p. 2106C

No. 886.


London, October 7, 1818.

Mr. Gallatin and Mr. Rush present their compliments to Mr. Robinson and Mr. Goulburn, and beg leave to send them the enclosed paper, containing some remarks on the articles handed to them at the conference yesterday. They are to be considered as unofficial, according to the intimation given yesterday, when they were promised, and have been drawn up merely under the hope that, by possessing the British plenipotentiaries of some of the views of the American plenipotentiaries before the next meeting on the 9th, the progress of the negotiation may be accelerated.


The American plenipotentiaries are not authorised by their instructions to assent to any article on that subject which shall not secure to the inhabitants of the United States the liberty of taking fish of every kind on the southern coast of Newfoundland, from Cape Ray to the Ramea Islands, and on the coasts, bays, harbours, and creeks from Mount Joli, on the southern coast of Labrador, to and through the Straits of Belleisle, and thence northwardly, indefinitely, along the coast ; and also, the liberty of drying and curing fish in any of the unsettled bays, harbours, and creeks of Labrador and of the southern coast of Newfoundland, as above described ; with the proviso respecting such of the said bays, harbours, and creeks as may be settled.
The liberty of taking fish within rivers is not asked. A positive clause to except them is unnecessary, unless it be intended to comprehend under that name waters which might otherwise be considered as bays or creeks. Whatever extent of fishing-ground may be secured to American fishermen, the American plenipotentiaries are not prepared to accept it on a tenure or on conditions different from those on which the whole has heretofore been held. Their instructions did not anticipate that any new terms or restrictions would be annexed, as none were suggested in the proposals made by Mr. Bagot to the American Government. The clauses forbidding the spreading of nets, and making vessels liable to confiscation in case any articles not wanted for carrying on the fishery should be found on board, are of that description, and would expose the fishermen to endless vexations.

*Reproduced from Appendix to British case, North Atlantic Coast Fisheries Arbitration, p. 91.



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