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United States Department of State / Foreign relations of the United States diplomatic papers, 1937. The British Commonwealth, Europe, Near East and Africa
(1937)

Canada,   pp. 160-199 PDF (14.9 MB)


Page 170


FOREIGN RELATIONS, 1937, VOLUME II
ways for the Province of Ontario, and Mr. T. Stewart Lyon, Chair-
man of the Ontario Hydro Electric Commission, were the two officials
who had been sent by Mr. Hepburn12 for the purpose.
  Dr. Skelton said that he felt that distinct progress had been made in
that these officials, and apparently Hepburn himself, were very much
more favorably inclined toward the whole St. Lawrence-Niagara
Falls Treaty than had been the case a month ago. They had come to
realize that while the power available from the private companies
would tie them over for two or three years, by that time they would
require the extra power furnished by Niagara Falls and the Ogoki.
And a few years later, say within eight or ten years, they would be
ready to use the power from the St. Lawrence development.
  Dr. Skelton did not wish to be over-optimistic. He expected that
Ontario would still wish to indulge in a certain amount of "horse
trading". They felt that New York State had been able to secure
better terms from our Government than the Province of Ontario from
the Dominion Government, and Dr. Skelton was inclined to think
that perhaps there was something in their argument. Also, there were
still certain members of Mr. King's Cabinet who were not entirely
favorable to the plan, particularly those interested in the financial and
transportation angles and certain of the members of the Cabinet who
feared the French-Canadian reaction in the Province of Quebec. As
a matter of fact Mr. King was, as stated, at that very moment taking
up the question with the Government in Council meeting.
  As to the possibilities of being able to put the treaty through at
this session of Parliament he was somewhat fearful. First of all they
would have to work out the details of the treaty. And, also, if a new
agreement were to be made by the present Government with the Prov-
ince of Ontario to replace the Bennett-Henry agreement, covering
the financial division, this would take time. Dr. Skelton had explained
to the members of the Government the urgency from the American
point of view; that is to say that we felt it almost essential to present
a treaty to our Senate during the present session of Congress, even
though it might be too late to secure ratification by the Canadian
Parliament during this session. Mr. King was planning to sail for
England about April 20th and that left roughly six weeks only in
which to deal with the matter. However, they would do their best,
but it would require a good deal of pressure on the various members
of the Government so fully occupied with other questions. In order
to expedite matters Dr. Skelton had suggested to the Prime Minister
that he appoint a subcommittee of the Cabinet to deal with the St.
Lawrence question. If Mr. King acted on this suggestion he thought
that the Ministers who would presumably be chosen would be the Min-
1 Mitchell F. Hepburn, Premier of Ontario.
170


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