In the summer of 1982 the Solicitor General reported the possibility of pressure by the United States on its NATO allies to restrict transfer of strategically useful technological developments to the Soviet Union and its allies. The following technologies are deemed by U.S. government officials to be among those vulnerable to restrictions:
- advanced computing techLology including magnetic bubble memories and other memory technology, super-fast circuitry, machine architecture; pattern-recognition devices, all advanced interactive devices;
- high energy lasers;
- rocketry and satellite guidance systems;
- radar and other detection and tracking systems;
- all advanced systems of radio and telecommunication including the TELIDON system;
- high performance aircraft design and engineering;
- advanced ground or marine weapons and defences including tanks, remote sensing devices, deep diving submersibles and vehicles for cold-weather operation;
- cryptology and other related forms of mathematical research;
- research on viral diseases, funguses and other biologic means of attacking and defending against attacks (anthrax and mycotoxins in Southeast Asia);
- Chemical means of disabling opponents and of destroying their agriculture and forests (Agent Orange in Vietnam);
- devices and methodologies for forecasting agricultural crops;
- human physiological research on ways of limiting radiation effects;
- a number of unspecified manufacturing processes, presumably bio-technologyrelated processes and such devices as turbine blades for high-capacity pumps.
The Council of the Canadian Association of University Teachers (CAUT) was asked by the Solicitor General to consider the implications of such restrictions on university research. At the May 12, 1983, meeting of the Council the following recommendation was made:
The Government of Canada should wait until the tightened American restrictions on the flow of scientific and technological information to Eastern Block countries are in place. We should observe if these restrictions are successful both in restricting information while maintaining a vigorous and innovative scientific and technological activity in the U.S. When it is clear that both goals can be attained simultaneously and that a major conduit for the flow of “strategically useful technological developments” to the Eastern Block countries is Canada, then and only then should Canada consider falling into step with the U.S. restrictions. For Canada to initiate restrictions before then would, in the opinion of the CAUT, imperil the relatively small and fragile Canadian science and technology establishment.