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a remedy fully adequate to the alleged evil-are proceede adgainst as if engaged in the most undoubted infractions of municipal law or the law of nations; captured and sent into port, their crews deprived of their clothing and personal effects, and the vessels subjected to a mode of procedure in the courts which amounts in many cases to confiscation; and this is done to settle the construction of a treaty.
A course so violent and unnecessarily harsh would be regarded by any government as a just cause of complaint against any other with whom it might differ in the construction of a national compact. But when it is considered that these are the acts of a provincial government, with whom that of the United States has and can have no intercourse, and that they continue and are repeated while the United States and Great Britain, the only parties to the treaty the purport of whose provisions is called in question, are amicably discussing the matter, with every wish, on both sides, to bring it to a reasonable settlement, Lord Aberdeen will perceive that it becomes a subject of complaint of the most serious kind.
As such, the undersigned is instructed again to bring it to Lord Aberdeen's notice, and to express the confident hope that such measures of redress as the urgency of the case requires will, at the instance of his lordship, be promptly resorted to.
The undersigned avails himself of this opportunity to renew to the Earl of Aberdeen the assurance of his distinguished consideration.
The EARL OF ABERDEEN, &C., &c., &c.
Mr. Everett to Mr. Calhoun.
LONDON, November 4, 1844.
SIR: With my despatch No. 187, of the 9th of October, I transmitted a copy of a note of the same date, addressed by me to Lord Aberdeen, on the subject of an American fishing vessel, the Argus, captured off the coast of Cape Breton by a provincial cruiser.
I received on the 19th inst, and of course too late for transmission by the Halifax steamer, which sailed that day from Liverpool, the accompanying note from Lord Aberdeen, informing ine that my communication had been referred to the Colonial Department for investigation, and that I should hear again from him as soon as the result of the inquiry should be made known to him.
I am, sir, with great respect, your obedient servant,
JOHN C. CALHOUN, Esq.,
Lord Aberdeen to Mr. Everett.
FOREIGN OFFICE, October 18, 1844.
The undersigned, her Majesty's Principal Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs, has the honor to acknowledge the receipt of the note dated the 9th
instant, from Mr. Everett, Envoy Extraordinary and Minister Plenipotentiary of the United States of America, bringing forward the complaint of the master of the American schooner Argus against the seizure of his vessel off the Cape Breton coast by one of her Majesty's colonial cruisers.
The undersigned has lost no time in referring Mr. Everett's letter to her Majesty's Principal Secretary of State for the colonies, with a request that an inquiry may be instituted into this affair; and the undersigned will again have the honor of communicating with Mr. Everett upon this subject as soon as the result of the inquiry shall have been made known to the undersigned.
The undersigned avails himself of this opportunity to renew to Mr. Everett the assurance of his high consideration.
EDWARD EVERETT, Esq.
Mr. Everett to Mr. Calhoun.
LONDON, March 25, 1845.
SIR: You are aware that the construction of the first article of the convention between Great Britain and the United States, of 1818, relative to the right of fishing in the waters of the Anglo-American dependencies, has long been in discussion between the two governments. Instructions on this subject were several times addressed by Mr. Forsyth to my predecessor, particularly in a despatch of the 20th of February, 1841,,which formed the basis of an able and elaborate note from Mr. Stevenson to Lord Palmerston, of the 27th of the following month. Mr. Stevenson's representations were acknowledged, and referred by the Colonial Office to the provincial government of Nova Scotia; but no other answer was returned to them.
The exclusion of American fishermen from the waters of the Bay of Fundy was the most prominent of the grievances complained of on behalf of the United States. Having received instructions from the department in reference to the seizure of the "Washington" of Newburyport, for fishing in the Bay of Fundy, I represented the case to Lord Aberdeen in a note of the 10th of August, 1843. An answer was received to this note on the 15th of April following, in which Lord Aberdeen confined himself to stating that by the terms of the convention the citizens of the United States were not allowed to fish within three miles of any bay upon the coast of the British American colonies, and could not, therefore, be permitted to pursue their avocation within the Bay of Fundy. I replied to this note on the 25th of May following, and endeavored to show that it was the spirit and design of the first article of the convention of 1818 to reserve to the people of the United States the right of fishing within three miles of the coast. Some remarks on the state of the controversy at that time will be found in my despatch, No. 130, of the 26th of May last.
