’s recent proposals – including plans for reorganization of the Congolese Army, political conciliation and increased aid for the Congo – provided a useful background for the current Afro-Asian initiative. The Security Council resolution of February 21 gives expression to a number of proposals included in the preliminary report submitted to the UN Advisory Committee on the Congo by the Conciliation Commission of 14 Afro-Asian representatives, which had spent several weeks in the Congo. It is not clear what will be the future role of the Conciliation Commission, which suffered severe divisions within its ranks in the course of its difficult mission.

In the formidable task of seeking to implement the Security Council resolution, Mr. Hammarskjöld has indicated that he intends to involve the Advisory Committee more directly than previously in his decisions and actions. (This committee includes Canada, Ireland and Sweden as well as its 14 Afro-Asian members.) Initial measures to give effect to the resolution will have to be concentrated on bolstering the UN force; Brigadier Rikhye has estimated that 25 battalions are needed to implement the peace-restoring clause in the resolution, whereas only 16 battalions will be left in the Congo when withdrawals now in progress are completed. In seeking new contributions, appeals are being addressed first to African and Asian states, although it may become necessary or desirable later to ask for reinforcements from other sources. A particular sensitive factor in recruiting enlarged or new contributions involves the reservations which many governments may be expected to hold concerning the manner in which their troops may be used in the Congo. The Security Council resolution apparently gives the force somewhat broader scope for action than previously, when its military function has been largely limited to self-defence.

Concurrent action is being taken by the Secretary-General to implement other clauses in the Afro-Asian resolution. Communications are being directed to the various political leaders in the Congo, and to the Belgian and other governments, exhorting full compliance with the terms of the resolution.

Canada has consistently held that the UN must play the key role in the Congo problem, that the UN operation must be supported and reinvigorated and that its failure would have very serious consequences. To the extent that the resolution of February 21 provides the means for strengthening the hand of the UN and its Chief Executive Officers, and contributes to making the UN the exclusive channel for foreign participation in Congolese affairs, it is a step to be welcomed. Of particular interest to Canada is the support which this initiative has evoked from African and Asian members of the Commonwealth, who may be expected to play an increasingly significant part in determining the course and outcome of the UN effort in the Congo.

17. DEA/6386-40

Memorandum from Under-Secretary of State for External Affairs to Secretary of State for External Affairs

CONFIDENTIAL [Ottawa], February 25, 1961

Congo Questions Affecting Belgium – Guidance for Nato Discussion

It appears certain that the implications for Belgium of the latest Security Council resolution on the Congo will be discussed in NATO early in the week. (Belgium has already taken up in NATO the question of attacks on Belgian embassies.) Attached for your consideration is a suggested telegram† indicating the line our delegation might take in this discussion.

  1. It is the Department’s estimate both that heavy demands are being made on Belgium, and that Belgium’s wholehearted cooperation is essential if the Security Council resolution is to be implemented and if the UN effort in the Congo is to succeed. (These points are the subject of a more detailed memorandum which will be going forward to you.) The preliminary indications are that Belgium is disposed to be cooperative; we know from New York, however, that a somewhat peremptory message has gone to the Belgian Permanent Representative, and the Belgian Government is likely to find this message difficult to accept immediately and it its entirety.
  2. In the circumstances, it is recommended that we take an attitude of sympathetic encouragement towards Belgium, while not deviating from insistence on the paramount importance of implementing the Security Council resolution.Footnote 9

N.A. R[OBERTSON]

18. DEA/6386-40

Chairman, Delegation to United Nations General Assembly to Secretary of State for External Affairs

Telegram 460 New York, March 10, 1961
CONFIDENTIAL.
Reference: Your Tel ME-74 Mar 7.†
Repeat for Information: Washington, London, NATO Paris, Paris, Geneva, Cairo (Deferred), Brussels from Ottawa, DND, CCOS, CGS, CAS, DNI, DMI, DAI from Ottawa.
By Bag Pretoria, Accra, Lagos, Moscow, Dublin, Tel Aviv, Leopoldville from London.

Congo - Policy Questions

I should like to comment on two points arising out of your very helpful reference telegram. My thought is that, if you agreed and if it still appeared appropriate to do so by that time, these points might be touched upon in our intervention in the Congo debate.

  1. In paragraph 7 of your reference telegram you very rightly emphasize the importance of keeping clearly in view the ends to which the UN operation is directed. It seems to me that it is almost equally important that these ends should be clearly understood by the Congolese themselves. The importance of a major UN public relations effort has been stressed in the Advisory Committee by Slim of Tunisia, and I have given my support. Much of the recent trouble in the Congo arises out of misunderstanding, which is to some extent traceable to the failure of the UN’s representatives in the Congo to make their position wholly clear. (This situation is exemplified in paragraph 4 of telegram 67 March 6† from our representative in Leopoldville which states that “no repeat no attempts on the part of the UN command were made locally to deny belief inspired by the government that UN intends to disarm Congolese troops.)” While I would not repeat not propose to assign blame publicly, I think it might be useful to urge action to make the UN’s position clear.
  2. Your emphasis in paragraph 9 of your reference telegram on the urgent need to establish more effective consultation and mutual confidence between the UN and Congolese political leaders underlines an issue which is beginning to take shape in the Advisory Committee and may prove to be of major importance in next week’s debate.
  3. This issue was stated in crude and provocative but effective terms at Tuesday night’s Advisory Committee meeting (on which we are reporting separately) by Wachuku of Nigeria. He accused the Advisory Committee and the UN generally of fighting shy of a most important decision: whether the Congo was to continue to be regarded as a sovereign and independent member of the UN, or as a UN trust territory; if the former, whether there was a valid constitution in existence; if so, what Congolese authorities were legal under it. The UN would have to face up to the decision, Wachuku said, and once it had decided there would have to be an end to propaganda and great power politics.
  4. Jha of India took issue with the presentation of the problem in this form, and the Secretary-General expressed the hope that the Congolese themselves would “make up our minds for us.”
  5. It is becoming increasingly apparent, however, that they are unlikely to do so, or at the least that it will be impossible to obtain any agreement internationally that they have done so. Gizenga’s refusal to attend the Tananarive meeting points up the fact that at least one of the factional leaders in the Congo will be likely to boycott any meeting which is called to consider steps leading towards the formation of an all-Congolese Government. Subsequently it will be open to that leader and to his friends in the UN to reject whatever agreement may have been reached. In effect, each factional leader has a veto over such agreement, at any time or in any circumstances he thinks unfavourable.
  6. Yet at some point the UN has got to have a Congolese Government with which it can deal, unless, of course, as Wachuku says, it accepts one of the other two possibilities of anarchy indefinitely or some sort of UN trusteeship over the Congo.
  7. This last possibility, which Nigeria for one rejects categorically, seems to be what the Congolese civil and military leaders principally fear. The existence of such fears (which may, incidentally, be enhanced by some of N’Krumah’s ideas) and the manifestations they can give rise to, lead me to feel that it is urgently important to accompany the current re-definition of the circumstances in which force may be used with some more positive and immediate goal than the vague hope that the Congolese will, at some time in the indefinite future, find for themselves a leadership which will satisfy everyone that it is the valid repository of the sovereignty of the Congolese state.
  8. The UN is being pushed towards a decision whose importance and urgency are becoming increasingly apparent, but whose achievement is becoming increasingly difficult. It is happening when some even of those who are not repeat not committed to one of the separatist claimants are moving farther away from acceptance of any existing Congolese authority – witness Jha’s belief that Kasavubu has ruled himself out of court as everything but Head of State (which appears to mean little or nothing in the Indian lexicon) by his association with anti-UN acts.
  9. My own feeling is that the importance of having some sort of central Congolese authority with which the UN can and will deal must be firmly stressed. This is all the more important if there is to be a chance of a new start under a successor to Dayal. Kasavubu’s proposals for re-organization with UN assistance of the Congolese armed forces (see our telegram 438 Mar 8)† might, for example, be a real basis for negotiation between the UN and a responsible Congolese authority if any such were recognized. The proposals themselves raise serious difficulties only if there is no repeat no recognized central authority.
  10. This does not repeat not necessarily mean that we should commit ourselves to the Kasavubu-Ileo régime. But we do have a case, I think, for urging that the UN take a more constructive approach to the Congo problem, in two respects. First, the UN should make a determined effort to reach agreement on a realistic statement of the conditions which will need to be met by any authority seeking general recognition as an all-Congolese régime; at the least, there should be agreement on steps which would be accepted as leading towards the formation of a valid all-Congolese Government. Second, there should be a deliberate effort in the meantime to widen the area of practical cooperation between the UN in the Congo and the de facto Congolese authorities in the different areas, without of course either raising any question of de jure recognition or enhancing the military strength of regional régimes.
  11. We shall have probably by March 14 the first report of the Conciliation Commission which, if it reflects the principles contained in the preliminary report of the Commission, may give us something to build on (although we do not repeat not yet know how many members of the commission have signed the first report.)

19. DEA/6386-40

Permanent Representative to United Nations to Secretary of State for External Affairs

TELEGRAM 502 New York, March 14, 1961
CONFIDENTIAL.
Reference: Our Tel 496 Mar 14.†
Repeat for Information: Washington, London, NATO Paris, Paris, Geneva, Cairo (Deferred), Brussels from Ottawa, DND, CCOS, CGS, CAS, DNI, DMI, DAI from Ottawa.
By Bag Pretoria, Accra, Lagos, Moscow, Dublin, Tel Aviv, Leopoldville from London.

Congo Advisory Committee Meeting – March 13, 1961

Before yesterday’s Advisory Committee met I had a talk with Secretary-General. I found him in a somewhat tense state. He was indignant at the behaviour of the Congolese authorities over MatadiFootnote 10 and said that all new evidence reaching him put the Congolese attitude in an even worse light and clearly showed Belgian influences at work. He referred bitterly to a recent episode in which Swedish personnel captured by ANC had been made to walk naked in the street.

  1. Turning to the communiqué of the Tananarive ConferenceFootnote 11 Mr. Hammarskjöld said that the meeting of the Congolese leaders was simply an assembly of political personalities and that it had no repeat no constitutional status. He was convinced that Belgian influence had been strongly at work in drafting plans for the new Congolese Confederation. He went on to say that the abandonment by President Kasavubu of the loi fondamentale and the new position he had assumed as President of a Confederation raised the whole question of the validity of his position as Head of the Congolese State. He then told me that he proposed to bring this question to the attention of the Advisory Committee and read me quotations from the statement he proposed to make (see my reference telegram). I expressed some doubt as to the desirability of raising at this stage the question of President Kasavubu’s position as Head of State. I pointed out that this would certainly lead eventually to a bitter dispute as to whether Kasavubu remained Head of State. Meanwhile it was always possible that the Tananarive decisions might be mitigated in the subsequent round of meetings which were planned by the Congolese leaders as part of the process of constitution making. I added that while it might be difficult to defend the constitutional legality of President Kasavubu’s position unless it had received parliamentary or popular approval the fact remained that many states in UN African and other had credentials from heads of state whose own positions in terms of constitutional legality might be very dubious. (We seemed to be applying criteria of legal and democratic purity to Congo which we do not repeat not apply to a number of other governments of member states.)
  2. The Secretary-General recognized that the question of Kasavubu’s continued position as Head of State would cause a cleavage in UN but seemed to regard this as inevitable. In any event he pointed out that he was not repeat not prejudging the issue but only raising it.
  3. I then said to the Secretary-General that he might have noticed that in my interventions in the Advisory Committee I had placed a good deal of emphasis on need to inform such public opinion as existed in the Congo more fully as to the intentions of UN and in particular to disabuse their minds on the idea that UN force was going to disarm ANC. I said that reports from our own representative in Leopoldville strengthened my impression that much too little was being done in this direction and that many unnecessary misunderstandings and suspicions were being allowed to grow up. Mr. Hammarskjöld acknowledged that there was truth in this criticism and said that he now planned to record a statement explaining UN purposes which could be broadcast over Congo radio. I said I was glad to hear of this step which I thought might have been taken earlier.
  4. In my reference telegram I have outlined Secretary-General’s subsequent presentation to the Advisory Committee and the reactions of the members of the committee. I still feel that it was unfortunate that Mr. Hammarskjöld should have raised the issue of President Kasavubu’s status in what seems to me a precipitate manner. I think his reasoning has been that the Casablanca powers and perhaps other Afro-Asians also will raise this matter and that he should get in first. In my opinion however his statement cannot repeat not fail to cast doubts on the President’s status and make working relations with Congolese authorities more difficult.
  5. I believe that we shall shortly be facing in UNGA a new cleavage as a result of Tananarive Conference decisions. If Congolese leaders had declared themselves for a federation however loose instead of a confederation of separate states the position might be easier (and they could have obtained the same results) but their present decisions will at once lend themselves to the accusation that Congolese State has been dismembered. The cry will go up that Tshombe and his Belgian advisers have succeeded in “balkanizing” the Congo in the interests of continued indirect Belgian control. Apart from USSR which will of course lead attack many African states including probably all the Casablanca powers will react unfavourably to the Tananarive decisions. Even other African states more disposed to friendship with Kasavubu (e.g. Nigeria) will have difficulty in supporting a solution which breaks up the unitary state of Congo as they may hold this a dangerous example for their countries.
  6. Of course so far as Congo itself is concerned any step in the direction of conciliation and of peaceable arrangements among its leaders should be welcomed and to this extent there may be an echo of approval from French African states and from others although the absence of Gizenga leaves open the question as to whether the new constitutional arrangements are to be imposed by force on the territories which he controls.
  7. Certainly the position of UN in Congo and the position of governments contributing troops becomes daily more complicated and potentially dangerous while the objective of UN operation becomes more obscure. Will countries such as Ghana or even India be disposed to accept the new Tananarive dispensation or will they feel that the object of UN operation in Congo should be to sweep aside the Tananarive decisions, to ensure the summoning of parliament and the restoration of the unity of the Congo? On the other hand will other countries contributing forces conceive it to be their responsibility to impose (perhaps by force), a parliamentary and unitary régime on Congo in defiance of the wishes of most of the Congolese leaders (including incidentally all those who take a pro-western and anti-communist policy line)?
  8. It is possible that these differences of opinion may crystallize over the question of the status of Kasavubu as Head of State and the credentials of the present Congolese delegation.
  9. It is not repeat not likely that those who were active in seating Kasavubu’s representative such as USA, UK etc. will lightly throw him over. Indeed without continued recognition of Kasavubu’s status there is no repeat no legal entity left in Congo with whom to deal.
  10. I need not repeat not labour the grave difficulties which these developments will present to us. Meanwhile my suggestions would be:
    1. that whatever the eventual outcome of the constitutional problems posed by the Tananarive decisions we should continue to attempt to improve our working relations with the existing Congolese authorities by a mixture of firmness and active conciliation;
    2. that we should not repeat not prejudge the question of President Kasavubu’s eventual status or the final framework of the Congolese constitution but await the outcome of the series of further meetings that Congolese leaders forecast in the conference communiqué;
    3. that we should express the hope that whatever the outcome for Congo it may secure parliamentary approval or be submitted to the electorate for confirmation. This may take time in view of the unsettled state of the country;
    4. that we should attempt to employ our influence with the Belgians themselves and with our allies in NATO to persuade the Belgians that even in their own interests they should avoid crude manifestations of their influence and intentions in Congo (e.g. the continued presence of military and political advisers and the overt hold which they exercise over Tshombe in Katanga.) The Belgians have certainly made our own position infinitely more difficult by their tactics;
    5. that we should attempt to assimilate our position to those of the Afro-Asian group who find themselves in varying measure in the same situation as ourselves. Tunisia, Sudan, Nigeria, Liberia, Pakistan and some of the French Africans and perhaps others are friends worth cultivating in this connection. We shall also find points of common interest with India especially but also with Ghana, Indonesia and even UAR. We are certainly not repeat not the only ones to wish to avoid an impossible dilemma in Congo.
  11. I should be grateful for your comments and instructions on the policy consideration raised in this message.

[C.S.A.] RITCHIE

20. DEA/6386-40

Secretary of State for External Affairs to Permanent Representative to United Nations

TELEGRAM ME-89 Ottawa, March 16, 1961
CONFIDENTIAL.
Reference: Your Tel 502 of Mar 14.
Repeat for Information: Washington, London, NATO Paris, Paris, Geneva, Brussels (Routine) Cairo (Deferred).
By Bag Pretoria, Accra, Lagos, Moscow, Dublin, Tel Aviv, Leopoldville from London, DND, CCOS, CGS, CAS, DNI, DMI, DAI.

Congo Policy: Impact of Tananarive Conference

I fully endorse the general line which you took in your talk with the Secretary-General about the outcome of the Tananarive Conference. While appreciating the grounds for the Secretary-General’s concern at the prospect that the decisions of the conference may further complicate the task of the UN in the Congo, I share your view that the timing and manner of his presentation of these considerations to the Advisory Committee was unfortunate. Undue emphasis on the possibility that such difficulties might arise could indeed contribute to their development.

  1. The approach outlined in paragraph 11 of your reference telegram coincides generally with our own thinking here on the current trend of developments. You may be guided by the following views in your discussions with the Secretariat, and in formulating any intervention in the Advisory Committee which may seem desirable. In this respect I agree that there is merit in attempting to assimilate our approach to that of the more moderate and constructive Afro-Asian elements in the committee who share our concern to head off any further complication for the UN operation.
  2. The directives governing UN action in the Congo have as a major objective the preservation of its unity; but clearly, within this governing limitation, the ultimate constitutional pattern of the country is not repeat not and cannot be the primary preoccupation of the UN at the present juncture. The events of the past few weeks have underlined the urgency of concentrating upon strengthening and consolidating the working relationship of the UN with the Congolese authorities with whom it must deal in its day-to-day operations. One of the pre-eminent figures in this respect obviously is President Kasavubu, particularly because his position as Head of State has been recognized by the UN and therefore provides a legally established, though not the exclusive, channel for UN relations with the Congolese. As I emphasized in telegram number 82 of March 10,† it is important in this respect that every effort should be made to build upon the generally conciliatory tone of President Kasavubu’s recent approach to the Secretary-General concerning re-organization of the Congolese armed forces. Any inclination on the part of the UN at this time to call in question or to debate the currently recognized authority of the President could be calculated to impair any hope of establishing the cooperative working relationship with him which is so urgently required. In particular, if the UN purpose is to convince Congolese leaders that their interest lies in preserving a united Congo, whether organized on a unitary or federal basis, any condemnatory statement now by the Secretary-General would defeat this purpose.
  3. Moreover, it is surely both premature and hypothetical to make the Tananarive communiqué the basis for a reappraisal of the legitimacy of President Kasavubu’s position. The emphasis of the communiqué is on broad general indications of intention; and no less than two further conferences are explicitly envisaged, on dates not yet decided, to take up “the task of specifying measures which have to be taken to apply” the decisions reached at Tananarive. The present stage of this consultative operation could hardly seem to offer sufficient grounds for re-examining the whole question of the validity of Mr. Kasavubu’s position as Head of the Congolese State, as the Secretary-General has implied. It may be relevant to note that even Gizenga continues to recognize Kasavubu as Head of State.
  4. Almost equally disturbing is the Secretary-General’s emphasis on his view that the Tananarive meeting had no constitutional standing. Like his other major point, this contention may enjoy some legal validity. Open enunciation of this attitude, however, would not repeat not assist the UN in its dealings with the various Congolese leaders who attended the conference; and the cooperation of several of these in addition to President Kasavubu is vital if the UN is to make progress with its immediate task of restoring order in the Congo.
  5. The reference in the Tananarive communiqué concerning annulment of the Security Council resolution perhaps should be read in the context of the atmosphere in which the communiqué was formulated. From the viewpoint of the relatively unsophisticated Congolese leaders concerned, this may well have appeared as a more or less logical complement to the other decisions taken at the meeting. It should not repeat not be regarded too seriously as a conscious attempt to reject the continued validity of the UN operation.
  6. A more constructive approach to the whole question of the Tananarive decisions would seem to lie in adopting the position that they represent a basis for further discussions which are being planned, and that the fact of such consultations among Congolese leaders (as distinct from the specific direction which they seem to have taken thus far) is not repeat not in itself an unhealthy development. While the outcome of these progressive consultations may come to be of fundamental significance for the achievement of the long-term UN objectives in the Congo, the immediate UN concern must be with its more urgent peace-restoring functions. These make it imperative that the UN should make every effort to enlist the support and cooperation of the effective political and military leaders in all parts of the Congo including those from Orientale. Such measure of understanding as may now exist between the UN and these leaders is far too tenuous to bear the strains of censure by the UN of participation by such Congolese personalities in political consultations affecting the future of their country. Discussion along these lines in the Advisory Committee would seem undesirable, and of course similar debate in any public UN forum would be even more unfortunate.
  7. In the light of these considerations, I thoroughly agree with the views expressed in sub-paragraphs (1) and (2) of paragraph 11 of your reference telegram, and you should continue to base your comments primarily on these points. Sub-paragraphs (4) and (5) represent continuing aspects of our approach to the Congo problem generally, which should be reflected as appropriate.
  8. In the long run, I think the suggestion in your third point has much merit. The people of the Congo should be given the opportunity, either through a parliament or by plebiscite, to approve their future constitutional structure. While there might be value in expressing such a hope in the Advisory Committee, I doubt whether it would be useful at this time for the committee to plan too far ahead. Certainly there is little hope that the real wishes of the people could be accurately ascertained until a much greater degree of stability prevails in the Congo. When the Congolese consultative process has reached a more advanced stage, the precise form in which the UN will have to express itself on this problem may be more clearly seen.

[H.C.] GREEN

21. DEA/6386-40

Secretary of State for External Affairs to Acting Consul General in Congo

TELEGRAM ME-92 Ottawa, March 17, 1961
CONFIDENTIAL.
Reference: Your Tel 76 Mar 17.†
Repeat for Information: Permis New York, London, Washington, NATO Paris, Paris, Brussels (Routine).
By Bag Accra, Lagos, Moscow, Belgrade, Cairo, DM/DND, CCOS, CGS, CAS.

Your Appointment with President Kasavubu

While your first call on President Kasavubu appropriately will be devoted in considerable part to formalities, you should be guided by the following in the substantive discussion.

  1. You should indicate to the President Canada’s conception of the essential purposes of the UN in the Congo, to which our participation in ONUC is directed. As a distant country with no motives of direct self-interest in Africa, Canada seeks only to see the Congo restored in unity and independence to conditions of stability and progress. Our efforts to assist the Congo are directed through the UN as the appropriate channel for international aid to emerging nations. In the Canadian view, the fundamental purpose of current UN activities in the Congo is to help the Congolese people to achieve conditions in which they can work out for themselves the solutions to their problems. A vital first step in this direction seems to be to assist in restoring public order in the country, for without a reasonable degree of internal security, normal political and economic development can not repeat not go forward.
  2. You should express concern about relations between the Congolese authorities and UN personnel. You should say that it is the Canadian Government’s hope that the President will do everything in his power, as Commander in Chief of the Congolese forces to prevent clashes between the ANC and the UN forces of the sort which have recently exposed Canadian personnel to attacks, since such incidents arouse widespread resentment and make more difficult a mutually beneficial relationship, to which Canada attaches great importance. You could suggest that President Kasavubu’s influence could be made manifest throughout the country and to the world at large by exercising control over the ANC and promoting the fullest possible cooperation with the UN in pursuit of common objectives.
  3. We shall, of course, be very interested in any comments the President may be prepared to offer on the outcome of the Tananarive Conference and the prospects for further consultations among Congolese leaders.

[H.C.] GREEN

22. DEA/6386-40

Acting Consul General in Congo to Secretary of State for External Affairs

TELEGRAM 110 Leopoldville, April 5, 1961
CONFIDENTIAL. DEFERRED.
Reference: Your Tel ME-92 Mar 17.
Repeat for Information: Permis New York, Washington, London, NATO Paris, Paris, Brussels, Geneva, DM/DND, CCOS, CGS, CAS, DNI DAI, DMI, Cairo (Deferred) from Ottawa.
By Bag Pretoria, Accra, Lagos, Moscow, Dublin, Tel Aviv from London.

CALL ON PRESIDENT KASAVUBU

President received me yesterday. I informed him of views expressed in your reference telegram. President has more forceful personality than I had been given to understand. He definitely has all-Congo approach to Congolese problems and not repeat not only Bas-Congo interests of which he has often been accused. He is anything but a Belgian marionette. Following points were discussed.

  1. On Congolese-UN relations President said there was no repeat no question of UN troops returning to Matadi for time being. Their return would result in incidents with local population. I explained difficult position of Secretary-General and said there appears to be no repeat no alternative to Congolese cooperation with UN except UN withdrawal. I mentioned Canadian Government understanding of UN contribution “as means to assist Congolese in achieving conditions in which they can work out for themselves solution to their problems.” President said UN had made same mistakes as Belgians i.e. underestimated Congolese treated them as children claiming they knew better what was good for the Congolese. UN aid under Dayal had amounted to the setting up of a UN Government for the Congo ignoring authority of President and creating division within country by encouraging minority groups against central government in addition to showing a marked preference for Gizenga. He criticized UN for trying to impose solutions prepared in New York at “L’échelle des Nations Unies” without knowledge of Congo and in complete disregard of Congolese Government. He wanted aid from UN but he did not repeat not want to be run by UN. I understand that UK ambassador visited him same morning to press President to accept Hammarskjöld’s latest request to allow some 100 Nigerian police at Matadi but met with same stubborn refusal. UN-Congolese relations have been allowed to deteriorate for so long a period that I am afraid Congolese have lost complete confidence in UN and any future constructive contribution will have to be done on Congolese terms and conditions. Scott has since shown me his telegrams 702 and 704 April 4† (which Canada House may have already obtained) on talks he had with Nwokedi and Gardener. They are both going to propose that UN confine itself to providing advisers and technicians rather than continuing present overextended operation.
  2. Since I was getting no repeat nowhere on Matadi I changed subject by remarking that Tananarive resolutions had failed to state clearly powers of central government and had led consequently to criticism that confederation would amount to Balkanization of former Belgian Congo. President commented along lines of Prime Minister Ileo (reference my telegram 106 April 4).† He went on to recall his role before independence as defender of federalist thesis i.e. Belgian opposition to him and eventual backing of Lumumba as means of establishing unitarian state. He had always opposed unitarism as unrealistic in view of numerous ethnical groups and size of Congo. But he said he had also opposed secession of Bas-Congo at time Katanga declared its secession. He was against disintegration of Congo into weak independent states such as had happened in former French Equatorial Africa. He had never recognized secession of Katanga nor that of South Kasai. “Tshombe can yell as much as he likes I will never agree to anything that would amount to recognition of separate Katanga state.”
  3. All through interview he was very critical of Belgian policy before and after independence as well as Belgian influence in Katanga. He said Tshombe some time ago before Tananarive conference had sent him a Belgian emissary to propose the merging of Katangese and South Kasai troops with ANC troops under Ileo to form anti-communist army against Gizenga. He had turned down proposal on unequivocal terms saying there was a danger greater than communism for Congolese: it was to be led into a false crusade which would bring civil war and close door irrevocably to negotiations and unity. “What would I do with Tshombe or Kalonji armies. One would kill the Balubas and the other the Luluas. I would not repeat not want my name to be associated with troops over which I would not repeat not have authority or control.”
  4. Speaking of Tshombe’s occupation of Manono he said this was a contravention of spirit of Tananarive where it had been agreed all parties would refrain from use of force and settle their problems through negotiation. It is evident there is no repeat no love lost between him and Tshombe. At one point during interview he said Tshombe’s policy did not repeat not benefit Katanga population but international cartels. He blamed Belgians for most of Congo’s present difficulties. He held them responsible for Katanga’s secession and for having left Congo unprepared for independence. He cited French Government’s continued technical and financial aid to former French colonies. At same time he criticized UN for opposing employment of Belgian advisers when French and British citizens acted as such in their former colonies. UN had “deux poids et deux mesures.” He said Congolese were capable of making distinction between the good and the bad Belgians.
  5. I then asked what the possibilities were of a rapprochement with Stanleyville. President expressed confidence in such rapprochement but I gathered he had in mind a compromise with authorities of Orientale province and not repeat not necessarily with Gizenga whom he called “un homme fini un homme mort.” He said Gizenga knew that he had no repeat no hope of ever being considered the legal government but was holding on as long as the communist and some Afro-Asian countries recognized him. He said Gizenga and General Lundula were only “une parenthèse” in solution of problem of return of Orientale and Kivu provinces to Congo family. They would have to come to an agreement. He also expressed confidence that return of Miruho as President of Kivu Province would help rapprochement with Leopoldville.

[MICHEL] GAUVIN

23. DEA/6386-40

Secretary of State for External Affairs to Chairman, Delegation to United Nations General Assembly

TELEGRAM ME-228 Ottawa, April 4, 1961
CONFIDENTIAL.
Reference: Your Tel 768 of April 7.†

Congo Resolutions in UNGA

In view of the tactical considerations involved and the remaining uncertainty as to the precise form in which the various resolutions will be taken up in the Assembly, it is not repeat not possible to provide comprehensive guidance at this stage, particularly on voting. The following comments and preliminary advice on voting will serve as the basis for whatever further guidance may be required as the situation develops.

  1. The Pakistani resolution concerning Congolese political problems impresses us as being generally constructive both in tone and content. The procedures it proposes for restoring constitutional government seem to provide for a realistic combination of Congolese initiative with United Nations guidance and assistance. It appears desirable to support this sort of approach, particularly at a time when Congolese consultations aimed at national reconciliation are becoming more active. You should therefore plan to vote for the Pakistani resolution, and meanwhile you may make appropriate use of fact of our support for it in informal discussions concerning other resolutions.
  2. A further consideration which contributes to the desirability of voting for the Pakistani resolution is the fact that we are unable to accept in its present form the Indian resolution on Belgian withdrawal. Leaving aside the generally uncompromising tone of this resolution, its reference to unspecified sanctions and the 21-day time limit it prescribes are unacceptable. As we have already pointed out in the apartheid debate, the principles of the Charter clearly require that sanctions should be invoked solely for the purpose of preventing or stopping international hostilities. Even if it could be shown that personnel under the effective control of the Belgian Government are contributing to internal disturbances in the Congo, such intervention would fall short of responsibility for a direct threat of international hostilities such as might justify contemplation of sanctions.
  3. Moreover Belgium has explicitly confirmed its acceptance of the Security Council resolution and has indicated its readiness to withdraw personnel under unilateral Belgian control. It is of course all too clear that Belgium has by no means responded as promptly or as adequately to the Security Council resolution as we and many other members of UNGA would wish; and a firm reiteration by UNGA of UN insistence on compliance may be salutary. However to frame such a measure in harsh and inflexible terms which take no account of Belgium’s practical difficulties in compliance and are only likely to make the Belgian Government more intransigent would seem unfortunate, particularly while Mr. Sahbani is negotiating in Brussels. Moreover, as several Afro-Asian delegations have recognized, abrupt withdrawal of Belgian personnel without adequate arrangements for replacement might well lead to further deterioration of conditions in the Congo.
  4. As the situation appears at present, I think you would have to abstain on the Indian resolution unless it were amended. The minimum essential revisions from our viewpoint would be deletion of the reference to sanctions and some modification of the time-limit clause. Possible alternatives in the latter respect might be to extend the time limit substantially, to make it applicable to a progress report on arrangements for withdrawal rather than to completion of such withdrawal, or to couple the time limit with some formula for providing acceptable UN replacements parallel with Belgian withdrawal. Although we fully appreciate the depth of Afro-Asian suspicion of and impatience with what they regard as Belgian procrastination, it would seem desirable to bring reasoning and influence to bear on the more moderate Afro-Asians and others, particularly the Irish and Swedes, with a view to securing constructive amendment of the more unrealistic portions of the Indian draft. I would hope that efforts in this direction may be successful, thereby averting the need for introduction of an alternative resolution.
  5. Since the Soviet Union has made clear that its resolution has been submitted as a result of complete Soviet rejection of the Pakistani draft, it presumably will not attract Afro-Asian support, and therefore can be voted down if it is not withdrawn.
  6. In view of the rapid pace at which events affecting the form and context of the various resolutions may be expected to develop between now and the time of voting, you will wish to keep in close touch with the department.

[H.C.] GREEN

24. DEA/5475-6-40

Memorandum from United Nations Division to Under-Secretary of State for External Affairs

CONFIDENTIAL [Ottawa], April 11, 1961
Reference: Candel telegram 784 of April 7, 1961.†

ROLE OF THE SECRETARY-GENERAL

On April 5, the Secretary-General made a statement during the course of the Congo debate in order to deal with attacks on him by members of the Soviet bloc. You may be interested in my comments on some of the points made by the Secretary-General.

  1. He took the occasion to reject categorically the Soviet accusation that he was responsible for the assassination of Mr. Lumumba. He reminded the Assembly that these charges had not been substantiated and pointed out that, while responsible criticism could be a favourable contribution, irresponsible and destructive criticism could only weaken the United Nations. He no doubt intended this remark to apply mainly to the wild and unjust charge about Lumumba but he probably hoped that Assembly members would reflect as well on some of the other charges and complaints which the Soviet bloc and some others have made without any effort to justify them. Mr. Hammarskjöld has consistently worked to encourage a sense of responsibility in member nations and, in effect, to maintain dignity and justice in the proceedings of the United Nations.
  2. Mr. Hammarskjöld had been accused by Mr. Gromyko of taking advantage of the Office of Secretary-General and usurping the prerogatives of United Nations bodies. Consistent with his practice over the years, Mr. Hammarskjöld reviewed in detail the Security Council resolutions on the Congo since last July to show that they had been adopted either with the concurring vote of the Soviet Union or, when there had been no vote in the Council, with no formal objection from the Soviet Union. Mr. Hammarskjöld reminded the Assembly of his persistent efforts to make arrangements for the sharing of responsibility which efforts had not produced the appropriate response either from the Security Council or from the Assembly.
  3. This, of course, is not a loose interpretation by the Secretary-General. In recent years, perhaps the most important development of the principal organs of the United Nations has been the evolving function of the Office of the Secretary-General under the leadership of Mr. Hammarskjöld . Especially in peace-keeping operations since 1956, procedures have been evolved whereby the Secretary-General has been given, on the one hand, heavy responsibility and on the other, considerable freedom of manoeuvre. This activity has been widespread in scope, ranging from the direction of complex operations, like the one in the Congo, to the appointment of a special United Nations representatives charged with missions of good offices.
  4. The main significance of this evolution has been to provide for smooth and swift action which might otherwise not have been open to the United Nations. Through this means, the United Nations has been able to take effective action in situations in which a dangerous vacuum might have been created, either because the Security Council and the General Assembly hesitated to act or because they were prevented from doing so. Not infrequently, moreover, the Secretary-General has been required to act in response to directives and recommendations which were deliberately kept vague, partly because of the complications of the situation and partly because of the difficulty of obtaining the required support from the United Nations members.
  5. This process of “letting Dag do it” gained momentum in the period 1956-1959. During that time, the United Nations was able to render most effective assistance not only to smaller states which had allowed their relations to deteriorate too far, but in allowing the Great Powers to disengage themselves gracefully from awkward situations. Most of these occurred in the Middle East.
  6. This trend changed somewhat late in 1959 when the Secretary-General became involved in the situation in Laos. It became apparent his activity there would not be fully acceptable either to the United States or to the Soviet Union. His position vis-à-vis the Soviet Union was made worse, of course, by the clumsy manoeuvre in the Security Council in September 1959 whereby the Western powers managed to send a fact-finding sub-committee to Laos. Judging from my own experience in the Secretariat at that time, I believe that the Soviet concern about the unbridled activities of the Secretary-General became acute. You may recall that Mr. Hammarskjöld decided to place his representative in Vientiane even though he had heard strong expression of Soviet opposition.
  7. In all these situations, Mr. Hammarskjöld employed the same technique. If no precise directive was forthcoming either from the Security Council or from the Assembly but only a vague request to the Secretary-General to take some action, he carefully assessed the constitutional position of the Secretary-General and decided what he thought the traffic would bear in terms of that position and in accordance with views which various member states expressed either in public debate or in private consultation with the Secretary-General. Even when no resolution was adopted, the Secretary-General would state in advance the action which he intended to take unless there should be objection. In other words, in these situations the Secretary-General assumed the responsibility and took whatever action he considered necessary but always left it open to the member states to deprive him of responsibility or to block his action as long as they were prepared to object formally.
  8. In the Congo, the Secretary-General’s activities have been made much more difficult. The United Nations operations there began with a formal resolution by the Security Council which left the decision for detailed action mainly in the hands of the Secretary-General. In the early stages, the United Nations effort was supported by a majority of members. Later, however, various members, including the Soviet bloc, became dissatisfied with the way in which the Secretary-General was carrying out his mandate. Because of the disagreement in the membership, it has not proved possible to make that mandate more precise, although there has been some redefinition of it. The Secretary-General has had the assistance of the Congo Advisory Committee but there has been difference of opinion in that body too. Because of the demands of the situation in the Congo, the Secretary-General has been obliged to proceed with the United Nations operations, notwithstanding heavy attacks and sharp criticism. While he has, to some extent, taken into account the views of his attackers and critics, he has continued to act in what he considers the best interests of the United Nations in the light of the majority opinion. The indications are that he will proceed on this course as long as he has majority support or, in effect, until either the Security Council or the General Assembly has decided that the United Nations effort in the Congo should cease.
  9. The Secretary-General’s reply to the Soviet complaint that he had not involved the Department of Political and Security Council Affairs in the Congo operation is interesting. The Soviet Union apparently alleged that the Department had been ignored because it was headed by a Soviet citizen. Except for a short period when the PSCA Department was headed by Dr. Protitch, it has always been under the jurisdiction of the senior Soviet citizen in the Secretariat who has had the rank of Under-Secretary. For a long time, it was headed by Mr. Sobolev, who later became Permanent Representative of the Soviet Union and who is now a Deputy Foreign Minister in Moscow. During my period of service in the Secretariat, I was the deputy to the then Under-Secretary, Mr. Anatoly Dobrynin.
  10. From members of the PSCA Department I gained the clear impression that it had never been very closely involved in the main political activities of the United Nations. The Department has served mainly as a servicing group for the main political bodies. It has prepared documents for meetings and cleared records and reports of those meetings. It has produced digested material, relating to public proceedings, for inclusion in United Nations publications on political subjects. The Department started out with large ideas about keeping in touch with the main political developments in the world but the scope of its work has gradually narrowed over the years. Now with a staff of about 75, the PSCA Department tends to be under-worked. Whatever substantive work is done usually depends on the initiative and imagination of the various directors and section chiefs.
  11. During my two years in the Department, the Secretary-General hardly ever sought its assistance as a Department, although this was a period of great political activity for the United Nations. Mr. Dobrynin was very irritated by this state of affairs because he was both energetic and efficient and he believed that his talent should be put to work. Even so, I was informed by many staff members that the PSCA Department was much more active under Dobrynin than under any of its earlier under-secretaries. Since then, the Department has been headed by Mr. Arkadiev, who has made practically no contribution either to Departmental or Secretariat work, according to my information.
  12. From time to time, personnel from the PSCA Department have been selected either by the Secretary-General or by Cordier and Bunche to carry out special assignments. Between them, Cordier and Bunche have organized and directed, in an administrative sense, most of the United Nations Missions in the field. They have selected personnel for those missions and dealt with most of the correspondence and reports. For the most part, the Under-Secretary in charge of the PSCA Department has not been consulted about these matters except in a most superficial way. Similarly, Mr. Hammarskjöld has taken important political decisions and issued important political documents without any reference to the PSCA Department, although from time to time he might have employed individual members in drafting and other routine duties.
  13. My understanding is that my successor in the PSCA Department, Mr. Wieschoff, has been the Secretary-General’s advisor on the Congo. This probably resulted from the fact that Wieschoff previously had considerable experience in African affairs as a member of the Trusteeship Department. I was told last autumn that, for practical purposes, Wieschoff had ceased to be a member of the PSCA Department but had become part of the Secretary-General’s immediate entourage.
  14. It is quite clear, therefore, that there is real substance to the Soviet Union’s complaint about the Secretary-General’s treatment of the PSCA Department. It is not true, however, that the Secretary-General began this practice because of the complication of this Congo situation. He simply continued a practice which he had followed throughout the period of his term of office.
  15. I doubt whether Mr. Hammarskjöld followed this practice merely because the PSCA Department had been traditionally headed by a Soviet citizen, although this would be one factor which he would take into consideration. Basically, Mr. Hammarskjöld operates as a lone wolf and he seeks and welcomes the assistance only of a few Secretariat members whom he knows and trusts. In my view, he has very little administrative sense. He has left administrative details to Cordier and Bunche, neither of whom is a sound administrator. They have tended to become involved in details which could easily have been left to juniors of whatever national origin. To some extent, moreover, Cordier and Bunche have carefully guarded their special relationship with the Secretary-General by excluding other senior Secretariat members from operations which, nominally at least, appear to be their business.
  16. Presumably the Secretary-General has a right to choose his collaborators, although I do not consider this a proper defence for his administrative methods. Nor do I agree that the Security Council or the General Assembly should be required to appoint specific Secretariat officials to be in charge of field operations. Until the Secretariat is administered in an orderly way, however, the Secretary-General must expect complaints from staff officials themselves and from member states. I have no doubt that many of the internal arrangements which Mr. Hammarskjöld has used may have been unavoidable, especially in view of his own personality and of the difficulty of organizing an effective international team.
  17. I came away from the Secretariat convinced that, notwithstanding considerable talent and ability within the Organization, it was, generally speaking, inefficient, especially in the political field, because of poor administration. This had a demoralizing effect within the Secretariat and produced a situation wide open for attacks and criticism from member states. Quite obviously, the Soviet Union is capitalizing on its intimate knowledge of that situation gained from the experience of well-qualified officials like Mr. Dobrynin and others.

G.S. MURRAY

25. DEA/6386-H-40

Extract from Final Report of the Fifteenth Session, Fifth Committee of the United Nations General Assembly

CONFIDENTIAL [Ottawa, 15th Session ended April 22, 1960]

General Assessment of the Fifth Committee

The main problem before the Fifth Committee at the resumed session was the financing of the Congo operation. The Committee’s debates were linked closely to the political discussions on the question taking place in plenary. There was little attempt to confine discussion to purely budgetary matters and the Chairman, Ambassador Majoli of Italy, prudently refrained from attempting to restrain delegates in their expression of views.

The two main impressions derived from the discussions in Fifth Committee were: the unwillingness of delegations to face anything more than the immediate issue at hand, the financing of the Congo costs for 1960; and the minimal part played in the debates by the African delegations.

At the outset of the resumed session the Canadian delegation had talks with a wide assortment of delegations and held meetings with the object of finding out whether there was any inclination among the members to look at the Congo financing issue in terms of the general health of the United Nations. From the very beginning it was obvious that few if any delegates were prepared to put a major effort into this aspect at the resumed session. One important reason for this was undoubtedly the mental weariness and physical exhaustion of many of the representatives and advisors. The atmosphere of crisis which had begun in July, 1960, and had continued without respite through the discouraging weeks of the first part of the fifteenth session had palpably taken their toll. More specifically, many European delegations had been discouraged by the events of the pre-Christmas session to a point where many of them were talking resignedly of the end of the Organization, with little inclination to do anything about it. The black African delegations, which had rallied significantly to the support of the Congo operation in previous weeks, appeared rarely in the Fifth Committee. Only Ghana was there consistently. The same was true of the North African delegations, with the exception of the Tunisian Vice-Chairman of the Committee, Zouhir Chelli. Chelli took a prominent part in the negotiations which led to the resolution which was finally adopted.

In the very last days of the session there was a significant change in the attitude of the delegations towards the Congo financing question. In the first place there was general satisfaction at the resolutions which had been passed by the Assembly on the political side, and the thesis that these political decisions were meaningless unless backed in practical terms by an adequate financing resolution became to be generally accepted. During debates in the Committee support became wide-spread for the Canadian view that the Assembly, at its sixteenth session, should undertake to discuss in the broadest terms its financing procedures in the light of the strain that the peace-keeping operations undertaken in recent years had put on the resources of the Organization, and the effect that these operations had had on the regular budget by draining the working capital fund, and on the voluntary programmes in view of the borrowing of reserve funds to which the Secretary-General had had to resort.

The behaviour of members of the United Nations during the last night of the Assembly gave some grounds for optimism. Although little had been said in the Fifth Committee about the necessity for ensuring a well supported financing resolution, when the Fifth Committee resolution failed to pass in plenary the reaction to this was immediate and strong. The senior representatives of Tunisia, India, Ghana, Ethiopia, Nigeria and Brazil all indicated their belief that the Assembly could not close without a financing resolution on the Congo, some of them in grave and emotional terms. A significant indication of the spirit of the Assembly was the vote on the proposal to re-open the Congo Item. It was adopted by 67 in favour, 12 against (Soviet bloc, Guinea, Mali, Cuba) with 14 abstentions (including France, Spain and Belgium). Although the vote on the financing resolution finally adopted was 54 in favour to 15 against, with 23 abstentions, a significant number of delegations were able to support the reopening of the question although unable to vote in favour of the resolution put forward.

The response to the Canadian resolution, although the vote took place at 5.30 am, was also encouraging. Forty-four delegations supported it, only 13 opposed it, while the 32 abstentions were made up largely of Latin American delegates, which supported the idea of the working group and the discussion at the sixteenth session but were distressed at the dropping of two paragraphs which had been inserted in the resolution on the basis of amendments submitted by the Latin American group.

The sense of urgency which pervaded the Assembly during the last hours of the fifteenth session was an encouraging sign. However, the results were marred by Latin American insistence on their point of view to the extent of almost wrecking the operations, French/African destructiveness out of rage over rejection of the plea of the Cameroon’s Republic on the question of the merger with the neighbouring former British Trust Territory; and the attitude of indifference of several European delegations, including France, Spain, Belgium and Portugal.

The Soviet Position

The representative of the Soviet Union made his Government’s position clear on the first day the Committee met. His statement was filled with abuse of the Secretary-General, the Secretariat, and the chief officers of ONUC in the Congo. He repeated the charge of complicity in murder against Mr. Hammarskjöld. He denied the right of the Assembly to discuss the Congo costs and alleged that it was the duty of the Security Council under Article 43 to find the necessary funds for the operation. He repeated his contentions at great length and on numerous occasions throughout the debate. His views were echoed by the other members of the Soviet bloc.

Roshchin, the Soviet representative, also criticized the administrative and budgetary procedures of the United Nations because of the refusal of the Chairman of the Advisory Committee on Administrative and Budgetary Questions to include minority views in reports of the Advisory Committee. In private conversation we were told that the Soviet Union had “lost confidence” in the impartiality of the Advisory Committee. It was not clear what this meant in practical terms; however, it is likely that attacks on this useful institution will continue.

Although the Soviet insistence that the Assembly had no right to discuss the Congo costs continued unabated to the end, there was a discernible lessening in the vehemence of Soviet criticism against the Secretary-General and the Secretariat. The Secretary-General was accorded the prefix “Mr.” in later statements and even occasionally referred to by his title, although the Soviet Union had denied that he filled the function of Secretary-General once a great power had withdrawn its confidence. The reason for this lessening in the violence of criticism against the Secretary-General and the Secretariat may have been due to the complete lack of support which the Soviet Union received for its position. Even such countries as Ghana and India, which had in varying degrees echoed some previous Soviet criticism against the Secretary-General’s conduct of the Congo operation, now insisted that it was essential for members to support fully the Congo operation.

When the financing resolution failed to attain the required majority on the final night of the Assembly, Roshchin rose to propose that the matter be sent to the Security Council. The uncertainty as to what would occur in the Council had a significant effect on delegations and rallied additional support to the call for reconsideration of the financing resolution. The Soviet bloc was thus completely isolated from the rest of the Assembly in its position on financing, although it received support in the voting of Guinea, Mali and Cuba.

The Latin Americans

One of the most troubling aspects of the debates at the resumed session was the stubbornness with which the Latin American delegations stuck to their financing proposal, although it received virtually no other support. It was clear from the start that there were varying shades of opinion in the Latin American group. However, due to one or two individuals, notably Ambassador Garcia Robles of Mexico, the Latin Americans maintained a remarkable solidarity until the very end. Until the re-voting on the resolution, amended as a gesture toward them, most of the Latin Americans seemed impervious to arguments calling for their cooperation in order to ensure that the Congo operation could be continued. The Latin Americans favoured the call for a general review of financial procedures, especially as they pertained to peace-keeping operations, but they wanted both this review and their formula for assessment.

In private conversation it was clear that the Latin Americans were deeply emotional on the issue. They appeared to be uninterested in logical arguments and replied with a show of deep frustration at their position at the United Nations. They claimed, rightly, that they had called for a separate scale of assessments for peace-keeping operations five years ago, when the UNEF costs were first discussed. They expressed resentment at being presented year after year with an agreed solution on financing of peace-keeping costs which made no attempt to take into account their point of view. One representative even burst out with the charge that whenever Hammarskjöld passed a Latin American Permanent Representative, he turned his head away.

In any long-term method for financing peace-keeping costs, the position of the Latin Americans must be taken seriously into account from the beginning if it is to have any value whatsoever. The main arguments of the Latin Americans are:

  1. that the permanent members of the Security Council bear a special responsibility for peace-keeping and should pay a large part of the share;
  2. that countries with special interests in regions affected by the peace-keeping operation should also pay a special share;
  3. that the contribution of the remaining members of the United Nations should be confined to a symbolic sum as a token gesture toward the principle of collective responsibility;
  4. that the Latin Americans believe that the Organization must be able to undertake peace-keeping operations, and their success must be assured; and
  5. that there must be no element of charity, rebates or requests for remission in any formula found.

Clearly, this list contains some contradictions, notably between (c) and (d), and (a) ignores the positions of Russia, France and China. The argument in (b) is in contradiction to the principle of collective responsibility, as well as being difficult to apply in practical terms. A formula which will carry Latin American approval may not be as difficult to find as it would seem. Toward the end of the discussions, it became clear that the only “principle” which was important to the Latin Americans was that their share of the peace-keeping costs should be minimal.

France

In private conversations, French representatives and advisers indicated frankly that they were unhappy with General de Gaulle’s decision not to pay the Congo costs. To balance this, however, there was a strong feeling on the part of most of them that it was paradoxical that 66 members paying about 8 per cent of the costs had a two thirds majority and could pass any resolution, which 12 nations paying about 80 per cent of the cost had little or no real power in the U.N. They believed that an attempt should be made to find some way of resolving this question.

The Africans

Nigeria, Ghana and Liberia worked closely with Tunisia and Pakistan to draft the Congo financing resolution, although Liberia and Nigeria did not cosponsor in the end. Apart from these, however, very few Africans turned up with any consistency at the meetings of the Fifth Committee. This was understandable in some cases since important African items were being discussed in several other places, but the complete silence of even those delegations which attended sporadically indicated a surprising lack of interest in the proceedings. The announced intention of several of the French Africans not to support the financing resolution because their point of view had not been accepted by the Assembly on the Cameroon’s issue was profoundly disturbing. The French Africans, more than any other group, seemed to consider it normal to trade votes on entirely unrelated issues.

Canada’s Traditional Friends

Throughout the discussions, Canada was in close touch with all members of the Commonwealth and Western Europe. There was a remarkable agreement on views and complete solidarity on the issues before the Committee. With the help of these friends, Canada was able to achieve the desired result on its own resolution, though only after some complications. There was complete understanding of our reasons for opposing our own resolution after it had been amended, and our friends followed our voting faithfully. Other very helpful delegations at the resumed session were those of Iraq, Liberia and Tunisia. The Chairman, Ambassador Majoli of Italy, managed the Committee well and with a minimum of friction. He was personally most helpful on procedural matters connected with our resolution.

To conclude, the resumed session marked a change to a more cooperative attitude on the part of some important countries, notably India and Ghana. The final vote was perhaps a little better than adequate. However, there were disturbing symptoms of selfishness and short sightedness on many sides. To balance this, there was general agreement on the necessity to undertake a general review of financial procedures, especially as they affect peace-keeping costs.

26. J.G.D./01/XII/F/215

President of Ghana to Prime Minister

TELEGRAM E-825 [Accra], May 5, 1961

I am constrained to make this desperate appeal to you concerning the present situation in the Congo which is deteriorating from day to day. Nearly a year after the outbreak of violence in the Congo, we are still far from achieving a solution in spite of United Nations intervention. In my view, no solution is possible without total elimination of the armed gangs serving the various factions in the Congo, which would make possible the immediate re-convening of Parliament. Since we cannot keep our armies indefinitely in the Congo, I want to suggest most strongly to the governments which have contingents or individuals serving under the United Nations command in the Congo, that we should send representatives to a meeting in Accra or any other convenient place immediately, to consider ways and means of providing protection in Leopoldville to enable Parliament to meet and the elected Congolese representatives to attend Parliament free from fear of intimidation, arrest, detentions and physical violence. Only in an atmosphere of law and order namely, the complete elimination of the armed gangs from the political argument, will Parliament function. Whatever solution is imposed by any combination of Congolese leaders will not last, nor can it be a substitute for the expressed will of the Congolese Parliament. Our experience with the Madagascar conference and the recent one at CoquilhatvilleFootnote 12 confirms this view. The meeting of our representatives should contain both civil and military personnel, since even if Parliament does meet under United Nations protection and produces a solution, this will be impossible to execute so long as private armies exist. My military representative in the Congo has been approached by civil authorities many times begging that the Congolese armed units be disarmed in order that people can live in peace. This cannot be effected without firm military command organization and a clear plan of action both of which are at present woefully lacking. Highest consideration.

KWAME N’KRUMAH

27. J.G.D./01/XII/F/215

Memorandum from Under-Secretary of State for External Affairs to Prime Minister

SECRET [Ottawa], May 10, 1961

President N’krumah’s Message of May 5 Concerning the Congo

The most striking feature of the message to you from President N’Krumah about the Congo situation is its distinct implication that the United Nations, as such, should be ignored in the proposed discussion of a new plan of action for the Congo. Although the suggested meeting would involve “governments which have contingents or individuals serving under the UN command in the Congo,” it is clear that what is envisaged would be consultation by the various governments concerning joint action in their national capacities rather than about participation in an international operation on behalf of the world community. His reference to “our armies” in the Congo also underlines the conception of the UN troops in the Congo as a collection of national units, rather than a unified command responsible to the collective will of the UN Organization.

  1. President N’Krumah has never made any secret of his deep reservations about the conduct of the UN operation, but in the past he has always taken the public position that, as a matter of principle, there should be no intervention in the Congo except through the United Nations. Even the rather far-reaching proposals which he advanced at the General Assembly at the beginning of March,Footnote 13 for an almost exclusively African command for the Congo operation, envisaged a distinctively UN activity. You will recall also that when Dr. N’Krumah spoke of the Congo situation a few days later, at the Prime Ministers’ Meeting in London, he stressed his belief that the United Nations provided the best hope for peace and security in the Congo.
  2. The motivating factors, not necessarily in order of importance, behind Dr. N’Krumah’s current initiative may include:
    1. Pressure of public reaction in Ghana against the recent maltreatment of Ghanaian troops by Congolese National Army elements at Port Franqui in Northern Kasai province, where several fatalities were suffered by the Ghanaian unit involved. (In the Advisory Committee’s discussion of the Port Franqui incidents, the Ghanaian representative pointed out with some vigour that the Ghanaian brigade commander had, before the trouble, unsuccessfully sought reinforcements from the UN command because his troops were over-extended.)
    2. Irritation with the current consolidation of President Kasavubu’s position vis-à-vis other Congolese political figures (particularly Gizenga), largely as a result of the agreement reached between the United Nations and the President on plans for effecting withdrawal of foreign personnel from the Congo and for reorganization of the ANC under President Kasavubu’s authority.
    3. A desire to reaffirm in a practical manner Ghanaian backing for the Gizenga régime in Stanleyville, which Ghana supports as the legitimate central government of the Congo. In particular, it may be felt that Gizenga’s followers would carry the day if a meeting of parliament to endorse a national government could be convened at this time, whereas Gizenga’s prospects might be expected to decline if President Kasavubu’s position continues to improve.
    4. A general ambition on Dr. N’Krumah’s part to claim a leading role in the direction of policy in the Congo, as in other African affairs. His aspirations to Pan-African leadership are well known; recent setbacks in this respect may be impelling him to attempt to recover the initiative. At the moment the Monrovia Conference of heads of African States, sponsored by Nigeria and Liberia, is being ignored by Ghana, and Ghana resents the initiative taken by Nigeria.
    5. Domestic political troubles indicated by dissatisfaction within his own Party and in Parliament and by his dismissal of some Cabinet Ministers.
  3. Undoubtedly Dr. N’Krumah’s proposal for a meeting of representatives of governments with personnel in the Congo will have attractions for some of the Afro-Asian governments (notably the “Casablanca group,” including Morocco, the United Arab Republic, Guinea and Mali) who, like Ghana, have consistently supported the Lumumba faction in opposition to President Kasavubu, and have been critical of the conduct of the UN operation. However, the suggestion seems unlikely to win much support among the major current participants in the UN force.
  4. Our Permanent Mission in New York has made hurried consultations there with other delegations. The missions of India, Ireland, Italy, Malaya, Nigeria, Pakistan, Sudan and Sweden generally share our view that the United Nations must not be by-passed, although, except for Ireland, their Governments have not made their views known. The Irish Government has already replied to Dr. N’Krumah, reasserting the authority of the UN with regard to the Congo situation. Telegram 1090 of May 9 from New York† giving the gist of the Irish reply is attached.
  5. In recent Congo Advisory meetings discussion has centered on the increasingly active role of the UN force in containing the armed forces of Katanga, and on the developing co-operation of President Kasavubu and the other Leopoldville authorities with the United Nations, toward implementation of the February 21 resolution of the Security Council. The Secretary-General has found broad support in the Committee for the more positive posture which the Force (largely as a result of recent additions to its effective strength) has been able to adopt in respect of its basic function of halting military movements and forestalling clashes. The Committee has also endorsed an agreement, reached on April 17 between the Nwokedi-Gardiner mission from the United Nations and President Kasavubu, concerning arrangements for withdrawal of foreign personnel not engaged under the latter’s authority, and for UN assistance in re-organising the national army of the Congo.Footnote 14 The Secretary-General thinks that this agreement is responsible for the recent active co-operation of the Leopoldville authorities in handing over to the United Nations the Belgian advisers who were detained with Mr. Tshombe at Coquilhatville; and no doubt this aspect of the agreement has gone far towards commending it to those Afro-Asian governments which in general have no high regard for President Kasavubu.
  6. The specific question of reconvening the Congolese parliament, to which Dr. N’Krumah devotes particular attention in his message, was referred to in the Afro-Asian resolution introduced by Pakistan in the closing stages of the Congo debate at the resumed 15th Session of the General Assembly. This resolution urged the convening of parliament without delay, under safe conduct provided by the United Nations. It was opposed only by the Soviet Bloc and the French-African community (the latter for special tactical reasons). This Assembly resolution repeated the governing resolution of the Security Council of February 21, paragraph B.1 which reads: “Urges the convening of the parliament and the taking of necessary protective measures in that connection.”
  7. The Ghanaian representative in the Advisory Committee meeting of May 5 stressed the view that real progress toward a political settlement in the Congo could be made only through a meeting of Parliament. In response, the Secretary-General claimed that the strengthening of U.N. forces was already contributing significantly to an improvement in the political situation. He mentioned increasing contact between the Leopoldville and Stanleyville régimes, and the weakening of the position of the Katanga government. Given further progress in this direction, he thought a meeting of Parliament might complete the achievement of a political settlement. He said that both Abbas and Gardiner had standing instructions to raise with President Kasavubu the matter of holding a meeting of parliament as soon as the political and military situation would permit. They were, however, to use their own judgment in taking up this matter with the President.
  8. It seems important that Dr. N’Krumah should be left in no doubt about Canada’s support for the UN role in the Congo situation; and you may feel that a prompt answer to his proposal would be useful evidence of the firmness of our reaction. A suggested reply to his message is attached for your consideration. If you approve the attached telegram to Accra, we would give a copy of the message to the Acting High Commissioner for Ghana here.

N.A. R[OBERTSON]

28. J.G.D./01/XII/F/215

Secretary of State for External Affairs to High Commissioner in Ghana

TELEGRAM ME-275 Ottawa, May 12, 1961
CONFIDENTIAL.
Reference: Our Tel ME-270 May 8.†
Repeat for Information: Geneva (for the Minister), Permis New York, London, Washington, NATO Paris, Paris, (Priority), Brussels, Delhi, Cairo (Routine).
By Bag Moscow, Leopoldville, Belgrade, Karachi, Colombo, Kuala Lumpur, Lagos.

Reply to President N’krumah’s Message on Congo

Please convey following message from the Prime Minister to President N’Krumah.

“I welcome the opportunity afforded by your message of May 5 to exchange views with you about the Congo. I can assure you that I share your anxiety about the situation there. Heavy burdens have been placed on many of the governments which are contributing to the efforts of the United Nations to restore stability and I know that Ghana has paid a tragic price in human lives. I spoke about this in Parliament recently and I want also to take this private opportunity to convey to you the sincere sympathy of all Canadians for the losses suffered by Ghana and also to express our admiration and appreciation of the contribution which your country is making to the United Nations operation in the Congo.

I share your concern that normal parliamentary procedures in the Congo should be restored as soon as this can be effectively accomplished. The Secretary-General has expressed in the Advisory Committee the view that the strengthening of UN forces is already contributing significantly to an improvement in the political situation in the Congo; and he has indicated that his representatives there are actively concerned with promoting a meeting of parliament as soon as the political and military situation will permit this.

However discouraging certain aspects of the situation may be, I am sure you will agree that there have also been some grounds for encouragement arising out of the implementation of the Security Council resolution of February 21. If we are to build on these modest measures of progress, the present impetus of the UN effort, it seems to me, must be promoted and advanced by every means open to us. I confess to doubts that consultation on the Congo elsewhere than in the UN would likely to contribute to an improvement of the present situation.

I recall that when the Congo situation was reviewed at our meeting last March in London, you stressed your belief that the UN provided the best hope for peace and security in the Congo, as indeed for the world as a whole. I agreed with you when you said this in London and I must say that more recent developments have reinforced me in this conviction. John G. Diefenbaker.

  1. A copy of the above message will be handed to the Acting High Commissioner for Ghana here as soon as we have your confirmation that it has been received by the President.

29. DEA/6386-L-40

Ambassador in Belgium to Secretary of State for External Affairs

TELEGRAM 405 Brussels, May 23, 1961
SECRET.
Repeat for Information: Permis New York, Washington, London, NATO Paris, Paris, CCOS, DMI, DNI, DAI, DM/DND from Ottawa, Cairo (Deferred) from London.
By Bag Accra, Leopoldville, Lagos, Capetown, Moscow, Dublin, Belgrade from London.

Talk with Spaak

When I paid my first call on Spaak today I was impressed by his realistic approach towards Congo problem and I was encouraged to think that it may mean that Belgium will adopt a more cooperative and constructive attitude.

  1. He told me his first task on taking office had been to restore order and cohesion in foreign policy, which had been impossible to maintain while there was a separate portfolio for African Affairs.
  2. His aim now was to establish closer and friendlier cooperation with UN and a basis for it lay in his conviction that Belgian advisers should be withdrawn. He felt that here was the best hope of assuring the continuation of a useful Belgian influence in Congo. However it was difficult for him quickly to reverse a policy. Furthermore he had to bear in mind that too sudden a move might be construed by Belgians in Congo as a complete withdrawal of Belgian interest and support and lead to a wholesale exodus. Then too Congo gendarmerie should not repeat not be weakened. He hoped for assurances from UN that Belgian advisers would be replaced. I suggested assurances might be too much to expect since that would imply that the terms of the Security Council’s resolution of February 21 were negotiable. Might not repeat not a recognition by UN of the need to fill the gaps do? I gather from his reply that he is open to something considerably less than a guarantee.
  3. He is proposing to make a move very shortly as an indication of his intentions. He plans to withdraw about thirty Belgian advisers, including Colonel Weber, from Katanga. (Weber, who has been Tshombe’s right-hand man, has been generally regarded as the blatant symbol of the intention of at least important Belgian interests, if not repeat not the government itself, to remain in Katanga and support an independent Tshombe régime.)
  4. Spaak observed that without wanting to criticize his predecessor he had to admit that there had been a basic inconsistency in Belgian policy. On the one hand it had been a policy of Congo unity but on the other hand it appeared to support Katanga independence. He thought that in general our best hope now lay in a policy of supporting Kasavubu in his endeavours to assert his authority over all sections of Congo.
  5. In particular with reference to Belgium-UN relations he said that he had found Sahbani a reasonable man and thought it would be useful if negotiations were continued with him. This seems clearly to support the line our representative took in the meeting of the Advisory Committee which discussed Sahbani’s report (telegram 1157 May 18 from Permis New York).†
  6. Spaak was happy with the decision at Oslo NATO meeting to provide for consultative committees as a step in the right direction he had long advocated. He attached much importance to the coming meeting of Africa Committee in Paris with Congo as the first item. We had understood that Rothschild was to present Belgian case but Spaak told me that he now intends to do so himself in recognition of the importance of the meeting not repeat not only to Belgium but to NATO. (He will it so happens be in Paris at that time with King Baudouin.)
  7. He commented that he had welcomed the new and substantial interest that USA was now showing in NATO in world problems, including African. He interpreted this as an outcome of their increased concern for Latin America arising out of their difficulties with Cuba.
  8. Spaak at no repeat no time criticized USA or Canada for their actions in UN or for lack of support for Belgium. He seemed to accept what I said, that our position, like that of USA, was I thought one of general sympathy with Belgian objectives of independence and unity for Congo and of a continuing useful association between Congo and Belgium, and that our differences had been mainly over the ways and means of attaining them.
  9. Spaak appears to have brought good sense and good intentions into a ministry that seemed to me up to now to have lacked both. I hope Belgian Cabinet on the one hand and UN on the other will give him the time and the room he needs to show what he can do.

[SYDNEY] PIERCE

30. J.G.D./01/XII/F/215

President of Ghana to Prime Minister

TELEGRAM E-1079 [Accra], May 30, 1961

I have the honour to refer to my message about convening a meeting in Accra or elsewhere to consider ways and means of providing protection in Leopoldville to enable Parliament to meet. I thank you for your reply and wish to state that since I sent my message to you on May 5 events have moved rapidly. It now appears that consultations and action within the present framework of the United Nations may pave the way for the Congolese Parliament to meet in a free and calm atmosphere. In the circumstances I no longer consider the meeting that I suggested necessary and I hope that our efforts in the Congo will soon be crowned with success by our continued support of the United Nations highest consideration.

KWAME N’KRUMAH

31. DEA/6386-40

Permanent Representative to United Nations to Secretary of State for External Affairs

TELEGRAM 1895 [New York], September 15, 1961
CONFIDENTIAL.
Reference: Our Tel 1890 Sep 15.†
Repeat for Information: Washington, London, NATO Paris, Embassy Paris, Geneva, Cairo (Deferred), Brussels from Ottawa, DND, CCOS, CGS, CAS, DNI, DMI, DAI from Ottawa.
By Bag Pretoria, Accra, Lagos, Moscow, Dublin, Leopoldville, Tel Aviv from London.

Situation in Katanga

I spoke to Bunche today about the Katanga situation without eliciting much further view or information. I think that with the Secretary-General in Leopoldville the Secretariat is less than usually fully informed.

  1. The Irish Permanent Representative told me in confidence today that he was very much concerned about the lack of adequate information in the Secretariat regarding developments in the Congo. He has much cause for concern as the Irish troops are in difficult position both in Leopoldville and Jadotville. He feels that the lack of clear and up to date information is leaving the field open to sensational press stories.
  2. My own concern is that the Secretariat or preferably the Secretary-General himself should make an early statement as to the UN objectives in the Katanga operation establishing their action in a legal framework and explaining the grounds which have necessitated the methods used in Katanga. I feel that if we are left too long without such an authoritative explanation criticism of the operation and misunderstanding as to its intention will flourish.
  3. Boland and myself talked over these preoccupations with Governor Stevenson of US Mission today and Boland is seeing Cordier of the UN Secretariat later this afternoon.
  4. We have no repeat no doubt that the UN has been faced with difficult choices as to methods and as to timing but that its ultimate objective of bringing Katanga into constitutional relationship with the general government of the Congo is fully justified and that it has operated within a legal framework. What we really doubt is how skilfully this operation has been handled and whether it has been fully and coherently reported from UN sources.
  5. Mr. Hammarskjöld is expected back Sunday night or Monday morning. However it is possible that the events in Leopoldville might lead him to delay his departure.

[C.S.A.] RITCHIE

32. DEA/6386-40

Acting Consul General in Congo to Secretary of State for External Affairs

TELEGRAM 253 Leopoldville, September 16, 1961
CONFIDENTIAL.
Repeat for Information: Permis New York, Washington, London, NATO Paris, Paris, Brussels, DM/DND, CIS, CGS, CAS, DNI, DAI, DMI from Ottawa, Cairo (Deferred).
By Bag Pretoria, Accra, Lagos, Moscow, Delhi, Karachi, Kuala Lumpur, Dublin from London.

UN Action in Katanga

As seen from Congo in opposition to New York I find little justification for recent UN action in Katanga. Although UN claims it acted to prevent civil war, there exists no repeat no evidence whatsoever that such a threat was imminent. However desirable may be unification of the Congo it is inexcusable that it should have served as a pretext for relying on force which could only have been justified as last resort had overt action been taken by Katanga Government against UN.

  1. UN troops presence in Katanga as well as reinforcements in recent months and implementation of Security Council resolution February 21 regarding withdrawal of mercenaries have all been very much through negotiations with Tshombe’s Government. The UN having thus treated Tshombe as a provincial authority we can understand Tshombe’s reaction “I have been betrayed all down the line by the UN.”
  2. Until Wednesday there was no repeat no reason to suppose that by patient negotiations aim of the UN and of Central Government could not repeat not eventually have been accomplished. It was not repeat not a situation which could be helped by a deadline. Although there were rumours recently that Munongo was planning commando type actions against UN troops, no repeat no such actions had taken place as of date UN offensive. It is evident from developments since Wednesday that UN operation was not repeat not only ill advised and unnecessary but hastily conceived and with apparent disregard of military logistics of such an operation. They have also underestimated the will to resist of Katanga army. Evidence of this is that last night at UK consulate in Elizabethville UN were prepared, according to USA Embassy here, to consider ceasefire on the basis that both sides would remain in their position.
  3. By using force in support of Central Government to settle what is after all an internal political issue, UN has set a dangerous precedent. Implication is that if tomorrow Gizenga managed to take over from Adoula without overt use of force (Adoula’s position as Head of Government is far from secure) UN troops paid by Western Powers would have no repeat no other choice than to consolidate his power throughout the country.
  4. It appears from Mr. Hammarskjöld’s own admission (paragraph 4 Permis New York telegram 1840 September 7)† that Adoula was forced to take strong action over Katanga by extremists in his government. If this is so, UN action is even more inexcusable. It should be its role to help Adoula’s government cope with rather than give in to such pressure.
  5. Grateful for Department’s assessment of situation.

[MICHEL] GAUVINM

33. DEA/6386-40

Secretary of State for External Affairs to Permanent Representative to United Nations

Telegram ME-464 Ottawa, September 20, 1961
CONFIDENTIAL.
Repeat for Information: Leopoldville, Washington, London, NATO Paris, Paris, Brussels (Routine), Cairo (Deferred) from London.
By Bag Pretoria, Accra, Lagos, Moscow, Delhi, Karachi, Kuala Lumpur, Dublin, DM/DND, CCOS/CGS, CAS, DNI, DAI, DMI.

The Congo

The untimely death of Mr. HammarskjöldFootnote 15 and the apparent change in the military situation in favour of the Katanga forces has, it seems to us, presented the UN (and the Western Powers) with a new set of factors in the Congo.

  1. The most obvious one is that Tshombe’s prestige has increased and it will now be more urgent than ever to reach a negotiated settlement with him. Another is that the latest developments would seem to have strengthened the influence of the extremists in both Elizabethville and Leopoldville with the result that one may expect increased pressure on the one hand for the secession of Katanga and on the other for reunification of the Congo by force.
  2. Where we see some danger is in the possibility that Tshombe will again overplay his hand as he did at Coquilhatville and attempt to impose conditions which neither the UN or the Central Government can accept. In such a case the danger of civil war would be great. It seems doubtful that at the present time Mobutu’s ANC could mount a successful offensive against Katanga in view of the logistical problems involved. What is less predictable, however, is the likely reaction of Lundula’s forces in Eastern and Kivu provinces. Another danger is that unless Tshombe can be persuaded to meet with the Central Government leaders as soon as possible, the latter may feel obliged to call for outside help against Katanga.
  3. In the above circumstances the most urgent task of the UN now that a provisional cease fire has been arranged should in our opinion be to do what it can to bring about political negotiation between Tshombe and the Central Government and then return to its impartial role of preventing civil war. It goes without saying of course that the UN should take all necessary steps to protect its personnel in the Congo.Footnote 16

34. DEA/6386-40

Memorandum from Under-Secretary of State for External Affairs to Prime Minister

CONFIDENTIAL [Ottawa], September 20, 1961

The Congo

The fighting in Katanga coupled with the death of Mr. Hammarskjöld has produced a serious situation in the Congo which could pose the threat of civil war and foreign intervention.

  1. The Central Government of Mr. Adoula is based on an uneasy alliance between the moderates and the more extreme followers of Gizenga. It has enjoyed the active support of the U.N. including the Casablanca Powers and other non-aligned countries. One of the bases for Gizengists’ support of Adoula was the latter’s willingness to take a strong line with Tshombe and establish the Central Government’s authority over Katanga. Adoula has therefore been under pressure to bring Tshombe to heel quickly and on several occasions he has publicly threatened to use force. But just as Adoula was under pressure from the Gizengists Tshombe has also, it would seem, been under some pressure from extremists in his Government led by the Minister of Interior, Mr. Munongo, who still nourished hope of keeping Katanga politically independent. Accordingly Tshombe was in no hurry to go to Leopoldville for negotiations. He expressed fears for his safety and claimed that Katanga deputies in the Central Parliament had been forced to take refuge in Brazzaville. Basically his attitude to the Adoula Government was one of suspicion that it would soon fall under the control of Gizenga and that in Leopoldville his life would be in danger. He was also opposed to the idea that the Katanga Gendarmerie should come under the control of the Central Government and was particularly concerned that the posts of Defence Minister should not go to his enemies.
  2. It had been the U.N. hope that the reintegration of Katanga could have been brought about peacefully through negotiation once the Belgian and other foreign advisers and military personnel in Katanga had been withdrawn in accordance with the Security Council Resolution of February 21. Unfortunately it was the United Nations efforts to implement this part of the resolution at the request of the Central Government and in particular their decision to seize the radio station in Elizabethville on September 13 which precipitated the present conflict in Katanga. In this connection the report of the officer in charge of the United Nations operation in the Congo draws attention to the role of foreign military personnel and extremist elements in the Katanga Government in spreading panic and disseminating inflammatory propaganda against the United Nations thereby threatening the security of United Nations personnel. The legal basis for the United Nations action apparently was the ordinance issued by President Kasavubu providing for the expulsion of all foreign officers and mercenaries serving in the Katanga forces not under the control of the Central Government and a letter from Prime Minister Adoula requesting United Nations assistance in the execution of this ordinance. While the U.N. could thus claim to have acted within a legal framework and have probably stayed within the letter of their mandate, they left themselves open to criticism by appearing to use force to bring about a political settlement in favour of the Central Government. This aspect of the United Nations action has been criticized in certain Western countries as well as by some African states of the former French Community.
  3. Against this background the death of Mr. Hammarskjöld would seem to have had the following results:
    1. The United Nations finds itself in a sort of legal vacuum in the Congo since Mr. Linner was, strictly speaking, the personal representative of the Secretary-General and subordinate officers must now operate within the limits of existing instructions;
    2. The influence of the extremists around both Adoula and Tshombe has been strengthened. This means that the pressures for secession on the one hand and reunification of the Congo by force on the other hand are likely to increase. Already we have received reports from Leopoldville that the Gizenga group has been demanding that the Government send its armed forces to Katanga. The U.S. Ambassador in Leopoldville seems convinced that Adoula will resist such pressure but it is clear that he will be encountering opposition in the Government.
    3. The role of the United Kingdom in arranging for talks between Tshombe and United Nations representatives has been interpreted in a sinister light in a number of Afro-Asian countries, notably India and Ghana where the press have accused the United Kingdom of being responsible for the death of Mr. Hammarskjöld. In this connection the statement issued by Prime Minister Adoula has taken a distinctly anti-British line, accusing British interests of complicity in Katanga.
  4. Attached for your signature, if you agree, is a telegram to New York† setting forth our assessment of the situation in the Congo.Footnote 17

N.A. R[OBERTSON]

35. DEA/6386-C-40

Memorandum from Under-Secretary of State for External Affairs to Secretary of State for External Affairs

CONFIDENTIAL [Ottawa], September 22, 1961

CONGO: U.N. REQUEST FOR ASSISTANCE

On September 20 an urgent request was received from the U.N. Secretariat for Canadian assistance in support of U.N. operations in the Congo. This request was three-fold:

  1. for new equipment and spare parts required to recondition teletypes used by Canadian signallers. (We understand that the teletype in Leopoldville is the only one now in operation and that, only at half-strength; communications are now being operated by radio);
  2. for transport aircraft, aircrews, maintenance personnel and spares for internal air transport (these aircraft, the number of which is left to Canadian discretion, would be used for a period of two weeks “after the Fuga aircraft employed against the U.N. by Katanga forces has been dealt with”);
  3. for technical assistance in installing radio equipment on four C-47 U.N. aircraft now in Leopoldville.

These demands are related to other requests submitted at the same time to ten other countries (Ethiopia, Denmark, Norway, Sweden, Yugoslavia, United Arab Republic, Pakistan, India, U.S.A. and Iceland) for transport and fighter aircraft and crews as well as weapons and military equipment. The purpose of these requests has not been stated explicitly.

Just before the operations in Katanga had reached an acute stage, another request for Canadian assistance to Congo operations had been received from the Secretariat. This request came to us under cover of letter No. 644 of September 12 from our Mission in New York.† At that time, the Secretariat transmitted to us and twelve other countries (Argentina, Ethiopia, India, Iceland, Morocco, Peru, Senegal, Sweden, Tunisia, Upper Volta, the United Arab Republic and Switzerland) a request by the Government of the Congo to assist in the re-organization and training of the Congolese National Army. The Secretariat enquired therefore whether the Canadian Government would be able and willing to provide a number of qualified French speaking military personnel to serve as advisers to the Congo Government and instructors for the ANC. Our Mission in New York was informed that the Secretariat would like us to forward the names of a number of candidates for some, but not all, of the 18 officer and 11 NCO positions requested. It was made clear to us that the U.N. would give preference to qualified African candidates where such were available.

We were informed in this connection that the military advisers to be provided under this scheme would be independent of ONUC. Only one, an Ethiopian officer, had been recruited so far. The Secretary-General had decided against making any request to countries, such as Guinea, whose participation he considered to be politically undesirable. Brigadier Rikhye indicated at the same time to our Mission that it might be possible to reduce the staff at ONUC in the not too distant future and suggested that the U.N. would welcome the transfer to the future Military Advisers Staff of Canadian officers already in the Congo. On the other hand, it was pointed out that further requests for military advisers might be submitted next year.

The U.S. Embassy in Ottawa, on instruction from their Government, has approached us to suggest that we give the request for military training assistance our most sympathetic consideration. A copy of this U.N. request has been passed to National Defence but no views on this matter have been exchanged between the two Departments, pending your return. Action on both these requests has had to be deferred, awaiting clarification on the current role of the U.N. in the Congo generally and in Katanga in particular, resulting from your discussions in New York. Attached for your convenience is a copy of the Security Council resolution of February 21, 1961 on the Congo.† Since preparing this memorandum, we have received another telegram from our Mission in New York providing further information on the U.N. request for Canadian military transport aircraft. A copy of this telegram† is attached.

N.A. R[OBERTSON]

36. PCO

Extract from Cabinet Conclusions

SECRET [Ottawa], September 23, 1961

Present

  • The Prime Minister (Mr. Diefenbaker) in the Chair, (for morning meeting only),
  • The Secretary of State for External Affairs (Mr. Green) in the Chair, (for afternoon meeting only),
  • The Minister of Transport (Mr. Balcer),
  • The Minister of Veterans Affairs (Mr. Churchill), (for morning meeting only),
  • The Minister of National Revenue (Mr. Nowlan),
  • The Minister of National Defence (Mr. Harkness),
  • The Minister of Fisheries (Mr. MacLean),
  • The Postmaster General (Mr. William Hamilton),
  • The Minister of Mines and Technical Surveys (Mr. Comtois), (for morning meeting only),
  • The Minister of National Health and Welfare (Mr. Monteith),
  • The Minister of Agriculture (Mr. Alvin Hamilton),
  • The Minister of Defence Production (Mr. O’Hurley),
  • The Minister of Public Works (Mr. Walker), (for morning meeting only),
  • The Associate Minister of National Defence (Mr. Sévigny), (for morning meeting only),
  • The Minister of Forestry (Mr. Flemming),
  • The Secretary of State (Mr. Dorion),
  • The Minister of Northern Affairs and National Resources (Mr. Dinsdale),
  • The Minister without Portfolio (Mr. Halpenny).
  • The Secretary to the Cabinet (Mr. Bryce),
  • The Assistant Secretary to the Cabinet (Dr. Hodgson).
    . . .

Request from United Nations for Transport Planes for Congo Operations

  1. The Secretary of State for External Affairs said that the United Nations had requested about eight countries, including Canada, to make transport aircraft available for the carrying of United Nations troops and supplies to Katanga. Other countries had been asked to provide fighter protection for the transport planes. The United Nations had formerly used chartered planes, but these had been attacked by the Katanga air force, and the charter companies had withdrawn most of them. Only two or three out of a total of thirty transport aircraft were now continuing to operate. The transport aircraft would probably be required for a period of between three and five weeks.
    The decision was a difficult one. Canadian troops were operating in the Congo, and the transports would doubtless be helpful to them as to others. On the hand, the aircraft would be exposed to possible attack. If the U.N. should fail in Katanga, its influence could be seriously impaired.
  2. The Minister of National Defence said that Ethiopia, Norway, Sweden, Denmark and the United States had agreed to supply some of the required aircraft. Air Commodore Morrison, R.C.A.F., the U.N. Staff Officer in command of transport flying in Katanga, had telephoned to him and stated that the service also needed twelve Grade 3 N.C.O. technicians to supervise aircraft repairs. He has stated that the local situation was so confused that he was uncertain as to how many commercial transport planes were still available, and uncertain whether the recent ceasefire might make the charter companies more willing to operate over Katanga. He had recommended that Canada provide four C119 aircraft, plus the related ground crew, for a period of at least one month. This would involve a total of 124 personnel, including the 12 technicians. If only two C119 aircraft were made available, a total of 68 personnel would be involved, including the technicians. The aircraft might be attacked if the cease-fire should end, but the U.N. operation ought to be supported. The government would be criticized by the Canadian public if it refused the request.
  3. The Cabinetagreed, subject to the concurrence of the Prime Minister,
    1. that two C119 aircraft, together with the necessary personnel (56 including aircrews and ground crews), be made available to the United Nations Congo Force for an estimated period of one month; and,
    2. that twelve N.C.O.’s Grade 3 (technical) be made available to the U.N. Congo Force to assist in supervising aircraft repairs.
      . . .

37. DEA/6386-C-40

Memorandum from Under-Secretary of State for External Affairs to Secretary of State for External Affairs

CONFIDENTIAL [Ottawa], October 17, 1961

CONGO: U.N. REQUEST FOR ASSISTANCE

In telegram No. 2162 of October 10, 1961, a copy of which is attached,† our mission in New York forwarded a request from the Secretariat to provide eight control tower officers and two maintenance ground communication technicians to assist in the operations of the Swedish and Ethiopian jet fighters and Indian Canberras in the Congo. In view of the policy implications of this request, we have asked our mission to provide additional information on the Secretariat’s policy concerning the use of these fighters and light bomber aircraft. In telegram No. 2222 of October 14, a copy of which is also attached,† our mission further explained that in the event of a resumption of hostilities, the task of the jets and Canberras would be to provide escorts for U.N. military transport aircraft and, if it became necessary, to render unusable the only runway now available to Katanga’s Fuga jets.

