History of Nova Scotia
with special attention given to
Communications and Transportation

Chapter 21
1 January 1960   to   31 December 1969

The Canadian Angle During
the Cuban Missile Crisis

October 1962

Special interest:
Premier Robert Stanfield Exacts Harsh Revenge


Port Hawkesbury Teletype,
First Commercial Message Sent

In 1961, the first commercial message was sent over the new teletype machine at Port Hawkesbury.
Nova Scotia: Port Hawkesbury teletype, 1961
Telegrapher Martin Boston sends the first commercial message
over the new teletype machine at Port Hawkesbury, in 1961.
Mr. Boston was a telegrapher from 1956 to 1976.
[The Inverness Oran, 8 April 1998]

1961 January 1

CJCH-TV Goes On Air
Third Television Station in Nova Scotia

On this day, CJCH-TV Halifax began broadcasting on channel 5.  The transmitter power was 100 kilowatts video and 20 kilowatts audio.  The schedule was 45% live production.  This provided the Halifax area with its second television channel — until this day, CBHT was only television channel available in the Halifax metro area.  CJCH-TV was owned by a group of Nova Scotians headed by Finlay Macdonald, and was affiliated with the CTV Network.  ATV Great Britain and CTV owners also participated in the ownership of CJCH-TV.
Reference: Canadian Communications Foundation: History of Canadian Broadcasting

1961 June 27

Dartmouth Incorporated

On this day, Dartmouth was incorporated as a city.
[The Halifax Daily News, 13 March 2000]

1961 June 27

Albion Rail Road,
Last Remaining Section Scrapped

On this day "an Acadian Coal Company steam locomotive and steam crane went down from Stellarton to New Glasgow and dismantled the last remaining section of Nova Scotia's pioneer steam railway," wrote H.B. Jefferson in his paper Mount Rundell, Stellarton, and the Albion Railway of 1839, read before the Nova Scotia Historical Society on 9 November 1961. "The Albion Rail Road had been in operation for a total of one hundred and twenty-two years — the first 50 under its own name, the last 72 as part of the Acadia Coal transportation system in Pictou county."

1961 September 23

Maritime Coal, Railway & Power Company's Last Train

On this day, the last train operated on the round trip Maccan - River Hebert - Joggins, in Cumberland County, on the Maritime Coal, Railway & Power Company track. It was a mixed (freight and passenger) train, pulled by a steam locomotive. This railway track, 11.60 miles 18.68 km long, from the junction with the CNR main line at Maccan to the Joggins station, was officially abandoned soon after.

Photographs of the Last Run:
The Last Run, 23 September 1961

The crew of the last run at Maccan
    Hance LeBlanc (engineer)
    Harry Melton (brakeman)
    Percy MacPherson(superintendent)
    Austin Brown(fireman)
    Bert Hood(conductor)
    Mrs.Norman Avard
    N.T Avard (president MCR&P Co)

1961 November 17

Last S&L Steam Locomotives Retired

On this day, the Sydney & Louisburg Railway's last operational steam locomotives, numbers 88 and 90, were officially retired (meaning that their fires were drawn permanently, and they would never again be available for operation).

1961 December 31

Cornwallis Valley Railway Abandoned

On this day, the Dominion Atlantic Railway officially abandoned all of the Cornwallis Valley Railway, except 2.2 miles from Kentville to Steam Mill (which remained in operation until 1994). The track abandoned included most of the Kingsport Subdivision, from Steam Mill to Centreville (2.55 miles 4.11 km), and from Centreville through Sheffield Mills, Canning, and Pereau to Kingsport (8.84 miles 14.23 km), and all of the Weston Subdivision from Centreville through Billtown, Lakeville, Woodville, and Somerset, to Weston (14.47 miles 23.30 km).


Hazel Hill Telegraph Station Closed

The onward march of ever-improving communications technology finally caught up with the Commercial Cable Company's operations in Guysborough County, and in 1962 the Hazel Hill international telegraph station was closed permanently. In the 1920s, this company employed about 200 people in Guysborough County.

1962 January

Cumberland Railway & Coal Co. Abandoned

The Cumberland Railway & Coal Co. officially abandoned 26.2 miles 42.2 km of track, its main line from Springhill through Southampton to Parrsboro. The track was dismantled in the summer of 1962.

1962 March 27

First Train in CN's New Colours
Arrives in Halifax

The first complete train to be formally unveiled in Canadian National Railway's new colours of black, off-white, and orange-red for the locomotives and black and off-white for the passenger equipment was the Ocean Limited which left Montreal on March 26th, 1962, arriving in Halifax the next day. Up to that time, only three two-unit locomotives and thirty passenger cars were in the new colours, and there had not been a complete train.
[Page 15, Branchline, November 1999. Branchline is a monthly newsmagazine published by the Bytown Railway Society, Ottawa, Ontario.]

1962 April 24

First Transmission of TV Signal by Satellite

On this day, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Cambridge, Massachusetts, beams a television signal by satellite for the first time, from California to Massachusetts.
[The National Post, 24 April 2000]


1962 October

The Canadian Angle During
the Cuban Missile Crisis

In October 1962, President John F. Kennedy stunned television audiences with a broadcast announcing that the world was on the brink of nuclear war.  The public phase of the Cuban Missile Crisis had begun.

In fact, crisis had been brewing for months.  The year before, nuclear confrontation had come dangerously close over the status of Berlin.  Turning away from the abyss in Europe, Premier Nikita Khrushchev soon committed the Soviet Union to an offensive arms build-up in Cuba: a provocative measure intended to challenge America in its own strategic back yard.

On 22 October 1962 Kennedy announced that the Soviet Union had secretly installed between 66 and 74 nuclear ballistic missiles in Cuba.  With a striking distance of up to 2200 miles [3500km], these weapons could threaten the larger part of eastern America.  In response, Kennedy ordered American forces to impose a naval blockade on Cuba, designed to prohibit the delivery of further offensive weapons...

In Canadian and American naval headquarters, staffs were already poised to react.  They had been keeping tabs on a threatening increase in Soviet submarine activity off the eastern seaboard for weeks.  While Canadian citizens focused their attention on missile launchers in the Caribbean, or the possibility that Bomarc missile sites would receive controversial nuclear warheads, their sailors and maritime aircrews quietly concentrated on the submarine menace.

In Halifax, Rear-Admiral Kenneth Dyer, Flag Officer Atlantic Coast, knew that he had to act.  Using planned anti-submarine warfare exercises as a cover, he quietly began to increase fleet readiness and prepare for war.  Maritime Air Command did the same.  The job would have been easier if Vice-Admiral Harry Rayner, the Chief of Naval Staff in Ottawa, could implement the RCN Defence Plan.  But given political indecision in Ottawa, Rayner could not.  Instead, Dyer and his maritime air deputy, Air Commodore Clements, used the plan as a guide.  They initiated an increase in surveillance activity off the east coast, where their forces were already tracking two Soviet submarine contacts.  In the Halifax Dockyard, ships quietly loaded war shots, preparing to go to sea and into battle.  In hangars, aircraft readied for an intense operational tempo.

Preparations were made easier on October 24, when escalation in the crisis finally convinced Prime Minister John Diefenbaker to order the armed forces to go to low alert status.  But overt preparations that might raise public alarm were prohibited.  In Ottawa, the Naval Board recalled the aircraft carrier HMCS Bonaventure and its escorts from Britain.  In Halifax and Esquimalt, the fleet quietly dispersed to war stations.

Meanwhile, the United States Navy was preparing to activate a submarine barrier to the south of the Grand Banks, in accordance with continental defence plans.  Messages flew between Dyer and his American counterparts as the east coast fleet prepared to join the operation.  To be in place by October 28, the barrier would extend 600 miles [about 1000km] south-south east of Cape Race, Newfoundland.  It was a huge undertaking, and with American naval forces stretched to the limit with the Cuban blockade, major Canadian participation was essential to its success.

As the submarine count in the western Atlantic continued to rise, the United States asked Dyer's fleet to assume major anti-submarine responsibilities extending as far south as the approaches to New York harbour.  Soon, every available Canadian warship and maritime aircraft was at sea or flying over it, maintaining the submarine barrier.  The weather was filthy, their targets elusive, and the stakes as high as could be.

By October 28 international diplomacy had hammered out a tentative resolution to the crisis.  Khrushchev agreed to dismantle the Cuban missile sites under international inspection.  The world heaved a sigh of relief.  In Ottawa, most of the Cabinet and many senior military officers wanted to stand down the forces from alert status.  But in fact, the crisis was far from over.  The submarine threat on the Atlantic seaboard was at its highest level since the departure of German wolf packs during the Second World War.  Operations plots showed that there were still five certain, two highly probable and five possible Soviet submarines operating in the western Atlantic.  They showed no sign of leaving station.  Dyer and his staff pressed for continued vigilance.

