10 Apr When Henry Kissinger almost visited Cape Breton
In the summer of 1976, Tom Enders, Canada’s Ambassador to the United States, and officials of the US State Department were negotiating the details of a meeting between Foreign Affairs Minister Allan J MacEachen and US Secretary of State Henry Kissinger. Since Kissinger had called upon MacEachen in Ottawa the previous October, the assumption was that the next meeting would take place in Washington.
As recorded in a confidential August 7, 1976, State Department memo to Kissinger, one of more than 1.7 million U.S. State Department cables dating from 1973-1976 released last week by Wikileaks, MacEachen suggested an alternative plan:
AMBASSADOR ENDERS HAS ALSO INFORMED US THAT MACEACHEN HAS SUGGESTED THAT YOU CONSIDER COMING TO CAPE BRETON, NOVA SCOTIA (MACEACHEN’S HOME) FOR THE TALKS. CLEARLY, YOUR GOING TO CAPE BRETON WOULD BE A PERSONAL COUP FOR MACEACHEN AND WOULD ALSO BE A DELIGHTFUL SCENIC VENUE FOR THE TALKS. THE DISADVANTAGES WOULD BE THE ADDITIONAL TIME REQUIRED OF YOUR SCHEDULE BECAUSE OF THE REMOTENESS OF CAPE BRETON AND ALSO THE FACT THAT YOU WOULD AGAIN BE THE GUEST OF MACEACHEN RATHER THAN ALLOWING YOU TO REPAY HIS HOSPITALITY IN OTTAWA LAST FALL. ON BALANCE, WE BELIEVE THAT YOU SHOULD PROCEED WITH PLANS TO HOST THE MEETING IN WASHINGTON.
Kissinger accepted the staff recommendation, and the visit went ahead in Washington on August 17 and 18.
Image of HK visiting Meat Cove: Peter Barss