Chapter I
Chautauqua to Ogdensburg

The twentieth century gave a new turn to the history of U.S.-Canadian military relations. Up until that time the two neighbors had had no occasion jointly to prepare to defend North America against aggression from without. It was not too many years earlier, in fact, that the North American military problems that arose found the peoples of the two countries not partners, but antagonists. The open fighting of the War of 1812 ended in December 1814 with the Treaty of Ghent, but this treaty marked the end only of formal hostilities.

While the Rush-Bagot Agreement, subsequently signed at Washington in April 1817 to provide for naval disarmament on the Great Lakes, has been repeatedly cited as a symbol of the friendly relations which have existed since that date,1 sporadic border skirmishes and incursions continued for several decades. These eruptions resulted from the mutual rivalries and suspicions that remained alive on both sides of the border.2 But by the end of the nineteenth century the two peoples had learned to live together peaceably, if not fully to understand each other. In fact, an era of peaceful neighborly relations, unexcelled in the history of any other pair of adjacent countries, was by 1900 well established.

Prussian militarism and World War I first brought the two countries shoulder to shoulder as wartime partners. Although they entered the war for different reasons, and although Canada was then only a partially autonomous dominion of the British Empire, the two countries collaborated directly to meet certain of their war requirements. Canadian recruiting staffs in the United States accepted thousands of recruits for the Canadian Army. Canadian pilots were trained in the southern United States under arrangements made by the British Royal Flying Corps, and some American pilots were trained in the Canadian training establishment. American munitions production


helped meet Canadian needs. When the United States entered the war, the expanded Canadian aircraft industry was in turn able to supply some of the training aircraft and flying boats needed to meet American requirements. The value of Canadian munitions deliveries to the United States in World War I totaled $32,785,000, while, as a result of the armistice, contracts in the amount of $145,645,000 were canceled. During 1918 a U.S. Navy air unit, commanded by Lt. Richard E. Byrd, flew antisubmarine escort and patrols from Halifax and Sydney, Nova Scotia, while a Royal Canadian Naval Air Service was being established with American assistance. But after Armistice Day, 1918, many years were to pass before any joint consideration was again to be given to common defense problems.3

Despite the foregoing accomplishments World War I relationships were not without their unhappy aspect. From August 1914 until the U.S. declaration of war, bitter feeling in Canada developed because of U.S. neutrality and isolationism. After the armistice, owing to the U.S. attitude on war debts, this feeling increased, but it waned with the passing years.4

World War I did provide a demonstration that, by the beginning of the twentieth century, Canada and the United States recognized several fundamental facts as the basis of their military policies. First, Canada shared with the United States the geographic isolation of North America. In the case of Canada, climate and topography heightened the isolation. The Arctic wastes made a surface approach from that quarter virtually impossible. The rugged coast and mountainous littoral of western Canada and the paucity of developed transportation facilities rendered invasion there extremely difficult. On the east coast, dominated by the Labrador headlands, only limited access was possible through the St. Lawrence Valley and the Maritime Provinces.

Second, and more important perhaps than these natural barriers, was the vital concern of the United States in the maintenance of Canadian territorial integrity. This concern had found its basic political expression in the Monroe Doctrine. As early as 1902 a Canadian prime minister, Sir Wilfred Laurier, had acknowledged the Monroe Doctrine as Canada's basic protection against enemy aggression.5 The Monroe Doctrine in effect amounted to a de facto security guarantee by the United States, having as its principal


visible evidence during recent decades the U.S. Navy dominating the Pacific. The U.S. Navy, together with the British Fleet similarly dominating the Atlantic, rendered large-scale invasion of North America virtually impossible.

On the political side, the era of peaceful relations and friendly stability had become so well recognized that the prospect of war between the United States and Canada had in reality vanished. This framework of stability was firmly welded to the broader framework of a by now well-established AngloAmerican friendship.

Within this strategic and political setting, Canada enjoyed a "privileged sanctuary" position, leaving it free to spring to Great Britain's side in any European war without concern over the need for home defenses and secure in the knowledge that, even if by some remote chance Canada itself should be attacked, the United States would step in to repel the invader.

Seeds of World War II Co-operation

The drums of war, with their portent for the future, had already been heard in Ethiopia and China when, on 14 August 1936, President Franklin D. Roosevelt gave his first public pledge of defense assistance to Canada. Speaking at Chautauqua, New York, he said: "Our closest neighbors are good neighbors. If there are remoter nations that wish us not good but ill, they know that we are strong; they know that we can and will defend ourselves and defend our neighborhood."6

The significance of this declaration of defense solidarity was missed by the Canadian public.7 Yet not long afterward, the first of a number of discussions on mutual defense problems took place between the President and Prime Minister W. L. Mackenzie King. During a visit of King to Washington in March 1937, the two agreed on the need for military staff talks on such problems some time in the future. Staff discussions on Pacific problems took place in Washington in January 1938 as a result of the President's naval visit to Victoria, British Columbia, in the preceding September.8

Almost two years to the day after the Chautauqua speech, President Roosevelt gave an even stronger pledge of defense solidarity. On 18 August 1938, while speaking at Kingston, Ontario, he declared: "The Dominion of Canada is a part of the sisterhood of the British Empire. I give to you assurance that the people of the United States will not stand idly by if


domination of Canadian soil is threatened by any other empire."9 Significantly, this promise was inserted into the speech by the President himself while he was revising a draft prepared by the Department of State.10

During this visit to Canada the President again discussed common defense problems with the Prime Minister, with particular reference to Atlantic coastal defense.11 Two days after Roosevelt's Kingston speech, Prime Minister King, during an address at Woodbridge, Ontario, responded: "We, too, have our obligations as a good friendly neighbor, and one of these is to see that, at our own instance, our country is made as immune from attack or possible invasion as we can reasonably be expected to make it, and that, should the occasion ever arise, enemy forces should not be able to pursue their way either by land, sea or air, to the United States across Canadian territory."12

Prime Minister King's visit to Washington in November 1938, on the occasion of the signing of a bilateral trade agreement, furnished another opportunity for discussion of common problems of defense "at length and in a more concrete and definite way."13 Coincidentally, this discussion followed by only a few days a declaration by the President that the United States intended to make the American continents impregnable from the air and that he believed Canada would co-operate in meeting such an objective.14

The outbreak of World War II altered the complexion of such conversations, which acquired new political implications, especially for the United States, in the light of Canadian belligerency and U.S. neutrality. Nevertheless, when the two heads of state again met at Warm Springs, Georgia, in April 1940, a month before the German blitzkrieg, they used the opportunity "for a careful review of the whole situation."15 The prospect of attacks of any consequence on Canada or of U.S. participation in the war still appeared remote. But the events of the next two months were to move the two countries quickly together into close collaboration in military planning.

Backdrop for Ogdensburg

The outbreak of World War II had found Canada with armed forces comprising active establishments of only 4,500 ground, 1,800 sea, and 3,100 air


personnel. However, plans were ready for expansion of these forces, and on the very day of Hitler's assault on Poland the Canadian Department of National Defense authorized the organization of two infantry divisions and supporting units. Similar plans for expansion of the Navy and Air Force were rapidly placed in effect.16

On 3 September 1939 the United Kingdom declared itself to be in a state of war with Germany. The Canadian Government also acted immediately after the German initiation of hostilities and declared the existence of a state of "apprehended war" as from 25 August. By this step the Canadian Government was able to assume the powers authorized under the War Measures Act of 1914, still in force, which authorized such action when "war, invasion or insurrection, real or apprehended," existed. In keeping with its status as a fully self-governing dominion, Canada then proceeded independently, and. unfettered by any automatic commitment to the United Kingdom, to deliberate a declaration of war. With the approval of the Canadian Parliament, a declaration of war on Germany was made on 10 September, a week after the United Kingdom action.

Canada quickly acted to undertake an industrial production program and other economic measures needed to support the planned mobilization effort. The primary objective of the Canadian war program was, through consultation and co-ordination with the United Kingdom, to make the most effective contribution to the conduct of the war. Representations from London indicated that most needed immediately were military and naval matériel, raw materials and industrial goods, air, naval, and technical army personnel, and the preparation of an expeditionary force for later use.17 While undertaking to meet these requirements, the government also made provision for essential home defense such as the deployment of forces to defend coastal areas and vulnerable points.18

In proceeding with the formation of the two infantry divisions, Canada found itself largely unprepared to provide them with modern equipment.


Such equipment was not on hand, nor was there production capacity for it since Great Britain had in the past been the source of this material. Expansion of the Air Force was similarly handicapped. Having, however, a substantial industrial base and an adequate supply of raw materials and skilled workers, Canada was able quickly to initiate expansion of its munitions industry from the single ammunition-producing arsenal that was in production at the outbreak of war.

