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Canadian public opinion and the war in Vietnam, 1954-1973 O’Kane, David James 1995

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CANADIAN PUBLIC OPINION AND THE WAR IN VIETNAM 1954-1973 by DAVID JAMES O'KANE B.A., The University of B r i t i s h Columbia, 1993 A THESIS SUBMITTED IN PARTIAL FULFILLMENT OF THE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE DEGREE OF MASTER OF ARTS in THE FACULTY OF GRADUATE STUDIES Department of History We accept t h i s thesis as conforming to the required standard THE UNIVERSITY OF BRITISH COLUMBIA A p r i l 1995 © David James O'Kane, 1995 In presenting this thesis in partial fulfilment of the requirements for an advanced degree at the University of British Columbia, I agree that the Library shall make it freely available for reference and study. I further agree that permission for extensive copying of this thesis for scholarly purposes may be granted by the head of my department or by his or her representatives. It is understood that copying or publication of this thesis for financial gain shall not be allowed without my written permission. Department of "(^  "j^ (S ^ V* The University of British Columbia Vancouver, Canada Date ./-VP C 1 DE-6 (2/88) 1 1 Abstract This thesis investigates the state of Canadian public opinion concerning the war i n Vietnam from the time of Canada's i n i t i a l involvement on the International Control Commission i n 1954, to the f i n a l pullout of Canadian observers i n 1973. The Canadian I n s t i t u t e of Public Opinion p o l l s w i l l form the basis of t h i s examination, but various media publications and government statements w i l l also be used to portray the nature of public debate on t h i s issue. This study i s broken down into two periods; from 1954 to 1964 and from 1965 to 1973. The conclusions reached show that fear of communism contributed to s i g n i f i c a n t Canadian public support for American intervention i n Vietnam i n the early years of the c o n f l i c t . I t was only near the end of the war, when Canadians began to consider U.S. actions as more dangerous to world peace than revolutionary communism, that support for American p o l i c y declined. However, throughout the entire period of t h i s study there was always a large percentage of Canadians who were undecided about the war. This most l i k e l y r e f l e c t s the general apathy of Canadians when confronted with foreign p o l i c y questions that had l i t t l e d i r e c t impact on t h e i r d a i l y l i v e s . Nevertheless, there was a considerable percentage of the population that was strongly opposed to the American intervention and to what was considered the Canadian government's complicity i n prolonging the war. Overall, Canadian attitudes changed slowly and even then only very l i t t l e . TABLE OF CONTENTS Abstract Table of Contents Introduction Chapter One A Reluctant Peace-Keeper 1954 Chapter Two The Slow Rise of Dissent 1965 Chapter Three Conclusion Bibliography Appendix 1 INTRODUCTION When Canadian students study the history of the Vietnam war they may be surprised to learn that Canadian attitudes toward t h i s c o n f l i c t were not what they perhaps expected. Throughout almost the entire period of the Vietnam war, the percentage of Canadians who supported American intervention i n Vietnam was s l i g h t l y higher than those who opposed what they considered western intrusion into the int e r n a l p o l i t i c s of the countries of S.E. Asia. However, the debate i n Canada over Vietnam was never a straightforward argument between these opposing viewpoints. The ramifications of the U.S. po l i c y brought up a number of other national and international matters that clouded the issue of the Vietnam war. Therefore, i t was not easy for many Canadians to give a simple answer when asked how they f e l t about American involvement i n Vietnam. In opinion p o l l s taken at the time there was always a large percentage of respondents who were undecided or gave q u a l i f i e d answers when they were asked s p e c i f i c questions about the s i t u a t i o n i n Vietnam. While many books have been written which both praise and c r i t i c i s e the Canadian government's ro l e i n t h i s c o n f l i c t , few have given an in-depth examination of the shape of national sentiment. Canadian c o l l e c t i v e memory of our roles i n various international disputes r e c a l l s a public s p i r i t w i l l i n g to help countries i n need, and dedicated to the p r i n c i p l e s of s e l f -determination, human right s and the peaceful resolution of c o n f l i c t . However, during the Vietnam war these p r i n c i p l e s were p a r t i a l l y compromised i n the inte r e s t s of Cold War s o l i d a r i t y i n 2 the f i g h t against the communist bloc's influence i n the world. This was r e f l e c t e d not only i n government statements, but also i n the nature of the arguments used by those who sought to j u s t i f y western intervention i n Vietnam. This analysis w i l l attempt to trace Canadian public opinion concerning the war i n Vietnam and the Canadian government's p o l i c i e s regarding t h i s growing c r i s i s i n international a f f a i r s . The period covered w i l l be from the beginning of Canada's involvement there i n July 1954, to the f i n a l pullout of Canadian observers i n July 1973. The findings of the Canadian I n s t i t u t e of Public Opinion (CIPO) p o l l s w i l l form the basis of t h i s examination. Unfortunately, no other organizations i n Canada were doing extensive p o l l i n g at that time. Consequently, the number and vari e t y of questions on Vietnam are limit e d , e s p e c i a l l y during the early years o f c o n f l i c t . Therefore, f o r part of t h i s analysis i t w i l l be necessary to use some p o l l i n g questions that, while not s p e c i f i c to Vietnam, w i l l indicate important attitude trends a f f e c t i n g public perception of the war. The s c a r c i t y of p o l l s dealing with Vietnam u n t i l 1965 means that the i n i t i a l part of t h i s examination w i l l be based on interpretation of available material rather than on empirical data. That material w i l l be the information that would have been re a d i l y available to most Canadians; government statements, magazines, newspapers, journals and t e l e v i s i o n and radio programs. The same type of material w i l l be used i n conjunction with l a t e r p o l l i n g r e s u l t s to b u i l d an o v e r a l l picture of the nature of public opinion on Vietnam. By t h i s method i t should be 3 possible to discern not only how Canadians perceived the war i n Vietnam, but also how they arrived at the conclusions revealed i n the p o l l s . The main focus of t h i s paper w i l l concentrate on the evolution of public opinion during the period under study. I t i s not intended to be an analysis of government p o l i c y and w i l l touch on government p o l i c y debates and decisions only to the extent that they would have affected, or been affected by, public opinion. The time period of almost twenty years makes t h i s review problematic for a number of reasons, not least of which i s the concept of "public opinion" i t s e l f . Tracing a government's development of a p o l i c y , i t s pronouncements on that p o l i c y and i t s actions, i s comparatively a simpler task than t r y i n g to unravel how the public at large f e l t about that p o l i c y . In a country l i k e Canada, where the population tends to be f a i r l y apathetic about the p o l i t i c a l process, i t i s much harder to discern what the national sentiment i s , e s p e c i a l l y on questions of foreign p o l i c y . Take for example the following p o l l from 1966: A p r i l 1966 1. Have you ever f e l t the urge to organize or j o i n a public demonstration about something? Yes: 11% No: 89% Often i n Canada i t i s groups who have the loudest voices that receive the most attention, even though they may not be speaking for a substantial portion of the population. The considerable number of publications from t h i s period that were c r i t i c a l of American and Canadian p o l i c i e s toward Vietnam might 4 lead a researcher to conclude that a majority of Canadians held s i m i l a r views. I t i s i n situations l i k e t h i s that p o l l i n g becomes an important h i s t o r i c a l t o o l . Opinion p o l l s reveal a society much more divided on the pros and cons of western intervention i n Vietnam. Therefore, while i t i s evident that there were segments of society which had strongly held convictions on t h i s issue, i t would be misleading to use t h e i r statements as representative of the majority of the population. Various mass media can also be used as indicators of public opinion. In a democratic society i t i s the job of the media to r e f l e c t society's concerns. Nevertheless, i t i s important to consider that the media i n some instances can influence or even d i r e c t public opinion by over-reporting or under-reporting a p a r t i c u l a r story. I t could be argued that extensive t e l e v i s i o n coverage of the war i n Vietnam had an inordinate influence on the general public's perception of t h i s c o n f l i c t . A judicious review of the d i f f e r e n t news agencies can help i n discovering what were the public's concerns. The combination of p o l l i n g r e s u l t s with government statements and media publications should give a reasonable i n d i c a t i o n of how the general public f e l t about the war i n Vietnam. The ^analysis of public opinion over twenty years also raises questions concerning the changing demographics of those who were p o l i t i c a l l y involved during t h i s period. In the i n i t i a l stage of Canada's involvement i n Indochina public opinion was formed by the generation who had l i v e d through World War I I , had seen the Soviet Union turn from a l l y to enemy, accepted the need for an 5 A t l a n t i c a l l i a n c e (NATO), watched China go communist, and fought the Korean war. By the time the Vietnam war was i n i t s f i n a l years public opinion was being driven by a younger generation that had grown up knowing peace but now f e l t trapped by the foreboding presence of massive nuclear arsenals and the doctrine of Mutually Assured Destruction (MAD). The perception has been that the Vietnam war eventually became an issue not only of p o l i t i c s and the Cold War, but also of inter-generational f r i c t i o n and that a majority of younger people i n both the U.S.A. and Canada opposed American action i n Vietnam. However, even af t e r the Vietnam c o n f l i c t became a hot topic i n the l a s t years of the 1960's, the p o l l s , broken down into categories of age, sex and education, show that the difference i n opinion between generations was not that great. The following chapters are based on the available CIPO p o l l s , media comments and government reaction to developments i n Vietnam. Chapter 1 i s somewhat introductory covering the years 1954-64. This was a r e l a t i v e l y quiet period i n Indochina and there was s t i l l hope that Vietnam would remain peaceful. Canadian observers, with t h e i r Indian and Polish counterparts, were f a i r l y successful i n carrying out t h e i r mandate and were s t i l l o p t i m istic that a comprehensive agreement on the future of Vietnam could be reached. Media publications and government statements on the s i t u a t i o n i n Vietnam were both rather scarce throughout these years. Chapter 2 covers the period 1965-73 and the beginning of the American buildup i n S.E. Asia, the bombing of North Vietnam and d i r e c t c o n f l i c t between American s o l d i e r s , 6 the National Liberation Front of South Vietnam (NLF) and the North Vietnamese Army (NVA). I t was during these years that foreign p o l i c y c r i t i c s began to express doubts about the rationale for maintaining Canadian personnel on the ICC and the v i a b i l i t y of the American po s i t i o n . This was the most intense period of f i g h t i n g and of growing opposition to the war and to the o f f i c i a l Canadian viewpoint regarding American p o l i c i e s . 