114. Telegram From Secretary of State Rogers to the Department of State1

Secto 29/3577. Memorandum of Conversation: FM Sharp (Canada), September 28, 1972, 12:00 noon, Waldorf 35A.

1. Participants: Canada—Foreign Minister Mitchell Sharp, Ambassador Marcel Cadieux, Permanent Rep. Dr. Saul Rae, Mr. Klause Goldschlag, Director-General, Bureau of Western Hemisphere Affairs, Mr. J.H. Taylor, Staff Assistant, Mr. Richard Gorham; US—The Secretary, Mr. de Palma, Mr. Stoessel, Mr. McCloskey, Mr. Holiday, Mr. Blankinship (reporting officer).

2. Summary: The FM explained that his forthcoming article on Canadian foreign policy2 is not anti-US—though it might be misinterpreted. Despite some misgivings about the difficulties of defining terrorism, FM said Canada would support US in seeking a UN resolution and convention. The Secretary outlined the US position on the ME, Vietnam, Taiwan, CSCE and MBFR. The Secretary agreed with FM that the GDR should not be given observer status at present UN session. FM touched lightly on bilateral questions since these are being worked upon by many Canadian and US agencies.

3. Foreign Minister’s article on US/Canadian relations: The FM explained he asked for ten minutes alone with the Secretary to explain article he is publishing in Canada regarding US/Canadian relations. He rejects the idea that Canada go it alone and a second option, US-Canadian integration. He favors a “third option” which is actually happening—a moderate and pragmatic course—which recognizes that policies of both the US and Canada are rapidly changing and accommodates to them. The Secretary said that no American would be upset by the choice of a third option.

4. Terrorism: FM said that Canada would support the US resolution on terrorism.3 He discussed the complexities of problems the American proposal seeks to meet. Difficult cases arise: for example, a Puerto Rican arrested in Canada for a crime committed in Puerto Rico protested on Canadian TV against deportation to Puerto Rico on the grounds that he could not get a fair trial there. Canada has Croatian na[Page 436]tionalists who pose a problem. This is not an abstract matter but poses complications for Canadian law enforcement agencies. He suggested introduction of the US terrorism resolution at the outset of the UN session was premature. The Secretary replied that we acted forcefully to a problem needing immediate action, but we encourage views and suggestions of other countries. He said terrorism will have to be defined but the problem needs to be met head on. The US Airplane Pilots Association demands action and even Algeria welcomes action against hijackers. World attention must be focused on the problem. FM concluded that while he wanted the US to be aware of the subtleties of the problem from the Canadian point of view, Canada would not raise such questions in the UN debate.

5. Middle East: Responding to the FM’s question about ME, the Secretary said that we intend to take no initiatives for the time being. Until the Munich massacre4 we were encouraged but that incident obscured the situation. Still, we are reasonably optimistic about the long term prospects.

6. Vietnam: The Secretary answering FM’s query said we still hope to obtain a negotiated settlement but this will probably not be possible before the election. A negotiated settlement within a few months, however, is likely.

7. FM’s trip to China: He said that during his recent trip to China he found very little criticism of the US, except regarding Vietnam. The Chinese did not think it would be useful to continue the Control Commission, nor did they see a need for international observers. Most amazing was the depth of hostility toward the USSR. Chou En-lai spent one hour scathingly denouncing the Soviets.

8. Taiwan: The Secretary responding to FM replied we have an agreed formula for dealing with Taiwan and we do not intend to follow the Japanese example. Additionally we support Taiwan membership in the IMF and we intend to continue to help Taiwan out economically. The FM mentioned several possible means by which Canada might approach the Taiwan membership in IMF problem—since Canada begins from an opposite pole. Secretary said perhaps best to put off facing problem as PRC had not applied yet for membership in IMF.

9. 25 percent assessment: FM said Canada would support US on assessment proposal but hoped we would do nothing to encourage others to shirk responsibility. If US acted unilaterally it would give an [Page 437] excuse to others to do same and fail to support projects with which they do not agree. The Secretary said that the American people are rather disillusioned with the UN and its ineffectiveness. We have decided to be less wary in using the veto.

10. GDR observer status: FM said Gromyko hinted to him about possible observer status for GDR at present session. FM said this would complicate negotiations between GDR and FRG. It would be regrettable to disrupt them. The Secretary agreed.

11. CSCE and MBFR: The FM asked about CSCE and MBFR. The Secretary said that in deference to the Russians we are not using the words “linkage” or “parallelism” but we are preparing for both meetings in the same time frame.

12. Extradition treaty: FM handed over the text of a proposed amendment to the extradition treaty concluded between Canada and the US last year.5

13. Comment: The FM said there is remarkably little discussion of Canadian US relations in the Canadian election campaign. A few wish to exploit it but receive little support. The basic issue is domestic problems. The FM’s presentation was very orderly, efficient and the tone of exchange of views excellent.

  1. Source: National Archives, RG 59, Central Files 1970–73, POL 7 CAN. Confidential; Priority. Repeated to Ottawa. Rogers was in New York for the U.N. General Assembly session.
  2. Canada, Department of External Relations, “Canada-U.S. Relations: Options for the Future,” International Perspectives (Autumn 1972).
  3. A/C.6/L.851; for text, see Yearbook of the United Nations, 1972, pp. 643–644.
  4. On September 5, Palestinian terrorists belonging to the Black September Organization seized part of the Olympic compound in Munich housing Israeli team members. After a day-long stalemate, German authorities attempted to ambush the terrorists as they tried to board an aircraft taking them to safety. The attempt failed. All eleven athlete hostages, five terrorists, and one German police officer were killed.
  5. The treaty was signed in Washington on December 3, 1971. (27 UST 983; TIAS 8237)