In the succeeding months the production requirements presented by the United Kingdom proved to be much smaller than had been expected. The result was that by May 1940 only a relatively modest expansion of the Canadian munitions industry had taken place, inadequate to meet by itself increased Canadian requirements, let alone other needs, which arose after the fall of France.19

United States preparations in the face of the worsened world situation had, before the outbreak of war, also been modest. A Naval Expansion Act approved in 1938 was a first, but small, step toward a powerful two-ocean Navy. In April 1939 legislation was enacted to provide new aircraft and other equipment for the Army and to expand the base of munitions production. The U.S. reaction to the actual outbreak of war was the Presidential proclamation on 8 September 1939 of a limited national emergency. But participation in the war seemed remote and, to most Americans, improbable. No sense of urgency marked U.S. defense preparations.20

In this period preceding the German invasion of the Low Countries on


9-10 May 1940, only isolated contacts in the field of politico-military co-operation took place between Canada and the United States. The RooseveltKing meeting in April has already been mentioned. In August 1939, when the outbreak of war had not yet occurred but appeared imminent, Canadian Minister of National Defense Ian A. Mackenzie and Chief of Air Staff Air Marshal William Bishop had secretly approached the White House and the War Department seeking the purchase of some sixty-five medium bombers, trainers, and flying boat patrol aircraft. Their efforts were fruitless. In January 1940 the Canadian Government asked if there would be U.S. objection to the purchase of yachts for conversion to armed vessels. A negative reply was received, and in the next few months Canada carried out a complicated scheme of purchase by Canadian civilians of suitable yachts that were in turn requisitioned by the government. During this "phony war" period some procurement of military equipment took place by direct contracting between the Canadian Government and U.S. manufacturers.21

During the prewar and phony war periods, U.S. Army and Navy officers in Washington took into account in their planning studies the national policy pronouncements of the President calling for defense of the hemisphere from North Pole to South Pole. In these studies, they examined the defense of the contiguous Canadian territory. The need for some sort of collaboration with Canada in this regard was recognized. Nevertheless, these studies did not result in the development of any approved requirements for bases in Canada or in any joint planning with Canadian staffs. The more serious threats to the Americas were viewed as directed toward the Panama Canal, the Caribbean Sea, and contiguous land areas. Emphasis was placed in the planning studies on these areas, with secondary consideration being given to northern North America. Although the planning studies did visualize some need to utilize bases in Newfoundland, no requirement for rights there was established by the War and Navy Departments in their over-all statements of requirements, which did include a number of sites in Latin America and western Atlantic waters.

The German blitzkrieg of May 1940 undoubtedly startled Americans, to whom the war was still a political issue and not a military reality. To Canadians, however, the Nazi successes meant that the war was but one step short of Canada's threshold. By 17 June the German assault begun on 10 May had forced the French to seek an armistice and had left, in the wake of


Dunkerque, a battered British Army evacuated safely, but only after the loss of most of its heavy equipment.

The successful onslaught of the German blitzkrieg brought the Nazi panzers to the English Channel, where they sat poised as if for invasion. Behind them the Luftwaffe girded itself for the aerial assault which, it was hoped, would further cripple England and make easy its subjugation. The Battle of Britain did not start immediately, but it was certain to begin and to rain death and destruction from the skies on the people, homes, and factories of Britain.

In this emergency, and in the face of such a dismal prospect, President Roosevelt and his closest advisers acted without hesitation. From reserve stocks, the United States during June 1940 shipped to the United Kingdom a half-million Enfield rifles with 130 million rounds of ammunition, 975 artillery pieces with a million rounds of ammunition, 80,000 machine guns, and other munitions.22 Canada, too, hurriedly made available to the United Kingdom such additional military resources as could be scraped together. Beyond this "scraping of the bottom of the barrel," there could be no significant augmentation of supplies of matériel to the English during the following months.

Yet if the major scenes of this Wagnerian tragedy were being played in western Europe, overtones could easily be heard in North America. With the invasion of an all but defenseless Britain seemingly an imminent possibility, to Canadians hardly less than to Britons, great consequences hung on the answers to the questions: Would Hitler invade? Would he be successful? As early as 15 May, British Prime Minister Winston S. Churchill had at least entertained the possibility that the answers to both questions might be affirmative, when he told U.S. Ambassador Joseph P. Kennedy that, even if England were completely destroyed, rather than give up, the government would move to Canada with the fleet and fight on. Again on 4 June, when reporting to the House of Commons on the disasters on the Continent, Churchill, though disbelieving that Germany could conquer Britain, proclaimed that such action would be followed by liberation by "our Empire beyond the seas, armed and guarded by the British Fleet."23

Consideration of this dire possibility, with its tremendous implications for Canada, was the burden of a message from Churchill which was deposited


on Prime Minister King's desk on 5 June. In it Churchill discussed continued U.S. neutrality and alternate courses of action regarding the British Fleet should the United Kingdom be defeated. He also pointed out:

We must be careful not to let Americans view too complacently prospect of a British collapse, out of which they would get the British Fleet and the guardianship of the British Empire, minus Great Britain. If United States were in the war and England [were] conquered locally, it would be natural that events should follow the above course. But if America continued neutral, and we were overpowered, I cannot tell what policy might be adopted by a pro-German administration such as would undoubtedly be set up.

Although President is our best friend, no practical help has [reached us] from the United States as yet. We have not expected them to send military aid, but they have not even sent any worthy contribution in destroyers or planes, or by a visit of a squadron of their Fleet to southern Irish ports. Any pressure which you can apply in this direction would be invaluable.24

The implications for Canada of a German conquest of the United Kingdom were understandably overwhelming. Having sent one of its two partially trained and partially equipped divisions to England the preceding December-January, Canada would find the war at its doorstep without an adequate Army, Navy, or Air Force to defend it, and without a munitions industry adequate to equip and supply such forces had they existed. Naval base facilities and other resources needed to support the British Fleet were insufficient or not available. A seat for the United Kingdom Government would have to be provided, and Canada's modest means would have to support the war effort of both governments. Serious problems concerning the relationship between King's government and Churchill's government-in-exile would arise and have to be worked out.

The Canadian Government and its planning staffs took under urgent study both the immediate and the longer-term problems arising from the impending fall of France. Prime Minister King reaffirmed the policy he had announced when Canada declared war, that of assisting Great Britain by contributing as far as possible to the defense of Newfoundland and the other British and French territories in the Western Hemisphere. In June Canadian Army troops were dispatched to Newfoundland and, at the request of London, to the British West Indies. and to Iceland.25

The Nazi blitzkrieg also resulted in a disruption of the British Commonwealth Air Training Plan in Canada, to which Canada had been devoting a


substantial part of its war effort. In consequence of the urgent need for strengthening the British air defense force, planes and pilots in Canada suitable for that purpose were rushed to England, while the flow of aircraft from England for use in the training program was cut off. In an effort to sustain the training plan, Canada scoured the United States seeking to purchase available used aircraft and supplies. As an alternate means of procuring pilots, British Ambassador Lothian and Canadian Chargé d'Affaires Merchant Mahoney on 27 May 1940 sought an arrangement by which air trainees could be sent to schools in the United States. The request was refused on the grounds that such facilities were being fully utilized to meet U.S. needs and, furthermore, that any such step would violate the Hague Convention.26

In the United States, too, the imminent fall of France and the possibility of British defeat gave impetus to urgent actions in the War and Navy Departments.27 The Joint (Army-Navy) Planning Committee dropped work on other plans and hurriedly drafted RAINBOW 4, a plan based on the assumptions that Britain and France would be defeated and that the United States would face a coalition of Germany, Italy, and Japan. The plan envisaged the defense of North America and the northern part of South America.

The military analyses made by the President and his service chiefs--General George C. Marshall, Army Chief of Staff, and Admiral Harold R. Stark, Chief of Naval Operations--in consultation with Under Secretary of State Sumner Welles, all were based on a primary effort in South America to forestall Nazi subversion or intervention. Such activities were to be countered by occupation of British, French, Dutch, and Danish possessions in the Western Hemisphere.

