Each year, at a place called "Magnetic Hill," visitors to Canada by the thousands park their cars at the bottom, place the gearshift in neutral, and sit in delighted astonishment as they glide gradually but inexorably up the hill. The whole exercise is an optical illusion, of course. The cars only seem to be coasting uphill; they are actually going down. The tourists know this, but they come anyway. It's not the feat that is the attraction; it's the illusion.

The hue and cry that arose within Canada following the introduction in 1969 of the government's White Paper on Foreign Policy bears some resemblance to the events at Magnetic Hill. The criticism was directed less at the paper's views of what Canada could and should do in the world than at the illusion cherished by many Canadians that their country's moral influence was unbounded. At a time when the British government was reducing its forces east of Suez and when strong voices were being raised in the United States against that country's worldwide presence, some Canadians were aghast that the Canadian government should refer to Canada as a modest power with limited influence. What of idealism? What of our destined role? "It is ... disconcerting," said one critic, "to find no place for heroes in the future diplomatic adventures of our country."

With heroes or without, a foreign policy is a relatively new acquisition ... for Canada. One hundred years ago a leading Canadian newspaper was able to write: "We could not be freer than we are now, for we have no foreign policy to complicate things, and no army to provide."

The editorialist was not suggesting that Canada had no relations with other countries, only that we had no considered pattern of dealing with them. Perhaps because we had so few options, Canada's foreign policies are in large measure a product of the influence of two states with which it has been intimately related throughout its history: Great Britain and the United States.

The first relationship retained for some time the frustrations of a colonial past As Prime Minister Sir Wilfrid Laurier said:

"We should have the right to say to Great Britain: if you want us to help you, call us to your councils."

The second relationship bears an entirely different quality, but no less uneasy. In the words of Prime Minister Pierre Elliott Trudeau: "Living next to the United States is in some ways like sleeping with an elephant. No matter how friendly and even-tempered is the beast, one is affected by every twitch and grunt."

Formal policy or not, however, Canada has employed foreign pursuits for its own benefit for many years. Participating in the Versailles Peace Conference and engaging in treaty relations with another country directly, rather than through Britain's intermediary, led to full independence. Yet by 1945 Canada still had no cabinet minister responsible only for external relations. We had diplomatic representatives abroad in only 23 countries, and, had Canadians been asked, they most probably would have replied that they regarded "normalcy" as the period prior to the Great Depression. But in 1945 we began to realize that the war had converted Canada into an industrial power at the same time as it had destroyed the economic base of much of Europe. In this new, postwar world Canada recognized that its international relations had expanded at a swifter pace than had its foreign policy.

By 1949 this shortcoming had been corrected and a balanced foreign policy acquired. As befits all solid, functional structures, it had four corners: the United Nations, the Commonwealth, the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, and our close relationship with the United States. The shape of that policy was first identified by Prime Minister Louis St. Laurent. If anyone had observed then that the United States formed a sturdy segment of three of those four legs, few Canadians would have regarded this as anything but a happy and appropriate situation.

Two decades later, with the cold war showing few signs of thaw, the anomaly of the world's most populous state still denied membership in the international community, social unrest more and more often turning to violent ends, and a world in which technology had deluded millions to think that growth was a goal which justified any excess, some Canadians began to look anew at that square structure. Inevitably, any suggestion of change attracted the criticism that it was motivated by anti-Americanism, as the much earlier move to independence had been interpreted by some as being anti-British. One might just as well describe as a "horse-hater" the farmer who had switched to tractors in order to accommodate new conditions.

Notice was given by Prime Minister Trudeau during the 1968 election campaign that a review of foreign policy was contemplated. The review was needed, he said, "because of the changing nature of Canada and the world around us." What was sought were policies which would "accord with our national needs and resources, with our ability to discharge Canada's legitimate responsibilities in world affairs." "Change" was the occasion, and "ability" was to be the measure. But would this be a departure from purpose and an abandonment of friends and allies? Mr. Trudeau claimed not when he addressed the National Press Club in Washington, D.C., in March, 1969:

I want to emphasize that this review is not an excuse to prove our independence; that independence needs no proving. Nor is it an exercise intended to illustrate to the United States our potential for irritation. We have no desire, and no surplus energy, for that kind of activity.

