Chapter VI - Eastern Europe and the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics

Part 1

Union of Soviet Socialist Republics

Section A - Pacific Halibut Fishery

626. PCO

Memorandum from Secretary of State for External Affairs to Cabinet

CABINET DOCUMENT NO. 316-61 [Ottawa], August 23, 1961

Soviet Fishing Activities in the Pacific Ocean

For approximately two years trawlers of the Soviet fishing fleet have been operating in the Eastern Bering Sea. So far these operations have been confined to fishing for groundfish and King Crab. However, at the Seventh Annual Meeting of the International North Pacific Fisheries Commission, which was held at Vancouver in November 1960, the official Soviet observer, Mr. Boris Kulikov, made the following public statement:
“We do not specially fish for halibut in this area and halibut occurs in our catches only as individual specimens and serves as a sort of bonus for fishermen. It is hard, therefore, to calculate exactly how many specimens are caught in the trawl nets of our fishermen. I shall make no attempt, however, to hide our growing interest in this particular fish, or to rule out the possibility of starting experimental fishing for halibut in the near future for exploring the existing situation.
“The Soviet fishing industry is certainly interested in the expansion of fishing in the Pacific Ocean. We cannot separate our interests, however, from those of other countries and are always ready to co-operate.”
This statement has been interpreted to mean that the Soviet fleet may commence operations south of the Aleutian Chain this year and has caused considerable apprehension among the Pacific halibut fishermen of the United States and Canada.
The halibut fishery in the North Eastern Pacific Ocean has been developed by Canada and the United States working through the International Pacific Halibut Commission in accordance with a convention first negotiated in 1923. The fishery is under strict management with annual quotas of halibut which are always taken by Canadian and United States fishermen, using set line gear. (Trawl fishing by Canadian and United States fishermen was prohibited many years ago because it is an unselective method.)
After the Second World War, Japanese fishing fleets threatened to extend their fishing operations to the Eastern Pacific. Negotiations led to the signing in 1952 by Japan, United States and Canada of the International Convention for the High Seas Fisheries of the North Pacific Ocean. One of the main purposes of this Convention was to reserve the harvesting of fully utilized resources of the North Pacific Ocean and the Bering Sea to those nations which had contributed at great cost to the development and preservation of the resources. Under this Convention, Japan agreed, among other things, to abstain from fishing halibut in the Convention area off the coasts of Canada and the United States. This Convention is terminable by 12 months notice in 1963 and it seems very likely that Japan will demand its re-negotiation at that time. Moreover, if the Soviet Union were to enter the halibut fishery, Japan has the right, under the International Convention for the High Seas Fisheries of the North Pacific Ocean, to request re-consideration of its agreement to abstain from fishing halibut in the area.
The Soviet Union for its part has consistently opposed the principle of abstention in any of the world fisheries, yet the unrestricted expansion of Soviet fishing activities in the North Pacific might well jeopardize the continuing success of the joint efforts by Canada and the United States which have restored the size of the halibut stocks to levels which approximate the maximum sustainable yield. Therefore, it may well be necessary to include the U.S.S.R. in any future international arrangements for the regulation of the Pacific fisheries.
On March 14, 1961, Cabinet authorized an expenditure of $200,000 to cover one-half the cost of a special investigation by the International Pacific Halibut Commission of the effects of the use of trawlers on the halibut fishery in the area south of the Aleutian Islands. This study is expected to be completed early next year and should provide the additional scientific knowledge required for any future negotiations concerning the possibility of Soviet (and Japanese) participation in arrangements which would provide the maximum protection for Canadian and United States interests in this fishery.
Although it would be undesirable to initiate negotiations with the Soviet Union before the conclusion of this study, it is considered that the statement of Soviet interest and intent concerning expansion of its fishing activities in the North Pacific should not go unchallenged for the following reasons:
(a) If no objection is made by Canada and the United States and the Soviet Union actually sends its fishing fleets into the North Eastern Pacific, it will be more difficult to convince the Soviet Union that it should subsequently restrict its activities. In fact, our silence might encourage the Soviet Union to participate in this halibut fishery.
(b) The fishing industry on the Pacific Coast of Canada is aware of the Soviet fishing activities in the Bering Sea and of the public statement made by the Soviet observer in Vancouver last year. If Soviet trawlers appear in halibut fishing grounds south of the Aleutian Chain this year, the Canadian Government might be criticized by the fishing industry on the Pacific coast of Canada for not having made any attempt to prevent such action following the announcement of Soviet intentions.
The United States Government is proposing to send a Note to the Soviet Government requesting that Soviet trawling operations should be restricted to areas other than those inhabited by halibut stocks which are now under conservation management of the Canada-United States International Pacific Halibut Commission. It has been suggested that if Canada agrees to make similar representations the Canadian Note should be delivered shortly after delivery of the United States Note.
The Soviet Union not being a party to the Tripartite International Convention for the Fisheries of the North Pacific Ocean, it is not possible for Canada and the United States to insist that the U.S.S.R. should abstain from fishing for halibut in the high seas. Consequently, the Soviet Union may reject an appeal to abstain from fishing halibut in the area concerned or even attempt to use the Notes as a pretext for suggesting early negotiations to govern its participation in the fisheries. Nevertheless, these risks are preferable for the reasons given above, to the risks involved in ignoring the stated intentions of the Soviet Union.
I therefore recommend, with the concurrence of the Minister of Fisheries, that:

  1. a Note based on the attached draft should be delivered by the Canadian Ambassador in Moscow to the Soviet Government at an early date, the timing to be determined in consultation with the United States authorities;
  2. in view of the urgency of the matter, a copy of the Note be transmitted to the Soviet Minister of Fisheries under a personal letter from the Deputy Minister of Fisheries for Canada as soon as the original has been delivered; and,
  3. future courses of action be considered in the light of the Soviet response to the Canadian and United States Notes.


