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In reply I am directed to inform you that the governor and committee have determined to accept your offer, and it is hereby accepted accordingly on the same terms as at present.
Information will be sent forthwith to the board of management of the Hudson's Bay Company at Victoria of your present offer and of its acceptance by the governor and committee.
Extract from minutes of bourd, May 22, 1866, when letter of Russian-American Company,
May 4/16, 1866, referred to governor and deputy governor. Read a letter from the Russian-American Company, dated St. Petersburg, May 4/16, 1866, which was referred to the governor and deputy governor.
Extract from minutes of board, May 29, 1866, that extended lease for one year more.
The governor and deputy governor reported that the lease of the Russian-American territory had been renewed for one year more at the former terms-which was approved.
Letior May 24, 1806, by T. Fraser, secretary of the Iludson's Bay Company, to the Russian
American Company, accepting renewal of lease till June, 1867.
I am directed by the governor and committee to acknowledge the receipt of your letter of the 4/16 May, and in reply to inform you that they accept your offer to continue the lease of the Stikine territory for one year from the termination of the present lease-namely, till June, 1867.
The board of management at Victoria will be informed by next post that the lease is renewed.
Extract from a letter, January 25th, 1867, the same to the same, offering to renew the lease
for three years from June, 1867,
In my letter of 24 May, 1866, I informed you that the Hudson's Bay Company accepted the offer conveyed in your letter of the 4/16 of that month to continue the lease of the Stikine territory for one year from the termination of the lease-namely, till June, 1867.
It appears to the governor and committee of this company that the uncertainty as to whether their tenure of the territory is to be continued beyond that period or to be brought to a close is inconvenient to both companies, and that it is desirable that the tenure should be prt upon a more distinct footing.
They desire me therefore to state that if agreeable to you they are willing to continue the lease of the territory for the three years from the termination of the present lease-namely, from June, 1867—-on the present terms, it being understood that either party is at liberty to terminate the lease upon the expiry of that period on giving twelve months' notice to the other.
Letter from Admiral Tebennofi April 28, May 20, 1867, to Hudson's Bay Company
notifying the company of the cession of Russian American to the United Sates, and of the inability of the Russian America Company to carry out its conditional agreement of 1/13 February, 1867, and requesting that the term of the lease be considered as ending with the date of the actual transmission of Russian America.
RUSSIAN AMERICAN COMPANY,
THE BOARD OF DIRECTORS,
St. Petersburg, 28 April-20 May, 1867. The governor and committee of the Hudson's Bay Company.
GENTLEMEN: In consequence of a just received official advise stating the cession of the Russian territory in America by the Imperial Government to the Government of the United States of America, the conditional agreement contained in our respects of the 1/13 February last, for the renewal of the lease of the Stackine territory cannot be sanctioned by our Government, and therefore we beg respectfully to request that the term of the above lease be considered expired on the day of the actual transmission of our colonies, which we presume will be effected in the course of this year, and you will oblige us by giving proper instructions thereupon to your board of management on the NW. coast of America. On our part we have forwarded such instructions to our colonial authorities. We have the honor to be, gentlemen, your obedient servants,
Extract from minutes of board of Hudson's Bay Company, May 21, 1867, where letter,
April 18-10 May, 1867, from Russian American Company is read and ordered that they be informed that lease must terminate May 31.
Read a letter from the Russian American Company, dated St. Petersburg, April 18– 10 May, 1867.
Ordered that they be informed that the occupation of the Stikine country by this company, and their liability under the lease must cease on 31 May.
Extract froin letter from W. G. Smith, secretary, May 22, 1867, to board of Russian
American ('ompany, terminating the lease on Vay 31, 1867.
I have the honor to acknowlege the receipt of your letter of April 28, May 10, addressed to the governor and committee of the Hudson's Bay Company announcing that, in consequence of an official intimation by the Imperial Government of the cession of the Russian territory in America to the Government of the United States, the conditional agreement made with this company in February last, for the renewal of the lease of the Stikine territory for three years from 31 May, 1867, cannot be sanctioned by the Russian Government, and, therefore, you request that the lease may be considered at an end on the day of the actual transfer of your colonies.
In reply I am directed to inform you that the Hudson's Bay Company, under the circumstances, cannot extend their occupation of the territory, and consequent liability for rent, beyond 31 May current, when the lease expires by agreement, and I have given the necessary instructions to that effect to the company's board of management at Victoria, Vancouver's Island. [Inserted in the margin:] As to request numbered 5.
