President's Corner

Cruise Missile Testing

In connection with the INF agreement between the USA and USSR, there has been discussion about the original undertaking by Canada to test the cruise missile and the NATO “two-track” decision of 1979. In the letter from Allan MacEachen, then secretary of state for External Affairs, to George Schultz communicating the decision to approve the American request to test cruise missiles, this relationship is clearly stated: (Letter dated July 15, 1983)

“Because the weapons-testing issue raises fundamental questions affecting global security, mg Cabinet colleagues have asked me to write you to set out in some detail the context in which this decision has been taken.

Canada joined in the NATO “two-track” decision in 1979, under which new allied missiles will be deployed in Europe beginning this year unless a verifiable agreement can be reached with the Soviet Union to make this action unnecessary. When we met with our NATO colleagues in June, we agreed that, if the negotiations are to succeed, it will be important for all the Allies to stand together behind their decision. As our contribution to this solidarity, Canada has agreed to help test vital components of the technology of the cruise missile It is the Canadian Government’s firm intention to redouble its efforts in the coming months to contribute to the progress and eventual success of current negotiations

With the INF agreement almost concluded, renewed testing of cruise missiles surely sends the wrong signal to the rest of the world.

The Enclosed Brochure:

We all recognize that the main strength of Science for Peace is its membership. This is also Canada’s strength since many of Canada’s outstanding scientists are already Science for Peace members.

There is a need, however, for more coordinated effort among members and their colleagues. Cross-and interdisciplinary groups exploring the making of a Canada and a world at peace are essential now to give an image of a future we can all work toward.

Such groups have already begun to form: most successful to date is a working group on International Surveillance and Verification led by Walter Dorn. This working group has sponsored a series of workshops, and Walter now serves as consultant to UN as well as other Canadian groups. Another working group focuses on chemical and biological weapons. A new group is being organized to explore questions about NORAD. The newly organized network of associate research and education directors is ready to assist in the formation of such working groups.

Moving ahead under the leadership of Franklyn Griffiths is a circumpolar conference on peaceful cooperation in the Arctic. This will be a major undertaking in cooperation with the Canadian Institute for International Peace and Security.

With this Bulletin you receive a copy of the new brochure which describes in greater detail the activities of Science for Peace members. Pass it on to a colleague and ask for as many more as you can use.

— George Ignatieff