105. Telegram From the Department of State to the Embassy in Canada1

138419. Subj: Secretary’s Meeting with Ambassador Cadieux, July 29, 1971. Ref: State 131743 July 21.2

Summary: Ambassador Cadieux expressed hope Canada would be kept in the picture as our plans re China and President’s visit developed;3 Secretary said merely we would keep in touch. No decision yet made on ChiRep but we would try to save Taiwan’s seat. Cadieux explained Canada’s position favoring AR and opposing IQ as flowing logically from Canadian recognition; US position different since it still in negotiating stage. Secretary stressed importance being realistic rather than legalistic. Eviction GRC would be backward step when there seems to be movement toward more universal UN representation. Agreed PRC and GRC seemed adamant in negotiating positions but neither yet faced with actual decision and history shows (citing Middle East) such positions not immutable. If Canada cannot vote with US, we hope it can be helpful behind scene.

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1. Secretary expressed appreciation for Canadian statement concerning the President’s projected visit to Peking.4 Cadieux said that this was a welcome development. His government hoped it would be kept in the picture as plans developed, especially since there is speculation that PRC Ambassador to Canada, Huang Hua, may be involved in the preparatory discussions. Another consideration was likelihood Canadian Prime Minister would also go to China eventually.

2. Secretary said merely that we would keep in touch. Nothing definite has been decided beyond what has been publicly stated. We are in process of deciding our position on Chinese representation. We will make an effort to save Taiwan’s seat, at least in the General Assembly. Secretary said he understood Canadian Government was not disposed to do so.

3. Ambassador Cadieux confirmed this, saying Peking’s position seemed very firm. Secretary said nothing was immutable in such matters, however. We understand the legalistic arguments for the Canadian position but from the practical standpoint we consider that position unfortunate. At a time when there seems to be movement toward more universal UN representation the eviction of the GRC would be a move in the wrong direction. It is troubling that in the four major areas of tension the peoples directly affected do not have UN representation. If we get into the business of deciding which of the representatives of these divided areas are the legitimate representatives this would surely constitute a backward step.

4. Cadieux expressed the opinion that the U.S. position flowed from the present status of our negotiations with the Chinese. The Canadian position is different, since Canada has already recognized the People’s Republic of China, and that government feels very strongly on the issue of two Chinas.

5. The Secretary said it was important that we be realistic rather than legalistic. Cadieux observed that Foreign Minister Sharp did indeed tend to talk in legalistic terms but this arose from the fact that Canada was not in a situation of negotiation but had already recognized Peking. The problem was that Taiwan was not prepared “to be Taiwan.”

6. Cadieux returned to the theme that while the United States was in the process of negotiation Canada has already recognized, and logic determines that its position must be different.

7. Secretary observed that in the Canadian negotiations, however, the question of the extent of jurisdiction of the Chinese Governments [Page 412] was not resolved. Cadieux agreed that Canada had successfully avoided such issues. The Secretary said he hoped that Canada would use the same sound judgment concerning the ChiRep question. He said it was his recollection, however, that Canada had already announced that it would vote for the Albanian resolution. Ambassador said that was true; they had also voted for the Albanian resolution last year. The new element was opposition to use of the Important Question.

8. Secretary said the view that both Peking and Taipei should be represented in the UN was very widespread. Ambassador Cadieux wondered whether the People’s Republic had a fallback position. Secretary replied that most nations will not change their announced policies unless and until they are faced with the problem. He returned to the Middle East example, observing that when the two sides were forced to make a decision they made a sensible one. Neither Peking nor Taipei has yet been faced with the problem. There are two unassailable verities in this question: (1) it is clear that the PRC would like to be a member of the UN and to have the Security Council seat and (2) Taiwan, if faced with the decision, would be very reluctant to give up the Security Council seat. Secretary emphasized that what he was saying was not because of any conversations we had had, but the PRC realizes that the Security Council seat is the linchpin of GRC legality, which makes its stand on this the more determined. We do not know what each side would do if actually faced with the decision even though both sides seem adamant in their negotiating positions.

9. Secretary said if Canada finds it impossible to vote in support of US, we hope it can nevertheless be helpful behind the scene. We fear that an adverse outcome could be harmful to the UN. It would certainly create opposition in the US if a member in good standing were expelled. Passage of the Albanian resolution might at first have its attraction because many want the PRC in the UN, but later appraisals could be different.

10. Secretary said he would be in touch with Foreign Minister Sharp.

  1. Source: National Archives, Nixon Presidential Materials, NSC Files, Box 670, Country Files—Europe, Canada, Vol. II. Secret; Priority; Nodis. Drafted by A.L. Jenkins (EA/ACA); cleared in EUR/CAN (in draft), EA, IO, and S; and approved by Rogers. Also sent to USUN.
  2. Not found.
  3. The President announced on July 15 that he had accepted an invitation to visit China. For text of his statement, see Public Papers: Nixon, 1971, pp. 819–820.
  4. The statement was summarized in Jay Walz, “Canadians Eager to Use China Ties,” New York Times, August 1, 1971, p. 7.