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more than ten miles wide at the mouth, I line of railway spanned the continent from but certain bays, including the Bay of the Straits of Canso to the Gulf of GeorChaleurs, were expressly excepted in the gia, as a result of the new energy and interest of Canada from the operation of national spirit developed by the union. this provision. The United States did Population flowed slowly yet steadily into pot attempt to acquire the right to fish in the territories, and there is now a cordon the insbore fishing.grounds of Canada of cities, towns, and villages stretching that is within three miles of the coasts from Port Arthur at the head of Lake but these fisheries were to be left for the Superior to Vancouver, that city of mar. exclusive use of the Canadian fishermen. vellous growth on the Pacific coast. More satisfactory arrangements
As a sequence of the acquisition of made for vessels obliged to resort to the British Columbia, Canada has been comCanadian ports in distress, and a provision pelled to take an active part in the con. was made for allowing American fishing. sideration of a question of some gravity vessels to obtain supplies and other privi- that has arisen between England and the leges in the harbors of the Dominion United States, in consequence of a cruiser whenever Congress allowed the fish of of the latter country having forcibly seized, that country to enter free into the market and carried into a port of Alaska, certain of the United States. President Cleve. Canadian vessels engaged in the seal fish. land in his message submitting the treaty eries of the great body of sea known in to the Senate, acknowledged that it “sup: these times as Behring Sea. A perusal of plied a satisfactory, practical, and final the blue-book containing the correspondadjustment, upon a basis honorable and ence on the subject between London, Otjust to both parties, of the difficult and tawa, and Washington, shows that from vexed question to which it relates.” The the beginning to the end of this controRepublican party, however, at that impor, versy, the imperial government has contant juncture — just before a presidential sulted with the government of Canada on election - had a majority in the Senate, every point material to the issue. As an and the result was the failure in that body English statesman determined to maintain of a measure, which, although by no the interests of all sections of the empire, means too favorable to Canadian interests, Lord Salisbury has paid every respect to was framed in a spirit of judicious states- the opinions and statements of the Canamanship, and, if agreed to, would have dian ministry in relation to a matter which settled for all time, in all probability, ques-deeply affects Canada, and has pursued a tions which have too long been sources of course throughout the negotiations which irritation to the two countries.
has done much to strengthen the relations While these events were taking place between the parent State and the depenthe Dominion of Canada was extending dency. Without going fully into this vexed its limits across the continent, developing question, we shall simply state the prioci. a great railway system, and making steady pal arguments advanced by the imperial strides in the path of national progress. and Canadian authorities in maintaining The vast region which extends from the their case. head of Lake Superior to the Rocky 1. That certain Canadian schooners, Mountains, and from the Lake of the fitted out in British Columbia, and peace. Woods and the forty-ninth degree of north ably and lawfully engaged in the capture latitude to Hudson Bay and the Arctic of seals in the northern Pacific Ocean, Ocean, the home of the Indian and the adjacent to Vancouver Island, Queen Charfur-trader for centuries, whose capabilities lotte Islands, and Alaska - a portion of the for settlement had been studiously con- territory of the United States acquired in cealed from the world by a great fur 1867 from Russia — were seized in the monopoly, was added to the territory of open sea, out of sight of land, by a United the Dominion, and the new province of States cutter, although being at the time Manitoba was established with a complete at a distance of more than sixty miles system of local government. Prince Ed. from the nearest land. These vessels ward Island, a rich spot in the Gulf of St. were taken into a port of Alaska, where Lawrence, came into the union, and the they were subjected to forfeiture, and the Dominion was extended as far as the masters and mates fined and imprisoned. Pacific Ocean by the adınission of British 2. That the facts of these seizures Columbia. Two noble islands, with great showed the English and Canadian governfisheries and coal mines, Cape Breton and ments that the authorities of the United Vancouver, now guarded the Atlantic and States appeared to lay claim to the sole Pacific shores of the Dominion. A great sovereignty of that part of Bebring Sea
LIVING AGE. VOL. LXXIV. 3836
lying east of the westerly boundary of 7. That. the British goveroment bas Alaska, as defined in the first article of always claimed the freedom of navigation the treaty between the United States and and fishing in the waters of the Bebriog Russia in 1867, by which Alaska was Sea outside of the usual territorial marine ceded to the United States, and which in- league from the coast; that it is clearly cludes a stretch of sea extending in its impossible to admit that “a public right widest part some six hundred or seven to fish or pursue any other lawful occupahundred miles easterly from the mainland tion on the high seas can be considered to of Alaska.
