May 16, 1911

LIB

William Pugsley (Minister of Public Works)

Liberal

Mr. PUGSLEY.

The words of the treaty are that the subjects of each country shall have the same right of navigation as the subjects of the other country. In other words it shall be equally free and open to navigation to the citizens of both countries.

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CON

John Dowsley Reid

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. REID (Grenville).

It means that the river was to remain free and open. In the evidence taken in the United States the representative of this great corporation said:

My position is that the people of the state of New York through their legislative body and government in the passage of this Bill have passed upon the question absolutely as to whether it is in the interests of navigation or not. -

M.r. PUGSLEY. Possibly not the federal courts. I am not sure as to the line of distinction between them, but it does not make any difference, because that there is a legal remedy under the treaty is beyond question. What this treaty does is to give to a Canadian subject who has suffered injury upon this side of the boundary line the same rights and remedies as if his property were on the American side of the boundary and as if it were injured by the act of the United States government or of an American citizen.

The representative in the state legislature claims the right to dispose of half the power irrespective of the federal government, notwithstanding that it is boundary waters. You can see that a different view is taken of the treaty than that taken by the Minister of Public Works. I agree that there should be a commission of some kind to look after our interests, but I want to see everything done that can be done to protect our rights not only on the St. Lawrence but in other parts of the Dominion.

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CON

John Graham Haggart

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. HAGGART (Lanark).

Suppose the consent of the Interstate Commission was given to the erection of the work that had caused the damage, would he then have anv right of action? y

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LIB

William Pugsley (Minister of Public Works)

Liberal

Mr. PUGSLEY.

Yes, he would still have the same right of action.

n,^ri ^ID (Grenville). With reference to the statement made by the hon. Minister of Mr. CURRIE (Simeoe).

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LIB
CON

John Dowsley Reid

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. REID (Grenville).

I have prepared a clause which I think will have the effect of safeguarding our rights, and which will leave any future question of damming the St. Lawrence with this parliament, where the Prime Minister promised it should be left. My amendment reads.

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LIB

William Pugsley (Minister of Public Works)

Liberal

Mr. PUGSLEY.

Would it not be better to bring it up in committee?

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CON

John Dowsley Reid

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. REID (Grenville).

Very -well, we can discuss the matter then.

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CON

Charles Alexander Magrath

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. C. A. MAGRATH (Medicine Hat).

Early in December the Minister of Public Works had a resolution before this House bearing on the treaty recently entered into between the United States and Canada dealing with international waters and now known as the Waterways Treaty. That resolution was the forerunner of this Bill, and although I believe I made my position perfectly clear on that occasion in connection with the matter, I shall take this opportunity to discuss some features of that treaty. The treaty consists of two main features, first, it undertakes to divide between the two countries certain specific boundary waters as well as certain waters which flow across the boundary; and, second, it provides machinery for the investigation of future water questions which may arise along the boundary and in the settlement of which it enunciates at least one principle. The Minister of Public Works on the occasion to which I have referred was most insistent that the settlement which has been made as to tlm division of certain boundary waters is eminently fair to this country, and, he was equally positive that the _ principle which is to be applied in future cases was sound and just. It does not require any stretch of imagination to see that if we have an eminently sound settlement it can only be obtained through the application of sound and just principles and I purpose showing to this House that we have in that treaty the enunciation of a sound and just and fair principle and side by side with it a settlement provided in article 6 of the treaty which undertakes to divide the waters of the St. Mary's and Milk rivers and their tributaries between Montana and Alberta, a settlement I repeat in which that principle was over-ridden in a roughshod manner. In May, 1909, I undertook to discuss some features of this treaty. I do not now purpose going over the same ground in detail, but I shall recite some of my findings on that occasion and then pass on to other features of the treaty. We know that in June, 1902, the Congress of the United States invited Canada, through Great Britain, to participate in the investigation of our international waters; we know that this country was somewhat tardy in accepting that invitation, but finally decided in April of the following year to accept it; we know that the United States selected the three members of the then proposed International Joint Waterways Commission in October, 1903. We also know that this country didi not complete the Canadian section until practically two years thereafter, and there, it seems to me, the United States scored point number one. We know that President Roosevelt in going afield to secure two engineers to act upon the American section obtained the services of men who had previous technical training in water questions, men who had actually been engaged in investigating work on the Great Lakes which supply the water that creates Niagara Falls; the division of its waters being one of the principal questions that was afterwards dealt with by the Joint Commission. Now, while I have nothing to say against the character or ability of the two engineers first selected 'by our government, I do say that there is not an atom of evidence that can be produced to show that these men had any large experience in that branch of their profession in which they were to be engaged in looking after the interests of the people of this country. It appears to me that in that respect-and I state that without any desire to belittle the ability of these men-the United States again scored. But probably the feature that is most astonishing in connection with the completion of the Canadian section is the appointment of Mr. Mabee who was selected in May, 1905, and to use the language of the right hon. gentleman was 'elevated' to the bench in November of that year. Now, Mr. Speaker, I hold the doctrine that water is the most valuable asset this country possesses, and holding that doctrine I cannot conceive it is possible to 'elevate' any man from the position then held by Mr. Mabee to any other in the gift of the people or of the government.

