The St. Lawrence Seaway & Its Problems
By JAMES BOW
Daily Staff Writer
SOMETIME in 1959 the St. Law-
rence Seaway will open the
Great Lakes to foreign trade and
cultures which will reach the heart
of the United States.
In one sense this is the North-
west Passage, leading to wealth
greater than the spices and silks
which explorers sought in the Ori-
ent. Wheat from Kansas, Nebraska
and the Dakotas, iron ore from
Minnesota, Michigan and Wiscon-
sin, automobiles, coal and lumber
are some of the treasure.
In another sense, however, the
Seaway is introducing problems
formerly confined to the ocean
coast or the Panama Canal. Tolls
and Seaway labor unions are being
discussed two years before they
.4rome into existence. There are
questions whether there should be
any toll charge on the Seaway
at all, and there are also some
heated arguments concerning what
union should gain control of Sea-
Hearings .. .
HEARINGS were held in Sep-
tember on the matter of toll
charges for the waterway. The St.
Lawrence Seaway Development
Corporation, the government agen-
cy which conducted the hearings,
met the argument that toll charges
would be prohibitive to active
Business and shipping interests
argued that the tolls would have
to be so high to pay off the 460
million dollar Seaway cost in
50 years that many ships would)
be prevented from entering the
Opponents of toll charges say
that the Seaway could very well
be charged to national defense or
International Brotherhood of
Longshoremen for Great Lakes
ports. However, last summer Hoffa
lured the dock workers in Detroit
from the AFL-CIO union into the
ILA and organized employees on
Detroit's Ambassador Bridge.
Police in Chicago, Buffalo, Cleve-
land, and other Great Lakes ports
have been warned to be prepared
for violence when the St. Lawrence
Seaway opens in 1959.
While government officials and
labor leaders argue the mundane
affairs of the Seaway, thousands
of tourists are seeing the project
which begins near Montreal and
stretches up the St. Lawrence
River to the Thousand Islands.
WHILE BRUCKER argues over
the Seaway Development Cor-
poration's toll house, tourists view-
ed houses in Iroquois, Ontario,
being moved uphill, out of the Sea-
way's path. The buildings were set
down in a new city, complete with
paved streets, phone lines, and
sewers. According to engineers'
testimfnies, the only damage done
by the moving was one broken
And, while Hoffa sneaked his
longshoremen's union into Detroit,
international shipping companies
were establishing offices in several
Great Lakes ports. The Seaway
will accommodate seventy-five per
cent of all the world's ships, and
most ships presently being built
are designed for Seaway use.
Modern explorers from England,
the Netherlands, France and Spain,
whose ancestors looked for Orien-
tal treasure and accidently found
North Ameriba, have only a two-
year wait before they can explore
the riches of industry and agri-
culture in the American Midwest.
to internal improvements indis-
tinguishable from any other navi-
gation project. Perhaps the strong-
est case against tolls is the argu-
ment that income from a toll-free'
Seaway would produce taxes for
the United States and for state
governments far in excess of any
IN FAVOR of tolls, George A.
Donredo, former Republican
Congressman from Michigan and
head of the House Seaway com-
mittee, points out that one of the
conditions for passage of the Sea-
way bill in Congress was the estab-
lishing of tolls, thus relieving the
national budget of the cost.
The Seaway bill was passed three
years after Canada began work on
the waterway in 1951, and further
delay was created when an addi-
tional 35 million dollars had to be
added to the Seaway budget. Don-
dero gave vigorous support to the
Seaway, using such numerical de-
scriptions as "the Eighth Wonder
of the World, the Fifth Sea, and
our Fourth Seacoast."
Secretary of the Army Wilbur M.
Brucker entered the scene when
he argued last summer that the
Army Corps of Engineers should
be allowed to collect Seaway tolls.
The Seaway Development Corpor-
ation has already constructed its
own toll headquarters in Massena,
N. Y., although Congress did not
specifically stipulate that the cor-
poration should get the job.
WHILE BOTH toll arguments
continue, it appears that labor
questions will receive top billing
as union problems arise through-
out the nation. Star of the Seaway
union debate is the same man who
won the Teamsters presidency-
Jimmy Hoffa. He is supporting the
International Longshoremen Asso-
ciation for Great Lakes ports. The
ILA is an organization expelled by
the AFL in 1953 on charges that it
was dominated by gangsters and
The AFL-CIO, parent of the
Teamsters, is supporting its own
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