We are building a new society in Canada. It should not be surprising that the external manifestations of this society may be somewhat different than has been the case in the past. But just as one of the invariable principles of that domestic society is the primacy of the individual, so is one of the invariables of our foreign policy genuine friendship with the United States.

The new policy was not to be a simple reevaluation of the old; nor was it expected necessarily to depart dramatically from familiar lines. The review process itself could claim novelty, however, for it proceeded on a conceptual basis and tested the thesis that a modest power need not necessarily pursue a foreign policy consisting largely of empirical adjustments. When completed, the concept was capable of presentation in modular form: a hexagon with six distinct, yet sometimes complementary and sometimes overlapping objectives: peace and security, a harmonious natural environment, sovereignty and independence, social justice, an enhanced quality of life, economic growth. The pursuit of these objectives, not the search for roles or influence, was the policy thrust adopted by the Trudeau government. In the words of the White Paper: "... it is... misleading to base a foreign policy on an assumption that Canada can be cast as the 'helpful fixer' in international affairs. ... To be liked and regarded as good fellows are not ends in themselves; they are a reflection of but not a substitute for policy."

The six policy objectives are not mutually exclusive; the emphasis which the Canadian government gives to them will form a constantly changing pattern. They should not be listed in any given order, though, for this leaves the impression that they are related in a fixed and descending order of importance. Ideally, they should be illustrated schematically.

The objectives are neither exclusively foreign nor exclusively domestic. Mr. Trudeau has described them as the overall goals of his government. He has stated, as well, that their pursuit is an ongoing process which will make Canada a better place for Canadians in a world better for all human beings. In this essay those goals form the backdrop to the deep and complex Canada-United States relationship.

II

Because Canada and the United States share the greater part of a common continent, most of the important activities of either country inevitably affect the other, usually in a ratio proportionate to their relative sizes. Most Canadians have long been accustomed to this fact and, apart from a hardy, persistent, yet small number of shrill nationalists, become disturbed only occasionally. This seeming tranquility is part of an understanding that those areas where the American presence is most evident in Canada-activities flowing from our economic, cultural and environmental propinquity, and from our military alliance-are in large measure an inevitable result of geography. Tranquil though the attitude may appear, however, it is not without concern, and even, on occasion, a touch of fear. The fear has seldom been of the American government-that, like any focused external threat, would encourage a cohesive response; it is of the effects of the amorphous embrace of millions of American magazines and books, of hundreds of thousands of American investors, of thousands of American films and television programs, of the constant pressure-friendly yet overwhelming- of 200,000,000 talented, energetic, acquisitive Americans. More recently, however, the fear has been of U.S. economic policies.

These are twitches and grunts of which in many instances neither the U.S. government nor the average American is likely cognizant. We here gain the impression that the view from Washington of Canada and Canadians tends to be fitful and spasmodic. The image pulsates in time to events often unconnected with Canada. Visibility is generally clear from the Pentagon, for example, because Canada is an enormous land mass separating the United States from the Soviet Union. The scene reduces itself to a statistical table for economists who may regard us as an apparently endless source of mineral and energy resources, and an immense market for U.S. manufactured goods and U.S. investment capital. The prospect becomes warm and attractive to the speechmaker-Canada, a stable and friendly democracy adhering to the rule of law.

These variations in visibility are perhaps no greater than is the view from any other country, but they assume major significance when introduced into the policy of the most powerful state in the world. Canadians, it is assumed, are so similar to Americans that they must surely share the same goals, values and desires. If this assumption is borne out in some instances, as in support for the United Nations or in similarities in legal systems, it is not regarded as significant. Yet when variations appear, annoyance follows. And variations there are. Examples: belief on the part of Canadians that trade with Cuba in non-strategic goods is likely to encourage in response moderate policies and friendship; our long-standing willingness to test cautiously the sincerity of the Soviet Union and China as an alternative to the untenable tensions of a cold war of indefinite duration; our concern that the high risk of oil pollution in the beautiful, yet narrow and crowded, Strait of Juan de Fuca (through which the international boundary runs) is sufficient reason to place further south the tanker terminal for Alaskan oil; our conviction that all countries should cease nuclear weapons tests above and below the ground.

