America’s China Policy Is Not Working
The Dangers of a Broad Decoupling
IN recent months Americans have viewed with some bewilderment the course of Canadian foreign policy, which they consider to be inexplicably erratic. How, they ask, is it possible for Canada to permit and even encourage the complete interlocking of North American defenses, and then to jump like a startled hare at the prospect of an anti-Communist war in the Far East? Are not these things inseparably linked? And yet Canada's Secretary of State for External Affairs, on March 24, told the House of Commons, "We have accepted no commitment to share in the defense of either Formosa or the coastal islands, or to intervene in any struggle between the two Chinese governments for possession of these offshore islands. . . ."
Canadians, of course, are equally puzzled by the seeming ferocity of Mr. Dulles whenever he deals with any problem arising on the vast containment perimeter. Should not these separate cases, ask the Canadians, be dealt with in terms of existing power possibilities and nationalist sentiment in the particular areas?
It may seem odd that two neighboring nations, who appear to European visitors to be as similar as two peas in a pod, should so little understand the basic conditions which really make them quite different. Within the United Nations, Canada and the United States appear superficially to have followed virtually identical policies. Yet, occasionally, as with Mr. Pearson's recent statement, basically different assumptions appear. How is this to be explained?
The question may best be answered by first conceding that the United Nations should not be judged (any more than an individual nation) solely by its own definitions. United Nations members have created a mythology about the purposes of their organization. Now a mythology may be (as is shown in the history of nations) useful in establishing and retaining loyalties. It can also obscure realities. The frequent use of the term "peace-loving" to describe this or that group of nations is a clue to the nature of the United Nations' mythology. The term is applied indiscriminately in speeches and resolutions, by both Communists and non-Communists, to designate those members associated with the representative making the speech or proposing the resolution. It is a favorite phrase because it identifies the nations to whom it is applied with the stated aims of the United Nations Declaration and Charter. Almost the entire debate surrounding the San Francisco Conference was an elaboration of the theme of peace and prevention of war. Yet an examination of United Nations history, and even of the Charter provisions themselves, indicates that peace is only one of the organization's aims.
Of course no two nations view the world organization in precisely the same light. Yet each member of the United Nations (even India) must at bottom agree that the program envisaged by the U.N. assumes that certain things are valued more highly than peace itself. Indeed, one could make an imposing list of the values which the Charter seeks to protect even at the expense of peace. The entire machinery of collective security is based upon the assumption that force must be used (i.e. the peace must be broken) against any state committing aggression upon those values which are held higher than peace.
It is the peoples of the world who believe the peace mythology of the United Nations, and this may or may not be a good thing. In any case it is a mythology which is perpetrated in true Machiavellian style by their governments who do not for a moment believe it themselves. Each of the government-members of the United Nations views the organization as a means whereby it may further the ends of its own foreign policy--and, of course, these ends are determined by the historic conditions which have molded national foreign policies, as well as by the amount of power which each member has at its command.
Assuming all this to be true, what are the aims and determinants of Canadian and American foreign policy which will condition the participation of the two nations within the world organization?
Canada's entire experience, both colonial and national, has been compared to that of a little man sitting in at a big poker game--if he wins he wins a great deal; if he loses he loses everything. And no matter who else may sit in at the game, there have always been two big players about whom Canada has been almost exclusively concerned. The bluffs, the wins and the losses between Great Britain and the United States have, ever since 1783, involved not only the prosperity but the security and even the existence of Canada. Frequently, when friction has developed between these two Great Powers, the solution has been found at the expense of Canada--and this used to happen with disturbing regularity: in 1783, 1842, 1846 and 1903, to list only the outstanding occasions. Also, on more than one occasion, one or another of the two Great Powers has tentatively suggested that a permanent solution might be found by eliminating the third man altogether--either in a burst of laissez-faire geniality (as in 1783) or in an excess of Manifest Destiny (as in 1812 or 1871).
Out of this experience Canada has concluded that her continued independence and territorial integrity depend primarily upon the state of feeling existing between Great Britain and the United States. That is, she early developed a functional approach to the question of power--seeing all too clearly that it was necessary to assume that the conditions of security were at the disposal of those who control real power. Canadians considered it desirable to try to influence the direction in which the Great Powers might use their strength, but there was no use in believing that the achievement of mere rights automatically conveyed real security. Thus Canada emerged as a cynical nation--although the cynicism has euphemistically been termed "moderation" and a "liberal desire for compromise."
