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is not separated from the greater, but the greater from the lesser ; not the island from the continent, but the continent from the island ; and, therefore, it would seem indisputable that where several channels exist between the two, that channel which is the most adjacent to the continent must be the channel which separates the continent from any islands lying off its shores, however remote those islands may be. You state that the Rosario Strait does not separate the continent from Vancouver's Island, because ' in no part of its course does it touch upon the shores of either, but that it separates the Islands of Lummi, Sinclair, Cypress, Guemes, and Fedalgo on the east from Orcas, Blakely, Decatur, and Lopez Islands on the west. I would submit that the islands of Lummi, Sinclair, Cypress, Guernes, and Fedalgo are lying close to the shores of the continent, and that between them and the continent is no navigable channel which would answer to the channel of the treaty, and that if the Rosario Strait is the channel separating these islands from Orcas, Blakely, Decatur, and Lopez Islands, it is also the navigable channel separating the continent from them; and in separating the first-named islands from Orcas, Blakely, Decatur, and Lopez Islands, it also separates the first-named islands from San Juan, Sidney, James Islands, &c., and from Vancouver's Island; and, therefore, if separating the continent from Orcas, Blakely, Decatur, and Lopez Islands, it also separates the continent from San Juan, Sidney, James Islands, &c., and from Vancouver's Island.
“5. In answer to my statement that the Canal de Haro will not meet one of the conditions of the channel of the treaty, as it will not admit of the boundary line being carried into it in a southerly direction, you state that the objection applies with equal force to the Gulf of Georgia, if the term southerly is to be construed in a strictly nautical or technical sense, and with still greater force to the Straits of Fuca, which, for the greater part of its course, runs north-westerly, for the language of the treaty being thence scutherly through the middle of the said channel, and of Fuca Straits, to the Pacific Ocean,' the direction applies throughout the whole extent of the line; and you further state that “if objection is made to this ground, the treaty will be nullified, and cannot be carried into effect. This conclusion I cannot admit. It can hardly, I think, be disputed, that when the words of a treaty can be carried out in their strict and literal sense, they should be so interpreted; when they cannot be so carried out, the intentions of the negotiators and the dictates of common sense have to be sought, and from them should the interpretation be deduced. From the Gulf of Georgia to the Strait of Fuca the boundary line can be carried through the Rosario Strait in a southerly direction; to pass through the Canal de Haro it must take a westerly course; therefore, so far as this particular is concerned, I conceive that the Rosario Strait admits of a closer adherence to the words of the treaty than does the Canal de Arro, and should for this reason, be chosen in preference to a channel which would cause a wider departure from the words of the treaty.
“6. In alluding to the necessity, in cases of obscurity, to seek the interpretation of a treaty in the intentions of its negotiators, you observe that you will prove by contemporaneous evidence of the highest authority that the Canal de Haro was the channel proposed by the British Government, and accepted by the United States Government, as the one through which the boundary line was to be traced, and that the language of the treaty drawn up by the British Government was intended to convey that fact, and was so understood by the Government of the United States,' and you proceed to quote from a letter of Mr. McLane, the ambassador of the United States sent specially to Great Britain to aid in settling the Oregon boundary question, and from the speech of Mr. Benton, one of the leading members of the Senate of the United States. Evidence from so high a source as this is most unquestionably entitled to the greatest respect and deepest consideration. That consideration I have given it, and I assure you it has had its full weight with me. But I would respectfully observe that neither Mr. McLane nor Mr. Benton were actual negotiators of the treaty, and however valuable their opinions may be to the elucidation of obscure points, yet that these opinions can in no way alter the actual wording and terms of the treaty. Mr. McLane, in his report to the Secretary of State for the United States, writes that the proposition of the British Government most probably will offer substantially as follows:
6661st. To divide the territory by the extension of the line on the parallel of forty-nine to the sea—that is to say, to the arm of the sea called Birch's Bay—thence by the Canal de Haro and Straits of Fuca to the ocean.'