7 CHAPTER I A Reluctant Peace-Keeper 1954-64 Throughout the 1950's and much of the 1960's Canadian foreign p o l i c i e s and attitudes were primarily shaped by the concern over expanding communism and the West's a b i l i t y to contain i t . Assumptions about the Soviet Union's influence i n various parts of the world, and over n a t i o n a l i s t struggles against the remnants of 19th century colonialism, created i n the Canadian public an almost siege mentality about world a f f a i r s . Complex foreign issues often became reduced to confrontations between us and them; good versus e v i l . This s i m p l i s t i c version of foreign a f f a i r s allowed the Canadian public to be drawn into supporting, i n p r i n c i p l e , the United States e f f o r t s i n Vietnam. I t was not u n t i l media reports began to expose some of the e f f e c t s of the war on Vietnamese c i v i l i a n s that Canadians began to have doubts as to whether t h i s was the proper method of combatting communist influence i n the world. I t had been only a few years since Canada had joined the North A t l a n t i c Treaty Organization (NATO), and only one year since the Korean war had ended, i n which s o l d i e r s of the a l l i e d western powers had been i n d i r e c t combat with the army of the communist Peoples Republic of China. Canadians had for years been hearing t h e i r government voice i t s fears over an expansionist Soviet Union. The U.S.S.R. had proven that i t was not only capable of exercising d i r e c t control over i t s Eastern European s a t e l l i t e s , but also w i l l i n g to become i n d i r e c t l y involved i n regional c o n f l i c t s where i t saw a chance of 8 influencing the outcome. The Peoples Republic of China had shown the West that i t could and would stand up to what i t considered interference i n i t s sphere of influence. In t h i s tense Cold War atmosphere the defeat of French Union forces at Dien Bien Phu i n Vietnam by the communist cont r o l l e d Viet Minn army caused alarm among members of the western a l l i a n c e . France's struggle to regain control of i t s colonies a f t e r World War II seemed to be coming to i t s inevitable conclusion. The French government was forced to the negotiating table to discuss the removal of i t s s o l d i e r s and to re l i n q u i s h any claims to Vietnam. The 1954 International Conference on Far Eastern A f f a i r s had been c a l l e d i n order to resolve the standoff on the Korean peninsula, and to f i n d a way to bring s t a b i l i t y to the states of former French Indochina. Talks held i n Geneva included representatives from the governments of B r i t a i n , China, U.S.A., U.S.S.R., France and the newly formed Democratic Republic of Vietnam (DRV). The r e s u l t i n g accords r e a l l y s a t i s f i e d none of the interested p a r t i e s , with perhaps the exception of the French premier who had promised his people a f i n a l resolution to the war. The Vietnamese delegates had been pressured by the communist Chinese to accept less than what they wanted, but t h i s was s t i l l too much for the United States. The representatives of Ho Chi Minh were re l u c t a n t l y persuaded to r e l i n q u i s h control of half of t h e i r own country, which they had just l i b e r a t e d from the French, to an American backed regime. The Americans, who had backed the French with arms and money, were unhappy that a communist 9 government would even be allowed to survive i n the northern half of Vietnam. The main provisions of the peace deal c a l l e d for the d i v i s i o n of the country along the seventeenth p a r a l l e l , an exchange of prisoners of war, and the free movement of refugees uprooted by the c o n f l i c t . The most contentious aspects of the accord concerned the agreement by both sides to r e f r a i n from building new m i l i t a r y bases, importing arms from foreign countries, and the agreement to hold country-wide elections by 1956. The cease-fire and other aspects of the deal were to be supervised by a commission made up of three countries with no interests i n Vietnam. When i t came time to sign on to the treaty the U.S. delegates refused but issued a statement promising not to disrupt the accords. Canadian diplomats had not been part of the negotiations i n Geneva, nor had they been previously consulted on Canada's willingness or a b i l i t y to take on a new peace-keeping mission. Once the Geneva negotiations had concluded and a cease-fire signed, only then was Canada asked to take i t s preassigned place on the International Control Commision (ICC). When the government of Canada accepted the job of serving on the t r i p a r t i t e commission, along with India and Poland, that would oversee the truce i n Indochina, i t did so r e l u c t a n t l y , recognizing that i t had an almost impossible mandate. The choice of Canada, a western a l l i a n c e member, as the t h i r d p a r t i c i p a n t of the commission was meant to balance the presence of communist Poland, with non-aligned India i n between. Canada's membership was proposed by the Chinese Prime Minister Chou En-Lai, mainly 10 because of an independence from Washington that Canadian negotiators had displayed during the Korean c o n f l i c t . This concept of independence of action was dearly held by both Canadian p o l i t i c i a n s and c i t i z e n s , and the preservation of that international perception was part of the reason why Canada accepted the role of serving on the ICC. The Canadian o f f i c i a l s who decided that Canada would p a r t i c i p a t e believed that t h i s action would be the best way to help preserve international peace and security. However, i t soon became evident that, regardless of good intentions, the ICC would be unable to preserve a l a s t i n g peace i n Vietnam. The e a r l i e s t CIPO p o l l that asked respondents for t h e i r view on Vietnam i s dated May 1954. At that time the s i t u a t i o n i n Indochina was headline news i n a number of Canadian newspapers. Informed Canadians were well aware of the s t r a t e g i c s i t u a t i o n i n Vietnam as concerned the f i g h t i n g between French and V i e t Minh forces. I t was becoming obvious that France could not hold out much longer without massive reinforcements that were u n l i k e l y to a r r i v e . With t h i s scenario i n mind, p o l l s t e r s asked the question: Do you think that i f the trouble i n Vietnam increases Canada should send troops to t h i s area, or should we stay out of i t ? Should: 16% Should Not: 58% Qualified/Undecided: 26% As the percentages i n t h i s p o l l show, Canadians were c e r t a i n l y not interested i n again becoming combatants i n a war i n Asia. Nevertheless, concern about the growth of communism i n t h i s part of the world was being a r t i c u l a t e d by the Secretary of State 11 for External A f f a i r s , L.B. Pearson. On May 28, 1954 Pearson reported to Parliament about the Geneva conference on Far Eastern A f f a i r s . Although Canada was not a formal pa r t i c i p a n t i n the negotiations they did send observers to the conference. Pearson t o l d the House: I think we must accept the fac t that the international communist conspiracy i s working f o r , and has made progress i n , securing control of South-East Asia. We should c e r t a i n l y be aware of the danger to international peace and security i n t h i s development, a danger which cannot be exercised by comforting interpretations of Asian communism as merely agrarian reform or as nationalism painted red. He went on to say that he thought "the urge for national freedom and for s o c i a l and economic reform, and not devotion to communism as such" was the impetus behind "the greatest revolution of our time". But "communist imperialism, directed from Moscow or from Peking or both, has been too successful i n expl o i t i n g , and i n some cases i n capturing these forces". In recognition of t h i s danger Pearson stated that there should be approval of regional c o l l e c t i v e security arrangements for t h i s part of the world under section 51 of the United Nations charter. On t h i s point he said; "We cannot support the p r i n c i p l e of c o l l e c t i v e security i n one part of the world and re j e c t i t i n another. I think i t i s r i g h t and important that the United States of America should be i reassured by i t s friends on t h i s question of p r i n c i p l e " . These statements outline the western perspective on S.E. Asia; the danger to world peace represented by revolutionary communism, and an i m p l i c i t acceptance of a United States r o l e i n t h i s area of the world. L.B. Pearson. Statements and Speeches No.54/30 p.10-11. 12 On July 28, 1954 Canadians were o f f i c i a l l y made aware that Canada would have a role i n Indochina a f t e r a l l . Mr. Pearson announced that Canada would be accepting the i n v i t a t i o n to serve on the International Commission that would oversee the truce i n Vietnam. He emphasized that acceptance did not mean that Canada would be c a l l e d on to enforce the cease-fire or that i t entailed any new m i l i t a r y or c o l l e c t i v e security commitments. Study of the information available led the Department of External A f f a i r s to believe that progress would be possible but " i f the Commissions are frustrated by obstruction, then, of course, no useful purpose would be served by continuing t h e i r existence". The o f f i c i a l statement explained that consultation with "those powers with whom we are e s p e c i a l l y c l o s e l y associated ... confirmed our conviction that we ought to accept t h i s onerous but honourable assignment ... [for] we have been conscious of the serious consequences which might follow i f we were to decline the i n v i t a t i o n " 2 . Two CIPO p o l l s from 1954 and 1956 reveal that the Canadian public shared the government's apprehension about communism and the threat to world peace. The p o l l from Nov. 1954 asked the question: Do you think B r i t a i n and the western countries can continue to l i v e more or less peacefully with the Russians or do you think there i s bound to be a major war sooner or later? Live peacefully: 38% Major war: 44% Don't know/Not stated: 18% The p o l l from July 1956 i s more revealing both i n i t s question and i n the answers: ^ Ibid. No.54/36 p.1-2. 