International Law – Treaties – Inclusion of Purely Domestic Matters in Reservations

In consenting to the ratification of the treaty between the United States and Canada concerning uses of the waters of the Niagara River, the Senate attached a reservation which stated that “no project for redevelopment of the United States’ share of such waters shall be undertaken until it be specifically authorized by Act of Congress.” On the basis of this reservation, the Federal Power Commission denied the application of the Power Authority of the State of New York for a license under the Federal Power Act covering the new flow of water made available under the treaty. On appeal to the Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit, held, order set aside and remanded. The subject covered by the reservation was purely domestic in nature and thus not proper for inclusion in a reservation. Not being a reservation, it was not part of the treaty and did not remove the new flow of water from the jurisdiction of the Federal Power Commission. Power Authority of the State of New York v. Federal Power Commission, (D.C. Cir. 1957) 247 F. (2d) 538, revd. for mootness sub nom. American Public Power Assn. v. Power Authority of the State of New York, (U.S. 1957) 78 S. Ct. 142.