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made in the House of Commons by the leader of the Conservative party (Sir Charles Tupper), it was stated by some Washington correspondents of the New York and Philadelphia press, that it was very hard to explain his misinformation, and that I seemed to be still more ignorant than Sir Charles Tupper. The natural inference from this kind of criticism is that every opinion at variance with the contentions which have been put forward in your country, and which for the most part meets with favour in your press, is quite undeserving of serious consideration. The impression made upon my mind is that vehement assertions and frequent repetitions, are to supersede careful investigation of the facts and the legitimate conclusions to be drawn from them.
This Alaskan Boundary Dispute was discussed by the Joint Commission of the two countries. conclusion, it seems, was reached. The proceedings were secret. It was stated that the Commissioners had referred the question to their respective governments. This was all that, for some time, was disclosed to the public; but no sooner was the statement bruited abroad that the matter was being discussed by Lord Salisbury and Mr. Choate, than telegraphic despatches were sent from Washington to the New York journals, and thence to the London newspapers, in which the Canadian members of the Commission, and the Canadian Government, were described as men who were ill-informed, obstinate, greedy, refusing to agree to an arbitration in respect of the disputed boundary without first obtaining from the United States Commissioners or Government, a cession of territory, to which they could, in eason, make no claim. and which undoubtedly elonged to your country. Every one who has read
Islands which Russia ceded to you, along with her possessions upon this continent, was a part of your acquisition, and so the fur-bearing seals found in its waters were your exclusive property. Sometimes you contended that it was a mare clausum; sometimes you said this was not your contention, but you claimed to exercise upon the high seas, in time of peace, rights which belong to a state only in time of war, and you contended that people, in the pursuit of a legitimate vocation upon the high seas, were guilty of a crime only a little less atrocious than piracy; and so the killing of seals in the Pacific Ocean, by Canadian seal hunters, was claimed to be the destruction of wild animals that were the property of the United States.
We find it difficult to understand how any public man could have persuaded himself that there was any merit in this contention. The Municipal Law of the United States can have no force outside of the territories of the Republic, except upon board a ship sailing under the United States flag. The courts of the United States have held that a man standing on board a United States ship, and shooting a man in a boat at the Society Islands, was not amenable to the laws of the United States, as the murder which he committed was beyond the jurisdiction of the Republic. I dare say that this was, in strict law, a proper decision; but how, then, could a Canadian on board a Canadian vessel, under the British flag, upon the high seas, be amenable to the Municipal Law of the United States? Your government assumed that they were. It authorized the seizure of Canadian vessels upon the high seas, under the authority of your Municipal Law, to which they owed no subjection, and where International Law alone prevails. These