13 Do you think Russia does or does not want to dominate: A) Europe, B) Far East, C) The world? Does want to dominate Europe: Mentioned: 58% Not mentioned:41% Does want to dominate Far East: Mentioned: 55% Not mentioned: 44% Does want to dominate world: Mentioned: 55% Not mentioned: 45% (In t h i s question "Not mentioned" includes a l l those who didn't know or gave no answer.) The high percentage of respondents who believed Russia wanted to dominate parts, or a l l , of the world reveals the suspicion with which Canadians viewed international communist movements. A Maclean's Magazine a r t i c l e of August 14, 1954 shed a l i t t l e l i g h t on the reasoning that led to the decision to j o i n the Commission. The author, John Stevenson claimed that the Canadian government was "anxious to keep President Eisenhower i n a mood to fru s t r a t e the designs of the Republican high p r o t e c t i o n i s t s for s t i f f e r b a r r i e r s against Canada's exports" 3. The f a c t that Eisenhower welcomed Canadian p a r t i c i p a t i o n on the Commission, according to Stevenson, was part of the reason the Canadian government accepted the position. The C.B.C. current a f f a i r s t e l e v i s i o n news program Newsmagazine on June 27, 1954 reported on the "impact of the war in Indochina on the c i t y of Hanoi, showing people on the streets, markets, an old man c o l l e c t i n g garbage, barbed wire, s o l d i e r s guarding government buildings, truck caravans t r a v e l l i n g to Haiphong, a t r a i n that has made a successful run from Haiphong with a cargo of gasoline, despite heavily-mined tracks, an Maclean's Magazine. August 14, 1954 p.9. 14 ambulance rushing to the h o s p i t a l , and a s t r a t e g i c bridge guarded by French Vietnamese f o r c e s " 4 . By September 1954, B l a i r Fraser was writing i n Maclean's of the d i f f i c u l t i e s involved for the Canadian members of the Commission. He pointed out that no one i n External A f f a i r s had ever been to Indochina, that r e c r u i t s for the observer teams would have to be fluent i n French, and the unhealthy climate would cause a high rate of turn over of personnel. However, he praised the government for accepting the task. "Canada's willingness to intervene i n faraway Indochina i s another proof how f a r we have come since the pre-war days when Canadian foreign p o l i c y was *No committments'. Not everyone r e a l i z e s though that i t also marks a long s t r i d e forward since the r e l a t i v e l y recent days of 1947" 5. This a r t i c l e r e f l e c t s how many Canadians perceived Canada's r o l e i n Indochina; a recognition of the d i f f i c u l t job ahead and quiet pride that Canada was playing an important role i n international a f f a i r s . During these early years of Canadian work on the ICC, B l a i r Fraser was one of the few Canadian j o u r n a l i s t s f i l i n g s t o r i e s d i r e c t from Vietnam. His reports i n Maclean's Magazine were a consistent source of information for Canadians. According to his accounts the ICC was managing to f u l f i l l i t s mandate but with considerable obstruction from the Polish delegates. I t was becoming increasingly obvious that the Poles would hamper any attempts to follow up on complaints registered against N. Vietnam i n regard to refugee movements or other v i o l a t i o n s of the Geneva % C.B.C. 1954-06-27. ISN:12116 Maclean's Magazine. Sept. 15, 1954 p.6,94. 15 agreements. This state of a f f a i r s became public during a speech to the House of Commons by Lester Pearson that was subsequently reported i n the newspapers. On May 4, 1955 The Globe and Mail ran the headline "Pearson Accuses Reds i n Vietnam of Fouling Transfer of Refugees". The story that followed c a r r i e d almost the f u l l text of the speech i n which Pearson said " t e r r i b l e things" were being done by the Vietnamese communists, although he rejected c a l l s for Canadian withdrawal from the commission. However, t h i s statement "assumed international importance as the f i r s t public c r i t i c i s m of the work of the supervisory commission by one of i t s members" . Nevertheless, there was l i t t l e reaction from the Canadian public. In f a c t , an e d i t o r i a l published i n The Globe and Mail the following day applauded Canada's ro l e on the commission and the government's re f u s a l to withdraw even i n the face of "obstructionism". The a r t i c l e gave Pearson c r e d i t for Canada's standing i n world a f f a i r s as a " f r i e n d l y , f a i r and honest 7 a r b i t e r " . The s i t u a t i o n i n Vietnam became even more d i f f i c u l t i n July of 1955 when the government of S. Vietnam u n i l a t e r a l l y declared that elections would not be held i n 1956. Although t h i s was a severe setback i n the prospects for peace i n Indochina, events i n Vietnam were overshadowed i n the media by the conference on disarmament and the future of Germany being held i n Geneva. The attitude of the Soviets at t h i s conference seemed c o n c i l i a t o r y Harvey Hickey. The Globe and Mail. May 4, 1955. p . l . 7 Ibid. May 5, 1955. p.3. 16 and open to compromise and many observers were op t i m i s t i c that a breakthrough would be reached. The next year was a troubled one for the western a l l i a n c e and e s p e c i a l l y for Canada. The Suez c r i s i s , i n which France and B r i t a i n i n a secret understanding with I s r a e l invaded Egypt with the goal of capturing control of the Suez Canal, came as a shock and disappointment to Canadian p o l i t i c i a n s and public. As one author subsequently wrote, the Suez a f f a i r was " l i k e f i nding a beloved uncle charged with rape" 8. I t i s not s u r p r i s i n g therefore that public attention would turn from Vietnam. The following years to 1965 were turbulent ones i n Canadian p o l i t i c s . A federal e l e c t i o n i n June, 1957 brought the Progressive Conservative party to power under the leadership of John Diefenbaker. However, the Conservatives had only managed to win a minority government. In nine months the Canadian public went to the p o l l s again. In that 1958 e l e c t i o n , under the popularity of "Dief the Chief", the Conservative party managed to e l e c t a majority of seats. Nevertheless, the 1962 e l e c t i o n brought i n another Conservative minority government, and a year l a t e r they l o s t power to the L i b e r a l party under L.B. Pearson. The Li b e r a l s held on to power with minority governments i n 1963 and again i n 1965. During these years l i t t l e public attention was paid to the growing c r i s i s i n Vietnam. Occasional news reports described the p o l i t i c a l and m i l i t a r y s i t u a t i o n i n S. Vietnam but there was l i t t l e urgency i n t h e i r tone. An example i s the CB.C. program •tj Dale Thomson. Louis St. Laurent: Canadian Toronto: Macmillan, 1967. p.461-9. 17 Newsmagazine with a report by Michael Maclear, "on the e f f o r t s of South Vietnam to r e s i s t communist i n f i l t r a t i o n from North Vietnam. Includes street scenes of Saigon; President Ngo Dinh Diem at the National Assembly; American food and m i l i t a r y supplies a r r i v i n g by ship; and South Vietnamese army r e c r u i t s undergoing t r a i n i n g for g u e r r i l l a warfare. Also views of the Highland plateau, an area of m i l i t a r y camps and resettlement farms for refugees from North Vietnam. Commenting on m i l i t a r y t r a i n i n g and American technical aid are a Vietnamese Army o f f i c e r and an American a g r i c u l t u r a l advisor" . The Canadian government also had l i t t l e to say. A review of the External A f f a i r s Department Statements and Speeches from 1956-59 reveals few statements on Vietnam. One on January 31, 1956 by L.B. Pearson, was a report card on the work of the ICC i n which he t o l d the House of Commons that although the commissions had managed to perform t h e i r m i l i t a r y mandates i n Laos, Cambodia and Vietnam, the p o l i t i c a l s i t u a t i o n i n S. Vietnam was uncertain. He went on to say that although the work was d i f f i c u l t , Canada would continue i n i t s role as long as i t was making a contribution to peace . Another reference to the ICC was made on November 26, 1957 by the new Secretary of State for External A f f a i r s , Sidney Smith. He stated only that the commission's work in Cambodia and Laos was almost complete and that although Vietnam remained divided the international supervision of the ICC 11 "has been most important for the maintenance of peace" . In the years 1958-59, only passing mention was made of the work of the commissions i n Indochina. Throughout these years the External A f f a i r s Department focused on the Middle East (Suez, I s r a e l , Cyprus), the prospects of disarmament, and the status of B e r l i n . ^ C.B.C. 1959-10-11. ISN.23449 ;~° L.B. Pearson. Statements and Speeches No.56/2 p.1-2. Sydney E. Smith. Statements and Speeches No.57/44 p.10. 18 Public opinion was focused on the recently negotiated North American A i r Defence (NORAD) agreement, the debate over ac q u i s i t i o n of nuclear missiles for the Canadian A i r Force, and Canada/U.S.A r e l a t i o n s i n general. There was increasing international tension during the early years of the s i x t i e s with one Cold War c r i s i s a f t e r another. In 1960 the Russians shot down a U.S. U2 spy plane f l y i n g over Soviet t e r r i t o r y . This incident heated up the r h e t o r i c from the U.S.S.R.'s leaders and i t seemed that whatever progress had been made toward easing tensions between East and West would be l o s t . Then i n 1961 the United States, using Cuban expatriates, launched an invasion of Cuba i n order to overthrow F i d e l Castro. This f a i l e d coup attempt pushed Castro into a closer r e l a t i o n s h i p with the Soviet Union. Later i n the same year the Soviet leadership increased Cold War tensions again by building the infamous B e r l i n wall. Then i n October 1962 the most serious incident of the Cold War occurred; the Cuban M i s s i l e C r i s i s . The attempt by the Soviet Union to place intermediate range nuclear missiles on the i s l a n d of Cuba brought the world to the brink of nuclear disaster. Meanwhile, somewhat l o s t i n the power play between the world's superpowers was the increase of American "advisers" i n S. Vietnam. In 1961 President Kennedy authorised more men and material to be sent to prop up the f a l t e r i n g regime of President Diem i n S. Vietnam. However, even at t h i s point there was a b e l i e f that the South Vietnamese army would defeat the communist rebels i n the south without a major committment of U.S. forces. 