Air University Review, September-October 1967
Dr. Ludwil J. Kos-Rabcewicz-Zubkowski
The final act of the Third Special Inter-American Conference held from 15 to
27 February 1967 at
Delegations from twenty governments were accredited to the conference:
This tribute prompts a review of the perennial subject of the possibility of
There are several changes in the Western Hemisphere and elsewhere which warrant a new examination of Canadian/inter-American relations, among which must be mentioned: the Protocol of Amendment to the OAS charter of 27 February 1967; the decision adopted at the April 1967 Punta del Este Conference, to transform the present Latin American Free Trade Association into a European-type common market; the emergence of independent American states, members of the British Commonwealth; the application by the United Kingdom to join the European Economic Community; Canadian participation in inter-American organizations and projects; development of Canadian—Latin American trade and transportation links and of Canadian missions in Latin America; investments of Canadian private capital in Latin America.
The association of North, Central, and South American states was founded in
1899 as the Commercial Bureau of the
At the founding convention of the United Nations in the spring of 1945, the
Latin American delegates decided not to surrender the
The new attitude towards
Since November 1965
A Canadian observer group attended a special meeting of the Inter-American
Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) held in
Since 1964 a new dimension has been added to Canadian-Latin American
relations in the field of loans carried out in conjunction with the
Inter-American Development Bank. Canada has already put up more than $40
million for loan funds in cooperation with the Inter-American Development Bank,
which is acting as administrator on behalf of Canada.9 To date these
interest-free loans have amounted to $3,240,000 for El Salvador $1,260,000 for
Ecuador, $800,000 for Paraguay, $756,000 for Argentina, $540,000 for Peru,
$1,620,000 for Bolivia, $540,000 for Mexico, and $4,320,000 for Chile.
Furthermore the Export Credits Insurance Corporation obtained credits of
$15,000,000 for financing trade with
In the field of private investment, Canadian capital continues to flow to various Latin American countries. It may be mentioned in passing that recently Canadian-Chile Mines S.A. has been created with a capital of $2,900,000.
In the cultural field a special affinity exists between French-speaking
It hardly needs recalling that Canada has extremely close ties with its only
neighbour, the United States, and that these close
relations result from geographical proximity, interchange of population,
similar political philosophies, and the habit of resolving outstanding problems
by negotiation. After 1871, when the Treaty of Washington settled most of the
points of disagreement between them, relations between the two countries
rapidly improved. The last World War brought a change from a position of
friendly cooperation to one of positive alliance. On 18 August 1940 the “Ogdensburg
Agreement” established, with unique informality, a Permanent Joint U.S.—Canadian Board of Defence. The text of the agreement
was published in the Canada Treaty Series and passed as an order-in-council,
while in the United States the Ogdensburg Agreement was viewed as an executive
matter that did not require the ratification of the Senate.10 The
Board was established originally for the primary purpose of coordinating the
plans of the two governments for the wartime defence
of North America, but since the war it has gradually come to assume a somewhat
different role, partly because of the changing nature of the task and partly
because of the emergence of other bilateral consultative bodies in the defence field. Among these are the Military Cooperation
Committee, established in 1946, the Senior Policy Committee on the Canada—United
States Defence Production and Development Sharing Programme, and the Canada—United States Ministerial
Committee on Joint Defence, both formed in 1958.
After the creation of NATO the two countries, while actively supporting this
multinational defensive alliance, continued to provide for the defence of North America on a bilateral basis, paralleling
the joint defence organization established
collectively by the North Atlantic Treaty Organization countries for Europe.11
The Board was closely involved in the planning of the three radar lines—Pinetree, Mid-Canada, and Distant Early Warning (DEW)—which were successively constructed across the continent at increasingly
northerly latitudes to give warning of attack across the arctic. The Board’s
role was less direct in the construction by the
Reconciling the requirements of continental defence
with the various other objectives of North American society is a complex and
delicate task, involving the careful consideration many sensitive factors that
often cannot be separated by the normal dividing line between military and
political matters. It is in this area that the Board, with a mixed military and
civil membership, has in recent years found its most useful role, a role not
readily filled through any other of the several channels now available to the
Many interlocking interests result from the links existing between the
economies of the two countries—or rather from the impact of the
It has been observed recently that among the factors which shape foreign
policies of the United States and Canada three areas of contrast between the
two countries can be distinguished: (1) the superpower status of the United
States, which arises from great wealth and large population, as opposed to the
smaller population and more limited power of Canada; (2) the bilingual and
multicultural nature of Canada, as opposed to the more homogeneous makeup of
the United States; and (3) the revolutionary origins of the United States, as
opposed to the evolutionary development of Canada.14 While there is
a great discrepancy between the power of the United States and that of Canada,
Canadians do not consider their nation as any kind of satellite of the United
States. They consider
Since the earliest times
Thus it is apparent that Canadian participation in inter-American affairs
has been channeled in three main ways: 1) direct relations with each of the
Latin American countries and participation in inter-American agencies, 2)
relations with the
What would Canadian membership in the Organization of American States mean? The purposes of OAS as stated in the Bogotá Charter of 1948 and confirmed in the Preamble to the Protocol of Amendment signed at Buenos Aires on 27 February 1967 are: 1) to achieve an order of peace and justice, 2) to promote solidarity among the American states, 3) to strengthen their collaboration, and 4) to defend their sovereignty, their territorial integrity, and their independence.
