February 26, 1925

LIB

William Lyon Mackenzie King (Prime Minister; President of the Privy Council; Secretary of State for External Affairs)

Liberal

Mr. MACKENZIE KING:

The Postmaster General is not here, but as I have stated, he sent me a letter intimating that if the bill were called he had an understanding with the mover of it that it would not be gone on with until Wednesday next. As to the likelihood of its not being proceeded with then, that is a matter in regard to which there may be some doubt. However, I undertake that an opportunity will 'be given for the discussion of it at some future time.

Topic:   QUESTIONS
Subtopic:   POST OFFICE AMENDMENT
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CON

Thomas Langton Church

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. CHURCH:

Would the Prime Minister have any objection to the bill being read the second time no(w and having the debate later?

Topic:   QUESTIONS
Subtopic:   POST OFFICE AMENDMENT
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?

Some hon. MEMBERS:

Stand.

Topic:   QUESTIONS
Subtopic:   POST OFFICE AMENDMENT
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LIB

Hewitt Bostock (Speaker of the Senate)

Liberal

Mr. SPEAKER:

Stands.

Great Lakes Levels

Topic:   QUESTIONS
Subtopic:   POST OFFICE AMENDMENT
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INDIAN ACT-AMENDMENT


On the Order: Second reading of Bill No. 9, to amend the Indian Act.-Mr. Coote.


PRO

George Gibson Coote

Progressive

Mr. COOTE:

The minister (Mr. Stewart,

Argenteuil) has asked that the bill be allowed to stand.

Order stands.

Topic:   QUESTIONS
Subtopic:   INDIAN ACT-AMENDMENT
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YUKON TERRITORY OFFICIALS-IN-COME TAX EXEMPTIONS


On the motion of Mr. Black (Yukon): For a copy of all correspondence, documents, statements and communications concerning exemption or partial exemption from payment of income tax on payments or remuneration, whether paid as salary, living allowance or otherwise, by the government of Canada to officials of Yukon Territory, and showing what exemptions (if any) from income tax have been allowed to Yukon officials on amounts paid them by the government of Canada during the past seven years.


LIB

Jacques Bureau (Minister of Customs and Excise)

Liberal

Mr. BUREAU:

I would ask the hon. gentleman.' to let this notice of motion stand. There are certain provisions in our act preventing the disclosure of any return made by individuals, and not being thoroughly familiar with those provisions, I am not ready to discuss the matter now. I would therefore ask the hon. gentleman to let his motion stand so I may have an opportunity of seeing the Commissioner of Taxation.

Topic:   QUESTIONS
Subtopic:   YUKON TERRITORY OFFICIALS-IN-COME TAX EXEMPTIONS
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CON

George Black

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. BLACK (Yukon):

I have no objection to letting the motion stand if I am assured that it will come up again, and that I shall have an opportunity of discussing it if it is opposed.

Topic:   QUESTIONS
Subtopic:   YUKON TERRITORY OFFICIALS-IN-COME TAX EXEMPTIONS
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LIB

Jacques Bureau (Minister of Customs and Excise)

Liberal

Mr. BUREAU:

Yes.

Topic:   QUESTIONS
Subtopic:   YUKON TERRITORY OFFICIALS-IN-COME TAX EXEMPTIONS
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LIB

Hewitt Bostock (Speaker of the Senate)

Liberal

Mr. SPEAKER:

Stands.

Topic:   QUESTIONS
Subtopic:   YUKON TERRITORY OFFICIALS-IN-COME TAX EXEMPTIONS
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GREAT LAKES LEVELS

CON

Thomas Langton Church

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. T. L. CHURCH (North Toronto) moved:

That, in the opinion of this House, the government should take some definite and immediate action to prevent the illegal diversion of the waters of the Great Lakes through the Chicago drainage canal and that action should be taken to prevent further waste and to secure specific enforcement of the treaty between Canada and the United States as to this matter, inasmuch as this diversion is not only seriously lowering the lake levels, but is a danger to the public works of Canada and its provinces and an interference with the harbour developments of our country and with navigation and is such a direct violation and breach of the treaty as calls for immediate action by the government of Canada.

