Confidential memo from the Prime Minister

Confidential

Memorandum:

I called Finlayson after receiving the attached and informed him that it meant that there was some kind of a condition of mind in British Columbia that was forever bellyaching.

J.G.D.

October 26th, 1962

[page break]

October 25th, 1962

Stamped: “Seen by John G. Diefenbaker”

Prime Minister:

Deane Finlayson phoned from Vancouver last night and asked me to give you the following message (as dictated by him): -

"In my opinion it is extremely important that in this crisis there be absolutely no doubt whatever that the Government of Canada will stand beside the President of the United States and the people of that country in their decision to resist the hostile penetration of Russian Communism in this hemisphere."

One hour after President Kennedy made his TV appearance on October 22nd I wired President Kennedy as follows:

"I feel sure that most Canadian citizens support you in your decision to challenge now (repeat now) the hostile penetration of this hemisphere.

Having done this may health and strength sustain you and all of us in our stand against the menace of Communism.”

“I feel that the people of British Columbia are overwhelmingly behind President Kennedy in the stand that he has taken in this matter, and that it would be disastrous for the Prime Minister personally and the Party generally to appear in any way to have reservations about supporting Kennedy.

“The question is peace and war, life and death. President Kennedy and his spokesmen in the leading nation of the Free World in the face of Russian aggression has challenged them on this and asked them to desist. The threat of the cold war is being extended to take in the whole world. Kennedy has taken the initiative. Khruschov [sic] says we have gone too far.

“A lot of nations will say – where were you in the moment of decision, Since the 22nd when Kennedy made his statement all the countries in the O.A.S. have supported him and offered to send aid to support them.

“Why haven’t we told the people where we stand? Pearson waited for two days and then made a decision sympathetic to the American decision. We should have done this and should do this, and should make this clear. If not, you can write off British Columbia. If the Government won’t stand up then somebody has to take the position in common with others.”

M. Pound


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John Diefenbaker and John F. Kennedy seated and chatting in the Oval Office, White House, Washington, D.C.
John Diefenbaker with John F. Kennedy
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Images

John G. Diefenbaker and Olive Diefenbaker with the Kennedys
Creator: Unknown

Subject: Canada – Head of Government | United States – Head of State | Parliament Hill

Description: John and Olive Diefenbaker with John F. and Jackie Kennedy on Parliament Hill Date Created: [1961]

Date Created: [1961]

Identifier: MG01/XVII/JGD6587XC

John Diefenbaker and John Kennedy
Creator: Unknown

Subject: Canada – Head of Government | United States – Head of State

Description: John Diefenbaker and John Kennedy walking outside the White House, Washington, 1961

Date Created: 1961

Identifier: MG01/XVII/JGD2210XB

Formal photo of John G. Diefenbaker
Creator: Ashley and Crippen

Subject: Canada – Head of Government

Description: John G. Diefenbaker in formal pose sitting on chair, hands on back of chair Date Created: [ca. 1958]

Date Created: [v./ca. 1958]

Identifier: MG01/XVII/JGD1966XC

John Diefenbaker talking with John Kennedy
Creator: Dominion-Wide Photographs

Subject: Canada – Head of Government | United States – Head of State

Description: As crowd looks on, John Diefenbaker and John Kennedy walk down street in Ottawa, 16 May 1961

Date Created: 16 May 1961

Identifier: MG01/XVII/JGD1400

John Diefenbaker with John Kennedy
Creator: Unknown

Subject: Canada – Head of Government | Canada – Head of State | United States – Head of State

Description: John and Olive Diefenbaker with John and Jackie Kennedy and George and Pauline Vanier

Date Created: 16 May 1961

Identifier: MG01/XVII/JGD1388

John Diefenbaker with John Kennedy
Creator: Unknown

Subject: Canada – Head of Government | United States – Head of State | 24 Sussex Drive

Description: John Diefenbaker and John F. Kennedy seated and chatting in the Oval Office, White House, Washington, D.C.

Date Created: 20 February 1961

Identifier: MG01/XVII/JGD1378

John Diefenbaker with John Kennedy
Creator: Unknown

Subject: Canada – Head of Government | United States – Head of State | 24 Sussex Drive

Description: John Diefenbaker and John F. Kennedy seated and chatting in the Oval Office, White House, Washington, D.C.

Date Created: 20 February 1961

Identifier: MG01/XVII/JGD1378


Audio

Telephone conversation between John Diefenbaker and President John F. Kennedy, Whitehorse, Yukon Territory

Creator:Unknown

Subject:Canada – Head of Government | United States – Head of State | Communication Systems – Canada and the United States | Yukon Territory

Description:John Diefenbaker, from the ceremony opening the Whitehorse Microwave System, shares a telephone conversation with United States President John F. Kennedy, who is in the Eastern United States; both men praise the partnership between their two countries which made the Microwave System possible

Date Created:22July1961

Identifier:MG01/XVIII/T58-JGD57

Speech by John Diefenbaker to open 1957 federal election campaign at Massey Hall, Toronto

Creator:Unknown

Subject:Canada – Parliamentarians | Canada – Personalities | Canada – Election Campaigning | Canada – Opposition to International Communism | Canada – Relationship with the United States

Description:John Diefenbaker explains the Progressive Conservative Party’s policies in regards to freedom from communism and the leadership the United States provides, internationally, in ensuring the survival of freedom

Date Created:25April1957

Identifier:MG01/XVIII/T134-PAC6a


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