It is this comprehensive and unique blend of intimacy and assumption, shared interests and shocked misunderstanding, that probably explains why the two countries in the world with the greatest interpenetration at every level should in their most recent foreign policy reviews-President Nixon's "U.S. Foreign Policy for the 1970s" and our "Foreign Policy for Canadians"- give little mention to one another. It would be impossible for either country to formulate a complete policy toward the other, for there is no area of life in either country which is not to some degree an influence, cause, or effect of policies in the other.

So long as the two countries remain so close geographically, economically and culturally, the assumptions will continue; so long as they continue as politically independent states, the misunderstandings will arise. In the view of the Canadian government, an independent Canada serves American as well as Canadian interests, partly because it contributes to the reputation of the United States as a good international citizen. Prime Minister Trudeau has emphasized this point in defending his view of the basic sincerity and general good will of the United States toward Canada. Freedom to pursue our own interests without undue interference proves the sincerity of U.S. foreign policy, not so much to Canadians, who are in doubt only occasionally, but to other countries which may be in the habit of calling that good faith into question.

It is important that persons on both sides of the border remember this, for the differences in attitude between the two countries are likely to increase in number in the future. Inexorably, Canada's resources and geography will demand of her responsibilities and decisions which may be contentious elsewhere. The "new society" which Prime Minister Trudeau mentioned in his Washington Press Club speech is one that places increasing emphasis on the quality of life and the importance of human relations. The philosophy of unrestricted growth has been challenged by his government. Gross national product as the determining measurement of the health of a society has been called into question and "Net Human Benefit" has been suggested as a substitute, a measurement which would take into account such factors as environmental deterioration, community overcrowding and resource depletion.

These values contributed directly to the decision of the government in 1970 to establish 100-mile pollution prevention and control zones in the Canadian Arctic. The delicacy of the ecological balance and the frailty of all forms of life in the Arctic required, in the Canadian view, prevention of oil spills, not haphazard attempts at clean-up after the event, the current norm of behavior. This particular legislation was protested by the American government on the ground that it was in breach of international law. Canada replied that the unilateral act was taken in order to protect the environment until such time as the international community agreed to act coöperatively and set new and necessary standards of international conduct. Canada argued that the classical concept of freedom of the seas was being exploited by some maritime powers and by flags of convenience to the point that freedom had become license for irresponsibility. The coastal states (Canada's coastline is the longest of any country in the world) required protection against potential polluters and resource exploiters. A new balance of interest needed to be struck, not to deny the exploitation of mineral and living resources or to interdict maritime traffic, but to husband the resources and protect the wholesomeness of the environment.

To these ends Canada has been participating wholeheartedly in the preparatory work for the third United Nations Law of the Sea Conference and the 1972 United Nations Stockholm Environmental Conference. The Canadian goal is the international acceptance of adequate standards reflecting mankind's newly acquired knowledge and concern in environmental matters.

Canada cannot expect universal congratulations for pursuing policies of these sorts, however enlightened they may appear to liberal elements within this country. Population pressures elsewhere in the world and escalating U.S. demands for energy and minerals will undoubtedly cause Canada to be described from abroad as a selfish and self-indulgent country more concerned with protecting the high standard of living of its own citizens than of sharing its space and resources with the needy of the world. The needy in these circumstances will be portrayed variously as the crowded millions of South Asia, the fish-eating citizens of Japan and the air- conditioned apartment-dwellers of New York City. It will not be easy to counter these claims. Ironically, however, the easiest to answer may well be those of the developing countries. The Trudeau administration has reduced government spending since 1968 in every major sector but two- foreign aid and programs to overcome regional economic disparities within Canada. Foreign aid expenditures have increased regularly both in dollar value and as a percentage of GNP. Canada was the first GATT member to implement completely the Kennedy Round, offering new market opportunities to the third world. In addition, a unique center for international development research has been founded, supported by Canadian funds but guided by an international board of directors under the chairmanship of Lester B. Pearson.

But increasingly, Canadians will be called upon to justify to their neighbors to the south why they are not willing to export energy and other natural resources indefinitely even in return for the high prices that Canadian resources attract in U.S. markets; why in this respect and in others we adhere to a value system which has never been identical with that of Americans.

