Memorandum for the Prime Minister- Discussions with the Premiers on “patriation” of the constitution

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Confidential

June 6, 1975

MEMORANDUM FOR THE PRIME MINISTER

Discussions with the Premiers on
“patriation” of the Constitution

You may wish to know that I shall be absent next week on the next round of discussions with the Premiers about “patriation” of the constitution. I shall be seeing Premier Moores in St. John’s on June 11 and Premier Regan in Halifax on June 13. I plan to leave here on Monday in order to have Tuesday with my parents in Nova Scotia en route.

You may want to know that I tried to arrange to see Premier Barrett at any time at his convenience during the month of June but without success. To be fair to the Premier, I should say that when I spoke to Marc Eliesen, who is his “right hand” on federal-provincial matters, he found no need to check with Mr. Barrett or his office and simply told me that it would be impossible in June (Mr. Barrett is tied up “morning, noon and night with the Legislature? and that Mr. Barrett would then be absent in Europe until the end of the first week in July. I have the impression that he is not even going to make any effort to try to arrange a date until after Mr. Barrett’s return. I assume that if I am not able to get an appointment at an earlier date something in the second or third week of July may be all right.

Premiers Moores and Regan will of course be wanting to know from me what Premier Bourassa’s position is. I will give them the message that he authorized me to convey – that he is interested in the possibility of “patriation” on the

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basis of the Victoria amending formula but that he thinks it will be essential to have “some constitutional guarantees for cultural security”. I will not be able to go very far in enlightening them as to just what such “guarantees” mean.

R.G.R.


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