Ogdensburg Agreement, 1940
World War II Arctic Defense Projects
Joint Statement on post-WWII cooperation:
Joint statement by the Governments of Canada and of the United States of America regarding defence cooperation between the two countries, made in Ottawa and Washington on February 12,1947.
Statement made by the Prime Minister of Canada in the House of Commons
I wish to make a statement which is also being made today by the Government of the United States regarding the results of discussions which have taken place in the Permanent Joint Board on Defence on the extent to which the wartime cooperation between the armed forces of the two countries should be maintained in this postwar period2. In the interest of efficiency and economy, each Government has decided that its national defence establishment shall, to the extent authorized by law, continue to collaborate for peacetime joint security purposes. The collaboration will necessarily be limited and will be based on the following principles:
(1) Interchange of selected individuals so as to increase the familiarity of each country's defence establishment with that of the other country.
(2) General cooperation and exchange of observers in connection with exercises and with the development and tests of material of common interest.
(3) Encouragement of common designs and standards in arms, equipment, organization, methods of training and new developments. As certain United Kingdom standards have long been in use in Canada, no radical change is contemplated or practicable and the application of this principle will be gradual.
(4) Mutual and reciprocal availability of military, naval and air facilities in each country; this principle to be applied as may be agreed in specific instances. Reciprocally each country will continue to provide, with a minimum of formality, for the transit through its territory and its territorial waters of military aircraft and public vessels of the other country.
(5) As an underlying principle all cooperative arrangements will be without impairment of the control of either country over all activities in its territory.
While in this, as in many other matters of mutual concern, there is an identity of view and interest between the two countries, the decision of each has been taken independently in continuation of the practice developed since the establishment of the Permanent Joint Board on Defence in 1940. No treaty, executive agreement or contractual obligation has been entered into. Each country will determine the extent of its practical collaboration in respect of each and all of the foregoing principles. Either country may at any time discontinue [Page 4] collaboration on any or all of them. Neither country will take any action inconsistent with the Charter of the United Nations. The Charter remains the corner-stone of the foreign policy of each.
An important element in the decision of each Government to authorize continued collaboration was the conviction on the part of each that in this way their obligations under the Charter of the United Nations for the maintenance of international peace and security could be fulfilled more effectively. Both Governments believe that this decision is a contribution to the stability of the world and to the establishment through the United Nations of an effective system of world wide security. With this in mind each Government has sent a copy of this statement to the Secretary General of the United Nations for circulation to all its members.
In August, 1940, when the creation of the Board was jointly announced by the late President Roosevelt and myself as Prime Minister of Canada3, it was stated that the Board "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."4 In discharging this continuing responsibility the Board's work led to the building up of a pattern of close defence cooperation. The principles announced today are in continuance of this cooperation. It has been the task of the Governments to assure that the close security relationship between Canada and the United States in North America will in no way impair but on the contrary will strengthen the cooperation of each country within the broader framework of the United Nations.
(Source: Canado-American Treaties)
In February 1947, following discussions in the PJBD, Canada and the United States reaffirmed their continental defense commitment in a joint statement. Prime Minister King declared that each government had "decided that its national defence establishment shall, to the extent authorized by law, continue to collaborate for peace-time joint security purposes." Cooperation ranged from interchange of personnel, standardization of arms, organization or training, and "mutual and reciprocal availability of military, naval and air facilities in each country." Stressing the independent character of this decision and addressing Canadian concerns, King emphasized that "no treaty, executive agreement, or contractual obligation has been entered into" and that "all co-operative arrangements will be without impairment of the control of either country over all activity in its territory." With this declaration, Canada and the United States confirmed the continuation of their North American defense collaboration into the Cold War period. The scheme initiated against the backdrop of World War II thus provided the foundation for the expansion of the continental air defense architecture that followed during the 1950s (see Joint Statement, 1947).