TO DAM THE ST. LAWRENCE.
The water of the St. Lawrence river will be compelled to subserve the interests of the power companies, if a measure of wide scope and conveying sweeping powers to the company to be incorporated under it passes into law at Albany. The bill, which has been introduced into the senate of New York State by Senator O’Neill and into the assembly by Assemblyman Merritt, incorporates the Long Sault Development company and permits it to dam the St. Lawrence river and construct locks, canals and powerhouses to develop power from the waters of that river and “to improve the navigation.” It authorises the commissioner of the land office to grant to the company such lands under water as may be necessary for that work, on payment of a reasonable compensation. The bill provides that this company shall have a perpetual existence. It may erect and maintain dams, canals, reservoirs, gates, sluices, bulkheads, piers, flumes, abutments, and whatever other appurtenances may be necessary to develop waterpower and generate electrical power, on. or adjacent to the south shore of the St. Lawrence, near Long Sault or Barnhart’s island, or on either island, and between them and the shores of the river and Shiek’s island, but not across the international lmundary. . These works may be operated in connection with similar works now erected, or to be erected on the Canadian side. The bill also authorises the maintenance of bridges across the river, with the right to charge tolls on them. These rights are granted on the express condition that the corporation shall erect a lock or locks as re qttired by the United States and provide free of charge electricity to operate them. The bill is only another instance of the influence exercised by “power grab” companies and is almost as broad as the charter of the Genesee River company. which got the worst of it when it came into prominence the other day, in connection with the fight over Letchworth park. It is maintained that the general policy outlined by Governor Hughes in his message in regard to waterpower development should render the passage of this measure impossible through its unwisdom.