5 March 1953: Political Aspects of the Problem

This memorandum for the Defence Liaison (1) Division from Wilgress goes into greater detail on the issues of NATO and global defence. Wilgress considers the political problem of asking smaller countries to contribute more to the defence of the NATO region. If larger powers have to shift resources to other regions and away from NATO, it would require smaller countries to contribute more to the defence effort. These conclusions prompt the Canadians to distinguish strictly between global strategy and global planning. If NATO undertook global planning, it might imply the extension of smaller countries’ commitments beyond the region. The Canadians are conscious that participation in planning demands responsibility for seeing the plans to fruition. The Canadians are sensitive to committing beyond their means and believe that there is no threat to Canadian vital interests outside of the North Atlantic Treaty area. A global strategy could be discussed between regions, but planning should continue on a regional basis.

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Memorandum for Defence Liaison (1) Division, "NATO and Global Defence Problems," 5 Mar. 1953, LAC, RG 25, vol. 4903, file no. 50115-P-40, part 2.