Volume #16 - 861.|
RELATIONS WITH THE UNITED STATES
ST. LAWRENCE SEAWAY
Extract from Draft Minutes of Meeting of Interdepartmental Committee|
on Great Lakes St. Lawrence Development
June 7th, 1950|
2. FUTURE ACTION
The Chairman drew attention to the adjournment on May 10 of hearings on the 1941 Agreement before the Public Works Committee of the United States House of Representatives. This meant that no action would be taken by the United States Congress this year. Three courses were open to the Canadian Government:
(a) To wait another year in the hope that the 82nd Congress might approve the Agreement in 1951;
(b) to press for development of power alone in the International Rapids section;
(c) to press for development of power in the International Rapids section and undertake simultaneous construction of an all Canadian deep waterway as far as Lake Erie.
It might be desirable to set out these courses, together with an outline of the considerations involved, in a memorandum for the Cabinet Committee on Economic Policy. Such a memorandum would not need to include a recommendation; the important thing was to bring these possible courses of action to the attention of the Ministers concerned. Estimates of the cost of an all Canadian waterway under various assumptions had been completed and were included in the paper "Possible Future Action" which had been circulated to members of the Interdepartmental Committee. The Ontario application for separate power development had been in our hands for two years and had not been acted upon. If the Niagara Treaty did not come into force this year, strong pressure for the separate power scheme could be expected from Ontario.
Mr. Robertson agreed that the implications of the time factor should be brought to the attention of Ministers.
The Chairman asked what effect a further delay would have on the development of Labrador iron ore.
Mr. McLeod said that the full development of the ore would be delayed, although some development would still take place without the Waterway.
Mr. Robertson asked when the St. Lawrence power was expected to be needed.
The Chairman replied that Mr. Saunders had said that the Ontario Hydro would need St. Lawrence power by 1957 whether or not Niagara power could be made available in the meantime.
Die Committee agreed that a memorandum along the lines suggested by the Chairman should be prepared for the Cabinet Committee on Economic Policy. The Secretary was directed to prepare a first draft for the consideration of members of the Interdepartmental Committee.