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has no recollection whatever that any other channel was designated in the discussions than that described in the language of the treaty. Surely there is nothing in this testimony which supports the statement of Lord John Russell, that the Channel of Vancouver was the channel intended by the treaty; but, on the contrary, another and entirely different channel is suggested as that which the convention requires. After these statements of Lord Aberdeen and Sir Richard Pakenham, the Rosario Channel can no longer, it seems to me, be placed in competition with the Canal de Haro. Whether the latter is the true channel or not in the opinion of the British negotiation, it is quite certain, by the concurrent testimony of both the American and British negotiators, that the former channel is
In respect, moreover, to the Canal de Haro, the other considerations to which I have referred appear to me to quite outweigh the mere want of recollection of Lord Aberdeen and Sir Richard Pakenham, or their general impression at this time as to what is required by the literal language of the treaty. In this connection there is one allusion in Sir Richard Pakenham's memorandum to which I think it right to call your special attention. It is the reference which he makes to his final instructions from Lord Aberdeen, dated May 18th, 1846, and describing the boundary line which he was authorised to propose to Mr. Buchanan. These instructions were shown by Lord Napier to Mr. Campbell, and, according to his clear recollection, the description quoted by Sir Richard Pakenham was followed in the despatch by these words: “Thus giving to Great Britain the whole of Vancouver's Island and its harbours.' This places beyond controversy the object which was intended by deflecting the treaty boundary south of the parallel of 49°, and ought to have great weight, undoubtedly, in determining the true channel from the point of deflection to the Straits of Fuca.
“During the discussion of the subject by the Joint Commissioners, some critical objections, I am aware, were made by Captain Prevost to the adoption of the Canal de Haro as the treaty channel; but these were so fully answered by Mr.
Campbell, whose whole argument, indeed, is marked both by ability and research, that I do not think it necessary now to review them. One of them, which distinguished between the separation of the continent from the island and that of the island from the continent, has been set at rest by the testimony of the British negotiators, in favour of a middle channel of the straits, and in exclusion of the channel nearest to the continent. Even were this otherwise, I confess my inability to attach importance to the distinction upon which Captain Prevost thought it his duty to dwell at some length. Where a separation of two objects from each other is to be described, it seems to me quite immaterial which of them is placed first in the words of the description.
“Another of these objections, which were discussed by the Commissioners, has been thought worthy of a place in the despatch of Lord John Russell. "If the boundary line, his lordship contends, 'had been intended to pass through the Haro Channel, the treaty must have been otherwise worded. The Haro Channel could not have been regarded or described as a portion of the channel commencing with the Gulf of Georgia, for it is neither the channel discovered by Vancouver, nor is it in regard to its general configuration a continuation in a southerly direction of the Gulf of Georgia.' It is a sufficient answer to this objection that there is nothing said in the treaty either of the Gulf of Georgia or of the Straits of Vancouver, and that the objection, therefore, assumes the whole question in dispute. Undoubtedly there were many inaccuracies upon the maps of that region which existed in 1846, but since the very map of Vancouver, which his lordship claims was the only map then before the British negotiators-described the whole space between Vancouver's Island and the continent as a part of the entire body of water which he calls the Gulf of Georgia, I do not see why the Canal de Haro is not just as much a continuation of that gulf as the Straits of Rosario; and if either of the channels in this space is to be excluded from a participation in the gulf, it would be quite extraordinary that the broadest and best of them should be the one selected for this exclusion. Equally extraordinary is it that the Canal de Haro should be regarded as not running in a southerly direction to the Straits of Fuca, because it sometimes inclines to the west, while no such objection is thought to apply to the Channel of Rosario, although this channel inclines for a long distance to the east, and cannot properly be said to flow into the Straits of Fuca at all. The truth is that the word 'southerly' was used in no such restricted sense as that contemplated by this objection, but only to designate the general direction from the point of deflection on the line of forty-nine to the ocean.
The language is, “ Through the middle of said channel and of Fuca's Straits to the ocean.' That the term 'southerly,' moreover, was not deemed inapplicable to the Canal de Haro by those who assisted in giving effect to the treaty, is quite evident from the language already quoted from Colonel Benton, who describes the treaty line as 'turning south, through the Channel de Haro, to the Straits of Fuca.'