This is not an exaggeration. Within the British Empire as it was before the First World War, Canada accepted the security which was implied by her membership, but refused point blank to make permanent commitments to the Empire's overseas defense --arguing that the major Power in the Empire must accept that function. At Versailles, Sir Robert Borden fought tenaciously against Article X of the League Covenant; and later, in the League, Canada was instrumental in having Article X (which was at the heart of the League's collective security structure) interpreted in a sense which left League members free to determine their actions pretty much as they saw fit. Again, one of the critical turning points in the life of the League came with the 1925 failure to adopt the Geneva Protocol. The MacDonald government in the United Kingdom had hoped to achieve a common imperial assent to the Protocol which would have provided a non-regional scheme of sanctions and compulsory arbitration. Mr. Mackenzie King, the Canadian Prime Minister, appeared to give his assent to the plan when he said that it was "highly desirable that a similar attitude should be adopted towards the Protocol by countries of the British Empire who are members of the League of Nations." But the real meaning of this became clear in the Canadian statement to the League's Secretary-General: "We do not consider it in the interests of Canada, of the British Empire or of the League itself, to recommend to Parliament adherence to the Protocol and particularly to its rigid provisions for application of economic and military sanctions in practically every future war. Among the grounds for this conclusion is the consideration of the effect of the nonparticipation of the United States upon attempts to enforce sanctions, and particularly so in the case of a contiguous country like Canada."
That is, Canada accepted the mythology of the League but helped noticeably in the destruction of its reality. It is significant, too, that the only revolution in British foreign policy which Canada has ever been able to engineer was the scrapping of the Anglo-Japanese Treaty and the acceptance by the British Empire of President Harding's invitation to the 1921 Washington Conference. This was one of the really indispensable stones in the edifice of "Anglo-American friendship"--and was cemented in place by the Canadian Prime Minister, Arthur Meighen, in the teeth of fierce opposition from Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, India and a considerable section of British public opinion. It is beyond doubt that in 1921 Canada accepted a common Empire policy only if it were geared exclusively to the triangular unity of Britain, the United States and Canada.
In the United Nations, Canada has also insisted upon a functional approach to power, which is clearly a continuance of her earlier attitudes. One further comment might be made about this background of Canadian foreign policy: as with all other nations, Canadian policy has been modified by domestic necessity. The historic rejection by the French-Canadians of overseas military commitments, and the sharply differing social values held by the two major races inside Canada, have contributed to the growth of a compromise-complex in all aspects of Canadian policy. As a nation Canada has never had any conclusive debate about the fundamental assumptions of her national polity. She has no rallying cries like liberté, egalité, fraternité, life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness, or even the dictatorship of the proletariat. Canada lacks such slogans largely because they imply philosophic assumptions about which agreement might be impossible within and between the Canadian sections. And therefore Canada has no missionary zeal for the propagation abroad of a domestic ideology. Put in another way, she has never developed an idea of her manifest destiny. Thus, in the United Nations, Canada tends to be profoundly suspicious of any attempt to use that organization for the defense or advance of any particular set of ideas. If at any point she appears to support an ideological stand it is likely to be because of the other real element in her policy--recognition of the necessity of unity within the North Atlantic Triangle (of Britain, the United States and Canada).
At nearly every point in the American foreign policy background the characteristics are directly the opposite of those discernible in the Canadian case. To begin with, Americans have never really felt themselves to be dependent for their security upon any nation or group of nations (even the Franco-American Alliance of 1778 was quickly forgotten, and Jefferson's love for the British fleet was but the briefest of flirtations). From the time of Washington's statements on neutrality down to the day of the go-it-alone school, this has been of primary significance. Furthermore, Americans do not always seem to have been "functional" or realistic in their approach to the problem of power. In 1812 they undertook a war in which their own potential was clearly much less than that of their imperial opponent--and emerged without loss of territory. Another interesting example might be the Venezuela boundary crisis in 1895, when Secretary of State Olney fired what Lord Salisbury called a "twenty--inch gun" at the British. In a 10,000-word lecture the American told Britain that the United States was supreme in the Americas--at a time when this doctrine could not very easily have been supported by American power.
