« PreviousContinue »
should be undertaken. If this Government's conclusion in this respect be correct, there only remains to be effected an understanding as to the methods and means for its earliest accomplishment. It seems highly appropriate that the development of the common highway for the benefit of both countries should be jointly undertaken.
This Government is prepared to enter into negotiations with a view to the formulation of a convention appropriate to this subject and should be grateful to be informed of the views entertained on this subject by your Government. Accept [etc.]
FRANK B. KELLOGG
711.42157 Sa 29/317
The Minister in Canada (Phillips) to the Secretary of State No. 15
OTTAWA, July 13, 1927.
[Received July 19.] Sir: Confirming my telegram No. 9, of July 12, 10 p. m.,20 I have the honor to transmit herewith as a matter of record a copy of Mr. Mackenzie King's note on the St. Lawrence waterway, dated July 12, 1927, in reply to your note to the Canadian Minister at Washington of April 13, 1927. There is likewise enclosed a copy of a personal letter from Mr. Mackenzie King 20 on the subject of the publication of the two notes. I have [etc.]
The Prime Minister of Canada (Mackenzie King) to the American
OTTAWA, 12 July, 1927. SIR: The Government of Canada has received and considered carefully the note of the Secretary of State of the United States to the Canadian Minister at Washington of April 13th, 1927, on the St. Lawrence Waterway.
It shares the appreciation felt by the Government of the United States of the importance of the problem of the development of the St. Lawrence and of the aid in the solution of the engineering aspects of this problem afforded by the reports of the International Joint Commission and of the Joint Board of Engineers appointed by the two Governments in 1925.
The report of the Joint Board of Engineers signed on November 16th, 1926, while unanimous in many respects, indicated differences of opinion on important phases of the development proposed. It is understood that in the appendices to the report, which are in preparation, certain further alternative schemes will be presented which will be of essential value in arriving at a conclusion.
20 Not printed.
The National Advisory Committee appointed by the Government of Canada to report on the economic and general aspects of the St. Lawrence Waterway question will not be in a position to make a final report until all the findings of the Joint Engineering Board, including the appendices, are available. Upon receipt of the report of the National Advisory Committee and upon consideration of the other factors involved, the Government of Canada will be able to determine its policy on the question, and will then have pleasure in discussing further with the Government of the United States at as early a date as possible the whole situation, including the proposals contained in the present note of the Secretary of State. Accept [etc.]
W. L. MACKENZIE KING
PROPOSAL THAT THE PROBLEM OF IMPROVING THE ROSEAU RIVER DRAINAGE SYSTEM BE REFERRED TO THE INTERNATIONAL JOINT COMMISSION
711.42157 R 72/9
The Acting Secretary of State to the Canadian Minister (Massey)
WASHINGTON, February 26, 1927. SIR: I have the honor to invite your attention to the conditions . which cause the periodic overflow of the Roseau River in the State of Minnesota and the Province of Manitoba.
As you know, the Roseau River has tributaries in both the United States and Canada. The main stream, after flowing through the northwestern part of the State of Minnesota, passes into Manitoba and flows through the southern part of that province before emptying into the Red River. In the natural state of the stream the fall is slight and the channel is inadequate to carry the water originating above Roseau Lake. The construction of drainage ditches in Minnesota and Manitoba has increased the volume of water discharged into the main stream of the Roseau River and has subjected the riparian property to inundation at times of increased rainfall. I am informed that the State of Minnesota has deepened and improved the channel of the Roseau River at various times in the past twenty years and has thus increased the capacity of the channel to the maximum which can be reached until the fall in certain Canadian reaches of the river is increased. Even with the improvements that have been made, land in the United States for a considerable distance from the river is subject to periodic flooding by the waters of the Roseau River.
I understand that surveys are now being made in Manitoba with a view to the ditching of additional drainage into the Canadian tributaries of the Roseau. It is also my understanding that other surveys are being conducted in Canada with a view to the construction of dikes along the banks of the river. Both of these proposed improvements, if carried out, would further aggravate the situation as to flooding in the United States.
In the view of this Government the question of the improvement of the Roseau River in such a manner as to protect riparian owners is of sufficient importance to justify the United States and Canada in referring it to the International Joint Commission for investigation and report under the provisions of Article IX of the Boundary Waters Treaty of 1909.21 I have the honor, therefore, to inquire whether the Canadian Government would be disposed to join this Government in referring the entire problem of improvement of the Roseau River drainage system in the interests alike of the people of Minnesota and Manitoba to the International Joint Commission with instructions to make an investigation and submit a report and recommendations to the Governments. This Government suggests that if the Canadian Government would be willing to join the United States in such a reference to the Commission, it might be desirable for the two Governments to designate engineers, one by each Government, to confer and submit a draft of the terms of reference. Accept [etc.]
