Reference: My immediately preceding telegram.
Following is text of draft public statement, begins:
North American Air Defences
1. The Canadian and United States Governments have for some time now been appraising our air defence system to define the steps required to strengthen our defences in the light of recent advances in the destructive capabilities of atomic weapons against targets in our two countries.
2. Long before the existing radar control and warning chain in Canada (known as the PINETREE chain) was approaching completion, the two countries were engaged in the intensive study of what further steps might be desirable and practicable. In 1953, a team of Service and scientific advisers representing both countries recommended that additional early warning be provided by the establishment of a new radar system generally to the north of the settled territory in Canada.
3. The report of this team was considered by the Chiefs of Staff of each country during the month of October 1953. At a meeting in Washington early in November, the Canadian representatives informed the United States authorities that the Canadian Government was prepared to proceed immediately with the necessary surveys and siting for the proposed new early-warning radar system. 17 This work is already well advanced and the reconnaissance and siting will in the main be completed in June 1954. Construction will commence later this year.
4. There are many difficult problems to be solved in establishing this early warning system in the Canadian North. The system will extend over more than 5,000 miles and its survey will involve the examination of a great number of possible sites. Much of the ground is inaccessible except by tractor train and helicopter. In many areas extreme temperatures are confronted for several months of the year. Many technical problems, including the interference of the auroral belt with electronic devices, have had to be overcome. To avoid stationing large numbers of men in this difficult country the system is being designed to operate with as few men as possible. In overcoming these problems the U.S. Air Force is working closely with the RCAF.
5. At the same time the United States Government is working on the extension of the warning system to the seaward approaches in the northeastern and northwestern sectors of the system. The Alaska and Greenland radar systems are coordinated with those in Canada and the continental United States, and the development of radar-equipped picket ships and airborne radar is well advanced.
6. In these matters the two governments are working in the closest cooperation so that the resulting system will best serve the needs of both countries in their common defence. End of draft.
7. Following for Glazebrook. This draft has not yet been checked finally by Mr. Claxton, but we are putting it on the wire now as Mr. Claxton will not be available until this evening. MacKay will telephone you not later than noon Sunday if any changes are required.
17 Voir/See Volume 19, Document 725.