Now, one significant thing about this apparent lack of realism (this idealism, or moralistic approach to foreign policy, which Mr. George Kennan finds so distressing) is that every time it has been employed it has been successful. The other main point is that it stems from the nature of the American nation--a nature very different from that of Canada. The Americans, unlike the Canadians, have been accustomed ever since the 1760's to debating the fundamentals of their policies. From time to time they have made pretty clear statements about these--as in the Declaration of Independence, the Monroe Doctrine or the Charter of the United Nations. It may be argued that these statements are all susceptible of differing interpretations, but in the defense or extension of all of them Americans have borne arms. Again, once the conclusion of any of the "great debates" has been reached, it has been made binding by revolution, civil war, or by the kinds of social-political pressure described by Alexis de Tocqueville. The United States has emerged, therefore, not as a timid and cautious nation, devoted to compromise and insistent upon the exact correspondence of power and policy commitments, but rather as one which has made up its mind on basic matters, is convinced that there is a right and a wrong policy in any situation, and that it has a duty to extend the principle of right.
If Canada, then, is the chief cynic of the United Nations--not nearly so concerned with right and wrong as with what seems to be possible--the United States is the chief moralist. And so far as this may be true, both nations appear to be acting out their historic rôles within the new international framework.
This thesis might be sustained by reference to some of the major developments in recent international affairs which have concerned both countries. In the origins of the United Nations, Canada's policy was a reflection of her conclusion that her security depended upon the good relations of Britain and the United States. Thus her decision to enter the U.N. followed automatically upon two other decisions: the revolutionary acceptance by the United States of the idea of such an international organization, which came in the Moscow Four Power Declaration of 1943; and the closely following decision of the conference of Commonwealth Prime Ministers also to accept this new international endeavor. In the Canadian House of Commons there was only the traditional end-of-the-session debate on the subject--which is to say there was practically no debate. From the outset, Prime Minister Mackenzie King stressed what he called "the functional idea of international organization." That is, he was not bold in challenging the concept of Big Power leadership; but rather asserted "that power and responsibility should as far as possible be made to correspond." Although Mr. King, at the San Francisco Conference, tried to obtain recognition of a second tier of Powers--the so-called Middle Powers--his efforts in this direction were distinctly halting. He recognized that Canadian influence upon the decisions of the Great Powers would be exercised in the traditional Canadian manner--behind the scenes. This timorous approach was described and accepted by Mr. M. J. Coldwell, the Canadian Socialist representative at San Francisco, as seeking "the highest common denominator attainable at the conference." The apparent Canadian docility was noted by Professor A. R. M. Lower when he wrote in 1946: "At the moment Australia has more conviction and political courage to contribute than has Canada." It is significant that the toughest fight put up by Canada at San Francisco was for recognition of the principle that any Security Council decision which would require members to contribute armed forces should be preceded by consultation with the members concerned. Conversely, Canada at the outset was one of only six nations (in a total U.N. membership of 55) to join each of the eight specialized agencies--where ideological rivalry was thought less likely to occur, and where military strength was not necessarily a determinant of function.
In the beginning, the United States was at one with the other Great Powers with respect to the voting procedure of the Security Council (i.e. the maintenance of the veto power of the permanent members of the Council), and thus Canada did not go out on a limb on this question. As soon as the depth of the divisions in the Security Council was clearly revealed, and when General Marshall had started the ball rolling toward the establishment of the Interim Committee, or Little Assembly, Canada had little doubt as to her course. She would be automatically with the United States and Britain in this attempt to circumvent the Soviet use of the veto; but at the same time her limited faith in the United Nations diminished perceptibly. Was this not because she viewed the establishment of the Little Assembly as an attempt to employ the United Nations as a vehicle for the extension of ideological policies at the expense of seeking in a designedly universal organization only "the highest common denominator"? It is worth emphasizing that it was during his speech supporting the 1947 American resolution to establish the Interim Committee that Mr. St. Laurent gave the first definite indication that Canada had never really departed from her dependence upon the structural strength of the North Atlantic Triangle. He said then:
Nations, in their search for peace and coöperation, will not and cannot accept indefinitely and unaltered a Council which was set up to ensure their security, and which, so many feel, has become frozen in futility, and divided by dissension. If forced, they may seek greater safety in an association of democratic and peace-loving states willing to accept more specific international obligations in return for greater national security. . . . It is to be hoped that such a development will not be necessary. If it is unnecessary, it will be undesirable. If, however, it is made necessary it will take place. . . . This, you may say, is defeatism of the worst kind. It is not. It is merely sober realism.
