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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

Canada,   pp. 160-199 PDF (14.9 MB)

Page 175

curing further developments in the Niagara Falls section which would,
as already stated, not be possible without acceptance of a new treaty.
  Mr. King, who admitted that he had been very much preoccupied
with other matters recently and had not had an opportunity to study
these new developments, seemed to be somewhat impressed by the logic
of this argument, and in any case said that he wished to study the
matter. In particular he wished to see Dr. Skelton, who was, of course,
the one most familiar with this whole St. Lawrence question, having
handled it from the beginning. Dr. Skelton would, he felt sure, be
the one best able to interpret these changes.
  Mr. King wondered whether there would be anything to be gained
by having the New York State Power Authority, either through Mr.
Frank Walsh or one of his associates, get in touch with Hepburn and
the Ontario Hydro Commission direct. He was, he said, only thinking
out loud but perhaps if the need for further power by the State of
New York could be brought home to Mr. Hepburn by the New York
authorities he might be more disposed to move.
  I told Mr. King that while I had no authority to speak on this point
I doubted whether, at this point at any rate, it would be advisable to
cloud the issue by transferring the conversations from talks between
the two governments to discussions between New York State and the
Province of Ontario. Possibly at some later date, although on this
point again I hesitated to offer an opinion, direct discussions between
the New York and Ontario authorities might be advisable. At this
time I felt that it might be better to confine the discussions, at any rate
as between the two countries, to talks between the two governments.
Mr. King agreed and said that it had been merely an idea that had
come to him on the spur of the moment.
  I asked Mr. King whether he did not agree with me that possibly
the strongest argument that could be used with Mr. Hepburn would
be that so far as the United States was concerned, the power was badly
needed and that this being the case the Government of Ontario would
not presumably wish to be the means of preventing the obtainment
of such power by the United States. He must realize that had the
St. Lawrence basin lain within the territorial jurisdiction of the
United States this power development would undoubtedly have been
undertaken some time ago, just as had been the case in the Tennessee
Valley development and the Bonneville Dam, to mention only two.
Of course, had the Province of Ontario not been able to use such
power when made available it would perhaps have been asking a good
deal of them to agree to pay their share of the expense of the develop-
ment merely because the power was needed in the United States. But
this was not the case: competent engineers of the Hydro Commission,
and even members of Mr. Hepburn's own Cabinet, Dr. Skelton told me

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