Volume #14 - 1033.|
RELATIONS WITH THE UNITED STATES
INTERNATIONAL JOINT COMMISSION
PERSONNEL AND WORK
Memorandum from Acting Under-Secretary of State for External Affairs|
to Secretary of State for External Affairs
October 7th, 1948|
RE VACANCIES RE INTERNATIONAL JOINT COMMISSION|
At the present time there are two vacancies on the Canadian Section of the International Joint Commission. The first of the present vacancies was created on December 6, 1946, as a result of the death of the Honourable Charles Stewart. The second vacancy was created as a result of the death of the Honourable Joseph E. Perrault which occurred June 15, 1948. Mr. George Spence, the present Canadian Commissioner, was appointed on October 1, 1947, to replace Mr. George W. Kwite who died November 16, 1940.
2. There is probably more business before the Commission at the present time than there has been since its creation in 1911. The cases now pending before the Commission are as follows:
(a) The application of the Creston Reclamation Company to construct and operate certain permanent works adjacent to the channel of the Kootenay River in order to reclaim approximately 10,000 acres of flood lands;
(b) An application for permission to increase the storage in Rainy Lake, Ontario, in order to provide additional hydro electric development;
(c) An application for the construction of a dam on Sage Creek, Alberta, in order to provide storage for irrigation purposes;
(d) A reference concerned with the apportionment of the waters of the Souris River among the Provinces of Saskatchewan and Manitoba and the State of North Dakota, and also with the regulation of the flow and use of the waters;
(e) A reference with respect to complaints arising on both sides of the international boundary line, in connection with the intensive drainage into the Roseau River in Minnesota and proposed improvements in the channel of the river in Manitoba;
(f) The application by the State of Washington for an investigation into the serious backwater condition existing at Osoyoos Lake;
(g) Under Article VI of the Boundary Waters Treaty of 1909, the International Joint Commission is responsible for directing the measurement and apportionment of the waters of the St. Mary's and Milk Rivers for irrigation. This matter is again before the Commission for consideration;
(h) One of the biggest references before the Commission at the present time is the reference submitted to it in March, 1944, with respect to the Columbia River and the entire Columbia River Basin system. This reference requests the Commission's recommendations concerning navigation, power development, irrigation, flood control, and other beneficial public uses of the waters of this system;
(i) A reference in connection with the pollution of the international boundary waters of the St. Clair River, Lake St. Clair, the Detroit River and waters of the St. Mary's River from Lake Superior to Lake Huron;
(j) An application by veterans of the Province of British Columbia for the diversion of 4,800 acre feet of water per annum from the Similkamen River for the irrigation of orchard and farm lands to be cultivated by them. This is known as the Cawston project;
(k) Another important reference is that known as the Midwestern Watershed, a reference which was submitted by the two Governments on January 12, 1948. The first of these references covers the area from the Continental Divide on the west to the western limit of the St. Mary's River drainage basin on the east; and the other, the area from the eastern boundary of the Milk River drainage basin on the west to the drainage basin of the Red River of the North on the east.
3, Besides the above cases which are now before the Commission, the Government is now considering three further applications and references, two of which, if submitted to the Commission, will probably constitute the greatest projects ever to go before that body. These are as follows:
(a) A reference with respect to smoke pollution along the international boundary in the area of Detroit, Michigan, and Windsor, Ontario;
(b) The Passamaquoddy Tidal Project which will be a huge dam construction between Maine and New Brunswick to harness tidal waters for the development of hydro electric power;
(c) The joint application of the Ontario Hydro Commission and the Power Authority of the State of New York for the development of the International Rapids Section of the St. Lawrence River as a hydro electric project.
4. The Legal Adviser points out that as a result of his knowledge and experience in connection with the work of the Commission and in consideration of the personalities of the American Section of the Commission, it would be most desirable for the Government in considering the appointments to give first consideration to a person, nationally and preferably internationally, recognized as an outstanding jurist. The second appointment should be a person having outstanding knowledge and experience in the field of hydraulic engineering. These are merely suggestions put forward by the Legal Adviser.65
5. I have just been advised by Mr. Harrington of the United States Embassy here that his Government has appointed a third Commissioner to the United States Section of the Commission in the person of Mr. Eugene W. Weber, who has been a prominent official of the Corps of Army Engineers. This brings the U.S. Section of the Commission up to its full complement and you will realize that the U.S. Commissioners now outnumber the Canadian Commissioners 3 to 1. Moreover, the Commission now has a quorum which means decisions, can be immediately taken with respect to a number of matters which are ready for a decision, including matters that will probably be discussed at the semI.annual meeting of the Commission in Ottawa, commencing October 12.
65 De fait, le Cabinet nomma J.A. Glen, ancien président de la Chambre des communes et plus recem
ment ministre des Mines et des Ressources, pour remplir l'un des postes vacants à sa réunion du 21
décembre. Glen occupa le poste de president canadien de la Commission mixte internationale jusqu'à sa mort le 27 juin 1950.