711.42157 Sa 29/150

The British Chargé ( Chilton ) to the Secretary of State

No. 97

Sir: I have the honour to refer to the note which you were so good as to address to me on November 17th last, regarding the St. Lawrence River improvement scheme and to inform you, by request of His Excellency the Governor-General of Canada, that the Dominion Government have had under consideration the contents of your note addressed to Sir Auckland Geddes on May 17th, 1922. In that note you suggested either the immediate conclusion of a treaty looking to the development of the St. Lawrence waterway along the lines recommended by the International Joint Commission in its report and providing for the constitution of a Joint Commission charged with the formulation of a complete plan which would be subject to the approval of the two Governments, or, alternatively, the constitution of a Joint Commission of experts to make preliminary studies and investigations and to frame the draft of a treaty.

[Page 343]

The Dominion Government point out that the report of the International Joint Commission recommended that, before any work was carried out, the Joint Engineering Board, whose proposals it generally approved, should be enlarged, and that once so enlarged the said Board should further consider the technical aspects of the problems in detail and decide upon the plan which should be adopted.

While the Government of Canada desire to give further consideration to the suggestions put forward in your note of May 17th, 1922, they are of opinion that the proposal made by the International Joint Commission should be acted upon without further delay. The Dominion Government are accordingly prepared to appoint additional engineers to enlarge the Joint Engineering Board with a view to the Board undertaking the preparation of a final report covering the engineering features of the whole project, including its cost. The Government of Canada intend, further, to form a committee which will, in consultation with the Canadian members of the Joint Engineering Board, enquire fully from a national standpoint into the wide questions involved, and they hope shortly to be in a position to take further action on the proposals made by the United States Government.

Meanwhile the Government of Canada would be glad to learn the views of the United States Government in regard to the number of additional engineers who should be appointed by each Government to the Joint Engineering Board. The Dominion Government are also ready to nominate one or more technical officers to discuss with similar United States officers the form which the instructions to the enlarged Joint Engineering Board should take, and the time within which the Board should be directed to report.

In expressing the hope of the Government of Canada that the above proposals will be agreeable to the United States Government, I have the honour to inform you that Lord Byng of Vimy would be grateful if arrangements could be made by telegraph for their publication simultaneously in Washington and Ottawa.

I have [etc.]

H. G. Chilton