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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 197

842.154 Seattle-Fairbanks Highway/175
    The Minister in Canada (Armour) to the Secretary of State
No. 1635                             OTTAWA, September 23, 1937.
                                        [Received September 29.]
  SIR: I have the honor to refer to the Department's instruction, Con-
fidential-For Staff Use Only, No. 972 of September 3, 1937, (file
No. 842.154 Seattle-Fairbanks Highway/167 [174] regarding efforts
to obtain the consent of the Canadian Government to the construction
of a highway to connect the northwestern part of continental United
States with British Columbia, the Yukon Territory and the Territory
of Alaska.
  Under date of September 14th last I addressed to the Secretary of
State for External Affairs a formal note in which the question was
presented to the Canadian Government along the lines indicated in
the Department's instruction. (Copy of the Legation's note is en-
closed herewith.)51
  I delivered this note, together with the map which formed an en-
closure to the Department's instruction, personally to the Under-
Secretary of State for External Affairs, explaining to him once more
the great interest attached by our Government to this question and
expressing the hope that prompt and favorable consideration might be
given to this new proposal. Dr. Skelton referred once more to the
fact that a trans-Canada highway had not yet been completed and
that until it would be possible for Canadians to cross their own coun-
try by automobile the Government would certainly be criticized if it
were to authorize an expenditure of funds to construct such a high-
way as that suggested across British Columbia. Dr. Skelton also
referred to the study made by a commission appointed some years
ago, whose report had been published in 1933, and wondered what, if
any, additional evidence a new commission such as they suggested
might be able to present. I told Dr. Skelton that I thought that one
of the most important objects to be accomplished by such a commis-
sion as was suggested would he to initiate studies designed, among
other things, to arrive at an equitable distribution between the two
countries of the cost of the combined project, and to determine how
the financial burden to both countries may be minimized.
  In discussing this matter later, as I did with Mr. Loring Christie
of the Department of External Affairs, to whom Dr. Skelton referred
the proposal, I pointed out that while certain Canadian officials had
been of great assistance to the American Commissioners appointed by
the Act of Congress of May 15, 1930, officially Canada had not partici-
" Not printed.

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