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Memorandum of Conversation, by the Minister in Canada (Moffat)
During a talk with Mr. Pearson 13 on another matter, he brought up the question of the Canadian desire to have a military mission in Washington. He said that at the meeting of Council last Tuesday where the War Cabinet and the three Chiefs of Staff (Army, Navy and Air Corps) were present, a memorandum had been read from Mr. Keenleyside 14 in which he quoted me as indicating that probably we were further apart on nomenclature than we were on substance. Some discussion had then arisen as to whether a mission could be set up as a permanent office of the Joint Defense Board. The decision was adverse, partly on the ground that they did not feel that the matters for discussion properly belonged to the Permanent Joint Defense Board, but more particularly on the ground that the personnel involved would not suit them at all. There was a good deal of discussion as to making us some other proposition and although no decision was reached the idea was to suggest calling it by some name which would contain the word "technical" which, given our special supply situation, would probably not create a precedent that would come home to plague us.
All of this Mr. Pearson was telling me by way of background and in a measure off the record. The formal decision reached was to do nothing until the United States Government had replied to Mr. King's informal request through me for reconsideration. I told him that that reply would not be given for eight or ten days as our people wished to explore the ground further, and notably as Hickerson wished to talk the thing out in greater detail with Keenleyside in New York next week.
OTTAWA, September 5, 1941.
Memorandum of Conversation, by the Minister in Canada (Moffat)
At lunch today I discussed with Mr. Robertson 15 the question of Canada's desire to have a Military Mission in Washington. I explained that our Services saw a great disadvantage in having at one and the same time the Permanent Joint Defense Board and a Military Mission, unless the latter were merely a name to cover the Service members of the Permanent Joint Defense Board who would reside
13 Lester B. Pearson, Canadian Assistant Secretary of State for External Affairs.
14 Hugh L. Keenleyside, Secretary of the Canadian section of the Permanent Joint Board on Defense.
15 Norman A. Robertson, Canadian Under Secretary of State for External Affairs.
permanently in Washington. We had always understood that if the United States became a full belligerent the Permanent Joint Defense Board would go into abeyance, to be resurrected at the end of the war, but this stage had not yet been reached. Look at it as they would, our people could not see the advantage of two separate bodies with different personnel discussing the same subjects with the United States Government. I had been forced to conclude that Canada's interest in the Mission was largely psychological and that for domestic reasons she attached importance to the title of "Mission" and to having constant interchanges between our respective Services rather than occasional meetings plus intermediate telephone conversations. I then told Mr. Robertson that I continued to feel that the Canadian request had never been made very specific either as to personnel or as to the functions of the Mission.
Mr. Robertson said that this conversation put a somewhat different light on the matter and that he would see that it was rediscussed in Cabinet and a definite statement given us of Canadian desires. Personally, he felt that since in effect we had passed amicably from stage one to stage two in the matter of Naval Command, there was no longer the same urgency as formerly for a Mission. But that opinion should not be taken as reflecting either the Cabinet or the Service Chiefs of Staff.
OTTAWA, September 25, 1941.
The Secretary of State to the Minister in Canada (Moffat)
No. 677 WASHINGTON, October 16, 1941. SIR: I refer to your telegram no. 218 of August 18, noon, reporting your conversation with the Prime Minister in which he requested a reconsideration by the Government of the United States of the Canadian proposal to send a military mission to Washington.
This matter was, upon the receipt of your telegram, taken up again with the Secretaries of War and Navy in formal communications in which the Prime Minister's views and your own comments in the telegram under reference were fully set forth.
I now enclose a copy of a letter from the Secretary of the Navy dated September 30, 1941 and from the Secretary of War dated October 8, 1941 16 in reply to the request of this Department that the Canadian proposal be reconsidered in the light of Mr. King's request.
'Neither printed. Both Secretaries requested that "... the State Department make a formal proposal to the Canadian Government for the early establishment in Washington of permanent offices of the Canadian military members of the Canadian-United States Permanent Joint Board on Defense." (842.20/200, 201)
Before these letters from the War and Navy Departments were drafted, officers of those Departments conferred at length informally with officers of the Department of State in regard to this matter. As a consequence of Mr. King's request, the matter again was given the most careful study in the three Departments.
You will observe that both the War and Navy Departments, after a careful reconsideration of this question, suggest that a counter proposal be made to the Canadian Government for the early establishment in Washington of permanent offices of the Canadian military members of the Permanent Joint Board on Defense. You will note that the War and Navy Departments state that the work of the Permanent Joint Board on Defense has been most valuable and that this work should not be interrupted nor weakened by the establishment of any additional agency having an overlapping cognizance of military matters as would necessarily be the case were a separate military mission to be established. The War and Navy Departments further feel that if the military members of the Permanent Joint Board on Defense were frequently present in the same city a far better and more direct liaison would be established and the value of the Board's work would be enhanced; they further express the view that the Permanent Joint Board on Defense actually would accomplish all that a separate military mission could accomplish, and even more.
