335. Memorandum of Conversation1


  • Law of the Sea


  • United States
    • The President
    • Ambassador W. Walton Butterworth
    • Rufus Z. Smith, Director for Relations with Canada
  • Canada
    • Prime Minister Pearson
    • Ambassador A. E. Ritchie
    • H. Basil Robinson, Assistant Under-Secretary for External Affairs

(The President met with Prime Minister Pearson on the occasion of his participation in a cornerstone laying ceremony at the Roosevelt Campobello International Park on Campobello Island, New Brunswick. He was the luncheon guest of the Prime Minister at Rossmount Inn in the little town of Chamcook, N.B. The lunch was preceded by approximately an hour and a half of serious conversation in a parlor of the Inn set aside for the purpose.)

The Prime Minister said there was one bilateral problem which he wanted to raise. He briefly reviewed the history of discussions between Canada and the US on the Law of the Sea, and he referred to the proposal recently set forth by his Foreign Minister in a letter to Secretary Rusk regarding Canada’s proposal to establish fishing rights over the Bay of Fundy, the Gulf of the St. Lawrence, and parts of the west coast.2 He noted there had been some discussion of the legal problems involved, but he supposed these were not things that could be settled by the World Court because of the US problem with the Connally Amendment.

Ambassador Butterworth interjected that in view of this aspect of the legal question, the US had a long time ago proposed that the two governments join in a friendly suit before the International Court of Justice to seek a determination prior to any action by Canada. He [Page 708] pointed out that Canada had turned down the proposal. The Prime Minister appeared not to have heard of this aspect of the matter and remarked, “That’s something we shall have to look into.” It was noted, in closing, that the Canadians had not yet received a reply to the Foreign Minister’s letter to the Secretary.

  1. Source: National Archives and Records Administration, RG 59, Central Files 1964-66, POL 33-8 CAN-US. Secret. Drafted by Smith and approved in the White House on August 30. The memorandum is Part 9 of 9. A complete set of memoranda of conversation between Johnson and Pearson is ibid., Conference Files: Lot 67 D 305, CF 70. The meeting was held in the Rossmount Inn.
  2. See footnote 6, Document 334.