Franklin D. Roosevelt

Letter on the St. Lawrence River Development.

May 25, 1937

My dear Mr. Andrews:

I have received your letter of May 18, 1937, in which you ask my views regarding the possibility of negotiating a new treaty with Canada to provide for the construction of works designed to preserve the beauty of Niagara Falls, but omitting that portion of the 1929 treaty which envisaged additional diversions of water from the Niagara River for power purposes.

With reference to the thought that the power and beautification provisions of the Niagara Falls Treaty might be separated, I may say that over two years ago an effort was made to win the approval of the Canadian Government to such a suggestion. It was made clear to us then that the Canadian authorities would not be interested in entering into an agreement regarding the beautification of the Fails which did not at the same time include provisions to permit the development of additional power. Nothing has transpired subsequently to lead me to hope that the Canadians have changed their views on this particular point.

With regard to the broader question of the development of the whole Great Lake-St. Lawrence Basin for navigation and power purposes, including the preservation of Niagara Falls, I have had in mind for over a year a new approach to the Canadian authorities, whereby I hope to provide for the construction of these various developments in a single treaty. I may add, for your information, that, with this end in view, conversations have been held with the Canadian authorities from time to time over the past six or eight months. There is nothing of a definite character which I can say at this time other than that these exploratory conversations are continuing in the hope of reaching a basis of mutual agreement.

I think I need hardly assure you that this whole problem is one in which I continue to have the keenest interest and that no stone will be left unturned in the efforts of this Government to reach a satisfactory agreement at the earliest possible date.

Sincerely yours,

The Honorable W. G. Andrews,

House of Representatives,

Washington, D.C.

Franklin D. Roosevelt, Letter on the St. Lawrence River Development. Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project

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