358. Telegram From the Embassy in Canada to the Department of State1

182. Re Deptel 163.2 Canadian St. Lawrence Seaway position as expressed to Brucker by Marler is result of cabinet decision and in my judgment Canadians will not retreat from it. Under circumstances I believe creation de facto situation enabling work proceed while preserving our right to damages if north channel dredging results in added costs for us in south channel seems to me by far best possible [Page 875] solution present impasse. I assume maintenance our rights to such damages and any other rights under 1909 treaty, if, contrary to Canadian expectations, flow in south channel appreciably affected, constitute legal position we wish preserve.

I see no advantage in large scale meeting between US Cabinet officers and Canadian Ministers.3 Alternatively, Marler could be invited to meet without publicity with Brucker and interested US Cabinet Ministers. Howe in any event unavailable in Japan for three weeks.

To date publicity given here to US-Canadian disagreement north channel dredging sporadic and conflicting. Consequently I see no need as far as Canada concerned for any public announcement or publicity if agreement is reached for Canadian and US engineers to proceed with plans dredge north and south channels.

  1. Source: Department of State, Central Files, 611.42321–SL/10–1956. Confidential-Priority.
  2. Supra.
  3. After consultation, the Departments of State and Defense agreed to accept the de facto situation without calling an additional meeting of U.S. and Canadian Cabinet officers. (Memorandum of conversation by Vest, October 29; Department of State, Central Files, 611.42321–SL/10–2956)