- The Empire Club of Canada Addresses (Toronto, Canada), 11 Nov 1955, p. 90-100
- Doolittle, General James, Speaker
- Media Type
- Item Type
- The realization of the threat of new and extremely powerful weapon systems to the United Kingdom, Canada, and the United States. Meeting the challenge of defence, guided by two basic principles: that we could maintain the peace only through strength, through the creation of a superior military force-in-being; and that such strength must be founded on a rapidly developing technology and a sound, expandable industrial base. The result that became the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO). Canada's defence objectives, clearly set forth in a White Paper issued by the Minister of National Defence. Countering the threat of modern air power, which knows no boundaries. Dewline (Distant Early Warning Line). Details of the operation to get the Dewline and other defence projects going. Maintaining defence stations and making them livable for the men who must work there. Living together and working together toward the achievement of a common goal, developing the kind of mature strength of spirit that will see us through any challenge. Considering the continental defence problem in terms of intercontinental guided missiles. Developing a capability of defence against the missile threat. Security in the free world based on strength with solvency. Canada's contributions to NATO, military and otherwise. AVRO Canada. The RCAF's Air Defence Command. The speaker's opinion that no enemy nation will ever start an all-out war against us unless it is satisfied that it can not only win, but preserve its own country in the process. The way of life of the free world as an inspiration and guidance for oppressed peoples. Our common determination to protect freedom founded on a common belief in the morality that makes free societies possible, and on a common devotion to peace.
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- 11 Nov 1955
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- Full Text
- "COMBINED STRENGTH FOR DEFENCE"
An Address by GENERAL JAMES DOOLITTLE Vice-President of the Shell Oil Company
Thursday, November 11th, 1955
CHAIRMAN: The President, Dr. C. C. Goldring.
DR. C. C. GOLDRING: During World War 1, James H. Doolittle served in the Aviation section of the United States Signal Corps. He remained on active duty in aviation from 1917 to 1930. During that time he pioneered in many phases of this new mode of transportation. He was the first man to fly across the United States in less than twenty-four hours, establishing a twenty-one-hour, nineteen-minute record in 1922. He was the first man to fly more than three hundred miles per hour in a land plane. He was the first to take off and fly a set course and then land without seeing the ground, thus pioneering the science of blind flying.
General Doolittle worked with the Shell Oil Company from 1930 to 1940 when he was recalled for active duty with the United States Army. One of his first responsibilities was to direct the conversion of the automobile industry to airplane manufacture. He led the famous Tokyo raid in April, 1942, and at various times commanded the 12th, 15th, and 8th Air Forces.
In January, 1946, he rejoined the Shell Oil Company and was appointed Vice-President, a position he still holds. He is a director of the Company, as well.
General Doolittle was born in California. He has a brilliant university record, holding a B.A. degree from the University of California, Master of Science and Doctor of Science degrees from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. He won his Doctors degree in one year which is an outstanding academic feat. He has honorary degrees from the University of California, Brooklyn Polytechnic Institute, and the Clarkson College of Technology. He has six military or aviation decorations from the United States, is a Knight Commander of the Bath (British), has been twice decorated by the French Government, and twice by the Belgian.
On this our Remembrance Day meeting, the Empire Club is honoured and privileged to have as its guest a distinguished citizen of the United States, an outstanding authority in aviation, and a leading business man.
General Doolittle will address us on the topic "Combined Strength for Defence."
J. II. DOOLITTLE: It is most gracious of you to ask me to join you this afternoon. I am particularly glad to be with you during the period of your Nationai observance of Remembrance Day, as it affords me an opportunity to talk to you about a subject to which I have given considerable thought and which is of vital concern to every Canadian and American - the defence of our continent. This defence begins in Canada, but it stretches to the farthest tip of my country and involves each and every one of us. If we are to continue to follow our separate, tolerant ways of life, we must be prepared to defend them jointly.
When we celebrated Remembrance Day for the first time thirty-seven years ago, we did so in the sincere hope that mankind could at last live together in amity, in accordance with the Golden Rule, free forever from the horrors of war. Remembrance Day became a symbol of our hopes and the hopes of millions of other peoples throughout the world - a symbol of peace fortified by the basic freedoms for which we had fought in the first great world war.
As the sun rose over Tokyo Bay on V-J Day, mankind hoped once again that the awful carnage of war had become a thing of the past. Our national desires for lasting peace were demonstrated unmistakably to the world by our actions immediately following World War II. The West rushed at top speed to dismantle its military forces. Our armies were demobilized and a major portion of our air and naval strength went to the scrap pile or into mothballs.
