Handwritten: “Vault, 3 of 24”

FM WASHDC JAN31/63 TOP SECRET NO RPT NO DISTRUBTION

To external 326 emergency

For Prime Minister and Minister

Nuclear Weapons: USA CDN NEGOTIATIONS

We were called to the state dept at 5:45 pm this evening and handed copies of a press announcement scheduled for release at 6:15 pm. Text in following tel.

  1. Willis Armstrong, after apologizing that it had not rpt not been possible to give us more advance notice of press announcement, said that he was under instructions to make certain supplementary comments, as follows.
  2. First, there had been four years of discussions on this problem. Every effort to solve it had proved abortive, and [quote] not rpt not really for technical reasons. [unquote]
  3. Second, the USA authorities had examined thoroughly the possibilities of storing components in USA on a stand by basis but had concluded that this was a contrived solution which no rpt not only might fail to strengthen continental air defences but might also create added confusion at times of growing emergency. Moreover, in USA view the stand by solution contemplated would mislead public opinion as to the state of air defences.
  4. Third, USA authorities did not rpt not see the relevance of refs to the Nassau Agreement in the context of the USA CDN negotiations on nuclear weapons for CDN forces in Europe. (Honest John and F104G) were designed for nuclear weapons. If they were to be assigned to a NATO nuclear force under the Nassau agreement they would be fully effective only if equipped with nuclear weapons.
  5. Fourth, with regard to the argument about the obsolescence of weapons systems, there was in USA view a difference between (a) cancelling weapons systems which were becoming obsolete and (b) immobilizing modern weapons by not rpt not taking parts which were …2
  6. Page Two 326

    Essential to the full operational effectiveness of such weapons.

  7. Armstrong volunteered certain additional comments. He said that the purpose of the statement was primarily to set out in factual terms the status of the problem as USA admin saw it in the light of the PMs speech in the House on Jan 25. There had been much press comment and speculation, largely in CDA but some of it from USA, which in the USA view made it all the more necessary to state clearly USA side of the case. No rpt no ref had been made in the statement to the fact that the disclosure of the negotiations had been made in Ott without advance notification to USA but this factor had caused much concern in WashDC. He went on, however, to draw attention to the fact that the announcement was so drafted as not rpt not to preclude further negotiations.
  8. Armstrong said that it was realized that the publication of this statement would cause concern and controversy in Ott but he said that after consideration of all the circumstances they had decided that it was impossible to withhold comment.
  9. With regard to para5 above Armstrongs attention was called to the misinterpretation which he had implied in his comments on the PMs refs to the Nassau Agreement. Armstrong was also reminded of the views I had expressed on Jan 29 to Tyler asst sec for European affairs regarding (a) the positive possibilities of continuing negotiations, as set forth in the PMs speech of Jan 25. And (b) the unfortunate effects which a public statement by USA Govt would have in CDA. As to Armstrongs remarks on the substance of the negotiations, we said that we would withhold comment until we received instructions from you

Ritchie


John Diefenbaker talking to fighter pilots at Canadian Forces base, Soest, Germany
John Diefenbaker speaking with fighter pilots

Media and Document Gallery

Images

John Diefenbaker with John F. Kennedy
John Diefenbaker, Dwight Eisenhower, and their aides at table
John Diefenbaker with George Pearkes and General Lauris Norstad
John Diefenbaker speaking with fighter pilots

Audio

Speech by John Diefenbaker to the Nova Scotia Progressive Conservative Association, Halifax

Creator: Progressive Conservative Party of Canada

Subject: Canada – Leader of the Official Opposition | Canada – Nuclear Weapons

Description: John Diefenbaker chastises the Liberal Party of Canada for what he claims was their unfounded criticism that his Government had made a commitment to United States to acquire nuclear weapons

Date Created: 16 November1963

Identifier:MG01/XVIII/T200-PAC150a

Speech by John Diefenbaker at a meeting of the Canadian Club, Ottawa Creator: Progressive Conservative Party of Canada

Creator: Progressive Conservative Party of Canada

Subject: Canada – Head of Government | Canada – Nuclear Weapons

Description: John Diefenbaker addresses the threat of nuclear war, indicating that Canada will not consider the use of nuclear weapons unless it has full joint control of the weapons

Date Created: 24 November1960

Identifier:MG01/XVIII/T213-PAC57a

Speech by John Diefenbaker at the 46th Annual Kiwanis International Convention, Toronto

Creator: Progressive Conservative Party of Canada

Subject: Canada – Head of Government | Canada – National Defence

Description: John Diefenbaker advocates for a strong defence for Canada, brushing aside the wishes of those who want Canada to remove itself from defence commitments and embrace neutrality

Date Created: 3 July1961

Identifier:MG01/XVIII/T209a-c-PAC54

Documents

Letter from from F.E. Boaten, General Secretary, Accra Assembly, Ghana, to John Diefenbaker

Creator: F.E. Boaten

Subject: Canada – Head of Government | Ghana – Personalities | Canada – Nuclear Weapons

Description: Boaten introduces the Accra Assembly, an organization of non-aligned, non-governmental organizations that seeks world peace and requests financial support for the organization

Date Created: 18 December1962

Identifier:MG01/XII/F/342 Volume 104 (080859 – 080861)

Letter from the Defence Liaison Commission to H.B. Robinson

Creator: Defence Liaison Commission

Subject: Canada – Head of Government | Canada – Cabinet Ministers | Canada – Nuclear Weapons

Description: Covering letter and enclosed document entitled “Chronology of Government Statements Regarding Negotiations on Acquisition and Storage of Nuclear Weapons

Date Created: 4 November1960

Identifier:MG01/XII/B/236 Volume 37 (025648 – 025668)

Draft Statement Regarding the Acquisition and Control of Nuclear Weapons for Possible use in the House of Commons

Creator: Unknown

Subject: Canada – Head of Government | Canada – National Defence | Canada – Nuclear Weapons

Description: Presents material to be used by Government officials when answering questions in the House of Commons regarding acquisition and control of nuclear weapons

Date Created: 16 February1959

Identifier:MG01/XII/F/100 Volume 104 (071558 – 071561)

Memorandum for the Prime Minister: Re: Nuclear weapons; Policy Statement

Creator: R.B. Bryce

Subject: Canada – Head of Government | Canada – National Defence | Canada – Nuclear Weapons

Description: Bryce, Clerk of the Privy Council, advises Diefenbaker on tactics for formal policy on nuclear issues, urging him to make the issues public to clear up rumors, and to bring the issue to a House of Commons debate

Date Created: 8 February1961

Identifier:MG01/XII/F/100 Volume 104 (071585 – 071587)

Nuclear Weapons for Canadian Forces

Creator: Unknown

Subject: Canada – Head of Government | Canada – National Defence | Canada – Nuclear Weapons

Description: Draft statement prepared for Diefenbaker regarding nuclear weapons for Canadian forces, in which Diefenbaker declares that the Government desired to limit the spread of nuclear weapons, yet was considering storing such weapons on Canadian bases

Date Created: 14 January1960

Identifier:MG01/XII/F/100 Volume 104 (071575 – 071576)

Telegram to the Prime Minister

Creator: Charles Ritchie

Subject: Canada – Head of Government | Canada – Cabinet Ministers | Canada – Nuclear Weapons

Description: Briefing for Prime Minister on forthcoming US State Department press announcement regarding negotiations on Canadian acquisition of nuclear weapons

Date Created: 31 January1960

Identifier:MG01/XII/D/151 Volume 86 (060563 – 060564)