That was, beyond question, the authentic voice of Canada; and it is not accidental that Mr. St. Laurent has been credited with being the primary author of the second great regional alliance--in a system of alliances which, in truth, strikes at the very heart of the U.N. Charter.
But it is also very notable that the North Atlantic Treaty is the only one of the regional alliances to which Canada has adhered. She refrained from applying for admission to the ANZUS discussions and resulting treaty; she has continued aloof from the Organization of American States; and she has specifically excluded herself from any commitment to the Manila, or SEATO, Pact--despite the obvious fact that she is both a Pacific and an American state. All this clearly reflects the traditional principles of her policy: commitments must bear a precise relation to power, and the conviction that the sole source of her security is the unity of the Atlantic Triangle. It is only to NATO that Canada has a specific, permanent commitment, and this is the only international organization that has at its immediate command a solid international striking power. In other words, it is only on the basis of Anglo-American solidarity that Canada commits herself to collective automatic force, let alone to a share in European security arrangements.
It is probable, despite the Treaty preamble which refers to "the freedom, common heritage and civilization of their peoples," that NATO has been dictated from the beginning by necessity rather than by ideology. In so far as the North Atlantic Treaty Organization has been extended to include Greece and Turkey (and by implication Spain and Jugoslavia), and has thus become, in Professor Freedman's words, "one of the major moves in the Western counteroffensive against Russian postwar expansion"--in these things Canada has acquiesced primarily because they are ardently desired by the United States. If Article Five of the North Atlantic Treaty fulfils Canada's idea of security, possibly Article Four might be taken as suggesting the more extended ideological interpretation of the United States. Article Five secures all the signatories against an armed attack from abroad; Article Four envisages the penetration of a country by an organized ideology (i.e. by Communist subversive activity) and calls for consultation between the signatories in such an event--much like the old Quadruple Alliance of 1815, which was designed to suppress liberalnationalist subversion of the European autocracies.
Article Two of the North Atlantic Treaty, on the other hand, brings directly into question the triple membership of Canada in the United Nations, NATO and the Commonwealth of Nations. It is generally agreed that Article Two was placed in the Treaty at Canada's instigation. The Article calls upon members of NATO to "eliminate conflict in their international economic policies and to encourage economic collaboration between any or all of them." This, perhaps, recalls Canada's historic attempts to achieve reciprocal free trade with the United States--but it is of greater interest still in another respect. The proposal to build up a comprehensive political-economic community runs directly into two great and apparently permanent factors: the refusal of Britain thus to weaken her ties with the rest of the Commonwealth, and the post-Civil War high tariff determination of the United States. Thus Canada's Article Two has remained a pious hope--but a hope whose expression gave witness to Canada's primary loyalty.
This point might be restated in another context. The proposing of Article Two indicates that Canada is far less concerned about Commonwealth solidarity than she is about reinforcing the solidity of the North Atlantic Triangle. This is shown in several ways both within and beyond the United Nations framework. Canada has been noticeably reluctant to support the Indian position when Asian matters are discussed at the United Nations--although India is quite obviously the greatest pillar of the Commonwealth in Asia. Again, Canada has remained aloof from SEATO, while three other Commonwealth members signed the Pact. Some people have argued that Canada kept clear of the Manila Pact out of deference to Indian opinion about that alliance. Any examination of Canada's Far Eastern policy, however, clearly reveals that it consists in having no policy at all, and therefore no commitments in either the Pacific or Asia. Indeed, this irks a small group of politicians in the booming Pacific province of British Columbia. Mr. Howard C. Green, the chief spokesman in Parliament for this group, rebuked Mr. Pearson on April 1 in these words: "Some of us have been trying to emphasize [that Canada is a Pacific Power] for several years, and yet it must have come as a surprise to many hon. members that the United States Secretary of State would make a statement of that kind. Of course it is very true; Canada is and has been for some years, one of the leading Pacific Powers. Today the greatest threat to civilization is in the Pacific. . . . I believe that Formosa is in fact in the first line of defense for Canada. . . ." This shade of opinion is considered by the majority in the Canadian Commons to be not much more than a pale reflection of the American China Lobby, and some see Mr. Green almost as a latter-day Whitelaw Reid. Fearful of overreaching their material and human resources, and ever intent upon shoring up the main pillars of the Anglo-American entente, Canadians have resorted to the Colombo Plan in place of an Asiatic policy. Perhaps this is considered by some people in the Parliament as being a real policy; but the Socialist criticisms of the meager annual vote of about $26,000,000 for the plan have been very telling.
