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in the old days we would not have thought of putting this in the bill, although they were passed then only every two years.
Mr. McDUFFIE. The proposition I wanted to get your opinion on was primarily whether or not you thought this waterway should be developed as a commerce carrier. The possibilities seem so great that it would seem that it might be proper to spend a million and a half dollars on it.
Mr. BURTON. I think so, it is all right.
Mr. McDUFFIE. But in doing that we might change the amount to be diverted, and there might be a difference of opinion on that.
Mr. BURTON. Not merely a difference of opinion but a lack of proper information.
Mr. McDUFFIE. Possibly so. But your judgment is that in fixing the channel, we are going into the question of the diversion of to much water from the Lakes, by reason of fixing that channel; so, in other words, we would take more water by fixing the channel,
, than ought to be diverted from the Lakes.
Mr. BURTON. Anyway, you are taking a leap in the dark.
The CHAIRMAN. Let me state just what we have before us, as I want to understand it. I will be glad to have any other member state if he disagrees with me. The engineers say that it was advisable to have a nine-foot waterway down the Illinois River. They say that you should have a waterawy with an instantaneous diversion of 1,650 feet and an average diversion of 1,000 feet. They say, however, that the question of the amount of the diversion should not be dealt with at the present time; that there is coming down the Illinois now--and it must come down there, because there is no other place to put it after it is used by Chicago for sanitation—8,250 feet, so that suggests to us two or three things. First, that we adopt this report, and in adopting it, that we provide for dredging and a rearrangement of dams, which will use about that 8,250 feet. They say, second, that we should not, they say affirmatively, that we should not attempt to fix the amount of water to be diverted from the Great Lakes. And they say, third, that the works that they propose to install will be equally adaptable and useful for anywhere down from 8,250 to 2,000 cubic feet; and that it is simply a question of additional dredging, if the amount is reduced, as and when it is reduced. Now, if we adopted this report, as you know, we would simply say, “ Channel in the Illinois River in accordance with document so and so.' Those are the provisions of that document. Now, what do you say as to adopting that document?
Mr. BURTON. I do not believe in it. In the first place, if we once allow 8,250 cubic feet, there would be great pressure to continue it. Now, what is the hurry about it? It will require about three years, as I understand it, for the State of Illinois to finish her part of that waterway. It will require two years perhaps one year less—for the Government to perform its work. The building of the locks and dams is a more arduous task and it will require more time. I don't believe, in brief, Mr. Chairman, in adopting any project where there is so large a leeway as between 1,000 and 8,500, I repeat again, we do not know where we are at all until the Supreme Court tells us where we can get off
The CHAIRMAN. Now, let us put our fingers on the nub. Is not this all there is to it: That the objection, if there is an objection, is that if we adopt this report, there would have to be affirmative action by Congress to authorize the additional dredging from time to time. Now, is not that what there is to it and all there is to it?
Mr. BURTON. Well, I don't know about that. I suppose you might draw a provision so it would be a finality.
The CHAIRMAN. But then you are adopting a policy?
Mr. BURTON. The report gives you 1,000 feet or 1,650 feet as a minimum, and 8,250 feet or 8,500 as a maximum now.
The CHAIRMAN. I don't think it does, Senator; I don't think it fixes the maximum.
Mr. BURTON. Then it leaves it wide open to 10,000 or 15,000, does it?
The CHAIRMAN. No, it says this, simply: That they will use that water which comes down from Chicago and which now is 8,250 cubic feet, so long as that quantity comes, and as it changes, that they will adopt the improvements to the changed volume; that is what the report is.
Mr. BURTON. You would have great difficulty, I think, after you have once started on 8,250 feet on making any adjustment which would diminish that quantity. That would arouse opposition of the most vigorous character from the Lakes. I do not believe in acting on an uncertainty, and what is the use? It will be three years, and by that time you would expect to lower the quantity of the diversion if these reduction works are made. Now, what does that look like? Let us look that right squarely in the face. It looks as if the object was to allow the diversion of 8,250 cubic feet, when there is not a boat coming down there, when there is not any navigation there, and there can not be any navigation for three years. What is the object of your putting in a provision of that kind? Of course, there is a possibility of a decision by the court
Mr. McDUFFIE. I do not understand that the question of the right to divert water for navigation purposes is before the court.
