711.4215 Air Pollution/73: Telegram

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

151. Your 90, July 2, 1 p.m., regarding Trail smelter. After many conferences on the subject am today in receipt of note dated July 1158 which after reciting conflict of information concerning extent of damages inflicted agrees with view of Government of the United States as to the necessity of establishing actual facts of the situation by thorough inquiry by an impartial authority; it is not able to see that the findings of such an authority should be prejudged by acceptance of a course of policy based upon one interpretation of the facts which are in dispute. The supposed enlargement of the smelter is said to be a construction now under way of an experimental plant to be built at cost of $500,000 for the purpose of ascertaining whether it is technically and economically feasible to dispose of deleterious gases in question. In the circumstances Canadian Government considers situation would be fully met by joint reference to International Joint Commission under article 9 of the boundary waters treaty providing inquiry and report upon the facts as to present effect of the fumes upon property in the State of Washington and the probable effect in the future under such plant extensions or modifications in process as are contemplated and as to the extent of damages so caused and [omission?] of providing adequate compensation Canadian Government is prepared to facilitate early reference to Commission and is inclined to believe that a reference could be drawn in general terms leaving it to the Commission to provide for the scientific and other expert inquiries called for.

George W. Kyswo [Kyte] of New Brunswick, former Liberal whip, is about to be appointed to fill the vacancy of Henry A. Powell. Magrath, Chairman, is expected to return shortly.

  1. Post, p. 91.