Canada's Northern Horizon

Courtesy Reuters

IN May of this year the Prime Minister of Canada, Mr. St. Laurent, visited his friend, the President of the United States. As Canadian Prime Ministers and American Presidents have done over the years, they talked together with the frankness, mutual respect and community of aim which distinguishes the relations between our two peoples. They talked of many things--and among them of our common security. As they looked round the globe across the Atlantic and Pacific, they did not ignore the problems of continental defense, and of our northern borderlands in which we share a joint concern. In the far-off but not forgotten days of 1940, their predecessors, Prime Minister King and President Roosevelt, had also talked of these things.

In a world at war, Canada and the United States, locked in a single continent, and sharing Arctic frontiers, had been impelled by the vulnerability of North America to recognize the permanency of their joint interest in the defense of North America from the Rio Grande to the Pole. Wartime coöperation was close, and valuable lessons were learned. Both countries were determined that it should continue in time of peace. It has; and the Permanent Joint Board on Defense, since 1940, has become both the chief symbol and principal architect of such coöperation.

Continental defense is, of course, more than continental. North America cannot be made secure solely by mighty sea and air armadas above and off the Atlantic and Pacific coasts; or by air bases, radar networks and Maginot lines on the Arctic ice. It involves, we now know, the sending of forces from both countries to Korea and across the Atlantic for protection through prevention. The lines of defense today go far beyond any geographical limitation. They run, indeed, through the minds and hearts of men.

While all this is true, it is also true that our northern continental frontier, the Canadian Arctic, is now a vital area of both defense and development. Canadians have abandoned the indifference which

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