I claim that the government had no proper conception of the character of the work that was to be conducted by the Joint Commission, and that it had no conception of the great services: the Canadian section would be called, upon to render this country, and I claim that the moot of that is in the government's method of procedure in using a seat on the Canadian section as a resting place on the road to the judiciary. I am aware ^ that Jua0e Mabee has since rendered signal service to this countrv; that he is engaged in very important work at the present time in the interests of the people, but I claim that it cannot be of the same character of importance as that in which he was first selected by our government.

It is true that the full importance of work in connection with our international waters may not be recognized by the present generation, but the time will come, in my judgment, when our people will properly measure, and appreciate our asset in those waters.

The correspondence which both sections had with the respective governments, justifies me in stating that as soon as the Canadian section was completed, its colleague, the American section, brought forward the Niagara river situation, and pressed it into reaching an early conclusion as to the division of waters at that point. I claim that the Canadian section had to rely upon the American engineering data. I do not, for an instant, suggest that that information was not correct in every, detail, but I do say that intelligent people in this age do not go into questions of such _ great importance without securing their own technical information to guide them in reaching their conclusions. I claim that the division of water at Niagara Falls is a division practically suggested by the American! section. I, therefore, think the foregoing summary of facts, which were presented to the House by me in May, 1909, fully justifies the charge that our government utterly failed in its duty to the people at that time.

Turning now to article 6 of the treaty, which undertakes to divide the waters of the St. Mary's and Milk rivers, between Canada and the United States, to the detriment of this country, and especially with great injury to my constituency, heTe again, I claim, the division is one that was practically suggested by American representatives. What is the use of carrying on negotiations if one side is to do all the negotiating?

As I am intimately familiar with the features of the controversy over the waters in question, I propose dealing with the matter at considerable length,. It will, therefore, be necessary to give a brief synopsis of the situation. The St. Mary's lakes, two in number, of a total length ol 22 miles, are to be found within the eastern base of the Rocky mountains in Montana. Out of them flows the St. Mary's river in a northerly direction, reaching our boundary at a distance of about nine miles. The stream continues its northward course, and becomes part of the Saskatchewan river system, and its waters eventually discharge into Hudson bay. It is an important mountain stream.

The Milk river, likewise, arises in Mon tana, out m the foot hills, about twenty-live -miles east of the St. Mary's river II crosses over into Canada, and for over' one hundred miles flows eastward through my constituency, then, returning to Montana its waters become part of the Mississippi river -system, -and empty into the Gulf oi It is an unimportant stream.

At the time the negotiations were on between, the two countries regarding the division of the waters of those streams, what were the commitments against them!1 In other words, what were their respon-Mr. MAGRATH

sibilities? Turning first to the St. Mary's river, within its nine mile course in Montana, it is walled in by two prominent foot-hill ridges which extend practically up to the Canadian border, and within the valley so formed, there is practically not an acre susceptible to development by irrigation. There is no settlement in the valley outside of ftw;o tor three ranches which front along the stream. In other words, it practically was, and still is a foot-hill wildem-e-ss. The situation,, however, changes as the stream enters Canada. The valley broadens out, and there are several hundred thousand acres of land capable of developing by irrigation from the waters of that river. As early as 1894, the Canadian government conducted investigations, looking to the development of irrigation from the St. Mary's river, and in 1897, a company was formed with that object in view. The first question that arose was as to the feasibility of diverting water from the stream in Montana, and the decision reached was, that it would not be commercially practicable to do so. Of course no one thought the United States would ask Canada for the use of the Milk river channel, down which it would carrv water diverted from St. Mary's river. The Canadian company received authority from this government to carry on its development work, it received authority to divert all the available low water flow of St. Mary's river, and up to two thousand cubic feet per second of high water, -and under the irrigation laws of this country was given by our government fifteen or seventeen years within which to carry out its plans. At the time negotiations were in progress, it had developed its canal system to take care of some 800 cubic feet per second.