While our navy maintained a pace of operations unseen since 1945 and never since repeated, politicians played down, almost dismissed, the significance of events off the east coast.  Still, with quiet backing from Harkness and despite opposition from some naval leaders, the war-like operational tempo continued until November 12, when it was clear that the Soviet submarines no longer posed a threat.  During the crisis Dyer had deployed 22 destroyers, an aircraft carrier and its 28 aircraft, 2 submarines, 12 shore based Tracker aircraft and 32 Argus patrol aircraft, not including auxiliaries and harbour defence vessels.  There had been at least 29 Soviet submarine contacts in the western Atlantic during the crisis.  Canadian units, not including subsurface fixed sonars, had logged more than 130 exposure contacts on them.  It was a remarkable achievement and resounding proof that continental defence cooperation worked.

But the achievement went unheralded.  Minister of National Defence Douglas Harkness, Dyer and others had acted in good faith, but they had stretched the conventions of civil control over the military to the breaking point.  What had been done was necessary, but attention could not be drawn to the navy's achievements without underlining the state of crisis within Canada's political and military institutions.  There would be no battle honours, no medal presentations, no commendations.  The navy's outstanding professionalism, vigilance and dedication during extreme crisis became nothing more than a footnote.  Officially, the navy's intense activities ashore, afloat and aloft had been nothing more than Exercise "Cubex"...

Source: The Canadian Angle During the Cuban Missile Crisis by David Robinson


Admiral Dyer Dies

Official sent warships to help during Cuban missile crisis

9 October 2000

OTTAWA — Kenneth Dyer, a retired admiral who acted on his own and sent Canadian warships to sea to help the United States during the Cuban missile crisis, died Monday, October 9th, at his home in Ottawa. Admiral Kenneth Dyer The family asked that his age not be disclosed, although a friend said Dyer was in his early 80s.  No other details were available.

Dyer was a rear admiral commanding the East Coast fleet when the crisis over the deployment of Russian nuclear missiles in Cuba broke out in 1962.  President John Kennedy declared a naval blockade of the island and asked for Canadian support.  The request sparked a short-lived political crisis in the government of then-prime minister John Diefenbaker.  Diefenbaker wrangled with his defence minister, Douglas Harkness, and refused to put Canadian forces on alert, even though the crisis appeared to be a potential detonator for nuclear war.

While his political masters and his superiors in Ottawa, including Vice-Admiral Harry Rayner, the chief of the naval staff, were paralyzed by the political situation, Dyer acted.

According to Tony German, who wrote about the little-known incident in his book The Sea is at Our Gates, the admiral sent his Royal Canadian Navy warships to sea to hunt Russian submarines.  Dyer knew he was straining the traditional civilian-military leash almost to the breaking point.

"I don't think there's any question about it that Douglas Harkness was trying to get a decision from the prime minister and couldn't get a decision," German said in an interview.  "This lack of decision was clear to Admiral Dyer.

"The chief of the naval staff couldn't, under those circumstances, give him directions but he did what any prudent commander would have done under those circumstances; he put his forces completely ready and positioned not only so they could take whatever action might be necessary, but also to protect his fleet."

Midway through the crisis Ottawa decided to call a low-level alert, but Dyer had already pulled out all the stops.

A modern-day account of the incident drawn from the Canadian Forces website says Dyer deployed 22 destroyers, an aircraft carrier with 28 planes, two subs, 12 shore-based anti-submarine planes and 22 patrol planes in support of the Americans.

The United States Navy, trying to tighten its blockade around Cuba, let the Canadians cover a big segment of the North Atlantic with patrols seeking Russian subs.

"The Royal Canadian Navy (RCN) took over a very substantial segment of what would normally have been a U.S. responsibility and certainly allowed at least one (anti-submarine) task group to move down further south," German said.  "It most certainly released the U.S. Navy forces."

The crisis ended in November.  The Russians agreed to withdraw their missiles.  The superpowers backed away from the nuclear brink.

They preferred to forget it

In Canada, politicians and the military decided to agree that nothing much had happened.  "I think they all preferred to forget it," German said.  "The crisis had been resolved and it was very little known or understood."

The navy's website account by David Robinson goes further: "What had been done was necessary, but attention could not be drawn to the navy's achievements without underlying the state of crisis within Canada's political and military institutions.  There would be no battle honours, no medal presentations, no commendations."

Dyer himself was soon promoted to vice-admiral, but he took early retirement as the in-fighting over unification of the Forces grew in the mid-1960s.

German said Dyer was much respected in the navy.  "He really understood the people who were working for him" German recalled.

Dyer risked his career and even a possible court martial when he sent his fleet to aid the Americans without permission, yet German said this was typical.

"He was very brave, as was underlined by the kind of bravery he exercised in this particular incident."

Even before the Cuban crisis, Dyer had been a war hero.  He won the Distinguished Service Cross in 1942 when, as commander of the destroyer HMCS Skeena, he sank a German U-boat.  Among his post-war career highlights was a 19-month stint in command of the aircraft carrier HMCS Magnificent 1951-53.

[The Halifax Chronicle-Herald, 11 October 2000]


Cuban Missile Crisis: Royal Canadian Navy

The Cuban Missile Crisis started quietly on 13 October 1962, when American aerial reconnaissance obtained conclusive photographic evidence of ballistic missile sites on the island.  The American reaction was swift.  Aircraft were alerted, invasion forces quietly assembled, and the USN brought out in force.  Four days later the commander of US Atlantic anti-submarine forces flew to Halifax to brief Rear-Admiral Ken L. Dyer, Flag Officer, Atlantic Coast, on the developing situation.  Dyer already had four escort squadrons – the 1st of old destroyers, the 5th of Restigouche Class ships, and the Prestonians of the 7th and 9th – either at sea or on short notice.  Bonaventure, less her Banshee squadron, which had disbanded on 30 September, was in British waters with the Tribal Class destroyers of the 1st Escort Squadron.  The other east-coast squadron, the 3rd of old destroyers, was on reduced manning.  The only active west-coast squadron, the St.  Laurents of the 2nd, was alongside at San Francisco.  Dyer also had operational control of the RCAF's maritime patrol squadrons and, should the crisis escalate, he could deploy the two British training submarines assigned to his command.

On the night of 17 October, Dyer's forces made their first contact with a Russian submarine 300 miles off the Canadian coast.  Eleven more contacts followed over the next three weeks.  While the submarine was tracked by both Canadian and American forces, the tension between Washington and Moscow over the missiles in Cuba heated up.  Canadian maritime forces, both naval and air, were on a high state of alert and actively engaged in the preliminaries of the crisis when Kennedy's speech of 22 October shook the world.  Certainly, as Peter Haydon observed, “Kennedy's speech that evening was a complete surprise to the Canadian political system and to the population as a whole.” Kennedy demanded the unconditional withdrawal of the missiles, and established an quarantine around Cuba to stop further shipment of military equipment.

With the crisis now in the open, the American government pressured Canada to raise its state of alert and to deploy forces in support of the quarantine, Diefenbaker dithered.  The American ‘quarantine’ was technically illegal, but his government was never convinced that it was necessary to go to the state of military readiness and activity that the Americans demanded.  It was not until 24 October, two days after Kennedy's speech, that the Naval Board authorized the recall of Bonaventure and the 1st Squadron from Europe, and Dyer was allowed to go to a higher state of readiness.  He deployed his forces in accordance with the existing plans.  While theAmericans established a barrier operation southeast of Newfoundland along the line of their SOSUS field, intensely supported by RCAF aircraft, RCN ships patrolled key areas off Nova Scotia and in the approaches to New York.  The 5th squadron patrolled southeast of Halifax, the 7th rotated into Sydney for fuel, while the 3rd, brought to a full state of manning, was sent to watch the Georges Bank.  The two Royal Navy submarines were deployed to patrol areas on the northeastern of the Grand Banks.  The public explanation for all this activity was on-going fleet exercises with the United States Navy.  In reality, the navy was deployed for war and was actively pursuing Russian submarine contacts.  If there was any doubt about the presence of Russian submarines, Dyer had only to look out his office window.  There, lying in Halifax harbour, was the Soviet submarine replenishment ship Atlantika.  She sailed on the 27th for Georges Bank.

With the bulk of USN forces committed to the quarantine around Cuba, the RCN was soon asked to extend its patrols further south.  Dyer obliged.  But he got little firm direction from Ottawa, and no authorization even for the additional fuel allocation required.  As Haydon writes: ‘Dyer's problem was that he could not convince Ottawa that the Soviet submarines still presented a potential threat to North America, and he remained frustrated by Ottawa's refusal to see the situation in a tactical light.’ 

