Canada was ready to abandon 1948 accord if UN didn’t remove ‘cultural genocide’ ban, records reveal

National Post

GOVERNMENT OF CANADA DOCUMENT GOVERNMENT OF CANADA DOCUMENT

In the aftermath of the Second World War, as the United Nations debated a ban on “cultural genocide” in its 1948 Genocide Convention, Canada urged its delegate to try to spike it.

Early drafts included this controversial concept, now used by Canada’s Truth and Reconciliation Commission to describe residential schools policy. It was known as Article Three, and if it was not removed from the final draft, Canada was willing to abandon the entire Genocide Convention, records show.

“Following for Wilgress,” reads a telegram sent July 27, 1948 from the Secretary of State for External Affairs in Ottawa to the Canadian delegation at the Palais Des Nations in Geneva. L. Dana Wilgress was an ambassador to the U.S.S.R. right after the Second World War, later High Commissioner in London. At the time, William Lyon Mackenzie King was acting as his own foreign minister.

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