  1. The Swedish and Ethiopian jet fighters and Indian Canberras were provided to the U.N. in reply to the general request for assistance made by the Secretariat. You will recall that Canada has already provided two C-119 transport planes with personnel, in reply to the same request, for a period of one month.
  2. The required Canadian personnel would be assigned presumably to the technical operations of fighter control equipment, under the orders of the U.N. commander in the Congo. The U.S. Air Force, which has agreed to provide the complex and costly control equipment required for these planes, has indicated that it would much prefer to have this equipment operated by RCAF personnel.
  3. The fighters and Canberras are already at the U.N.’s disposal in the Congo. Five fighters were moved on October 8 to Luluabourg in the province of Kasai, not far from the Katanga border. The other jets and the Canberras are based in Leopoldville. Our mission in New York, which has obtained some information in confidence on General McEoin’s plan in the event of a breach of a cease-fire in Katanga, has reported that it is the U.N.’s intention to move eventually all jets into Kamina in Katangese territory. The Canberras have the range to operate from Leopoldville.
  4. There is, of course, a possibility that if we agree to the present U.N. request, we could be placed later on in an awkward position if the U.N. engages in warlike operations in the Congo, and particularly in Katanga. The situation would be especially delicate if these operations were undertaken in circumstances about which we may have some reservations. It is to be expected that the jets and Canberras would play an important role in such operations.
  5. Under terms of the cease-fire agreement in Katanga, the U.N. has ceased military operations in the region and we do not anticipate any U.N. initiative pending an agreement as to who is to head the Secretariat, without which, as you have said, the Congo operation lacks political direction. At the last meeting of the Congo Advisory Committee, no indication has been given that the Secretariat would be thinking in terms of resuming military operations on its own initiative. However, the danger of further U.N. operations in Katanga cannot be ruled out absolutely.
  6. In the circumstances, you may wish to put the above considerations to Mr. Harkness, suggesting that, on balance, sympathetic consideration should be given to the U.N. request for control tower officers and ground communications technicians, since this personnel would not have a combatant role and the aircraft involved would, in effect, provide protection both for the RCAF transport aircraft now in the Congo, as well as for Canadian personnel now operating signals equipment for the United Nations. Attached for you signature, if you agree, is a letter† along the above suggested line to the Minister of National Defence.Footnote 18

N.A. R[OBERTSON]

38. PCO

Extract from Cabinet Conclusions

SECRET [Ottawa], October 23, 1961

Present

  • The Prime Minister (Mr. Diefenbaker) in the Chair,
  • The Secretary of State for External Affairs (Mr. Green),
  • The Minister of Finance (Mr. Fleming),
  • The Minister of Transport (Mr. Balcer),
  • The Minister of Veterans Affairs (Mr. Churchill)
  • The Minister of Citizenship and Immigration (Mrs. Fairclough),
  • The Minister of Fisheries (Mr. MacLean),
  • The Minister of Labour (Mr. Starr),
  • The Postmaster General (Mr. William Hamilton),
  • The Minister of National Health and Welfare (Mr. Monteith),
  • The Minister of Agriculture (Mr. Alvin Hamilton),
  • The Minister of Defence Production (Mr. O’Hurley),
  • The Minister of Public Works (Mr. Walker),
  • The Associate Minister of National Defence (Mr. Sévigny),
  • The Secretary of State (Mr. Dorion),
  • The Minister without Portfolio (Mr. Halpenny).
  • The Secretary to the Cabinet (Mr. Bryce),
  • The Assistant Secretaries to the Cabinet (Dr. Hodgson), (Mr. Watters).

Request from U.N. For Transport Planes for Congo Operation

(Previous reference September 23)

  1. The Minister of National Defence recalled that Canada had sent two C119 aircraft to the Congo at the special request of the United Nations. The first arrangement was that the aircraft would be required for three weeks, but later this period was extended for another month. He had been asked to extend the loan of these aircraft for a further thirty days.
  2. The Cabinet agreed to a further thirty days extension of the assignment of two C119 aircraft to the United Nations force in the Congo but, in informing the U.N. of this decision, it should be made clear that there was no intention of continuing this arrangement indefinitely.
    . . .

39. DEA/6386-40

Permanent Representative to United Nations to Secretary of State for External Affairs

TELEGRAM 2473 New York, November 1, 1961
CONFIDENTIAL.
Reference: Our Tel 2162 Oct 10† and Your Tel DL-1381 Oct 27.†
Repeat for Information: DND, CCOS, CANAIRHED for CAS Ottawa ( from Ottawa, CANARMY for CGS Ottawa ( from Ottawa.

Congo: UN Request for Assistance – Flying Control Personnel

Your reference telegram which notified that Canada could not repeat not provide requested flying control personnel, brought an immediate and concerted reaction. In a personal approach to our Permanent Representative, Bunche asked for urgent reconsideration on basis that lack of control personnel could seriously jeopardize ONUC Air Defence. Ethiopian Ambassador added his plea stating that without control personnel Ethiopian jets in Congo are non-operational (a point of national prestige is also involved). Members of USA Mission expressed concern for effectiveness of UN defensive air operations and hoped for reconsideration of Canadian decision. UN military advisers re-emphasized that USA Government had agreed to provide costly and complex control equipment on condition UN could assure operation only by qualified personnel and on understanding RCAF personnel were being asked for.

  1. USAF representative stated necessary equipment is in such short supply it is necessary to withdraw it from a unit in Oklahoma. If upon reconsideration Canada cannot repeat not provide personnel there would be no repeat no point in shipping it to Congo. Shipment is expected to be made in two or three days.
  2. Yesterday in Congo Advisory Committee Meeting Secretariat was under pressure to take effective action to deal with aircraft operating from Katanga which had bombed railroads and villages in South Kasai. Bunche stated Katangese would be given clear warning that aircraft positively identified as engaging in hostile acts would be destroyed on ground or in air.
  3. These reactions and requests for reconsideration of Canadian decision are reported for such action as is deemed advisable in light of all factors known in Ottawa.

40. DEA/6386-C-40

Memorandum from Under-Secretary of State for External Affairs to Secretary of State for External Affairs

CONFIDENTIAL [Ottawa], November 2, 1961

Congo – United Nations’ Request for Assistance

Attached is a copy of telegram No. 2473 dated November 1, 1961, in which our mission in New York sets forth the immediate reactions in the United Nations resulting from the notification that Canada, because of a serious shortage, could not provide the personnel needed to man the control equipment for United Nations’ aircraft in the Congo. Our mission sent this report for such action as we deem advisable in the light of all the factors known in Ottawa.

You will recall that in a letter dated October 17,† you recommended to the Minister of National Defence that we should agree to the United Nations’ request provided the necessary personnel were available. Mr. Harkness replied, however, on October 25† that the provision of the requested personnel would seriously affect the operational efficiency of the RCAF.

In view of the strong reaction caused by this statement and in the light of the recent outbreaks in the Congo, we consider that Canada should endeavour to provide the assistance requested by the United Nations, if at all possible. Continued inability by Canada to provide the flight-control personnel, which would apparently have the consequence of delaying or making impossible United Nations’ air action against Katangese aircraft, could lead to very strong criticism of Canada by the African and Asian countries who are pressing for strong action against Mr. Tschombe and Katangese separatism. Attached for your signature, if you agree, is a letter† to Mr. Harkness asking him to reconsider the matter.Footnote 19

Also attached for reference purposes are copies† of your earlier letter to Mr. Harkness and of his reply.

N.A. R[OBERTSON]

41. PCOM

Extract from Cabinet Conclusions

SECRET [Ottawa], November 3, 1961

Present

  • The Prime Minister (Mr. Diefenbaker) in the Chair,
  • The Secretary of State for External Affairs (Mr. Green),
  • The Minister of Finance (Mr. Fleming),
  • The Minister of Trade and Commerce (Mr. Hees),
  • The Minister of Transport (Mr. Balcer),
  • The Minister of Veterans Affairs (Mr. Churchill)
  • The Minister of Justice (Mr. Fulton),
  • The Minister of National Revenue (Mr. Nowlan),
  • The Minister of National Defence (Mr. Harkness),
  • The Minister of Citizenship and Immigration (Mrs. Fairclough),
  • The Minister of Fisheries (Mr. MacLean),
  • The Minister of Labour (Mr. Starr),
  • The Postmaster General (Mr. William Hamilton),
  • The Solicitor General (Mr. Browne),
  • The Minister of National Health and Welfare (Mr. Monteith),
  • The Minister of Defence Production (Mr. O’Hurley),
  • The Associate Minister of National Defence (Mr. Sévigny),
  • The Minister of Forestry (Mr. Flemming),
  • The Secretary of State (Mr. Dorion),
  • The Minister of Northern Affairs and National Resources (Mr. Dinsdale),
  • The Minister without Portfolio (Mr. Halpenny).
  • The Secretary to the Cabinet (Mr. Bryce),
  • The Assistant Secretary to the Cabinet (Dr. Hodgson).
    . . .

Oan of R.C.A.F. Personnel to U.N. Congo Force

  1. The Minister of National Defence said that several weeks ago the United Nations had requested the government of Canada to make 11 or 12 R.C.A.F. officers and technicians available to help in the control of fighter aircraft of the U.N. Congo Force. A reply had been made that R.C.A.F. personnel suitable for such duties could not readily be spared because they were currently engaged in the conversion of training squadrons to F101 and F104 aircraft. The U.N. had today renewed its request, explaining that the control equipment was to be supplied by the United States but would not be provided unless R.C.A.F. personnel would operate it. Apart from U.S. personnel, only R.C.A.F. personnel had the necessary training for the operation of this equipment. In the circumstances, the government would probably be criticized if it should refuse to supply the personnel and, as a result, the control equipment could not be used.
  2. During the brief discussion some said that the fighter aircraft would be used in Katanga. The Canadian government was not committed to support a united Congo, and indeed this was a question of national self-determination rather than one to be forced upon the population by the U.N. The U.N. Congo Force, however, was trying to get between the Congo and Katanga forces, to act as a buffer. At this time about 300 Canadian personnel were serving in the Congo, as compared with the maximum of 500 authorized by the Cabinet. The duration of the assignment of the 11 or 12 R.C.A.F. personnel would be indefinite.
  3. The Cabinet agreed that 11 or 12 R.C.A.F. officers and technicians would be made available at this time to the U.N. Congo Force to assist in the control of the Force’s fighter aircraft operations.
    . . .

42. DEA/6386-M-40

Memorandum from Under-Secretary of State for External Affairs to Secretary of State for External Affairs

CONFIDENTIAL [Ottawa], November 9, 1961

Congo – Request for Military Training Assistance

You will recall that on October 19, while you were in New York, a telegram† was sent to our mission suggesting that we consider taking up with the Department of National Defence the proposal from the U.N. Secretariat that Canada should provide military instructors and advisers for the Congolese Defence Ministry. Our mission replied on October 20† that the U.N. authorities were not pursuing the matter at the present time because of the situation in Katanga and of the non-integration of the Congolese forces in the Orientale province.

  1. We have now been informed by our Acting Consul General in Leopoldville (a copy of his message No. 313 of November 7 is attached)† that General Iyassu, the Ethiopian officer appointed as Senior Military Adviser to the Congolese Government, considers that the matter should be pursued in spite of the uncertainties of the present situation and indeed has threatened to resign unless the U.N. takes immediate action. General Iyassu told Mr. Gauvin that he would like to obtain from Canada one Lieutenant Colonel, four Majors or Captains and four NCO’s for the proposed officer training school and two French-speaking Colonels or Lieutenant Colonels to be assistant advisers to Congolese defence authorities. Iyassu thought that if Canada could reply affirmatively and quickly, the U.N. would be willing to fill the most important positions by Canadian officers, leaving other appointments to other nationalities. He hoped that the Secretariat would agree to sending a formal request to us in the very near future.
  2. As you know, the U.S. authorities have told us that they would be grateful if Canada could provide military advisers and instructors for the Congo and General Mobutu has made several approaches to Mr. Gauvin along the same line.
  3. I think we should ask our Mission in New York to consult the U.N. Secretariat again, in the light of the information from Mr. Gauvin, to get the most recent views and intentions of the Secretariat in this regard. It seems likely that because of the military situation in the Congo and also because of the recency of U Thant’s appointment that the Secretariat may not have reached very firm conclusions.
  4. Would you agree with the view that there is little point in approaching National Defence on this matter until the prospects in the Congo are clearer and until the Secretariat is in a position to renew its request for military instructors from Canada?Footnote 20

N.A. R[OBERTSON]

43. DEA/6386-40

Memorandum from Under-Secretary of State for External Affairs to Secretary of State for External Affairs

CONFIDENTIAL [Ottawa], November 10, 1961

Security Council Meeting on the Congo

Ethiopia, Nigeria and Sudan have requested a meeting of the Security Council “to consider the situation prevailing in the Province of Katanga, Republic of Congo (Leopoldville) caused by lawless acts of mercenaries.” Mr. Zorin, the current President of the Council, has proposed a meeting for early next week. It is expected that Spaak, Bomboko and Menon, as well as the above-mentioned three countries, will ask to participate.

  1. In view of the unsuccessful attempt of General Mobutu’s forces to invade Katanga and the role which European mercenaries are reported to have played in repelling the invasion, the forthcoming meeting will be important for the future of the United Nations operation in the Congo.
  2. The two main points of discussion are expected to be:
    1. clarification of the United Nations mandate in the Congo and particularly the role of United Nations forces, and
    2. what to do about the mercenaries.
      The choices under (i) are:
      1. UN troops would actively assist the Central Government forces in a military conquest of Katanga.
      2. UN troops would stand aside if the Central Government wished to renew its military operations against Katanga.
      3. UN forces would interpose themselves between Central Government and Katanga forces.
  3. While there may be support for (a) from the Congo Central Government, Ethiopia and some of the Casablanca powers, it is doubtful that many of the countries contributing to the UN military operation would agree to their forces being used in this way. India and the Western powers, as well as Mr. U Thant are said to be against such a course. The United Kingdom for one would probably be unwilling to approve such a step in view of their declared position that the differences between Katanga and the Central Government should be settled peacefully by negotiation. (The United Kingdom’s chief concern is to avoid disruption of the mining operations in Katanga).
  4. In the case of (b) it seems doubtful that the Central Government forces could successfully reduce Katanga unassisted especially if they are without air cover. Prime Minister Adoula appears to realize this and it may be that he will refrain from any further attempts at least so long as the Katanga forces can count on the services of European mercenaries.
  5. The remaining possibility (c) of the UN forces interposing themselves between Katanga and Central Government forces seems the best solution provided it has the tacit consent of the Central Government and negotiations with Tshombe are not unduly delayed. Intervention is envisaged under the resolution of February 21 which authorizes the UN forces to prevent civil war. Such a course would, however, mean a change of attitude on the part of the Secretariat who have tended to take the position in the Advisory Committee that Central Government operations against Katanga were essentially a police action.
  6. Our own view is that if fighting breaks out again between the Central Government forces and the Katanga gendarmerie it can hardly be regarded as anything less than civil war and the United Nations would therefore be obligated under the terms of the February 21 resolution to intervene.
  7. As for the mercenaries, Cordier has suggested that instead of deporting those apprehended, the UN should hand them over to the Central Government for service in work camps. Announcement of this policy would, he believes, cause most of them to leave Katanga of their own accord. Although there would probably be considerable support in the Advisory Committee for such a course it would mean stretching the terms of the February 21 resolution which only provides for measures to bring about the withdrawal of mercenaries from the Congo. Moreover we have reservations about this suggestion because of likely public reaction in Western countries especially those where UN prestige has already suffered considerably as a result of the events in Katanga.
  8. Basically the main problem facing the Security Council and all member countries is whether, and to what extent, the UN should side with the Central Government in its quarrel with Katanga. Since the United Nations is committed to the unity of the Congo it clearly must give moral and political support to the Central Government on the issue of secession. It would not, however, in our view be appropriate for the United Nations, whose purpose is to serve the cause of peace, to engage in offensive military operations with the Central Government forces against Katanga. Do you agree that the Canadian representative may take this position if the subject is raised in the Congo Advisory Committee?Footnote 21

N.A. R[OBERTSON]

44. DEA/6386-40

Head, Delegation to United Nations General Assembly, to Secretary of State for External Affairs

TELEGRAM 2668 New York, November 14, 1961
CONFIDENTIAL. PRIORITY.
Reference: Our Tel 2667 Nov 14.†
Repeat for Information: Washington, London, NATO Paris, Paris, Brussels, Cairo (Deferred) from Ottawa, DND, CCOS, CGS, CAS, DNI, DMI, DAI from Ottawa.
By Bag Pretoria, Accra, Lagos, Moscow, Dublin, Delhi, Karachi, Kuala Lumpur, Leopoldville from London.

CONGO: SECURITY COUNCIL MEETING

Two draft resolutions are now serving as focus of negotiations in connection with Security Council’s discussion of situation in Katanga. Afro-Asian draft resolution in drafting of which UAR, Ceylon, India and to some extent Liberia have participated is given in our telegram 2670 November 14.† Anglo-American draft resolution is given in our telegram 2669 November 14.†

  1. Principal purpose of Anglo-American draft resolution is to demonstrate genuineness of Anglo-American desire for ending of secession in Katanga. It is also intended for use in negotiations with drafters of Afro-Asian resolution since it has been recognized from first that it would be preferable for draft resolution to be presented in Council by Afro-Asians or possibly by all non-permanent members of Council. Anglo-American draft in several respects if broader than that of Afro-Asian members and UK and USA missions will be trying to add to Afro-Asian draft. Specifically they will press for inclusion of a paragraph along lines of operative paragraph two of their draft resolution to effect that Republic of Congo is responsible for conduct of external affairs. They would also like to see a reference to desirability of continuing negotiations to achieve territorial unity and integrity of Congo. They will suggest that this might be done by amplifying operative paragraph eight of Afro-Asian draft. Only principle objection to Afro-Asian draft is reference in operative paragraph four to “use of force” to apprehend mercenaries in Katanga. It is felt that this might lead to a resumption of fighting in Katanga and therefore frustrate political settlement.
  2. Anglo-American draft was prepared largely by USA Mission and accepted by UK Mission on understanding that they would have to secure approval of Foreign Office. The Foreign Office has since objected to operative paragraph nine. USA are now suggesting that UK position might be protected by addition of a term such as “without prejudice to ceasefire.”
  3. Prospects are that resolution which emerges will gain unanimous support of Council. It is recognized however that while this will have some psychological effect, new efforts will have to be made to bring Tshombe to negotiating table. Spaak has some encouragement from fact that he had received on November 13 a letter from Tshombe referring to negotiations but letter continues to insist on need to maintain entity of Katanga. USA Mission which has seen letter considers that Tshombe has given no repeat no ground. They see principal hope in possibility of threatening Tshombe with division of Katanga into two parts. We sense that USA are working along these lines with Central Government. Bomboko referred in his statement to fact that Tshombe does not repeat not control North Katanga. We understand that Sendwe has gone to Albertville to emphasize possibilities of an alternative government for North Katanga. Faced with this threat it is USA hope that Tshombe will become more amenable.
  4. As indicated in our telegram under reference only four governments who are not repeat not members of Security Council have asked to participate in debate. Neither Nigeria nor repeat nor Sudan whose representatives had co-signed letter which requested meeting of Security Council have yet asked to take part although they both expect that they will receive instructions. Fact is that both governments have apparently changed their minds since signing letter and would have preferred to have meeting delayed for sometime in order to give U Thant more time to study problem. We have been told by representatives of a number of countries which participated in February series of meetings, e.g. Guinea, Indonesia, Poland that they do not repeat not plan to participate in this series of meetings. One of uncertainties is Ghana. Their delegation have asked for instructions. They consider that if a resolution is likely to gain general support there is no repeat no advantage to be gained from their participation. Only if it seems that a resolution will not repeat not be approved so that Secretary-General will have to be influenced by consensus of opinion, would they expect to participate.

45. DEA/6386-40

Memorandum from Head, African and Middle Eastern Division, to Special Assistant to Secretary of State for External Affairs

RESTRICTED [Ottawa], November 17, 1961

The Congo

The Security Council is debating the situation in the Congo and is expected to adopt a resolution clarifying and strengthening the United Nations mandate. An Afro-Asian draft (attached)† has already been submitted to the Council by Ceylon, Liberia and the UAR. The USA are expected to submit an alternate draft perhaps along the lines of that contained in telegram 2669 from New York (attached).†

  1. The Afro-Asian draft resolution reaffirms United Nations support for the Central Government of Prime Minister Adoula, calls for an end to all secessionist activities in Katanga, and requests all states to take measures to prevent army equipment and material from reaching the Congo except in accordance with the decisions, policies, and purposes of the United Nations. (This latter condition would leave the door open to providing equipment and possibly aircraft to the Central Government through United Nations channels if this seemed desirable.) The draft also authorizes the Secretary-General to use force if necessary to apprehend foreign mercenaries and goes further than previous resolutions by providing not only for their deportation but also (presumably at UN discretion) for their detention pending legal action. This is designed to solve the problem of mercenaries returning to Katanga after they have been deported. The feeling in New York is that the possibility of detention and the implied threat that they may be handed over to the Central Government authorities will be enough to cause most of the mercenaries to leave the Congo of their own accord.
  2. The Afro-Asian draft is silent on the question of whether the United Nations forces in the Congo should actively assist the Central Government in a military operation to reduce Katanga. Most Western countries, as well as India and Mr. U Thant are against this and, as you know, Mr. Green has stated publicly that Canada does not believe the United Nations should engage in offensive operations against Katanga.Footnote 22 This would not mean, however, that the United Nations could not use force to protect its own personnel or, for example, to relieve United Nations units which might be surrounded or attacked.
  3. The main USA objection to the Afro-Asian draft is that it is directed against one aspect of the Congo problem, Katanga, and does not take account of the recent anti-Central Government activities of Gizenga. We understand the USA proposal will include strengthening the Congolese National Army by creation of a small air force. This is in response to a demand from the Central Government for an air force. The USA are apparently afraid that if they refuse this request the Central Government may turn elsewhere.
  4. The events of the past few days at Kindu in Kivu Province and at Albertville in Katanga have added a new element of urgency in the Congo problem. In Kindu Congolese troops from Stanleyville arrested and killed thirteen Italian United Nations air crew. The troops involved disregarded the orders of General Lundula, who has now made his peace with the Central Government and are believed to be under the control of Gizenga, who is reported to have gone to Kindu after denouncing the Central Government and appealing to left wing elements in the country to join his new Panalu Party. Mr. U Thant has issued orders to the United Nations forces in the Congo to punish those responsible for the murder of the Italians. He also seems to be prepared, without waiting for a further mandate, to authorize the United Nations to take the strongest measures, including force to restore order in Kindu and according to latest reports United Nations aircraft have bombed Congo troops at Kindu. The United Nations may also need to take stern measures in Albertville where some elements of the Congolese forces got out of hand recently when the city was taken over by anti-Tshombe elements of the population.
  5. The main new element in the Congo situation is the open break between Gizenga and the Central Government. Gizenga appears to have quarrelled with Lumumbist provincial leaders in Stanleyville and to have moved to Kivu Province, taking with him loyal elements of the Congolese Army in Stanleyville. His plan appears to be to start a new nationalist movement aimed at overthrowing and replacing the Adoula Government in Leopoldville. Another new element is the report of the United Nations commission investigating the death of Lumumba which casts strong suspicion on Tshombe and the Katanga Government and also blames President Kasavubu for having handed over Lumumba to his political enemies.
  6. Tshombe still seems to be as unwilling as ever to negotiate a reconciliation with Adoula, even though the United Kingdom, the Belgian Government and the French have apparently been advising him strongly to do so. He maintains that he will not negotiate so long as the Central Government continues its threats and propaganda attacks against him. He also refuses to acknowledge the applicability of the “fundamental law” (constitution) which is one of the conditions demanded by Adoula. The Central Government demands that Tshombe acknowledge the supremacy of President Kasavubu as Chief of State of a united Congo, whereas Tshombe will only recognize him as a Head of a confederation of autonomous states.
  7. The most recent figures available on the dispersal of Canadian signallers in the sensitive parts of the Congo are those for November 2 as follows:
    • Kamina 9
    • Elizabethville 11
    • Luluabourg 9
    • Bukavu 10
    • Albertville 11
      50

In each place there is one officer; the remainder are signals NCO’s.

R.E. COLLINS

46. DEA/6386-M-40

Memorandum from Under-Secretary of State for External Affairs to Secretary of State for External Affairs

CONFIDENTIAL [Ottawa], November 21, 1961

Congo – Request for Military Training Assistance

On November 9, I sent you a memorandum informing you of the latest development concerning the U.N. request to provide military training assistance to the Congolese forces. You indicated that you would agree with the view that there would be little point in approaching National Defence on this matter until the prospects in the Congo become clearer and until the Secretariat were in a position to renew its request. On the basis of this memorandum a telegram† was sent to our mission in New York to get the most recent views and intentions of the Secretariat in this regard. A copy of this telegram was referred to the Chairman, Chiefs of Staff, for his information. Attached for your information is a letter, dated November 20, 1961,† from Air Marshal Miller with reference to this message. He has advised us that his Department is doubtful of its ability to meet any requests for further French-speaking officers for the Congo and suggested therefore that no encouragement be offered to the U.N. authorities on this request.

  1. Attached, therefore, for your signature, if you agree, is a telegram† bringing the reaction of the Chairman, Chiefs of Staff to the attention of our mission in New York and suggesting that, in view of this, they should not approach the Secretariat at the present time. If they have already done so on the basis of our telegram of November 16, it is suggested that they should inform the Secretariat that it is unlikely that Canada could provide the assistance requested.Footnote 23
  2. We have received a further telegram from Leopoldville on this subject, a copy of which is attached (No. 329 of November 20, 1961).† As you will see, the Secretariat has informed General Iyassu, the Ethiopian officer appointed as Senior Military Adviser to the Congolese Government, that none of the countries which have been asked to provide officers and instructors have replied. It is General Iyassu’s impression that this matter is being given a low priority in the Secretariat. He has suggested that if Canada is willing to send personnel, we should reply without awaiting further requests. A copy of our telegram to New York is therefore being sent for information to Leopoldville in order to inform Mr. Gauvin that we are not prepared to agree to General Iyassu’s suggestion.

N.A. R[OBERTSON]

47. DEA/6386-40

Secretary of State for External Affairs to Chairman, Delegation to United Nations General Assembly

TELEGRAM ME-567 Ottawa, November 22, 1961
CONFIDENTIAL.
Reference: Your Tels 2809 and 2810 of Nov 20/61.†
Repeat for Information: Washington, London, NATO Paris, Paris (, Cairo (Deferred), Brussels from Ottawa, DND, CCOS, CGS, CAS, DNI, DMI, DAI Ottawa from Ottawa.
By Bag Pretoria, Accra, Lagos, Moscow, Dublin, Dehli, Karachi, Kuala Lumpur, Leopoldville from London.

Congo

While recognizing that U Thant is under pressure to do something positive we would hope that whatever action may be taken would be compatible with the basic assumption of the UN operation that a final solution to the Congo problem should be reached peacefully by the Congolese without foreign interference.

  1. In view of what happened to the Italian airmen at Kindu and the apparent nervousness and lack of discipline amongst the ANC, we believe a high degree of priority should be given to the problem of regrouping UN forces in such a way as to afford maximum protection to UN personnel. While there may be valid reasons why the Malayan troops were unable to protect the Italians at Kindu it seems unlikely that public opinion will accept them. (In this connection the Italian ambassador called on the Department to inform us that his government was very disturbed at the apparent inability of the UN to protect its personnel.) As you know, we have taken a position against the use of force by the UN to suppress Katanga but this does not of course mean that we are against the use of force, if necessary, to protect UN personnel and in the last resort to maintain law and order.
  2. We agree with you that U Thant’s ideas about settling the mercenary problem could lead to a renewal of fighting or at least a number of unsavoury incidents. We would hope therefore that it could be recognized that the primary responsibility for getting rid of mercenaries should rest with the Katanga authorities and that before any action is taken an effort would be made to persuade Tshombe to issue a statement such as he made at the end of August accepting in principle that mercenaries be withdrawn.
  3. We have never been too happy about the proposal to hand mercenaries over to the Central Government and we are glad to note that U Thant’s idea is to have those not deported guarded jointly by UN and ANC. However, this still leaves the problem of what to do if the Central Government should press to have them tried under Congolese law. Regardless of how strongly one may feel about these soldiers of fortune it would not sit well with public opinion in many Western countries if they were handed over for trial to an administration which has little or no judicial apparatus or experience.
  4. We are glad to note that the UN are aware of the dangers of permitting the ANC to enter areas in the wake of UN forces. This would apply especially to the southern non-Baluba part of Katanga when and if the mercenaries are eliminated.
  5. In general we are not over-optimistic about finding an early solution to the Congo’s problems. It would seem however that Gizenga’s latest moves posing as they do a threat to the moderates in the Central Government have made it more important than ever that Tshombe and Adoula be brought together. There seems little prospect at the moment of Tshombe agreeing to Adoula’s prior condition that he recognize the loi fondamentale and Kasavubu as President of a United Congo (although he seems to be willing to recognize Kasavubu as President of a Con-Federal Union such as was discussed at Tananarive.) Some effort will have to be made therefore to find a face-saving formula for breaking the deadlock. One idea which has occurred to us is that the suggestion might be put to Tshombe that as a goodwill gesture he declare unilaterally his willingness to begin without prejudice making financial contributions to the Central Government treasury. Such a concession might enable Adoula to drop his prior condition regarding the loi fondamentale and agree to meet Tshombe elsewhere than Leopoldville, say in New York under UN auspices. This is only an idea and we would be interested to know of any others (such as the suggestion of a mediator from Ivory Coast or Sudan) which may have been made by the Secretariat or other delegations.

48. DEA/6386-40

Memorandum from Under-Secretary of State for External Affairs to Secretary of State for External Affairs

CONFIDENTIAL [Ottawa], December 6, 1961

Situation in the Congo

On November 24 the Security Council adopted an Afro-Asian resolution which inter alia reaffirmed United Nations support for the Central Government, deprecated secessionist activities in Katanga, as well as attacks on United Nations forces and personnel, requested all states to take measures to prevent arms from reaching the Congo and authorized the Secretary-General to use force if necessary to apprehend mercenaries and political advisers.

  1. In addition to dealing a severe blow to Tshombe’s secessionist ambitions, the main feature of the resolution was that it strengthened the hand of the Secretary-General in dealing with mercenaries in Katanga: he was specifically authorized to use force to apprehend them, and the resolution went further than previous ones by providing not only for their deportation, but also (presumably at UN discretion) for their detention pending legal action. This was designed to solve the problem of mercenaries returning to Katanga after they have been deported. It also held over them the threat that they may be handed over to the Central Government.
  2. In a statement prior to the vote, U Thant said that he intended to discharge his responsibilities vis-à-vis the mercenaries with vigour and determination. At the same time, he warned that it would not be possible to concentrate all UN resources in Katanga in view of the unstable situation in other parts of the Congo. He appealed for additional troops, especially from African countries (Ghana has already responded). He also indicated that the UN would not take sides militarily between the Central Government and secessionists but would continue its efforts at conciliation. In this connection, he mentioned the possibility of appointing an individual of high standing to mediate between the Central Government and Katanga.
  3. Mr. U Thant is expected to outline his plans for implementing the Security Council Resolution at a meeting of the Congo Advisory Committee this week. It would seem, however, that at least before the fighting mentioned below, he had been hoping to make one more attempt at conciliation before considering the use of force against the mercenaries.
  4. Western consultations before and during the Security Council debate revealed a certain divergence of views between the United States and Britain. This was confirmed when the United States voted for the resolution while the United Kingdom (and France) abstained. While the United States has generally been prepared to accept a strong UN policy towards Katanga, the United Kingdom Government, under pressure from the popular press and financial interests has been reluctant to see force used against the mercenaries and has restated in strong terms its position that the role of the UN should be primarily to conciliate and pacify and that the differences between Tshombe and the Central Government must be settled through peaceful negotiations. In a way this amounts to a pro-Tshombe policy since any negotiations which take place while mercenaries remain in Katanga and Tshombe has not recognized the supremacy of President Kasavubu would find Tshombe in a strong position at the bargaining table. In short, it would seem that the United Kingdom in the past few months has tended to adopt a more “European” policy towards the Congo.
  5. The immediate result of the Security Council resolution was to increase tension in Katanga, particularly amongst the gendarmerie who were angered at the prospect of a new UN drive to round up white volunteers. Tshombe condemned the resolution and called upon the population to be prepared to defend their homeland. A number of incidents followed his speech: two high-ranking UN officials were arrested and beaten by the Katanga gendarmerie; one Indian soldier was murdered and an officer kidnapped; eleven UN soldiers (mostly Swedes) were captured. These incidents appear to have been perpetrated without the specific authorization of the Katanga Government (presumably at the instigation of individuals who hoped to force the UN out of Katanga), and suggests that the Katanga authorities may no longer be able to control events.
  6. On December 5 the Katanga gendarmerie set up a road block between Elisabethville and the local airport. After protracted and futile talks with Katanga ministers to have the road block lifted, the UN authorities on the spot decided to take military action to clear it. In the course of this action (which was successful), fighting broke out between UN forces and the Katanga troops. There were also reports of sniping by local Belgians. Faced with this situation U Thant authorized the UN forces to take all necessary action to ensure freedom of movement including the occupation of key points. Additional UN troops (Nigerian, Irish and Swedes) are being airlifted to Katanga with the help of United States aircraft in Leopoldville and UN (Indian) jet [bombers] are reported to have destroyed four Katanga aircraft on the ground at Kolwezi.
  7. It seems clear that the current military action is related essentially to the protection of UN personnel and the UN Command in Katanga; in this respect, it is quite different from the action initiated by the UN last September which was connected with removing mercenaries. It is also clear that the UN action was taken only after every attempt had been made to reach agreement with the authorities in Katanga and after the situation regarding the security of UN personnel had become quite intolerable with individuals being picked off, held as hostages or killed.
  8. Mr. Ritchie is confident that the Acting Secretary-General Mr. U Thant and his representative on the spot, Mr. Bryan Urquhart, will act with every possible restraint but with firmness in ensuring that all necessary measures were taken for the safety of UN troops; in this connection Mr. Urquhart is considered to be far less emotional and prejudiced than his predecessor, Dr. O’Brien.
  9. Mr. Ritchie informs us that the report about abandonment of UN positions in Elisabethville is related to a deliberate policy of regrouping in order to concentrate on the essential points of communication, particularly the protection of the airport, in the interests of the best protection of UN personnel and the UN Command.
  10. Although there may be some public outcry in Western countries and particularly in the UK, the forceful action of the UN should serve to restore its prestige with the Central Government and will benefit the moderates in Leopoldville. It will presumably be welcomed by the Afro-Asian member states and particularly the Indian contingent who have been smarting from the so-called victory of the Katanga forces last September and were in an highly excitable mood following the murder of the Indian soldier.
  11. There may now be increased pressure on Tshombe to negotiate although it will be more difficult for him to do so without losing prestige. That he is anxious to negotiate was demonstrated when he tried to arrange a meeting with Adoula on an island in the Congo River during a recent stopover in Brazzaville. The main stumbling block is Adoula’s insistence that the negotiations take place in Leopoldville and that Tshombe first recognize the loi fondamentale as the present constitution and Kasavubu as Chief of State of a united Congo. Tshombe, for his part, is afraid to go to Leopoldville and maintains that the loi fondamentale is no longer applicable in the present situation in the Congo. He will only recognize Kasavubu as President of a federation of sovereign states as agreed at Tananarive. In fact, Tshombe wants to protect his bargaining position by making it clear that he is sitting down with Adoula as an equal. What the present situation demands, therefore, is a face-saving formula for a meeting which will preserve the unity of the Congo and enable UN forces gradually to extricate themselves with their own prestige intact.
  12. According to the latest information in the Department of National Defence the deployment of Canadian Army signallers in Katanga is 10 at Elisabethville, 11 at Kamina and 11 at Albertville. A party of Canadian air control personnel (4 officers and 6 airmen) arrived at Leopoldville on November 24. Some of them may have gone on to Luluabourg or Kamina. There has been no sign so far that Canada will be requested to send additional personnel as a result of the fighting in Katanga.

N.A. R[OBERTSON]

49. DEA/6386-C-40

Minister of National Defence to Secretary of State for External Affairs

CONFIDENTIAL Ottawa, December 7, 1961

My dear Colleague:
On 24 October 1960, the Secretary-General, acting on a recommendation of the first United Nations Commander (Major General Von Horn), requested Canada to fill the Air Commander position in the rank of Air Commodore at Headquarters United Nations Force in the Congo. Canada accepted this commitment on the understanding that the tour of duty for this officer would be for a period of six months and that the filling of this position by a Canadian would be subject to review when he is due for replacement. I now consider that the Air Commander position should no longer be filled by a Royal Canadian Air Force Officer.

In accordance with the Security Council’s resolution of 22 July 1960, the aim of the United Nations was to provide assistance with a view to preserving the unity, territorial integrity and political independence in the Congo in the interests of international peace and security. The main instrument of the United Nations, created for the maintenance of law and order and the protection of civilian life, was the United Nations Force. Realizing the importance of air transport to the fulfilment of the objective, the Secretary-General requested a large air transport force both for external and internal support. Canada responded quickly to this request by providing North Star aircraft for external support and plans were made for the provision of a rather large Canadian air contribution for internal support. For this reason, coupled with the fact that of all the countries contributing to the Air Transport force the Royal Canadian Air Force was the most experienced in directing large scale transport operations and the Headquarters Air Staff was to be largely Canadian, my predecessor recommended that Canada fill the Air Commander position. The Security Council on 20-21 February 1961 enlarged the aim of the United Nations operations in the Congo to include the urgent purpose of countering the development of a serious civil war situation. Additionally there was evidence in the spring that fighter aircraft would be made available to the Katanga Air Force. In light of this and the fact that the Air Commander’s staff did not reach predominately Canadian status, it was with some reluctance that I agreed in May 1961 to provide the Air Commander for a further six months.

On 21 September 1961, the United Nations decided to build an Air Force military component within the ONUC. Accordingly, the acting Secretary-General requested various countries to provide military air transport, jet fighters and jet bombers. These have been provided and consequently the Air Commander’s staff will have to be enlarged which will result in a further dilution of Canadian content and if he is to be of maximum use to the United Nations Force Commander his responsibilities will have to be increased to include defensive and offensive military operations. On 17 November 1961, the Security Council reaffirmed their resolution of last February and authorized the acting Secretary-General to use force in support of the Central Government. Following a breakdown in negotiations between Dr. Linner and the Katangan authorities, the former advised the acting Secretary-General that the situation had deteriorated sharply and that large scale incidents could be expected. The acting Secretary-General has now delegated authority to his representative to use force if required to effect the UN mandate. The ONUC aircraft, including the nine jet fighters and six jet bombers, are now engaged in support operations and the Katanga air force base at Kolwezi has been attacked.

The above review points out the changing role of the United Nations Force in the Congo. The original requirement for an Air Commander experienced in large scale Air Transport operations has clearly been overtaken by events. In fact the present situation is such that I believe that the accepted international principle of the country supplying the largest force also provides the Commander should be adopted by the United Nations.

For the reasons stated, I strongly recommend that upon completion of the present Air Commander’s tour of duty this position no longer be accepted by Canada.

Yours sincerely,
DOUGLAS S. HARKNESS

50. DEA/6386-C-40

Memorandum from Under-Secretary of State for External Affairs to Secretary of State for External Affairs

CONFIDENTIAL [Ottawa], December 15, 1961

Congo – Replacement for A/c Morrison

Attached is a letter from the Minister of National Defence which is dated December 7, 1961 but was received during your stay in Paris. As you will see, Mr. Harkness argues strongly that the position of Air Commander in the United Nations Force in the Congo should no longer be filled by an RCAF officer. He has recommended that, on the completion of A/C Morrison’s tour of duty, “this position no longer be accepted by Canada.”

  1. We are informed that A/C Morrison’s tour ends on January 4, 1962, but that the RCAF wishes to have him repatriated in the last days of December. The U.N. Secretariat has already requested us to provide a replacement for him. Our letter to Air Chief Marshal Miller,† endorsing the Secretariat’s request, crossed with Mr. Harkness’ letter. General McEoin has informed Mr. Ritchie in New York that he was highly satisfied with A/C Morrison’s performance in the Congo and there is little doubt that the U.N. is relying on us to keep him, or appoint somebody of like ability, to command the U.N. air operations which are playing such a vital role in the Congo.
  2. Several reasons occur to me why it would be to Canada’s interest to have this position filled by a Canadian for a further period. The Air Commander is in a favourable position to watch over the safety and welfare of Canadian troops serving in the Congo in widely scattered locations. Not only would he quickly learn about trouble when it occurred, but he would be in a key position to notify the Canadian authorities in Ottawa and take appropriate action on the spot to evacuate Canadian personnel or otherwise assist them. Also the U.N. might find it very difficult to recruit elsewhere a suitably qualified replacement who would be politically acceptable. The appointment of a less fully qualified Air Commander could seriously affect the morale of our personnel in the Congo.
  3. The argument that the “accepted international principle” is that the country supplying the largest force should also provide the Commander, referred to in Mr. Harkness’ letter, has not always been followed by the U.N., particularly in the case of General Burns. Other political considerations must be taken into account when a U.N. Commander is selected.
  4. Whatever the pros and cons which may be put forward on the question of the advisability in general of the selection of a Canadian for this post, it is obvious that in the present circumstances the decision will have to be taken in the light of the current developments in Katanga. We have little information on the role exercised by A/C Morrison in the operations in Katanga. His main responsibility is to keep U.N. aircraft operational, whether they be transport or combat. It seems likely that the day-to-day control of the combatant aircraft in Katanga would be the responsibility of the local Commander, Brigadier Raja. There is little doubt, however, that A/C Morrison cannot have escaped being involved to some extent in the U.N. air operations in Katanga. These operations have become the object of controversy, as you know. However, on December 14, the Prime Minister stated to the press that –
    “It is our understanding that recent U.N. action in Katanga is the result of a series of provocative acts and was taken only when all efforts to discuss the situation with Katanga authorities had failed. It is also our understanding that the main purpose of the U.N. action is to assure safety of U.N. personnel in Katanga and to ensure freedom of movement without which it cannot carry out its mandate in the Congo.”
    A/C Morrison’s return at this time might, therefore, be interpreted as an expression of the Canadian Government’s disapproval of the U.N.’s current operations in Katanga and as at variance with this statement. Moreover, this would, I think, be an inauspicious moment to replace the Air Commander by an officer who would not have had time to familiarize himself with local conditions at a particularly difficult time.
  5. For these reasons, I believe that the repatriation of A/C Morrison should be postponed for three months, by the end of which time the situation will be clearer and a decision taken on the merits of appointing a Canadian replacement without having to take into account the exceptional circumstances of the present hour.
  6. You may wish to raise this matter personally with Mr. Harkness. Alternatively, we attach for your consideration a possible letter† to him which incorporates some of the arguments mentioned above.Footnote 24

N.A. R[OBERTSON]

51. DEA/6386-40

Memorandum from United Nations Division to African and Middle Eastern Division

SECRET. CANADIAN EYES ONLY. [Ottawa], December 15, 1961

United Nations Operation in Katanga

You will recall our discussion with the Under-Secretary about this subject. In the attached memorandum, which should be regarded as a draft, I have tried to set down the main considerations which appear to have a bearing on the current situation in Katanga. The assessment is based on the point of view of United Nations Division and you may not agree entirely with the general approach of the paper. However, I hope that it may be of some value in preparing a Departmental position, possibly for presentation to the Minister on his return to Ottawa.

  1. I shall be glad to discuss the matter further at your convenience. Presumably, if a position paper is prepared for Ministerial approval, it may be desirable to have further consultation involving the other Divisions to which this memorandum has been sent for information.

G.S. MURRAY

[ENCLOSURE]

Note de la Direction des Nations Unies Memorandum by United Nations Division

SECRET. CANADIAN EYES ONLY.

United Nations Operation in Katanga

The most recent outbreak of fighting in Katanga, between United Nations forces and the Katanga gendarmerie, makes it very desirable to reassess the United Nations operation in that province and in the Congo generally. Already the repercussions of the fighting are very serious for the United Nations itself and for several member governments, especially the United Kingdom and Belgium. Perhaps the most disquieting factor in the present situation is that the United Nations has announced no clear aims and no plan for the immediate future. Ostensibly the fighting is intended to ensure that the United Nations military force in Katanga has freedom of communications and movement. There is more than a suggestion, however, that in the armed conflict the Katangese forces will be shattered and that Mr. Tshombe will be obliged to enter into negotiations with the United Nations and with the Central Government of the Congo.

  1. An added worry is the continued activity of white mercenaries. According to the United Nations sources, they continue to be the rallying force behind the armed resistance of Katanga and that, in doing so, they are the paid agents of the Union Minière. The indications are that the eviction of the mercenaries, called for by the Security Council resolution of February 21, 1961, would be virtually impossible, even if the United Nations had sufficient military strength at its disposal, because individual mercenaries or small groups of them could conceal themselves in the jungle and in the guise of civilians employed by private companies. Besides, any detailed search for mercenaries by the United Nations could easily develop into a witch hunt with an anti-white bias.
  2. There is also the threat that if the fighting continues and if the United Nations seems to be getting the upper hand, the expensive installations of the Union Minière, including mines, power stations, dams and other facilities, will be destroyed. Some reports say that this “scorched earth” policy would be carried out by Tshombe’s followers but others suggest that the Union Minière, perhaps acting through the mercenaries, would destroy its own facilities rather than have them fall into the hands of the Central Government. The Union Minière seem convinced that the Central Government would at once nationalise all the industrial holdings of the Company in Katanga. Destruction of the extensive facilities would, of course, be a severe blow to the whole economy of the Congo.
  3. Another disturbing factor is that, in concentrating its military force in Katanga, the United Nations is spread very thinly in other parts of the Congo. This could play into the hands of Lumumba followers and particularly Mr. Gizenga. At an appropriate time, he might be tempted to make another move to establish himself either in Orientale province or in Kivu. He might make a move against the Central Government. Even if no such attempt were made, there is a risk that with the prolongation of the Katanga situation, the Adoula Government would collapse, opening an opportunity for Gizenga. This possibility undoubtedly enters into the calculations of the Soviet Union and perhaps of some of the Casablanca powers. In the circumstances, it is most desirable that the Central Government should not divert its attention from other problems in the Congo by attempting to force an outcome in its favour in Katanga.
    Objectives
  4. The foreseeable objectives in the Congo should be as follows:
    1. As soon as possible, negotiations between Adoula and Tshombe should be arranged. Adoula and Tshombe need each other to preserve the strength they need to offset the influence of Gizenga. If a mediation effort is needed, it can probably not be made by the United Nations because undoubtedly the fighting in Katanga has eliminated any beneficial influence which the United Nations might have on Tshombe. This probably applies as well to most of the countries participating in the United Nations operation but especially to those whose troops are actively engaged in Katanga. Many of the African states would fall into this category, although not the Brazzaville group.
    2. The United Nations military operation in Katanga must achieve quick success. This means primarily that the immediate military aims should be limited and that they should be clearly enunciated. It seems desirable that, in the process of achieving these aims, the United Nations should ensure that the gendarmerie and the mercenaries are effectively brought under control so than they are unable to regroup in future for another armed contest. Some other means than direct eviction by the United Nations must be found to eliminate or reduce the threat from the mercenaries.
    3. The Union Minière should be persuaded to drop its continued opposition to the United Nations and to see that the United Nations is perhaps the only attainable assurance that the Union Minière will not lose the whole of its investment in Katanga. The Company will be more readily persuaded on this score if it can secure some kind of assurance from the Central Government that immediate nationalization will not follow the reintegration of Katanga into the Congo Republic. Private conversations between the Union Minière and the Adoula Government might be the best means for trying to bring about this result.
    4. The prestige and influence of the United Nations should be restored not only in the Congo and Africa but in a general sense. This implies that all member states should make every effort to bring about an early Congo solution which would redound to the credit of the United Nations. It could be very serious for the United Nations if there should develop, because of the present fighting in Katanga, a sharp debate which would bring to the surface the doubts, differences and disagreements about the conduct of the Congo operation. It would be especially serious if major countries in Western Europe took sharp issue with the Acting Secretary-General, with the African-Asian states and possibly with the United States as well. The Soviet Union would benefit from rifts of this kind; the Western powers would probably suffer severely; and the United Nations might be dangerously weakened, all this at a time when the Organization is desperately trying to rally support for financing methods urgently needed to meet peace-keeping costs.
      Canadian Policy Considerations
  5. In the current situation, the main Canadian policy considerations appear to be:
    1. to continue to support the United Nations effort in the Congo so that, with United Nations assistance, the Congolese can achieve a peaceful settlement.
    2. to ensure, as far as possible, that United Nations personnel, especially Canadians, serving with the United Nations in the Congo are adequately protected.
    3. to use Canadian influence with the United Nations, with the parties directly concerned and with friendly states to encourage peaceful reconciliation in the Congo.
    4. to seek to preserve the United Nations capacity for peace-keeping by helping it maintain its prestige and influence in the Congo dilemma.
  6. If these considerations are applied to the actual fighting in Katanga, they suggest that Canadian influence in the Advisory Committee and elsewhere in the United Nations should be to encourage the Acting-Secretary-General to define as clearly as possible the limited objectives which the United Nations is now seeking in Katanga and to relate these to the general United Nations objective of attaining a peaceful reconciliation for the whole Congo. Canadian representatives should also urge that the fighting be brought to a halt as soon as the United Nations position is made secure and that, in the meantime, every effort should be made to minimize bloodshed and destruction from United Nations action. In presenting these views, however, Canadian spokesmen should be careful not to create the impression that Canada’s support for the United Nations operation is diminishing in any way. In all probability, the Western powers will be closely watched by the African-Asians for any sign that they are weakening in their resolve to ensure that the Congo is reintegrated with United Nations assistance. Sharp criticism could be expected if Canada appeared to equivocate in the current situation.
  7. Perhaps even before the fighting stops in Katanga, some further move should be made to make contact between Adoula and Tshombe. At the moment it is not clear which country could act as intermediary; perhaps a small group would be required. The alternative would be to choose some individual with an established international reputation. Again a suitable candidate might not be easily found.
  8. The key to the problem created by the activities of the mercenaries probably lies in persuading the Union Minière that they cannot hope to gain anything by continuing their opposition to the United Nations. Their only hope of maintaining viable business operations in the Congo depends on an agreement with the Central Government and possibly with provincial authorities, concerning the future of the Company in Katanga. This agreement could be underwritten to some extent by the United Nations, that is, the United Nations would seek in its future relations with the Central Government to persuade them to co-operate with Union Minière. Presumably the United Nations will have a sizeable role in the Congo for some time to come because of the essential need for economic aid and technical assistance from international sources. If some way could be found to give the Union Minière assurance of this kind, they might be better disposed toward the United Nations operations in the Congo and change their position from last-ditch opposition to co-operation. This should mean that the activities of mercenaries would virtually cease or at least be reduced to manageable proportions.
  9. This memorandum contains a current assessment based on known factors, which could change quickly because of the pace of developments in Katanga and elsewhere in the Congo. The assessment is based on the point of view of United Nations Division.

52. DEA/6386-40

Memorandum from Under-Secretary of State for External Affairs to Secretary of State for External Affairs

CONFIDENTIAL [Ottawa], December 16, 1961

Situation in Katanga

The military situation in Elisabethville is moving towards a climax. For the past forty-eight hours the UN has been engaged in a ground offensive aimed at a series of limited objectives to regain control of the city. Reports indicate that morale is flagging amongst the gendarmerie and that without the mercenaries there would be little fight left in them, although it is always possible because of tribal loyalties that they might take to the bush. The UN does not envisage a formal cease fire but would be willing to co-operate in creating an atmosphere for a meeting between Adoula and Tshombe by stopping all action except for absolute minimum self-defence, once their minimum objectives have been reached and it was clear that Tshombe has abandoned his defiance.

  1. U Thant and President Kennedy have made parallel efforts to arrange a meeting between Adoula and Tshombe. U Thant has authorized Bunche, who is in the Congo on his way back from the Tanganyika Independence celebrations, and Gardiner (Ghana) to try to mediate and President Kennedy, in response to an appeal from Tshombe to call a cease fire, has designated the United States Ambassador in Leopoldville (Gullion) as his personal representative for this purpose. The present idea seems to be that Bunche will talk to Tshombe while Gullion tackles Adoula. Since Adoula does not return to Leopoldville from Kivu until Sunday and Tshombe is reported to have moved to Kipusi, a mining town on the Rhodesian border, it may be some time before such a meeting can be arranged, if at all.
  2. The United Nations appear to be losing some ground with public opinion in the United States and perhaps in certain Canadian circles, as a result of the emphasis which is being placed on the anti-Communist and self-determination aspects of the Katanga case. A Citizens Committee for Aid to Katanga Freedom Fighters has been formed in New York and United States policy on Katanga was the object of a partisan attack yesterday by the Chairman of the Republican National Committee. It would seem, therefore, that unless the fighting can be brought to an end soon it will be more and more difficult to maintain public support for the UN action.
  3. France and Congo (Brazzaville) have denied their air space to UN aircraft bringing troops or munitions to the Congo. Brazzaville has called for an urgent meeting of the Security Council but we understand there is no support for this from any of the permanent members or from the Afro-Asian group in general.
  4. The Congo Advisory Committee met this morning and a report from New York is expected Sunday. In general the discussion was not controversial and the Africans took a surprisingly restrained view of things. There was general recognition that although the immediate objectives were military they would inevitably have political consequences. In this connection Brigadier Rikhye warned against expecting an overall military victory for the UN. The military operation could only create a situation conducive to a political solution. The Committee recognized the necessity for talks between Adoula and Tshombe but not at the price of a premature cease fire. U Thant was in favour of such talks provided:
    1. Adoula approved, and
    2. Tshombe did not insist on conditions.
    Everyone praised the United States position (supported by Canada and Norway) and were extremely critical of the British and French. U Thant announced that Tunisia has agreed to send 300 troops to the Congo immediately.
  5. Attached for your information are copies of the latest telegrams† and also a draft statement which we understand the Prime Minister used to-day.Footnote 25

N.A. R[OBERTSON]

53. DEA/6386-D-40

Memorandum by African and Middle Eastern Division

CONFIDENTIAL [Ottawa], December 20, 1961

Visit of Congolese Delegation to Canada, December 4-6, 1961

The visit of the Congolese Delegation, having been cancelled twice, was uncertain until the arrival of the visitors at the airport in Ottawa. For this reason, the visit started in a state of confusion quite similar to that existing in the Congo.
. . .

  1. After a brief call at Mr. Cadieux’s office, where Mr. Cadieux officially welcomed the Congolese Delegation to Canada and expressed to them the best wishes of the Canadian Government, a meeting was held with External Affairs Officers, under the Chairmanship of Mr. Cadieux. Mr. Kapongo, Leader of the Delegation, gave a resumé of the present situation in the Congo. The points which he developed were explained with different emphasis during the various calls of the visit. They are as follows:
    1. Katanga is not the richest Province in the Congo but is the most exploited; indeed Kasai is richer in natural resources but unfortunately these resources have not so far been put into use,
    2. The Central Government will do whatever possible to come to an agreement with the Katangese Government. Negotiations are given priority but if negotiations prove useless the Central Government would approve the use of force to bring Tshombe to the conference table. The Central Government supports the United Nations action in the Congo and is grateful for the help so far accorded to the Congo by the United Nations,
    3. There is no Gizenga problem in the Congo. Unfortunately too much publicity is given in the Western press to Gizenga’s role in both Orientale Province and in the Central Government. This tends to give Gizenga a stature that he does not actually have,
    4. The Congo has been colonized by Belgium but the Congo has been educated by the Congolese. When the Belgians accorded independence to the Congo there were only 30 people with a university degree. Under the Belgians it was virtually impossible to receive any education beyond the secondary level. This was not due to a lack of Congolese talent but to an intentional Belgian policy of limiting the educational facilities. Although the Congolese could have much resentment against Belgium, they were willing to re-establish diplomatic relations with them and ask for their assistance in many fields.
  2. In reply to questions Mr. Kapongo and Mr. Dericoyard stated that the Federal system in the Congo would probably be the best solution to the existing problems. The provincial governments would be given very broad powers, leaving to the federal government, Finance, external affairs, excise and customs duties, national defence, justice and a few other powers which they did not mention. The revenue of the Central Government would come from taxes imposed on the population and business of the federal capital with a 50% part of customs and excise duties. The other 50% going to the provinces in order to stimulate them to export.
  3. Mr. Dericoyard also pointed out that the Congo could not afford to lose Mr. Tshombe because he was a competent leader and that since there was not an overflow of competent people in the Congo, Tshombe was much needed. Because of Mr. Kapongo’s uncertain pronunciation a good part of what he said was lost.
  4. The visit of the Parliament Buildings proved very instructive. The Congolese were quite impressed by the fact that pictures of members of both the Opposition and the Government were displayed on the walls. This, they mentioned, was real democracy, since members of the Opposition were not put in oblivion but could share their part of public recognition.
  5. They particularly enjoyed the call on Mr. Sévigny. During the call Mr. Dericoyard (during the trip he was the dominant figure) was the main exponent of the Congo situation. He explained to Mr. Sévigny why the Congo could not become Communist. The land, he said, belongs to the people. The Congolese people are very traditionally minded and would not wish to change their ways of living to adopt a completely new system. He pointed out that the Congolese were very religious and that Catholicism and Communism obviously could not get along.
  6. Mr. Dericoyard and the other members of the Delegation obviously made a very strong impression on Mr. Sévigny who vaguely promised that he would take the cause to the highest authorities and that he himself would visit the Congo. On his return he would be able to give to both the Canadian Government and the Canadian people a true and realistic picture of what is needed in the Congo.
  7. The official luncheon given by the Canadian Government was presided over by Mr. Cadieux and was very lively.
  8. A press conference was then held in the suite of the Congolese Delegation at the Chateau Laurier. The Congolese pointed out with very strong emphasis that the Western press had given a false picture of the Congo. Most of the journalists who come from the United States and Canada and who report on the situation cannot speak French and because of that they are all confused with the statements made by our leaders. They in turn give a wrong interpretation of events taking place in our country. There are some very difficult problems in the Congo, they would say, for instance, there is a province which wants to secede, but Canada has the same problem with Quebec. At that point, a journalist remarked that the comparison between Katanga and Quebec had some grounds since Katanga was the richest province of the Congo! The journalists did not seem to approve or appreciate the remarks of the Congolese and left the suite in a rather bad temper.
  9. The call on Mr. Day was not very productive. As Mr. Day had explained to us before the meeting, there was not much the External Aid Office could offer to the Congo. Indeed this year no money out of the $300,000 given to French-speaking Africa would be given to the Congo and it is uncertain whether there would be any next year. However, the Congolese explained to Mr. Day what their needs were and in turn Mr. Day gave them some words of encouragement saying that the External Aid Office would give sympathetic consideration to their problems and needs.
  10. The journey in the train to Montreal was fairly pleasant, the Congolese attracting a good deal of attention since it was quite a discovery for many passengers to hear black people speaking French.
  11. The Montreal visit started with a call on the Rector of the University of Montreal. After the Congolese had explained their needs, M. Lussier pointed out that although there were quite a few French-speaking universities in Canada, not all of them could supply professors to the Congo. He mentioned, however, that the University of Montreal, together with Laval University and the University of Ottawa could probably spare a few professors to help the Congo. The visit at the University of Montreal was rather short since the Congolese Delegation had an appointment with business men belonging to the Chamber of Commerce of Montreal, before the luncheon offered by this group to the Congolese.
  12. The luncheon was the last weekly one for this year and because the Chamber of Commerce of Montreal celebrates its 75th Anniversary and that CBC celebrates its 25th Anniversary, they had arranged for the popular morning programme Chez Miville to be made during the luncheon. The Congolese sat at the table of honour and were presented to the audience of about 350 people during the programme. They enjoyed the luncheon very much, for it gave them the opportunity of being present at the production of a radio programme.
  13. The visit at CBC/IS which was supposed to last 1½ hours lasted 3½ hours. The cordial welcome extended to the Congolese by Mr. Marcotte and the team of CBC/IS was very engaging. A programme of half and hour was produced for re-transmission in the Congo. Each member of the Delegation was given a record of the programme and a pamphlet on CBC/IS.
  14. Mr. Kapongo then appeared on the TV programme Carrefour which reviews the events of the day in Montreal. He was interviewed by Mr. Jean Hamelin who asked him questions related to the Congo.
  15. Mr. Jean Marc Léger, President of Le Comité Afrique-Canada offered a private dinner to the Congolese. He had invited members of the Committee and also the two Congolese students in Montreal. The conversation as usual was very lively, Mr. Dericoyard making the most of it. Mr. Léger outlined briefly the aims of his Committee. He intends to have a meeting in February which would assemble in Montreal all the French-speaking African diplomats in Washington and New York. His Committee is also planning to open a welcome centre in Montreal for French-speaking African students and residents. As President of the Comité Afrique-Canada and as Journalist for Le Devoir he will keep in touch with Mr. Kasongo in New York.
  16. The visit in Quebec started very early. The Congolese Delegation were shown Quebec City by Mr. Barnard, the Director of Public Relations of Laval University. They called on Mgr. Vachon, Rector of Laval University, who had just come back from a trip to French-speaking Africa which included the Congo. He announced that there would be an exchange of professors between Laval University and Lovanium University and that most probably Laval University would provide more professors than it would get in return.
  17. A press conference was held in Mr. Barnard’s office which, in contrast with that held in Ottawa, was very friendly. Luncheon was given by Laval University and was attended by the Deans of a few Faculties and some “Maristes” Fathers. The Congolese, having been educated by Maristes Fathers, were quite pleased to meet people of the same Order.
  18. In the afternoon the Congolese paid a call on M. René Tremblay, Deputy Minister of Industry and Commerce. Mr. Tremblay expressed a special interest in knowing more about the possibilities of investments in the Congo, and asked the Congolese to send him all the legislation governing such investments.
  19. After a brief meeting with Law students at Laval University the Congolese departed Quebec City to go back to New York via Montreal. They were obviously very pleased with their trip to Canada and they particularly enjoyed their stay in Quebec City. There, they would say, they found the Latin exuberance which they like and which they feel they also possess. It was quite a change after New York where, because of language difficulties, they lived a monastic life, being unable to talk to anyone.
  20. Some of Mr. Dericoyard’s remarks made in the course of the many conversations I had with him might be worth recording. Mr. Dericoyard, as I mentioned above, was the strong figure in the Delegation. He told me that if, when he goes back to the Congo after the UN Session, the Katanga problem has not yet been settled, he would try to become the Minister of Defence and then, according to him, the problem would soon be a thing of the past. He would be a candidate at the 1964 Presidential election.
  21. Their visit was, I think, very successful. The Congolese had come to Canada with very limited knowledge of our country and left it with a spirit of gratitude for the cordial welcome which had been extended to them.

J.S. ROY

54. DEA/6386-40

Memorandum from Special Assistant to Secretary of State for External Affairs to Under-Secretary of State for External Affairs

CONFIDENTIAL [Ottawa], December 27, 1961

Congo

This is to confirm that on the evening of December 23 a telegram arrived from U Thant addressed to the Prime Minister in the following terms:

“The central government of the Republic of the Congo, Leopoldville, has appealed urgently for assistance to train its army and as first step has asked the United Nations to establish an Officers’ Training School. You no doubt are aware of the immediate need to train Congolese officers.

I therefore sincerely hope that the Government of Canada would make available fifteen French-speaking officers to provide the instructor establishment for an Officers’ Training School for the Congolese Army.”

  1. On the morning of December 24, I gave this message to the Prime Minister and subsequently to Messrs. Ignatieff and Campbell. The Prime Minister’s instructions were that the Departments concerned should prepare a paper which could be discussed on Thursday, December 28.

H.B. R[OBINSON]

55. J.G.D./01/XII/F/215

Memorandum from Secretary of State for External Affairs to Prime Minister

[Ottawa], December 27, 1961

Congo – Request for Military Training Assistance

I understand that a direct appeal to you has been made by the Acting Secretary-General of the United Nations for assistance in training the Congolese National Army, specifically asking that fifteen Canadian French-speaking officers be provided as instructors for an officers’ training school.

An indication that the United Nations had in mind setting up such a school was given last September when twelve member governments were asked as to what assistance they might be able to provide for such a project. Because of the fighting which broke out shortly afterwards in Katanga, and which opened up difficult issues regarding the role of the U.N., no response was forthcoming from any of the governments approached.

The following considerations are relevant:

  1. U Thant has made it his goal to wind up the Congo operation in 1962. This can only be done if the Congolese Army is in a position to maintain law and order. The first step toward this goal is to train suitable officers for the Congolese Army to enable it to become a reliable and disciplined force. By responding affirmatively to U Thant’s request we should be advancing the date of termination of Canada’s military commitment.
  2. A positive response would be consistent with our policy of support for the U.N. operation in the Congo and our policy to do what we can to enable the Congolese Government progressively to assume responsibility for its own affairs.
  3. Canada has provided Canadian officers to Ghana and will probably do the same for Nigeria. A favourable reply to U Thant would give further evidence that our assistance to Africa is not exclusively to English-speaking countries.
  4. Canada represents one of the very few acceptable sources of French-speaking instructors. Canadian officers would represent an important factor of Western influence in the Congolese Army.

H.C. G[REEN]

56. J.G.D./01/XII/F/215

Memorandum from Chairman, Chiefs of Staff, to Prime Minister

SECRET Ottawa, December 27, 1961

Canadian Assistance to Establish an Officers’ Training School in the Congo

  1. It is understood that you have received a request from the Secretary-General of the United Nations for Canada to provide fifteen French-speaking officer instructors to be the staff of an officer training school to train Congolese national officers.
  2. We have in the past received indications that some plan for training the Congolese national forces was being considered by the UN. A General Iyassu, who we understand is an Ethiopian, has been in the Congo for some time as the designated head of a UN training mission. General Iyassu, in discussing his problems with the Canadian Representative in the Congo, has indicated that he would like Canadian help in the form of a lieutenant-colonel to be adviser or deputy to the Congolese Commandant of a training school. He also indicated a requirement for four majors or captains to be general military instructors and four sergeants familiar with clerical duties: all these personnel to be French-speaking. In addition he has indicated a requirement for a French-speaking colonel to fill the position of assistant adviser to the Congolese Minister of Defence and another French-speaking colonel to be adviser to the Congolese General Staff. Whether or not the proposals set out by General Iyassu bear any relation to the request you have now received is not known.
  3. From the point of view of this Department, the provision of additional French-speaking officers for the Congo will be most difficult. We already have to provide thirty-eight Army officers to the Congo, the majority of whom must be French-speaking; and we also have a requirement for French-speaking officers for the International Truce Commission in Indo-China and for certain of our commitments for NATO staff officers. As living conditions in the Congo are difficult, the medical staff of the Department consider that a length of tour of six months in the Congo is all that can be expected if reasonable safeguards are to be maintained. Additionally we cannot expect our limited number of French-speaking personnel to be rotated to the Congo at frequent intervals. The result is that for every French-speaking soldier in the Congo we should have a back-up of about four or five for proper rotation.
  4. Because of the uncertainties of the Congo situation and the day-to-day shifts that are occurring there, it is the view of this Department that we should not undertake this commitment until much more is known of what the United Nations intends in any training scheme. We would not wish to become involved in the machinations of the Congolese Army and we would not wish to be put in the position of supplying white officers for the Congolese national troops. Unless the United Nations can give some firm assurance that this would not happen, it is considered that we should not have any part in any such proposal.
  5. It should be pointed out that this Department considers that the problem of training the Congolese national army is not instruction in arms but is one of instilling the basic military disciplines that will enable the Congolese Army to be welded into an effective instrument of government policy. With the background of the personnel there, this is going to be a long and difficult operation. It is not one that can be achieved overnight and Canadian involvement, once undertaken, would probably continue for a very long time.
  6. It is recommended therefore that we do not make any immediate commitment in response to this request but that we explore further what the United Nations are attempting to do in this matter so that a sound judgment can be arrived at in the light of the difficulties and unknown factors outlined above.
  7. This paper has not been cleared with the Minister of National Defence but it does represent his views as discussed with him prior to his departure for Western Canada.

F.R. MILLER

Air Chief Marshal

57. PCO

Extract from Cabinet Conclusions

SECRET [Ottawa], December 28, 1961

Present

  • The Prime Minister (Mr. Diefenbaker) in the Chair,
  • The Secretary of State for External Affairs (Mr. Green),
  • The Minister of Finance (Mr. Fleming),
  • The Minister of Trade and Commerce (Mr. Hees),
  • The Minister of Transport (Mr. Balcer),
  • The Minister of Veterans Affairs (Mr. Churchill),
  • The Minister of Justice (Mr. Fulton),
  • The Minister of National Revenue (Mr. Nowlan),
  • The Minister of Citizenship and Immigration (Mrs. Fairclough),
  • The Minister of Fisheries (Mr. MacLean),
  • The Minister of Labour (Mr. Starr),
  • The Postmaster General (Mr. William Hamilton),
  • The Minister of National Health and Welfare (Mr. Monteith),
  • The Minister of Agriculture (Mr. Alvin Hamilton),
  • The Minister of Defence Production (Mr. O’Hurley),
  • The Associate Minister of National Defence (Mr. Sévigny),
  • The Minister of Forestry (Mr. Flemming),
  • The Secretary of State and President of the Privy Council (Mr. Dorion),
  • The Minister of Northern Affairs and National Resources (Mr. Dinsdale),
  • The Minister without Portfolio (Mr. Halpenny),
  • The Minister of Mines and Technical Surveys (Mr. Flynn).
  • The Secretary to the Cabinet (Mr. Bryce),
  • The Assistant Secretary to the Cabinet (Dr. Hodgson).
    . . .

U.N. Request for Canadian Instructors for Officers’ Training School in the Congo

  1. The Secretary of State for External Affairs said that the Acting Secretary-General of the United Nations had requested that Canada provide 15 French-speaking officer instructors to be the staff of an officers’ training school to train Congolese national officers.
    U Thant was aiming to conclude the U.N.’s operations in the Congo during 1962, and officer training was a necessary first step toward the achievement of this objective. This would also help to bring an end to Canada’s military commitment in this area. Canada had agreed to send about 30 military personnel to Ghana and would probably send others to Nigeria, and such Canadian assistance should not be confined to the English-speaking countries. Few countries other than Canada were in a position to offer acceptable French-speaking personnel to help the Congo.
  2. The Associate Minister of National Defence said that it would be difficult for the Canadian Army to meet this request. If the government decided that the officers should be supplied, it should be clearly specified that they would be on loan for a period of perhaps 6 or 12 months. Climatic conditions in the Congo were hard for Canadians to bear for longer periods.
  3. The Prime Minister said that he had received a report on the subject from the Chairman of the Chiefs of Staff, stating that the provision of these officers would be most difficult. Canada was already providing 38 Army officers to the Congo, and also required French-speaking officers for the International Truce Commission in Indo-China and for NATO staff. Unless the period of posting to the Congo was relatively short, a back-up of four or five French-speaking soldiers would be needed for every soldier in the Congo for proper rotation. Air Chief Marshall Miller suggested that the commitment should not be undertaken until much more was known of the U.N. intentions for the training scheme. Canada should not in any circumstances be put in the position of supplying white officers for Congolese national troops.
  4. The Cabinet,
    1. noted a request from the Secretary-General of the United Nations asking that Canada provide 15 French-speaking officer instructors as the staff of an officers’ training school to train Congolese national officers; and,
    2. agreed to give further consideration to the request at another meeting of the Cabinet when the Minister of National Defence was present.
      . . .

58. DEA/6386-C-40

Memorandum from United Nations Division to Under-Secretary of State for External Affairs

SECRET. CANADIAN EYES ONLY. [Ottawa], January 3, 1962

Canadian Military Assistance to the United Nations in the Congo

On January 2, Brigadier Rikhye telephoned me from New York about two United Nations requests for Canadian military assistance to the operation in the Congo. Rikhye said that the Secretary-General had asked him to make the call because U Thant was very concerned about the two matters.

  1. The first concerned the replacement for A/C Morrison. Rikhye said that Morrison’s contribution to ONUC had been outstanding and that, without him, the United Nations air transport would have been unable to function, especially during the very difficult days in December when air transportation was essential to the purpose of maintaining the United Nations military forces in Katanga. Rikhye emphasized that the United Nations command had become accustomed to dealing with RCAF officers on air matters and that the smoothest co-operation had been possible because the RCAF officers “understood the United Nations.” It was most desirable at this time to keep these working arrangements intact because of the delicate and difficult phase through which the Congo operation was passing.
  2. Rikhye said that it might be possible to find an air commander in some other country but that the Secretary-General and other senior United Nations officials were very reluctant to look elsewhere at this time. For this reason, the United Nations had been disturbed by the negative Canadian reply to the request for a replacement for Morrison. The Secretary-General and his advisers believed that they should make a further effort to persuade the Canadian authorities to reconsider. Accordingly, the Secretary-General was contemplating a direct appeal to the Prime Minister. Presumably this may be expected in the near future.
  3. United Nations officials were also worried about the question of establishing a training school in the Congo for the ANC. Prime Minister Adoula had been pressing very hard for the establishment of this officers school and had set a deadline for January 15. His threat was that if the United Nations did not act in this matter within the next two weeks, he would look elsewhere, because it was essential to provide training facilities for ANC officers.
  4. Rikhye re-emphasized that the United Nations was prepared to employ recently-retired officers and that their terms of service should be satisfactory. The civilian equivalent in the United Nations would be a professional officers, grade 3 or 4. While serving in the Congo, the instructors would receive a liberal per diem. Rikhye expressed the hope that there would be a favourable Canadian reply to the United Nations request for instructors.
  5. I undertook to inform the appropriate officers of the Department about Rikhye’s enquiry. Yesterday, I spoke to Mr. Campbell and to Mr. Robinson.

G.S. MURRAY

59. DEA/6386-C-40

Acting Secretary-General of the United Nations to Prime Minister

TELEGRAM RNA-368 New York, January 3, 1962

Air transport plays a vital role in the United Nations operations in the Congo. Since September 1961, three jet fighter units have also been added to ONUC for defensive purposes. The Air Commodore in charge of air units must be an officer with sufficient operational and technical experience to direct a large air transport fleet of aeroplanes and helicopters, jet fighters and commercial aircraft under charter. Since the start of the United Nations operations, we have had the benefit of successive Royal Canadian Air Force officers in command of ONUC air units, each of whom has made a valuable contribution in the organization and employment of these units.

The present situation in the Congo continues to demand highly efficient air units in support of the United Nations force. I most earnestly appeal to you, therefore, to find it possible to replace Air Commander Morrison, who has rendered outstanding service in that position, with an RCAF officer of similar qualities.

U THANT

60. DEA/6386-C-40

Memorandum from Under-Secretary of State for External Affairs to Prime Minister

CONFIDENTIAL [Ottawa], January 8, 1962

Congo – Replacement for A/C Morrison as U.N. Air Commander

I understand you have asked for the comments of this Department covering the urgent request sent to you by the Acting Secretary-General of the United Nations that Canada should provide a replacement for Air Commodore Morrison as Air Commander for the U.N. operations in the Congo.

  1. This matter has been the subject of correspondence between the Ministers of External Affairs and National Defence since the beginning of December when the first U.N. request to extend Morrison’s tour of duty or to replace him with a Canadian of equivalent qualifications was first raised. National Defence, for reasons which no doubt they will be putting to you, have been unable to accede to the request of the U.N. As a result the U.N. was informed on December 28 that A/C Morrison’s duties in the Congo would have to terminate not later than January 15 and that Canada could no longer fulfil this U.N. requirement. U Thant has now decided to appeal directly to you to reconsider that decision.
  2. The reasons which led the Minister to recommend a favourable reply to the U.N. were as follows:
    1. The Air Commander was in a favourable position to watch over the safety and welfare of Canadian troops serving in the Congo in widely scattered locations. Not only would he quickly learn about trouble when it occurred, but he would be in a key position to notify the Canadian authorities in Ottawa and take appropriate action on the spot to evacuate Canadian personnel or otherwise assist them. In this connection, it could also be noted that A/C Morrison had played an important role in securing the release of the RCAF Yukon aircraft which was seized by Congolese troops at Leopoldville airport last November.
    2. The U.N. might find it very difficult to recruit elsewhere a suitably qualified replacement who could be politically acceptable, especially since this replacement would have to be made at very short notice; Brigadier Rikhye mentioned that the United Nations had established very satisfactory arrangements along Canadian lines for its air transport in the Congo and were anxious to continue this working cooperation.
    3. Both the U.N. and the U.S.A. Government (see Washington letter No. 1700 attached)† have stated how highly satisfied they were with A/C Morrison’s performance in the Congo. There was little doubt that the U.N. were relying on Canada to keep him or to appoint somebody of like ability, to command the U.N. air operations which are playing such a vital role in the Congo.
    4. It was obvious that a decision would have to be taken in the light of the current developments in Katanga. A/C Morrison’s return to Canada at this time could be interpreted as an expression of the Canadian Government’s disapproval of the U.N.’s current operations in Katanga and as at variance with your statement on December 14.
  3. While the comments given to the Minister of National Defence by the Secretary of State for External Affairs were prepared at the time when the situation in Katanga was at its most serious, we believe that they are still valid. The present apparent lull in that area may be temporary and peace could be disturbed by any incident between U.N. and Katangese troops.
  4. In the light of the foregoing and of the Acting Secretary-General’s telegram to you, you may wish to consider whether a temporary extension of Morrison’s tour of duty for say three months might be advisable to give all concerned further time in which to review the situation.

N.A. R[OBERTSON]

61. DEA/6386-C-40

Memorandum from Prime Minister to Special Assistant to Secretary of State for External Affairs

CONFIDENTIAL [Ottawa], January 10, 1962

You handed me the statement regarding the replacement of A/C Morrison as Air Commander for the U.N. operations in the Congo.

After considering all the circumstances, Mr. Harkness and I have decided that the proper course is to extend A/C Morrison’s term of service by a further 3 months at which time there will be no renewal and no substitution of any other RCAF officer to take his place.Footnote 26

J.G. D[IEFENBAKER]

62. PCO

Extract from Cabinet Conclusions

SECRET [Ottawa], January 26, 1962

Present

  • The Prime Minister (Mr. Diefenbaker) in the Chair,
  • The Secretary of State for External Affairs (Mr. Green),
  • The Minister of Finance (Mr. Fleming),
  • The Minister of Transport (Mr. Balcer),
  • The Minister of Veterans Affairs (Mr. Churchill),
  • The Minister of Justice (Mr. Fulton),
  • The Minister of National Revenue (Mr. Nowlan),
  • The Minister of National Defence (Mr. Harkness),
  • The Minister of Citizenship and Immigration (Mrs. Fairclough),
  • The Minister of Fisheries (Mr. MacLean),
  • The Minister of Labour (Mr. Starr),
  • The Postmaster General (Mr. William Hamilton),
  • The Solicitor General (Mr. Browne),
  • The Minister of National Health and Welfare (Mr. Monteith),
  • The Minister of Defence Production (Mr. O’Hurley),
  • The Minister of Public Works (Mr. Walker),
  • The Associate Minister of National Defence (Mr. Sévigny),
  • The Minister of Northern Affairs and National Resources (Mr. Dinsdale),
  • The Minister of Mines and Technical Surveys (Mr. Flynn).
  • The Secretary to the Cabinet (Mr. Bryce),
  • The Assistant Secretaries to the Cabinet (Mr. Labarge), (Mr. Watters).
    . . .

MILITARY TRAINING ASSISTANCE FOR THE CONGO

(Previous reference December 28, 1961)

  1. The Secretary of State for External Affairs again reported that the Acting Secretary-General of the United Nations was anxious to withdraw U.N. troops from the Congo this coming summer. In order to do this the Congolese forces would have to be better trained to take over responsibility. The U.N. accordingly needed a number of French-speaking officers to direct and carry on the training of military officers for the Congo. A request had been made for 15 such officers as Canada was one of the few acceptable sources for French-speaking instructors. This was a compliment to Canada. Such a contribution would boost Canada’s prestige in the U.N. It would similarly be a matter of pride for Quebec to have such an important role.
  2. The Minister of National Defence pointed out that Canada had already supplied the Congo with some 38 French-speaking officers. Canadian forces were spread all over the world at present and the army was now too short-handed to undertake this additional task. Canadian officers had been requested in Nigeria and Ghana in Africa. Service in the African climate required fairly quick rotation. Rotation on a 15 months basis would be too long and would raise the question of sending over dependents. Reports indicated that this would be most inadvisable in the Congo. On the other hand, rotation on a 6 months basis did not provide sufficient stability and continuity. Either programme called for a substantial number of trained officers. Moreover, Air Commodore Morrison, who was in Canada on leave from the Congo, estimated that the training programme proposed might last any where from four to ten years. Furthermore, a non-commissioned officers course seemed to be what was required at this stage. General Iyassu, who initiated the scheme, although highly intelligent, had had no military training and was not considered a military expert.
    He recommended that the request should not be met.
    Explanatory memoranda had been circulated, (Memoranda, Secretary of State for External Affairs, Jan. 17 – Cab. Doc. 35-62, Minister of National Defence, Jan. 23 – Cab. Doc. 39-62).†
  3. During the discussion some said that internal conflicts still raged in the Congo, and that, until the various factions had come to some settlement little could be expected from the training of a Congolese army. What was most needed was the continuation of efforts by U.N. forces to bring about an armistice among the warring elements. It would be unwise to expose Canadian officers at a time when they could not be expected to produce useful results. Were the problem of Katanga to be settled, the picture would be different. At present the Congo was a very troubled place.
  4. The Cabinet decided that Canadian army officers should not be sent to staff an Officers Training School for the Congolese army, as had been requested by the Acting Secretary-General of the United Nations.
    . . .

Section B - Law of the Sea

63. DEA/10600-F-40

High Commissioner in United Kingdom to Secretary of State for External Affairs

TELEGRAM 27 London, January 3, 1961
SECRET. CANADIAN EYES ONLY.
Reference: Our Tel 18 Jan 3.†
Repeat for Information: DND Ottawa, JAG, DNPO from Ottawa.

Law of the Sea

Following is text of draft letter of instructions as tentatively agreed upon by Rogers and Simpson:Footnote 27 Since the joint Canada-U.S. “six plus six” proposal failed by the narrow margin of one vote to gain the required two-thirds majority at the second Geneva Conference on the Law of the Sea, (a table of the voting is attached),† consideration has been given in various capitals to the courses which might offer the best way out of the impasse in which the large number of supporters of the joint proposal have been placed. UK and Canadian governments have discussed the feasibility of opening for signature a multilateral convention based on the joint Canada-USA proposal.