On the 9th of October last, in obedience to your instructions, No. 105, I addressed a note to Lord, Aberdeen in reference to the case of the "Argus' of Portland, which was captured while fishing on St. Anne's bank, off the northeastern coast of Cape Breton. The papers relative to this case left
the precise grounds of the seizure of the "Argus" in some uncertainty. It was, however, sufficiently apparent that they were, to some extent at least, similar to those for which the "Washington" had been captured.
I received a few days since, and herewith transmit a note from Lord Aberdeen, containing the satisfactory intelligence that after a reconsideration of the subject, although the Queen's government adhere to the construction of the convention which they have always maintained, they have still come to the determination of relaxing from it, so far as to allow American fishermen to pursue their avocations in the Bay of Fundy.
I thought it proper, in replying to Lord Aberdeen's note, to recognise in ample terms the liberal spirit evinced by her Majesty's government, in relaxing from what they consider their right. At the same time I felt myself bound to say that the United States could not accept as a mere favor what they had always claimed as a matter of right, secured by the treaty.
Lord Aberdeen to Mr. Everett.
FOREIGN OFFICE, March 10, 1845.
The undersigned, her Majesty's principal Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs, duly referred to the Colonial Department the note which Mr. Everett, Envoy Extraordinary and Minister Plenipotentiary of the United States of America, did him the honor to address to him on the 25th of May last, respecting the case of the "Washington," fishing vessel, and on the general question of the right of United States fishermen to pursue their calling in the Bay of Fundy; and having shortly since received the answer of that department, the undersigned is now enabled to make a reply to Mr. Everett's communication, which he trusts will be found satisfactory.
In acquitting himself of this duty, the undersigned will not think it necessary to enter into a lengthened argument in reply to the observations which have at different times been submitted to her Majesty's government by Mr. Stevenson and Mr. Everett, on the subject of the right of fishing in the Bay of Fundy, as claimed in behalf of the United States' citizens. The undersigned will confine himself to stating that after the most deliberate reconsideration of the subject, and with every desire to do full justice to the United States, and to view the claims put forward on behalf of United States' citizens in the most favorable light, her Majesty's government are nevertheless still constrained to deny the right of United States' citizens, under the treaty of 1818, to fish in that part of the Bay of Fundy which, from its geographical position, may properly be considered as included within the British possessions.
Her Majesty's government must still maintain, and in this view they are fortified by high legal authority, that the Bay of Fundy is rightfully claimed by Great Britain as a bay within the meaning of the treaty of 1818. And they equally maintain the position which was laid down in the note of the undersigned, dated the 15th of April last, that, with regard to the other bays on the British American coasts, no United States' fisherman has, under that convention, the right to fish within three miles of the entrance of such bays as designated by a line drawn from headland to headland at that en
But while her Majesty's government still feel themselves bound to maintain these positions as a matter of right, they are nevertheless not insensible to the advantages which would accrue to both countries from a relaxation of the exercise of that right; to the United States as conferring a material benefit on their fishing trade; and to Great Britain and the United States, conjointly and equally, by the removal of a fertile source of disagreement between them.
Her Majesty's government are also anxious, at the same time that they uphold the just claims of the British crown, to evince by every reasonable concesssion their desire to act liberally and amicably towards the United States.
The undersigned has accordingly much pleasure in announcing to Mr. Everett, the determination to which her Majesty's government have come to relax in favor of the United States fishermen, that right which Great Britain has hitherto exercised, of excluding those fishermen from the British portion of the Bay of Fundy, and they are prepared to direct their colonial authorities to a low henceforward the United States fishermen to pursue their avocations in any part of the Bay of Fundy, provided they do not approach, except in the cases specified in the treaty of 1818, within three miles of the entrance of any bay on the coast of Nova Scotia or New Brunswick.
