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theless, to operate on the conduct of that Government with equal force at the present period.

If this be a correct view of the matter, it remains for the American Government to prove its title to the intervention of Great Britain, by showing how that title is to be reconciled with the dis-qualification resulting from its own anterior engagements with France, engagements to which Great Britain is no party, and the very basis of which was, in truth, hostility to her power.

But there is another case to be provided for. The claim of France to take fish on the western coast of Newfoundland may turn out to be exclusive with respect to Great Britain as well as to the United States. As to how far it may be just and necessary for Great Britain to admit, or possible for France to make good such a pretension, in virtue of treaties, I must take the liberty of referring you to the report, No. 7, addressed to you on the 15th. ultimo by Mr. Huskisson and myself. Whatever information we were able to collect on this branch of the subject is substantially contained in that statement.—

In the event of the supposed claim being either at once admitted, or fairly substantiated in such manner as to exclude the British no less than the American fishermen from the limits assigned to France it is not improbable that His Majesty's Ministers may feel themselves bound in equity to allow the Americans an equivalent in some other quarter, unless they can prevail on France to waive her extreme right and to consent to their participating henceforward in the west-coast fisheries of Newfoundland. It is not to be imagined that the British plenipotentiaries in framing the convention of 1818, could have meant to concede, in return for concessions made by America, a privilege already made over in toto to another 113 Power, even to the exclusive exclusion of British subjects; though it is not impossible, that the clause relating to the western coast of Newfoundland may have been inserted with a knowledge of the French claim, and intended only to have an eventual and contingent effect.—

Supposing that doubts were entertained by His Majesty's Ministers as to the real character of the French title, notwithstanding the conviction of its limited nature expressed by the American envoy at Paris, you might perhaps think it advisable, sir, for the readier satisfaction of all parties, to communicate on the subject directly with the French Govt. But if, on the contrary, it be determined, according to the known merits of the case, to reject the exclusive claim of France, as obligatory on the British Govt, the American Minister may be entitled to expect that such determination should be made known to him.

On either supposition the rights and dignity of His Majesty's Crown would seem to require that no French officer should be allowed to exercise authority over the citizens of the United States while engaged, under treaty with Great Britain in fishing within the limits of His Majesty's exclusive jurisdiction, as Sovereign of the Island of Newfoundland.

Recurring, however, to the correspondence between Viscount Chateaubriand and Mr. Gallatin, it still remains to be seen whether it be the intention of the French Government to maintain an exclusive claim against Great Britain as well as against the United States; and while this uncertainty prevails, and the fisheries in question are

practically open to British subjects, His Majesty's Govt. may not feel themselves called upon to originate a discussion on the subject with France, but deem it sufficient, in the first instance, to issue such orders to the authorities at Newfoundland, as may secure a proper degree of protection to the American, in common with the British fishermen, within the limits of His Majesty's peculiar jurisdiction.

You will probably be of opinion that the conflicting claims of France and the United States, however to be regretted as sources of disagreement between two Powers in friendship with His Majesty, can only be decided between the parties themselves.

I have &c.



No. 60.-1825, January 3: Letter from Mr. Addington (British Minister at Washington) to Mr. G. Canning. No. 7.

WASHINGTON 3d January 1825.

SIR, Thinking it might be agreeable to His Majesty's Government to be made acquainted with the determination of that of the United States on the subject of the further prosecution of the negotiations entered upon last year between the two countries, I ascertained, a few days since, from the American Secretary of State, that there was no intention on the part of the President to pursue those negotiations any further for the present.-That magistrate would be too much occupied, Mr. Adams said, during the remainder of his term in winding up his public administration: besides which Mr. Rush was on the eve of returning to his own country, nor would a successor be appointed to him by the present President.

The negotiations might therefore be considered as suspended for the present.

I have the honour to be with the highest respect, Sir,
Your most obedient humble servant,

The Right Honble GEORGE CANNING,
&c &c &c


No. 61.-1830, October 6: Circular of the United States' Treasury Department to the Collectors of the Customs.

TREASURY DEPARTMENT, 6th October 1830.

SIR, You will perceive, by the proclamation of the President, herewith transmitted, that, from and after the date thereof, the Act, entitled, "An Act concerning Navigation," passed on the 18th of April, 1818; an Act, supplementary thereto, passed the 15th of May, 1820; and an Act entitled "An Act to regulate the Commercial Intercourse between the United States and certain British Ports," passed on the 1st of March 1823; are absolutely repealed; and the ports of the United States are opened to British vessels and their cargoes, arriving from the ports of the British colonial possessions in the West Indies, on the continent of South America, the Bahama Islands, the

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Caicos, and the Bermuda or Somer Islands; also from the islands, provinces, or colonies, of Great Britain, on or near the North American continent, and north or east of the United States. By virtue of the authority of this proclamation, and in conformity with the arrangement made between the United States and Great Britain, 114 and under the sanction of the President, you are instructed to admit to entry such vessels, being laden with the productions of Great Britain, or her said colonies, subject to the same duties of tonnage and impost, and other charges, as are levied on the vessels of the United States, or their cargoes, arriving from the said British colonies. You will also grant clearances to British vessels, for the several ports of the aforesaid colonial possessions of Great Britain, such vessels being laden with such articles as may be exported from the United States in vessels of the United States. And British vessels, coming from the said British colonial possessions, may also be cleared for foreign ports and places, other than those in the said British colonial possessions, being laden with such articles as may be exported from the United States in vessels of the United States. I have, &c.


The Collectors of the Customs.

No. 62-1832, July 27: Extract from Dispatch from Lord Goderich to Sir Thomas Cochrane, Governor of Newfoundland, with instructions in connection with the Establishment for the first time of a Legislative Assembly.

