350. Memorandum of a Conversation Between the Canadian Minister (Glazebrook) and the Counselor (MacArthur), Department of State, Washington, April 19, 19561


  • Recent Attitudes in Canada Critical of U.S.

Mr. MacArthur, in referring to this subject, commented that it was really too bad that criticism of the U.S. was becoming so rife in Canada, because sometimes such attitudes could get completely out of hand. Adverse opinion on one side of the border could easily lead to similar ones on the other side. He observed that feeling in Canada regarding the U.S. must be fairly strong. In a normal atmosphere devoid of emotionalism Ambassador Stuart’s recent speech2 would not have caused a ripple.

Mr. Glazebrook agreed that there was some agitation in Canada over certain subjects relating to the United States but stated his belief that party politics had a good deal to do with it. Furthermore, the smaller country of any two generally tended to be sensitive. He commented that Ambassador Stuart’s speech would have been unexceptional, if only some ten lines had been eliminated.

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Mr. Glazebrook further observed that good feelings between Canada and the United States were particularly important during the next few years because of plans for U.S.-Canadian air defense. Mr. Glazebrook said that we are now reaching a point in military planning where, for special defense purposes, the existence of a border between the two countries will have to be progressively disregarded. Furthermore, future air-defense plans may call for a number of interceptor bases and personnel in Canada. Hence, Canada may soon face the difficult decision of whether, to meet such a requirement, it will withdraw its air forces from overseas NATO stations or accept the posting of additional U.S. military personnel in Canada. Mr. Glazebrook said it would be a pity if the Government, in its consideration of such matters, had to be distracted by public feelings.

  1. Source: Department of State, Central Files, 611.42/4–1956. Secret. Drafted by Nugent.
  2. In a speech before the Canadian Club of Vancouver on April 16, Ambassador Stuart examined the constructive role of U.S. capital in the development of the Canadian economy and criticized those who made this into an emotional political issue. Conservative members of the Canadian Parliament attacked the speech as an intrusion into Canadian domestic politics. (Despatch 727 from Ottawa, April 20; ibid., 742.00(W)/4–2056)