But even before we had an opportunity to enjoy the fruits of our victory the shadow of militant communism on the march began to fall across the earth. Unfortunately, our examples of drastic disarmament and, later, our suggestion of bringing atomic energy under UN control seemed only to inspire the Kremlin to greater action. The war-weary Western World faced a tremendous challenge - the re-establishment of a military capability which would deter the potential aggressor.
As we comprehended the seriousness of the problem we were facing, it became apparent to our great leaders in the United Kingdom, Canada and the United States that new and extremely powerful weapon systems produced a threat which struck at the very heart of our national existence. To meet this challenge we were guided by two basic principles: first, we could maintain the peace only through strength, through the creation of a superior military forcein-being; second, such strength must be founded on a rapidly developing technology and a sound, expandable industrial base.
Science and technology were mobilized; the industrial base was in existence; so the free world sat down at the international conference table to create the necessary military force. The result was NATO. Canada and the United States wholeheartedly supported NATO and subsequently some of our best strategic, defensive and, tactical military units were provided to fill critical gaps in the European defence area.
Simultaneously, Canada and the United States saw the critical need of creating an adequate North American defence system. The record of cooperation between our two countries is long and excellent. I am sure that our mutual trust and friendship have been a matter of wonder and admiration to all the countries of the world. Military cooperation between Canada and the United States has been well tested. It began with the Canadian-American joint boards established following the Ogdensburg Agreement entered into by the Prime Minister, Mr. Mackenzie King, and President Roosevelt in the summer of 1940. All of us here remember the splendid wartime cooperation which existed between our countries under the inspired leadership of Winston Churchill and Franklin D. Roosevelt. We remember also how well their directives were implemented by General Eisenhower and his international staff and joint command. This cooperation has continued to grow, resulting in an efficient, effective, cooperative Canada/U.S. military team dedicated to the defence of our continent.
Canada's defence objectives are clearly set forth in a White Paper issued by the Minister of National Defence, which states:
"Canada's defence programme continues to be planned for the immediate defence of Canada, for cooperation with the United States in the joint defence of the Canada-United States region, for cooperation within the North Atlantic Treaty Organization looking towards the provision of a collective force capable of deterring aggression, and for carrying out undertakings by Canada as a member of the United Nations Organization."
Modern airpower knows no boundaries, and for the first time in history we are faced with the possibility of an attack which could quickly cripple the entire military and industrial potential of North America. To counter this threat our resources of men and material must and will stand side by side in order that we may prepare and maintain an effective defence of this continent.
The tangible results of our cooperative efforts in this hemisphere were made generally known less than a year ago. At that time our governments announced to the world that we were in the process of establishing a defence network that would consist of a series of radar chains stretching across the continent from coast to coast. These include the jointly-operated Pinetree network, located near our common border; the mid-Canada line, north of the settled areas in this great country; the Distant Early Warning Line, across the most northerly practical part of North America; and seaward flanks extending outward into the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans.
Reports in the Toronto Press within the last few days, datelined Ottawa, state that Canada is prepared to share with the United States in the cost of a fourth radar warning line in this country. Plans have been laid for a radar fence running down the coast of Labrador and the east coast of Newfoundland to the vicinity of Cape Race. This chain would be one of the coastal flanking lines for the main radar network in Canada. Actually, it would be a southern extension of the now-building mid-Canada line which stretches roughly along the Fifty-Fifth Parallel from Labrador into the Peace River area of Alberta. It is understood that Canada is willing to pay for this fourth line on the same scale as for the Pinetree network which extends across most of Southern Canada. Canada paid one-third and the U.S. two-thirds of Pinetree. This reported move by Canada illustrates once again the warm and close cooperation which exists between our two nations.
Rarely have two governments worked more closely and rapidly on the solution of a common problem. To have conceived and carried through a project of such tremendous magnitude in such a short time is a military feat that in my mind will rank with the greatest as future historians look back upon our times. From the beginning, a deep understanding of the real meaning of teamwork has characterized all the complex international negotiations carried on here, in Washington and elsewhere during recent years -teamwork which has reached into all levels of government, industry, the academic world, and now, more and more, into the personal lives of the people themselves.
Let us look for a moment at some of the recent results of this cooperation, as it relates to the Dewline and to the Pinetree chain.
Following last year's successful research and development activity on the pilot radar project in the Barter Island area of Alaska, our two governments agreed to work closely together and get the Distant Early Warning Line into operation at the earliest possible moment. In order to expedite the mobilization of necessary Canadian and American Army, Navy and Air Force resources on a crash basis, a joint project office was created in New York City. This office was staffed by representatives from the Royal Canadian Air Force, the Canadian Department of Defence Production, the United States Air Force, and the prime contractor.
