EXTRACTS FROM TREATIES BETWEEN GREAT BRITAIN AND FRANCE RELATING TO THE FISHERIES.*
TREATY OF UTRECHT, 11 APRIL 1713.
XIII. The Island called Newfoundland, with the adjacent islands, shall, from this time forward, belong of right wholly to Great Britain ; and to that end the town and fortress of Placentia, and whatever other places in the said island, are in the possession of the French, shall be yielded and given up, within seven months from the exchange of the ratifications of this Treaty, or sooner, if possible, by the Most Christian King, to those who have a commission from the Queen of Great Britain for that purpose. Nor shall the Most Christian King, His Heirs and Successors, or any of their subjects, at any time hereafter lay claim to any right to the said island and islands, or to any part of it, or them. Moreover, it shall not be lawful for the subjects of France, to fortify any place in the said Island of Newfoundland, or to erect any buildings there, besides stages made of boards, and huts necessary and usual for drying of fish ; or to resort to the said island, beyond the time necessary for fishing and drying of fish. But it shall be allowed to the subjects of France, to catch fish, and to dry them on land, in that part only, and in no other besides that, of
the said island of Newfoundland, which stretches from the place called Cape Bonavista, to the northern point of the said island, and from thence running down by the western side, reaches as far as the place called Point Riche. But the Island called Cape Breton, as also all others, both in the mouth of the river of St. Lawrence and in the Gulph of the same name, shall hereafter belong of right to the French ; and the Most Christian King shall have all manner of liberty to fortify any place or places there.
TREATY OF PARIS, 10 FEBRUARY , 1763.
V. The subjects of France shall have the liberty of fishing and drying, on a part of the coasts of the Island of Newfoundland, such as it is specified in Article XIII, of the Treaty of Utrecht ; which Article is renewed and confirmed by the present Treaty (except what relates to the Island of Cape Breton, as well as to the other islands and coasts in the mouth and in the Gulph of St. Lawrence). And His Britannic Majesty consents to leave to the subjects of the Most Christian King the liberty of fishing in the Gulph of St. Lawrence, on condition
* From “A Complete Collection of the Treaties and Conventions subsisting between Great Britain and Foreign Powers.” I, pp. 237-265. By Lewis Hertslet, London, 1840.
that the subjects of France do not exercise the said fishery, but at the distance of three leagues from all the coasts belonging to Great Britain, as well those of the continent, as those of the islands situated in the said Gulph of St. Lawrence. And as to what relates to the fishery on the coasts of the Island of Cape Breton out of the said Gulph, the subjects of the Most Christian King shall not be permitted to exercise the said fishery, but at the distance of fifteen leagues from the coasts of the Island of Cape Breton ; and the fishery on the coasts of Nova Scotia or Acadia, and every where else out of the said Gulph, shall remain on the foot of former Treaties.
VI. The King of Great Britain cedes the Islands of St. Pierre and Miquelon, in full right to His Most Christian Majesty, to serve as a shelter to the French fishermen ; and His said Most Christian Majesty engages not to fortify the said Islands ; to erect no buildings upon them, but merely for the convenience of the fishery ; and to keep upon them a guard of fifty men only for the police.
TREATY OF VERSAILLES, 3 SEPTEMBER, 1783.
IV. His Majesty the King of Great Britain is maintained in His right to the Island of Newfoundland, and to the adjacent Islands, as the whole were assured to Him by the Thirteenth Article of the Treaty of Utrecht ; excepting the Islands of St. Pierre and Miquelon, which are ceded in full right, by the present Treaty to His Most Christian Majesty.
V. His Majesty the Most Christian King, in order to prevent the quarrels which have hitherto arisen between the two Nations of England and France, consents to renounce the right of fishing, which belongs to Him in virtue of the aforesaid Article of the Treaty of Utrecht, from Cape Bonavista to Cape St. John, situated on the eastern coast of Newfoundland, in fifty degrees North latitude ; and His Majesty the King of Great Britain consents on His part, that the fishery assigned to the subjects of His Most Christian Majesty, beginning at the said Cape St. John, passing to the north, and descending by the western coast of the Island of Newfoundland, shall extend to the place called Cape Raye, situated in forty-seven degrees, fifty minutes latitude. The French fishermen shall enjoy the fishery which is assigned to them by the present Article, as they had the right to enjoy that which was assigned to them by the Treaty of Utrecht.
VI. With regard to the fishery in the Gulph of St. Lawrence, the French shall continue to exercise it conformably to the fifth article of the treaty of Paris.