  1. For your information, USA declined last summer to participate in a confidential survey, the purpose of which would have been to determine the extent of support for such a multilateral convention. Consequently UK and Canadian governments have decided themselves to undertake a joint preliminary confidential survey restricted to certain key countries (which have been selected on the basis of likelihood of support, geographical distribution and importance of shipping or fishing interests), the results of which, it is hoped, can be used as a basis (a) for determining the likelihood of more general support for a multilateral convention, and (b) for persuading USA to join a wider survey (it is considered that American support is probably vital to the eventual successful conclusion of a multilateral convention.)
  2. Plan of Action. Attached as Annex “A”† is a list of the eighteen countries which will be canvassed in the first (or preliminary) survey. You are requested to make representations at the highest suitable level to the country to which you are accredited to enlist its support for a multilateral convention based on Canada-USA “six plus six” formula put forth at the 1960 Geneva Conference. As appears from Annex “A”, certain countries will be approached by both UK and Canada, and it will be necessary in such cases for the missions of our two countries to consult with one another so as to insure that these approaches are coordinated. Where dual approaches are intended the country named first in the annex will make the initial approach and the country named second will make the follow-up approach.
  3. The government of the country being approached should be informed that it is intended that the operation shall be conducted in three stages:
    (1) a preliminary confidential survey restricted to certain key countries, which, if the results are encouraging, will be followed by (2) a wider, more complete survey of countries, which, if the results confirm and augment those of the preliminary survey, will be followed by (3) the opening for signature of a multilateral convention.
  4. It is intended that the following countries should be informed about the intentions of UK and Canada to conduct this preliminary survey
    1. USA: USA will be approached both before and after the first stage. Canadian Embassy will first approach USA authorities in Washington to inform them of the decision to conduct the preliminary survey and invite them to instruct their missions in the eighteen countries concerned to express at least a benevolent interest in the project. Supporting action will be taken by UK Embassy there. The active support of USA for the project will not repeat not be requested until the conclusion of the first phase.
    2. France and Belgium: These countries may not repeat not yet be ready to support the proposal. However, they would be bound to learn about the proposed survey in view of their participation in the forthcoming North Sea Conferences to be held at the Hague. For reasons of general policy, therefore, UK will inform them of the project in broad terms.
    3. Argentina and Brazil: It has been agreed that Canada should decide, after raising the matter with American officials, whether or not repeat not to inform Argentina and Brazil in general terms that consideration is being given to the conclusion of a multilateral convention. It is considered that these two countries should probably be informed unless USA should express objections.
  5. Possible Doubts Concerning the Survey. It should be stressed that the existence and the results of this preliminary survey will be kept confidential. Should anyone express the fear that an unsuccessful preliminary survey may be “counter productive” you should explain that it is recognized that if the initial survey discloses that the majority of the shipping and fishing countries do not repeat not favour a multilateral convention then the idea is dead. The initial survey will not repeat not, however, have worsened the situation since its results will be kept confidential except amongst those countries approached. If it should transpire that support for Geneva formula had waned since the second conference to a point where even perhaps with American assistance a convention would attract so few signatories that it would be ineffective, no repeat no country would gain by remaining in ignorance of this state of affairs (if it exists) and there would, in fact, be advantages in learning of it so that attention might be directed to other solutions.
  6. Definition and Scope of Canada-USA Formula. The “Geneva Formula” comprises three main elements (a) a territorial sea not repeat not exceeding six miles (b) an exclusive fishing zone not repeat not exceeding twelve miles (with in certain cases a ten-year phasing out period in the outer six miles) and (c) a procedure for examining claims to preferential fishing rights outside that zone (Brazilian amendment).
  7. In referring to the “Geneva Formula”, however, the countries to be approached in the first phase of the survey should be asked only if they would in principle favour the conclusion of a multilateral convention “based on Geneva Formula.” No repeat no reference should be made, if it can be avoided, to the third element of the formula ((c) above). On the other hand nothing should be done or said which would prejudice one way or the other the possible retention or elimination of the “Brazilian amendment.” If the question is raised, any views in favour or against this provision expressed by the countries being approached should be reported immediately.
  8. Arguments to Use
    1. The following general observations should be borne in mind in making these representations.
      The initiative is in no repeat no sense a cold war project or an attempt to avenge the “diplomatic defeat” at Geneva. On the contrary, it is motivated by a desire to further the orderly development of international law, and in particular to complete the codification of the Law of the Sea so nearly achieved at 1960 Geneva Conference. (One of the most telling arguments with some of the older and more conservative countries, who might not repeat not otherwise be favourably disposed towards the convention, is that of the desirability of achieving uniformity and certainty of international law, and this should not repeat not only be stressed in the initial approaches, but should, where appropriate, be followed up with the legal advisors to the foreign ministers in question.)
  9. The general desirability of reaching agreement on the two important questions left unanswered (i.e. the breadth of the territorial sea and fishery limits) is underlined by the present uncertainty and the likelihood of a continued drift towards chaos in the Law of the Sea. The sooner therefore that a multilateral convention can be concluded the sooner this disturbing drift can be stopped. It is hoped that if a multilateral convention is concluded in time, enough countries will accede so as to obtain substantially the same purpose as would have been achieved at Geneva. The potential influence and importance from a shipping and fishing point of view of the countries acceding to such a convention is considered to be as important as the numbers concerned.
    1. Support for a multilateral convention at this stage, rather than later, would have a good chance of building on the large measure of agreement reached at the conference and avoiding the loss of the effort put into it.
    2. The existence of an agreement would help to prevent disputes arising out of incidents on the seas and would encourage countries with outstanding disputes to arrive at an early solution.
    3. The movement to a twelve mile territorial sea would be slowed down and countries might be restrained from making more extravagant claims. Maximum freedom of the seas would thereby be ensured for security, navigational and commercial purposes.
    4. It would provide a convention to which new countries could adhere when they gain their independence.
    5. The convention, especially as it will number among its signatories the chief maritime and air transport nations of the world, would provide an important source of law from which a universal rule of law might gradually evolve.
    6. The conclusion of a multilateral convention on the remaining questions in issue might further encourage states to ratify the conventions adopted by the 1958 Conference.
  10. There may be other advantages of particular attraction to the country to which you are accredited, or, on the other hand, disadvantages peculiar to that country and you should draw on aide mémoires you may have presented before the Second Conference. Similarly, some of the points listed above might be dropped (or varied) if you believe that it would be inadvisable to use them in their present form or at all.
  11. Provisional Assessment of the Attitude of States. Attached for your background information as Annex “B”† is a very provisional assessment of the probable attitude of the 107 members (including Mauritania) of UN and Specialized Agencies towards the idea of a multilateral convention.
  12. It may be that certain other countries will be added to the original eighteen being canvassed but for the time being the list is limited to that number.
  13. Preferential Rights Proviso. For your own information, the two surveying countries intend to give further consideration, in the light of the replies received, as to whether or not repeat not the balance of advantage would lie in retaining or discarding the clause on preferential rights (Brazilian amendment). There would appear at this stage to be two possible points of view on this question: on the one hand most Western European countries and probably also USA would wish to see the provision eliminated, while on the other hand a number of Latin American countries might not repeat not be prepared to support a proposal which did not repeat not contain the preferential rights proviso. Consequently Latin American countries have not repeat not been included in the list of countries to be approached in the first (or preliminary) survey.
  14. You should treat this matter as important and urgent and should take the earliest opportunity, before making an approach, to discuss it fully with your UK-(Canadian) colleague and to ensure that your USA colleague will take the necessary benevolent attitude.

[R.L.] ROGERS

64. DEA/9456-RW-11-40

Memorandum from Under-Secretary of State for External Affairs to Secretary of State for External Affairs

SECRET. CANADIAN EYES ONLY. [Ottawa], January 4, 1961

Law of the Sea – Multilateral Convention

Canada House has been informed by United Kingdom officials that their Ministers had, in taking the decision approving the proposed preliminary confidential survey, contemplated the possibility that Norway would not take part in it and “had decided to go ahead with Canada in any case.” (Telegram number 18 of January 3 from London, a copy of which is attached)†

Agreement has also been reached in London at the official level on the text of the draft letter of instructions to be sent to the Canadian and United Kingdom missions in the eighteen countries which will be canvassed (telegrams numbers 27 of January 3 and 31 of today’s date,† copies of which are also attached). United Kingdom approval at the Ministerial level has not yet been obtained to the amended text (which is, even after the further amendments suggested in telegram number 31, almost word for word as contained in our telegram number 344 of December [29],Footnote 28 a copy of which is also attached). The only important amendments suggested are those instructing our respective missions to ensure the benevolent attitude of their United States colleagues before making approaches to the governments in question and informing them of the kind of replies to give to press inquiries. The only point of substance which has been queried is the statement that “the convention would provide an important source of law,” which we think is correct, but which has been referred to the Foreign Office Legal Department for an opinion, and may therefore have to be altered.

Apart from the text, other United Kingdom suggestions which require approval are that:

  1. Canada rather than the United Kingdom approach Sweden, and possibly Denmark as well;
  2. Canada inform the United States authorities, as soon as agreement on the proposed instructions has been reached, of the intention to conduct the survey;
  3. Canada inform the United Kingdom Government should we decide to notify Argentina and Brazil of the survey;
  4. the missions concerned be instructed not to approach the governments in question until their instructions to do so are confirmed by telegram; and
  5. the “passive” mission, in cases where a dual approach is not envisaged, be informed fully.Footnote 29

In addition to these suggestions it would, I think, be advisable to notify the Norwegians at the same time (and for the same reason) as we inform the U.S.A., of the commencement of the survey. As to the phrase queried by the British, it would be preferable to alter the wording rather than incur any delay on its account.

I have therefore drafted for your signature, if you agree, a telegram to London confirming approval of the amendments to the draft letter of instructions and agreement to the suggestions which have been made and incorporating the two points last mentioned above.Footnote 30

N.A. R[OBERTSON]

65. DEA/9456-RW-11-40

Memorandum from Under-Secretary of State for External Affairs to Secretary of State for External Affairs

SECRET. CANADIAN EYES ONLY. [Ottawa], January 10, 1961

Multilateral Convention on Breadth of Territorial Sea and Contiguous Zone – Preliminary Survey

Although we had understood that the United Kingdom officials had agreed to the text of the instructions to be sent to our respective missions in the eighteen countries being canvassed, further amendments have now been suggested by them, (London’s telegram 77 of January 9† a copy of which is attached). If we understand paragraph five of the telegram correctly, some further alterations may still be suggested, after which, if we agree to them, it will still be necessary to obtain United Kingdom Ministerial approval. In the meantime the changes which have been suggested thus far appear reasonable and they have been incorporated in our working paper on the draft instructions, an up-to-date copy of which is attached for your information.†

  1. A more serious question, also raised in the same telegram, (paragraph 4), is the question of the elimination of Denmark and Sweden from the preliminary survey. The reduction of the numbers being canvassed to sixteen might possibly raise doubts in the minds of the United States authorities and others, as to whether such a small survey is really representative; moreover, the absence of Scandinavian countries from the list might, in the light of their known interest in the Law of the Sea, create further doubts as to the likelihood of more general support for a multilateral convention. On the other hand it would be extremely damaging for us to approach these two countries with negative results.
  2. There would seem to be three possibilities open to us:
    1. to agree to the elimination of Denmark and Sweden from the survey, with no substitution of other countries in their place, (the simplest way, probably of getting the survey moving quickly);
    2. to attempt to find two other countries to substitute in place of the two countries eliminated, (a rather difficult task, and one that may entail further delays through the consequent consultations with United Kingdom authorities); and
    3. to go ahead with the survey as planned, including the two countries in question, (a rather dangerous procedure in the light of the dependence of the attitude of the two countries in question on that of Norway, and the probable difficulty in the case of Sweden of the job of persuasion required).
    4. As you know, we have suggested that Norway be informed as soon as the survey is commenced and that Norway be requested to adopt a benevolent attitude towards the survey and to so inform its missions, but to do nothing further; these suggestions have not yet however been passed on to the United Kingdom authorities (paragraph 5 of London’s telegram 77). Since the attitudes of the Swedes and the Danes might well turn on the kind of comment made to them by the Norwegians, it would seem that before deciding on one of the three courses of action mentioned it is essential to know the extent to which the Norwegians would be prepared to give us unofficial behind-the-scenes support vis-à-vis Sweden and Denmark, should Norway receive enquiries from these countries. The domestic political reasons which influenced Norway against participating in the survey would not, presumably, influence the attitude of Sweden and Denmark, nor should they make the Norwegians reluctant to reveal to the Swedes and the Danes their active interest in the project and their hopes for its success. One of the reasons behind the Norwegian reluctance to participate is their fear that the survey would not be completed by late February, when they may feel compelled to take unilateral action in their parliament, and the sooner therefore that we get the survey underway the more likelihood there is that we can complete it in time to bring the Norwegians in.
    5. I have therefore drafted for your signature, if you agree, a telegram to London outlining our thinking and requesting United Kingdom approval to our approaching the Norwegians immediately to ask their views, (in the light of their close association with this project,) as to the advisability of including Denmark and Sweden in the survey.Footnote 31

N.A. R[OBERTSON]

66. DEA/9456-RW-11-40

Secretary of State for External Affairs to High Commissioner in United Kingdom

TELEGRAM L-15 Ottawa, January 18, 1961

SECRET. CANADIAN EYES ONLY.
Reference: Your Tel. 180 of Jan. 17.†
Repeat for Information: DND (JAG & DNPO).

Law of the Sea

We concur in your suggestion that you approach Lord Home and urge on him the advisability of a direct approach to Denmark and Sweden at this time. In so doing you may wish to make use of the arguments outlined in paragraph 3 of our telegram L-7 of January 10† and suggest that the Norwegians be asked to adopt a benevolent attitude towards the survey and so inform their missions (and also the Danes and the Swedes) in much the same way as the U.S.A. will be asked to do. Should he express doubts however we are agreeable to beginning the preliminary survey without Sweden and Denmark, rather than incur further delays, and bringing them in at a later stage, if possible, through Norway. (This could be done either as suggested in our telegram L-7 of January 10, by asking the Norwegians for their unofficial support with Sweden and Denmark or, as suggested by you, if the survey goes quickly enough, by using the initial results to bring in Norway and therefore Sweden and Denmark.)

  1. In order to cut down on delays and telegraphic costs we have already sent off the agreed instruction letters to all our missions concerned, but have cautioned them (our telegrams L-9† and L-10 of Jan. 12†) against taking any action until instructed to do so. There would seem to be no reason why you should not inform the British of our action and suggest that they do likewise.

67. DEA/9456-RW-11-40

Memorandum from Legal Division to Deputy Under-Secretary of State for External Affairs

SECRET. CANADIAN EYES ONLY. [Ottawa], January 20, 1961
Reference: Our memorandum of January 16.

Letter of Instructions on Multilateral Convention

Mr. Nutt telephoned from Washington yesterday afternoon to discuss certain points which he did not think the letter (copy attached) covered.Footnote 32 He said that he would not be able to raise these questions by telegram before Monday and wondered if there was any urgency about clearing them up sooner than that. I explained that the text of the letter had been agreed to by the British and ourselves after considerable discussion and that any changes at this stage might delay operations considerably. Mr. Nutt therefore mentioned the points he had in mind, (in guarded language because of the means of communication used,) which were as follows:

  1. He wanted to know if he were free to discuss the project at this stage with his U.K. colleague.
    I said that this was not yet possible since we did not know whether the British missions had been informed, although we had suggested this week that this be done.
  2. He asked that our people in Washington be kept informed about the timing of our approaches.
    I explained that we hoped that the approaches could be co-ordinated as much as possible so that none of the people concerned would hear of it first from the wrong sources, but that in any event we would keep him informed as to timing as requested.Footnote 33
  3. With respect to paragraphs 4 and 5(a) of the letter it was not clear to him whether or not it was our intention to inform the United States and/or the other countries concerned of the purpose of the first phase (i.e. to bring in the United States). He emphasized that if we intended to inform any other countries then we should also inform the United States.
    I said that I did not know whether or not this point had been already discussed and decided on. My view was that there did not seem to be any objection to informing the United States or the other countries, and that it might be impossible to avoid doing so, but that this point would have to be verified. (I have since discussed this question with Mr. Langille and he feels that it would be undesirable to inform anyone on this pointFootnote 34 – the purpose of this survey being to decide whether the larger survey should be undertaken.) You may wish to consider this question so that it can be covered in the instruction telegram to Washington and, if you consider it necessary, in those to our other missions concerned in the survey.
  4. With respect to paragraph 7 of our instruction letter, Mr. Nutt wanted to know which proposal we had in mind, “the original agreed one or the second one which had not got through.” His view was that we should be non-committal on this point.
    I said that I did not know once again whether or not this point had been specifically decided on and while I agreed with him that we should be non-committal, this point also would have to be verified. (Mr. Langille agrees that we should be non-committal but considers that if eventually we have a choice the first agreed proposal is the preferable one.)Footnote 35 You may wish to consider this point also so that it can be covered in the instruction telegram to Washington and our other missions.Footnote 36

J.A. BEESLEY

[ENCLOSURE]

Draft Letter from Under-Secretary of State for External Affairs

SECRET. CANADIAN EYES ONLY. Ottawa, [n.d.]

Multilateral Convention on Breadth of Territorial Sea and Contiguous Zone

Since the joint Canada-United States “six-plus-six” proposal failed by the narrow margin of one vote to gain the required two-thirds majority at the second Geneva Conference on the Law of the Sea, (a table of the voting is attached),† consideration has been given in various capitals to the courses which might offer the best way out of the impasse. This much is known to the world press and public.

  1. For your information the United Kingdom and Canadian Governments have discussed the feasibility of opening for signature a multilateral convention based on the joint Canada-United States proposal. The United States declined last summer to participate in a confidential survey, the purpose of which would have been to determine the extent of support for such a multilateral convention. Consequently the United Kingdom and Canadian Governments have decided themselves to undertake a joint preliminary confidential survey restricted to certain key countries (which have been selected on the basis of likelihood of support, geographical distribution and importance of shipping or fishing interests), the results of which, it is hoped, can be used as a basis (a) for determining the likelihood of more general support for a multilateral convention, and (b) for persuading the United States to join a wider survey (It is considered that American support is probably vital to the eventual successful conclusion of a multilateral convention).
  2. Plan of Action
    Attached as Annex “A”† is a list of the eighteen countries which will be canvassed in the first (or preliminary) survey. You are requested to make representations at the highest suitable level to the country to which you are accredited to enlist its support for a multilateral convention based on the Canada-United States “six-plus-six” formula put forth at the 1960 Geneva Conference. As appears from Annex “A”, certain countries will be approached by both the United Kingdom and Canada, and it will be necessary in such cases for the missions of our two countries to consult with one another so as to insure that these approaches are co-ordinated. Where dual approaches are intended the country named first in the Annex will make the initial approach and the country named second will make the follow-up approach.
  3. The Government of the country being approached should be informed that it is intended that the operation shall be conducted in three stages
    1. a preliminary confidential survey restricted to certain key countries, which, if the results are encouraging, will be followed by,
    2. a wider, more complete survey of countries, which, if the results confirm and augment those of the preliminary survey, will be followed by
    3. the opening for signature of a multilateral convention.
  4. It is intended that the following countries should be informed about the intentions of the United Kingdom and Canada to conduct this preliminary survey:
    1. United States – The United States will be approached both before and after the first stage. The Canadian Embassy will first approach the United States authorities in Washington to inform them of the decision to conduct the preliminary survey and invite them to instruct their missions in the eighteen countries concerned to express at least a benevolent interest in the project. Supporting action will be taken by the United Kingdom there. The active support of the United States for the project will not be requested until the conclusion of the first phase.
    2. France and Belgium – These countries may not yet be ready to support the proposal. However, they would be bound to learn about the proposed survey in view of their participation in the forthcoming North Sea Conferences to be held at Hague. For reasons of general policy, therefore, the United Kingdom will inform them of the project in broad terms.
    3. Argentina and Brazil – It has been agreed that Canada should decide, after raising the matter with American officials, whether or not to inform Argentina and Brazil in general terms that consideration is being given to the conclusion of a multilateral convention. It is considered that these two countries should probably be informed unless the United States should express objections.
    4. Norway – The Norwegians have been in close touch with us on this question, and although it was hoped that they would be able to co-sponsor the preliminary confidential survey the Norwegian Government have found it necessary for domestic reasons to decide against doing so. They will however be informed as soon as the survey is undertaken and your Norwegian colleague can be expected to adopt a benevolent attitude towards the project.
  5. Possible Doubts Concerning the Survey
    It should be stressed that the existence and the results of this preliminary survey will be kept confidential. Should anyone express the fear that an unsuccessful preliminary survey may be “counter productive” you should explain that it is recognized that if the initial survey discloses that the majority of the shipping and fishing countries do not favour a multilateral convention then the idea is dead. The initial survey will not, however, have worsened the situation since its results will be kept confidential except amongst those countries approached. If it should transpire that support for the Geneva Formula had waned since the second conference to a point where even perhaps with American assistance a convention would attract so few signatories that it would be ineffective, no country would gain by remaining in ignorance of this state of affairs.
  6. Definition and Scope of Canada-United States Formula
    The “Geneva Formula” comprises three main elements
    1. a territorial sea not exceeding six miles.
    2. an exclusive fishing zone not exceeding twelve miles with a ten-year transitional period in the outer six miles for those countries which have traditionally fished there.
    3. a procedure for examining claims to preferential fishing rights outside that zone. (Brazilian amendment).
      In referring to the “Geneva Formula,” however the countries to be approached in the first phase of the survey should be asked only if they would in principle favour the conclusion of a multilateral convention “based on the Geneva Formula.” You should not yourself make reference to the third element of the formula i.e. (c) above. On the other hand nothing should be done or said which would prejudice one way or the other the possible retention or elimination of the “Brazilian amendment.” If the question is raised, however, you should report as fully as possible any views in favour or against this provision which are expressed to you.
    4. For your own information, the two surveying countries intend to give further consideration, in the light of the replies received, as to whether or not the balance of advantage would lie in retaining or discarding the clause on preferential rights (Brazilian amendment). There would appear at this stage to be two possible points of view on this question: on the one hand most Western European countries and probably also the United States would wish to see the provision eliminated, while on the other hand a number of Latin American countries might not be prepared to support a proposal which did not contain the preferential rights proviso. Consequently Latin American countries have not been included in the list of countries to be approached in the first (or preliminary) survey.
    5. Arguments to Use
  1. The following general observations should be borne in mind in making these representations.
    The initiative is in no sense a cold war project or an attempt to avenge the “diplomatic defeat” at Geneva. On the contrary, it is motivated by a desire to further the orderly development of international law, and in particular to complete the codification of the Law of the Sea so nearly achieved at the 1960 Geneva Conference. (One of the most telling arguments with some of the older and more conservative countries, who might not otherwise be favourably disposed towards the convention, is that of the desirability of achieving uniformity and certainty of international law, and this should not only be stressed in the initial approaches, but should, where appropriate, be followed up with the Legal Advisors to the Foreign Ministers in question).
    1. The general desirability of reaching agreement on the two important questions left unanswered (i.e. the breadth of the territorial sea and fishery limits) is underlined by the present uncertainty and the likelihood of a continued drift towards chaos in the Law of the Sea. The sooner therefore that a multilateral convention can be concluded the sooner this disturbing drift can be stopped. It is hoped that if a multilateral convention is concluded in time, enough countries will accede so as to obtain substantially the same purpose as would have been achieved at Geneva. The potential influence and importance from a shipping and fishing point of view of the countries acceding to such a convention is considered to be as important as the numbers concerned.
  2. Support for a multilateral convention at this stage, rather than later, would have a good chance of building on the large measure of agreement reached at the conference and avoiding the loss of the effort put into it.
  3. The existence of an agreement would help to prevent disputes arising out of incidents on the seas and would encourage countries with outstanding disputes to arrive at an early solution.
  4. The movement to a twelve mile territorial sea would be slowed down and countries might be restrained from making more extravagant claims. Maximum freedom of the seas would thereby be ensured for security, navigational and commercial purposes.
  5. It would provide a convention to which new countries could adhere when they gain their independence.
  6. The convention, especially as it will number among its signatories the chief maritime and air transport nations of the world, and includes some of the more important fishing nations would provide an important source of law from which a universal rule of law might gradually evolve.
  7. The conclusion of a multilateral convention on the remaining questions in issue might further encourage states to ratify the conventions adopted by the 1958 conference.
  1. There may be other advantages of particular attraction to the country to which you are accredited, or, on the other hand, disadvantages peculiar to that country, and you should draw on aide mémoires you may have presented before the second conference. Similarly, some of the points listed above might be dropped if you believe that it would be inadvisable to use them in their present form or at all.
  2. Provisional Assessment of the Attitude of States
    Attached for your background information as Annex “B”† not to be shown to or discussed with other parties is a very provisional assessment of the probable attitude of the 107 members. (including Mauritania) of the United Nations and Specialized Agencies towards the idea of a multilateral convention.
  3. The foregoing instructions are provisional and will be confirmed by telegram. Similar instructions are being sent to your Canadian-United Kingdom colleague. You should treat this matter as important and urgent and should take the earliest opportunity, before making an approach, to discuss it fully with your United Kingdom - (Canadian) colleague and to ensure that your United States colleague will take the necessary benevolent attitude. In reply to press enquiries it is undesirable to go beyond saying that consideration is being given in various capitals to the situation arising out of the failure of the Geneva Conference (see Paragraph 1).
  4. You should stress throughout the desirability of keeping the operations secret from countries not being canvassed.

[N.A. ROBERTSON]

68. DEA/10600-W-40

Memorandum from Under-Secretary of State for External Affairs to Secretary of State for External Affairs

SECRET. CANADIAN EYES ONLY. [Ottawa], January 23, 1961

Law of the Sea – Multilateral Convention

Since the United Kingdom has now agreed to the remaining points outstanding (the inclusion of Denmark and Sweden and notification to Norway; see Mr. Drew’s telegram 225 of January 20 attached)† we can begin the preliminary survey as soon as our missions and those of the United Kingdom in the countries being canvassed have received their instructions. Our missions will all have received their instructions by tomorrow, and the United Kingdom missions will have received theirs by January 26. I have therefore drafted a telegram to Mr. Drew for your signature, if you agree, proposing a timetable for notifying the U.S.A. and Norway and beginning the survey, and outlining our thinking behind the timing suggested.

N.A. R[OBERTSON]

69. DEA/9456-RW-11-40

Secretary of State for External Affairs to High Commissioner in United Kingdom

TELEGRAM L-17 Ottawa, January 24, 1961
SECRET. CANADIAN EYES ONLY.
Reference: Your Tel. 225 of Jan. 20.†
Repeat for Information: Washington, Oslo, DND (JAG & DNPO).

Law of the Sea

I am pleased to learn of the results of your discussions with Lord Home, which I agree are very satisfactory.

  1. Since the U.K. missions and ours in all the countries concerned in the survey will have received their instruction letters by January 26 we would suggest the following timetable for U.K. approval:
    1. Instructions to be sent as soon as possible to our respective missions in Washington and Oslo requesting that on the morning of Friday January 27 they notify the U.S.A. and Norway about the survey. (In the case of the U.S.A. our missions would be asked not to raise the question of the Latin American countries at this stage and to confine themselves to informing the Secretary of State or an appropriate senior official of the State Department of our plans and attempting to persuade them of the desirability of
      1. informing the United States embassies at the capitals concerned, so that they will not be taken by surprise if questioned by officials of those governments, and also, if we can so persuade the State Department,
      2. informing them that the State Department takes a benevolent interest in the project.
        Our missions in Oslo would be asked merely to inform the Norwegian Foreign Office of the start of the survey and to request that Norwegian missions abroad, particularly those in Stockholm and Copenhagen, be informed of the survey and of the Norwegian Government’s favourable attitude towards it.
    2. Instructions to be sent not later than January 26 to our respective missions in all the countries concerned requesting that co-ordinated representations be made on (but not before) Monday, January 30 or as soon thereafter as possible.
    3. The Canadian Embassy in Washington to be instructed to raise the question of the Latin American countries sometime during the first week in February.
  2. You may inform the U.K. authorities that we have had the following considerations in mind in proposing this timetable. We feel that we must give the U.S.A. and Norway some advance notice of the survey, if we are to obtain any assistance from them, and we cannot therefore wait until the survey starts before informing them. On the other hand, we see no advantage in delaying the survey until the response of the State Department is known. (Presumably the U.S. missions will be notified very quickly, and we have previously been told that the State Department has no objection to our going ahead with the survey without them). In order to get the survey underway as soon as possible, and at the same time lessen the likelihood of premature leaks, the delay between notifying the U.S.A. and Norway and commencing the survey should be as short as possible. For these same reasons the approaches in the various capitals should be co-ordinated so as to take place around the same date.
  3. For your information, we have attempted, in drafting the timetable, to strike a balance between giving the State Department enough time to inform their missions about the survey and of their attitude towards it, while not giving them time to raise possible reasons for delaying the survey. For similar reasons we feel that the question of notifying the Latin American countries should not be raised until the survey is well under way.

[H.C.] GREEN

70. DEA/10600-S-40

Secretary of State for External Affairs to Ambassador in United States

TELEGRAM L-22 Ottawa, January 26, 1961
SECRET. CANADIAN EYES ONLY.
Reference: Our Let L-36 Jan 12.†
Repeat for Information: London, DND, JAG, DNPO, Rome, Paris, Brussels, Bonn, Hague.
By Bag Canberra, Wellington, Dublin, Madrid, Tel Aviv, Ankara, Cape Town, Tokyo, Karachi, Lisbon, Stockholm, Copenhagen, Athens, Berne, Oslo from London.

Law of the Sea

Please make representations to State Department during morning of January 27 along following lines:

  1. Informing them that on Tuesday January 31, Canada and United Kingdom will begin canvassing 18 countries listed in Annex “A” to our reference letter to determine extent of support available for a multilateral convention based on Canada-USA “six-plus-six” Geneva Formula;
  2. Explaining proposed plan of action, basis on which these countries have been selected, and confidential nature of operation;
  3. Making clear that in present (preliminary) phase we are not repeat not requesting active support of USA; and
  4. Inviting State Department to inform its missions in countries concerned of survey and explain that although USA is not repeat not taking part in it State Department looks favourably upon project and is hopeful that it will succeed.
  5. Informing State Department that we will be in touch with them after we have carried out preliminary survey.
  1. In making these representations you may wish to bear in mind following points:
  1. Your approach should precede but be coordinated with that of your United Kingdom colleague, who will be making supporting representations;
  2. We hope that USA missions in countries concerned will be informed about survey soon as possible so that they will not repeat not be taken by surprise if questioned by officials of those countries;
  3. Purpose of preliminary survey is to determine whether a larger survey should be undertaken; fact that we hope to be able to use results of preliminary survey to persuade USA to join us actively in second phase of survey is not repeat not being mentioned in other capitals and you should therefore not repeat not refer to it;
  4. Question of desirability or otherwise of notifying Latin/American countries should not repeat not be raised at this stage;
  5. A non-committal reply should be given to questions as to which of two Geneva formulas is being put forth; (for your information we favour original agreed version rather than later amended one actually put to vote).
    . . .

71. DEA/9456-RW-11-40

Memorandum from Under-Secretary of State for External Affairs to Secretary of State for External Affairs

SECRET. CANADIAN EYES ONLY. [Ottawa], January 26, 1961

Law of the Sea – Multilateral Convention

As you know, in our telegram L-17 of January 24 to London (a copy of which is attached) we suggested that Washington and Oslo be informed on the morning of January 27 of the preliminary survey and that the active canvassing of the eighteen countries to be approached begin on the morning of Monday, January 30. The United Kingdom have now approved of our proposal, but have suggested that the survey begin one day later, on January 31 (London’s telegram 298 of January 26, a copy of which is attached).†

  1. Because of the urgency of notifying the United Kingdom authorities of our approval of the slight procedural change, (so that they would then have time to notify their missions), we have sent a message to London confirming our agreement to it (our telegram L-25 of January 26, a copy of which is attached).† We have also instructed our missions in Washington, Oslo and the other capitals concerned in the survey to take the necessary action to begin the survey (our telegrams L-20,† L-21,† L-22 and L-26† of today’s date, copies of which are attached).

N.A. R[OBERTSON]

72. DEA/10600-S-40

Ambassador in United States to Secretary of State for External Affairs

TELEGRAM 294 Washington, January 27, 1961

SECRET. CANADIAN EYES ONLY.
Reference: Your Tel L-22 Jan 26.
Repeat for Information: London (, Paris (Priority), Brussels, Rome, Bonn, Hague (Priority) from Ottawa, DND Ottawa, JAG Ottawa, DNPO Ottawa (Priority) from Ottawa.
By Bag Canberra, Wellington, Dublin, Madrid, Tel Aviv, Ankara, Cape Town, Tokyo, Karachi, Lisbon, Stockholm, Copenhagen, Athens, Berne, Oslo from London.

Law of the Sea

We saw Yingling (Assistant Legal Adviser and whose office is responsible for policy recommendations on Law of the Sea matters) this morning (January 27) and made representations to him in accordance with your reference telegram, augmented by appropriate portions of the more detailed information contained in your letter L-36 January 12.† In the interest of greater certainty we left with Yingling an informal “piece of paper” recapitulating the substance of our representations. We subsequently informed Ivan White (Deputy Assistant Secretary for European Affairs) of representations. United Kingdom Embassy has followed up our approach this afternoon.

  1. Yingling’s reaction was generally sympathetic to the purposes of the preliminary survey as we had outlined them. He recognized the desirability of informing USA mission in the countries concerned of the joint survey but doubted that it would be possible to do this prior to the commencement of the survey. In view of the change of Administration it would be necessary for him to consult his superiors, who are new appointees, and other interested agencies concerning what attitude USA missions should be instructed to adopt. He could say, however, that there would be no repeat no question of USA missions adopting an attitude of opposition, tacit or otherwise, to the project. We emphasized that we were not repeat not soliciting USA’s active participation but rather hoped that the State Department would agree to instruct their missions to indicate that USA look favourably on the project. We urged the desirability of informing USA mission as soon as possible and hoped their position would be a benevolent one. Yingling undertook to inform us later as to the attitude USA missions are instructed to adopt towards the project.
  2. Yingling recalled the position which had been held by the former Administration that it would not repeat not be desirable to promote a convention based on the six plus six proposal unless such a proposal had adequate support, and that when last reviewed, it was considered that the requisite support was not repeat not available. However, Yingling’s personal attitude is sympathetic though coupled with a conviction that the promotion of a convention based on six plus six should proceed with deliberation and caution. He thought that it would be desirable eventually to convene another conference for the purpose of signing a convention.
  3. Yingling continued to believe that Western European and particularly French support for a convention was crucial. He considered that various discussions in Western Europe regarding fisheries matters like the UK-Norwegian agreement, the UK-Icelandic discussions, and the forthcoming North Sea Conference augured well for the solution of local difficulties in Western Europe. Once these had been settled he believed that the Western European countries might well favour a multilateral convention based on the six plus six proposal. Thereafter the aim should be to try to rally the support of most of the Latin/American countries plus a representative group of countries from other geographical areas. Yingling thought there would not repeat not be much point in a multilateral convention unless at least forty to forty-five adherents were guaranteed.
  4. Yingling said that there was continued opposition among USA fishing interests to the six plus six proposal. They had “been brought along” at the last conference but it was no repeat no secret that they were not repeat not unhappy since the joint USA-Canadian proposal failed of adoption.
  5. Yingling was optimistic that in time some countries now opposed to the six plus six proposal might eventually, with changing circumstances, come to support the six plus six rule. He was not repeat not without hope that at some stage the Arab States might change their position. He also noted that of all the new African States only the Sudan had taken unilateral action since the conference. He believed it important not repeat not to stimulate the African States to early action since at the moment they would be likely to adopt the twelve mile rule. However, if the groundwork were carefully prepared, many of them might be persuaded eventually to support the six plus six formula. He had no repeat no hope that a six plus six proposal would be acceptable to the Soviet bloc.
  6. We pointed out that the preliminary survey we proposed to undertake did not repeat not conflict with Yingling’s views on how the problem should be approached. He conceded this and agreed that it would be useful to have an up-to-date assessment of the views of the countries listed. He thought that, excepting Spain, Portugal and Japan, concerning which he had some doubts, we would get a favourable response.
  7. Yingling fully agreed that the survey should be kept completely confidential. If it were not repeat not, the “opposition” would come to hear of it and might be stimulated into taking counter-measures which could wreck the prospects for a convention based on the six plus six proposal at some future appropriate time.

[S.] RAE

73. DEA/10600-S-40

Memorandum from Deputy Under-Secretary of State for External Affairs to Legal Division

CONFIDENTIAL [Ottawa], January 31, 19
Attention: Mr. Beesley

Law of the Sea – U.S. Reaction to Canada-U.K. Survey

Mr. Nutt phoned from Washington shortly after 1.00 p.m. today to say that they had received a reply from the State Department to their latest request that instructions be sent to U.S. missions in countries where either Canada or the U.K. are to make representations concerning a multilateral convention embodying the Canada-U.S. proposal at Geneva.

Apparently Yingling has advised the Embassy that a telegram will probably be sent out this afternoon. This telegram will advise U.S. missions that, for a number of reasons, it was not possible for the State Department to undertake this survey but that the State Department has no objections to the Canada-U.K. initiative. The telegram will also make the point that the U.S. authorities are in sympathy with our purposes and that, in their view, the results of the survey will be useful. It seems that, in the circumstances, we could hardly have expected more from the State Department.

M. CADIEUX

74. DEA/9456-RW-11-40

Secretary of State for External Affairs to Ambassador in Japan

TELEGRAM L-32 Ottawa, February 2, 1961
SECRET. CANADIAN EYES ONLY.
Reference: Your Tel. 34 of January 31.†
Repeat for Information: London, Washington, Paris, Tel Aviv, DND (JAG & DNPO).
By Bag Canberra, Wellington, Cape Town, Karachi, Dublin, Copenhagen, Athens, Bonn, Brussels, Rome, The Hague, Lisbon, Madrid, Stockholm, Geneva, Ankara, Oslo.

Law of the Sea

Although the response from the Japanese Foreign Office is probably as satisfactory as can be expected at this stage, it would seem advisable to make follow-up approaches to the Foreign Office with specific reference to the points raised, (and also, if you think it would be useful, to the Treaties Bureau and/or the Ministry of Fisheries, who may be the same people who will be attending the Whaling Conference in London later this month), along the following lines.

  1. How Long Can a 3-Mile Sea Be Maintained?
    While we understand the Japanese preference for a 3-mile limit, it has become increasingly obvious in the light of the developments at the two Geneva Conferences that it is no longer realistic to attempt to hold the line at three miles. During the 1958 Conference it became apparent that a 6-mile territorial sea was the narrowest one likely to be acceptable to any substantial number of countries. Subsequent attempts to extend the territorial sea by unilateral action confirmed the existence of this state of affairs and emphasized the desirability of attempting to stop the clearly apparent trend towards a wider territorial sea. The “six-plus-six” formula was put forward in the hope of holding the line at six miles. Under present conditions it is questionable how long any state can maintain a three-mile limit, and the question arises therefore as to whether it would not be better to concentrate the efforts of all countries desiring to establish and maintain the rule of law amongst nations towards a realistic goal of six miles, rather than dissipate their strength in isolated attempts to establish territorial seas of varying widths.
  2. Continued Attempts to Maintain a Three-Mile Limit May Well Result in a Twelve-Mile Limit Being Established.
    Apart from doubts as to whether it is any longer realistic to maintain a three-mile limit, it must be asked whether attempts to do so are not in fact counter-productive. The trend towards a wider territorial sea, may, if not arrested soon, result in chaotic conditions in this important branch of international law, and for this reason it is not enough for countries to remain passively in favour of a narrow territorial sea. Active steps are required in order to prevent its further extension. Unless however a proposal is put forth which is acceptable to those states desiring a wider territorial sea, (and 3 miles is totally unacceptable to them), not only will the trend not be arrested, but the inaction of those countries standing by a three-mile limit will have had harmful results. It is imperative therefore that a compromise be found which is acceptable both to those countries desiring a wider territorial sea and those desiring to maintain the freedom of the high seas. The experience of the two conferences has shown that the only such proposals is the “six-plus-six” formula.
  3. Fishing Interests.
    If the countries of the world continue to attempt to extend their territorial sea, by unilateral action or otherwise, this will obviously have harmful effects on those countries dependent on distant water fishing. (A twelve-mile territorial sea would carry with it an exclusive fishery zone at least that wide, with no assurance that it would not be even wider.) It was with the hope of proposing a compromise between those states desiring to protect their off-shore fisheries and those dependent upon distant water fishing ground that the “six-plus-six” formula was proposed. Once again developments at and since the two Law of the Sea Conferences have made it abundantly clear that there is no trend towards narrower exclusive fishery zones. It is recognized that certain countries such as Japan may be obliged to make some sacrifices in accepting the “six-plus-six” proposal, but this is equally true of those countries desiring a much wider exclusive fishing zone, (in their acceptance of the ten-year aspect of the formula). It seems clear that the “six-plus-six” proposal is a compromise which, involving as it does sacrifices on both sides, is the only one giving promise of achieving a rule of law on this important branch of international jurisprudence.
  4. Dangers of Following Policies Dependent on Those of U.S.S.R. and Mainland China.
    The question arises as to whether the approach of the U.S.S.R. and Mainland China should be allowed to become general as a result of the attempts of other countries to revive the three-mile limit. While on the face of it the three to twelve-mile policy of the U.S.S.R. (and presumably Mainland China) seems to pay lip service to the three-mile limit, its real essence is the choice it provides of territorial seas up to twelve miles. This choice not only contains the seeds of international legal chaos, with each state adopting its own limit, (in effect a legalization of the present increasingly disturbing conditions), but it carries with it also the danger, which is a probability rather than a possibility, that it would result in a large number of nations adopting a twelve-mile territorial sea, given the choice. Support of the U.S.S.R.-mainland China approach is therefore tantamount to conceding a wide-spread twelve-mile limit for all purposes. It seems clear that it is not possible to reconcile a preference for a narrower territorial sea with the policies of the U.S.S.R. and Mainland China on this issue. On the contrary, the best way of holding the line to as narrow a territorial sea as possible is to support the “six-plus-six” formula.
  1. We should be grateful to receive a further report in due course.

75. DEA/9456-RW-11-40

Ambassador in The Netherlands to Secretary of State for External Affairs

TELEGRAM 46 The Hague, February 6, 1961
SECRET. CANADIAN EYES ONLY.
Reference: Our Tel 10 Jan 10.
Repeat for Information: London, NATO Paris, Paris, Bonn, Geneva, Washington, DNPO Ottawa, DND Ottawa, JAG Ottawa from Ottawa.
By Bag Canberra, Wellington, Karachi, Cape Town, Dublin, Copenhagen, Oslo, Stockholm, Athens, Lisbon, Madrid, Ankara from London.

HAGUE CONFERENCE ON FISHERIES’ QUESTIONS

Informal meeting convenes in Peace Palace February 7 with representation from Ireland, UK, France, Belgium, West Germany, Denmark, Norway, Sweden and Netherlands. There will be no repeat no agenda and purpose will be to explore possibilities of organizing official conference to plan regional agreement.

  1. Bogh-Tobiassen, First Secretary in Norwegian Embassy here, who will be representing Norway with observer status, gave us following reasons for Norway’s lack of enthusiasm for conference:
    1. Proposed conference would be too restrictive in geographical sense and would not repeat not exclude outsiders from invading waters concerned.
    2. Objectives would be “protectionist” with “three-miles” in majority.
    3. Long-range aim was to ensure that fishing fleets of countries providing main markets for North Sea fishery products had access to fishing fields.
  2. Contrary to reassurance given us by Riphagen (our telegram 342 September 16)† Bogh-Tobiassen said Norwegian authorities considered promotion of Hague Conference constituted on 6-6 basis. Bogh-Tobiassen appeared to think we might have received instructions to try to bring some influence to bear on proceedings at this week’s conference in interest of your latest initiative on a multilateral convention.
  3. We will keep in touch with Bogh-Tobiassen in connection with proceedings at this week’s conference.

76. DEA/9456-RW-11-40

Office of High Commissioner for United Kingdom to Legal Division

SECRET Ottawa, February 9, 1961
Dear Mr. Beesley,
In my letter to Mr. Langille of the 8th November last I said that the United Kingdom had agreed in principle to participate in a Conference on fishery policies to be held at The Hague between representatives of states bordering on the North Sea.

  1. I have now been asked to tell you that we have accepted an invitation from the Netherlands Government to attend an informal preliminary meeting at The Hague, beginning on 7th February. The purpose of this meeting is to explore the desirability of convening a formal North Sea Fisheries Conference later in the year with a view to concluding a treaty. The meeting would discuss the agenda for such a Conference. The instructions to the United Kingdom delegation are that they should seek to ensure that any further discussions cover the whole field of fishery policy including conservation measures and trade in fish; that they should reserve our position fully on the possibility of future extensions of fishery limits and base-lines; and that they should let it be known that in certain circumstances we might be compelled to consider such extensions.Footnote 37

Yours sincerely,

M.K. EWANS

77. DEA/9456-RW-11-40

Memorandum from Under-Secretary of State for External Affairs to Secretary of State for External Affairs

SECRET. CANADIAN EYES ONLY. [Ottawa], February 9, 1961

Law of the Sea: Preliminary Survey

As you know, the results of the preliminary survey, while still incomplete, are generally favourable. Certain countries, such as Spain and Ireland have indicated support for the convention, while others, such as Sweden, Turkey, and Italy have indicated probable support but have been unable to give a definite answer as yet. As was expected however, difficulty has been encountered with Germany and Japan, both of whom have given a qualified approval dependent amongst other things upon the attitude of other countries. The survey appears therefore to have reached a point where, the initial approaches having been made by our missions and those of the U.K., most countries are in the process of giving consideration to our representations.

  1. Because of the desirability of completing the survey as soon as possible, so that, assuming that it will be successful, its results could be used to persuade other countries such as Norway and Turkey against taking the unilateral action they are now contemplating, (while at the same time lessening the likelihood of leaks prior to the commencement of the second phase of the survey), we should try to prevent the survey from bogging down at this stage. I have therefore drafted for your signature, if you agree, a telegram to all our missions concerned urging them to press this question actively with the countries to which they are accredited and, if necessary, to conduct continuing dialogues in the hopes of achieving a quick and favourable response.Footnote 38

N.A. R[OBERTSON]

78. DEA/9456-RW-11-40

Memorandum by Deputy Under-Secretary of State for External Affairs

CONFIDENTIAL [Ottawa], February 16, 1961

Law of the Sea

In the course of a conversation yesterday about other matters, the French Ambassador said that he had received a request from Paris for clarification of our position.

  1. Apparently, in an earlier message the French Ambassador had reported that we were prepared to revive in the form of a multilateral convention the six plus six formula. United Kingdom representatives, in discussing the survey, had referred to the Geneva formula. The French authorities were wondering whether there was not a difference between the two positions and whether we envisaged special bilateral negotiations concerning the tapering off period for historic fishing rights.
  2. The other day, when the French Ambassador had raised the question directly, I told him that there was a move in progress as to the Geneva formula and that United Kingdom representatives (by agreement with us) were to inform the French authorities of what was involved. I was deliberately vague and the French Ambassador had clearly misunderstood and misrepresented our position. I was therefore quite clear in stressing that we were conducting a survey as to the prospects of the Geneva formula which had received a 5 affirmative vote. I also explained that in our view this was somewhat a package deal and that the prospects of success seemed related to faithful adherence, as far as possible, to the original formula although we would of course take note of comments on any of its main features. It seemed to us however that unless countries were prepared to revive the original formula, any suggested variations would be likely to involve substantial renegotiations and therefore very likely the abandonment of the scheme.
  3. The French Ambassador raised the question of bilateral negotiations. I said that it was too early to discuss this. We must first find out whether the Geneva formula can be revived. If this fails, Canada, like other countries, e.g. Norway, will have to determine the best course to follow. I could not guarantee that we would negotiate first and move later. No decision had been made by the Canadian Government on this point. In fact, the French Government may have to decide in the case of Canada, should there be no multilateral solution, whether we would be content to claim unilaterally six plus six or whether in the absence of a convention we, like so many other countries, would not be prepared to go much further. While, in the absence of an agreed scheme, sympathy for France might of course influence the Government here to take a generous attitude, France was not the only or even the main country fishing along our coasts and the maximum limit for the tapering off period (if there was to be any and this remained to be seen) might well have to be determined in relation to U.S. operations and applied across the board to other countries. I then explained that the ten year period embodied in the Geneva deal had represented for us the very extreme limit of concessions vis-à-vis the United States. In fact, the Government here at the time was only reconciled to it with great difficulty.

M. CADIEUX

79. DEA/9456-RW-11-40

Memorandum from Legal Division to Deputy Under-Secretary of State for External Affairs

SECRET. CANADIAN EYES ONLY. [Ottawa], February 16, 1961
Reference: Our telegram L-53 of February 16, attached.

Law of the Sea: Desirability of Informing the Latin Americans of the Preliminary Survey

It has occurred to me that the American thinking behind their reluctance to have the Latin Americans notified might be along the following lines. The U.S.A. is not really very enthusiastic about the convention, yet it would not like to be blamed by the United Kingdom and Canada for its failure. Since the U.S. attitude would probably be the determining factor with the Latin Americans, mere “benevolent interest” on the part of the U.S.A. might not be enough to bring them in, and the U.S.A. would, therefore, be forced to decide for or against the convention, and even worse perhaps from the U.S. point of view, for or against the Brazilian Amendment. The State Department may feel that by sitting tight there is always the possibility that the survey will be a failure, in which case the U.S. would not have had to antagonize anyone and could not be blamed, except indirectly, for the failure. On the other hand, should the survey be successful then the U.S. would be in a somewhat stronger position to deal with the Latin Americans, and the fate of the Brazilian Amendment would not in any event be laid directly at the door of the U.S., as might be the case were the issue to arise at this stage.

  1. The real importance for the U.S. on the question of notifying the Latin Americans may, therefore, be much greater than they have indicated, although Yingling’s initial response is consistent with the foregoing – particularly his worries about the Latin Americans not appreciating the precise balance of the American position. It would follow from this that we should be careful about pushing the Latin American question with the State Department until we are sure the time is right to use it as a means of forcing them to take a stand. As Mr. Drew has pointed out, it might be wise to wait until Mr. Dean’s influence has been brought to bear; we could get some indication concerning this from Mr. Dean’s reply to Mr. Drew’s letter.Footnote 39

J.A. BEESLEY

80. DEA/9456-RW-11-40

Memorandum from Legal Division to Deputy Under-Secretary of State for External Affairs

SECRET. CANADIAN EYES ONLY. [Ottawa], February 23, 1961

LAW OF THE SEA: PRELIMINARY SURVEY

I have been wondering about the possibility of coordinating our policies with those of Norway and the United Kingdom should the results of the preliminary survey be unfavourable. We know that Norway is contemplating unilateral action on the basis of the “six-plus-six” formula and that the United Kingdom may be considering similar action judging from the instructions to their delegation to the Hague Meeting. Were we to take unilateral action then presumably it would have a sounder basis if it were coordinated both as to timing and substance with similar action by the United Kingdom and Norway. The action of all three countries might then be mutually reinforcing, both legally and politically. It is even conceivable that such action by three of the countries who have taken the most prominent roles in this field could provide the beginnings of an international rule of law on the six-plus-six basis. In any event, we would all feel that we were in good company, and could share the brickbats.Footnote 40

J.A. BEESLEY

81. DEA/9456-RW-11-40

Memorandum from Under-Secretary of State for External Affairs to Secretary of State for External Affairs

SECRET. CANADIAN EYES ONLY. [Ottawa], March 1, 1961

Law of the Sea: Preliminary Survey

The preliminary survey appears to have reached a stage where it is possible to make a tentative assessment of its results to date. None of the countries canvassed appears to be opposed to the proposed multilateral convention, and most have indicated that they favour it in principle. In summary, although Japan, Turkey and Pakistan may all require further persuasion it seems likely that their support will eventually be forthcoming, and the survey appears to be progressing favourably in other quarters. A rather disturbing development has occurred outside the context of the survey however, which we fear may have damaging effects on the survey, and even perhaps ruin the possibilities for a multilateral convention.

  1. The Scandinavian countries, the Low Countries and Germany, France, Ireland and the United Kingdom have just concluded a fisheries meeting at the Hague during which it was agreed that a North Sea Conference would be held in October. In the meantime, with the exception of the United Kingdom and Ireland, these countries will probably be unwilling to give definite answers on the multilateral convention. France, Belgium and the Netherlands are actively promoting a regional North Sea Agreement, partly because they are fearful of losing United Kingdom fishing grounds through the terms of the proposed convention; before agreeing to it they want to try to obtain concessions from the United Kingdom through bilateral negotiations. Consequently, while appearing to favour the proposed convention, what they are saying in effect is that they would agree to it so long as its provisions do not apply to them (at least with respect to fisheries). Germany has been in the reverse position since the proposed convention would have given Germany concessions from Norway which she would otherwise have been able to obtain only at some cost in return; this is also the partial explanation of Norway’s decision not to participate in the survey. These two countries have, according to press reports, now reached agreement however and this may effect the attitude of both. The other countries concerned are also hopeful of securing their positions through bilateral negotiations, and are therefore unlikely to be willing to commit themselves on the multilateral convention until either a regional agreement is reached or their bilateral negotiations are concluded, whichever occurs the sooner.
  2. The real significance of the proposed North Sea Regional Agreement therefore is that it renders the results of the preliminary survey inconclusive. The equivocal answers of the countries involved in it would not provide a very firm basis for approaching the U.S.A. nor for dissuading the Norwegians from taking unilateral action. Moreover, by seeking to exempt themselves from its provisions the North Sea countries are taking a position basically incompatible with the proposed convention, which, if followed elsewhere, could result not only in interminable delays before conclusion of a convention, but in a convention whose terms would be virtually meaningless because of the many exceptions to it. Furthermore, if the U.S.A. were to take a position similar to that of the North Sea countries it could have serious implications for Canada. It seems clear therefore that the proposed North Sea Conference presents a real obstacle to the conclusion of a multilateral convention.
  3. There would appear to be several possible courses of action open to us as means of overcoming this difficulty, namely:
    1. to consider the survey a failure on account of the attitude of the North Sea countries, and give consideration to taking unilateral action on the “six-plus-six” basis;
    2. to keep the preliminary survey open and postpone the second phase until definite answers are received from the North Sea countries;
    3. to go on with the second phase of the survey and treat the North Sea countries as being in favour of it;
    4. to make a further strong effort to persuade the North Sea countries to agree now to the convention.
  4. As to course (a), there would be some basis for concluding that, having made the effort now and the project having been defeated by those very countries most likely to suffer from unilateral action by the United Kingdom and Canada, we owe them no further obligation to refrain from taking such action. However, while we may eventually be brought to this position, it would seem to be somewhat premature to adopt it at this stage.
  5. As to course (b), it would not be practicable to keep the preliminary survey open and postpone the second phase until late fall. Not only would the momentum of the survey be lost, with possibly harmful effects on those countries who have indicated interest in it, but the danger of leaks or of unilateral action or regional agreements during the intervening period would increase. Moreover, if the survey were to stall at this stage amongst those countries considered most likely to accept it, then it is not likely that other countries would consider it a sound proposition.
  6. As to course (c), it might be possible to proceed with the second phase of the survey and treat the North Sea countries as having indicated approval in principle to the convention, but the feasibility of this course would depend to a large extent upon the willingness of the U.S. to proceed on this basis. It seems rather unlikely that we could gain U.S. support without more concrete evidence of active interest on the part of the North Sea countries, bearing in mind also that the Latin Americans have not yet been approached. Furthermore, it is our hope that all the countries being canvassed would join actively in promoting the convention during the second phase of the survey, and the equivocal attitude of the North Sea countries would seem to preclude this possibility. However, this course of action remains open and it would be preferable to course (a).
  7. On balance, although it may eventually prove necessary to adopt course (c) or even course (a), it would seem to be worth while first to make a strong effort to persuade the North Sea countries that it would be in their own best interests to agree to the convention; (course (d)). This could, we think, best be done by the British, since they are in a position to put considerable pressure on France, Belgium and the Netherlands.
  8. The United Kingdom may already be half-way along the path towards unilateral action, judging from their position at the Hague Meeting, during which they specifically reserved their position on possible extensions of their baselines and fishery limits. With unilateral action by Norway in the offing, it might not be difficult for the United Kingdom to capitalize on fears by the North Sea countries of similar action by the United Kingdom. It could be intimated that while under the multilateral convention there would be a ten-year tapering off period, there need be no such provision if the six-plus-six formula were implemented unilaterally by the United Kingdom and Canada, and if it were hinted that such action could be timed to coincide with similar action by Norway, the other North Sea countries might well be moved to look more favourably upon the proposed multilateral convention.
  9. Before such a position could be taken it would have to be agreed to by our Government and that of the United Kingdom, but in the meantime there would seem to be no reason why we should not explore such a possibility with the United Kingdom and if they concur, subsequently raise the question with Cabinet. I have therefore drafted a telegram to our High Commissioner in London† for your signature, if you agree, outlining our thinking (with the exception of possible unilateral action on our part) and requesting that he solicit the views of the United Kingdom authorities on the various courses of action possible.Footnote 41

N.A. R[OBERTSON]

82. DEA/9456-RW-5-40

Memorandum from Legal Division to Deputy Under-Secretary of State for External Affairs

SECRET. CANADIAN EYES ONLY. [Ottawa], March 2, 1961
Reference: Our memorandum for the Minister of March 1.

Preliminary Survey; Conditional Answers

As you know we are continuing our discussions with those countries who have indicated doubts about the convention, and are giving consideration to appropriate action with respect to those who have stated their approval in principle, subject to the conclusion of a regional agreement. There is a third broad category however comprising countries such as Israel, whose approval in principle is dependent upon the attitude of certain other countries, and Sweden, whose approval is conditional upon a sufficiently large number of other signatories and, Japan, whose approval is qualified by a mixture of both conditions. As in the case of the North Sea countries, the question arises as to whether we should proceed on the basis of expected support from these countries, or go back to them and point out that other countries are not likely to support the convention unless the eighteen key countries being canvassed in the preliminary survey indicate definite approval.

  1. This is the kind of problem which could perhaps be discussed during the proposed official level meeting in London at the conclusion of the preliminary survey, when we can compare notes with the United Kingdom authorities and analyze the results more fully, but it may then be too late to go back to the countries already canvassed, particularly if it had become known by them that the preliminary survey had been concluded.
  2. The real test would seem to be whether such countries would be willing to join actively in canvassing other countries during the second phase of the survey. It could prove necessary to proceed with the second phase without the active support of certain countries which might prefer to adopt an attitude similar to that of Norway and the U.S. during the preliminary phase, and it would be difficult to criticize such a position. It would be even more difficult to criticize such countries on the basis of the answers they have given thus far, which, after all, are not too different from our own position, since we also have no wish to become involved in a convention that does not have wide support, and in particular that of the U.S.A. All things considered, it would seem the wiser course to refrain from analyzing too closely the attitude of those countries indicating conditional approval until the London meeting, when a detailed examination can be made. Do you agree?

J.A. BEESLEY

83. DEA/9456-RW-11-40

Memorandum from Under-Secretary of State for External Affairs to Secretary of State for External Affairs

SECRET. CANADIAN EYES ONLY. [Ottawa], March 16, 1961

Law of the Sea – Preliminary Survey

As you know, we had hoped to complete by the end of February the preliminary confidential survey of the eighteen key countries being canvassed. In setting such an early date we were aware that it might not be possible to meet it, and this has proven to be the case; while the preliminary responses in all quarters have been reasonably favourable, several countries have not yet given us full and definite responses to our representations.

  1. We have not yet received a firm answer from the United Kingdom on the possibility of their putting pressure on certain countries for more definite answers, but the preliminary reaction (as reported in telegram 995 of March 14 from London,† a copy of which is attached) indicates that it is unlikely that the United Kingdom will be prepared to do so. It seems possible therefore it could be some time before complete results are obtained, and there is a consequent danger of the survey losing momentum. The question arises as to whether we have obtained sufficient evidence with which to persuade the U.S.A. to join in the survey, or whether we must await fuller results.
  2. Although it would be desirable to present the U.S.A. with as much evidence as possible, at the same time certain countries may be reluctant to commit themselves definitely to the convention in the absence of clear indications of U.S. support. I have therefore drafted for your signature, if you agree, a telegram to Canada House† requesting that the approval of the United Kingdom authorities be sought for the fixing of a date sometime during the last week in March on which to make an assessment of the survey results up to that date, with a view to deciding on the nature and timing of the next steps, and in particular, whether there is sufficient evidence for approaching the U.S.A.Footnote 42

N.A. R[OBERTSON]

84. DEA/9456-RW-11-40

Memorandum from Under-Secretary of State for External Affairs to Secretary of State for External Affairs

SECRET. CANADIAN EYES ONLY. [Ottawa], March 25, 1961

Law of the Sea – Preliminary Survey

As you know, we have gathered both from reports from Washington and from certain of our missions abroad that the attitude of the State Department to the preliminary survey and to the proposed convention is one of “benevolent neutrality,” or even “benevolent interest,” but in telegram 53 of March 23 from Oslo,† (a copy of which is attached) William C. Herrington, Special Assistant to the Under-Secretary of State is reported as having conveyed in conversations with the Norwegians the “strong impression … that the U.S.A. attitude was definitely negative.”

  1. We know from our experience before and during the two Geneva Conferences on the Law of the Sea that Mr. Herrington is personally opposed to the “six-plus-six” formula and that U.S. support for it was obtained over his opposition, and it would not be surprising therefore to learn that he is not in favour of the proposed convention. In the light of our prior knowledge of the position of the State Department it seems rather unlikely that Herrington was accurately reflecting the State Department position in his conversations with the Norwegians, but it would seem desirable to confirm this by making an inquiry in Washington. However, in Mr. Drew’s telegram 1091 of March 20† (a copy of which is attached) he suggests that, for reasons he did not go into in his telegram, the utmost caution should be exercised with the U.S.A. until we have a further indication of their intentions. You may consider it advisable therefore to obtain his comments before raising the question in Washington, and I have drafted for your signature, if you agree, a telegram to Mr. Drew requesting his views.Footnote 43

N.A. R[OBERTSON]

85. DEA/9456-RW-11-40

High Commissioner in United Kingdom to Secretary of State for External Affairs

TELEGRAM 1202 London, March 27, 1961
SECRET. CANADIAN EYES ONLY.
Reference: My Tel 1091 Mar 20.†

Law of [the] Sea

Before his departure on Friday Lord Home sent me the following letter.

“I have now had the opportunity to give further thought to the points which you made to me, both orally and in your aide mémoire,† in the course of our conversation on March 20 about the multilateral convention on the Law of [the] Sea.

It is our view that the outcome of the North Sea Conference suggested for next October at Hague, to which you draw attention in your aide-mémoire, need not repeat not be incompatible with the proposed multilateral convention. Nor do we consider that so far as the majority of North Sea countries are concerned, the possibility of such a conference in October need delay them in declaring their attitude in principle to such a convention. I agree, therefore, that there would be advantage in taking steps to encourage them to do so.

As soon as the remaining replies to the preliminary survey have been received it will of course be necessary for Canada and UK, perhaps in conjunction with Norway, to consider in the light of the survey what the next steps should be. UK authorities therefore agree that it would not repeat not be possible to adopt course (b) at this stage and they also share the doubts of Canadian Government about the wisdom of course (a).

As regards the action to be taken in pursuance of course (c), you will remember that as was agreed at the meeting on December 8 the object of the preliminary soundings was not repeat not to seek agreement now to a convention but only to ascertain whether governments would in principle be in favour of the conclusion of such a convention.Footnote 44 It is however true that the answers even to this preliminary survey have in certain cases been only of a tentative nature. Of the countries which you mentioned to me this applies to Portugal, Holland, Denmark and Italy. I would therefore suggest that the next step would be to make a further approach to these governments to enquire whether they have yet been able to reach a decision of principle.

If you agree to this proposal I would suggest that Canadian representatives should renew representations to Portuguese and Danish authorities, to whom they made the original approach, and in that event UK representatives would similarly approach Netherlands and Italian authorities.”

  1. While this letter mentions only Portugal, Holland, Denmark and Italy I had mentioned other European countries with which this subject has been discussed. However it may be best now to agree to this approach immediately so that Canada can renew representations to Portuguese and Danish authorities. Further approaches could then be suggested for early consideration.
  2. The fact that Herrington expressed such concern in Oslo to Stabell about the decision of Norwegian Government to establish a six-mile territorial sea on April 1 and a twelve-mile fishing zone on September 1 may suggest we are getting nearer the appropriate time to approach the State Department because of the evidence that unilateral action by some of the most important fishing countries is no repeat no longer merely a threat but in this case a reality.

[G.A.] DREW

86. DEA/9456-RW-11-40

Memorandum from Under-Secretary of State for External Affairs to Secretary of State for External Affairs

SECRET. CANADIAN EYES ONLY. [Ottawa], March 30, 1961

As you will recall, in our telegram L-68 of March 3,† (a copy of which is attached) we requested the United Kingdom views on three possible courses of action for dealing with the effects of the decision of the North Sea countries to hold a further meeting in October, certain of them having given non-committal answers to our representations while awaiting the outcome of these further regional talks. The three courses of action suggested for discussion were:

  1. to keep the preliminary survey open until definite answers had been received from the North Sea countries, (a course we did not recommend);
  2. to go on with the second phase of the survey and treat the North Sea countries as being in favour of it, (a course which we thought possible but probably not the best one in the circumstances); and
  3. to make a strong effort to persuade the North Sea countries to support the convention, (the course of action which we recommended).
  1. In telegram 1091 of March 20,† (a copy of which is attached) Mr. Drew reports on the favourable reaction of Lord Home concerning our suggestions, and in his telegram 1202 of March 27, (a copy of which is also attached) repeats the contents of Lord Home’s letter to him confirming the agreement of the United Kingdom to make further representations to the Netherlands and Italy and suggesting that we make further representations to Portugal and Denmark.
  2. By the time Lord Home’s reply had been transmitted to us we had received favourable replies from Portugal and Denmark, and further representations would not therefore seem to be required, at least at this stage. I have therefore drafted for your signature,† if you agree, a telegram to Mr. Drew so informing him and asking that he pass on this information to Lord Home.Footnote 45

M. C[ADIEUX]

for Under-Secretary of State

for External Affairs

87. DEA/9456-RW-11-40

Memorandum from Under-Secretary of State for External Affairs to Prime Minister

SECRET. CANADIAN EYES ONLY. [Ottawa], April 4, 1961

Law of the Sea – Preliminary Survey

In Mr. Drew’s telegram 1275 of April 4† (a copy of which is attached) he suggested that Lord Home be urged to raise with Mr. Rusk during his discussions with him today the question of the proposed multilateral convention on the territorial sea and contiguous fishing zone based on the Canada-U.S. “six-plus-six” Geneva Formula, and to endeavour to persuade Mr. Rusk of the urgency of joint action at the earliest possible date to establish such a convention. Although on the face of it this would seem to be a useful suggestion there are a number of reasons against adopting it, the chief of which are:

  1. We expect to be raising with the U.S. authorities very shortly the question of their support for the proposed convention, and it might be premature to do so at this stage, since
    1. we have not yet completed an assessment, in conjunction with the United Kingdom, of the results of the preliminary survey, which we think would be of considerable assistance in obtaining U.S. support, and
    2. we understand that the State Department legal adviser recently assigned the task of studying the proposed multilateral convention has not yet completed his studies;
  2. The question of unilateral action is, on the instructions of Cabinet, still under study, and
    1. the full implications of unilateral action, including the possible effect on Canada’s trade relations with the United Kingdom and the U.S.A. and the general context of our relations with these countries and with others, have not yet been fully assessed;
    2. it would in any event seem to require Cabinet authority before the possibility of unilateral action could be mentioned to the United Kingdom or to the U.S.A.

The subject has been discussed with our Minister by telephone, and he has instructed that a reply be sent to Mr. Drew along the lines of the attached telegram, subject to your concurrence.Footnote 46

M. C[ADIEUX]

for Under-Secretary of State
for External Affairs

88. DEA/9456-RW-11-40

Secretary of State for External Affairs to High Commissioner in United Kingdom

TELEGRAM L-227 Ottawa, April 11, 1961
SECRET. CANADIAN EYES ONLY. PRIORITY.
Reference: Our Tels. L-206 of March 30† and L-226 of April 11.†
Repeat for Information: DND (JAG & DNPO)

Law of the Sea

We have made a tentative assessment of the results of the preliminary survey to date on the basis of the information in our possession. Although certain countries have not yet given full and definite responses, the preliminary responses from all quarters are in our opinion reasonably favourable. This assessment is subject to such further information as may be obtained before your discussions with the U.K. authorities, but with that proviso our conclusions are as follows.

  1. The replies from Australia, New Zealand, Portugal, Ireland, Spain, Switzerland and Greece have indicated definite support at a governmental level. Those from South Africa and Italy are still incomplete, but the initial reaction at the official level, with some ministries still to be heard from is favourable, with the exception, in the case of Italy, of the Ministry of Merchant Marine, which has some doubts. The response from Germany, while initially unfavourable, has been considerably modified, and Germany has indicated a willingness to sign the convention provided a substantial majority of European nations do so, and provided also perhaps, that some 12-mile states could be lined up. The official level response from Israel is similarly favourable in principle, but dependent upon the degree of support from other countries, particularly the Mediterranean states. The attitude of the Netherlands is “cautiously favourable,” or one of probable support provided a regional agreement giving access to U.K. fishing grounds can be worked out. Denmark has indicated approval in principle of the proposed convention, subject to recognition of such agreements as the Danish Government may conclude concerning the phasing-out period for Greenland waters and scope of fishing rights during that period, and to a special arrangement being concluded between Denmark and the U.K. concerning the Faroes Islands. Pakistan and Turkey have both indicated indecision due to special problems, but our most recent information suggests that Pakistan would not be opposed to the convention if it appears to be the best arrangement attainable, while Turkey might give qualified support dependant upon the possible incompatibility of proposed Turkish reciprocity legislation and the inclusion or otherwise of the Brazilian amendment. The official level reply from Japan, while initially unfavourable, is now one of approval in principle, the ultimate decision depending upon the number of other signatories, especially Asian, and the non-inclusion of the Brazilian amendment. Sweden has expressed reservations and is not at this stage prepared to undertake any commitment, but its official (i.e. final) position would be influenced by the number of other signatories, particularly major fishing and shipping nations. Thailand is hesitant to commit herself to a multilateral convention of possible advantage mainly to large Maritime nations and thereby isolate herself from other “small coastal states” in the area, but is still considering the proposal. In addition to the countries which have been canvassed the positions of France and Belgium are assumed to be similar to that of the Netherlands, while Norway can be expected to support the convention. Copies of all the material on which the foregoing is based have been forwarded to you.
  2. Assuming that the U.K. assessment is similar to ours, then the results would seem to be as favourable, if not more so, than we had hoped for, and there would seem to be no reason why we should not now make a joint approach with the U.K. to the U.S.A. authorities and request their active support for the next phase of the survey. The actual timing of the approach is a matter which should be discussed with the U.K. authorities, but we would assume that they would agree that the approach should be made later this month.
  3. There are several questions on which an agreed approach should be worked out with the U.K. prior to speaking to the State Department. One of the most important of these is whether we should attempt to canvass all the countries represented at the last Law of the Sea Conference, plus those countries which have achieved statehood since, or whether we should restrict our approaches to likely supporters. The answer to this would seem to depend to a large extent on whether the next phase should be kept confidential. Since it is still too soon to be certain of our objective, (i.e. enough support quantitatively to open the proposed multilateral convention for signature), it seems better to maintain the confidential character of the canvass during the second phase also. Both the U.S.A. and a number of the countries to be approached may find it easier to indicate support for the scheme if it is clearly understood that they are not committed should it transpire that the multilateral approach has to be given up. There is also the point that abandonment of the scheme if it were publicly undertaken would weaken the significance of the Geneva vote on the Canada-U.S. proposal. Finally, there are the views of the eighteen countries already canvassed to be considered; presumably they would not want their views made generally known. These considerations would seem to rule out including possible opponents. What we envisage therefore is that the U.K., Canada, the U.S.A. and such countries as have already indicated a willingness in principle to sign a multilateral convention should either individually or collectively, as may be agreed, approach another group of some 25-30 countries who may be expected to react favourably. By an agreed date, the results of this second stage in the canvas would be reviewed and a decision could then be made whether further efforts should be undertaken, or the whole scheme dropped for lack of sufficient support. In making this final decision, it will of course be necessary to balance the risks in eliciting a reaction from the 12-milers against the possibility of attracting countries which had been hesitant until the end, or which had not been approached, which might be prepared to join the “club” later on.
  4. We expect that U.S.A. influence may be decisive, particularly as regards Western Europeans and Latin America. We assume that, should they join the exercise, the role of the U.K. and Canada as regards these areas will be mainly in support. France, if she could be persuaded to support the scheme would, we expect, have considerable influence on a number of African countries. U.K. and Canada would then concentrate their efforts on Commonwealth countries and on isolated potential supporters in other parts of the world.
  5. Another question requiring consideration is whether some or all of the eighteen countries which have been canvassed should be asked to lend their active assistance during the second phase of the survey. Our initial view is that such countries as France and Thailand, assuming their active support could be obtained with U.S. assistance, and Australia could give us considerable assistance, while it would be inadvisable to request such support from such lukewarm countries as the Netherlands and Sweden. We see no particular disadvantages of being selective as to potential canvassers, although we could see some disadvantages in having nearly but not quite all of the countries already canvassed joining in with us. Since the support of all would in any event be implicit, we think it would be advisable for the sake of simplicity of operations to restrict the numbers of canvassing countries to six or seven.
  6. Another question to be decided is the position we should take concerning the Brazilian amendment. It would be unrealistic to include some of the Latin Americans in the next phase of the survey, as we assume is the intention, while hoping that they would not raise the question of the Brazilian amendment. (Thus far only Australia, Turkey and Japan have inquired concerning the amendment, but the support of Turkey is partly conditional upon it, and that of Japan almost entirely so.) In our view the only sensible course we can follow is to continue to give the same kind of answers as have been given thus far to the initial eighteen countries, and to defer final determination of this question until a later stage. A decision either for or against the amendment is bound to involve the loss of some potential signatories. It will be a question of determining which is the least expensive course.
  7. The question also arises as to what should be said to countries we have already approached and what should be said to France in particular. We would assume, if the U.K. generally agrees with the assessment given in paragraph 2 above, that this information could be passed on to the other countries in question. Furthermore, if we agree to approach the U.S. we might also give these countries the main elements of our proposal to the U.S.A. This may invoke an element of pressure on the U.S.A. and may therefore require careful consideration as to presentation and timing. We do not see however, in view of our commitments to these countries that we can withhold this information. Our inclination is to think that we should move simultaneously in Washington and in the various other capitals involved and stress the confidential character of the material. We would not wish, at least initially, to encourage representations on the part of these countries while the U.S. were considering our assessment and proposals. As to France, we think that the U.K. might simply indicate in general terms that the results of the first phase are positive and that the next step is being discussed with the U.S.A.
  8. As to the possible inclusion of Norway in the discussions, in our view Norway should not be invited to the next round of talks in London and later in Washington. The Norwegians have not assisted in the first phase of the survey and they have put themselves in the position merely of the other countries which have been approached so far and have given a favourable reaction. In principle they may well be informed of the results achieved so far and, if the U.S. joins us we should consider whether Norwegian assistance might not be enlisted when we approach certain countries. There is also (for your private information) the point that Stabell is unusually pessimistic and difficult in negotiations and Norway’s recent record may not be an unqualified asset in approaching another group of countries which it is hoped to discourage from taking unilateral action.
  9. We will also have to discuss of course the question of how many supporters will be required to warrant opening the convention for signature. We have adopted the functional approach all along, considering that if the convention could bring together the most important shipping and fishing countries this would be sufficient; such a line-up would be bound in turn to attract increasing support by its own weight of usefulness. There are others who have expressed agreement with this basic approach but, like the U.K., have emphasized the importance of broad geographical distribution, partly for strategic reasons and partly out of concern for a possible opposing 12-mile multilateral arrangement which, if it secured numerically more support than the six-plus-six convention, would leave us in a worse position that we are now in. For this reason varying figures have been advanced as the required number, such as 45, 50, 55 and this argument about numbers in turn has an effect on the purpose and shape of the exercise. It seems clear that if a minimum number of say, fifty, is considered to be essential, not only must the canvass remain confidential until this target is in sight, but the whole scheme may be compromised if it falls short of the agreed figure.
  10. It seems to us that it may be wise not to get into an argument at this stage as to what should be the magical number. We are inclined to think that it may be better to persuade the U.S. to join us in the second stage, in an effort to approach and persuade as many countries as possible. By an agreed date, we could review the results of our individual and joint efforts and determine what the next step should be. If we could line up say 40 countries, including all the key countries from the functional point of view, and achieve a reasonable geographical distribution, this would be preferable to a group of, say 50 but badly distributed, not including important fishing or shipping countries, and numbering such entities as Monaco, the Vatican, etc. The ideal would of course be to have the requisite number both as to distribution and importance, and the next phase of the survey should be devised with this in mind. It may be useful to have some tentative figure in mind as a provisional goal to be assigned to this second stage, but we would very much hope that the U.K. would agree that we would suggest to the U.S. the more flexible and tentative formula outlined above rather than proceed on the basis of an arbitrary and possibly dangerous set figure as our target. The main object at this time should be to obtain more supporters. We can always decide later whether we have enough to open the convention for signature.
  11. Finally, the question arises as to which countries should be approached, and by whom. We think it might be good tactics to present the State Department with a concrete plan of action, including the names of those countries we should like them to approach, should they be prepared to join us in this operation. It would be made clear of course that such suggestions were being raised merely for consideration by the State Department, and that their support for the convention and assistance in the survey would be in no way tied to the particular plan of action. Such a procedure might lessen the delay which could result from the three-way discussions otherwise required and would, we think, be more persuasive, than a mere request for support. The list of countries which we would put forth for consideration by the U.K., and subsequently, if they agree, by the U.S.A., is as follows:
    Austria (USA)Belgium (USA)Bolivia (USA)
    Brazil (USA)Ceylon (UK & Canada)China (USA)
    Columbia (USA & Canada)Cyprus (UK & Canada)France (USA)
    Guatemala (USA)Haiti (USA) Holy See(USA & Italy)
    Honduras (USA)Iceland (UK & USA)Jordan (UK & USA)
    Korea (USA)Lebanon (USA)Liberia (USA)
    Luxembourg (USA)Monaco (France)Nigeria (UK & Canada)
    Paraguay (USA)Philippines (Australia & USA)San Marino (Italy)
    Tunisia (USA & UK)Uruguay (USA)Vietnam (USA)

In addition to the foregoing consideration can be given later to approaches involving the Casablanca states, assuming French support can be obtained and possibly Ghana. It seems from an examination of this list, (and this is why we think it may be advantageous to present it to the U.S.A.) that the support of approximately half of these countries could be fairly easily obtained with U.S.A. assistance. This would mean in effect that if a figure of approximately 44 or 45 is used as the target then we have already obtained support in principle of varying degrees from nearly half of the required number, and with U.S.A. assistance that of a further quarter can be assumed. The question to be decided by the U.S.A. therefore is whether it would be worthwhile to try and obtain the support of the remaining few countries required. Put in these concrete terms the State Department might find our representations more persuasive than if they are made only in general terms. In any case the list would be reviewed during the tripartite U.K.-U.S.A.-Canada talks.

[H.C.] GREEN

89. DEA/10600-S-40

High Commissioner in United Kingdom to Ambassador in Switzerland

TELEGRAM 1764 London, May 12, 1961
SECRET. CANADIAN EYES ONLY.
Reference: Our Tel 1759 May 12.†
Repeat for Information: Washington, External (.
For Minister

Law of the Sea

The text of the Memorandum of Agreement is as follows:

"Canadian-UK Survey for a Multilateral Convention"

On May 2, a meeting was held at Foreign Office between UK and Canadian officials to discuss future policy following the conclusion of the first phase of Canadian-UK survey of the prospects of support for a multilateral convention on the Law of the Sea. The following conclusions were reached for submission to the two governments as agreed recommendations:

  1. UK and Canadian assessments of the results of the preliminary survey coincided in all important respects. It was recognized that if USA support could be obtained for the project, most of the implicit or explicit reservations made by some of the countries so far approached would tend to disappear.
  2. Both UK and Canada regarded the results of the preliminary survey as sufficiently encouraging to warrant making an approach to USA with a view to enlisting their support for a survey of a further selection of countries. It was considered that USA participation was essential to the continuation and success of the project.
  3. The approach to USA authorities would be made initially by Canada and would be supported by UK. This would be done as soon as possible, privately and quietly, by the ambassadors of the two countries at a time to be decided on the spot. The instructions to the ambassadors would be drafted by Canada, jointly agreed, and locally coordinated.
  4. Immediately the approach to USA has been confirmed, the 18 countries included in the preliminary survey would be informed in broad terms that the results were sufficiently encouraging to justify an approach being made to USA, and that UK and Canada were proceeding accordingly. At the same time UK would inform France and Belgium in similar terms. In all cases the need for secrecy should be stressed. Norway should also be informed at the same time and not repeat not earlier than the 18 countries above referred to.
  5. In giving Norwegian authorities the results of the preliminary survey, UK authorities might, at their discretion, give a numerical breakdown of the main trends revealed, but without mentioning names of the countries concerned, and express the hope that, should USA react positively to Canadian-UK approach, Norway might be prepared to reconsider its position and be willing to take an active part in the second phase of the survey.
  6. With a view to enlisting their support, USA authorities would be given full details of the survey. A concrete plan of action for the second phase would at the same time be suggested to them. Such a plan would be presented merely for consideration by USA, but it would also serve to illustrate and emphasize the merits and practicability of the whole scheme.
  7. The method of conducting the second phase of the survey and the final selection of countries to be approached would be discussed and agreed between UK, Canada and USA. The list of countries that would initially be suggested to USA for inclusion in the second phase of the survey is reproduced in annex. The second phase of the survey would be conducted by USA, UK and Canada jointly, possibly with the assistance of additional countries as might be desirable in certain cases.
  8. It would be suggested to USA that France should not repeat not be approached until the second phase of the survey had proceeded some distance and a sufficiently impressive amount of support had already been gathered.
  9. The governments to be approached in the second phase of the survey would, as was done in the first phase, simply be asked whether they would in principle favour the conclusion of a multilateral convention based on Geneva formula. Note would be taken of any comments made in respect of the so-called Brazilian amendment. The question of whether Brazilian amendment should be retained or discarded would be decided at a later stage in the light of the balance of advantages and disadvantages involved. It would be for consideration, in this connection, whether Argentina, Brazil, Uruguay and Iceland, which are known to be in favour of Brazilian amendment, should be approached in the second phase of the survey or later.
  10. The final decision concerning the desirability of opening a convention for signature would depend upon the importance (from a shipping and fishing point of view), the number and geographical distribution of the states prepared to accept it. It was recognized that the number should be such as to confer some status in international law to the convention and discourage the conclusion of “rump” conventions in competition with it. The sponsors would, however, adopt a flexible attitude to this question and reserve their final decision until the results of the survey had been ascertained.

Following is annex of countries to be approached in second phase of survey:

Argentina (USA)Austria (USA)Belgium (USA)
Bolivia (USA)Brazil (USA)Ceylon (UK & Canada)
China (USA)Colombia (USA & Canada)Costa Rica (USA)
Cyprus (UK & Canada)Dominican Republic (USA)France (USA)
Guatemala (USA)Haiti (USA)Holy See (USA & Italy)
Honduras (USA)Iceland (USA & Canada)Jordan (UK & USA)
Korea (USA)Lebanon (USA)Liberia (USA)
Luxembourg (USA)Monaco (France) Nicaragua (USA)Nigeria (UK & Canada)
Paraguay (USA)Philippines (Australia & USA)San Marino (Italy)
Tunisia (USA & UK)Uruguay (USA)Vietnam (USA)

90. DEA/10600-S-40

Ambassador in United States to Secretary of State for External Affairs

TELEGRAM 1563 Washington, May 15, 1961
SECRET.
Reference: Our Tel 1550 May 13.†
Repeat for Information: London, Geneva (for the Minister) (.

Law of the Sea

I was able to see the Acting Secretary of State (Bowles) this evening. With him was Yingling, Assistant Legal Adviser, who is responsible for Law of the Sea matters. Because of the urgency and importance which we attach to this question, I had a copy of the aide mémoire which I left with Bowles’† passed on to Yingling earlier in the day. I also had a preliminary talk with Yingling before seeing Bowles.

  1. In my talk with Bowles I did not repeat not go into the details of the agreed Canada-UK approach but suggested that if there were any elucidations required I would be glad to have further discussions arranged with Yingling. Meanwhile I contented myself with a brief outline of the background of the Canada-USA Geneva formula and of the joint UK-Canada canvass from which we had concluded that the portents for a convention were encouraging. However, if the scheme for a convention were to have any chance of success, USA participation was now essential. I went on to say that we hoped very much that USA would be able to join UK and ourselves in a second phase of the canvass and that to facilitate this we had set out some suggestions for a proposed plan of action, assuming USA support. We also proposed three way talks be held as soon as possible to discuss the timing and nature of the next step of the canvass.
  2. I pointed out that not repeat not only would a convention have the advantages which were outlined in the aide mémoire, perhaps one of the most important of which was helping to curb the drift to the twelve mile territorial sea, but that it would also make unnecessary unilateral action on the extension of fishing limits which could generate disharmony among friendly countries. I recalled that during the debate in the House of Commons on the Fisheries Act on May 2 there had been expressed sentiments in favour of Canada taking unilateral action to extend its fisheries limit in the light of the failure of the Geneva Conference and assuming there were no repeat no convention which might capitalize on the wide measure of agreement obtained at Geneva. I said that not repeat not only in the interests of international relations generally but also in the interests of Canada-USA bilateral relations, building on the agreement already reached was important to all of us.
  3. The Acting Secretary who, is not repeat not of course familiar with the details of this question, expressed his interest in our proposal and undertook to have USA position reconsidered actively and to let us know the results of their reconsideration as soon as possible.
  4. Incidentally UK Embassy will follow up our approach with Yingling tomorrow morning, May 16. It will apparently not repeat not be convenient for UK Ambassador to see Bowles. However we suggested that it would be helpful, in the interests of persuading USA to join in the survey, if Caccia could take an early opportunity of mentioning UK interest in the success of this project and their hope of USA active participation, either to Secretary Rusk on his return to Washington or to Acting Secretary Bowles.

