The Assistant Chief of the Division of European Affairs ( Hickerson ) to the Secretary of State


S—Mr. Secretary You will be seeing Mr. Mackenzie King at dinner tonight.1 This brief memorandum on our relations with Canada may be of interest to you in connection with your conversation with Mr. King.

Our relations with Canada are excellent. The only cloud on the horizon is that the extent of our War Department expenditures and activities in western Canada has been so great in connection with the war effort that some people in Canada have privately expressed apprehension. In other words some people feel that we may have a vested interest there and be reluctant to leave when the war is over. That is of course nonsense but not all Canadians realize it. I don’t think this is particularly serious. We have done everything we can to dispel any apprehensions on that point.

The only other thing about our relations with Canada which troubles me is the fact that in spite of the President’s close personal relations [Page 335] with Mr. Mackenzie King and your own personal friendship and close relations with him, and in spite of the traditionally close and direct relations between our two Governments, Canada continues to receive what information she gets about high policy discussions between the White House and London from London rather than direct from Washington.

Mr. Norman Robertson, the Canadian Under Secretary of State for External Affairs, whom you met during the Trade Agreement negotiations in 1938, is here with Mr. King. He told me at lunch today that the Prime Minister might discuss with you the advisability of appointing an American Minister to Canada at an early date.2

There is attached a brief telegram from our Legation in Ottawa summarizing the general political situation in Canada.3

J[ohn] D. H[ickerson]
  1. No record of such a meeting has been found.
  2. The post of American Minister to Canada had been vacant since the death of Jay Pierrepont Moffat, January 24, 1943. The subject of raising the Canadian Legation to Embassy rank was discussed at the Roosevelt–Churchill–Mackenzie King conversation after luncheon on May 20, 1943; see the editorial note, ante, p. 141.
  3. Telegram 28, May 17, 1943, from Ottawa, not printed.