Turning now to Milk river, I am aware that for some years the total normal available flow was in use for the irrigation of certain areas within the valifey of the stream in eastern Montana, to be more exact, in the neighbourhood of Harlem, on the Great Northern railway, where a large quantity of hay is grown by means of irrigation. It has been stated that the rights of the various users of water in eastern Montana were adjudicated upon, and those total Tights fixed- at somewhere about 350 cubic feet per second. Whether that statement is correct or not, I am prepared to admit that the total normal flow during the summer was appropriated, and was being used. I am also aware of the fact that 350 -cubic feet is a great deal more water than the stream carries, except at certain periods in the spring. I have seen the stream carrying -not more than ten to fifteen feet per second in the month of August.

Turning briefly to the policy of the United

States government for the reclamation of

its arid lands, an Act of Congress was passed in 1902 wherein it was provided that lands capable of development by irrigation could be set apart; that the government would provide the necessary moneys to construct the irrigation system, and that the lands would be sold at a figure which would recoup the government its expenditure in connection with the work of bringing the water to the land. That Act brought into existence a corps of engineers, known as the Reclamation Service, and those engineers, in going through Montana, located about 200,000 acres of land within the Milk River valley in eastern Montana which could be easily irrigated from the stream, provided there was sufficient water available for the purpose. They found, however, that the available water was fully appropriated so they had to look elsewhere for water with which to reclaim the lands three methods of taking water from the St. Mary's River valley and made extensive surveys. The result of these indicated three methods of taking water from the St. Mary's river in Montana for the use of the reserved lands. Two of those schemes involved immense outlays in building canal systems entirely in Montana, but owing to the great cost, they were impracticable. The third scheme was to throw the water into the Milk river in Montana by a diversion canal some 25 miles in length and to allow the water to run down through Canada for one hundred miles within the St. Mary's river channel and upon its return to that state to carry it to the reserved lands.

Now, what is the settlement that is provided in article six of the treaty? Namely that two streams running in opposite directions, the important one having its waters discharged in Hudson bay, the other running southward to 1he Gulf of Mexico, are to be considered as one stream. That is a very excellent declaration so far as our neighbours are concerned, as it allows them to break through a sound principle affecting important streams, that principle being that waters diverted from such streams for irrigation or power purposes should be allowed to return to the same stream in order to permit it to fulfil to the fullest extent its functions or the functions which it may be called upon to fulfill as the country settles up through which the stream flows. The principal function to which I refer is that of navigation. The importance of that declaration, so far as our neighbours are concerned, is fully realized, when we understand that half the waters of St. Mary's river-the important stream-which has for ages past been flowing into Hudson bay will upon the completion of the United States Diversion canal, be carried into the Milk river to supplement the Mississippi river

system, and aid in development work in the United States.

The next feature of the article is that the waters of the two streams are to be equally divided. With a prior right, during certain summer months, to Canada of 500 cubic feet per second or so much of such an amount as constitutes three-quarters of the natural flow of St. Mary's river and a similar right in favour of the United States for a similar period as against the flow of the Milk river. There, then is how Canada with about 600,000 acres capable of development, with important vested rights equal to 2,000 feet (cubic) per second against the principal stream-the St. Mary's river are offsetted by vested rights in Montana against the Milk river, which I understand have been adjudicated upon and fixed at 350 cubic feet per second. There then is how Canada's rights, amounting to 2,000 cubic feet per second, and with a canal system capable of taking care of 800 cubic feet per second, are to a considerable extent being destroyed, not for the protection of any vested rights against the St. Mary's river in Montana, but foT the creation of rights in an entirely different water system and fully three hundred miles from the source of supply. And now comes the feature of that article which makes the project of the United States feasible. Canada is to allow the undisturbed right of use of the Milk river channel, for over one hundred miles in Canada down which the United States government will transport its half share of the St. Mary's river for use in eastern Montana. That feature has brought the American project out of the clouds of visionary imagination down into the Tealm of a practical project.

