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By Annette Baker Fox

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It had, in fact, no voice at all in the higher direction of the war. Although over a quarter-million Canadian soldiers fought in Western Europe, Canada had no part in the Allied command. If General Andrew McNaughton (who was eased out of command of the Canadian forces in 1943) was right when he claimed, "The acid test of sovereignty is the control of the armed forces," Canada in World War II was not yet recognized as a completely autonomous state. After pressing hard, it did achieve membership on two of the Page 4 inter-allied boards, one dealing with production and resources, and the other with food.

Because NATO provided an organized way for allies to coordinate policy, it was relatively easy for the Canadian government regularly to declare that NATO formed the bedrock of its security policy. Although public support for membership occasionally wavered, it never fell below a level of firm acceptance of this fact. When Prime Minister Trudeau took office, however, his lack of enthusiasm for NATO had a practical effect. Following an examination of Canada's position in the alliance, Canadian forces in Europe, never large compared with those of other members but still more than token in size, were reduced by half, to about 5,000 men.

Not only did Canada maintain and even strengthen some domestic support systems, but its special relationship to the United States also reflected ambivalence. Despite its own protectionist practices, the United States government was also seeking the kinds of reform desired by the Cairns Group, but in different ways. The Americans welcomed the support of the Cairns Group, but in the later stages of the Uruguay Round the coalition became less relevant. Eventually the critical contest was one waged between the United States and France.

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