He said: Mr. Speaker, last session this same resolution came up with reference to the diversion of waters through the Chicago 37i

drainage canal. Under the Boundary Waterways treaty 1909, made between Great Britain and the United States, Chicago was allowed to divert 4,167 cubic second feet of water from the Great Lakes. Now that city is asking in effect for a diversion of between 16,000 and 17,000 cubic second feet. I do not intend to-night to again go into the whole history of the case, as I laid the facts before this House last session and they will be found in Hansard of March 26, 1924. But I aim very much dissatisfied that the government of Canada during the past twelve months has taken no adequate steps to stop this illegal diversion by the city of Chicago. I contend that instead of sending to Washington a minor official of the Department of the Interior, to appear before the Rivers and Harbours committee of congress, and also before Mr. Weeks, the United States Secretary of War, to protest against the illegal action of the Chicago authorities, the government should have made its protests and communicated with the British government, which through its ambassador at Washington would have protested to the government of the United States. This is not a matter for individual citizens of Canada, but for the two governments concerned. Principles are bigger than individuals, and we shall never get any relief from this chronic state of affairs until' we proceed through the proper channels of communication, and have all the cards laid on tihe table. This diversion lis nothing but piracy and is ruining the light and power interests and the public works on the Lakes, the Niagara and the St. Lawrence rivers, is lowering the levels of all the harbours on the Great Lakes and the St. Lawrence by several inches, and it has been estimated by many engineers on the Canadian side that the damage in an economic way to Canadian light, power and navigation interests amounts to no less than $35,000,000 a year. Are we to send minor officials to Washington? Washington is not the capital of Canada; Ottawa is. Is the British government to be ignored altogether in regard to the enforcement of the Boundary Waterways treaty? Is this treaty, so far as any application through the government of the Mother Country is concerned, to be allowed to be treated as a scrap of paper by the United- States government? There are great national and international interests involved, the lowering of -the water levels is affecting navigation and seriously jeopardizing the usefulness of the harbours of the Great Lakes and the St. Lawrence; it is also prejudicially affecting power rights, and the rights of riparian owners also are in-

Great Lakes Levels

volved. This lowering of the levels is a menace to navigation on both sides of the border as has been proven time and again, and the resultant damage to shipping and trade and commerce is enormous.

It is most important that the Canadian and British governments should take some ac-action in this matter as governments and not merely send two or three officials down to 'Washington to join private citizens. What can they do.? They cannot accomplish anything; they can only go around in a circle. The Prime Minister said recently in the House, when questioned on the orders of the day, that Canada's representative held a watching brief; a watching brief before whom? I say that Canada, through the British government should immediately call on the government of the United States to respect the boundary waterways treaty and to deal with the law breakers, the sanitary drainage authorities of Chicago, who for the past eight or ten years have apparently regarded this treaty as a scrap of paper. The interests of navigation should be paramount, and they are made paramount by treaty. Ontario and Quebec are vitally interested from the standpoint of water-power, because Canada's share of these surplus waters which are not required for navigation purposes may be developed for the purposes of power and the surplus waters including the bed of the rivers, the banks and rapids belong to the provinces.

But while these provinces have an interest in the matter it is recognized that the fed'eral governments of both countries alone are interested from the view of navigation. This matter was debated in the House on March 26 of last year, when I moved a similar resolution, and attention was called to the great damage that had been done to the lake levels by this diversion. It was hoped' that something would be done during the recess of parliament but I am not satisfied with what has been done; in fact, nothing definite at all has been done except to have representatives of Canada listen to a lot of American politicians talking in the Rivers and Harbours committee and having Canad'a represented before some one United States cabinet minister at Washington; Canada's representative being mixed up with a lot of private Canadian citizens and others in Washington politics. When we have a treaty it should be adhered to. There is an International Joint Commission before whom this case should be taken with a view to obtaining relief for Canada from an intolerable state of affairs. The Canadian government are only wasting their time.

