CANADIAN POLITICS

The Mail

To the Editors of the CRIMSON:

I was disturbed to read in your article of Tuesday, February 5th respecting the Canadian nuclear controversy that "Prime Minister Diefenbaker attained his post in 1957 on a platform condemning U.S. interference in Canada's economic and political affairs."

This regrettable interpretation of the 1957 campaign and its implication as to the official policies of the Progressive Conservative party has recurred persistently during the past few years. The Atlantic Monthly of June 1962 carried a similar interpretation in its "Report on Canada."

The Canadian general election of 1956 produced a minority Diefenbaker government of 112 seats on the campaign theme of "It's Time For A Diefenbaker Government." This approach proved most effective after 22 consecutive years of Liberal rule in Canada.

One year later, Prime Minister Diefenbaker scored a massive victory of 208 seats in the Commons. This, the 1957 election, was won almost single-handedly by the Prime Minister with his evangelical plea of "give me a mandate" as he toured the country, begging for a decisive majority with which to carry out the programmes promised in the 1956 election.

In neither campaign was there evidence of an anti-American theme. Indeed, such a theme would be politically damaging in Alberta (home of the oil and gas industry) and the commercially concentrated areas of Quebec and Ontario.

The originator of "It's Time For A. Diefenbaker Government" as a campaign theme in 1956 was Mr. Dalton K. Camp. Mr. Camp, an advertising executive whose graduate education was completed in the United States, was recently appointed national director of the Progressive Conservative party and as such will have an extremely important say in the strategy of the coming Canadian election. An, anti-American theme is most unlikely.

There are grounds for accusing Canada's New Democratic Party (much akin to Britain's Labour party) of anti-American sentiment, particularly on economic matters.

Parliamentary comment immediately following the State Department's controversial statement on Canadian nuclear policy included on the part of all four party leaders, both prefacing and concluding their remarks, the continued hope for the friendly ties that have long typified American-Canadian relations.

To suggest that Prime Minister Diefenbaker has utilized or will use anti-American election themes is wholly misleading. It is however correct to suggest that he will accuse the Liberal party, lacking ability and potential, of having to look South for ideas and help.

Mr. Diefenbaker has made it abundantly clear that he is "pro-Canadian," and in no way "anti-American." A detailed study of the Canadian newspapers available in the Widener library during the coming campaign should convince those harbouring serious doubts.

There is a vital distinction between the two concepts. Peter S. Hyndman,   Progressive Conservative Student Federation