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the basis of this Commission is to be found in Mr. Bayard's letter to me of the 31st May, I do not see how the United States can object to the inclusion of the question under controversy on the Pacific as well as on the Atlantic Coast. Mr. Bayard proposed that there should be “ terms of arrangement for a modus vivendi to meet present emergencies, and also a permanent plan to avoid all future disputes." He also said, “I am prepared therefore to meet the authorised agents of Great Britain at this capital at the earliest possible day and enter upon negotiations for a settlement of all differences." He also said: “I am confident we both seek to attain a just and permanent settlement, and there is but one way to procure it, and that is by a straightforward treatment on a liberal and statesmanlike plan of the entire commercial relations of the two countries.”
In these circumstances I do not see how the United States can refuse to embrace a consideration of the question in which we complain of the seizure of our vessels in the Behring Sea, as well as a consideration of questions connected with the fisheries on the Atlantic coast. It appears to me to be very desirable that, as stated by Mr. Bayard, the reference should be wide enough to cover all the questions of controversy between the United States and Canada.
As suggested by you, I have in the foregoing reduced to writing the substance of my remarks in the interview with which you favoured me this morning.-Believe me, etc.
(Signed) CHARLES TUPPER.
Foreign Office, October, 1887. Instructions to Her Majesty's Plenipotentiaries
at the Fishery Conference. Treaty No. 1. GENTLEMEN,—The Queen has been graciously pleased to appoint you to be Her Majesty's plenipotentiaries to consider and adjust all or any questions relating to the rights of fishery in the seas adjacent to British North America and Newfoundland which are in dispute between the Government of Her Britannic Majesty and that of the U.S.A., and any other question which may arise and which the respective plenipotentiaries may be authorised by their Governments to consider and adjust.
I transmit to you herewith Her Majesty's full power to that effect, and I have to give the following instructions for your guidance.
The main question which you will be called upon to discuss arises in connection with the fisheries prosecuted by the citizens of the United States on the Atlantic shores of British North America and Newfoundland. The correspondence which has already been placed at your disposal will have made you familiar with the historical features of the case up to the conclusion of the Treaty of Washington, and it appears therefore needless at the present moment to recapitulate the various negotiations which have taken place on the subject of these fisheries previously to the year 1871.
I transmit to you herewith a copy of the Treaty of Washington of the 8th May, 1871, from which you will perceive that by the Fishery Articles thereof (Articles 18 to 25, 30, 32, and 33) the Canadian and Newfoundland inshore fisheries on the Atlantic coast and those of the United States, north of the
39th Parallel of north latitude, were thrown reciprocally open, and fish and fish oil were reciprocally admitted duty free.
In accordance with the terms of these Articles the difference in value between the concessions therein made by Great Britain to the United States was assessed by the Halifax Commission at the sum of $5,500,000 for a period of twelve years, the obligatory term for the duration of these Articles.
At the expiration of the stipulated period the United States' Government gave notice of the termination of the Fishery Articles, which consequently ceased to have effect on the ist of July, 1885 ; but the Canadian Government being loath to subject the American fishermen to the hardship of a change in the midst of a fishing season, consented to allow them gratuitously to continue to fish inshore and to obtain supplies without reference to any restrictions contained in the Convention of 1818 till the end of the year 1885, on the understanding that a Mixed Commission should be appointed to settle the Fisheries Question and to negotiate for the development and extension of the trade between the United States and British North America.
The proposed Commission not having been constituted, and no settlement having consequently been arrived at, the Convention of the 20th October, 1818, came into force again at the commencement of the year 1886. Article I. of that Convention is as follows:
“ Whereas differences have arisen respecting the liberty claimed by the United States,
for the inhabitants thereof to take, dry, and cure fish on certain coasts, bays, harbours, and creeks of His Britannic Majesty's dominions in America, it is agreed between the High Contracting Parties that the inhabitants of the said United States shall have, for ever, in common with the subjects of His Britannic Majesty, the liberty to take fish of every kind, on that part of the southern coast of Newfoundland, which extends from Cape Ray to the Rameau Islands, on the western and northern coast of Newfoundland, from the said Cape Ray to the Quirpon Islands, on the shores of the Magdalen Islands, and also on the coasts, bays, harbours, and creeks, from Mount Joly on the southern coast of Labrador, to and through the Straits of Belle Isle, and thence northwardly indefinitely along the coast, without prejudice, however, to any of the exclusive rights of the Hudson Bay Company : and that the American fishermen shall also have liberty, for ever, to dry and cure fish in any of the unsettled bays, harbours, and creeks of the southern part of the coast of Newfoundland hereabove described, and of the coast of Labrador; but so soon as the same, or any portion thereof, shall be settled, it shall not be lawful for the said fishermen to dry or cure fish at such portions so settled, without previous agreement for such purpose, with the inhabitants, proprietors, or possessors of the ground.
“. And the United States hereby renounce for ever any liberty heretofore enjoyed or claimed by the inhabitants thereof, to take,
dry, or cure fish, on or within three marine miles, of any of the coasts, bays, creeks, or harbours of His Britannic Majesty's dominions in America, not included within the above mentioned limits; provided, however, that the American fishermen shall be admitted to enter such bays or harbours, for the purpose of shelter and of repairing damages therein, of purchasing wood, and of obtaining water, and for no other purpose whatever. But they shall be under such restrictions as may be necessary to prevent their taking, drying, or curing fish therein, or in any other manner whatever abusing the privileges hereby reserved to them.”
Under these circumstances, numerous seizures of American fishing vessels have subsequently been effected by the Canadian authorities for infraction of the terms of the Convention and of their municipal law and customs regulations.
The enclosed confidential correspondence will place you in full possession of the various points which have consequently arisen in diplomatic correspondence between the two Governments, and I do not desire to enter upon them in detail in the present instructions, nor to prescribe any particular mode of treating them, it being the wish of Her Majesty's Government that a full and frank discussion of the issue involved may lead to an amicable settlement in such manner as may seem most expedient, and having due regard to the interests and wishes of the British Colonies concerned.
Her Majesty's Government feel confident that the discussions on this behalf will be conducted in