I concur
Minister of Fisheries


Draft Note from Ambassador in Soviet Union to Foreign Minister of the Soviet Union

On the instructions of my Government I have the honour to refer to a statement made some months ago by an official of the Soviet Government indicating a growing interest in the halibut fisheries of the Pacific Ocean and suggesting that experimental fishing for this species by Soviet fishing fleets might commence in the near future. I understand that he also stated in this connection that the U.S.S.R. could not separate its interests from those of other countries and is always ready to co-operate.
This statement is of considerable interest to the Canadian Government because of the long standing importance to Canadian fishermen of the Pacific halibut fishery. As the Soviet Government is aware, the Governments of Canada and the United States of America have, in accordance with a Convention first negotiated in 1923, supported an extensive conservation programme designed to develop the stocks of halibut in the territorial waters and high seas off the western coasts of Canada and the United States of America. The two Governments working jointly through the International Pacific Halibut Commission, by extensive and costly research and strict regulation, have not only arrested a decline in the size of the halibut stocks in the Convention areas but have restored them to levels which approximate the maximum sustainable yield.
The effectiveness of the activities of the International Pacific Halibut Commission in the field of conserving marine resources has been widely recognized and its success is due to continuous research and strict regulation of the operations of Canadian and United States fishermen. Such regulation includes the establishment of annual quotas, the designation of opening and closing dates, and the prohibition of trawler fishing methods. In actual fact, the present fishing effort by Canadian and United States fishermen with set line gear is such that the annual quota, establish by the International Pacific Halibut Commission for conservation purposes, is always taken. Available evidence indicates that new entrants into this fishery could not increase the total yield without impairing the conservation program which is absolutely essential to its development and maintenance. In addition, a similar effect is feared if trawling operations for other species of groundfish were to be undertaken in areas where there are large stocks of halibut.
This resource is of significant economic importance to the Pacific coastal communities of Canada. Canadian halibut fishermen consider that they have a well established traditional interest in the fisheries because of the strict limitations which they have accepted for many years under the conservation programme and because of the substantial financial contribution of the Canadian Government to international programmes of research and management. They would therefore view with concern the entry into the halibut fisheries of fishermen from third countries.
The Government of Canada is aware that the Government of the U.S.S.R. is sympathetic to the objectives of conservation programmes for marine resources. It is hoped, therefore, that if the Soviet Government decides to proceed with a further expansion of its trawl fishing operations in the Pacific Ocean or with experimental fishing for halibut, the Soviet Government will take into account the considerations outlined above. Accordingly, the Canadian Government hopes that any such expansion of Soviet fishing operations will take place in areas other than those in which conservation measures are being undertaken by the International Pacific Halibut Commission.
Accept, Sir, the renewed assurances of my highest consideration.


627. DEA/12386-2-40

Ambassador in Soviet Union to Secretary of State for External Affairs

TELEGRAM 667 Moscow, October 3, 1961
Reference: Your Tel X-100 Sep 20.†

Soviet Fishing Activities in the Pacific Ocean

Your reference telegram reached us September 26 and USA Embassy received its instructions September 29. USA note will be delivered by Minister of USA Embassy to Dobrynin, Head of American Division, on October 3. I have asked for early appointment to deliver note to Deputy Foreign Minister Sobolev.


628. DEA/12386-2-40

Ambassador in Soviet Union to Secretary of State for External Affairs

TELEGRAM 677 Moscow, October 5, 1961
Reference: My Tel 667 Oct 3 and Your Tel X-100 Sep 20.
Repeat for Information: Washington from Ottawa.

Soviet Fishing Activity in Pacific Ocean

On October 4 I handed to Deputy Foreign Minister Sobolev a Note addressed to Acting Foreign Minister based on paragraph 3 of your reference telegram.
2. Sobolev said note would be examined by appropriate Soviet authorities and we would receive answer in due course. He enquired “as Dobrynin had done with (McSwebin?)” about name of Soviet official mentioned in first paragraph of note and when he had made statement and I told him.


Section B - Repatriation

629. DEA/232-K-3-40

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

SECRET Ottawa, May 15, 1961

Some months ago I submitted to you a memorandum regarding the entry to Canada and possible representations to the Soviet Government on behalf of the 125 citizens and former residents of Canada who had returned to the U.S.S.R. for permanent residence, who had become disillusioned with the Communist way of life, and who now wished to return to this country. In the memorandum, I asked if you agreed that the Government should assist not only all-Canadian families in their efforts to return to Canada but should also make representations on behalf of families some of whose members might be listed on R.C.M.P. files as having had adverse security records while in Canada, on the grounds that, having become genuinely disillusioned with Communism, they would have a healthy influence on other Canadian residents with pro-Soviet inclinations. After consideration of the matter and some discussion of the questions involved with the Head of the Consular Division, Mr. Gilmour, you expressed disapproval of the suggestion that the Canadian Government make representations on behalf of persons who had adverse security records and suggested that the Minister of Justice might be consulted about the problem.