The authorities of the city of Chicago have made a football of this matter for the last ten or fifteen years. True it is that last fall the final judgment of the Supreme Court of the United States was given, but it was away back in 1911 when the matter first went before the courts. First Judge Landis handed down his decision. Appeal was taken 'to the state courts and on to the Supreme Court of the United States, who held' that the city of Chicago was illegally diverting water in violation of the treaty. When a treaty is made with a foreign country, especially with the United States, people of our own kith and kin, surely it should be respected and they should not be allowed to treat it as a scrap of paper.

I am glad to say there is a widespread organization along the Great Lakes and on the upper lakes on both sides of the border against the Chicago pirates, in the cities of Detroit, Cleveland and other cities and towns on the American border, who are all organizing a league against the city of Chicago and are opposing its demand that it be allowed' to steal this water out of the lake in perpetuity,-take it away from Canada and divert it to the purposes of a greater sewage system. Why do they not set up a modern system of sewerage as every other city on the Great Lakes has done? Why, if every other city on the Great Lakes did what Chicago is doing there would' not be enough water in the lower gulf or lower river to enable small ships to come in.

Not satisfied with the diversion of 12,000 cubic feet per second more than the 4,167 cubic feet allowed by the treaty, the city of Chicago are utilizing a lot of this water for sewage purposes snd to generate power for distribution in the district of Chicago to private power users. The treaty is as clear as daylight; there can be no doubt about its construction or interpretation. It provides that there must be no diversion in excess of 4,167 cubic feet per second' and that any diversion in excess of that amount must have the joint consent of the two countries. But the city of Chicago do not propose to get the consent of the two countries; they do not propose to get even the consent of their own country; they simply take the law into their own hands, ignore the courts and their own government and go on diverting that amount of water. The courts for years issued injunctions restraining them, but the courts have no way of carrying out their injunctions. Having been beaten in the court of last resort the authorities of the city of Chicago are now appearing before the Secretary for War and asking that in the interim, until such time as they can adopt a new sewage system

Great Lakes Levels

and until such time as they can arrange to get direct current for commercial and domestic lighting elsewhere, they be allowed to continue this diversion.

What is Canada doing in this matter? Last Friday on the orders of the day I asked who was representing Canada and I took objection to the number of private individuals going down there and saying they were representing this country. These people, without consulting the government in any way, have gone down to Washington as self-appointed representatives of Canada to protest to the government of a foreign country and a foreign Secretary of War with regard to the enforcement of a bona fide boundary waterways treaty made between Great Britain and the United States. I never heard of such a proceeding as going over the heads of the Canadian and British governments and the British ambassador. It has hurt Canada's case before the government and the people of the United States and has resulted' in a counter attack on the Hydro and Niagara Power systems. Now, there never was any illegal diversion by Canada of waters from the Niagara river; in fact, the peqple of Canada are taking less water from the Niagara river than the treaty gives them and a large part of what they do take is exported back to the United States in the form of electrical energy for commercial purposes. As a result of these gentlemen going down to Washington and saying they represented Canada an attack has been made on the light and power projects of Ontario on the Niagara river which never were attacked before, in the hope that attention might thereby be turned away from the diversion of water from the Great Lakes for the sewage purposes of Chicago.

We on this side of the House would do anything possible to help the government to accomplish some definite result because our interests over there are being sacrificed by the manner in which the Chicago people have taken the law into their own hands. I do not criticise the minister; he has been active in this power development proposition all over the country. But I would like to find out from him, first, what he has done to call the attention of the British government to the breach of this waterways treaty; second, what has the British ambassador at Washington done; and, third, who appoints all these private people who are going down there and saying they represent Canada? Just think; they are going down there to represent Canada before the government of a foreign country regarding the diversion of water and

the matter of an international treaty between Great Britain and the United States concerning those boundary waters. How do these representatives get passports? They do not represent Canada, and the United States will pay no heed to their representations unless this House and this government get busy and stop the piracy on the lakes. The various harbour works all along the Great Lakes have been interfered with by this diversion, both on the Canadian and the American side. At Detroit, Cleveland and Buffalo the levels are away below what they have been for years, and on the Canadian side, on the St. Lawrence river and lake Ontario from Prescott west as far as Toronto and Hamilton the levels have dropped many inches and in some oases from two to three feet, causing great injury to trade and navigation, and to the development of Canadian ports and power interests. A lot of power plants and waterworks on lake Ontario and the Niagara river are also in jeopardy by reason of this diversion. The levels have also fallen on the Detroit river, lake Erie, lake Huron, Georgian bay and the lower St. Lawrence.

