EXTRACT FROM BRITISH GUIANA—VENEZUELA BOUNDARY ARBITRATION.
BRITISH CASE, p, 161.
“It is not disputed that the Dutch and the British have for centuries been in full possession of a very considerable territory on both sides of the Essequibo below the point where it is joined by the Massanini. It is submitted that according to every principle of international law, this carries with it the right to the whole basin of the Essequibo and its tributaries except in so far as any portion of that basin may have been occupied by another Power.
BRITISH ARGUMENT, p. 55.
“The Power in control of so large an extent of territory round the lower course of a river such as the Essequibo, to which no other Power has ever had any access and where no dominion other than that exercised by the Dutch and the British has ever existed, has a prima facie right to the whole of the river basin. Such right can only be rebutted by proof of actual occupation by another Power. There is not even a pretence of such occupation by Spain or Venezuela except as regards the territory in the neighbourhood of the Yuruan.”
“In order to displace the title of Great Britain to the drainage areas of all the rivers between the right bank of the Amakum and Essequibo and their tributaries, Venezuela must show effective occupation ; and it is only to the extent to which such effective occupation can be shown that the title of Great Britain can be defeated.”