September 1963 – Prime Minister Lester Pearson on Issues and Answers – ABC Radio – Gordon Skene Sound Collection –
Nervous times, the Cold War. The least indication an ally was warming to either Russia or China sent waves of nervous apprehension all up and down Capitol Hill; from The White House to the Senate.
News of the recent sale of Canadian Wheat to the Soviet Union and Red China prompted a wave of nervous speculation from the U.S. that Canada was becoming “Communism’s Bread Basket” and was in-line to create warm relations with Fidel Castro and Cuba. That surely Canada would wind up being a satellite of the Communist Bloc created much speculative copy and doomsday scenarios among the pundits. So much so that Canada’s Prime Minister Lester Pearson, while visiting New York for the opening of The United Nations had to make the rounds of Political radio and TV interview programs, assuring everyone that Canada was only being humanitarian and wasn’t actively engaged in being provocative.
With that also came the obligatory inquiries over Canada’s position on Cuba as a Communist stronghold in the Western Hemisphere and where Canada stood on the latest overture from Soviet Foreign Minister Andre Gromyko regarding nuclear disarmament talks and suggested Moscow be the place for such a summit. Pearson was asked if he would attend to which he agreed he would if he felt those talks would have any chance of achieving anything. He went on to add that he felt bringing up the issue of nuclear test bans was a healthy sign and was upbeat about a positive outcome.
A number of other topics were discussed, but all went back to the issue of Cold War and what was Canada’s position of those somewhat tense issues.
Nervous times indeed – here is that discussion with Prime Minister Lester Pearson of Canada as it was broadcast in September 1963.
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