The Secretary of State to the Embassy in Canada

No. 67

The Secretary of State refers to the Department’s instruction No. 9, dated July 23, and to previous correspondence regarding the request of the United States Air Force for the use of sites for global communications facilities near Ernest Harmon and Pepperrell Air Force Bases in Newfoundland.

[Page 898]

The Department understands that the Canadian Government has not yet replied to the Embassy’s letter of July 25,1 in which a draft note on the subject was transmitted to the Canadian authorities. The matter was discussed informally at the meeting of the Permanent Joint Board on Defense on August 21–23, 1951, at which time the Acting Department of External Affairs Member stated that the United States request “would have to be presented to the Cabinet”. No information has been received since that time as to whether this action has been taken.

The Officer in Charge is requested to approach again the Canadian Government with a view to obtaining approval of the project. The Department will appreciate being informed of the present status of the matter.2

  1. Not printed.
  2. In despatch 396, October 18, not printed, the Embassy reported that the United States request had been in the hands of the Canadian service departments but was now being considered in the Department of External Affairs, which planned to submit it to the Cabinet in the near future. The major consideration in the Department of External Affairs, the Embassy reported, was how to reconcile the U.S. request for a 20-year lease with the position taken by the Prime Minister in May against the granting of any more long term leases for defense purposes; (711.56342/10–1851). See memorandum of conversation, May 11, p. 886.