19 Included here are a few p o l l s that give an i n d i c a t i o n of Canadian attitudes to world a f f a i r s during these years. Nov. 1959 Do you believe i t i s possible to reach a peaceful settlement of differences with Russia? Possible: 75% Impossible: 16% Don't know: 9% The high percentage that responded p o s i t i v e l y i s most l i k e l y a r e s u l t of the widely reported Geneva conference on disarmament, the 1959 Camp David t a l k s between Khrushchev and Eisenhower and t h e i r agreement to hold a Summit Conference i n Paris i n the spring of 1960. As mentioned above, the Soviets had displayed a c o n c i l i a t o r y attitude at these t a l k s that gave western observers hope for the future of East/West r e l a t i o n s . Less than a year l a t e r there was a dramatic s h i f t i n attitudes toward the Soviet Union. July, i960 Do you think western countries can continue to l i v e peacefully with the Russians, or do you think there i s bound to be a major war sooner or l a t e r with Russia? Can l i v e peacefully: 41% W i l l be war: 47% No opinion: 11% This was probably due to the U2 incident, the Russian demand for an o f f i c i a l American apology and the subsequent canc e l l i n g of the Paris Summit. The fear of nuclear a n n i h i l a t i o n was very r e a l at t h i s time. May 1961 How worried are you about the chance of a world war breaking out i n which atom bombs & hydrogen bombs would be used -very worried, f a i r l y worried, or not worried at a l l ? Not worried: 52% Very worried: 15.3> F a i r l y worried: 32.5> = 48% 20 The following p o l l s show the increase i n fear and contempt of the Soviet Union a f t e r the construction of the B e r l i n wall i n August 1961. Nov. 1961 1. Suppose you had to make the decision between f i g h t i n g an a l l out nuclear war, or l i v i n g under communist rule - How would you decide? Fight nuclear war: 65% Live under communist r u l e : 11% Undecided: 24% 2. Would you say there i s much danger of a world war, or not much danger? Much danger: 42% Not much danger: 44% Don't know: 14% 3. The Russian radio often claims that Russia wants to end the Cold War and seeks only peace. Do you think that t h i s i s sincere, or do you think i t i s only propaganda? Sincere: 14% Propaganda: 7 3 % Q u a l i f i e d : 3% Don't know: 10% 4. Do you think i t w i l l be possible or impossible to reach a peaceful settlement of differences with Russia? Possible: 56% Impossible: 27% Don't know: 16% A year l a t e r hopes had r i s e n s l i g h t l y among Canadians for an easing of tensions following the Cuban M i s s i l e C r i s i s . Nov. 1962 Do you think i t i s possible or impossible to reach a peaceful settlement of differences with Russia? Yes possible: 66% Impossible: 24% No opinion: 10% In November, 1963 President Kennedy was assassinated and Lyndon Johnson took over as president. His approach to f i g h t i n g communism i n Vietnam d i f f e r e d from his predecessor i n that while Kennedy at times had seemed ready to seek a p o l i t i c a l s olution i n Vietnam, Johnson was determined to show that communism could not 21 win. In South Vietnam President Diem had been overthrown by a m i l i t a r y coup and the administration i n Washington hoped that the new junta would be more aggressive i n f i g h t i n g communist insurgents. However, the p o l i t i c a l s i t u a t i o n i n S. Vietnam continued to deteriorate. President Johnson and his advisers decided on a plan to exert graduated pressure on North Vietnam to convince the communists of American resolve. In August of 1964 the Gulf of Tonkin incident, i n which North Vietnamese patrol boats allegedly f i r e d on U.S. naval ships, gave President Johnson the excuse he needed to ask Congress to pass a resolution giving him special powers to take action i n Vietnam. The stage was set 12 for a massive m i l i t a r y buildup i n S. Vietnam . C.J. B a r t l e t t . The Global C o n f l i c t New York: Longman p.334-36. 22 Chapter II The Slow Rise of Dissent 1965-73 In 1965 the American m i l i t a r y began a massive deployment of force i n South Vietnam and started a s t r a t e g i c bombing campaign against North Vietnam. The j u s t i f i c a t i o n for t h i s action was the defense of S. Vietnam from N. Vietnam, the preservation of democracy and to convince the Vietnamese communists that America was committed to t h i s war. Underlying these reasons was the "domino theory" which stated that i f Vietnam f e l l to the communists the rest of the South East Asian countries would follow, l i k e f a l l i n g dominoes. The buildup of American troops and material i n South Vietnam, and the corresponding increase i n death and destruction i n that country, caused many Canadians to question t h e i r government's response to t h i s world trouble spot. Nevertheless, opposition to the American intervention, and to Canadian government p o l i c y regarding Vietnam, didn't come close to a majority of public opinion u n t i l the war was almost over. P o l l s taken halfway through 1965 showed that Canadians were quite divided on the escalation of the war i n Vietnam. The public was becoming more aware of the p o l i t i c a l and s t r a t e g i c s i t u a t i o n there but, judging by p o l l r e s u l t s , were unsure of the best course to follow. The c o n f l i c t i n g interpretations of the c o n f l i c t that were available through magazines, newspapers, t e l e v i s i o n and from government confused the issue, but the f i g h t against communism remained a dominant theme. 23 In an interview given to the newspaper Le Devoir on December 23, 1964 Paul Martin, the Secretary of State for External A f f a i r s , was asked about the Canadian government's attitude respecting the deterioration of the s i t u a t i o n i n Vietnam and i t s p o l i c y on South East Asia. He stated that the basic reason for the i n s t a b i l i t y i n S.E. Asia was "the determination of North Vietnam to i n t e r f e r e i n the a f f a i r s of South Vietnam by sponsoring the Viet Cong insurgents i n t h e i r programmes of subversion, terrorism, sabotage and murder, and by d i r e c t i n g and supplying the armed r e b e l l i o n i n South Vietnam" . He added that South Vietnam had exercised i t s legitimate r i g h t of self-defence by appealing for help from abroad, which had been granted by a number of countries of which the United States was the most important. Canada had not rendered m i l i t a r y assistance he said, because our d i r e c t i n t e r e s t i n that country stemmed from membership i n the ICC. Martin believed that peace and a durable solution could be reached only i f the communists abandoned 2 aggression as a means of achieving t h e i r ends . On February 18, 1965 Paul Martin addressed the Board of Evangelism and Social Service of the United Church of Canada i n Toronto. In his speech he mentioned recent c r i t i c i s m of the r o l e of the ICC and while admitting that i t had not always functioned s a t i s f a c t o r i l y added that i t s problems arose from i t s mandate. It was not designed to be an enforcement agency and as such could not coerce the contending parties to cease t h e i r a c t i v i t i e s . He stressed that the i n s t a b i l i t y of Vietnam was due to the aid ^ Paul Martin. Statements and Speeches No.64/36. p.2. 2 Ibid. p.3. 24 afforded to the subversives i n South Vietnam by the communist North Vietnamese government. The ICC special report of June 1962 he added, had outlined these v i o l a t i o n s of the Geneva agreements a f t e r careful analysis of a large number of South Vietnamese complaints. The recent United States action against North Vietnam was j u s t i f i e d i n the l i g h t of the provocation from that country. To emphasize t h i s he stated, "What I do wish to point out i s that to see the recent m i l i t a r y action against North Vietnam as gratuitous and unrelated to what has been going on i n South Vietnam for years i s seriously to d i s t o r t our appreciation of a complex problem" 3. In t h i s one sentence Martin addressed both those who were concerned but uncertain about the escalating c o n f l i c t , and those who were opposed to recent U.S. m i l i t a r y action. The p o l l s below show the d i s t r i b u t i o n of these two sectors of society. June 1965 Approve or disapprove i n general of U.S. actions i n Vietnam? Approve: 35% Disapprove: 26% No opinion: 38% July 1965 Do you approve or disapprove of United States intervention i n Vietnam and the Dominican Republic? Total Public school High school University Approve: 44% 43% 43% 51% Disapprove: 33 33 34 25 No opinion: 23 24 23 24 Canadian public was well informed on these matters. Eight i n ten said they knew about U.S. intervention, only two i n ten expressed ignorance. Martin ended his speech by saying he believed that what was required for a peaceful settlement was "a period i n which J Ibid. No.65/4. 25 m i l i t a r y pressure i s not being exerted by either side and the buildup of tensions i s allowed to r e l a x " 4 . One of the most h i s t o r i c a l l y debated statements on the Vietnam war by Prime Minister Pearson was a speech he gave at Temple University, Philadelphia on A p r i l 2, 1965. The occasion for the speech was Pearson's acceptance of the Temple University World Peace Award. Pearson was concerned with the d i r e c t i o n that U.S. p o l i c y was taking, e s p e c i a l l y the bombing of North Vietnam, and decided that he had to say something p u b l i c l y . The i n i t i a l part of his speech contained praise f o r the United States; " I t s motives were honourable, neither mean nor i m p e r i a l i s t i c ; i t s s a c r i f i c e s have been great and they were not made to advance any s e l f i s h American i n t e r e s t " . At the same time there was condemnation of North Vietnam for "aggression through subversion and spurious xwars of national l i b e r a t i o n ' 1 1 . Then came the remarks that were to cause President Johnson such consternation: There are many factors which I am not i n a pos i t i o n to weigh. But there does appear to be at lea s t a p o s s i b i l i t y that a suspension of such a i r s t r i k e s against North Vietnam, at the r i g h t time, might provide the Hanoi authorities with an opportunity, i f they wish to take i t , to i n j e c t some f l e x i b i l i t y into t h e i r p o l i c y without appearing to do so as the d i r e c t r e s u l t of m i l i t a r y pressure . Following the speech, Pearson was i n v i t e d to Camp David where Johnson proceeded to harangue him for an hour on the impertinence of making those remarks on American s o i l . Regardless of how t h i s speech was received i n Washington i t made l i t t l e difference to opposition groups i n Canada. They 4 Ibid. Peter Stursberg. Lester Pearson and the American Dilemma Toronto: Doubleday. 1980 p.217. 