711.4215 Air Pollution/67: Telegram

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

88. Department informed that Consolidated Smelting and Mining Company plans to enlarge smelter. This information, reaching Department after futile efforts of American property owners in Washington State to obtain from company indemnity for damages already suffered from operation of Trail Smelter and after Department has persistently endeavored, so far without success, to get whole problem before International Joint Commission, is disturbing to Government of the United States. The government cannot be indifferent to the destruction of property, impairment of human, animal and plant [Page 87] health and despoiling of homes entailing ruin to considerable number of American citizens which operations of Trail smelter has caused or threatens.

Government of the United States is confident that Canadian Government will agree that private enterprises, however profitable, should not be permitted to operate without restriction to detriment of neighboring home owners. Two governments already committed to principle that private enterprises in territory of one country are not to be permitted to operate without restraint and without regard to effect in other country.

Probable enlargement of smelter at Trail emphasizes urgency of getting problem before Joint Commission. Communicate with Canadian government in sense of foregoing and urge that Canadian government agree without further delay to proper submission of whole question to International Joint Commission and that restrictions be placed on operation of smelter which will serve to check drifting of fumes to United States and consequent devastation.

Department hopes that Canadian government can be induced to single out this fumes matter for immediate attention in order that damages already inflicted may be redressed and further irreparable injury prevented.