Mr. Speaker, a treaty should be respected as a treaty, especially when it is made between the United States, the Mother Country and Canada. Canada has adhered strictly to the letter of the treaty. It is not using even all the water it is entitled to in the Niagara river, while the United States government is allowing Chicago to divert this vast volume of water. Hon. members will find a complete history of the whole case, the legal and engineering side, and further details with regard to this diversion by Chicago on page 706 of Hansard of March 26, 1924, in the debate on my motion which occupied a whole day last session. The government of Ontario and Canadian municipalities are very much dissatisfied with the way things are going, and probably you cannot blame them for acting themselves although some of them think that Washington and not Ottawa is the capital of Canada so far as this matter is concerned. I do hope the minister will take the question up with the proper authorities. Canada has no right to appear before the Rivers and Harbours committee; Canada should not be represented before any committee or before the Secretary of War of the United States. There is a proper channel through which to take this matter up. It should be taken up through the British government and the British ambassador at Washington and the United States should be told in no uncertain voice that a treaty cannot be treated as a scrap of paper when it is made between Great Britain and the United States.

5S2

Great Lakes Levels

Canada should file a suit claiming damages covering a period of ten years at 835,000,000 a year and collect the amount from the United States through the government of Great Britain. The United States should be told that Canada will no longer stand for the violation of the treaty, and that it is the duty of the government of the United States to check up Chicago, this pirate of the lakes, for diverting this extra amount of water. Even if Secretary Weeks does give his judgment next week, it is not legal under the Boundary Waterways treaty, because Great Britain is the party of the second part to the treaty and one party alone to the treaty cannot give Chicago the right to illegally divert some 4,167 cubic feet per second without the consent of the other.

In conclusion I urge upon the minister that some definite action be taken, and that action should be taken through the British government and through the British ambassador at Washington and that a damage suit be entered to collect from the United States compensation for the damage and' injury done. Well, let us send no more pilgrims to Washington. The Canadian government is responsible for seeing that Canada is protected from this piracy of Chicago, and it should take this matter up through the proper authorities, the British government or the British ambassador at Washington, and not shirk its duties and leave it to provincial and municipal authorities who however deserve credit for taking action when they could not get any results through Ottawa.

Topic:   QUESTIONS
Subtopic:   GREAT LAKES LEVELS
Sub-subtopic:   EFFECT OF DIVERSION OF WATER BY CHICAGO DRAINAGE CANAL
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LIB

Charles A. Stewart (Minister of Mines; Minister of the Interior; Superintendent-General of Indian Affairs)

Liberal

Hon. CHARLES STEWART (Argenteuil, Minister of the Interior):

Mr. Speaker, I take it that the House after listening to the long discussion of last session with respect to the illegal diversion of water by the Chicago drainage system will not be interested in hearing a rehash of that same matter this year; but I should like to put my hon. friend from North Toronto (Mr. Church) right in one matter, and that is that this government have not agreed to the diversion of 4,167 feet, nor to the diversion of a single foot of water by Chicago.

I would also like to inform him that all official documents passing between the government of Canada and the government of the United States in respect to this matter have passed through the hands of the British ambassador at Washington, so that in protesting against the illegal diversion of these waters we have been using the proper channel of communication. More cannot be said than that.

With respect to my hon. friend's complaint as to individuals going down there unau-

thorized, of course, the government of Canada cannot very well stop individuals from going to Washington, nor can they stop them from making statements if they get an opportunity to do so, but I can assure him that they are not speaking on behalf of the government of Canada. In so far as representation of this government is concerned, it is quite true that we have had representatives watching the proceedings, and that policy has been pursued by this government for the past two years. We deem it wise to keep informed on every move that is made with respect to this matter, and for that reason Mr. W. J. Stewart has attended most of the sittings of the Senate committee and the hearings before Secretary of War Weeks with respect to this matter.