  1. Subsequently, after there had been opportunity to analyse the various categories of persons affected, a meeting was held to discuss the matter between representatives of the R.C.M.P., the Department of Citizenship and Immigration, and this Department. At that meeting agreement was reached that the following recommendations should be submitted to the Ministers of the three Departments for their approval:
    1. All-Canadian Families without Adverse Security Records, and Families with Canadian and Non-Canadian Members All without Adverse Security Records.
      Representations to the Soviet Government would be made on behalf of persons or families in these groups provided it has first been ascertained from the Department of Citizenship and Immigration that the non-Canadian members are readmissible to Canada as immigrants sponsored by the Canadian members of the family.
    2. All-Canadian Families some Members of which have Adverse Security Records and Families with Canadian and Non-Canadian Members some Members of which have Adverse Security Records. The families in these groups would be kept together insofar as possible (where very young children are involved) and the question whether representations on behalf of the families should or should not be made would depend on an assessment of the security risk involved in readmitting such families to Canada.
      It is recommended that a Committee be established to examine the security records of the persons with adverse security reports in order to determine the degree of seriousness of the adverse record. The Committee would comprise representatives of the R.C.M.P., the Department of Citizenship and Immigration, and External Affairs. The Committee would submit to the three Ministers concerned a summary of the security record in each case examined, with a recommendation whether representations on behalf of the family involved would be justified and whether the person with the adverse record could be considered as meeting the security requirements for entry to Canada.
    3. I should be glad to know if these recommendations meet with your approval. Dr. Davidson and Commissioner Harvison are sending submissions on similar lines to the Minister of Citizenship and Immigration and to the Minister of Justice.


630. DEA/232-K-3-40

Under-Secretary of State for External Affairs to Embassy in Soviet Union

LETTER NO. C-885 Ottawa, November 30, 1961

Repatriates to the Soviet Union Who Wish to Return to Canada – Representations

As you doubtless know, we were stalled for several years on the policy to be applied in making representations on behalf of persons, both Canadian and non-Canadian, who had left Canada to take up residence in the Soviet Union, and who now wish to return to Canada. Disagreement centered on the vexed question of whether representations should be made on behalf of those with adverse security records. In the absence of any agreement at the official level the matter was referred to the Ministers of Citizenship and Immigration, External Affairs and Justice, who, in effect, ruled that representations should not be made on behalf of persons with major adverse security records, but could be made on behalf of those with only minor ones, provided, of course, that in the latter case, the individual concerned was admissible under the Immigration Act. There was also the further proviso that, before any definitive action on making representations in these cases was taken, the recommendations in each individual case must be submitted to the three Ministers concerned. In order to decide on which adverse security records were major, and which were minor, an interdepartmental committee was established, composed of members of the three departments concerned.

  1. The Committee has now met on several occasions and has succeeded in disposing of all, or virtually all, current cases. Agreed recommendations have been prepared covering individuals with adverse security records, or families one or more members of which have adverse security records. In spite of the different approaches of the members of the Committee, a large measure of unanimity was achieved. In one respect, however, agreement was impossible to obtain. This was in the frequently recurring case of the person who is of age, and a Canadian citizen with no adverse security record, but whose parent or parents had a major adverse security record. The minority view was that representations should not be made because of the bad record of the parent or parents and because the individual concerned had been raised in a Communist atmosphere. The majority held the view that it was unfair to condemn the children out of hand and without direct evidence because of the beliefs and actions of the parents, and argued that, where there is no adverse security record for an individual, the question of not making representations should not arise unless the individual concerned is not admissible under the Immigration Act or for some other good reason.
  2. With the current phase of the work of the Committee completed as far as possible, five tentative lists have been drawn up, and copies of these are attached.† These lists are self-explanatory. Subject to your views, and to Ministerial approval, we would be prepared to make representations on behalf of those whose names appear on “A” and “B”, but not on behalf of those whose names appear on “C”, or “D” or, for the time being, “E”. In the case of Miss [nom omis/name omitted], whose name appears on “C”, it is arguable, if only for the sake of consistency, that representations would be justified, but there would be nothing to stop the Committee reviewing her case again if the necessity arose.
  3. Our lists being almost inevitably tentative and incomplete, we would now like you to peruse your files and suggest to us additions or deletions of names. For example, you may feel that, if a repatriate has not approached you within the past, say, two or three years, he may be considered to have adjusted himself to life in the Soviet Union and be no longer desirous of returning to Canada. A somewhat extreme example of this may be the case of Mrs. [nom omis/name omitted], whose name appears on “E” and who, according to our file, has not been heard from for nearly fifteen years. She may, of course, be dead. We would also like you to give us your views on the efficacy and desirability of collective representations and, if you think that such representations might be useful, on their timing.

for Under-Secretary of State
for External Affairs

Part 2


Section A - Visit of Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs of Yugoslavia to Ottawa, March 27-28, 1961

631. DEA/10277-40

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

TELEGRAM 222 New York, February 3, 1961
Reference: Our Tel 221 Feb 3.†

Projected Visit of the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs of Yugoslavia to Canada

During the course of his call on me today, the Yugoslav Permanent Representative stated that he had received instructions from the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs, Popovic, to approach me with regard to the possibility of a visit by the Secretary of State to Canada. The Ambassador said that Popovic would be attending the resumed session of the UN, that he would very much like during the course of that session to take the opportunity to pay a visit to Ottawa and to have further conversations there with the Minister. The Ambassador emphasized the importance which the Yugoslav Government attached to close and frank inter-changes of view with the Canadian authorities. He considered that it would be particularly useful to discuss with us some of the outstanding issues at the forthcoming General Assembly, particularly with regard to disarmament, where he thought that Yugoslav views were close to our own in their emphasis on the need for the uncommitted countries to play a prominent role in facilitating disarmament negotiations and to associate the UN on a continuing basis with any further negotiations on disarmament.

