337. Telegram From Secretary of State Rusk to the Department of State 1

Secto 6. NATUS. Subject: Sec’s Canadian Bilateral. Following is uncleared, FYI, Noforn and subject to revision upon review:

[Page 710]
In hour-long friendly but essentially unproductive conversation with Secretary, Canadian FonMin Martin made lengthy plea to let Chicoms in UN this GA, stating that “if we miss this session, we create tragic situation for world. Right course politically is to get it over with now.” Martin repeatedly indicated he seriously considering parting company with US this issue during current GA session, but he also reaffirmed that Canada would not act without prior consultation. Martin stated he would like have another chat before ChiRep issue voted in GA.
Secretary refuted Martin point by point, arguing that Chicoms constitute major obstacle to ending Viet-Nam war; that to reward Chicoms for misbehavior would prolong this war; that to have Chicoms in SC would destroy its effectiveness for peacekeeping. Secretary also suggested that Martin give more weight to views of Asian nations on firing line in Far East; invited him to consider question from purely Canadian national interest, and asked if Martin’s alleged problems vis-á-vishis own public could not be solved by enlightening Canadian opinion on Chicom adamancy. Secretary appeared make no dent on Martin except for grudging admission that ChiRep issue is indeed “important” (from context, however, it was not even clear if Martin views ChiRep as “important question” in technical sense in context of UNGA rules).
Discussion of Law of the Sea likewise tended underscore basic US-Canadian differences, though it did not completely slam door on further negotiation. Martin took line that it would be politically impossible for Canadian Govt to retreat from public position taken by Canadian parliament. Martin argued that contemplated Canadian action would not hurt US fisheries or security; would for present not be extended West Coast; would not—as Secretary suggested—set legal precedent for claims by other, notably, LA nations.
Martin appeared reject all suggestions made by Secretary and Legal Adviser Meeker for litigation before ICJ or arbitration and even claimed to see little practical value in further bilateral discussion. Martin did suggest the possibility of amending the law so that it would apply only to fishing, “for parliament only knows about fishing.” But when Secretary suggested he go back and amend the act in this sense, Martin indicated he would only consider doing this in return for US acceptance of Canadian position. In final aside with Meeker, Martin evinced willingness to continue bilateral discussion of the issue.2
On removal of NAC from Paris, Martin seemed somewhat less intractable. When Secretary suggested that 14 PermReps be allowed take decision quietly without referral to FonMins, Martin commented: “that is way it is developing.” Martin seemed, however, want suspend judgment until he had talked with Couve Sept 26.
  1. Source: National Archives and Records Administration, RG 59, Conference Files: Lot 67 D 586, CF 75. Secret; Limdis. Drafted by Wabeke and authorized by Shaver. Repeated to Ottawa and Paris. Rusk and Martin were attending the sessions of the UN General Assembly.
  2. On October 17 U.S. and Canadian officials met for further discussions of Canada’s plan to extend its exclusive fishing rights. After intensive discussions, the two sides failed to make progress on their disagreements. A memorandum of conversation is ibid., Central Files 1964-66, POL 33-4 CAN-US.