One other matter. The diversion itself is the result of an application made by the city of Chicago and granted by the Secretary of War for the United States. Objection has been taken by congress; objection has been taken by every city and state surrounding the city of Chicago; objection has been taken to the polluting of the rivers below Chicago by American representatives themselves; and what we are doing is to protest that they are not entitled, not to 4,167 feet, which my hon. friend has mentioned but to not one single foot of the water diverted. That has been the position which we have maintained religiously throughout the whole of this controversy. Of course, they may proceed to divert this water in spite of Canada's protest, and if Canada is to go to the extent of serving an ultimatum, that, of course, may be done; but my hon. friend knows full well that only by force can that sort of thing be backed up, and that is not the course we have decided upon. We believe that the pressure we have been able to bring to bear upon the American authorities through the British ambassador will have its effect, and I believe that is very apparent at the moment. My hon. friend will remember the decision handed down by the Supreme Court of the United States no later than last fall which declared the diversion illegal. A very vigorous fight is also being maintained in the committee of the Senate by those who are very strenuously opposed to this diversion. I hold in my hand a report from Mr. W. J. Stewart who was at the hearing before Secretary Weeks a few days ago, to the effect that they do intend to take active steps to stop this diversion, allowing, of course, a reasonable time for the city of Chicago to make other arrangements.

One other matter I should like to mention. It is undoubtedly an acute situation which prevails on the Great Lakes to-day. The

Great Lakes Levels

water levels in lake Superior and the upper lakes are 26 inches lower than they have been for some years. Indeed, since 1891 the lake levels have never been so low as they are at the present moment. The diversion at Chicago is estimated to lower the water in the Great Lakes, in lakes Huron, Erie and Ontario, to the extent of 6 inches. We have this undoubted situation because of the lower levels in the upper lakes and, of course, because of the illegal diversion of the water at Chicago. But we are objecting in a most strenuous way, we are not leaving any stone unturned in order to bring those protests through the proper channels to the attention of the American government. But, Mr. Speaker, I must deny-

Topic:   QUESTIONS
Subtopic:   GREAT LAKES LEVELS
Sub-subtopic:   EFFECT OF DIVERSION OF WATER BY CHICAGO DRAINAGE CANAL
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IND

William Findlay Maclean

Independent Conservative

Mr. MACLEAN (York):

Are the American ports advancing a claim in the same way?

Topic:   QUESTIONS
Subtopic:   GREAT LAKES LEVELS
Sub-subtopic:   EFFECT OF DIVERSION OF WATER BY CHICAGO DRAINAGE CANAL
Permalink
LIB

Charles A. Stewart (Minister of Mines; Minister of the Interior; Superintendent-General of Indian Affairs)

Liberal

Mr. STEWART (Argenteuil):

Yes.

Topic:   QUESTIONS
Subtopic:   GREAT LAKES LEVELS
Sub-subtopic:   EFFECT OF DIVERSION OF WATER BY CHICAGO DRAINAGE CANAL
Permalink
IND

William Findlay Maclean

Independent Conservative

Mr. MACLEAN (York):

And are they

making representations to the American authorities?

Topic:   QUESTIONS
Subtopic:   GREAT LAKES LEVELS
Sub-subtopic:   EFFECT OF DIVERSION OF WATER BY CHICAGO DRAINAGE CANAL
Permalink
LIB

Charles A. Stewart (Minister of Mines; Minister of the Interior; Superintendent-General of Indian Affairs)

Liberal

Mr. STEWART (Argenteuil):

Yes. Their

representatives are appearing before a committee in congress. The chairman of the Senate committee is Mr. Dempsey, of Buffalo. Every lake port on the American side has been complaining most bitterly, and has appointed delegates to attend the sittings of that committee.

Topic:   QUESTIONS
Subtopic:   GREAT LAKES LEVELS
Sub-subtopic:   EFFECT OF DIVERSION OF WATER BY CHICAGO DRAINAGE CANAL
Permalink

February 26, 1925