  1. In response to his request I told the Ambassador that I would be glad to transmit to you his suggestions for a visit by the Secretary of State Popovic to Ottawa.

632. DEA/10277-40

Ambassador in Yugoslavia to Secretary of State for External Affairs

TELEGRAM 45 Belgrade, February 9, 1961
Reference: Permis New York Tel 222 Feb 3 to Ottawa.

Visit of Yugoslav Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs to Canada

I alerted you to possibility of a visit by Popovic (My letter January 23† to Mr. Davis) but expected it would be requested less directly than this. Apart from mention by Milatovic of possible private visit on which I did not repeat not comment question has never been raised with me here.

  1. In circumstances I think a refusal would have an unfortunate effect on our relations with Yugoslavs. On the other hand a visit by Popovic in my opinion would have following advantages apart from general consideration of improving political consultation which has proved quite fruitful:
    1. although Yugoslavs voted with non-committed group against our disarmament resolution they were clearly intrigued by our attempt to meet wishes of non-committed group and to associate it with future disarmament negotiations. It is Yugoslavia and India which determine policy of this group on disarmament. It is possible that we would be able to modify their policy as a result of a visit by Popovic to Ottawa though I would not repeat not be too optimistic on this score.
    2. Yugoslavs are entering a new phase of their policy of neutrality.
      Their economic policy is becoming increasingly westernized and they apparently feel need to counter this by following a Soviet lead in foreign policy and their influence on African countries and particularly the UAR is considerable. Anything we can do at this time to keep Yugoslav policy neutral would be advantageous not repeat not only with regard to this part of the world but also non-committed countries of Africa and Asia.


633. DEA/10277-40

Ambassador in Yugoslavia to Secretary of State for External Affairs

TELEGRAM 58 Belgrade, February 16, 1961

Yugoslav Foreign Policy

  1. I was told today in strict confidence by USA Ambassador Rankin that in his farewell call on Tito the latter told him that an exchange of visits between Soviet Foreign Minister Gromyko and Yugoslav Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs Koca Popovic had been arranged in principle for this spring. Later Popovic told Rankin initiative had come from Russians and that Yugoslavs were reluctant to agree. He implied dates had not repeat not been fixed. He added Russians were always trying either to force or entice Yugoslavia back into Soviet bloc.
  2. At the same time Popovic has informed Americans that he is going to visit Yugoslav Ambassador in Washington during his stay at UN and would like to be received by President Kennedy.
  3. In view of this information I told Ambassador in confidence that Popovic had expressed a desire to visit Ottawa and that we had agreed in principle. It would appear that Popovic does not want to visit Moscow, if in fact this is arranged, without comparable Western visits to Ottawa and Washington.


634. DEA/10277-40

Ambassador in Yugoslavia to Secretary of State for External Affairs

TELEGRAM 67 Belgrade, February 24, 1961
Reference: My Tel 61 Feb 20.†

Visit of Popovic

  1. Head of Fourth Political Department Primozic has told me that they supposed that conversations in Ottawa between Mr. Popovic and Mr. Green could cover: general review of international affairs; disarmament; Congo, Laos; economic developments in Europe i.e. attitude to EFTA etc.; the colonial problem; the role of UN. He suggested some time might be devoted to bilateral relations but thought trade might be omitted in view of thorough discussions of this subject at the time of Komar’s visit. But he admitted this would leave little to discuss under this heading except possibly increased exchanges of views on political matters and cooperation in UN.
  2. Promozic also asked if Popovic would be received by Prime Minister to which I replied that I had not repeat not yet received word from you about details of visit. In view of very great importance Yugoslavs attached to this in connection with Komar’s visit I hope it will be possible for Prime Minister to see Popovic even if only for a few minutes.

[R.A.D.] FORD'

635. DEA/12850-Y-2-1-40

Memorandum from Head, European Division, to Protocol Division

CONFIDENTIAL [Ottawa], February 28, 1961

Popovic Visit

During an informal conversation today we asked the Secretary of the Yugoslav Embassy his views on the possible reaction of the Canadian-Yugoslav community to the Popovic visit. He said they had given some thought to this and were confident that since the Foreign Minister would visit only Ottawa there would be no difficulty especially if there was not too much advance notice of the visit. He said that if Popovic were to visit Toronto the Serbian émigré organization there might make trouble, and he recalled the demonstrations which took place last fall at a film showing given by their Consul General.

  1. Velasevic went on to discuss the public relations side of the visit expressing their hope that considerable attention would be paid to Mr. Popovic by the Canadian press. He said this in the context of their hope to make as much as possible out of the visit in terms of Canadian-Yugoslav relations. We mentioned the provision in the draft programme for a press conference or interview and he suggested also there might be a television interview, although he agreed that this might be difficult because of language. He said the Embassy might have Mr. Ristic, the Deputy Chief of the Yugoslav Information Centre in New York who was formerly posted in Ottawa, come for the visit to deal with press relations.