6 Ibid. 26 considered t h i s statement as an attempt by Pearson to d e f l e c t c r i t i c i s m at home. Reviewing the p o l l s i t i s obvious why he didn't need to come out strongly against U.S. po l i c y . The large percentage of Canadians who were undecided l e f t Pearson with the domestic p o l i t i c a l room to maneuver. His approach of "quiet diplomacy" could s t i l l be used without upsetting his constituency. The fac t that he did make the proposal that perhaps the U.S. should suspend the bombing of N. Vietnam indicates that he was aware of growing Canadian concern over the di r e c t i o n of the war. One event that may have influenced Canadian public opinion i n 1965 was the a i r i n g on C.B.C. t e l e v i s i o n of the award winning documentary The M i l l s of the Gods: Vi e t Nam produced by Beryl Fox. Description: Tel e v i s i o n documentary f i l m which examines the effe c t s of the Vietnam war on both Vietnamese peasants and American troops. Comments from United States Marines and sol d i e r s accompany footage of: troops searching the countryside for Viet Cong g u e r r i l l a s ; s o l d i e r s having t h e i r pictures taken with dead and tortured prisoners; a squadron of skyraider jets carrying out a bombing and napalm mission over the Vietnamese countryside and shots of U.S. Army helicopters rounding up prisoners, as the voice-over of an A i r Force captain describes the proceedings. S t i l l s of dead s o l d i e r s , burned out v i l l a g e s , shots of Vietnamese school children, and footage from inside a children's hospital portraying the youngest victims of the war. Film c l i p s of Vietnamese women and U.S. servicemen i n downtown Saigon. Special commentary and analysis from Bernard F a l l and Nguyen Thai. This award winning documentary was dedicated "to the sold i e r s and peasants for whom the m i l l s of the gods grind slowly and they grind woe" . Of course, i t i s impossible to quantify the e f f e c t of t h i s f i l m that was seen by m i l l i o n s of viewers across Canada, but i t was media reports l i k e t h i s that slowly began to have an impact on ; C.B.C. 1965-12-05 ISN: 6112 27 Canadian opinion of the war. However, 1966 saw l i t t l e change i n percentages revealed by the p o l l s . A p r i l 1966 2. Do you approve or disapprove of the way the U.S. i s handling the Vietnam situation? Approve: 36% Disapprove: 34% Undecided: 28% Q u a l i f i e d : 2% Aug. 1966 Just from what you have heard or read, which of these statements comes closest to the way you f e e l about the U.S. war i n Vietnam. 1. The U.S. should withdraw i t s troops. 2. The U.S. should carry on i t s present l e v e l of f i g h t i n g . 3. The U.S. should increase the strength of i t s attacks on N. Vietnam. Withdraw: 31% Continue f i g h t i n g : 18% Increase strength: 27% Can't say: 23% As the c o n f l i c t continued to drag on the main concerns of those Canadians who were troubled about U.S. intervention i n Vietnam centered on Canada's complicity i n feeding the American war machine. The Canada/U.S.A. Defence Sharing Agreement allowed material produced by Canadian defence contractors to be sold and shipped to the U.S., and then sent d i r e c t l y to Vietnam. The debate that surrounded t h i s issue was explored i n an episode of the C.B.C. program The Way I t Is that aired on November 12, 1967: Description: Gideon Rosenbluth, Canadian economist & author of "The Canadian Economy & Disarmament", t a l k s about the Canadian government's a c t i v i t i e s i n promoting the sale of weapons abroad. Robert Reguly, Toronto Star correspondent, c r i t i c i z e s the Canadian government for p r o f i t e e r i n g from the Vietnam war by s e l l i n g war materials to United States, and of taking a h y p o c r i t i c a l attitude towards peace and disarmament. Peter Desbarats interviews Minister of Defense Production, Charles Drury who discusses Canada's arms production sharing agreement with the U.S.. C.B.C. 1967-11-12 ISN: 16437 28 This i s just one example of numerous programs, magazine and newspaper a r t i c l e s that c r i t i c i z e d the Canadian government for what was considered support of the American war e f f o r t by allowing war material to continue to be shipped to the U.S.. Throughout 1966-67 magazines and journals such as Maclean's, Saturday Night, Canadian Business, Canadian Dimension, Canada Forum, the United Church Observer a l l c a r r i e d a r t i c l e s that were highly c r i t i c a l of the government's p o l i c y on t h i s issue. The government's response was that i t could not break an agreement that had been signed i n good f a i t h and that defense industry contracts provided jobs for Canadians that were an i n t e g r a l part of the Canadian economy. Prime Minister Pearson addressed t h i s issue i n a speech to a group of university professors, including the Faculty Committee on Vietnam at V i c t o r i a College, University of Toronto on March 10, 1967. He stated that the Defense Production Sharing Agreement gave Canada many benefits which may not otherwise have been available. Canada was able to "acquire from the U.S.A. a great deal of the nation's e s s e n t i a l defence equipment at the lowest possible cost" while at the same time o f f s e t the drain on the economy by re c i p r o c a l sales to the U.S.. He added that a major benefit for Canada i s the contribution these agreements make to Canadian i n d u s t r i a l research and development c a p a b i l i t i e s . He also pointed out that U.S. m i l i t a r y procurement i n Canada consisted not of weapons of the conventional sense but rather of elec t r o n i c equipment, transport a i r c r a f t , and various kinds of components and sub-systems. For these reasons an 29 embargo on the export of m i l i t a r y equipment to the U.S. and the termination of the agreement "would have far reaching consequences which no Canadian government could contemplate with equanimity" 9. In answer to the professors' request that the government reveal a l l m i l i t a r y production contracts related i n any way to the Vietnam war, he said that as fa r as the Canadian government knew there was no way to ascertain the whereabouts of m i l i t a r y items purchased i n Canada by the U.S. because t h i s equipment went into the general inventory of the U.S. armed forces. Obviously an ambivalent answer such as t h i s from the Prime Minister would not have s a t i s f i e d his sophisticated audience. An e d i t o r i a l i n Maclean's Magazine t i t l e d Proudly We Stand the Butcher's Helper i n Southeast Asia indicates that the issue of Canada's sale of war material to America remained controversial even to the time of the a r t i c l e ' s publication date i n March, 1970. The author, Walter Stewart, was an associate editor of the magazine and i n his a r t i c l e he addressed Pearson's j u s t i f i c a t i o n of the Defence Production Sharing Agreement: The ammunition f o r [the] s o l d i e r ' s r i f l e may have ridden i n a De Havilland Caribou b u i l t at Malton, Ontario; that napalm spraying f i g h t e r bomber was almost c e r t a i n l y equipped with a Canadian-made Marconi Doppler Navigation System; those bombs along the Ho Chi Minh T r a i l may have been made from dynamite shipped out of V a l l e y f i e l d , Quebec, and disgorged by a bombing computer fashioned i n Rexdale, Ontario ... Government spokesmen used to say that, well, we didn't know for sure that our weapons were going to Vietnam, and I accepted that, but one time I traced a shipment of dynamite from the Canadian Industries Limited plant at V a l l e y f i e l d , Quebec, into a munitions plant at Crane, Indiana, where i t was made into bombs and loaded on Lester Pearson. Statements and Speeches No.67/8 p.3,4. 30 trucks for transport to Vietnam. When Stewart questioned a Canadian diplomat i n Washington about our r o l e on the ICC and our r o l e as arms salesman, he was t o l d he was "being a l i t t l e n i t - p i c k i n g " and anyway we wouldn't want to make the Americans angry. This response, or versions of i t , remained the Canadian government's attitude even a f t e r the e l e c t i o n of Pierre Trudeau as Prime Minister i n 1968. Meanwhile, protests against the war began to grow. Widely d i f f e r i n g groups came together i n organizations s p e c i f i c a l l y focused on protesting against American action i n Vietnam. They included trade unions, students, peace groups and churches. A r a l l y held i n Vancouver on October 21, 1967 had speakers from the International Woodworkers of America, the United Fisherman and A l l i e d Workers Union, Vancouver alderman Harry Rankin and Professor James Steele of Carleton University. An estimated crowd of 4,000 attended the march and r a l l y i n front of City H a l l . Similar protests were held i n Edmonton, Saskatoon, Ottawa and Toronto, where at least 5000 people marched on C i t y H a l l . The C.B.C. ca r r i e d a national news report on the demonstration i n Toronto: Description: In Toronto, 5000 j o i n i n a sidewalk parade to protest the war i n Vietnam. Shows protesters walking two abreast on sidewalks, because police ordered them to stay o f f the streets; placards, banners; U.S. dr a f t dodgers j o i n i n ; at City H a l l , gather around to l i s t e n to three speakers engage i n verbal battles with the pro-war Edmund Burke Society; shots of City H a l l ; also, Rabbi Abraham Feinberg comments on the violence at the Washington r a l l y , as he i s interviewed i n a Toronto studio. Walter Stewart. Maclean's Magazine March 1970 p.13,16. C.B.C. 1967-10-23 ISN: 151327 31 Even with t h i s increase i n awareness and actual protest the p o l l s from 1967 show only small s h i f t s i n public sentiment against the war. March 1967 In the l a s t year would you say the prestige (and respect for) the United States has increased, or decreased? 1961 1963 Today Increased: 20% 54% 16% Decreased: 36% 21% 47% About same: 28% 18% 23% Undecided: 16% 7% 14% May 1967 During the past s i x months has your opinion of President Johnson gone up or gone down? 1965 Today Gone up: 28% 11% Gone down: 16% 38% The same: 50% 40% Undecided: 6% 11% Sept. 1967 1. Do you have a cl e a r idea of what the Vietnam war i s a l l about, that i s , what the Americans are f i g h t i n g for? Yes: 53% No: 33% No opinion: 14% 1(a). For those who answered "yes" to question 1. What do you think the Americans are f i g h t i n g for i n Vietnam? To stop, or end communism i n Vietnam 61% To preserve democracy, give Vietnamese freedom 15% Fighting f o r American imperialism,private i n t e r e s t s 9% keep economy up To preserve own prestige, save face 5% Other 9% Can't say 2% 2. Just from what you have heard or read which of these statements comes closest to the way you f e e l about the Americans and Vietnam. 1. The U.S. should withdraw i t s troops. 2. The U.S. should carry on i t s present l e v e l of f i g h t i n g . 3. The U.S. should increase the strength of i t s attacks on N, Vietnam. Withdraw: 41% Continue f i g h t i n g : 16% Increase strength: 22% Can't say: 20% 32 Oct. 1967 How long do you think i t w i l l be before there i s another world war - or do you think i t ' s u n l i k e l y that we w i l l have another world war? 1965 Today Within a year: 1% 6% 1 to 5 years: 4% 14% 5 to 10 years: 8% 12% Over 10 years: 13% 10% World war u n l i k e l y : 53% 38% Don't know: 21% 20% Nov. 1967 1. Would you say you are grat e f u l to the Americans for e f f o r t s i n Vietnam or do you disassociate yourself from what they are doing there, or i s the matter of no importance to you? Grateful: 35% Disassociate: 37% Of no importance: 12% Undecided: 16% 2. Like to see President Yes, elected: 28% No: 46% Undec ided: 2 6% Johnson re-elected? Of the 46% who did not want to see him re-elected here are the reasons why: Handling of Vietnam war; warmonger; not consistent 36% Has neither brains nor a b i l i t y ; not a leader; headstrong 16% Want a change; need someone else; Senator Kennedy better 14% Don't l i k e him; too old; not popular 14% Other 10% Can't say 11% When accounts from Canadians who had served on the International Control Commission (ICC) and with Canadian medical teams sent to South Vietnam were reported i n the media, opposition groups began to c a l l for a withdrawal of Canadian advisers and defence personnel from the ICC, and for equal medical aid to be sent to both north and south Vietnam. The reasoning behind t h i s approach had to do with the impartial role Canada was supposed to be exercising i n Vietnam. 