The planners in the War and Navy Departments had long recognized the need for garrisoning additional bases in the Western Hemisphere as essential to adequate continental defense. However, even under the impact of the fall of France, the staff planners had not until this time seriously considered that a need for military bases in Canada existed and had not envisaged a situation requiring arbitrary action toward Canada. The pre-World War II RAINBOW 1 war plan approved in August 1939, for example set forth a need for bases in British possessions and in Latin American areas but not


in Canada.28 After the major Allied reverses in the Low Countries and France in May 1940, and at the direction of the President, the planners outlined steps to be taken in case Germany demanded cession of the strategically important British, French, and Dutch possessions in the Western Hemisphere. They concluded that, in the event of such demands, the United States should "assert sovereignty" over the possessions, excepting Newfoundland, where they considered co-operation with Canada (which had already garrisoned that island) would be practicable.29

The needs for bases in the Western Hemisphere were outlined in a joint Army-Navy estimate that had been requested by President Roosevelt on 13 June 1940. Entitled "Basis for Immediate Decisions Concerning the National Defense," this estimate of the world situation had been prepared and revised through ten editions by 27 June. All editions urged the necessity for maximum co-operation with the Latin American republics and with Canada in the defense of their territories, and recommended initiation of diplomatic action toward that end. The 22 June version of the report was presented to the President by General Marshall and Admiral Stark and was discussed by the three. Although never formally approved by the President or the War and Navy Departments, the conclusions and recommendations of this joint estimate apparently accurately reflected U.S. policies and attitudes during the summer of 1940 as to its continental defense needs.30

Major emphasis in the joint estimate was placed on the strengthening of hemisphere defenses through the provision of arms to the Latin American republics and other measures in that area. Such measures had already been considered in the executive departments. On 23 May the President had approved the dispatch of Army and Navy liaison officers to the South American countries.31 Congress, too, had already considered, and on 15 June 1940 passed, House Joint Resolution 367 authorizing military and naval assistance to the American republics, and planning with these republics for such assistance was started. In the following month the foreign ministers of the American republics met at Havana, Cuba, to consult with respect to security


problems presented by the changed situation in Europe. By the end of July the President had approved the policy for providing arms assistance to the republics.32

While the U.S. Army and Navy staffs were placing principal emphasis in planning for hemisphere defense on preparations in the Caribbean Sea, South America, and contiguous areas, the forces that were to bring Canada and the United States into a close defense collaboration were at work. In response to the 5 June request from Churchill, which accompanied his suggestion that the safety of the British Fleet would not be certain, King proceeded in his own way to "apply . . . pressure" on the United States.33 Shortly after receiving the message, King sent Hugh L. Keenleyside, an officer of the Department of External Affairs, to Washington as a special emissary on a highly secret mission known only to one other person in Ottawa and to five persons in Washington. Keenleyside met with President Roosevelt and Secretary of State Cordell Hull and discussed with them the Churchill telegram of 5 June. The telegram disturbed the President considerably, since in it Churchill had given no assurances that he would not allow the British Fleet to be surrendered and had suggested the possibility of a pro-German administration in the United Kingdom.34

King interpreted the Churchill telegram as at least suggesting that his pressure take the form of bargaining for U.S. entry into the war, using the British Fleet as a lever. However, he apparently avoided this tactic and, instead, in replying to Churchill on 17 June, counseled against it on the basis that some feeling was developing in the United States that the United Kingdom was in fact striving for such a bargain. At the same time King pressed Churchill for an examination of the practical problems that would arise if remnants of the British Fleet were to come to North America.35

Churchill's reply to Prime Minister King disclaimed any suggestion of a bargain and recommended against dwelling on the possible consequences of the defeat of Great Britain. On the one hand, he saw no need for practical preparations for possible transfer of portions of the fleet across the Atlantic; on the other, he acknowledged that he could not guarantee the course of events if Great Britain were defeated.36 For the public record, the


possibility of British defeat and surrender of the fleet were denied, as in the forceful and vivid terms of Churchill's speech to the House of Commons on 4 June. Nevertheless, these contingencies found expression in secret discussions involving Prime Ministers Churchill and King, President Roosevelt and Secretary of State Hull, British Ambassador Lothian and Canadian Minister Loring Christie, and the new U.S. Minister in Ottawa, Jay Pierrepont Moffat.37

The emphasis on RAINBOW 4 planning testified to the serious consideration given these possibilities by the U.S. staff planners. The Canadian Chiefs of Staff Committee, too, in its plan for the defense of Canada, revised as of 9 July 1940, envisaged the possible loss of British Fleet supremacy in the North Atlantic. In fact, by mid-July advance preparations were actively being made in Canada for the possibility that all or part of the fleet might fall back to base on Canada. These preparations included the installation of anchorages, buoys, and nets and other protective devices.38 The problem appeared to the Canadian Government to warrant exploration of new solutions.

Initial Canadian Approaches

On 14 June King and U.S. Minister Moffat, whose credentials the Canadian Prime Minister had accepted the preceding day, met and discussed the many practical problems that the possible movement of the British Fleet, or part of it, to Canada would present. King thought the time had arrived for staff talks with the United States but wondered whether the suggestion would embarrass, or be welcomed by, the President. The suggestion had not yet been reported back to Washington two days later, when broader approaches were made. In another meeting, on 16 June, Prime Minister King asked the United States to provide Canada with matériel and training assistance, and to supply troops in the event of an emergency.39

Similar approaches were made in Washington the next day, when the Canadian chargé handed Secretary Hull an aide-mémoire suggesting staff conferences "with respect to the naval, military and air defense of North America, having particular regard to the defense of the Atlantic Coast."40 A


second aide-mémoire presented at the same time requested the sale to Canada of forty-eight fighter and forty patrol aircraft.41

Coincidentally, a British request for staff talks was received at almost the same time. On 11 June 1940 Ambassador Lothian laid before Secretary Hull the suggestion that naval staff conversations take place. Hull expressed doubts about their need but promised to pass the suggestion on to President Roosevelt. Two weeks later, when Lothian again suggested military staff talks for discussion of policies for future developments, Hull proposed, as an alternative, exchange of information through diplomatic channels.42

The Canadian proposals fared only a little better. Secretary Hull's conclusion that it was not yet possible to give a definitive answer was transmitted to King on 27 June by Moffat. However, on the same day Moffat received a letter from Under Secretary of State Welles, in which Welles and Secretary Hull suggested, at President Roosevelt's instance, that Moffat should ascertain in detail what the Canadians wished to discuss and should bring this information to Washington. Welles considered that, after Moffat had reported the information to General Marshall and Admiral Stark, it would be possible for a Canadian officer to come to Washington secretly for "technical conversations."43

Two days later, on 29 June, Moffat, at the suggestion of Prime Minister King, met with newly appointed Minister of National Defense J. L. Ralston and Minister of National Defense for Air C. G. Power. The Canadian officials stated that commitments would neither be sought nor given. The agenda would include Newfoundland, where they thought the important air base was vulnerable to air attack; St. Pierre and Miquelon, which they thought should be occupied; and defense problems in the Maritimes, Greenland, and Iceland. They discussed problems Canada faced in connection with the possible transfer of the British Fleet to Canada and with the British Commonwealth Air Training Plan, which had been disrupted by the British failure to supply promised aircraft. United States help was needed to meet critical supply deficiencies, and, insofar as Canada's industry could meet them, Canada would wish to work closely with U.S. industry. Among the additional suggestions that would be advanced for help from the United States were the conduct of reconnaissance flights over the western North Atlantic and


the acquisition and development of air bases in the West Indies and Newfoundland through lease or purchase of land.44 In a final conversation before Moffat's departure for Washington, Prime Minister King entered an especial plea for favorable action on the outstanding Canadian request for rifles, machine guns, and artillery, without which the troops to be called up shortly could not be equipped, since Canada had sent nearly all such equipment to the United Kingdom.45

In Washington, on 2 and 3 July, Moffat met in turn with General Marshall and Admiral Stark, and with Henry Morgenthau, Jr., Secretary of the Treasury, who had been charged by President Roosevelt with the conduct of arrangements for supplying materiel aid to the United Kingdom, France, and others. For these officials, Moffat painted a very dismal picture of the Canadian defense situation. Marshall, while indicating a readiness to receive Canadian staff officers, feared that if they learned the true state of the U.S. supply situation the effect might be more discouraging than helpful. Furthermore, on 2 July an act of Congress was approved which made transfers from remaining stocks even more difficult. Stark, who was somewhat more enthusiastic than Marshall about meeting some senior Canadian officers, suggested that the group could come to Washington ostensibly to consult the British Purchasing Commission but actually to meet at luncheon with their U.S. colleagues. The meeting with Morgenthau brought out the fact that British Commonwealth requests had always been received and acted on as a unit, without questioning the allocations made by the United Kingdom within the Commonwealth. This procedure had apparently worked to Canadian disadvantage.46

Morgenthau, Marshall, and Stark met on 3 July to discuss the perplexing problems presented by Moffat, while the U.S. Minister in Ottawa continued his discussions, meeting in turn with Hull and Welles of the State Department. Marshall felt that the U.S. supply situation was already so difficult that, rather than weaken U.S. defense forces further by sending supplies to Canada, a better alternative would be to plan to send U.S. forces to Canada when the situation required it. He mentioned that the President had already asked railroad officials how they would move 300,000 troops to the Maritime Provinces. Apart from the obstacles in the way of furnishing matériel aid to Canada, Marshall, and to a lesser degree Stark, did not see how a meeting


with Canadian staff officials could be held to discuss matters of substance, since the basic policy decisions had yet to be taken by the United States with regard to the problems that would have to be examined at such a meeting. For instance, the U.S. military staffs had no policy guidance on what was probably the major problem--the action to be taken if the British Fleet moved to the North American east coast. Morgenthau pointed out, however, that the United States had something to gain from such discussions, for, in the event war came to North American territory, a knowledge of Canadian defense plans and capabilities would be helpful, not to mention the possibility of effecting some co-ordination of those defense plans with U.S. plans. Later the same day President Roosevelt consulted with the officials who had participated in the round of discussions and authorized informal staff talks, which were to be secret and not to involve commitments.47

In preparation for the coming Canadian staff visit, the U.S. Army and Navy staffs made a detailed examination of the statements of Canadian requirements that had been presented in Ottawa and Washington. The recommendations of the staff planners were recorded in their hastily prepared report dated 5 July 1940, "Decisions Required If Military Assistance Is To Be Afforded to Canada in the Immediate Future."48 The report considered the three categories of Canadian requirements: matériel, training assistance, and forces, the last having been requested in the event of emergency. The U.S. planners concluded that the matériel requests, which included over 200,000 rifles, must have been based on the assumption of an attack in force, whereas raids would probably be the largest German capability. The only weapons they felt could be made available were 28,500 Enfield rifles, plus 20,000 earmarked for Eire if the latter were not sent. Ammunition for these rifles would not be available until January 1941. As to training assistance, they felt that the expansion of U.S. programs would require all available training personnel and facilities, although they did feel that 1,200 personnel could be accepted for "on-the-job" training with units.