There is no record that any ‘unofficial’ authorization emerged from Ottawa.  Dyer signalled his intentions, and went ahead with them when no one objected.  When Khrushchev seemed publicly to back down on 28 October, the crisis was officially over, and Ottawa, never as fully committed as Washington, went back to its normal routine.  Unfortunately for Dyer, a high level of Soviet submarine activity in his zone remained.  Only on 30 October did Dyer receive an equivocal direction not to exceed his annual fuel allocation.  Like Nelson at Copenhagen, Dyer turned a blind eye to Ottawa's indifference and kept his ships and aircraft at sea.  The peak of operations came on 5 November, with the ‘the carrier, some twenty-four escorts and two submarines... deployed across an area over 1000 miles long and about 250 miles wide’ [1600km long and about 400km wide].  Two days later Kootenay made contact with a Soviet Foxtrot Class submarine near Georges Bank, one of eleven being tracked by plotters.  Confirmation that it was a submarine came when two Soviet trawlers nearly charged the destroyer in an attempt to break contact.  Kootenay held on and passed the Foxtrot off to the United States Navy for further prosecution.  In the end, between 23 October and 15 November, some 136 Soviet submarine ‘contacts’ were made in the Atlantic in or near the Canadian zone.  The navy prided itself on its effective response to the crisis and the smoothness with which existing North American and NATO defence preparations worked.  In contrast, the government and even the senior leadership of the navy seemed paralysed by the crisis.  As Tony German concluded, Dyer ‘was a courageous leader who had done what had to be done when Canada's political leadership had so shockingly failed the test.’  Haydon concurred: ‘One cannot find fault with Admiral Dyer's decision to take action without direction from Naval Service Headquarters; he merely did what he believed was in the best interests of the fleet and national defence.  That the national headquarters was frozen with inaction was a systematic problem.’  Decades after the Cuban crisis, naval officers recalled with pride the time when the navy went to war because the government lacked the will to do so.

Not everyone shared the navy's sentiment.  A few years after the Cuban crisis the dean of Canadian historians, the irascible Donald Creighton, lauded the government for its reluctance to respond to the American lead.  ‘The Canadian divisions of NORAD were not placed on an advanced state of alert,’ he wrote, ‘and, in the Commons, Diefenbaker suggested an impartial inquiry into the state of affairs in Cuba, thereby impiously questioning the dogma that the voice of the President of the United States, speaking ex cathedra, was the voice of God, revealing God's perfect truth.’  Politicians and senior civil servants seem to have learned their own lessons about independent naval action in the fall of 1962.  As for Diefenbaker, his failure to follow the American lead blindly resulted in an unprecedented intervention by the United States in subsequent Canadian domestic politics.

The political fallout of the Cuban crisis profoundly shaped the history of the Canadian navy.  The crisis itself deepened divisions within the country.  By the end of 1962 the Liberal and New Democratic parties were boisterously anti-nuclear, and Diefenbaker's minority government was divided.  The Tories had bought weapons systems, but many in Cabinet could not bring themselves to buy the warheads.  ‘Upon this divided people and its divided government,’ Creighton wrote, ‘the full weight of American reprimand and injunction now fell with shattering force.’

Source:— http://www.navy.forces.gc.ca/marpac/10/10-w_eng.asp?section=0&category=79&id=398

Reference:— HIE 208: A Canadian Military History from Confederation to the Present
Lesson 10 - Week 10, 1945-65  pages 27, 28


Canadian Involvement
in the
Cuban Missile Crisis

by Peter T. Haydon

I. Dealing with Unidentified Submarines

...International law is clear in stating that warships (including submarines) may use the territorial waters of another state for the purposes of innocent passage and, in the case of submarines, that they be on the surface... In 1962, the law was not clear on the use of ocean areas contiguous to territorial waters by foreign submarines in nonwartime situations, and this was a major concern for American and Canadian naval staffs.  The right to attack unidentified submarines lurking offshore had never been a problem in the Second World War (1939-1945) when their purpose was unambiguous.  However, for the first decade (late 1940s to mid 1950s) of the Cold War the presence of an unidentified submarine off-shore conducting surveillance from international waters presented no immediate threat; it merely remained a potential threat should the international situation deteriorate.  The advent of strategic weapons, essentially nuclear weapons and missiles and their adaptation to submarine use, led to re-appraisal of the policies for dealing with unidentified submarines.

In August 1955, the chief of the Canadian Naval Staff, Vice-Admiral H.G. DeWolf, proposed a change in the rules of engagement, explaining the need to do so:

In view of the size of the Soviet submarine fleet and the large proportion of ocean patrol submarines comprising it, it must be considered probable that in the preliminary phase of a nuclear war Soviet submarines will be deployed to positions in Canadian coastal waters from which nuclear armed missiles can be launched against targets within their range to coincide with air attacks on other targets.  To achieve simultaneous attacks by sea and air would necessitate the submarines being sailed some days previously in order to make the transit to their launching positions.  It is conceivable, therefore, that the first indication of the enemy's war intentions may well be the detection by sound surveillance systems, ships or aircraft of a number of submarines approaching the coasts of Canada.

The proposed change, which reflected the earlier shift in NATO strategy to acknowledge Soviet nuclear capabilities, and which was to be sent to the Cabinet Defence Committee, went on to state that the existing rules were inadequate in light of recent submarine developments.  Recommendations for changes in the rules, however, did not include RCAF maritime patrol aircraft which had become key antisubmarine warfare (ASW) forces in the integrated concept of maritime defence.

Central to the new procedure was the initial interrogation of the submarine contact to establish its identity where possible, and when it could not be identified positively, and contact was only made acoustically (by any underwater detection system), then it would be deemed “hostile” only if a hostile act was committed.  The meaning of “hostile” act on the part of a submarine was, or so it seemed at the time, fairly straight forward:
  •  diving without identifying itself;
  •  clearing away its gun armament on the approach of a ship or aircraft;
  •  preparing to fire a missile;
  •  attacking any ship or aircraft; or
  •  firing a missile.
Interestingly, “North American waters” were not defined or delineated.  It seems an operational assumption was that the rules of engagement applied to unidentified submarines found within their theoretical maximum weapons range and to those contacts found closing to within such a distance from shore.  The emphasis, it was stated, was on attempting to make early identification.  In other words, resolving the ambiguity of an unidentified contact as early as possible was paramount, which made sense from both political and tactical perspectives.

The Naval Staff's strategic logic, however, was not supported completely by the officials of the Department of External Affairs who foresaw political rather than legal problems in the proposal particularly in that part of the definition of “hostile act” concerning non-identification.  Here, they argued, it might be prudent to give the submarine the benefit of the doubt.  Essentially, the view was that sinking a Soviet submarine outside territorial waters on the basis of non-identification paralleled questionable Soviet actions in shooting down unidentified aircraft outside the territorial airspace of their country.  Moreover, External Affairs lawyers and the chairman of the Chiefs of Staff Committee, General Charles Foulkes, believed that the procedure and rules should be consistent with those used by the Americans.  In terms of response within territorial waters, no doubts existed because an attack on an obviously hostile submarine was “self-defence.” As the legal brief attached to the Department of External Affairs' memo to DND stated, “[s]ome writers of international law go even further and assert the existence of a much wider right than that of self-defence, namely the right of selfpreservation which they claim is one of the fundamental rights of states and takes precedence over all others.”

Overall, the legal opinion concurred in the right of the state to take action against unidentified submarines, especially as similar concepts already existed for unidentified aircraft.  The problem lay in the definition of a “hostile act,” a matter that would remain a highly contentious issue for many years.  In trying to change the rules for dealing with potentially hostile submarines close to Canadian waters, DeWolf and his staff had inadvertently opened a legal pandora's box.

The next step was to work with the Americans in drawing up a set of coordinated bilateral rules for dealing with unidentified and hostile submarines in North American waters.  This was done through the Military Cooperation Committee (MCC) of the Permanent Joint Board on Defense (PJBD), and in March 1958 draft instructions for “The coordination of Canada-United States ASW operations in defense of North America” were submitted to the Canadian Chiefs of Staff.  Unfortunately, DeWolf's fairly uncomplicated criteria had been massaged into a broader policy statement that would require further amplification if it was to have any operational value.  However, the statement clarified one potentially confusing issue by establishing that:

The maintenance of surveillance and control of the North American and North Pacific Oceans both before and during war requires the following to be accomplished:
A) The acquisition, evaluation and exchange of information concerning the pattern of action by non-friendly submarines within the setting of the international situation as it may exist at any time.
B) Prior to the outbreak of war, the detection, tracking, surfacing and identification of non-friendly submarines in North American waters, and the prevention of hostile action by such submarines, or the destruction of a submarine which commits a hostile act.
C) After the outbreak of war, the detection and destruction of enemy submarines.

