240. Memorandum From the President’s Assistant for National Security Affairs (Kissinger) to President Nixon1

    • Message from Prime Minister Trudeau on Canada’s Oil Policy

Prime Minister Trudeau has sent you the message at Tab B2 with a view to ensuring that no misunderstanding exists with respect to Canada’s policy governing export of Canadian crude oil and petroleum products to the United States.

The Prime Minister’s message contains forthright assurances that despite rumors to the contrary, Canada will not permit its foreign policies or its relations with the United States to be dictated by Arab blackmail. The Prime Minister reaffirms Canadian friendship for the United States. He goes on to assert that while Canada will face critical fuel oil shortages in the coming months, the Canadian Government will act in consultation with the United States and will seek in every way to minimize disruption of supply to the United States consistent with meeting Canadian requirements.

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The tone of the Prime Minister’s letter is notably different from that of some recent public statements of his Energy Minister, whose line has been narrowly nationalistic and seemed to foreshadow ready capitulation to Arab pressure.

The message for your approval to the Prime Minister at Tab A3 would thank him for his message, and it would advise him that the United States is prepared to cooperate and consult with Canada on the energy problem. Your reply would suggest, with regard to the mutual consultations he has proposed, that our two governments focus initially on the development of arrangements to mitigate the impact of the present crisis by helping to overcome distribution and other problems that will arise as shortages appear, and the identification of longer term energy projects that will work to the mutual benefit of the United States and Canada. Your message would further inform the Prime Minister that you have asked Governor Love and Under Secretary Casey to undertake the proposed consultations with Prime Minister Trudeau’s officials.

Your message has been coordinated with Dave Gergen. Governor Love concurs. CIEP (Mr. Hale in Mr. Flanigan’s absence) concurs.

With your approval of the message, we will instruct the Department of State to send it telegraphically to Embassy Ottawa for delivery to Prime Minister Trudeau.


That you approve the message to Prime Minister Trudeau at Tab A.4

  1. Source: National Archives, Nixon Presidential Materials, NSC Files, Box 750, Presidential Correspondence, Canada Trudeau Correspondence. Confidential. Sent for action. A notation on the memorandum indicates the President saw it.
  2. Attached but not printed at Tab B is a November 7 letter from Canadian Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau to Nixon.
  3. Attached but not printed at Tab A is a November 14 letter from Nixon to Trudeau.
  4. Nixon initialed the approve line. On November 23, Trudeau responded that he accepted early consultations on long and short term energy related issues. (National Archives, RG 59, Central Files 1970–73, POL CAN–US)