be abandoned by a nation from the mere 3. That these proceedings were in di- fact that for a certain number of years it rect violation of established principles of has not suited the subjects of that nation the law of nations, as urged in former to exercise it;” and it must be rememtimes by the United States.
bered that British Columbia has come 4. That the United States, through their into existence as a colony, and her seal secretary of state, Hon. John Quincy industry has become important only within Adams, emphatically resisted in 1822 a a very recent period. claim made by a Russian ukase to sover. 8. That the Canadian government, in eignty for one hundred miles distant from their desire to maintain as friendly rela. the coasts and islands belonging to Russia tions as possible with the United States, in the Pacific Ocean, north of the fifty-first have stated to the imperial government degree of latitude. That Russia subse. their readiness to consider any interna. quently relinquished her indefensible posi- tional arrangement for the proper preser. tion and agreed to a convention, first with vation of the seal; but before such an the United States, and subsequently with enquiry is agreed to they expect that the England, recognizing the rights of naviga. question raised by the seizures of the Cation and fishing by those nations in any nadian vessels shall be 'settled according part of the Behring Sea within limits al- to the law of nations, and that the claim lowed by the law of nations.
of indemnity now in the hands of her 5. That the municipal legislation of the Majesty's government shall be fully setUnited States, under which the Canadian tled. vessels were seized and condemned and 9. That her Majesty's government are their masters and mates fined and impris- quite ready to agree that the whole ques. oned, in an Alaskan court, could have no tion of the legality of the seizures in the operation whatever against vessels in Behring Sea, and the issues dependent Behring Sea, which is not in the territorial thereon, shall be referred to an impartial waters of the United States; that any arbitration. claim to exclusive jurisdiction on such From this summary it will be seen that seas is opposed to international law, and no the issues raised by the English and Canasuch right can be acquired by prescription. dian governments are very clear that
6. That the Canadian vessels captured the seizures of Canadian vessels were in the Behring Sea were not engaged in illegal - that the United States have no any proceeding contra bonos mores, as special or exclusive rights in this open urged by Mr. Blaine, inasmuch as such a sea under any recognized principle of inrule is only admissible in the case of pi-ternational law. The whole tenor of Mr. racy or in pursuance of a special interna. Blaine's last despatches has been in the tional agreement. All jurisis of note have direction of the indefensible ground, that acknowledged this principle, and President the Behring Sea and its fisheries occupy Tyler, in a message to Congress in 1843, an altogether exceptional position among pressed the point that with the single ex- the seas and fisheries of the world, but do ception of piracy "no nation has in the authority of note, American or European, time of peace any authority to detain the has supported his argument; and it is ships of another upon the high seas on impossible to explain how the secretary any pretext whatever outside the territorial of state could raise the issue of an offence jurisdiction.” That discreditable traffic, against good morals, when it could have no the slave-trade, might well be considered application to the fisheries in question, and contra bonos mores, but the government of could in any case have no value or force the United States would not consent to any except by international agreement - an English ship visiting and searching a sus- agreement which would only bind the pected ship floating their flag, and yet the parties who might make it. If the United capture of seals is now a more serious States have any exclusive rights beyond affair than human slavery in the estimation those based on intelligible and generally of the Washington secretary of state. admitted principles of reason and the law
of nations, let them be explained and set- spect to the value of Canada as a home for tled in a court of arbitration; and, if there industrious people, retarded her material is any necessity for a close season, let it and political development. Isolated provbe decided by experts in such matters. inces, without common aspirations or naThe question in itself chiefly involves the tional aims, had no influence over imperial profits of a commercial monopoly; and councils in matters which were arranged were it not for the extraordinary preten- by English diplomatists solely; whilst the sions urged by the United States govern- federal republic, a union of free, selfment pretensions which they would governing states, had always in view the have been the first to disavow, indeed were promotion of their national strength the first to repudiate in the past, and which and territorial aggrandizement. England, no nation could under any circumstances Spain, France, Mexico, and Russia, in maintain for a moment in the face of the turn, contributed their share to her ambi. world – no difficulty whatever could have tion; and more than once, when disconoccurred in a matter wbich should have tent reigned and hope was absent, the been long ere this settled at once by com- ability of Canada to hold her own on this mon agreement.