The proposal continued in establishing the responsibilities for developing operational plans and procedures including a concept for avoiding mutual interference between Canadian and American submarines.  After the usual discussion, the proposal was concurred in by the Chiefs of Staff who directed that interlocking national plans be drawn up.

This was done, and the Chiefs of Staff reviewed the new national plan on 28 August 1956.  DeWolf and the chief of the Air Staff, Air Marshal C.R. Slemon, were concerned that the plan did not provide enough guidance but they accepted the necessity of such limitations in striking a balance between American and Canadian requirements.  The Chiefs of Staff also debated, at length, the political implications of attacking missilefiring submarines when the location of the target was not known.  Eventually, the decision on approving the plan was deferred pending further review by the Naval Staff.  The process became stalled.

In April 1959, the Naval Board reviewed a draft of the “Canada-United States Rules of Engagement for Defense Against Submarines” passed on from the Chiefs of Staff Committee.  Not surprisingly, there were reservations to the proposal; documents prepared under political constraints seldom meet all operational requirements.  Also not surprisingly, one of the contentious areas was the definition of a “hostile submarine” which the draft rules had left to “competent shore authorities” to define rather than to the operational commanders who naturally wanted to keep the decision at the operational level to prevent valuable time being wasted.  Also, there was concern that the precise criteria for deeming a submarine “hostile” needed to be spelled out very clearly because there could be no room for doubt.  On top of this, the admirals rightly wanted a mechanism for requiring that a submarine identify itself.  Revisions were made and the new set of rules were approved by the Canadian Chiefs of Staff on 28 January 1960, and forwarded to the minister of National Defence for approval before being sent back to the MCC for discussion in the bilateral arena.  The rules duly came back with further amendments, and the Chiefs of Staff yet again fiddled with the text.  DeWolf, however, made one important point: irrespective of the existence of a set of bilateral rules of engagement, a need for a purely Canadian rules for Canadian situations still existed.

These were developed and eventually approved on 31 August 1961.  Those rules, it seems, remained in force for the next three years, which included the period of the Cuban Missile Crisis.  A copy cannot be found now and so the key issue of how Canadian forces were to demand that a suspected non-friendly submarine identify itself remains unclear.  However, the use of five small explosive charges in quick succession became the adopted practice to call a submarine to the surface within NATO and for Canada-US forces.  Getting submarines to identify themselves was an important issue during the Cuban Missile Crisis.

On 24 October 1962, the US State Department sent a telegram to the US embassy in Moscow telling the Ambassador to inform the Soviet government that the US Navy would use a procedure to have unidentified submarine contacts come to the surface.  The message stated that “Quarantine Forces will drop four or five harmless explosive sound signals which may be accompanied by the international code signal ‘IDKCA’ meaning ‘rise to the surface.’  This sonar signal is normally made on underwater communications equipment in the 8 KC (kHz) frequency range.  Submerged submarines, on hearing this signal, should surface on an easterly course.  Signals and procedures employed are harmless.”

The message was delivered but rejected by the Soviets.  As the various accounts written by the captains of the four “Foxtrots” of their confrontation with the US Navy attest, they were completely surprised by the use of sound signals and believed they were under attack.  The Soviet government's rejection of the advisory note on the surfacing procedures was dangerous if not reckless, especially as it left the submarine captains unsure of what to do under the circumstances which also led them to consider using their nuclear torpedoes in self-defence.  A controversy still exists over whether the “Foxtrot” captains would have used their nuclear torpedoes in self-defence.  According to Svetlana Savranskaya, one commanding officer believed he was being attacked by something more powerful than a grenade.  Unable to reach his higher authority by radio, he discussed the situation with his political officer and second-in-command and wisely decided against using that weapon.  Even though the Americans used “scare” grenades to bring the “Foxtrots” to the surface and identify themselves there are no Soviet accounts of this procedure.  Those submarines that came to the surface did so because of mechanical problems.  It is distinctly possible that the commanding officers, at the urging of their political officers and the members of the Brigade staff who sailed aboard all four submarines, were more concerned over maintaining the secrecy of the operation than in placating the American ASW forces who had the upper hand.  On return to Murmansk, the commanding officers and Brigade staff were interrogated and for a while there was concern that they would be severely punished for compromising the mission by surfacing to correct defects.  This did not happen.

In summary, it appears that the Soviet submarines were unaware of the standard NATO and Canada-US surfacing and identification procedures and they attempted to remain covert for as long as possible in accordance with their initial sailing orders.  That they misinterpreted the “scare” charges for depth charges and were thus forced to contemplate action for self-defence is troubling.  However, the refusal of their government to accept the advance notification of that procedure is even more troubling.  One is left to draw the conclusion that the Soviet political leaders were knowingly playing a dangerous game and that US and Canadian ASW forces attempted to identify the various Soviet submarines using legally-established procedures in a situation where those submarines could have been deemed “hostile.” The Soviet submarine captains were mere political pawns left to manage a very difficult situation without adequate orders or command and control systems.  That the Soviet Navy stayed much closer to home for the next few years is probably the result of this dangerous and humiliating situation.

II. The Soviet Submarine Threat

The problem with the submarines is that no one, save the Russians of course, knows exactly how many Soviet submarines eventually took part in Operation “Anadyr” or were already on patrol in North American waters in October and November 1962.  Without knowing the exact numbers, one cannot determine the potential threat (as a function of both actual capabilities and Soviet intentions) posed by those submarines with any accuracy, but that does not mean that we cannot re-examine what we do know and see if the submarine threat can be assessed with greater accuracy...

The first indication of a higher-than-normal level of Soviet submarine activity in the North Atlantic came on 13 October (1962) when a submarine was sighted in the Caribbean.  Suspicions were raised higher by the arrival in the western Atlantic of the Soviet Northern Fleet auxiliary oiler Terek later that week.  Soviet submarines were known to rendezvous with the electronic intelligence-gathering trawlers and use oilers like the Terek to refuel and get other supplies during their North American patrols.  Keeping tabs on all potential support vessels thus made sense.  The problem was to find them because they often took shelter within the various fishing fleets using North American waters.

Finding the submarines and their support vessels was the responsibility of Vice-Admiral E.B. “Whitey” Taylor, US Navy, Commander US ASW Forces Atlantic, but he did not have enough ships and aircraft to cover both the area around Cuba as well as the Northwest Atlantic.  Taylor and his naval aviation commander, Rear-Admiral Koch, flew to Halifax on October 17 (1962) to explain the severity of the situation and to seek Canadian assistance with surveillance in the Northwest Atlantic (which was the Canadian area of responsibility under bilateral defence plans).  Rear-Admiral Ken Dyer, commander of the Canadian Atlantic Fleet, agreed to do this as it was within his terms of reference to increase surveillance at sea without political approval.  It is almost certain that some of this had been discussed between Dyer's and Taylor's staffs by phone earlier that week because the tempo of RCAF ocean surveillance, which came under Dyer's operational control, had been increased the day before.  What Dyer and Taylor agreed to was not unusual and under the bilateral defence plans Taylor was Dyer's superior under a naval command relationship similar to that within NORAD...

...From a Canadian perspective, each maritime commander had a very clearly defined geographic area of responsibility with precise instructions on what he could and could not do in various situations in those areas.

[Footnote 51]  On the Atlantic this area extended from the Canadian shoreline to 40 degrees of latitude south and 40 degrees of longitude west.  This was a huge body of water.  The corresponding area of American responsibility extended north to 40 degrees of north latitude but further out into the North Atlantic.  These areas were integrated into national, bilateral, and NATO plans...

Canadian Naval Command Structure

...During the Cuban Missile Crisis, both national and bilateral procedures were used by default because NATO was not part of the crisis management process.  However, national control was maintained through the established chain of command: Dyer (as both a Fleet and a Maritime Commander) was accountable to the CNS, Vice-Admiral Rayner, who was in turn accountable to the minister, Douglas Harkness.  The chairman of the Canadian Chiefs of Staff Committee was not part of the operational command structure at that time.  Dyer's task was complicated by the fact that he also had to coordinate operations with his US Navy counterparts to ensure maximum information flow and, as importantly, to avoid mutual interference where Canadian and American units were operating together or in close proximity.