During the late Spring and early Summer of this year, airlift requirements to support preliminary Dewline construction schedules were carried out by utilizing Canadian commercial air carriers supported where necessary by Globemaster transport aircraft of the U.S. Air Force. 6,600 tons of tractors, 30-foot timbers and other heavy equipment items were hauled by air to selected points far beyond the Arctic Circle - often in blinding snowstorms in temperatures ranging down to 60° below zero.
Meanwhile, during the Winter and Spring months, over 500,000 tons of material were gathered together in harbours on both East and West Coasts. The delivery of these materials by boat to selected northern sites had to be so scheduled that the 123 ships of the two task forces could penetrate the Foxe Basin area from the East and areas beyond Point Barrow from the West, offload the great number of individual items required at each site, and still escape before the fast-closing polar icepack froze the ships in place and held them through the long Winter months that lay ahead.
The battle against the elements reached epic proportions in the short Arctic Summer. Rarely before in recorded annals had the Great Arctic icepack failed to recede completely from the north coastal areas of Alaska in midSummer, at least for a few weeks. This year, perverse winds pushed the icepack back and forth, threatening to close the only escape route in that area, creating heavy swells along ice-rimmed shores, setting up dense fogs and daily line squalls, endangering the ships of the task forces, and upsetting the delicately-balanced time schedule of unloading-an around-the-clock operation carried out by 3,000 specially-trained Army troops onto sites ranging from soft and mucky tidal flats to rockbound cliffs.
How well this herculean task was performed is indicated by a statement made by the Commander of the Joint Task Force, in which he recently lauded the "high courage and downright guts" of the thousands of civilians and military men of all services of both Canada and the United States for their part in making it a highly successful operation.
Now that the major air and sea lift for this year has been accomplished and the main Dewline construction programme is under way, the problem of maintaining these stations and making them livable for the men who must work there has begun. This operation, which will continue well into the future, is expected to lean heavily on Canadian commercial air transport facilities.
Based on past experience, we can safely predict that the establishment of such an air lift capability will have considerable and favourable economic repercussions in the Canadian Arctic and should aid in the earlier development of its many natural resources.
Not only are the vast task forces of our governments working as a closely knit team to establish these remote bastions of our common defence system, but closer at hand, in the Pinetree chain, Canadian and American personnel daily share the task of keeping individual radar stations operating on a 24-hour day, 365-day year basis.
Living together and working together toward the achievement of a common goal, whether it involves international long-range planning or the routine daily needs of keeping an individual isolated station on the line 24 hours a day, develops the kind of mature strength of spirit that will see us through any challenge.
That all our work in creating this vast network has not been idle effort has been demonstrated only too clearly by recently observed improvements in our potential enemies' air-atomic capabilities. As a specific example, we have witnessed the rapid development and production of their long-range heavy bomber-the swept-wing, four-engine, Model 37, popularly known as the Bison. These aircraft are capable of reaching deep into the heart of our continent with the devastating explosive power of the atom. There are no other target areas which require such a weapon system to be included in quantity in the active inventory of their air force. It is evident that they have come to realize as well as we do that only by the annihilation of the opposing aerial striking force, through superior air-atomic strength, can one hope to gain control of the air and hence win a modern war.
But it is not enough to think in terms of aircraft alone; we must consider the continental defence problem in terms of intercontinental guided missiles as well. With the knowledge gained from the Germans at the end of World War II and their own intensive efforts since that time, it may well be that the Soviets are far along the road in the development of an effective long-range ballistic missile. We must not let them beat us to this so-called ultimate weapon. The tragic consequences that may await us if we do are beyond comprehension. We must, therefore, not only maintain a defence against manned aircraft; we must also develop a capability of defence against the missile threat.
In our free world, security must be based on strength with solvency. This is not easy in the face of today's colossal uncertainties. Through intelligent planning and ingenious use of our natural resources it can be done. Working together, we must produce a proper balance between military and economic forces. This is necessary in order that our nations, dedicated to the defence of freedom, may continue to be secure and still maintain healthy and expanding economies.
I am reminded of Mr. J. A. Calder's comment in his farewell address as President of the Canadian Manufacturers Association, when he stated that "Canada is a lot bigger country-bigger in resources and wealth and spirit and ambition - than we ever dreamed it was."
One often hears quoted the prophesy of Sir Wilfrid Laurier that "the twentieth century belongs to Canada." Less well known but perhaps even more striking - when we consider when it was made - was the prophesy of Lord Carnarvon in introducing the British North American Act, the foundation of your Canadian Constitution. To Canadians who don't recall the words, it always gives me, an American, considerable pleasure to quote that Englishman who said to Parliament in 1867: "We are laying the foundation of a great state, perhaps one which at a future date may even overshadow this country."
