J.K.B. Kinsman memo to Under Secretary Alan Gotlieb February 12, 1981
In this colourful and cynical memo, Policy Planning Chair Jeremy K.B. Kinsman (later ambassador to Russia, Italy and the European Union and High Commissioner to the UK) offers “fast thoughts for basic strategy” even mockingly suggesting he get into “Reagan mode” by getting his points on one page – which he fails to do. Kinsman accurately predicts clashes between Trudeau and Reagan, identifying the risks if Reagan found the Prime Minister “unreliable” or “Red” on fundamental US values or if, in turn, Trudeau was bored or dismissive of Reagan. A bad start between them in his view would make Reagan susceptible to critical opinions of Trudeau from the ideological hardliners appointed to the administration’s working levels. Kinsman stressed that real differences existed between Canada and the United States on economic issues and also on North-South relations, the importance of which Trudeau had better not lecture Reagan. On the latter he argued Canada’s only success will be to present improvements as “a prophylactic” against “generalized terrorism” – a thinly veiled reference to Haig’s early hardline pronouncements on Central America.