February 20, 1911 (11th Parliament, 3rd Session)


Frank Oliver (Minister of the Interior; Superintendent-General of Indian Affairs)



In my opinion, the pending Bill fails to cover properly the interests of navigation. While a survey of that part of the channel to be affected is provided for in the Bill, the survey should, in my opinion, be made prior to final action by Congress. Official approval by the secretary of war, and, if possible by the Dominion or other necessary authorities, of any specific plans for construction work should be secured before instead of after final action by Congress, and I would suggest that procedure in place of the course proposed bv the Bill.
The possession by this company of the enormous powers defined in the Act of the state legislature would embrace both the state and federal authorities in negotiations with our Canadian neighbours concerning this matter, and embarrass efforts to conserve the interests of navigation and of other property owners whose holdings would lie within the reach of the impounded flood waters and ice of this great river.
This proposed development and the development of the Niagara river are the only two instances involving state boundary waters, and both had their origin in special state legislation, in each case as it seems to me. without full appreciation of the nature and extent of various phases of public interest to be immediately or ultimately affected. As in the Niagara river case, which is now involved in another Bill pending before Congress, so in this case. I do not feel justified in speaking alone for New York^ state at this time, but intend to call the Bill to the notice of the state legislature, which is now in session, for consideration. Pending an expression of views by our legislature, I request through you that action by Congress on the Oliver Bill may be suspended.
Very respectfully yours.

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