Because Canada has these capacities and capabilities in such large measure, it has been able to to do an increasingly important job under the provisions of the North Atlantic Treaty. One of Canada's important contributions has been the NATO aircrew training scheme. A number of the NATO nations were in critical need of well trained air crews. Calling on Canada's wide experience gained from the operation of the Commonwealth Air Training Plan in World War II, you were again able to train and qualify pilots and navigators from many NATO nations. This training plan was well conceived and is ably carried out by the Royal Canadian Air Force. It is an important contribution to the defence of the free world.
I do not want to leave the impression that Canada's contribution to NATO is strictly confined to the military field. Professor C. E. Carrington wrote in a paper prepared for the NATO and South East Asia Treaty Organization conference, "Canada is the comer-stone of the North Atlantic Alliance." As the Honourable Brooke Claxton said, "That's bringing in a lot of territory."
Here at home the binding up of our joint military strength has had significant economic as well as military consequences. In the last several years reciprocal purchases of military equipment amounting to nearly a billion dollars have been made across our common boundary - for example, from 1 July, 1953 to 30 June, 1954 the Canadian Government's military purchases in the United States amounted to one hundred and seven million dollars while the United States purchased similar items in Canada worth one hundred and sixteen million.
On October 28 of this year, Donald A. Quarles, Secretary of the United States Air Force, announced officially that the United States Air Force has a contract with AVRO Aircraft Limited which could result in a disc shaped aircraft somewhat similar to the popular concept of a flying saucer. Mr. Quarles released an artist's conception of what this aircraft might look like. My friend, Crawford Gordon of AVRO Canada, does not deny the flying saucer illustration and he has a twinkle in his eye which seems to me as much pride as humour when his attention is drawn to an article which appeared in the American Aviation Daily stating that Orenda Engines Limited would soon have the most powerful aeroplane engine in the Western World. Developments like these together with the steady supply of planes like the De Havilland Otter and Beaver to the United States Armed Services clearly show the material and increasing stake which Canada has in North American military aviation.
In the field of research and development, interchange of ideas, research reports, and items of equipment are extensive and are valuable to the economic and military advancement of both our countries. McGill radio equipment, designed and built in Canada is being used on one of the major radar chains. This last winter saw the training of Canadian Army personnel in a Texas guided missile centre. Later, near Churchill, Manitoba, a Canadian-U.S. team of experts conducted the joint cold weather testing of NIKE, a supersonic ground-to-air missile.
In the operational planning field, too, the RCAF's Air Defence Command, with the headquarters at St. Hubert near Montreal, works closely with its USAF counterpart at Colorado Springs, Colorado. Personnel of both headquarters no longer speak of the "air defence of Canada" or the "air defence of the U.S."-they speak of the "air defence of the North American continent." Operational planning is done jointly and combined exercises have been held annually. Signpost in 1952, Tailwind in 1953, Checkpoint in 1954-all served to test the effectiveness of coordination and equipment and to determine how the job could be better done on a continent-wide basis.
This is the kind of combined, coordinated strength that will successfully hold in check planned aggression against our continent. For, in my opinion, no enemy nation will ever start an all-out war against us unless it is satisfied that it can not only win, but preserve its own country in the process.
Ultimately, our potential enemy will realize that we mean never to lower our guard to the point where an aggressor state can afford to risk an all-out war. Certainly it must now be eminently clear to them as it is to us that the growing power of the available weapon systems are such that as long as we remain alert and prepared it would be suicide for them to resort to force. The longer such a state of uneasy peace can be maintained through the creation and use of effective deterrents, the more time we will have to seek channels which will establish a permanent state of peace. On that day the vast forces now chained to the necessary task of supporting the common defence can be re-channeled to the peaceful benefit of mankind.
If during the intervening period, we of the free world so comport ourselves that our way of life will serve as inspiration and guidance for oppressed peoples everywhere, we will be exerting still another type of pressure on the communists-pressure which will ultimately force them to change their long-range objective from world communization and domination to peace among nations.
Our common determination to protect freedom is founded on a common belief in the morality that makes free societies possible, and on a common devotion to peace. The words "good neighbour" have never been more important to Canada and the United States than they are today. For years we have shared common ground in geography, language, culture and economics. Now we share the common necessity of protecting the freedom that underlies our way of life.
I have spoken, until now, primarily about maintaining the peace. This is a first essential. It must be accomplished through military, economic and moral strength. But we must also improve the peace. It is not meet that the world should stand forever on the brink of catastrophe.
I am sure that the people of Canada and America are courageous enough, intelligent enough and spiritual enough to continue to meet any threat with strength the while - through example, precept, diplomatic action and prayer--they lead the way to international understanding and eventually to practical disarmament - that is agreed disarmament with a proven inspection system to check and an enforceable punitive system to punish violations of the agreement.
These are the requirements that will eventually lead to and the safeguards necessary to assure a just and durable peace.