Memorandum of Conversation, by the Secretary of State


At luncheon alone with Ambassador Wrong and Mr. Pearson I mentioned Mr. Wrong’s note1 which suggested that, in view of the action taken by the Colonial Airlines in enjoining consideration of the Canadian Company’s application for a route, the Canadian Government might have to reconsider rights at Gander and elsewhere. I said that I hoped that the note was meant to register the great importance which the Canadian Government attached to the use of all the energies of this Government to sustain our position in the courts and to get forward with the execution of the agreement, and that it did not mean that the Canadian Government was going to take retaliatory measures because some litigant had tied up the Executive Branch here. The latter course could not possibly accomplish any good and might lead to somebody’s dragging red herrings around by charging that the Canadian Government was attempting to prevent calm, judicial consideration of the case. I also pointed out that certain articles appearing in the New York Times were having the effect of keeping this matter stirred up.

Mr. Pearson inquired whether the Department of State and the Department of Justice were going to participate in the litigation to sustain the Government’s point of view and asked whether, in my opinion, this litigation might drag on for several years. I said that both departments were cooperating earnestly in trying to press the litigation to a quick and successful conclusion, and, if the temporary injunction were lifted, it was my understanding that the CAB would press forward vigorously with its proceedings.

This seemed to reassure Mr. Pearson and he told me that no precipitant action would be taken. I got the impression that this note was something which Mr. Pearson had originated and that we could deal with him successfully in regard to it.

I also mentioned the matter of the Newfoundland bases, telling him that we were trying to work the thing out in a satisfactory way with the NME and that our idea was that when we got our own governmental position in satisfactory shape to work the matter out with the Canadians through the Permanent Joint Defense Board. I gathered [Page 411] that this was a satisfactory statement to him, and that the Canadians would proceed along these lines with us.

D[ean] A[cheson]
  1. Aide-Mémoire, September 1, 1949, p. 406.