Actually, few Canadians accept the view of a monolithic Communist imperialism in Asia. Most members of Parliament seemed to agree with Mr. Pearson when he argued, on March 24, that, "The Communist movement in Asia is not simply a conspiracy of evil and alien forces seeking power and domination; unfortunately it is more than that. It has secured too many followers who see in it, at least until they have acquired some experience of its workings in government, a means of improving the welfare and happiness of their own people and ensuring their freedom from Western pressure and control. Therefore I feel we shall not make much appeal to the peoples of Asia unless we make it clear to them that while we denounce Communistic doctrines and methods we wholeheartedly support the ideals of these people for liberation from hunger, misery and outside domination." It remains true, however, that Canada has not developed any really vital or largescale policy by which to act upon this concept of the Asian problem.
Further evidence that Canada is willing to let the United States direct Asiatic policy, even at the expense of Commonwealth unity, was provided during the visit of the Canadian Prime Minister to India last year. Mr. St. Laurent made a special point of telling a restive Indian Congress that the United States was correct in seeking to arm Pakistan as a key member of a "Middle East" Pact. Mr. St. Laurent has apparently never seen fit to request a Commonwealth conference on his own initiative; and press reports indicate that at the Commonwealth meeting in London early this year the Canadian Prime Minister was intent on "selling Eisenhower" to the other delegates. Indeed, neither Mr. King nor Mr. St. Laurent, both of whom have spoken with the conviction that they express Canadian national opinion, has been what the Toronto Globe and Mail would like to see--namely, "strong Commonwealth men."
All of this points to the great difference between Canada and the United States in their approach to international organization. While the United States continues to act upon the principle that we are witnessing a global struggle between conflicting ideologies, and desires to employ the United Nations and all the subsidiary alliance structures to defend and extend what she defines as the democratic way of life, Canada's primary loyalty is to functionalism rather than idealism and thus she hews close to the single line of North Atlantic security. Thus it is that Canada's Secretary of State for External Affairs may appear from time to time mildly to rebuke the United States for insisting on the perfidy of all Communists, or for drawing too tight the bamboo curtain--still when the chips are down his delegation votes with the Americans. Put in another way, Canadian diplomats appear at the U.N. in rather a satellite rôle, while less publicly they are not always convinced that the ideological issue is the main one. Because the United States has a sense of mission, and because this pervades its entire foreign policy, Canada, who regards solidarity with the United States as essential to her own limited view of security, tends to get carried along willy-nilly.
Perhaps the case of the U.N. action in Korea can further support this thesis. When war broke out between the northern and southern portions of the Korean peninsula, Canada had just about decided to recognize the Mao Tse-tung Government in China--as Britain had already done. This surely indicated an underplaying of the ideological issue by the Canadian Government. Thus the question of a Canadian contribution to the American-led intervention of the United Nations should logically have been based on the problem of whether the cause of collective security would be advanced by such Canadian action. It was, indeed, on the ground of an affirmative answer to that question that the Canadian participation was advocated and, when undertaken, defended. It is probable, however, that most Canadians saw the real issue in Korea as being not that of collective security in the abstract or general sense, but rather that of containing and, it seemed for a while, of rolling back Communism. But this is to say that the cause was primarily ideological; and Canada certainly never committed herself to the defense or the repulse of any ideology. It may be concluded, therefore, that the Korean participation of Canada rested less upon the collective security merits of the case than upon the recognized necessity of not running counter to American policy in any critical area.
