The Secretary of State to the Canadian Minister (Herridge)

Sir: I have the honor to inform you that as a consequence of the world-wide depression a serious financial situation has developed in the State of Illinois which has resulted in a cessation of construction work on the sewage disposal plants contemplated by the decree of the Supreme Court of the United States of April 21 [14], 1930.59 The Sanitary District’s schedule of construction is now considerably in arrears, and officials of the State of Illinois represent that the necessary works to enable the Sanitary District to comply with the above-mentioned decree may not be completed by the end of 1938. In these circumstances, they point out that to reduce the diversion of water from Lake Michigan to the quantity permitted as of December 31, 1938, by the abovementioned decree, might seriously endanger public health.

Certain aspects of this question are now pending before the Supreme Court of the United States and will, in due course, be decided on the merits of the case. It would, however, be helpful for the Government of the United States, in view of the provisions of Article VIII of the pending Great Lakes-St. Lawrence Deep Waterway Treaty, signed in Washington on July 18, 1932,60 to have an indication of the attitude of the [Page 101] Canadian Government in this matter. You will recall that Article VIII (a) 2 of the pending St. Lawrence Deep Waterway Treaty makes provision for Canada’s acquiescence in increases in the diversion permitted under the decree of the Supreme Court through the Chicago drainage canal to meet an emergency.

I should appreciate being informed whether, if before December 31, 1938, it should become manifest that an extension of time for curtailing the diversion in conformity with the Supreme Court’s decree of April 21, 1930, is necessary, and the Government of the United States should request the acquiescence of the Canadian Government, the Government of Canada would in such circumstances give its acquiescence in such an extension for a period of not to exceed two years from December 31, 1938, on the understanding that such an agreement would not in any way affect or modify the provisions of the pending Treaty.

Accept [etc.]

For the Secretary of State:
William Phillips