It would be misleading to suggest that the Canadian public is so zealous in its devotion to its values that it would suffer any degree of economic hardship rather than make some compromise. After all, compromise is an element of the moderation which we believe we exercise. One must therefore inquire into the sturdiness of these beliefs. Is there, or is there not, a point at which Canadians will decide in favor of the increase in disposable income which would follow from some degree of economic integration with the United States?

Questions of this sort have been in the air since, and indeed before, Confederation. They have been influenced, of course, by repugnance to "Manifest Destiny" which has changed its form over the years but has never really disappeared. There is little likelihood of a revival of such patent evidence as was found in Article IV of the 1781 U.S. Articles of Confederation, permitting Canada to accede to the American Union and to become entitled to all its advantages; of "54-40 or fight;" or of the bill introduced in Congress in 1866 designed to facilitate the entry into the United States of the Canadian provinces and the Western territories. Nevertheless, there is evidence which takes other forms, sometimes unintentional but none the less worrisome.

The issues of free trade vs. tariffs, and reciprocity (with the United States) vs. protectionism, were the very stuff of Canadian election campaigns earlier in this century. The victor over the years was always Canadian independence, a preference for parliamentary institutions rather than republicanism, a belief in the superiority of the legal and political system which guaranteed the life style of both the English-speaking and French-speaking communities, and a recognition that a trading state such as Canada could not survive either in a world of protectionism or in the economic embrace of the United States. No one doubted the illogic of the economic cost of an independent Canada or of the problems posed by the vastness of the northern half of the continent; no one questioned the economic advantages which would accrue from a north-south linkage. Notwithstanding, Canadians chose Canada. A federal election in 1911 was fought on the issue of continentalism, and the government of the day, which advocated such a trend, was defeated. Prior to World War I, the source of most investment capital was the United Kingdom; the British preferential tariff still held many advantages for Canada; the challenges and opportunities of the frontier remained a stimulating and satisfying feature of Canadian life; mass communications facilities were in their infancy. As a result, few Canadians possessed either the stimulus or the facility to relate to other than their immediate surroundings or their largely European origins. Continentalism was not so attractive a concept as it appears today.

The reason, of course, is that during the decades since 1911 many of the above factors have changed. Today the siren song of material benefit floods across the border by television, radio, film and magazine. While Canadians are not likely any more devoted now than in 1911 to the improvement of their economic well-being, their world has moved from an agricultural and primitive industrial base to one of technology and mass production. Immense capital and reliable markets are the mainstays of the system. For these, Canada has long turned to the United States. The dollar value of our trade in 1970-almost $21 billion-illustrates the new intimacy. So does the extent of U.S. investment in Canada: an estimated $35 billion, about 30 percent of all U.S. foreign investment everywhere in the world. Diversification of trading partners and gradual repurchase of foreign investment could overcome some of this interdependency but would not reduce it substantially for many years. That being the case, Canadians will remain subject for some time to the vagaries of the United States economy. American inflation becomes our inflation, diminishment of U.S. capital outflows means a decrease in our growth rate, U.S. protectionism means Canadian unemployment. The dependency can be eliminated quickly enough, as the militant Canadian nationalists assert repeatedly, but at an immense cost to Canadians as individuals and to Canada in its relations with the United States.

Given that neither country wants such a schism, it can be argued that it is in the interest of each not to hurt the other either consciously or by indifference. When the vulnerability is almost totally on one side, there must be a proportionately higher degree of awareness on the other.

This awareness seemed to be missing last August. Canada was caught in a situation not of its own making and in consequence, thousands of Canadians have suffered grievously. This has done nothing to enhance the image of the United States in Canada; America's claims to greatness and to moral leadership are being challenged broadly for perhaps the first time in a century in the editorial pages of Canadian newspapers. One of the consequences has been a fresh questioning within Canada of the fundamental relationship of the two countries. That this should be so is cause for concern. The Prime Minister put it this way in reply to a newsman's question:

When the Americans look at what they're doing they say: "Well you know, we're doing this to the Japanese and we're doing this to the Europeans," but they don't seem to realize what they are doing to Canadians. If they do realize what they are doing and if it becomes apparent that they just want us to be sellers of natural resources to them and buyers of their manufactured products-all these if's-we will have to reassess fundamentally our relations with them, trading, political and otherwise.

