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98. Memorandum of Conversation1

SUBJECT

  • Memorandum of Conversation between President Nixon and Departing Ambassadors to Australia, Barbados, Canada, Iceland, Peru and Romania

PARTICIPANTS

  • President Richard Nixon
  • Ambassador Walter L. Rice, Australia
  • Ambassador Eileen Donovan, Barbados
  • Ambassador Adolph W. Schmidt, Canada
  • Ambassador Luther I. Replogle, Iceland
  • Ambassador Taylor G. Belcher, Peru
  • Ambassador Leonard C. Meeker, Romania
  • Colonel Alexander M. Haig, NSC
  • Mr. Nicholas Ruwe (Made introductions and departed during substantive discussions)

After introductions, the President invited the newly appointed Ambassadors to sit down in his office and proceeded to review the situation in each of the countries to which the Ambassadors have been designated.

Canada

The President stated that the Ambassadorial challenge in Canada was an exciting one at this point in the history of that country. He noted that the Canadians, although fully cognizant of their economic and industrial dependence upon the United States, are nevertheless increasingly manifesting a degree of independence not heretofore demonstrated. He suggested that our Ambassador would have to be particularly careful about Canadian-NATO relationships emphasizing that Canada’s actions and attitudes could have an influence on the attitudes of the other members of the Alliance. Thus it became important for the United States to attempt to influence Canada’s attitudes toward NATO. The President noted that Prime Minister Trudeau might present special problems to the Ambassador because he was at times erratic with many of the characteristics so frequently associated with intellectuals. The President encouraged Ambassador Schmidt to establish effective relationships with levels of the Canadian Government just [Page 399]below the Prime Minister to increase his own assets for influencing the Prime Minister.2

[Omitted here is material unrelated to Canada.]

  1. Source: National Archives, Nixon Presidential Materials, NSC Files, Box 670, Country Files—Europe, Canada, Vol. I. Secret. The meeting took place in the President’s office in the Western White House. An attached August 26 note indicates Haig was the drafting officer.
  2. The President announced Ambassador Adolph Schmidt’s appointment on July 8. Schmidt presented his credentials on September 11. Regarding the choice of Linder’s successor, see Haldeman Diaries: Multimedia Edition, March 12, 1969.