Hon. W. E. Harris (Acting Secretary of State for External Affairs):
I beg leave to table copies of notes exchanged by the Acting Secretary of State for External Affairs and the United States ambassador on December 5. The notes constitute a lease to the United States of certain parcels of land within the Royal Canadian Air Force station at Goose Bay in the province of Newfoundland. The lease, which is to enable the United States air force to replace wartime construction and to construct some additional facilities, involves approximately 7,000 acres of land which is less than ten per cent of the area of the base. The field will continue to be under the over-all command of the R.C.A.F.
Goose Bay airport was built by Canada in 1942-before Newfoundland entered confederation-as a stepping-stone along the North Atlantic and Arctic airways. During the war thousands of aircraft put down there on ferry flights from the United States and Canada to Europe. Since the war Goose Bay has been used by the R.C.A.F. and the United States air force to support certain northern weather stations, and it has served also as a centre for search and rescue operations in the area.
In view of the increased international tension during the last three years, the R.C.A.F. and United States air force facilities at Goose Bay have been considerably expanded. The base is, in effect, a joint defence installation, and is being used by both air forces for the co-operative defence of North America. Its use by both countries is essential for the fulfilment of their responsibilities under the North Atlantic treaty.
The lease is for a period of 20 years, with the proviso that any United States request for an extension will be considered by Canada in the light of the common defence interests of Canada and the United States.
When the lease has expired, all buildings on the leased area will become the property of Canada, but removable improvements may be taken away by the United States air force.
Subtopic: GOOSE BAY STATION
Sub-subtopic: LEASE OF LAND TO UNITED STATES