III

Canadians and successive Canadian governments have long assumed that the extensive economic relations of the United States and Canada were different from those between other countries, were "special." This view seems to have been shared in the past by U.S. governments in the formulation of policy. The integrated power grids, the oil and gas pipelines, the rationalization of much of the continent's automobile production, the massive investment flow (measured in total volume, American investment in Canada is far, far larger than the reverse; measured on a per capita basis Canadian investment in the United States is higher), the sheer size of our trade-all these are evidence that the relationship is intricately locked together. Yet none of this evidence weighed heavily enough at Camp David in August to dissuade President Nixon from applying universally his ten percent import surcharge. More bewildering even than the surcharge was the impression gained in Canada that the U.S. government was not aware of the facts of the economic relationship between the two countries. This episode seemed to be evidence of those spasmodic blind spots. Or is it Canada that is the impressionist? Consider the evidence.

Canada is far and away the most important world market for U.S. goods. Our purchases from the United States have for many years approached in value the total of the purchases of America's four next largest trading partners- Japan, Germany, Britain and France. U.S. sales to Canada exceed in value the total of U.S. sales to Japan and the Common Market combined, and to all of Latin America. There can be no dispute about this; the statistics are available in both our countries and from international sources. Yet President Nixon stated in a press conference in Washington on September 16, 1971:

This is a time for our friends around the world-and they are all competitors-to build a new system with which we can live so that we don't have another crisis in a year. With regard to the Japanese incidentally, I think I can best summarize our dilemma in this way: after the Japanese were here I found that, both from the information they gave and the information we had ourselves, that Japan is our biggest customer in the world.

Apart from the fact that the value of U.S.-Canadian trade exceeded the value of U.S.-Japanese trade in 1970 by some $10 billion, what of the more important question? Has Canada contributed to America's undoubted trading difficulties? The Canadian government has answered emphatically "no." Between the turn of the century and 1968, there were only three years (1936, 1944 and 1945) when the United States did not enjoy a favorable balance-of-payments position in its merchandise trade with Canada. Canada has no discriminatory tariff or non-tariff barriers aimed at U.S. goods. Canada's dollar has been floating freely since June 1970 and cannot be suggested to have an artificial value compared with the U.S. dollar.

These last two points are important because the two factors which the U.S. government said had forced it to act were the artificial currency valuation and unfair trading practices of some countries. But not of Canada. Our sin, apparently, has been to sell more to the United States than we have bought in the past couple of years. Canadians have been given the impression that the U.S. government regards a bilateral merchandise surplus in favor of the United States as normal and proper but if that surplus turns into a deficit, partly because of an imbalance in purchases under the Canada-U.S. Defence Production Sharing Agreement-and this because America is at war in Vietnam-then Canada must be at fault somehow and draconian measures are justified, to the extent of driving up Canadian unemployment.

For that is the result in Canada of the American surcharge. One does not require a degree in economics to realize that unemployed Canadians are not likely to be able to buy many imported products-even products manufactured in the United States. Nor will American investment in Canada offer a healthy return should our economy become depressed.

For Canadians, the issue has moved from annoyance toward bitterness with the information that Canada's long-standing total current account deficit with the United States increased considerably during the first six months of the past year. Notwithstanding the merchandise surplus in 1970, our nonmerchandise deficit was so large that our total current account deficit in favor of the United States was $214 million. This U.S. current favorable balance skyrocketed to $273 million in the period January 1-June 30, 1971. (There is a net U.S. capital inflow into Canada, but this has nothing to do with current trading problems.) Canada, the source of much of America's foreign-exchange earnings, is bearing the unintended brunt of U.S. policies to increase those earnings. This contradiction seems not to be noticed in Washington.

