400. Editorial Note

In a July 26, 1969, message to President Nixon, Canadian Prime Minister Trudeau referred to U.S. and Canadian efforts to cooperate in bringing stability to the grains market and the IGA, and indicated he thought the current situation could lead to a breakdown in cooperation and the collapse of the agreed pricing system. He wrote that Canada would maintain its prices pending an assessment of the situation by the [Page 1001] wheat exporters at a London meeting proposed for August 1, but implied that if the situation deteriorated further Canada would have to act. The message was transmitted under cover of a brief letter from Canadian Ambassador Ritchie to Acting Secretary of State Richardson, July 26. (National Archives, RG 59, S/S Files: Lot 72 D 320, Canada: Trudeau to Nixon 7/26/69)

Attached to Trudeau’s message and Ritchie’s letter is an undated message from Secretary of State for External Affairs Sharp to Secretary of State Rogers. Sharp referred to Trudeau’s message to the President and the recent Cabinet Committee meeting in Washington (see Document 392) as examples of the seriousness with which the Canadian Government regarded developments in the wheat market. He wrote that he feared “we are now on the brink of a chain reaction we will live to regret” and hoped continued cooperation would be possible. Sharp informed Rogers that he had sent a message to the President of the EEC Commission urging “the greatest restraint on their part at this time.” (National Archives, Nixon Presidential Materials, NSC Files, Country Files-Europe, Box 670, Canada, Volume I through 2/70)

In a July 28 memorandum informing the President of Trudeau’s message, Kissinger noted that the current U.S. position was fully responsive to the Canadians and that the United States planned no further price cuts prior to the August 1 London meeting. Kissinger thought no response to Trudeau’s message was required at that time. (Ibid.) Other documentation, which points to Canadian price reductions making proposed courtesy replies inappropriate, is ibid., RG 59, S/S Files: Lot 72 D 320, Canada. No Presidential reply to Trudeau’s July 26 message was found.