611.42321/1–853: Telegram

No. 960
The Ambassador in Canada (Woodward) to the Department of State


146. Saw PriMin this morning, giving him text three paras on St. Lawrence in President’s budget message and expressing President’s earnest hope Canadian Government will “leave door open” for possible future participation by US to make seaway joint project.

[Page 2066]

PriMin expressed appreciation advance notice of message and stated cabinet in agreement that if questions raised following publication message Canadian Government will make statement1 along following lines:

“President Truman’s observation in his budget message to Congress that there is still an opportunity for the US to join in building the St. Lawrence Seaway has been noted by the Canadian Government. Various other proposals by members of the Congress for US participation in the St. Lawrence Seaway have also come to the attention of the Canadian Government.

“While the Canadian Government is, of course, prepared to discuss, in appropriate circumstances, joint participation in the seaway, the demand for power in the area to be served by the international rapids power development is so urgent that the Canadian Government is most reluctant to engage in any discussion which might delay the progress of the plan now under way for the development of power in the international rapids section of the St. Lawrence River at the earliest possible moment.

“Once an entity is designated and authorized to proceed with construction of the US share of the power works, if the US wishes to put forward a specific proposal differing from that put forward by the Canadian Government for the construction of the seaway in the international section which proposal would not delay the development of power under arrangements agreed upon in the exchange of notes of June 30, 1952 and approved on October 29, 1952 by the international joint commission the Canadian Government will be prepared to discuss such a proposal.

“The Canadian Government would naturally expect the discussion to be such as not to cause any serious delay in the completion of the whole seaway.”

  1. The statement that follows was made public in a noon press conference by the Prime Minister on Jan. 9. According to despatch 673 from Ottawa, Jan. 14, most Canadian editorials expressed satisfaction with the government’s position. (611.42321 SL/1–1453)