Now about that principle, which is referred to in my opening remarks, and which is to be applied in dealing with future water questions along our boundary, we find that article 2 of the treaty dealing with streams flowing across the boundary consists of four features. 1st. It provides that each government shall absolutely control the waters within its own boundaries, notwithstanding the fact that they may flow into or from the adjoining country. 2nd. That interests which may be injured on one side of the boundary through the diversion of a stream on the other, that the injured interests may cross over into the other country and seek redTess in its courts. In short, that vested rights on one side must be honoured on the other. That is the opinion of the Minister of Public Works who in dealing with this resolution stated page 898 of the unrevised * Hansard :

Mr. MAGRAffiH. One more question. I understood the minister's opinion is that under that article, vested rights against a stream on one side of the boundary must be honoured on the other side?

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LIB

William Pugsley (Minister of Public Works)

Liberal

Mr. PUGSLEY.

Exactly, that is the spirit of the treaty, that is what it is intended to provide, and it is giving an absolutely new-right to subjects of the two countries.

Now it appears to me that that is a fair and just principle which will permit vested rights to seek redress in the country where the damage has been done. The underlying principles of irrigation in the appropriation of water for irrigation is the same in all countries. In Canada a right was obtained under the irrigation laws of this country to take from St. Mary's river certain specific waters. That right still exists and the Canadian company which has the right has been developing its canal system with due diligence. Yet that right, a right which would be honoured under the irrigation laws of Montana was, to a large extent, destroyed by the settlement arrived at in article 6.

I cannot understand the view point of the honourable Minister of Public Works who on the occasion referred to, page 894, unrevised ' Hansard,' said:

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LIB
CON

George Eulas Foster

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. FOSTER.

Then, the hon. gentleman (Mr. Magrath) contends that there are no other instances outside the Milk and St. Mary's rivers which physically allow the principle to be applied?

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CON

Charles Alexander Magrath

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. MAGRATH.

I do. I say that in any other streams that cross the international boundary that, in a'il human probability there will not be an instance in which the interests on one side can be injured through the diversion of the stream on the other side.

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CON

Robert Laird Borden (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. BORDEN (Halifax).

I would like to understand. The hon. gentleman's argument is that a perfectly fair and just principle is laid down?

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CON
CON

Robert Laird Borden (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. BORDEN (Halifax).

Then, in respect of the largest, indeed the only cases to which that principle would be appli-. cable, the principle is entirely departed from by an exception engrafted on the treaty?

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CON

Charles Alexander Magrath

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. MAGRATH.

Yes. I say 1 cannot conceive how the Canadian representatives could have failed to recognize the true situation. I repeat that if we wish to deal fairly with our neighbours and to be dealt fairly with by them, there is no reason why Alberta interests in Canada could not have been permitted to take advantage of the principle that is to apply in future cases. If this were done there would be no criticism from me. Now, I previously stated-or intended to state-that this settlement is a settlement suggested by the American representatives. If hon. members will look at a return brought down at the instance o'f the leader of the opposition they will find there a copy of the letter addressed by Secretary of State Root to the then British Ambassador at Washington, dated January 15, 1907, in which a suggestion is made as to the division of the waters and that suggestion is substantially the settlement arranged in article 6 of the treaty. That is, the suggestion was made by Mr. Root two years before the treaty was negotiated. I stated also in explaining article 2 of the treaty that the fourth feature deals with navigable streams. I have seen steamers operating on the south Saskatchewan river; I have seen steamers operating on the Missouri. They are not to be .found on either stream to-day. But that is no Teason why they should not be found there in the future. I am aware that the South Saskatchewan river is near the vanishing point in regard to navigation. I believe that by the withdrawal of half the waters of the St. Mary's river which enters that stream, that stream will pass out of the class of navigable streams into that of unnavigable streams. I would 'like to know to what extent the Canadian Commission- ' ers considered that feature, because if they did, and if my contention is right, then the St. Mary's river should not be disturbed, because it is one of the principal sources of supply of a stream which is today navigable. Now, the right hon. gentleman is not here. In discussing this matter in May, 1909, he spoke at considerable length, and I am quoting from him now at greater length, on account of his absence, than I really require to do in order to avoid any charge of attempting to garble his *statements. On ' Hansard ' 6640 of 1909, we find the right hon. gentleman saying:

The St. Mary's river is not a large stream comparatively, but is much larger than the Milk river. This treaty, if it comes into force, will join them, that is, power is given under the treaty to join the two rivers into one Steam which will flow together in the bed of the Milk river and enter the United States. My hon. friend (Mr. Magrath) has asked why we should have agreed to such a disposition as that, why we should have permitted a stream that flows into Canada to be made to flow into the United States? The reason is such that I am surprised that my hon. friend does not appreciate it; I was more than surprised, was more than sorry, I was even astonished at the criticism he made of that disposition.