[DECLARATION OF HIS BRITANNIC MAJESTY.]
The King having entirely agreed with His Most Christian Majesty upon the Articles of the Definitive Treaty, will seek every means which shall not
only insure the execution thereof, with His accustomed good faith and punctuality, and will besides give, on His part, all possible efficacy to the principles which shall prevent even the least foundation of dispute for the future.
To this end, and in order that the fishermen of the two nations may not give cause for daily quarrels, His Britannic Majesty will take the most positive measures for preventing His subjects from interrupting, in any manner, by their competition, the fishery of the French, (luring the temporary exercise of it which is granted to them, upon the coasts of the Island of Newfoundland ; and He will, for this purpose, cause the fixed settlements which shall be formed there, to be removed. His Britannic Majesty will give orders, that the French fishermen be not incommoded, in cutting the wood necessary for the repair of their scaffolds, huts, and fishing vessels.
The Thirteenth Article of the Treaty of Utrecht, and the method of carrying on the fishery which has at all times been acknowledged, shall be the plan upon which the fishery shall be carried on there ; it shall not be deviated from by either party ; the French fishermen building only their scaffolds, confining themselves to the repair of their fishing vessels, and not wintering there ; the subjects of His Britannic Majesty, on their part, not molesting, in any manner, the French fishermen, during their fishing, nor injuring their scaffolds during their absence.
The King of Great Britain, in ceding the Islands of St. Pierre and Miquelon to France, regards them as ceded for the purpose of serving as a real shelter to the French fishermen, and in full confidence that these possessions will not become an object of jealousy between the two nations ; and that the fishery between the said Islands, and that of Newfoundland, shall be limited to the middle of the channel.
Given at Versailles, the 3rd September, 1783
[COUNTER DECLARATION OF HIS MOST CHRISTIAN MAJESTY.]
The principles which have guided the King, in the whole course of the negotiations which preceded the re-establishment of peace, must have convinced the King of Great Britain, that His Majesty, has had no other design than to render it, solid and lasting, by preventing as much possible, in the four quarters of the world, every subject of discussion and quarrel. The King of Great Britain undoubtedly places too much confidence in the uprightness of His Majesty's intentions, not to rely upon His constant attention to prevent the Islands of St. Pierre and Miquelon from becoming an object of jealousy between the two nations.
As to the fishery on the coasts of Newfoundland, which has been the
object of the new arrangements settled by the two Sovereigns upon this matter, it is sufficiently ascertained by the fifth Article of the Treaty of Peace signed
this day, and by the Declaration likewise delivered to-day, by His Britannic Majesty's Ambassador extraordinary and Plenipotentiary ; and His Majesty declares that He is fully satisfied on this head.
In regard to the fishery between the Island of Newfoundland, and those of St. Pierre and Miquelon, it is not to be carried on, by either party, but to the middle of the channel, and His Majesty will give the most positive orders, that the French fishermen shall not go beyond this line. His Majesty is firmly persuaded that the King of Great Britain will give like orders to the English fishermen.
Given at Versailles, the 3rd of September, 1793.
GRAVIER DE VERGENNES.
TREATY OF PARIS, 30 May, 1814.
VIII. “His Britannic Majesty, stipulating for Himself and His Allies, engages to restore to His Most Christian Majesty, within the term which shall be hereafter fixed, the colonies, fisheries, factories, and establishments of ever v kind, which were possessed by France on the 1st of January, 1792, in the seas and on the continents of America, Africa, and Asia ; with the exception how-ever of the Islands of Tobago and St. Lucia, and of the Isle of France and its dependencies, especially Rodrigues and the Séchelles, which several colonies and possessions His Most Christian Majesty cedes in full right and Sovereignty to His Britannic Majesty, and also the portion of St. Domingo ceded to France by the Treaty of Basic, and which His Most Christian Majesty restores in full right and Sovereignty to His Catholic Majesty.
XIII. The French right of fishery upon the great bank of Newfound-land, upon the coasts of the island of that name, and of the adjacent islands iii the Gulph of St. Lawrence, shall be replaced upon the footing in which it stood in 1792.
TREATY OF PARIS, 20 November, 1815.
XI. “The Treaty of Paris, of the 30th of May, 1814, and the final Act of the Congress at Vienna, of the 9th of June, 1815, are confirmed, and shall be maintained in all such of their enactments which shall not have been modified by the Articles of the present Treaty.