“ . This channel, however, it is said by his lordship, ' was not at that time known (at all events, by Her Majesty's Government) to be navigable for shipping, but, on the contrary, it was supposed to be a dangerous, if not an unnavigable strait.' At this statement of his lordship I can only express my great surprise, because this channel had been discovered as early as 1798, was distinctly marked on every considerable chart of that region which existed in 1846, had been formally examined by Captain Wilkes in his Exploring Expedition, and had been particularly described by De Mofras as the easiest channel between Vancouver's Island and the continent. I am at a loss to understand, moreover, for what purpose this erroneous opinion, which is said to have been entertained by Her Majesty's Government, is mentioned by his lordship. If it is intended to be claimed that the Canal de Haro was set aside by the British negotiators as the treaty line, because they believed it to be unnavigable and dangerous, it is only necessary to oppose to this claim the testimony of the negotiators themselves, both of whom declare that neither of the channels between Vancouver's Island and the continent was, within their recollection, the subject of consideration in 1846, and both of whom seem to have no other resort for the meaning of the treaty but the language of the treaty itself. Whatever may have been the view entertained of it, however, by the British Government, it is quite certain now that it is, on the whole, the best channel within the space in question, while from the point of deflection on the forty-ninth parallel to the Straits of Fuca it is, by very far, also the shortest passage. Even, therefore, if it were to be conceded that the channel of the treaty is an impossible one, the Canal de Haro would seem to be pointed out by its position and character as the best line of agreement which could possibly be selected. The Douglas Channel, which is suggested by Lord John Russell, is admitted (on the contrary) to be an inferior channel, scarcely capable of navigation, except for steamers, and is chiefly recommended for adoption because it would leave the island of San Juan to Great Britain. In this point of view it is urged with much earnestness by his lordship, upon a consideration of what is alleged to be the great importance of the island to Great Britain, and its comparative worthlessness to the United States. This consideration seems to be pressed, moreover, with the greater confidence because his lordship seems to think that it was under the influence of a similar argument that Great Britain yielded to this Government, both in 1842 and 1846, the larger portion of the territory which on each of those occasions was in dispute between the two countries. There may be occasions, doubtless, where this argument of mutual convenience would be entitled to much weight, and on every such occasion there is no Government which would be more likely to do justice to it than the Government of the United States. I know of nothing, however, in the present case which brings it properly within this rule. His lordship, indeed, says that much importance is attached to the retention of the island by the British colonial authorities, and by Her Majesty's Government, but no reason is given for this by his lordship, and I am quite unable to understand by what process it is that he has reached the conclusion that the island is only valuable to Great Britain. Its limited agricultural resources and its harbours might certainly be of equal interest to either country, and since both Governments hold important possessions in its neighbourhood, its value in a military point of view cannot fairly be overlooked by either of them.
“This whole argument from mutual convenience, however, can only be entitled to weight where there is no possible mode of agreeing upon title, and since the President entertains a strong conviction that the American title to the island of San Juan can be clearly maintained under the treaty of 1846, it is unnecessary to pursue the discussion upon this point.
“But if this were otherwise, and the argument of relative importance was fairly within the case, it could possibly derive no aid from the considerations which have been presented in connection with the treaties of 1842 and 1846. Under the latter treaty, as you are aware, a large tract of territory was surrendered to Great Britain, for the sake of preserving friendly relations between the two countries, which, in the deliberate judgment of this Government, was a rightful possession of the United States, and this marked exhibition of its regard for peace and conciliatory spirit towards Great Britain cannot be justly employed now as a precedent for another cession in the same region. A similar exhibition was made by the United States in the treaty of 1842, and this example has been rendered peculiarly marked, because at this time there can be no doubt whatever that the whole claim of the United States, on that occasion, was just and valid. Within a year after the treaty of Washington was concluded, it was stated in Parlia ment by Sir Robert Peel, and the disclosure was then for the first time made, that there was in the library of King George III. (which had been given to the British Museum) a copy of Mitchell's map, in which the boundary as delineated · follows exactly the line claimed by the United States.' Mr. Everett, who was then our Minister in London, took the earliest opportunity to examine it, and in a statement recently published on the subject he says :