Mr. BURTON. I think it is.
Mr. McDUFFIE. Well, of course, the one includes the other here, because if you are using the water for sewage it has no other place to go, because sewage is incidental to navigation.
Mr. BURTON. But there is no navigation at all.
Mr. McDUFFIE. I know. There is no navigation; but in the event we would adopt a project, then the navigation would be involved.
Mr. BURTON. It would be involved, but the navigation would not yet be utilized.
Mr. McDUFFIE. Not until the engineers could do the work, of course; I do not say that we would immediately have it.
The CHAIRMAN. Congressman McDuffie, this broad question is presented in the suit: whether Congress can authorize the diversion from one watershed to another. That is the broad question.
Mr. BURTON. I think it is clearly within the domain of a court of equity to decide the questions. What is the vital question? Here are two watersheds side by side. There is a proposition to divert water, by act of Congress, from one of those watersheds to another. The court could not decide that question without passing on the rights of all. Before I close I want to thank you
attention. There are some of you members who are probably responsible for part of the time I have occupied.
Mr. Hull. We would not have known anything, if we had not asked you questions.
Mr. BURTON. I am very much obliged to you anyway, whether you all agree
with me or not. Mr. DEAL. Senator, you take the position, as I understand it, that before enacting any legislation with respect to the Illinois River, we should wait until after the Supreme Court has rendered its decision on the cases now pending?
Mr. BURTON. Yes.
Mr. DEAL. Do you content that in the matter of policy, Congress or the Supreme Court should take the initiative!
Mr. BURTON. Well, it is not a question of which shall take the initiative; it is clearing the situation so we will know what the rights are in the premises.
Mr. DEAL. Well, would we not clear the decision if Congress should act on this question, and so the Supreme Court would decide it.
Mr. BURTON. We have discussed that. You would be flying in the face of a probably adverse decision by the Supreme Court, very clearly, and the chairman evidently agrees with me
Mr. DEAL. One more question. You said something as to the possibility of Canada installing hydroelectric pumps at Lake St. George.
Mr. BURTON. Georgian Bay, which is a bay from Lake Huron, extending into Canada.
Mr. DEAL. I did not quite catch that. What was your idea?
Mr. BURTON. There is a canal already between Georgian Bay and Lake Ontario. They could withdraw an unlimited amount of water profitably, because the assent is 262 feet and the descent is 595 feet587 and 395 feet, I believe are the figures. There have been a great many figures made by engineers on that pumping proposition, as to how great must be the surplus of the fall over the rise. I would not feel competent to reduce that to exact figures, but evidently this would be such that they could make it very profitable to take it.
Mr. DEAL. What I am getting at is the right of Canada to do that. Georgian Bay lies wholly within the Dominion of Canada, does it?
Mr. BURTON. Yes.
Mr. BURTON. They say they have the right. We could not deny it if we made the permanent diversion at Chicago.
Mr. MICHAELSON. Have we the sole right as to Lake Michigan, that lake being wholly within the United States territory!
Mr. BURTON. The two circumstances are analogous. I take it the rule of international law has not been absolutely settled on that. There is a case pending between the Soviet Government and Persia.
There were streams flowing out of the territory of one into the territory of the other, and my information, which comes from a Persian source, is that the soviet absolutely diverted those waters onto their lands, which needed irrigation, and deprived the Persians of them, and the Persians complained very seriously. I take it, though, that the general rule is that any waterway inside of a country, although entirely within it, the treatment of which by the diversion or otherwise affects the waters on the other side of the boundary, is at least a subject for negotiation and that the country which loses by it has a right to protest. That is what Canada claims anyway.
Mr. MICHAELSON. It might be a subject for the World Court to decide.
Mr. McDUFFIE. Senator, from what I have learned here, the present amount being diverted, if continued in the future will not lower the level of the Lakes any more than has already been done.
Mr. BURTON. I can not accept that.
