Pearson and Canada's Role in Nuclear Disarmament and Arms Control Negotiations, 1945-1957

Pearson and Canada's Role in Nuclear Disarmament and Arms Control Negotiations, 1945-1957

eBook - 1993
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McGill Queens Univ Pr
In Pearson and Canada's Role in Nuclear Disarmament and Arms Control Negotiations Joseph Levitt traces the history of these negotiations from the Canadian diplomatic perspective. He analyses the various proposals and documents the reactions of Pearson and his colleagues. Levitt reveals Pearson's own view of the strategic stalemate between the USSR and the United States -- Pearson did not believe that an open and liberal society such as the United States would ever launch an unprovoked offensive on the USSR; he thought instead that the danger of a major military confrontation arose only from the possibility that the Soviet Union might attack. Consequently the main thrust of Canadian diplomatic activity in these negotiations was not prevention of an American arms build-up but support of a strategy which would compel the USSR to accept an agreement that would benefit the Americans militarily or, failing that, to hold the Soviets responsible for the impasse in the talks and thus win the all-important propaganda war.

Lester Pearson was Minister for External Affairs between 1948 and 1957. During this time Canada was a member of two successive United Nations commissions on eliminating or controlling nuclear arms with the United States and the Soviet Union as the main negotiators. The goal of these discussions was to reach an agreement on general principles that reflected the strategic needs of each side, rather than on the technical details necessary for a treaty. While the United States and the Soviet Union played the largest role in the negotiations, two other major powers, Britain and France, allies of the Americans, were also at the bargaining table. Canada was the only middle power to participate in all negotiations.

In Pearson and Canada's Role in Nuclear Disarmament and Arms Control Negotiations Joseph Levitt traces the history of these negotiations from the Canadian diplomatic perspective. He analyses the various proposals and documents the reactions of Pearson and his colleagues. Levitt reveals Pearson's own view of the strategic stalemate between the USSR and the United States -- Pearson did not believe that an open and liberal society such as the United States would ever launch an unprovoked offensive on the USSR; he thought instead that the danger of a major military confrontation arose only from the possibility that the Soviet Union might attack. Consequently the main thrust of Canadian diplomatic activity in these negotiations was not prevention of an American arms build-up but support of a strategy which would compel the USSR to accept an agreement that would benefit the Americans militarily or, failing that, to hold the Soviets responsible for the impasse in the talks and thus win the all-important propaganda war.
Lester Pearson was Minister for External Affairs between 1948 and 1957. During this time Canada was a member of two successive United Nations commissions on eliminating or controlling nuclear arms with the United States and the Soviet Union as the main negotiators. The goal of these discussions was to reach an agreement on general principles that reflected the strategic needs of each side, rather than on the technical details necessary for a treaty. While the United States and the Soviet Union played the largest role in the negotiations, two other major powers, Britain and France, allies of the Americans, were also at the bargaining table. Canada was the only middle power to participate in all negotiations.

Book News
During Lester Pearson's time as minister for external affairs, Canada took part in two successive UN commissions on eliminating or controlling nuclear arms. While the US and the Soviet Union were the main negotiators, major powers Britain and France were also at the bargaining table. Canada was the only middle power to participate in all negotiations. Levitt (history emeritus, U. of Ottawa) traces the history of these negotiations from the Canadian diplomatic perspective, analyzing and documenting the reactions of Pearson and his colleagues to the various proposals. Annotation copyright Book News, Inc. Portland, Or.

Publisher: Montreal, [Canada] :, McGill-Queen's University Press,, 1993
Copyright Date: ©1993
ISBN: 9780773563377
9780773509054
Characteristics: 1 online resource (342 pages) : illustrations, photographs

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