This was not difficult; Canadian and US naval and maritime air forces exercised combined ASW procedures frequently.  In many ways, the ships and aircraft of the two countries were more comfortable working with each other than with NATO warships, save for the Royal Navy which remained the Canadian “mother” service despite a marked trend to home-grown training and operational procedures.  Today, one would say that the maritime forces of the United States and Canada had developed a high degree of interoperability, especially in antisubmarine operations.  In fact, bilateral procedures were almost identical to Canadian national procedures other than for the command structure which ensured that Canadian ships remained under overall Canadian control.  So, as far as the admirals were concerned, the Cuban Missile Crisis was merely another combined ASW exercise; a point made by the fact that the official records refer to the crisis as “CUBEX.” That little post-exercise analysis took place and that little was even said about the exercise afterwards is perhaps not as remarkable in hindsight as some believe.  Operationally, it was just another incident involving Soviet submarines outside Canadian territorial waters.  The crisis was largely political even though those submarines presented a potential threat.  Yet, no formal alerts were issued; rather, operational readiness was increased prudently as a contingency against the possible escalation of the incident.  In all of this, Dyer acted prudently and completely within the established criteria for exercising operational command of RCN and RCAF units assigned to him.


Was it the RCN's finest hour of the Cold War, as some claim?  That is hard to answer.  What is absolutely clear though is that in responding quickly to an uncertain but potentially threatening situation, the RCN and the RCAF performed well.  They conducted complex ASW operations in conjunction with the US Navy as well as could be expected under difficult circumstances.

In hindsight, three things still stand out.  One, we still don't know exactly how many submarines were on patrol in North American waters before the four “Foxtrots” sailed in early October.  It would be interesting to know that number.  Two, procedures for dealing with potentially hostile submarines found in North American waters were tactically sound but inherently difficult politically.  It would be interesting to know how the politicians would have dealt with the RCN prosecution of the Soviet submarine found on Georges Bank had they been asked to approve those actions.  Three, we can only speculate in what ways the Canada-US response to the Soviet submarines would have been different had we known about the nuclear torpedoes.

Overall, the RCN and the RCAF Maritime Air Command were not found wanting when called upon to carry out the mission they had trained long and hard to master.  If there is still criticism of Canadian command and control procedures, then we need to look at the political level.  Those who remain sceptical or critical of the Canada-US response to the Soviet submarines should bear in mind that the procedures in place in late 1962 were very different to those of today.  To assess the appropriateness, or even legality, of 1962 ASW procedures one needs to do so from the position of the 1962 concepts and not those of today.

It may not have been the RCN's finest hour, but how would one make such a judgement?  The basis for comparison needs to be established carefully beforehand.  Can one actually compare Second World War convoy duty, with gun actions off the coast of Korea, with operations in the high Arctic, with the Cuban Missile Crisis, or with more recent operations in the Persian Gulf and Arabian Sea?  Of course not.  They are all classic examples of the fact that modern navies are superbly versatile political instruments always ready to do the bidding of their political masters in any corner of the world at short notice.  Armies and Air Forces cannot make that claim; navies are unique in this respect.  In summary, what we can say is that in the fall of 1962 the RCN and the RCAF Maritime Air Group rose to a challenge and carried out the various tasks for which they had trained in an exemplary manner...

Source: Canadian Involvement in the
Cuban Missile Crisis Re-Reconsidered

The Northern Mariner/Le marin du nord,
XVII No. 2 (April 2007), pages 39-65
by Peter T. Haydon

1962 February 08

Conversion to Seven-Digit Telephone Numbers

An 18-month campaign to convert the province's dial telephones to seven-digit numbers is nearly complete.  Cornwallis and seven other exchanges in western Nova Scotia are about to be assigned numbers to complete the campaign.  The Dominion Atlantic Railway station at Cornwallis, which until now has been reached at telephone number 759, would become 638-8759 (last three digits same as before) under the new plan.
[50 Years Ago in the Digby County Courier, 9 February 2012]

The conversion of all of Nova Scotia's dial telephone exchanges to a uniform seven-digit numbering system was an essential step in the preparations to implement Direct Distance Dialing (DDD).  Before the introduction of DDD, all long-distance calls had to be set up by a switchboard operator, an employee of the telephone company whose job was to ask the caller the geographical location (anywhere in the world) of the person or company he/she wanted to speak to, and the local telephone number there, and then to make the necessary arrangements for the calling party and the called party to talk to each other.

1962 June 24

Racism in Halifax

CBC Documentary
Racism in Halifax
Broadcast Date: June 24, 1962

Racism in Halifax 2:37

Racist attitudes responsible for the miserable conditions of Africville are prevalent in the city of Halifax in the 1960s.  In this footage, narrated by J. Frank Willis, from a 1962 CBC documentary called Close-up: Figure Your Colour Against Mine, a CBC reporter talks to "folks on the street" about racism in Canada.  During an interview with a young black man, the reporter uses a derogatory term for black residents.
• In the 1960s black Canadians found it difficult to get the most basic services such as renting and buying houses, finding employment and getting haircuts.
• While the majority of Halifax's black population did not live in Africville, it was home to those who wanted to live relatively free from the racist attitudes of the predominantly white population.

1963 June 3

Canada Declares 12-Mile Limit

On this day, Canada declared the twelve-mile limit, an exclusive fisheries zone off the Canadian coast.
[The Halifax Chronicle-Herald, 3 June 2002]

In the 3 June 2002 item, the Chronicle-Herald stated that this 12-mile limit
extended 19.3 kilometres.  A letter to the editor appeared on 10 June:

The correct figure for the twelve-mile limit is 22.2 kilometres, not 19.3.

This is a perfect example of the reason we had to abandon the old
Imperial system of measures, in which many measures were ambiguous.
One of its most notorious ambiguities was the "mile" which had
two different lengths in common use, depending on the context.

The person who did your conversion to kilometres assumed that the 12-mile
coastal limit was measured in statute miles, each 5280 feet. Nope.

Statute miles are landlubber miles, derived from the Roman Empire's
"millaire" or "mille passuum", meaning a thousand paces
(legionnaire's double paces, left-right-left).

The 12-mile coastal limit is measured in nautical miles.
A nautical mile, the length of one minute of longitude at the equator
at sea level, is 6080 feet, fifteen percent longer than a statute mile.

In contrast, a kilometre is always the same, regardless of the context.

Canada's Campaign for the 12-Mile Limit

In the late 1950s, the Canadian Cabinet accepted a recommendation of the Interdepartmental Committee on Territorial Waters to seek to establish a 12-mile exclusive fishing zone off our coasts. The U.S. was strongly opposed. For several years thereafter, we waged an enormous diplomatic campaign to gather support for a new international rule of law in favour of 12 miles. We blocked agreement on a rival U.S. proposal at the First UN Conference on the Law of the Sea in 1958, and, eventually, thanks in no small measure to Canada, a rule emerged in the 1960s that legitimated the Canadian, not the original American, approach to a 12-mile zone. Then we moved unilaterally...
The United States in Canadian Foreign Policy
by Allan Gotlieb, Toronto, Ontario, 10 December 1991

Historical Perspective on Territorial Seas

Countries have generally claimed some part of the seas beyond their shores as part of their territory, as a zone of protection to be patrolled against smugglers, warships and other intruders. At its origin, the basis of the claim of coastal States to a belt of the sea was the principle of protection; during the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries another principle gradually evolved: that the extent of this belt should be measured by the power of the littoral sovereign to control the area.

In the eighteenth century, the so-called "cannon-shot" rule gained wide acceptance in Europe. Coastal States were to exercise dominion over their territorial seas as far as projectiles could be fired from a cannon based on the shore. According to some scholars, in the eighteenth century the range of land-based cannons was approximately one marine league, or three nautical miles. It is believed that on the basis of this formula developed the traditional three-mile territorial sea limit.

By the late 1960s, a trend to a 12-nautical-mile territorial sea had gradually emerged throughout the world, with a great majority of nations claiming sovereignty out to that seaward limit. However, the major maritime and naval Powers clung to a three-nautical-mile limit on territorial seas, primarily because a 12-nautical-mile limit would effectively close off and place under national sovereignty more than 100 straits used for international navigation.

A 12-nautical-mile territorial sea would place under national jurisdiction of riparian States strategic passages such as the Strait of Gibraltar (8 miles wide and the only open access to the Mediterranean), the Strait of Malacca (20 miles wide and the main sea route between the Pacific and Indian Oceans), the Strait of Hormuz (21 miles wide and the only passage to the oil-producing areas of the Gulf) and Bab el Mandeb (14 miles wide, connecting the Indian Ocean with the Red Sea)...

The claim for 200-nautical-mile offshore sovereignty made by Peru, Chile and Ecuador in the late 1940s and early 1950s was sparked by their desire to protect from foreign fishermen the rich waters of the Humboldt Current (more or less coinciding with the 200-nautical-mile offshore belt). This limit was incorporated in the Santiago Declaration of 1952 and reaffirmed by other Latin American States joining the three in the Montevideo and Lima Declarations of 1970. The idea of sovereignty over coastal-area resources continued to gain ground.

