611.42321 SL/1–1152

No. 936
The Secretary of State to the Canadian Ambassador (Wrong)

Excellency: I have the honor to acknowledge the receipt of your note of January 11, 19522 concerning the St. Lawrence Seaway and Power Project.

My Government notes with gratification that the Canadian Parliament has passed legislation providing, on the one hand, for the construction of the power phase of the project to be undertaken by the Hydro-Electric Commission of Ontario and an appropriate agency in the United States; and on the other hand, for the establishment of the St. Lawrence Seaway Authority to construct the seaway, either in cooperation with the United States as envisaged in the 1941 Agreement, or as a solely Canadian undertaking.

As you know, the President hopes that the Congress of the United States will approve, at an early date, the 1941 Agreement providing for joint construction of the St. Lawrence Project.3 Should the Congress, however, not approve the 1941 Agreement at an early date, the Government of the United States is prepared, in order to avoid further delay in the construction of the St. Lawrence [Page 2023] Project, to cooperate with the Government of Canada in referring the project to the International Joint Commission for approval on the understanding, as expressed in your note, that your Government is prepared to proceed with the construction of the Seaway as soon as appropriate arrangements can be made for the construction of the power phases of the St. Lawrence Project as well.

In order that there may be a minimum of delay in the construction of the project, which the President of the United States and the Prime Minister of Canada have agreed is of vital importance to the security and the economies of both countries, my Government is ready to cooperate with your Government in undertaking such preparatory steps as may be advisable in presenting concurrent applications to the International Joint Commission. On behalf of my Government, I accept your proposal that appropriate officials of our two countries discuss the steps to be taken in proceeding with the reference of such applications. I agree that a series of meetings to be held either in Washington or in Ottawa, or at such other place as may be convenient, would be the most appropriate method of implementing this proposal.4 Although it is not possible for me now to propose an exact date, I expect that my Government will be prepared to begin these discussions sometime this month. I shall inform you as soon as my Government is ready to join in the discussions which you have proposed.

Accept [etc.]

Dean Acheson
  1. Note No. 35, printed in Department of State Bulletin, Feb. 11, 1952, p. 234.
  2. For text and documentation on the agreement regarding the Great Lakes–St. Lawrence Waterway, signed at Ottawa Mar. 19, 1941, see Foreign Relations, 1941, vol. iii, pp. 149 ff. In a message to Congress on Jan. 28, President Truman summarized the history of negotiations on this matter and urged Congress to authorize joint U.S.–Canadian completion of the seaway. The message is printed in Department of State Bulletin, Feb. 11, 1952, p. 232.
  3. The Department of State announced in a press release on Mar. 4, that an interagency committee, headed by Jack Gorrie, Chairman of the National Security Resources Board, would leave for Ottawa on Mar. 6 to meet with a Canadian Interdepartmental Committee on the St. Lawrence Seaway and Power Project to confer on the action suggested in this exchange of notes. (Department of State Bulletin, Mar. 31, 1952, p. 514)