Well, Mr. Speaker, I do not think that those remarks require any statement from me. As a sample of rhetoric they appear all right; otherwise they are absolutely wrong. The right hon. gentleman went on to say:

The United 'States reclamation service have undertaken large works upon these waters, and they contemplate still larger works. They contemplate first to tap St. _ Mary s lake through which the St. iMary's river flows and to divert it into their own country. If this had been to the injury of a river flowing into Canada we would have protested against anything of the kind being undertaken.

Well, it appears this is the psychological moment for me to express some surprise and regret that any one should be found in this country possessed of so little appreciation of the value of water as to suggest that by the withdrawal of one half the

water from the St. Mary's river, which has been flowing into Canada for all past ages, the same would not be to the injury of the river and of the interests along it in this country. The right hon. gentleman went on to say:

Whether we would have protested successfully is a matter as to which I am not quite sure, because the United 'States claim that they have the right to divert any river, even if the river flows into Canada or into a foreign country, so long as they tap it within their own territory. They assert that their sovereignty with regard to a flowing stream is absolute, even though that stream flows into a neighbouring country. I am not quite sure that as a matter of international law the position is well taken. .My view, on the contrary, is that the principle of civil law would apply to international law, and that there is a strong authority for that contention, but whilst it is a contention, the Americans have held to a different construction, and they assert that they have the right to exercise sovereign power so long as the work in question is within their own territory, even though the water flows a foreign country. There was a source of difficulty.

Well, I was pleased to hear the right hon. gentleman state that he felt that we had some rights under international law. It would have been much more agreeable to me if we had some evidence that he had called in the services of legal experts who have _ been dealing with inter-state water questions, and a great number have existed in the western states. I am also awaTe of the claim made by some of our American friends to their sovereign power over waters within their own territories. I know this, that we have sovereign rights over the St. Mary's river in Canada, and we need not give them up unless we get what we think is fair and reasonable compensation. The right hon. gentleman continued:

But, putting that aside, the Americans contemplate establishing at the head of these streams large reclamation works, that is to say, putting up an immense reservoir to store the waters and keep them for the whole season. Under the present conditions my hon. friend stated this afternoon that with a committment of two thousand feet of water they never could develop more than eight hundred.

I fear the right hon. gentleman misunderstood me, because that is not what I intended to say. I intended to say what I have said to-day, that the Canadian company, while having a right to two thousand cubic feet of water at the time the negotiations were in progress, it developed its right to the extent of 800 cubic feet per second. The right hon. gentleman further said: [DOT]

Wihy ? I speak under correction, because I bave to get my information from other sources, and I am not familiar with the country. But I understand that in a very short time.in that section of the country the spring waters are Mr. MAGEATH

exhausted, and that in the summer they have a very small amount of water, whereas, if they had these immense reclamation work* which are contemplated by the American reclamation service the water would be stored and would be available during the whole summer, and, therefore, my hon. friend from Alberta and his constituents would have the benefit of the storage of that water all summer. I know that I speak with absolute certainty when I say that the reclamation service cannot join these two streams into one, as contemplated under this treaty, unless they construct these immense reclamation works which are now proposed. Therefore, these reclamation works being established, Canadians will have the benefit of them, and will have a store of water to draw from all the long summer, whereas at the present time they can only have it in the spring and fall months.

I draw attention to the next clause:

That is the reason we have agreed to this diversion of the St. Mary's river into the Milk river.

There then is the price that this country was to pay to the United States for performing certain services for us. That country was to establish immense reclamation works in Montana so as to conserve the total flow of the St. Mary's river; to hold back the winter flow, and to control the spring freshets, and allow Canada's share of water so stored up to pass down, in the language of the right hon. gentleman : ' to my constituents during the long summer months.' Now I come to an astonishing letter which is disclosed in the return laid on the table of this House.

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CON

George Eulas Foster

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. FOSTER.

Would the hon. gentleman make a little more clear the position taken by the Prime Minister, that is, as to its lack of basis.

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CON

Charles Alexander Magrath

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. MAGRATH.

