Memorandum by the Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for European Affairs (Bonbright) to the Deputy Under Secretary of State (Matthews)


Subject: Recent developments regarding possible Canadian participation in the U.S. Northeast Command

Reference is made to Mr. Perkins’ memorandum of October 17, 1951,1 regarding General Vandenberg’s proposal in the Joint Chiefs of Staff that Canada be given representation in the U.S. Northeast Command, with headquarters in Newfoundland.

On October 26, 1951, the Joint Chiefs of Staff requested the U.S. Section of the Permanent Joint Board on Defense, Canada-U.S. to carry out exploratory discussions with the Canadian Section to ascertain as far as possible Canadian desires and intentions. The position of the Joint Chiefs of Staff was that Canadian representation on the staff of the Commander in Chief, Northeast Command, in positions other than that of Deputy Commander, would be welcomed. The Joint Chiefs of Staff did not consider it necessary or desirable to reorganize the Northeast Command to form a combined Canada-U.S. Command.

At the meeting of the Joint Defense Board on November 12, 1951, the views of the Joint Chiefs of Staff were presented to the Canadian members. At that time, General MacNaughton, Chairman of the Canadian Section, gave the following reply:

“The Canadian Section appreciates the information contained in ‘General Henry’s memorandum regarding Canadian participation in the U.S. Northeast Command. The Canadian Section feels the Canadian Chiefs of Staff would desire to await the results of conversations known to be going on between the Commanding General, U.S. Air Defense Command and CINCNE, as well as their own decision regarding defense of the Labrador Coast, before expressing their views on Canadian participation in the U.S. Northeast Command.”

  1. See p. 898.