As long-utilized fishing grounds began to show signs of depletion, as long-distance ships came to fish waters local fishermen claimed by tradition, as competition increased, so too did conflict. Between 1974 and 1979 alone there were some 20 disputes over cod, anchovies or tuna and other species between, for example, the United Kingdom and Iceland, Morocco and Spain, and the United States and Peru.

And then there was the offshore oil...

The United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea: A Historical Perspective

At the Dawn of International Law

At the dawn of international law, most maritime States were somewhat preoccupied with claiming that they had sovereignty and authority over quite extensive parts of the ocean. Venice claimed the Adriatic, England the North Sea, the Channel, and a large part of the Atlantic, Sweden the Baltic, and Denmark-Norway all the Northern seas.

The State that claimed the seas often rendered a service to all by policing them against piracy; and in return it claimed proprietary rights over them. Reaction to the above claims came in the sixteenth century when, under the Bulls of Pope Alexander VI of 1493, Spain and Portugal claimed to divide the New World between themselves. Spain claimed the whole Pacific and the Gulf of Mexico; Portugal the Indian Ocean and most of the Atlantic, and both excluded foreigners from these vast areas.

The other European countries denied the legal validity of the claims of Spain and Portugal. They argued that it was contrary to natural law and elemental principle of international relations to claim the seas and its waters as the private property of one nation. The cry soon emerged that the use of the sea should be common to all nations. Queen Elizabeth I of England in reply to a protest by the Spanish Ambassador against the passage of Drake's vessels on the seas reserved for Spain under the Papal Bull, stated:

"The use of the sea and air is common to all. Neither can title to the ocean belong to any people or private persons for as much as neither nature nor public use and custom permitteth any possession thereof..."

In 1609, Hugo Grotius, a Dutch lawyer, published Mare Liberum in justification of Dutch resistance to the Portuguese claim, maintaining that the sea was res communes, that is, belonging to all and could not be made the property of any State.

The thesis was attacked by John Seldon in Mare Clausum, in which the right of the State to assert its sovereignty over seas adjacent to its territory was placed on the ground of appropriation, dominion, and uncontested use. Grotius, by 1625 in De Jure Belli Ac Pacis, Libri Tres admitted that Mare Liberum might not apply to the adjacent sea, and a successor, Johones Potanus, finally also conceded this.

In the course of time a majority of States began to adopt the view that the extent of the State's sovereignty over its adjacent sea should be limited in practice by some notion of effective control. By the eighteenth century this notion of effective control became synonymous with the range of the cannon from shore batteries. The maximum range of such cannon shots was then three miles. Thus what had originally been a practical test of effective control in terms of cannon fire subsequently became crystallised as the test of effective control over a State's claim of sovereignty of its territorial sea. (Fortunately there was no attempt, so it seems, to extend a State's claim when, in the course of time, the force of cannon fire improved in range.)

By the nineteenth century, the 3-mile limit was generally recognised, though for some nations and some causes (e.g. smuggling), a 3-league or 12-mile limit was asserted...

How has the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea fared? September 1999
by Tunku Datin Dr. Sofiah Jewa, Advocate and Solicitor, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

The Wayback Machine has archived copies of this document:
How has the United Nations Convention
on the Law of the Sea fared?

First presented at the 12th Commonwealth Law Conference
at Kuala Lumpur in September 1999

Archived: 2001 April 13

Archived: 2001 July 2

Archived: 2001 November 24

Canada Declares 200-Mile Limit


In 1977 Canada extended the 12-nautical-mile fishing limit to a 200-nautical-mile limit 370 km to protect fish stocks from overfishing by foreign vessels. "The extension to a 200-mile fishing limit in 1977 was the single most significant policy achievement in the history of Canada's fisheries."  This extension added 632,000 square nautical miles 1,640,000 square kilometres to the sea area to be policed by Canada.


Mill Village Satellite Station in Operation

A station for communicating messages via satellite began regular operation at Mill Village in Queens County.

1964 February 6

Last Extension of Electric Transit Service

On this day, trolley coach route 7 was extended three blocks north to provide direct service to the new Nova Scotia Trades and Technical Institute, later renamed the Nova Scotia Institute of Technology, on Leeds Street in Halifax. This was the last time any electric transit service was extended into previously-unserved territory anywhere in Nova Scotia. The actual length of the new 600-volt overhead was 2200 feet 670 metres which comprised a double-track extension on Robie as far as Normandy, thence a one-way loop circling the block formed by Normandy Drive, Rosemead Avenue, Leeds Street and Robie Street. Previously, route 7 turned at the Highland Park loop which circled a small triangular piece of land bounded by Robie Street, Lady Hammond Road and Duffus Street. After this date there were minor alterations in electric transit routes for various reasons, but none of any consequence.


CJCH Radio Sold to CHUM

The CHUM Group of Toronto purchased Halifax radio station CJCH.

1965 March 17

Eight Die in Plane Crash
Upper Musquodoboit

      Date:  17 March 1965
      Time:  9:22am
      Type:  Handley Page HPR-7 Herald 211
      Operator:  Eastern Provincial Airways
      Registration:  CF-NAF (160)
      Total airframe flight time:  4135 hours 
      People on board: 3 crew and 5 passengers, 8 fatalities
      Location:  Upper Musquodoboit, Nova Scotia
      Nature:  Scheduled Passenger
      Flight:  Halifax - Sydney (Flight number 102) 
The Herald departed Halifax runway 33 at 0910h and was instructed to turn right and climb to FL130. Last radio communication was at 0915h.
PROBABLE CAUSE: "Failure of corroded skin area along the bottom centre line of the aircraft beneath stringer No.32 which resulted in structural failure of the fuselage and aerial disintegration."
Information excerpted from: ICAO Circular 88-AN/74 (39-44)

Source:   Aviation Safety Network website at http://aviation-safety.net/
and http://www.geocities.com/CapeCanaveral/9575/aff.htm
and http://www.geocities.com/CapeCanaveral/9575/c.htm

1965 June 4

Nova Scotia Liquor Permit

Nova Scotia Liquor Permit 1965
Nova Scotia liquor permit issued 4 June 1965

1966 March 4

Studebaker Quits

On this day, Studebaker of Canada, a long-time automobile manufacturer, stopped producing cars. The Studebaker company began in 1852 when brothers Henry and Clem built three covered wagons in South Bend, Indiana.  Producing horse-drawn wagons and carriages, starting in 1854, was a profitable business.  All in all there were five Studebaker brothers and over the years they all participated in company affairs.  Studebaker Brothers Manufacturing Company of South Bend supplied the North during the U.S. Civil War (1861-1865) and the British during the Boer War (1899-1902).  They also supplied the British and American governments during World War One.  In 1902, Studebaker built 20 electric automobiles that were designed by Thomas Edison.  Studebaker began building combustion-engined automobiles in 1904.  They built electric vehicles until 1912 and ceased building horsedrawn implements in 1919.  The United States factory in South Bend, Indiana, where Studebaker had built automobiles and trucks since 1902, was closed in 1964 and production was moved to Canada, but the company's losses continued.  The final Studebaker car was produced in Canada in 1966, although the Avanti continued as a low-volume independent into the 1980s.
The National Post, 4 March 2000
and http://www.detnews.com/1998/autos/9809/27/09270043.htm
and http://www.ktsmotorsportsgarage.com/ault97/kt.cde97-studebaker.html

Antique Studebaker Club website at
Studebaker Clubs website at
Studebaker Drivers Club, Atlantic Canada Chapter website at
Studebaker Drivers Club, Ontario Chapter website at
Studebaker Drivers Club, B.C. Coastal Chapter website at
More than 1,000 Studebaker pictures online
More than 650 Studebaker advertisements online

1966 April 12

Exemption from Registration
of Motor Vehicles Operating on
the Islands of Ironbound, Pictou, Big and Little Tancook

Order in Council dated April 12, 1966, made under subsection 25(1) of the Motor Vehicle Act, chapter 293, Revised Statutes of Nova Scotia 1989:

The Governor in Council on the recommendation of the Minister of Highways dated the 31st day of March, 1966 and pursuant to Section 17(1) [subsection 25(1)] of the Motor Vehicle Act, is pleased to determine that all motor vehicles operating on highways on Pictou Island, Big Tancook Island, Little Tancook Island and Ironbound Island shall be exempt from registration as from January 1, 1966.

Source: (Posted online 1 July 1999)

The Islands of Ironbound, Big Tancook, and Little Tancook are located in the Atlantic Ocean off Lunenburg County. Pictou Island is located in Northumberland Strait off Pictou County.

1966 September

CBHT Broadcasts in Colour

This month, network colour broadcasting arrived at CBHT, the CBC's television station in Halifax. This meant that colour television programs could be brought in from Toronto and broadcast in Nova Scotia, but there was no production of colour TV shows here. In December 1966, CBHT broadcast its first locally-produced colour show, Christmas Eve with Catherine MacKinnon.