In years gone by this continuing net benefit to the American economy from its intimate commercial relationship with Canada has been acknowledged. On the assumption that the basic awareness remained unchanged, the Canadian government responded promptly but in low key to the August economic policy announcement: a request of the U.S. government that the import surcharge not apply to goods of Canadian origin because Canada was not guilty of either of the two practices recited by President Nixon as being detrimental, and because the surcharge would be injurious to both countries; a statement of support for the restructuring of the international monetary system; total sympathy and understanding for the desire of the U.S. government to base its economy on a better footing. Canada has not disputed the propriety of America's acting initially in a nondiscriminatory fashion against all countries. No special favors have been sought. The argument advanced, simply, is that those countries (and there are many) that have demonstrated their innocence in the key areas be granted exemption immediately, and not be used as involuntary hostages in order to bring additional pressure on the recalcitrant minority.

There was little popular outcry in Canada for retaliatory measures, as, for example, placing a very heavy export duty on natural gas and oil exports. Indeed, only one Canadian political party, the New Democrats, urged any action approaching retaliation. The government did act to assist these Canadian companies which faced severe business disruption and the consequent layoff of thousands of employees. Nevertheless, the American attitude has not been sympathetic. The Canadian request for exemption from the surcharge has been rejected; Washington's reaction to the employment support legislation has taken the form of a warning that countervailing duties might apply if this legislation proves "injurious" to the United States.

The prevalent Canadian attitude thus far remains one more of sadness than of anger. The question Canadians face, however, is whether they can afford to remain so vulnerable. Some are even asking whether they can survive. After all, Canadian 1970 sales to the United States of $10.99 billion represented 13 percent of our GNP whereas American sales to Canada of $9.91 billion that same year represented only .97 percent of the American GNP.

The elephant simile is an appropriate one, but it should not be exaggerated. In a speech of welcome to Soviet Premier Aleksei Kosygin in Ottawa in October 1971, Mr. Trudeau said: "True friendship, when once attained, and if soundly based, is strong enough to endure temporary differences, and to emerge stronger for having been tested. Canada's long relationship with its oldest friends is proof to us that however uncertain may be the consequences from time to time of short-term events, the long run consists of a climate of understanding and coöperation."

IV

Notwithstanding that the bulk of this essay is directed to Canadian- American relations, not all of Canada's energies, of course, are devoted to living with its giant and sometimes unpredictable neighbor. The new directions of Canadian foreign policy are the result of new needs and of new demands upon us from a variety of sources. These changes in direction and emphasis will not always parallel the policies of the United States, but there is no reason to suppose that divergence is synonymous with disagreement or conflict. Both countries desire a peaceful world, and Canada recognizes its obligation to contribute toward that end. Present Canadian defense policy was articulated in 1969 as meeting four priorities: (1) the defense of Canada; (2) the defense of North America (through NORAD) ; (3) NATO obligations; (4) U.N. peacekeeping.

We are a three-ocean country; measured in terms of population, we rank seventh of the 15 NATO allies. It is unrealistic to assume that Canada can or should perform a defense role oriented solely to Europe, or on the same scale as the larger powers. It is equally unrealistic, however, to assume that Canada is unreliable or reluctant to assume its responsibilities. Canadian forces served with distinction in both world wars and in Korea; Canada has participated in every single U.N. peacekeeping and peace observation mission as well as being a member of each of the three International Commissions for Supervision and Control in Indochina. Canadian Armed Forces are now serving abroad with the U.N. Peace-Keeping Force in Cyprus, the U.N. Truce Supervision Organization (Middle East), the U.N. Military Observer Group in India and Pakistan, the Control Commissions in Vietnam and Laos, as well as in NATO Europe. A specially trained and equipped battalion group remains constantly on a stand-by basis in Canada, ready to fly instantly to any part of the world in response to a request for Canadian participation in international peacekeeping.

We have absorbed much of our costs in these undertakings rather than pass them on to the United Nations. We have willingly paid all our U.N. special and general assessments. Indeed the thought of resisting payment as a means of expressing distaste for U.N. policies or as a political lever would be so repugnant to most Canadians as to be preposterous even to consider.