The War and Navy Departments, you will note, further point out that an acceptance of this counter proposal by the Canadian Government would avoid creating a precedent which might be cited by other members of the British Commonwealth and foreign governments for the establishment of military missions in Washington.
You are requested to take up this matter informally with the Prime Minister, or if you deem it desirable, with Mr. Robertson, the Under Secretary of State for External Affairs, along the lines of the letters from the War and Navy Departments. You should point out that the Department of State has again given the most careful consideration to this whole question but that it is inclined to the view that the Secretaries of War and the Navy make an excellent case for the counter proposal that the Canadian military members of the Permanent Joint Board on Defense establish offices in Washington.
You may add that should it be found desirable by the Canadian Government to send to Washington, permanently or from time to time, alternates to the Canadian service members of the Board, there would be no objection to this procedure on the part of the United States authorities; indeed the practice of alternates to the service members attending meetings of the Board has on several occasions in the past already been employed.
Similarly, if the Canadian Government should feel that it would be desirable for the Canadian service members of the Permanent Joint
Board on Defense to have a working title to distinguish their activities in Washington from the proceedings of the entire Board, no difficulty is anticipated on that score.
The Navy Department's letter of September 30 suggests that if this counter proposal is acceptable to the Canadian Government, it would appear desirable that most of the formal meetings of the Permanent Joint Board on Defense be held in Washington. In an informal discussion of this suggestion with an officer of the Department of State, it has been further suggested that a regular monthly meeting in Washington of the entire Board might well be found desirable. It is our hope that this counter proposal will be found acceptable by the Canadian Government.
Very truly yours,
For the Secretary of State:
ARRANGEMENT BETWEEN THE UNITED STATES AND CANADA RESPECTING VISITS IN UNIFORM BY MEMBERS OF DEFENSE FORCES
[For text of arrangement between the United States and Canada respecting visits in uniform by members of defense forces, effected by exchange of notes August 28 and September 4, 1941, see Department of State Executive Agreement Series No. 233, or 55 Stat. (pt. 2) 1551.]
ARRANGEMENT BETWEEN THE UNITED STATES AND CANADA RESPECTING COMMITTEES ON ECONOMIC COOPERATION
[For text of arrangement between the United States and Canada respecting committees on economic cooperation, effected by aidemémoire dated March 17, June 6, and June 17, 1941, see Department of State Executive Agreement Series No. 228, or 55 Stat. (pt. 2) 1444.]
EFFORTS OF THE UNITED STATES TO SECURE FAIR PARTICIPATION WITH BRAZIL IN THE CANADIAN COTTON MARKET
561.321D1 Advisory Committee/64: Telegram
The Secretary of State to the Ambassador in Brazil (Caffery)
WASHINGTON, September 15, 1941-11 p. m. 804. 1-The decline in exports of American cotton to Canada during the past 2 years is viewed with serious concern by the Government of the United States, and it is considered necessary to adopt appropriate measures to restore the Canadian market for American cotton.
2-Accordingly, the Department of Agriculture has decided to inaugurate at an early date an export program designed to revive the exportation of American cotton to Canada.
3-This decision is based primarily on the following considerations: The United States has traditionally supplied practically all of the requirements of Canadian cotton mills. In the marketing season ending July 31 this year it supplied less than one-half. In view of the present disparity in prices between United States and Brazilian cotton it seems certain that, failing action by the United States Government, the United States share of the market in the current marketing year will be negligible.
4-While it is necessary to proceed at once with the program indicated, this Government is prepared to discuss with representatives of the Brazilian Government the immediate problem of fair participation by both countries in one of the few cotton markets still open to them. At the same time it continues to believe that a joint approach to the world cotton problem by the principal countries concerned offers the only likely prospects of reaching ultimately a satisfactory solution. It is encouraging to note in this connection that the Brazilian Government is participating through its representation on the cotton subcommittee of the Inter-American Financial and Economic Advisory Committee as well as through the International Cotton Advisory Committee in discussions looking toward the negotiation of an international cotton agreement. Such agreement would represent a marked advance toward improvement of basic economic conditions in this Hemisphere as well as other parts of the world.
5-You are requested to communicate the substance of the above to the appropriate Brazilian authorities and to say that this Government is prepared to enter immediately into discussions regarding the matter. We would be glad to send a competent officer to Rio for this purpose but it might be preferable, in view of the interest of the Canadian Government in the subject, for the Brazilian Government to send here a competent official who is familiar with the problem. Since Mr. Garibaldi Dantas on his previous visit here discussed this subject informally with our officials and in view of the fact that he is Brazil's representative on the International Cotton Advisory Committee, the Brazilian Government may wish to detail him for this purpose.
17 In April 1941 representatives of the Department of State and the Department of Agriculture participated in informal conversations with officials of the British Embassy and with José Garibaldi Dantas, Brazilian representative on the International Cotton Advisory Committee. The result of these conversations was the preparation of a memorandum outlining the possible bases for an international cotton agreement which was submitted to the cotton subcommittee of the Inter-American Financial and Economic Advisory Committee as a proposal of the United States.