On February 10, 1953, Cabinet Defence Committee concurred in the granting of permission to the United States Government to make site surveys, to operate and to man nine additional temporary radar stations (three in British Columbia, five in Ontario and one in Nova Scotia), in general line with the conditions included in the Exchange of Notes for the Pinetree Project, it being understood, however, that the United States would meet all costs of installation, operation and manning until such time as the R.C.A.F. could take over the operation and manning. In the event that the R.C.A.F. did take over the operation and manning of the stations, the United States Government would continue to meet all costs of operation, other than for Canadian service personnel.
2. Although Cabinet Defence Committee authorized not only the making of the surveys, but also the construction and operation of the stations, the United States Government was at that time notified only of the permission to make the survey since that was all that had been requested. During the past year, while the surveys were being carried out, the Department of External Affairs has been consulting informally with the State Department on the terms and conditions which would govern Canadian permission to construct and operate the stations when the United States Government is ready to go ahead with this.
3. The Exchange of Notes for the Pinetree Project deals with the problem of tenure by stating:
"neither Government will discontinue the operation of any station or any part of the extension without prior concurrence of the other Government".
This means, in theory at least, that so long as the United States Government considers any stations in the Pinetree system are necessary, that they must be kept in operation, regardless of the views of the Canadian Government.
4. In the draft Statement of Conditions which has been under discussion with the State Department, tenure was dealt with in the following terms:
"All or any of the stations shall be maintained in operation for so long as both Governments agree that their continuation is in the mutual defence interest of both countries. In the event that either Government concludes that any or all of the stations are no longer required, the question of continuing need will be referred to the Permanent Joint Board on Defence. In considering the question of need, the Permanent Joint Board on Defence will take into account the relationship of the station or stations to other radar installations established in the mutual defence interest of the two countries. Following consideration by the Permanent Joint Board on Defence, as provided above, either Government may terminate the arrangement in which case the station will be closed and the following arrangement regarding ownership and disposition of the installation will apply . . .".
This paragraph, of course, would give the United States Government no assurance of tenure at all. It was hoped, however, that the inclusion of the provision that the matter would be referred to the Permanent Joint Board on Defence would satisfy the United States Government that they would not arbitrarily be dispossessed.
5. At the last meeting of the Permanent Joint Board on Defence the State Department Member of the Board said that the operation of the proposed stations would add to the defences of the North American continent, and it was therefore in the mutual defence interest of both countries. The language of the draft statement, however, did not seem to follow this premise in as much as in his view there was in the language an apparent lack of mutuality. He said that while the United States Government did not wish to cause political difficulties to Canada, it was faced with legal requirements which were in fact political difficulties on the United States side. The Executive Branch of the United States Government have an obligation to ensure that appropriated funds were spent with adequate safeguards. While there was no indication and no thought on the United States side of any lack of faith, he felt that the language of the proposed paragraph did not meet the needs of the United States Government since it would appear that it would be possible for the United States Government to be denied the data from an installation while it was still considered to be important to the defence of the United States, even before the construction of the installation had been completed. For this reason he proposed an alternative wording as follows:
"The Canadian and United States Governments agree that all or any of the stations shall be maintained in operation for a period of ten years or such shorter period as shall be agreed by both countries in the light of their mutual defence interests. Thereafter, in the event that either Government concludes that any or all of the stations are no longer required, the question of continuing need will be referred to the Permanent Joint Board on Defence. In considering the question of need, the Permanent Joint Board on Defence will take into account the relationship of the station or stations to other radar installations established in the mutual defence interest of the two countries. Following consideration by the Permanent Joint Board on Defence, as provided above, either Government may terminate the arrangement, in which case the station will be closed, and the following arrangements regarding ownership and disposition of the installations will apply . . .".
The State Department Member expressed the view that the amendment he proposed would not impair the sovereignty of Canada because the ownership of the land would remain with the Canadian Government, and Canada would have the unrestricted right to take over the manning and operation of the stations at any time.
6. It may be that the proposal made by the State Department Member of the Permanent Joint Board on Defence represents a reasonable compromise between the United States and Canadian positions on this matter. It should be recognized, however, that if the Canadian Government agrees to it in this case, it will almost certainly become a precedent in future cases of a similar nature. For this reason the matter is being referred to Cabinet for consideration. 64
64 Voir/See Volume 19, Document 681.