National Security and the St. Lawrence Project

March 14, 1951

Report Outline
Defense Revival of St. Lawrence Project
Evolution of the Seaway-Power Project
American Access to Labrador Ore Resources
Economic Advantages and Disadvantages
Special Focus

Defense Revival of St. Lawrence Project

Congress will again come to grips with the controversial St. Lawrence seaway-power project at its present session in what appears to be shaping up as the decisive struggle over that long planned development. Legislation to approve the 1941 agreement with Canada for joint construction of the project has been offered by more than thirty senators and representatives and hearings are shortly to be completed by the House Committee on Public Works. Unless now accepted by Congress under pressure of the defense emergency, the project as at present conceived is likely to be long delayed.

Development of the St. Lawrence for power and navigation has been urged by three American Presidents, beginning with Herbert Hoover in 1932. It is now being pressed by the Truman administration as essential to the national security, although Congress remained unmoved by similar considerations during the last war. But the project has been given a “new look” by the depletion in World War II and since of the high-grade iron ore reserves of the Mesabi region bordering Lake Superior. It is argued that the project is needed both to overcome power shortages in the northeastern states and to afford access by American steel mills to newly discovered ore deposits in Labrador.

Pressure on Congress for Approval of Project

A modest $20 million for starting the St. Lawrence project (United States share of total cost now estimated at $566 million)was included by President Truman in his budget for the fiscal year opening next July 1. “Construction of the St. Lawrence project should be started at once, and I urge the Congress to authorize this program without delay,” the President said. Impressive testimony in support of the development has since been presented by members of the Cabinet and heads of government agencies concerned with trade, navigation, power development, and defense production.

ISSUE TRACKER for Related Reports
St. Lawrence Project
Mar. 14, 1951  National Security and the St. Lawrence Project
Jul. 02, 1947  St. Lawrence Seaway and Power Development
Mar. 08, 1941  Revival of the St. Lawrence Project
Aug. 03, 1932  The St. Lawrence Seaway-Power Project
Bilateral and Regional Trade
Electric Power
International Energy Trade and Cooperation
Renewable Energy Resources and Alternative Fuels
Waterways and Harbors