33 As concerns the ICC, i t was argued that since the commission could no longer be e f f e c t i v e i n preserving peace i n Vietnam, the Canadian contingent should withdraw before i t became compromised by being drawn into the c o n f l i c t on the side of i t s western a l l y , the U.S.A.. To support t h i s contention the record of B l a i r Seaborn, Canadian member of the ICC, was used to show that Canadian personnel were being drawn into supporting the American position i n Vietnam. In November, 1965 Seaborn had given an interview i n Maclean's Magazine i n which he made statements that seemed to place him d i r e c t l y i n the American camp. When asked about the usefulness of the ICC he said that the presence of the commission had helped to f r u s t r a t e the communists attempt to take i p over the whole country . There was also concern about Seaborn's missions to Hanoi to discuss v i o l a t i o n s of the ceasefire agreements with the authorities there. I t turned out that he had ac t u a l l y been acting as a l i a s o n for the American government to t e s t Hanoi's response to various American peace proposals. In response the Canadian government had only acknowledged that whatever information the U.S. had received had come from Ottawa not d i r e c t l y from Seaborn. Canada's medical aid and tuberculosis hospital project i n South Vietnam came under f i r e for reported corruption concerning how funds were disbursed and, again because of Canada's position on the ICC, for not supplying the same amount of help to victims of the war who l i v e d north of the seventeenth p a r a l l e l . One member of the team who went to Vietnam i n 1967 to help administer ^ z Terence Robertson. "Our Man i n Saigon" Maclean's Magazine Nov. 15, 1965 p.11-13,42-44. 34 the hospital ( b u i l t by and under the r e s p o n s i b i l i t y of the External Aid Department of the Government of Canada) was C l a i r e Culhane. After a year of service i n Vietnam she resigned, unable any longer to p a r t i c i p a t e i n an aid program which she f e l t served mainly to gloss over the true nature of the American destruction of Vietnam and obscured the role Canada played i n i n that aggression by supplying war materials to the U.S.. After her return to Canada she protested on Parliament H i l l , spoke to peace groups around the country and wrote a r t i c l e s for magazines. Her s t o r i e s were a severe indictment of Canada's role i n Vietnam and as a person who had been there and witnessed f i r s t hand the a t r o c i t i e s of the war, her voice c a r r i e d weight . Her voice was not the only one on t h i s subject. On October 31, 1967 the C.B.C. aired an episode of the program The Way I t Is that explored Canada's aid program: Description: Tel e v i s i o n public a f f a i r s program with hosts John O'Leary and Warren Davis. 1. Warren Davis interviews Dr. James W. Turpin, Director of "Project Concern" (an American charitable organization i n Vietnam), and Dr. Michael Hall of Toronto, who has spent three years i n Vietnam and has c r i t i c i z e d the Canadian government's inadequate medical aid to South Vietnam. They discuss the m i l i t a r y a c t i v i t i e s by the U.S. as being the main cause of human su f f e r i n g i n South Vietnam. Television coverage of various aspects of the c o n f l i c t i n Vietnam contributed to the growing d i s s a t i s f a c t i o n among Canadians with American po l i c y , and with t h e i r own government for not doing more to stop the war and help bring about an equitable l j C l a i r e Culhane. "Behead and Cure: The Truth Behind Canada's Medical Aid To Vietnam" Canadian Dimension Dec.-Jan. 1968-69. see also: C l a i r e Culhane. Why i s Canada i n Vietnam Toronto: NG Press 1971. 1 4 C.B.C. 1967-10-31 ISN: 15747 35 settlement. The shocking images broadcast nightly on t e l e v i s i o n news frustrated and angered many people who otherwise may not have taken an i n t e r e s t i n foreign a f f a i r s . Radio and t e l e v i s i o n t a l k shows and documentaries on Vietnam, and a greater public exposure of Canada's r o l e there, only fueled debate as people learned more about the history of the war. The objective of stopping communism was not questioned so much as were the methods by which the U.S. was pursuing t h i s goal. The Vietnamese people began to be viewed as innocent victims of the power play between the superpowers. As more and more Vietnamese and Americans were k i l l e d , many c i t i z e n s i n the West began to consider U.S. p o l i c y as h y p o c r i t i c a l and dangerous to world peace. As the c o n f l i c t escalated i n the l a t e s i x t i e s i t threatened to expand into a confrontation with China which many feared could ultimately lead to a t h i r d world war. A good example of the role of t e l e v i s i o n i n shaping public opinion i s the reporting of events i n Vietnam i n February 1968. During the celebrations of Tet, the Vietnamese New Year, the NLF with l o g i s t i c support from the NVA staged a series of offensives against targets i n South Vietnam. This included attacks not only against American and South Vietnamese m i l i t a r y bases but also against major c i t i e s . In the course of t h i s action NLF units managed to i n f i l t r a t e the American Embassy compound i n Saigon. The m i l i t a r y r e s u l t of these offensives was actually a defeat, but i n terms of propaganda i t was a major s u c c e s s 1 5 . T e l e v i s i o n footage of the f i g h t i n g , e s p e c i a l l y around the American Embassy, 1 ! j C.J. B a r t l e t t . The Global C o n f l i c t New York: Longman p. 337. 36 was broadcast nightly on national news programs i n the U.S. and Canada. The scenes of heavy f i g h t i n g i n the streets of Saigon was a severe psychological blow to c i t i z e n s of both countries. It undermined the optimistic reports from American commanders of an approaching m i l i t a r y v i c t o r y and the imminent collapse of resistance i n South Vietnam. There was c r i t i c i s m of the media over t h i s event but the damage had already been done x . L i s t e d below are a number of C.B.C. news reports that covered the f i g h t i n g i n Vietnam and protests i n Canadian c i t i e s . Description: 1. Hanoi claims v i c t o r i e s i n the l a t e s t b a t t l e s i n Vietnam. Shows Hanoi streets; pasted up news b u l l e t i n s ; people reading; man tuning radio; people looking at maps. 2. Knowlton Nash reports from Washington, D.C. on the American c a l l for 100,000 more troops to serve i n Vietnam. C.B.C. 1968-02-26 ISN:174172 [Children Protest] Description: S i l e n t news c l i p of young school children protesting against United States involvement i n the Vietnam war, outside Toronto's Leaside Municipal Building. Various shots of children with homemade signs as they f i l e up a walkway. C.B.C. 1968-03-21 ISN:106548 [Toronto Protest March] Description: Brief c l i p of a news statement by Ken Warren, executive secretary of the Spring Mobilization Committee to end the war i n Vietnam. Warren outlines the committee's intention to stage a protest march through the streets of Toronto and comments on police opposition to a march along Yonge Street. Warren i s seen seated before a microphone flanked by two other un i d e n t i f i e d p a r t i c i p a n t s . C.B.C. 1968-03-21 ISN:106553 [Winters Opens College] Description: Brief news c l i p of L i b e r a l Party leadership candidate Robert Henry Winters o f f i c i a l l y opening Winters College at YOrk University. Shots of protestors outside the college with placards protesting Canadian compliancy i n the Vietnam war. C l i p s inside the college as Winters unsuccessfully attempts to unfurl a f l a g during the opening ceremonies. Shots as the f l a g f a l l s on the assembled guests and c l i p s of Winters mingling with students as he a r r i v e s . C.B.C. 1968-03-29 ISN:110521 0 Kenneth Hilborn. "Media Bias" Canada Month Sept. 1969 p.19. 37 [Demonstrators Celebrate] Description: S i l e n t news c l i p of demonstrators outside the United States Embassy i n Toronto, Ontario celebrating U.S. President Lyndon B. Johnson's announcement that he w i l l not seek r e - e l e c t i o n . C l i p s of anti-Vietnam war protestors passing out champagne glasses and carrying placards, led by University of Toronto professor Chandler Davis and Nancy Pocock. C.B.C. 1968-04-01 ISN:110686 [Lamport on Demonstration] Description: Brief news c l i p of Toronto Controller A l l a n Lamport addressing the Metropolitan Toronto Board of Control at C i t y H a l l . Lamport argues against the upcoming Spring Mobilization Committee's protest march against the Vietnam War, which i s to terminate i n a r a l l y at Nathan P h i l l i p ' s Square. Lamport also responds to the Committee's request that the c i t y supply the public address system fo r the r a l l y . C.B.C. 1968-04-03 ISN:111336 Description 1. During an anti-Vietnam War r a l l y outside the U.S. Consulate i n Toronto, demonstrators clash with those in favour of the war. Later, the r a l l y moves to Queen's Park, where i t turns into a demonstration against everything. Various protesters are interviewed. C.B.C. 1968-04-30 ISN:174186 Description: 1. The U.S. i s concerned about the e f f e c t s of a i r s t r i k e s on the c i v i l i a n population of Vietnam. Shows v i l l a g e ; armed troops i n v i l l a g e ; B i l l Cunningham reports from the Gia Dinh section of Saigon, which was h i t by Viet Cong attacks (Cunningham i s crouched by a building and there i s gunfire i n the background); South Vietnamese marine; troops carry guns and wounded; marine i s tended to i n backround. C.B.C. 1968-05-31 ISN:174200 Description: 1. The Viet Cong's buildup near Saigon grows, and a major offensive on the c i t y i s feared. Shows s o l d i e r on phone; troops climb on hands and knees; troops on h i l l s i d e . B i l l Cunningham does standup on Saigon st r e e t . 