This Preamble reiterated what the Second Special Inter-American Conference, held in Rio de Janeiro in 1965, had declared: that it was essential 1) to forge a new dynamism for the inter-American system and 2) imperative to modify the working structure of the OAS, as well as 3) to establish in the charter new objectives and standards for the promotion of the economic, social, and cultural development of the peoples of the hemisphere and 4) to speed up the process of economic integration. Finally, this Preamble stated that it is essential to reaffirm the determination of the American states to combine their efforts in a spirit of solidarity in the permanent task of achieving the general conditions of well-being that will ensure a life of dignity and freedom to their peoples.21
It seems safe to say that the first aim, “to achieve an order of peace and
justice,” has been generally reached in
Among the arguments against Canadian membership is the contention that the
Commonwealth connection weighs against full Canadian participation in OAS.22
This argument seems to be both unconvincing in
principle and obsolete in fact due to the changing character of the
Commonwealth. The recent application by the government of the
It is true that
The moral value of this argument is at least doubtful. As to its practical
importance, with the development of international interdependence a clear
position on international problems is in any case unavoidable.
It has also been said that membership in the OAS will involve substantial
costs for Canada; that Canada, with its limited resources, will find itself too
heavily burdened as a consequence of membership in OAS; and that Canada should
be expanding its foreign aid and other foreign commitments in other directions
more in line with its historic affiliations and international interests (e.g.,
via the Colombo plan).25 It is true that Canada, notwithstanding its
high standard of living, is still a capital-importing country, although it does
export capital as well. While it is difficult to estimate the cost of Canadian
membership in OAS, possibly it would not exceed substantially the present direct
and indirect outflow of Canadian capital to
Whatever the cost of Canadian membership in the OAS, it could be considered
a sound investment. The Latin American Free Trade Association (LAFTA), created
in 1960 and comprising all the larger South American states plus
Although it is difficult to foresee offhand what role
It is true that the Protocol of Buenos Aires (article 40) views the establishment of a Latin American common market, not an inter-American market. It does, however, exhort all the American states to make individual and united efforts to bring about the reduction or elimination of tariff and nontariff import barriers that affect the exports of members of the OAS; to maintain continuity in economic and social development by means of improved conditions for trade in basic commodities through international agreements, orderly marketing procedures that avoid the disruption of markets, and other measures designed to promote the expansion of markets; and to obtain dependable incomes for producers, adequate and dependable supplies for consumers, and stable prices that are both remunerative to producers and fair to consumers. It calls for improved international financial cooperation; for the adoption of other means for lessening the adverse impact of sharp fluctuations in export earnings experienced by the countries exporting basic commodities; and for diversification of export and expansion of export opportunities for manufactured and semimanufactured products from the developing countries by promoting and strengthening national and multinational institutions and arrangements established for these purposes. (article 37)
While it is impossible to cover here the entire treatment of economic matters as it is presented in the Protocol of Buenos Aires where it has been expanded from the original two short articles to fourteen articles (numbers 29 to 42), even this brief coverage indicates the importance of economic problems to the members of the OAS. One need not stress the importance of this new inter-American trend for Canada, a trading nation that exports approximately one-fourth of its gross national product.26 Some of these exports are within the category of basic commodities, like wheat, and it is an open question whether present main purchasers of Canadian Wheat (Communist China, the U.S.S.R., and the East European countries) will remain permanent customers when they develop their own agriculture.
the OAS charter
The brief review of the charter of the OAS as amended on 27 February 1967 by
the Protocol of Buenos Aires may throw additional light on the possible
Canadian membership in the OAS. In accordance with Article XXVI, the Protocol
will become effective among the ratifying states when two-thirds of the 21
states signatory to the charter have deposited their instruments of
ratification. It will become effective with respect to the remaining 7 states
in the order in which they deposit their instruments of ratification. The
original charter, which was signed at the Ninth International Conference of
American States at Bogotá on 30 April 1948, became effective 13 December 1951,
when the 14th ratification was deposited by
The problem of security is again covered among the “principles,” where it is
stated that an act of aggression against one American state is an act of
aggression against all the other American states (article 3f). Furthermore,
Chapter VI on collective security amplifies this principle by stating that
every act of aggression against the territorial integrity or inviolability or
against the sovereignty or political independence of an American state shall be
considered an act of aggression against the other American states (article 27).
While the next article deals not only with an armed attack but also with an act
of aggression that is not an armed attack, an extracontinental
conflict, a conflict between two or more American states, and any other fact or
situation that might endanger the peace of America, it does not provide for
measures of defence. This article (number 28)
mentions only that in such cases the American states shall apply the measures
and procedures established in the special treaties on the subject. This
The Protocol of Buenos Aires greatly expanded the chapters on social and cultural standards. While Canadians can contribute to the development in this field, it is also true that the rich Latin American cultural heritage and literature represent an interesting potential for Canadian students and scholars.
