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by the United States. This violation of the obligations of Peace justified a conviction that the claim derived from purchase had not sufficient validity to sustain the scrutiny of disinterested arbitration.
Such, in the mind of the writer, was the condition of the United States title, at the time the final sanction of Britain was challenged, and obtained at Washington! It had appeared, that having possession by a final act of violence, the interests of the States would be best served by avoiding whatever would call attention to the nature of their occupation. Being, apparently, in secure possession of all they desired, what possible motive could there be to court inquiry and risk the loss of what they had? A conviction was gradually formed; there must be a consciousness of a flaw in the title that might suggest too close a resemblance to an act of piracy, to be at all safe when directed against a nation that has the wILL as well as the power to resent such injury. The Little England of the Free-traders was very different from Imperial Britain surrounded by a group of militant Colonies; South Africa was a revelation, not reckoned on when the British flag was hauled down at the port-ofentry to the Yukon. How far also in respect of the occupation. of Alaska-was the necessity of a friendly England, a restraint that compelled the United States to an unwilling neutrality during the Boer war? a restraint to be got rid of at the first favorable opportunity? How far, in fact, was this opportunity itself, arising as it did out of the Venezuelan incident, a result - purposely led up to-of macinations, by which Britain was led into a false position by the suggestions of a mutual friend?
THE ANGLO-RUSSIAN TREATY.
The impotence of Canada's defence against the Alaskan claims of the United States, appears to have resulted, in the first place, from the failure of Britain to protest against the purchase of these claims, or to prevent the occupation of this territory without sufficient evidence of the right to do so. There can be no pretence that the tender of money, or its acceptance by Russia, can have made a title that Britain was under any obligation to respect. The territory was granted to Russia for certain considerations that applied to Russia alone; had China, Japan, or Abyssinia, been the purchaser, it is almost certain the United States, even without any intention to purchase herself, would have resisted, by force of arms if necessary, any attempt of one or any of these nations to occupy the Alaskan territory; and yet any of them, in many respects, would be a more desirable neighbour for Canada; why then should the United States enjoy a privilege that would have been denied to others? By British neglect to protest against hostile occupation, Canada has been placed under the disadvantage of having to recover, instead of simply to defend her rights. Had Russia been in previous occupation, independently of the consent of Britain, her right, to sell, or of the States to buy, would have been unquestionable, except upon the ground of the obvious unfriendliness of the intention. Here, unfortunately, Britain, as a result of her freetrade dogmas, has deprived herself of the most effective method of giving expression to a sense of international resentment without resorting to the barbaric inhumanity of offensive war. The United States have not been slow to discover, or scrupulous in
using, any means by which this primary and fundamental defect in their title might be either remedied or obscured.
If HISTORY, does not exist, what is easier-if time and the material inducements to action are available, and the United States had both for such a purpose-than to make such history as is in demand? There can be little doubt the purpose to use the negotations with Russia for the repeal of her offensive Ukase, as much to her own and as little to the advantage of Britain as was possible, was one of the considerations in making her own treaty with Russia in advance of Britain. The interest of each nation, that was affected by the pretensions of Russia, to forbid 'the freedom of the ocean, being of a similar character, while the territorial interests of the States were, if at all, scarcely affected; it would appear the interests of both might have been equally served by joint action; the States thought differently, and apparently had no difficulty in concluding a treaty with Russia. was otherwise with Britain, as in addition to an "unjustifiable arrogation of an exclusive jurisdiction over an ocean of unmeasured extent,” were arrogated unjustifiable claims over an unmeasured extent of territory. It is not impossible that the United States, to a certain extent, prompted Russia in this, for though ignored in the treaty that followed, these claims being found in the record have been adopted by Canada, as well as by the States, and accepted by Britain, as having more authority or credibility, than either have given to the treaty which Russia was finally well satisfied to accept.
There is no reason to suppose that any delusion respecting the precise meaning of the Anglo-Russian Treaty, has ever existed in the minds of those who have been responsible for the prosecution of the claims that have been made by the United States. There is too much evidence that the terms of the treaty have been studied with a thoroughness that commands admiration, though--to borrow a term of another trade-with the object of reducing them to a perfect "devil's-dust" of incoherence. They have been the authors, not the victims, of delusions as to
the rights of "immemorial" occupancy by the Russians; and so thoroughly have they, with the assistance of their opponents and fellow-workers, misinterpreted its purpose, that the Tribunal Award has left only a solitary memorial of its past existence. Gladly, no doubt, would the Americans have destroyed this also; except for some regretful consideration of the possibility that the treaty itself is the only indisputable evidence existing, that Russia had any territorial claims whatever upon the continent of North America. How these "expansionists" must have cursed the memory of men, who not satisfied by the proper names that lawyers, apparently, deem the supremely important index of location, should add the, comparatively, unimportant details of latitude, longitude, and compass bearings, that everybody does not understand, and which, lawyers particulary, in this adjudication, have failed to appreciate at their proper value. And yet this particularity, perhaps, has been the only circumstance that, in the case of "the southermost part of the island called Prince of Wales Island, " has prevented the substitution for it of Vancouver Island, and the surrender of the whole Pacific Coast to the United States.
The conditions of the Alaskan Territory, both before and since the treaty with Russia had been made, have been such as to favour pretensions to an extension of the concessions that had been granted to them. As Senator Sumner, in addressing the United States Senate in 1867, said: "Perhaps, no region of equal extent upon the globe, unless we except the interior of Africa, or possibly Greenland, is as little known." During the negotiations for the treaty of 1825, Russia, while admitting that she had no establishments on the southerly portion of the coast, contended that "during the hunting and fishing seasons the coast and the adjacent waters were exploited by the Russian American Company, the only method of occupation these latitudes are capable of." This, is an admission that should dispose of any pretence of such effective occupation by Russia as would justify the assumption of exclusive territorial rights. The Charter of
the East India Company or their trading operations, were never considered to have given them any territorial rights in India; these they acquired from the native inhabitants either by treaty or conquest. The Pacific Coast, allowing for the difference of climatic conditions, was as much in the effective occupation of its native races as was the Indian peninsula. To the time the United States assumed possession, neither Russia or Britain took any measures for the protection of their subjects; missionaries went there at their own risk, their personal safety depending entirely upon the relations they maintained with the natives.
By the Ukase of 1821, Russia strove to exclude any competition or interference with the fur trading that was carried on by her own subjects on the coast and islands of the north Pacific. As far as the freedom of the Ocean is concerned, Britain has the same right to protest as any other nation; it was the possible exclusion of her commerce from the continent or from the islands of North America, and the prejudice to her territorial rights that made this Ukase "an offensive and unjustifiable arrogation of exclusive jurisdiction"; this was the "PRINCIPLE", in respect of which Canning remonstrated. He was willing to negotiate about territorial limits to avoid inflicting upon Russia the " soreness and humiliation," that would result from compelling her to the formal repeal of an arrogation of marine jurisdiction that, possibly, might have more exclusive territorial results than had been anticipated. But, while in any parts of the treaty that have been published in support of the United States claims, there has been nothing to show that soverign rights were conceded to Russia, Canning was careful to introduce, in Art. VI. a clause, the effect of which should render the existing Ukase inoperative, as far as British subjects and territorial rights were affected. was evidently prepared to experience, and ready to oppose any attempt to take advantage of the "voluntary facility" he was offering. It is astonishing, that Canning's letter to this effect should have been published by the writer of a treatise in support of the United States claims, and that the same letter should