“Now this is stated to have been the probable proposition; it appears strange if it was not the adopted proposition, that the simple and unmistakable wording used by Mr. McLane should not have been retained. The fact that it was not retained would seem rather to show that discussion on the subject had taken place, and that the line of boundary had been designedly altered, and the wording of the treaty as it now stands substituted to meet the alteration, the channel through which the boundary line was to pass not being designated by name, inasmuch as it had no name on the map which was, 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 is quite possible that in viewing the boundary line as passing through the Canal de Haro some objection might have been made to the nearness of some of the islands to Vancouver's Island, as the objection did not apply with equal force to the continent, and as the islands between the two were deemed, according to Mr. Benton, to be barren, rocky, and valueless, it is not at all improbable that the slight alteration in the line would be conceded without difficulty, and might be considered too trivial, considering the important interests at stake at the time, for public discussion or reference. I am the more strengthened in my opinion on
this subject from having been officially informed by high and competent authority that the channel commonly known in England as Vancouver's Strait, that now called Rosario Strait, was the channel contemplated by the British Government as the channel of the treaty, and the mention of a particular channel by Mr. McLane, and the absence of the name of that channel from the treaty, altogether with the very peculiar wording of the treaty, would seem almost conclusively to prove the fact
“7. I would now respectfully call your attention to the language of Mr. Benton, in the speech which he made in the Senate upon the ratification of the treaty, and had you not yourself alluded to it, I should have quoted it in further proof of what I have advanced as to the Rosario Strait being the channel which separates the continent from Vancouver's Island.' In describing the boundary line he designates the channel as being the one which separates “Vancouver's Island from the continent,' and he then proceeds to trace the line through the Canal de Haro to the Straits of Fuca, clearly showing what was the impression on his mind of the wording required to meet the boundary line he described. The Canal de Haro, or Arro, is, undoubtedly, the navigable channel which, at its position, separates Vancouver's Island from the continent, and therefore, while other channels exist more adjacent to the continent, cannot be the channel which separates the continent from Vancouver's Island.'
“8. To show that the Canal de Haro could not have been the only channel regarded in the United States as the channel of the treaty, both at the time and afterwards, I beg to mention that I have in my possession a map of Oregon and Upper California, published at Washington City in 1848, drawn by Charles Preuss, under the order of the Senate of the United States,' in which the boundary line between the British possessions and those of the United States, distinctly lithographed and coloured, is carried down the Gulf of Georgia, through the channel now called the Rosario Strait, and thence through the Straits of Fuca to the Pacific Ocean, If the Canal de
Haro was the only channel contemplated by the Senate of the United States as the channel of the treaty, it seems remarkable that within a short period of its conclusion a map should be drawn under the order of the Senate of the United States, in which the boundary line between the British possessions and those of the United States, distinctly lithographed and coloured, is carried down the Gulf of Georgia, through the channel contemplated by the Senate of the United States as the channel of the treaty; it seems remarkable that within a short period of its conclusion a map should be drawn under the order of the Senate,' and published and given forth to the world with a boundary line upon it not drawn through the Canal de Haro, but through the channel which I maintain is the channel of the treaty, and is the one which was contemplated by the British Government at the time of its conclusion. I have further, in my possession, an attested tracing of ' a diagram of a portion of Oregon territory,' dated SurveyorGeneral's Office, Oregon City, October 21st, 1852, and signed John B. Preston, Surveyor-General, in which the boundary line between the British possessions and those of the United States, is also carried through the channel lying adjacent to the continent, or through the Rosario Strait. Both these documents being official, and published by high authority, afford, I think, strong evidence that the Canal de Haro has not always been contemplated and received in the United States as the channel of the treaty.
"9. In further illustration of my proposition that the Rosario Strait is the channel of the treaty, I would observe that, apart from the very peculiar wording of the treaty, in which the greater is separated from the lesser, the continent from the island, it would seem clear that in whatever channel the boundary line commences its southerly course, it should continue through the middle of the said channel,' until it reach the Straits of Fuca. Now it has been agreed that the initial point of the boundary line is found in the channel called the Gulf of Georgia, and the continuance of that channel is, as was deemed by Vancouver, through the Rosario Strait. This is