I will later on. I will quote an extract from a letter from Mr. Knox, Secretary of State, dated Washington, January 10, 1910, and addressed to the Right Hon. James Bryce:

Dear Mr. Bryce,-Referring to your note of the 25th ulto. and the memorandum inclosed therewith relative to the Boundary Waterway's Treaty of January 11, 1909, which is now awaiting ratification, there seems to have been some misunderstanding on the part of the Canadian government as to the purposes for which the United States intends to construct the dam at the outlet of St. Mary's lake and the canal between that lake and Milk river in Northern Montana in connection with the use of the waters apportioned between the United States and Canada under the provision of article 6 of the treaty. An examination of that article will show that it provides merely for an equal division between the two countries of the waters of the St. Mary's and Milk rivers, with certain prior appropriations of the natural flow apportioned to each side. There is no requirement that the United States shall store any waters for the use of Canada, in fact, no mention is made of the storage of waters, and

the waters which the United States proposes to store are to be taken from its half share of the natural flow, and are intended for use on its own side of the boundary. The proposed storage of waters, therefore, by the United States will in no way diminish or interfere with the half share of the natural flow to which Canada is entitled under the treaty * *.

Here, we have a statement from the Secretary of the Interior of the United States, clearly showing that no such intention existed, that the language of the treaty does not attempt to bear out the view point of our government, and that it is not the intention of the United States to do any storage of waters in the St. Mary's lakes that would be of any service to my constituents during the long summer months. I say, it is a most astonishing situation, and evidently is indicative of the character of the work which we performed in connection with the negotiation of that treaty. I say it is enough to make any Canadian blush to think that we so signally failed to look after the interests of our own people. The Minister of Public Works understood the situation very well, though he has since recanted, and has told us that the treaty is quite fair to this country. I am not placing any particular significance upon his change of front, but we find in the correspondence a letter from the Minister of Public Works to the right hon. the leader of the government, dated January 20, 1910, from which the following extracts have been taken: _

There seems to be a misapprehension on the part of the United States authorities in reference to the mode in which Canada would expect to derive any advantage from the construction of such storage works.

I have not yet discovered that there was any misapprehension on the part of the United States. It appears to have been on our part.

The principal benefit which would be derived by Canada from the construction of these works would be the securing of an increased and regular supply of water for irrigation purposes by means of the St. Mary's river. . . .

The hon. gentleman goes on to say:

-but this object would be defeated if the dam were so constructed as to only provide for carrying the water stored thereby to the Milk river by means of the proposed car.al. For this reason, I regard it as essential to an equally beneficial division of the waters of both rivers that provision should be made for a due proportion of the stored waters of the St. Mary's river being allowed, under direction of the commissioners, to pass down the St. Mary's river into Canadian territory, instead of all stored waters being diverted to the Milk river. .

If the United States authorities take this view and give an assurance that in the construction of the dam, provision will be made

for the passing of the stored waters down both the St. Mary's and the Milk rivers, in order that they, as well as the natural flow, may be divided in accordance with the spirit of the treaty, I am of the opinion that such assurance will be satisfactory, and remove a ground for serious criticism which would otherwise be made against the treaty by those interested in irrigation projects upon and in the vicinity of the St. Mary's river in Alberta.

Well, the United States certainly did not give any assurance along the lines suggested by the Minister of Public Works. The treaty was accepted in March, 1910, without the change of one line in the document as it was before this House in May, 1909. I am not here to criticise it on behalf of any special interest in Alberta. I am here to criticise it in behalf of the people I represent in this House, people who realize the value of water, who realize that they require every drop of water for development purposes in that country, and it is astonishing to think that our government should treat this matter in such a haphazard way as to yield such unfortunate results to us. The treaty professes to recognize prior rights both in Canada and the United States. It is a mere profession so far as this country is concerned. Under conditions which might arise at any time during a dry season in southern Alberta, there are men to-day who are using water and doing it beneficially who will find themselves deprived of some of that water on account, of its having been given to the United States for the benefit of lands that are absolutely unsettled at this moment. We must realize that any impairment of the authority granted under the laws of this country, which would stand good under the laws of any other country, where irrigation is in operation that any impairment of the authority granted to a Canadian company, for the diversion of water for development purposes in southern Alberta especially, if that impairment has been aided and abetted by this government which granted that authority, is in effect a breach of faith with the Canadian company and is a wilful disregard of the interests of the people I represent in this House.

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LIB

William Pugsley (Minister of Public Works)

Liberal

Mr. PUGSLEY.

My hon. friend speaks of it being a breach of faith with the Canadian company. Is he aware that the Canadian company has recommended the agreement with respect to this treaty P

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May 16, 1911