[A.D.P.] HEENEY

91. DEA/10600-S-40

Ambassador in The Netherlands to Secretary of State for External Affairs

TELEGRAM 200 The Hague, May 17, 1961
SECRET. CANADIAN EYES ONLY.
Reference: Your Tel 263 May 16.†
Repeat for Information: London, DND (JAG and DNPO) Ottawa from Ottawa.

Law of [the] Sea

Instructions received by UK Embassy which will be making approach to Foreign Ministry here were less comprehensive than those contained in reference telegram. UK Embassy was not repeat not authorized to say that Norway, France and Belgium were being informed of approach to USA and was not repeat not instructed to request permission to pass on to other countries in preliminary survey information on Netherland’s attitude reported in paragraph 3 of your letter L-134 April 28. After being informed of our instructions, UK Embassy said it probably would seek additional instructions from Foreign Office before approaching Foreign Ministry here.

92. DEA/10600-S-40

Secretary of State for External Affairs to High Commissioner in United Kingdom

TELEGRAM L-269 Ottawa, May 18, 1961
SECRET. CANADIAN EYES ONLY.
Reference: Your Tel 1824 May 17.†
Repeat for Information: Hague, Washington, DND (JAG and DNPO).

Law of [the] Sea

We anticipate further inquiries similar to that contained in Hague telegram 200 May 17 as a result of differences between our instructions and those of UK to our respective missions in countries canvassed. As you know, it is our view that countries canvassed could be treated as having implicitly agreed by their participation in survey to their position being made known to other countries canvassed, and we were prepared therefore to pass on this information in limited terms to each of them. As a result of discussions with UK officials however it was decided that this could not repeat not be done without permission first having been obtained. We have therefore instructed our missions to obtain this permission. (Our letter of provisional instructions of April 28† as amended by our telegram 263 May 16).† Our reasons for doing so are as follows.

  1. We think that it is at this point – before a USA decision is made – that countries concerned will be particularly interested in knowing results of survey. Should USA say no repeat no to operation, then they will have little reason to care about positions of one another, while if USA should say yes: then information will be of secondary interest. Now is the time when they will be interested in it, and the time when they have been led to expect it.
  2. Each of countries concerned has made a difficult decision in making its confidential position known to us, and in so doing is, we think, entitled to something in return. We do not repeat not consider that it would be fair to them, nor desirable tactics, in terms of future co-operation in this field, to hold back real information, thereby implying that they could not repeat not be trusted with it, while making it evident that we are using it in our discussions with USA. Moreover, our missions would be embarrassed if they were not repeat not permitted to pass on results of survey in face of definite requests for it from certain countries (such as Italy, Japan and Israel) while having no repeat no sensible reason to give for not repeat not being able to do so. In requesting permission to pass on this information they are not repeat not only giving a reasonable answer to possible inquiries but are taking the operation a stage further.
  3. Should countries concerned be told of results of survey now they might well wish to supplement our representations to USA, if they are genuinely interested in signing proposed convention, whereas they are hardly in a position to do so merely on basis of information that we and UK have considered that results warrant such action on our part. We would have no repeat no objections to other countries doing so; danger of leaks could be guarded against and possible results would be worth risks.
  4. We do not repeat not have communication facilities of UK, and we have therefore taken advantage of delays in decisions by UK, both in our original instructions and those on this point, by sending out our instructions ahead of time by bag in somewhat fuller form than could have been done by telegram (and subsequently confirming them, subject to necessary amendments, by telegram) so as to eliminate as much as possible necessity for later inquiries.
  1. We have not repeat not felt it proper to comment at any stage on UK instructions to their mission, although, as you know, UK has not repeat not had similar inhibitions. We feel however that in this case the question is sufficiently important that you should raise it informally with UK officials, so as to give them an opportunity to have their instructions conform more closely to ours, and thereby avoid difficulty mentioned by Sarell of having a certain amount of confusion and misunderstanding develop, particularly since our requests for permission to circulate results are only being made in those countries where we are one of sounding countries.

[N.A.] ROBERTSON

93. DEA/10600-S-40

High Commissioner in United Kingdom to Secretary of State for External Affairs

TELEGRAM 1880 London, May 23, 1961
SECRET. CANADIAN EYES ONLY. EMERGENCY.
For Under-Secretary
Reference: Your Tel L-270 May 19.†

Law of [the] Sea

Informed today Foreign Office greatly upset by different instructions sent to missions accredited to 18 countries included in preliminary survey.

  1. Am unable [to] reassure them. On the contrary am personally greatly disturbed by your reference telegram.
  2. After several telegrams and two phone calls memorandum of recommendations approved by the officials of both governments was forwarded to Ottawa on May 10.
  3. had been urged to press for earliest possible approval by UK Government in view of impending arrival in Ottawa of President of USA. As a result of my emphasis on importance of early decision, UK Government approved of Memorandum of Understanding between officials and the instructions to ambassadors as amended by our telegram 1752 May 11.†
  4. I submit that the decision of Canadian Government to act upon that message and approach USA authorities on Monday May 15 could only be interpreted as unqualified acceptance of the same Memorandum of Understanding between officials and the instructions to ambassadors which had been the condition of approval by UK Government. Otherwise we were in fact acting without their approval.
  5. We have had most satisfactory relations with UK Government and officials since initiation of these discussions, and am greatly concerned about effect of action taken upon basis of agreement which was clearly subject to explicit conditions covered by my telegram 1766 May 12† unless we are prepared to accept same conditions.
  6. Hope this will be reconsidered immediately and that further approaches may be made on basis of agreed instructions. If that is not repeat not the decision then I suggest immediate instructions should be sent to Canadian missions to take no repeat no further action until new directions can be sent. As for pressing for reply would welcome information at earliest convenience.

[G.A.] DREW

94. DEA/10600-S-40

High Commissioner in United Kingdom to Secretary of State for External Affairs

TELEGRAM 1894 London, May 24, 1961
SECRET. CANADIAN EYES ONLY.
For Under-Secretary
Reference: Your Tel L-276 May 23.†

Law of [the] Sea

As I am reporting on discussions with Sarell today, as suggested in your reference telegram, I shall not repeat not mention in detail points raised in the early part of your reference telegram. However, I do wish to make it clear there has been no repeat no attempt by UK to control our instructions to Washington or our missions in countries canvassed as suggested in paragraph 5.

  1. Since beginning of these discussions several months ago Canadian and UK officials have had most cordial relationship and have sought in every way possible to assure uniform action in carrying forward the plans upon which both governments were agreed. When a copy of the instructions to be sent to UK missions was forwarded to Ottawa, this was done with the thought that if there were any difference of opinion those differences might be reconciled before further action was taken. Concern expressed yesterday by UK Government was because of queries they were receiving as a result of the difference in the two sets of instructions.
  2. There is no repeat no evidence whatever of any reluctance on the part of UK to cooperate in every way. On the contrary they acted very promptly when we indicated to them the need for an early decision the week before last. At a time when they were under extremely heavy pressure, I do wish to emphasize that ministers and officials showed the utmost desire to obtain a favourable decision from UK Government as quickly as possible.
  3. As Sarell was senior official available today points raised by your reference telegram were taken up with him as suggested.
  4. Sarell explained that their concern had been based upon the fact that the instructions given to Canadian missions were more comprehensive than those given to UK missions in three main respects. More specifically, Canadian missions were asked:
    1. To seek permission from the governments to which they are accredited to pass on to the other 17 countries canvassed information on the attitude which they have taken during the preliminary survey.
    2. To inform them in some detail of the plan of action which UK and Canada had submitted to USA for the second phase of the survey.
    3. To enquire as to whether they would have any objection to their attitude on the proposed convention being passed on to any of countries to be approached in the second phase of the survey.
  5. Sarell was reticent in responding to our efforts to obtain reasons why UK thought it desirable to limit the information given to the 18 at this stage. He merely reaffirmed that in the opinion of UK the action we are taking is “premature and tactically unwise.” This referred particularly to Canadian decision to divulge to the 18 the plan of action submitted to USA for consideration. Nevertheless he said that what had been done had been done, and UK authorities would now re-examine the situation to see what could be done to bring their instructions more closely in line with ours. Sarell conceded that in the end UK fears, which he did not repeat not further define, might well prove to have been groundless.
  6. Sarell seemed to be particularly concerned about the fact that we should be giving as much information as we are to Sweden, as they are known to be rather lukewarm to our plan. He thought that it would be necessary for UK to supplement the rather limited information which they had already given to Norway as the latter was bound to hear from Sweden in due course.
  7. We reminded Sarell that he had indicated to us at an earlier stage that it would be necessary for Foreign Office to obtain further ministerial approval before supplementary instructions similar to Canadian instructions could be sent to UK missions concerned. Sarell thought that as far as Foreign Office is concerned a further ministerial decision may not repeat not be necessary. He could not repeat not assure us, however, that the other ministries concerned, and particularly the Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food, would necessarily take the same view. Sarell conceded that this question is largely one of interpretation of paragraph 4 of the memorandum of agreement, involving procedure rather than substance.
  8. Sarell undertook to consult the other ministries concerned immediately and to let us know as soon as possible what further action UK may now be able to take.

[G.A.] DREW

95. DEA/9456-RW-11-40

Memorandum from Under-Secretary of State for External Affairs to Secretary of State for External Affairs

SECRET. CANADIAN EYES ONLY. [Ottawa], May 29, 1961

Law of the Sea; Proposed Multilateral Convention

The attached telegram 1927 of May 26 from London† reports that the French have decided to support the proposed convention and wish to join in the next stage of the survey. As you know, we had assumed on the basis of the French reactions to date that they would be among the most difficult to persuade, and this change in the French position is therefore an extremely favourable development.

  1. The importance of French support goes beyond the mere increase in the number of potential signatories. Last fall, when we were endeavouring to persuade the U.S.A. to join us in this operation, French support was made a virtual precondition to obtaining that of the U.S.A., and the preliminary survey was designed in large part as an alternative method of bringing in the U.S.A. The encouraging results of the preliminary survey, coupled now with the news of French support, should have very favourable effects on the U.S.A.
  2. Apart from their potential influence upon the U.S.A. the French could also prove very helpful with several European countries, and, equally important, with some of the French-African states. It would not in fact be going too far to say that the support of France added to that of the U.S.A. could assure the success of the convention.
  3. The French have attached certain conditions to their support, one of which is that the proposed convention shall not effect conventions or other international agreements already in force as between parties to them or preclude the conclusion of bilateral or multilateral agreements for the purpose of regulating matters of fishing.
  4. The first part of this reservation (existing agreements to remain in effect) has a direct implication for Canada in the light of Canada’s fishing treaty obligations to France, but the provision is in any event merely a restatement of the law since we would in any event be bound by pre-existing treaties. The proposed convention would however raise certain questions which would require renegotiation with the French, such as whether or not the French rights to fish within Canada’s territorial waters off Newfoundland shores would extend over the whole new six-mile territorial waters belt or only over the three-mile belt closest to shore. It would be necessary to point this out to the French in due course, but this would not require our non-acceptance of the French stipulation on this point.
  5. Perhaps more important, particularly for the United Kingdom is the second part of this reservation, (the right to conclude bilateral or multilateral agreements on fishing) coupled with the suggestion that France would not wish to sign the proposed convention until a regional North Sea fisheries agreement had been concluded. The United Kingdom may choose to regard the proposed North Sea discussions at The Hague as supplementary to the proposed convention and intended to cover chiefly conservation measures and various technical matters, but the French no doubt intend to try and extract fisheries concessions from the United Kingdom at The Hague as a precondition to signing the convention.
  6. The effect of the second reservation concerning the possible extension of the tapering-off-period remains to be seen, but both the French and the United Kingdom have chosen, at least at this stage, not to emphasize the importance of this condition.
  7. It may be said therefore that while the French reservations suggest the possibility of difficult negotiations for the United Kingdom and, to a lesser extent, for Canada, they do not outweigh the benefits of obtaining French support for the proposed convention.
  8. I have therefore drafted for your signature if you agree, a telegram to London† stressing the importance with which we regard this development, suggesting that the United Kingdom Embassy in Washington pass on the news to the U.S.A. as soon as possible, proposing that the French be included in four-way talks if the U.S.A. agrees to support the proposed convention, and raising also certain other questions partly connected with the French decision.Footnote 47

N.A. R[OBERTSON]

96. DEA/10600-S-40

Draft Memorandum

SECRET. CANADIAN EYES ONLY. [Ottawa], June 1, 1961

Possible Consequences, in Terms of Canada-united States Trade Relations, of a Unilateral Extension by Canada of Territorial Waters and Contiguous Fishing Zone

In considering the possible economic consequences of a unilateral extension, without prior bilateral negotiations between Canada and the United States, of Canadian territorial waters and contiguous zone, it should not necessarily be assumed that the only consequences would be the possible effects on the Canadian fishing industry arising out of the obvious quid pro quo in the case of the United States in the connection between fishing rights and markets. (This connection has been made, however, in the disputes between the United Kingdom and Iceland and in the negotiations between the United Kingdom and Norway.)

  1. Although it is probably unrealistic to envisage direct retaliation by the United States, it is likely that unpalatable consequences for Canada wider than those relating to the Canadian fisheries market in the U.S.A. might ensue. The most serious foreseeable result could take place with respect to United States trade agreements legislation which is vital to us since in the absence of such legislation (by which Congress delegates certain specified tariff-modifying powers to the President) it would be almost impossible in future for us to bring about reductions in the level of the United States tariff or to benefit from negotiated reductions in favour of other countries.
  2. The present Trade Agreement Extension Act expires on June 30, 1962. On previous occasions when this legislation (originally adopted in 1934) was presented for renewal Congressional approval was granted only grudgingly and there is good reason to believe that the forthcoming battle for renewal will be even closer. Protectionist pressures in Washington are very strong now; on the other hand the Kennedy Administration has been seeking to resist these pressures and to encourage solutions more compatible with United States international obligations. Since the vote in Congress is expected in any case to be close, the approach taken by New England and the West Coast representatives could be decisive. An extension of our territorial waters and exclusive fishing zone, which could be interpreted as adversely affecting the ability of New England and United States Pacific Coast fishermen to earn a livelihood, might influence the large number of representatives which these areas send to Congress to vote against the Trade Agreement Extension Act. This would mean that for an indefinite period the Administration would be without authority to negotiate United States tariff reductions.
  3. If our action were to result in impairment of Canadian access to the United States market for fishery products, the economic consequences could be serious and geographically widespread. Our exports of fishery products to the United States have an annual value of some $100 million, and represent 50 per cent of total Canadian production. This market is vital to the fishing industries of the Atlantic Coast and inland provinces, as well as to the halibut fishery of British Columbia. The loss of any significant part of it would seriously affect employment and income in these areas.
  4. From the economic point of view the advantage to our fishing communities of extending our territorial sea and fishing zone is difficult to evaluate but the most careful estimates available suggest that it is not substantial. Clearly enough though, if the increased catches which could result were not marketable at remunerative prices (because of United States reaction to our move) our fishermen would realize no benefit, and might well suffer a worsening of their economic position.
  5. The reaction of the U.S.A. of unilateral extension not proceeded by negotiation might take one or more of three forms:
    1. Withdrawal, by the Administration, of tariff concessions or the imposition of quotas on fisheries items which have been negotiated with Canada.
    2. Tightening up, or more stringent application of the Food and Drug Regulations, a measure which would have particular significance for Canada’s inland fisheries.
    3. Legislative action by Congress.
  6. While the possibility of the Administration taking action along the lines set out in (i) and (ii) cannot be completely discounted, it is likely that the President and his advisers would be restrained by their estimate of the effect that such action would have on their general relations with Canada, and on the United States’ future ability to play an effective role as the responsible leader of the Western Alliance.
  7. Congress, on the other hand, is less likely to be inhibited by such considerations and it is in the area of Congressional action that the greatest danger would lie. More specifically, the risk would be that Congress, out of sympathy with the United States fisheries interests affected by our action would provide those interests with the restrictive legislation they have been seeking for some years now. This could place in jeopardy some very important segments of our trade in fisheries products. To cite a few examples: our valuable trade in lobster would have been seriously curtailed if Congress had adopted a bill which has been put forward by Maine interests; in 1958 a bill was introduced into both Houses (Senator J.F. Kennedy was one of the co-sponsors of the Senate bill) which would have had the effect of increasing the tariff on fish blocks from 1¢ to 2½¢ per pound; United States producers of fish meal and solubles have been vocal in their demands for increased protection; representatives of the New England ground fishery have been persistent in their efforts to obtain increased protection from import competition. While very few of these efforts to restrict the United States market have succeeded in the past, any measure which antagonized New England and Pacific Coast public opinion would increase the probability that Congress would look at future efforts more sympathetically.
  8. Quite apart from the field of fishery products, bills are continuously introduced before Congress which, if enacted, would prejudice our access to the United States market for one product or another. The great bulk of these bills either are not reported out of committee or, if they reach the floor of Congress, are talked out. To provide the politically-active fishing industry of the United States with a grievance, real or imagined, would be to raise the possibility that Congress would enact more of these restrictive bills into law.
  9. However, if Canadian action were to be preceded by substantive negotiations with the United States, the forces within the United States which are favourable to imports from Canada could be brought into play. These forces include: importers who depend on Canadian supplies; United States fishing companies which have large investments in Canada; and important segments of the Administration. The influence of these groups could have a valuable tempering effect on Congressional reaction to the Canadian move.
    Conclusions
  10. In terms of Canada-United States trade relations the most probable, and potentially most damaging, consequences to Canadian interests of a unilateral extension (without prior bilateral negotiations between Canada and the United States) of Canadian territorial waters and contiguous fishing zone would result from adverse Congressional reaction which would take the form of specific legislation designed to restrict the United States market for fish (and other products) as well as modification of United States trade agreements legislation. Action by the Administration through withdrawal of tariff concessions or application of quotes cannot be completely ruled out, but this would seem to be less likely.
  11. In the area of restrictive legislation aimed at particular products any action by us which could be construed as harmful to New England and Pacific Coast fishing interests would increase the probability of sympathetic consideration by Congress to demands for increased protection, which, if not, could place in jeopardy important segments of our trade in fisheries products. Similar considerations might well apply to other products where protectionist forces might gain the margin of additional support required to secure passage of restrictive legislation which could seriously damage Canadian export trade.
  12. In the wider area of United States trade agreements legislation, any action by us which antagonized New England and Pacific Coast public opinion might adversely affect the attitudes of congressmen from those areas to the Trade Agreements Extension Act which expires on June 30, 1962. If this legislation is not renewed or replaced the Administration will be without authority to negotiate on the United States tariff, making it almost impossible for Canada to realize reductions in the levels of United States tariffs in future and could lead to increasingly protectionist policies throughout the rest of the Western trading world, including particularly our European markets.

97. DEA/9456-RW-11-40

High Commissioner in United Kingdom to Deputy Under-Secretary of State for External Affairs

SECRET AND PERSONAL London, June 6, 1961

My dear Marcel [Cadieux]:

The reason I was concerned about an apparent misunderstanding in regard to the instructions to be sent to the Canadian and British Missions was simply the result of my very firm conviction that the success of our efforts depends on complete co-operation and understanding with the British Government and the officials directly connected with these activities. I don’t believe this has deprived us of any support we require at this time.

As I indicated in a telegram I sent to the Minister yesterday,† there is no feeling of rancour as a result of the misunderstanding regarding the difference in instruction which has already been fully explained. On the contrary, I found Godber in very good spirit and apparently most anxious to co-operate in every way he can. But I do come back to the fact that between Canada and Britain we have carried the whole load of this enterprise. It would therefore be most unfortunate if any lack of confidence should develop as a result of any misunderstanding, whether justified or not. Undoubtedly, they were disturbed at the time. I am sure that concern is now resolved. There apparently was some justification for their hesitation about adopting similar instructions to those which were sent to the Canadian Missions. You will recall that some of the countries they had agreed to approach did indicate their opposition to the course suggested in our instructions. However, I can only repeat that there seems to be no further cause for worry on this score.

Quite frankly, I am not too greatly impressed with the importance of supporting arguments by other countries at this time. I think the United States will make up their mind on the basis of the representations we have made as to the result of the survey already completed. I think our main objective should be to employ every available argument to obtain their consent. It is even possible that if some others start to present their arguments at this time it might only result in some measure of confusion. Either the State Department accepts our assessment or they do not. If they do, I don’t know that anything need be added in the way of further arguments by representatives of other countries at this time.

I was very happy to learn from your letter† that the Prime Minister had spoken to President Kennedy while he was in Ottawa about the plans for a Convention on the Law of the Sea. As this subject was raised also with Dean Rusk, who had already been approached by Arnold Heeney after a fairly thorough personal briefing on the subject by our friend Arthur Dean, I would hope that the combined result of these approaches would mean an early consideration at the highest level of the United States position in regard to this problem. I recognize that they have some vitally important issues immediately in front of them. Perhaps for that reason Heeney mighty be asked to find some reason for bringing this subject again to Rusk’s attention at the earliest convenient date.

I shall deal first with the last question in your letter as to why I thought we should agree with the United Kingdom in an interpretation of the memorandum of understanding which deprived us of some support. Quite frankly, I do not think that is quite what I suggested at any time. We had reached complete agreement on the memorandum of understanding. The point in regard to which a difference of opinion arose was in connection with the instructions to the Canadian and British Missions.

I hope that Yingling’s comments to Jim Nutt may be a favourable indication of the way the wind is blowing at Washington. Assuming that we do get a favourable reply, as I hope we shall, then I would think that the wishes of the State Department might very well be given the utmost consideration in deciding the place where the tri-partite talks will take place. Unless the United States authorities are greatly concerned about the possibility that a meeting in Washington would attract attention from their fishing lobbies, it may well be that it would have a beneficial effect on the representatives of countries whose support we hope to gain if this positive evidence were given of United States initiative in carrying this plan toward completion. But I can only repeat that I regard the approval of the United States as our main target. Obviously, the question as to where the talks will take place does not arise until they have indicated their approval, but if, as and when that approval is given then I should think this subject should be brought up immediately and we should go a long way in meeting their wishes for tactical reasons. I think there are obvious reasons under the circumstances why Ottawa is not the logical place for this meeting. There has been no question at any time about the fact that this is a Canadian plan. For that reason, I think we have much to gain by the meeting taking place either in Washington or in London, and for the reasons I have indicated I would advise that we follow the course which seems most satisfactory to the United States.

I doubt very much that it would be advisable to consider asking France to be a party to the talks which will follow United States approval in the first instance. I have never believed that the approval of France was a real pre-condition of agreement by the United States. I was under the impression, and I thought you shared that impression, that when Dillon seized upon the reservations raised by Couve de Murville it was merely an excuse for postponing discussion of this subject until after the elections. Certainly that was the impression shared by Arthur Dean himself. I should think that the first discussion should be a discussion of tactics by three countries fully committed, and that the presence of France at those discussions, with the reservations they have made, might prove a serious handicap. In any event, I find it difficult to think that we could invite France and not invite Norway, which was in on the first discussions. It does not seem to me that their reservations are in fact nearly as serious as those now put forward by France.

Please do not misunderstand me. I think everything should be done to gain French support. I think, however, that it is usually a fairly sound proposition that, when you are trying to build up strength behind a clear proposition, it is not wise to have anyone on the inside at the outset who is not wholeheartedly committed to the plan which it is intended to put forward. I still come back to the fact that once the approval of the United States is gained, I am convinced that there will be a very rapid accession of supporting countries.

I am greatly interested in the bill introduced by Frank Howard seeking unilateral action by the Canadian Parliament. While this bill will undoubtedly go the way of all similar private members’ bills, it might do no harm if this were brought to the attention of the State Department as an indication of the way independent thinking in Canada is moving on this subject. Perhaps that has already been done. By the same token, I think it might also be very helpful if this were brought to the attention of the Quai d’Orsay simply as a matter of information.

I am hopeful that we shall get an early decision. You know that I have taken a fairly firm stand on several occasions in our dealings with the United Kingdom representatives. On the other hand, I do not think it is wise to assume too readily that any delay on their part means a lack of interest in this subject. The fact is that there has seldom been a time since the war when there were so many vitally important subjects before the British Government. Lord Home has hardly been in his office for the past two months. Heath has been similarly engaged all over Europe. Christopher Soames has been deeply involved in some of the agricultural negotiations which have been under way. I mention this only to indicate that there perhaps have been some reasons for difficulty in obtaining ministerial action on points which we have dealt with more quickly.

You know how strongly I reacted to the attempted intervention by Duncan Sandys, who was in fact openly opposed to our plan. I assure you, however, that my own impression has been strengthening, rather than otherwise, that since we got this back on the track the subject has been dealt with by the British Government in a favourable atmosphere.

George Carty dropped in to see me today. I was delighted to know that he had been attending a conference in Geneva which was discussing Government action in promoting tourist business. I believe that much can be done to build up a real tourist trade from this country to Canada, and I am hopeful that what he sees in London on this trip will persuade him that this is desirable. Warmest personal regards.

Yours ever,
GEORGE DREW

98. DEA/9456-RW-11-40

Briefing Note for Visit of Japanese Prime Minister

SECRET. CANADIAN EYES ONLY. [Ottawa], June 13, 1961

Law of the Sea

Japan is the most important fishing nation in the world; her distant-water fishing fleets operate in widely separated areas and the total catch of her fishing fleet exceeds that of any other country. For this reason Japan was included amongst the 18 key countries canvassed by Canada and the United Kingdom in order to determine the extent of support for a multilateral convention on the breadth of the territorial sea and a contiguous zone based on the “six-plus-six” formula.

  1. Japan’s initial response to our representations indicated support in principle for the proposed convention, provided that a sufficient number of other countries support it, and provided also that the convention does not recognize the fisheries jurisdiction of a coastal state beyond the 12-mile limit. (The joint Canada-U.S.A. “six-plus-six” proposal which came so close to acceptance at Geneva included the so-called “Brazilian Amendment,” whereby states able to prove “special situations” could exercise certain kinds of control beyond the 12-mile limit.)Footnote 48 In recent discussions, however the Japanese have declined to consent to their position being made known to the other countries canvassed, and have also watered down their original response by saying that while it is believed that in fact Japan would approve a multilateral convention if there were sufficient support for it, they were not sure whether Japan could now adopt that definite a position.
  2. This vacillation is consistent with Japan’s past record on this question, (at the 1960 Conference, after having indicated support for the Canada-U.S.A. proposal, Japan did not in the event vote for it, but abstained, with the result that the proposal failed by only one vote), and suggests that further persuasion may be required.
  3. Japan’s support is by no means as essential as it was at Geneva in 1960, since the basis of the present approach is functional rather than numerical, and the proposed convention would not stand or fall by one vote more or less. However, the support of Japan as one of the world’s major shipping and fishing nations would greatly contribute to the acceptance of the proposed convention, in time, as a “law-making treaty,” and could also have considerable influence on the attitudes of other countries.
  4. You may wish therefore to take the opportunity, should the subject be raised during your discussions, to suggest that since the proposed convention could, as a potential “law-making treaty,” go a long way to achieving a rule of law on the breadth of the territorial sea and a contiguous fishing zone, and since Japan’s position as a major fishing and shipping nation would seem to give her a considerable interest in obtaining certainty of the law in this field, we are hopeful that Japan will lend her support to the proposed convention.

99. DEA/10600-S-40

Memorandum from Deputy Under-Secretary of State for External Affairs to Under-Secretary of State for External Affairs

SECRET [Ottawa], June 30, 1961

Law of the Sea

At the request of the Minister (please see his note on the attached memorandum),† I saw this afternoon at 4.00 Mr. Merchant, the U.S. Ambassador, who was accompanied by Mr. Smith.

  1. I reminded the Ambassador that more than six weeks had elapsed since we had submitted a memorandum to the State Department enquiring whether the United States would be prepared to join the United Kingdom and Canada in the second phase of the survey concerning the proposed multilateral convention. We were hoping that it might be possible for the State Department to let us have a reply fairly soon.
  2. I reminded Mr. Merchant that, in the first phase of the survey, we had approached a fairly large number of countries and that it could be assumed that these countries like us would be interested in knowing whether the United States would be prepared to join in this exercise. If there was too much delay, there was danger that the impetus might be lost and that some countries might develop interests in other solutions. It was also possible that unilateral action might be taken by other countries which had not been approached and this would not improve the general conditions in the next phase of the survey should it be decided that it should be pursued.
  3. I also said that it should not be assumed, if the United States decided not to join the survey, that Canada would simply do nothing. I could not say what action was contemplated. The matter had not yet been considered by Cabinet but I felt sure that the Embassy had noticed that there was a good deal of pressure developing in the country, on both coasts, for some kind of solution to be found to these problems. There has been a good deal of discussion in the House of Commons and the Government had been able, but with some difficulty, to hold the line and not to say anything as to what they had in mind. Should the United States decide not to join in the next phase of the survey, I felt that the United States authorities should appreciate that the Government here will be under increasing and very substantial pressure to consider some kind of action. As the United Nations multilateral convention had been rejected in Geneva, if the United States were to reject the multilateral convention approach, the possible courses open to the Government in Canada would appear to be somewhat limited.
  4. Mr. Merchant said that, as a result of the change in the Administration, there was now a new set of officials in policy-making positions and it was always a little difficult for them, as they were taking over, to make decisions quickly. He had also anticipated when we had made the move that a good deal of inter-departmental consultation would be required and that an early reply could not be expected. He undertook, however, to transmit our request immediately to Washington. He said that he had noticed that pressure on the Government for action on the Law of the Sea had been building up.

M. CADIEUX

100. DEA/10600-B-40

Assistant Deputy Minister of Fisheries to Chairman, Interdepartmental Committee on Territorial Waters

SECRET. CANADIAN EYES ONLY. Ottawa, September 11, 1961

Summary of Discussions with Mr. W.C. Herrington, Et Al, September 8, 1961, 10.30 A.M.

The discussions were held in Mr. Herrington’s office at 10.30 A.M. In attendance were Messrs. Herrington, Hubbard and Taylor, representing the State Department, and Mr. Terry, representing the Fish and Wildlife Service of the Department of the Interior. Mr. Brimelow of the United Kingdom Embassy was also present.

The writer introduced the subject and explained the advantages of a multilateral convention and the difficulties in not proceeding with a further survey with U.S. participation. It was evident that as far as the Fisheries group was concerned they were opposed, not only to participation by the U.S. in the continued survey, but to the very idea of a multilateral convention. Mr. Herrington and his associates expressed the view that the U.S. was prepared at the Geneva Conference to sacrifice its security and fisheries interests in order to achieve stability in this branch of international law. A multilateral convention outside the United Nations would not achieve the same purpose. He thought that at Geneva in 1960 we reached the peak of support for our proposal and that from then on it would be difficult to get a sufficient number of countries to make the project worthwhile. He referred to the fact that it would not be possible to keep the survey secret and to the possibility of the opposing camp getting as many if not more countries to sign a straight 12-mile territorial sea convention.

As between unilateral action by other countries and a multilateral convention, he thought the U.S. would be losing less in taking a chance on other countries taking unilateral action. The U.S. interest may be affected in some cases of unilateral action by other countries but in signing a multilateral convention the U.S. would be willingly sacrificing its interests in security and fisheries without achieving the desired stability.

Mr. Herrington was also pessimistic as to the degree of success of the proposed survey. He thought that without the South American amendment the 6 + 6 proposal would have little support in South America. On the other hand, its inclusion would alienate the support of the West European countries. In addition, this amendment would, according to Mr. Herrington, hurt the U.S. interests in fishing even more than the 6 + 6 formula. He referred frequently to the Navy’s opposition to a multilateral convention to support his position in fisheries.

After the meeting, in private conversation, Mr. Herrington informed me that the U.S. would be hurt less if Canada took unilateral action with bilateral arrangements with respect to historic rights than by signing a multilateral convention. He confided that he thought that would be the preferable course for Canada to follow.

S.V. OZERE

101. DEA/10600-S-40

Memorandum by Legal Division

SECRET. CANADIAN EYES ONLY. [Ottawa], September 13, 1961

Minutes of Meeting Held in Washington at 10:30 a.M. On September 8 on the Law of Sea

Present

Mr. Cadieux , Legal Adviser, Dept. of External Affairs
Mr. Chayes, Legal Adviser to State Department
Mr. Yingling, Assistant Legal Adviser to State Department
Miss Guttridge, Legal Adviser to the U.K. Permanent Delegation to the U.N.
Mr. Nutt, Counsellor, Canadian Embassy
Mr. Beesley, Legal Division, Dept. of External Affairs
Mr. Chayes opened the meeting by welcoming the visitors and apologizing for the delay in reaching a decision concerning the Canadian and British representations in support of the proposed multilateral convention on the breadth of the territorial sea and a contiguous fishing zone. He explained that the delay had occurred partly because of difficulties in reaching agreement amongst the various agencies concerned with the question and partly because of the onset of the summer months. He mentioned that one of the more important considerations to which thought was being given is that the convention must be assured of widespread and representative support. Japan, for instance, was more important in this field than say, Laos. He then suggested that Mr. Cadieux might like to outline the Canadian position.
Mr. Cadieux explained that the meeting had been suggested because of the absence of a U.S.A. reply to our representations and those of the United Kingdom. While we appreciated the difficulties as mentioned by Mr. Chayes, we and other countries concerned were anxious for a reply, and it was thought that it might be useful to discuss the question informally. Canada and the United Kingdom considered that the results of the preliminary survey justified proceeding with the second phase of the confidential survey. Assuming that a minimum of 40-45 countries would be required to make the convention worthwhile, something over 20 supporters had now been obtained and a further 10 would appear to be readily obtainable with U.S.A. support, leaving only 10 or 12 to be obtained through the joint efforts of Canada, the United Kingdom and the U.S.A. It was recognized that the supporters of the convention would have to be representative as well as numerous, and it was with this in mind that most of the major shipping and fishing countries had been included either in the preliminary survey or in the projected second phase. It was recognized also that the proposed convention would not be an ideal solution, but it was considered to be far preferable to the only alternative, – doing nothing, – while the drift toward a 12-mile territorial sea continues. It should not be overlooked that the lack of many recent moves towards a wider sea may be due in part to the present initiative, which had helped to hold the line for the time being. This could not continue indefinitely, however, in the absence of some response from the U.S.A. In the case of Canada, for instance, there was considerable pressure both in the House and in the press for some kind of action. Since the present operation is confidential it had not been possible for the Government to say anything concerning it in order to show that some action was being taken. The result was that the Government was in a very difficult position and it could not be said how much longer it would be possible to continue to withhold any further action. The only alternatives for Canada, should the convention fail, would be to do nothing or to take unilateral action. Although the question of alternative courses had not been considered as yet by the Government, it should not be assumed that the Government would be willing to do nothing should the proposed convention fail. Both the pressure and the precedents (of Iceland and Norway) existed for unilateral action. As to the prospects of success for the proposed convention, there was room for legitimate differences in assessment, but all that was being asked was participation in a further confidential survey. Its confidential nature would avoid damage to the status of the “six-plus-six” formula achieved at Geneva, and the proposed survey was intended for the sole purpose of finding out what the prospects were for the proposed convention.

Miss Guttridge then stated that she fully supported what Mr. Cadieux had said, with the exception, of course, of his references to the possibility of unilateral action by Canada. The United Kingdom was very concerned about the continuing drift towards a wider territorial sea and felt that the proposed convention could act as a brake on it. As an example of the kind of danger she had in mind she mentioned a recent conversation she had in New York with Mr. Robles of Mexico in which he had told her of a Burmese move to table a request that the International Law Commission consider the question of the breadth of the territorial sea. Robles had explained to Miss Guttridge that he was confident that if another conference was called in a few years time agreement would be reached on a 12-mile territorial sea.

Mr. Chayes made some general comments concerning the prospects of success of the proposed convention and then suggested that Mr. Yingling raise specific questions since he was more familiar with the problem.

Mr. Yingling inquired concerning the likelihood of success amongst the African nations. He considered that some support in both Africa and Latin America was essential if the convention was considered to be representative geographically. Miss Guttridge gave her views on the likelihood of success in Africa and listed the countries which had been suggested for inclusion in the second phase of the survey. Mr. Cadieux confirmed that in his view this list of countries seemed to offer the best chances of success. Yingling then mentioned that although the Sudan had recently extended its territorial sea Senegal had proceeded on the basis of the “six-plus-six” formula. He mentioned also a discussion he had had with Geoffrey Bing when he had been Attorney General of Ghana as indicated that Ghana and probably the rest of the African countries presented an enigma, and it was not possible to know how they would react. Mr. Cadieux pointed out that the best way to find out would be to go ahead with the survey.

Mr. Yingling then inquired as to the Canadian and United Kingdom views concerning the influence of France on the Brazaville group. He commented that France appeared to have done a complete about-face on this question since his discussions with the French about a year ago. Mr. Cadieux replied that before the Bizerte incident he would have replied differently, but that now it was difficult to say what, if any, influence France would have on this group on a question of this nature. It might well be that each country would have to be approached individually. Miss Guttridge concurred in Mr. Cadieux’s assessment.

Mr. Yingling then raised the question of the Brazilian Amendment, suggesting that the Western Europeans and Japan were opposed to it. Mr. Cadieux and Miss Guttridge confirmed that Japan had raised the question, although not the Western Europeans and it was intended that it be left until late in the survey to be decided as to whether or not the Brazilian Amendment should be retained or dropped, the decision to be made purely on the basis of the least loss in numbers and importance of signatories. Mr. Yingling pressed this question in an effort to determine whether or not the Canadian and United Kingdom assessments had been made on the assumption that the Brazilian Amendment would be retained, his own view being that the requisite numbers could never be obtained without it. Mr. Cadieux and Miss Guttridge refused to be drawn on this point.

Mr. Yingling then referred to the possibility of unilateral action by Canada and inquired as to what, if anything, Canada would gain by extending its territorial sea to 6 miles. He pointed out that merely the fishery limits and not territorial seas had been extended by Iceland and Norway. He reminded Mr. Cadieux that the original Canadian position had been “three-plus-nine” as part of the compromise package deal at Geneva. Mr. Cadieux confirmed that this was the case, but pointed out that Canada had argued strongly in support of the “six-plus-six” rule at Geneva and it would presumably be the preferred basis for any possible unilateral action. The important difference domestically was that the 6-mile territorial sea provided an immediate further 3 miles exclusive fisheries without any question of tapering off periods, such as might be encountered in possible negotiations concerning the outer 6 miles.

Mr. Chayes concluded the meeting by thanking Mr. Cadieux and Miss Guttridge for having come to discuss the question. He said that we appeared to be agreed in our purposes although there might be some differences in assessment of the prospects for the proposed multilateral convention. The question would be considered urgently, however, and he felt that Mr. Cadieux could report to his Government that these discussions would precipitate an early U.S.A. decision.

J.A. BEESLEY

102. DEA/10600-S-40

Memorandum from Under-Secretary of State for External Affairs to Secretary of State for External Affairs

SECRET. CANADIAN EYES ONLY. [Ottawa], October 31, 1961

Law of the Sea

Our Embassy in Washington got in touch yesterday with Yingling, Assistant Legal Adviser to the State Department, to inquire as to when the U.S.A. reply to our representations in support of the proposed law of the sea convention might be expected. Yingling explained that Mr. Rusk had referred the question back to the Legal Adviser for reconsideration and that as a result there is likely to be a further delay. Our Permanent Mission in New York has now reported in telegram 2434 of October 30,† (a copy of which is attached), that, presumably as a result of your recent conversations with Arthur Dean in New York, Mr. Dean had also raised the question with Yingling and, following their discussion, Mr. Dean hoped that “a definite U.S.A. reaction would be forthcoming in about a week’s time.”

  1. It is not possible to assess the possible significance of these developments with any certainty, but it would seem a not unlikely assumption that Mr. Rusk would be favourably disposed personally towards the proposed convention, (as was Mr. Bowles), and that he may have so indicated in referring the matter back to the State Department. (Mr. Dean’s influence may safely be assumed to have been beneficial.) In these circumstances it would seem worthwhile to accept this further slight delay on the part of the U.S.A.
  2. Our Ambassador in Washington has been considering the advisability of writing to Mr. Rusk on a personal basis urging an early reply to our representations. Such an approach would be timely and would seem to be preferable at this stage to a more formal move. I have therefore drafted the attached telegram to Mr. Heeney† for your signature, if you agree, endorsing his proposed personal approach.Footnote 49
  3. The relevant papers, prepared for use in the event of a negative reply or none at all being received from the U.S.A., have been re-examined and brought up to date by the Interdepartmental Committee on Territorial Waters so as to enable the question to be brought before Cabinet on short notice.

N.A. R[OBERTSON]

103. CEW/Vol. 3175

Memorandum by Counsellor, Embassy in United States

SECRET. CANADIAN EYES ONLY. [Washington], November 17, 1961

Law of the Sea

On November 10, Beesley, Legal Division, called me to say that Mr. Pearson had made a statement in the Maritimes criticizing the Government for not having extended Canadian fishing limits. Beesley said that the Prime Minister’s office and the Minister’s office were both disturbed and that, as a consequence, the pressure was mounting to do something in the absence of a United States reply to our Aide Mémoire of last May. Beesley said that Cadieux had instructed him to tell me that we should let Yingling know informally of these pressures.

  1. I was unable to get Yingling on Friday (November 10) since it was a State Department holiday, but spoke to him first thing Monday morning, November 13.
  2. I started out by mentioning (as the Ambassador had previously agreed) that I had intended to pass to him, the previous week, a copy of the Ambassador’s personal letter to Mr. Rusk. Yingling said that he had heard that there was such a letter and that he understood it was on the way to him for action. He declined my offer of a copy of the letter, saying that he would have the original momentarily.
  3. I also mentioned to Yingling the additional reasons in support of a multilateral convention which Mr. Drew had raised in his telegram (3927, November 2).†
  4. Additionally, I mentioned Mr. Pearson’s statement in the Maritimes and the increasing urgency which the Government was attaching to receiving a reply from the United States to the May Aide Mémoire.
  5. Yingling quite understood the concern of Canadian officials. As we knew, there were deep differences of view between United States authorities which had to be reconciled. An answer was not yet forthcoming and Yingling could not hazard what the answer would be though he was hoping that a decision could be reached soon. Any decision would have to be made “at the top.” In this connection, he mentioned that Mr. Green had recently mentioned the matter to Arthur Dean in New York.

J.S. N[UTT]

104. DEA/9456-RW-11-40

Counsellor, Embassy in United States,
to Deputy Under-Secretary of State for External Affairs
PERSONAL AND SECRET. Washington, December 15, 1961

Dear Marcel [Cadieux]:

Last Monday (December 11) when I called on Jack Pender, Yingling’s deputy, on another matter, I enquired of him whether there were any developments on the law of the sea. (Yingling I gathered is on a month’s holidays.) Pender was not completely on top of current developments but he made one or two background comments which will be of interest to you.

Pender recalled that both the fisheries interests and the United States Navy considered that the situation was best left alone. He described this as “the short run pragmatic approach” but nevertheless this was how the fisheries interests and the United States Navy saw their present interests. Beyond this the Navy were suspicious of Canadian motives. They believed that Canada was really interested in promoting a twelve mile limit rather than the six plus six proposal. Pender said the Navy based its view on “discussions with Canadian naval officers” and because they had concluded that “Canada seemed to want, like the Russians, to claim as much water as she could.” [Une phrase omise./One sentence omitted.] Some of the Navy’s suspicions went back to Canadian actions during the first Law of the Sea Conference though Pender was not sure what the incident or incidents were. We both surmised that it was probably Canada’s brief flirtation with the “choose it yourself up to twelve miles” proposal. I told Pender that I thought the United States Navy quite wrong in suspecting that we were after a twelve mile territorial sea. It was true that in 1956 Prime Minister St. Laurent had made references to a twelve mile territorial sea but that with the further development of Canadian policy, we had come to believe that the six plus six proposal represented a realistic (and from our own point of view most acceptable) proposal.

The Navy’s second worry, and I gathered from Pender that this was not restricted to the Navy alone, was that taking measures to open a multilateral convention for signature would stimulate claims. The Navy had pointed to the fact that the main rash of claims had been before the first and second conferences on the Law of the Sea rather than after. A multilateral convention would be like a third Law of the Sea Conference and would, the Navy was certain, stimulate another rash of claims. I confessed to Pender that I had been surprised that there had not been more unilateral claims in the wake of the second conference. It seemed to me, however, that over the ensuing years if nothing were done to try to reach an agreed practice, there would be a gradual accumulation of unilateral claims. Pender agreed that this might well be so in connection with the “new countries.”

Pender also said that the Navy had succeeded in convincing a number of law professors of the validity of their case. He mentioned specifically a Professor MacDougall(?) who had protégés in many law schools across the country who were converted to the view that the existing situation was the proper one.

Pender mentioned that Abram Chayes (States Department Legal Adviser) had been instrumental in bringing Arthur Dean back into Law of the Sea discussions within the United States Administration. Pender thought Dean favoured the idea of exploring the possibilities for a multilateral convention. This might be advantageous to our cause since Dean had the ear of the President. At the same time, however, he no longer had the confidence of the United States Navy or the United States fisheries interests.

While what the United States fisheries interests and the United States Navy think may not be decisive, it seems to me that it would be helpful if some effort were made to put straight the record of our intentions vis-à-vis a twelve mile territorial sea with the United States Navy. The only way to do this would be, I think, for some senior Canadian naval officer to take the opportunity to speak privately to some senior United States naval officer and preferably one concerned with the Law of the Sea. The best opportunity would be for the Naval Attaché, Commodore O’Brien, to take a suitable opportunity to discuss the matter. Another opportunity would present itself at the forthcoming PJBD meeting though this will not now be held until February. This approach would obviously have to be done informally and with some delicacy, perhaps under the guise of an enquiry as to how the reply to our Aide Mémoire of May 4 is progressing and what the United States Navy thinks about it.

I take it that a good deal of thought has been given to what we should do in the event that the United States refuses to go along with a multilateral convention. I would hope that we were not wholly past the point where we could consider whether we would really need to invoke unilaterally the six plus six proposal or even the three plus nine, at least over our entire coastline. While part of the motivation for the Geneva proposal, on our part, was national interest, I believe that part of it also was that the six plus six proposal, while benefiting us, might, at the same time, prove acceptable to a majority of states. That this was so was proven at the second Geneva Conference although, unfortunately, not decisively so. Assuming that the idea of a multilateral convention were to be dropped, then that element of the proposal relating to its international acceptability would not be relevant, except insofar as the results of the second Geneva Conference might be invoked to give respectability to any unilateral claim to a six plus six or three plus nine limit. It seems to me, therefore, that in any future moves, we should be governed by the real utility to Canada of an extension of jurisdiction, the effect of proposing unilateral action on our relations with the United States and the international example which we set by proposing unilateral action, albeit based on what was accepted at Geneva by a rather large majority.

Yours sincerely,
JIM [NUTT]

P.S. Please ensure that Pender’s name is not mentioned in connection with the information about the United States Navy’s views.

105. DEA/9456-RW-11-40

Memorandum from Advisor to Government of Canada on Disarmament to Secretary of State for External Affairs

[Ottawa], December 18, 1961

Law of the Sea

On December 15 at the end of our last five power meeting on disarmament, Mr. Arthur Dean approached me privately to ask me to convey to you a message on this subject.

Mr. Dean said that he had recently recommended strongly to the State Department that the United States cooperate with us in our proposal that a survey be conducted to determine the extent of interest which may exist in working out a multilateral agreement on the basis of the Geneva formula.

E.L.M. BURNS

106. DEA/9456-RW-11-40

Deputy Under-Secretary of State for External Affairs to Counsellor, Embassy in United States

SECRET AND PERSONAL. Ottawa, December 22, 1961

Dear Jim [Nutt],

I found your letter of December 15 of considerable interest; it was also very timely since it arrived just before a meeting of the Interdepartmental Committee on Territorial Waters. In the light of your letter, and various other factors, I felt it inadvisable to go ahead with the next step of delivering a formal note to the U.S.A. (explaining that unless a reply was received we should have to act on the assumption that the U.S.A. was not interested in the proposed convention, so inform the other countries involved in the survey, and notify all concerned that Canada considered itself free to take such action as may be necessary to protect its fishery interests). The members of the Committee agreed, and so for the time being no action will be taken, unless and until the Government requests it.

I have some doubts as to the usefulness of trying to convince the U.S. Navy of our good faith in this matter. The short answer to their suggestion that we are really interested in a twelve-mile sea is for them to agree to the proposed convention for a six-mile territorial sea. If it is not obvious to them that we would not be going to such great lengths to obtain an international agreement based on the “six-plus-six” formula, (if what we really wanted is a twelve-mile territorial sea), then I doubt if anything we could say would persuade them otherwise. You may be interested in knowing I had lunch with Chayes in New York recently, and he told me that his biggest problem was to determine whether the State Department should add this question to their already existing list of matters on which it had been necessary to take a line different from the Department of Defence, and, in this case, the Department of Fisheries also. You may be interested too in knowing that Arthur Dean told General Burns last week that he had recommended to the State Department that it take part in the confidential survey.

There seems to be nothing further we can do at present to bring about a favourable answer, and we can only continue to wait for the time being either a U.S.A. answer or a directive from the Government that we proceed with the preparatory steps for unilateral action. I strongly doubt, with the likelihood of the question becoming an election issue, that the Government will be prepared to refrain from unilateral action much longer.

I should be interested in anything further you are able to learn. In the meantime, my best wishes for a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.

Yours sincerely,
M. CADIEUX

107. DEA/10600-S-40

Ambassador in United States to Secretary of State for External Affairs

TELEGRAM 731 Washington, March 8, 1962
SECRET. CANADIAN EYES ONLY.
Reference: My Tel 668 Mar 3.†
Repeat for Information: London (.

Law of [the] Sea

At this request I saw Under Secretary Ball this morning for the purpose of being informed of the Administration’s position on our proposal that USA join in the second stage of the survey on a multilateral convention. Ball said he had hoped to be able to give us an affirmative reply. He regretted however that there continued to be strong opposition within the Administration (USN) and, even more important, amongst the fishing interests; consequently, it had been concluded that our invitation would have to be declined. Ball said that the State Department was the only department which saw advantage in our proposal; they had pressed hard to persuade others; to have persisted further would have jeopardized the Department’s credit in more critical matters where support would be badly needed.

  1. I said that naturally we regretted USA decision. We felt it was a pity. We believed that the narrow miss at Geneva in 1960 justified a real joint effort to reach multilateral agreement on the “six plus six” proposal. (Ball interposed that USA would have gone along with us if it had not repeat not been for the kind of opposition they had encountered, especially in the Northwest.) We were, perhaps, losing an opportunity to achieve a multilateral agreement which would have solved many outstanding problems. As the Under Secretary would know, pressure was being brought to bear on Canadian government, to take action in view of the failure at Geneva. I was not repeat not in a position to say what the government might decide to do but, in view of USA decision, some action on our part would be required. Ball hoped it would not repeat not be necessary for Canada to proceed unilaterally since we would be bound in such an event to have “a very difficult time.”
  2. I can appreciate that the decision USA has now taken finally will be most disappointing to you. Nevertheless, before any decision on our part to proclaim unilaterally an extension of fishing limits, I know that the consequences will be very carefully weighed, not repeat not only in terms of our relations with USA, but also in context of broader international relations. At least initially I would hope we could explore the extent to which, and how soon, our legitimate fisheries needs could be satisfied through bilateral negotiation.
  3. State Department will be informing British Embassy of the position taken on our joint approach of last May.

[A.D.P.] HEENEY

Section C - Disarmament and Nuclear Testing

108. DEA/50189-B-40

Memorandum from Under-Secretary of State for External Affairs to Prime Minister

CONFIDENTIAL [Ottawa], March 20, 1961

Disarmament at the General Assembly

When the General Assembly recessed before Christmas, there remained on the agenda of the First Committee ten draft resolutions on various aspects of disarmament. There was a Soviet draft resolution calling for the addition of five neutral countries to the Ten Nation Disarmament Committee; three draft resolutions concerning the principles of general and complete disarmament; an assortment of resolutions dealing with the prohibitions of nuclear weapons, the establishment in Africa of a de-nuclearized neutral zone and the dissemination of information on the consequences of nuclear war; and the Canadian draft resolution co-sponsored by 18 other countries concerning the early resumption and the conduct of negotiations. These resolutions remained to be disposed of at the resumed session.

  1. During the recess, the new Administration was established in Washington. President Kennedy’s advisors on disarmament have made it quite clear that although they recognize the urgent need for the resumption of constructive negotiations at the earliest possible time, they will require several months to complete their comprehensive review of the United States position on disarmament. In the meantime, understandably, they have no wish to become involved in a premature discussion of substantive questions. A substantive discussion would be necessary if the disarmament resolutions remaining on the First Committee agenda were to be pressed. Accordingly, the United States Government has been trying to avoid their consideration for the time being. In fact, the discussion of several of these resolutions would be embarrassing to the West generally.
  2. Just before the 15th session resumed on March 7, the United States entered into discussions with the Soviet Union about the possibility of having all controversial items remaining on the Assembly agenda either postponed or dropped. The aim of this move was to ensure that the atmosphere in the resumed session would not disturb the trend toward improved relations between the United States and the Soviet Union. It also meant, however, that there would be no controversial discussion of disarmament questions. This move did not succeed, partly because the Soviet Union would not agree and the Assembly has continued its proceedings in the ordinary way. The atmosphere so far, however, has been relaxed.
  3. The discussion of disarmament has not yet been resumed. In fact, the First Committee has not been reconvened to date. At the present time, the United States, in consultation with its allies, has been seeking to evolve a disarmament position which can be put before the Soviet Union as a basis for an agreed recommendation by the General Assembly. The Soviet Union has shown some disposition to co-operate but it has not altogether abandoned its pre-Christmas position.
  4. The main effort is to make provision for the resumption of disarmament negotiations. Three questions are involved: date, composition of the negotiating body and principles for guiding the negotiations. The two sides have now more or less agreed that the date should be “on or before August 1, 1961.”
  5. As for composition, the Soviet Union has submitted to the United States a draft resolution which calls for adding to the Ten Nation Committee representatives of India, Indonesia, United Arab Republic, Ghana and Mexico (in other words, the Soviet pre-Christmas proposal on composition). The United States does not wish to have uncommitted countries participating directly in the negotiations. It is prepared, however, to see some neutral representatives added as impartial officers, namely, Mexico and India respectively as chairman and vice-chairman-rapporteur. This United States position is contained in a draft resolution which Mr. Stevenson intended to discuss on March 20 with the Soviet Delegation in New York.
  6. The Canadian Embassy in Washington has said that the United States has fall-back positions: reverting to the formula of the Outer Space Committee (12 West, 7 East, 5 neutrals); or turning the whole problem over to the Disarmament Commission. Neither of these is thought to be desired by the Soviet Union.
  7. As for principles, the two sides seem prepared to settle for a general formulation which would guide the negotiations rather than the detailed list of principles which caused earlier deadlocks not only in the Ten Nation Committee but in the General Assembly before Christmas. Both the Soviet draft resolutions, which has been shown to the United States, and the United States draft, which Mr. Stevenson intended to show to the Russians, contain broad formulations. While neither of these is likely to be entirely acceptable, there is room for hope that as the consultations continue, a common formulation can be evolved.
  8. What is missing from both the Soviet and United States drafts is any provision for a close link between the disarmament negotiations in future and the United Nations. This is the link which the Canadian draft resolution seeks to establish through giving the Disarmament Commission a specific rôle. This Canadian approach has been explained to Mr. Stevenson, who has shown interest in it.
  9. Earlier, the Soviet Union expressed opposition to the Canadian proposal which was regarded as diversionary. However, if some agreement were reached on a draft resolution dealing with the date of resumed negotiations, the composition of the negotiating body and the principles to guide negotiations, Soviet opposition to the establishment of a link with the United Nations might soften. Accordingly, the Canadian Delegation has been consulting with the United States about incorporating some of the Canadian ideas in the resolution which is being negotiated with the Soviet Union. For this purpose, the Canadian resolution has been re-drafted somewhat.
  10. Copies of the Soviet and United States draft resolutions are attached and also of the Canadian re-draft.†

N.A. R[OBERTSON]

109. DEA/50189-B-40

Extract from Final Report of the Fifteenth Session, First Committee of the United Nations General Assembly

CONFIDENTIAL [Ottawa], April 5, 1961

Items Nos. 67, 69, 73 and 86: Disarmament

Summary

At the first part of the fifteenth session of the General Assembly the First Committee had before it thirteen draft resolutions on disarmament and related subjects. Three of these resolutions (two dealing with the discontinuance of nuclear weapons tests, and one with the prevention of the further spread of nuclear weapons) were adopted at the first part of the session, the remaining ten being left over for consideration at the second part. A full explanation of the substance and origin of these resolutions is given in the final report on the first part of the session and, with the exception of the Canadian resolution, they are not discussed further below.

  1. It was apparent well before the commencement of the resumed session that a large number of delegations wished to avoid a repetition of the acrimonious and unproductive dispute over disarmament which had characterized the first part of the session. Furthermore, the United States hoped to dispense with any debate whatever on the substance of disarmament, on the grounds that they were undertaking a thorough review of their policy on this subject and were not prepared to engage in substantive discussion at this time. In general, this position met with the support of the Western Powers, but at first it was completely rejected by the Soviet bloc, which insisted that disarmament be discussed at the fifteenth session (or, if necessary, at a special session), and that the Assembly agree on basic “principles” or “directives” on disarmament for the guidance of future negotiations. In addition to this firm Soviet position, the apparent desire of a number of delegations to see their own proposals discussed, even if others were to be abandoned, seemed to militate against the chances of an agreement to avoid substantive debate.
  2. Nonetheless, after several weeks of private negotiations between the Soviet Union and the United States, a draft resolution was agreed upon which had the effect of deferring the question of disarmament and all resolutions before the Committee to the sixteenth session of the General Assembly. On March 30, after a very brief debate, this resolution was adopted unanimously by the First Committee without a vote. On April 21 it was unanimously approved in plenary without a vote and without further debate. The text of the resolution, No. A/RES/1617(XV) is given at Annex II.† Canadian Position
  3. Since the breakdown of the Ten-Nation Committee in June, 1960, it has been the Canadian position that detailed negotiations on disarmament should be resumed as soon as possible. Accordingly, Canada welcomed the intention of the United States to resume negotiations on this subject as soon as their policy review had been completed. In the Canadian view, however, the mid-September date which the United States had originally considered satisfactory as a starting point for new negotiations was too late, and it was therefore cause for satisfaction that the United States Representative later announced in his statement to the First Committee that his Government would be ready to resume negotiations “by the end of July.”
  4. The Canadian position called for any future negotiating body to maintain a suitable relationship with the United Nations and the Disarmament Commission. Our objective here was to ensure both that the negotiating body should report periodically to the Commission and that the members of the Commission should be in a position to communicate their views on disarmament to the negotiating parties. We also considered that certain specific problems of disarmament might require study in groups of a smaller size than the ninety-nine-member Commission as a whole, and we believed that it might be desirable to establish ad hoc committees of the Commission for this purpose.
  5. The Canadian position on the composition of the negotiating body was flexible. Although in our opinion the Soviet proposal to add five neutral members of the Committee was not satisfactory, we were prepared to accept two or three additional members, preferably as officers of the Committee, but possibly as participants in a fuller sense if this appeared necessary. In this connection, it was the Canadian view that the procedure described in the preceding paragraph would provide a useful means for associating all non-negotiating states with the negotiating body without making them actual participants, and that it might go a considerable distance toward meeting the views of those members of the United Nations who wished to play a more active rôle in future negotiations.
  6. On the question of “principles,” the Canadian Delegation stressed in private discussions with the Western Five the desirability of achieving a clearly defined framework within which future negotiations could be conducted. We considered it particularly important to specify as precisely as possible the method of negotiation which the negotiating parties would follow, and thus remove an important difference between the two sides (the “one-treaty” approach of the Soviet union versus the Western approach through stages) which had caused great difficulty in the negotiations in the Ten-Nation Committee.
  7. During the course of the private negotiations between the United States and the Soviet Union, it was the Canadian position that any agreement on substance between the two sides should incorporate the ideas just discussed. However, in the later stages of these negotiations it became apparent that an understanding would be reached between the United States and the Soviet Union which would include little or no reference to matters of substance. In the circumstances, the Canadian Delegation considered it imperative as a minimum that a reference should be made – either in the resolution to be submitted to the First Committee or in the accompanying statements – to the date of resumption of negotiations and to the relationship between the negotiating body and the Disarmament Commission, which has been described in paragraph 5 above. Although our Western colleagues believed that the inclusion of our ideas on the relationship of the Commission to the negotiating body might result in a further prolongation of negotiations with the Soviet Union, and possibly in a substantive debate in Committee, the United States Delegation eventually agreed to include a paragraph which met most of our views in the statement which they proposed to make to the Committee.
  8. However, in accordance with the understanding reached between the United States and the Soviet Union, it was still necessary for the Soviet Delegation to concur in the wording of the United States statement in order that both statements would represent agreed views. Although they accepted the United States statement as a whole, the Soviet Delegation objected to certain paragraphs which they alleged were “extraneous” to the understanding reached between the two delegations. Among the paragraphs which were deleted from the United States statement at a Soviet request was the section reflecting Canadian views on the rôle of the Disarmament Commission in relation to future negotiations.
  9. In order to give proper recognition to the rôle of the Disarmament Commission, which was now to be omitted from the United States statement, we explained to our allies that we would be obliged to make a statement on our own behalf. Although the fear was expressed by some of our colleagues that an intervention by our Delegation might bring on a lengthy debate, we argued that it was necessary not to let the important rôle of the Disarmament Commission go by default through failure to give it clear expression at this time. In the event, our colleagues’ fears of a lengthy debate proved to be unwarranted.
  10. Shortly before the disarmament debate in the First Committee, a meeting of our co-sponsors was called to explain the results of the United States-Soviet discussions, and to inform them of the statement which we wished to make in order to clarify our position on the progress achieved to date and steps which remained to be taken in the future. It was suggested by our co-sponsors that the United States-Soviet initiative might be given a broader basis of support in the Assembly if our statement were to be made in the name of all the co-sponsors of resolution A/C.1/L.255. After discussion it was agreed that this idea could be suitably conveyed to the Committee by amending the last paragraph of our statement so as to indicate that the other co-sponsors of our resolution also supported the joint United States-Soviet resolution.
  11. In summary, the private negotiations between the United States and the Soviet Union may be considered as falling into three stages:
    1. At the beginning of their discussions with the United States Delegation, the Soviet Delegation stood firm on their earlier position that five neutrals should be added to the negotiating body and that the General Assembly should adopt “principles” or “directives” which would be based on the Indian compromise resolution put forward at the first part of the session. The United States Delegation were willing to discuss the date of resumption of negotiations and the composition of the negotiating body, but they were not prepared to enter into a discussion of “directives” and they wished generally to see as little substantive debate on disarmament as possible. Negotiations on this basis were, of course, unlikely to be productive, and it appeared by the time the resumed session had been under way for one week that the bilateral discussions had ended in complete failure and that a sharp and lengthy debate on disarmament could be expected.
    2. At this point, however, the Soviet Delegation presented the United States with a new proposal which constituted at least a small advance on two points. First, they abandoned their earlier insistence on a date for resumption of negotiations which was far in advance of the date the United States wished. The United States having moved at the same time toward Soviet demands for an earlier date, virtual agreement was reached on a starting-point around the end of July or beginning of August. Of greater importance was the Soviet willingness to abandon their insistence on the Indian compromise resolution as an absolute minimum so far as “principles” were concerned. After further discussion it appeared likely that some form of compromise might be possible on this question, although probably only as a result of adopting a very vague set of principles which might have led to difficulty at a later date. Further progress also appeared possible on the question of composition when the Soviet Delegation moved from their earlier insistence on tripartite representation (five Western, five Communist and five neutral participants) in favour of the addition of three neutrals only, while at the same time the United States were preparing to advance a formula for the addition of two or three neutrals in a status which would fall somewhere between the original Soviet demand for full participation and the Western position that neutrals should be added to the Committee as officers rather than participants. However, it was not to be known whether agreement might have been reached through further efforts in this direction, for after one week of discussion along the above lines the Soviet Delegation put forward a radically different proposal for dealing with disarmament at the resumed session.
    3. In brief, the final Soviet suggestion was that the two sides should abandon their efforts to reach agreement on substance before the end of the resumed session. For their part, they were willing to accept a date of resumption around July 31, but they could not agree to United States views as they now stood on principles and composition. They therefore proposed that both delegations should make short statements indicating that an understanding had been reached to continue their bilateral talks during the summer, and that a brief resolution should be introduced in the name of the two delegations which would take note of these statements and defer United Nations consideration of the question of disarmament “and all pending proposals relating to it” until the sixteenth session of the General Assembly. Since this suggestion appeared to represent a concession to the original view of the United States that there should be no substantive discussion of disarmament during the resumed session, there was relatively little difficulty in reaching agreement between the two delegations to proceed on this basis.
  12. The principal Western objection to the Soviet statement was that the last paragraph, with its reference to a report to the sixteenth session only on the progress of United States-Soviet discussions, could be taken to imply that international disarmament negotiations would not yet have been raised by that time, and would also emphasize unduly the bilateral character of the preparatory discussions which were to take place during the summer. After discussion among the Western Five, it was agreed that the question of the timing of resumed negotiations could be resolved satisfactorily by including a reference in the United States statement to their readiness to resume negotiations “by the end of July.” It was also eventually agreed that the two statements would call for a report to be made to the sixteenth session of the General Assembly merely “on the progress made” without giving any precise indication whether this report would deal with the progress of resumed negotiations. Finally, the preparatory discussions which were to take place in the summer would be described in the United States statement as taking place between “the States concerned,” a wording which was designed to cover United States and Soviet allies as well as these states themselves.
  13. In paragraph 5 above, the Canadian reaction to the Soviet request for the deletion from the United States statement of our ideas concerning the relationship of the Commission to future negotiations has already been discussed. Paragraphs relating to the Geneva negotiations on nuclear tests and to procedures for the peaceful settlement of disputes were also deleted from the United States statement after objections by the Soviet Delegation that they were not relevant to the present understanding between the two countries. With these changes and other more minor alterations the statements were agreed between the two delegations, thus opening the way to a short, non-controversial debate in the First Committee. First Committee Debate
  14. Although the two great Powers had come to an understanding on a procedure which would curtail debate in the First Committee, the fear was expressed until the very last that certain delegations would not permit discussion of their own resolutions to be put aside in this matter until the sixteenth session. It was felt in particular that the African delegations might insist that the two resolutions which they co-sponsored be fully discussed and perhaps put to a vote at the resumed session. In the event, however, no such difficulties arose.
  15. In all, there were seven speakers in the First Committee debate, each of whom intervened only very briefly. The Soviet representative spoke first and was followed by the representatives of the United States and Canada. (The texts of the three statements are contained in the verbatim record attached at Annex III.)† Three African representatives also spoke primarily to emphasize their view that their own resolutions – which deal largely with problems relating to nuclear weapons – were not related to disarmament as such, and to make plain that they reserved the right to raise them at a later date. The French representative, who was under firm instructions to speak if delegations other than the United States and the Soviet Union intervened, also spoke after the vote, alluding very briefly to his country’s views on the importance of effective measures to deal with modern weapons and on the adequacy of the Ten-Nation Committee itself as a forum for future disarmament negotiations. Recommendations for Future Action
  16. The main lines of possible future action to which further thought might be given before the sixteenth session are indicated in the statement delivered by the Canadian representative in the First Committee. If detailed negotiations on disarmament are resumed on or about August 1 the major part of the original Canadian concern will have been met, but the matter of the relationship which is to be established between the negotiating body and the Disarmament Commission will remain to be considered.
  17. Our proposal that progress reports be forwarded periodically by the negotiating body to the Disarmament Commission may not be a point of controversy since a procedure such as this has frequently been followed in previous negotiations. However, in view of past opposition to the idea, it may be more difficult to devise a satisfactory procedure which would promote non-negotiating states to communicate their views on disarmament to the negotiating body. As a result it might be advisable to suggest a procedure such as that referred to in the paragraph relating to this point which was eventually included in the draft United States statement discussed with the Soviet Delegation. This course of action would have the advantage of making use of language which has already been accepted by the United States and to which, as we have been informed by Mandelevich, the Counsellor of the Soviet Delegation, the Soviet Union has no objection in principle. The terms of the relevant parts of this paragraph are as follows: “In recognition of the interest of the United Nations, the USA and the USSR … will request any future negotiating body to submit reports to the General Assembly through the Disarmament Commission and to consider any memoranda embodying views on disarmament submitted by members of the Disarmament Commission.”
  18. If the ideas embodied in the passage just quoted were to be accepted, it would remain only to consider the desirability of establishing additional machinery within the Disarmament Commission to provide for more effective consideration of specific problems which might be referred to it. The resolution presented by Canada at this session included the suggestion that ad hoc committees of the Disarmament Commission should be set up for this purpose. Whether this particular suggestion should be pursued and, if so, the exact timing and method of the establishment of such committees will require further examination. In a conversation with the Minister at the resumed session, the Chairman of the Disarmament Commission, Padilla Nervo of Mexico, suggested that this question might best be raised after the negotiating body had begun its meetings and perhaps when it had indicated in a progress report to the Commission that there was a need for studies of a kind which could best be conducted in smaller groups. A second possibility which would complement Nervo’s suggestion would be to establish a procedure that would enable the Commission to receive the views of member states on disarmament for transmission in the form of memoranda to the negotiating body, and then to decide later, when this procedure had been in operation for a time, whether any views or problems put forward by member states required more detailed study in subordinate groups. In any case, it would appear that until international negotiations on disarmament are again under way it will be too early to judge with any degree of certainty whether either or both of these possibilities would provide the most suitable arrangement for any further action on disarmament which might be required of the Commission.

110. DEA/50271-M-40

Secretary of State for Commonwealth Relations (United Kingdom) to Secretary of State for External Affairs

CONFIDENTIAL [London], May 27, 1961

My dear Green,
In their March statement on disarmament, the Commonwealth Prime Ministers stressed the importance of rapid agreement to secure the permanent banning of nuclear weapons tests by all nations. Our High Commissioner has been sending to your people a weekly account of the negotiations at the Nuclear Tests Conference at Geneva. I thought, however, that you would like to have personally a short summary of the position as we see it.

Frankly the Russian performance at Geneva since the Conference re-opened on the 21st March has throughout been most disappointing. The Americans went to Geneva, as we did, determined to make every possible effort to achieve progress. To this end we and the Americans, at the very start of the conference, tabled a set of important concessions, designed to meet many of the Russian objections to earlier proposals. For instance, in regard to research nuclear explosions, we have agreed to the four safeguards proposed by the Soviet Union; these among other things would in practice permit the Russians to see the internal mechanism of American nuclear devices.

These concessions were embodied in the text of a complete draft treaty which we and the Americans tabled on the 18th April, in an endeavour to get the Russians to enter into constructive and detailed negotiation. We have several times told the Soviet Delegation that this is not a “take it or leave it” draft. We have said that it is open to negotiation and that we are very ready to consider any positive alternative proposals.

The Russian response has been entirely negative. They have refused any detailed and specific discussion of the new Western concessions and they have made no new proposals of their own. Indeed, on one matter of key importance, they have gone back on their previously agreed position. Instead of a single Administrator of the Control Organisation, they are now proposing an Administrative Council of three members, one each representing the Western Powers, the Soviet bloc and the uncommitted countries. This in our view would paralyse the work of the control system. The Russians are also taking the line that the French nuclear tests make negotiation at Geneva impossible. Of course, as is well known, we are opposed to the French carrying out these tests. But it is clear that the Russians are using this only as another excuse for their refusal to negotiate. They have even suggested that we are in favour of the French tests because we are deriving military information from them. There is, of course, no truth in this. We have always refused to give the French nuclear information of a military nature and they have given us none. As we said in our March statement, an agreement on nuclear tests, apart from its direct advantages, would provide a powerful impetus to agreement over the wider field of disarmament. As you know, the Americans and the Russians have agreed, with the approval of the U.N. General Assembly, to have general disarmament discussions in June and July. We very much hope that these bilateral discussions will set the stage for a forward move over the whole field. But the Russian behaviour at Geneva does not augur well. It is, of course, to a very large extent a question of mutual confidence and from this angle the forthcoming meeting in Vienna between the President and Khrushchev will, we trust, be productive.
With best wishes.

Yours sincerely,
DUNCAN SANDYS

111. DEA/50271-M-40

Secretary of State for External Affairs to Secretary of State for Commonwealth Relations (United Kingdom)

CONFIDENTIAL [Ottawa], June 1, 1961

Dear Mr. Sandys,
Thank you for your letter of May 27 giving me your assessment of the present position in the negotiations at the Nuclear Tests Conference in Geneva. I very much appreciate the arrangements which have been made to keep us fully informed of the course of these negotiations.

The important and constructive steps which you and the United States have taken to meet some of the Soviet objections to earlier proposals have of course been noted here with full approval. I share your concern at the hardening attitude and uncooperative response so far demonstrated by the representative of the USSR.

Success in these talks would certainly improve the atmosphere for general disarmament discussions, and the continued deadlock, in spite of the efforts of the United Kingdom and United States, is very disappointing. Nevertheless it is my sincere hope that the difficulties now being experienced in Geneva will not be allowed to prejudice the forthcoming bilateral USA-USSR disarmament discussions or the prospects for a resumption of general disarmament negotiations later this summer. The USSR will be quick to blame the Western countries if arrangements cannot be made to resume general negotiations on disarmament and I am sure you will agree that it is very important not to give them any pretext, arising from the difficulties in the Tests Conference in Geneva, for shifting responsibility to the West.

Yours sincerely,
H.C. GREENM

112. DEA/50271-M-40

Secretary of State for External Affairs to Ambassador in United States

TELEGRAM N-64 Ottawa, August 31, 1961
CONFIDENTIAL.
Repeat for Information: London, NATO Paris (, Paris, Geneva, Permis New York, Bonn, Rome, CCOS Ottawa (Waldock) (Routine).
By Bag Moscow.

Call of United States Ambassador

When USA Ambassador Merchant came to see me this afternoon on Berlin military preparedness and related matters our talk included reference to the Soviet announcement of their intention to resume nuclear testing and the possible area of negotiability on Berlin.

  1. On reactions in the United States to Soviet announcement, Merchant said that there was a conviction in Washington that Khrushchev had made a great mistake. Coupled with concern that the threatening tone of the Soviet announcement was sense of relief that Khrushchev had taken upon himself the responsibility to resume testing. Merchant did not think that there would be any early decision to resume tests and if such tests were resumed they would be limited to underground. Full opportunity would be taken at the United Nations as well as at the Belgrade Conference of the uncommitted nations to allow the implications of the Soviet decision to sink in.
  2. As regards effects on disarmament Merchant did not think that this would affect the United States efforts to enter into discussions with the Soviet Union or to present their plan which was the best that had been put together since the war.
  3. The views I expressed to Merchant on the Soviet announcement were based on the statement approved by the Prime Minister and released to the press this morningFootnote 50 as contained in telegram you have already received.
  4. As regards Berlin Merchant noted the disregard of world opinion reflected in the Soviets’ position on resuming nuclear tests as well as building up a wall in the centre of Berlin and cutting off the flow of refugees. Taken together he thought they represented a toughening of the Soviet position.
  5. Asking about possible areas of negotiability in the Western position Merchant listed mainly those narrow issues in the Western position which had been incorporated earlier in East-West negotiations on Berlin in Geneva such as in movement of military forces, reciprocal restraint on propaganda and subversive activities that might endanger the peace, reduction of troop strength and exclusion of nuclear weapons from Berlin. When asked whether de facto recognition of East Germany might be offered as a quid pro quo for Communist concessions to the West, Merchant replied that that would depend on what constituted de facto recognition. The United States would be prepared to work out practical arrangements on such matters as access to Berlin with the East German authorities and accept contacts with East German officials for this purpose but would not repeat not be prepared to offer de jure recognition of the East German régime. Merchant did not think that the Soviet Union and the East German authorities were interested in de facto dealings only.
  6. On the possibility of bargaining recognition of the Oder-Neisse line against Communist concessions, Merchant said had been a matter of principle with the USA not to recognize this line until a duly elected all-German government was in a position to accept responsibility for such a position.

[H.C.] GREEN

113. DEA/50271-M-40

Memorandum from United Nations Division to Under-Secretary of State for External Affairs

SECRET [Ottawa], August 31, 1961

Soviet Announcement about Resuming Nuclear Weapons Tests

The Soviet announcement this morning about resuming nuclear weapons tests has produced a general reaction of “shock” in Western countries. Some United States Senators regard the announcement as a propaganda blunder and others see it as bringing nuclear war nearer. I wonder whether any of these snap reactions has validity if we consider the impact of the Soviet announcement on United Nations members. In this regard, the timing of the announcement appears significant. It has been made on the eve of the Belgrade meeting of top-ranking leaders of certain non-aligned states. Surely the Soviet announcement was calculated to have an effect on that meeting. The uncommitted leaders, like those in the West, may be initially “shocked” by the suddenness of the Soviet announcement; they may see it as a very discouraging new trend in Soviet policy. However, they may also be persuaded that this Soviet move is one more in a series designed to show that the Soviet Union is serious about achieving a solution on Berlin and on the recognition of East Germany.

  1. As well, the Soviet move could have been calculated to stampede uncommitted leaders into believing that the issue of war or peace was imminent. The fact that the announcement about resumed testing mentioned as well that super bombs were involved and that these could be carried by existing Soviet space rockets suggests that the Soviet strategists may be trying to cause panic in the ranks of the uncommitted and also in some of the countries of the West. In any event, the Soviet Union has demonstrated that it is not to be deterred from its purposes merely by the prospect that public opinion in Western and other countries may react unfavourably to the announcement about testing.
  2. If the uncommitted leaders do regard the Soviet announcement as substantially increasing the danger of nuclear war, they may be more disposed than before the announcement to inject themselves into the East-West conflict concerning Germany. My assumption has been that the uncommitted states, certainly in the United Nations, would seek to steer clear of German issues as long as they remained cold-war issues and did not constitute an actual threat to international peace. If there appeared to develop an emergency in which war or peace seemed to be the issue, the “peace-makers,” like Mr. Nehru, President Tito and even President Nasser, might consider themselves under some compulsion to act, in order to save the world from disaster.
  3. The Soviet announcement may be intended to produce that kind of reaction. It could be turned to Soviet advantage because of the likelihood that the uncommitted states would exert more pressure on the West than on the Soviet Union to offer concession. If, for example, the uncommitted leaders interpreted the Soviet announcement as an indication that Soviet leaders were in a dangerous mood, the uncommitted might shrink from irritating the Russians further and might instead appeal to the Western leaders to be reasonable and accommodating. In other words, the Soviet calculation in stampeding the uncommitted leaders would be that they would run in panic to the West for help rather than react strongly against the Soviet move. Moreover, the Russians could expect a similar reaction in some Western countries by “ban the bomb” groups and others.
  4. If the uncommitted states do react in the manner suggested, they will undoubtedly carry their campaign to save the world from disaster into the 16th session of the General Assembly. The results of the Belgrade Conference could be very significant in this regard. The West may still find itself in the defensive in the Assembly, even though the Soviet Union appears to have burned its bridges as regards negotiations on tests and disarmament generally and even though the substantive Western position on both has been greatly improved. As well, the Western powers might find themselves hard pressed to defend their position in West Berlin. These could all result from a panic reaction by the uncommitted states to this most recent Soviet move.
  5. If this analysis is correct, presumably the Western powers should do what they can to prevent a stampede. One way would be for the West to remain calm in the face of the Soviet announcement which, in essence, is merely an extension of the tough policy of the past few months. Western leaders should try to avoid hysteria at home and abroad by expressing firm determination not to be driven to extremes on their side, by demonstrating their preparedness for the worst but by emphasizing their willingness and readiness not to lose any opportunity to negotiate their way out of the present difficulties. They could appeal to all concerned not to be alarmed by Soviet bluster. This could have a calming effect on the uncommitted states. On the other hand, too much shock, alarm, despondency and bravado in Western countries could have the opposite effect.Footnote 51

G.S. MURRAY

114. DEA/50271-M-40

Memorandum from Special Assistant to Secretary of State for External Affairs to Under-Secretary of State for External Affairs

SECRET [Ottawa], September 6, 1961

United States Decision to Resume Nuclear Testing

The United States decision to resume nuclear testing gave rise to certain comments by the Prime Minister.

  1. The Prime Minister’s first reaction last evening on learning the news was to say that he could not understand the President’s decision and that he thought it “preposterous.” Mr. Diefenbaker did not dissent when I conveyed the suggestion that it would be wise to withhold press comment although he expressed concern that the statement he had made earlier in the day (about the Anglo-American appeal to the U.S.S.R.) looked “incongruous” now. In the event, no statement was issued last night.
  2. First thing this morning, the Prime Minister again expressed his misgivings in very strong terms, adding that he was annoyed that the Canadian Government had been given absolutely no warning of the United States decision. As I mentioned to you on the telephone, he asked me to secure an immediate report on the circumstances in which the decision had been taken and the reasons why it had apparently been communicated only to the U.K., French and German Governments.
  3. After speaking to you, I again saw the Prime Minister just before Cabinet and conveyed once moxre your advice that it would be best not to make public comment on the United States decision, at least for the moment. I took the line that the absence of comment was probably the best way of conveying our misgivings. The Prime Minister implied that this was perhaps a shade too subtle and said he was tempted to say something which would reflect Canadian concern. I said that the Russians would be encouraged by any signs that the Allies of the United States were in disagreement with the United States decision and that if we could not give clear support, it would be better to remain silent. The Prime Minister did not seem convinced and, although he refused to comment on this question when speaking to reporters on the way to Cabinet, we may not have heard the last of this.Footnote 52

H.B. R[OBINSON]

115. DEA/50189-C-40

Secretary of State for External Affairs to Permanent Representative to United Nations

TELEGRAM N-67 Ottawa, September 11, 1961
SECRET. CANADIAN EYES ONLY.
Repeat for Information: NATO Paris, Paris, Washington, London, Geneva, Bonn, Rome, CCOS Ottawa (Waldock), Delhi, Cairo, Tokyo (Routine).
By Bag Copenhagen, Oslo, Stockholm, Karachi, Dublin, Accra, Mexico, Buenos Aires, Hague, Colombo, Kuala Lumpur, Moscow, Belgrade, Warsaw, Canberra, Wellington, Lagos.

Disarmament – Sixteenth Unga

Following is the text of substantive paragraphs of a memorandum approved by the Minister which discusses the broad outlines of the Canadian position at the 16th UNGA on Disarmament, discontinuance of nuclear tests, and prevention of the wider spread of nuclear weapons. Text begins.

