"New Guys with New Ideas": 1968-84

Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau came to power in 1968 with new ideas about diplomacy and Canada's role in the world. He launched a detailed review that put domestic considerations at the centre of Canada's foreign policy and streamlined the government's international operations. In March 1980, the process of consolidation began in earnest when the Department was given responsibility for delivering the country's foreign aid and immigration programs abroad. Two years later, in January 1982, Trudeau announced the creation of one department-later known as the Department of External Affairs and International Trade-charged with all foreign trade and traditional foreign-policy functions.

The tough diplomatic challenges of the 1960's. 22) The tough diplomatic challenges of the 1960s, which included Castro's Cuba, the unpopular American war in Vietnam and trouble with France, sparked criticism and cries for reform from across the political spectrum. The caption reads: "Some gentlemen here volunteering their services as foreign affairs advisors. ...Also, a Mr. Allen Dulles called and intimated that he was available."
(Source: Ed Uluschak, Edmonton Journal, April 26, 1968)

Arthur Menzies promotes Canadian technology at a Beijing exhibition in 1978. 23) While Prime Minister Trudeau sometimes criticized the Department, he gradually came to appreciate its expertise. Canadian diplomats, for instance, played a vital role in negotiating the terms of Canada's recognition of Communist China in 1971, an important Trudeau objective. In this photo, Arthur Menzies, ambassador to the People's Republic of China, promotes Canadian technology at a Beijing exhibition in 1978.
(Source: Arthur Menzies)

Flora MacDonald, the first woman to hold the post, at a press conference. 24) In June 1979, Prime Minister Joe Clark appointed Flora MacDonald as secretary of state for external affairs. The first woman to hold the post, she is shown here at a press conference with Canada's ambassador to the UN, Bill Barton, in September 1979.
(Source: UN Photo/Yutaka Nagata)

Legal Advisor Alan Beesley (shown in 1981). 25) Pierre Trudeau's government placed a premium on asserting Canada's sovereignty, an area where the Department of External Affairs excelled. Canadian diplomats participated in the complex negotiations that eventually produced the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea in 1982, as a result of which more than one million square miles were added to Canada's territory. Legal Advisor Alan Beesley (shown in 1981) played a key role in these negotiations.
(Source: UN Photo/Yutaka Nagata)

Opened in 1981, Canada's embassy in Mexico City was the first of several new embassies. 26) Under Prime Minister Trudeau, the Department launched an ambitious program of embassy construction, designed to project Canadian culture and values abroad. Opened in 1981, Canada's embassy in Mexico City was the first of several new embassies intended to serve as both a traditional diplomatic mission and a cultural centre. Other recent embassy buildings pictured here include

Washington Embassy (27) Washington (1989),

 
 
 
 

Tokyo Embassy (28) Tokyo (1991),

 
 
 
 

Seoul Embassy and (29) Seoul (2007).
(Source: Foreign Affairs and International Trade Canada)

 
 
 

Allan J. MacEachen confronts the vexing challenge of multilateral trade. 30) In January 1982, the Department of External Affairs and the Trade Commissioner Service were combined into a single trade and foreign-policy ministry, with a broader mandate. Here, Secretary of State for External Affairs Allan J. MacEachen confronts the vexing challenge of multilateral trade.
(Source: Ed Franklin, The Globe and Mail, November 26, 1982)