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“Upon your supposition that the Canal de Haro had originally been named in the projet of the treaty, and that the line of boundary through it had been designedly altered, and the wording of the treaty as it now stands substituted to meet the alteration, you found an argument to prove that Rosario Straits was the channel' intended as the substitute for the Canal de Haro as follows :— The channel through which the boundary line was to pass not being designated by name, inasmuch as it had no name on the
I have not the least doubt, used by the British Government at the time, viz., that of Vancouver, where the channel, now called the Rosario Strait, is shown, as in fact it really is, as a continuation of the waters now called the Gulf of Georgia, the whole being named by Vancouver the Gulf of Georgia.'
“It has been acknowledged that the Rosario Straits, in common with the other channels, is a continuation of the Gulf of Georgia, and that the general name of the Gulf of Georgia was given by Vancouver to embrace all the waters between the continent and Vancouver's Island as far south as the Straits of Fuca. But I have shown from his chart that Vancouver did not particularly apply it to the channel called Rosario Straits. If, however, the British Government so understood it, and the Canal de Haro' was dropped from the original projet of the treaty, as you suppose, for the purpose of substituting what was then considered a part of the Gulf of Georgia, it is strange that the Gulf of Georgia' was not inserted instead of the present language, so inapplicable to Rosario Straits. In this argument, if I understand it co rectly, Rosario Straits is claimed as the channel for two very different reasons--one because it had a name, the other because it had no name.
If the Canal de Haro were mentioned in the original projet, and afterwards expunged to give place to a channel without a name, care should have been taken so to describe it that no other channel, either with or without a name, could be found answering to the language of
"In a previous part of this communication I proposed to
show that the intention and understanding of the British and United States Governments in relation to the water boundary remained unchanged from the conference between Lord Aberdeen and Mr. McLane until the complete and final ratification of the treaty by the two Governments. After the
message was prepared and the necessary papers copied at the State Department, the President transmitted them to the Senate on the 10th of June for their advice as to his acceptance or rejection of the projet of the treaty submitted by Mr. Pakenham in his conference with Mr. Buchanan. The motive that induced the President to take the unusual course of asking the previous advice of the Senate arose from the prominent part taken by the Senate in the discussions of the Oregon question, and the importance the British Government attached to the opinions and action of that body, as will have been seen by the extracts from Mr. McLane's letter heretofore quoted. As I am desirous of showing you the exact position the Senate occupied in relation to the negotiation and ratification of the treaty, I must make one more extract from Mr. McLane's letter on that subject :
“ It is not to be disguised (he says) that since the President's annual message and the public discussion that has subsequently taken place in the Senate, it will be difficult, if not impossible, to conduct the negotiation in its future stages, without reference to the opinion of senators, or free from speculation as to the degree of control they may exercise over the result. Whatever, therefore, might be prudent and regular in the ordinary course of things, I think it of the utmost importance upon the present occasion, if the President should think proper to propose any modification of the offer to be made by Mr. Pakenham, that the modification should be understood as possessing the concurrence of the co-ordinate branch of the treaty-making power.'
“ After several days' debate the Senate advised the President “to accept the proposal of the British Government for a convention to settle boundaries, &c., between the United States and Great Britain west of the Rocky or Stony Mountains.'
“ In accordance with that advice the President accepted the proposal, and on the 16th of June laid before the Senate, for their consideration, and with a view to its ratification, the convention concluded and signed by the Secretary of State on the part of the United States, and the envoy extraordinary and minister plenipotentiary of Her Britannic Majesty on the part of Great Britain.'
Upon its receipt a debate ensued, which resulted in a resolution, that the President be requested to communicate to the Senate a copy of all the correspondence which has taken place between this (the United States) Government and that of Great Britain relative to the Oregon treaty, together with the despatches and instructions forwarded to our minister, Mr. McLane, and a full and complete copy of his despatches and communications to this Government on the same subject not heretofore communicated to the Senate.'