The planners examined the desirability of immediate deployment of U.S. troops to Canada and Newfoundland, rather than the emergency employment contemplated by the Canadians. The deployment of U.S. troops, they said, would involve the neutral United States in the war. Furthermore, the available forces could not be sent to those locations since they were inadequate even to occupy other Western Hemisphere possessions that might soon need to be garrisoned. The staff planners recommended that troops be sent only when attack was imminent and that planned reinforcements be


limited to one reinforced infantry division and a composite air group for Newfoundland plus a second reinforced division with supporting corps and army troops for the Maritime Provinces.

The recommendations were not acted upon formally, but they were apparently used as the basis of the U.S. position in the conversations that ensued. On 12 July the Canadian staff officers--BrigadierKenneth Stuart, Deputy Chief of the General Staff; Captain L. W. Murray, Deputy Chief of the Naval Staff; and Air Commodore A. A. L. Cuffe, of the Royal Canadian Air Force (RCAF) Air Staff--arrived in Washington. The same day they met and discussed Canada's defense problems with Brig. Gen. George V. Strong, Assistant Chief of Staff, War Plans Division, and other officers of the War and Navy Departments.49

The discussions were apparently inconclusive and left certain questions incompletely considered. A few weeks thereafter written reviews of these discussions and a restatement of the Canadian estimate of the situation were transmitted to the War Department.50 They emphasized that reinforcement by Canada of the meager Canadian garrison of one infantry battalion and one flight of patrol aircraft already in Newfoundland would require equipment assistance from the United States, for the Canadian equipment shortage was most serious. The assistance immediately sought was equipment, and not troops. In the event of an emergency need for U.S. intervention, it was estimated that three divisions in the Maritimes would probably suffice. The study also suggested the possibility that it might be desirable for the United States, after its entry into the war, to take over the entire defense of Newfoundland.51

The staff discussions in Washington appear to have had no significant impact on the conclusions already reached by the U.S. staff planners in preparing for the 12 July meeting. Matériel assistance capabilities were estimated as before. However, the possibility of having to send reinforcements to the Maritimes and Newfoundland was accepted as sufficiently good to warrant the War Plans Division of the War Department General Staff to request the Intelligence Division to prepare the detailed information on those areas that would be needed in the event troops were actually sent there.52

While exploration of this avenue of approach seemed to have reached a dead end, pressures in Canada and elsewhere for some form of defense cooperation between the two countries continued to increase. Canadian


pessimism as to the future reached its lowest depths in the period after the capitulation of France on 17 June. A week later U.S. Minister Moffat, in summarizing the impressions of his first ten days in Canada, reported to Washington that, as the rush of events had moved the war closer to North America and disrupted the Canadian war program, the conviction was developing among Canadians that some form of concerted action was necessary. When the isolationist Chicago Tribune on 19 June editorially advocated a formal military alliance, Canadians were surprised and impressed, and their conviction was strengthened.53

A group of influential people within and without the Canadian Government, viewing the quickened preparations of the partially aroused colossus to the south, realized that new problems might present themselves from that quarter, too, unless some means of collaboration on a basis satisfactory to Canada could be established.54 This group reached conclusions along the following lines: A United States bent on large-scale preparations for its own defense and that of the hemisphere would be determined to take adequate measures wherever they might be needed. If concerned about the inadequacy of the meager Canadian defenses, it might and probably would insist on acting to augment them. Canada would have to co-operate voluntarily or involuntarily. If, in considering the U.S. defense requirements in Canadian territory, Canada unduly emphasized its independence of action, it might provoke the United States to a strong attitude that could threaten loss of Canadian national identity. It appeared that the best way to prevent such a turn of events would be frankly to admit Canadian inability adequately to protect its air, sea, and ground frontiers and to request U.S. co-operation in providing such protection on a continental or perhaps even hemispheric basis.

During the latter part of July Canadian opinion as to British ability to withstand German attack became much more optimistic as a result of the success of the British air defenses, the German failure to launch an assault, and other factors. But public favor in Canada for a consultative arrangement with the United States continued to grow.55 In the Canadian House of Commons the Prime Minister was asked on at least two occasions if defense arrangements were being co-ordinated with the United States and if a formal defensive treaty could be effected. King, keenly aware of the political


implications in the United States of the latter step, pointed out that such a treaty might be received differently in a neutral United States than in Canada, and cautioned that, with the U.S. elections approaching, public discussion in Canada of such a treaty might be inadvisable.56

Early in August 1940, when Canadian-U.S. negotiations were at a standstill, other developments moved to the front of the stage. Churchill's efforts since May to obtain a number of U.S. destroyers was by July receiving the support of a group of citizens in the United States who called themselves the Century Group and who, on 11 July, advanced the proposal that the destroyers be traded for bases in the British possessions in the Western Hemisphere. The group widely publicized its proposals, which were circulated in a more detailed form to the President and other officials concerned in the latter part of July.57

At a Cabinet meeting on 2 August, the decision was reached by the President and his advisers to seek a workable arrangement for effecting the trade. The preceding day Secretary of the Navy Frank Knox had suggested to British Ambassador Lothian that the British desire for destroyers might be usefully linked with an offer of bases. The suggestion bore fruit, and on 4 August Lothian advised Secretary Hull that Great Britain was prepared to offer to the United States facilities for naval and air bases in the Caribbean and Antilles areas, "as well as the use of the facilities for aircraft in Newfoundland which were constructed by the British Government at a cost of three quarters of a million pounds." A memorandum transmitted the following day amplified the entire offer and stated that "United States aircraft [would] . . . be authorized to make occasional training flights to Newfoundland and to make use of the airport there."58

The 4 August conversation was the first specific interjection of a Newfoundland base into the destroyer-bases discussions, and it immediately made the negotiations a matter of concern to Canada. Newfoundland, adjacent to but not a part of Canada, had in 1934 yielded its government to a Royal Commission, appointed in Great Britain, in order to obtain British assistance in solving its financial difficulties. Nevertheless, Canada had always considered Newfoundland of vital strategic importance and counted the defense of the island a major responsibility in the event of war. The day


before he requested a declaration of war on Germany, Prime Minister King had declared that "the integrity of Newfoundland and Labrador is essential to the security of Canada," and had proposed that Canada aid in its defense.59 Shortly thereafter Canada sent some Lewis machine guns and rifles to Newfoundland. In June, after the defeat of France, Prime Minister King announced that Canadian armed forces had arrived for duty in Newfoundland, where they were to defend the Newfoundland airport and other strategic areas.60 In July 1940, when a new Canadian naval command for the Atlantic coast was established, Newfoundland was included within its defense area, as was also done for the Canadian Army Atlantic Command established on 1 August. Thus Newfoundland was for defense purposes affirmed to be a part of Canada.61

Elsewhere developments were taking place with respect to British- U.S. collaboration which appear also to have had a bearing on Canadian-U.S. cooperation, although, the extent of this bearing is not clear. Whereas the June Canadian request for staff talks had initially received a more auspicious reception than the concurrent British request, by early August the situation had been reversed. The Canadian-U.S. talks were at a standstill. The British proposals for staff talks, initially rebuffed, were later accepted on a modified basis, and, in August 1940, senior U.S. Army and Army Air officers joined with a Navy colleague already in London in informal talks.62

Prime Minister King had been a partner in the efforts to bring about a closer U.S.-United Kingdom collaboration. Churchill, in his 5 June telegram, had specifically asked King to make such efforts.63 However, it appears likely that Canadian disappointment in the desultory progress of the CanadianU.S. staff talks was increased by the establishment of British-U.S. staff liaison in London. With the German frontier upon the Atlantic coast, and with some prospect of the war moving even closer to North America, the Canadian Government probably viewed with some concern these developments for collaboration among the three countries. The over-all direction by His Majesty's Government in London of Canada's war effort within a British Commonwealth framework, and in close consultation with Ottawa, was acceptable and desirable when the battles were being fought in Europe. Under


the same circumstances, a close British- U.S. liaison was acceptable. But as those battles moved closer to its shores, Canada would understandably want a stronger voice in the war councils and would feel that problems of North American defense should be considered and decided in a Canadian-U.S. forum. The projection of the United States into the Newfoundland defense scheme, together with these developments in collaborative arrangements, apparently increased the Canadian desire to effect a closer defense relationship with the United States and motivated Canada to formalize its defense relationship with the Newfoundland Government.