There is no absolute evidence as to what the certain information and suggestions referred to in letter Canning to Bagot, June 20th, 1824, are, but it is believed that it refers to the letter printed immediately above, Appendix to British case, page 65, in the form of a letter from Mr. Pelley, to Mr. Secretary Canning. The Faden map referred to in this letter has not been found, although diligent search has been made for it. The only Faden maps of the period that can be found are reproduced pages 10 and 11, British Atlas Appendix, Vol. II. [Inserted in the margin:) As to request numbered 6.
The tracing of the Admiralty chart asked for is not in the possession of the British agent. The records do not show that any copy of it was kept. [Inserted in the margin:] As to request numbered 7.
The tracing of Begbie's sketch is reproduced upon page 215 of the Appendix to the British case, Vol. I. Begbie's sketch was transmitted by Mr. Justice Crease to the minister of justice, as shown by the report of the minister of justice, paragraph 44, page 212, Appendix to British case, Vol. I. A certified copy of it was prepared by Dennis, surveyor-general, for the minister of justice, and is reproduced, as stated above, page 215. (Inserted in the margin:) As to request numbered 8.
Letter copied above.
Sir M. H. Herbert to Mr. Ilay.
Newport, June 18, 1903. DEAR MR. SECRETARY: I have received your note of the 16th instant in regard to the refusal to the British agent of an extension of time for the delivery of the Alaska counter cases, and have telegraphed its substance to my Government.
In this note I notice the following sentence: “You will remember that during the negotiation of the treaty organizing the present tribunal, when you asked for a longer period than two months each for the preparation of the case and counter case, I explained to you the President's wish that if the boundary was to be submitted to adjudication it should be concluded within the time indicated by me, you accepted those conditions, and the treaty was signed.”
It is true that I took exception to the short time allotted for the preparation of the cases and counter cases, but I have no recollection of accepting any condition specifying the time within which the adjudication was to be concluded. All I understood you to say at the time was that there was no need to prolong the periods which you had suggested for the preparation of the cases and counter cases owing to the fact that the evidence on which each party relied was already in the possession of the two Governments, and that there was nothing to be done except to put it into shape. But, assuming that I am wrong, any arrangement such as you indicate would necessarily have been modified by Article II of the treaty, which confers the right on both parties to ask for an extension of time.
Your note also states that I asked in March for an extension of time for the preparation of the case and counter case. I certainly supported the request of the British agent for an extension of time for the case in a conversation with Mr. Loomis, during your absence from Washington, but I did not ask on that occasion for a prolongation of the period allotted by the treaty for the preparation of the counter case. Believe me, dear Mr. Secretary, yours, very truly,
MICHAEL H. HERBERT.
Mr. Hay to Sir M. II. Herbert.
DEPARTMENT OF STATE,
Washington, June 22, 1903. MY DEAR MR. AMBASSADOR: I have your letter of the 18th of June, acknowledging receipt of mine of the 16th, and calling attention to certain points in which our recollections of conversations seem not exactly to agree. I take note of your corrections, which do not seem in any essential point to affect the action of the two Governments in the case, and am, my dear Sir Michael, Very sincerely, yours,
Mr. Chvate to Mr. Ilay. No. 1141.]
London, June 23, 1903. SIR: I have the honor to report that upon the receipt of your cablegram of the 16th instant, stating what had passed between yourself and Sir Michael Herbert in respect to proposed delay in the service of the British counter case before the Alaska Boundary Commission, I had an interview with Sir Robert Finlay, the attorney-general, and urged upon him the grave necessity on the part of our commissioners and counsel of avoiding any unnecessary delay in the various proceedings provided for by the treaty, especially in the service of the counter case and the commencement of the oral argument. I appealed to him to let no considerations of personal convenience stand in the way of a prompt hearing of the case at the time clearly intended by the treaty, and explained to him fully the important engagements at home resting upon our commissioners and counsel which would compel their prompt return to the United States, at any rate, by the end of October. I sent you a cable telegram about this interview on June 19, of which I annex a copy. On the same day I followed up the interview with a personal letter to Sir Robert, of which I annex a copy, and on the 19th June I received in reply from him a letter, of which I annex a copy, which seems to promise a more prompt compliance with the understanding of the treaty, as to time, than we had feared. Doubtless General Foster will communicate with Mr. Sifton, at Ottawa, as suggested by the attorney-general as the best way of expediting matters. I annex cablegram sent you on receipt of Sir Robert's letter. I have honor to be, sir, your obedient servant,
JOSEPH H. CHOATE.
