711.4216 M 58/128
The Canadian Chargé ( Beaudry ) to the Secretary of State
Sir: I have the honor to refer to the note which you addressed to Mr. Chilton on December 7th, 1926,9 regarding the publication of certain correspondence relating to the diversion of water from Lake Michigan by the Sanitary District of Chicago.
His Majesty’s Government in Canada has noted that the Government of the United States considers that the reference in the Report of the Joint Board of Engineers on the St. Lawrence Waterway Project10 to the limited effect on lake levels of the diversion of water through the Chicago Sanitary Canal greatly alters the understanding of the situation, and that it might accordingly be considered undesirable to publish the correspondence in question.
I have been instructed to inform you that His Majesty’s Government in Canada has not been under any misapprehension as to the extent to which the abstraction of water through the Chicago Sanitary Canal has lowered the levels of the Great Lakes and that it has been fully advised that this lowering has been in the neighbourhood of six inches. The papers which His Majesty’s Government in [Page 485] Canada desires to publish incorporate its viewpoint with respect to the general principle of abstracting water from the Great Lakes System and diverting it into another watershed, and include the protests of the Government of Canada against the abstraction, submitted on behalf of the people of Canada generally, as well as the protest of the Government of Ontario, submitted on behalf of the people of that Province. Any reference in the report of the Joint Board of Engineers as published, as to the actual effect of the withdrawal of water through the Sanitary Canal, does not in any degree whatsoever affect the viewpoint of His Majesty’s Government in Canada as expressed in this correspondence.
His Majesty’s Government in Canada desires to take this opportunity of pointing out that if any misapprehension exists in the United States or in Canada as to the degree of lowering occasioned by the Chicago abstraction, the publication of these papers will go a long way towards removing such misunderstanding.
With reference to the suggestion that His Majesty’s Government in Canada enter upon a further discussion of the practical question of providing compensatory works as recommended by the Joint Board of Engineers, it may be pointed out that the installation of compensatory works for the restoration of lake levels will in no way recoup to the Great Lakes System the power which is lost to that system by the water abstracted therefrom through the Sanitary Canal. While recognizing the marked advantages which may be gained by the construction of suitable compensating works, His Majesty’s Government in Canada would not be prepared to enter upon a discussion of any plans for the construction of such works, if this course involved an assumption that the present abstraction is to continue.
With reference, however, to the question immediately under consideration, His Majesty’s Government in Canada observes nothing in the Report of the Joint Engineering Board, including Appendices, which would render inadvisable the publication of the papers in question. On the contrary it is considered that the release of these papers would have a marked effect in clarifying public opinion on the question in both countries.
I have the honour therefore to enquire whether the Government of the United States would not be prepared to publish the correspondence listed in Mr. Chilton’s note of November 16th, 1926,11 together with subsequent correspondence, at such early date as may be found convenient to both Governments.
I have [etc.]