The Secretary of State to the Canadian Minister (Herridge)
Sir: I have the honor to inform you that during the senatorial inquiry into the Great Lakes–St. Lawrence Deep Waterway Treaty, signed July 18, 1932,58 a suggestion has been made that an indirect effect of the terms of the treaty might be to commit this Government or the State of New York or other authorities concerned, if any, to the continuance of the diversion for the private power installation now using the Massena Canal and the Grass River. The suggestion is based on the circumstance that the reports of the Joint Board of Engineers in outlining the general engineering project which is adopted as a basis for the treaty include an estimate for the continuance of diversion facilities at the present location of the Massena Canal intake.
I do not agree that any such consequence arises from the terms of the treaty, and I am confident that the Canadian Government, like our own, has no desire or intention that the treaty should even remotely [Page 99] produce such consequences. This Government believes that the treaty does not, and desires that it should not in any respect, fix the policy to be pursued within the United States in regard to the recognition of or maintenance of the diversion referred to above, and is confident that the Treaty does not operate to limit the freedom of the United States to deal with this diversion as a domestic question involving only the use of this Government’s share of the flow of the river.
In order, however, to remove all doubt as to the purpose and effect of the treaty, I request the Government of Canada to state whether it will join this Government in a statement of the following principles:
- The effect of the Great Lakes-St. Lawrence Deep Waterway Treaty, signed at Washington, July 18th, 1932, is not in any respect to recognize, confirm, or establish any rights or claims of any person or corporation in respect to the diversion of water for power purposes through the Massena Canal and Grass River, or to limit the freedom of the United States or the State of New York, or other competent authority to treat the question of the continuance, control, or elimination of such diversion as a domestic question.
- The Canadian Government does hereby, and will, upon request, formally consent to the modification or elimination of the works provided for in the Report of the Joint Board of Engineers in connection with the said diversion through the Massena Canal.
- The Canadian Government recognizes that the competent authorities in the United States are free to eliminate the diversion of water for power purposes through the Massena Canal and Grass River, and to use the water so released through the main river works in conformity with the provisions of Article IV of the said Treaty.