A Distinguished former United States Ambassador to Canada, Mr. Livingston Merchant, was recently quoted as saying, "Canada is more important to the United States than any other single country." This will startle the average American who thinks of Canada-when he thinks of it at all-as a land of snow, wheat, "Northern Dancer," tourist camps and discontented people who speak French.
Americans would do well to think a little more often and more deeply about their relations with the fast-developing country to the north that lies between them and the Soviet Union-relations which involve partnership on the continent and coöperation in the wider world. At this time, when the United States is entering upon a period of renewed leadership in international affairs under President Johnson-leadership for peace, security and progress-Canadian developments, both domestic and international, can affect the burden of responsibility which the United States is carrying.
Barely 18 months ago I had the privilege of meeting with President Kennedy at his home in Hyannis Port to review the state of relations between our two countries and to discuss broader international issues which were current at the time. I recall his remarking then on the number of changes which could be foreseen on the world scene as a result of predictable retirements, elections and other events then known to be impending.
In the short interval since that meeting more drastic changes have taken place than could have been contemplated at our meeting, including his own tragic and lamented death. Through it all, we Canadians have shared your sorrows and your anxieties. Like you we have attempted to appraise the significance of developments in Europe and in NATO; of the assertion of a growing economic and political role by the "developing countries" of Asia, Africa and Latin America; of the brusque and unexpected change of leadership in the Soviet Union; and of the display of an atomic potential by Communist China. One thing which has remained unchanged amidst the changes has been the
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