  1. General. Since the end of the 15th Session, Soviet policy on questions of disarmament and nuclear tests has reflected an uncompromising position which it will be important for the Western Powers to attack effectively at the forthcoming session. The latest Soviet move in unilaterally abandoning their commitment to abstain from nuclear tests makes forceful Western action even more imperative. Moreover, in view of the degree of international tension engendered by the Berlin crisis – which may well increase during the period of the General Assembly – it will be important for the Western allies to be as united as circumstances will permit in their approach to problems of this kind, where the Soviet Union is not on firm ground and is likely to try to discredit the Western position by “unmasking” an alleged unwillingness to get on with disarmament and by seeking to “uncover” points of difference within the Western side.
  2. The most effective way of refuting Soviet allegations will be to concentrate on a positive and forceful exposition of the Western disarmament plan, Western views on “principles,” and the overriding necessity of reaching speedy agreement on the cessation of nuclear tests, while at the same time demonstrating flexibility on procedural matters such as the question of composition and making plain the Western desire to move ahead quickly with serious multilateral negotiations. To some extent it will be necessary in pursuing this objective to adopt a negative line – the refutation of Soviet propaganda statements – but this approach should not be given the main emphasis lest it lead the uncommitted countries to believe that the West is concerned only with winning a “cold war” battle. Instead, the Western Powers should take full advantage of one of the major differences between this year’s session and last – that the Western Powers now have well-founded, carefully reasoned and attractive proposals to put forward in each of the areas concerned. Thus, we should attempt to convey, in as convincing a manner as possible, that the Western plan is a substantial advance from previous Western positions and clearly represents a desire to achieve a comprehensive programme of disarmament under effective control; that it takes full account of important statements such as that contained in the Commonwealth Prime Ministers’ communiqué; that as a result of careful study and willingness to compromise it has taken a significant step toward meeting the views of the Soviet Union; and finally that the Western position is being put forward as a basis for serious multilateral negotiations during which the Western Powers would be ready to modify their views to meet any new Soviet proposals of a sincere and practicable nature.
  3. Canada can and should play an important role in this exposition because we have participated fully in the drafting of the new Western plan and statement of “principles,” and because we have continued to exercise all our influence toward reaching a satisfactory solution to the related problems of nuclear tests and the prevention of the wider spread of nuclear weapons. Our main effort should be directed toward private diplomatic initiatives designed to convince the smaller and middle powers of the validity of the new Western approach, and to encourage them to give their active support to the early resumption of negotiations on a reasonable basis. Canadian initiatives in this direction should be supported by a forceful statement in the general debate and by timely and energetic interventions in committee, but we should try to avoid committing ourselves to any one approach to the problems involved – whether substantive or procedural – until the extent of common ground between the United States and the Soviet Union and the reactions of the smaller powers to the initial Western exposition are clearer. Action along these lines should preserve our ability to influence the final outcome of the debate in the more decisive period when decisions are to be taken on resolutions before the Assembly.
  4. Disarmament. If, as now seems likely, the resumed United States-Soviet bilateral talks should fail to produce concrete results, it is assumed that the new Western plan and probably the statement of “principles” will have been made public during the first days of the general debate, if not earlier.Footnote 53
  5. Our main object in the debate on general disarmament should be to show that if the bilateral talks – on which the Assembly placed considerable hope last spring – failed to achieve results, it was not because of Western policies or tactics. As suggested above, the best way to achieve the impression that the Western position has significant merits in its own right will be to demonstrate that the United States conducted their side of the talks from the very beginning in a manner designed to achieve a resumption of serious and constructive disarmament negotiations. Because the allies were not present at these talks (and also because French disagreement is likely to make a fully coordinated approach impossible), the United States will have to initiate discussion of the points involved in setting forth this case.
  6. Canada can exercise considerable influence in promoting a favourable reaction from the members of the United Nations:
    1. Where questions of substance are concerned, by assisting in the presentation of a carefully reasoned and at the same time attractive outline of the new Western plan. The fact that the West has a new plan incorporating many important features not present in previous versions should be kept well to the foreground and contrasted with Soviet unwillingness to make any move forward. No opportunity should be lost in emphasizing that the Western plan contains significant proposals for nuclear disarmament, the reduction of “strategic vehicles,” the prevention of the further spread of nuclear weapons, etc., all of which are additions to earlier plans. The fact that Canada has continually pressed for early measures to deal with nuclear weapons and missiles will make a Canadian presentation of these new features all the more effective. Similarly, the new plan makes it very plain that the Western Powers are prepared to negotiate as comprehensive a series of measures as possible, and to put them into effect at the earliest possible time, both of which are very important points in meeting the wish of smaller and middle powers to get on with disarmament and in refuting the Soviet claim that they alone are interested in disarmament while the West concentrates on “partial measures” and “legalized espionage.”
    2. By supporting the present statement of “principles” if resolutions along this line are debated. As a member of the Commonwealth, and as a middle power, Canada should concentrate on revealing the evident development in the “principles” paper toward the views expressed in the Prime Ministers’ communiqué, and the resolution on this subject which was submitted last year by India and a number of other uncommitted countries. We should also argue that the Western “principles” as they now stand would be a useful guide to future negotiations, while again asserting that we would be receptive to reasonable suggestions which the Soviet Union or other members of the United Nations might wish to put forward on this question.
    3. By further efforts to achieve a reasonable compromise on the question of composition. While continuing to support the composition of the Ten-Nation Committee, plus an impartial chairman and perhaps other impartial officers, we should encourage the development of a Western position which will make clear that resumption of negotiations should not be delayed as a result of disagreement on this subject alone. In private, we should try to persuade the United States to give serious consideration to the Soviet 5-5-3 formula, and to give full weight to the wishes of the neutrals themselves in deciding the extent to which their representatives would participate in the work of the negotiating body. We should also try to ascertain from the Soviet delegation whether they are still prepared to accept this formula, and if so, whether they show any sign of willingness to accept a compromise on the status of the 3 neutrals. In our public statements we should show plainly that the West is prepared to agree to any reasonable composition, and we should be very careful not to give the impression that we are less willing than the Soviet Union to accept the inclusion of neutrals in the negotiating body.
    4. By working for procedural arrangements which will assist the work of any negotiating body which may be agreed. Depending on the character of the debate, and on the attitudes shown by influential uncommitted countries or other states not directly concerned with disarmament negotiations, we may wish to pursue some of the ideas which were contained in the Canadian Resolution put forward at the last session, especially the need for effective means of communication between a future negotiating body and the United Nations, and any smaller committees within the United Nations Disarmament Commission which might be required to strengthen the role of the commission. Our main point of emphasis in this context should be to continue pressing for the resumption of negotiations which will be so organized as to have a greater chance of success than other attempts which have been made in recent years. Should it become clear during the course of the debate that there is no prospect of arranging a resumption of negotiations, we will need to reconsider – in the light of circumstances at the time (particularly East-West relations and the situation in Berlin, and the views expressed by smaller and middle powers at the Assembly) – what means could best be used to apply continued pressure to resume disarmament negotiations, and to keeping the urgency of the disarmament problem before the public and the members of the United Nations. A move to convene the Disarmament Commission or to try to devise another United Nations forum are both possibilities, but we should not commit ourselves to this or any other specific solution until later in the debate when the temper of the Assembly can be more adequately assessed.
  7. Nuclear Tests. While the Indians have submitted their customary item on this subject, one major difference between this session and previous years is that the United Kingdom and the United States, the two main Western nuclear powers, have themselves taken the initiative on the question of tests by submitting their own item. In addition, the Soviet action with respect to the moratorium, resulting in the resumption of testing by both sides, has been a severe shock to world public opinion and should be used to highlight dramatically the urgent necessity to achieve a final cessation of nuclear tests. Canada, which has always adopted a very firm position on the question of tests, should take full advantage of these developments in explaining its position to the Assembly.
  8. From the outset we should make plain that Canadian policy has been firmly opposed to the testing of nuclear weapons. This unequivocal stand adds considerable strength to our ability to influence the non-nuclear powers, particularly the uncommitted states, and it should be used to the greatest extent possible.
  9. We should go on from this statement of our basic position to stress the importance we attach to reaching lasting agreement on the cessation of nuclear tests. The withdrawal by the Soviet Union and the United States from their undertaking not to test has shown very clearly that a voluntary moratorium does not by itself provide a reliable assurance that testing will not be resumed. The delegation should therefore leave no doubt that a carefully worked out treaty containing provisions for effective international control is the only satisfactory solution to the problem of testing in the long term.
  10. In support of this position we should argue that while we fully share the widespread desire to avoid further testing, we wish to go further by ensuring that tests will be stopped once and for all, and their cessation guaranteed by an international treaty which will ensure, through agreed arrangements for verification and inspection, that all parties are living up to their obligations. In our public statements we should make plain that resolutions which are introduced in the Assembly should emphasize the urgency of achieving international agreement among the nuclear powers, and that only those which do can be expected to receive full Canadian support. We should also argue that while it cannot be expected that all members of the United Nations will accept the United Kingdom-United States proposals on this subject they should recognize at least that these countries have reasonable proposals and are prepared to negotiate; that the Soviet Union should show a willingness to consider these proposals; and that in these circumstances an effective agreement could still be achieved.
  11. Prevention of the further spread of nuclear weapons. The Irish have again requested the inclusion of an item dealing with the prevention of the further spread of nuclear weapons. However, the tactical situation has altered considerably from last year as a result of the inclusion in the first stage of the Western disarmament plan of a clause prohibiting the further dissemination of nuclear weapons. This fact should make it a good deal easier for the West to argue convincingly not only that a solution through international agreement is the only satisfactory one, but that the Western powers have now included concrete proposals to this end in their plan. Canada, which stressed the importance of a solution through international agreement at the last session, should also lay considerable stress on this point in statements during the debate.
  12. In order to make this point effectively in any resolution which the Irish may eventually introduce, we should initiate consultations with their delegation at the outset of the Assembly with a view to persuading them to emphasize the importance of multilateral agreement on this subject rather than temporary unilateral measures which provide very little assurance that an effective prohibition has been achieved. We should argue that we ourselves share their views as to the importance of dealing with this problem (as is shown by our support for their resolution last year) and that we believe that the new Western plan has gone a long way toward meeting their views. We would hope that their resolution will reflect a recognition of this point by emphasizing the importance of international agreement. To do otherwise, particularly by placing great stress on the need for unilateral measures outside a disarmament agreement, will only serve to support the propaganda activities of the Soviet Union, which has shown quite plainly that it has no real interest at this time in taking concrete steps to meet this problem.
  13. We have recently received from our ambassador in Dublin a copy of a “preliminary draft” of a resolution on this subject which was given him by the Irish Foreign Minister. (Copies of the draft resolution and the ambassador’s covering letter are being sent you separately.)† It appears from this text that the Irish are in fact working along the lines suggested above. The delegation should therefore lose no time in putting our views to the Irish delegation, with a view to supporting this approach and ensuring that possible pressure from the Soviet Union, or less moderate delegations among the uncommitted countries, will not persuade them to alter their draft along less acceptable lines. Text ends.

116. DEA/50271-M-40

Ambassador in United States to Secretary of State for External Affairs

TELEGRAM 2893 Washington, September 14, 1961
SECRET. PRIORITY.
Reference: Your Tel N-66 Sep 9.†
Repeat for Information: NATO Paris, Paris, London, Permis New York (Priority), Bonn, Rome, Geneva (Priority) from Ottawa, CCOS Ottawa (Waldock) from Ottawa.

USA Resumption of Nuclear Tests

While seeing Richard Davis, Deputy Assistant Security for European Affairs, and later Secretary Rusk yesterday on other matters I took the opportunity of conveying to the State Department the views set out in your reference telegram concerning the lack of prior notification of USA decision to resume underground nuclear weapons tests.

  1. As you are aware the Secretary had earlier expressed his regret that there was no repeat no prior notification in this instance and yesterday his principal comment was to indicate that in view of the very strong congressional reaction to the resumption of Soviet testing the line had been held over the labour day weekend only with difficulty. While the Secretary did not repeat not say so specifically it is my definite impression that while the various considerations relating to the timing of the announcement of USA decision were canvassed the decision itself was taken at While House level in the light of both international and domestic considerations.
  2. You will no repeat no doubt wish to take an early opportunity in New York to discuss with USA and other delegations the position with respect to possible UN action with regard to nuclear tests. In this connection we are repeating text of USA reply to Japanese note on nuclear testing in which USA Government reaffirms its earnest desire that an international inspection and control will be concluded without delay. To this end USA has asked for full and complete consideration of the urgent need for an effectively controlled treaty banning nuclear weapons tests at the forthcoming Sixteenth General Assembly of UN.

[A.D.P.] HEENEY

117. DEA/50189-C-40

Memorandum from Head, Disarmament Division, to Assistant Under-Secretary of State for External Affairs

SECRET. CANADIAN EYES ONLY. [Ottawa], September 19, 1961

Disarmament: Visit of the Soviet Ambassador

You asked for an outline of points which might be made with respect to disarmament and nuclear tests during your interview with the Soviet Ambassador.

Disarmament

  1. If the Soviet Ambassador calls after September 21, when the United States representative (perhaps President Kennedy) is due to speak at the General Assembly,Footnote 54it may be possible to centre your comments on disarmament on the main features of the new plan which is likely to be made public at that time. If the plan has not yet been released, I would suggest that the best approach might be through a more general exposition of Canadian views, perhaps along the following lines:
    1. The overriding consideration for Canada is to get disarmament negotiations started again;
    2. The purpose of the United States-Soviet bilateral talks, as we understood them, was to achieve this end by agreeing on a suitable composition and statement of “principles.” We regret that full agreement has not yet been reached. We consider however, that it is even more imperative in this time of crisis for the powers principally concerned to make a renewed effort to achieve a satisfactory basis for resumed negotiations;
    3. We consider that the latest United States statement of “principles” represents a real effort to meet the Soviet point of view, the position expressed by India and other countries at the 15th session, and the Statement of the Commonwealth Prime Ministers;
    4. Canada is flexible on the question of the composition of the negotiating body. We would prefer a body the size of the Ten-Nation Committee with the addition of an impartial Chairman and perhaps one or two impartial officers. However, we are prepared to consider other suggestions. Does the Soviet Union still favour the 5-5-3 composition suggested privately by Mr. Gromyko at the 15th session? If so, what status does the Soviet Ambassador consider the three neutrals would have?
    5. Canada will also work for an effective relationship between the United Nations and any future negotiating body. The Soviet Ambassador will be familiar with the ideas contained in the resolution submitted by Canada and others at the 15th session with a view to improving the effectiveness of this relationship and the efficiency of the Disarmament Commission, through the establishment of sub-committees and other suitable arrangements. These ideas still seem to us to be valid.
    Nuclear Tests
    1. The Soviet Ambassador will be familiar with the firm opposition of the Canadian Government to the testing of nuclear weapons.
    2. Canada therefore attaches the greatest importance to achieving lasting agreement on the discontinuance of nuclear weapons tests.
    3. The recent action of the Soviet Union regrettably shows that a voluntary moratorium can be denounced at any time, and points up the necessity of ensuring that nuclear tests will be stopped permanently by agreement at the earliest possible time on an international treaty containing safeguards designed to guarantee that all states live up to their commitment not to test.
  2. The above comments are based largely on the Under-Secretary’s memorandum to the Minister of September 6† suggesting lines which the Canadian Delegation should follow at the 16th session (Telegram N-67 of September 11 containing the text of this memorandum is attached).Footnote 55
  3. You also asked about the possibility of raising with the Soviet Ambassador Canadian views as to Arctic inspection which have been discussed on a number of occasions and were put forward again by the Prime Minister at the outset of the 15th General Assembly. While this proposal is one to which we will no doubt wish to return later on, I think on balance that it would probably be best not to pursue it with the Soviet Ambassador at this time. You will recall that there was considerable opposition in the NATO Council to the section of the new disarmament plan referring to “zones of aerial and ground inspection” (largely as a result of French and German fears that it would lead to proposals for zonal disarmament). While we do not share the views of the French and Germans on this point, it would probably not be timely, in view of their strong opposition, to raise it again with the Soviet Ambassador especially since the section of the plan which relates to this point has now been amended.

K.D. MCILWRAITH

118. DEA/50271-M-40

Memorandum from Special Assistant, Office of Secretary of State for External Affairs, to Under-Secretary of State for External Affairs

CONFIDENTIAL [Ottawa], October 24, 1961

UNGA First Committee: Nuclear Test Resolutions

This memorandum summarizes a series of telephone calls last evening and this morning concerning the highly confused and difficult procedural situation which has developed in the First Committee in connection with the Six-Power (now eight with Pakistan and Iran) Resolution on the 50-megaton bomb.

  1. By pre-arrangement when the debate resumed yesterday afternoon, the Norwegian representative, Hans Engen, moved that priority be given to the Six-Power Resolution and be voted on at once. Unfortunately, some other members of the Six-Power group also spoke in a similar sense, which tended to diffuse the efforts of the co-sponsors to gain a quick procedural decision. The Indian representative, Mr. Chakravarty, then intervened, to say on instruction from his Government his delegation could not accept the legality of the move for priority, as priority had already been given to India’s own resolution over that of the United States and Britain – the only two resolutions originally before the Committee. General debate on these other two items had already begun and the Indian delegation would have to insist on a two-thirds majority vote to set aside the priority already given to their item.
  2. The Soviet-bloc countries then mounted a massive filibustering counter-attack on the move for priority and by marshalling one speaker after another managed to consume the entire time remaining for the afternoon discussion. At one stage the Argentine chairman Amadeo tried to adjourn what was in effect a continuation of the general debate on the other two items before the Committee with the intention of reconvening it to discuss the Six-Power Resolution, but this move did not gain support from the floor. In the end Hans Engen made a short statement deploring the undignified debate that had developed over the question of priority, and withdrew the motion.
  3. It was at this point that word began to reach New York that a very large explosion, possibly one of 50-megaton size, had taken place in the Soviet Union. As this injected an entirely new element into the debate – whether or not the raison d’être for the Six-Power Resolution had disappeared – the chairman adjourned the meeting.
  4. It is perhaps worth recording that a senior member of the Soviet delegation then spoke to Mr. Ritchie saying that since the explosion was “all over” why did the six powers not withdraw their draft resolution. Mr. Ritchie expressed the Canadian Government’s horror and disappointment at this private confirmation that a major detonation had taken place (no member of the Soviet bloc had publicly stated as much), but only evoked the reply that the text was regarded by the Soviet Government as “necessary.”
  5. After the Committee rose the co-sponsors met to discuss next steps. The Danish representative read a statement received from his Prime Minister stating that the 50-megaton explosion had taken place in the Soviet Union. The Danish representative thought this meant that there was no point in pursuing the resolution further. Unden (Sweden) supported him adding, that since it would take at least two days to extricate ourselves from the procedural confusion, it would be sensible to withdraw the resolution. The Japanese on the other hand were reluctant to give up so readily. Mr. Ritchie took the line that we should not withdraw the resolution unless some clear confirmation was received from the Soviet Union itself that they had in fact detonated a 50-megaton bomb. Some preliminary consideration was given to a Danish proposal that there be a declaration by the co-sponsors stating that the group had noted reports that the explosion had taken place and registering the shock and disappointment of themselves and all peoples. The group closed their meeting by agreeing to meet at 10 a.m. this morning and meanwhile to say nothing to the press except that the resolution still stood and plans for the next step were being considered.
  6. In telephone conversations late last night and again early this morning the Minister reiterated his instructions that the Canadian delegation should not agree to abandon the draft resolution. The delegation was instructed to take the line that on the basis of seismographic recordings of an explosion of 30 megatons, and in the absence of confirmation from the Soviet Union that one of 50 megatons had taken place, the international community had no choice but to assume that a 50-megaton explosion might yet occur. They therefore had no alternative but to proceed on the assumption that the original purpose of the resolution still had validity. The Minister felt that Canada would suffer a considerable public defeat if the resolution were withdrawn without a fight and asked the delegation to make a determined effort to win over the Afro-Asian bloc (none of whom had participated in yesterday’s debate) who clearly held the key to the procedural impasse.
  7. Hans Engen of Norway, who has taken over from the Danes the procedural management of the Six-Power Resolution, was to see the chairman Amadeo (Argentina) at 10 a.m. to see whether there was not some procedural device or precedent which would permit the chairman to set aside the general debate in order to allow priority to be given to the Six-Power Resolution. The Committee was to meet from 10:30 to 1:00 and then adjourn for the United Nations Day ceremonies. Mr. Ritchie was not optimistic that any progress could in fact be made in so limited a time.
  8. In conveying the Minister’s instructions by telephone to Senator Brooks, the following points were suggested as lines of action to be taken by the Canadian delegation:
    1. both within the Six-Power group and in the Committee the line should be taken that the 50-megaton bomb had not definitely been detonated and that the justification for the resolution remained;
    2. that an attempt should be made to swing Afro-Asian opinion behind the resolution – perhaps by having the Japanese convene and speak to the Afro-Asian group;
    3. that a Canadian statement should be prepared for use in the Committee this morning which would record publicly in strong terms the Canadian determination to press ahead with the appeal to the Soviet Union.

ROSS CAMPBELL

119. PCO

Extract from Cabinet Conclusions

SECRET [Ottawa], October 26, 1961

Present

  • The Secretary of State for External Affairs and Acting Prime Minister (Mr. Green) in the Chair,
  • The Minister of Trade and Commerce (Mr. Hees),
  • The Minister of Transport (Mr. Balcer),
  • The Minister of Veterans Affairs (Mr. Churchill),
  • The Minister of National Defence (Mr. Harkness),
  • The Solicitor General (Mr. Browne),
  • The Minister of Agriculture (Mr. Alvin Hamilton),
  • The Minister of Defence Production (Mr. O’Hurley),
  • The Minister of Forestry (Mr. Flemming).
  • The Secretary to the Cabinet (Mr. Bryce),
  • The Assistant Secretaries to the Cabinet (Mr. Labarge), (Mr. Watters).

United Nations Resolution on Russian 50 Megaton Bomb Testing; Attitude of Russia to World Opinion

  1. The Secretary of State for External Affairs said that the results of Canada’s successful efforts to have the United Nations register its objections and address an appeal to Russia to cancel its plans to explode a fifty megaton bomb had been good. The Russians had tried a series of procedural moves to block the resolution in committee but without success. The vote held on Tuesday, October 24th, showed 75 countries in favour of the resolution, 10 opposed and one abstention. The vote had isolated the Communist bloc. The outcome had been considered a diplomatic victory for Canada.
  2. The Minister of National Defence said that he was worried over the resolution put forward by India. If a voluntary moratorium on tests were now agreed to, the U.S.S.R. would be finished this big series but could, as in the past, continue developing and manufacturing bombs, while the U.S.A. would be held up. It played into the Russian hands. To accept it would undermine the whole western position on controls.
  3. Mr. Green noted that it was the kind of resolution which would be difficult to vote against. The U.S. and U.K. resolution was not too helpful, in that it only provided for negotiation. It would fail to arouse public opinion and Russia would not negotiate if she wanted to continue testing. He emphasized that, if Russia had decided now to ignore world opinion, the whole policy of the West must be changed. He went on concerning the particular issue of testing to say that the U.S. might now have to return to testing. This would logically have to be opposed by Canada. Mr. Adlai Stevenson had admitted that President Kennedy had been foolish early in September to say the U.S. would start testing again. If this race continued there could be but one end.
  4. During the discussion the following points were raised:
    1. Without inspection and other international controls the U.N. resolution to abstain from testing meant nothing. It would give the Russians the advantage – time to carry on their preparations, while others held off further development.
    2. Some said that every effort should be made to assemble a majority of world opinion on this issue. Progress could be made a step at a time.
    3. Although Canada’s lead had brought about a major diplomatic victory which was popular at home, many segments of the population, including the dairy industry, were greatly concerned over the effects of the present publicity about fallout.
    4. Some felt that the press report of a statement by the Chairman of the Defence Research Board indicated views different from those of the government. Others said that his statement referred to present conditions of fallout and merely sought to allay some of the panic which was developing. There was in fact no contradiction.
    5. It was felt that there should be some co-ordination of statements being made by different government sources. Statements were being made by Health and Welfare and other agencies. There should be some clearing centre and statements on the subject should not be too technical.
  5. The Cabinet noted the statement of the Secretary of State for External Affairs regarding the leading role played by Canada in having a resolution passed in the United Nations objecting to the testing of a 50 megaton bomb and appealing to Russia to desist from such tests.
    . . .

120. DEA/50189-C-40

Memorandum from Secretary of State for External Affairs to Prime Minister

[Ottawa], November 16, 1961

Interview with Governor Stevenson in New York, November 14, 1961

I attach for your information a memorandum recording an interview which I had with Governor Stevenson on November 14, in which we discussed disarmament, nuclear tests, the African resolution on nuclear weapons and Chinese representation.

H.C. G[REEN]

[ENCLOSURE]

Memorandum by Assistant Under-Secretary of State for External Affairs

CONFIDENTIAL [Ottawa, no date]

In response to a question from the Minister about Mr. Stevenson’s expectations as to how the debate on disarmament would go in Committee One, Mr. Stevenson thought that Zorin would begin by repeating the established Soviet positions on both substance and procedure. He would probably assert that the idea of total and complete disarmament should be accepted before the consideration of international control measures and insist on composition of 5-5-5 by the negotiating forum.

Mr. Stevenson hoped the Committee would not become too concerned with details of the composition of the negotiating body, but would emphasize the urgency and necessity of resuming negotiations leaving the matter of composition to be settled bilaterally between the USA and USSR. As regards USA views on composition, there were several possibilities; they would prefer to start with 5-5-10 formula, but in the last resort in order to obtain agreement Mr. Stevenson said he would be prepared to recommend acceptance of 5-5-3 composition.

In reply to a question from Mr. Stevenson, the Minister said he hoped that if it was necessary to reach agreement on composition, the possibility of 5-5-3 would not be ruled out. The Minister indicated that some thought had been given to a possible composition of the negotiating body in Ottawa and that one idea being considered was to add to the members of the Ten Nation Committee two states from each of the following areas, Africa, Asia and Latin America, under the chairmanship of the Chairman of the Disarmament Commission. This would amount to seventeen in all. He also recalled that Canada had suggested the addition of a neutral continuing chairman and two other officers from neutral countries. Mr. Stevenson said that either formula was acceptable to the USA.

He again emphasized that he hoped the Committee would put emphasis on the idea that the USA and USSR should agree on the composition of the negotiating forum and get started with the negotiations. His own experience in the bilateral consultations with Zorin made him wonder whether the Soviet Union was as serious in their intention to reach agreement on disarmament as they professed to be. The Minister stressed the importance of putting their good faith to a test in further discussions on disarmament.

The Minister recalled that General Burns had suggested that one way of getting over the obstacle the Soviet Union had placed in resuming negotiations on banning nuclear tests was to consider this as a first item in any resumed negotiations on disarmament. The Minister asked what the USA reaction might be to his suggestion. Mr. Stevenson replied that it would be a complicating factor if the negotiations were transferred to another body. The USA preferred that the negotiations on nuclear test ban should be resumed where they had been left off at Geneva, with the same participants. The aim should be to finish off the treaty. General Burns suggested that it might be possible to have the negotiations on nuclear tests conducted in the sub-committee and the set-up for negotiations on disarmament could thus consist of the same group which had been negotiating in Geneva. The Minister gave Mr. Stevenson a copy of the Canadian draft resolution on disarmament and Mr. Stevenson thanked him saying it could be useful in his further consideration of the matter.

Mr. Stevenson said that it was his impression that the Soviets were going to be stubborn about the nuclear test ban talks. He expressed the view that the passing of the Indian resolution on a moratorium banning the resumption of tests and the passing of the resolution sponsored by African countries outlawing the use of nuclear weapons might encourage the Soviet Union in their intransigence. The latter resolution put the USA in a difficult position as their defence against the Soviet Union was dependent upon nuclear weapons.

The Minister suggested that it might have been wiser for the NATO countries to agree on abstention rather than opposing the resolution which obviously had appeal not only to Africans but to public opinion everywhere, namely the desire to ban the use of nuclear and thermo-nuclear weapons. Mr. Stevenson said that none were more anxious to ban the use of these weapons than the people of the USA, but repeated the argument that since the defence of the USA and its allies depended upon these weapons they had no alternative but to oppose the resolution. The Minister suggested that tactics which had the effect of isolating the NATO countries on resolutions in the UN on issues reflecting majority opinion in the UN, made it more difficult to influence members of the UN on issues just as important to NATO. He said that on such questions NATO should not vote as a bloc in the UN. The Minister suggested to Mr. Stevenson that the position taken by the western countries over nuclear testing, and particularly in the vote against the 50 megaton bomb, had strengthened the western position in the UN. Mr. Stevenson said he was glad to hear this, but he repeated that the USA was still unhappy about finding itself isolated from its friends on matters such as the resolution on the moratorium of nuclear tests and the African resolution outlawing nuclear weapons.

On Chinese representation, Mr. Stevenson outlined USA ideas on a resolution to establish a committee to be appointed by the President of the UNGA to study the question of the representation of China and related matters such as the enlargement of UN councils, reporting to the Seventeenth Session. He explained that it was the USA policy not just to keep communist China out of the UN, but to ensure arrangements that would keep nationalist China in. He did not see any other way of accomplishing this aim except through establishment of a committee which would study the matter. Some might interpret this as a way of postponing the decision for a year. Although it may have that results, the USA did not see any other way of working towards a solution which would enable Nationalist China to remain in the UN. The Minister said that while he favoured the idea of a study he would not be prepared to agree to Canadian co-sponsorship of a resolution. Opinion in Canada was divided on the issue of Chinese representation, and it would not be helpful to sponsor a resolution initiated by the USA. Mr. Stevenson said he understood, but was glad to hear that Canada might support the idea of the study. He wondered whether Canada might be prepared to serve on a study committee. The Minister indicated that such an idea would be regarded sympathetically.

G. IGNATIEFF

121. DEA/50271-M-40

Memorandum from Under-Secretary of State for External Affairs to Secretary of State for External Affairs

SECRET. CANADIAN EYES ONLY. [Ottawa], November 18, 1961

Swedish Draft Resolution on the Prevention of the Further Spread of Nuclear Weapons

The draft resolution on the above subject which Sweden has now submitted in the First Committee (text attached as Annex I to this memorandum)† has direct implications for NATO defence arrangements as well as Canadian policy on the acquisition of nuclear weapons. Accordingly, it will be necessary to give very careful consideration to the Swedish draft before deciding on voting instructions for the Canadian Delegation as well as the substance of an explanation of the Canadian vote.

Analysis of the Swedish Proposal

  1. In essence, the Swedish draft calls on the Secretary-General to make an enquiry “as to the conditions under which” the non-nuclear powers would be willing “to enter into specific undertakings to refrain from manufacturing or otherwise acquiring” nuclear weapons and “to refuse to receive in future nuclear weapons on their territories on behalf of any other country.” In his introductory remarks on the proposal in a statement before the First Committee on October 26, the Swedish Foreign Minister, Mr. Unden, gave a further indication of what he had in mind by speaking of a declaration by the non-nuclear powers that they did not intend to manufacture nuclear weapons or “permit stockpiling of such weapons on their territories for their own or some other state’s account.” He also compared his idea to the Rapacki Plan as a means of “sealing off” the countries concerned “from nuclear weapons,” but commented that the Rapacki Plan concerned only Central Europe, whereas his proposal was universal in scope.
  2. It is clear from the above considerations that the Swedish resolution as now drafted envisages an extremely stringent formulation of the prohibition of the spread of nuclear weapons. In effect it would create “denuclearized zones” in the countries to which it applied, since it would require countries to “enter into specific undertakings” not only to refrain from the manufacture of such weapons, but also from their acquisition by other means and, more important to Canada, their stationing on a nation’s territory “on behalf of any other country.” This last clause must, of course, be interpreted as prohibiting any arrangements for the stationing of nuclear weapons on Canadian territory regardless of whatever arrangements for control of the weapons might be agreed.
  3. It may be argued that the resolution itself does not carry the implications just suggested because it only calls for a Secretariat “enquiry” which would not require states to take a position on the substance of the matter at this time. In my opinion, however, this argument cannot affect our attitude toward the resolution since its adoption would bring early action by the Secretariat which would then result in our having to take a stand on substance. In considering the Canadian attitude toward the resolution, we must therefore be prepared not only to justify our stand on what might be called the procedural question (whether the enquiry should be made) but also on the substance of the matter (how Canada would reply to any such enquiry).
    Likely Attitude of Other States
  4. Since the Swedish draft has only just been submitted in the First Committee, the total number of co-sponsors and the voting position of key delegations must remain in doubt for the time being. However, our latest information from the Canadian Delegation suggests that the resolution is likely to command fairly wide support.
  5. Our Delegation has reported that the resolution has been submitted in the First Committee with Austria, Ceylon, Ethiopia, Libya and the Sudan as co-sponsors. According to the Delegation, Sweden is not seeking additional co-sponsors, although there could be others which would wish to join the present group. We will keep in close touch with our Delegation on this possibility.
  6. Most Delegations apparently have not yet received firm voting instructions on the Swedish proposal, but some idea of their probable positions can be gained from their statements and voting on related resolutions which have already been adopted. It seems very likely that the Communist bloc will support the resolution, since the Soviet Representative has already referred to it in favourable terms in Committee. Judging by the co-sponsorship, and their votes on related resolutions (particularly the two African proposals), it is also probable that the majority of the Afro-Asians will support the Swedish draft, although it is possible that a number of French African states might abstain. The position of the Latin American group and states participating in Western alliances is more difficult to predict in the absence of further information, but a member of the Netherlands Delegation has suggested to our Delegation that an abstention seems to be the position which most NATO countries would be likely to adopt. (Among the Scandinavians themselves, our Delegation has indicated that the Danes and Norwegians will probably abstain, although they are far from happy with the resolution.) Of some interest in this context is the indication given our Delegation by a member of the Irish Delegation that they are inclined to view the Swedish proposal as complementing their own, and are likely to vote in favour of it.
  7. In summary, on the basis of incomplete information available to us at this time, it seems likely that there will be numerous abstentions on the resolution but that very few states will vote against it. In the circumstances it seems probable that the resolution will be adopted by a sizeable majority, perhaps by two-thirds.
    The Canadian Position
  8. Canada has consistently taken a strong stand against all nuclear weapons tests and in favour of measures to promote nuclear disarmament and to prevent the wider spread of nuclear weapons. Our basic position on these questions, and the policy we have adopted with respect to relevant resolutions at this and past sessions of the General Assembly, makes plain that it would not be consistent for Canada to oppose the Swedish draft resolution. Moreover, the fact that the Swedish proposal is likely to obtain fairly wide support at the Assembly suggests that it would be unwise for Canada – or other NATO states – to take a stand in opposition to an initiative which reflects the concern of many states (particularly the uncommitted) over the dangers of the wider spread of nuclear weapons. For these reasons it would be difficult, in my opinion, to justify Canada voting against the resolution.
  9. There are a number of reasons why it would also be very difficult for Canada to support the Swedish proposal. A vote in favour of the resolution would almost certainly be interpreted, both at the United Nations and in the eyes of public opinion, as constituting at least tacit approval of the basic purpose of the draft, i.e., the formation of a “non-nuclear club” comprising a broad range of states whose territory would in effect become “denuclearized zones.” Furthermore, support for the resolution could carry with it the implication that the Canadian Government was prepared to bind itself now, in advance of and in isolation from disarmament negotiations, to an undertaking which would spell out once and for all the conditions under which it would renounce the right to acquire nuclear weapons or have them stationed on Canadian territory. Finally, a vote in favour of the resolution could well be interpreted by our NATO allies (including the Scandinavian members, if they maintain their present position) as a significant development in Canadian policy with respect to the acquisition of nuclear weapons which in their eyes would be prejudicial to the interests of the Alliance. On the basis of these and similar considerations, it is my opinion that it would not be appropriate for Canada to vote in favour of the Swedish resolution.
  10. The fact that Canada is sympathetic to the motives behind the Swedish proposal, and yet unable to vote in favour of it for a variety of reasons, suggests that an abstention is the most logical position to adopt in voting on this resolution. In casting an abstaining vote, I believe that we could, and should, give a very clear statement of our reasons for taking this position.
  11. In summary, the explanation of our position, which parallels the statement we made last year on the Irish Resolution, might take the following form:
    1. Canada supports the underlying purpose of the Swedish resolution, namely, that early measures should be implemented to prevent the wider dissemination of nuclear weapons;
    2. However, no state can legitimately be expected to bind itself unilaterally – completely in isolation from agreement on either nuclear or conventional disarmament – to an undertaking which would remove for all time its freedom to acquire nuclear weapons or allow them to be stationed on its soil for purposes of self-defence;
    3. Furthermore, the proposed survey as to “the conditions under which” states would make such an undertaking would be likely to result in a large variety of divergent national views on this subject which would hinder rather than assist the adoption of effective and universally applicable measures designed to prevent the wider spread of nuclear weapons;
    4. The Canadian view is that the only fully satisfactory method of putting a stop to the further spread of these weapons is through broader international disarmament agreements applicable to the nuclear and non-nuclear powers alike, which would give all countries an assurance that the whole problem of nuclear weapons would be dealt with effectively;
    5. For these reasons, although Canada sympathizes with the motives of the co-sponsors, it is not possible for Canada to vote in favour of this resolution; Canada intends, however, to vote for the Irish resolution on this subject (see below) because this proposal makes plain that an international agreement binding all powers is the best way to achieve the prevention of the wider spread of nuclear weapons. Attached for your consideration (Annex II)† is a draft statement incorporating the above points which might be made during the debate on this resolution or in explanation of the Canadian vote.
      Related Proposals – The Irish Resolution
  12. The draft resolution on the prohibition of the spread of nuclear weapons which has been submitted by the Irish Delegation (copy attached as Annex III)† meets all the points which we have raised in consultations on this subject. In my opinion, it would therefore be desirable to vote in favour of this resolution.
  13. The main recommendation of the Irish resolution is that states should endeavour to conclude “an international agreement” under which the nuclear powers would “refrain from relinquishing control” over nuclear weapons to non-nuclear states, and the latter would “undertake not to acquire control of or to make such weapons.” This recommendation is fully in accord with the position we adopted on the Irish resolution at the 15th session, when the Canadian Representative said that “we consider that the only satisfactory way to dispel the dangers inherent in this possibility (i.e., the wider spread of nuclear weapons) is through international agreement on a comprehensive and carefully verified system of disarmament.” Furthermore, as far as we know, the resolution as now drafted is satisfactory to our NATO partners and is likely to be supported by virtually all of them.
  14. Our support for the Irish resolution should assist us in stating our position on the recommendation contained in the Swedish draft. As suggested above, our basic argument would be that while we cannot support unilateral measures in this field which would be binding on us in isolation from any measures of disarmament, we strongly favour the adoption of appropriate international agreements as suggested in the Irish proposal. In my opinion, this argument represents a fully defensible position on this subject, which is consistent both with our strong desire to see early progress on nuclear disarmament and the necessity of maintaining our freedom of action until effective international agreements can be achieved.
    . . .
    Recommendation
  15. In summary, I would recommend that the Delegation be instructed to abstain on the Swedish resolution and vote in favour of the Irish resolution, if they are brought to a vote in their present form. I would also recommend that the Delegation explain the Canadian position on these resolutions along the lines of the statements attached at Annexes II and IV to this memorandum.
  16. I should be grateful for your reaction to the above comments and recommendations, in order that instructions may be prepared for our Delegation.Footnote 56

N.A. R[OBINSON]

122. DEA/50271-M-40

Permanent Representative to North Atlantic Council to Secretary of State for External Affairs

TELEGRAM 3154 Paris, November 22, 1961
SECRET.
Reference: Candel Tel 2761 Nov. 17.†
Repeat for Information: Permis New York (, Washington, London, Paris, Bonn, Geneva, Rome, CCOS (Waldock).

16th UNGA: Swedish Resolution on Nuclear Weapons

After its discussion of the African Resolution (reported in a separate telegram) Council this morning in private session turned to a discussion of the Swedish Resolution on the basis of the personal views of Permanent Representatives.

  1. The Secretary-General introduced the discussion by saying that the resolution seemed to him to contradict NATO defence policy and that he therefore hoped all would agree that it was unacceptable. The French Permanent Representative agreed with this view stressing particularly the fourth preambular paragraph. I questioned this interpretation suggesting that this paragraph seemed to refer to an inquiry. It was certainly conceivable that the inquiry might lead to a difficult situation but I wondered whether we could reasonably oppose a request for an inquiry. The French Permanent Representative thought that to accept the request for an inquiry implied acceptance of the point of the question. I again differed from the French Permanent Representative, pointing out that this paragraph referred to the conditions under which an agreement might be reached. USA Permanent Representative wanted to know whether the fourth preambular paragraph applied to communist China and Danish Permanent Representative replied that the Swedes themselves did not repeat not know the answer to this question.
  2. I received support from UK Permanent Representative who thought there was considerable difference between the Swedish draft and the African Resolution L-292. Swedish draft did not repeat not commit us even though it was dangerous and suggestive. He expected that UK would try to secure postponement of consideration of Swedish Resolution until Irish Resolution was discussed because that was the appropriate point at which to discuss it. There might then be a possibility of having the resolution withdrawn or amended to harmonize with the Irish draft. He would not repeat not wish to exclude the possibility of voting against the draft however and expressed dislike for preambular paragraph 3. But in the long run, he wondered whether, if the Alliance opposed all attempts to restrict the spread of atomic weapons, the Western image would not repeat not become distorted in the eyes of others.
  3. USA Permanent Representative made a statement on instructions which will be distributed later. We shall telegraph this statement to you when we receive it. In summary, the USA was concerned over the implications of the resolution and feared that once more the effects would rebound on the Alliance by casting doubts on Western defence policy both in relation to future multilateral ownership and in relation to present and future arrangements for storage. Swedish Resolution played into the hands of those who hoped for disarmament by passing a stream of resolutions with an emotional content. The USA feared the continued split in NATO solidarity; it opposed the future spread of national nuclear capabilities; and would vote for the Irish Resolution. USA however considers that Swedish Resolution should be opposed. Italian, Danish and Netherlands representatives took much the same sort of view as had been expressed by UK Permanent Representative and myself.
  4. French Permanent Representative agreed with USA approach as also did the Belgian. The latter advanced the interesting suggestion that the answer to the inquiry contained in the Swedish draft had already been provided in the form of the Western peaceFootnote 57 plan. He pleaded against a piecemeal approach to disarmament and in this was joined by USA Permanent Representative in a second intervention in which he said the Alliance should beware of agreeing to partial disarmament measures which would in practice, through well-sounding resolutions, apply to the West alone. Such resolutions took attention away from the fundamental question whether it was possible to control nuclear weapons under a disarmament scheme. By accepting too many resolutions of this sort, we were in danger of damaging our ultimate purpose of making sure nuclear weapons would be properly controlled.Footnote 58
  5. Danish Permanent Representative added in the course of his remarks that his authorities were not repeat not happy about the Swedish initiative which they recognized would be difficult. On the other hand, the initiative had been taken and Danish public would not repeat not be able to understand it if Danish government voted against a resolution proposed by another Scandinavian state and containing nothing more than a request for an inquiry. To this Netherlands Permanent Representative replied that the ultimate damaging effect of the Swedish draft would probably be less than that of the African Resolution L-292 but he was unable to see why the Scandinavian members of the Alliance had to be so careful of Swedish initiatives. The Secretary-General picked this point up in his concluding remarks by suggesting that if the Swedes did not repeat not care enough about Danish and Norwegian governments’ feelings to restrain themselves, there seemed to be no repeat no reason why Swedes should receive special consideration from Denmark and Norway. Finally, the Secretary-General said that he recognized that the final preambular paragraph was not repeat not a statement of policy but an inquiry. Nevertheless, if the resolution were adopted, it would lead to the creation of pressure groups within NATO countries to do what the inquiry in the resolution was obviously aimed at. Secondly, the Secretary-General doubted whether the new Secretary-General of United Nations should be asked to make enquiries of this nature. His concluding plea was that Sweden should be asked to drop its own draft resolution and vote for Irish Resolution.

[JULES] LÉGER

123. DEA/50271-M-40

Memorandum from Under-Secretary of State for External Affairs to Secretary of State for External Affairs

CONFIDENTIAL Ottawa, November 27, 1961

Swedish Resolution on Nuclear Weapons

In view of the information contained in telegram 3201 of November 25 from Mr. Léger (copy attached)† that a further discussion on voting on the Swedish Resolution would take place today (Monday), Ignatieff called Léger by telephone. Ignatieff stressed the point you had made to him about the undesirability of conducting parallel discussions on voting in Paris and in New York. The discussions in New York were obviously more profitable since they were conducted by those more fully aware of the various UN considerations and the changing tactical situation going on in the Assembly. In fact, such consultations were going on among representatives of NATO countries at this very time in which General Burns was representing the Canadian view. Mr. Léger was also told that there was probably no chance of the Canadian Delegation voting against the Resolution; it would be more probable that the Delegation would be voting for or abstaining.

  1. Mr. Léger said that this information was very helpful since the meeting with other delegations slated for today had been postponed. He completely agreed about the undesirability of parallel and simultaneous discussions on UN votes going on in Paris and New York and recalled that he had made this point but he would make it again with greater emphasis. The initiative for these consultations came both from the Secretary-General as well as from the US Delegate on the grounds that the pattern of voting on nuclear weapons was important to NATO.
  2. Mr. Léger strongly recommended that the Canadian Delegation should abstain on the Swedish Resolution particularly if, as he expected, Britain would be abstaining also. He thought that there was no chance of all NATO countries agreeing to an identical position since France and probably the United States would vote against.

.N.A. R[OBERTSON]

124. DEA/50271-M-40

Memorandum from Under-Secretary of State for External Affairs to Secretary of State for External Affairs

CONFIDENTIAL Ottawa, November 27, 1961

Swedish Resolution on Nuclear Weapons

Livingston Merchant telephoned me about 5 p.m. this evening to ask us to vote against the Swedish Resolution on nuclear weapons. After expressing satisfaction at the changed voting on the African Resolution in plenary last week, Merchant said the U.S. Government is concerned at the implications of the Swedish Resolution, particularly in its reference to prohibition of storage facilities being granted to nuclear powers. (Reference is in paragraph 2 of Candel New York Telegram 2706 of November 15:† “Taking note of suggestion that an inquiry be made as to conditions under which countries not possessing nuclear weapons might be willing to enter into specific undertakings to refrain from manufacturing or otherwise acquiring such weapons and to refuse to receive in future nuclear weapons on their territories on behalf of any other country; …”)

  1. Merchant also said that the British Government had agreed to vote against the Resolution. This, I gather, is contrary to the earlier understanding we had from other sources that the British were going to abstain.Footnote 59
  2. I told Merchant that I would bring his comments to your attention.

N.A. R[OBERTSON]

125. DEA/50271-M-40

Memorandum from Under-Secretary of State for External Affairs to Secretary of State for External Affairs

CONFIDENTIAL Ottawa, November 27, 1961

Swedish Resolution on Nuclear Weapons – General Burns’ Report

Ignatieff spoke to General Burns at approximately 6 p.m. and was given the conclusions just reached at a meeting of representatives of NATO countries in the United Nations. Although it was felt that unanimity was highly desirable among NATO countries on this Resolution, the discussion revealed that this could only be based on abstention. The U.S.A. Delegation (contrary to Merchant’s telephone message to the Under-Secretary) did not reveal that they had final instructions but referred to their general opposition to this Resolution as expressed in NATO. The French apparently have instructions that would permit them to vote against or abstain. Pressure was directed on the Scandinavians at the meeting to persuade them to abstain rather than vote in favour. Burns said that he would be confirming this report by telegram.

It was clear from the discussion at the meeting that no delegations had final instructions.

N.A. R[OBERTSON]

126. DEA/50271-M-40

Memorandum from Under-Secretary of State for External Affairs to Secretary of State for External Affairs

CONFIDENTIAL. CANADIAN EYES ONLY. [Ottawa], November 27, 1961

Swedish Resolution on Nuclear Weapons

I attach for your signature, if you agree, telegram No. N-126 to our NATO Delegation on the above subject. This message has been prepared in accordance with your comments on this resolution, and confirms the points made earlier today on the telephone to Mr. Léger by Mr. Ignatieff.Footnote 60

N.A. R[OBERTSON]

[ENCLOSURE]

Secretary of State for External Affairs to Permanent Representative to North Atlantic Council

TELEGRAM N-126 Ottawa, November 27, 1961
CONFIDENTIAL. CANADIAN EYES ONLY.
Reference: Telecon Ignatieff-Léger of Nov. 27.
Repeat for Information: Candel New York, London (, Copenhagen, Oslo (Emergency), Paris, Washington, Geneva, Bonn, Rome (Routine).
By Bag CCOS Ottawa (Waldock), Stockholm, Moscow from London.

16th Unga Swedish Resolution

You will have seen the statement made by Candel New York (their telegram 2910 November 24)† in explanation of Canadian vote in plenary on African Resolution concerning the prohibition of nuclear weapons. In voting on Swedish Resolution, it will be important to take a position which is consistent both with that explanation and our more general policy on related proposals under consideration at the 16th Session.

  1. Our preliminary examination of Swedish draft resolution suggests that the most consistent position for Canada to adopt is an abstention. We might then explain our vote along the lines of the following statement.
  2. Text of proposed statement begins: Canada fully supports the basic desire of the co-sponsors of this resolution to prohibit the further spread of nuclear weapons. Canadian government has consistently favoured the adoption of an international agreement on disarmament which would include measures to prevent the wider spread of nuclear weapons. We recognize that the draft resolution now before us does not repeat not, in itself, call for action in this field but only for an enquiry as to the conditions under which states would be prepared to accept certain undertakings. My delegation is certainly not repeat not opposed to a survey of this kind although we believe that it could result in a variety of divergent national viewpoints, conditions and reservations. So far as the substantive question is concerned, however, it would be unreasonable to expect that states should bind themselves now – completely in isolation from any agreement on disarmament – to an undertaking which would tie their hands in respect of the acquisition of nuclear weapons or their stationing on their soil for purposes of self defence. In the absence of an international agreement on this subject no repeat no country is likely to lay aside its responsibilities to its own people by accepting unilaterally commitments of this kind. My delegation has also made plain in stating our position on resolution number ___ (African Resolution on the prohibition of use) that it would be undesirable at this time, when there is a good chance of resuming disarmament negotiations, to detract from the efforts to reach binding agreements which are the only satisfactory means of finally removing the threat of nuclear weapons. It is on the basis of these considerations that my delegation has decided that we cannot repeat not give our full support to the resolution now before us. However, because we are not repeat not opposed to a survey such as that proposed, and because we fully sympathize with the motives underlying the resolution, it is not repeat not our intention to cast a negative vote. My delegation therefore proposes to abstain when the draft resolution now under consideration is brought to a vote. Text Ends
  3. In discussing Canadian position with your colleagues you should say that a final decision has not yet repeat not been taken as to how Candel New York will be instructed to vote on Swedish draft resolution. However, you should make it plain that it is most unlikely indeed that your authorities would agree to vote against it. You may then make use of the arguments in the draft explanation of vote quoted in paragraph 3 above to explain our attitude toward the draft, but you should not repeat not quote directly from the proposed statement.
  4. You should go on to say that we consider it important to avoid a situation in which NATO would find itself voting as a bloc, with very little support from other delegations, in opposition to Swedish draft. You should emphasize that strictly speaking the draft resolution calls only for an enquiry by Secretary-General and that it could be very harmful to basic Western interests to give the impression that NATO is opposed even to an initiative designed to bring out national views on this subject. In our opinion these considerations dictate that the most appropriate vote for all members of the Alliance would be an abstention.
  5. Finally, with respect to further consideration of Swedish draft, you should say that it is impossible to work out a consistent position in a context removed from day-to-day developments at UNGA. We therefore consider that the main centre of consultations for NATO members should be in New York rather than in Paris.
    For London
  6. You should inform UK authorities that it is most unlikely that Canada will vote against Swedish draft. You should make use of above arguments to support our view that an abstention is the most appropriate vote, and impress upon them that we hope UK will follow this course rather than vote against the resolution. Report UK reaction as soon as possible.
    For Copenhagen and Oslo
  7. You should inform Foreign Ministry of our views on Swedish Resolution along the above lines and report their reaction as soon as possible.
    For Candel New York
  8. I wish you to report as soon as possible your estimate of the way in which friendly delegations are likely to vote on Swedish draft. I am particularly interested in knowing how many of the Latin American group are planning to abstain, and whether we may expect abstentions (rather than votes in favour) from any of the Afro-Asian countries.

[H.C.] GREEN

127. DEA/50271-M-40

Memorandum from Under-Secretary of State for External Affairs to Secretary of State for External Affair

CONFIDENTIAL. CANADIAN EYES ONLY. [Ottawa], November 28, 1961

Irish Resolution on the Prohibition of the Wider Spread of Nuclear Weapons

This memorandum has been prepared in accordance with your request for a comparison of the main differences between this year’s version of the Irish proposal and the resolution on this subject which was adopted last year at the 15th session. Attached for reference are the texts as submitted this year and last, and the text of the explanation of vote which the Canadian Delegation made on this resolution last year.†

  1. The Irish resolution as drafted this year differs in two important respects from the resolution adopted at the 15th session:
    1. In addition to calling upon states to work towards “permanent agreement” on this question, last year’s Irish resolution called for “temporary and voluntary measures” pending permanent agreement, whereby the nuclear states would not relinquish control of such weapons or transmit information necessary for their manufacture to non-nuclear states, and the latter would refrain “from manufacturing these weapons and from otherwise attempting to acquire them.” In explaining our vote in favour of the resolution, the Canadian Delegation stated that we welcomed the emphasis given in it to the desirability of achieving “permanent agreement” because we believe that the only satisfactory solution lay in the adoption of an “international agreement on a comprehensive and carefully verified system of disarmament.” The Delegation also said that other “admittedly less satisfactory” measures were deserving of encouragement, and that we therefore supported the temporary and voluntary measures called for in the resolution. However, the Delegation concluded by saying that if there was no significant progress towards disarmament in the immediate future we would have to reconsider our position on the temporary measures proposed in the resolution. This year’s version of the resolution does not raise this difficulty because the passages relating to “temporary and voluntary” measures have been deleted. The resolution as now drafted calls upon states to make an effort to secure an “international agreement” which would contain provisions designed to prohibit the further spread of nuclear weapons. It is therefore consistent with the position which we adopted in explaining our vote at the 15th session. Provision for measures to prevent the further spread of nuclear weapons is also included in the new U.S. disarmament proposals, and we understand the U.S. regards the present formulation of the Irish resolution as consistent with the measures set out in their plan.
    2. Last year’s version of the Irish resolution called upon the non-nuclear states to refrain not only from manufacturing such weapons but “from otherwise attempting to acquire them.” It was thought that this very general formulation could cause some difficulty for Canada in view of the possibility of our entering into agreements with the U.S. whereby nuclear weapons would be stationed in Canada under some form of joint control. This year’s version of the resolution avoids this difficulty entirely, because it calls upon the non-nuclear states not to attempt to “acquire control of such weapons” rather than not to acquire them in any manner whatever.
  2. In my opinion, the two changes just described fully protect Canada’s position. Their incorporation in the new version of the Irish resolution also removes difficulties which it might have caused for possible NATO arrangements with respect to nuclear weapons. Our understanding is that virtually all our NATO partners consider the resolution to be satisfactory as now phrased, and that they are prepared to vote for it. We will inform you immediately if there is any indication of a change in the attitude of any of our NATO partners.
  3. If it is decided that Canada should abstain on the Swedish resolution dealing with this subject, Canadian support for the Irish resolution should assist us in stating our position. Our basic argument would be that we cannot support unilateral measures in this field, which would be binding on us in isolation from disarmament, but that we fully support the adoption of appropriate international agreements such as that suggested in the Irish proposal. In my opinion, this reasoning would be consistent both with our desire to achieve early agreement on nuclear disarmament and the necessity of retaining freedom of action until such agreement can be reached.
  4. In my memorandum to you of November 18 on the Swedish resolution, I suggested that it might be considered desirable for the Canadian Delegation to restate our position on the Irish resolution either during the debate or when that resolution was brought to a vote. If you agree, we might suggest to the Delegation, when giving them voting instructions on the Irish proposal, that they make an explanation of the Canadian position along the lines of the draft attached to my memorandum to you of November 18.†

N.A. R[OBERTSON]

128. DEA/50271-M-40

Permanent Representative to United Nations to Secretary of State for External Affairs

TELEGRAM 2987 New York, November 28, 1961
CONFIDENTIAL.
Reference: Our Tel 2954 Nov 27.†
Repeat for Information: Washington, London, NATO Paris, Paris, Geneva, Bonn, Rome from Ottawa, CCOS (Waldock) Ottawa from Ottawa (Priority).

16th UNGA: Swedish Resolution

Second meeting of NATO delegations on this subject was held this evening at 5:30pm. It became immediately apparent that unanimity on basis of an abstention was virtually impossible since USA Representative reported that his delegation has received firm instructions to vote against the resolution. (We learned later that this was a presidential decision.) Representative of Denmark made a number of heated interventions emphasising that Scandinavian members would find it exceedingly difficult to abstain unless all NATO group could do likewise. He implied that refusal of USA to agree to a common abstention would have severe repercussions on Scandinavian attitude to similar questions in NATO, and made an emotional appeal that reconsideration be given by USA. (USA delegation will make an effort on basis of Scandinavian attitude to have their instructions changed but has very little hope of success).

  1. Danish Representative reported that Swedes had suggested to Scandinavians the insertion of a final preambular paragraph which would draw attention to the necessity of the agreed principle that all measures of disarmament should be balanced to prevent any state or group of states securing an advantage and that reference to this principle might be inserted in operative section as well. It was the general feeling of the group that a revision along these lines would not repeat not affect in any way the substance of resolution or the attitude of group to it.
  2. UK Representative said that UK had been prepared to abstain in order to obtain unanimity. Although they did not repeat not have final instructions if unanimity on basis of an abstention was impossible it was likely that UK’s “dislike of the resolution would predominate” and result in a UK vote against. Representatives of Italy, Netherlands, France and Belgium reaffirmed their opposition to the resolution. Representative of Iceland indicated that he might have to vote in favour in view of the impossibility to agree on a common abstention.
  3. We spoke on the lines of your telegram N-126 November 28, reiterating our desire to see a common front. We made clear that Canada could not repeat not oppose the resolution and preferred an abstention. We also indicated general line we were thinking of taking in explanation of our abstention in committee.

129. DEA/50271-M-40

Secretary of State for External Affairs to Chairman, Delegation to United Nations General Assembly

TELEGRAM N-127 Ottawa, November 29, 1961
CONFIDENTIAL. CANADIAN EYES ONLY. EMERGENCY.
Reference: Our Tel N-126 Nov 28 and Telecon SSEA/Senator Brooks Nov 29.
Repeat for Information: NATO Paris, Oslo, Copenhagen (, Paris, Washington, London, Bonn, Rome, Geneva, CCOS Ottawa (Waldock) (Routine).
By Bag Stockholm, Moscow.

16th UNGA: Swedish Resolution

If Norwegian, Danish and Icelandic delegations decide to abstain on the Swedish draft resolution, you should also abstain. If these delegations decide to vote in favour of the resolution you would vote in favour as well. If further complications arise with respect to their voting positions (particularly a divergence among them) you should report to me by telephone immediately.

  1. I am transmitting in my immediately following telegram† the text of a draft statement which you could use to explain a Canadian vote in favour of the Swedish Resolution.
  2. The procedural suggestion made in your telegram 2988 of November 28† raises difficulties for Canada. If the Swedish delegation were to object to adjournment of the disarmament debate, the motion to adjourn could well be put to a vote. In that event it might be rejected by a large majority with only a few Western delegations voting in favour. Since this development would be very undesirable from our point of view, I believe that no Canadian initiative along these lines should be considered without full consultation with the Swedish delegation. If there are further developments on this question you should also report them by telephone as soon as possible.

[H.C.] GREEN

130. DEA/50271-M-40

Ambassador in Denmark to Secretary of State for External Affairs

TELEGRAM 108 Copenhagen, November 29, 1961
CONFIDENTIAL.
Reference: Your Tel N-126 Nov 27.
Repeat for Information: London, NATO Paris, Paris, Permis New York ( from Ottawa.
By Bag Stockholm, Oslo, Moscow from London.

UNGA – Swedish Resolution

Your telegram not repeat not deciphered here until late today and we understand vote may have already taken place in New York. We are told that our two delegations have been in close contact there but Danish position as explained by Ministry of Foreign Affairs is that in all probability they will vote in favour of Swedish Resolution although we gather last minute discretion has been left to their delegation. This position worked out in close consultation with Norway as only other Scandinavian NATO country. While Danish Government fully cognizant of implication of resolution considerations of inter-Nordic solidarity at this time and in present circumstances are almost overwhelming and they would expect very adverse domestic reaction if they were to oppose a Swedish Resolution directed to ends with which Denmark is basically sympathetic. They do not repeat not regard resolution as binding commitment in that its passage will not repeat not prejudice response of individual state to survey. They expect resolution to pass and do not repeat not see how any member state could then refuse to take part in survey. It would only be at this stage that basic Danish position would be brought out and there is no repeat no room to assume that it would be inconsistent with NATO policy.

[HECTOR] ALLARD

131. DEA/50271-M-40

Embassy in Norway to Secretary of State for External Affairs

TELEGRAM 183 Oslo, November 29, 1961
CONFIDENTIAL. CANADIAN EYES ONLY. EMERGENCY.
Reference: Your Tel N-126 Nov 27.
Repeat for Information: Candel New York (Emergency), NATO Paris (, Paris, London, Washington, Geneva, Bonn, Rome, DND from Ottawa.
By Bag Copenhagen, Stockholm, Moscow from London.

Swedish Resolution

Instructions have gone today to Norwegian Permanent Mission New York to abstain on some preambular paragraphs but to vote for resolution as a whole. The context of an explanation vote also cleared by Norwegian Cabinet will include a statement that resolution is impracticable and that Norway reserves its position for reasons of domestic defence and NATO membership regarding reply which might be made to questionnaire. It is assumed Denmark and Iceland will also abstain.

  1. Foreign Office’s recommendation for an abstention was changed to favourable vote by Cabinet mainly because of Sweden’s sponsorship. This reason will also be mentioned in explanation of vote. Norway has unsuccessfully attempted to have resolution withdrawn by Swedes or amended to follow Irish pattern. Norway regards Swedish proposal as impracticable and unwise but for domestic poltical reasons and budget consideration for Sweden and we believe for Finland Cabinet was unwilling to endorse abstention.

[JOHN G.] HADWEN

132. DEA/50271-M-40

Embassy in Norway to Secretary of State for External Affairs

TELEGRAM 223 Oslo, November 29, 1961
CONFIDENTIAL. CANADIAN EYES ONLY.
Reference: Your Tel N-126 Nov 27 and My Tel 221 Nov 29.†
Repeat for Information: Candel New York, Washington, DND Ottawa from Ottawa.
By Bag Copenhagen, Stockholm, Moscow from London.

Swedidsh Resolution

My reference telegram Norwegian decision with respect to Swedish Resolution. You should know also that I called on Reidar head of Norwegian Foreign Office and spoke as instructed in paragraph 8 of your reference telegram.

  1. I was assured Canadian position was fully understood by Norwegian authorities. In particular they understood our desire to avoid a situation in which NATO found itself voting as a bloc with little support from other delegations in opposition to a Swedish draft. They agreed that conflict between views expressed between NATO in New York had resulted in unfortunate confusion and that further detailed discussions should take place in New York.

[JOHN G.] HADWEN

133. DEA/50271-M-40

High Commissioner in United Kingdom to Secretary of State for External Affairs

TELEGRAM 4271 London, November 29, 1961
SECRET. CANADIAN EYES ONLY. EMERGENCY.
Reference: Your Tel N-126 Nov 28.
Repeat for Information: Washington (Emergency), Candel New York, Copenhagen, Oslo (, Paris, NATO Paris, Geneva, Bonn, Rome, CCOS Ottawa (Waldock) from Ottawa.
By Bag Stockholm, Moscow from London.

16th UNGA Swedish Resolution

This morning Foreign Office received report from British Embassy Washington to the effect that Embassy had urged State Department in strongest terms to instruct USA delegation to abstain on Swedish Resolution but had subsequently received word from State Department that President Kennedy had decided that USA delegation should vote against resolution. Notwithstanding this British Embassy is being instructed to return to the charge and to endeavour to obtain a reversal of American decision. British Government shares our views on desirability of achieving NATO unanimity and realizes that unanimity can be achieved only on basis of abstentions. They expect that if USA votes against Norway and Denmark will vote in favour and the disarray will be complete. They suggest that we bring our influence to bear urgently in Washington.

  1. On the other hand if unanimity cannot repeat not be achieve on basis of abstentions and in particular if USA votes against Swedish Resolution then it is now almost certain that UK will also vote against. We reported arguments in favour of abstention in accordance with your instructions but we fear that British Government’s decision is firm.

134. DEA/50271-M-40

Ambassador in United States to Secretary of State for External Affairs

TELEGRAM 3649 Washington, November 30, 1961
SECRET.
Reference: Minister-Heeney Telecons Nov 28.
Repeat for Information: NATO Paris, Candel New York, Paris, London (Priority), Bonn, Rome, Geneva, Hague (Priority) from Ottawa, Oslo, Copenhagen (Priority) from Hague, CCOS Ottawa (Waldock) (Priority) from Ottawa.

Swedish Resolution

Following receipt yesterday of your telegram N-128, November 29,† containing instructions to our delegation and our first telephone conversation yesterday afternoon, I spoke to Burns to ascertain the situation in New York. He told me that it appeared probable that the resolution would come to a vote in an hour or so and that Norway, Denmark and probably Iceland would be voting in favour as it seemed there was no repeat no possibility of NATO agreement on abstention.

  1. I then called the British Ambassador to enquire the result of their attempts to persuade USA to abstain. (London telegram 4271 November 29). Ormsby-Gore said that the President and Secretary of State had made their decision on November 28 and that he had concluded that there was no repeat no use in going back at the State Department.
  2. I next spoke to the Deputy Under Secretary of State, Alexis Johnson. I explained that we understood that the Scandinavians would be voting in favour in the absence of an agreed NATO position to abstain. While we considered that abstention would be the least unsatisfactory position for NATO representatives, if no repeat no agreement could be reached in that sense, we also would feel constrained to vote for the resolution. It looked as if the voting might begin very shortly; therefore, we wished the State Department to know of our views and our intentions. Was there no repeat no possibility that USA even at this stage would reconsider their decision and abstain? If not repeat not, there would be serious disarray among the NATO delegations.
  3. Johnson reminded me of the strong case which had been put by USA Representative in NATO Council for a negative vote. The whole question had been re-examined by the President with his advisers the previous evening and their conclusion to vote against had been confirmed for the same reasons. He undertook nevertheless to explore the possibility of reopening the position and to let me know the result.
  4. In my second telephone conversation with you last evening I reported the above to you.
  5. Johnson called me again this morning to say that on the basis of my call, the State Department had again re-examined their position, and had again come to the same conclusion “for the same reasons” and that they would oppose the Swedish Resolution (which had not repeat not yet been voted). He added that there was “serious disappointment” at our decision to vote in favour of the resolution.

[A.D.P.] HEENEY

135. DEA/50271-M-40

Memorandum from Special Assistant, Office of Secretary of State for External Affairs, to Secretary of State for External Affairs

CONFIDENTIAL [Ottawa], November 30, 1961

Swedish Resolution

We have been informed by General Burns that the United States Delegation’s instructions to vote against the Swedish Resolution have now been confirmed. The possibility of NATO unanimity based on abstention is therefore finally ruled out. The Resolution will probably come to a vote before noon.

  1. Norway spoke last night and although the text of the Norwegian statement would seem to justify a vote against or at best an abstention, (see copy attached)† the Norwegian representative (Engen) nevertheless announced his Government’s decision to support the Swedish Resolution. General Burns believes that Denmark and Iceland will also vote in favour. In accordance with the instructions General Burns already has, Canada will also be voting in favour and give the short explanation of vote which you and the Prime Minister approved yesterday.
  2. Following the vote on the Swedish Resolution the Committee will probably move on immediately to a discussion this afternoon of the Irish Resolution. That Resolution has, incidentally, been slightly amended by the Irish themselves to include an additional phrase which does not substantially affect the purport of the Resolution or our stand in favour of it. Attached is the text of the existing operative paragraph (1), with the amendment now proposed by Ireland inserted and underlined.
  3. In view of the indication that the Delegation had yesterday that even the Soviet Union intended to vote for the Irish Resolution, General Burns believes that there will be nothing controversial about the discussion and therefore no real need for Canada to make any explanation of vote. In case for any reason you believe such an explanation nevertheless desirable, a draft statement is being prepared.†

R[OSS] C[AMPBELL]

136. DEA/50271-M-40

Chairman, Delegation to United Nations General Assembly, to Secretary of State for External Affairs

TELEGRAM 3034 New York, November 30, 1961
CONFIDENTIAL.
Repeat for Information: NATO Paris, Paris, Washington, London, Geneva, Rome from Ottawa, CCOS (Waldock) (Priority) from Ottawa.

16th UNGA: Disarmament – Swedish Resolution on Non-nuclear Club (L/297)

The debate on Swedish Resolution began at yesterday afternoon meeting of the First Committee and was concluded this morning. Resolution was adopted on a roll call vote of 57 in favour (Canada) 12 opposed with 32 abstentions. We joined the three Scandinavian NATO members in supporting the resolution. The other ten UN NATO members opposed the resolution and were joined by Spain and Nicaragua. The abstentions came chiefly from Latin America and the French-speaking Africans. All Latin American delegations abstained except Brazil and Cuba. The abstentions from the Brazzaville group came as a surprise even to the French delegation which told us that they had not repeat not lobbied against the resolution with the group which apparently abstained for the same reasons as they had on the resolution calling for a denuclearized Africa.

  1. Before the vote some fifteen delegations participated in the debate. The representatives of Denmark and Norway expressed support for the idea of conducting the proposed survey to determine the conditions under which non-nuclear nations might agree to measures to limit the spread of nuclear weapons but made clear that they reserved their countries’ position as regards the nature of the reply to the survey. We delivered the brief explanation of vote contained in your telegram N-128 November 29.†
  2. The Representative of USA delivered a forcible statement explaining why the USA could not repeat not support the resolution. Since his statement is of considerable interest as a reflection of basic USA policy on this question we are transmitting it in total in a following telegram (Ottawa and Washington only).† In terms somewhat less strong than those employed by USA delegation the Representative of UK also stated his government’s opposition to the resolution.
  3. The Representative of USSR said that Soviet Union would support the draft as a positive contribution to the reduction of danger of nuclear war although the resolution did not repeat not go as far as his delegation would have wished. In particular Soviet Union would have preferred the omission of the words “in the future” in the final preambular paragraph since as presently drafted the resolution seemed to condone the possession of nuclear capability by states such as Germany. Developing this theme Soviet representative launched a violent attack on the position adopted on the resolution by the USA and UK. Referring to USA statement he said that USA should not repeat not argue against the resolution on the grounds that it would effect the defensive arrangements which USA had developed with its allies since as had already been shown in the debate a number of NATO members were prepared to vote in favour of the draft. He accused the West in particular of supporting the nuclear rearmament of Germany. The representative of Bulgaria chimed in to support the line taken by Soviet Representative. His statement also contained references to Soviet bloc proposals for a denuclearized zone in the Balkans.

137. DEA/50271-M-40

Advisor to Government of Canada on Disarmament to Head, Disarmament Division

CONFIDENTIAL New York, December 4, 1961

Dear Ken [McIlwraith]:

Enclosed are two copies in draft of a memorandum giving my views on the situation we face as a result of the latest Soviet proposals in the test ban talks. The draft memorandum relates more particularly to the problem with which we would have to deal if following the reports of the negotiating powers to the Disarmament Commission on December 14 on the progress of the Geneva talks, a resolution endorsing the Soviet test ban proposals was introduced at this session.

I do not suggest that this memorandum should be presented for consideration by the Minister at this time, since the specific situation to which it is primarily addressed is not yet before us in concrete form and the Minister has doubtless a great many other matters to consider in preparation for the NATO ministerial meeting. I would, however, like you to examine this memorandum carefully at the divisional level and to discuss the problems it raises with Mr. Ignatieff and with the Under-Secretary.

In about ten days’ time when we know in what form, if any, these problems will confront us at this session we can decide whether it will be necessary to send the memorandum, revised as appropriate, to the Minister.Footnote 61

E.L.M. BURNS

[ENCLOSURE]

Draft Memorandum by Advisor to Government of Canada on Disarmament

CONFIDENTIAL [New York], December 4, 1961

Nuclear Testing – Soviet Draft “Treaty”

You will recall that the USA-UK resolution on the need for a treaty to ban nuclear weapons tests (resolution 1649 (XVI) adopted by Plenary on November 8) requests the negotiating states to report to the Disarmament Commission by December 14 on the progress of their negotiations. This raises the prospect that the nuclear testing issue will be reopened before the conclusion of the present session. We have learned from USA Delegation that they anticipate this possibility and are now engaged in the preparation of a report which will, embody a considered response of the two Western negotiating states to the Soviet proposal of November 27 for an agreement which would prohibit atmospheric, outer space and under-water tests relying for verification only on national systems of detection.

On the basic of the reports of the Geneva meetings held since negotiations were resumed on November 28, it would seem most unlikely that the USSR will agree to negotiate further on the points at issue in the draft treaty tabled by the Western powers in the conference last April. The Soviet position in the resumed talks indicates that the line the Russians will take in their report to the Disarmament Commission will be that a treaty to ban tests under an international control system is no longer feasible in the present international situation. This would mean that the Soviet Union now rejects the basis on which the Geneva negotiations were conducted during the past three years. The Soviet report will no doubt argue that this basis has been “discredited” because the West insists on control measures which would give it unacceptable unilateral advantages. The Soviet report will probably also argue that their proposed “treaty” is a means of achieving a rapid interim solution of the nuclear testing problem on a new basis.

On the Western side both the USA and UK have made clear that the Soviet proposal of November 27 is a retreat from previous commitments undertaken by the Soviet Union in the conference and is unacceptable since it provides for no international control machinery. At the first meeting of the resumed conference in Geneva on November 28, Dean emphasized that the USA government will make no “paper undertakings” not to conduct nuclear tests after the USSR’s cynical disregard of its previous pledge not to be the first to resume tests. As regards the Soviet proposal that France should be associated in a new moratorium on tests the USA has also stated that the participation of other states in the negotiations does not appear required by Soviet security interests. Although at the moment it is not possible to forecast the manner in which this Assembly will take note of the reports to the Disarmament Commission called for by resolution 1649, it would seem important that we should be prepared for some discussion of these reports at this Assembly before Christmas. The Soviet Union may go so far as to attempt to obtain the passage of a resolution which would involve Assembly endorsement in some form of its proposed treaty. Alternatively, pressures might develop for the adoption of a resolution which would ask the states negotiating in Geneva to continue their discussions taking fully into account the new Soviet proposal, while maintaining an unsupervised “moratorium.”

The USA and UK may be expected to take the strongest exception to any move at this session suggesting that the draft “treaty” put forward by the USSR offers an acceptable alternative to an internationally controlled agreement to ban nuclear tests. The USA has made it clear that it intends to reserve its full freedom of action if the results of the evaluation of the extensive Soviet testing programme makes it necessary for the USA to conduct atmospheric tests in the interest of its national security.

One cannot ignore the fact however that the Soviet Union’s latest proposal may hold considerable attraction for non-aligned opinion in the Assembly as a possible basis for future agreement. It was doubtless in the expectation that it could repair the damage done to its public position by its resumption of tests that the Soviet Union agreed to return to the Geneva negotiations presenting at the same time a proposal which it realized would be rejected by the Western powers.

Presented with a situation in which this Assembly would be asked to vote on a resolution implying approval of the Soviet proposal for an unsupervised ban on tests, Canada would be placed in an awkward position. On the one hand, our strong opposition to tests has been expressed in our unqualified support of the Indian resolution (A/1648) which was opposed at the time for different reasons by all the nuclear powers. On the other hand, we voted in favour of the Western resolution (A/1649) calling for the conclusion of an effectively controlled treaty. According to the terms of the latter resolution, the permanent cessation of testing can be guaranteed “only by an effective impartial system of verification in which all states have confidence.” The latest Soviet proposal rejects this essential requirement but the Russians could be counted on to argue that their proposed “treaty” is in full harmony with the spirit of the Indian resolution and meets that resolution’s call for the conclusion of “internationally binding agreements in regard to tests.”

One can hope that the situation described above will not materialize at this session in this acute form. If the current bilateral talks on the composition of the negotiating forum for disarmament are fruitful, neither side may wish to reopen the nuclear tests issue and the bitter debate which this would entail. I believe however that the inherent dilemma which this situation presents for Canada should be faced now.

It appears almost certain no progress can be expected in the Geneva test-ban talks in the ten days remaining until the dead-line. Failing agreement on the conditions for the resumption of negotiations on general and complete disarmament, the Soviet Union will, in all probability, exploit to the full its offer to enter into a formal agreement to ban tests on a basis which it knows the Western nuclear powers cannot accept. As was predicted by several Western speakers during the debate on the Indian resolution, the Soviet offer comes at a moment when the USA cannot renounce its freedom to conduct atmospheric tests until it has reached a firm conclusion regarding the necessity of such tests to ensure the defences of the free world.

It seems to me that this raises grave problems for the Western alliance as a whole and that the problems involved may very well receive attention during the forthcoming ministerial meeting of NATO. The possible repercussions of a USA decision to conduct atmospheric tests on the prospects of renewed disarmament negotiations also merit consideration in this context. In any case, I believe the position taken by Canada at this session on the nuclear testing question should be carefully reviewed in the light of these latest developments.

E.L.M. BURNS

138. DEA/50271-M-40M

Message from Prime Minister of United Kingdom to Prime Minister

TOP SECRET Ottawa, December 18, 1961

The recent series of Russian nuclear tests has presented the Americans with a grave problem and they are now considering whether further tests may not be called for on their side if the balance of the deterrent is to be preserved. President Kennedy recently asked me whether we could make facilities available at Christmas Island to carry out atmospheric tests if he should decide (which he has not yet done) that such tests were essential. He does not wish to use Eniwetok or Bikini because the use of a trust territory would subject the Americans to considerable criticism at the United Nations.

I said in the House of Commons on the 31st October that if I were convinced that a further nuclear test was necessary in order to maintain the balance of the deterrent and to preserve freedom in the world, Britain would be bound either to co-operate in or support its conduct.

After careful consideration and discussion here, I replied to President Kennedy pointing out that both he and I were committed by our public statements, mine of the 31st October and his of the 1st November, and that our two countries should stand together in making further atmospheric tests if we were convinced that these were really necessary within the meaning of our statements. But our first step must be to satisfy ourselves that such tests would in fact be firmly within our public positions. To this end I proposed an Anglo/United States meeting of experts to look at the proposed content of the tests so that the President and I could make our individual political judgments whether such a programme is within our public definitions. I made it clear that we should have to be satisfied that the proposed tests cannot be made underground, and indicated that we ought to exclude tests of really marginal value.

My own preliminary view is that we might be prepared to accept tests directly related to preserving the balance of the deterrent, and that these might include tests to protect the validity of our weapons or which promised a break-through in defensive measures.

I am, of course, aware that a resumption of atmospheric tests will be much disliked throughout the world. We are judged by different standards from those applied to the Communists. We should be proud of this and jealous of our moral advantage which may in the end undermine their atheist creed. I have impressed this on President Kennedy.

He has now sent a message which shows that he is resisting pressure for tests as such, and shares my broad view on the criteria which should be applied. Our experts and theirs will be getting into touch in accordance with my proposal and I expect to have further discussions with President Kennedy on this when I meet him in Bermuda.Footnote 62

We naturally do not want, if we can help it, to prejudice whatever prospects there may be, now that the Geneva Conference has resumed work, of a treaty providing for the cessation of nuclear tests under adequate control. We have however had to make it clear publicly that pending the conclusion of such a treaty we cannot, in view of the massive series of tests held by the Soviet Government, bind ourselves not to engage in or support the conduct of any further tests. I am sure you will agree that we cannot tie our hands when it might be a question of the balance of the deterrent being tipped against us, and when in any case the Soviet proposals now tabled at the Conference clearly suggest that they are more interested, after completing their own programme of tests, in imposing an uncontrolled moratorium on the United States than in any serious negotiations for a treaty.

I should be grateful if you would keep knowledge of the contents of this message to the smallest possible circle.

139. DEA/50189-C-40

Extract from Final Report of the Sixteenth Session, First Committee of the United Nations General Assembly

CONFIDENTIAL [Ottawa, n.d.]

Item 19: Question of Disarmament

Summary

The item on disarmament appeared on the agenda of the sixteenth session in accordance with resolution 1617(XV) adopted at the last session, in which the General Assembly (a) noted the declarations of the United States and the Soviet Union that they would continue to examine between the sessions on a bilateral basis the question of the resumption of disarmament negotiations (viz. the problem of the principles which would guide future negotiations and the composition of the negotiating forum) and (b) decided to renew its consideration of disarmament at this session. At the outset of the sixteenth session the General Committee recommended that the question of disarmament be allocated to the First Committee after the defeat of a Soviet proposal to have this item considered in Plenary immediately after the General Debate.

The paramount question at this session concerned the conditions for resuming detailed disarmament negotiations, which had been broken off following the Soviet bloc walk-out from the Ten Nation Committee in June 1960. Since it was generally recognized that this was a matter which could be most satisfactorily resolved by intensive bilateral talks between the United States and the Soviet Union, the First Committee adopted promptly and unanimously a resolution introduced by India early in the debate calling upon the two major powers to reach agreement on the composition of a disarmament negotiating body and to report before the end of the sixteenth session on the results of their negotiations. This resolution, which was unanimously passed by Plenary on November 28, is contained in the first part of the report of the First Committee on this item (document A/4980 of November 22) and also appears as A/RES/1660(XVI) of November 30, 1961.

In a series of private meetings the delegations of the United States and the Soviet Union reached agreement on the text of a joint resolution on the resumption of disarmament negotiations. It was agreed between the two powers that a new disarmament committee be constituted, whose membership should consist of the ten members of the Ten Nation Disarmament Committee, with the addition of eight other countries not members of either military bloc (Brazil, Burma, Ethiopia, India, Mexico, Nigeria, Sweden and the UAR). The resolution endorsed this agreement and recommended that the new committee undertake as a matter of urgency disarmament negotiations on the basis of the joint statement of agreed principles. The resolution also requested the disarmament body to submit a progress report on the negotiations to the Disarmament Commission not later than June 1, 1962. The joint resolution was introduced in the First Committee on December 13 where it was adopted by acclamation. It was subsequently adopted unanimously in Plenary. The text appears in the second part of the report of the First Committee (document A/4980 Add.2) and also appears as A/RES/[blank].

In addition to the central problem of the resumption of detailed disarmament negotiations, the Committee had before it a proposal submitted by the delegation of Sweden concerning the formation of a “non-nuclear club.” This resolution inter alia requested the Secretary-General to conduct an enquiry “as to the conditions under which countries not possessing nuclear weapons might be willing to enter into specific undertakings to refrain from manufacturing or otherwise acquiring such weapons and to refuse to receive in the future nuclear weapons on their territories on behalf of any other country.” Although many delegations felt that this was a matter which could more appropriately be dealt with under the Irish item on the prevention of the wider spread of nuclear weapons, the Swedish resolution was discussed at the end of the Committee’s general debate on disarmament. It was adopted in Committee by a vote of 57 in favour (Canada), 12 opposed, with 32 abstentions. It was subsequently adopted in Plenary on a vote of 58 in favour (Canada), 10 opposed, with 23 abstentions. A description of the position adopted by the major groups on this resolution is included in the following section of this report. The text of the resolution appears in Part II of the report of the First Committee A/4980 Add. 1 and in document A/RES/1664(XVI).

The Debate

Many speakers in the General Debate in Plenary gave a prominent place in their interventions to the question of disarmament and this may have been a factor in curtailing the length of the disarmament debate in Committee. On September 25 President Kennedy presented to the Assembly the new United States disarmament programme, while the Soviet position was presented by Mr. Gromyko in his Plenary speech in which he introduced a memorandum by the Soviet Government on measures “to ease international tension, strengthen confidence among the states and to contribute to general and complete disarmament” (document A/4892).

The fact that agreement had been reached in the bilateral talks between the United States and the Soviet Union during the summer of 1961 on a statement of principles to guide future disarmament negotiations was warmly welcomed by most delegations as a hopeful first step. The presence of this agreement and the fact that the delegations of the United States and the Soviet Union were engaged in bilateral negotiations on the forum for renewed disarmament negotiations meant that the disarmament debate in Committee was relatively subdued in comparison to the long and bitter discussion of nuclear testing which had gone before. A major theme in the interventions of many delegations was that a basis for future progress had been laid through the agreement on principles and that concrete negotiations should be undertaken without delay. The question of the control and verification procedures to accompany disarmament was recognized as a crucial issue, and a good deal of attention was given to the disagreement between the Western powers and the Soviet Union about whether only the agreed reductions in forces and armaments should be verified or whether it was equally necessary to inspect and verify the levels of forces and armaments retained after reductions have been implemented. Western insistence that the latter was essential provoked the usual Soviet charge that the United States was seeking “control over armaments” instead of disarmament and wished to impose on the Soviet Union a system of “legalized espionage.” Soviet bloc criticism of the latest Western disarmament programme was relatively restrained although the programme was attacked for not containing enough actual disarmament in its first stage and for including measures which would place the Soviet Union at a disadvantage.