Extensive changes in part two of the charter of the OAS tend to make the organization more efficient by developing existing organs of the OAS and by providing for the permanence of their work or the increased frequency of their meetings. Thus the OAS hopes to accomplish its purposes by these means: a) the General Assembly to convene annually instead of every five years as did its predecessor, the Inter-American Conference; b) the Meeting of Consultation of Ministers of Foreign Affairs; c) the Permanent Council of the OAS, the Inter-American Economic and Social Council, the Inter-American Council for Education, Science, and Culture; d) the Inter-American Juridical Committee; e) the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights; f) the General Secretariat, replacing the Pan American Union; g) the Specialized Conferences, being intergovernmental meetings to deal with special technical matters or to develop specific aspects of inter-American cooperation; h) the Specialized Organizations, being intergovernmental organizations established by multilateral agreements and having specific functions with respect to technical matters of common interest to American states.
Among the “transitory provisions,” article 149 provides that the
Inter-American Committee on the
The new structure of the Organization of American States,
more detailed and providing for important economic integration, supported by
either permanent activities or by more frequent meeting of its organs, may
prove to be a more efficient regional organization of states than it was before
the amendments of
It seems, therefore, that the pros and cons of Canadian membership in OAS
will find an answer in the gradual interdependence of
1. John D. Harbron, Canada and the Organization of American States (1963), Canadian American Committee sponsored by National Planning Association (U.S.A.) and Private Planning Association of Canada, 1963, p.11.
3. Ibid., p. 18. See also
4. Harbron, p. 18.
5. Speech by the Acting Prime Minister and Secretary of State for External Affairs, the Honourable Paul Martin, at the opening of the Eighth American Regional Conference of the International Labour Organization, Ottawa, 12 September 1966, Statements and Speeches, Information Division, Department of External Affairs, Ottawa, No. 66/37, p. 6. (“Statements and Speeches …..”hereafter cited as S&S.)
6. A speech by Senator John J. Connolly to the Sixth Inter-American Conference of Business Executives in Lima, Peru, on 9 November 1964, S&S, No. 64/34, p.4.
7. A speech by the Secretary of State for External Affairs, the Honourable Paul Martin, to the Second Annual Banff Conference on world Development, 24 August 1964, S&S, No. 64/16, p.4,
8. Ibid., p. 5.
9. The Canadian funds in the form of direct loans amounted to U.S. $27.8 million, and in the form of loan participation and parallel financing arrangements amounted to U.S. $13.95 million. Inter-American Development Bank, Social Progress Trust Fund Sixth Annual Report, 1966, p.391.
10. The Canada-United States Permanent Board of Defence, Reference Papers, Information Division, Department of External Affairs, Ottawa, No.116, August 1965, p.2. (Hereafter cited as PBDRP.)
11. Ibid., pp.4 and 5. See also John Gellner, “
12. PBDRP, p. 5.
14. “Aspects of Canada and United States Foreign Policies,” a speech by the Honourable Paul Martin, Secretary of State for External Affairs, Michigan Stale University, East Lansing, 25 February 1967, S&S, No.67/5, p.2.
15. Address by the Honourable
Paul Martin, Secretary of State for External Affairs, at a Dinner of the
Mid-western Regional Conference of Attorneys General in
16. “Canada’s Trade with the Commonwealth Caribbean,” a speech by the Minister of Trade and Commerce, Mr. Robert H. Winters, to the Halifax, Nova Scotia, Board of Trade, 27 February 1967, S&S, No.67/6, p.1.
17. Canadian External Aid, Reference Papers,
Information Division, Department of External Affairs,
18. Winters, p. 2.
20. S&S, No.67/5, p. 7.
21. OAS Doc. 11 (English), Rev. 5, 27 February 1967.
22. Harbron, p.22.
23. Ibid., p.22. See also John W. Holmes, “
24. Harbron, p.25.
25. Ibid., p.22.
26. See Muriel T. Baron in Waldmarck Encyclopedia of Nations: Americas, 1965, p. 57: “Canada ranks fifth in world trade, follows the United States, West Germany, the United Kingdom and France . . . export of goods and services have been close to 20% of gross national expenditure, while imports have been even higher . . . In 1962 total trade (exports and imports together) were valued at over Cdn $12.6 billion, an increase of 8% over 1961.”
27. “The Identity of Canada in North America,” an address by the Right Honourable Lester B. Pearson, Prime Minister of Canada, to the American Society of Newspaper Editors, Montreal, 19 May 1966, S&S, No. 66/72, p. 6.
28. “Canada and Latin America,” a speech by the Honourable Paul Martin, Secretary of State for External Affairs, at the Canadian Inter-American Association dinner, Ottawa, 31 May 1967, S&S, No.67/21, p.2.
Dr. Ludwik J. Kos-Rabcewicz-Zubkowski
(Docteur en droit,
The conclusions and opinions expressed in this
document are those of the author cultivated in the freedom of expression,
academic environment of
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