The Cuban Missile Crisis

The Cuban Missile Crisis
The AVRO Arrow, Diefenbaker’s Mistake and Farewell to St. Laurent
Louis St. Laurent – the current PM
Louis St. Laurent was involved in NATO (both at its inception
and its launch)
He sought to position Canada as a middle power that can
influence the superpowers while still maintaining good
relations on both sides
He also extended independence on the homefront:
1949 the Supreme Court of Canada made the final court of
appeal (replacing the British Privy Council)
1952 Vincent Massey became the country’s first Canadian
born Governor General
Newfoundland joined Canada
Louis St. Laurent. PM from
1949 - 1957
Newfoundland, you have options
1949 – Britain’s oldest colony became Canada’s newest
During WWII Newfoundland was used as a US army base.
NFLND is an ideal base location as it juts out of the Atlantic.
Canada and Britain also had a military presence on the island.
Newfoundland had three options:
Remain under British control (Britain didn’t want them, an
expense and responsibility)
Declare independence and declare a system of responsible
gov’t (and probably be pulled into US’ orbit)
Join Canada
Newfoundland highlighted
on a map of Canada
Welcome, Newfies!
Joey Smallwood, politician on NWFLND, pushed to join Canada
A close win: 52% in favour
March 31, 1949 – Newfoundland joined confederation as Canada’s
10th province
(Originally the date was to be April 1 – but Smallwood pushed to
have it one minute before midnight – he didn’t want the legacy to
be Newfoundland joined on April Fool’s Day)
48% opposed
Smallwood became Newfoundland’s first premier and stayed for
20 years (1949 – 1972)
Joey Smallwood,
Newfoundland’s first
Farewell, St. Laurent!
Liberals were in power for 22 years. Under St. Laurent’s
Trans-Canada Highway: started 1949 completed 1962 – connect the
provinces and created jobs
St. Lawrence Seaway: started 1954 and opened 1959
A billion-dollar project with the US
Opened up the interior of the continent to ocean freighters
But it took more than 500 hectares of land from the Mohawk
nations and were cut off from a river that is vital to their
TransCanada Pipelines: 1951 completed 1958
Another joint US project. Pipeline from Lake Superior to
Montreal (3,700 km)
Dief the “Chief” a Renegade in Power
Tories are now known by the name “Progressive
Conservatives” (merged Conservatives with the Progressive
Party in 1942)
John Diefenbaker, from Saskatchewan beat the Liberals in
Right away, Dief
Increased the old-age pension
Increased wheat payments to farmers
Signed a North American Air Defense agreement (NORAD)
that integrated US and Canadian systems
Canada’s air defences were pretty much under US
Dief holding the Bill of Rights
Canadian Bill of Rights
Diefenbaker felt strongly about the need for a
Canadian citizenship that knew no hyphenated
“There should be no German-Canadians, no Jewish or
French-Canadians, only Canadian … I never deviated
from this purpose, it’s the reason I went into public
life [politics]”
August 10, 1960 - The Bill of rights declared equality of
race, religion, and beliefs, expressed human rights on
the federal level. However, it was only effective on the
federal level and could be amended or overruled by
It would be the precursor to the Canadian Charter of
Rights and Freedoms
Compared to Diefenbaker, Pearson seemed “unexciting”
Welcome to the Gov’t, Mr. Diefenbaker
Diefenbaker was in power when the economy’s boom
began to “cool” and unemployment was on the rise.
Diefenbaker called a snap election (when an election
is called earlier than planned)
Diefenbaker won the election and in 1958 was the new
Prime Minister.
In Quebec, Maurice Duplessis of the Union
Nationale fully supported Dief’s conservative party
Diefenbaker was attached to the British Empire and
deeply suspicious of the Americans
The 15 percent promise
After he became PM, he announced that 15% of Canada’s imports
would divert from America to Britain
This represented about $625 million a year – almost doubling
British imports
Americans pointed out that Canada signed the 1947 General
Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT) which was made to increase
world trade and open up international markets (and to avoid the selfdestructive protection we saw in the Great Depression’s 1930’s)
Under the terms, one nation cant favour another
To avoid this, Dief would have to create a “free trade zone”
between Canada and Britain. This would require a complete
restructuring of Canadian trade regulations
It never happened, and Dief managed to annoy America and Britain
Represents how Dief’s gov’t is constructed: Romantic gestures and no
You will be divided into groups (with several groups working on the
same topic)
You will need to read the sections in the textbook, discuss with your
group members and record your answers to prepare a brief
presentation to the class
Avro Arrow
Cuban Missile Crisis
Missile Trackers
Canada is the ham in the Soviet-American sandwich
- Comment made by the Soviet Ambassador to Canada
Canada was caught in the middle during the Cold War. Literally.
Modern Intercontinental Ballistic Missiles (ICBMs) could deliver nuclear
warheads across the north pole in minutes. If the Soviets and
Americans did fight, Canada would be caught in the crossfire
During the 1950’s a series of radar lines were built across Canadian
territory to detect these missiles
The North American Air Defence Command (later North
American Aerospace Defence Command) was an agreement
designed to integrate the air defense forces between Canada
and the United States
NORAD would place a system of joint operational control
between the two countries
It would combine the forces of the Royal Canadian Air Force
(RCAF) and the United States Air Force (USAF) in the event of a
crisis or conflict
The Pinetree Line
Running along the 50th parallel
Completed in 1954
Cost: $450 million – divided between the US
(who paid 2/3) and Canada
Run by NORAD
Can give an hour or two of notice
Used to detect Soviet Missiles, but the
technology became outdated and the line was in
operation for a short time
The Mid-Canada Line
AKA: McGill Fence
Completed 1957
Ran along the 55th Parallel
Built and paid for by Canada
Cost: $250 million
Used the Doppler effect to detect if something
were moving
More simple to construct – didn’t require staff to
continuously observe
But can only signal rapidly moving object between
two stations
Used to replace the Pinetree Line
The DEW Line
The Distant Early Warning (DEW) Line
Built along 70th parallel of Canada’s artice
Completed 1957
Paid for by the Americans
Similar technology to the Pinetree Line
It would have an automatic alarm if an object
were detected
Allowed over 4 hours of warning
Cost: $224 million
Controversy: Canadian Independence?
