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Canada's Department of External Affairs, Volume 2

Canada's Department of External Affairs, Volume 2: Coming of Age, 1946-1968

Copyright Date: 1995
Pages: 528
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  • Book Info
    Canada's Department of External Affairs, Volume 2
    Book Description:

    In 1946, with its own minister for the first time, the Department of External Affairs embarked on a period of impressive growth and assumed responsibility for a broader range of foreign policy issues than ever before. Under the expert guidance of Lester Pearson, for a decade the department enjoyed popular and parliamentary consensus about international interests. The election of the Diefenbaker government in 1957 deprived the department of Pearson's experienced ministerial direction and exposed it to new priorities and new ways of doing things. At this time foreign policy consensus began to erode. As well, there was pressure to respond to the administrative revolution inaugurated by the Royal Commission on Government Organization (the Glassco Commission) appointed in 1960. After Pearson returned to office as prime minister in 1963, questioning by the public, and also by the governing party and the cabinet, became more fervent.

    eISBN: 978-0-7735-6234-9
    Subjects: History

Table of Contents

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  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-vi)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. vii-viii)
  3. Preface
    (pp. ix-x)
  4. Acknowledgments
    (pp. xi-xiii)
    (pp. xiv-xxx)
  6. MAPS
    (pp. xxxi-xxxii)

    • Chapter One Ushering in a New Era: 1946-1948
      (pp. 3-43)

      “IN THE YEARS IMMEDIATELY FOLLOWING the Second World War,” R. A. MacKay has written, “Canada came of age as an active middle power in world affairs.”¹ As a major contributor to the allied war effort, the country had emerged much stronger internationally than it had been in 1939, and the preference for avoiding overseas commitments that had characterized the pre-war years had been overtaken by a national conviction that Canada should play its part in building a new, more durable world order. This conviction was shared in the Department of External Affairs, which like the country had matured internationally as...

    • Chapter Two Consolidation: 1948-1952
      (pp. 44-86)

      MACKENZIE KING’S RETIREMENT AS PRIME MINISTER brought about a series of changes in leadership that affected the making of foreign policy both in the government and in the Department of External Affairs. In the summer of 1948, the Liberal party chose as its new leader the secretary of state for external affairs, Louis St Laurent. He did not take over as prime minister until November 15, but on September 10 he resumed the justice portfolio, vacating External Affairs for the former under-secretary, Lester Pearson. The latter assumed office immediately and secured election to Parliament later in the autumn.

      St Laurent’s...

    • Chapter Three Pearson’s Department: 1952-1957
      (pp. 87-130)

      IN THE SPRING OF 1952, the Department of External Affairs reached another turning point when the under-secretary, Arnold Heeney, was posted to Paris to take charge of a new mission accredited to NATO. The change was not difficult for the department to handle, for it had well-defined policy objectives, established in the immediate post-war years, and a smoothly running administrative apparatus as a result of the consolidation that had taken place under Heeney. The task of a new under-secretary would be not so much to initiate in the realm of either policy or administration as to keep the mechanism operating...


    • Chapter Four Under New Leadership
      (pp. 133-166)

      THE ELECTION OF A MINORITY Progressive Conservative government under the leadership of John Diefenbaker on June 10, 1957, ending twentytwo years of Liberal rule, was commonly regarded at the time as a revolution in Canadian political life.¹ For the public service, the change was revolutionary for at least two reasons. Having been out of power for so many years, and at a time of great expansion in the public service, some Conservatives were inclined to mistrust the bureaucracy as a Liberal creation, loyal to the party that had brought it into being. Nowhere did the connection seem closer than in...

    • Chapter Five Growing against the Odds
      (pp. 167-208)

      THE CRITICAL ATTITUDE OF DIEFENBAKER and others in the Conservative party, and the priority they attached to spending on certain domestic activities, suggested that the Department of External Affairs was in for leaner times than had been the case under St Laurent. Yet not all the pressures apparent before 1957 had disappeared, and some of the new government’s initiatives created a need for money, staff, and representation abroad. As a result, the Diefenbaker years turned out not to be a time of retrenchment, but rather one of managing growth within the constraints imposed by the government’s declared objective of financial...

    • Chapter Six Dealing with Jurisdictional Rivalries
      (pp. 209-246)

      FOR SEVERAL REASONS, THE CHANGE of government in 1957 affected the interrelationship of the various departments and agencies interested in international relations in ways that could be detrimental to External Affairs. Diefenbaker’s style of governing gave special importance to the cabinet, where the prime minister was the focal point when interdepartmental differences arose. Cabinet meetings were more frequent than under the previous government and lasted longer, enabling ministers suspicious of the senior public service to give close scrutiny to submissions coming before them. Since External Affairs was one of the main objects of suspicion for Diefenbaker and some of his...

  9. PART THREE THE END OF AN ERA:: 1963-1968

    • Chapter Seven The Return of the Liberals
      (pp. 249-287)

      PRECIPITATED BY THE CABINET CRISIS over defence policy, the election of 1963 was one of the few in Canadian history in which external relations figured among the major issues. The Liberal leader, Lester Pearson, gave a good deal of attention to foreign policy during the campaign, and his party made a number of commitments about the improvements it would make. The Liberals pledged to end the uncertainty over defence by accepting nuclear weapons for Canada’s armed forces and to make better relations with the United Kingdom and the United States an immediate priority. A Liberal government would review Canada’s defence...

    • Chapter Eight Administrative Reform
      (pp. 288-316)

      THE DEPARTMENT OF EXTERNAL AFFAIRS had managed the very considerable growth in workload of the Diefenbaker years by a series of ad hoc adjustments, but the administrative system remained under strain when the government changed in 1963. By that time, the situation demanded a more comprehensive approach, akin to that of Arnold Heeney after he had become under-secretary in 1949. The environment in 1963 was much changed from Heeney’s day, however, for the Glassco Commission had revealed powerful forces outside the department which also were pressing for change. Heeney’s reforms, it is true, had been affected by Walter Gordon’s work...

    • Chapter Nine Adaptation Continues
      (pp. 317-360)

      THE ADMINISTRATIVE REVOLUTION that started with the Glassco commission was but one element in a rapidly evolving environment, domestic and international, that required changes in the way foreign policy was made. Thus, there was a continuing process of adaptation that had broad-ranging consequences for the relationships among the various elements in the conduct of external relations (departmental headquarters, the posts, other branches of the federal government, and the provinces), for the way resources were acquired and mobilized, and for the working and living conditions of the foreign service.

      While the most striking changes to the organizational structure in Ottawa were...

    • Chapter Ten Policy Making in a Changing Environment
      (pp. 361-410)

      DURING ITS FIVE YEARS IN OFFICE, the Pearson government’s external policies were sorely tested. Some activities, of course, remained uncontroversial, but on many issues, especially after the election of 1965, the government had to deal with lively debate and public criticism. The issues were complex and often took considerable time to work out. Telling examples are to be found in a number of the spheres of interest of concern to the department. Policy towards the United States was attacked by domestic critics who were increasingly concerned about the closeness of the cultural and economic relationship. As well, the deteriorating situation...


      (pp. 413-413)
      (pp. 414-414)
      (pp. 415-415)
      (pp. 416-416)
  11. Note on Sources
    (pp. 417-418)
  12. Notes
    (pp. 419-476)
  13. Index
    (pp. 477-496)