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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

the protocol on this part of the negotiations, which I understand was published to prevent the persistent repetition of these misrepresentations, now knows how unfounded they were. The attempt was made to prejudice the case of this country, by mis-stating its position. It was announced by the New York and Washington correspondents of London newspapers, that the Commissioners of the United States desired arbitration, and that the Canadian members of the Commission stood in the way. This mis-statement was, for a time, daily repeated. It was published in the English and Canadian newspapers, as well as in those of the United States. The attitude of the respective parties was carefully concealed, and the impression sought to be made, and for a time not without success, that the demands of the Canadian Commissioners were most unreasonable. It was not until the protocols upon the subject were published in England, and in this country, that the public became aware of the gross injustice that was being done us. When the publication was made, it was seen that we were willing either to arbitrate or to compromise. Our representatives had offered to accept a compromise which would permit us to retain so much of the disputed country as would afford us a means of access to our own possession in the interior. Our geographical position is such, that the disputed territory is of immensely greater consequence to us, than to you.

It is well to bear in mind that two controversies have arisen between you and us in respect to the possessions which you acquired from Russia upon our northwestern border. In one, you claimed that that part of the Pacific Ocean known in recent years as Behring Sea, and which borders upon the Aleutian

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

vessels were confiscated. The men on board were imprisoned, and when they were discharged, it was far away from home, and without the means necessary to enable them to return. We felt that the action of your Government was a violent encroachment upon the municipal rights of Canadians, that were wrongfully subjected to your authority. It was a violation of these settled principles of International Law for which, on many occasions, the United States had conspicuously contended. It was also at variance with the contention of the United States, in her controversy with Russia, between 1821 and 1824, in respect to an exclusive sovereignty, over the same waters. The contention of your Government, we thought wholly untenable. We thought the principles of Public Law applicable to the case, were too clear to admit of controversy. I do not know of any foreign jurist who took your side. Yet unreasonable as were thought your pretensions, they went to arbitration. Erroneous as we thought the doctrine set up by Mr. Blaine and others to be, we did not refuse to arbitrate. The question went to an International Tribunal that was certainly not biassed in our favour, and our contention, in that matter, was upheld. Why, then, should the Government of the United States, in this second branch of the controversy, hesitate to refer the question, since we cannot agree to compromise, to a tribunal of like character?

It may be that the Government of the United States has persuaded itself that our position is untenable; that the boundary line ought not to be placed where we say, that under the Convention of St. Petersburg, it should be drawn. But the United States, like ourselves, is an interested party, and its Government ought not, either wholly, or in part,

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