2. Nightly protests continue i n the Y o r k v i l l e section of Toronto. Shows crowds of young people; p o l i c e car; f i r e truck; placards; burning the U.S. f l a g ; cops run a f t e r protesters; protesters loaded into police cars. C.B.C. 1968-07-13 ISN:174205 One other issue related to the Vietnam war was the presence in Canada of American dr a f t dodgers. P o l l questions on t h i s subject reveal that, as i n questions on the war i t s e l f , Canadians were divided i n t h e i r attitudes toward these young men. In f a c t 38 i t seems that the public was not i n c l i n e d to look favourably on dra f t dodgers. Nov. 1968 1. Do you sympathize, or not, with young Americans who dodge the draft? Yes, Sympathize No, do not Qualified/Undecided NATIONAL 32% 47% 21% Men 30% 53% 17% Women 34% 42% 24% 21-29 years 43% 39% 18% 30-39 years 35% 42% 23% 40-49 years 26% 50% 24% 50 & over 27% 54% 19% Public school 34% 44% 22% High school 31% 48% 21% University 33% 53% 14% 2. Do you think the Canadian government should, or should not accept American dr a f t dodgers as immigrants? Yes, should No, shouldn't Qualified/Can't say NATIONAL 28% 51% 21% Men 31% 51% 18% Women 25% 51% 24% 21-29 years 35% 45% 20% 30-39 years 32% 45% 23% 40-49 years 23% 55% 22% 50 & over 25% 55% 20% Public School 27% 50% 23% High School 28% 52% 20% University 33% 45% 22% The war continued to grind on, but i n 1968 the decision to begin t a l k s i n Paris aroused some hope for peace. Unfortunately, i t would be another f i v e years u n t i l an agreement for a ceasefire was reached. In the meantime American bombing raids were extended into Cambodia and Laos i n an attempt to cut the supply routes from North Vietnam into South Vietnam. In Canada, attention turned from international a f f a i r s to the e l e c t i o n fever at home. A new government under L i b e r a l leader Pierre Trudeau promised change's to Canadian foreign p o l i c y but as concerned the si t u a t i o n i n Vietnam there was l i t t l e difference i n the 39 government's stand. Seeing that the U.S. government was slowly seeking a peaceful end to the war, the Canadian government renewed i t s c a l l f or a cessation of bombing and the s t a r t of negotiations. P o l l s from the early seventies place Canadian opinion i n nearly the same pos i t i o n as previous samples. March 1970 Would your opinion of the U.S. go up or down i f they withdrew a l l t h e i r troops from Vietnam i n the next few months, or wouldn't i t a f f e c t your opinion? Go up: 36% Go down: 13% No e f f e c t : 36% Can't say: 15% Nov. 1971 In view of the developments since the U.S. entered the fi g h t i n g i n Vietnam, do you think the U.S. made a mistake i n sending troops to Vietnam? Yes No Undecided NATIONAL 51% 27% 22% Public school: 46% 23% 31% High school: 51% 29% 20% University: 59% 27% 14% F i n a l l y , a f t e r a series of attempts at negotiation, Richard Nixon, the newly elected (1972) President of the U.S.A., announced the conclusion of an agreement on a cease-fire i n Vietnam on January 23, 1973. Once again Canada was asked to par t i c i p a t e on a new International Commission for Supervision and Control (ICSC) along with Hungary, Poland and Indonesia. This time, however, the Canadian government l a i d out i t s conditions for p a r t i c i p a t i o n to the interested parties * There was also debate i n the House of Commons and the External A f f a i r s Department published a booklet o u t l i n i n g Canada's approach to p a r t i c i p a t i o n on the new commission before the government o f f i c i a l l y accepted to serve. The Canadian public, l i k e the government, was not e n t i r e l y enthusiastic about t h i s new mission. 40 March 1973 As you may know, Canada i s one of four nations who has been asked to send a group of about 290 troops and observers to Vietnam as part of the peace agreement on a temporary basis. In general do you approve of t h i s or not? Approve Disapprove Qua1ified/Undecided NATIONAL: 53% 39% [ 8% Public School: 42% 47% 11% High School: 55% 38% 7% University: 71% 25% 4% Li b e r a l voters: 66% 31% 3% P.C. voters: 43% 49% 8% NDP voters: 52% 42% 6% After serving on the ICSC for just over three months, and observing much the same types of problems as on the previous commission, the Candian government made the decision to withdraw. Whatever the ramifications of t h i s decision for the country of Vietnam, i t was welcome i n Canada. July 1973 As of July 31st Canada w i l l withdraw i t s peace observer force from Vietnam. On the whole, do you approve or disapprove of t h i s decision? Approve Disapprove Don't know NATIONAL: 84% 9% 7% Li b e r a l voters: 83% 9% 8% P.C. voters: 92% 6% 2% NDP voters: 84% 15% 1% 41 Chapter III Conclusion Canadian attitudes toward the war i n Vietnam changed slowly and even then only very l i t t l e . There are a number of possible reasons why t h i s was so, but perhaps the most important i s the public's attitude to communism. Throughout the war the p o l i t i c a l r h e t o r i c from both the American and Canadian governments stated that the U.S. was taking a firm stand against communist aggression orchestrated from Moscow and B e i j i n g . In the tense Cold War atmosphere of the time most Canadians would have supported an American p o l i c y that was holding the l i n e against a perceived expansionist and brutal regime. Canadians had few i l l u s i o n s about the communist system, e s p e c i a l l y as represented by Moscow, and believed that i f the West appeared s o f t on any issue communist forces would move quickly to e x p l o i t the weakness they saw. The series of c r i s e s between East and West i n the l a t e f i f t i e s and early s i x t i e s , and the r i s e of revolutionary communist movements i n several post-colonial countries created i n the public mind an attitude that reduced many complex foreign problems to simple black and white issues that- l e f t l i t t l e room for compromise. Wherever the communist bloc attempted to exert i t s influence the forces of the western a l l i a n c e should oppose i t . This b e l i e f was strengthened by experiences with communist forces i n Korea and Germany, and the example of Soviet b r u t a l i t y against the uprising i n Hungary. The Cuban M i s s i l e C r i s i s had brought the world to the brink of nuclear war which seemed to prove that the Soviet Union would take any opportunity to t e s t 42 the West's resolve. However, while the fear of communism may account for Canadian support of American p o l i c y i n Vietnam i n the early years, i t does not seem to s a t i s f a c t o r i l y explain why attitudes changed so l i t t l e during the whole period of the c o n f l i c t . Throughout the war i n Vietnam the opinion p o l l s reveal that there was always a s i g n i f i c a n t percentage of respondents who gave q u a l i f i e d or undecided answers. Part of t h i s i s due to the general apathy of Canadians when confronted with issues not of d i r e c t domestic p o l i t i c a l importance. The Vietnam war was America's war. There were c e r t a i n l y many Canadians who f e l t strongly about t h i s issue and what they believed was t h e i r government's complicity i n the war, but there were also almost as many who f e l t that as long as the c o n f l i c t had no negative e f f e c t on the country then i t was of l i t t l e concern to them. Most Canadians knew very l i t t l e about the countries of South East Asia and probably cared l e s s . If the Americans wanted to f i g h t a war there that was t h e i r business. One other aspect of the war that probably polarized attitudes was that i n the s i x t i e s opposition to the American intervention came to be i d e n t i f i e d with the growing student and youth movement. The Vietnam war, along with other international issues such as the Czechoslovakian uprising i n 1968, became a cause celebre for student and youth organizations. In a sense i t became fashionable to sympathize with revolutionary movements. The romanticism of youth coincided with the idealism of revolution. Older generations may have hardened t h e i r attitudes 43 as a response to the younger generation that was " s o f t " on communism. It s t i l l seems surpri s i n g , however, that the Canadian public maintained support for American p o l i c y almost for the entire period of the war even with U.S. society deeply divided on t h i s issue. Today we consider ourselves to be i n the forefront of countries dedicated to the peaceful resolution of c o n f l i c t s . Perhaps the most revealing aspect of t h i s study i s how the strength of the Cold War d i v i s i o n overcame even the t r a d i t i o n a l l y tolerant attitudes of Canadians. 44 Bibliography B a r t l e t t , C.J.. The Global C o n f l i c t New York: Longman. 1984. Clarkson, Stephen. Ed. An Independent Foreign Policy For Canada? Toronto: McClelland and Stewart. 1968. Culhane, C l a i r e . Why Is Canada In Vietnam? Toronto: NC Press Ltd. 1972. Fletcher, F.J. and Drummond, R.J. Canadian Attitude Trends 1960-1978 Montreal: I n s t i t u t e For Research On Public P o l i c y . 1979 Gaffen, Fred. Unknown Warriors Toronto: Dundurn Press Ltd. 1990. Granatstein, J.L. Ed. Canadian Foreign Policy Since 1945 Toronto: Copp Clark. 1969. Granatstein, J.L. Ed. Canadian Foreign Policy Toronto: Copp Clark Pitman. 1986 Granatstein, J.L. and Bothwell, Robert. Eds. Pirouette: Pierre Trudeau and Canadian Foreign Pol i c y Toronto: University of Toronto Press. 1990. H a l l i n , Daniel C. The "Uncensored War" New York: Oxford University Press. 1986. Herr, Michael. Dispatches Toronto: Random House. 1991. Holmes, John. Canada: A Middle Aged Power Toronto: McClelland and Stewart. 1976. Innis, Hugh. Ed. International Involvement Toronto: McGraw H i l l Ryerson Ltd. 1972. Kraslow, David and Loory, Stuart H. The Secret Search f o r Peace i n Vietnam Toronto: Random House. 1968. Levant, V i c t o r . Quiet Complicity Toronto: Between The Lines. 1986. Munro, John A. and I n g l i s , Alex I. Eds. Mike: The Memoirs of The Right Honourable Lester B. Pearson Vol.3 1957-1968. Toronto: University of Toronto Press. 1975. Munton, Don and Kirton, John. Eds. Canadian Foreign Pol i c y : Selected Cases Scarborough: Prentice-Hall. 1992. Newman, Peter C. The Distemper Of Our Times Toronto: McClelland and Stewart. 1968. Robinson, B a s i l H. Diefenbaker's World Toronto: University of Toronto Press. 1989. 45 Ross, Douglas A. In the Interests of Peace: Canada and Vietnam 1954-1973. Toronto: University of Toronto Press. 1984. Schwartz, Mildred A. Public Opinion and Canadian Identity Berkeley: University of C a l i f o r n i a Press. 1967. Sharp, M i t c h e l l . Viet-Nam: Canada's Approach To P a r t i c i p a t i o n In The International Commission Of Control And Supervision Ottawa: Information Canada. 1973. Stursberg, Peter. Lester Pearson and the American Dilemma Toronto: Doubleday. 1980. Taylor, Charles. Snow Job Toronto: House of Anansi Press Ltd. 1974. Thakur, Ramesh. Peacekeeping i n Vietnam Edmonton: University of Alberta Press. 1984. ISN: #, refers to The National Archives of Canada reference numbers. 