Following a two week debate in the First Committee it was decided unanimously that the item should remain open to permit the receipt of the report concerning the bilateral discussions on the negotiating forum called for in the Indian resolution mentioned in the previous section (A/RES/1660). The Committee then turned to the discussion of the Swedish proposal concerning the possibility of forming a “non-nuclear club.” This resolution, although it envisaged at this stage only an enquiry by the Secretary-General as to the conditions under which non-nuclear powers would be prepared to undertake obligations not to accept nuclear weapons, was opposed by the United States which considered that it raised grave problems which touched the very centre of the defensive arrangements of the NATO alliance. The basis for the United States objection to the Swedish proposal as stated in Committee was that it might set in motion a chain of events which would “call in question the right of free nations to join together in collective self-defence, including the right of self-defence with nuclear weapons if need be.” A serious effort was made to obtain unanimity among NATO members regarding the resolution. These efforts included extensive consultations in the NATO Council as well as two meetings of NATO delegations in New York (the latter were without precedent since such meetings have been generally regarded as undesirable in the past). The Scandinavian members of NATO made clear that they were unable to oppose the resolution due to their special relationship with Sweden, as well as for domestic reasons. The only possible common stand by the NATO delegations would have been on the basis of an abstention, but this possibility disappeared when Washington refused to authorize the United States Delegation to abstain. In the vote Canada, Norway, Denmark, and Iceland supported the resolution, while the other ten members of NATO opposed it. Abstentions came chiefly from Latin America and from the French-speaking African countries. The Soviet bloc, as was to be expected, gave the Swedish initiative its full support and placed the resolution in the context of various plans for nuclear free zones, such as the Rapacki Plan. The Soviet bloc also took advantage of the situation to attack vigorously the United States for opposing a measure which the Soviet delegate claimed would contribute to easing international tensions. In explaining their votes in favour of the resolution the NATO members which supported it made clear that their position on the resolution did not prejudge the nature of the reply they would be making to the Secretary-General’s enquiry.

As explained in the first section of this report, the Committee concluded its work under the disarmament item by adopting unanimously on December 13 the joint United States-USSR resolution on the resumption of disarmament negotiations in a reconstituted disarmament committee. It should be noted that the wording of this resolution does not make the new negotiating committee an organ of the United Nations. In the course of the bilateral negotiations on this subject the Soviet Union made clear that it preferred that the Assembly merely endorse an agreement reached between the two powers on the composition of the committee. At the same time a close relationship with the United Nations has been established since the committee is requested to report to the Disarmament Commission not later than June 1, 1962 on the progress of the negotiations.

Canadian Position

In his speeches in Plenary on October 3 and in the First Committee on November 24, the Secretary of State for External Affairs set out Canada’s position on the question of disarmament, stressing in particular the urgency of resuming detailed substantive negotiations. The text of the Minister’s statement in the First Committee is annexed to the present report.†

As for the Swedish resolution, Canada’s support was based on our concern with the problem of the further spread of nuclear weapons and on our belief that an enquiry by the Secretary-General as called for in the resolution might serve a useful purpose in clarifying national viewpoints on this important matter. The Canadian Representative, in explaining our vote on this resolution, emphasized that our reply to the proposed survey would be governed by our basic policy that the only effective means of prohibiting the wider spread of nuclear weapons is through the adoption of broad international agreements on disarmament which would bind the nuclear as well as the non-nuclear states.

Future Action

The most important decision taken at the sixteenth session under this item is that endorsing the agreement to undertake disarmament negotiations early in 1962 in a new disarmament committee on which Canada will serve.

We must also anticipate the necessity of formulating a careful reply to the survey which the Secretary-General will conduct in accordance with the terms of the Swedish resolution. Close consultations with our NATO allies will be required before submitting Canada’s considered reply to this enquiry.

Annexes†

  1. Report of the First Committee A/4980 of November 22 and A/4980 Add. 1 of November 30 and A/4980 Add. II of December 14.
  2. Statement of the SSEA in the First Committee on November 24, 1961.
  3. Statement in explanation of vote on the Swedish resolution concerning the formation of a non-nuclear club delivered by General E.L.M. Burns in the First Committee on November 30, 1961.

Section D - World Food Programme

140. PCO

Memorandum from Secretary of State for External Affairs to Cabinet

CABINET DOCUMENT NO. 286-61 [Ottawa], July 21, 1961
CONFIDENTIAL

United Nations Food Bank

At the fifteenth session of the General Assembly, on September 26, 1960, the Prime Minister proposed the establishment of a World Food Bank to provide surplus food to countries in need. On October 27, 1960, the General Assembly of the United Nations unanimously adopted Resolution 1496 XV (copy attached)† entitled: “Provision of food surpluses to food deficient peoples through the United Nations system.” The main operative sections of the Resolution are paragraphs 4 and 5. The latter, which reflected the Canadian initiative, invited the FAO to “undertake a study of the feasibility and acceptability of additional arrangements, … having as their objective the mobilization of available surplus foodstuffs and their distribution in areas of greatest need, particularly in the economically less developed countries.” The Director General of FAO was asked to report to ECOSOC this summer.

  1. Following the General Assembly, the Director General of FAO convened a group of independent experts to aid him in his study. On the basis of their recommendations, he submitted a draft report to an Intergovernmental Advisory Committee which met in Rome April 5-12.
  2. The report of the Director General suggests an expanded programme of aid involving $25 to $30 billion over the next five years, of which up to about $12.5 billion might take the form of contributions of food. The report recommends that in using these surpluses, major emphasis be placed upon economic development programmes including the establishment of national reserves of commodities. Approximately two-thirds of the total would be devoted to these purposes. The balance, namely $4 to $4.5 billion, would go into social development and welfare distribution. The report also says that if international action is to be extended to the relief of famine and other emergencies, some plan would need to be agreed upon and implemented. The report does not make specific proposals for action.
  3. At the meeting of the Advisory Committee, the Canadian Delegation considered the Director General’s proposals to be over-ambitious and suggested that to avoid the failures of earlier proposals, a modest beginning on a multilateral basis should be made, so as to be within the financial reach of most United Nations member countries and with the initial objective of meeting the world’s emergency food requirements arising out of distress or disaster conditions. This idea was carried further by the United States Delegate, the Director of the Food for Peace Programme, who proposed a $100,000,000 three-year multilateral programme to which the United States would contribute $40,000,000 in commodities, with a possibility of a supplementary cash contribution. In addition to meeting emergency requirements, the United States proposal envisaged the use of limited resources for pilot projects such as school lunch programmes and/or labour incentive schemes.
  4. During the meeting of the FAO Committee on Commodity Problems and the Council in late May and June, it became clear that very few countries had yet given serious consideration to the United Nations Resolution, and that the initiative for devising a workable scheme continues to rest with Canada and the United States. There was, however, considerable support in both meetings for a modest approach on a multilateral programme embracing in the beginning emergency aid and selected pilot projects, and it was widely recognized that much of the programme envisaged in the Director General’s report, which is devoted to economic development purposes, is now being carried on by means of bilateral arrangements, and will continue to be handled bilaterally.
  5. The various proposals for a Food Bank will be discussed at the Thirty-Second Session of ECOSOC in the third and fourth weeks, July 17-28, 1961, and at the 16th Session of the United Nations General Assembly. It will also be dealt with at a special two-day session of the FAO Council at the end of October, 1961, and at the Conference immediately following. It is desirable that a more detailed Canadian position on this matter be developed for use at these meetings and in other international bodies where the Food Bank will be discussed, for the purpose of promoting the Canadian concept and eliciting the support of other countries.

    CANADIAN POSITION

  6. In the light of previous Canadian initiatives, Ministers would presumably wish Canada to continue to support the creation of a multilaterally-financed Food Bank of a modest size which would initially be devoted to meeting emergency needs with the possibility that, if proven successful, and resources permit, it may later undertake more extensive multilateral activities. The undersigned accordingly recommend the following outline of the objectives, organization, and operation of the kind of World Food Bank that might most appropriately be supported and promoted by Canada:

    A. General Objectives

  1. that more should be done to meet the food needs of undernourished peoples throughout the world,
  2. that these costs should be underwritten on a broad multilateral basis,
  3. that the commercial interests of countries exporting food should be protected.

B. Specific Objectives

  1. A modest start should be made with the main emphasis on emergency needs, but with provision for limited use of funds for selected pilot projects.
  2. As conditions and experience permit, consideration should be given to broadening the scope of the Food Bank to permit the raising of food consumption and standards of nutrition to levels that countries are likely to be able to sustain by their own efforts through improved productive capacity.
  3. Ultimately, consideration might also be given to co-ordination of the Food Bank’s efforts with those of other international bodies in accelerating economic development.

C. Membership

Membership and participation of countries in the Food Bank should be on a voluntary basis, but once countries join they should be responsible for a compulsory contribution based on an agreed scale related to their capacity to pay. Maximum participation by the more developed countries should be sought, and it is to be hoped that they (other than Canada and the United States) would put up at least 40%.

D. Initial Programme

  1. There should be established a fund of $100 million (United States currency), to be administered by the Food Bank and to be made up of contributions of cash (in convertible funds), pledges of selected basic commodities, and services.
  2. Country contributions should consist of at least one-third cash. The selected basic commodities and services of a kind agreed upon should be valued at world market prices.
  3. Member countries should contribute to the Bank’s fund on the basis of the FAO (or United Nations) scale of assessments. The ideal situation would be one where all the members of the FAO or United Nations agree to join the Food Bank. In such a case, Canada’s share of the Bank’s fund would be about $4 million (United States currency) on the FAO scale and on the United Nations scale, about $3.10 million (United States currency). In any event, Canadian participation in this programme might be more dependent upon the contribution by developed countries, other than the United States and Canada, of the order of 40% of the total fund.
  4. To place the Bank on a business-like footing, its $100 million fund should be deposited in the case of cash, or pledged in the case of foodstuffs and services, before the Bank begins its operations. The rate of disbursement from the Bank should not exceed $100 million over three years, or $50 million in any one year. Member countries should be required to replenish the Bank at the end of each of the first three years of operations and to do so in such a way that the proportion of at least one-third cash is maintained in the Bank’s resources.
  5. Not later than at the end of the third year of its operations, member countries should review the Bank’s original charter and decide whether to revise it and/or the Bank’s scale of operations.

E. Administration
The Bank’s terms of reference should include the following:

  1. to receive contributions (including those of a voluntary type which may be offered by either government or non-government groups in addition to compulsory contributions by governments);
  2. to receive requests for assistance and offers of products;
  3. to investigate, or cause to be investigated, the basis for claims of need;
  4. to acquire products on terms and conditions to be prescribed;
  5. to distribute, or cause to be distributed, contributions acquired under (a) and (d), to food-deficient people in areas of need on terms and conditions to be determined.
  6. to act as a clearing house for information on needs in food-deficient countries and on food supplies that could be made available for transfer to these countries.

The Food Bank should be a semi-independent business-type organization with a Chief Executive Officer assisted by a small executive board carrying major managerial responsibility. It would be required to make periodic reports to a governing council appointed by either (a) the contributing countries, (b) the United Nations, or (c), the FAO. It would be understood that the Bank would use the facilities, including staff, of existing agencies, to the greatest extent possible.

F. Canadian Contribution

Having regard to Canada’s initiative and interest in the establishment of a Food Bank, it is suggested that Canada should be prepared if necessary to offer up to $5 million, of which at least one-third would be paid in cash and the remainder pledged in acceptable commodities. It is the present intention that Canada’s share would not exceed one-tenth of the United States contribution. Canada’s liability over the proposed initial three-year period of the Bank’s operations would be limited to an initial contribution of up to $5 million, plus possible replenishment contributions at the end of each year up to a maximum of a further $5 million, making a maximum total of $10 million (United States currency).Footnote 63

[H.C. GREEN]

Concurred in:
ALVIN HAMILTON
Minister of Agriculture

GEORGE HEES
Minister of Trade and Commercebr

141. DEA/24-2-40

Memorandum from Secretary of State for External Affairs to Prime Minister

[Ottawa], November 24, 1961

World Food Programme

The Food and Agriculture Organization Conference on November 24 adopted the resolution establishing a World Food Programme. The text of this resolution is contained in the attached telegram no. 496 of November 23 from Rome.†

  1. The resolution establishes that the Programme will be known as the “World Food Programme.” It also provides that contributions will be in the form of appropriate commodities, acceptable services and cash … “aiming in the aggregate at a cash component of at least one-third of the total contributions.” The resolution stipulates that countries “should give due regard to the importance of achieving this overall objective, when determining the cash element in their contribution.”
  2. An intergovernmental committee of 20 countries which are members of the FAO or of the United Nations is being established to provide guidance on policy, administration and operations. This committee will be elected half by the FAO Council and half by the ECOSOC, and it is envisaged that Canada will be nominated tomorrow by the FAO Council for membership. The committee is to meet in Rome early in 1962 to develop detailed procedures and arrangements for the Programme. These procedures and arrangements are to be reviewed and approved by the FAO Council and the United Nations ECOSOC in New York next April, following which a pledging conference of contributing countries will be convened.
  3. The FAO resolution has recommended that the Programme be administered by a joint FAO/UN administrative unit located at the FAO headquarters in Rome.
  4. The establishment of this World Food Programme will now be discussed further by the General Assembly in New York, presumably fairly shortly, and our Delegation there will be reporting on these discussions. In view of the approval given by the FAO Conference to this Programme, it is not envisaged that the General Assembly will recommend any basic changes, although in theory this could happen.

H.C. G[REEN]

142. DEA/24-2-40

Secretary of State for External Affairs to Chairman, Delegation to United Nations General Assembly

TELEGRAM E-2445 Ottawa, December 1, 1961
CONFIDENTIAL.
Reference: Your Tel 344 Nov 29/61.†
Repeat for Information: Washington, Rome, T & C.

16th UNGA: Item 28(E): World Food Programme

We consider it important that you should play a leading role at the Assembly in relation to item 28(e) and other delegations will be looking to Canada to play an active part in securing the adoption by the Assembly of a suitable resolution with respect to the World Food Programme. We are grateful for the suggestions regarding a resolution which you have sent us. It is, of course, of the greatest importance that the resolution adopted by the Assembly should, along with the FAO conference resolution, provide a sound basis for the development of an effective programme conforming to the greatest extent possible with the Canadian position. We understand that the item will be coming up for discussion at the end of next week. You should therefore lose no time in seeking support from other delegations for a satisfactory resolution, consulting as appropriate with Secretariat officials on the matter.

  1. From our point of view, the Assembly should adopt a resolution which would (a) accept the FAO resolution (subject to (c) below) as a basis for proceeding with the establishment of the World Food Programme; (b) annex the text of the FAO resolution and (c) contain a provision which would read as follows: “Instructs the Intergovernmental Committee, in preparing recommendations on the conditions and procedures for the establishment and operation of the programme for the review and approval by ECOSOC and the FAO Council, to consider the FAO resolution, this resolution, the UN/FAO report (Document A4907), statements made during the debates in the FAO Conference and General Assembly, and such other conditions and procedures as may seem appropriate.”
  2. For your information we consider a provision such as contained in (c) above essential in order to give the Intergovernmental Committee sufficient scope and authority to develop what in effect would constitute a proposed charter for the programme. We would hope that such a charter would incorporate the main safeguards and conditions which we consider important for the achievement of this programme and which are spelled out in the Cabinet memorandum of July 21. The above wording in (c) above has been carefully considered here and should be adhered to as closely as possible.
  3. Unless it develops that you are unable to secure a provision of this kind in the Assembly resolution, you should not propose the insertion of additional concepts and conditions to the FAO resolution. In our view such an attempt would (a) detract from our main objective of giving the Intergovernmental Committee a fairly free hand in developing the conditions and procedures for the establishment and operation of the programme; and (b) open the way for controversial debate in the large forum of the Assembly which could lead to delays or to the introduction of undesirable proposals by other countries. You should also discourage other delegations or the Secretariat from introducing at the Assembly controversial additions to the FAO resolution.
  4. The Assembly resolution, of course, would have to incorporate appropriate instructions to ECOSOC regarding the election of the U.N. half of the Intergovernmental Committee and related questions.
  5. The formulation suggested above would instruct the Intergovernmental Committee to take account of statements made during the Assembly debate. Therefore in speaking to a resolution of this kind, you should take the opportunity to restate the Canadian position along the lines of the Cabinet memorandum of July 21. In your statement you should avoid developing your points in a way which would lead to controversy or delay but it would be entirely appropriate to re-emphasize in particular our position with respect to the cash component of contributions. We should be glad to have an opportunity to review your statement if possible before delivery, and look forward to seeing the text of a draft resolution along the lines suggested above.
  6. The FAO resolution and the U.N. resolution as proposed in this telegram would provide that the initial Intergovernmental Committee charged with the development of a ‘charter’ may differ from the composition of the Intergovernmental Committee which will provide direction following the establishment of the programme. In view of the important function of the initial committee you should use your influence to have ECOSOC elect key countries such as Denmark and Australia as well as potential major contributing countries such as United Kingdom, Germany and Japan. You will have noted that with the exception of the United Kingdom these are listed in suggestions of the Canadian FAO delegation in Rome (reference telegram 508 of November 27 from Rome).† The FAO delegation further reports that Liberia, Venezuela and Haiti of the original U.N. sponsors gave little assistance in Rome but that Mexico and Yugoslavia were extremely helpful.
  7. We should welcome a report from you on the position likely to be taken at the Assembly by the Soviet bloc toward the World Food Programme. We hope they will not attempt to obstruct the development of the programme, and from our point of view see no objection to Soviet participation on a constructive basis, which we recognize may also involve their representation on the Intergovernmental Committee.

143. DEA/24-2-40

Memoranum from Under-Secretary of State for External Affairs to Secretary of State for External Affairs

[Ottawa], December 15, 1961

World Food Programme

On December 13 the Second Committee of the General Assembly approved a proposal for the establishment of a World Food Programme in a resolution which corresponded basically to the resolution adopted in November by the FAO Conference. The approved programme is of a kind that Canada has been advocating and which is in line generally with the principles approved by Cabinet last July. The Second Committee’s resolution will be placed before the Plenary Session early next week where it is assured of approval. The vote in favour of the resolution, which was initiated by the Canadian Delegation and co-sponsored by seven other countries including the United States, was 72 in favour and 10 abstentions (Soviet bloc excluding Cuba) and no votes against. The corrected text of this resolution is contained in attached telegram 3275 of December 13 from New York.†

  1. The World Food Programme, which the Prime Minister proposed in a statement at the General Assembly last autumn, has now been approved by the FAO Conference and, in practical terms, by the United Nations. The next step will be the convening early in the new year of a twenty-country committee (of which Canada is a member) to work out and agree on a charter for the new programme, which will be submitted in April to concurrent sessions of ECOSOC and the FAO Council. This is to be followed by a pledging conference planned for the Spring, and the programme should get under way and begin operations well before the end of next year.
  2. As approved by the FAO and United Nations, the programme will be for an initial experimental period of three years. Contributions of approximately $100 million are called for on a voluntary basis in the form of “appropriate commodities, acceptable services and cash.” The aim is to have the cash element amount in the aggregate to at least one-third of total contributions. Canada, the United States and Denmark have already undertaken to contribute to the programme; Canada up to an amount of $5 million, of which one-third could be cash; the United States up to an amount of $40 million in commodities and possibly a further donation in cash; and Denmark up to $2 million in commodities and cash. It is important, of course, that the programme should have the widest possible multilateral support. There are grounds for hoping this support will be forthcoming in view of the virtually unanimous endorsement which the international community has given to the programme.
  3. The precise nature of the programme remains to be agreed by the meeting of the twenty-country committee which will present an opportunity for Canada to seek to ensure that the programme will be developed in detail along lines we have advocated. The FAO and United Nations resolutions and debates clearly envisage a programme devoted mainly to meeting famine and other emergency food situations or to projects in areas of chronic malnutrition, although a limited use of the programme to assist economic and social development is also foreseen. The debates at the FAO Conference and particularly the General Assembly revealed that many countries are cautious about the idea of using food as a form of development assistance, as favoured by the United States and as the FAO Director-General has advocated as a long-run objective. Many food exporting countries have shown concern about possible damage to commercial export trade, and a number of less-developed countries have expressed fears about the effects of the programme on domestic agricultural producers in recipient countries. The United Nations resolution in particular contains safeguards against dangers of this kind. The Canadian position that the programme should not develop into a surplus disposal operation has been generally endorsed.
  4. The approval given to the programme on December 13 by the Second Committee of the Assembly was widely noted by the press and radio in Canada.

N.A. R[OBERTSON]

Section E - Resumed Fifteenth Session of the General Assembly, March 7 to April 22, 1961

Sub-section I

SOUTH AFRICA

144. DEA/7060-40

Memorandum from Under-Secretary of State for External Affairs to Secretary of State for External Affairs

CONFIDENTIAL [Ottawa], March 28, 1961

Apartheid Item at the General Assembly

In an effort to head off the introduction of a resolution calling for economic or other sanctions against South Africa (possibly including expulsion from the U.N.), our delegation has been lobbying informally in the corridors against such a resolution. They have pointed out the advantages of a reasonable resolution which could attract a large affirmative vote, probably including Canada and other moderates. These private discussions have had little effect. The delegation would now like to speak as soon as possible in the debate, in an effort to encourage the introduction of a resolution somewhat along the lines of last year’s resolution or, failing that, to attract as large a group as possible to abstain on any extreme resolution. The line which the delegation would like to take in its statement is contained in the attached telegram (No. 639).†

  1. While we sympathize with the delegation’s objective, we have some doubts about the wisdom of speaking early. Nothing we say is likely to prevent the introduction of a violent resolution, if the Africans are bent on pillorying South Africa. We might possibly persuade a few moderates such as New Zealand, Ireland and the Scandinavians to abstain, but the number of potential converts is quite small. Moreover, if we speak publicly, our position becomes much less flexible; it would be taken as virtually committing our vote in advance, before a resolution was even tabled. In addition, whatever we say publicly may be interpreted as forecasting our approach to the broad question of our future economic and political relations with South Africa.
  2. We recommend, therefore, that at least until the resolution is introduced, the delegation not speak publicly, but continue to work for moderation by speaking privately whenever appropriate, and making the following points:
    1. Canada continues to follow its traditional policy of opposing racial discrimination in South Africa or wherever it appears.
    2. We realize that South Africa’s racial problems are complex, but we continue to hope that the Union will begin reversing the policy of apartheid.
    3. The General Assembly cannot ignore Article 2 of the Charter which says “Nothing contained in the present Charter shall authorize the U.N. to intervene in matters which are essentially within the domestic jurisdiction of any state, or shall require the members to submit such matters to settlement under the present Charter…” The Canadian view has always been that this article does not prevent discussion of domestic subjects or prevent the Assembly from expressing opinions, but that it does not permit the Assembly to call for specific action (other, in this case, than appeals to the South African Government for action.)
    4. A resolution calling for sanctions would be harmful because it would probably force South Africa out of the U.N. and, thus, cut the only channel of communication now left between South Africa and the international community. It is difficult to see how anything can be accomplished by driving South Africa into complete isolation; the problem is that the Union is already too isolated from the changing ideas and conditions in the modern world. When the Prime Minister of Malaya suggested that we join in boycotting South African goods, Mr. Diefenbaker rejected the proposal in his letter of September 1st which pointed out that (i) not only would this fail to move South Africa, but it might strengthen extremist tendencies and cause new hardships to South African negroes and (ii) “if every country refused to trade with every other nation whose domestic policies were repugnant to it, the international economic scene would be very distorted indeed.”Footnote 64
    5. Perhaps the most important argument against a resolution on sanctions is that it would run counter to the Charter principle that sanctions are intended solely for the purpose of preventing or stopping international hostilities.
  3. Alternatively, should you agree with the delegation that they might speak early in the debate, we suggest that the text in the attached telegram be rewritten. Apart from detailed drafting points, the present text seems to raise the following difficulties: it could be taken as outlining the general character of future relations between Canada and South Africa before the time is ripe; and it focuses too much attention on the Commonwealth Prime Ministers’ Meeting, instead of merely establishing that our opposition to apartheid in London was consistent with our position in the U.N.
  4. In view of the relationship between the question of apartheid at the U.N. and the general problem of relations with South Africa, you might wish to bring this matter to the attention of the Prime Minister.
  5. You may consider it desirable to give to the delegation some general guidance on voting, in case a resolution be pressed quickly to a vote. This, if you agree, could be based on the points made in paragraph 3 above. If the draft resolution called for economic sanctions or expulsion from the United Nations, it would seem that we would have no choice but at least to abstain or possibly to vote against it. At the same time we would, no doubt, support any clauses passing judgment on South African racial policies.Footnote 65

G. P. DE T. G[LAZEBROOK]
for Under-Secretary of State
for External Affairs

145. DEA/7060-40

Memorandum from United Nations Division to Commonwealth Division

CONFIDENTIAL [Ottawa], April 4, 1961

Apartheid Item at the General Assembly

On April 4 Mr. Arthur Smith telephoned me to report that (a) the African delegations had submitted a draft resolution strongly condemning South Africa for its policies of apartheid and containing recommendations for drastic measures like the severance of diplomatic relations and the closing of ports to South African shipping. These were the measures which the Ghanaian representative had listed in his speech earlier. (b) Ceylon, India and Malaya had submitted a moderate resolution which is contained in telegram 716 of April 3 from the Permanent Mission in New York.† Mr. Smith believed that this resolution would have the support of the majority of members of the Special Political Committee.

  1. Mr. Smith said that the Canadian Delegation required instructions on the following:
    1. How to vote on the two resolutions. Mr. Smith wished to vote in favour of the Ceylon-India-Malaya resolution and against the African resolution. Later Miss Dunlop reported that the United Kingdom Delegation was seeking instructions to vote in this way.
    2. Whether the Canadian Delegation should speak, when the statement should be made and what the line should be. Mr. Smith was of the opinion that a Canadian statement should be made which would be somewhat more than an explanation of vote, that is to say, it should contain a forthright expression of Canadian views on apartheid and on the principles underlying Canadian policy as regards racial discrimination. He agreed that it was no longer necessary to explain in detail developments during the Commonwealth Prime Ministers’ Conference. He assumed that the statement should refer to the position which Canada would adopt on both the draft resolutions. He suggested that some of the material contained in the draft statement, sent to Ottawa by the Delegation, should be used. He hoped that instructions as regards the proposed statement could be received soon.
  2. Miss Dunlop reported later that the general debate on this item would probably end on the morning of April 5 at the latest and that the Committee would vote on the resolution immediately afterward. This meant that the Canadian statement should be made either this afternoon or tomorrow morning. The Special Political Committee is meeting in Conference Room 2.
  3. I informed Mr. Smith and Miss Dunlop that these views would be taken into account and that appropriate instructions would be telephoned today. As you know, I passed the information to Mr. Glazebrook and to Mr. Duder this morning.
  4. From the point of view of United Nations Division, it would be desirable (a) to vote against the African resolution in order to demonstrate Canada’s opposition to recommendations from the General Assembly which sought, through direct pressure, to change domestic policies of a member state. This surely would constitute “intervention” in the sense of Article 2(7) which permits the United Nations to intervene only in the application of enforcement measures under Chapter VII (Security Council action with respect to threats to the peace, breaches of the peace and acts of aggression). (b) To make a statement explaining Canadian attitude on apartheid and stating clearly our views on the kind of United Nations action which we consider appropriate in the circumstances. While opposing drastic measures which amount to sanctions, we would go along with efforts to mobilize support for the fullest expression of concern about the continuation of South Africa’s racial policies.

G.S. MURRAY

146. DEA/7060-40

Memorandum from Under-Secretary of State for External Affairs to Prime Minister

CONFIDENTIAL [Ottawa], April 4, 1961

U.N. Resolutions on Apartheid

Attached for your approval is a telegram to the Canadian delegation to the United Nations giving instructions for voting on two resolutions concerning apartheid. It is recommended that the delegation vote for the India, Ceylon and Malaya resolution contained in the attached Permis telegram 716 of April 3,† in order to express our concern over South Africa’s racial policies. It is recommended, however, that we explicitly state that we have some reservations about the broad phrasing of operative paragraph 3, and that we do not interpret this as condoning the use of force or punitive measures by member states.Footnote 66

  1. It is recommended that the delegation vote against the African resolutions on sanctions because
    1. The Canadian Government is on record as opposing sanctions (your statement in the House of Commons on April 27, 1960, and your letter to the Prime Minister of Malaya on September 1st).
    2. We have doubts about the competence of the General Assembly to call for sanctions, especially in a case where there is no threat of international hostilities.
    3. It is important to have as large a negative vote as possible in order to show the Union that there are responsible elements that do not want to force it out of the United Nations by such extreme resolutions.

The suggested statement is based on a combination of suggestions from the delegation and the Minister’s most recent instructions on the subject. The delegation would like to speak as soon as possible in the hope of influencing the voting which may take place as early as tomorrow. Preliminary indications are that a number of moderate and responsible nations including the United Kingdom, U.S.A., Italy, Netherlands, several Latin American countries and Afghanistan will vote for the Indian resolution and against the African one.Footnote 67

G. P. DE T. G[LAZEBROOK]
for Under-Secretary of State
for External Affairs

147. DEA/5475-DW-70-C-40

Extract from Report of the Fifteenth Session (Resumed), Special Political Committee of the United Nations General Assembly

AGENDA ITEM 72 – CHAPTER V-5 [Ottawa, n.d.]
CONFIDENTIAL

Race Conflict in South Africa Resulting from the Policies of Apartheid of the Government of the Union of South Africa

I. Summary

The apartheid issue has been on the agenda of every General Assembly since 1952. Although most member states have condemned the discrimination involved in a planned separation of the coloured and white races as a contravention of Charter provisions on human rights, the South African Government has continued to maintain that the matter is one of domestic jurisdiction and that its consideration by the United Nations contravenes the provisions of Article 2(7) of the Charter. For this reason, the South African delegation does not take its seat in committee, although it does keep observers in the public gallery to take notes on the course of debate.

The debate at the resumed fifteenth session took place immediately following the conclusion of the Commonwealth Prime Ministers’ Conference, at which Dr. Verwoerd had announced that since the South African Government could not accept the views of other Prime Ministers, it would not re-apply for membership in the Commonwealth after South Africa became a republic. This additional demonstration of the Union Government’s intransigence removed to a considerable extent the restraint formerly shown by a number of delegations in drafting moderate resolutions which, by avoiding strongly condemnatory terms, aimed at encouraging a change of attitude in South Africa. In addition, the many new African member states, critical of the absence of results from previous Assembly resolutions, and feeling strongly about this subject, exerted pressure for a strong resolution recommending punitive measures against South Africa.

Intense negotiations took place over a ten-day period between Asian and African delegations in an attempt to draft a single acceptable resolution. However, since the African delegations insisted on the inclusion of recommendations for economic and diplomatic sanctions against South Africa, and most Asian delegations considered such recommendations inconsistent with the provisions of Article 41 of the Charter (whereby the imposition of sanctions is the responsibility of the Security Council alone), the two groups submitted separate draft resolutions, both of which deprecated policies based on racial discrimination, censured the racial policies of the South African Government as inconsistent with the Charter and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, and noted that these policies had led to international friction endangering international peace and security. The main difference was that the African resolution recommended that all states consider taking various forms of sanctions against South Africa, while the more moderate Asian resolution requested all states to consider taking such separate and collective action as was open to them, in conformity with the Charter, to bring about the abandonment of racial discrimination.

The African resolution, after being given priority, was approved in committee 47 in favour (including India, Ceylon, Soviet bloc, Haiti, Nepal, United Arab Republic) to 29 against (Canada, Scandinavia, Australia, New Zealand, U.K., U.S.A., Belgium, Portugal, most Latin Americans, Ireland) with 18 abstentions (China, Cyprus, Pakistan, Japan and other Asians, Iran, Togo, Latins) following 13 separate votes on individual paragraphs or clauses. The Asian resolution was also adopted 93 (including Canada)-1 (Portugal)-0. In Plenary, however, the paragraph recommending sanctions in the African resolution failed to obtain the necessary two-thirds majority (42-34(Canada-21) and the resolution was therefore dropped. The Asian resolution was adopted 95(Canada)-1 (Portugal)-0. (The text is attached at Annex II.)†

II. The Debate

At this session the debate was much more heated than at previous Assemblies, partly because of the Sharpeville and Langa incidents of 1960 which had been brought before the Security Council, and partly because of the strong feelings of the new African member states. An indication of the atmosphere is the number of interventions in committee – 55 during the debate and 39 in explanation of vote. The Soviet bloc also was able to inject its own portion of venom into the debate by pursuing its attack on the Secretary-General – in this case, for having so long delayed his visit to South Africa in accordance with the mandate of the Security Council. India, which has usually taken the lead in drafting a resolution and marshalling sponsors, became increasingly irritated by the refusal of African states to work out a compromise text acceptable to the more moderate Asian delegations, and by the attempts of Ghana to make the item its own. Old Commonwealth delegations found India and Ceylon extremely secretive during this period and unwilling to divulge either the terms of their own draft or the prospective sponsors until a few minutes before its submission. Malaya alone kept us fully informed. The new African members manifested their usual impatience with counsels of moderation and juridical objections based on Charter provisions. Resolutions, in their view, must always show an advance over those of previous years, punitive measures must be applied if exhortations do not produce results and Charter limitations on the permissible scope of action may be ignored if political reasons so dictate, particularly since these new members do not always feel themselves bound by conventions concluded before their admission to the Organization. The Africans rejected the argument that sanctions recommended by the General Assembly not only had a very dubious juridical basis, but would also be more likely to harm than help the non-white population of South Africa, on the grounds that that population could not be brought lower and punitive measures would at least give them a “spiritual uplift.” The Ghanaian representative and Wachuku of Nigeria in particular expressed the opinion that when all African States put forward a resolution on any question concerning Africa, they would not tolerate any opposition or criticism from other member states, which were necessarily less well informed. The intransigent attitude of all African delegations prompted the Arab states actively to support that draft rather than the Asian and explains the abrupt withdrawal of the UAR as co-sponsor of the Asian resolution to become a co-sponsor of the African draft. Also, although Krishna Menon spoke in opposition to the African proposal for sanctions, India later contented herself with an abstention on that particular paragraph, while voting in favour of the resolution as a whole, obviously fearing that to abstain, along with other Asians, on the resolution would weaken her position of prestige and influence within the Afro-Asian group.

While South Africa remained the chief target for criticism, the Soviet bloc plus Cuba and those African countries which tend to echo the Soviet line blamed the continuing intransigence of South Africa on the support received through the capital investment policies of friendly Western countries.

III. The Canadian Position

As Canada and South Africa are still fellow members of the Commonwealth with a long history of close association, the Delegation aimed at encouraging the submission of a resolution which did not condemn South Africa but rather encouraged the Union Government to modify their policies to take into account the general abhorrence of the doctrine of apartheid. A moderate resolution could be expected to attract a large number of favourable votes and reduce the number of abstentions, thereby demonstrating forcibly to South Africa the strength of world opinion. The Delegation therefore carried on intensive private consultation urging moderation for more than a week preceding the submission of the two draft resolutions. The factors stressed in these talks and in a statement (Press Release No. 39 of April 5, as Annex III)† included an expression of opposition to all forms of racial discrimination and also a warning that while Article 2 of the Charter, in Canada’s view, did not prevent the Assembly from discussing domestic subjects or expressing its opinion, it did not permit the Assembly to call for specific action (other, in this case, than appeal to the Union Government for action). Regarding the proposal of sanctions, the Delegation expressed the opinion that such a recommendation could be counter-productive, as it might force South Africa out of the United Nations and thereby cut the only channel of communication left between the international community and a country already too isolated from the changing conditions in the world. The main argument used by the Delegation against sanctions was that the proposal ran counter to the Charter principle that sanctions were intended solely for use by the Security Council for preventing or stopping international hostilities. Similar arguments were used by other friendly delegations with an interest in heading off an extreme resolution, but African delegations refused to take these opinions into consideration. They stated that they were less interested in obtaining widespread support than in expressing an “African” viewpoint; should their proposal fail to be accepted, they would re-introduce it at all future sessions until it was accepted.

Fortunately, the sanctions proposal was unacceptable on juridical grounds to a large number of delegations, and the fact that the milder Asian resolution remained as an alternative enabled delegations to vote against or abstain on the African draft while indicating disapproval of apartheid by voting for the Asian. The Canadian Delegation was therefore able to support the Asian draft in all the parts (with the reservation that the resolution did not condone the use of force or punitive measures).

IV. Recommendations for Future Action

Since it is most unlikely that the South African Government will moderate its apartheid policy in the near future, this item can be expected to reappear on the agenda of the sixteenth session. It seems clear also that African members will try again to have a recommendation of sanctions included in draft resolution. The fact that many African states have openly committed themselves at a number of African conferences to the application of sanctions will make it difficult for them to appear to accept at the United Nations the many arguments against sanctions advanced by older Member States. The practical and juridical problems of implementing such recommendations do not seem to have been important to them in comparison with the personal satisfaction which could be derived from a tangible form of retaliation and punishment.

The fact that the African States as a group refused to take advice from any other states, together with their desire for vengeance rather than reform, led them to choose one of the most extreme forms of punitive recommendations. Tactically, they would have been much wiser to choose instead some of the courses of action to be found in Chapter VI of the Charter (Pacific Settlement of Disputes), particularly Articles 33, 36 and 37. In the interval before the opening of the sixteenth session, consultations with Ghanaian and Nigerian officials could be useful. It could be pointed out to them that the Asian resolution provided a sufficient opening for the independent application of economic sanctions by those states which desired some or all of the various forms available; indeed, a number of states had already taken such action without reference to the United Nations. There is also evidence that the overwhelming support given to the Asian resolution, together with the results of the Commonwealth Prime Ministers’ Conference, has made a strong impression on public opinion in South Africa. In addition to these arguments, it might be useful to mention the alternative tactical approach by Chapter VI of the Charter, which might form the basis for a compromise between moderate and extremist opinion and permit the drafting at the sixteenth session of a single, generally acceptable resolution.

Sub-section II

RUANDA-URUNDI

148. DEA/12862-40

Memorandum from Special Assistant, Office of Secretary of State for External Affairs, to African and Middle Eastern Division

RESTRICTED [Ottawa], April 20, 1961

RUANDA-UNRUNDI

Mr. Nesbitt telephoned this afternoon to put the following proposition: the Fourth Committee has adopted a broadly-sponsored resolution presented in the names, inter alia, of India, United States, Norway, one of the principal recommendations of which is to be found in paragraph 9, calling for a full and unconditional amnesty for political prisoners. You will recall that a rider has been added to paragraph 9 which would require that grave crimes be examined by the representatives of three member states, to be selected by the United Nations General Assembly, with a view to securing the release from prison or the repatriation of the persons detained.

  1. Mexico, Tunisia and Sweden were the three countries originally selected to supply the examining officers. Mr. Nesbitt’s phone call was to say that Mexico and Tunisia had accepted but Sweden had declined for lack of a suitable appointee. He asked permission to have Canada volunteer to take Sweden’s place provided the Belgians did not object. Subsequently Parry phoned to say that the Belgians would welcome a Canadian appointment. It was added that Tunisia had pressed Canada to accept.
  2. This proposition was put to the Minister tonight, who approved it; the Mission in New York was notified by telephone. The matter will now have to go to plenary.
  3. If approved in plenary and a Canadian representative is required, the Mission has indicated that a person with legal training and, if possible, some background knowledge of the area and facility with French will be needed. It is a three-week assignment (there are only about a dozen serious cases to be examined) in May or June 1961. The time will be spent partly in Brussels and partly in the territory.

ROSS CAMPBELL

149. DEA/50161-A-40

Permanent Representative to United Nations to Secretary of State for External Affairs

TELEGRAM 995 New York, April 24, 1961
CONFIDENTIAL. PRIORITY.
Reference: Our Tel 933 Apr 19.†
Repeat for Information: London, Washington, Paris, NATO Paris, Geneva, Brussels from Ottawa.
By Bag Cairo, Cape Town, Lagos, Accra, Delhi from London.

15th UNGA; Question of Future of Ruanda-urundi

Ruanda-Urundi item came up in plenary April 21 (rapporteur’s report is contained in document A/4735).†

  1. Norwegian Representative said that after consultation with other delegations, he wished to nominate Brazil, Canada and Tunisia as members of the special commission to be set up under paragraph 9(b) to examine cases of very grave crimes. No repeat no objection was raised to this proposal.
  2. Belgian Representative (Loridan) then made a statement which was markedly different from Belgian attitude in committee. After saying that Belgium wished to cooperate fully and loyally with UN, Belgian Permanent Representative acknowledged that UN Commission for Ruanda-Urundi “did not repeat not find altogether fit conditions for the accomplishment of its mission.” He said “I keenly regret that, which was the result only of a regrettable combination of circumstances. Moreover, it should like to express the greatest respect for the eminent qualities of the President of the Commission, Ambassador Dorsinville, who had earlier undertaken several missions to Ruanda-Urundi in perfect agreement with the administering power.” In mild terms Loridan said that Belgium could not repeat not vote for the resolution because of (a) the disagreeable character of the preamble; (b) the contradiction between “decisions” imposed by Assembly and the full and exclusive responsibility of Belgium as administering authority; and (c) the “constitutional confusion” of the terms used in drawing up the resolution. Loridan concluded with an explicit assurance that Belgium would heed the Assembly recommendations and that UN Commission would meet with “the assistance and complete cooperation of Belgian administration.” Full text of statement is being airmailed to Ottawa and Brussels.
  3. Earlier it had been hoped to work out an understanding under which the word “decides” in operative paragraph 6 of draft resolution I would be changed to “recommends,” while some language would be inserted in operative paragraph 3 paying due regard to the wishes of the people; in return, Belgium would abstain on the resolution as a whole. However, instructions from Brussels were firm: Belgium would have to vote against unless a respectable number of Western delegations would agree to abstain. The project for introducing amendments of this kind in plenary was therefore abandoned, probably wisely, since it is doubtful if they would have been accepted.
  4. Prior to voting on draft resolution I (the 25-power resolution on the future of Ruanda-Urundi), the President announced that a separate vote had been asked for on preambular paragraphs 4, 5 and 6. Liberia opposed division on the grounds that the whole of the resolution represented a delicate balance between various views. The motion for a separate vote (probably requested by UK) was denied by 25 in favour (Canada), 41 against, with 12 abstentions (USA, Latins).
  5. Boland then said he felt bound to draw the attention of the Assembly to the need for a separate vote on operative paragraph 13 of the resolution (the Nepalese amendment) the Assembly had decided to set April 21 as the closing date for the 15th Session. Therefore, if this decision was to be reversed, the President suggested, it could only be reversed by a specific decision of UNGA under rule 83 (which requires a two-thirds majority). He therefore asked the Assembly to vote separately on operative paragraph 13.
  6. Once again, Liberia (Miss Brooks) challenged the suggestion for a separate vote. She was supported by Guinea while Bingham (USA) spoke in favour of division, pointing out that the paragraph had been added to text as an amendment, its inclusion would create a precedent and moreover would be looked upon as a “club” over Belgium. Bolivia also supported the suggestion for a separate vote on the paragraph. The motion for division was lost by a roll-call vote of 33 in favour (Canada), 46 against (African-Asians and Soviet bloc) with 13 abstentions (Cyprus, Laos, Thailand, Latin Americans).
  7. Draft resolution I was then put to a vote after the President had drawn the Assembly’s attention to the composition of the special commission to be set up under operative paragraph 9(b). The Assembly approved the selection of Brazil, Canada and Tunisia without a vote being taken. Draft resolution I as a whole was adopted by 86 in favour (Canada), one against (Belgium), with 4 abstentions (France, Portugal, Spain, South Africa).
  8. Draft resolution II on land tenure and agrarian reform in Ruanda-Urundi was adopted unanimously.
  9. As you will appreciate, rejection of the request for a separate vote on paragraph 13 and adoption of the first resolution means that the 15th Session of UNGA did not repeat not end on April 21 but is left open for further consideration of the Ruanda-Urundi item if UN Commission decides that the performance of its duties is hindered “through deliberate obstruction or lack of requisite cooperation from any quarter.” The vote on division can also be interpreted as meaning that Western delegations can no repeat no longer muster enough support for a separate vote on a controversial paragraph in a “colonial” resolution, even when this reverses a previous decision of the Assembly and is proposed by the President so that vote becomes an appeal against his ruling.

150. DEA/12862-40

Memorandum from Head, African and Middle Eastern Division, to Assistant Under-Secretary of State for External Affairs

CONFIDENTIAL [Ottawa], April 27, 1961
Reference: Your enquiry as to the terms of reference of the Commission of Judicial Review for Ruanda-Urundi.

Terms of Reference of the Commission of Judicial Review for Ruanda-Urundi

Attached are two memoranda† which treat the background and the development of the Ruanda-Urundi item in the fifteenth Session of the United Nations (See particularly paras. 10, 12 and 13 of the memorandum of April 20 and paras. 2 and 4 of the memorandum of April 26. A copy of the main resolution on Ruanda-Urundi adopted in plenary on April 21 is also attached† (See telegram 933 of April 19 from Candel† and particularly operative para. 9).

  1. Political affiliations in Ruanda-Urundi are determined largely by the feudal tribal pattern, accentuated by the division between the landowning Tutsi tribes, comprising about 15% of the population, and the subject Hutu tribes, comprising about 80% of the population. The Belgians have played off the more numerous, disgruntled Hutu factions against the Tutsi factions and have encouraged them to undermine the formerly dominant position of the Tutsis. The Tutsis, in an attempt to maintain their dwindling ascendancy, have adopted an anti-Belgian and nationalist attitude.
  2. Many of the detainees in the territory are nationalists who have been convicted of political offences, and it has been one of the aims of the strongly anti-colonial elements in the United Nations to secure their release. A broad African-Asian group and the Soviet bloc have supported a demand for general amnesty, which was contained in a resolution adopted by the General Assembly during the first part of this Session, and which has been adamantly opposed by Belgium, other European powers and many non-colonial Western countries. In negotiations between the African-Asian group and certain non-colonial Western delegations led by the United States, a position of compromise was eventually reached whereby a general amnesty would be proposed, providing cases of a grave criminal nature were excepted and submitted for consideration to a commission of judicial review.
  3. A provision was accordingly incorporated as operative paragraph 9 of a draft resolution, which was eventually adopted in plenary: “Notes the information given by the representative of the administering authority concerning measures of amnesty already implemented, and recommends that: (a) Full and unconditional amnesty, as envisaged in resolution 1579 (XV) be immediately granted by the administering authority, and (b) the few remaining cases which, in the administering authority’s view are guilty of “very grave crimes” be examined by a special commission composed of the representatives of three member states to be elected by the UN General Assembly with a view to securing their release from prison or return from abroad in the full implementation of the UN General Assembly’s recommendation concerning amnesty not later than two months before the national elections.” Belgium was strongly opposed to the provision. The Canadian attitude was that, although it was an unsatisfactory provision, it went some way towards meeting the Western position, it did not detract from the general value of the draft resolution, the unexpectedly moderate resolution had overwhelming support from both African, Asian and Western countries, and the membership of the commission of judicial review was likely to be acceptable to Canada. The originally proposed members were Mexico, Sweden and Tunisia, but the first two countries, being unable to serve, were replaced by Brazil and Canada. The developments leading up to the Canadian nomination are outlined in paragraphs 2 and 4 of the attached memorandum of April 26.
  4. Should the selected Canadian commissioner not have a sufficiently broad legal and political background, it may be advisable to consider the appointment of a suitably qualified official adviser.Footnote 68

L.A.D. STEPHENS

Sub-section III

Assessment of the Resumed Fifteenth Session

151. DEA/5475-DW-70-D-40

Extract from Report of General Assessment of the Fifteenth Session, of the United Nations General Assembly

CHAPTER II [New York, n.d.]
SECRET. CANADIAN EYES ONLY.

General Assessment of the Fifteenth Session

[For the first and third parts of this document, see Volume 27, document 121.]

. . .

Second Part of the Session

After the experience of the first part of the session, it was the hope of many that controversy could be kept to a minimum during the resumed session. In spite of considerable discussion about limiting the rest of the session to “essential” items only, however, it proved impossible to devise a scheme which could command general agreement. The only thing on which all could agree was that the session should end by a fixed date, regardless of whether or not the agenda had been completed.

The resumption of the session was marked by an evident anticipation on the part of the Soviet bloc, shared to some extent by some others, that the change of administration in the United States would bring a “new look” in United States policies which might make it possible to soften the confrontation of East and West in the United Nations. Under the leadership of Adlai Stevenson, the United States Delegation, for its part, seemed anxious to demonstrate greater initiative and a willingness at least to re-examine its position on the issues before the Assembly. In some cases this resulted in a more understandable and more appealing presentation of United States policies. Before too long it became apparent, however, that the basic features of the Soviet and the Western positions had not changed and that the room for manoeuvre was a very small one on both sides. This was made particularly clear by the Cuban crisis. The only question on which even limited agreement was reached between the United States and the U.S.S.R. was disarmament; even then the agreement was only to discuss further the resumption of negotiations. African influence at the resumed session continued to make itself felt most strongly on the basic issue of colonialism. Apart from that, however, and the questions of economic aid and technical assistance, there was nothing that could be called a united expression of African opinion and there were, on the contrary, many signs of incipient conflicts of interests and ideology. This tended to modify somewhat the shift in the balance of voting power in the Assembly that resulted from the influx of African members. Although the African-Asians commanded enough votes to block a proposal they did not like, they could pass a proposal only if they were themselves united on it and could enlist the support of one of the other groups in the Assembly. On the whole, the African states did not use their new-found influence in support of extreme positions.
. . .

[JOHN HALSTEAD]

152. DEA/5475-DW-70-40

Extract from Final Report of the Resumed Fifteenth Session, of the United Nations General Assembly

[Ottawa], September 25, 1961

I. Assessment of the Fifteenth Session of the General Assembly

The atmosphere during the first part of the fifteenth session was charged with East-West tension and acrimony. Largely because the Soviet Union chose to wage political warfare, there was little that could be done by other members, especially the uncommitted group, to check the deterioration in East-West relations which had developed since the collapse of the Summit in May 1960. Faced with presidential elections and with the Soviet onslaught, the United States was in no position to give leadership and the West found itself, for the most part, on the defensive. The Soviet Union seemed determined to capitalize on the fact that a large number of new African states had just entered the international arena at a time when African issues, especially the situation in the Congo, were at a critical stage. The United Nations difficulties in the Congo, moreover, were ripe for exploitation.

The Soviet propaganda campaign, especially the attack on the Secretary-General, had a sharp impact. Confidence in the United Nations was badly shaken, and, generally speaking, the membership was in disarray at a time when cohesive support was needed to bolster the United Nations effort at peace-keeping. Nevertheless, the Soviet Union did not succeed in mobilizing uncommitted support for its attack either on the Secretariat or on colonialism. The African-Asians, especially the new members, were confused but the majority of them chose to rally around moderate positions. The helplessness of the United Nations in the pre-Christmas session was very disturbing, however, and cast gloom over the Assembly for the future prospects of the United Nations.

By the time of the resumed session, the Kennedy Administration had been installed in Washington and significant steps had been taken by the United States and the Soviet Union to mend their relations. The United Nations had managed to hold on in the Congo, although the situation there had not improved. About the time of the Security Council resolution of February 21, the African-Asians began to rally to the support of the United Nations in the Congo and civil war was averted. Notwithstanding continuing difficulties, the resumed session took place in a changed atmosphere which permitted the Assembly to deal with most of the remaining items on its agenda. Of course, this was partly accomplished by playing down or postponing a number of controversial items. The impression left is that many of these issues will be re-opened at the sixteenth session but there is at least a chance that by the autumn there will be a further improvement in the international climate which will permit the member states to approach the main problems of the Organization more objectively and dispassionately.

There is an urgent need for all member governments to ascertain for themselves the United Nations’ worth as a means for international co-operation in the fields of peace and security, economic and social development and humanitarian progress. This calls for a determination of the degree to which the Organization serves not only the international requirements of the present time but the national needs of several member governments. Canada has consistently looked upon the United Nations as an Organization whose primary function is to maintain peace and security and the Canadian aim is to strengthen the United Nations’ effectiveness for that purpose. Rather than let the present tendencies develop unchecked, Canada will work to restore confidence in the United Nations and to adjust the balance in relations between the various power groupings. This may require, among other things, some changes in the composition of the various organs, including the Secretariat, but the main requirement is a change of attitude on the part of all member states, so that in asserting their rights in the Organization they will be careful to respect the rights of others and willing to assume an equitable share in the responsibilities and obligations, including the all-important collective sharing of financial costs.
. . .

Section F - Sixteenth Session of the General Assembly, September 19 to December 20, 1961

Sub-section I

Instructions to the Canadian Delegation

153. PCO

Memorandum from Secretary of State for External Affairs to Cabinet

CABINET DOCUMENT NO. 349-61 [Ottawa], September 21, 1961
SECRET

Instructions for the Canadian Delegation to the Sixteenth Session of the United Nations General Assembly

The provisional agenda of the sixteenth session of the General Assembly includes 93 items. This memorandum contains suggested lines of policy to be followed by the Canadian Delegation on a number of more important questions. Separate memoranda are being submitted on Chinese representation, the Berlin question and on Canadian financial contributions to various United Nations programmes. As the session progresses, supplementary instructions may be required on specific issues.

  1. The sixteenth session will meet in an atmosphere of increased international tension resulting from the Berlin crisis, the partial mobilization in the Soviet Union and the United States and the Soviet Union’s decision to resume nuclear weapons testing which has evoked a United States intention to resume underground testing. While the Assembly may be expected to be preoccupied with East-West relations, questions of special and immediate interest to the uncommitted and under-developed countries will also continue to be featured prominently at this session.
  2. As well, the Assembly will be faced again with a number of contentious organizational and constitutional questions resulting partly from the increased membership and the evolution which has taken place in the functions of the Organization. These raise fundamental questions about the character and role of the United Nations and the Assembly may be called upon to take decisions of utmost significance for the future.
  3. At this critical time in international affairs, it is important that the prestige and authority of the United Nations should be strengthened as far as possible. In its general approach to the sixteenth session and in keeping with the strong support which Canada has given to the United Nations, the Canadian Delegation should be governed by a desire to see the United Nations strengthened as an effective instrument for maintaining international peace and for promoting the economic and social progress of the member countries. While pursuing these and other objectives in the General Assembly, it should be the Delegation’s aim, in co-operation with like-minded delegations, to ensure that the work of the session is conducted in an orderly and effective manner and with a restraint and moderation calculated to reduce existing tensions.
  4. The remaining paragraphs of this memorandum contain recommendations concerning the position which the Canadian Delegation should adopt on some of the main items before the Assembly. Attached to the memorandum is an annex† containing brief explanatory notes of the items concerned.

    Organizational and Constitutional Questions

    Admission of New Members

  5. If the admission of Outer Mongolia, through insistence by the Soviet Union, is linked with the applications of other states whose membership Canada would wish to support (Mauritania, Kuwait, Sierra Leone), the Canadian Delegation should vote in favour of the package resolution. If there should be a straight vote on the Outer Mongolian application and general support for its admission, including that of close friends, the Delegation should vote affirmatively. If on a separate vote support for Outer Mongolia is divided, the Delegation may abstain or seek further guidance from Ottawa.

    Assembly Slate of Officers

  6. Canadian support has already been indicated for Mr. Mongi Slim (Tunisia) as President; for Greece as one of the vice-presidencies; for Ambassador Amadeo (Argentina) as Chairman of the First Committee and Mr. Lannung (Denmark) as Chairman of the Fifth Committee. The Delegation was guided by the established geographical distribution for the remaining offices, supporting Italy for the Second Committee, the Philippines for the Third, Liberia for the Fourth and Panama for the Sixth.

    Security Council Elections

  7. As candidate for the Commonwealth seat, Ghana has the support of all Commonwealth countries and Venezuela’s candidature is expected to prevail over that of Cuba for the Latin American seat. Canada should support these two candidates. As for the competition between Romania and the Philippines for the so-called “East-European” seat, the Delegation should support the Philippines on the first ballots but if a deadlock should occur, the Delegation should be authorized to support either a compromise candidate or ultimately an arrangement for a split term. Canada should support Ireland for the seat to be relinquished by Liberia, in accordance with the compromise reached at the fifteenth session.

    ECOSOC Elections

  8. Canada is committed to support Australia and India and should also support the United States for re-election and the agreed Latin American candidate likely to be Colombia. As for the remaining two seats, the Delegation should, in the first ballots, vote in favour of Yugoslavia and either Senegal or Tunisia, depending on the outcome of Slim’s candidature for the Presidency. Because of the multiplicity of candidates, the Delegation should be given some discretion in subsequent voting, when taking into account existing commitments and the need for greater African representation.

    Charter Review and Amendment

  9. Because of the current international tension, the obstacles to a general review of the Charter remain formidable despite the pressures for existing amendment of the Charter, especially in relation to the enlargement of the Security Council and the Economic and Social Council to give more adequate representation to Africa and Asia. The Canadian Delegation should continue to urge that enlargement of the Councils will be the only satisfactory way to achieve equitable representation.

    Re-Organization of the Secretariat

  10. Together with a great many members, Canada has rejected the Soviet proposal for a three-man directorate to replace the Office of the Secretary-General and the Delegation may be required to restate this Canadian position. Canada has recognized the need for some re-organization of the Secretariat in order to provide representation for under-represented areas and a more equitable balance in the composition of the Secretariat. This should be accomplished, however, in an orderly way and without harm to the concept of an independent and impartial international civil service, free from national pressures. The Canadian Delegation should welcome Mr. Hammarskjöld’s proposals for re-organizing the senior echelons of the Secretariat.

    Politcal Questions

    Angola

  11. As regards this most contentious problem, the Canadian Delegation should support that part of any resolution reaffirming the right of the people of Angola to self-determination. Canada recognizes, however, that the means of bringing about full independence, and particularly its timing, must be related to conditions within the territory concerned. In addition, any proposal to send a mission over the objections of Portugal or to impose diplomatic or economic sanctions should be referred to Ottawa.

    Congo

  12. The Canadian Delegation should support any initiative directed toward facilitating a comprehensive political settlement which will preserve the unity of the Congo. On the question of reducing the United Nations Force, the Canadian Delegation should be guided by the recommendations of the Advisory Committee on the Congo and any precipitate action to withdraw the United Nations military presence before the local authorities are prepared to take over their full responsibilities should be discouraged. As for the extent of future United Nations technical and financial assistance, proposals calculated to meet genuine and urgent needs of the Congo within the capacity of the United Nations and with due recognition of its commitments elsewhere should receive Canadian support.

    Apartheid

  13. No doubt should be left in the minds of the South African Government about the complete disapproval by nearly every member of the United Nations of their apartheid policies. Accordingly, the Canadian Delegation should be prepared to support those parts of a resolution, even though they may be phrased in very strong terms, which condemn apartheid policies. If the same resolution should contain proposals concerning sanctions or the expulsion of South Africa, the Delegation should refer to Ottawa for instructions.

    Disarmament and Nuclear Tests

  14. The Western position can be most persuasively stated by avoiding propaganda and by emphasizing the merits of the new Western plan, a flexible and accommodating approach to the problems of composition and procedure and a clear indication that the West is anxious to proceed with constructive disarmament negotiations as soon as possible. The Canadian Delegation should use its influence to promote a favourable reaction from the General Assembly and give special emphasis to important features (“measures to deal with nuclear weapons and strategic vehicles” in the first stage) which were not present in previous Western plans. The Delegation should also stress the attempt made in the latest Western statement of principles to take into account the position adopted by the Commonwealth Prime Ministers and the resolution introduced by India and other states at the 15th session. It should try to secure agreement on a satisfactory composition for the negotiating body, including the participation of neutral states, and should work for the establishment of procedures for facilitating negotiation, through appointment of impartial officers and similar arrangements.
  15. Depending on developments during the debate, some of the ideas contained in the Canadian resolution put forward at the 15th session may be re-introduced, especially as regards the need for ensuring effective means of communication between the negotiating body and the United Nations. The Delegation’s main effort in this context should be to ensure the early resumption of negotiations in a body which will have a greater chance of success than in previous years.
  16. Canada’s unequivocal stand against nuclear weapons tests should be the basis for constant and vigorous efforts by the Delegation to impress upon the Assembly the importance of achieving a permanent and guaranteed cessation of testing. The Delegation should, therefore, press for recognition of the urgent necessity of reaching agreement on an international treaty which will ensure, through agreed arrangements for inspection and verification, that testing will cease for all time.
  17. On the question of preventing the further spread of nuclear weapons, the Delegation should also stress the need for international agreement and reference should be made to the clause included in the new Western disarmament plan prohibiting the further dissemination of nuclear weapons. The Delegation should work closely from the outset of the session with the Irish delegation to ensure that their present inclination toward a resolution which emphasized the desirability of reaching international agreement will be reflected in the final draft of any proposal they may put forward. Every effort should be made to combat any tendency to emphasize unilateral measures outside a disarmament agreement which might result from pressures on the part of the Soviet delegation or extremists among the uncommitted countries.

    Outer Space

  18. Because of recent scientific developments and Soviet threats to arm space vehicles with super bombs, the Canadian Delegation should urge vigorously that immediate action be taken to ensure that specific scientific and legal questions concerning the peaceful uses of outer space will be studied seriously under United Nations auspices with the least possible delay. As a first step, the Delegation should work for an acceptable reconstitution of the Committee on the Peaceful Uses of Outer Space with a composition which avoids the troika concept. If it should prove impossible to reconstitute the Committee, other methods of pursuing the tasks assigned to the Committee should be explored with friendly Delegations.

    Radiation

  19. In view of the Soviet resumption of nuclear weapons testing in the atmosphere, the Canadian Delegation should restate its deep concern about radiation hazards. The measures already taken by Canada to set up a programme of radiation analysis should provide the Canadian Delegation with an opportunity to make a constructive contribution during the debate on the progress report of the United Nations Scientific Committee on the Effects of Atomic Radiation and to strike a new note of urgency about the need to continue monitoring programmes.

    Korea

  20. Efforts will be made at the 16th session to postpone the debate on Korea and keep it as non-controversial as possible. As a result of informal meetings in Washington in August, Canada has agreed to join with the United States, United Kingdom, Australia and New Zealand in co-sponsoring a mild resolution which, while reaffirming United Nations objectives in Korea, will avoid other controversial matters and should not provoke acrimonious debate.

    Tibet

  21. To achieve the widest possible support, the Canadian Delegation should, as in 1959, work and vote for a moderate resolution emphasizing human rights and avoiding political judgments about the international status of Tibet.

    Economic Questions

    Food Banks

  22. If, by early December, the FAO Conference should have produced concrete proposals for a Food Bank, the Delegation should be guided by the position paper approved by ministers on August 9 (Cabinet Document 286-61 of July 21, Annex I)Footnote 69and should continue to support the creation of a multilaterally financed United Nations food bank devoted initially to meeting emergency needs for food. The Delegation should also urge participation by a maximum number of members, especially the more developed countries, in a $100 million food bank with contributions based on the FAO or United Nations scale of assessments, subject to the Canadian contribution not exceeding one-tenth of the United States contribution, nor $5 million initially.

    Questions Concerning Non-self-governing Territories

    Target Dates

  23. Canada should continue to oppose the fixing of target dates for independence, since this is relevant both to the welfare of the dependent peoples concerned and to international stability. The Delegation should also oppose any resolution which so specifically demanded independence for all dependent territories as to ignore the evident impossibility of some very small territories ever surviving as independent entities. On the other hand, Canada should support a formulation in more general terms expressing the Assembly’s concern that the aspirations of dependent peoples toward self-determination should be advanced as rapidly as possible.

    Information on Non-self-governing Territories

  24. Canada can no longer oppose measures calling upon Portugal to adopt a more forthcoming attitude about transmitting information to the General Assembly on Portuguese dependencies. However, Canada should not accept any contention that administering powers have any legal obligations to transmit information beyond those specifically listed in Article 73. Canada should therefore not support any move to make obligatory the transmission of information on political conditions. The Delegation could support, however, any moderate Assembly resolution encouraging voluntary transmission of such information on political conditions.

    South-West Africa

  25. The Delegation should support any resolution which urges all parties to this dispute to accept the judgment of the International Court and, if it is clear that South Africa is prepared to appear before the Court, the Delegation should support moves to postpone discussion of questions of substance until after the Court decision is rendered. The Delegation, while making clear Canada’s strong opposition to the application of apartheid policies in South-West Africa, should vote against any resolution calling for direct United Nations intervention in South-West Africa. If an opportunity arises in discussion, the Canadian Delegation should continue to urge that the best solution for South-West Africa would be a United Nations trusteeship agreement entered into by South Africa.

    UNITED NATIONS FINANCING

  26. At the 16th session, the Canadian Delegation should continue to work for generally acceptable methods and procedures for the future financing of peace-keeping operations which will place United Nations activities in all fields on a sound financial footing. The exact nature of proposals for this purpose will depend on the outcome of the meetings, still in progress, of the Working Group on the Examination of Administrative and Budgetary Procedures, established as a result of the Canadian initiative at the resumed 15th session. Canada should continue to press the view that, especially in the field of peace and security, the financial expenses should be the collective responsibility of the whole membership with the recognition, however, that some relief may have to be given to the less-developed countries as regards the scale of assessment. While every effort should be made to obtain Assembly approval for a pattern for future financing of peace-keeping operations, the Delegation will be required, in consultation with like-minded states, to evolve a satisfactory ad hoc formula for dealing with the current financial deficit. The Delegation should seek further instructions when proposals for financing have emerged in a more precise form.

H.C. GREEN

154. PCO

Extract from Cabinet Conclusions

SECRET [Ottawa], September 23, 1961

Present

  • The Prime Minister (Mr. Diefenbaker) in the Chair, (for morning meeting only),
  • The Secretary of State for External Affairs (Mr. Green) in the Chair, (for afternoon meeting only),
  • The Minister of Transport (Mr. Balcer),
  • The Minister of Veterans Affairs (Mr. Churchill), (for morning meeting only),
  • The Minister of National Revenue (Mr. Nowlan),
  • The Minister of National Defence (Mr. Harkness),
  • The Minister of Fisheries (Mr. MacLean),
  • The Postmaster General (Mr. William Hamilton),
  • The Minister of Mines and Technical Surveys (Mr. Comtois), (for morning meeting only),
  • The Minister of National Health and Welfare (Mr. Monteith),
  • The Minister of Agriculture (Mr. Alvin Hamilton),
  • The Minister of Defence Production (Mr. O’Hurley),
  • The Minister of Public Works (Mr. Walker), (for morning meeting only),
  • The Associate Minister of National Defence (Mr. Sévigny), (for morning meeting only),
  • The Minister of Forestry (Mr. Flemming),
  • The Secretary of State (Mr. Dorion),
  • The Minister of Northern Affairs and National Resources (Mr. Dinsdale),
  • The Minister without Portfolio (Mr. Halpenny).
  • The Secretary to the Cabinet (Mr. Bryce),
  • The Assistant Secretary to the Cabinet (Dr. Hodgson).

. . .

United Nations General Assembly; Instructions to Canadian Delegation

(Previous reference September 6)

  1. The Secretary of State for External Affairs said that consideration should be given to the instructions to be issued to the Canadian delegation to the sixteenth session of the United Nations General Assembly.
  2. During the discussion the following points were raised:
    1. Any proposals for increased contributions by Canada for U.N. operations in the Congo should be referred to the Cabinet for consideration.
    2. Some said that Canada should not contribute funds to support U.N. efforts to compel Katanga to join the Congo. The U.N. Congo Force had not taken decisive action to prevent the Communist elements in the area from obtaining shipments of arms, but was now opposing Tschombe who was one of the few local leaders who supported the western viewpoint.
    3. Others said that the U.N. policy of preserving the unity of the Congo had already been established, and that Canada should support that policy. Tschombe was in reality the front man for a large Belgian mining company.
  3. The Cabinet,
    1. approved the memorandum of the Secretary of State for External Affairs (Cab. Doc. 349-61 of September 21st, 1961) as the basis of instructions to the Canadian delegation on the position they should adopt on questions to be considered at the sixteenth session of the United Nations General Assembly; and
    2. agreed that, with reference to paragraph 13 of the explanatory memorandum, the Canadian delegation should make no commitments regarding further Canadian financial participation in Congo operations of the United Nations, but should refer any proposals for such participation to the Cabinet for consideration.

R.B. BRYCE

Sub-section II

Groupe D’experts Ministériels Sur L’afrique Departmental Panel on Africa

155. DEA/5475-DW-70-40

Extract from Final Report of Fifteenth Session of the United Nations General Assembly

[Ottawa, no date]

. . .

V. COLONIAL QUESTIONS

With the admission to the United Nations of 16 new African states (raising the total of Africans to 24, and of the African-Asian group to 45), colonial issues have become the focus of significant and urgent attention in the General Assembly and, to some extent, in the Security Council. During the past year, the Security Council dealt with the Sharpeville incident in South Africa and with the situation in Angola. As well, the Congo situation has been depicted by the Soviet Union and others as a colonial struggle. In the Assembly, colonialism has been raised as a separate issue as well as in the form of questions like apartheid and treatment of persons of Indo-Pakistan origin in South Africa, Algeria, the Congo, Angola, South-West Africa, Ruanda-Urundi and other questions concerning non-self-governing territories. The cumulative effect has been to put many Western states on the defensive during much of their time at the United Nations. In the United Nations, the emerging states of Africa and Asia have long pressed for full independence to all non-self-governing territories but now, strengthened by the rapid enlargement of their group, they have sought to extend their power and influence largely at the expense of the West Europeans. Moreover, they have tried to obtain, through U.N. channels, an ever-increasing amount of economic and technical aid. The complex relations between the so-called colonial powers and the anti-colonial group have been often exploited by the Soviet bloc for its own purpose and with an idea of injecting the cold war element into the “colonial struggle.”

African-Asians see the U.N. in a somewhat different light from the Western powers. Whereas the West tends to emphasize the U.N. peace-keeping role, the African-Asians see the Organization as a source of economic and technical aid and as a means of mobilizing world opinion. Also, they rely on the U.N. perhaps more than other group, as a means of collective political (rather than military) security.

A disturbing feature of the recent Assembly was the tendency of the African-Asians to use their voting strength irresponsibly. The U.N. is not effective if a majority tries to over-ride minority opinion and rejects solutions reached through negotiation. This tendency could be a temporary development, produced partly through inexperience, partly out of a desire to exploit new-found strength and partly by the atmosphere of confusion in the Assembly at the first part of the session. To avoid becoming isolated in the U.N., Western powers must maintain close consultation with the aim of providing leadership and initiative on a broad front, and in the interests of moderation. Colonial questions are, of course, among the greatest internal problems of the Western group. While acknowledging this situation and adjusting to it, Western states at the same time should not give way to extremist pressure, particularly regarding the essential element of Article 2 (7), by which the U.N. is prohibited from intervening directly in the domestic affairs of member states. This article does not preclude discussion or expression of opinion, but should preclude condemnations, sanctions, precise target dates for governmental action, and so forth.

This aim of encouraging moderation and a practical approach, especially to colonial questions, can be achieved largely through consultation and negotiation, for although the West no longer possesses a dominant voting position in the Assembly, Western support is frequently desired by African-Asians for their initiatives. More over, the African-Asian group is divided by conflicting factions and has tended to be pushed along by the noisy extremists rather than the moderates; it is both in their own and the Western interest for Western states to encourage the moderates to assert their leadership.

At the U.N. Canada can no more afford to vote blindly in favour of African-Asian proposals affecting Canada’s close allies, than it can to join the hard core of colonial powers. It is rather in Canada’s interest to base policy upon the need for an orderly adjustment of relations between emerging states and their former colonial masters; the need to resist Soviet efforts to dominate the U.N., particularly at the expense of the Western powers; and the need to strengthen the U.N. prestige and influence.

. . .

156. DEA/12858-40

Memorandum from Head, African and Middle Eastern Division, to Under-Secretary of State for External Affairs

CONFIDENTIAL [Ottawa], June 2, 1961

Departmental Panel on Africa

Since 1957 when Ghana became the first colonial territory in Africa, South of the Sahara, to attain full independence, Canada has found itself increasingly concerned with African questions; in the Commonwealth, in the UN, politically, economically and in terms of assistance. Not only the Canadian Government but also the Canadian public is confronted daily by headlined African news in all the mass media. The positions which African states adopt can often become determining factors in the success or failure of Western endeavours, particularly in the United Nations or in other international forums. In the balance of power between East and West, the attitude of the nations emerging from colonial rule, particularly those in Africa, may tip the scales.

  1. Canada has been able to understand and to sympathize with the problems and aspirations of new and emerging nations, but Canada’s close ties, based on common tradition and on common defence needs, with the old Commonwealth and other Western nations have caused us to consider the problems and aims of these European countries with at least equal understanding and generally, if not always, with equal sympathy. This has, however, sometimes led to misunderstanding and disillusionment from both sides, since both have had occasion to feel that, when it came to the count, we were not prepared to back them up. We believe that this unsatisfactory situation might be avoided if we were in a position to explain and possibly justify our policies to Africans and Asians, to the “Colonial” powers, and especially to the middle group of countries which have neither been colonized nor have administered colonial territories (and which could wield considerable influence if joint policies could be reached). For this to be effective we should hold discussions well in advance of the public display and treatment of these issues.
  2. At the last session of the General Assembly – even earlier – the Canadian delegation and this Department found that our pattern of voting on African and other colonial items was often ragged, based on no firm policy, and marked by only too visible inconsistencies. The result has been that Canada has failed, in many cases, to make a positive contribution to the debates and decisions of the Assembly and, at the same time, it is highly questionable that Canada’s standing and influence has been greatly enhanced with either old or new friends in the course of discussion of African items. Canadian decisions on individual items have generally been based on a rather precarious balance between the substantive and legal merits of the case and an assessment of the tactical line-up of votes. The result has often not been such as to be clearly explicable to the Assembly, to individual delegations, or to Parliament and the Canadian public. The source of our difficulties, I think, has been that we have faced the African items, one at a time, resolution by resolution, amendment by amendment, and have never tried to chart a general course which could provide guidance in specific circumstances. Similarly, we have found great difficulty in helping our NATO delegation to explain to the Council or its subordinate bodies the general lines of policy which Canada might recommend that Western countries ought to pursue in Africa.
  3. This Division has recently given some thought to suggesting a range of ideas which might provide guide lines for Canadian policy towards African problems and has not come up with anything of a general nature in which it has much confidence. I therefore suggest that, in this case as in so many others, we might begin by examining a number of immediate African problems with which our delegation to the next session of the Assembly will be faced, compare our recommendations on each of these, and attempt to assess what positive elements we think should govern Canadian reactions in these cases and, probably, in other cases. The sort of early problems we have in mind are moves to establish target dates for colonial independence, the sending of on-the-ground UN commissions to report and recommend on conditions in colonial territories, recommendations for boycotts or sanctions against administering countries, or particularly violently phrased condemnations of the practices of colonial powers. Longer-term objects of consideration might be Canadian acceptance or qualification of developing concepts such as “neo-colonialism” with its various interpretations, and the divergent trends towards definitions of the “African personality” and forms of African unity.
  4. It is therefore suggested that a Departmental panel on Africa should be established immediately, with a long-term purpose of trying to formulate and coordinate Canadian policy recommendations concerning the newly independent and emerging states of Africa, particularly south of the Sahara, but with an immediate short-term task of preparing the Canadian position on the main subjects which are likely to be raised at the 16th General Assembly in so far as they concern Africa and colonialism.
    • The membership of the panel might be drawn from
    • African and Middle Eastern Division
    • Economic Division
    • United Nations Division
    • Commonwealth Division
    • European Division
    • Defence Liaison (1) Division
    • Defence Liaison (2) Division.

If you agree, the Head of African and Middle Eastern Division would normally chair the meeting and that Division would also provide the Secretary.

L.A.D. STEPHENS

157. DEA/12858-40

Memorandum from Head, African and Middle Eastern Division, to Assistant Under-Secretary of State for External Affairs

CONFIDENTIAL [Ottawa], June 9, 1961

Departmental Panel on Africa

The first meeting of the Panel on Africa took place on June 6. A record of the proceedings is attached.

  1. While I do not propose to burden you with accounts of the day-to-day proceedings of the Panel, I thought you might like to have a look at the record of the initial meeting, as an indication of the general plan of procedure.
  2. I would, of course, welcome any comments you may wish to offer about the course which the Panel proposes to follow.

L.A.D. STEPHENS

[ENCLOSURE]

Record of First Meeting of Departmental Panel on Africa

CONFIDENTIAL [Ottawa], June 6, 1961

Departmental Panel on Africa

The panel met at 3:00 p.m. in the Large Conference Room, with Mr. Stephens of African and Middle Eastern Division in the chair. In attendance were Mr. Murray and Mr. Chistoff (United Nations Division), Miss Ireland (Commonwealth), Miss Osborne (African and Middle Eastern), Mr. Wilson (Economic), Mr. Brown (DL-2), Mr. Boyd and Mr. Cousineau (DL-1) and Mr. Maranda (European). Secretary: Mr. Elliott (African and Middle Eastern).

Objectives of the Panel

Mr. Stephens outlined the purposes behind the establishment of the panel. There had been an evident lack of clarity and consistency in Canadian policy on African and other “colonial” questions. This had been particularly marked in recent sessions of the United Nations General Assembly, where there had seemed to be no pre-determined and agreed criteria or guide lines which could be applied to all the various issues that called for voting decisions or expression of Canadian views. We had appeared rather to face African items one at a time, often making our decisions largely on the basis of immediate tactical considerations, rather than in conformance with clearly established lines of policy. We had encountered similar difficulty in expressing in NATO Canadian views on African questions. It seemed desirable that we should try to work out an agreed set of principles or guide lines, which could be applied consistently to a broad range of African issues. By establishing such a set of basic attitudes and sticking firmly to them, we might hope to exert a measure of useful influence in the United Nations, by organizing a respectable group of more or less like-minded medium-sized and smaller powers. We would, of course, hope that such a group might lead to majority support in the General Assembly for positions which we adopted; but the essential consideration would be that we should be prepared to stand up and be counted, if necessary, on the losing side but in respectable company, on issues we considered it right to oppose. The basic policy considerations which the panel would seek to formulate, Mr. Stephens added, could be equally valid and useful (with appropriate modifications of expression and emphasis) in guiding our NATO Delegation, and in bilateral exchanges of views with governments interested in knowing Canada’s position.

Commenting on the decline of Canadian influence (and that of other middle powers) at recent sessions of the United Nations, Mr. Murray suggested that a variety of factors had contributed to this. The middle and smaller powers had risen to the occasion after Suez, in 1956, and had established a considerable measure of influence based partly upon the particular conditions and relationships which existed at that time. The effectiveness of consultation within this group, and its cohesiveness, had gradually declined, as conditions had altered and personalities in New York had changed. Another major factor had been the vast expansion of UN membership, bringing to the Assembly large numbers of representatives with little or no experience of international affairs. They had not received the leadership and guidance they had needed. It was most important that effective consultation with the newer delegations should take place well before the next session begins.

Mr. Murray noted that at the XVth session Canada had placed a great deal of emphasis on the disarmament question, and had often tended to look at other issues in terms of securing support for the Canadian position on disarmament. It would be better to have a set of basic principles and to stand by them, rather than to be constantly trying to accommodate opposing points of view. If a set of basic policy considerations could be evolved, these principles could be applied to all developments in the United Nations and similar forums – in determining the Canadian stand on resolutions, formulating statements, or whenever decisions were needed quickly.

It was suggested by Mr. Wilson that the basic principles underlying Canadian foreign policy in fact were already laid down and recognized, several of them (such as the right of self-determination, respect for individual liberty, etc.) in the UN charter. The task of the panel apparently would be to enunciate these long-standing principles in a form which would be useful in meeting day to day problems.

Miss Osborne observed that the facts of international life had changed sharply in recent years, and some of the long-established principles might well need not only re-definition but re-casting. Mr. Brown and Mr. Maranda indicated that they agreed with the proposed lines of the panel’s efforts.

Mr. Boyd observed that it might be necessary to consider whether there was any conflict between Canada’s participation in NATO and our unqualified support for the United Nations, both of which have been regarded as fundamental to our foreign policy. Referring to this point later in the meeting, Mr. Murray suggested that there was no basic conflict between membership in NATO and support of UN efforts. Both organizations were designed, by different approaches, to prevent war. The trouble was that in recent UN sessions the attitude of our Delegation had not been consistent with our participation in NATO. We had tried to pose before Africans and Asians as an uncommitted nation; but the fact was that obviously we were not uncommitted, nor were we expected by African and Asian countries to behave as such. We should not try to be two different things at once. Our objective should be to have Canada recognized as a forward-looking member of NATO, to which Africans might look as a country likely to interpret some of their viewpoints to other NATO governments.

Miss Ireland remarked that a fundamental element of the Canadian approach to African problems was our desire that the African nations should be enabled to achieve the same political, economic and social benefits as we enjoy. Because of the rapid pace of current developments, the necessary progress had to be telescoped into a very short period. Miss Osborne wondered whether we could necessarily accept without qualification the pace of change demanded by the Africans, and also how far we were prepared to back up our support in principle for African aspirations, with concrete assistance in achieving them.

Lines of Procedure for the Panel

Mr. Brown observed that if approval for whatever basic principles the panel might arrive at were to be sought at Cabinet level, political realities would have to be borne in mind. In this connection, Mr. Wilson pointed out that there seemed to be little prospect in the next few years for any increase in funds available for Canadian assistance to African states. It was agreed that Mr. Wilson should get in touch with the External Aid Office about this matter.

Concerning the outline of topics suggested for consideration by the panel (a copy of which is attached), it was agreed that, initially, papers should be prepared on the subjects listed in Section A. These would involve a brief examination of each item as a “colonial” issue, indicating the problems which each involved for Canadian policy, and what lines Canadian policy had in fact followed. By examining these studies, and perhaps identifying features common to the various cases, it was hoped that the panel might be assisted in drawing deductions relevant to the formulation of the policy guide lines which it seeks to define.

Preparation of papers on the topics in Section A was to be the responsibility of African and Middle Eastern and United Nations Divisions. It was also agreed that Defence Liaison (1) Division would undertake preparation of a paper on Section B (4) of the outline of topics for consideration, while European and Commonwealth Division would deal with their respective areas of interest under Section C.

Regarding the frequency of meetings of the panel, it was suggested that a fairly intensive programme should be followed in the early stages, with a view to producing some conclusions as soon as possible. It was also felt that the panel might meet during the forthcoming UN General Assembly session, perhaps weekly, to keep in touch with the pattern of developments in the Assembly. The next meeting of the panel was scheduled for Wednesday afternoon, June 14, when it was proposed that the papers to be prepared under Section A of the outline of topics for consideration should be examined.

Suggested Topics for Consideration by Departmental Panel on Africa

A. Major Foreseeable “African” Issues for XVIth UNGA Session:

  1. Angola
  2. Southwest Africa
  3. South Africa – Apartheid
  4. Non-self-governing territories:
    - target dates for independence
    - UN missions to non-self-governing territories
    - obligation of administering powers to provide information
  5. Congo

B. African Attitudes:

  1. Extent of cohesion of African nations and of distinctively African (rather than Afro-Asian) policy formulation; divergence between Casablanca group and more moderate states; cleavage between African and Asian viewpoints; relationship of Africa with Arab world;
  2. Inexperience of African representatives in international affairs; possibilities for emergence and development of a realistic and practical, rather than largely emotional, African approach to colonial questions;
  3. Prospects for African support of Western position on broader international issues, such as disarmament, UN representation for Communist China, Law of the Sea, etc.;
  4. Attitude of African states toward Western defense structure, and particularly NATO;
  5. African positions on UN organizational questions: Structure of Secretariat, expansion of membership of Councils and Committees, allocation of representation on UN bodies; effect of developing African views on established allocation principles (Commonwealth seats, etc.).

C. Positions on Colonial Questions of:

  1. Various administering powers
  2. Soviet bloc
  3. Leading Asian states
  4. “Middle Rank” Western powers including Scandinavian and “non-colonial” Europeans, and Latin-American states.