636. DEA/10277-40

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

CONFIDENTIAL [Ottawa], March 8, 1961

Popovic Visit

We learned late yesterday that the “Canadian Serbian National Anti-Communist Committee” will hold a “great Serbian anti-communist manifestation and entertainment” in Toronto on Saturday evening, March 11. The announced aim of the event is “to show solidarity against communists in general … and against Tito’s official representatives in Canada and their agents … and also to draw it to the attention of the Canadian public.” It appears that this is the same Committee which organized demonstrations in front of the Yugoslav Consulate General in Toronto on the Yugoslav national day, November 29, last year. Since the organizers of this meeting could, if they wished, use the occasion to make a public attack on Mr. Popovic or on his forthcoming visit to Ottawa, if they were to know about it, we considered recommending the postponement of the public announcement of the visit which is scheduled to be made tomorrow. However, in view of the fact that we had already asked for one postponement for administrative reasons, and because any further postponement would be basically in the Yugoslav interest, we sought the views of the Yugoslav Ambassador informally on the subject. His reaction was that as the arrangements for the press releases were already confirmed, he was not disposed to recommend any change just because of the activities of a small extremist émigré group. We did not therefore propose any change in the arrangements.


637. DEA/10277-40

Ambassador in Yugoslavia to Secretary of State for External Affairs

DESPATCH NO. 233 Belgrade, March 14, 1961

Visit of Yugoslav Foreign Minister to Canada and Possible Visit to the USSR

The other day when I was repaying the visit of the new Soviet Ambassador I told him that the Yugoslav Foreign Minister, Koca Popovic, would be making a visit to Ottawa towards the end of March. He looked quite taken aback but quickly recovered and kept saying that that was good. Anything that contributed to peaceful co-existence was good. I then asked him if dates had been fixed for the exchange of visits between Mr. Popovic and Mr. Gromyko. Again he looked somewhat taken aback but at once said that no dates had been arranged that he knew of. He added that the Foreign Ministers were in New York and if they wished to agree on the details of an exchange of visits, which remained at the present time only an agreement in principle, then presumably they could do so. The United States Ambassador, incidentally, tells me that he believes that Mr. Popovic will not now visit Moscow in view of the deterioration of relations between the USSR and Yugoslavia.

  1. The Polish Ambassador reproached me rather indignantly at the Danish national day reception on Saturday with having kept the visit of Koca Popovic so secret. He gave the impression that it came as a complete surprise and that there was some sinister reason for our having prevented any news of it from getting out. I told him that our Government happened to work in a rather quiet way and that we saw no particular reason for advancing news beforehand.


638. DEA/10277-40

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

CONFIDENTIAL Ottawa, March 23, 1961

Visit of Yugoslav Foreign Minister and U.N.

Your talks with Foreign Minister Koca Popovic will no doubt be concerned to a large extent with U.N. matters in which Canada and Yugoslavia have been more apt to see eye to eye than on other aspects of international relations. This is perhaps mainly due to the fact that since their quarrel with the Russians the Yugoslavs have leaned towards the U.N. for a good deal of their support as well as to the neutral countries in the Afro-Asian and Latin American blocs.
It is against this background the Yugoslav Ambassador, after visiting his Foreign Minister in New York to make preparations for the Ottawa visit, went out of his way on his return to Ottawa, to stress to the Department Yugoslavia’s concern about the current cold war atmosphere in New York and to Soviet responsibilities for it.
Mr. Milatovic, in a talk with Mr. Ignatieff on March 23, said that when Mr. Gromyko saw Mr. Popovic on Tuesday, March 21, just after the former’s speech in the Plenary Session, the Yugoslav Foreign Minister expressed his disappointment at the tough attitude which the Soviet Foreign Minister had taken. Mr. Popovic apparently pointed out that the Soviet tough line not only disappointed the high hopes of a majority of members of the U.N. that there would be better chances of a détente in view of the change in the administration in Washington but almost inevitably produced a tough reaction from the United States. Milatovic went on to say that there was not much hope for progress on any of the important issues such as disarmament or the Congo unless there was improvement in the international atmosphere. When asked in what particularly way the Yugoslav attitude differed from the Soviet in this regard, Mr. Milatovic said that instead of attacking the Secretary-General and United Nations policy in the way that Mr. Gromyko had done, it would have been more sensible to state specifically how the Security Council Resolution on the Congo should be implemented or what alternative policies would be more likely to bring about a peaceful solution.
It might be interesting to pursue this apparent difference of attitude between the Soviets and Yugoslavs in relation to such specific questions as the Congo, disarmament (European or United Nations Divisions might suggest here some of the points which the Minister might take up with Mr. Popovic).

639. DEA/10277-40

Memorandum from Special Assistant to Secretary of State for External Affairs to European Division

CONFIDENTIAL [Ottawa], March 24, 1961

Visit of the Yugoslav Foreign Minister

On March 22 the Prime Minister received a large number or representations from Members of Parliament, leaders of ethnic groups and private citizens protesting against the forthcoming visit of Mr. Popovic to Canada. The Prime Minister was seriously concerned about these protests.

  1. A delegation representing a number of Serbian organizations called on the Prime Minister at 2 p.m. after having been told earlier that he would not be able to receive them. Following the meeting the Prime Minister said that he had explained to them that however strongly one might feel about communism, it was nevertheless a fact that if the Popovic visit were to be cancelled now it would be regarded as an act of gross diplomatic unfriendliness. The Prime Minister pointed out that the visit was at Foreign Minister level and said that he himself would not be seeing Popovic.
  2. I gave the foregoing information to the Under-Secretary and others concerned on the afternoon of March 23; this note is for the records.


