842.20 Defense/11–446

The Canadian Under-Secretary of State for External Affairs (Pearson) to the Ambassador in Canada (Atherton)14

top secret

Dear Mr. Atherton: As requested, I have given to the Prime Minister the “oral message” from Mr. Truman, on which the President based certain of his remarks to Mr. King last Monday,15 which concerned North American defence questions. This message was not read to Mr. King by the President, but the Prime Minister agrees that, though his talk with the President was in general terms, most of the subjects in the “message” were touched on. He is agreeable that (his message should be used as a basis for discussions between the two Governments.

In this connection, agreement was reached at the White House last Monday that these discussions should be on the political and diplomatic level. It is hoped that they may result in some form of written agreement covering the principles on which defence cooperation between our two countries should be based. Mr. King feels sure that such an agreement can be reached between the two Governments which will preserve their rights and safeguard their legitimate interests, without conflicting in any way with the letter or the spirit of their obligations under the United Nations Charter. The previous record of our two Governments in discussions of this kind is an earnest to Mr. King that such an understanding is possible.

Yours sincerely,

L. B. Pearson
  1. Transmitted to the Department under cover of a note from Mr. Atherton to Mr. Parsons, November 4, not printed.
  2. October 28.