D. Objectives of Canadian Policy on African Questions:

  • - in context of East-West relations, having in mind extent of Soviet interest and influence in Africa;
  • - in the light of our relationships with Western Europe and with the United States, both in NATO and bi-laterally;
  • - against the background of declared Canadian insistence upon respect for human rights and freedom;
  • - in view of traditional Canadian opposition to racial discrimination in any form;
  • - in recognition of Canada’s fundamental concern for the successful functioning of the United Nations;
  • - in relation to Commonwealth considerations;
  • - in respect of bi-lateral Canadian relations with individual African states.

E. Guiding Principles of Canadian Policy On:

  • - essential “colonial” issues in Africa, especially relations between administering powers and non-self-governing territories,
  • - relationships between African states and the United Nations; UN and other multilateral assistance to Africa,
  • - bi-lateral Western relations with African countries; association of African states with European Economic Community,
  • - Canadian assistance to and relations with African states.

F. Tactical Considerations:

  1. Role of Canadian Delegation in New York
  2. Diplomatic endeavours:
    • - with African representatives
    • - with administering powers
    • - with “non-colonial” powers

158. DEA/12858-40

Memorandum by United Nations Division

CONFIDENTIAL [Ottawa], June 15, 1961

Observations on African Panel Papers

The papers prepared under Section A of the list of topics for consideration by the African Panel suggest the following:

  1. On “colonial” questions, Canada has tried first of all to look at the issues from the point of view of the effects which proposed action would have on the peoples concerned. This is in keeping with our own concern with upholding human rights and our acceptance of the principles embodied in the Charter.
  2. Secondly, we seem to have looked at the legal implications of the action proposed. Where there were legal considerations involving Charter provisions, (e.g. South West Africa, apartheid, target dates for independence and transmission of information on non-self-governing territories), we have adopted a restrictive interpretation of the Articles concerned. This approach usually placed us on the side of the administering authorities, or at least not on the side of the Asians and Africans.
  3. By the resumed fifteenth session, legal considerations began to carry less weight in our policy decisions. The most notable evidence of this was our acceptance of the Angola resolution creating a sub-committee of inquiry and our support of the South West Africa resolution which renewed the invitation to the Committee on South West Africa to make on-the-spot investigations.
  4. Where no clear legal considerations were involved, and policy decisions have had to be based on political factors, we have had difficulty in reconciling our close ties with the “colonial” powers and our desire not to offend African-Asian aspirations. In recent months, political considerations have tended to have us accept the lead of the African-Asian group on colonial questions even though we have had some reservations about specific courses of action proposed.

O.A. C[HISTOFF]

159. DEA/12858-40

Memorandum from Under-Secretary of State for External Affairs to Secretary of State for External Affairs

CONFIDENTIAL [Ottawa], August 16, 1961

Canadian Approach to African Problems

The Fifteenth Session of the United Nations General Assembly demonstrated with particular force the urgency and importance of African issues in terms of international stability, and the impact which the large number of newly emerged African states are able to make in the determination of world problems. Developments at the last Assembly session, as well as in other international bodies and in bilateral relations with African states, also have underlined the difficulties faced by middle powers like Canada, who have limited direct concern with African affairs, in formulating realistic and constructive policies on issues affecting Africa. It has not been easy to reconcile our concern to find some accommodation with the vigorous and sometimes extravagant aspirations of African and Asian states in respect of “colonial” questions, with our long-standing ties of friendship and co-operation with most of the current or former administering powers. Moreover, to the extent that Canada has attempted to go along with Afro-Asian initiatives on such matters, the record suggests that our efforts in this direction have not necessarily resulted in a more restrained or realistic attitude on the part of the sponsors. Still another difficulty in trying to accommodate “anti-colonial” views which we find objectionable or unconstructive is that, with increasing frequency, there are sharp divisions among the Africans themselves on some issues in this field.

  1. With another General Assembly session approaching, and in view of the continuing expansion of Canadian contact with Africa and African problems in various fields, it seems desirable that we should try to formulate in broad terms a comprehensive approach to the major African issues. An agreed statement of basic considerations which should determine Canada’s position on a variety of specific African questions as they arise would be very useful, particularly to the Canadian Delegation to the General Assembly, but also to our representatives at other international meetings, and to Canadian posts abroad where African issues are regularly discussed. Advance consultation with representatives of friendly governments would be facilitated, and the possibility of exercising a useful influence with the parties to a particular issue would be increased, if our representatives were able confidently to explain the general lines of Canada’s approach, before the public airing of the question. Adoption of and adherence to a consistent approach to these issues might also encourage similarly-minded governments to join Canada in seeking to exercise a constructive and moderating influence.
  2. In taking up a moderate and, in our view, constructive position on highly controversial colonial issues, Canada might find itself voting with a minority on some major questions, particularly in view of the growing strength of Afro-Asian voting power in the United Nations and other international bodies. However, experience has shown that the more extreme Afro-Asian initiatives are unlikely to be modified in any event by taking a more flexible line. Canada’s standing with African states generally seems unlikely to be impaired, and with some of the more moderate among them it would undoubtedly benefit, if we were to show a readiness firmly to maintain reasonable and realistic positions on controversial questions, voting if necessary in the minority but in respectable company of like-minded moderate countries.
  3. A panel made up of representatives from the various interested divisions of the Department has examined the principal current African issues, in terms of Canada’s interest in and concern with developments in Africa. In the light of this study, the panel has drawn up a statement of considerations which might be adopted as the basis of the cohesive Canadian approach to African problems which is proposed above. These factors are set forth in the concluding paragraphs (Nos. 37-38) of the attached report by the panel, which is prefaced by a summary. Also attached is a second paper in which the general terms of the approach envisaged by the panel are applied to the formulation of proposed guidance on major African items for the Canadian Delegation to the 16th session of the General Assembly.
  4. If you approve of the terms of the approach to African problems outlined in the attached papers, they will be made the basis of the relevant instructions to the Delegation, and will serve as general guidance on these issues during the session, both in New York and at the other posts abroad which are principally concerned. You may also wish to consider whether the basic elements of the proposed Canadian approach to African issues, particularly in relation to the forthcoming General Assembly session, should be made the subject of a memorandum for Cabinet.

N.A. R[OBERTSON]

[ENCLOSURE]

Summary Report of Panel on Africa

CONFIDENTIAL [Ottawa, n.d.]

Report of Panel on Africa: Summary

The achievement of independence by more than twenty African states over the past five years has dramatically increased the impact of African issues and development on international affairs. Canada, with few direct interests in Africa, inevitably has been affected by the growing awareness of the continent and its problems; in particular, we are regularly confronted with African questions through our participation in the United Nations and its specialized agencies. A realistic and consistent approach to these problems is important, both for our relations with African states themselves and in terms of Canada’s position in the world community.

Among the major factors which contribute to Canadian interest in Africa are concern that the continent should not fall under Communist domination; recognition of Africa’s growing political and economic importance in international life; our desire to promote Canadian commercial relations with Africa; concern that African peoples should enjoy fundamental human rights in conditions of stability and progress; Commonwealth ties with some African countries; and Canadian missionary activity.

Features common to the national outlook of most newly emergent African states are anti-colonialism, a vigorous nationalism often reflected in sensitivity about “neo-colonialism,” determination not to become involved in the cold war, and concern to secure economic and technical assistance without conditions. In terms of East-West rivalry for influence in Africa, the Soviet Union enjoys the negative advantage of having no record of colonialism there – and Africans have shown little concern about Soviet imperialism in Europe. Moreover, even where there may be a tendency to examine Soviet methods critically, the attractiveness of Soviet offers of assistance may prove irresistible to new African states in difficult economic circumstances. Nevertheless there is some evidence, at least among the more moderate African nations, of conscious resentment towards obvious Soviet attempts to exploit African nationalism for cold war purposes.

It is very difficult, however, for any African state to adopt an openly pro-Western position on any international issue; and to do so on a colonial question is to invite denunciation as an “imperialist stooge” by rival African or Asian leaders. It would therefore be unrealistic for the West to expect too much of even the more moderately inclined African states. Probably all we can look for in the short term is genuine non-alignment. Later, as colonial questions are progressively resolved and anti-colonial bitterness recedes, increasingly friendly relations between most African states and the West may become feasible, while those African countries whose present policies seem to be oriented toward the Soviet bloc may develop a more independent outlook.

We cannot expect explicit African support for Western defensive arrangements against communist expansion, such as NATO, particularly since the alliance includes most of the colonial powers and this gives rise to African suspicions of NATO support for surviving colonial administrations in Africa. Inevitably, the fact of our membership in NATO has to some extent affected the attitude of Africans toward Canada.Footnote 70 We should seek African understanding of the importance which we attach to the alliance and our participation in it. It should also be emphasized that Canada’s membership in NATO in no way detracts from our wholehearted support of the United Nations, or from our sympathy with the aspirations of African states to pursue independent policies of their own.

The recent substantial increase in the number of African states in the United Nations has created a powerful new voting bloc. On issues relating to colonialism, which evoke strong emotional reactions among Africans, there has been a tendency to use Afro-Asian voting strength to force through extreme resolutions, often with scant regard for the intrinsic political requirements of a given situation. Some African members, however, seem to be aware of the limitations of relying solely upon majority votes to advance their policies;Footnote 71 and there are indications that understanding of this may be spreading.

Prior to the 15th Session of the General Assembly, the Canadian voting pattern on African questions was based to a considerable extent on our interpretation of the legal implications of the measures proposed. For example, on controversial issues such as apartheid and transmission of information on non-self-governing territories, we were inclined to accept as the overriding consideration the provision of Article 2(7) of the UN Charter, that the United Nations may not intervene in matters which are essentially within the domestic jurisdiction of any state. There has been a general retreat from this position by moderate United Nations members, including Canada, partly because UN intervention in colonial situations has sometimes seemed desirable in support of human rights, but largely because mounting anti-colonial voting strength has rendered the position untenable.

At the 15th Session, tactical considerations sometimes tended to incline Canada to be guided by African opinion on colonial questions. Leaving aside the dissatisfaction with which this attitude was viewed by some of our Western friends, there is reason to question whether this approach was successful in gaining for Canada increased understanding from the Africans and Asians. It seems likely that a more rewarding approach might lie in setting forth clearly to African representatives, in advance of the disposition of colonial items, both our interest in the welfare and progress of colonial people and our determination not to be party to extreme measures which we consider to be unconstructive.

In respect of economic and technical assistance – a major factor affecting the approach of African states to their international relations – Canada’s activities must be viewed in terms of a collective Western effort. While Soviet contributions to the development of Africa are in themselves unexceptionable, African unawareness of or indifference to Soviet motives poses a danger that Soviet bloc aid may be instrumental in establishing a dominant communist political influence in some of the states concerned. Smaller Western countries like Canada probably can confer maximum benefits and make the most impact by applying most of the available aid funds to projects which can be completely implemented under a distinctively Canadian label. This should not exclude special circumstances, such as the Congo situation, where for political reasons only multi-lateral aid is appropriate.

In shaping the development of Canadian relations with African states, Commonwealth affiliation evidently is a significant consideration. While it is probably desirable to continue to place special emphasis on links with Commonwealth countries in Africa, this should not be carried to the point of excluding assistance to, or restricting closer relations with, other African states.

The following emerge as the broad general considerations which it would seem desirable to take into account in the formulation and implementation of Canadian policy on African issues:

  1. As a mater of procedure, the fundamental terms of Canada’s approach to major African issues should be clearly defined and made known, both to African states and to the many other friendly Governments concerned with African developments. This seems particularly relevant in the United Nations context, where making our general position known in advance and adhering firmly to it would seem preferable to attempting, for tactical reasons, to accommodate objectionable viewpoints at the cost of consistency on matters of principle.
  2. Canadian recognition that there can be no acceptable alternative to self-determination as the ultimate and declared objective of surviving colonial relationships should be made equally clear to both African states and the administering powers.
  3. At the same time, we should emphasize Canada’s concern that the means of bringing about orderly progress to independence, and the timing of the transition, should be realistically related to conditions in the particular territory concerned; the fixing of firm target dates far in advance is not acceptable.
  4. Canada’s opposition to racial discrimination, whether practiced by whites against Africans or by African governments against minority expatriate communities, should be stressed, at appropriate opportunities and in constructive terms.
  5. Especially in view of the prospect of more serious confrontations between Africans and the Governments of Portugal and South Africa, the Canadian view that sanctions are not a normally acceptable method of bringing international pressure to bear on governments practising objectionable policies should be clearly set forth.
  6. It should be made abundantly clear that Canada has no desire to intervene in African affairs.Footnote 72
  7. We should not be apologetic about Canada’s commitment to the Western alliance, but rather should volunteer explanation to Africans about our membership in NATO.
  8. The emphasis which Canada places on the importance of preserving and enhancing the authority and influence of the United Nations, as the essential force for international peace and security, should be stressed in our relations with African states.
  9. Such aid as Canada is able to allocate to Africa should be so distributed as to confer the maximum benefit to Africans while achieving the broadest impact.

Sub-section III

Conversation Between Secretary of State for External Affairs and Secretary of State of United States, New York, September 19, 1961

160. DEA/50341-40

Chairman, Delegation to United Nations General Assembly, to Secretary of State for External Affairs

TELEGRAM 1918 New York, September 20, 1961

SECRET.

Repeat for Information: Washington, London, Geneva

I called on Dean Rusk yesterday afternoon at 4 p.m. and had a frank and extensive discussion with him on current problems facing United Nations. I was accompanied by Senator Brooks, Messrs. Ritchie and Cadieux. Mr. Stevenson attended part of the conversation on the appointment of a United Nations Secretary-General. The conversation lasted more than an hour and was very cordial. Mr. Rusk was in good form and in an understanding and reasonable mood as regards the various issues which came up for discussion.

Appointment of an Interim Secretary-General

  1. USA feel that in view of the situation in Congo with UN troops requiring control and direction, it is important that a successor to Mr. Hammarskjöld be appointed as soon as possible. As USSR have indicated that they will not repeat not agree to a permanent or an interim arrangement but will insist on the acceptance of “troika” USA hope that on basis of Article 101 UNGA may be persuaded to pass a resolution calling on a suitably qualified person to administer Secretariat pending the appointment of another Secretary-General. In avoiding reference to the nomination of a Secretary-General now, they hope to get around the constitutional difficulty involved in action based on Article 97 of Charter. They are not repeat not clear whether a two-thirds majority will be required.
  2. In order to emphasize the interim nature of the arrangement and thus facilitate approval of Assembly, USA delegation have approached Slim and Boland but they also have in mind, as a possibility, U Thant of Burma.
  3. According to Mr. Stevenson, Slim is not repeat not inclined to accept the appointment. He feels that there might be incompatibility between his responsibilities as Acting Secretary-General and as President of Assembly. In the former capacity he might have to take action which would be embarrassing to him as President. Furthermore, he expects to become foreign minister after the current session and he is not repeat not confident that his government would agree to his taking on this task. Besides, he is keen on the presidency and he realizes that the interim job he is asked to undertake may take a long time. In his view, it might also be easier to get Assembly to go along with USA scheme if the matter had first been dealt with by Security Council and USSR had used veto to block an appointment.
  4. Apparently, Boland, United Kingdom, French, Nigerians and half a dozen other delegations which have been consulted do not repeat not feel that a Security Council discussion is necessary or desirable. Boland himself it is thought might be a desirable candidate: it seems likely that a good number of African and Asian countries might be disposed to vote for him. On the other hand, while U Thant might be suitable, it was recognized that there might be danger in promoting the candidature of persons who have not repeat not been elected president of Assembly.

    Situation in Congo

  5. Mr. Rusk reported that Tshombe has grounded jet plane which has paralysed UN air operations by day. USA had been considering ways of providing fighter protection and even hoping that, if this became necessary, UN might have obtained fighter planes from Greece or Sweden. This was the immediate problem. As to the general situation, USA were concerned about the extent of recent fighting. They had not repeat not been consulted on the point whether UN should ferret out mercenaries and in their view UN had not repeat not made adequate preparations. UN forces were not repeat not equipped to carry out sustained operations and they might well face disaster if Katangans are determined.

    Chinese Representation

  6. Mr. Rusk confirmed that there is no repeat no intention to revive the moratorium. Speaking as one of those who had invented the scheme, he expressed surprise that it had lasted ten years. He added that both Slim and Boland are prepared to rule out on procedural grounds any attempt on the part of USSR to secure a decision on credentials. The plan is to have the issue treated as an important one and a possible line of argument with Afro-Asians may be that if Peking occupies Chinese seat in Security Council, Soviet bloc are unlikely to agree to any concessions to Afro-Asians as to their representation in the main organs of UN. USA assessment is that they will get a majority for having the item declared an important one requiring a decision by a two-thirds vote even if French African states vote against: a more comfortable majority will be assured if they abstain. USA hope that a study group will consider all aspects of Charter revision and do not repeat not have in mind confining work of such group to Chinese issue. Mr. Rusk agreed that it is not repeat not absolutely clear that a two-thirds vote is required to set up a committee: there were precedents on both sides of the argument.

    Disarmament

  7. Mr. Rusk stressed that one sentence in USA statement of principlesFootnote 73 to which USSR raise objections could be fairly important. The substantive point involved however runs all through USA paper. Sentence was added by USA delegation in New York because perhaps of a little excess in caution. USA are anxious to discover what Soviet objection involves and they wish to discuss the matter with USSR.
  8. When I urged Mr. Rusk to be flexible in view of the great impact which an agreement on disarmament would have on the general world situation and on the prospects of a negotiation on Berlin, he agreed but made a number of incidental points. He gave me the impression of being keen about reaching an agreement if this could possibly be done.
    1. The matter at issue is important. It is a question whether inspection is to cover not repeat not only armaments already eliminated but also what is left. USA are working out other forms of language to cover the point. As another possibility, USA may record their reservation in a letter which could be made public.
    2. At a time when an effort is being made to stiffen West in relation to negotiations over Berlin, the task might become more difficult if there were an agreement on disarmament.
    3. Headway on disarmament will be easier if some of the other issues can be disposed of. USSR could easily disarm USA anytime they wanted if they pursued reasonable policies. If they had chosen to cooperate in 1946, USA defence budget would now be 5 instead of 45 billion a year.
    4. Too much eagerness might be interpreted in Moscow as a sign of weakness. There could easily be a dangerous situation if Soviet leaders cannot repeat not be persuaded that we mean business over Berlin and it is particularly hard for democracies which speak with a variety of voices and emphases to get across to dictators that on certain issues they are serious. Dictators are then tempted to go too far and the situation gets out of control.

    Berlin

  9. Mr. Rusk expressed appreciation for the comments received from us on Berlin.Footnote 74 He went on to say that they had deliberately avoided getting into details of the negotiating position before German elections and informal contacts had been established with USSR. While the general lines of the substantive USA position have already been reported to NATO, it will now be possible to adjust and simplify it. As I mentioned that we had been concerned about the lack of details as to the Western substantive position, Mr. Rusk said that such position was already well known and agreed on the vital issues which provided the immediate framework for negotiations.
  10. While stressing that German elections had been an important inhibiting factor in discussing possible negotiating positions, Mr. Rusk thought that as a result of these elections Germans may become less sensitive to theoretical aspects of the problem of relations with the East Germans. They may now be ready to accept a number of mixed East-West German commissions to deal with practical problems such as trade and to accept the implications of a de facto situation where 95 percent of the problems relating to access are already being handled by East and West Germans themselves. When I asked him whether they might agree to a nuclear free zone, Mr. Rusk saw a possibility that NATO and Warsaw pact countries might come to some agreement involving regional limitations which might be tolerable to Germans. They were very sensitive on this issue and might object to any scheme involving only Germany. The problem was that the forces of the two blocs were in contact in Germany and any attempts to limit or reduce forces almost accidentally and incidentally was likely to appear to involve discrimination against Germans.
  11. Throughout this part of the conversation, I argued very strongly that with UNGA in session, with the widespread concern resulting from the resumption of tests, with death of Secretary-General, neutral opinion would expect a considerable effort on our part to find an accommodation. There was also the possibility that USSR itself might be seeking ways of reducing tension. It was not repeat not yet possible to assume that they would be prepared to disregard the aspirations of world public opinion.

    Laos

  12. On Laos, Mr. Rusk reported that recently USA had developed their contacts with USSR and the impression was that USSR “had been trying to say encouraging things to us.” They had been using all the right words and had been much less difficult and belligerent than in public at Geneva. It was hard however to translate this into practical arrangements on the ground.
  13. USA had not repeat not been encouraged by Mr. Harriman’s talks with Souvanna Phouma: while USA were not repeat not trying to be sticky or difficult on the composition of a new government and were not repeat not attempting to set up a pro-western government under the guise of neutrality they could not repeat not agree to a pro-communist régime under this label. USA saw however, as a result of their discussions with USSR, a possibility of having all foreign military personnel removed out of Laos. The problem was how to achieve this. While USA personnel are readily identified, it was not repeat not so easy to do this as regards the Vietminh. USSR were unlikely to agree to ICC getting permanent and detailed terms of reference to undertake this job but they might agree to a short term operation. USA were wondering whether this could not repeat not be done by ICC if it were to be assisted by Cambodian and Burmese personnel. Burmese who had been approached had indicated a willingness to help. I indicated that, in principle, I saw no repeat no objections to such a scheme. We might agree to a temporary expansion of the commission if this could facilitate a solution.
  14. When I mentioned the possibility that operations in Laos might be resumed after monsoon season, Mr. Rusk said that the principal change they had noticed during the last month was that substantial reinforcements had been sent through Southeast part of the country in an apparent attempt to strengthen the rebels in South Vietnam. Questioned whether Chinese or Russians controlled the Vietminh he said that Soviet wing were still in control in Hanoi and that if adequate machinery could be set up, USSR might handle Vietminh.

    Nuclear Tests

  15. I asked Mr. Rusk why it had been necessary to announce resumption of tests before end of time given to Mr. Khrushchev to reply to Kennedy-Macmillan offer. Mr. Rusk said that after third Soviet test President felt that both nationally and internationally he could not repeat not take responsibility for delaying action any further. One essential aspect of the problem was of course that of controlling congressional reaction. He went on to say that the problem was a mixed one, involving partly public opinion, partly power relationships. USSR decision had not repeat not elicited the expected reaction in Belgrade. I made point with which Mr. Rusk agreed that many of neutrals (Nehru and Nasser in particular) had taken a positive attitude and that their influence might help in inducing USSR to take a more reasonable line.

    Law of Sea

  16. I reminded Mr. Rusk that we were still expecting an answer to our proposal that USA might join us and UK in second phase of a confidential survey intended to establish the degree of support which might exist for a multilateral convention based on Geneva formula. Mr. Rusk’s brief to which he referred on this point merely said that State Department are still trying to make a more definite assessment of the various factors involved. I explained that there was pressure at home for early action in this field and Mr. Rusk undertook to look into the matter.

[H.C.] GREEN

Sub-section IV

Élections Au Conseil De Sécurité Security Council Elections

161. DEA/5475-CX-1-40

Memorandum from Secretary of State for External Affairs to Prime Minister

CONFIDENTIAL [Ottawa], February 6, 1961

Commonwealth Seat on the Security Council

Attached is an Aide Mémoire left with us by the United Kingdom Deputy High Commissioner.† The United Kingdom believes that South Africa has no hope of election to the Commonwealth seat on the Security Council in 1961 because not even a majority of the Commonwealth would support the Union. They also believe that the South Africans should be told that they can no longer count on support from the older countries of the Commonwealth if they decide to contest the seat formally. The United Kingdom think it advisable to dispose of this question before the Commonwealth Prime Ministers’ meeting lest this controversial issue be brought up at the meeting and complicate the question of South African membership of the Commonwealth. If Canada, Australia and New Zealand agreed, the United Kingdom would speak to the South Africans along these lines on behalf of the old Commonwealth and urge the South Africans not to bring up the matter at the Prime Ministers’ meeting. The last point made by the United Kingdom is that, because Ghana is at present the only Commonwealth candidate openly in the running for the Security Council in 1961, we should accept it as the agreed Commonwealth candidate.

  1. To deal with the last point first, it would seem advisable not to pledge Canada’s support for Ghana at this early stage. We have no way of knowing whether any other Commonwealth candidate, such as Nigeria from Africa or Malaya from Asia, is likely to appear. There could develop a competition between Asian and African candidates for the Commonwealth seats. If there were to be any choice, it would be desirable to give our support to the best candidate and the one most likely to be elected by the Assembly. Ghana, no doubt, considers itself a natural successor to Liberia as a representative of Africa, south of the Sahara, but it is far from clear that all the African states themselves share this view, especially in view of Ghana’s equivocal attitude on the Congo situation and on the United Nations intervention there. Moreover, the composition of the Security Council as regards non-permanent seats in 1962 presents a confused picture, in relation to the representation of Asia as well as of Africa, and elections in the Council may continue to be further complicated as long as the question of enlargement is not resolved. In our view, these are sufficient reasons for withholding Canadian support for Ghana at this time.
  2. As regards the South African candidature, you will recall that when the Union asked us to support its claim to the seat in 1959 we considered it to be entitled to the seat on rotational grounds. When it became apparent that the Union was planning to withdraw in favour of Ceylon in 1959 and to contest the 1961 election instead, we told South Africa in an aide mémoire of June 26, 1959: “While it would be manifestly impossible to anticipate all contingencies which might arise in two years, Canada would, subject to unforeseen developments, expect to be in a position itself to vote for South Africa and to give the Union its support in seeking the concurrence of the other Commonwealth members, should the Union be a candidate for the Security Council in 1961.” The other old Commonwealth members took somewhat different positions. The United Kingdom undertook to try to secure the Union’s acceptance as agreed Commonwealth candidate. New Zealand said only that it would be prepared to vote for South Africa if it were the agreed candidate. Because of our distinctive approach to this subject, as well as on general grounds, we opposed the United Kingdom suggestion that, after consultation, it would act as the sole spokesman for the old Commonwealth. We recommend, therefore, that the British be told that we still prefer to deal directly with the South Africans.
  3. As to the substantive question, the South African candidature for the Commonwealth seat is obviously closely related to the larger question of whether South Africa is to remain a member of the Commonwealth, not only because its candidature assumes continuing membership of the Commonwealth, but also because both issues hinge on South Africa’s racial policies.
  4. I would suggest, then, that we should in any event not agree that a decision be made on Ghana’s candidature before the Prime Ministers’ Conference. As to the action to be taken in respect of South Africa’s candidature, one of the following courses might be chosen:
    1. To tell the United Kingdom that, in our view, it would be preferable to leave the Security Council matter in abeyance until after the Prime Ministers’ Meeting had decided the related – and in one important respect, prior – question of South Africa’s continued membership in the Commonwealth.
    2. To tell the United Kingdom that we agree that it would be useful to clear the air before the Conference but that, since our positions on the South African candidacy have been different, the Department would explain orally to the South Africans as a routine matter that, as they themselves were no doubt aware, circumstances have altered fundamentally since we made our conditional promise of support in 1959. Not only has there been an unfavourable international reaction to events in the Union, but there has also been a sizeable influx of new African members to the United Nations who would be unlikely to support South Africa. As a result there would seem to be no point in our canvassing support for South Africa at this time because there was no chance that it could be elected in 1961.
    3. To suggest that the Security Council question be discussed at the Conference itself (the proposed agenda of which already provides for discussion of the United Nations), and before the item on Commonwealth membership. To explain why South Africa could not be elected would be, in effect, to prove that South Africa’s racial policies had an international aspect. It is possible that Dr. Verwoerd might regard this as the type of humiliating condition that he has said he could not accept and decide on withdrawal from the Commonwealth. Should he do so, it would be, from our point of view, on a better issue than the wisdom of racial policies within the Union itself, which the South African Government vigorously argues are purely domestic, or on a difference over principles guiding the Commonwealth which are, in any case, not agreed.
  5. I should be glad to know which of these courses you prefer, so that an answer can be given to the United Kingdom Government, which has asked for an early reply.

H.C. G[REEN]

162. DEA/5475-CX-1-40

Memorandum by Special Assistant to Secretary of State for External Affairs

CONFIDENTIAL [Ottawa], February 10, 1961

Commonwealth Seat on the Security Council

On February 9 the Prime Minister examined the Minister’s memorandum on this subject and gave the following instructions:

  1. We should not pledge Canada’s support for Ghana.
  2. The United Kingdom authorities should be told that the Canadian Government will deal directly with South Africa.

The Prime Minister also said that we should tell the South Africans and the British that in our view the South Africans should withdraw their candidacy since there is no hope of its being successful.

With regard to course (c) in paragraph 5 of the memorandum, the Prime Minister said that he regarded it as a useful means of demonstrating that South Africa’s racial policies do have an international aspects, but that for the time being no indication need be given to other governments that consideration is being given to this course. A decision whether or not to act on this suggestion could not be taken until the Meeting.

.B. R[OBINSON]

163. DEA/5475-CX-1-40

Secretary of State for External Affairs to High Commissioner in United Kingdom

TELEGRAM K-33 Ottawa, February 24, 1961
SECRET. PRIORITY.
Reference: Wellington Tel. No. 22 of Jan. 25/61.†
Repeat for Information: Canberra, Wellington (Priority), Cape Town.

South African Candidature for Security Council

You are authorized to inform the government to which you are accredited that a message along the following lines was conveyed to the South African High Commissioner today. He was reminded of the Canadian aide mémoire in 1959 when South Africa withdrew its claim to the Commonwealth seat on the Security Council for that year but asked for support in 1961. We had replied to the effect that subject to unforeseen developments we would expect to support South Africa. He was told today that there had been unexpected developments during the past year which bore on the whole ferment throughout Africa and in addition there had been a large number of new African members of the U.N. Under existing circumstances, we see no possibility of South Africa being elected to the Security Council and for that reason it would be idle to support their candidature for the Commonwealth seat. We added our regrets that this situation had developed.

  1. We had previously conveyed the same views to Earnscliffe in response to their earlier memorandum on the subject.

164. DEA/5475-CX-1-40

Memorandum from Under-Secretary of State for External Affairs to Secretary of State for External Affairs

CONFIDENTIAL [Ottawa], August 30, 1961

Elections to the Security Council

In addition to Ghana, which Canada is already committed to support as the Commonwealth candidate to the seat now held by Ceylon, there are four other candidates for the two Security Council seats to be vacated by Turkey and Ecuador. Romania and the Philippines are competing for the Turkish seat, which is nominally the East European seat. Cuba and Venezuela are candidates for the seat held by Ecuador, one of the two allocated to Latin America.

Latin American Seat

  1. Cuba’s candidature is not endorsed by the Latin American group, many of the members of which are now expected to support Venezuela. In line with Canada’s usual policy of accepting the choice of the region concerned as envisaged in the gentleman’s agreement of 1945, the Canadian Delegation to the sixteenth session will, if you approve, be authorized to support Venezuela if it has the support of the Latin American group.Footnote 75

    East European Seat

  2. As you know, Turkey is completing the term of Poland on the Security Council in accordance with the agreement reached at the fourteenth session to resolve a deadlock in the election for the East European seat. The Soviet bloc candidate to replace Turkey is Romania. The Philippines is also a candidate to that seat and has the support of the United States.
  3. Canada’s general approach to the gentleman’s agreement suggests that Canadian support should go to Romania as it did to Poland at the fourteenth session. However, important considerations prompting the Canadian decision to support Poland do not apply in the case of Romania. In 1959 Canadian support for Poland was justified by the relative independence which that country had been able to achieve within the Soviet bloc. Poland’s relatively independent stand in international councils and its more advanced internal policies merited a gesture of encouragement from a country such as Canada. Romania, on the other hand, is one of the least independent of the East European countries.
  4. Moreover, the addition of many new African members of the United Nations has increased more than ever the pressure for greater African-Asian representation in the various organs. The increased pressure is, for the most part, applied against the Western Europeans countries since most of the African-Asians are reluctant to seek election to seats traditionally reserved for the Soviet bloc. This is particularly unfair as it is the determination of the Soviet Union to prevent the enlargement of the Security Council and ECOSOC until Communist China is represented in the United Nations which frustrates the African-Asian desire for additional seats on the Councils. In seeking election to the Eastern European seat, the Philippines might thus serve a useful purpose, if it were to contribute to shifting the pressure for greater African-Asian representation on to the Soviet bloc.
  5. Finally, in the present international atmosphere, it would be a welcome gesture of Western solidarity on the part of Canada, if we were to join with Western allies in supporting the Philippine candidature.
  6. African-Asian reluctance to take a stand against a Soviet bloc candidate may lead to an election deadlock between Romania and the Philippines. If an acceptable compromise candidate were not then to appear, a split-term arrangement would be the only solution.
  7. If you approve, therefore, the Canadian Delegation to the sixteenth session will be authorized (a) to support the candidature of the Philippines on the early ballots, and (b) in the event of an election deadlock, to exercise its discretion in supporting a compromise candidate or a split-term arrangement as the exigencies facing the General Assembly may warrant.Footnote 76

N.A. R[OBERTSON]

165. DEA/5475-CX-1-40

Memorandum for Secretary of State for External Affairs

CONFIDENTIAL [Ottawa], November 14, 1961

Security Council Elections

One non-permanent seat on the Security [Council] remains to be filled. This is the so-called “Eastern European” seat which is being contested by the Philippines and Romania. At the last restricted ballot held on October 30 the result was: Philippines 54, Romania 48.

  1. Under Rule 96 of the Assembly’s Rules of Procedure this afternoon’s voting will open with a series of 3 unrestricted ballots (i.e. Members are free to vote for anyone they want). If no country obtains the required two-thirds majority, the next series will be 3 restricted ballots, confined to the two candidates with the greatest number of votes in the third of the unrestricted ballots. And so on, until someone obtains the necessary two-thirds majority.
  2. The USA have informed us that the position remains much the same as when voting was suspended on October 30. They will of course be attempting to rally as much support for the Philippines as possible.

    Instructions

  3. The Delegation is authorized to support the Philippines on the early ballots but may exercise its discretion in supporting (a) a compromise candidate or (b) a split-term arrangement as a means of assisting the General Assembly to circumvent a possible election deadlock.
  4. There seem to be good reasons for Canada to continue to support the Philippines as long as there appears to be any chance of securing its election. Romania is one of the least independent of the Soviet bloc countries and its election could result in a composition of the Council which would be unfavourable to the West. If Romania were elected, there would be 2 Soviet bloc reps (USSR, Romania) plus 2 undependable neutrals (Ghana, UAR) on the Security Council. The West would then require the concurring votes of all of the 7 remaining members (UK, USA, France, China, Venezuela, Chile, Ireland) to take any positive action. The USA argue that the net effect would be to give the right of veto to any of the Western seven.
  5. In the previous voting, held on October 30, Ghana and Venezuela were elected for two year terms. Ireland was elected for one year (1962) to replace Liberia under the split term arrangement agreed upon last year.Footnote 77

Sub-section V

SOUTH AFRICA

166. DEA/7060-40

Extract from Provisional Agenda of the Sixteenth Session of the United Nations General Assembly

AGENDA ITEM 76 [Ottawa], September 6, 1961
CONFIDENTIAL

The Question of Race Conflict in South Africa Resulting from the Policies of Apartheid of the Government of the Republic of South Africa

A. Background References

Final Report of the 14th Session UNGA, Item 61;Footnote 78

Final Report of the 15th Session UNGA, Item 72;Footnote 79

Prime Minister’s Statement on South Africa’s Withdrawal from the Commonwealth, Hansard, March 17, 1961;

Explanatory Memorandum proposing Inscription of the item, Doc. A/4804, July 20, 1961, with Add.1-5.†

B. Issues Facing the 16th Session

There is little doubt that South Africa’s policies of racial discrimination will be one of the most strongly debated issues at the 16th session.

  1. The resolution passed at last year’s session Resolution 1598(XV), passed on April 13, 1961 by 95 votes in favour, with one against (Portugal) and no abstentions, marked a turning point in discussion of this item at the United Nations. The resolution censured South Africa in the strongest terms but while it requested all states to consider taking such separate and collective action as was open to them in conformity with the Charter to bring about the abandonment of these policies, it did not include recommendations for sanctions which had been demanded by the African members.
  2. Since this resolution was passed, South Africa has left the Commonwealth, becoming a Republic on May 31, 1961, and has not shown the slightest sign of complying with the wishes of the United Nations Assembly on racial issues. Indeed the South African Government has become even more rigid and unyielding in its determination to apply its apartheid policies. A general election will be held on October 18, 1961, and the Nationalist government is making approval of its racial policies the central issue of the election campaign. Nearly all political observers have predicted that Dr. Verwoerd will be given an increased majority by the South African electorate.
  3. In these circumstances, the African members will be inclined to argue that at last year’s resolution has proved ineffective in bringing about any alteration in the apartheid policies of the South African Government, direct action by the United Nations is now called for.

    C. Attitude of Directly Interested Parties

  4. Apartheid is an issue with which all members of the United Nations, without exception, feel that they are directly concerned.
  5. South Africa has always maintained the view that this is a matter of domestic jurisdiction in which the United Nations is forbidden to intervene. It will have recorded its objection to inscription and will probably not participate in any discussion of the subject.
  6. The African members, under the leadership of Ghana, will pursue the issue most strongly. The resolution which they sponsored at the resumed session of the 15th Assembly, after the usual condemnation of South Africa’s racial policies, recommended all states to break off diplomatic relations with the Government of South Africa, to close their ports to South African vessels and to prevent their own ships from entering South African ports, to boycott all South African goods and to refrain from exporting goods to South Africa and to refuse landing or passage facilities to all South African aircraft. When the operative clause containing these recommendations failed to obtain a two-thirds majority in the Plenary Session, the vote being 43-34(Canada)-21, the resolution was dropped.
  7. The African members have stated that they will continue to press for sanctions against South Africa at each succeeding Assembly. It is conceivable that they might also ask for South Africa’s expulsion from the United Nations.
  8. The Asian members feel as strongly as the African members about racial discrimination. However, they thought that the imposition of economic and diplomatic sanctions was inconsistent with Article 41 of the Charter, whereby the imposition of sanctions is the responsibility of the Security Council alone. They may also have taken into consideration the fact that a resolution recommending sanctions would have little chance of obtaining the necessary two-thirds majority. Among the Asian group, Ceylon, India and Indonesia voted in favour of the African resolution. Burma, Cambodia, Japan, Laos, Pakistan, Philippines and Thailand were among those who abstained. The resolution sponsored by the Asian members condemned South Africa in the sharpest terms and noted with grave concern that South Africa’s racial policies had led to international friction and had endangered international peace and security. The resolution requested that all states should consider taking such separate and collective action as was open to them in conformity with the Charter of the United Nations to bring about the abandonment of South Africa’s racial policies.
  9. The Soviet bloc has always supported Afro-Asian resolutions on this subject and will presumably continue to do so.
  10. The strength of world opinion against South Africa was reflected in the remarkable shift of Western members from opposing or abstaining on apartheid resolutions, as they had done in recent years, to voting in favour of the Asian resolution which, as mentioned above, was passed by 95-1(Portugal)-0. The resolution on apartheid passed at the 14th session, which was considerably milder than the Asian resolution of the 15th session, was passed by 67-3(France, Portugal, UK) with 7 abstentions (Australia, Belgium, Canada, Dominican Republic, Finland, Netherlands, Spain).

    D. Likely Course of Events

  11. The letter of inscription dated July 18, 1961 placing the apartheid item on the agenda of the 16th General Assembly was signed by 39 countries, with 7 more names being added later. These included, as might be expected, all the African members, most of the Asians, and also such countries as Ireland, Cyprus, Brazil, Uruguay, Denmark, Iceland and Norway.
  12. The letter of Inscription refers to Resolution 1598(XV) which had been passed by an overwhelming majority but had failed to bring about any change in the policies and actions of the Republic of South Africa, which continued “with increasing ruthlessness and disregard of world opinion and of the successive resolutions adopted by the United Nations.” The letter warned that the South African Government’s policy of apartheid was a continuing cause of international friction and was likely to endanger peace and security.
  13. The events of the past year in South Africa would seem to rule out any possibility of a moderate resolution. The division of opinion will be between those who think that South Africa can be forced by physical means to alter its racial policies and those who feel that application of the strongest possible moral pressure by mobilizing world opinion is the most effective way of bringing about change in South Africa.
  14. The African members will again bring forward a demand for universal sanctions which will include those which they asked for at the last session, breaking off diplomatic relations, trade boycott and cancellation of shipping and air links. Some of the African members may feel that South Africa should be expelled, from the United Nations. Even if South Africa is not expelled, many African members would welcome the passage of a very strong resolution which was so harshly critical of South Africa that South Africa would voluntarily withdraw from United Nations as it did from the Commonwealth.
  15. The question is therefore not whether a moderate resolution can be obtained, but rather what limits can be set on the expected tough resolution.

    E. Policy Considerations Involved for Canada

  16. Many factors are involved. Racial discrimination, as practiced by the South African Government, is abhorrent to nearly all Canadians and public opinion in Canada is extremely critical of the harshly abusive attitude of the South African Government on this issue.
  17. The following considerations need to be taken into account.
  18. In the past it was felt that attacking or condemning the South African Government was more likely to be harmful than helpful to the non-white population of South Africa. However, this policy of restrain has not proved to be of noticeable value and does not seem to have influenced the policy of the South African Government. There seems therefore no alternative to placing more reliance on the hope of bringing about a change in South Africa’s policies by the power of world opinion, as reflected in very strongly worded resolutions passed by the General Assembly of the United Nations.
  19. Canada has had close associations with South Africa in the past and recognizes the many excellent qualities of the English and Afrikaner inhabitants of South Africa. We realize the great difficulty of finding a solution to the problem of relations between the races in this country and we appreciate that the South African Government, within the limitations of its philosophy, has made great efforts to improve the social and economic conditions of the native population. At the same time we believe that the policy of apartheid is both inhumane and unworkable and, if pursued in its present manner, can only lead to catastrophe. We believe that efforts should still be made to try to bring about a change from within in South Africa by peaceful methods of persuasion and negotiation.
  20. The arguments against applying sanctions to South Africa under present conditions are that their use would be counter to the Charter’s provision that sanctions were intended solely for use by the Security Council for preventing or stopping international hostilities. Their use would also mean applying to South Africa something which has not been used against perpetrators of international crimes even more opprobrious. It would set a precedent of questionable legality which under different circumstances could be used to coerce other small nations.
  21. There are also strong practical arguments against the use of economic sanctions for exerting political pressure. If every nation refused to trade with any other nation of whose policies or principles it disapproved, the pattern of international trade would quickly become extremely distorted. Economic sanctions would also be ineffective unless accepted by all the major industrial countries which have substantial trade relations with South Africa. There is no guarantee that some of these countries, who question the legality of such action by the United Nations, would continue to trade with South Africa at the expense of those countries which did comply. Finally, there is the point that those who would suffer first and most in South Africa from economic sanctions would be the African workers.
  22. The breaking off of diplomatic relations as a means of expressing disapproval for South Africa’s racial policies would require careful consideration. We have diplomatic relations with many countries of whose policies we strongly disapprove but with whom we have to conduct international business of one kind or other.
  23. It is also possible that if a resolution calling for sanctions was passed by a two-thirds majority, South Africa would withdraw from the United Nations. There is no doubt that many members would welcome such a withdrawal and would even favour expulsion of South Africa at the present time. On the other hand it may be argued that membership of the United Nations continues to place some restraint on the South African Government in its treatment of its non-white population and that withdrawal, or expulsion, could lead to more extreme measures of discrimination with even less regard for international opinion.

    F. Instructions

  24. No doubt should be left in the minds of the South African Government about the complete disapproval by nearly every member of the United Nations of their apartheid policies. Accordingly, the Canadian Delegation should be prepared to support those parts of a resolution, even though they may be phrased in very strong terms, which condemn apartheid policies. If the same resolution should contain proposals concerning sanctions or the expulsion of South Africa, the Delegation should refer to Ottawa for instructions.
  25. The Delegation should keep the Department informed of any approaches which are made to it by other delegations and about any proposed resolutions which it learns of while they are still in the drafting stage. The delegation will perhaps wish to consult with the Department concerning the nature of the response it makes to any approaches by other delegations and regarding its attitude on any proposed resolutions which may appear to be gaining support.

    G. Suggested Lines to be Followed in Statement

  26. If it is found appropriate for the Canadian representative to participate in the debate in committee, some or all of the following points might usefully be made. The exact nature of the statement, however, and certainly the emphasis to be given to specific points will depend to a considerable extent on the action which Canada has found it possible to take.
    1. Canada opposes racial discrimination in South Africa or wherever it appears as a denial of fundamental human rights to which all members of the United Nations have subscribed.
    2. Canada deplores the suffering and frustration which the South African Government’s apartheid policy has brought to the non-white population of South Africa. The objectionable features of the system have completely obscured any progressive measures which the South African Government has taken for its native population, such as the provision of low cost native housing, the provision of hospital and medical facilities, the beginnings of the economic development of the native reserves, the provision of educational facilities, etc.
    3. Canada is convinced that apartheid, as well as being an evil policy, is also unworkable and extremely dangerous. If continued on its present lines, it will bring economic, and eventually, political and social disaster to all the people of South Africa.
    4. Canada regrets the position of isolation in which South Africa has placed itself by following those policies. We still believe, even at this stage, that South Africa should reverse its course and work for a policy of true racial partnership. This would have to be by a gradual process of moving away from apartheid, with concessions on the part of the white population and continued patience by the non-white population. We believe that an atmosphere in which a multi-racial society in South Africa would be possible could only be achieved by peaceful cooperation between white and non-white South Africans. We are therefore opposed to the use of force to try to bring about a change.

167. PCO

Memorandum from Secretary of State for External Affairs to Cabinet

CABINET DOCUMENT NO. 396-61 [Ottawa] October 25, 1961
CONFIDENTIAL

Apartheid

The apartheid issue is being discussed by the Special Committee of the UN General Assembly in New York this week, the debate having started on Monday, October 23. In their inscription of this item the African delegations pointed out that last year’s apartheid resolution, which was approved by 95 to 1, has failed to bring about any change in the policies and actions of the Republic of South Africa. They also claimed that apartheid is a continuing cause of international friction and is likely to endanger peace and security.

  1. The Ghanian delegation has circulated a draft resolution recommending sanctions against South Africa similar to those contained in the African resolution which failed to obtain a two-thirds majority at the last session, but also including a demand for South Africa’s expulsion from the United Nations. In addition to inviting the Security Council to recommend the expulsion of South Africa, the resolution recommends that all states should:
    1. break off diplomatic relations with South Africa;
    2. close their ports to South African vessels;
    3. prevent their own ships from entering South African ports;
    4. boycott all South African goods and refrain from exporting goods to South Africa; and
    5. refuse landing and passage facilities to all South African aircraft.
  2. The Ghanaian resolution has not yet been tabled in the Special Committee. It will probably be altered before it reaches the Committee and in committee and it is possible that the demand for South Africa’s expulsion may be dropped. Feeling against South Africa remains very strong and it is possible that the demand for sanctions will receive the necessary two-thirds support in plenary.
  3. It should be noted that the Assembly can only recommend sanctions. To be mandatory a sanctions resolution would have to be approved by the Security Council. It could be defeated in the Security Council either by failure to obtain seven votes or by a veto.
  4. The British are very strongly opposed to the use of economic sanctions against South Africa on grounds of both principle and national interest and are most anxious to obtain enough support to defeat them in the Assembly, rather than be faced with the possibility of having to use a veto in the Security Council.
  5. In making a decision as to the position which our Delegation should adopt, there are many factors which should be taken into consideration. The question of expulsion has been discussed in a separate memorandum to Cabinet.† With regard to breaking off diplomatic relations, it has been the Canadian view that the question of maintenance of diplomatic relations with a particular government should not be related to approval or disapproval of that government’s policies. With regard to the economic sanctions proposed in the Ghanaian resolution, the following aspects are involved.
  6. The arguments in favour of supporting a demand for sanctions are:
    1. It is true that the South African Government has paid no attention to the resolution passed by an overwhelming majority at the last session calling on it to bring its policies and conduct into conformity with its obligations under the Charter. The fact that the many hortatory resolutions of the past years have all been ineffective adds weight to the African contention that sanctions are the only means remaining to the UN enforcing its will.
    2. The South African Foreign Minister, Mr. Louw, in his speech in the General debate has stated that the South African Government has no intention of altering its racial policies in deference to United Nations opinion. The uncompromising and aggressive tone of his speech has destroyed any remaining sympathy for the South African position.
    3. The African delegations consider that the apartheid issue is of direct and vital concern to them. Failure to support their resolution might offset the benefit we have gained from our strong stand against apartheid in the past and would leave us open to the accusation that we are insincere in our opposition to apartheid.
    4. As we have obtained the support of nearly all the African delegations on matters of great interest to Canada, they may feel that we should support them on issues which they regard as vital. Our attitude might affect their votes on other issues of direct interest to us. It might also prejudice the special relationship which we have been able to develop with the French-speaking African states.
    5. In the recent general election, the Nationalist government increased its majority, winning two-thirds of the seats in parliament, while campaigning on its racial policies. It is therefore irrelevant to argue that the United Nations pressure will increase the support within South Africa for the Verwoerd Government.
  7. On the other hand, there are a number of reasons why it would be in Canada’s interest to oppose the application of sanctions to South Africa because of its apartheid policies. These include:
    1. Their use would be counter to the Charter’s provision that sanctions were intended solely for use by the Security Council for preventing or stopping international hostilities.
    2. Their use would also mean applying to South Africa something which has not been used against perpetrators of international crimes even more opprobrious. It would set a precedent of questionable legality which under different circumstances could be used to coerce other small nations.
    3. If every nation refused to trace with any other nation of whose policies or principles it disapproved, the pattern of international trade would quickly become extremely distorted.
    4. Economic sanctions would be ineffective unless accepted by all the major industrial countries which have substantial trade relations with South Africa.
    5. Those who would suffer first and most in South Africa from economic sanctions would be the African workers.
  8. While the Canadian Delegation voted at the last session for the Asian resolution on apartheid, which noted that the continuance of the South African Government’s racial policies “endangers international peace and security,” it is difficult to believe that a situation such as that which exists now in South Africa was meant to be covered by the relevant articles of the Charter dealing with measures designed to “maintain or restore international peace and security.” The use of sanctions against South Africa because of apartheid policies would set an extremely bad precedent for the United Nations. It might lead to a number of further sanctions proposals. Certainly Portugal would be next in line but some delegations might be tempted to propose sanctions against the Soviet Union, France, Israel or the Netherlands. Moves like this could produce a difficult, embarrassing and confusing situation in the Assembly. Added to the internal problems which already exist in the United Nations, resort to the sanctions procedure might bring down the Organization.
  9. In terms of Canadian interests, it is probable that a vote for economic sanctions, or even an abstention, would call into question the special contractual arrangements of 1932 with South Africa which govern our trade relations. Either party can cancel after due notice and the balance of advantage from these preferences is substantially in our favour, as is also the balance of trade itself ($50 million Canadian exports as opposed to $10 million imports). When consideration was being given to cancelling these arrangements at the time South Africa left the Commonwealth, numerous representations against such action were received from Canadian exporters. It is also probable that special legislation would be necessary to enable Canada to implement a sanctions resolution passed by the United Nations.
  10. In the light of the foregoing considerations, Cabinet guidance would be appreciated as a basis for instructions to the Canadian Delegation to the Sixteenth United Nations General Assembly.

H.C. GREEN

168. PCO

Extract from Cabinet Conclusions

SECRET [Ottawa], October 26, 1961

Present

  • The Secretary of State for External Affairs and Acting Prime Minister (Mr. Green) in the Chair,
  • The Minister of Trade and Commerce (Mr. Hees),
  • The Minister of Transport (Mr. Balcer),
  • The Minister of Veterans Affairs (Mr. Churchill),
  • The Minister of National Defence (Mr. Harkness),
  • The Solicitor General (Mr. Browne),
  • The Minister of Agriculture (Mr. Alvin Hamilton),
  • The Minister of Defence Production (Mr. O’Hurley),
  • The Minister of Forestry (Mr. Flemming).
  • The Secretary to the Cabinet (Mr. Bryce),
  • The Assistant Secretaries to the Cabinet (Mr. Labarge), (Mr. Watters).

. . .

Possible Expulsion of South Africa from the United Nations

  1. The Secretary of State for External Affairs said that the Special Committee of the United Nations was discussing South Africa and the apartheid issue at the present session of the General Assembly this week. The Ghanaian delegation had circulated a draft resolution recommending sanctions against South Africa and also including a demand for South Africa’s expulsion from the United Nations. In addition a number of actions to be taken by states were recommended.
    (Minister’s memorandum, Cab. Doc. 396-61, Oct. 25)
  2. Mr. Green considered that the idea of sanctions or the expulsion of a member was foreign to any past practice in the United Nations. Although Canada had voted at the last session for the Asian resolution on apartheid, the proposed resolution was going much further. Britain was worried about the imposition of sanctions because of its possible effect on their trade with South Africa and because South African ports were required in moving naval vessels around the Cape. On the other hand if Canada voted against sanctions she would be lined up with a very small group because the large Asian and African blocks would vote for sanctions. Canada needed the support of these groups on other matters. Even abstaining would create some difficulty with the African and Asian groups.
  3. During the discussion some said Canada should vote against the resolution because some of the sanctions, such as the breaking off of diplomatic relations, were acts just short of war. Others wondered whether by abstention Canada would be committed to carry out sanctions if the resolution passed. It was made clear that this would not be the case.
  4. The Cabinet agreed that the Canadian Delegation to the United Nations General Assembly in New York be instructed to abstain from voting on a resolution recommending sanctions against South Africa.

. . .

169. DEA/7060-40

Memorandum from Assistant Under-Secretary of State for External Affairs to Acting Under-Secretary of State for External Affairs

CONFIDENTIAL [Ottawa], October 27, 1961

Apartheid

The present position seems to be as follows:

  1. Cabinet has recommended to the Prime Minister that the Delegation should,
    1. express Canadian views on apartheid,
    2. vote “no” on expulsion,
    3. abstain on sanctions.
  2. This will be communicated to the Prime Minister by the Minister by telephone.
  3. The Minister has spoken to Senator Brooks about Canadian participation in the debate, advising that Canadian intervention should be delayed until there is a draft resolution tabled.

G.P. DE T. G[LAZEBROOK]

170. DEA/7060-40

Memorandum from Under-Secretary of State for External Affairs to Secretary of State for External Affairs

CONFIDENTIAL [Ottawa], November 1, 1961

Apartheid

I attach a copy of the Apartheid Resolution sponsored by the Congo (Leopoldville), Ghana, Guinea, Iraq, Libya, Mali, Sierra Leone, Somalia, Sudan and the United Arab Republic which has been tabled in the Special Committee.† Attached also is the text of the Indian resolution, tabled late last night and sponsored by Afghanistan, Ceylon, Malaya, India and Venezuela.† The text was obtained by our Delegation from the Malayans, and there may be some slight alterations in it.

  1. The Indian resolution follows very closely the wording of last session’s resolution 1598 (XV), which was passed by 95 votes in favour (including Canada) to 1 against (Portugal), although the wording of most of the operative clauses has been strengthened to a greater or less degree.
  2. When this matter was considered by Cabinet, there was no firm prospect of an alternative moderate resolution and the possibility of there being such resolution was not mentioned in the Memorandum to Cabinet of October 25.
  3. If, as I suppose, you would wish the Delegation to support the Indian resolution,Footnote 80 you might consider that, by thus fully expressing our opposition to apartheid, there would be less likelihood of being misunderstood if we voted against the sanctions clause in the African resolution (while abstaining on the resolution as a whole).Footnote 81 African opinion is still divided on the sanctions paragraphs, whereas there must be virtually unanimous support of the Indian resolution.
  4. A second new element is the depth of feeling which has been aroused by the Soviet explosion of their 50 megaton bomb and their continuance of testing since its explosion. Should the United Nations take the important decision to turn to sanctions at all, it might well seem inappropriate, under present conditions, to establish the precedent in the case of South Africa rather than that of the Soviet Union, which has flagrantly defied world opinion.

N.A. R[OBERTSON]

171. DEA/7060-40

Memorandum from Special Assistant, Office of the Secretary of State for External Affairs, to Acting Under-Secretary of State for External Affairs

CONFIDENTIAL [Ottawa], November 2, 1961
Reference: Your memorandum of November 1, 1961

Apartheid

After examining your memorandum under reference, the Minister has reaffirmed that the Delegation is to support the Indian Resolution; and to abstain on the sanctions clause in the African Resolution while abstaining on the Resolution as a whole.

  1. The Minister’s instructions have been passed to the Delegation by telephone.
  2. The Delegation in New York is aware that an abstention on the question of sanctions means that this issue cannot form a main feature of any statement they make. They intend to send us the draft text of Tremblay’s statement for the Minister’s consideration by the weekend if possible.
  3. A new development mentioned by Tremblay on the telephone is that whereas until now the Africans have been divided on the question of expulsion, with resulting uncertainty as to whether it would appear in the final version of their Resolution, they have now closed ranks and have taken a position in favour of both expulsion and the imposition of sanctions. The Minister has authorized Tremblay to vote against the expulsion clause, unless the great majority of others intend to abstain or vote for.

ROSS CAMPBELL

172. DEA/7060-40

Memorandum from Special Assistant, Office of Secretary of State for External Affairs, to African and Middle Eastern Division

[Ottawa], November 9, 1961

UNGA Special Committee: Apartheid

The new situation which has arisen as a result of the uncertainty as to whether a blocking third can be maintained in Plenary in respect of the African Resolution (calling for expulsion and sanctions) was discussed at length with the Minister last night, including the possible influence that the Canadian position would exert on the Scandinavian and certain Latin American Delegations.

  1. The Minister reiterated his conviction that it would be impossible to explain to the Canadian public, who are aroused about South African race policies, a vote against sanctions and therefore apparently in defence of apartheid. He therefore confirmed that the previous instructions should stand, viz that the Delegation should vote against operative paragraph 5 (expulsion) and abstain on operative paragraphs 6, and all parts thereof, and 7, both dealing with sanctions.
  2. These instructions have been conveyed by telephone to Senator Brooks.

ROSS CAMPBELL

173. DEA/7060-40

Memorandum from Special Assistant, Office of Secretary of State for External Affairs, to African and Middle Eastern Division

[Ottawa], November 9, 1961

Apartheid

The Minister has consulted the Prime Minister concerning the voting position set out in my earlier memorandum of today’s date. As a result the Prime Minister has fully endorsed the instructions already given to the Delegation.

ROSS CAMPBELL

174. DEA/7060-40

Memorandum from Under-Secretary of State for External Affairs to Secretary of State for External Affairs

CONFIDENTIAL [Ottawa], November 10, 1961

Apatheid

The Ethiopian Delegation this morning introduced the following new operative paragraph as an amendment to the draft Indian Resolution (L 72) to be inserted after the present operative paragraph 3:
“Calls the attention of the Security Council to the provisions of Article 11 (3) and to consider what measures should be taken against the Republic of South Africa for its persistent violations of the Charter of the United Nations.”

  1. Article 11 (3) states that “The General Assembly may call the attention of the Security Council to situations which are likely to endanger international peace and security.” Taken in conjunction with the existing operative paragraphs 4 and 6 of the draft Indian Resolution (urging all States to take such separate and collective action as is open to them in conformity with the Charter, and reaffirming that the continuance of South Africa’s policies seriously endangers international peace and security), this is considered by a large number of Delegations to be in effect a request to the Security Council to impose sanctions.
  2. The wording of the second half of the amendment, requesting the Security Council to consider measures against South Africa for its persistent violations of the Charter, is a clear reference to Article 6 of the Charter, which reads as follows:
    “A Member of the United Nations which has persistently violated the Principles contained in the present Charter may be expelled from the Organization by the General Assembly upon the recommendation of the Security Council.”
  3. The Ethiopian amendment would therefore appear to be designed to introduce into the Indian draft Resolution, in another form, the recommendations contained in the Ghanaian draft Resolution that the Security Council consider both sanctions and expulsion of South Africa. In view of the decision that the Delegation should vote against operative paragraph 5 of the Ghanaian Resolution (expulsion), you may wish similarly to instruct the Delegation to vote against the Ethiopian amendment and, as a consequence if this paragraph is not deleted, to abstain on the Indian Resolution as a whole.
  4. It is understood that the Ethiopian amendment has the backing of a number of Latin American Delegations. It is the estimate of our Delegation that this may well enable it to obtain a two-thirds majority both in the Committee and in Plenary.
  5. According to our Delegation, the Danes and Norwegians, who have been co-sponsors of the Indian Resolution, are very much disturbed over this development and the fact that the Indians appea willing to accept the amendment, however much they may deplore it in private. It is likely, therefore, that the Danes and Norwegians will withdraw their co-sponsorship. It is their present intention to vote against the amendment and abstain on the Indian Resolution as a whole.
  6. We understand that a similar position will probably be adopted by the following Delegations: Australia, Ireland, Japan, Netherlands, New Zealand, U.S.A.
  7. If we vote against the amendment and abstain on the Indian Resolution as a whole, you may consider it advisable for our Representative in the Committee to make a brief statement reiterating our previous intention to give full support to the Indian Resolution and expressing our regret that the terms of the Ethiopian amendment make it no longer possible to do so.

N.A. R[OBERTSON]

175. DEA/7060-40

Secretary of State for External Affairs to Chairman, Delegation to United Nations General Assembly

TELEGRAM V-564 Ottawa, November 11, 1961

SECRET.
Reference: Your Tel 2645 of Nov 10.†
16TH UNGA: ITEM 76 – APARTHEID

The Minister has considered the voting possibilities set forth in paragraph 5 of your reference telegram and his instructions are as follows:

  1. Separate votes should be called for on the two clauses of the Ethiopian amendment and you should support such a procedural motion.
  2. In this event you should abstain on the first part of the Ethiopian amendment (ending “provision of article 11(3)”) and vote against the second part.
  3. You should abstain on the Soviet Amendment.
  4. You should vote in favour of the resolution as a whole even if both amendments or any parts of them are included in the final text.
  1. The Minister wishes to consider these voting problems with you at the Monday morning meeting of Candel. Any other questions concerning this item can be raised then.

176. DEA/7060-40

Memorandum from Ambassador in Chile to Secretary of State for External Affairs

CONFIDENTIAL [New York], November 15, 1961

Voting Prospects for Apartheid Item in Plenary

Following upon the discussion of this matter with you this afternoon, you may wish to have the following summary of the situation.

The report of the Special Political Committee on the apartheid item may come before Plenary late this week, or early next week. As you know, if the voting pattern recorded in the Committee can be approximately reproduced in Plenary, a result generally satisfactory from the Canadian viewpoint will be achieved. The expulsion and sanctions provisions of the African draft resolution will fail to secure the two-thirds majority needed for adoption, as will the objectionable elements which were introduced into the Indian draft resolution by amendments in the Committee. The African resolution, if proceeded with at all, thus will be in a form acceptable to us, while the Indian text will be restored to its original form, which we support.

The achievement of the results outlined above of course depends upon repeating in Plenary the separate votes which were taken in Committee on the contentious paragraphs of the two resolutions. A request for such separate votes will be made in Plenary, and normally it would not be contested. It is, however, quite conceivable that the Africans or (more probably) the Soviet bloc may attempt to obstruct the request for separate votes on the various operative portions of the resolutions; and while the procedural motion involved would only need a simple majority, there can be no assurance that this could be won. We should therefore be prepared to meet this possible eventuality when the apartheid item comes to Plenary.

Should separate votes on the various contentious portions of the two draft resolutions be denied in Plenary, the only way remaining to prevent adoption of the expulsion and sanctions provisions of the African resolution, and of the undesirable elements added to the Indian draft by amendment in Committee, would be to block adoption of the two resolutions in their entirety. Those delegations which have participated in the opposition to sanctions (whether the specific ones spelled out in the African resolution or the sweeping general sanctions envisaged by the Soviet and Ethiopian amendments to the Indian resolution) evidently would seek vigorously to mount “blocking thirds” against the two resolutions in these circumstances. Clearly, the Canadian delegation would come under strong pressure to alter its position on the resolutions as a whole in the light of any such development. We would be strongly urged, particularly by our Scandinavian and Irish friends as well as by the United States, the United Kingdom, Australia and New Zealand, to vote against the African resolution, and to at least abstain on the Indian resolution.

The issue in the voting on the two draft resolutions in this situation would be squarely whether or not expulsion and sanctions provisions should be adopted by the General Assembly. The margin for blocking the resolutions if they were thus voted on only as a whole, with no opportunity to deal separately with the contentious portions, would be very narrow indeed; and the Canadian vote could be of special importance to the outcome.

We understand your instructions to be that should the contingency envisaged above arise, we are to abstain on the African draft resolution and vote for the amended Indian draft resolution, explaining our vote on the latter.Footnote 82 Copies of the two relevant texts as they will be taken up in Plenary are attached for your information.†

P. TREMBLAY

177. DEA/7060-40

Memorandum from Under-Secretary of State for External Affairs to Secretary of State for External Affairs

CONFIDENTIAL [Ottawa], November 17, 1961

Apartheid in Plenary

Yesterday you requested us to review the probable situation in Plenary when the apartheid item comes up for discussion. We have taken into consideration the memorandum of November 15 on this subject prepared for you in New York by Mr. Tremblay. Attached for your approval is telegram V-576 of November 17Footnote 83 which reviews the various voting possibilities and suggests the policy line which the Delegation should follow in consultation with other delegations and in the voting in Plenary when it actually takes place. The main recommendations are as follows:

  1. The Delegation should try to persuade the Africans, and particularly the Indians, not to block the paragraph by paragraph vote on either of the resolutions.
  2. If paragraph by paragraph voting is not permitted on the 31-power (African) text and it is presented as a whole, the Canadian Delegation should vote against it.
  3. The Indians should be more disposed than the Africans to have a paragraph by paragraph vote on the 8-power text, particularly in view of the Soviet and Pakistan amendments. The Canadian Delegation should strongly urge the Indians to follow this procedure. In the event that such voting is blocked, however, the Delegation would continue to vote in favour of the 8-power text but express opposition to expulsion and reservations about the use of sanctions in the situation which exists in South Africa.
  4. The Delegation should make known its position on voting not only to the co-sponsors but to other Delegations which abstained on both texts or voted in favour of the 8-power text.
  1. Mr. Tremblay’s memorandum of November 15 and the text of the two resolutions are also attached.Footnote 84

N.A. R[OBERTSON]

178. DEA/7060-40

Chairman, Delegation to United Nations General Assembly, to Secretary of State for External Affairs

TELEGRAM 2870 New York, November 22, 1961
CONFIDENTIAL. PRIORITY.
Repeat for Information: London, Washington, NATO Paris, Paris, Geneva.

16th Unga: Item 76 – Voting Prospects for Apartheid Item in Plenary

We participated today in a meeting on this subject at which were represented delegations of Australia, New Zealand, Denmark, Japan, Argentina, France, United Kingdom and USA. Decisions agreed upon concerning handling of apartheid item in plenary may be summarized as follows:

  1. United Kingdom, USA and Danish delegations, and perhaps one other delegation from among co-sponsors of Indian draft resolution (L72), will submit letters to President of UNGA asking that separate paragraph votes be taken in plenary on the contentious paragraphs of both African draft resolution (L71) and Indian draft as amended in committee. Aim of course would be to have the opportunity to approximate report in plenary voting pattern which was recorded in committee, whereby (because of the requirement for a two-thirds majority in Plenary) the expulsion and sanctions provisions of African resolution and the objectionable elements introduced into Indian text by amendment in committee, would be voted down;
  2. Danish Representative tentatively agreed that his delegation would formally move from floor in Plenary a motion embodying request already conveyed in letters to President for separate paragraph votes on two resolutions;
  3. To provide against the eventuality that motion for separate paragraph votes may fail, every effort will be made to ensure that a number of delegations which abstained on African resolution as a whole in committee will vote against it in Plenary if it is treated as a whole without separate votes to eliminate the objectionable paragraphs. It should be just possible to defeat African resolution as a whole on this basis;
  4. It was recognized that Indian resolution probably could not repeat not be defeated in Plenary if voted upon as a whole including the objectionable amendments. There was some discussion of the possibility of moving a substantive amendment in Plenary to excise the objectionable amendments; while this would probably not repeat not secure the required two-thirds majority, it was suggested that it would at least enable delegations to register their objections to the elements introduced into text by Soviet Ethiopian and Pakistani amendments. This idea remains tentative, however, depending upon the procedural feasibility of moving such an amendment in Plenary.
  1. It was agreed that all delegations represented [at today’s] meeting would share in advance efforts to line up support for the procedural proposal calling for separate paragraph votes on the two resolutions. This campaign of course will be directed primarily at the various delegations which in course of voting in committee registered objections to specific portions of one or other of draft resolutions by either abstaining or opposing these paragraphs, and therefore may be expected to want an opportunity similarly to register their attitude in the voting in Plenary.
  2. It remains our expectation that the apartheid item will be taken up in Plenary during the early part of next week, although it is difficult to predict with any certainty when Assembly will find time for it.

179. DEA/7060-40

Secretary of State for External Affairs to Chairman, Delegation to United Nations General Assembly

TELEGRAM V-590 Ottawa, November 24, 1961 CONFIDENTIAL.

16th Unga: Item 76 – Apartheid in Plenary

We understand that you might consider it helpful to have the text of the draft telegram on this subject prepared for the Minister on November 17 but not approved because of developments in New York. That text is contained in the following paragraphs.

  1. As you suggest, when the apartheid item comes before Plenary, the result would be generally satisfactory if the voting followed the pattern established in committee. The expulsion and sanctions provisions would probably fail to secure two-thirds support. The Indian draft resolution, more or less in its original form, would emerge as the recommendation of the Assembly. However, since the sponsors of the 31-power resolution may not permit paragraph by paragraph voting, and presumably they have sufficient voting strength to prevent this procedure, an awkward situation could be created.
  2. n the period between now and the voting in Plenary, the delegations opposed to expulsion and sanctions will undoubtedly seek to block those provisions in both resolutions. You should seek, in your consultations with the co-sponsors of the two resolutions, to persuade them to accept paragraph by paragraph voting. You should explain that Canada is opposed to expulsion and has grave reservations about the propriety and efficacy of sanctions as a means of changing the apartheid policies of South Africa. The Charter provisions concerning sanctions clearly envisage that they should be invoked only in the event of an actual threat to the peace, breach of the peace or act of aggression. The Security Council is the appropriate organ to make such a finding and call for action. Attempts to use voting strength in the Assembly to impose sanctions are unwise and likely to be ineffective. Canada fully shares the desire of those delegations who wish to exert the maximum influence on South Africa to change its policies but we consider that this result can best be obtained by adopting proposals which have an overwhelming support of UNGA, in other words, proposals like those contained in the original Indian text.
  3. If the 31 co-sponsors cannot be persuaded to permit paragraph by paragraph voting, we assume that there will be an Assembly vote on this procedural question. You should support any motion calling for paragraph by paragraph voting on the 31-power resolution. If paragraph by paragraph voting occurs, you should vote as you did in committee, that is, against operative paragraph 5 and abstain on operative paragraphs 6 and 7. However, if the resolution as a whole is put to the vote, because paragraph by paragraph voting is blocked, you should vote against the 31-power resolution.
  4. Your vote against the 31-power resolution would ensure its defeat, if one other member, who abstained in committee, followed Canada’s example in the voting in Plenary. We would hope that the co-sponsors of the 8-power resolution in the interests of having a heavy supporting vote would allow paragraph by paragraph voting on their text. If this should happen, Canada should vote as it did in committee, that is, abstain on the first part of the Ethiopian amendment; vote against the second part; abstain on the Ethiopian amendment as a whole; and against the Soviet amendment; and abstain on the Pakistan amendment. Our hope is that the objectionable parts of the 8-power text would be rejected for want of two-thirds support.
  5. Some delegations which voted in favour of the Indian resolution as a whole and also most of those who abstained should be in a strong tactical position to persuade the 8 co-sponsors to permit paragraph by paragraph voting. You should strongly urge the Indians not to oppose such voting because of Canada’s desire to give full support to the text originally proposed and because of our inability to support without reservation the amended text. It would do no harm if the Indians gained the impression that in Plenary there might be even more abstentions than there were in committee. The African-Asians as a whole will have failed in their main objective if the final vote in favour of this year’s resolution on apartheid is considerably smaller than the one last year.
  6. If, in spite of all efforts, the 8-power text as amended is voted upon only as a whole, we would be obliged to follow the vote cast in committee but with reservations about the objectionable clauses. This would require an explanation of vote emphasizing: (a) Canada’s outright opposition to and condemnation of apartheid; (b) Canada’s opposition to expulsion, and (c) Canadian serious reservations about the use of sanctions as a means of bringing about a change in South African policies. For tactical reasons our vote on the resolution as a whole if amendments remain should not be disclosed in advance.
  7. In the period before the voting in Plenary, we believe that it may be desirable to make known the Canadian position on other voting, not only to the sponsors of the two texts but to those delegations which have abstained. You should also inform some of those who voted against the 31-power resolution. Our aim, of course, should be to bring about the most satisfactory result attainable in the various contingencies mentioned in this telegram.Footnote 85

Sub-section VI

COLONIALISM

180. DEA/5475-AT-7-40

Memorandum from Under-Secretary of State for External Affairs to Secretary of State for External Affairs

SECRET [Ottawa], September 29, 1961

On September 27 the Prime Minister requested a memorandum from the Department setting out arguments for and against introducing, in the course of the Canadian statement in the General Debate, a resolution on Soviet colonialism. Attached for your approval is a memorandum which discusses possible procedures involved, the nature of any such resolutions and the arguments in favour and against introducing it.Footnote 86

  1. The balance of argument tends to run against submitting a resolution on Soviet colonialism. There will, of course, be opportunities at the 16th session to criticize the Soviet Union for its domination of subject peoples in Eastern Europe. You will recall, however, that Western efforts to persuade the African-Asians that their declaration on colonialism could be applied equally to traditional colonialism and to Soviet domination, met with little success at the 15th session. A Canadian resolution on Soviet colonialism would probably have little support at the 16th session because of the wide spread anxiety about the prevailing East-West tension. I fear that a Canadian initiative along these lines would be regarded, by many of the uncommitted delegations and even by some of our friends, as a cold war manoeuvre. If you agree with our assessment of the situation, you may wish to initial the memorandum for the Prime Minister.Footnote 87

N.A. R[OBERTSON]

181. J.G.D./MG01/XII/Cx/433

Memorandum from Secretary of State for External Affairs to Prime Minister

SECRET [Ottawa], September 29, 1961

Resolution on Soviet Colonialism

You have asked for a Departmental assessment, including a description of procedures, of the prospects for introducing during the Canadian statement in the General Debate a resolution on Soviet colonialism. In this regard, the Canadian statement is scheduled for the morning of October 3.

Procedure

  1. It is not the normal practice for member states to introduce substantive resolutions during the General Debate, although there is no specific rule prohibiting this. The General Debate is used mainly as a means of indicating the intentions of member states as regards proposals they wish to make at a later stage in the proceedings.
  2. There are some precedents for submitting draft resolutions during the General Debate for immediate consideration by the Assembly. Last autumn, the five neutralist leaders formally proposed a meeting between President Eisenhower and Mr. Khrushchev. That proposal was mainly of a procedural nature and did not fall under any specific item on the Assembly’s agenda.
  3. The Soviet Union has inscribed an item entitled “The Situation with Regard to the Implementation of the Declaration on the Granting of Independence to Colonial Countries and Peoples.” Mr. Gromyko has indicated that the Soviet Union will call for the establishment of a new United Nations commission to control that implementation. The whole subject will be discussed in plenary session some time after the General Debate. All proposals concerning colonialism are likely to be discussed under the Soviet item. If it were decided to submit a Canadian resolution, it would be appropriate to follow such a procedure.
  4. Alternatively, Canada could ask for the inclusion of an additional item on the Assembly’s agenda concerning Soviet colonialism. Such an item would be governed by Rule 15 which provides that “items of an important and urgent character” may be placed on the agenda if the Assembly so decides by majority vote. Besides, this would involve consideration by the General Committee and by the General Assembly, both of which might be disposed to reject an additional item on the ground that the subject matter could be dealt with under the existing Soviet item on colonialism.

    Nature of the Resolution

  5. Presumably, the proposed resolution should be related to the one adopted by the General Assembly on December 15, 1960 which was the African-Asian version of the declaration on the granting of independence to colonial countries and peoples (copy attached).† That resolution contained, both in its preambular and operative paragraphs, language applicable to subject peoples under Soviet domination. The preamble of any new resolution could refer to that declaration and perhaps reaffirm its relevant provisions. In its operative part, such a resolution, among other things, could call for the exercise of the right of self-determination by peoples under Soviet domination. In your statement at the 15th session, you emphasized that those peoples should be given the opportunity to determine the kind of government they wanted under genuinely free conditions. In his statement on September 25, President Kennedy called for the application of “the principle of free choice and the practice of free plebiscites in every part of the globe.”
  6. The details of any such resolution would have to be carefully examined. At the 15th session, mainly out of consideration for the United Kingdom, Australia and New Zealand, the African-Asians avoided language which could be said to apply to any specific member state. While a resolution could be aimed specifically at the Soviet Union, there would be a risk that the anti-colonial powers, including the Soviet bloc, would succeed in turning it to their own advantage, either through amendment or by using it as a precedent. The colonial powers might suffer disadvantage with adverse effects for Western unity.

    Arguments in Favour

  7. In view of the rapid development of the former colonial territories into nationhood, mainly through the conscientious effort of Western powers, there is little reason why the Soviet Union should be permitted to pose as a champion of freedom. Its own record of domination should be fully exposed and the hypocrisy of its stand on colonialism. The Soviet authorities have shown themselves sensitive to such criticism. Far from being on the defensive, most of the Western powers are now in a position to point with pride to their record of freely granting independence. The uncommitted states should be urged to take as firm a stand against Soviet domination as they have taken against traditional colonialism. Moreover, the whole picture of freedom and independence should be placed in proper perspective when the General Assembly is debating colonialism.

    Arguments Against

  8. The uncommitted states, and especially those from Asia and Africa, still see colonialism only in terms of past conditions in these two continents. They persist in rejecting Western efforts to draw parallels between Soviet and traditional colonialism. That they do not wish to see colonialism turned into a cold war issue was demonstrated last autumn when they rejected the Soviet declaration. Moreover, as part of their general reluctance to be drawn into cold war issues, they resist Western attempts to expose Soviet domination of subject peoples and dismiss them as tactics designed to ward off African-Asian attacks on the Western colonial powers. The luke-warm attitude of the uncommitted states as regards the situations in Hungary and Tibet illustrates these points.
  9. At the 16th session, attention most probably will be focussed on three main East-West issues: Berlin, nuclear tests and disarmament. The principal aim of the Western powers, and certainly that of the uncommitted states, will be to bring about negotiations with the Soviet Union on these questions which are closely related to the fundamental issue of peace or war. With this aim in mind, even those members who are fully conscious of the fact of Soviet colonialism will nonetheless be opposed to adding new sources of East-West friction at this time.
  10. In the circumstances, it seems unlikely that a Canadian resolution directed against the Soviet Union would attract the two-thirds support needed for its adoption. The uncommitted states (some 40 votes) can be expected to oppose it or abstain. In addition, it would probably not have the support of the Scandinavian countries, Ireland, Austria or several of the Latin Americans (Brazil, Cuba, Venezuela and Mexico certainly would not). Even among the colonial powers, France, Portugal and possibly the United Kingdom might find difficulty in supporting the resolution on doctrinaire grounds because it could be regarded as intervening in the domestic affairs of a member state. Recent votes in the Assembly on the inscription of items indicate a cool attitude toward so-called cold war issues; Hungary, for example, was inscribed by a vote of 51 in favour, 15 against and 30 abstentions; the vote on Tibet was 48-14-35. The vote in favour of any new item or of a proposal specifically condemning the Soviet Union might be much less.
  11. While the balance of argument tends to run against submitting a resolution on Soviet colonialism, there will be opportunities at the 16th session to expose Soviet hypocrisy on colonialism. These opportunities will occur in the General Debate and in the debates on colonialism, Hungary and Tibet. To introduce a resolution, however, without a careful canvass of Assembly opinion would be to run the risk of a voting defeat. In any event, at best such a resolution would attract a simple majority, probably with a large number of abstentions, a voting result which would be insufficient for the adoption of the proposal.

H.C. G[REEN]

182. DEA/5475-AT-7-40

Memorandum by Special Assistant to Secretary of State for External Affairs to Under-Secretary of State for External Affairs

CONFIDENTIAL [Ottawa], October 18, 1961

Prime Minister’s Speech on Colonialism in the General Assembly

The Prime Minister said on October 17 that he was still inclined to proceed with his earlier intention to address the General Assembly during the debate on Colonialism. He made it clear that he had in mind concentrating on Soviet colonialism as the main element in his speech. He did not rule out the inclusion of other themes, but I took it from his comments that any such additional points would be supplementary to his main objective. He said that he did not intend to propose a resolution but he indicated that, in the course of his speech, he might foreshadow the submission of a resolution at the next session of the Assembly. He asked me to confirm his earlier request that the Department should prepare a draft speech.Footnote 88

  1. As you perhaps know, United Nations Division is now discussing with other Divisions concerned an outline for such a speech with a view, if possible, to securing an initial reaction from the Prime Minister before he leaves next week for Japan. On the basis of his comments, it would then be possible to complete the preparation of the draft for submission to the Prime Minister on his return from Japan, probably on November 2.

H.B. R[OBINSON]

183. DEA/5475-AT-7-40

Memorandum from Secretary of State for External Affairs to Prime Minister

CONFIDENTIAL [Ottawa], October 31, 1961

General Assembly Debate on Colonialism

The General Assembly is scheduled to have a Plenary debate on colonialism possibly during the course of the next week. The Assembly has two agenda items which relate to the general question: the main one is the Soviet item entitled “The situation with regard to the implementation of the Declaration on the granting of independence to colonial countries and peoples.” The Resolution of the fifteenth session is attached.†

  1. Indications are that, in the Plenary discussion this year, the Assembly will be required to deal with several proposals. Already there are the Soviet proposals (a) calling for an end to all colonial régimes in 1962 and (b) establishing a standing commission to supervise the implementation of the Declaration. The Nigerians have been canvassing support for a resolution calling for a general target date of 1970 but this may not be satisfactory to other African states, which are looking for a shorter timetable. The Netherlands has submitted a resolution, for consideration under the Soviet item, which is designed to establish a kind of United Nations trusteeship for West New Guinea, but Indonesia has already expressed opposition to this. There may be other proposals as well.
  2. The explanatory memorandum, submitted by the Soviet Union, sought to include in the discussion of colonialism: trusteeship matters; the affairs of the non-self-governing territories; questions like Angola, Goa, the Congo, Algeria, Bizerta, Kuwait, Oman, Aden, Puerto Rico, and South African racial policies. The Soviet Union apparently intends to fire a propaganda broadside, designed to do as much harm as possible to all the Western powers and their allies. In doing so, the Soviet Union will try to identify the attitude of the so-called “socialist countries” with that of the independent states of Asia, Africa and Latin America “in their joint struggle against colonialism and imperialism.”
  3. The hope is that the African-Asians can be encouraged to resist efforts by the Soviet Union to assume the leadership in the field of colonialism and that they will wish to attract support for proposals of their own, which presumably will be more moderate than those of the Soviet Union. The Nigerian proposal on a general target date is an indication in this direction.
  4. There should be three main elements in the Western position on colonialism:
    1. The Western powers, as far as possible, should identify themselves with progressive policies for eliminating colonial régimes in the shortest possible time. Proposals for premature target dates, sanctions and conceivably the expulsion of South Africa and Portugal, however, [could] cause acute embarrassment to the West.
    2. The record of most Western powers in promoting independence in the colonial areas should be given the most favourable presentation. This will probably mean that South Africa and Portugal will be isolated.
    3. The Western powers should seek to expose Soviet motives in promoting unworkable proposals on colonialism and in appealing to the ideals of democratic procedures. The Declaration of the 15th session, which was initiated by the African-Asians, contains many clauses and phrases which can be employed effectively against the Soviet Union because of its subjugation of people in the Baltic states, the Ukraine, Central Asia and elsewhere.
  5. Before the Assembly deals with concrete proposals, it will no doubt engage in a general debate on colonialism in which positions of principle can be fully explained. It will not be necessary in this general debate to deal with specific proposals and it may be undesirable to do so, because of the possibility that further proposals will be forthcoming before the proceedings on colonialism are completed. Any counter-attack against the Soviet Union could best be made during this general debate.
  6. The experience of the past has been that Western attacks on Soviet colonialism have produced the following results:
    1. Either in exercise of their right to reply or on a point of order, Soviet bloc representatives have responded at once. They might, for example, try to persuade the President of the Assembly to rule remarks out of order; they might confine themselves to attacks on the speaker; they might advance counter-arguments.
    2. Representatives of uncommitted states might deplore Western efforts to turn the discussion on colonialism into a cold war debate. In the past, they have tended to concentrate unreasonably on the evils of traditional colonialism in Asia and Africa and to shrug off the Soviet Union’s domination of subject people. The African-Asians might argue, as well, that attacks on the Soviet Union were designed primarily to evade the real issues of colonialism in which the Western powers are the real culprits.
  7. In view of the foregoing, any attack on the Soviet Union should be combined with a clear recognition of African-Asian preoccupations about traditional colonialism and should be placed in the broad context of United Nations purposes and principles. The Assembly can be urged to apply these with equal force wherever the situation seems to demand their application.
  8. A related factor is the impact of any sharp cold war debate on the tense Berlin situation. Sharp attacks on the Soviet Union during the debate on colonialism could increase the tension and would certainly alarm many of the uncommitted members, who will be seeking to avoid further aggravation of East-West relations.
  9. Consistent with these considerations, a statement has been prepared for possible use in the General Debate on colonialism. The draft is attached for your approval.†

H.C. G[REEN]

184. DEA/5475-AT-7-40

Memorandum from Under-Secretary of State for External Affairs to Secretary of State for External Affairs

CONFIDENTIAL [Ottawa], November 22, 1961

U.N. Assembly Debate on Colonial Independence

The general debate on colonialism and on U.N. assistance to Africa, which has been proceeding this week, is expected to be completed on Friday morning and the debate on the resolutions would begin Friday evening. These include the Soviet resolution and the African-Asian resolution on the implementation of the colonial declaration, a Dutch and an Indian resolution on West New Guinea, and the Nigerian resolution on African independence.

