Courtesy Reuters

Canada and the North Atlantic Alliance

IN an address on the foundations of Canadian foreign policy at the University of Toronto in January 1947, the Right Honorable Louis St. Laurent, now the Prime Minister of Canada, made the following statement concerning the attitude of Canadians to their foreign policy: "If there is one conclusion that our common experience has led us to accept, it is that security for this country lies in the development of a firm structure of international organization." At that time Mr. St. Laurent was Secretary of State for External Affairs. Anyone who holds this office, and indeed any serious-minded student of foreign affairs in Canada, must concur in his judgment, for it is based upon considerations in the political and economic life of Canada which make it almost axiomatic.

On many occasions members of the Canadian Government have expressed the hope that the United Nations would work out quickly and in detail procedures by which peace could be maintained through collective action. There was disappointment in Canada when differences amongst the Great Powers delayed this development, but the Canadian Government continued to be anxious that the United Nations should proceed with its main task. At the opening of the General Assembly in September 1946, for example, the leader of the Canadian Delegation said:

Canada therefore urges that the Security Council and the Military Staff Committee go ahead with all possible speed in the constructive work of negotiating the special agreements and of organizing the military and economic measures of enforcement. It appears to us that it would be in the interest of all members of the United Nations to see the Security Council equipped and ready in fact to enforce proper decisions for the maintenance of world peace and also to see serious consideration given to the reduction of national armaments so that the productive capacity of the world thus conserved may be used for improving the living conditions of all peoples.

In early 1947 there was still reason to hope that the idea of universal

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