351. Memorandum From the Under Secretary of State (Hoover) to the Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for European Affairs (Elbrick)1


  • St. Lawrence Waterway

Following the NSC meeting this morning2 Secretary Brucker advised me that urgent policy action would have to be taken on the Canadian position on the St. Lawrence waterway.

It is my understanding that the Administration was committed to Congress for a joint development of the seaway between the U.S. and Canada in return for receiving Congressional approval of the project.

The Canadians are now giving every indication that they intend to make this an all-Canadian project. Secretary Brucker feels that unless we protest vigorously to Canada we will be placed in an impossible situation with respect to Congress. I suggest that you discuss this matter with Ambassador Merchant3 and other appropriate areas in the Department on an urgent basis.

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Secretary Brucker has asked for a meeting between himself, Mr. Rankin of Justice, and the Department of State within the next few days. He believes that it is sufficiently important that Ambassador Merchant should be asked to attend this meeting. It might be desirable to have Mr. Robert Anderson in attendance in view of his previous familiarity with the matter.

Will you please advise me what action you believe should be taken?4

  1. Source: Department of State, Central Files, 611.42321–SL/6–756. Confidential. Drafted by Hoover. Copies were sent to Dulles and Murphy.
  2. The St. Lawrence waterway was not discussed at the June 7 NSC meeting. A memorandum of discussion of the meeting is in Eisenhower Library, Whitman File, NSC Records.
  3. Livingston T. Merchant was appointed Ambassador to Canada on May 7 and presented credentials on May 23.
  4. In his reply, Elbrick agreed that such a meeting would be profitable. (Memorandum from Elbrick to Hoover, June 8; Department of State, Central Files, 611.42321–SL/6–856)