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the United States would have a right to enter British waters at all other than under an implied and tacit consent of the sovereign of that country, which could, at any moment, be positively withdrawn consistently with the understood sovereign rights of all nations. The Senate managers therefore think that this definition, measured by the law of nations, is really not much more than a definition measured by the will of the British Government, so far as exclusion or the regulation of conduct in such waters might happen to go.
The next phrase in the House amendment proposed to take the place of the enumerations and descriptions mentioned in the Senate bill purports to provide for cases in which American vessels "are denied the comity of treatment or the reasonable privileges usually accorded between neighboring and friendly nations."
The Senate managers are of opinion that this phrase, so far is it applies to purely fishing vessels, may go beyond the treaty rights of such vessels as measured by the treaty of 1818. Whether the phrase was intended to include treatment and reasonable privileges secured between neighboring and friendly nations by treaty such as exists in respect of British vessels of Her Majesty's dominions in Europe in waters of the United States and American vessels in European British waters does not appear to be at all clear. If it be meant to cover such cases, then the provision would be entirely inapplicable to the case in hand. If it be meant to make the test that of the conduct of neighboring and friendly nations in the absence of a treaty concerning the respective rights of their vessels in the waters of the other, then the cases occurring the last year of the treatment of American vessels in British waters of North America might be considered the standard to which this language would apply, for Great Britain is, in respect of her dominions of North America, a neighboring, and, in a public sense, a friendly nation. But if it were taken in general as applied to the general good neighborhood of nations, the standard would probably vary more or less, whatever country should be resorted to for finding the measurement of administration in regard to foreign vessels.
But, as has been before stated, the House managers, so far as we can understand, do not appear to find fault with the substance or the essential phraseology of the Senate bill.
The irreconcilable point of difference between the managers on the part of the two Houses is the insistence, on the part of the House managers, upon adding to the scope of the Senate bill, and so going beyond it, the further provision that, in case of injurious treatment to our vessels in British North American waters, it shall be within the competence of the President of the United States to absolutely stop intercourse not only by water but by land between the people of the United States and the people of the British territories adjacent, thus absolutely cutting off the continuous movement of railway trains from the British provinces to any part of the United States, and, in effect, reciprocally from the United States to British dominions, either on the northern border of Minnesota, at the river St. Mary, at Port Huron, at Detroit, at Grosse Isle, at Buffalo, at Niagara Falls, at Rouses Point, at Highgate, Franklin, Richford, Troy, Derby, and Norton, on the northern border of Vermont, and on the northern and eastern borders of Maine, at all of which places it is understood there now exist interior railroad lines crossing the boundaries of the two countries--in some cases operated and practically owned by British subjects, and in other cases operated and practically owned by American citizens.
The Senate managers have felt it to be a duty to decline to go to this extent, and have thought it to be clear that the provisions for the protection of American interests set forth in the Senate bill, and in that part of the House amendment applicable to any British violation of the treaty of 1877, are entirely adequate to the peaceful end in view, and that there is no present justification for reposing in the Executive this further enormous power proposed by the House of Representatives in its amendment and insisted upon by the House managers.
It seems clear to the Senate managers, and has not been controverted by the House managers, that the things the President is authorized to do by the Senate bisl in the cases named are none of them in derogation, either directly or indirectly, of any treaty right or of the peaceful business intercourse of nations, but that this Government in these respects is absolutely free to act in the manner proposed without being subject to the imputation that it is either in any way infringing the most liberal interpretation of any treaty or doing any act that nations at peace have not hitherto found themselves from time to time justified in doing, not in a spirit of belligerency, but merely as a matter of countervailing business regulations.
The Senate managers offered to the House managers to add to the Senate bill the provision contained in the House amendment providing that if there should be any violation of article 29 of the treaty of 1871 on the part of Great Britain the President should be authorized reciprocally to withdraw from British subjects the benefits of the same article with certain changes of phraseolgy, which, it is understood, were satisfactory to the House managers.
The Senate managers also expressed their willingness to accede to the third section of the House amendment, although the propriety of its form and substance is open to very considerable question.
The result of the conference, therefore, has been that the House of Representatives, through its managers, not objecting to the Senate bill, but desiring to add a new and enlarged provision to the Senate bill and to adopt measures additional to those mentioned in the Senate bill, and not necessarily dependent thereon, and the Senate managers unwilling to go to that extent, and so disagreeing to the House proposition, decline to make even the provision that has passed the Senate in respect of the subject of the protection of our fishing and other vessels, and to which the House makes no objection so far as it goes, unless the Senate will consent to make further legislative provisions which it believes to be unwise. It would seem needless to say that such a pretension, made by one of two coordinate legislative bodies, is quite untenable.
The essential principle upon which the two Houses have almost universally hitherto acted, and without which no legislation whatever could be accomplished when there was not perfect accord on all points, has been that when either House proposes legislation that is satisfactory to the other so far as it goes, and the other House desires to go further and make affirmative and additional law, if it can not convince its coordinate body that it is desirable to go further, the House proposing the affirmative additional legislation must recede. This principle is vitally important to the independence of each House, and so indispensable to the practical legislation of the country that the Senate managers have felt it to be a paramount duty to refuse to accede to this further House proposition, both as unnecessary and unwise, and as in derogation of the equal rights of the two bodies.
The Senate managers have felt it to be a duty in this important matter to report this state of things at once to the Senate for its information.
GEO. F. EDMUNDS.
626, 739, 742
625, 696,775, 777
860, 861, 863, 864
industry. (See Fisheries.)
waters. (See Waters.)
number of American vessels in 3-mile limit. (See Vessels.)
mackerel. (See Mackerel, and Prices.)
610, 628, 784, 787
Babson, Fitz J. (See Testimony.)
648, 664, 726, 739, 795, 803, 809, 811
633, 648, 664, 726, 731, 746, 820
633, 648, 649, 655, 660, 661,
765, 767, 780,795, 801, 803, 807, 810, 811, 815, 816, 818, 820, 822, 823
633, 634, 648, 664, 709, 726, 739, 795, 803, 806, 811, 822
633, 634, 664, 668, 676
693,836, 844, 846, 852,865, 876, 889