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ment have always urged that any satisfactory settlement of those claims must be accompanied by a simultaneous settlement of the claims of British subjects arising out of the civil war, and provision was made for this purpose in the Claims Convention." His Lordship suggested the establishment of a mixed commission to adjudicate upon these claims; and especially recommended to notice “a claim on the part of the people of the Dominion of Canada for losses of life and property, and expenditure, occasioned by the filibustering raids on the Canadian frontier, carried on from the territory of the United States in the years 1866 and 1870." Thus instructed, the British Commissioners, on the 26th April, after previous unsuccessful attempts to be heard on the subject, announced “ that they were instructed to present these claims (those in regard to the Fenian raids), and to state that they were regarded by Her Majesty's Government as coming within the class of subjects indicated by Sir Edward Thornton in his letter of January 26, as subjects for the consideration of the Joint High Commission.” The American Commissioners replied “ that they were instructed to say that the Government of the United States did not regard these claims as coming within the class of subjects referred to;" that they were “without any authority to consider them,” and “therefore declined to do so." Upon this the British Commissioners referred home for instructions, in conformity with which they, on the 3rd May, expressed “the regret” of the British Govern
ment that the American Commissioners “without authority” in this matter, and " inquired whether that was still the case.” The American Commissioners declined to "vary the reply formerly given to this proposal," and the British Commissioners thereupon incontinently stated “that under these circumstances they would not urge further" in the matter, "and that they had the less difficulty in doing so [query not doing so ?], as a portion of the claims were of a constructive and inferential character;" words which, not very intelligible in
, themselves, would seem to imply an admission on the part of the British Government that they had put forward a claim, which in their own minds they knew to be in great part weak and untenable. But whatever our opinion of the disingenuous and undignified conduct of the Ministry in this affair, what are we to consider of the statement volunteered by Mr. Montague Bernard, the Professor of International Law, at Oxford, and one of the High Commissioners from this country, in the course of a lecture recently delivered before a large audience in the above-mentioned University, which shows that he was diametrically opposed to the instructions under which he acted in that capacity ? “I think otherwise, however," said this learned gentleman, “because I long ago formed an opinion, that although these attacks on the people of a friendly State were such as amply to justify grave remonstrance and complaint, and although, according to the conception of international liabilities contended for by the United States, they might have supported a claim for pecuniary compensation, they would scarcely, as the correspondence stood, support such a claim according to the sounder principles maintained by Great Britain." “This, however," he adds, and we are grateful for the admission, “is my private and individual opinion only." We will not stop to inquire of this eminent jurist what he considers would be the importance of being amply justified in making “grave remonstrance and complaint ” against the United States, if we were not also justified in seeking redress, pecuniary or other, for the wrong committed. We will simply state, that according to the acknowledged principles of international law, a state is bound to take measures to prevent its territories from being made the base of hostile operations against its neighbours; and that, although the Fenian raids against Canada were not in the nature of belligerency, the United States, in this case, were equally bound to adopt measures of police to prevent the outrage. However, these claims were, by a shameful pusillanimity, abandoned ; and, accordingly, in compliance with the imperious resolve of the American Commissioners, when a mixed Commission was appointed by the Treaty to adjudicate upon British claims, it was provided that its operations should apply only to claims arising between the dates of the 13th April, 1861, and the 9th April, 1865, by which all account of the Fenian raids was effectually excluded.
Another class of claims put forward on behalf of British subjects was that on account of what were called the “Cotton Bonds," being bonds issued on security of cotton to be grown in the Confederate Provinces, and intended to be forwarded for sale to this country. The circumstances attending the presentation of these claims, and what took place in regard to them, are somewhat curious ; and we believe we have the facts from an authentic source. It appears that after the signing of the Treaty, Mr. Morgan, the Chairman of the Committee of the bolders of the bonds in question, wrote to Lord Granville, asking whether they were included, as for claim, under the provisions of the Treaty. He received a reply, simply referring him to the Treaty, upon which he made renewed application, stating that his object was to obtain the opinion of the Foreign Office on the subject. In the result of some further correspondence, Mr. Morgan was told to send the claims to Mr. Howard, the agent of the Government, at Washington, who laid them before the Commission.
On the 9th November General Schenck, the American Minister in London, received a telegram from Mr. Fish instructing him to obtain an immediate interview with Lord Granville, and demand the withdrawal of these claims, as being both unconstitutional in their nature, and indirect. Lord Granville being at Walmer, indisposed, referred the Minister to Lord Ripon, with whom he had three or four interviews, but from whom he did not succeed in obtaining a decided answer; and on the 15th December these claims were presented, and adjudicated upon by the Commission at Washington, in an adverse sense. It is said that the United States
Government looked upon this proceeding as additional argument in support of their right to have their indirect claims laid before the Tribunal of Arbitration, in spite of the remonstrances of the British Government. But it is obvious that the two cases do not coincide in essential particulars; the matters referred to the Geneva Arbitration being, however clumsily so, defined, whilst those referred to the mixed Commission were general.
THE FISHERIES—THE NAVIGATION OF THE RIVER
ST. LAWRENCE, ETC. THESE two questions it is convenient to consider together.
In regard to the matter of the Fisheries it is necessary to go back a little to the history of previous transactions. By a convention between the two Governments, dated Oct. 20, 1818, after naming certain districts in Newfoundland, and the coast of Labrador where there was to be a common right of fishing, till, and in respect of, any part being settled, it was stipulated that the United States “ renounced for ever any liberty heretofore enjoyed or claimed by the inhabitants thereof, to take, dry, or cure fish, in or within three marine miles of any of the coasts, bays, creeks, or harbours of His British Majesty's dominion not included within the above mentioned limits,” provided, however, that the American fishermen “shall be at liberty to enter such bays or harbours for the purpose of shelter, and of repairing damages therein, of purchasing wood and of obtaining water, and for no