711.4216 M 58/96

The British Chargé (Chilton) to the Secretary of State

No. 291

Sir: At the request of the Government of Canada, I have the honour to transmit to you herewith, in the hope that you will be so good [Page 583] as to communicate it without delay to the interested authorities of the United States Government, copy of a Resolution adopted on the 7th instant by the Legislative Assembly of the Province of Ontario, protesting against the enactment by the United States Congress of any legislation authorising the diversion of water from the Great Lakes at Chicago in disregard of the vital interests of communities bordering upon the Great Lakes, and particularly those of the Province of Ontario.

I have [etc.]

H. G. Chilton

Copy of a Resolution of the Legislative Assembly of the Province of Ontario Passed April 7, 1926

On motion of Mr. Ferguson, seconded by Mr. Sinclair,

Resolved, That in view of the application to the United States Congress for legislation to authorize a further diversion of water by the Chicago Drainage Canal from the Great Lakes System, this House desires to place on record the following facts and considerations:—

The Sanitary District of Chicago has for some years been abstracting large quantities of water which is part of the water-shed of the Great Lakes and diverting it to the Gulf of Mexico. The Province of Ontario, as joint riparian owner with the neighbouring States of the American Union, has a direct and vital interest in this matter.

There is in existence a Treaty between Great Britain and the United States, dated January 11th, 1909, which governs international boundary waters.

It has been decided by the Supreme Court of the United States that this Treaty expressly provides against uses affecting the natural level and flow of boundary waters without the authority of the United States or the Dominion of Canada within their respective jurisdictions and the approval of the International Commission.

That the application to the United States Congress for legislation to sanction a further diversion at Chicago is in effect a proposal to violate this Treaty.

That legal actions have been brought by several of the States of the Union to have it declared that the United States Congress cannot pass any Act depriving those States of the advantage of the flow of said water, and that such actions are still pending.

In view of these facts this Legislature is of opinion that attempts to deal with this matter by way of Legislation, without reference to Canada or its interests, are not in accord with the long-established friendly relations that have existed between these two countries and ought to continue.

[Page 584]

That this Legislature therefore requests that proper steps be taken to represent to the Government of the United States, through diplomatic channels, the unneighbourly character of the proposed legislation, and the desirability of reaching an early adjustment of the matter by a mutual arrangement in accordance with the terms of the Treaty.