The Defence Communications Program
The 1969 transfer agreement between DND and DOC states that DOC would carry out a program of research in Communications "adequate to meet the national need" and would carry out specific Defence Research projects that DND wished to have pursued, with costs recoverable from DND. In this way, duplication of research effort was to be avoided and both departments were to have benefitted from the synergism of defence and civil communications research. IT was also agreed tha DND was nt to pay for generic or basic communications research: that wass to be the responsibility of DOC.
To manage this ingenious relationship between DOC and DND, (DOC scientists, facilities, and generic research capability; DND money) a Telecommunications Liaison Office (TLO) was specified in the transfer agreement, to be staffed by DND and located in CRC. The Defence Research Board assigned the overall DND responsibility for this "Recoverable" Defence Communications program at CRC to DREO, with a Telecommunications Liaison Office reporting directly to Chief/DREO.
It (soon) became evident that a major capability was required in DND for Electronic Warfare (EW) research, but, as a result of the DND/DOC agreement, research in military Radar and on some aspects of electronic warfare were carried out by CRC on behalf of DND. The Chief of DREO, MR. Wilkinson, however, agreed that such a capability should be built up at DREO, and that the EW research in CRC under the Defence Communications program should be phased out when the existing work was completed. The exception to this was the Radar Electronic Counter Counter Measures project (the incorporation into one's own radar of countermeasures to the adversary's EW) which was an integral part of the Radar program, and would have to remain at CRC.
This decision met with considerable opposition in CRC, and led to the establishmnet of a series of discussions between the Chief, DREO and the Director General of CRC (George Hollbrook). The Chief, Research Requirements and Development, for DND, Mr. Fergus Ferguson, was invited to join in the discussions, and they became formal meetings, held at 3 or 4 month intervals. They became known affectionately as the "Troika" meetings. After DRB was replaced by CRAD (Chief Research and Development) as the DND operating entity, Mr. Ferguson became Deputy CRAD (Development) and the meetings were expanded to include the other Deputy CRAD, Deputy CRAD (Laboratories). By this time CRC ahd also undergone great changes: Mr. Hollbrook had retired, and CRC now had several responsible DG's, one of which was chosen by DOC as their representative on the program committee. Not surprisingly the committee then became known, perhaps with Apocalyptic premonition, as the "Four Horsemen".
Source: Extracted and lightly edited from "The Defence Electronics Program" by Leroy Nelms, which appears in The 50th Anniversary Edition of the History for Defence Research Establishment Ottawa, compiled and edited by Jim Norman and Rita Crow, 1991.