Subsequent to the decision made at President Roosevelt's 13 August Cabinet meeting to press the destroyer-bases agreement, the detailed U.S. proposals were transmitted to the British Prime Minister. On 15 August Churchill acknowledged their receipt gratefully, and stated: "It will be necessary for us to consult the Governments of Newfoundland and Canada about the Newfoundland base, in which Canada has an interest. We are at once proceeding to seek their consent."64

Late on 13 August Loring Christie, the Canadian Minister in Washington, met with Sumner Welles, the Acting Secretary of State, and reported that he was under instructions from his Prime Minister to seek an interview with the President on the U.S.-United Kingdom destroyer negotiations. Welles telephoned the White House to ask for an appointment on the next day so that Christie could deliver an important message from King.65

King's message, which Welles delivered to the President on 14 August, apparently included the suggestion that the two heads of government meet in upper New York during a trip the President contemplated.66 On the


same day Moffat, the U.S. Minister in Ottawa, wrote Welles discussing at length the growing demand in Canada for a joint defense understanding with the United States. According to Moffat, all elements among Canadians were now pressing for such an arrangement, though the Prime Minister realized that any open initiative on his part might cause embarrassment or at least controversy in the United States. Welles sent Moffat's report to the President on 16 August. With Prime Minister King's message and the Moffat report before him, President Roosevelt was ready to act.67

Roosevelt was to leave Washington on the evening of 16 August by train to proceed to Pine Camp in northern New York State to see Army maneuvers there the following day. The trip provided an excellent opportunity for a meeting with Prime Minister King, and the President telegraphed King suggesting that he come to Ogdensburg to meet him. On the same day, and before receipt of a reply, Roosevelt acted on one of the points mentioned in Moffat's report. At a White House press conference, he stated that conversations were going forward between the two governments on the defense of the Americas. That evening King's acceptance reached the President aboard his train a half-hour after its departure, and Roosevelt announced the forthcoming meeting to press reporters aboard the train.68 Afterward he again discussed the impending meeting at a press conference at the maneuver headquarters in Ogdensburg on 17 August before King's arrival. He told reporters that the discussion with King would concern Pan American defense and a specific course of action vis-á-vis Canada involving "greater ties than we have had in the past."69

The Ogdensburg Declaration

Prime Minister King arrived in Ogdensburg by automobile shortly before 7:00 P.M. on 17 August. At President Roosevelt's request, Moffat accompanied King from Ottawa. The party boarded the President's train, which


moved approximately eight miles to Heuvelton, New York, for the night. That evening the President and the Prime Minister, together with Secretary of War Henry L. Stimson, who had accompanied Roosevelt to the maneuver area, dined together and continued to confer until after 11:00 P.M.

Several accounts of the discussions are available. Stimson recorded a firsthand account in his diary. Moffat similarly recorded the account rendered by King during the course of their return drive to Ottawa, and King later gave a summary report on the meeting in the House of Commons on 12 November.70

The meeting and discussions were a complete surprise to Secretary of War Stimson. According to his account, President Roosevelt opened the informal meeting by reciting the history of the destroyer-bases negotiations and enumerating the different places in the British possessions where there were to be naval and air bases. Then, according to Stimson, when the President "came to the Canadian matter, he pointed out that of course Canada being a dominion, the negotiation must be with Canada, and that was the purpose of the meeting that night." He went on to suggest establishment of a joint board, composed of representatives from each country, which should discuss plans for the defense of the northern half of the Western Hemisphere, but particularly against attack by way of the St. Lawrence or the northeastern coast of Canada. "He pointed out that he wanted to have a naval base and an air base somewhere in that region. He mentioned specifically some place like Yarmouth, Nova Scotia, or some place further along to the eastward along the Nova Scotia coast."71

Additional light is cast on the discussions by Moffat's record of the account given him by King. In describing the destroyer-bases negotiations, Roosevelt indicated that, if Canada wanted any of the ships, this was a matter for United Kingdom-Canadian negotiation. As to the bases needed, these fell into three groups--those to be selected by the United States and Great Britain; those in Newfoundland, where Canada had an interest; and those in Canada, which would be selected by the United States and Canada. King felt that the Canadian base or bases would be granted by the Canadian Government under its war powers and without submission of the matter to Parliament. The practical arrangement would involve a limited free port where the United States would establish docks and facilities. In order to avoid hurting Canadian feelings, the United States would not object to the use of


Canadian forces to defend such bases. As to the new board, Under Secretary of the Navy James V. Forrestal had been mentioned as the probable head of the U.S. section, while it was thought tentatively that the other members would be the heads of the armed services.72

After spending the night on the train, Roosevelt and King reviewed a display of military aircraft and, it being Sunday attended a military memorial service. On returning to the train at Ogdensburg, the two drafted a joint statement for issue to the press that embodied the agreement reached the preceding day. The release, made shorly before King's departure for Ottawa at 1:00 P.M. on 18 August, the second anniversary of Roosevelt's pledge at Kingston, read as follows:

The Prime Minister and the President have discussed the mutual problems of defense in relation to the safety of Canada and the United States.

It has been agreed that a Permanent Joint Board on Defense shall be set up at once by the two countries.

This Permanent Joint Board on Defense shall commence immediate studies relating to sea, land and air problems including personnel and material.

It will consider in the broad sense the defense of the north half of the Western Hemisphere.

The Permanent Joint Board on Defense will consist of four or five members from each country, most of them from the services. It will meet shortly."73

The outcome of the two-day meeting was eminently gratifying to its participants. Stimson told the others he "felt that it was very possibly the turning point in the tide of the war," and that from then on they could hope for better things. He recorded, too, that King, who "was perfectly delighted with the whole thing," told the President his "courage and initiative in bringing [it] . . . out would be a most tremendous encouragement to the morale of Great Britain and Canada." In reporting on the Ogdensburg meeting to the House of Commons in November, King also called it the most significant development in international affairs since the Parliament had adjourned three months earlier, and said, "in ultimate importance, it far surpasses the formation of the triple axis."74

Moffat's subsequent analysis for the State Department noted that the joint statement was the fruition of twenty years of work toward one of King's three major goals, which were the establishment and maintenance of Canadian autonomy, support of the Commonwealth as a policy in the Canadian


interest, and the promotion of a close U.S.-Canadian friendship with the objectives of speeding Canadian development and bringing Great Britain and the United States closer together as the best guarantee of peace. Despite his constant efforts toward this third goal, King had probably not dared hope for an arrangement as far reaching as that completed at Ogdensburg, and it is likely that no one was more surprised by it than he.75

Prime Minister Churchill telegraphed King expressing the hope, but not the conviction, that the Canadian public would approve the Ogdensburg action. His estimate proved inaccurate, for with minor exceptions Canadians unanimously acclaimed it. Support from opposition elements included that of the ultraconservative Tories, who saw the declaration as a step toward U.S. alliance with the British Empire. Only minor notes of criticism were heard. These suggested that the United States would exact political concessions from a dependent Canada, or that the step appeared to be a Canadian hunt for cover and a desertion of a Britain facing the possibility of defeat. Nevertheless, these voices were small amidst the general acclaim, and they served principally to evoke, in response, more numerous expressions of approval that served to clear the air.76

The general Canadian reaction was matched by the U.S. response, indicated by a November 1940 public opinion poll. Of those queried about the Permanent Joint Board on Defense, 83.8 percent approved its establishment, while only 5.2 percent disapproved.77 This reaction approximated that of a June 1940 poll, when 81 percent of the Americans interviewed were ready to employ U.S. armed forces to aid Canada if it were attacked. The U.S. attitude of community of defense interest with Canada was markedly divergent from the U.S. reaction to the European war. Months later, in April 1941, over two-thirds of those polled were unwilling to send either Army or Navy units to Europe to help Great Britain.78

The arrangement embodied in the Ogdensburg statement was one masterfully designed to meet the needs of both leaders. Limiting the scope of the arrangement to mutual defense problems made it generally acceptable politically in the United States, where public opinion strongly opposed active participation in the war. As if to reject completely any suggestion of aggressive intent, the word "defense" appeared five times in the 109 words of the statement, once in each sentence but the last.

At King's suggestion, according to the President, the Joint Board on


Defense was designated as a "Permanent" one.79 By indicating a collaborative arrangement designed to outlast the war and to serve the two countries indefinitely, this designation also helped to counter any suggestion that the arrangement would hasten U.S. participation in World War II.

The Permanent Joint Board, the declaration stated, was to comprise service representatives and civilians, and, on 22 August when the membership was announced, the chairman of each of the two national sections was a civilian. The inclusion of civilians raised the Board from the military staff level to a higher politico-military level. This step also appears to have been a concession to the still ardent desire of a neutral United States to avoid actions that might speed its involvement in the war.