The first transmission of colour television in Canada was on 1 July 1966, from CTV's CFTO-TV in Toronto.  These transmissions were in the NTSC analog format — for the next four decades all broadcast television in Canada would be analog NTSC.  [The official interpretation of “NTSC” was “National Television System Committee”, but colloquially it was often mockingly interpreted as “Never The Same Colour” – referring to the notorious inability of NTSC to reproduce colours accurately.]


1966 September 10

MT&T Act of Incorporation Amended

Premier Robert Stanfield Exacts Harsh Revenge

“Far more dangerous to Bell than anyone thought possible”

Special Session of the Legislature

On 18 August 1966, Bell Canada, the largest telephone company in Canada, made a surprise offer to buy control of the telephone companies that served the three Maritime Provinces.  On 24 July 1962, Bell Canada had acquired 99% of the shares of Avalon Telephone Company [later named the Newfoundland Telephone Company, in 1998 known as NewTel, and in 2012 a part of Bell Aliant].  In 1966, Bell decided it wanted control of both Maritime Telegraph & Telephone (MT&T) of Halifax, which served most of Nova Scotia, and the New Brunswick Telephone Company [in 1998 known as NBTel, and in 2012 a part of Bell Aliant] of Saint John, which served New Brunswick.  MT&T owned 56% of the Island Telephone Company of Charlottetown, which served Prince Edward Island.  If Bell's offer to buy shares was approved, it would increase its stake in each of the two companies to 51%, from the 35% it already held in NBTel and the 6% it held in MT&T.  That 51% share ownership would give Bell complete control of the telephone services in all three provinces (except for the insignificant territories then served by the 124 independent telephone companies then operating in Nova Scotia, all of which were tiny companies typically serving from 10 to 50 customers each).  It was estimated the deal would cost about $60,000,000 and would require about 1,190,000 common shares of Bell; the proposal was to swap three Bell shares for five MT&T shares, and five for eleven of NBTel's shares.

This sudden decision, to buy control of the Maritimes telephone companies, was the result of Bell's humiliating failure, in its attempt to buy Quebec Telephone of Rimouski, which served 109,000 customers along both sides of the St. Lawrence River downriver from Quebec City, including the Gaspe Peninsula on the south shore, and the north shore up to the Labrador boundary.  While it was deep in negotiations with Quebec Telephone, Bell was taken completely by surprise when, on 17 March 1966, Quebec Telephone signed a deal to sell control to Anglo-Canadian Telephone Company of Montreal, which was owned by General Telephone & Electronics Corporation (GTE) of Stamford, Connecticut, the second-largest telephone company in the United States.  Through Anglo-Canadian, GTE then owned 50.3% of British Columbia Telephone Company, Canada's second-largest telephone company.  [In 1998, GTE still controlled BCTel].  Bell had been trying to buy control of Quebec Telephone, "to take them out of play for GTE," according to Robert Scrivener, then vice-president of finance at Bell, and later president and chairman of both Bell Canada and Northern Electric.

In a public statement made at the time of the offer to buy control of MT&T and NBTel, Marcel Vincent, Bell's president, said: "The directors of Bell Canada feel strongly that, in the best interests of the progressive development of this essential Canadian industry, we must do all we can to insure that as many as possible of the key elements of the telephone industry remain permanently under Canadian ownership and control."  The offer to buy control of MT&T and NBTel was made on 18 August 1966, and was set to expire on 8 September.  Bell did not expect any significant resistance.

But Robert Stanfield, then premier of Nova Scotia, was livid at Bell's attempt to acquire control of MT&T.  Contrary to Stanfield's popular image as a meek politician known for his underwear business, he proved to be far more dangerous to Bell than anyone thought possible.  With the Nova Scotia Legislature as his weapon, the premier was determined to use the force of law to stop Bell in its tracks.

Stanfield also had a second weapon which turned out to be even more potent in what became a bitter and intense campaign against Bell's scheme.  In 1962 Bell had bought 100% of the shares of Northern Electric, the large Canadian telephone equipment manufacturer.  [In 1976, the company name was changed to Northern Telecom Limited.  For its 100-year anniversary in 1995, the company's name was changed again, this time to Nortel.]  Immediately following the announcement of Bell's bid for MT&T, the federal anti-combines watchdog D.W.H. Henry, Director of Investigation Research (DIR) under the Combines Investigation Act, received complaints about Bell's purchasing practices and relationship with Northern Electric.  Henry used that complaint as the pretext for launching an extensive investigation.  He obtained search warrants, and a team of investigators from the Royal Canadian Mounted Police raided Bell's executive offices on 29 November 1966.  The investigators remained on the premises collecting and copying documents until 9 December.  This raid marked the beginning of a legal battle that lasted sixteen years.  The DIR's target was Bell's relationship with Northern Electric and the goal of the investigation was to force the breakup of the two companies.  Henry's investigation was initiated on the grounds that he had "reason to believe" that Section 33 of the Combines Act was either being or was about to be violated.  But the investigation was precipitated by the flurry of acquisitions of independent telephone companies, launched by Bell early in 1966 to expand its system.  Bell's intent was to become dominant in the telephone business in Canada, and, except for Quebec Telephone, it had been successful in buying several independents.

Stanfield linked the two events — the DIR's investigation of Bell and Bell's offer to buy control of MT&T — in his statement released on 22 August 1966:

It is important that the Maritime Telegraph and Telephone Company Limited be free to acquire telephone equipment that is best suited to our needs and will give the best service.  MT&T should be free to buy telephone equipment from any supplier.  Clearly, therefore, MT&T should not be controlled by a company which manufactures telephone equipment, either directly or through a subsidiary... If the Bell company were to acquire control of MT&T, MT&T would not long be free to exercise any independence of decision in acquiring telephone equipment.

"They looked at it as... an invasion of Atlantic Canada," Jean de Grandpre said of the Nova Scotia government twenty-four years later.  "You have no idea how vicious it was... You would think there was a war between Ottawa and Halifax," he said, referring to the front-page headlines of the Halifax Chronicle-Herald.  De Grandpre was Bell's corporate counsel at the time, and did much of the legal work for all the acquisitions that summer.  The souring of the MT&T deal led Scrivener and Vincent to turn to de Grandpre as a trouble-shooter in their abortive eleventh-hour attempt to get the deal pushed through.  Out of anger, and believing they had no need to negotiate with the provincial government, Bell's officials spurned Stanfield's request for a meeting to work out a compromise, leading the premier to recall the Nova Scotia Legislature into session on Friday, 9 September 1966.  He made good on his threat to introduce special legislation severely curtailing the voting rights of MT&T shareholders, which could be done legally because MT&T had been incorporated under an Act (chapter 156, 1910, 10 Edward VII) passed by the Legislature on 22 April 1910.  MT&T was incorporated under provincial legislation, and the Legislature could revise that legislation as it saw fit.  The amendment, to the Act to incorporate the Maritime Telegraph & Telephone Company Limited, was passed on Saturday, 10 September, and received royal assent the same day.  The legislation allowed Bell to buy any number of MT&T shares, but it prevented Bell from voting more than one thousand shares.  Outside the Legislature, Stanfield declared: "During my ten years as premier, I have never encountered men who pursue their own interests so ruthlessly while expressing patriotic sentiments."

After the dust settled, Bell had acquired 52.4% of MT&T's shares.  De Grandpre threatened to challenge Stanfield's legislation in court, but this was never done.  But the legal problems Bell encountered for years afterward, from the Combines Investigation and related developments, were enough to prompt Bell historian Lawrence Surtees to write: "Stanfield could not have exacted a harsher revenge on Bell.  The complaints to the DIR over the MT&T acquisition not only provided ammunition for the combines inquiry, but also jeopardized Bell's objectives in Parliament."

[Excerpted from pages 109-111, Pa Bell: The Meteoric Rise of Bell Canada Enterprises by Lawrence Surtees, Random House, 1992, ISBN 0394221427.]

1967 June 1

New Passenger Train Put Into Operation
Between Sydney and Montreal

On this day, The Cabot, Canadian National Railway's new Montreal - Sydney passenger train began regular service. Known named passenger trains operated by CN or its predecessors to/from Nova Scotia are:
     Date of
    first run          

    1 Mar 1898    The Maritime Express   Montreal - Halifax
    3 Jul 1904    Ocean Limited          Montreal - Halifax
   26 Jun 1927    The Acadian            Montreal - Halifax
   28 Jun 1929    Down Easter            New York - Halifax
   28 Jun 1929    Pine Tree Acadian      Boston - Halifax
    2 Mar 1930    The Gull               Boston - Maritime Provinces
   16 Mar 1941    The Scotian            Montreal - Halifax
   14 Jul 1956    The Bluenose           Edmonton - Halifax
    1 Jun 1967    The Cabot              Montreal - Sydney

[Source: Canadian National in the East, Volume Three (book) by J. Norman Lowe, ISBN 0919487149, October 1985. Published by the Calgary Group of the British Railway Modellers of North America, 5124 33rd Street NW, Calgary, Alberta T2L 1V4.]