In thus communicating to Mr. Everett the liberal intentions of her Majesty's government, the undersigned desires to call Mr. Everett's attention to the fact that the produce of the labor of the British colonial fishermen is at the present moment excluded by prohibitory duties on the part of the United States from the markets of that country; and the undersigned would submit to Mr. Everett that the moment at which the British government are making a liberal concession to United States' trade, might well be deemed favorable for a counter concession on the part of the United States to British trade, by the reduction of the duties which operate so prejudicially to the interests of the British colonial fishermen.
The undersigned has the honor to renew to Mr. Everett, the assurances of his high consideration.
Mr. Everett to Lord Aberdeen.
GROSVENOR PLACE, March 25, 1845.
The undersigned, envoy extraordinary and minister plenipotentiary of the United States of America, has the honor to acknowledge the receipt of a note of the 10th instant from the Earl of Aberdeen, her Majesty's principal Secretary of State for foreign affairs, in reply to the communica tion of the undersigned of the 15th of May last, on the case of the "Washington," and the construction given by the government of the United States to the convention of 1818, relative to the right of fishing on the coasts of Nova Scotia and New Brunswick.
Lord Aberdeen acquaints the undersigned, that, after the most deliberate reconsideration of the subject, and with every desire to do full justice
to the United States and to view the claims put forward on behalf of their citizens in the most favorable light, her Majesty's government are nevertheless still constrained to deny the right of citizens of the United States, under the treaty of 1818, to fish in that part of the Bay of Fundy which from its geographical position may properly be considered as included within the British possessions; and also to maintain that, with regard to the other bays on the British American coasts, no United States fisherman has, under that convention, the right to fish within three miles of the entrance of such bay, as designated by a line drawn from headland to headland at that entrance.
Lord Aberdeen, however, informs the undersigned that, although continuing to maintain these positions as a matter of right, her Majesty's government are not insensible to the advantages which might accrue to both countries from a relaxation in its exercise; that they are anxious, while upholding the just claims of the British crown, to evince by every reasonable concession their desire to act liberally and amicably towards the United States; and that her Majesty's government have accordingly come to the determination" to relax in favor of the United States fishermen the right which Great Britain has hitherto exercised of excluding those fishermen from the British portion of the Bay of Fundy, and are prepared to direct their colonial authorities to allow, henceforward, the United States fishermen to pursue their avocations in any part of the Bay of Fundy, provided they do not approach, except in the cases specified in the treaty of 1818, within three miles of the entrance of any bay on the coast of Nova Scotia or New Brunswick."
The undersigned receives with great satisfaction this communication from Lord Aberdeen, which promises the permanent removal of a fruitful cause of disagreement between the two countries, in reference to a valuable por-. tion of the fisheries in question. The government of the United States, the undersigned is persuaded, will duly appreciate the friendly motives which have led to the determination on the part of her Majesty's government announced in Lord Aberdeen's note, and which he doubts not will have the natural effect of acts of liberality between powerful states, of producing benefits to both parties, beyond any immediate interest which may be favorably affected.
While he desires, however, without reserve, to express his sense of the amicable disposition evinced by her Majesty's government on this occasion in relaxing in favor of the United States the exercise of what, after deliberate reconsideration, fortified by high legal authority, is deemed an unquestioned right of her Majesty's government, the undersigned would be unfaithful to his duty did he omit to remark to Lord Aberdeen that no arguments have at any time been adduced to shake the confidence of the govermaent of the United States in their own construction of the treaty. While they have ever been prepared to admit, that in the letter of one expression of that instrument there is some reason for claiming a right to exclude United States fishermen from the Bay of Fundy, (it being difficult to deny to that arm of the sea the name of "bay," which long geographical usage has assigned to it.) they have ever strenuously maintained that it is only on their own construction of the entire article that its known design in reference to the regulation of the fisheries admits of being carried into effeet.