The Ogdensburg press release stated that the Board would make defense studies, including problems of personnel and material. These terms of reference highlighted for the Board, as it embarked on its endeavors, two major Canadian problems. The terms also limited the Board to an advisory function, with no executive powers, since the Board's recommendations would be submitted to the two governments for their approval. In the Board the vote of the great United States would count for no more than the vote of Canada with one-tenth as large a population. The arrangement promised to allow full expression of the Canadian view and to give Canada adequate control over the defense measures that might be proposed for northern North America. The President's stated purpose in arranging the Ogdensburg meeting--to obtain for the United States one or more bases in Canada--found no expression in the joint press release. Geographically, the Permanent Joint Board was given broad scope in its mandate to consider "the defense of the north half of the Western Hemisphere."80

In establishing the Permanent Joint Board on Defense, President Roosevelt and Prime Minister King followed, be it consciously or unconsciously,


a fairly well-defined pattern for joint collaborative mechanisms between the two countries. They could probably have chosen from a range of military and/or political relationships, varying from something similar to the BritishU.S. Combined Chiefs of Staff committee established later to a purely informal and consultative liaison arrangement. Actually, the Board was similar in composition and function to several other Canadian-U.S. agencies already in existence.

In 1909 the United States and Great Britain had signed a treaty relating to boundary problems between Canada and the United States.81 The treaty provided for the establishment of an International Joint Commission, a fulltime body made up of six commissioners, three Canadian and three American. The commission was granted final authority over certain questions relating to boundary waters, and was also to investigate and report upon such other boundary questions as the two signatories might agree to refer to it. The commission had been markedly successful in solving boundary questions, which up to the time of its establishment had been a continuing thorn in the relationships of the two countries.82

By 1940 this precedent had been followed in solving several other generally similar problems, all pertaining to jointly used fisheries, although the authority and purposes of the bodies varied slightly in each instance. The International Fisheries Commission performed certain advisory and operating functions for the North Pacific and Bering Sea halibut fisheries; the International Pacific Salmon Fisheries Commission made recommendations for the preservation of the Fraser River salmon fisheries; and a Board of Inquiry for the Great Lakes Fisheries performed similar functions for those waters. It is probably a fair estimate that the successful work of the International Joint Commission and of the other similar bodies suggested to the President and Prime Minister the use of a similar mechanism to study common defense problems.

The actions taken at Ogdensburg in August 1940 have been variously referred to as the Ogdensburg Agreement and the Ogdensburg Declaration. A few weeks after the meeting Prime Minister King, in a letter to the President, made a distinction between the two, expressing the opinion that the "Ogdensburg Agreement" was reached on 17 August during the long evening discussion and should carry that date. The Ogdensburg Declaration,


made on the 18th, "was merely the statement of terms." King made the same distinction in informing Moffat that he had asked the President for his view, but he acknowledged the merit of using the 18th, which was the anniversary of the President's Kingston speech. The President apparently never responded to King's discussion of the choice between dates, and, in reporting on the meeting to the House of Commons in November, the Canadian Prime Minister stated that "the Ogdensburg Agreement was reached on August 17" and the "joint statement with respect to the agreement which had been reached was, on August 18, released for publication."83

On the U.S. side, neither King's distinction nor any views of the President thereon reached the staff levels concerned with implementation of the arrangements. The joint statement of 18 August was published in the official Department of State Bulletin without use of a title. That date has been generally accepted by U.S. agencies, and the predominant usage has favored the Ogdensburg Declaration alternate, although the term "Agreement" has also been applied.84 On the Canadian side, the predominant usage seems to have been the Ogdensburg Agreement.85

The importance that each of the parties attached to the declaration can probably not be measured by the degree of formality by which each subscribed to it. Prime Minister King submitted to the Ministerial Committee of the Privy Council his report, dated 20 August 1940, narrating his conversations with the President and recommending that his actions be ratified and confirmed. King's Cabinet Ministers concurred in his recommendations and submitted them to the Governor General, who approved them by a minute of council on 21 August, thus formally ratifying and confirming the establishment of the Permanent Joint Board on Defense.86 In the United States, the Ogdensburg Declaration was merely published in the Department of


State Bulletin. The President issued no written instruction directing implementation of the declaration, but he indicated this to be his desire during the course of his telephone conversations from Hyde Park on 19 August to the Departments of State, War, and Navy. Soon after its publication, the State Department was queried by Senator Arthur H. Vandenberg as to whether the Ogdensburg Agreement should be sumitted to the Senate for its constitutional advice and consent. The Secretary of State replied that the agrement hardly constituted a treaty, since it provided only for the study of defense problems, and was "more properly to be denominated an Executive Agreement." As an executive agreement, the President did not consider it necessary formally to submit the Ogdensburg Agreement to the Senate.87 The canadian Goverment formalized the declaration by publishing it in its Treaty Series.88 Before taking this action Canada consulted the Department of State as to its intentions regarding the publication of "certain agreements between our two Governments, including the Ogdensburg Agreement."89 The Department of State replied that parallel U.S. action would not be taken, since only signed or written agreements were printed in the Executive Agreement Series and since the text had already been published in the Department of State Bulletin.90

On the U.S. side, the Permanent Joint Board on Defense was, it is clear, the personal creation of President Roosevelt. The War and Navy Departments were not consulted as to their views on the need for such a board or on its composition and terms of reference, and were not even aware of the President's intention to set up a board. The President had stated his purpose in meeting at Ogdensburg and in establishing the Board to be the acquisition of one or more bases in Canada which his military advisers had not considered necessary. Indeed, they were loath to contemplate the deployment of forces to eastern Canada, except when attack should become imminent. Nevertheless, the War and Navy Departments proceeded to implement the President's undertaking and to carry out the declared objectives of the Permanent Joint Board on Defense.

Of the chain of events set in motion in early August, one more should be noted. The sudden projection of the United States into the Newfoundland defense picture during the destroyer-bases negotiations apparently motivated Canada not only to join readily in a collaborative arrangement with


the United States but also to formalize its defense relationship with the Newfoundland Government. On 18 August Prime Minister King and President Roosevelt issued the Ogdensburg Declaration announcing the intended establishment of the Permanent Joint Board on Defense. On 20 August, two days later and before the first meeting of the Board, an official Canadian mission arrived in St. John's, the capital of Newfoundland. In this interim period the mission carried out its task in St. John's.91 During its stay on 20 and 21 August the mission, headed by Mr. C. G. Power, Minister of National Defense for Air, and including senior staff officers and commanders, fully considered the problems of Newfoundland defense and reached agreement in broad detail with the Newfoundland Government on all questions of co-ordination of defense measures. Under the arrangements effected Canada assumed responsibility for the security of Newfoundland.92

Thus by the eve of the first meeting of the Permanent Joint Board on Defense, Canada could view with satisfaction two important achievements. It had clearly established and formalized its defense interest in Newfoundland, and it had joined with the United States in a collaborative arrangement that promised to assist in meeting urgent Canadian defense requirements on an acceptable basis. For its part the United States, still ostensibly neutral, had entered into a working partnership with a warring democracy.


Table of Contents
Next Chapter (2)


1. For an example, see the 1946 exchange of notes published in Treaties and Other International Acts Series (TIAS), 1836. For an account of the interpretations of the Rush-Bagot Agreement made to meet World War II needs, see below, pp. 278-80.

2. An excellent account of these border difficulties is given in Charles P. Stacey, "The Myth of the Unguarded Frontier, 1815-1871, American Historical Review, LVI ( October 1950), 1-18.

3. Canada at War, No. 31 (Dec 43), pp. 24-25; G. N. Tucker, The Naval Service of Canada (Ottawa: E, Cloutier, King's Printer, 1952), I, 256-60; Richard E. Byrd, Skyward (New York: G. P. Putnam's Sons, 1928), pp. 64-76.

4. Hugh L. Keenleyside devotes a chapter to the development of the Canadian attitude in Canada and the United States (Revised edition by Keenleyside and G. S. Brown; New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 1952).

5. Charles P. Stacey, The Military Problems of Canada (Toronto: Ryerson Press, 1940), p. 68. See this work for a full discussion of the pre-World War II strategic position of Canada.

6. Department of State Press Releases, XV, 168.

7. F. H. Soward et al., Canada in World Affairs: The Pre-War Years (Toronto: Oxford University Press, 1941), p.107.

8. Canada, House of Commons Debates (Ottawa: King's Printer) (cited hereafter as H. C. Debates) 12 Nov 40), p. 55.

9. Department of State Press Releases, XIX, 124.

10. Cordell Hull, The Memoirs of Cordell Hull (New York: The Macmillan Company, 1948), I, 587-88. For examinations of the pledge in the light of the Monroe Doctrine, see Chas. G. Fenwick, "Canada and the Monroe Doctrine," pp. 782-85, and Lionel H. Laing, "Does the Monroe Doctrine Cover Canada?," pp. 793-96, American Journal of International Law, XXXII (1938).

