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consented to alter the system of notices to meet our views, but said that he would further consider the proposal as to the two dollars. The duke then got me to go to the Colonial Office and prepare a strong but condensed letter for him to send to Lord Stanley. I called to-day to learn what had been done. The duke has gone to Osborne to tell the Queen the news just (received) from Australia of the attempt to assassinate the Duke of Edinburgh. Mr. Elliot tells me that the question is not yet decided, and that my letters to the duke have been sent to Lord Stanley.
I had a two hours' visit yesterday from Mr. Smith, M.P.P., the ablest lawyer on the Anti side in the N.S. House. He is coming to see me again. I think he will take a patriotic view. I have not seen Howe since his return. He has been housed with sore eyes, and I do not like his colleagues to have any suspicion that we are too intimate. I have every reason to think that all will be right.
I am very glad you abandoned the Currency Bill; do anything you can to strengthen my hands. I had a long and most satisfactory interview with Mr. Cardwell, who will give his best aid in every way. He thinks he will get Bright to see me which, he says, will do much good. Mr. Chesson, the editor of the Star, wrote me for an interview, and I spent two hours with him and his colleagues yesterday. He told me in confidence that he had engaged to write an article on Confederation for the Examiner, and I have given him the points. You and all your colleagues, as also Lord Monck, will be gratified to know that the Queen has conferred a baronetcy upon Mr. Cartier and a C.B.
upon Mr. Langevin. Mr. Cartier's Bill gives much satisfaction here. I had the melancholy pleasure of receiving a letter from poor McGee, written a few hours before his untimely end. He asked me to sell a novel, Cyrus O'Neill,” to Hurst and Blackett. If Mrs. McGee would send me the MSS. I think I could do something. I hope Parliament will provide handsomely for his family.—Ever yours,
C. TUPPER. SIR J. A. MACDONALD, K.C.B.
Copy of letter to the Colonial Minister on the Fishery question :
Westminster Palace Hotel,
April 20th, 1868. MY LORD DUKE, I learned through Mr. Elliot on Saturday evening last that the Minister of Foreign Affairs is unwilling to concur in any change in the system of notices required by the regulations of 1867 to trespassers in British American waters, or to sanction the imposition of a licence fee upon American fishermen exceeding one dollar a ton. The interests involved are of such magnitude, and the consequences likely to result from such a decision are, in my judgment, so serious as to warrant me in again trespassing upon your Grace's attention.
With upwards of 20,000 of the population of the Dominion of Canada engaged in the prosecution of the fisheries, and an annual take of fish to the value of nearly a million of pounds sterling, the intrinsic worth of these fisheries is entitled to careful consideration, and as a nursery for hardy
British seamen warrants the protection of a great country mainly dependent upon its naval supremacy for the high position which it holds.
The right of Great Britain to the exclusive possession of the inshore fisheries is now undisputed.
The Colonial Minister in 1852 said, in a despatch,“ Her Majesty's Ministers are desirous to remove all grounds of complaint on the part of the colonies in consequence of the encroachments of the fishing vessels of the United States upon those waters from which they are excluded by the terms of the Convention of 1818, and they therefore intend to dispatch a small naval force of steamers or other vessels to enforce the obseryance of that Convention." This vindication of the rights of the Crown and protection of the interests of Her Majesty's subjects in British America was speedily followed by the successful negotiation of a Reciprocity Treaty between the United States and the British North American provinces, which not only set at rest all differences between them, but was also productive of great mutual commercial advantage.
In 1866 the Government of the United States, notwithstanding the earnest remonstrances of the Imperial Government and the colonies, abrogated the treaty and imposed enormous duties upon the products of the colonies which had, under the treaty, been admitted free.
Her Majesty's Government under (as I humbly conceive) the mistaken impression that large concessions would promote the renewal of the treaty, urged upon the Governments of the provinces the
policy of not excluding American fishermen from the privileges which their own Government had voluntarily surrendered. The Government of Canada was induced to consent to license American fishermen, but in the following guarded terms, as will be seen by reference to the Minute of Council, dated Montreal, March 23rd, 1866: “ The system of licence will continue for the current year; but it is proposed to notify the fishermen in all cases that it will not be renewed for the future, being only adopted from a desire to avoid exposing them to unexpected loss, their arrangements having been made, before the expiry of the treaty, for this season's fishing."
Her Majesty's Secretary of State for the Colonies adopted the policy thus expressed in the following terms, contained in a despatch to Lord Monck, dated April 21st, 1866 : “I recognise in the Minute, with much pleasure, the moderation and forbearance shown by the Canadian Government. The suggestion that American fishermen should be allowed to fish during the current year in all provincial waters upon payment of a moderate licence fee, meets with the full approval of Her Majesty's Government.”
The Government of Nova Scotia was very averse to the adoption of this policy, but concurred upon receiving the following assurance from the Colonial Minister, contained in a despatch to the Lieutenant-Governor of Nova Scotia, dated May 26th, 1866: “Her Majesty's Government trusts that, on further consideration, and when the Executive Council are informed that there are reasonable grounds for hoping that before next season per
manent arrangements may be made with the Government of the United States, they will feel themselves at liberty to withdraw their objections to a temporary arrangement for the year which has received the cordial approval of Her Majesty's Government.”
The British Minister at Washington was requested by a Minute of the Canadian Council, dated June 18th, 1866, to communicate to the Government of the United States “that the tonnage duty of fifty cents per ton now imposed has been adopted for this year only, and is not by any means to be regarded by Canada as being equivalent for the right of fishing in her waters.”
A year ago, when the Governments of Canada, Nova Scotia and New Brunswick were in a state of transition owing to the passage of the Act, which came into operation July ist, uniting those provinces, the licence system was continued as before in Canada and New Brunswick, while in Nova Scotia the licence fee was raised to one dollar per ton. By reference to my letter of the gth instant your Grace will see that the number of licences issued fell from 365 in 1866 to 269 in 1867, representing a tonnage of 19,355 tons in the former year and 13,929 tons in the latter.
I may also remark that although Canada employed a cruiser for the purpose of protecting the fisheries, under the restrictions imposed by the Imperial Government she was practically useless, and not a single licence was taken, except in Nova Scotia, during 1867. It must be obvious, therefore, that the policy of the Foreign Minister, if adopted, will be considered by the Government and fishermen of