Hon. G. R. Pearkes (Minister of National Defence):
Mr. Speaker, I desire to table in English and in French copies of the exchange of notes between the government of Canada and the government of the United States of America governing the establishment of the integrated communications system to support the ballistic missile early warning system.
The house will recall that I referred to this system in the report on defence issued last April. I made further reference to it on July 2 when introducing the estimates of my department, and again on July 4 in answer to a question from the Leader of the Opposition. As I explained then, to enable the detection and early warning of intercontinental ballistic missiles the United States is establishing detection units in northern regions external to Canada. These units will report directly to NORAD headquarters in order to allow defence measures to be initiated as quickly as possible.
The most direct and economic routes for the communication links between these detection units and NORAD headquarters traverse Canada. In keeping with our joint efforts with the United States for the air defence of the North American continent, the Canadian government is co-operating in facilitating the establishment of the necessary communication links across Canadian territory.
In the main the facilities will be provided by existing Canadian commercial companies and leased to the United States. In those areas where facilities do not now exist they will be constructed, with the work being done by Canadian companies. On completion they will be leased to the United States authorities. This work will be undertaken under mutually agreed arrangements between the United States and Canadian authorities.
Subtopic: INTEGRATED COMMUNICATIONS SYSTEM
Sub-subtopic: EXCHANGE OF NOTES BETWEEN U.S. AND CANADA