611.42321 SL/12–1950

Memorandum by the Under Secretary of State (Webb)


Cabinet Meeting, Tuesday, December 19, 1950

St. Lawrence Seaway

Secretary Sawyer1 brought up the question of the St. Lawrence Seaway, stating that he had recently had a visit from Mr. C. D. Howe.2 He stated that he was bringing up the question since the President had assigned him the responsibility in the last session of Congress of pressing for legislation; that he considered the enactment of the necessary legislation as a matter of urgency, and urged assistance from all present. He requested the Vice President to speak to Senator Connally3 in an endeavor to get a more friendly subcommittee than we had had last time, and requested General Marshall4 to take steps to see that the National Military Establishment fully supported the move to obtain action in this session of Congress. He emphasized the defense value of this project, which seemed to be generally agreed.

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In addition to the arguments put forward by Secretary Sawyer, I emphasized the fact that further delays on this project were sure to cause difficulties in our relations with Canada, and that the State Department considered it also a matter of real urgency.

I believe Secretary Sawyer intends to push this matter with real vigor.

James E. Webb
  1. Secretary of Commerce Charles Sawyer.
  2. Canadian Minister of Trade and Commerce.
  3. Senator Tom Connally of Texas, Chairman of the Senate Committee on Foreign Relations.
  4. Secretary of Defense George C. Marshall.