711.4215 Air Pollution/49

The Minister in Canada (Phillips) to the Secretary of State

No. 259

Sir: Referring to the Department’s instruction No. 160, of February 18, concerning the question of the extent of the damages to trees and crops of property owners in the State of Washington from the drift of fumes from the Consolidated Smelting and Mining Company of Canada, I have the honor to transmit herewith enclosed an original duplicate, with enclosures, of a note received from the Department of External Affairs today on this subject.

[Page 81]

In view of the observations of the Secretary of State for External Affairs on page 2, I should be pleased to be instructed as to what further action, if any, the Department desires the Legation to take in the matter.

I have [etc.]

For the Minister:
H. Dorsey Newson

Second Secretary of Legation

The Canadian Secretary of State for External Affairs (Mackenzie King) to the American Minister (Phillips)

Sir: I have the honour to refer again to your despatch No. 68 of December 22nd, 1927, regarding a complaint by certain property owners in the State of Washington as to damage to their properties from fumes from the works of the Consolidated Smelting and Mining Company of Canada at Trail, British Columbia.

A lengthy report has now been received from the Government of British Columbia. I am enclosing the summary presented by A. G. Langley, Resident Mining Engineer, in charge of the investigation, to the Provincial Minister of Mines.53 I am also enclosing an extract from a statement by R. C. Crowe, solicitor to the Consolidated Mining and Smelting Company, dated November 23rd, 1927,53 and report of a trip to Trail made May 28th to June 8th, 1926, by Dr. R. W. Thatcher, Director of the Agricultural Experimental Station, Cornell University, New York.53 We have also been supplied with a copy of the report on agricultural conditions by A. T. Crandall of the Smelter Smoke Department of the Anaconda Copper Company; a report on the areas and crops near Northport by F. Mathews, Smelter Smoke expert of Salt Lake City, Utah; an excerpt from a report by Macy H. Lapham, Soil Scientist, United States Department of Agriculture Bureau of Soils; a summarized report of Smelter Smoke Investigation by Dr. Ray E. Neidig, Professor in the Department of Agriculture, University of Idaho, Moscow, Idaho, and other documents.

The reports would appear to indicate that in some instances damage had been done by the fumes, though the claims which have been put forward in the State of Washington as to the extent of the damage and the compensation to be expected have not been accepted by the Company and would not appear to be borne out by the reports submitted. [Page 82] The Company has, however, expressed its willingness to settle all reasonable claims and has appointed Dr. Neidig to endeavour to make equitable arrangements as regards claims. It is pointed out that while on the Canadian side of the line the Company has been able to purchase lands or easements in the areas affected, it has not been found possible to follow a similar course in the State of Washington as the laws of the State prohibit an alien corporation purchasing land or easements.

I am to ask whether in the light of the reports transmitted herewith the Government of the United States still considers that it would be desirable to make a reference to the International Joint Commission, and whether, in case such a reference were made, there is ground for believing that through the agency of the International Joint Commission, or otherwise, facilities could be secured for enabling the Company to make the purchases of land or easements which it is claimed are essential to any final settlement of the difficulty.

I have [etc.]

For the Secretary of State for External Affairs:
O. D. Skelton
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