Key Quotations on the events of January 1963
President John F. Kennedy said the U.S. would take a stronger leadership role in NATO "even at the risk of offending sensitive allies."
(AP interview, Jan.2)
On General Norstad's Media conference, Jan. 3
"[Norstad's] purpose was to establish a basis for Pearson's conversion
to U.S. nuclear policy."
"Kennedy sent Norstad to do this hatchet job on us. It was American imperialism of the highest order."
(Alvin Hamilton, Agriculture minister)
"This was another American turn of the screw to bring down the Conservative government."
(Charles Ritchie, Canada's ambassador to the U.S.)
On Pearson decision to reverse Liberal Policy and accept U.S. nuclear warheads into Canada (if elected), Jan. 12
"Kennedy achieved his dearest Canadian wish. Pearson progressed... to embracing the U.S. position on arming with nuclear weapons the Bomarcs and, no doubt, yielding to U.S. demands for storage of all manner of nuclear devices in Canada."
"A pure example of Pearson's willingness to accept the leadership of the U.S. on any vital matter."
Liberal policies were "made in the U.S."
(Tommy Douglas, NDP Leader)
On the U.S. press release, Jan. 30
"It was as deliberate an attempt as ever made to bring down a foreign government."
(Ed Ritchie, former under secretary of state for external affairs)
"This action by the State Department of the U.S. is unprecedented...it constitutes an unwarranted intrusion in Canadian affairs... [Canada] will not be pushed around or accept external domination or interference in making its decisions." "President Kennedy was going to obliterate us. I dared to say to him that Canada's policies would be made in Canada by Canadians."
"An absolute outrage, the most blatant, heavy-handed, intolerable piece of bullying."
"Like a bombshell"
(a Diefenbaker aide)
(Howard Green, External Affairs Minister)
"The U.S. should know from this Parliament that they are not dealing with Guatemala...or Cuba."
"Kennedy decided the government had to go...[I] wouldn't put it past him to say, 'Get rid of the bastards.'"
(R.Bell, Immigration Minister)
"Very useful. Highly beneficial in advancing U.S. interests by introducing realism into a government which has made anti-Americanism... practically its entire stock in trade."
(William Butterworth, U.S. ambassador to Canada)
"For God's sake, it was like tossing a match into dried hay."
(Rufus Smith, senior advisor to Will Butterworth)
Trudeau's summary of the events of January 1963
"Do you think General Norstad... came to Ottawa as a tourist?... Do you think it was by chance that Pearson... quoted the authority of Norstad? Do you think it was inadvertant that on January 30 the state department gave a statement to journalists reinforcing Pearson's claims and crudely accusing Diefenbaker of lying? You think it was by chance that this press release provided the Leader of the Opposition with the arguments he used abundantly? You believe it was coincidence? Why [should] the U.S. treat Canada differently from Guatemala when reason of state requires it and circumstances permit?"
(Pierre E. Trudeau)
Source: From K.Nash, Kennedy and Diefenbaker: Fear and Loathing Across the Undefended Border, 1990.