  1. Our Delegation has asked in their telegram 2833 of November 21, attached,† whether they should remove their name from the list for the general debate and whether, if we wish to intervene in the debate on colonialism, they should place our name on the list to speak on the African-Asian resolution.
  2. Before answering their question, you will no doubt wish to consider our views on the African-Asian resolution and our probable vote on it.
  3. I attach a copy of the African-Asian resolution (telegram 2817 of November 20).† Its principal proposal is the establishment of a seventeen-member committee, to be named by the President of the Assembly, which is to examine the application of the declaration on colonialism contained in UNGA resolution 1514 XV (for which Canada voted), and to make suggestions and recommendations on the progress and extent of its implementation. The Committee can decide its own procedures and may meet at places other than the U.N. headquarters, but only “in consultation with the appropriate authorities.”
  4. The main difficulty for the administering powers in accepting the resolution will be the interpretation to be placed on the Committee’s powers of making recommendations – whether it will make detailed recommendations for specific territories and attempt to set target dates. The administering powers would naturally hope that it will restrict itself to general recommendations on the progress of colonial independence. Another unknown factor is the actual membership of the Committee of seventeen, which could greatly affect its usefulness.
  5. The African-Asian resolution is, of course, greatly preferable to the Soviet resolution, which calls for a general 1962 target date, immediate elections in all colonial territories, removal of all military bases, etc., and which, it is to be hoped, will be defeated as was the Soviet colonial resolution last year. It will be all the more important, therefore, that the African-Asian resolution, by contrast, should have the widest possible support and it would be in Canada’s interest to vote in favour of it. If you decide that we should vote for the African-Asian resolution, it might be desirable for us to speak in the debate on the resolution before the vote is taken, in order to indicate our support, rather than to speak in explanation of vote. We could define in our statement the way in which we interpret the duties of the proposed Committee.
  6. The Delegation has pointed out that if we speak in the debate on the African-Asian resolution rather than in the general debate, this would enable us to avoid speaking on the question of West New Guinea which has become a somewhat bitter issue.Footnote 89
  7. If you agree, I attach a telegram to New York† for your approval suggesting that they should remove our name from the speakers list for the general debate and place it on the list to speak on the African-Asian resolution.Footnote 90
  8. When in New York you may wish to discuss the African-Asian resolution with the Delegation, and a telegram suggesting lines for their statement could be prepared on your return, in the light of your discussion.

G. DE T. GLAZEBROOK
for Under-Secretary of State
for External Affairs

185. DEA/5475-AT-7-40

Memorandum from Under-Secretary of State for External Affairs to Secretary of State for External Affairs

CONFIDENTIAL [Ottawa], December 8, 1961

Implementation of the Colonial Declaration Seventeen-member Committee

The British Delegation has asked our Delegation in New York whether Canada would be interested in serving on the seventeen-member Committee which is to be nominated by the President of the General Assembly under Resolution 1654 (XVI) adopted in plenary on November 27.

  1. As you know, the Committee is to examine the application of the Colonial Declaration, to make suggestions and recommendations on the progress and extent of its implementation, and to report to the General Assembly at its seventeenth session.
  2. Our Delegation points out that the Committee will have to deal with forty-eight non-self-governing territories on which information is supplied to the United Nations (forty-one being British), Spanish Overseas Territories and South West Africa. The Committee will be the most important United Nations supervisory body dealing with colonial questions and its recommendations may be expected to carry great weight in the Assembly.
  3. Various combinations have been suggested for the choice of members, as set out in Candel New York’s telegram 3125 attached,† and Canada might be chosen as one of the countries from America, or for a “floating seat.”
  4. For a number of reasons, Canada might be considered a desirable candidate for membership. We have no past history as a colonial power and have taken an active interest in colonial questions at the United Nations. We have good relations with the great majority of newly-independent states, many of whom might support our candidature. Equally, a number of the administering powers, particularly the British, would like to see us on the Committee. Finally, the Committee will cover a very important field and will have a serious and challenging task to which Canada could make a useful contribution.
  5. On the other hand, there would be serious disadvantages for Canada in membership of such a committee. As a member, it would be necessary for us to take sides on many detailed questions affecting colonial territories administered by other Commonwealth countries. We might often find ourselves faced with a choice between offending either our closest allies or our friends among the newly-independent states. The usefulness of the Committee will depend to a great extent on the nature of its membership. If it is over-weighted with Soviet-bloc and other extreme “anti-colonial” representatives, its discussions will not be productive. The ideal slate envisaged by the United Kingdom (paragraph 2D of the attached telegram) is, as our Delegation points out, unlikely to be achieved.
  6. In any competition for a floating seat, other moderates such as Ireland or one of the Scandinavians might have a better chance of election than Canada, particularly if several other Commonwealth countries are fairly certain of election. If Canada were nominated for an American seat, there could be objections to having both Canada and the United States occupying two of three seats allocated to America.
  7. In view of the above considerations, I would suggest, if you agree, that the Delegation might be instructed to inform the British that we would not wish our name to be suggested for membership on the seventeen member Committee. We could also inform our own Delegation that if a strong pressure for Canada to accept membership on the Committee were to develop, we would be willing to reconsider our position.Footnote 91

N.A. R[OBERTSON]

Sub-section VII

Representation of the People’s Republic of China

186. PCO

Memorandum from Secretary of State for External Affairs to Cabinet

CABINET DOCUMENT NO. 317-61 [Ottawa], August 30, 1961
SECRET. CANADIAN EYES ONLY.

The China Question at the 16th Session of the United Nations General Assembly

The United States Government, through its Embassy in Ottawa, has informed the Department of External Affairs of its thinking concerning the treatment of the China question at the 16th session of the General Assembly and has instructed its representatives here and in a number of countries to seek the reaction of the governments to which they are accredited to the approach which the United States is now considering.

Current United States Views

The Moratorium

  1. The United States has decided that the moratorium proposal – a procedural device which has prevented United Nations consideration of the China question for the past eleven years – would be unlikely to obtain a majority at this session. They have so informed the Nationalist Chinese, who have, with considerable reluctance, accepted the United States judgment in this regard. Accordingly, the moratorium will not be proposed at the 16th session.
  2. At the same time, the United States is determined to preserve the voice of Nationalist China in the United Nations. It is opposed to any change of Chinese representation which would allow the Chinese Communists to take China’s seat and cause the Nationalist Chinese to be expelled. Moreover, because of the strongly adverse reactions in Congress to reports that the administration was considering some form of “two-Chinas” solution, any thought of putting forward such a proposal has been abandoned – at least for the present.

    Chinese Membership

  3. The United States believes that the whole question of Chinese membership should be treated by the General Assembly as an “important” question within the meaning of Article 18 (2) of the Charter. In other words, decisions of the Assembly in relation to the China question should be made by a two-thirds majority of the members present and voting. Since questions of credentials are decided by simple majority vote, it follows that the United States cannot accept that the question of Chinese representation should be merely a matter of credentials.
  4. Accordingly, the United States proposes to seek at an appropriate time in the General Debate on China a decision, which would be taken by a simple majority, that the China question is “important” and must be decided by a two-thirds vote. This is a primary objective of United States policy at the 16th session.

    Study Group

  5. In view of the importance of the China question and its implication for other important matters pending before the United Nations, the United States believes that a study group should be established by the Assembly to consider the whole question. This study group would look into the implications of changing Chinese representation in various United Nations organs, but especially the Security Council and the Economic and Social Council. Whether or not the terms of reference for the study group called for consideration of broader questions such as enlarging those Councils to bring about a more equitable geographical distribution in their composition, these questions would almost inevitably arise. The United States sees some advantage in such a broadening of the study. Various criteria governing membership in and the composition of the Councils might also have to be considered. Presumably, the study group would report to the 17th session of the General Assembly.
  6. In essence, the United States position which is now being considered is that:
    1. the moratorium should not be employed again;
    2. the Chinese representational question is an “important” one requiring a two-thirds majority vote, not simply a credentials question to be decided by a simple majority, and
    3. a study group should be established by the Assembly to consider the whole question of Chinese membership.
  7. United States officials believe that there may be a considerable body of opinion at the United Nations which would support this approach. They recognize, however, that some member governments (the communists, and probably at least some of the uncommitted) would almost certainly argue that the real intent behind the two main moves was merely to delay the entry of the Chinese Communists – in other words, that it was a new form of moratorium.
  8. There can be little doubt that one important immediate objective of the United States Government in this matter is in fact to gain time. It may well be that they hope their own public opinion would, as a result of such an international study of all the implications, become more reconciled to eventual acceptance of Communist Chinese representation in the United Nations, though continued representation from the government in Formosa would, of course, continue to be an important objective of United States policy.
  9. The Assembly’s decision in this matter would have a most important bearing on United States attitude toward the United Nations in the future. The United States takes the position, therefore, that the question is of sufficient importance domestically to warrant an insistence that the General Assembly not only treat the question as important but study it thoroughly before taking any decision involving a rearrangement of Chinese representation.

    Suggested Canadian Reaction

  10. My assessment of the situation which is likely to arise in the General Assembly in relation to the China question is very similar to that of the United States. Certainly, there is no doubt about the conclusion that the moratorium is no longer a practical proposal and that it would be extremely risky to put it forward again at the 16th session. It seems a safe assumption that some of the governments, which in the past have either opposed the moratorium or abstained on it, would nonetheless agree that the China question should not be decided by a bare majority of the members. In other words, there are good reasons to believe that a move, either put forward by the United States or by one of its supporters, to have the China question treated as an “important” one would be supported by the required simple majority. Certainly, this seems to be an effort worth making.
  11. The proposal for a study group can also be justified. The argument that this would be a delaying tactic is not as valid as it appears. If the Assembly had decided that a two-thirds majority was necessary to decide the China question, there would be some delay in any event because two-thirds of the members are not yet ready to take that decision. It would be wise and justifiable, a gain in any event, to provide suitable machinery for studying the question of Chinese membership in all its implications. The Soviet Union and others have insisted that proposals, like those for enlarging the Councils, cannot be dealt with until the question of Chinese representation has been resolved.
  12. One real problem of forming a study group might be to reach agreement on its composition. This should not prove insurmountable, however. Quite obviously, the study group would have to be widely representative of the various geographical areas and power groupings. If such a study group could be established early in the 16th session, the pressure for increased representation on the Councils from the African-Asians should be eased somewhat, for it would be possible to say that the problems of enlarging the Councils and reallocating seats and determining a new basis for their composition would be fully considered by that study group.
  13. Whether sufficient support could be attracted to this proposal for a study group is difficult to assess. The idea has been aired at United Nations Headquarters. The Swedish Mission, for example, has been canvassing opinions concerning it. It probably would not have the support of those who have been pressing strongly for a straight change of Chinese representation but they might be prepared in the end to go along with it since it would represent a considerable improvement over the stalemate of the past eleven years. Moreover, many delegations might wish to take some constructive step which would clear the ground for a final solution of this longstanding question which may be of vital significance for the future of the Organization.
  14. The fundamental United States position is not too far removed from the Canadian policy on China, particularly as regards preserving some position in the United Nations for the Formosan authorities. There is plenty of opportunity for developing a respectable case for the two main proposals which the United States is considering. There is also room for hope that they will have the support of a sufficient majority of members. Accordingly, I recommend:
    1. that the United States Government be informed that we consider the course proposed by them is probably the best course to follow in present circumstances, that we would like to be kept informed as the proposals are developed, and that we would anticipate being able to give them what support we could;
    2. that we express this reaction not only to the United States Government but also to others who share our interest in the matter;
    3. that we suggest to the United States that steps be taken as soon as possible to concert positions of like-minded states and to attract the support of as many other United Nations members as can be persuaded to adopt the proposed course.

H.C. GREEN

187. PCO

Supplement to Memorandum from Secretary of State for External Affairs to Cabinet

CABINET DOCUMENT NO. 342-61 [Ottawa], September 13, 1961
SECRET. CANADIAN EYES ONLY.

The China Question at the 16th Session of the United Nations General Assembly

Since my memorandum of August 30, 1961, the United States Government has approached Canada, Colombia, Ireland, Japan, Malaya, New Zealand, Nigeria and Norway with the suggestion that they jointly request the inscription of an item on the Agenda of the 16th Session of the General Assembly entitled “The Question of Chinese Representation.” Co-sponsorship of an item for inscription does not necessarily entail the obligation to advance or co-sponsor subsequent resolutions, although this is generally so, and in this instance the United States hopes that in fact this would be the case.

  1. United States representatives have told us that they consider the study group an essential element in obtaining agreement on a two-thirds majority, and see it as something more than just a blocking device to maintain the moratorium under another name. The United States would not itself be a member of the co-sponsoring group, but would expect to support inscription and to give “quiet support” during the subsequent substantive debate.
  2. Indications are that Ireland and possibly Nigeria would not be prepared to co-sponsor inscription of an item on this question, that Colombia would, and that Japan, Malaya, New Zealand and Norway might be willing to co-sponsor, subject to the establishment of a sufficiently representative group and provided assurances of United States support can be obtained. So far, these conditions have not been met. Steps are, however, being taken to obtain clarification of the United States position and to clear up the remaining uncertainties about procedure and the composition and terms of reference of the proposed study group on Chinese representation.
  3. Since this year there appears to be no possibility of avoiding a substantive debate, and since the advocates of the immediate seating of Communist China are likely to be active in pressing their case, I believe that a solution at this Session along the lines indicated in my memorandum of August 30 would be the best we could reasonably expect.
  4. The questions for decision are, therefore, whether the Canadian delegation should be instructed:
    1. to consult with the United States and other delegations with a view to ultimate joint action;
    2. to co-sponsor a request for inscription of an item on Chinese representation and subsequently to co-sponsor resolutions on:
      1. having the Chinese representation issue designated “an important question” requiring a two-thirds majority.
      2. the establishment of a study group, provided that a broadly representative group of sponsors can be found.

H.C. GREEN

188. DEA/5475-EJ-40

Memorandum from Special Assistant, Office of the Secretary of State for External Affairs, to Far Eastern Division

SECRET. CANADIAN EYES ONLY. [Ottawa], September 14, 1961
Reference: Memorandum to Cabinet dated August 30, 1961, and Supplement dated September 13, 1961.

The China Question at the 16th Session of the United Nations General Assembly

Cabinet consideration of this item today concentrated only on the immediate problem of the United States approach to us and others as set out in the Supplement dated September 13. It resulted in a Cabinet decision that Canada should not become involved in the proposed middle power initiative on the ground that it was preferable on this issue to retain freedom of manoeuvre, which might be lost if we were associated with a United States-inspired initiative.

  1. There was apparently a general inclination to have Canada go slow until more was known of the distance the United States was itself prepared to go in seeking a solution to the China problem. The decision of Cabinet amounted to an endorsement of the views expressed by the Minister himself.
  2. The Minister has already telephoned this decision to Mr. Ritchie, and asked him to offer careful explanations to Mr. Stevenson, so worded as to make it clear that we appreciate fully the United States Government’s wish to find a reasonable interim solution to the China question at the Assembly.
  3. I shall endeavour to obtain from the Minister clarification of Cabinet’s reaction to the two proposals in the main memorandum dated August 30, viz., that Canada support the idea that the China representation question is not simply one of credentials but an important one requiring a two-thirds majority, and that we favour the suggestion for the creation of a study group.

ROSS CAMPBELL

189. PCO

Memorandum from Secretary of State for External Affairs to Cabinet

CABINET DOCUMENT NO. 435-61 [Ottawa], November 20, 1961
CONFIDENTIAL

The China Question at the 16th Session of the United Nations General Assembly

Two items on Chinese representation in the United Nations have been inscribed on the agenda of the General Assembly. As the procedural device of the moratorium on discussion of the question has been abandoned, a substantive debate on these two items will take place in the Assembly, probably with a week or ten days. The purpose of this memorandum is to outline for the approval of Cabinet the general approach which I would propose to instruct the Canadian Delegation to follow in this debate.

Because opinions of member governments on this question are sharply divided – ranging as they do from the proposal for simple acceptance of Communist China’s credentials to the position of those who firmly oppose any seating of the Communist Chinese – the question is clearly a complex one which is not susceptible of easy solution. Between the two extreme positions, there are many who favour a so-called “Two-Chinas” – or more accurately a “One China and a One Taiwan” – solution, with United Nations representation for both Communists and Nationalists. This approach is, however, complicated by the fact that neither Peking nor Taipei is at present prepared to accept such a solution, since each administration claims to be the government of the whole of China.

In the past we have consistently maintained the right of the people of Taiwan to determine their own political future. We have also argued that the question of Chinese representation is a question of major political significance which should not be resolved by a simple rejection of Nationalist Chinese credentials in favour of Communist Chinese credentials.

It is politically important for a number of reasons, the most important of which are as follows:

  1. The fate of eleven million people on Taiwan is at stake.
  2. The issue continues to complicate relations between the Western powers and so many of their friends in Asia and Africa, while at the same time it acts as a focus of agreement for the latter and the Soviet bloc.
  3. The fact that no solution to the question has been possible for the past twelve years is a measure of the importance attached to it by all interested parties.
  4. There are strong United States Congressional feelings on the subject. Hasty and ill-considered action to seat the Communist Chinese representatives at the expense of the Chinese Nationalists, without preserving United Nations status for Taiwan, could result in a withdrawal or reduction of American support for the United Nations, including heavy financial contributions, which would effectively cripple the organization.

It also appears to us technically “important” within the meaning of the United Nations Charter, not only because it relates to representation in the General Assembly but also in the final analysis to the disposition of a permanent Security Council seat. To have the question of a change in Chinese representation declared “important” by the Assembly would require only a simple majority vote, but once the issue is designated as such, any change in Chinese representation would require the vote of two-thirds of those members present and voting. In essence, this procedure, which is favoured by the United States and a number of other countries, would prevent precipitate action simply to replace Chinese Nationalist with Chinese Communist representatives without preserving a place for Taiwan in the United Nations. This is the objective of all those countries, including Canada and our closest friends, which believe that Taiwan is entitled to self-determination and to representation in the United Nations.

Because an attempt to apply a two-thirds majority rule, without at the same time giving some indication of willingness to seek a compromise solution to the problem, would be construed by many governments as nothing more than the moratorium in another guise, a second step would be necessary to ensure progress towards a solution of the issue. To this end, a number of delegations, including the United Kingdom, the United States, Sweden, the Netherlands and some others, favour the establishment of a committee to thoroughly study all aspects of the question and to make specific recommendations for its solution to the 17th Session of the General Assembly. Provided countries like India, which recognize the Peking Government, would be prepared to serve on such a committee, a number of advantages could be expected to follow, including:

  1. There would be more time for detailed consideration of a solution involving the seating of Communist Chinese representatives while preserving separate membership for Taiwan.
  2. Necessary time would be gained in which to prepare Congressional and public opinion in the United States for a change in Chinese representation, thereby helping to ensure continuing United States support for the United Nations.
  3. Because a number of countries, including Britain, the Netherlands, Norway, Denmark and Sweden, have made their support for a two-thirds majority rule in this case dependent to an important degree on the formation of a study committee and on American assurance that the latter would not be regarded as a device to delay action on Chinese representation, success of the first step of declaring the issue “important” is dependent upon the second step of establishing a study committee.

Because we recognize that the question is both complex and important, and because we have consistently upheld the principle of self-determination for Taiwan, I believe it is essential to avoid the adoption of simple solutions such as a vote on rival Chinese credentials, which is favoured by the U.S.S.R. and its supporters. Accordingly I would propose, with Cabinet approval, to instruct our delegation to the United Nations to take the following action:

  1. To support in debate and with our vote a resolution designed to have the question of a change in Chinese representation declared “important.”
  2. To support in debate and with our vote a resolution to establish a special committee to study the question of Chinese representation in all its aspects and to make specific recommendations to the 17th Session.
  3. To consider accepting membership in the committee if asked, provided that a representative group of other countries will also agree to serve.

H.C. GREEN

190. DEA/5475-EJ-40

Memorandum from Permanent Representative to United Nations to Secretary of State for External Affairs

CONFIDENTIAL [New York], November 23, 1961

Chinese Representation in the United Nations

The question of Chinese representation in the United Nations is unlikely to be discussed in plenary session before the end of November when it is estimated that the debate on colonialism should end. Whether it is discussed then or a week or more later, will depend largely upon the African delegations who are anxious to press on with consideration of the Angola report before the Chinese question. It is understood that the President of the Assembly wishes to insert the question of Chinese representation between colonialism and the Angola report. As yet the matter of timing has not been decided and it is clear that the Soviet delegation is not pressing for early consideration of its resolution on the Chinese question.

The present situation is that two items on Chinese representation have been inscribed on the agenda of the General Assembly, one requested by New Zealand and one by the Soviet Union. In addition, the Soviet delegation has submitted a draft resolution in the following terms:

“The General Assembly,
Considering it necessary to restore the lawful rights of the People’s Republic of China in the United Nations, Bearing in mind that only representatives of the Government of the People’s Republic of China are competent to occupy China’s place in the United Nations and all its organs, Resolves to remove immediately from all United Nations organs the representatives of the Chiang Kai-shek clique who are unlawfully occupying the place of China in the United Nations, Invites the Government of the People’s Republic of China to send its representatives to participate in the work of the United Nations and of all its organs.”

The United States has been working behind the scenes in an effort to obtain sponsors for two resolutions, one seeking to have the question of a change in Chinese representation declared “important” within the meaning of Article 18 (2) of the Charter, thereby requiring a two-thirds majority vote to effect a change, and the other seeking the establishment of a committee to study the question of Chinese representation and to report to the General Assembly at its 17th Session. Initially, they wished the committee to also study “related questions,” such as enlargement of the Security and Economic and Social Councils, and “to report with recommendations for their resolution” to the 17th Session. At present they appear to be willing to drop “related questions” and “recommendations” in favour of simply studying the Chinese representational question and reporting to the next Assembly session.

On the basis of a survey of delegations at the UN it now appears that the United States will be able to find sponsors for the “importance” resolution and should be able to muster sufficient votes to achieve acceptance of the two resolutions it favours which will require only simple majorities (although it is argued by some delegations that if a change in Chinese representation is “important,” the establishment of a committee to study the question must also be “important,” requiring a two-thirds majority vote). Barring unforeseen shifts, it is estimated that at least 60 delegations, and possibly up to 65, would vote to declare the question of a change in Chinese representation “important.” Included amongst those who would probably vote affirmatively are at least 15 Latin American, 16 African, 18 Commonwealth, USA and West European, and 10 Asian and Middle Eastern countries. A similar degree of support is probable for the establishment of a study committee, although there would likely be one or two fewer possible votes. The Soviet resolution seems destined to obtain a maximum of 20 affirmative votes and will therefore be defeated. There are, however, serious misgivings about the establishment of a committee, even amongst those who would vote for the “importance” resolution and who could probably be persuaded to vote for the committee. These misgivings have been reflected in the Americans’ inability to date to discover any delegations which would be willing to sponsor a resolution to establish a committee, primarily because of genuine doubts about the committee’s ability to accomplish anything beyond delaying a solution to the question. Even if sponsors for this resolution are found, it will be still more difficult to find a broadly representative group of committee members. In particular, it will be difficult, if not impossible, to persuade countries like India or Poland, which already recognize the Peking régime, to serve on the committee. A further obstacle is the Americans’ insistence that the committee should reflect the current United Nations situation as regards those who recognize the Communist Chinese government, those who recognize the Nationalist Chinese government and those who recognize neither, i.e. they assert that it should be on a 6 - 4 - 2 basis. Finally, even if the foregoing obstacles are overcome, it is arguable whether or not such a committee could develop any useful recommendations to resolve the question of Chinese representation. There are rumours (as yet unsubstantiated) to the effect that a “neutralist” resolution seeking the seating of Communist Chinese representatives will be proposed in place of the Soviet resolution which seems assured of defeat. Such a resolution, if couched in reasonable terms, would probably attract close to 40 votes or more but, in the face of the American proposals mentioned earlier, could not be successful at the present session.

Whatever the final outcome of all these possible manoeuvres, it appears to be certain that Communist Chinese representatives will not replace Nationalist Chinese representatives at the present session. It also appears that adequate support is assured for American efforts to have the question declared “important.” The fate of the committee idea is less certain and it seems that the Americans will not be particularly unhappy if it does not succeed. The net effect will be a delay in resolving the question for another year. However, if this is the case, it may well hasten a decision on Chinese representation on a simple credentials basis – probably at the 17th Session of the United Nations General Assembly.Footnote 92

C.S.A. RITCHIE

191. PCO

Extract from Cabinet Conclusions

SECRET [Ottawa], November 30, 1961

Present:

  • The Prime Minister (Mr. Diefenbaker) in the Chair,
  • The Secretary of State for External Affairs (Mr. Green),
  • The Minister of Finance (Mr. Fleming),
  • The Minister of Transport (Mr. Balcer),
  • The Minister of Veterans Affairs and Acting Minister of Trade and Commerce (Mr. Churchill),
  • The Minister of National Revenue (Mr. Nowlan),
  • The Minister of National Defence (Mr. Harkness),
  • The Minister of Citizenship and Immigration (Mrs. Fairclough),
  • The Postmaster General (Mr. William Hamilton),
  • The Minister of National Health and Welfare (Mr. Monteith),
  • The Minister of Public Works (Mr. Walker),
  • The Minister of Forestry (Mr. Flemming),
  • The Secretary of State (Mr. Dorion),
  • The Minister of Northern Affairs and National Resources (Mr. Dinsdale),
  • The Minister without Portfolio (Mr. Halpenny).
  • The Secretary to the Cabinet (Mr. Bryce),
  • The Assistant Secretaries to the Cabinet (Dr. Hodgson), (Mr. Watters).
    . . .

The China Question at the U.N. General Assembly

  1. The Secretary of State for External Affairs said that the moratorium on discussion of the China question at the United Nations General Assembly had been abandoned and a debate would take place soon in the Assembly. The question was whether the issue of a change in Chinese representation in the United Nations should be declared “important” and if so whether a sub-committee should be established to study it. He also wanted Cabinet’s views on whether Canada should be a member of such a committee.
    An explanatory memorandum had been circulated, (Minister’s memorandum, Nov. 20 – Cab. Doc. 435-61).
  2. During the discussion it was said that the United States would not be happy to see Canada represented on this committee. The U.S. had strong feelings on the subject and the recommendations of the committee would be controversial.
  3. The Cabinet agreed that the Secretary of State for External Affairs should instruct the Canadian delegation,
    1. to support in debate and with Canada’s vote a resolution designed to have the question of a change in Chinese representation declared “important”;
    2. to support in debate and with Canada’s vote a resolution to establish a special committee to study the question of Chinese representation in all its aspects and to make specific recommendations to the 17th Session; and,
    3. to see to it that Canada does not become a member of this special committee.
      . . .

Sub-section VIII

Effects of Nuclear Radiation

192. DEA/5475-GE-40

Memorandum from Secretary of State for External Affairs

UNCLASSIFIED [Ottawa], September 2, 1961

The Programme for Co-operative Fallout Studies

This memorandum contains the most recent information about the programme for co-operative fallout studies which was initiated by the General Assembly in 1959.

  1. As you know, Burma, Malaya, Ghana and Pakistan have indicated their desire to co-operate with Canada in the analysis of certain samples for radioactivity. All four have been in touch with the appropriate Canadian authorities about the methods for collecting and transporting these samples. This has involved considerable correspondence through diplomatic channels but in recent weeks, as part of the administrative arrangements for the programme, the authorities both in Canada and in the other four countries have begun to communicate directly. Since the final administrative arrangements are nearly completed, the actual programme is expected to begin shortly.
  2. The Department of National Health and Welfare has completed its arrangements in Canada, having assembled the necessary equipment and trained personnel. The Canadian authorities are anxiously awaiting the arrival of the first samples and they have been offering advice to the other four countries about collecting methods and apparatus.
  3. Arrangements with Pakistan were completed rather more quickly than those with the other countries but arrangements with all four are now well in hand. The Canadian laboratory should soon be dealing with samples of soil, food and bone collected in the other countries participating in the programme.

Canadian officials responsible for implementing this initiative are also pleased with the effect that the resolution adopted during the 14th Session has had on the amount of attention being given to radiation problems internationally. In Canada, the National Research Council Associate Committee on Radiation Biology has since been established in order that the biological effects of radiation might be more thoroughly studied. While parallel interest has been stimulated in other countries there has also been increased attention given to physical measurement of radiation samples. In addition, there has been a marked increase in the number of member countries supplying the United Nations with data on fallout levels.

In response to the resolution adopted during the 14th Session, at least twelve other nations (United Kingdom, Australia, France, Norway, Belgium, Sweden, Denmark, Japan, Israel, USSR, Argentina, Italy), the International Atomic Energy Agency and the World Health Organization have made offers similar to that of Canada to test samples for radio-activity that are sent in to them. A similar offer was made in 1956 by the United States.

An incidental benefit to Canada has been that, because of the demands of the programme for laboratory staff and facilities, we are now extremely well equipped to carry on work of this nature, both for cooperating nations and for Canada itself.

193. DEA/5475-GE-40

Memorandum from Under-Secretary of State for External Affairs to Secretary of State for External Affairs

CONFIDENTIAL [Ottawa], October 11, 1961

Unscear: Canadian Resolution on Radiation

On October 11, Mr. Armstrong of the United States Embassy called on me to discuss the Canadian draft resolution which the Delegation intends to submit to the Special Political Committee when the UNSCEAR item is being discussed. Mr. Armstrong said that the Canadian draft had been the subject of discussion between the United States Delegation and our own. The United States has made certain suggestions for revising the Canadian draft which are contained in the attached draft, which Mr. Armstrong left with me.

  1. Mr. Armstrong made three points in commenting on the Canadian draft:
    1. The United States authorities objected to the scientific judgements contained in the first two preambular paragraphs of the Canadian draft. In other words, they did not like the relating of the resumption of nuclear weapons testing to the sharp increases in levels of radioactive fallout nor the thought that the Assembly should be “convinced” that prolonged exposure to increasing levels constituted a growing threat to this and future generations. The United States draft simply expresses concern about the prolonged exposure to increasing levels.
    2. The United States was opposed to the first operative paragraph of the Canadian draft, which contains the declaration that no state has a right to take action known to have harmful biological consequences and calls upon all member states to conduct themselves accordingly as regards action by them that would increase the levels of radioactive fallout. In the United States view, this paragraph would inject a most controversial issue of a political nature into the debate and an issue which could be more appropriately dealt with in the First Committee debate on nuclear weapons testing. The United States is concerned about the possibility that a sharp political debate on radiation might adversely affect the work of UNSCEAR. Paragraph 3 of the United States draft, which expresses the belief that all member states have a responsibility and a duty concerning actions that have harmful biological consequences, is intended as a substitute for our first operative paragraph.
    3. The United States did not consider it practical to request from UNSCEAR an interim report on the increased level of radioactive fallout. Instead, UNSCEAR should be encouraged to complete its forthcoming comprehensive report.
  2. I explained to Mr. Armstrong that the Canadian draft was being discussed with a number of Delegations in New York and that some changes had already been made. I referred to the revisions, contained in telegram 2166 of October 10 from the Canadian Delegation,† inviting the World Meteorological Organization to examine urgently the feasibility of extending its present meteorological reporting system to include measurements of atmospheric radioactivity. Although paragraph 9 of the United States draft suggests alternative wording, Mr. Armstrong had the impression that this part of the resolution did not give rise to any difficulty in Washington.
  3. My understanding is that the Canadian Delegation has been consulting energetically with a number of delegations and that, as a result, some additional revisions to the original text have been proposed (telegrams 2177 and 2178 of October 11.)† While some of these changes tend to meet the objections raised by the United States, other paragraphs may still be considered objectionable, in particular the re-draft of paragraphs 1 and 4 (as designated in telegrams 2178). There may be some additional revision before the draft resolution is tabled. It seems to me that we shall have to leave the details to the Delegation, who will no doubt be consulting with you and with the Department as the matter develops.
  4. Mr. Armstrong asked that the United States comments be brought to your attention. You may wish to take them into consideration when reacting to suggestions for revision received from the Delegation. The draft prepared by the United States seems too weak for our purposes, especially in view of the concern in Canada and elsewhere about the recent increase in radioactive fallout. However, we may be able to make some concessions to the United States viewpoint. This can best be left to our Delegation, who are keeping in touch with their United States colleagues in New York.
  5. If you agree, you may wish to approve the attached telegram to the Canadian Delegation, informing them about the United States approach here.

N.A. ROBERTSON

194. DEA/5475-GE-40

Secretary of State for External Affairs to Chairman, Delegation to United Nations General Assembly

TELEGRAM V-500 Ottawa, October 12, 1961
CONFIDENTIAL.
Repeat for Information: London, Washington, NATO Paris, Geneva.

16th Unga: Item 24 – Unscear Report

On October 11, Armstrong of the USA Embassy called on the Under-Secretary to express USA reservations about the Canadian draft resolution and to leave with us a USA draft which he understood had been given to you by USA delegation. USA objected mainly to the first preambular paragraph, the use of “convinced” in the second preambular paragraph and to the first operative paragraph. Armstrong explained that the USA was worried about the possibility that a sharp political debate on the UNSCEAR report might not only upset the scientific work of UNSCEAR but would cut across the debate in the First Committee concerning the items on nuclear tests. The USA also considered it impractical to request from UNSCEAR an early interim report.

  1. I assume that you have been discussing the draft with the USA delegation among others and that you are aware of USA preoccupations. They may be met by the suggested revisions contained in your telegram 2177 of October 11 which I have approved. It will probably be impossible, however, to remove all USA misgivings because some of them relate to interests which do not correspond to our own in this matter. For this reason, I consider the USA draft handed us by Armstrong too weak for Canadian purposes. I expect that you will be keeping in touch with USA opinion about the draft resolution as it develops in the next few days.

[H.C.] GREEN

195. DEA/5475-GE-40

Memorandum from Head, United Nations Division, to Secretary of State for External Affairs

CONFIDENTIAL [Ottawa], October 13, 1961

Radiation Resolution

The Delegation has reported that the draft resolution was submitted to the Secretariat today at 5:00 p.m. There were 19 co-sponsors as follows: Argentina, Austria, Bolivia, Brazil, Canada, Chile, Costa Rica, Denmark, Ecuador, Guatemala, Japan, Iran, New Zealand, Norway, Pakistan, Panama, Spain, Tunisia and Uruguay. The resolution will be United Nations Document A/SPC/L69. The following countries may add their names to the sponsorship during the week-end: Philippines, Ireland, Netherlands, Malaya and Sweden. Although the African states have been canvassed thoroughly, none has yet agreed to co-sponsor. In particular, Nigeria seemed primarily interested in its own proposal concerning target dates.

  1. Late this afternoon, Senator Brooks held a press conference to distribute and explain the text of the resolution. The United Nations Document will appear in five languages tomorrow morning. The debate will begin at 3:00 p.m. on Monday and Canada is inscribed to speak first.
  2. Czechoslovakia earlier today submitted a draft resolution (A/SPC/L68) containing three paragraphs: taking note of the report of UNSCEAR; welcoming the progress in its work; and urging it to complete its second comprehensive report in 1962. The Delegation estimate is that this Czech move will not adversely affect the Canadian initiative.
  3. All the indications are that the United States, the United Kingdom and other Western powers are quite relaxed about the present text of our resolution. There are signs of wide-spread support for it.

G.S. MURRAY

196. DEA/5475-GE-40

Memorandum from Under-Secretary of State for External Affairs to Secretary of State for External Affairs

CONFIDENTIAL [Ottawa], October 31, 1961

Resolution on the Effects of Atomic Radiation

The Canadian resolution on the hazards of atomic radiation having been adopted by the General Assembly will now be entering the implementing stage. While the proposal is no longer in Canadian hands, Canada through its membership in the United Nations Scientific Committee on the Effects of Atomic Radiation and its participation in the work of the World Meteorological Organization will have occasion to exert some influence on the course of action which is now expected to be taken on the resolution.

  1. With particular reference to the implementation of Part II of the resolution requesting W.M.O. to consider the feasibility of extending its present meteorological reporting system to include the transmission of data on radioactivity, collected on a world-wide basis, we understand that the first steps will be as follows. The text of the resolution may now already have been transmitted by the United Nations Secretariat to the Secretary-General of W.M.O., who will then request in the very near future the Organization’s Panel of experts on Radioactive Debris to carry out a complete evaluation of the feasibility of the General Assembly’s recommendation. The panel will be required to carry out a full study of the synoptic reporting scheme in all its technical details seeking advice from U.N.S.C.E.A.R., and from the International Atomic Energy Agency on such questions as the type of instruments to be used to measure radioactivity, and measuring standards. In view of the complexity of this task it is important that the Panel be encouraged to start its work as soon as possible.
  2. Following this study the Panel will make recommendations to the Executive Committee of W.M.O., based on its evaluation of the technical feasibility of the scheme. Assuming that the Panel will make a positive recommendation to the Executive Committee and unless there were concerted opposition to the scheme in the Executive Committee itself, member countries of W.M.O. would then be requested to undertake the monitoring of radioactivity in accordance with prescribed standards and transmit this information according to a predetermined timetable on the W.M.O. reporting network.
  3. To facilitate the implementation of the scheme in underdeveloped countries, it would then probably be necessary for the more advanced member states of the Organization to offer to make available the instrumentation and technical advice required for monitoring radioactive fallout to countries not adequately equipped. At a later stage, it may thus be desirable for Canada to offer financial and technical assistance to countries which may be unable to accede to W.M.O.’s request because of financial considerations.
  4. Canada is not represented on the W.M.O. Panel on Radioactive Debris, but Mr. McTaggart-Cowan, Director, Meteorological Services, Department of Transport, and Canadian representative in W.M.O., is a member of the Executive Committee. We have been discussing with Mr. McTaggart-Cowan the steps which Canada might take to ensure that the General Assembly’s proposal will be given diligent and sympathetic consideration by the W.M.O. Panel of experts and the Executive Committee. As a first step we intend, if you agree, to authorize Mr. McTaggart-Cowan to write to the Secretary-General of W.M.O. and ask for his confirmation that the Panel on Radioactive Debris will soon be undertaking its study of the proposal. Mr. McTaggart-Cowan has also offered to keep in close touch with his counterparts in the United States Weather Office to encourage them to play an active role in the Panel on Radioactive Debris to ensure that the General Assembly’s proposal receives early and positive attention.
  5. In addition, we will be instructing Canadian Missions in those friendly countries which have representatives on the Panel on Radioactive Debris as well as on the W.M.O. Executive Committee, to discuss with these officials the implementation of the synoptic reporting scheme with a view to stimulating their interest in and encouraging prompt and positive action on this proposal. We shall also keep Canadian Missions in New York and Geneva fully informed of subsequent developments to enable them to keep in touch with officials concerned with the implementation of the scheme in the United Nations and the W.M.O. Secretariats.Footnote 93

G. I[GNATIEFF]
for Under-Secretary of State
for External Affairs

197. DEA/5475-GE-40

Memorandum from Under-Secretary of State for External Affairs to Secretary of State for External Affairs

RESTRICTED [Ottawa], December 15, 1961

Progress Report on the Implementation of the United Nations General Assembly’s Proposal for a World-wide Synoptic Reporting Scheme on Atmospheric Radioactive Levels under the World Meteorological Organization

This memorandum reviews recent developments concerning the implementation of the proposal in the General Assembly’s radiation resolution for the establishment of a world-wide synoptic reporting scheme on radioactive levels under the World Meteorological Organization, which have taken place since our last report to you on this subject.

  1. Dr. P.D. McTaggart-Cowan, Director, Meteorological Branch, Department of Transport, and Permanent Canadian Representative on the Executive Committee of the World Meteorological Organization has been in constant communication with the Secretariat of the World Meteorological Organization’s as well as with his United States colleague on the Organization’s Executive Committee with a view to stimulating prompt and positive action on the study of the feasibility of the programme as called for in the General Assembly’s resolution. The Secretariat of the World Meteorological Organization has already taken encouraging steps along these lines. A meeting has taken place in the latter part of November between officials of the Organization’s Secretariat and of the Secretariats of United Nations Scientific Committee on the Effects of Atomic Radiation and the International Atomic Energy Agency as a result of which a course of action was set to ensure that an early start is made on the study of the proposal’s technical feasibility.
  2. On November 27, the Secretary-General of the World Meteorological Organization addressed a letter to all members of the Organization’s Executive Committee outlining his plan of action and requesting their comments. This plan calls for the early preparation by the Organization’s Secretariat of a draft reporting scheme which will shortly be sent to the five members of the Organization’s Panel of Experts on Atomic Energy (USA, Britain, France, The Soviet Union and India) and to the Presidents of the Organization’s Technical Commissions, for their early comments. When these comments are received and a detailed plan for the scheme has been approved, the President of the Organization will decide in the light of comments received from the members of the Executive Committee on the further action required for the final approval and implementation of this scheme on behalf of the World Meteorological Organization.
  3. The Canadian Representative on the Executive Committee has already replied to a letter dated November 27 from the Secretary-General of the Organization. Dr. McTaggart-Cowan has strongly endorsed the course of action proposed by the Secretariat of the Organization and supported the idea that the President of W.M.O. be empowered to decide on the early implementation of this scheme if the response he receives from members of the Executive Committee indicate a clear majority support for the plan. If on the other hand, the Executive Committee is divided on the feasibility of the proposal or if the preparation of the detailed plan by the Panel of Experts and the Technical Commission is delayed it will be necessary to wait until the next meeting of the Executive Committee scheduled for the Spring of 1962, to obtain a final decision on the proposal.
  4. We have instructed Canadian Missions accredited to those countries which have nationals as members of the Executive Committee and the Panel of Experts of the Organization, to establish early contacts with these individuals to obtain their personal reaction to the General Assembly’s proposal. As these individuals act in their personal rather than their official capacity in the World Meteorological Organization, it would be undesirable at this stage for Canada to make formal representations with their respective governments. This question however may have to be considered further depending on the results of the survey of opinion among individuals concerned which is now being undertaken by some fifteen of our missions abroad.
  5. We shall report further on the progress of the action taken by the Secretariat of the World Meteorological Organization as well as on the results of the survey we have undertaken as soon as further significant developments occur.Footnote 94

N.A. R[OBERTSON]

Section G - United Nations Emergency Force

198. DEA/50366-A-40

Memorandum from Under-Secretary of State for External Affairs to Secretary of State for External Affairs

TOP SECRET [Ottawa], November 9, 1961

Unef – Policy Re Withdrawal

You may recall that since February 1960 we have been endeavouring to have an understanding with the U.N. Secretariat concerning the position of the U.N. Emergency Force in the Middle East in case of large scale hostilities. Our purpose in these discussions has been two-fold:

  1. to establish that in such a case the Force would not engage in combatant activities and that the U.N. Secretariat would have the responsibility of deciding whether a withdrawal would be warranted.
  2. to determine what plans, if any, have been prepared in case it is considered necessary to re-deploy or withdraw the Force.
  1. In conversations with Mr. Bunche and Mr. Hammarskjöld, Mr. Ritchie was able to reach a satisfactory verbal understanding on point (a).Footnote 95 It was also established that plans for eventual withdrawal had been prepared by General Burns when he was Commander-in-Chief of the Force. These plans have been left, reportedly, with General Burns’ successor. We do not know, however, whether General Gyani has considered them. On our instructions, Mr. Ritchie set forth the Canadian viewpoint in a formal letter to Mr. Hammarskjöld on January 5, 1961.† The late Secretary-General, however, had not sent any reply at the time of his death.
  2. In the attached letter No. 791 of October 31, 1961,† our Ambassador in Cairo reports that neither the Chief of Staff of General Gyani nor the Commandant of the Canadian contingent at Gaza have any knowledge of plans for a withdrawal in case of an emergency. Mr. Ford does not anticipate any serious outbreak in the UNEF area in the near future, but he pointed out that the general feeling in Gaza was that the situation was somewhat more fluid than a few months ago and that there was always a danger of serious incidents occurring. Mr. Ford was told that in case of an emergency the situation of the RCAF at El Arish would be particularly difficult.
  3. We have sent a copy of Mr. Ford’s letter to our mission in New York with a request to take up the matter either with Mr. Bunche or the new Secretary-General as soon as Mr. Ritchie considers that an approach would be opportune. The appointment of a new Secretary-General would make it even more desirable to reach a formal understanding on the position of the Force, in case of an emergency. We realize, however, that it might not be possible for our mission to raise the matter in the midst of the current Session, especially since Mr. U. Thant has had little time to become acquainted with this matter.Footnote 96

N.A. R[OBERTSON]

199. DEA/50366-A-40

Secretary of State for External Affairs to Permanent Representative to United Nations

TELEGRAM DL-1675 Ottawa, December 12, 1961
TOP SECRET. CANADIAN EYES ONLY.
Reference: Your Tel 3032 of Nov 30/61.†

Unef – Policy Re Withdrawal

CCOS has suggested that following points be discussed with General Gyani.

  1. Remembering the strength of UNEF, CCOS feel that any plan which calls for the defence of the UNWRA depots would have little chance of success against the type of force likely to be employed by either side.
  2. The majority of the UNEF base camps are located on the main roads. For this reason, they will most likely be involved in the early stages in any fighting. Again, because of the size of our force, the successful defence of these bases is a questionable operation. CCOS feel that consideration should therefore be given to evacuation of the bases very soon after hostilities have started with personnel being directed to assembly points.
  3. In deciding how to evacuate troops after the outbreak of hostilities, it should be remembered that the airfields at El Arish and Gaza may not be useable and air evacuation, from those fields at least, may not be feasible. Consideration should therefore be given to evacuation by air from alternative fields or by sea over the beaches.
  1. The above points are based on the understanding that UNEF was only intended to secure and supervise the cessation of hostilities and was in no sense to be considered a buffer force between the two belligerents if active operations commenced. The force is therefore only able to defend itself against small marauding groups.
  2. You may wish to keep in mind points raised in our telegram DL-532 of May 18, 1960Footnote 97 and in your letter of January 5, 1961 to the Secretary-General.

[N.A.] ROBERTSON

200. DEA/50366-A-40

Permanent Representative to United Nations to Secretary of State for External Affairs

TELEGRAM 3391 New York, December 20, 1961
TOP SECRET. CANADIAN EYES ONLY.
Reference: Your Let DL-528 Nov 16† and your Tel DL-1675 Dec 12.
Repeat for Information: CCOS from Ottawa.

Unef – Policy Re Withdrawal

Accompanied by Barton and Speedie I saw General Gyani yesterday. We had a useful and reassuring discussion which I think covered all points which have been concerning us.

  1. Gyani started by confirming our understanding of position of UNEF as covered in discussion with Mr. Hammarskjöld in June 1960 (our telegram 858 June 28, 1960 refers).Footnote 98 Gyani agreed that (a) force is intended only to secure and supervise cessation of hostilities and can therefore in no repeat no circumstances be considered as capable of undertaking an active combat role; (b) withdrawal of force should be considered only in event of large-scale hostilities which render it incapable of discharging functions assigned to it without undue physical risk; (c) ultimate responsibility for any decision to withdraw or to curtail functions of force either because of large-scale hostilities or of changing conditions rests with UN acting through Security Council or General Assembly; and (d) as long as force remains in being UN are primarily responsible for its safety.
  2. Gyani also agreed that (a) there can be no repeat no question of unilateral withdrawal of components of force in any emergency involving force; and (b) in event of large-scale hostilities Secretary-General would take necessary measures for safety of force through consultation with UNEF Advisory Committee and, if necessary advise Security Council or General Assembly on need for withdrawal or otherwise.
  3. Gyani said that UNEF can carry out its functions only with cooperation and assistance of Egypt and Israel and that in event of hostilities UNEF could not repeat not stop belligerents by military intervention. On other hand any sign from UNEF that it was contemplating withdrawal as a result of heightened tension between Israel and Egypt might precipitate hostilities. For this reason preliminary withdrawal measures that were obvious to potential belligerents must be avoided until last moment.
  4. It is General Gyani’s opinion that if hostilities did break out any attempt to withdraw UNEF during initial moves of belligerents would involve grave risks. With exception of RCAF detachment at El Arish he considered that force is not repeat not in a likely battle area and that it would be better for his troops to “sit it out” until battle had moved one way or other rather than to take risk of moving through a confused battle area.
  5. His plan of action in event of hostilities takes into account requirements of accommodation, communications and water for force. He envisages some five areas for concentration. These include Rafah and “keeps” for non combatant personnel. He has approximately five battalions available and these would be deployed as follows: (a) two battalions for defence of vital points; (b) one battalion for defence of Rafah installations; (c) one and one half battalions in camps as a reserve force. He has eight armoured cars and these would be employed in a liaison role and for communications with belligerents. Because of their location and number he does not repeat not consider that UNRWA dumps could be defended.
  6. Since El Arish is a military target area he envisages moving RCAF detachment to Beirut at outset of hostilities. If air field at Gaza is useable air detachment could be used between Beirut and Gaza for supply purposes and if necessary evacuation. Otherwise in event that evacuation is necessary reliance would have to be placed on withdrawal of force by sea. Only source of shipping for this purpose would seem to be USN 6th fleet. Beaches have been surveyed and this information could be made available to beach landing force as soon as required.
  7. A coordinated plan and operation order taking into account various contingencies is now in existence at UNEF headquarters. Stocks or wire emergency food supplies petrol etc. are on hand and additional water containers have been ordered.
  8. General Gyani said he felt that so long as he kept his force concentrated and did not repeat not get in way of opposing forces there should not repeat not be too much danger of being caught up in military action. He was more concerned about danger of uncontrolled mobs. He said that original plan had called for concentration of whole force at Rafah but that he had come to conclusion that there was insufficient water supplies available there for whole force and for this reason he modified plan slightly to provide for establishment of “keeps” referred to above.
  9. Gyani said that morale of UNEF forces was high and he was obviously very proud of his command. He seemed quite confident that they could look after themselves in event of trouble.

[C.S.A.] RITCHIE

Section H - United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees

201. DEA/10170-C-40

Record of Meeting of Departmental Officials with Director of United Nations Relief and Works Agency

UNCLASSIFIED [Ottawa], March 23, 1961

Present were:

  • Mr. Glazebrook, Acting Under-Secretary of State for External Affairs, Chairman,
  • Mr. S. Pollock, Department of Finance,
  • Mr. D.C. Bignell, Department of Finance,
  • Mr. R. Hickman, Department of Trade and Commerce,
  • Mr. L.A.D. Stephens, Department of External Affairs,
  • Mr. G.G. Riddell, Department of External Affairs,
  • Mr. T.H.W. Read, Department of External Affairs,
  • Mr. C. Roquet, Department of External Affairs,
  • Mr. S.C.H. Nutting, Department of External Affairs,

Visitors:

  • Dr. John H. Davis, Director of UNRWA,
  • Mr. Sherwood Moe, UNRWA Liaison Officer, New York.
  1. On the invitation of the Chairman, Dr. Davis opened with a statement dealing at length with UNRWA’s programme for the education and training of young refugees.
  2. He described the basis for UNRWA’s decision to continue relief at the 1960 level in order to free his funds for vocational and technical education. In a sense this meant concentrating on helping young people while ignoring old people and adults. Natural increases in the refugee population will require an increase in spending on relief of about $4 million over the next three years. The planned increase in secondary education will cost an additional $4 million over the same period. An extra $8 million, however, will go towards the advancement of young people, in the form of increased facilities and a doubling of the number of university scholarships. The small loan programme will continue but will be limited by the amount of funds not otherwise committed.
  3. Among the projects recently completed, or in the course of construction, two owe their establishment to the shipments of Canadian wheat in connection with World Refugee Year which have allowed UNRWA to divert budgetary funds to training programmes. The first is the Vocational Training Centre for Boys which will open in Lebanon in September 1961. The remainder of the Canadian gift has been devoted to the Teacher Training Center for girls, which, combined with a Vocational Training Centre will open in Jordan in 1962.
  4. Dr. Davis informed the meeting that the construction part of his programme was going ahead according to schedule. He explained, however, that in order to keep up the rate of progress he had to take what he regarded as a justifiable risk. UNRWA income necessarily lagged behind the expanded programme and he had decided to reduce his working capital and reserve funds to a minimum in order to provide the money for construction.
  5. Dr. Davis considered that UNRWA’s prestige and the acceptance of the Agency by the host countries had improved. Although the training programme provides only an oblique solution to the refugee problem, UNRWA’s main importance was the stability it helped maintain in the area. A political solution to the problem of the refugees could not be forced on the area – and indeed was not necessarily the sole answer. A solution could be obtained only by the play of long term forces. These could operate best in an atmosphere of stability and this it was UNRWA’s aim to provide. He mentioned the improvement that would necessarily occur in the acceptability of the refugees in the course of a considerable improvement in economic development in the Middle East.
  6. In answer to questions put to him following his statement Dr. Davis explained why it was essential to go ahead with vocational and technical training of youths. He pointed out the super-saturation of the agricultural and handskill labour market and recited the complete success that UNRWA graduates had had in obtaining jobs both in the area and as far off as Libya (which had received 200 teachers trained by UNRWA). He was certain that 2,500 UNRWA graduates, his annual target figure, could be absorbed and he referred in particular to the possibilities within Syria’s economic development programme.
  7. UNESCO’s assistance was valuable since it created such a high standard of training. This was an important influence on the host countries as well as increasing the acceptability of UNRWA graduates. Insofar as the possibility of UN Technical Assistance supplanting UNRWA’s training, however, the problem was that aid given by the UN to the host countries would not filter past the needs of the people of these countries: the refugees would have lowest priority and would get nothing.
  8. In referring to national attitudes towards UNRWA, Dr. Davis mentioned the reluctance of Lebanon to accept any refugees, even if employment were available. Jordan was somewhat half-hearted, but Syria was the best country in this way. Contrary to indications that have been given, refugees could and did leave the Gaza strip.
  9. He also devoted some time to countering the thought that an enforced closing down of UNRWA would solve the refugee problem and to explaining why emigration to Europe or the Americas was not a feasible proposition. On the first his thesis was that not only governments, but also the people of the Arab states were determined never to recognize the continuance of Israel as an independent state. This is an important factor in the Arab refusal to help eliminate the refugee problem by absorbing the refugees and the refusal itself goes far deeper than governments in that it springs from an attitude of the peoples concerned. As for emigration, Dr. Davis believes that the old people and the young adults provide virtually insuperable problems of rehabilitation. The trained youths although offering adaptability, were needed in the Middle East. Moreover, mainly the refugees were Moslems and naturally preferred to live in Moslem communities.
  10. With regard to the rationalization of the relief rolls Dr. Davis described the family or tribal justice which prevented malnutrition even though 125,000 refugee children were not on the rolls. He said that 40,000 names had been taken off the rolls in the last ten years, but that an additional 90,000 names should be removed. Nevertheless, UNRWA calculated that a full revision of the list would increase the number of refugees by a net figure of 30,000 to 40,000. He commented on a law under consideration by Jordan to make illegal the holding of refugee cards by third persons. This, if it is passed, will make it possible for UNRWA to take effective action against trafficking in these cards.
  11. Dr. Davis, referring to Canada’s assistance to UNRWA, had said that UNRWA could use a donation from Canada like that given last year (i.e. $500,000 in cash, $1.5 million special grant in the form of wheat flour and $1 million in wheat flour in connection with World Refugee Year). In closing, he expressed his gratitude for his warm welcome, and reiterated his optimism regarding the usefulness of UNRWA’s programme as a factor creating stability in the Middle East.

202. DEA/10170-C-40

Memorandum from Under-Secretary of State for External Affairs to Secretary of State for External Affairs

CONFIDENTIAL [Ottawa], August 21, 1961

Use by Unrwa of Canadian Contribution in Connexion with World Refugee Year

In telegram 94 of August 8, 1961, of which a copy is attached for your information,† the Canadian Chargé d’Affaires in Lebanon has informed us that the second vocational training centre to be paid for by the Canadian gift to UNRWA in connexion with World Refugee Year will be located in Homs, Syria.

  1. The cornerstone of the first “Canadian” centre, Siblin Vocational Training Centre for men near Sidon, Lebanon, was laid on June 15. We have grounds for believing that construction of the centre at Homs has already begun. We have no word, however, concerning the Vocational and Teacher Training Centre for women in Jordan, which is to be the third project, the costs of which will be shared with the United Kingdom.
  2. In letting the Embassy in Beirut know that Homs had been chosen as the site for the second centre, the Director of UNRWA also said that he had received an unexpected gift of $500,000 from the United States of America. Since the USA has so far contributed no “bricks and mortar” to UNRWA’s construction programme Dr. Davis asked if Canada would agree to allow the United States a 50 percent share in the Centre at Homs. This would mean that one-half of the Canadian gift earmarked for this centre would be directed towards the general fund, as would, of course, 50 percent of the US contribution. Dr. Davis said that if there were any objection whatsoever on the part of Canada he would withdraw his suggestion and consign the US contribution to the general fund.
  3. It occurs to me that Dr. Davis’ query raises once again the problem of obtaining credit for the gift made by Canada. This problem was brought to your attention in a memorandum of September 9, 1960, when it appeared likely that the credit for Siblin Vocational Training Centre might be shared with Germany from which a relatively minor contribution had been obtained. At that time, while approving the idea of a “Canadian” centre in Syria, you agreed with the recommendation that the Canadian contribution should bear a Canadian label.
  4. The fact that the Canadian gift to UNRWA in connection with World Refugee Year was made without conditions as to its use suggests that Dr. Davis is free to dispose the counterpart funds produced by the million dollars worth of wheat in the bests interests of UNRWA, as he sees them. Although Siblin Vocational Training Centre cannot be identified as Canadian through its name, the UNRWA representative at the laying of the cornerstone took pains to announce the Canadian identity of the school and Dr. Davis has said that a plaque will be placed within the school to indicate that the Canadian Government and private citizens gave the buildings and equipment.
  5. It would seem to me that we cannot hope for superior treatment in regard to the school at Homs and, following this line of thought, there would seem to be little point in offering any objection to sharing the school with the United States.Footnote 99 In any case all the centres will be joint ventures in the sense that the land is being provided by the government or by private individuals in the country concerned and the school in Jordan, yet to be built, will be a joint venture with the United Kingdom.
  6. If you agree, therefore, I shall see that Dr. Davis is told that we accept his suggestion but that in the dedication of the school at Homs emphasis must be placed on the humanitarian interest in the welfare of the refugees shared by Canada and the United States, rather than on any aspect of political cooperation or joint political interest in the problems of the Middle East. Further, I think we might ask Dr. Davis to devote the unspent portion of the Canadian gift to the operating expenses of the three “Canadian” centres.

N.A. R[OBERTSON]

203. PCO

Memorandum from Secretary of State for External Affairs to Cabinet

CABINET DOCUMENT NO. 340-61 [Ottawa], September 7, 1961
CONFIDENTIAL

Canadian Contribution to the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees, 1962

At the present time, there appears to be no likelihood of a political solution for the problem of the Palestine refugees. In view of this, it is the present policy of the Canadian Government to support UNRWA fully in the discharge of its humanitarian task of caring for more than one million Arab refugees. The mandate of the Agency runs until June 30, 1963.

  1. During the course of the current mandate of the Agency, the General Assembly has approved a plan put forward by the director of the Agency, Dr. John H. Davis, to increase education and training for the Palestine refugees and thus concentrate the meagre resources of the Agency on the younger refugees, who would otherwise face a life without opportunity or hope.
  2. For some years past, the Canadian regular contribution to the Agency has been $500,000 in cash. At a time when the Agency is implementing a particularly useful programme of the expansion of the education and vocational training facilities, a cut in the Canadian cash contribution would have serious consequences on the programme, as well as on the attitudes of the Arab hosts governments and on the other major donors. Under these circumstances, the cash contribution of $500,000 should be maintained in 1962.
  3. During the past four years, since 1958, an amount of $1,500,000 worth of Canadian wheat flour has been contributed on an ad hoc basis each year. In 1960, which was designated by the United Nations as World Refugee Year, the Canadian Government made another special contribution of wheat flour in the amount of $1,000,000. This gift of flour generated counterpart funds which were used in the construction of vocational training schools for the refugees. This annual gift of flour has in the past been the subject of a separate memorandum to the Cabinet which has been put forward during the first half of the year in which the contribution was made. There are a number of reasons why it would seem desirable for the Canadian contribution of $1,500,000 worth of wheat flour to be pledged at the same time as the annual cash contribution; that is to say, at the time of the UNRWA Pledging Conference which takes place during the course of the United Nations General Assembly. This year the Pledging Conference is to be held in early November.
  4. The reasons for making this recommendation are the following:
    1. The Agency would be informed at an early date, in good time for their subsequent planning, of a contribution which has in the past been approved in final form only late in the actual year of contribution, thus causing difficulties for the planning of combined purchases.
    2. The Agency has recently been approached by the United States Government which has offered to contribute all of UNRWA’s flour requirements as a charge against its regular contribution. So far, the Agency has been able to reply that the Canadian Government has, in the past, given an annual contribution of flour and the Agency would not wish to accept the United States offer without the knowledge that Canada was no longer in a position to supply the flour. If the United States’ contribution included all the flour, this would result in a serious loss of revenue to the Agency. At the present time, the Canadian contribution generates a matching contribution from the United States in the ratio of 30 percent to 70 percent. Furthermore, if the United States would fulfill this gap of $1.5 million worth of flour, the Agency would lose that amount also in cash.
    3. If a Canadian contribution of flour could no longer be accepted by the Agency, in view of their requirements being met by the United States, it would be very much more difficult for Canada to justify a contribution of $2 million in cash, since the flour is available in surplus and since the Agency’s requirement is for flour of a relatively low grade, No. 5, which is not as readily saleable as the better grades.
    4. A reduction of the Canadian contribution to the level of $500,000 cash would be embarrassing for our relations with the Arab host governments, since it would be taken as a withdrawal of support from the refugees and, by implication, from the Arab position in the Palestine problem. It would be even more embarrassing for UNRWA. Not only would the contribution of the United States be automatically reduced, but the apparent withdrawal of Canadian support from UNRWA would add to the strength of the arguments current in contributing states to the effect that general support for UNRWA be withdrawn, in order that the Arab host governments may be compelled to bear the full financial responsibility for the refugees. On the other hand, pledging the $1,500,000 of flour, together with our cash contribution, would be a welcome indication to UNRWA, to the Arab countries, and to other contributing countries of Canada’s continued humanitarian concern for the Palestine refugees.
    5. The report of the director of UNRWA to be submitted to the 16th Session of the General Assembly contains an estimate that the shortfall in contributions for 1961 will be higher than the estimated shortfall for 1960, which was $4.7 million. As indicated above, the Canadian contribution of $2 million a year in cash and in kind is probably at its highest possible level at this time. A commitment to the $2 million gift would not perhaps forestall pressure to increase the Canadian contribution, in view of the serious financial difficulties which will face the Agency this year and next.

      Recommendation

It is therefore recommended that a contribution of $500,000 in cash and $1,500,000 in wheat flour be approved, subject to the appropriation of funds by Parliament, and that provision be made for their inclusion in the main estimates of the Department of External Affairs for 1962-63.

I further recommend that a pledge in the above amount be announced by the Canadian representative to the UNRWA Pledging Conference to be held during the course of the forthcoming session of the General Assembly of the United Nations.

H.C. GREEN

204. PCO

Extract from Cabinet Conclusions

SECRET [Ottawa], October 11, 1961

Present:

  • The Prime Minister (Mr. Diefenbaker) in the Chair,
  • The Secretary of State for External Affairs (Mr. Green)
  • The Minister of Finance (Mr. Fleming),
  • The Minister of Transport (Mr. Balcer),
  • The Minister of Veterans Affairs (Mr. Churchill),
  • The Minister of Justice (Mr. Fulton),
  • The Minister of National Revenue (Mr. Nowlan),
  • The Minister of National Defence (Mr. Harkness),
  • The Minister of Labour (Mr. Starr),
  • The Postmaster General (Mr. William Hamilton),
  • The Minister of National Health and Welfare (Mr. Monteith),
  • The Minister of Defence Production (Mr. O’Hurley),
  • The Minister of Public Works (Mr. Walker),
  • The Associate Minister of National Defence (Mr. Sévigny),
  • The Minister of Forestry (Mr. Flemming),
  • The Secretary of State (Mr. Dorion),
  • The Minister of Northern Affairs and National Resources (Mr. Dinsdale)
  • The Minister without Portfolio (Mr. Halpenny).
  • The Secretary to the Cabinet (Mr. Bryce),
  • The Assistant Secretary to the Cabinet (Mr. Watters).
    . . .

Canadian Contribution to the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees, 1962

  1. The Secretary of State for External Affairs said that since there appeared to be no likelihood of a political solution for the problem of Palestine refugees, he was recommending that Canada maintain its contribution at about the same level as in previous years, i.e. $500,000 in cash and $1,500,000 in wheat flour.
    An explanatory memorandum had been circulated, (Minister’s memorandum, Sept. 7 – Cab. Doc. 340-61).
  2. The Prime Minister wondered whether, in the light of the financial situation which had been described by the Minister of Finance recently, Canada should continue such contributions.
  3. Mr. Green said that one hopeful sign for the future of these refugees was the training being given to the younger ones with a view to fitting them for an independent life of their own.
  4. The Cabinet agreed that the Secretary of State for External Affairs should produce for the information of the Cabinet a list of other contributors to the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees, and the amounts of their contributions.
    . . .

205. DEA/10170-C-40

Memorandum from Under-Secretary of State for External Affairs to Secretary of State for External Affairs

CONFIDENTIAL [Ottawa], November 8, 1961

Canadian Contribution to Unrwa for 1962

In the Memorandum to Cabinet on this subject, it was recommended that Cabinet approve at the same time Canada’s regular cash contribution of $500,000 and an ad hoc contribution of $1.5 million in wheat flour which it has made for the past four years. In the past these two contributions were dealt with separately, the cash contribution being decided in September for inclusion in the main departmental estimates and the flour contribution being decided in the first half of the year in which the contribution was made.

  1. You have asked whether there would be any serious consequences if the Government were to defer a decision on its 1962 contribution to UNRWA until sometime next year. One of the problems in delaying the present submission to Cabinet is not of direct concern to the Canadian Government. This is the problem presented to UNRWA of organizing its “pipeline” to ensure continuous receipt of flour during the year so that its reserve stock position does not fluctuate too widely. As you will recall, a virtual crisis developed in UNRWA’s “pipeline” management earlier this year when the decision regarding the Canadian contribution was delayed until UNRWA doubted that the even flow of flour could be maintained.
  2. UNRWA could, of course, avoid these uncertainties by relying entirely on the United States to meet its flour requirements. As noted in the Memorandum to Cabinet of September 7, the United States Government has offered to contribute all of UNRWA’s flour requirements as a charge against its regular contribution. From the Agency’s point of view, this would not be desirable since it would result in a serious loss of revenue. If the United States were to provide the $1.5 million worth of flour which has been contributed by Canada in the past, not only would the Agency lose this amount in the form of a Canadian contribution, but it would also lose funds which the United States provides on a 30:70 matching basis. For these reasons, the Agency has so far put off the United States’ offer with the argument that the Canadian Government has in the past made an annual contribution of flour and that unless Canada was no longer in a position to supply the flour, the Agency would not wish to accept the offer.
  3. There are, of course, other considerations in support of the recommendation that both cash and kind contributions be decided at the same time and announced together at the UNRWA Pledging Conference; and these are contained in the Memorandum to Cabinet.
  4. From the Department’s point of view, there is some urgency in obtaining an early Cabinet decision on these contributions. The main estimates are now before the Treasury Board and provision has been made for contributions to UNRWA, subject to Cabinet approval. The Department must, therefore, make an immediate application to Cabinet for approval of the cash contribution at least, unless we are to break with the procedure of past years and in doing so leave ourselves open to suspicion that Canadian support for UNRWA is dwindling. This will undoubtedly be the inference drawn should the Canadian Delegation be unable to make some sort of announcement at the 1962 Pledging Conference for UNRWA which has now been set for November 17. The approval of the cash contribution would indicate the continuance of Canada’s interest in UNRWA. The approval of the wheat flour contribution at the same time would have the added advantage of indicating Canada’s keen interest in the educational and vocational training programme of UNRWA which seems to benefit particularly from our wheat flour contribution.Footnote 100

N.A. R[OBERTSON]

206. DEA/10170-C-40

Memorandum from Under-Secretary of State for External Affairs to Prime Minister

CONFIDENTIAL [Ottawa], November 11, 1961

Canadian Contribution to Unrwa for 1962

The date of the Pledging Conference for UNRWA has now been set for Friday, November 17,Footnote 101 and I understand that Cabinet may give consideration to the question of a Canadian contribution at its next meeting. As the Secretary of State for External Affairs will be away in New York during the week, I thought you might wish to have the attached statement of governmental contributions to UNRWA in 1961 as well as a statement of Canada’s contributions to UNRWA since its establishment in 1950.

  1. In the Memorandum to Cabinet of September 7 on this subject, it was recommended that Cabinet approve Canada’s regular cash contribution of $500,000 and an ad hoc contribution of $1.5 million in wheat flour which it has made for the past four years.Footnote 102 In the past, these two contributions were dealt with separately, the cash contribution being decided in September for inclusion in the main estimates of the Department of External Affairs and the flour contribution being decided in the first half of the year in which the contribution was made. (While Cabinet’s decision of June 16, 1961, covered both the cash and flour contributions for 1961, the cash contribution had in fact been approved earlier, on September 16, 1960.)
  2. Cabinet decision on the cash contribution at least should be taken now unless we are to break with the procedure of past years and in so doing leave ourselves open to suspicion that Canadian support for UNRWA is dwindling. If the Canadian Delegation is unable to make some sort of announcement at the 1962 Pledging Conference on December 6, this may be the inference drawn.
  3. The Minister’s decision to include the flour contribution with the cash contribution this year was based partly on the desire to present to Cabinet a consolidated recommendation which would provide a complete picture of the Canadian contribution to this Agency, and partly on the desire to assist UNRWA in its planning of flour shipments.
  4. Each year UNRWA faces the problem of organizing its “pipeline” to ensure continuous receipt of flour during the year so that its reserve stock position does not fluctuate too widely. Last year, a virtual crisis developed in UNRWA’s “pipeline” management when Canada’s decision regarding its flour contribution was so delayed that UNRWA doubted that the even flow of flour could be maintained.
  5. As noted in the Memorandum to Cabinet, the United States has offered to provide all of UNRWA’s flour requirements as a charge against its regular contribution. While acceptance of this offer would eliminate past uncertainties, the Agency would not wish to take up the United States offer unless and until it is known whether or not Canada is in a position to supply flour which it has contributed in the past.
  6. The approval of the wheat flour contribution at the same time as the cash contribution would, therefore, be of considerable benefit to the Agency. It would have the added advantage of indicating Canada’s keen interest in the educational and vocational training programme of UNRWA which seems to benefit particularly from our wheat flour contributions.

N.A. R[OBERTSON]

PART 2

General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade: Tariff Conference and Dillon round

207. DEA/12447-2-40

Secretary of State for External Affairs to Delegation to GATT Tariff Conference

TELEGRAM ET-15 Ottawa, January 4, 1961
CONFIDENTIAL.
Reference: Your Tel 1654 of Dec 12.Footnote 103
Repeat for Information: Washington, Brussels, Bonn, NATO Paris, Paris.

E.E.C. Agricultural Policy – Tariff Negotiations

We note that Mansholt’s view, in effect, has been that a satisfactory tariff solution to the problem of access to the E.E.C. for outside exporters may not repeat not be feasible at this time, due particularly to the position of Germany. Mansholt thus has considered that it may be necessary to find an interim formula, along the lines described in paragraph 7 of your telegram of December 12.

  1. We agree that the Commission should come forward with an offer which could serve as the basis of fruitful negotiations. You will doubtless wish to test E.E.C. position fully, to ascertain whether a satisfactory solution along the lines of a reasonable tariff, or a reasonable system of levies, may not repeat not be attained.
  2. If such a satisfactory solution is not repeat not in fact attainable, we would not repeat not preclude consideration of the kind of interim solution suggested by Mansholt, with the proviso which you have made (your paragraph 7). If necessary, we are prepared to consider a proposal for a minimum commitment to purchase for a period of years, coupled with a commitment by the Six at the end of the period to negotiate the maximum protection at a level such as to provide access on terms permitting maintenance and growth of trade, under conditions of competition between imported and home produced products.
  3. You will no doubt wish to keep in close touch with USA representatives as well as other exporting countries on this matter, since USA attitude may have a determining influence on position of the Six. We have had few recent indications of their thinking, although we understand their initial reaction to Mansholt suggestion was rather cool. At the same time, we are not repeat not aware that USA has formally rejected current negotiating offer of Six. Our Embassy in Washington may be in a position to furnish up to date information on USA attitude and their assessment of the prospects for a satisfactory settlement.
  4. If you think it worthwhile at this stage, we could make a more detailed analysis of the Mansholt proposal and of the manner in which it could be implemented. Grateful for your advice on this point, which depends on your assessment of prospects.
  5. New Zealand representative has shown us a copy of a telegram from their Geneva Delegation reporting on meeting called by Wyndham-White on December 20, at which he outlined to New Zealand, Australian and Canadian representatives, his views on a settlement through the use of tariff quotas. (From your reference telegram, Mansholt view earlier was that tariff quotas could not repeat not be considered.) As we understand it, Wyndham-White’s formula could be used both for an interim and for a more definitive solution.

208. DEA/14052-8-1-40

Delegation to GATT Tariff Conference to Secretary of State for External Affairs

TELEGRAM 19 [Geneva], January 20, 1961
CONFIDENTIAL.
Reference: Our Tel 16 Jan 19.†
Repeat for Information: Paris, NATO Paris, London, Washington, Bonn, Brussels, Rome, Hague, T & C, Finance, Agriculture, PCO Ottawa from Ottawa.

Article Xxiv:6 Renegotiations – Representations in National Capitals

Following is text of note which subject to your comments we would recommend be presented by our ambassadors in EEC capitals. Since the Article III Committee is scheduled to meet on Tuesday January 24 and Wednesday January 25, these representations should, if possible, be made on Tuesday. We would suggest that the Ambassador in Brussels, in addition to presenting this note to the Belgian Foreign Minister, should also present it (with certain obvious drafting changes) to the Chairman of the EEC Council of Ministers. In addition Brussels may wish to pass copies to appropriate commission’s officials and to members of the Article III Committee. Text begins

The Ambassador of Canada presents his compliments to the Minister of Foreign Affairs of ___ and on instructions from Canadian Government has the honour to refer to the current tariff renegotiations in Geneva under Article XXIV:6 of the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade, and to the forthcoming January 30 meeting of the Council of Ministers of the European Economic Community. It is understood that at this meeting consideration will be given to the question of additional and improved offers which might be made by the community with a view to securing a satisfactory settlement of these renegotiations.

The present renegotiations under Article XXIV:6 of the GATT have as their objective the maintenance between the European Economic Community and other Contracting Parties to the General Agreement of a general level of reciprocal and mutually advantageous trade concessions no repeat no less favourable than those negotiated previously between such Contracting Parties and the Member Countries of the Community.

Canada is an important and traditional trade partner of the six EEC countries, and in recent years the trade has greatly expanded in both directions. This growing trade reinforces the close political and defence links which bind our countries. It is of great importance to the continuations of satisfactory relations between Canada and the countries of the Community that in the future, as in the past, trade should serve as a positive and cohesive force.

The proposed Common Tariff of the EEC provides for increased rates of duty on products of great importance in Canada’s trade the tariffs on which were previously bound to Canada by one or more members of the Community in return for concessions in the Canadian tariff bound to them. The Canadian Government is confident that these member countries and the Community will wish to fulfill their responsibilities by offering adequate concessions to avoid impairment of Canada’s contractual rights.

Since September 1 the Canadian Delegation in Geneva has reviewed with representatives of the Community the EEC’s offers to bind some positions in the Common Tariff, in settlement of the renegotiations under Article XXIV:6. In these discussions the Canadian Delegation has drawn attention to the inadequacy of the Community’s offers so far as Canada is concerned. In the agricultural sector, accounting for over 40 percent of Canada’s exports to the EEC, few meaningful offers have been made. In the field of raw materials the EEC has offered to bind tariffs on a number of items at rates which are unduly high relative to the terms of access previously enjoyed by Canadian exports and which would represent increased barriers to Canada’s trade. Similar considerations apply in respect of a number of industrial items.

Canada’s exports to the community are made up of a narrow range of products. It is the level of the tariff for these which is of critical importance, the offer of lower tariffs for other products or of additional bindings which would not repeat not result in increased Canadian trade cannot repeat not adequately compensate for the upward movement of tariffs of interest to Canada. In an aide mémoire dated December 6, 1960 the Canadian Delegation in Geneva summarized the views it had previously expressed to the representatives of the Community concerning the inadequacy of the offer made by the EEC and indicated those priority items in respect of which it was considered imperative that this offer be materially improved. In this aide mémoire it was made clear that any settlement with Canada must comprise satisfactory arrangements for both agricultural and industrial items. Further, for many important items tariff reductions as well as tariff bindings would be essential.

The Geneva Tariff Conference has now been in session for nearly five months and little or no repeat no progress has been made towards a satisfactory settlement of the Article XXIV:6 renegotations. Such a settlement will have an important bearing on the proposed multilateral tariff negotiations, for and Canada and no doubt for other countries on the maintenance of satisfactory trade relations between Canada and the Community.

The Ambassador of Canada is confident that at the forthcoming meeting of the EEC Council of Ministers the representative of ___ will take fully into account the views of the Government of Canada as expressed in this note, and in the aide mémoire of December 6, and endeavour to ensure that the Community will make substantially improved offers in both the agricultural and industrial sectors which would hold the promise of a satisfactory settlement of the Article XXIV:6 renegotiations with Canada.

209. DEA/14052-8-1-40

Secretary of State for External Affairs to Ambassador in Belgium, Ambassador in Federal Republic of Germany, Ambassador in the Netherlands, Ambassador in France, Ambassador in Italy

TELEGRAM E-218 Ottawa, January 23, 1961
CONFIDENTIAL.
Reference: Tariff Delegation Tel 19 Jan 20, your Tel 56 Jan 24,† our Tel 210 Jan 23.†
Repeat for Information: Tariff Delegation, London, Washington, NATO Paris.

Article XXIV:6 Renegotiations – Representations to Eec

Please present note immediately in form suggested by Tariff Delegation subject to minor amendments indicated below, to appropriate ministers in EEC capitals, to the Chairman of the EEC Council of Ministers, and to the EEC Commission. The Ambassador in Brussels might also wish to pass copies to members of the Article III Committee.

  1. In view of rather different problems which concerns Canada in the renegotiations with the Six, as reflected in our note, we have decided that our representations should be made independently, and that it would be undesirable to have them appear as part of a co-ordinated approach with the UK. Accordingly you need not consult with UK missions regarding the delivery of this note.
  2. The following are amendments to the text contained in Tariff Delegation telegram 19 of January 20:
    Paragraph 3 - Delete the word “many” in the first sentence before the words “products of great importance.” Last sentence, of same paragraph, delete the words “full and” and substitute “concessions to avoid” for “compensation for any.”
    Paragraph 4 - Third sentence - Delete the words “or acceptable.” The end of the sentence would then read simply “few meaningful offers have been made.” Finally, the last sentence of penultimate paragraph should be changed to read as follows: “Such a settlement will have an important bearing on the proposed multilateral tariff negotiations for Canada and no doubt for other countries and on the maintenance of satisfactory trade relations between Canada and the Community.”
  3. To London: You may inform UK authorities that we are going ahead immediately with representations to EEC in hope of influencing Article III Committee discussions. You may also show them copy of our note. In return we would appreciate receiving a copy of the UK note, if the UK decide to go ahead. We are informing Earnscliffe.
  4. To Washington: Please inform appropriate USA officials of our decision to make representations to the Six and to the Chairman of the EEC Council in advance of the January EEC Council meeting. You should also express our hope that the USA will also take steps promptly to inform the Six that their current offers in the Article XXIV:6 renegotiations in Geneva are inadequate.

210. DEA/14052-1-40

Delegation to GATT Tariff Conference to Secretary of State for External Affairs

TELEGRAM 175 [Geneva], March 24, 1961
CONFIDENTIAL.
Reference: Your ET-1337 Oct 5Footnote 104 and our Tel 156 Mar 13.†
Repeat for Information: T & C Ottawa, Finance Ottawa, Agriculture Ottawa, PCO Ottawa, Bank of Canada Ottawa, National Revenue Ottawa from Ottawa, Washington, Paris, Bonn, Hague, Brussels, Rome, London.

Dillon Negotiations – Request List on EEC

In light of the likely outcome of Article XXIV:6 negotiations we have again reviewed the request list suggested in paragraph 3 of your reference telegram. We propose subject to further amendment in the light of the Article XXIV:6 Conclusions the following deletions and additions and would welcome your early comments and suggestions.

  1. Items to be deleted: 03.02AIB salted cod; 10.01 wheat; 10.02 rye; 10.03 barley; 10.04 oats; 11.01A flour of wheat; 17.02C maple sugar and syrup; 39.01BV polyamides; EX 39.02 polystyrene, polyethylene and polyvinyl chloride; 84.52AI calculating machines (electronic); EX 85.15B radio wireless navigational equipment.
  2. Items to be added: 02-01BII edible offals fresh, etc.; 02.06B and C edible offals, salted, etc.; EX 03.01AI fresh, chilled or frozen salmon; 03.02AIC sardines and fish other than herring, etc. (including “mild cured” salmon); EX 04.04 cheddar cheese; 08.06AI and AII apples; 20.02G canned vegetables; EX 44.15 plywood-Douglas fir; 69.02 firebricks; 77.01A unwrought magnesium.
  3. As regards the proposed deletions we feel that the proffered duty free quota for salted cod for Italy should meet our needs and that therefore we should not repeat not seek to negotiate a reduction in the tariff as such. In view of the nature of the prospective wheat settlement and the proposals for a variable levy and Common Market system for coarse grains we consider that wheat coarse grains and flour could not repeat not be negotiated in the Dillon Round (as you know the Six are withdrawing tariff bindings for these items). The rate we have obtained for maple sugar and syrup is already satisfactory. In view of the capacity being installed in Europe and the comments forwarded with Campbell Smith’s letter November 17 and January 31 we have come to the conclusion that it would not repeat not be worthwhile to negotiate the chemicals of traditional interest to Canada under EX 39.01 and EX 39.02. We will of course receive indirect benefit from reductions which USA and UK may be able to obtain for such items. We would welcome your further views on EX 84.52 and EX 85.15. As regards calculating machines UK and Sweden are requesting concessions; we consider that having regard to the limited true Canadian content in these machines it would not repeat not be worthwhile including this item. We are inclined to question the value of a concession on the radio wireless navigational equipment since we understand the product sells on quality design and performance rather than price and 16 perce