It should be observed, in this connection, that Canada defined very closely her commitments in Korea, and that she pulled her troops out faster than the United States thought was strictly proper. Furthermore, direct Canadian pressure upon the American State Department was greater and more open with respect to the Korean venture than in any other postwar instance. This was particularly true in relation to the advance toward the Yalu River, the possibility of an assault upon the China coast, and the defense of Formosa. In the case of the latter two problems, indeed, Canada specifically "contracted out." And now that the fighting is over in Korea, one hears again the non-ideological (or cynical, if you like) Canadian voices gently suggesting in Senate, House, Cabinet and press that the time to consider Chinese recognition and admission to the U.N. is near. One such voice--that of the Prime Minister last year on his return from the Far East--broke into full-bodied tones when he said, "We must be realists. Sooner or later we will be obliged to recognize the government which the people desire." The more cautious Mr. Pearson was busy for weeks afterward modifying this unguarded remark.
The fact is that there are many areas of international affairs in which Canadians and Americans have differing points of view-- stemming from their respective historical experiences. But it is equally true that Canadians have been most reluctant to allow these differences to emerge into full view. As two final examples one might take the development whereby the North Atlantic Treaty Organization was extended well beyond the Atlantic area and, second, the problem of the nature of an international civil service.
With respect to the inclusion of Greece and Turkey in NATO, Canada consciously refrained from creating an issue--yet she agreed with British opinion that the defense of the Middle East should be organized separately from that of the Atlantic. Indeed, by not sending a full ministerial mission to the preliminary conference on Middle Eastern questions, Canada clearly indicated that she did not consider herself to be directly concerned with the problem at all. In pursuance of the Truman Doctrine, however, the United States felt obliged to insist upon the inclusion of Greece and Turkey in NATO, and, in this instance, overcame British resistance. Canada simply accepted the outcome. In other words she refused to rock the North Atlantic boat by shifting her weight heavily to the British side; and as a result she found herself committed to the defense of a very distant part of the globe--on ideological grounds which she had never really accepted.
On the question of the importance and the nature of an international civil service Canada has declared herself on several occasions. As a matter of fact, this is the kind of practical administrative problem in which Canadians take great delight. In this case her interest was at least partly the result of her hope that the international civil service (like the work of the specialized agencies and of assistance to underdeveloped countries) might be relatively free of the ideological struggle.
The concept of a new international loyalty, as stated in Article 100 of the Charter--that is, that members of the Secretariat must in no sense be national agents--has rightly been called "the most severe test to which a civilized person of the twentieth century can be subjected." At San Francisco, Canada was active in support of this idea. Her resolutions and arguments are reflected to a considerable extent in Article 101, dealing with standards of selection for the Secretariat, and in Article 105, dealing with the privileges and immunities of officials of the United Nations or of representatives of members accredited to it. In the working out of the concept, however--in the course of the actual functioning of the various branches of the new international service--exactly the same ideological complications cropped up as those which appeared in the other U.N. areas. Here, again, although Canada continued to argue that no nation should seek to qualify the international loyalty of any of its citizens who became U.N. servants, she recognized the practical difficulty involved.
The critical stage of development was reached with the 1952-53 loyalty cases in New York, when a Federal Grand Jury declared that "an overwhelmingly large group of disloyal United States citizens" had infiltrated into the United Nations; and when in March of 1953 Secretary-General Lie declared that "not a single United States staff member of the United Nations Secretariat has ever . . . been charged in any court of the United States--much less convicted--of espionage or any act of subversion." This was a head-on collision between one of the few really central principles which Canada had enunciated and the American assertion of the subversive nature of world-wide Communism.
The question was further complicated by the actions of the Secretary-General, who was genuinely distressed by the problem of international loyalty within a host country. The three-man commission of jurists whom he appointed to advise him recommended that he should dismiss all employees who had been found guilty of subversive activities against the host country (which was quite unexceptionable). But the commission went further and advised Mr. Lie also to dismiss all employees who pleaded the Fifth Amendment, as well as all those who he had reasonable ground to believe had been or were likely to be engaged in subversive activities against the host country.