LONDON, June 19, 1903. Have seen attorney-general, who holds out hopes of serving counter case July 3. Am laboring to induce him to begin oral argument September 10. Would you approve of September 20 as a compromise? He thinks oral argument ought not to be very long. This would give thirty days for the argument and ten for decision, thereby releasing our people by the end of October.
Mr. Choate to Sir Robert Finlay.
AMERICAN EMBASSY, London, June 19, 1903. DEAR SIR ROBERT: I do sincerely hope that you will let me cable to Washington that your counter case will be ready on the day fixed in the treaty.
As to oral argument, besides the urgent necessity which rests upon our commissioners to return early to the United States, as I explained to you, you will not forget that the counsel on our side are not only giving up a large part of their vacation in coming over to attend the opening of the tribunal, and arguing the case in September, as the treaty clearly intends, but all the time they are detained here after that is taken out of their court work at home, as our legal vacation ends with the first Monday of October. They very reasonably consider that a week after the service of the printed arguments on September 3 will be ample time for the preparation of the oral argument, at any rate to begin them. So when they insist, as they do, that the oral argument shall begin on September 10, you will already have had a full month's vacation after the adjournment of Parliament, and in that respect will be better off than they are.
May I not, therefore, hope that you will consent that the oral argument begin on the 10th of September. Otherwise it will be left wholly uncertain and must be determined by the tribunal when it meets on September 3. Yours, most sincerely,
JOSEPH H. CHOATE. [Inclosure 3.] Sir Robert Finlay to Mr. Choate.
House of COMMONS, June 19, 1903. MY DEAR MR. CHOATE: Our counter case is in course of preparation, and we believe that it will be delivered here on the 3d of July, the day fixed by the treaty. This counter cage, however, will be necessarily incomplete, owing to the fact that we have not yet had inspection of documents which we consider of great importance, and there will not be time to have embodied in the counter case the results of any inspection which may take place in America before the 3d of July. We shall have to accompany the delivery of the counter case with a statement that owing to this circumstance it is necessarily incomplete and may have to be supplemented in some form.
Inspection is, of course, a matter of right, and my colleagues inform me that we are asking only for what is reasonable and necessary in the way of documents.
I am writing in the absence of Mr. Sifton, who is now on his way to America-he will be at Ottawa by the 25th instant.
As regards the date of meeting, I am quite sensible of the force of what your excellency says as to the convenience of the American commissioners, and I can assure you that no question of personal convenience on our side will be allowed to stand in the way of having the case heard at the earliest date possible. But it is essential that the case should be ready for hearing, and, after full consultation with my col. leagues, I much regret that it is impossible for me at present to undertake that the oral argument should commence on the 10th of September. We may possibly have the materials ready by that date, but it is probable that more time will be wanted. There is not only the question of documents, but inquiries have been directed in America as to various matters of fact alleged in case of the United States. Till we know something of the results we are not in a position to fix a date definitely. All I can say is that every effort will be made to have the hearing at as early a date as possible, and to meet in every way possible the convenience of the commissioners of the United States.
I very much wish I could give a more definite answer, but I feel that at present it is impossible for me to do so without grave risk of imperiling the proper presentation of the case for Canada.
Probably the best way of expediting matters would be that communications should be opened direct with Mr. Sifton at Ottawa. Believe me, yours, very sincerely,
R. B. FINLAY. [Inclosure 4.] Mr. Choate to Mr. Hay.
[Cablegram.] No. 46.]
LONDON, June 22, 1903. Attorney-general writes me that he believes British counter case will be delivered here on July 3, but incomplete and accompanied by statement that owing to inability to embody in it results of inspection of documents it will have to be supplemented in some form. Can not undertake at present that oral argument shall commence 10th September. May possibly have materials ready by that date, but probably more time will be required. Is making inquiries in America as to various facts alleged in our case, but he promises to make every effort to have hearing at as early a date as possible and that no question of personal convenience on their side shall stand in the way. Sifton is now on the way to America, and will reach Ottawa 25th. Attorney-general suggests the best way of expediting matters would be to communicate direct with Sifton at Ottawa.