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Political Science Diplomacy

The Canadian Diplomat

by (author) Marcel Cadieux

translated by Archibald Day

University of Toronto Press
Initial publish date
Dec 2018
Diplomacy, Canadian, General
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    Publish Date
    Dec 2018
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This book is addressed to young Canadians interested in a career in the foreign service. It will appeal, too, to all those interested in the operation of the Canadian external service. M. Cadieux attempts to determine whether it is possible to discover any distinctive characteristics in the Canadian diplomat; and, since a Canadian diplomat is representative of his country, thereby to provide an approximate image of a Canadian.

The Canadian diplomatic service, British in origin and tradition, has acquired, he finds, a distinctive quality through its empirical working methods. Its officers are no longer only symbols of Canadian political independence: with important and numerous tasks, they must demonstrate organizing ability and a sense of the practical. In their work they have come to be characterized by restraint in their actions and by anxiety to find workable solutions for problems as they arise.

Since Canada is dual in its culture and federal in its constitution, since we have close relationships with Britain and the United States and hold the rank of a middle power, our diplomatic representatives cannot often take extreme positions or propose revolutionary solutions. By instinct and by the nature of things they are specialists in compromise, specialists in the practical and the possible rather than in imposing and sensational proposals.

In the course of his career a Canadian diplomat moves from one duty to another and thus is expected to demonstrate a versatility not expected of officers belonging to a larger governmental service. His ability to move from one field to another does lead him to take a broader view of the needs and activities of the service as a whole, preparing him eventually for supervisory and co-ordinating duties which in essence are those of a diplomat.

This book is a translation of Le Diplomat Canadian which was published in 1962. Its first appearance was warmly received, and, with the assistance of the Canada Council and the Canadian Institute of International Affairs, the present translation was undertaken in order to make available to English-speaking Canadians a perceptive, informative description of the Canadian diplomatic service, and  practical guide for those interested in pursuing a diplomatic career.

About the authors

Marcel Cadieux (1915-1981), Q.C., was a graduate of Grasset College, the University of Montreal, and McGill University, joined the Department of External Affairs in 1941, and served in London, Brussels, and Paris. He was Deputy Under-Secretary of State for External Affairs and Legal Adviser since 1960. In 1961 he was elected to the International Law Commission. In addition to his diplomatic career M. Cadieux was a professor in the Faculty of Law, University of Ottawa from 1956 until his retirement.

Marcel Cadieux's profile page

Archibald Day, who has ably translated The Canadian Diplomat from the original French, is himself a diplomat, in the Department of External Affairs.

Archibald Day's profile page