711.42157 Sa 29/179

The Secretary of State to the British Ambassador (Howard)

Excellency: In your note of March 12, 1924, you informed me further in regard to the views of the Canadian Government with reference to the proposal for joint action by the United States and Canada for the improvement of the St. Lawrence River between Montreal and Lake Ontario for navigation and the development of water power.

In pursuance of the intention of this Government, as stated in my note of February 27, 1924, the President has appointed a national committee of nine members having as its Chairman the Honorable Herbert Hoover, Secretary of Commerce, which will act as an advisory committee to this Government on all questions that may arise in the consideration of the project.

While regretting that the Canadian Government does not desire that the committees for the two Governments shall meet in joint conferences, at least at the outset, to prepare instructions for the enlarged joint engineering board and to consider the broader aspects of the project for the proposed development of the St. Lawrence waterway, this Government would be grateful if you would inform the Canadian Government that the National Committee for the United States will be prepared at all times to meet in conference with the Canadian Committee in the event that circumstances should develop which in the view of the Canadian Government would cause it to appear that joint conferences by the two committees or by representatives [Page 348]of the committees might be desirable for the consideration of any questions arising in connection with the project.

This Government is pleased to note that the Canadian Government concurs in its suggestion that the enlarged Joint Engineering Board shall consist of six members, three representing the United States and three representing Canada, and to accept the proposal of the Canadian Government that two technical officers be appointed by each Government for the purpose of formulating the terms in which the matters to be inquired into by the Board shall be defined.

The United States will be represented on the Joint Engineering Board by Colonel Edgar Jadwin, Colonel William Kelly, and Lieutenant Colonel George B. Pillsbury, Corps of Engineers, United States Army. Colonel Jadwin and Lieutenant Colonel Pillsbury will also act as technical officers for the United States to formulate in collaboration with the technical officers to be designated by the Canadian Government the instructions which will be given to the engineers.

This Government is also pleased to note the acceptance by the Government of Canada of the proposal of this Government that there shall be included in the first instructions to the Joint Engineering Board the two fundamental questions, whether the scheme for the improvement of the St. Lawrence River waterway which the Engineering Board submitted in its report of June 24, 1921, is practicable and whether the estimates of the costs of the project made by the Board require revision, and to agree to the suggestion made by the Dominion Government that amongst other matters the enlarged Board shall be directed to inquire into the extent to which the water levels in the St. Lawrence River at and below Montreal, as well as the river and lake levels generally, will be affected by the execution of the project.

It will, of course, be understood that the instructions drafted by the technical officers will be subject to review and approval by the appropriate officials of the respective Governments before they would be given to the Board of Engineers by the Governments in conformity with the remark made on that point in my note of February 27, 1924. In connection with such review and approval, the instructions drafted by the technical officers will be submitted by the officers for the United States to the National Committee for this Government.

This Government would be pleased to be informed at the early convenience of the Canadian Government of the names of the technical officers appointed by that Government in order that the officers for the two Governments may make arrangements with as little delay as possible to collaborate in the drafting of the instructions [Page 349]for the joint engineering Board. This Government would also be pleased to be informed in due course of the names of the Canadian members of the Joint Engineering Board.12

Accept [etc.]

Charles E. Hughes
  1. For further details, see Report of Joint Board of Engineers on St. Lawrence Waterway Project (Ottawa: F. A. Acland, printer to the King’s Most Excellent Majesty, 1927).