640. DEA/12850-Y-2-40

Ambassador in Yugoslavia to Secretary of State for External Affairs

TELEGRAM 101 Belgrade, March 26, 1961

Popovic Visit

At his request I called last evening on Acting Under Secretary Brilej who had just been informed by Yugoslav Embassy Ottawa that Toronto Yugoslav immigrant group was planning hostile demonstration tomorrow in Ottawa for arrival of Popovic and during whole visit. Brilej requested that I inform you before Popovic’s arrival that “Yugoslav Government (asked?) and expected that all necessary measures will be taken in order to prevent not repeat not only physical attacks but also all kinds of other offences” against him Yugoslav Government and President Tito.

  1. Brilej also gave (me to?) understand that when Milatovic made representations to Ignatieff about planned demonstration latter was not repeat not as forthcoming in promising protection as Yugoslavs would have wished and that was why he had called me in. He rather forcefully described immigrant leaders as collaborators who now wished to destroy unity of country. Pointing out (group corrupt) civil liberties guaranteed under our system of government he stressed that even for Khrushchev Americans had provided adequate protection.
  2. Only comments I made were that we were very happy to receive Popovic and that I would pass on to you above message without delay.

641. DEA/10277-40

Record of Conversation between Secretary of State for External Affairs and Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs in Yugoslavia, March 27, 1961

CONFIDENTIAL [Ottawa], April 5, 1961
Note: Although at the beginning Mr. Popovic said he would prefer to use an interpreter, he conducted all the discussions in the English language, referring only on occasion to his advisers for individual words or phrases.

Mr. Popovic said that the Yugoslav Government saw a great need for reaching some solution on disarmament, and noted that his Government had participated to the extent permitted by circumstances. As a result of his recent conversations in New York, he could not see why it is not possible to resume negotiations. Mr. Green said he thought it a hopeful sign that the U.S. and Soviet delegations had agreed on the timing of a resumption of negotiations, although there still was a lack of agreement on the composition of the negotiating body. He expressed the Canadian interest in having the U.N. involved in the renewed negotiations and Mr. Popovic said they also considered it essential to keep the question near the United Nations. Mr. Green stressed the importance attached by the Canadian Government to the involvement of the smaller nations and to their assuming some responsibility in disarmament matters. Referring to his recent discussions in Washington, Mr. Green thought that the new U.S. Administration was interested in progress in the disarmament field and intended to adopt a practical approach. Mr. Popovic noted that the U.S. Administration was engaged in new studies on this problem and felt that if these produced new proposals they would make a valuable contribution.
Mr. Popovic said that from a practical viewpoint there had been no progress whatever on disarmament: the great powers may have found lines of contact through which discussions may develop and there has been some real progress in the field of nuclear testing which is helpful, but thus far there has been no practical result in terms of actual disarmament. The Yugoslavs were concerned about the possibility that additional powers, notably China and France, would develop atomic weapons and suggested that any agreement which might be concluded should cover such additional nations even though they had not participated in the discussions. Mr. Popovic expressed the Yugoslav awareness that this is a very complicated question and stressed the need for a minimum of mutual faith in order that progress may be made. He thought that Canada and Yugoslavia had a part to play in this respect. Mr. Green suggested that there was some hard bargaining on this subject and that the major powers were adopting perhaps more extreme positions than was necessary because of the basic doubts which existed on both sides about the good intentions of the other.
On the question of the forum for future negotiation, Mr. Popovic thought that if there were new American proposals, the various formulas already put forward for the negotiating forum might not be appropriate and a new one might have to be sought. He felt, however, that nations which are not members of power blocs should be included. When asked his views on Yugoslavia being a possible additional member of the negotiating body, Mr. Popovic replied laconically that it seemed that neither side would have sufficient confidence in Yugoslavia to propose its participation.
Beginning this discussion, Mr. Green said he felt the Laos problem was important as showing how willing the Soviet Union may be to reduce tensions: if Mr. Khrushchev’s reply to the U.K. proposal was unfavourable, there could be very serious developments. Mr. Popovic expressed the opinion that the serious situation in Laos had arisen not from causes native to this small country itself but because the great powers had intervened. It was therefore their responsibility to see to an improvement in the situation which would allow Laos to develop in a normal manner. He noted that the U.S. attitude to this problem had changed and was now in favour of a neutral government. A few months ago this was not so, and the change was for the better. Mr. Green noted that both the Soviet Union and the U.S. seemed now to want a neutral Laos and this should provide a basis for understanding.
Mr. Popovic expressed grave concern over developments in the Congo, noting also that President Tito was deeply concerned. He laid prime responsibility for the Congo situation on Belgium and thought that the U.N. should act now to condemn Belgian intervention and set a time for the departure of all Belgians from the Congo. He suggested that if the Congo problem was resolved on Western lines, this solution would dissolve within two years and the resultant situation would be worse for the West. Mr. Green noted that the Belgian Government maintains it cannot control the activities of individual Belgians in the Congo, to which Mr. Popovic replied he did not find this Belgian claim convincing. Mr. Green said he understood that there were Belgian advisers behind Gizenga and indeed around all the Congolese leaders. Mr. Popovic replied that this proved his point, that Belgian influence was generally bad in the Congo. In more general terms he said the U.N. should have applied force before now, but said the U.N. claimed that when they had troops they had no mandate; now they have a mandate, they have no troops.
Other Topics
In response to Mr. Green’s lead into a discussion on developments in the Commonwealth, Mr. Popovic commented that the recent Conference showed that the Commonwealth is aware of the new conditions in which international affairs will develop, and wishes to recognize the new trend in a positive fashion.
On the question of the Austrian-Italian dispute over South Tyrol, Mr. Popovic expressed Yugoslavia’s general interest in a peaceful solution of this problem between two of its neighbours. Apart from this, Yugoslavia was also interested in agreements which would provide guarantees protecting minority groups.
Mr. Green expressed concern over European economic developments, commenting that trade restrictions arising from development of EEC and EFTA would create considerable difficulties for Canada. Mr. Popovic said Yugoslavia was also worried for, although they were a European country and had frequently held discussions with members of both economic groupings, they had no success thus far in avoiding undesirable consequences for Yugoslavia. Both Ministers expressed concern about the effect of the EEC on their respective agricultural exports to member countries.
In discussing Latin America Mr. Popovic indicated that Yugoslav relations with various Latin American countries were developing well. He noted that Tito was the first head of state to receive an official invitation from the new Brazilian President. Mr. Popovic commented that the régime in Cuba was better than that which existed before Castro but the lack of experience of the leaders had created difficulties. He put the chief blame on U.S. policies and felt that if the United States had not reacted so sharply, things would not be so bad now. He commented briefly on the position of small countries who have oppressive neighbours and said it was natural for such countries to seek aid from abroad. He believed that the Cuban régime was not communist but that it might move in this direction, a development which would be largely the fault of U.S. policies.
On the question of China, Mr. Green noted that the problem of Formosa was of great importance. Mr. Popovic noted that the Chinese situation was abnormal; the communist government was in charge and China was destined to play an important role in world affairs. He suggested that everyone loses if China is kept isolated, and that more contact might encourage the progressive and more liberal factions which might lead to some development in the Chinese attitude.

