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Captain Prevost, closed the correspondence on this head:0 “ United States North-west Boundary Commission, Camp
“ Simiahmoo, 49th parallel, December 2, 1857. “ SIR,- I have the honour to acknowledge the receipt of your letter of the 1st instant. In my previous letters I have distinctly stated that the Canal de Haro, in my opinion, is the channel intended by the treaty, taking it in the most literal sense consistent with its execution, and I have given my reasons therefor. In like manner you have asserted that Rosario Straits is the channel' of the treaty, and given the grounds upon which your opinion is based.
“Finding, however, that we could not agree by confining ourselves to the mere words of the treaty, I laid before you contemporaneous evidence of the highest authority and most undoubted authenticity, in hopes that it would aid in settling the disputed question, and enable us to execute our instructions by carrying the treaty into effect. You did not decline to consider this evidence, but attempted to degrade its character by designating it as mere opinions, and to destroy its force by the production of what you were pleased to call counter evidence. But when you find its facts to be incontrovertible, and the counter evidence entitled to no credit, you again intrench yourself behind the mere words of the treaty, and refuse to
admit any evidence whatever on the subject to weigh with ' you that would lead to an interpretation that the precise terms of the treaty will not admit.'
“I also called your attention to the views of your own Government in 1848, within two years after the conclusion of the treaty, to prove that there was no evidence in existence that Rosario Straits was ever intended as the channel' of the treaty. With such evidence in favour of the Canal de Haro, and against the Rosario Strait, I think I had good reason to expect an acknowledgment on your part that you were mistaken in the views you first entertained.
(1) American State Papers, p. 46.
“ You now say it appears to you that the claim that the Canal de Haro is the channel’ rests entirely on the correspondence of Mr. McLane and the speech of Mr. Benton.' If this be a fair construction of my position in regard to that channel, then the claim for Rosario Straits rests on no foundation whatever, for your opinion, equally with my own, is set aside by such a view of the case. Having shown heretofore that the evidence of Mr. McLane and Mr. Benton proves that the Canal de Haro was originally intended by the British Government, and that the intention remained unchanged, I am not unwilling to let the question rest entirely upon their evidence for the present. When any substantial cotemporaneous counter evidence is produced, it will then be time enough to bring forward more if necessary.
“I do not deem it necessary to enter into any argument to show the fallacy of your inference that if the Canal de Haro be admitted as the channel,' with equal justness it might be argued that the line along the forty-ninth parallel should not strike the water at the forty-ninth parallel, but that it should deflect to Birch's Bay. A glance at Vancouver's chart, or at Wilkes's map of the Oregon Territory, will show why that
arm of the sea' was named by Mr. McLane in giving the substance of the proposition of the British Government, and also why it was not introduced into the treaty.
“ Your remark as to the applicability of the general maxim of Vattel (quoted by me) to the United States, rather than to the British Government, might have some force if the proposition had not emanated from the latter. The language chosen to convey their intention could not be objected to by the former, unless it failed to express that intention clearly. That it was fully understood I have heretofore shown.
“In recognising and admitting the fact that the various channels between the continent and Vancouver's Island are directly or indirectly connected with the Straits of Fuca or Gulf of Georgia, I do not see any conflict with the claim I have made, that the boundary line should be traced through the middle of the Canal de Haro in strict adherence to the terms of the treaty; for, even if according to your proposition all the space referred to should be considered one channel, it would be impossible to run a line through the middle of the said channel' in strict accordance with the terms of the treaty,without coming in contact with islands. But following the precedents in like cases where there are several channels, it would make no difference in the result, for the main channel would have to be adopted, and, consequently, the Canal de Haro would still be the channel of the treaty.
“From the conclusion of your letter it might appear as if I had disappointed a reasonable expectation on your part that I would respond to your proposition for a mutual concession. Considering the powerful evidence I have brought forward to sustain my opinion that the Canal de Haro is the channel, against your opinion alone, unaccompanied by a particle of evidence to sustain it, I am at a loss to understand upon what ground you could have expected me to yield one inch of the line I have claimed, and proved to be the true boundary intended by the treaty. I must candidly confess that I think any proposition with a view to concession on the part of the United States was hardly justifiable under the circumstances.
“ With the highest regard and esteem, I have the honour to be, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
“ARCHIBALD CAMPBELL, 6 Commissioner on the part of the United States for
« determining the North-west Boundary Line. “ Captain James C. Prevost, R.N.,
“ H.B.M. First Commissioner N.W. Boundary.”
The sixth meeting of the Commission was held on the 3rd day of December, 1857, at the camp of the United States North-western Boundary Commission, Simiahmoo Bay, Gulf of Georgia.
Captain Prevost,()) Her Majesty's first Commissioner, stated that he had duly received and atten
(1) American State Papers, p. 49.
tively considered all Mr. Campbell's correspondence upon the subject of “ the channel,” through which the boundary line was to pass according to the treaty, and that he was unable to admit that the Canal de Haro, as claimed by Mr. Campbell, was a channel which would meet the requirements of the treaty, but on the contrary, that he considered the channel now called the Rosario Strait was the only one which would in all points answer to the channel described in the treaty. Such being the case, and Mr. Campbell remaining firm in his opinion as to the Canal de Haro being the channel through which the boundary line should pass, Captain Prevost had proposed that the disagreement should be settled by mutual compromise, which proposition Mr. Campbell declining to entertain, he begged now to submit that the whole matter and correspondence connected with the same should be referred by each to his Government. • Mr. Campbell, United States Commissioner, in reply, stated that he did not concur in the proposal as to the reference of the matter to the respective Governments, but that so far as he was concerned he should report proceedings to his Government, submitting at the same time all the correspondence upon the subject. :
The Commissioners agreed to adjourn until circumstances should render their meeting again necessary; and accordingly the Commission adjourned.
A minute of these proceedings was drawn up and signed by the two Commissioners.
It would appear that the United States Commissioner inferred, from his failure to convince Captain Prevost that the Canal de Haro was the “channel” intended by the treaty, that the last-mentioned officer had been hampered by the instructions issued to him by Her Majesty's Government. In order to satisfy his mind with reference to the conclusion he had drawn, Mr. Campbell wrote, on the day after the last meeting of the Commission, the following letter to Captain Prevost :(1)—
- United States, N.W. Boundary Commission,
“ Camp Simiahmoo, Dec. 4, 1857. " SIR, -At our first official meeting on the 27th day of June last, after examining each other's instructions, it was mutually understood that we were equally invested with full powers for determining the boundary line between the United States and British possessions, from its intersection with the eastern shore of the Gulf of Georgia to the Pacific Ocean. It was upon that understanding that I have since acted in our conferences and correspondence. In our meeting of yesterday, however, it was stated by yourself or secretary that your instructions required you in case of disagreement to propose to refer the matter to our respective Governments. This statement, taken in connection with the whole tenor of your correspondence, and the paper submitted by you at our last meeting, has led me, upon further reflection, to apprehend that you were governed by instructions which virtually, if not
(1) American State Papers, p. 92.