1967 December 3

Cunard Liner Carinthia's
Last Departure from Halifax

On this day (perhaps a day or two earlier or later) the Cunard passenger steamship Carinthia sailed out of Halifax Harbour for the last time, after the company had cancelled all regularly-scheduled service to Canadian ports. The 22,000 tonne liner was one of several that were sold soon after by Cunard. "It's the last trip for both of us," said Captain Herbert Stonehouse. "It's the end of an era. People don't seem to want ocean travel these days. They would rather get to their destinations fast, in giant jet airplanes."
[The Halifax Chronicle-Herald, 5 December 1997]

Picture of Carinthia
Cunard Steamship Pictures

This was Cunard's third ship named Carinthia. Here are some details about this ship, from the Cunard history website. 21,947 tons gross tonnes; dimensions 173.7 × 24.5m (570 × 80.3 feet); one funnel; steel hull; powered by steam turbines driving twin screws through double reduction helix gears; service speed 21 knots; built by John Brown & Co., Glasgow, Scotland; launched 14 December 1955; passenger accommodation, 154 first class, 714 tourist class.

Short history:

After the Second World War the vessels that Cunard had been using on the Canadian route were becoming outdated. In 1951 it was decided to build a completely new class of ships to serve the Liverpool to Montreal route. Despite financial problems Cunard persisted and completed all four vessels, Saxonia, Ivernia, Carinthia and Sylvania. All of the new ships were built by John Brown & Co., Glasgow. Carinthia was completed late in 1955 and then, after being fitted out, made its maiden voyage, from Liverpool to Quebec and Montreal, on 27 June 1956. During the coming years the number of passengers crossing the Atlantic by sea remained static, but the number of those travelling by air grew steadily. Once the four sisters were in service Cunard provided six sailings a month to Canada. In April 1959 Carinthia buckled one of its propellers on the ice in the St. Lawrence River. Then in June there were two fires on board which, although easily extinguished, were obviously the work of an arsonist. Strikes in July meant that Cunard was compelled to cancel a voyage and assist the passengers in making alternative arrangements. In November 1960 Carinthia was chartered by the Canadian Government to undertake trooping voyages. These continued until mid-December and then the ship returned to the Liverpool to New York route. On arrival in Liverpool for its annual overhaul the ship's problems continued as the shipyard engineers went on strike. It was over four months before it sailed to Montreal. On 30 August 1961 Carinthia collided with Tadoussac, a Canadian ship, in the St. Lawrence River during heavy fog. Fortunately both ships only suffered slight damage. Losses suffered by the company meant that a rescheduling of services left only Carinthia on the Liverpool-Montreal route. By October 1967 it was announced that Carinthia, along with several other Cunard vessels, was to be withdrawn from service. By December it was laid up in Southampton and on 1 February 1968 it was sold to the Italian Sitmar Line. The ship was renamed Fairland, but little else was changed. In January 1970 it sailed from Italy for refurbishment. It was now registered in Liberia and could carry 925 passengers. It was completely rebuilt and now had a large theatre, five nightclubs, three swimming pools and 11 passenger decks. It was soon based in North America. The ship operated profitably for its new owners before passing back into British ownership in 1988 when P&O bought the Sitmar Line, at some point being renamed Fair Princess. In 1996 the ship was sold to Regency Cruises, but reverted to P&O when this company went bankrupt. In 1997 it was transferred the P&O Australia.

1969 September

Lurcher Lightship Cancelled

The 20-man crew of the Lurcher lightship was informed that the boat would be taken off its station by the end of September 1969. The Vanguard reported that for 55 years a lightship has been stationed off the Lurcher Shoals, serving as "a faithful guide and beacon to many ships from the smallest fishing vessel to the passenger liners that sailed up and down the Bay of Fundy."  The lightships that were stationed there became known as the "ships that never sail."
[The Yarmouth Vanguard, 2 September 1969]

1969 October 25

Last Passenger Train on H&SW Railway

Yarmouth to Halifax

Mixed train 244, Yarmouth to Halifax, disembarked its last passengers Saturday night, October 25th, at the Canadian National station in Halifax to mark the end of a passenger service to the South Shore area of the province, which was more than sixty years old. There was no fanfare, no special celebration, at the end of the line for the train. The three cars, one for baggage, one for express mail, and another for passengers, were quickly shunted to one side and the two engines returned to the roundhouse in Fairview. Only a handful of railway personnel and passengers were aware that it was the last passenger run for the train. Engineer Charlie Hatfield, Truro and Bridgewater, who replaced the regular engineer, John Woodsworth, had the distinction of making the last trip carrying passengers on the line. Mr. Hatfield, leaning out of the engine, described the trip as fairly "normal" and "uneventful."
[The Halifax Chronicle-Herald, 27 October 1969]

Historical notes about the H&SWR
H&SWR Passenger Train Schedules
Halifax and South Western Railway by J.R. Cameron
A Legislative History of Nova Scotia Railways by J.R. Cameron
Railways of Canada Archives Robert Chant's excellent website
Nova Scotia Railway Heritage Society

1969 October 29

First Internet Connection

The first connection on what would become the Internet was made on this day, when bits of data flowed between computers at UCLA (University of California at Los Angeles) and the Stanford Research Institute (also in California). This was the beginning of ARPANET, which later evolved into the Internet. By the end of 1969, four sites were connected. By the end of 1970 there were ten sites connected, and soon thereafter an early form of message interchange came into use which grew into e-mail.
[The Globe and Mail, 29 October 2002]

1969 November 14

Railway Bridge Hit Twice in One Day

CN Railway Bridge at Chester, November 1969
Source: The Lunenburg Progress-Enterprise, 19 November 1969

The new span (installed June 5, 1969) of the railway overpass bridge at Chester, Lunenburg County, was damaged on Friday, November 14th, in exactly the same way the original was damaged.

A truck, travelling eastward (toward the camera in the above photo), loaded too high with logs, and with a hydraulic self-loader claw set down on top of the load, hit the bridge with enough force to bend the north bridge girder several inches out of line.

The loader was torn off the truck and fell into the roadway under the bridge, blocking the east-bound lane for some hours and forcing all traffic on Highway 3 to move one-way only. Under RCMP direction, traffic was kept moving alternately east-bound and west-bound.

Later the same day, Friday, the bridge was hit again, this time by a west-bound truck with a high load of logs. Several large hardwood logs, each weighing over one hundred pounds, were scattered over Highway 3 in this second incident, which also damaged the bridge, but not as severely as the earlier accident.

Luckily, there were no pedestrians walking through the underpass at the time. Many schoolchildren, as well as adults, walk along the side of the paved road through this underpass daily.

Canadian National Railway workmen have placed heavy timber shoring under the bridge, between the two girders, as a temporary strengthening measure. A special slow order has been issued by the railway, limiting all trains to speeds not exceeding five miles per hour 8 km/h until the bridge is replaced.

The original bridge lasted 65 years, and had it not been damaged by truckers it would have lasted another 65 years. When removed last summer it had little rust or corrosion, and was in practically-new condition.

The replacement bridge lasted just 162 days.

[The Lunenburg Progress-Enterprise, 19 November 1969]

1969 December 31

End of Electric Transit Service

The final day of operation of electric trolley coaches in Nova Scotia. The next day, the Halifax transit system was taken over by the City, and a fleet of new diesel buses was put into service. The last trolley coach, number 243 driven by Bill Forbes, pulled into the Young Street terminal shed at 12:45am on New Year's Day. This was the last electrically-powered public transit vehicle to run in Nova Scotia.

Go To:   History of Telegraph and Telephone Companies in Nova Scotia

Go To:   History of Railway Companies in Nova Scotia

Go To:   History of Electric Power Companies in Nova Scotia

Go To:   History of Automobiles in Nova Scotia

Go To:   Nova Scotia History, Chapter One

Go To:   Nova Scotia in the War of 1812

Go To:   Nova Scotia Historical Biographies

Go To:   Proclamations: Land Grants in Nova Scotia 1757, '58, '59

Go To:   Statutes of Nova Scotia, 1805, edited by Richard John Uniacke

Go To:   Home Page

Valid HTML 4.01 webpage

W3C HTML Validation Service

Valid CSS webpage

W3C CSS Validation Service

Latest update:   2012 December 08