“The scope of the resolution exhibits the deep interest manifested by the Senate in every step of the negotiation, and shows clearly that no detail connected therewith was deemed unworthy of their consideration. 66 On the 18th of June the Senate
its constitutional advice and consent to the treaty,' and the President ratified it. On the 22nd Mr. Buchanan transmitted to Mr. McLane at London the treaty ratified by the President and Senate, with o
special power,' authorising him to exchange the ratifications with such person as may be duly empowered for that purpose on the part of the British Government.? The ratifications were exchanged by Mr. McLane and Lord Palmerston.
“From the incipient step taken by Lord Aberdeen, in making the proposition to the United States Government for a settlement of the Oregon question, and through all the subsequent stages in the progress of the treaty to its complete ratification, we look in vain for any evidence that the original proposition communicated to Mr. McLane was ever altered. I have shown that Mr. Buchanan and Mr. Pakenham must have understood it alike.
" The President from whom emanated all the instructions in relation to the negotiation-in transmitting the proposal of the British Government to the Senate for their advice, accompanied it by Mr. McLane's letter furnished for their information and consideration in giving that advice. Therefore there can be no doubt of his understanding of the language of the treaty. It cannot for a moment be supposed that such grave, deliberate, and unusual action would have been taken, without the most perfect understanding on his part of the meaning of the document he laid before them. The letter of Mr. McLane accompanying his message conveyed that meaning.
“ The Senate upon this extraordinary occasion gave their advice to accept the proposition. And upon what did they found their advice ? Upon the words of the projet of the treaty, and the explanation of the same more in detail by Mr. McLane. They believed them to be in perfect harmony. A perusal of Mr. Benton's speech upon the ratification of the treaty will show how exactly he, as one of the co-ordinate branch of the treaty-making power, understood the proposal of the British Government to agree with Mr. McLane's statement of it, when he advised the President to accept it. In that speech he says:
“In my high and responsible character of constitutional adviser to the President, I gave my opinion in favour of accepting the propositions which constitute the treaty, and advised its ratification. The first article is in the
terms which I would have used, and that article constitutes the treaty. With me it is the treaty. The remaining three articles are subordinate and incidental, and only intended to facilitate the execution of the first one. The great question was that of boundary.'
“ The first article being the treaty, in Mr. Benton's opinion, he must have made himself well acquainted with its full meaning. The leading position he occupied on the Oregon question is well known. In expounding the treaty to his colleagues, he describes the boundary line, and designates the Canal de Haro' as the channel' through which the line
is to pass.
He had before him the treaty and the letter of Mr. McLane, and he gives his advice and consent to the ratification of the treaty with a mind clear of doubt,' for he says, ' The great question of the boundary is settled.'
“ The injunction of secrecy was removed from the executive proceedings, correspondence, and documents, relating to Oregon, and they became a portion of the public documents of the Senate. As a documentary history of the negotiation, published to the world, by order of the Senate, upon the conclusion of the treaty, they are entitled to all the credit which is due to undisputed cotemporaneous evidence. Taken in connection with the speech of Mr. Benton, giving fully his views of the meaning of every article of the treaty, it forms a chain of evidence proving conclusively that the line of boundary between the United States and the British possessions, after it deflects from the forty-ninth parallel, was intended by the language of the treaty to run through the middle of the Gulf of Georgia and the Canal de Haro, and thence through the middle of Fuca Straits to the Pacific Ocean.
“ From the foregoing communication you will perceive that I have given the most careful consideration and study to the additional arguments you have advanced, and the evidence you have adduced, to prove Rosario Straits to be a channel which in every respect answers to the language of the treaty ; but I must frankly, though with the most respectful deference to your opinion, acknowledge that they have failed to convince
I have, on the other hand, endeavoured to rebut your arguments against my views in regard to the channel, which I need hardly say have only been strengthened by reflection since my letter to you of the 2nd instant.
“ With the most perfect respect and esteem, I beg to subscribe myself, your most obedient and humble servant,
" ARCHIBALD CAMPBELL, “ Commissioner on the part of the United States for
“determining the North-west Boundary Line. “ James C. Prevost, Esq.,
“ British Commissioner North-west Boundary, &c.”