Ogdensburg Agreement, 1940
World War II Arctic Defense Projects
Joint Statement on post-WWII cooperation
(First meeting of the Permanent Joint Board on Defense in Ottawa, August 26, 1940, Source: U.S. Naval Historical Center Photograph)
The Ogdensburg Agreement:
Declaration by the Prime Minister of Canada and the President of the United States of America regarding the establishing of a Permanent Joint Board on Defence made on August 18, 1940
The Prime Minister and the President have discussed the mutual problems of defence in relation to the safety of Canada and the United States.
It has been agreed that a Permanent Joint Board on Defence shall be set up at once by the two countries.
This Permanent Joint Board on Defence shall commence immediate studies relating to sea, land, and air problems including personnel and material.
It will consider in the broad sense the defence of the north half of the Western Hemisphere.
The Permanent Joint Board on Defence will consist of four or five members from each country, most of them from the services. It will meet shortly.
(Source: Canado-American Treaties)
The Ogdensburg agreement of August 18, 1940 was devised to provide a framework for closer continental defense cooperation in the face of World War II between Canada and the United States. Underlining the close relationship between Prime Minister Mackenzie King and President Roosevelt, the agreement was struck in a "most informal character during which the President and the Prime Minister conferred in Mr. Roosevelt's private car while it stood on a siding in the village of Heuvelton, N.Y., within sight of the St. Lawrence River," the New York Times reported in 1940 (Hurd). At the heart of the brief Ogdensburg statement lay the establishment of the Permanent Joint Board on Defense (PJBD), which comprised Canadian and American military and civil research personnel. The PJBD was to serve as a communication forum between Canada and the United States as well as a device to produce assessments of "'the defence of the north half of the Western Hemisphere.'" It is important to note that the establishment of the board was intentionally designed to outlive the war (Granatstein, 9f).