642. DEA/10277-40

Record of Conversation between Secretary of State for External Affairs and Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs in Yugoslavia, March 28, 1961

CONFIDENTIAL [Ottawa], April 5, 1961

Berlin and Germany

The Ministers agreed that while neither of their countries was directly involved, both maintained an active interest in the Berlin problem. Mr. Popovic offered the opinion that the situation in Berlin was abnormal and that the division of Germany could not be considered satisfactory. In the Yugoslav opinion this was not a question of major importance but rather was one used by the great powers to create or exacerbate tension. He felt that some provisory solution should be possible and believed that if the Berlin problem were allowed to continue it would not in itself be dangerous, but could be the focus of unfortunate developments if relations between the great powers deteriorated. On German reunification Mr. Popovic said that reunification in principle was desirable for all divided countries but in the case of Germany, the political influences were so complex that there was no near prospect. The Yugoslavs were not opposed to reunification, although they would be interested only in a reunified Germany which could be a useful partner in international relations.
Eastern Europe
Mr. Popovic said it appeared the situation in Hungary had now become stabilized and Yugoslav relations were developing without notable difficulty. Speaking generally, Mr. Popovic suggested that for all the bloc countries (and also for countries in Western Europe) improvement in international relations would have the effect of allowing liberalization of governmental policy and an improvement in the situation of the peoples. So long as military considerations predominate, this is not possible.
The French Community
Mr. Green commented that President de Gaulle’s policy in the French Community was having good results. Mr. Popovic thought that the governments of Community members which are closest to France may not last long in their present condition; they engage too much in “colonialist activities,” e.g. on Algeria they have given France too much support. He argued that new African governments need not break their relations with the West but that they should pay more attention to the nationalist and independent trends in Africa.
Soviet-Chinese Relations
Mr. Popovic said there are obviously some differences between China and the Soviet Union which he attributed in part to the weight of China on the international scene. He suggested that, given the rising influence of China, the Soviet Union has tried to avoid difficulties (whereas the U.S. has accumulated them) with China, but in spite of their considerable efforts the Russians have not been able to avoid bilateral problems with the Chinese. When asked about Albania, Mr. Popovic declined comment except to suggest that the Albanian problem largely arose from internal difficulties. Comparison of Canadian and Yugoslav Positions
Mr. Popovic said that the Yugoslavs are often accused of seeking to balance their relations between the Eastern and Western blocs. In fact, their position is more than a mere balancing act: they are attempting actively to develop constructive policies in relation to all areas and countries. He suggested that their position is unique in Europe for, whereas other European countries which are not aligned in blocs are merely neutral, Yugoslavia pursues an active foreign policy. Mr. Green agreed that this was a sensible policy for Yugoslavia and suggested that Canada has attempted to follow a somewhat similar line, although, of course, there were limitations following from membership in NATO. In this connection, Mr. Popovic thought that the need for solidarity on international questions must create difficulties for the formation of national foreign policies, e.g. there might otherwise have been less Canadian support for the policies of West European countries, such as France in Algeria. To Mr. Green’s comment that NATO did not operate as a bloc at the United Nations and that Canada has opposed moves in the direction of such a policy, Mr. Popovic replied that it had seemed to them on occasion NATO did act as a bloc in the U.N.
In his concluding remarks, Mr. Popovic expressed the belief that it was very useful to have conversations between Foreign Ministers. He hoped also that these conversations could be continued between the respective missions and foreign ministries. He commented that it was not easy to follow a foreign policy directed between the two power blocs but that Yugoslav policy would continue to be directed towards this end. Taking up this point, Mr. Green said that although some Canadians thought it would be good for Canada to be released from her NATO responsibilities, he did not agree and felt that Canada can make its best contribution in world affairs as a member of NATO.