11. H. C. Debates, 12 Nov 40), p. 55.

12. Ibid., 12 Feb 47), p. 346.

13. Ibid., 12 Nov 40), p. 60.

14. The New York Times, November 16, 1938.

15. H. C. Debates, 12 Nov 40), p. 60.

16. The reader interested in accounts of prewar status and expansion of the Canadian armed forces should consult Charles P. Stacey, The Military Problems of Canada and The Canadian Army, 1939-1945 (Ottawa: E. Cloutier, King's Printer, 1948); Joseph Schull, The Far Distant Ships (Ottawa: E. Cloutier, King's Printer, 1950); and Tucker, The Naval Service of Canada

17. The question of the adequacy of the Canadian voice in the formulation of policy and strategy for the conduct of the war and the use of Canadian resources subsequently became the subject of some debate in Canada. It is discussed by Dawson, Canada in World Affairs: 1939-1941, Ch. X, and by C. C. Lingard and R. G. Trotter, Canada in World Affairs, III, September 1941 to May 1944 (Toronto: Oxford University Press, 1950), 238.

18. Canadian Department of National Defense statement of 20 September 1939, quoted in Robert M. Dawson, Canada in World Affairs: 1939-1941 (Toronto: Oxford University Press, 1943), pp. 286-89.

19. H. C. Debates, 22 May 40), p. 128, and 11 Jun 40), pp. 656-57; R. G. Trotter and A. B. Corey (eds.), Conference on Canadian-American Affairs: Proceedings at Queen's University, 23-26 June 1941 (Toronto: Ginn and Company, 1941), pp. 44-45. Several authorities have stated that fear of postwar competition and the desire to conserve credits motivated the paucity of British orders. See Dawson, Canada in World Affairs: 1939-1941, pp. 16-17, 114-17, and H. Reginald Hardy, Mackenzie King of Canada: A Biography (Toronto: Oxford University Press, 1949), p. 190.

20. For accounts of pre-Pearl Harbor military preparations in the United States, see Mark S. Watson, Chief of Staff: Prewar Plans and Preparations, UNITED STATES ARMY IN WORLD WAR II (Washington: Government Printing Office, 1950); Wesley F. Craven and James L. Cate (eds.), The Army Air Forces in World War II, I, Plans and Early Operations Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1948); Samuel Eliot Morison, History of United States Naval Operations in World War II, I, The Battle of the Atlantic, September 1939-May 1943 (Boston: Little, Brown and Company, 1947); and The War Reports of General of the Army George C. Marshall, General of the Army H. H. Arnold, and Fleet Admiral Ernest J. King (New York: J. B. Lippincott Company, 1947). Also related are Maurice Matloff and Edwin M. Snell, Strategic Planning for Coalition Warfare, 1941-1942, UNITED STATES ARMY IN WORLD WAR II (Washington: Government Printing Office, 1953), and the forthcoming volume in the same series by Stetson Conn and Byron Fairchild, The Framework of Hemisphere Defense. An account of the development of U.S. foreign policy from 1937 through August 1940 has been written by William L. Langer and S. Everett Gleason, The Challenge to Isolation (New York: Harper & Brothers, 1952).

21. Memo, L. Johnson for President, 25 Aug 39, Roosevelt Papers, Secy's File, Box 42; Cdn Leg aide-mémoire, 18 Jan 40), D/;S 195.2/;3666; Tucker, The Naval Service of Canada, II, 25-26.

22. Army Service Forces, International Division, A Guide to International Supply (Washington: 1945), p. 4.

23. D/S 740.0011 EW 1939/;2952; Hull, Memoirs, I, 765-66; Great Britain, Parliamentary Debates, Vol. 361, col. 796.

24. The full text of the telegram is given in Winston S. Churchill, The Second World War: Their Finest Hour (Boston: Houghton Mifflin Company, 1949), pp. 145-46.

25. H. C. Debates, 20 May 40), p. 47, and 17 Jun 40), p. 854; Stacey, The Canadian Army, 1939-1945, pp. 24-25. For an examination of the shifts in emphasis in Canadian defense policy from 8 September 1939 to the end of 1940, see Trotter and Corey (eds.), Conference on Canadian-American Affairs, 1941, pp. 40-44.

26. Memo/;Conv, British High Commissioner Sir Gerald Campbell and Jay Pierrepont Moffat, 15 Jun 40), Moffat Diary; Memo/;Conv, Chargé Mahoney and J. C. Green, 4 Jun 40), D/S 711.00111 Lic. Babb, Chas. H./;71; Memo/;Conv, Mahoney and Moffat, 4 Jun 40), D/S 811.22742/;310.

27. For an account of U.S. Army plans and measures during this period, see Conn and Fairchild, The Framework of Hemisphere Defense, Ch. II.

28. Tracy B. Kittredge, U.S.-British Naval Co-operation, 1940-1945 (Unpublished monograph, 1947, copy in OCMH), Vol. I, Sec. II, n. 28

29. OCNO Memo, OP-12B-MCC, 28 May 40), states that WPD generally concurred, and bears the notation that Under Secretary of State Welles had seen it; see also Watson, Chief of Staff: Prewar Plans and Preparations, p. 477, for the more restrained concurrent recommendations of General Marshall's planners for the acquistion or protective occupation of the possessions; Conn and Fairchild, The Framework of Hemisphere Defense, Ch. II.

30. Watson, Chief of Staff: Prewar Plans and Preparations, pp. 110-13; Conn and Fairchild, The Framework of Hemisphere Defense, Ch. II.

31. Memo, L. Duggan for Welles, 21 May 40), D/S 810.20 Defense/;21-3/;5; Conn and Fairchild, The Framework of Hemisphere Defense, Ch. VIII.

32. Statement, Proposed National Policy re Supply of Arms to American Republics, dated July 1940 and apparently approved and initialed by the President about 29-31 July, D/S 810.24/; 123-4/;21.

33. See above, pp. 8-9.

34. Memo/;Conv, Moffat and President, 10 Jun 40) and Memo/;Conv, Moffat and Prime Minister King, 13 Jun 40), Moffat Diary.

35. Memo/;Conv, Moffat and King, 27 Jun 40, Moffat Diary.

36. The reply, dated 24 June 1940, is quoted in Churchill, Their Finest Hour, p. 227.

37. Churchill, Their Finest Hour, p. 400 et passim; Memo/Conv, Roosevelt and Moffat, 10 Jun 40), and Memo/Conv, King and Moffat, 14 Jun 40), Moffat Diary; Memo/Conv, Hull and Lothian, 24 Jun 40), Roosevelt Papers, Secy's File, Box 62; Memo/Conv, L. Christie and A. A. Berle, Jr., 12 Jul 40), D/S 740.0011 EW 1939/4700.

38. The Canadian plan of 9 July 1940 is at PDB 104-7; Memo/Conv, Moffat and Adm P. Nelles, 13 Jul 40), Moffat Diary.

39. Ltr, Moffat to Secy State, 16 Jun 40), D/S 711.42/194.

40. D/S 711.42/195.

41. D/S 811.111 Canada/688. The action taken on this and subsequent supply requests is recounted in Chapter IV, below.

42. Memo/Conv, 11 Jun 40), Roosevelt Papers, Secy's Safe File, Lord Lothian Folder, and 24 Jun 40, Secy's File, Box 62.

43. Ltr, Hull to Moffat, 25 Jun 40, D/S 711.42/194; Memo/Conv, King and Moffat, 27 Jun 40, Moffat Diary; Transcript of Discussion, Henry Morgenthau Jr., Marshall, Stark, et al., 3 Jul 40, Morgenthau Diary, Vol. 279, p. 149.

44. Memo/Conv, 29 Jun 40, Moffat Diary.

45. Ltr, Moffat to Secy State, 1 Jul 40, Moffat Diary. The Minister of National Defense publicly reported on the difficult supply situation to the House of Commons later in July. (H. C. Debates, 29 July 40, p. 2237.)

46. Moffat Diary.

47. Morgenthau Diary, Vol. 279, pp. 145-50; Moffat Diary; Hull, Memoirs, II, 834.

48. The report is filed at WPD 4330-1.

49. Memo/Conv, Moffat and J. L. Ralston, 10 Jul 40, Moffat Diary.

50. Ltr, Brig K. Stuart to Brig Gen G. V. Strong, 5 Aug 40, PDB 104-4.

51. This suggestion is interesting in the light of the action the Canadian Government took with respect to Newfoundland two weeks later. See below, pp. 29-30.

52. Memo, 5 Aug 40, WPD 3845-3.

53. Ott Leg Telg 147, 23 Jun 40, D/S 711.42/193.

54. On 17-18 July a group of twenty Canadians, including government officials, scholars, and other influential people, met and drafted "A Program of Immediate Canadian Action." The rest of the paragraph in the text reflects the tenor of the group's report. The group included Brooke Claxton, Hugh Keenleyside, Alexander Skelton, R. A. MacKay, R. M. Lower, George Ferguson, and others. This rather remarkable document is filed at WPD 4330.

55. Ott Leg Desp 176, 26 Jul 40, D/S 740.0011 EW 1939/4900.

56. The questioners were Messrs. M. J. Coldwell (Rosetown-Biggar) and Jean Pouliot (Temiscouata), H. C. Debates, 31 Jul 40, pp. 2190-91, and 6 Aug 40, pp. 2539-40.

