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was shared by the Government–by the Senate, by the House of Representatives. It was accepted by the great body of the people; and the Press and the people of the United States, almost without exception, came to that conclusion, without a particle of ground to justify it, that Canada was enforcing a most harsh, ungenerous, and unwarrantable construction of the terms of the treaty of 1818, for the purpose of forcing reciprocal trade relations upon the United States. Hon. gentlemen opposite know that this became a universal sentiment in that country. One can understand the mass of the people in the United States sharing such an impression. People said, and at the outset it seems a reasonable proposition : Why is it that the fishermen of the United States of America cannot obtain the same consideration in a Canadian port that a Canadian fisherman obtains in the United States ports ? Well, Sir, the answer is obvious. The American Government renounced the right to enter our waters, as England and Canada never did renounce the right to enter the waters of the United States of America. The United States, in consideration of certain territorial rights over a portion of our country, in a part of Newfoundland and Labrador, and the Magdalen Islands, and in consideration of containing such territorial rights as I believe are unparalleled in the world in any other country, renounced for ever the right of their fishing vessels of any kind whatever to come into the jurisdictional waters of Canada or British North America, as it was then called, except for specified purposes, and then under such terms and conditions as would prevent them abusing the exceptional privileges which the treaty allowed. This is obvious, but you cannot make the mass of the people understand it, and it is astonishing how many men of standing and position in the United States seem never to have grasped the fact that the fishermen of the United States occupy an entirely different position in the waters of Canada from that which the fishermen of Canada occupy in the waters of the United States. This

was not done by any act of the Government of this country, but one can see, Sir, how easy it is that the mass of the people, not understanding those terms, not understanding the character of this treaty, and not understanding the obligations which the Government of the United States had taken in regard to this question, should be misled. Then, Sir, another difficulty arose, and that was with reference to the rights that those fishing vessels should enjoy when in our waters. It was claimed by the Government of the United States, in 1818, that as no commercial vessel could come into the waters of British North America from the United States, that there was no intercourse, that those were privileges given to the fishing vessels by that treaty beyond anything that was enjoyed by any other class of vessels. And when a changed condition of things came about, when the commercial arrangement of 1830 had, as they contended, entirely changed the status of their fishing vessels in our waters-since, as they said, under that commercial arrangement it was provided that their trading vessels could enter freely the ports of British North America and our trading vessels could enter their ports--as there was no exemption or exclusion of fishing vessels, they claimed that rights had been acquired by the fishing vessels that entirely took them out of the category of the treaty of 1818, under which they were restricted from going into our waters for any but the four purposes. I think, Sir, that that contention, upon examination, proves to be entirely unfounded. I do not think it would be possible for any constitutional lawyer to maintain that proposition for a single moment. The arrangement of 1830 was a commercial arrangement, founded upon an Act of Congress, on the one side authorising the Government of the United States whenever the King in Council would admit United States vessels to the Bermudas, the Caicos, and the British West Indies; that whenever the King in Council would, by proclamation, admit their vessels to these ports, they would admit our vessels in the same way to theirs. It was,

therefore, a bilateral arrangement, entered into and based upon an Act of Congress, on proclamation made by the President, and upon the Order in Council made by the King. Now, Sir, the treaty is a superior instrument to that Order in Council, and that Order in Council is silent as to fishing vessels. The treaty solemnly declared that the people of the United States renounced for ever the right to claim for a fishing vessel any such commercial privileges whatever. And under those circumstances it is a principle in law, constitutional as well as general law, and I believe accepted by all countries, that you cannot repeal and change and alter a specific provision. The general terms as to vessels in the commercial arrangement had been subsequently provided as to such specific provision. The general terms as to vessels in the commercial arrangement of 1830 and the absence of any reference to fishing vessels, left fishing vessels in exactly the same position as they were before. But, Sir, that was not the only ground. It was also claimed that in the Washington Treaty of 1871, to which my right hon. friend was a party, there was a bonding clause, and that this bonding clause provided that the United States vessels were authorised to tranship their cargoes in bond in the same way that Canadian vessels were allowed to tranship their cargoes in bond through the United States. But again, Sir, not only was there no reference made to fishing vessels being relieved from the renunciations of the Government of the United States under the treaty of 1818, but there was the fact -as hon. gentlemen opposite, many of whom watched this matter at Halifax, well know—that when this question was raised and the representative of Canada said: “You are enjoying privileges here in the transhipment of fish under the treaty, and you are enjoying the advantage of buying bait and supplies of all kinds for your fishermen under this treaty, and you must consider what is due to the Government of Canada for those privileges which you enjoy ”. I say, Sir, there was the fact that Mr. Foster, acting as

the Agent of the Government of the United States, moved a resolution declaring that under the Washington Treaty, the Government of the United States had no such right and no such privilege to tranship a cargo of fish or buy bait or supplies of any kind whatever. Although during the Reciprocity Treaty of 1854 it had been freely permitted by the Government of Canada during the twelve years that treaty was in force, they declared that under clause 29 of the Washington Treaty, as it stands there to-day, and under which this right is claimed, that they had no such privileges before the fishery clause was removed from that treaty, as it was by its abrogation. Therefore I say that when this matter comes to be examined, the House will see the position we occupy; the House will also see the difficult position we were in, with the public mind of the United States inflamed by a misapprehension on this question. When we had the Government and Congress of the United States acting as one man in relation to this question, it will be at once appreciated how difficult and how serious this matter had become. Although we were not giving an ungenerous or an extreme interpretation to the treaty at all, but were simply doing that which my hon. friend opposite found it necessary to do, as did his successor, that is, to defend the just rights of the fishermen of Canada-and no Government would be worthy of the name who would shrink for a single moment from that duty-the result was that because we took this action the sentiment of public men in the United States became inflamed, and instead of thinking of anything like increased freedom of commercial intercourse or of anything that was calculated to be of advantage or benefit to the two countries, they had recourse to the passage of what was called a “Retaliatory Act.” It was not a Retaliatory Act, but it was a Non-intercourse Act, based upon an entire misapprehension of the position of the two countries and of the question in relation to them. And as I said a year ago when standing here, it was an Act that

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