Was it a good thing to have American bases in Canada’s far North?
Canada is now under protection of American defenses. Did we lose
sovereignty or did we gain more by working with the Americans?
The Americans now were asserting their authority over Canada’s
Even though these lines were on Canadian territory, you
needed US approval to approach it
Although, as part of the DEW line agreement, the Americans
accepted Canada’s claims to the Arctic
Anti-American? Allegiance to the Old
In the 1950’s – it seemed the best defence was a cooperation between
Canada and the United States
During Diefenbaker’s election campaign, he made the US seem like
the source of unfair pressures on Canada and Canadians
He had a vision of Canada independent from America
The Avro Arrow
Developed by the A.V. Roe Company in Malton, Ontario
Called the CF-105 Arrow
Developed to intercept Soviet Bombers that would cross the North
Specs: can tolerate temperate range from -57°C to +45 °C, able to
climb 40,000 feet and a speed of 1.85 Mach. It was the most
impressive aerospace engineering developed by Canadians.
Roll-out Day
The Arrow was to make its public appearance for October 4, 1957
Unfortunately that was the same day the Soviets launched their satellite
Sputnik Newsreel
The Space Age introduces a new threat
The Soviet threat had shifted from bomber to missile forces and it was
anticipated that a fighter aircraft would be useless against it
By March 1958, the government was paying A.V. Roe more than $100
million. With limited buyers, the production for the unit was
ridiculously high
Diefenbaker never fully supported the Arrow program, and began to
see enough reason to cancel
Black Friday and the Brain Drain
February 20 1959, Diefenbaker cancelled the Avro Arrow
project, called “Black Friday” in aviation history
It was also known as the “Canadian Brain Drain” as many
of Canada’s talented engineers and workers moved to
America for work. They would play important roles in
America’s space program
More than 25,000 jobs were lost
Cancellation of the Arrow
April 22, 1959 – the government ordered all of the Arrows, including
blueprints and all materials associated with it, to be cut into scrap
A reporter flew over the tarmac and took a photograph while the 5
completed Arrows were lined up for scrap (“Death Row”)
However, his photograph only shows 4 Arrows in line
One of the noses had survived (now in the National Aviation Museum in
From this photograph, a number of conspiracy theories developed why
Dief would want such valued intelligence destroyed so quickly
Death Row
Photograph of Arrows lined up for scrap
Video Clip
14, 000
employees lost
their jobs at A.V.
The second banana BOMARC
Diefenbaker replaced the Arrow with the ground-toair missiles BOMARC, a second-hand interceptor
from the US
He justified it was for price. (The Arrow costs about
$8 million a unit, while the BOMARC is $2 million
However, the BOMARC needs nuclear warheads, and
Diefenbaker refused to equip them, making them
useless. He thought he could arm them with high
explosives instead.
In 1959, Dief stated the BOMARCs could not defend
against the threat of ICBMs
They were equipped with “sandbags”
The BOMARC missile
The Voodoo
Another interceptor to replace the Arrow was the US Voodoo
As part of the BOMARC deal, Canada bought 66 Voodoos from the US
Originally the RCAF rejected them because they couldn’t fly fast
Cuban Missile Crisis Major Players
Fidel Castro
Fidel Castro overthrows Cuba’s gov’t in 1959 and
replaces it with his own communist gov’t
The US tried to support an invasion to overthrow the
gov’t, but it failed
Castro’s Cuba turns to the USSR for support
Soviet Premier Nikita Khrushchev had missiles in Cuba
and refused to remove them
Nikita Khrushchev
The Cuban Missile Crisis, 1962
October 14, 1962 an American U2 Spy Plane flew over Cuba and
photographed a Soviet construction site building missiles
President Kennedy established a naval blockade to prevent further
nuclear equipment from being imported into Cuba
Cuban Missile Crisis
Kennedy made an address explaining the situation to the public. About
an hour later, Diefenbaker made a statement to the House of
Commons where he doubted the photograph. He doubted American
evidence, and angered Kennedy
On October 28, 1962 after days of intense political negotiations,
Krushchev agreed to remove the missiles if the Americans would
promise not to invade Cuba, and the crisis was seen within
manageable control
Conclusion, should Canada have nuclear
Avro Arrow Thesis Outline Assignment
For your next assignment you will answer a question in the form of a
thesis outline. This is not a paragraph response, but it asks for you to
briefly organize how you would answer the question.
You will address the question by organizing three thesis statements
and stating three points for each statement
Example (but yours will be better)
Why was the Arrow built To one extent the
and within the time
cancellation of the
period of?
Arrow did call into
question Canadian
1) Cold War, Canada
ideologically sided
with US.
Geographically in
between leaders
2) Igor Gouzenko –
communism threat in
3) NORAD / DEW Line
The cancellation of the
Arrow did not call into
question Canadian
autonomy, rather…
1) Canada cancelled the 1) The cost of production
arrow in 1959 and
was out of control
2) Considered us anti2) Louis St. Laurent
missile aircraft
approves of Arrow,
3) Purchased used US
new gov’t of Dief
voodoo fighter jets
cancels it
4) Canada’s air defense
3) Because USSR has
dictated by US pressue
satellites, space
makes the Arrow
obsolete to defend
against missiles
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