57. For detailed accounts of the development of the destroyer-bases deal, see Langer and Gleason, The Challenge to Isolation, Ch. XXII, and Conn and Fairchild, The Framework of Hemisphere Defense, Ch. II.

58. Memo/Conv, Hull, Lothian, and others, 4 Aug 40, D/S 841.34/370-1/2; Ltr, Lothian to President, 5 Aug 40, Roosevelt Papers, Secy's File, Box 59.

59. H. C. Debates, 8 Sep 39), p. 35. Newfoundland as a political entity comprises Labrador and the island of Newfoundland.

60. Stacey, The Canadian Army, 1939-1945, p. 43; H. C. Debates, 18 Jun 40, p. 854. King's earlier statement on 20 May that "our troops are assisting in the defense of strategic areas in Newfoundland" (H. C. Debates, p. 43) apparently referred to the matériel assistance provided earlier, and not to a troop garrison.

61. H. C. Debates, 29 Jul 40, p. 2093.

62. A British-U.S. service liaison had been established as early as December 1937. The best account of its development is given in the Kittredge monograph. A good account may be found in Watson, Chief of Staff: Prewar Plans and Preparations.

63. H. C. Debates, 17 Feb 41), p. 813; Churchill, Their Finest Hour, p. 146.

64. Churchill, Their Finest Hour, p. 407. The wording suggests the possibility that Ottawa had approached London in this vein, although the point can be clarified only by consulting the records in Ottawa or London.

65. Memo/Conv, Christie and R. Atherton, 13 Aug 40, D/S 841.34/370; Memo, Brig Gen E. M. Watson for President, 14 Aug 40, Roosevelt Papers, Secy's File, Box 62. Christie was told that Welles could not be seen before 5:00 P. M. on the 14th, but he pressed the importance of an earlier meeting successfully.

66. Memorandums by Welles recording the important conversations with Christie on the 13th and the President on the 14th could not be found despite careful search. This gap in the documentation makes it impossible accurately to establish the nature of Prime Minister King's representations and their bearing on the events of the next few days. Welles has stated it is his "strong belief" that King's message included the suggested meeting and that after discussion with the President, he (Welles) informed Christie of the President's willingness to meet with King as well as of the status of the discussions with Churchill. (Ltr to author, 25 Aug 53).) Hugh Keenleyside, who was probably in a position to know, has stated in a manuscript that Prime Minister King took the initiative in suggesting the Ogdensburg meeting. (The Canada-U.S. Permanent Joint Board on Defense, 1940-1945 [cited hereafter as Keenleyside MS], copy filed at PDB 100-2.) If this statement is accurate, Prime Minister King's proposal may well have been made in the message delivered orally to the President on the 14th. Alternatively, it might have been advanced in a telephone conversation between King and Roosevelt, who fairly frequently conversed in this manner. However, this possibility could not be explored since the White House kept no record of such conversations and did not even record what important telephone calls had taken place.

67. The Moffat letter and Welles' covering note of 16 August 1940 to the President are in the Roosevelt Papers, Secy's File, Box 62.

Mayor LaGuardia of New York City, who was assigned an important position on the board which was to be established by Roosevelt and Prime Minister King of Canada a few days later, met in Washington with the President on 15 August. LaGuardia advised reporters they had talked about problems of civil defense. Although the President may have been contemplating the actions that followed in the next few days, it appears that they were touched off on the 16th by the Moffat letter and that the LaGuardia meeting was a coincidence. The meeting apparently had no greater significance in regard to the Canadian situation than that it perhaps put LaGuardia's name in the President's mind as a candidate for the U.S. chairmanship. When the news of the designation reached LaGuardia a few days later, it was reportedly a complete surprise to him. Unfortunately, as a matter of course no written record was made of the President's White House interviews and consequently this point and many others must remain obscure.

68. The New York Times, August 17, 1940.

69. Roosevelt Papers, Press Conferences, Box 215.

70. King was apparently in the habit of writing memorandums recording his conversations with the President, and presumably such a record for the Ogdensburg discussions may be found in Ottawa.

71. Stimson Diary, 17 Aug 40.

72. Memo/Conv, Moffat and King, 18 Aug 40, Moffat Diary. In his account of the discussion on leased bases, King mentioned that he had suggested such a trade to Churchill two months earlier and regretted that this time had been lost. The reader will recall the similar suggestion by Power to Moffat on 29 June.

73. Canadian Treaty Series (CTS), 1940, No. 14; Department of State Bulletin, August 24, 1940, III, 154.

74. Henry L. Stimson and McGeorge Bundy, On Active Service in Peace and War (New York: Harper & Brothers, 1947), p. 359; Stimson Diary, 17 Aug 40; H. C. Debates, 12 Nov 40, p. 54.

75. Ott Leg Desp, 21 Dec 40, D/S 842.00 P.R./192.

76. Memo/Conv, Moffat and King, 13 Sep 40, Moffat Diary; Leg Ott Telg, to Department of State, 20 Aug 40, D/S 810.20 Def/153; Leg Desp, to Secy State, 30 Aug 40, PDB 100-2.

77. Public Opinion Quarterly, V (March 1941), 164.

78. Ibid., (Fall 1941), 483, 496.

79. Ltr, John D. Hickerson to Lewis Clark, 27 Nov 44, D/S Office of Dominion Affairs file, PJBD Membership.

80. The use the Board made of the geographic rein given it will be discussed in Chapter II, below.

A few years later an official Canadian publication stated that it was hardly a coincidence that the Ogdensburg statement, with its geographic charter extending across South America to the equator, was made less than three weeks after the meeting of inter-American foreign ministers at Havana. "It also meant that for all practical intents and purposes Canada had underwritten the Monroe Doctrine, a doctrine that had been extended to Canada" by President Roosevelt's Kingston speech in 1938. (Canadian Wartime Information Board, "Canada and the InterAmerican System," Reference Paper 34 {Ottawa: 16 Feb 45}.) No evidence has been found showing a direct connection between the occurrence of the Ogdensburg meeting and considerations of Pan American defense planning. The foregoing statements should be viewed in the light of the fact that Reference Paper 34, which was published to inform Canadians about the inter-American system, argued strongly in favor of Canadian adherence.

81. United States Treaty Series (TS), 548; British Treaty Series, 1910, No. 23.

82. For a detailed s47tudy of the commission, see Chirakaikaran J. Chacko, The International Joint Commission (New York: Columbia University Press, 1932). See also A. G. L. McNaughton, "Organization and Responsibilities of the International Joint Commission", Engineering Journal, XXXIV (January 1951), 2-4, 12.

83. Ltr, King to Roosevelt, 7 Sep 40, Roosevelt Papers, Secy's File, Box 69; Memo/Conv, King and Moffat, 3 Oct 40, U.S. Emb 715/710 Prime Minister; H. C. Debates, 12 Nov 40, pp. 54, 57. By coincidence, 17 August (1874) was King's birthday. If this distinction is made, it is interesting to note that the "Ogdensburg Agreement" was actually reached at Heuvelton.

84. For example, it was used by the President in Samuel Rosenman (compiler), The Public Papers and Addresses of Franklin D. Roosevelt, XIII, Victory and the Threshold of Peace, 1944-45 (New York: Harper & Brothers, 1950), p. 589, and by Secretary of State Hull in his note dated 30 November 1942 published in Executive Agreement Series (EAS), 287.

85. See the repeated references to the Ogdensburg Agreement by King in his 12 November 1940 report to Parliament H. C. Debates, pp. 54-61; Canada, Dominion Bureau of Statistics, The Canada Year Book, 1945 (Ottawa: E. Cloutier, King's Printer, 1945), p. 705; and Canada at War, No. 25 (Jun 43), p. 57 No. 30 (Nov 43), p. 39 and No. 32 (Jan 44), p. 56. The last publication erroneously states in each instance, "Canada and the United States signed the aggreement."

86. King described the procedure to the Parliament in these terms, which appear to exaggerate the formality to the procedure of obtaining Canadian governmental approval. (H. C. Debates, 12 Nov 40, pp. 56-57).

87. Congressional Record, Vol. 86, Pt. II, p. 12056.

88. CTS, 1940, No. 14.

89. Ltrs, H. Wrong, Cdn Leg, to Hickerson, 25 Jul and 11 Sep 41, D/S 842.20 Def/93 1/2 and/129.

90. Ltr, Hickerson to Cdn Minister Counselor, 8 Oct 41, D/S 842.20 Def/91.

91. Dawson, Canada in World Affairs: 1939-1941, p. 214, conjectures as to whether this coincidence with the Ogdensburg Declaration and the destroyer-bases deal was accident or design.

92. Montreal Gazette, August 21 and 22, 1940. Compare this action with Brigadier Stuart's suggestion sixteen days earlier that, in the event of U.S. entry into the war, it might be desirable for the United States to take over the full defense responsibility in Newfoundland. Later in August, the Canadian Army established a new Atlantic Command, which included Newfoundland as well as the Maritimes and most of Quebec. (Stacey, The Canadian Army, 1939-1945, p. 43.)

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