Courtesy Reuters

Canada and the Inter-American System

WHEN Americans ask their Canadian friends, "When are you people going to join the Pan American Union?" they are often surprised to discover that Pan Americanism is not regarded as a matter of immediate importance. Many persons north of the border feel that there are few if any reasons for Canadian entry into the Union, and many reasons against it. Those who look upon such action as desirable or inevitable are in a minority. Since this is an unexpected response, which puzzles and somewhat distresses Americans who have taken a different attitude for granted, the personal view of one Canadian who has been interested in the subject for many years may be useful.

It is unnecessary to say that if Canadians are opposed to their country's membership in the Pan American Union, the attitude betrays no lack of cordiality toward the 21 states which compose it. With the greatest of these we are on terms of intimacy and friendliness which reflect the feeling of all Canadians; the word "foreign" is rejected on both sides of our common frontier. Canadians know much less about the nations of Latin America, but we should like to know more and to establish closer contacts with them in many spheres of mutual interest. Our expanding diplomatic representation in Central and South America is an earnest of this. Canada's attitude toward the Inter-American System is not the measure of her goodwill toward its members, but simply of a conviction that the concord can best be maintained and extended by her non-participation in the mechanism of the Pan American Union.

The friendly and sincere suggestions that Canada should join the Union invite an appreciation of the cordial motives which prompt them, but their terms also call for careful analysis. Rhetoric and reality are too often confused in human affairs, and the field of international relations provides no exception. When Canada is asked to join the Pan American Union and thus complete the "continental brotherhood," or when the proposal is

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