643. DEA/10277-40

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

TELEGRAM S-96 Ottawa, March 29, 1961
Repeat for Information: London, Washington, Permis New York, Paris, Belgrade, Bonn, Oslo, Brussels, Copenhagen, Hague, Rome.
By Bag from London to Moscow, Warsaw, Prague, Athens, Ankara, Lisbon.

Visit of Yugoslav Foreign Minister

I think it would be appropriate for you to make a brief report in Council or in PAC on the visit to Ottawa this week of Koca Popovic, the Yugoslav Foreign Minister. Your comments should be based on the communiqué issued today, a copy of which has gone to you by wire and on the following additional observations.

  1. Views were exchanged between Mr. Popovic and myself in a friendly and informal manner during two long discussion periods and at the social gatherings. We did not reach any agreed conclusions but I consider it valuable to have had the occasion to discuss the major international questions personally and at length with him. Popovic carefully followed the current Yugoslav line but spoke in amiable and generally reasonable terms. The fact that he conducted the conversation throughout in English added to the effectiveness of the exchange. We had been told he preferred French for official discussions and indeed he commented to this effect at the beginning of the talks. However he showed himself fully confident and at ease in English except for the odd phrase. Other delegations may be interested in this fact.
  2. Although the visit did not accomplish anything concrete, it has, we believe, served a useful purpose in providing occasions for a full exchange of views. By and large, it went off very well and we understand that Popovic was content with the conversations. The original Yugoslav initiative was probably connected with their continuing desire to balance contacts with the West and the Soviet bloc, and may have been influenced by the invitation which we understand has been given to Popovic to visit Moscow. Our positive response, which was to take the opportunity of the Foreign Minister’s current presence on this continent for the resumed U.N. session, was also influenced by our desire to recognize Yugoslavia’s independent position and to demonstrate the importance we attach to it.


644. DEA/10277-40

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

CONFIDENTIAL [Ottawa], March 29, 1961

Popovic Visit

We understand that the Soviet Embassy is interested in learning whether Mr. Popovic was received by the Prime Minister during his visit to Ottawa. We can anticipate that other diplomatic missions may also make similar enquiries since they will be interested in the way the visit was conducted. The Soviet Embassy enquiry may also be connected with the fact that Mr. Popovic may be visiting Moscow within the next few months. He will try to see Mr. Khrushchev and the arrangements made here may provide a significant precedent.

  1. My inclination would be to reply to such enquiries by giving them a copy of the press release and indicating that the conversations with Mr. Popovic, which were private and confidential, were carried on mainly by yourself but that during his stay in Ottawa there were a number of social gatherings in the course of which he also met other members of the Canadian Government, including the Prime Minister. Do you agree with this line of reply?

for Under-Secretary of State
for External Affairs

645. DEA/10277-40

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

CONFIDENTIAL [Ottawa], March 29, 1961

Popovic Visit

While a summary is being prepared in the European Division on the consultations which you had with the Foreign Minister of Yugoslavia on March 27 and 28, I should report a remark which Mr. Popovic made in a conversation with Mr. Ignatieff, which throws some light on the significance attached to this visit by the Yugoslav Government. Mr. Popovic said that he was planning to go to Moscow for talks with the Soviet Government in May. This had been arranged when Mr. Popovic had talks with Mr. Gromyko in New York. The Yugoslav Foreign Minister added that he hoped to see Mr. Khrushchev as Gromyko seemed to lack freedom of action and had to refer back to Mr. Khrushchev for instructions on anything that mattered. It would be important in connection with the visit to be able to establish that Yugoslavia was maintaining a balance between East and West, and to illustrate this claim by reference to his visit to Ottawa as well as his talks with United States leaders. Mr. Popovic said that he had had meetings with Mr. Rusk, Mr. Dillon and Mr. Bowles in Washington as well as with Mr. Stevenson in New York.

  1. In the course of his talks with you, you will recall that Mr. Popovic stressed that the Yugoslav foreign policy would continue to be unaligned with any blocs, and that his government would continue to cultivate its associations with other countries that were unaligned such as India, Burma, Indonesia, Ghana, Tunisia and the United Arab Republic.
  2. Mr. Popovic indicated to Mr. Ignatieff that he was generally happy about his visit to Ottawa.

for Under-Secretary of State
for External Affairs


Footnote 1

Approved by Cabinet on September 14, 1961.

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Footnote 2

Oct. 5/61. This information communicated to D/M of Fisheries, Mr. Clark.
Oct. 6/61. Telephoned this information to Mr. Ozere who will assist Mr. Clark in preparation of a personal letter to Soviet Minister of Fisheries enclosing a copy of the note presented by Ambassador and requesting cooperation. This action was authorized by Cabinet. [Auteur inconnu/Author unknown]

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Footnote 3

See Volume 27, documents 508, 509.

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Footnote 4

OK. H.C. G[reen] 27/5

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Footnote 5

The names have been omitted in accordance with the provisions of the Privacy Act

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Footnote 6

Invitation already issued (tel S-42 to Bgrad). [Auteur inconnu/Author unknown]

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Footnote 7

P. speaks perfect French – so he could appear on the French network. [Henry F.] D[avis]

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Footnote 8

OK. H.C. G[reen]

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Footnote 9

See document 682.

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Footnote 10

See Canada, Department of External Affairs, Press Releases, 1961/16.

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Footnote 11

NO. Dept. should give out no information relating to the PM. R. C[ampbell] 29/3
HBR[obinson] confirmed. He is consulting PM re replies to press & confid[ential] enquiries [by] Embassies. R. C[ampbell]

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