46 APPENDIX CIPO P o l l s May. 1954 - Gallup #236 - cases 1864 Do you think that i f the trouble i n Vietnam increases Canada should send troops to t h i s area, or should we stay out of i t ? Cat. Label Freq. Pet. Should 308 16.5 Should Not 1079 57.9 Q u a l i f i e d 186 10.0 Undecided 275 14.8 Not Stated 16 .9 Nov. 1954 - Gallup #239 - cases 1875 Do you think B r i t a i n and the western countries can continue to l i v e more or less peacefully with the Russians or do you think there i s bound to be a major war sooner or later? Cat. Label Freq. Pet. Live peacefully 718 38.3 Major war 820 43.7 Don't know 334 17.8 Not stated 3 .2 J u l y 1956 - Gallup #250 Do you think Russia does or does not want to dominate A) Europe, B) Far East, C) The world? Does want to dominate Europe; Not mentioned 771 41.8% Mentioned 1075 58.2% Does want to dominate Far East: Not mentioned 44.6% Mentioned 55.4% Does want to dominate world: Not mentioned 45.2% Mentioned 54.8% March 1958 - Gallup #267 - cases 1303 1. As things stand today, would you say the chances of the U.N. for keeping peace i n the world are good or poor? Cat. Label Freq. Pet. Good 530 40.6 F a i r 399 30.6 Poor 181 13.9 No opinion 184 14.1 Not stated 10 .8 2. The Russian radio often claims that Russia wants to end the Cold war and seeks only peace. Do you f e e l that t h i s i s sincere or only propaganda? Cat. Label Freq. Pet. Sincere 163 12.5 Propaganda 790 60.6 Don't know 294 22.5 Q u a l i f i e d 30 2.3 47 Not stated 27 2.1 Nov. 1959 - Gallup #279 - 686 Do you believe i t i s possible to reach a peaceful settlement of differences with Russia? Cat. Label Freq. Pet. Possible 513 74.8 Impossible 113 16.5 Don't know 60 8.7 J u l y f 1960 - Gallup #283 - cases 731 1. Some people say i t i s not enough to leave the work of preventing wars and world troubles to governments and the U.N., but i t i s the duty of every i n d i v i d u a l to t r y to do something to prevent war. Can you think of something people l i k e yourself could do to help prevent war? Cat. Label Freq. Pet. Yes 334 45.7 No 397 54.3 2. Do you think western countries can continue to l i v e peacefully with the Russians, or do you think there i s bound to be a major war sooner or l a t e r with Russia? Cat. Label Freq. Pet. Can l i v e peacefully 300 41.0 W i l l be war 347 47.5 No opinion 84 11.5 3. What do you think i s the most important problem facing t h i s country today? Cat. Label Pet. (Immigration/Trade/Inflation Unemployment 40.1 (Economics,Finance/Farm s i t u a t i o n War, World Peace 23.8 (Russia,communism/Defence A l l others combined 26.6 > (Unions,strikes/Lack of r e l i g i o n May 1961 - Gallup #288 - cases 692 How worried are you about the chance of a world war breaking out i n which atom bombs & hydrogen bombs would be used - very worried, f a i r l y worried, or not worried at a l l ? Cat. Label Freq. Pet. Very worried 106 15.3> F a i r l y worried 225 32.5> 47.8% Not worried 361 52.2 Nov. 1961 - Gallup #292 - cases 688 1. Suppose you had to make the decision between f i g h t i n g an a l l out nuclear war, or l i v i n g under communist rule - How would you decide? Cat. Label Freq. Pet. Fight nuclear war 449 65.3 Live under communist rule 74 10.8 Undecided 165 24.0 48 2. Would you say there i s much danger of a world war, or not much danger? Cat. Label Freq. Pet. Much danger 288 41.9 Not much danger 305 44.3 Don't know 95 13.8 3. The Russian radio often claims that Russia wants to end the Cold War and seeks only peace. Do you think that t h i s i s sincere, or do you think i t i s only propaganda? Cat. Label Freq. Pet. Sincere 96 14.0 Propaganda 505 73.4 Qua l i f i e d 19 2.8 Don't know 68 9.9 4. Do you think i t w i l l be possible or impossible to reach a peaceful settlement of differences with Russia? Cat. Label Freq. Pet. Possible 387 56.3 Impossible 192 27.9 Don't know 109 15.8 Nov. 1962 - Gallup #299 - cases 705 Do you think i t i s possible or impossible to reach a peaceful settlement of differences with Russia? Cat. Label Freq. Pet. Yes possible 466 66.1 Impossible 167 23.7 No opinion 72 10.2 March 1963 - Gallup #301 - cases 1997 What do you f e e l i s the greatest single problem facing Canada today? Unemployment 34.3% Nuclear arms, nuclear war 15.4% A l l other possible problems lower % Aug. 1964 - Gallup #308 - cases 725 Do you approve or disapprove of the way Mr. Pearson i s handling our foreign problems - That i s , our r e l a t i o n s with other nations? Cat. Label Freq. Pet. Approve 418 57.7 Disapprove 106 14.6 No opinion 200 27.6 Wild code 1 .1 Nov. 1964 - Gallup #309 - cases 722 1. Can the West l i v e peacefully with Russia or do you think there i s bound to be a major war sooner or l a t e r with the Russians? Cat. Label Freq. Pet. Can l i v e peacefully 441 61.1 49 W i l l be war 173 24.0 Undecided 108 15.0 2. Can the West l i v e peacefully with China? Cat. Label Freq. Pet. Can l i v e peacefully 304 42.1 W i l l be war 252 34.9 Undecided 166 2 3.0 June 1965 - Gallup #312 - cases 692 Approve or disapprove i n general of U.S. actions i n Vietnam? Cat. Label Freq. Pet. Approve 245 35.4 Disapprove 183 26.4 No opinion/No answer 264 38.1 Qua l i f i e d J u l y 1965 Do you approve or disapprove of United States intervention i n Vietnam and the Dominican Republic? Total Public school High school University Approve 44% 43% 43% 51% Disapprove 33 33 34 25 No opinion 23 24 23 24 Canadian public i s well informed on these matters. Eight i n ten say they know about U.S. intervention, only two i n ten express ignorance. A p r i l 1966 - Gallup #318 - cases 681 1. Have you ever f e l t the urge to organize or j o i n a public demonstration about something? Cat. Label Freq. Pet. Yes 75 11.0 No 606 89.0 2. Do you approve or disapprove of the way the U.S. i s handling the Vietnam situation? Cat. Label Freq. Pet. Approve 244 35.9 Disapprove 235 34.5 Undecided 189 27.7 Qua l i f i e d 13 1.9 Aug. 1966 - Gallup #320 - cases 732 Just from what you have heard or read, which of these statements comes closest to the way you f e e l about the U.S. war in Vietnam. 1. The U.S. should withdraw i t s troops. 2. The U.S. should carry on i t s present l e v e l of f i g h t i n g . 3. The U.S. should increase the strength of i t s attacks on N. Vietnam. Cat. Label Freq. Pet. Withdraw 227 31.0 Continue f i g h t i n g 134 18.3 Increase strength 199 27.2 Can't say 172 23.5 50 March 1967 In the l a s t year would you say the prestige (and respect for) the United States has increased, or decreased? 1961 1963 Today Increased 20% 54% 16% Decreased 36 21 47 About same 28 18 23 Undecided 16 7 14 May 1967 During the past six months has your opinion of President Johnson gone up or gone down? 1965 Today Gone up 28% 11% Gone down 16 38 The same 50 40 Undecided 6 11 Sept. 1967 - GalluD #325 - cases 711 1. Do you have a clear idea of what the Vietnam war i s a l l about, that i s , what the Americans are f i g h t i n g for? Cat. Label Freq. Pet. Yes 376 52.9 No 233 32.8 No opinion 102 14.3 1(a). For those who answered "yes" to question 1. What do you think the Americans are f i g h t i n g for i n Vietnam? To stop, or end communism i n Vietnam 61% To preserve democracy, give Vietnamese freedom 15 Fighting for American imperialism,private interests 9 keep economy up To preserve own prestige, save face 5 Other 9 Can't say 2 2. Just from what you have heard or read which of these statements comes closest to the way you f e e l about the Americans and Vietnam. 1. The U.S. should withdraw i t s troops. 2. The U.S. should carry on i t s present l e v e l of f i g h t i n g . 3. The U.S. should increase the strength of i t s attacks on N. Vietnam. Cat. Label Freq. Pet. Withdraw 294 41.4 Continue f i g h t i n g 111 15.6 Increase strength 160 22.5 Can't say 146 20.5 Oct. 1967 How long do you think i t w i l l be before there i s another world war - or do you think i t ' s u n l i k e l y that we w i l l have another world war? 1965 Today Within a year 1% 6% 51 1 to 5 years 4 14 5 to 10 years 8 12 Over 10 years 13 10 World war unl i k e l y 53 38 Don't know 21 20 Nov. 1967 - Gallup #326 - cases 728 1. Would you say you are gratef u l to the Americans for e f f o r t s i n Vietnam or do you disassociate yourself from what they are doing there, or i s the matter of no importance to you? Cat. Label Freq. Pet. Grateful 256 35.2 Disassociate 271 37.2 Of no importance 87 12.0 Undecided 114 15.7 (Regional and language breakdowns also available on paper) 2. Like to see President Johnson re-elected? Cat. Label Freq. Pet. Yes, elected 203 27.9 No 332 45.6 Undecided 193 26.5 Of the 46% who did not want to see him re-elected here are the reasons why. Handling of Vietnam war; warmonger; not consistent 36% Has neither brains nor a b i l i t y ; not a leader; headstrong 16 Want a change; need someone else; Senator Kennedy better 14 Don't l i k e him; too old; not popular 14 Other 10 Can't say 11 Nov. 1968 1. Do you sympathize, or not, with young Americans who dodge the draft? Yes, Sympathize No, do not Qualified/Undecided NATIONAL 32% 47% 21% Men 30% 53% 17% Women 34 42 24 21-29 years 43 39 18 30-39 years 35 42 23 40-49 years 26 50 24 50 & over 27 54 19 Public school 34 44 22 High school 31 48 21 University 33 53 14 2. Do you think the Canadian government should, or should not accept American dr a f t dodgers as immigrants? Yes, should No, shouldn't Qualified/Can't say NATIONAL 28% 51% 21% Men 31 51 18 Women 25 51 24 21-29 years 35 45 20 52 30-39 years 32 40-49 years 23 50 & over 25 Public School 27 High School 28 University 33 45 23 55 22 55 20 50 23 52 20 45 22 March 1970 - Gallup #340 - cases 670 Would your opinion of the U.S. go up or down i f they withdrew a l l t h e i r troops from Vietnam i n the next few months, or wouldn't i t a f f e c t your opinion? Cat. Label Freq. Pet. Go up 242 36.1 Go down 89 13.3 No e f f e c t 240 35.8 Can't say 99 14.8 Nov. 1971 - Gallup #350 - cases 721 In view of the developments since the U.S. entered the fi g h t i n g i n Vietnam, do you think the U.S. made a mistake i n sending troops to Vietnam? Yes No Undecided NATIONAL 51% 27% 22% Public school 46% 23% 31% High school 51 29 20 University 59 27 14 March 1973 - Gallup #358 - cases 713 As you may know, Canada i s one of four nations who has been asked to send a group of about 290 troops and observers to Vietnam as part of the peace agreement on a temporary basis. In general do you approve of t h i s or not? NATIONAL 53% 39% 8% Public School 42 47 11 High School 55 38 7 University 71 25 4 Li b e r a l voters 66 31 3 P.C. voters 43 49 8 NDP voters 52 42 6 July 1973 - Gallup #360 - cases 701 As of July 31st Canada w i l l withdraw i t s peace observer force from Vietnam. On the whole, do you approve or disapprove of t h i s decision? Approve Disapprove Don't know NATIONAL 84% 9% 7% Li b e r a l voters 83 9 8 P.C. voters 92 6 2 NDP voters 84 15 1 53 FOREIGN PUBLIC OPINION Sept. 1966 Just from what you have heard or read which of these statements comes closest to the way you, yourself, f e e l about the war i n Vietnam? B r i t a i n Canada U.S. The U.S. should withdraw i t s troops 42% 31% 18% The U.S. should carry on i t s present 17% 18% 18% l e v e l of f i g h t i n g The U.S. should increase the strength 16% 27% 55% of i t s attacks against North Vietnam No opinion 25% 24% 9% Dec. 3 1966 Just from what you have heard or read which of these statements comes closest to the way you f e e l about the war i n Vietnam? The U.S. should withdraw i t s troops. The U.S. should carry on as at present. The U.S. should increase the strength of i t s attacks against North Vietnam. Canada U.S. B r i t a i n Germany A u s t r a l i a France Withdraw: 31% 18% 42% 51% 21% 68% Continue f i g h t i n g : 18% 18% 17% 19% 43% 8% Increase strength: 27% 55% 16% 15% 24% 5% No opinion: 24% 9% 25% 15% 12% 19% N O V . 1967 Do you have a c l e a r idea of what the Vietnam war i s a l l about, that i s what the Americans are f i g h t i n g for? U.S. U.K. Canada Yes: 48% 35% 53% No: 48% 52% 33% No opinion: 4% 13% 14% Acknowledgement The data were c o l l e c t e d by the Canadian In s t i t u t e of Public Opinion (Gallup P o l l ) . Codebook preparation and data cleaning were completed by the Carleton University Social Science Data Archives, under the auspices of the Machine Readable Archives D i v i s i o n of the Public Archives of Canada. These organizations provided the data but can not be held responsible for the analyses or interpretations presented nor for any problems with the data. Design These data were c o l l e c t e d through face-to-face interviews of a modified p r o b a b i l i t y sample of the adult n o n - i n s t i t u t i o n a l i z e d Canadian population, excluding Labrador, the Yukon and the Northwest T e r r i t o r i e s . 

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