280. Memorandum From Secretary of State Dulles to President Eisenhower0
- Your Visit to Ottawa, July 8–11, 1958
I conceive the general purpose of your visit to Ottawa to be the improvement of our relations with Canada under its Conservative Government. We seek to establish the same mutual confidence and close working relationship with the new government that we enjoyed [Page 687] with the Liberal Government for 22 years. The attainment of that relationship is, however, somewhat impeded by the existence of vocal, widespread criticism of the United States and its policies. In large part this criticism owes its origin to Canadian nationalism. It has been further nourished by the election campaign as well as by the current recession in Canada.1 A major manifestation of this has been a tendency to assert Canada’s independence of the United States. Some members of the government have been prone to play upon the emotional response that such assertions evoke and to try to make the United States the whipping boy for many of Canada’s ills. It will be important during your visit to convey to members of the government a sense of the importance of interdependence among independent nations, and of maintaining harmony and unity among allies confronted with a common danger.
We would like to persuade the Canadians that (a) United States policies are reasonable; (b) far from taking Canada for granted, the United States prizes its intimate relationship; and (c) the United States recognizes that problems exist in our relations and is determined to find constructive solutions on the basis of mutual give and take. In general I think frankness should be the key note, with a forceful presentation of the United States case wherever our policies are imperfectly understood.
The text of your speech to Parliament sets a good perspective for the public aspects of your visit.2 Your private talks with the Canadian Ministers could emphasize the common global responsibilities of Canada and the United States. They would be interested in a broad-brush treatment of the United States appraisal of Soviet trends, with particular reference to disarmament, and the possibility of a Summit meeting.
It will be well to be wary of tendencies on the part of some of the Ministers to go into specifics and even become contentious. As you note in your speech there is a multiplicity of established mechanisms through which the two Governments can give their problems the full attention they require. Also, I shall have opportunities for separate meetings with the Minister of External Affairs, Mr. Smith. I am enclosing a memorandum that suggests ways to handle specific subjects which, within the foregoing context, are likely to be discussed.
- Source: Department of State, Central Files, 711.11–EI/7–358. Confidential. Drafted by Green and Parsons and approved by Dillon. This memorandum repeats the substance of telegram 1041 from Ottawa, June 30, in which Merchant outlined the purpose, background, and issues involved in the President’s trip, as he saw them. (ibid., 711.11–EI/6–3058)↩
- The Canadian elections had been held on March 31.↩
- For text of President Eisenhower’s address to a joint session of Parliament on July 9, see Public Papers of the Presidents of the United States: Dwight D. Eisenhower, 1958, pp. 529–537.↩
- Printed from a copy that bears this stamped signature.↩
- Confidential. Prepared in the Department of State. Secretary Dulles discussed this paper with the President on July 7. They agreed that the visit should not be the occasion for any specific agreements between the two countries, that no definite dates should be established for items 4 and 7, that the United States should make concessions on item 8, and that items 11 and 12 were appropriate for discussion. (Memorandum of conversation, July 7; Eisenhower Library, Dulles Papers)↩
- The Agricultural Trade Development and Assistance Act of 1954; enacted July 10, and since extended and amended to provide for disposal of agricultural surpluses. (68 Stat. 454)↩
- A copy of Khrushchev’s letter is in Department of State, Presidential Correspondence: Lot 66 D 204. For text of the U.N. resolution, the Soviet notes of May 9 and July 2, and the U.S. reply of July 31, see Department of State Bulletin, May 19, 1958, p. 820; ibid., June 9, 1958, pp. 940–942; and ibid., August 18, 1958, pp. 278–281.↩