The Secretary-General had, even before receiving the commission's report, dismissed all those who had pleaded the Fifth Amendment and who were on temporary contract; after he received the report he dismissed all those on permanent contract who, after a second opportunity to defend themselves, still invoked their constitutional right to remain silent. This action of Mr. Lie's quite clearly accepted the right of a U.N. member to exercise a very considerable degree of control over the convictions of its citizens who became servants of the United Nations--and it was this very thing which Canadian influence at San Francisco had sought to avoid. Yet, when the Secretary-General took another step recommended by the commission and established a panel to help him decide in cases of suspected future subversion (the most tenuous of all the grounds of dismissal) the Canadian Government endorsed the appointment of a well-known Canadian as chairman of the panel--Mr. L. W. Brockington. Although this panel has remained relatively inactive, one could argue convincingly that Canada here refrained from forceful advocacy of a proposition to which she had previously committed herself--and that, again, she did so through concern for the solidarity of the North Atlantic Triangle. In effect, Canada contented herself with mildly restating the general principle of the international nature of the U.N. service, and then with accepting the essence of the American point of view. As Mr. Paul Martin of the Canadian delegation said: "It is not just or reasonable that an employee should be dismissed on the sole ground of having refused to answer questions, the answer to which might serve to incriminate him. . . . Such refusal should cause the Secretary-General to view the employee with suspicion and should lead the Secretary-General to institute inquiries."
It has been suggested, then, that the approach both of Americans and of Canadians to international organization has been and is bound to be conditioned by their total historical experience and their present national characteristics; that this has led the United States to lay heavy emphasis upon the ideological division of the world, and to conceive of the cold war (even in its warmest phases) as being, at every point, symptomatic of the ideological cleavage--and that this interpretation has led it to view the United Nations and other international organizations as being part of a pattern for the defense and extension of Western ideas and interests as it defines those values. Canada, again in conformity to her history and nature, views these same international instruments in a cautious or even cynical fashion, always centering her policy upon the rather limited but to her essential foundation of the permanent good and close relations of the North Atlantic Triangle.
The mixture of pessimism and sober optimism which characterizes the Canadian approach to world problems is well illustrated by a speech in which the Secretary of State for External Affairs commented upon the Canadian Prime Minister's world tour of last year:
. . . our sense of understanding must even extend to the very people who we think threaten our peace. We cannot be soft-headed about this matter, for power in the hands of irresponsible rulers could be dangerous to our peace. But while we need not be soft-headed we should certainly be clear-headed. I agree that we must be careful and alert, but also that we must not let fear freeze our diplomacy into immobility or fire it into panic action. The purpose of our Canadian policy--and I do not think there is any division in the country about this--is not merely to build up military collective strength, important as that is. The purpose is to work together with our friends in solving our own problems and also, if possible, to negotiate with those whom we fear, in solving those other problems which divide the world. Canada is anxious to play its part also in this form of collective security, anxious to play its part in seeking by negotiation international solutions to differences, to seek them by negotiation from the strength which we are now collecting, and with strength, but also with wisdom, with full realization of the calamitous result of failure, and in the hope that one day security will rest upon a stronger basis than the certainty of massive retaliation, atomic retaliation if you like, against anyone who would break the peace; retaliation which would certainly annihilate the enemy but might also destroy ourselves.
At the moment, Canadians and Americans understand each other least when they speak on the subject of Asia. Out of the whole complex of their past experience and present unequal strength they arrive at conclusions which gravely perplex each other. Apparently Canada recognizes the import of Sino-Russian power when she integrates her whole northern defense policy with that of the United States--and spends a good deal of money on it. On the other hand, Americans learn with surprise that Canadians would like to have the number of American soldiers and airmen stationed in Canada considerably reduced, and the gap filled by personnel of other NATO countries. Again, Americans are startled by Canadian insistence, as shown in a recent Parliamentary statement, that, "although the basic issues between the free world and the Communist world are clear enough, we have [in Formosa and the offshore islands] a dispute in which that clarity is not, to say the least, obvious."
American missionary self-confidence, now based upon a near hegemony of power among the "Western" nations, will continue to make her policy decisions markedly different from those of Canada, which are based upon realization of limited (if real) power, a balanced North Atlantic Triangle, and a casuistic approach to international relations.
The Pandemic Bodes Ill for Both American and Chinese Power—and for the Global Order