Mr. McDUFFIE. You do not think that if the 8,500 cubic feet is continued, there will be a continuation of the lowering of the Lakes, do you?
Mr. BURTON. That reminds me of a story that Henry Ward Beecher once told about a dog; that if you take a dog and tie a lot of rusty cans and rusty andirons to his tail, and then somebody comes and ties another old piece of iron on, it doesn't hurt him very much. That is the theory on which that is based. But the idea that the abstraction of 8,500 or 8,250 cubic feet out of that body won't lower it any further—that is something I would have to think about; I don't feel like accepting that. But, of course, the vital point is this. If the navigation of the Lakes is to be restored, there must be a rise in the level of the Lakes to something like what it was before. That is really the vital point.
Mr. NEWTON. Is the Senator's interest in this diversion question limited to lake levels?
Mr. BURTON. Navigation, I think. Of course, that involves the whole subject of the prosperity
Mr. NEWTON. If the lake levels were restored, then you would feel that the problem had been met?
Mr. BURTON. I would have to see what that restoration is. Now, what do you propose about it, how are you going to restore it?
Mr. NEWTON. I say if the levels were restored would that answer your objection?
Mr. BURTON. In the first place, it would be absolutely impossible to restore those levels and leave facilities for navigation unimpaired.
Mr. NEWTON. But if they could be restored, would you object to it?
Mr. BURTON. You are supposing an unsupposable case. One proposition is to put in some locks in the St. Clair River at or near Port Huron. To put in a lock, do you realize it will take as many as four locks there to take care of that? And there would be an impediment to navigation in there; instead of passing freely by, that would be something of the most serious nature, as an impediment to navigation.
Mr. NEWTON. The Senator has given a good deal of thought to this subject, and I understand from his talk that he is in favor of the St. Lawrence as a feasible project.
Mr. BURTON. Yes.
Mr. NEWTON. The St. Lawrence will develop a great deal of electricity, will it not?
Mr. BURTON. Yes. It is one of the most hopeful localities for the development of power in the world.
Mr. NEWTON. And what proportion of that will belong to Canada? Mr. BURTON. That is a matter for adjustment.
Mr. NEWTON. What will be produced in Canada ? What proportion will be produced in Canada?
Mr. BURTON. I do not think I could answer that question. My impression is that they claim considerably more than half.
The CHAIRMAN. 5,250,000 as against 750,000 in the United States. Mr. BURTON. What is that?
The CHAIRMAN. 5,250,000 horsepower for Canada as against 750,000 in the United States.
Mr. BURTON. More than seven times as much?
The CHAIRMAN. Yes; absolutely. There is a million and a half on the international boundary. And there is five million, between four and five million in Canada, aside from the international boundary.
Mr. BURTON. Of course, I was talking only of that on the international boundary.
The CHAIRMAN. Our share of that power, while 750,000 horsepower is a considerable power, as compared with the whole, it is only somewhere about an eighth or a tenth; the rest of it is in Canada, and belongs to Canada, and is not the subject of treaty at all, unless Canada wants to give us power, just the same as she would give us her forests or mines or anything else that is hers. We don't have any interest in it.
Mr. NEWTON. Now, one other question. I have heard the Senator's statement to the effect that at the time this treaty was negotiated there was power being diverted from Canada and brought to the United States, power manufactured in Canada. Now, I am informed that that has been stopped. Is that correct?
Mr. BURTON. I don't think so. I know there was an agitation started—I am not as well posted on these things as I used to be along in the latter part of the first decade of the century, say in 1907 to 1910, that Canada was proposing to prohibit the exportation of that power to the United States. Do you know about it, Mr, Chairman?
The CHAIRMAN. My understanding is that that American company still does bring its power into the United States. My understanding is that they cut us off during the war.
Mr. NEWTON. I know there has been an application, and has there not been an ordinance by the Province over there to prevent the bringing in of power, so as to force the industries into Canadian territory?
The CHAIRMAN. I do not think there is any order that has been made, but there has been an announcement of a policy.
Mr. NEWTON. There is a very strong sentiment over there.