Dwight D. Eisenhower photo

Joint Statement Following Discussions With Prime Minister St. Laurent of Canada.

May 08, 1953

THE PRESIDENT of the United States, the Secretary of State, and other members of the Cabinet have held discussions during the last two days with the Canadian Prime Minister, Mr. Louis S. St. Laurent, and the Secretary of State for External Affairs, Mr. L. B. Pearson. The meeting continued a long standing practice of visits exchanged across the border between Prime Ministers of Canada and Presidents of the United States. The conversations consisted of a full and frank exchange of views on the world situation in general and on United States-Canadian relations in particular. They were conducted in that spirit of friendship and cooperation which has long been characteristic of official discussions between the two Governments and they revealed a far-reaching identity of objectives.

In a survey of the world situation today, the President and the Prime Minister gave particular emphasis to recent developments in the USSR and the Soviet orbit and their effects upon the free nations of the world. It was agreed that while every effort should be made to bring about a relaxation of current tensions, the free nations could not afford to diminish their efforts toward the achievement of united strength and ability to meet aggression. Acts, not words, would be proof of Communist intentions. Though recent developments in Korea where Canadian and United States troops are fighting side by side have seemed more hopeful, nevertheless, in Laos a new act of aggression has been committed which might have serious consequences for Thailand and the whole of Southeast Asia. These developments in Southeast Asia must cast doubt on Communist intentions.

In the discussions on the European area, emphasis was placed on the necessity of maintaining the momentum of vigorous support for NATO. The achievements of the recent NATO Ministerial .meeting were noted with satisfaction. It was agreed that both countries must continue to do their full share to further NATO objectives.

Views were exchanged concerning progress made toward the expansion of world trade. It was recalled that trade between the United States and Canada is greater than that between any other two countries. The Prime Minister stressed the great importance attached by Canada to the liberation and expansion of world trade and expressed the hope that the United States would play a role of leadership in this field. The President stated that, as an interim step, the Administration has recommended to the Congress the one-year renewal of the Reciprocal Trade Act and intends to submit to the Congress shortly its proposals regarding Customs Simplification. The President also pointed out that he has recommended to the Congress the establishment of a Commission to study all aspects of United States economic foreign policy so that future policies will be comprehensive, constructive and consistent.

The Prime Minister emphasized the importance to Canada of an early start on the St. Lawrence project and the especial urgency to Canada of the power development. The President assured the Prime Minister that the United States is fully aware of Canada's urgent need for St. Lawrence power. He said that he favored the development of the United States share of St. Lawrence power under the authority of New York State and that he hoped for an early favorable decision by the Federal Power Commission in this matter. The President in this connection referred to the decision of the Cabinet on this subject announced today. The Prime Minister said that the Canadian Government was still prepared to discuss United States participation in the international section, provided that arrangements for power construction are completed and provided the whole seaway would not be delayed. He stressed again Canada's readiness to proceed at once with the work under the Canadian St. Lawrence legislation of 1951.

Recognizing the importance to the free world of the adequate defense of the North American continent, the President and the Prime Minister emphasized the desirability and effectiveness of cooperation on the basis of the Ogdensburg Declaration of 1940, which established the Permanent Joint Board on Defense between Canada and the United States. Post-war arrangements for continental defense have continued in this framework. It was recognized by the Prime Minister and the President that joint defense facilities erected in Canada under these arrangements strengthen the defense and the security of both Canada and the United States. The President assured the Prime Minister that the United States, for its part, in such joint actions will continue scrupulously to respect Canadian sovereignty.

The Prime Minister and the President reaffirmed the importance of continuing the wholehearted cooperation between the two countries in the field of continental defense, and in the wider field of international action designed to preserve and strengthen peace.

Note: The decision taken in Cabinet on United States participation in the St. Lawrence Seaway Project, referred to by the President, is published in the Department of State Bulletin (vol. 28, p. 753).

Dwight D. Eisenhower, Joint Statement Following Discussions With Prime Minister St. Laurent of Canada. Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project https://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/node/231752

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