JOSEPH C. GREW
711.42157 R 72/13
The Secretary of State to the Canadian Chargé (Beaudry)
WASHINGTON, April 2, 1927. SIR: In further reference to the matter of the improvement of the drainage of the Roseau River valley, which was referred to in my note of February 26, last, and in the Minister's note of acknowledgment thereto of March 1,22 I beg to inform you that reports have been brought to the attention of the Department that action is being taken in Canada to obtain appropriations for proceeding during the present season with works of drainage and diking along the Roseau River.
Residents of the part of the Roseau River valley which lies in the United States are very earnest in their desire that no works shall be undertaken in Canada which will aggravate the flood conditions that hitherto have prevailed in the United States, and that, if possible, a system of drainage control shall be developed which will greatly reduce or remove these flood conditions.
* Foreign Relations, 1910, p. 532. * Not printed.
In view of the above mentioned reports I desire to refer to the proposal made in my note of February 26, last, that the entire problem of the improvement of the Roseau River system be referred by the Governments of the United States and Canada to the International Joint Commission for investigation, report and recommendations, and that each Government designate an engineer to confer and submit a draft of the terms of reference. This Government would be grateful if the views of the Canadian Government in regard to these proposals were made known to it at an early date. Accept [etc.]
For the Secretary of State:
JOSEPH C. GREW
711.42157 R 72/22
The Canadian Minister (Massey) to the Secretary of State No. 269
WASHINGTON, 1 November, 1927. SIR: With reference to your note of April 2nd. 1927 and previous correspondence concerning the improvement of the drainage of the valley of the Roseau River, I have the honour to inform you that no decision has yet been arrived at by His Majesty's Government in Canada with regard to the proposed reference to the International Joint Commission of the entire problem of this improvement, inasmuch as the question is still under discussion with the authorities of the Province of Manitoba.
2. The operations for the improvement of the river, which are now being carried on in conjunction by the Federal and Provincial Governments, will not prejudice the aspect of the question in which the Government of the United States is mainly interested, and are not believed to be contrary to the spirit or provisions of the Boundary Waters Treaty of 1909, particularly to the provisions contained in Article 4 of that Treaty. The competent authorities of His Majesty's Government in Canada have had in mind in working out the present scheme of improvement that the excavated material should be so disposed in dikes on each side of the channel that the surface channel or flood way capacity of the river could be increased to receive the additional flood waters from Minnesota, if this action should prove to be necessary at a future date on a recommendation of the International Joint Commission accepted by the Governments of Canada and of the United States. I have [etc.]
711.42157 R 72/22
The Secretary of State to the Canadian Minister (Massey)
WASHINGTON, December 12, 1927. SIR: I have the honor to refer to your note No. 269 of November 1, 1927, informing me that no decision has yet been reached by the Canadian Government with regard to this Government's proposal that the entire problem of the improvement of the drainage of the valley of the Roseau River be referred to the International Joint Commission for investigation, report and recommendations.
This Government has given careful consideration to the views expressed in your note. I have to inform you, however, that the information which has been furnished me from sources in the United States is that the execution of the present plans for the improvement of the Roseau River in Canada will have an effect contrary to that which the Canadian authorities have in mind. I am informed that the carrying out of these plans would result in extensive damage by flooding to some eighteen townships in Roseau County, and to a large area in Kittson County, Minnesota. In view of this information, it would seem, that contrary to the views expressed in your note, the construction of the works will prejudice the aspect of the question in which this Government is mainly interested, and that it will be contrary to the spirit and provisions of the Boundary Waters Treaty of 1909. If the information which has been furnished me is correct, it would seem desirable that the execution of the plans should be deferred until approval thereof has been obtained from the International Joint Commission under Article IV of the Treaty.
In view of this conflict of views as to the effect which the execution of the present plans will have, I am strongly of the opinion that the matter is also within the letter and the spirit of Article IX of the Boundary Waters Treaty and suitable for reference to the Commission under that Article by either or both Governments. I, therefore, have the honor to renew the proposal made in the Acting Secretary's note of February 26, 1927, and repeated in his note of April 2, 1927, that the entire problem of the improvement of the Roseau River system be referred by the Governments of the United States and Canada to the International Joint Commission for investigation, report and recommendations, and that each Government designate an engineer to confer and submit to them a draft of the terms of reference.
I further request that all action relative to the carrying out of the present plans for the improvement of the Roseau River be suspended until the International Joint Commission shall have made an investigation and report under such a reference.