Papers Relating to the Foreign Relations of the United States, With the Annual Message of the President Transmitted to Congress December 5, 1905
The British Ambassador to the Secretary of State.
Washington, November 13, 1905.
Dear Mr. Secretary: With reference to my letter of November 4 on the subject of the preservation of Niagara Falls, I have the honor to forward a copy of an approved minute of the privy council for Canada.
You will notice that it is stated that a report from the Joint Inter national Waterways Commission on the subject may shortly be expected.
Believe me, etc.,
Extract from a report of the committee of the honorable the privy council, approved by the governor-general on 2d November, 1905.
The committee of the privy council have had under consideration a dispatch, dated 28th September, 1905, from His Majesty’s ambassador at Washington, respecting the proposed joint action by the Governments of the United States and Canada in order to prevent the destruction of Niagara Falls by the use of its waters by manufacturers.
The minister of public works, to whom the said dispatch was referred, states that he has received a report from the secretary of the Canadian section of the International Waterways Commission to the effect that “the commission is at the present time studying the use, generally, of the waters of Niagara River and of Niagara Falls, and expect to be able to make a joint report to the Government of the United States and to the government of Canada before [Page 484] long recommending the adoption of rules and regulations which would prevent in the future the destruction of Niagara Falls by the use of its waters by manufacturers.”
The committee advise that his excellency the governor-general be moved to forward a copy of this minute to His Majesty’s ambassador at Washington.
All which is respectfully submitted for his excellency’s approval.
Clerk of the Privy Council.
Extracts from the report of the International Waterways Commissioners to the Secretary of War.
International Waterways Commission, Office of American Section, 328 Federal Building,
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10. The full commission held its second meeting at Toronto July 14 and 15, 1905. Among the questions brought to the attention of the commission at this meeting were the following, viz:
- The uses of the waters at Sault Ste. Marie for power purposes, and the regulations necessary to insure an equitable division of the waters between the two countries and the protection of the navigation interests.
- The uses of the waters in the Niagara River for power purposes, and the regulations necessary to insure an equitable division of the waters between the two countries, and the protection of Niagara Falls as a scenic spectacle.
- The alleged differences in the marine regulations of the two countries with respect to signal lights and the advisability of adopting uniform signals for both countries.
- The advisability of building controlling works at the outlet of Lake Erie, including the effect upon the levels of the Lakes and upon their shores and upon the river St. Lawrence.
- The diversion southward by the Minnesota Canal and Power Company, of Duluth, of certain waters in the State of Minnesota that now flow north into the Rainy River and the Lake of the Woods.
- The effect of the Chicago Drainage Canal upon the levels of Lakes Michigan, Huron, Erie, and Ontario, and upon the river St. Lawrence.
- Delimiting the international boundary on the international waterways and delineating the same on modern charts.
11. At subsequent meetings the following additional questions were brought to the attention of the commission, viz:
- The suppression or abatement of illegal fishing on the Great Lakes.
- The location and construction of common channels.
- Regulations to govern navigation in narrow channels.
- Protection of snores from damage due to deepening of channels and increased speed.
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22. The questions which have been brought to the attention of this commission, enumerated above in paragraphs 10 and 11, cover a wide range of subjects. Some of them clearly come under the jurisdiction of the commission as constituted, while some do not, and about others there is room for doubt. The Canadian members of the commission [Page 485] are ready and anxious to consider all of these questions and to extend the jurisdiction of the commission to all international waters between the Atlantic and the Pacific oceans. It is desirable that the wishes of Congress in this matter be more clearly defined.
23. Since it completed its organization in September the commission has made good progress in the collection of data bearing upon some of these questions, particularly those relating to the use of water at Niagara Falls and to the regulation of the level of Lake Erie by works near its outlet. With reference to the former, although not ready to report, it thought proper to pass, at its session of October 28, the following resolution, of which copies were sent to the Secretary of War of the United States and the minister of public works of Canada, viz:
Resolved, That this commission recommends to the Governments of the United States and Canada that such steps as they may regard as necessary be taken to prevent any corporate rights or franchises being granted or renewed by either Federal, State, or Provincial authority For the use of the waters of the Niagara River for power or other purposes until this commission is able to collect the information necessary to enable it to report fully upon the “conditions and uses” of those waters to the respective Governments of the United States and Canada.
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- O. W. Ernst,
Chairman American Section.
- George Clinton,
- Geo. Y. Wisner,
Members, American Section.
Note.—To be continued in Foreign Relations, 1906.