Geography has placed Canada between the two superpowers and thus beneath the main routes of intercontinental nuclear missiles, whether they be rocket or bomber-borne. Canada's southern neighbor has been a traditional friend; it is in Canada's interest that her northern neighbor, notwithstanding its different economic, political and social systems, be friendly as well. A nation of 22 million people cannot be regarded as a threat by either the United States or the Soviet Union. That fact places upon Canada a responsibility to search for areas of common interest with each. Those areas are well identified in one direction, but require considerable probing and examination in the other. That process is now underway. Immense tracts of Arctic and sub-Arctic territory, giving rise to special transportation, communication and developmental problems offer to Canada and the Soviet Union a community of interest which each is anxious to explore. Hopefully, other links will in due course also develop and contribute to a climate of confidence extending from the Hindu Kush up over the Pole and down to the Gulf of Mexico.

We are a geographic interface between two nuclear adversaries; this has contributed to the innate Canadian abhorrence of war and to our active pursuit of internationally agreed disarmament and arms-control measures. Canada has been a member of every international body charged with these subjects since 1945. It earned this assignment because of the nuclear capability it gained during World War II as part of the American-British- Canadian coöperative development of the atomic bomb. The Government has declared to parliament that it regards disarmament and arms control as one of the most important aspects of Canadian foreign policy. Our goal differs not at all from the American goal; our approach, and our timing, however, often vary considerably. This is so partly because of our geographic location, partly because we regard large-power reluctance to act more promptly as a symptom of size, and partly because we are not ashamed to admit that we are frightened by the possibility of accidental war and disgusted by the advocates of overkill.

In what other ways does Canadian foreign policy depart from American? One of the most obvious arises from our position as a founding member of the Commonwealth of Nations. This gives Canada a direct, informal link with 755 million people from every continent and several of the oceans who comprise the 31-country association. The character of the Commonwealth has changed immeasurably in the past 25 years. That association plus the much newer 22- member "Agence de Coopération culturelle et technique des pays francophones," of which Canada is also a member, contribute dimensions distinct from American policy and with a focus quite unlike that of the United Nations and its several specialized agencies. Interestingly, the Secretary General of each of these international associations-the Commonwealth and La Francophonie-is a Canadian.

It is Canada's historic and linguistic separation from the United States which has given it the opportunity to cultivate these links. And they are taken seriously. Of the 12 countries which Prime Minister Trudeau has visited officially since 1968, eight have been Commonwealth members (the others: the United States, Japan, Indonesia, and the Soviet Union-plus a brief call at the Vatican). The existence of these relationships, plus our parliamentary traditions, go far to explain why Canada has never emphasized its hemispheric location.

Finally, if there is a single aspect of Canadian foreign policy that attracts greater public support than any other, it is that part which is devoted to economic assistance to developing countries.

Indeed the bulk of public criticism of our aid programs asserts that it is not growing fast enough.

V

How to sum up any analysis of present Canadian foreign policy? Emphasize, perhaps, the absence of pretentiousness. Canada is not number one; it has little inclination toward chauvinism. It is not without pride, however, and it is not easily discouraged. One may hope that it may even have buried forever self-delusion. Certainly it pays more heed to common sense than to theory or theorists. All this has been better said by two Canadians, one a Prime Minister in 1969, the other a humorist in 1853. Each deserves a place in concluding this article.

Pierre Elliott Trudeau told a distinguished American audience in Washington: "We Canadians do not have an exaggerated view of our importance. We prefer to think that our place in the world is such that we can occasionally experiment with good ideas without risking a complete upset of the whole international order. We are as pleased as is any country when our views are sought or our assistance requested. But we may be excused, I hope, if we fail to take too seriously the suggestion of some of our friends from time to time that our acts-or our failure to act-this or that way, will have profound international consequences or will lead to widescale undesirable results."

The humorist was a Maritimer named T. C. Haliburton and he wrote on occasion about Canadian-American relations. His judgment is as sound today as it was a century and a quarter ago: "It is authors of silly books, editors of silly papers, and demagogues of silly parties that keep us apart."

Should any reader question the propriety of giving the last word on foreign policy to a social satirist rather than to a Prime Minister, he should be cautioned that Canadians would not regard such as inappropriate. That, perhaps, says something for the soundness both of Canadians and of their attitude toward the world.

You are reading a free article.

Subscribe to Foreign Affairs to get unlimited access.

  • Paywall-free reading of new articles and a century of archives
  • Unlock access to iOS/Android apps to save editions for offline reading
  • Six issues a year in print, online, and audio editions
Subscribe Now