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the angry tempests of the north. The Maritime Provinces which I now address are but the Atlantic frontage of this boundless and prolific region—the wharves upon which its business will be transacted, and beside which its rich argosies are to lie. Nova Scotia is one of these. Will you, then, put your hands unitedly, with order, intelligence, and energy, to this great work? Refuse, and you are recreant to every principle which lies at the base of your country's prosperity and advancement; refuse, and the Deity's hand-writing upon land and sea is to you unintelligible language ; refuse, and Nova Scotia, instead of occupying the foreground as she now does, should have been thrown back at least behind the Rocky Mountains. God has planted your country in the front of this boundless region ; see that you comprehend its destiny and resources; see that you discharge, with energy and elevation of soul, the duties which devolve upon you in virtue of your position.”
Allow me, in conclusion, Mr. Speaker, to thank the House for the kind and attentive hearing given to the discursive observations I have been able on the moment to offer in reply to the speech of my hon. friend.
REPORT of the Speech of Hon. SIR CHARLES TUPPER,
G.C.M.G., C.B., Minister of Finance, and one of Her Majesty's Plenipotentiaries at the Washington Fishery Conference, on the FISHERY TREATY, delivered in the House of Commons of Canada, April 10th, 1888.
SIR CHARLES TUPPER moved the second reading of Bill (No. 65) respecting a certain treaty between Her Majesty and the President of the United States.
He said : Mr. Speaker, in rising to move the second reading of this Bill, I desire to say that if I had not on so many past occasions experienced the kind indulgence of both sides of the House, I should hesitate to undertake, in the present state of my health, bringing forward the very important subject it becomes my duty to lay before the House. I am glad to know, Sir, that the question of the protection of our fisheries, and of the results which have followed the course that was adopted by the Government and Parliament of Canada, has not been a party question. I am glad to know, Sir, that in approaching the very important subject that I am now submitting to the House I can rely on the patriotic consideration of this question by gentlemen on both sides of the House to whom it is thoroughly familiar, and who, on various occasions and in various capacities, have been called on in the past to deal with it. For more than a hundred years this question has been a source of irritation between the Imperial Government of Great Britain, the Government of the United States, and the people and Governments of
British North America. So long ago as 1783 a treaty was made between the Government of Great Britain and the Government of the United States at Paris. Article 3 of that treaty provided :
“ It is agreed that the people of the United States shall continue to enjoy, unmolested, the right to take fish of every kind on the Grand Bank, and on all the other banks of Newfoundland; also in the Gulf of St. Lawrence, and at all other places in the sea where the inhabitants of both countries used at time heretofore to fish; and also, that the inhabitants of the United States shall have the liberty to take fish of every kind on such part of the coast of Newfoundland as British fishermen shall use (but not to dry or cure the same on that island), and also on the coasts, bays, and creeks of all other of His Britannic Majesty's Dominions in America; and that the American fishermen shall have liberty to dry and cure fish in any of the unsettled bays, harbours and creeks of Nova Scotia, Magdalen Islands and Labrador, so long as the same shall remain unsettled; but as soon as the same, or either of them, shall be settled, it shall not be lawful for the said fishermen to cure or dry fish at such settlement, without a previous arrangement for that purpose with the inhabitants, proprietors or possessors of the ground.”
Now, I need not say to the House that the concession made to the people of the United States to enjoy, in common with British subjects, the fisheries of this country, was a treaty of a very extraordinary and abnormal character. I need not remind the House that the Treaty of Ghent, which was made between Great Britain and the United States at the termination of the war of 1812, is found to be entirely silent upon this subject, for the reason that the Government of Great Britain had arrived at the conclusion that it was impossible to permit the continuance of such an unwarranted interference with the rights of the people of British North America as had been enjoyed by the people of the United States under the treaty of 1783. The Government of the United States took the ground
that the treaty was not affected by the war. That position, however, was strongly controverted by Her Majesty's Government, and as the representatives of the United States Government had been instructed not to concede on the question of the fisheries, and the Government of Great Britain were equally inexorable on that point, the only course that could be adopted was to give the question the entire go-by. It therefore found no place in the treaty of 1812. The Government of Great Britain, however, acting on the principle that they had maintained-the principle which has come to be recognised throughout the world, that a war abrogates all treaties, and especially treaties of that character-asserted their rights in these territorial waters of British North America, and proceeded to seize fishermen of the United States for trespassing in these waters. The result of that course was the treaty of 1818, in which this question was again considered by the two Governments, and may I call attention to the terms of the principal article of that treaty, so far as the fisheries are concerned :
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, 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 Ramea 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 Joli, on the southern coast of Labrador, to and through the Straits of Belleisle, and thence northward, indefinitely along the coast, without prejudice, however, to any of the exclusive rights of the Hudson's 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 portion 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 Canada 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."
Now, Sir, that treaty, which was made between the Government of Great Britain and the Government of the United States seventy years ago, has been the cause of constantly recurring irritation and difficulty between the two countries; and I need not remind the House that no portions of Her Majesty's Dominions have been so vitally and deeply interested in that question as those now known as the Dominion of Canada and the Province of Newfoundland. This treaty is very striking in two particulars. It gives the same territorial advantages, but to a very limited extent, over a certain portion of the Island of Newfoundland and what is now known as Canada, to the Government of the United States as were given under the treaty of 1783, and in return-for that unparalleled concession by any Government of one country to another -was secured the formal renunciation on the part of the Government of the United States of the liberty of their fishermen to enter on any other portion of the jurisdictional waters of what was then known as British North America