DOWNING-STREET, 27 July 1832.

SIR, I have the honour herewith to transmit to you His Majesty's Commission under the Great Seal, appointing you Governor of the Island of Newfoundland, together with your General Instructions under the Royal Sign Manual, referred to in that Commission.

As this is the first occasion on which provision has been made for convening of a Legislative Assembly for the Island of Newfoundland, the importance of that measure requires that I should not limit myself to the merely formal duty of placing you in possession of these instruments, but that I should shortly explain the grounds and the nature of the policy by which His Majesty's councils on this subject have been directed.

It were superfluous at the present day to enquire into the wisdom of that system which was pursued for so many years towards the ancient colony under your government, the fundamental principle of which was to prevent the colonisation of the island, and to render this kingdom the domicile of all persons engaged in the Newfoundland fisheries. The common interest or convenience of those persons virtually defeated the restrictions of the various statutes respecting them, long before Parliament admitted the necessity of repealing those laws. A colony gradually settled itself along the shores of the island, and has of late years assumed a rank of no inconsiderable importance amongst the foreign possessions of the British Crown; but notwithstanding the growing population and the wealth of Newfoundland, no plan has hitherto been adopted for regulating such

of the internal affairs of the colonists as demanded the enactment of laws specially adapted to their peculiar situation. Parliament, indeed, contemplated the erection of corporate towns, with the power of making bye-laws, for remedying this inconvenience; but on attempting to carry this design into effect, unforeseen obstacles were encountered. It was found altogether impracticable to reconcile the contradictory wishes and recommendations of the parties who would have been more immediately affected by the measure; and it became evident that the boon which it was proposed to confer would be received by a great body of the inhabitants, not as an act of grace, but as an infringement of their rights, into whatever form the intended charters might have been thrown. The consequence was, that His Majesty became practically unable to execute the trust which Parliament had confided to him.

The necessity of some provision for regulating the internal concerns of Newfoundland by enactments adapted to the peculiarities of their local position became however daily more and more evident. Carrying with them from this kingdom the law of England, as the only code by which the rights and duties of the people in their relations to each other, and in their relation to the State, could be ascertained, it was obvious, as soon as the colony began to assume a settled form, that the adaptation of that code to the various exigencies of the local society was a task demanding the exercise of much reflection and caution; that many of its provisions were entirely inapplicable to the wants of a population so peculiarly situated; and that many more could be applied only by a distant and uncertain approach to the original standard. Hence it occurred that, in the administration of the law, the judges virtually assumed to themselves functions rather legislative than judicial; and undertook to determine not so much what the law actually was, as what, in the conditions of Newfoundland, it ought to be. For this assumption of power no censure attaches to those learned persons; without any positive rule of decision, nothing remained for them but to engage in such an enquiry; yet the practical inconvenience was not the less urgent, nor the anomaly the less glaring.

It was not, however, merely in the absence of rules, which this latitude of judicial interpretation might supply, that the public detriment was sustained. There were still wanting other regulations, which no judge could either invent or enforce. Especially in whatever related to police and internal improvements, demanding the cocperation of different persons, nothing could be carried into effect, which any individual found an adequate reason for opposing, or which he opposed from mere caprice. I find that in a matter so trifling in appearance, and yet affecting the comforts of so many, as the prevention of domestic animals wandering at large through the country, an earnest application was made to His Majesty's Government to obtain an Act of Parliament for the redress of the grievance endured by the colonists. Although it was thought improper to encumber the British statute-book with such provisions, yet it was fully admitted that they could be supplied by no other authority; and the application itself forcibly illustrated the inconvenience of so remote a society being destitute of any local Legislature.


It may seem, however, superfluous to accumulate reasons in proof of the propriety of establishing in Newfoundland that form of constitution which generally prevails throughout the British Transatlantic colonies; the difficulty would consist rather in finding valid arguments for withholding it * * *

I have, &c.

&c &c &c



No. 63.-1836, January 21: Circular Instructions from United States Treasury Department to Officers of the Customs residing in Collection Districts where Vessels are Licensed for Employment in the Fisheries of the United States.

TREASURY DEPARTMENT, January 21, 1836.

Representations have been made to our Government through the chargé d'affaires of His Britannic Majesty, of encroachments by the American fishermen upon the fishing-grounds secured exclusively to British fishermen by the convention between the United States and Great Britain, bearing date the 20th day of October, 1818.

The President, being desirous of avoiding any just cause of dissatisfaction on the part of the British Government on this subject, and with a view of preventing the injury which might result to the American fishermen from trespassing upon the acknowleded British fishing-grounds, directs that you will inform the masters, owners, and others employed in the fisheries in your district, of the foregoing complaints; and that they be enjoined to observe strictly the limits assigned for taking, drying, and curing fish, by the fishermen of the United States, under the convention before stated.

In order that persons engaged in the fisheries may be furnished with the necessary information, the first article of the convention, containing the provisions upon this subject, is annexed to this circular. LEVI WOODBURY,

Secretary of the Treasury.

To the Collector of

P. S. The collectors of Portland, Penobscot, Bath, Boston, Portsmouth, Gloucester and Newport are directed to publish these instructions twice a week for one month in each of the newspapers published at their respective ports, and charge the expenses as incidental to the collection of the revenue.

No. 64.-1838, June 13: Letter from Mr. Denis Le Marchant (Secretary of Board of Trade) to Mr. J. Backhouse (Under Secretary of State).

OFFICE OF COMMITTEE OF PRIVY COUNCIL FOR TRADE Whitehall 13th. June 1838. SIR, I have laid before the Lords of the Committee of Privy Council for Trade, your letter of the 4th. December last, with its accom

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