Foreign Policy Reference
Canadian Foreign Policy Handbook
By Mel Himes
1996, 481 pp, ISBN 0-920767-11
Reviewed by Greg Roberts
The Canadian Foreign Policy Handbook, by Mel Himes, is a
recently published resource for those needing information about
Canada's foreign affairs in the post-war period. The Handbook
contains a wide range of information on diplomatic representation,
international trade, bilateral and multilateral treaties, defence
policy, historical federal party positions on international issues,
and other aspects of Canadian foreign policy. Although the Handbook
contains some information from the early part of the century and
after 1990, it can be only be called comprehensive for the years
from 1946 to 1990.
Most of the information in this Handbook is extracted from
reports published by the federal departments of Foreign Affairs,
National Defence, and Statistics Canada, as well as international
organizations such as the United Nations. That doesn't make it any
less useful - use the Handbook for the synopsis, which is
presented clearly and simply, and go to the original source if you
need the full details.
If you need to know the site of the G-7 meeting in 1981, or the
makeup of the Francophonie, Organization of American States, or
NATO, this book will help.
At the end of the book is an original chronology of significant
events between 1946 and 1990, which taken together with another
section, such as the position of the federal parties on major international
issues, could be very useful.
Although flawed by poor designed, and not in-depth enough for doing
serious research into the history of Canada's foreign and defence
policy, it's a useful and handy resource for the working journalist.
Don't buy it because you probably wouldn't use it often enough,
but look for it on your resource library's shelves - and if you
don't find it there, have them order a copy.
Greg Roberts is Sources Technical Co-ordinator and Editor
of Parliamentary Names & Numbers.
Published in Sources,
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