continent, in the opinion of pot a few, The Canadian government, with the ap- seemed to be steadily on the decline. But proval of the imperial authorities, has self-government in all maiters of local given additional evidence of its desire to concern changed the gloomy outlook to settle this vexed question with as little one of brightness and hope, and a spirit delay as possible by taking the necessary of self-reliance developed itself among steps for bringing the whole subject of statesmen and people, until confederation the legality of the seizures of Canadian united all the provinces in a union which vessels on the high sea before the Su. alone could enable them to resist the ampreme Court, the highest tribunal in the bition of their restless neighbor. FortyUnited States. That court has already four States in 1890, with a population of consented to consider a petition for a writ over sixty-two millions of souls, against a of prohibition to prevent the district population of four millions in 1790; with court of Alaska from proceeding to carry a total commerce of exports and imports out its decree of forfeiture in the case of to the value of $1,400,000,000, against the schooner Sayward, libelled for unlaw. $43,000,000 in 1790; with a pational rev. fully taking seals in the Behring Sea. enue of more than $300,000,000, against Thé case comes up in April, and it is $41,000,000 in 1790, now represent the hoped that the great tribunal, to which the federal union, once composed of thirteen Canadians so confidently appeal, will be States, the basis of the nation's greatness. able to go into the whole question at issue. Despite all the powerful influences that If so, it will be a triumph of law over un- have fought against Canada, she has held certain and crooked diplomacy.
her own in America. In 1890 a populaThe part that Canada has taken in this tion of five millions against one million in matter is in itself an illustration of her 1840, with a total trade of $230,000,000 importance in imperial councils and of the against $25,000,000 in 1840, and with a vastness of her territorial domain which national revenue of nearly $40,000,000 now stretches from the Atlantic to the against $700,000 in 1840, inhabit a domin. Pacific. One hundred and thirty years ion of seven regularly organized provinces ago the term “Canada” represented an and of an immense territory, now in course ill-defined region of country watered by of development, stretching from Manitoba the St. Lawrence and the Great Lakes, in- and Ontario to the foothills of the Rocky habited by a few thousand Frenchmen Mountains, and northerly to a great region living chiefly on the banks of the St. Law. watered by the Peace, Athabasca, Slave, rence and its tributaries. English-speak. and Mackenzie rivers, and possessing a ing people then came into the country and climate and soil, according to recent exsettled in the maritime provinces, on the plorations, capable of supporting millions. St. Lawrence, and on ihe lakes; repre. This Dominion embraces an area of three sentative institutions were established, millions five hundred and nineteen thou. commerce was developed, and by 1792, sand square miles, including its water surfive provinces, governed in the English face, or very little less than the area of way, were established from Cape Breton the United States with Alaska, or a region to the western limits of Ontario. For with a width of three thousand five hunmany years the indifference of English dred miles from east to west, and one statesmen, and the ignorance which until thousand four hundred miles from north relatively recent times prevailed with re- to south. Its climate and resources are
those of the northern, middle, and west-statutes affecting the Dominion solely, era states. No dangerous question like than can the sovereign to-morrow veto slavery exists to complicate the political the acts of the imperial Parliament - a and social conditions of the union; and prerogative of the crown still existent, although there is a large and increasing but not exercised in England since the French Canadian element in the Domin. days of Queen Anne, and now inconsistent ion - the heritage of the old French with modern rules of Parliamentary gov. régime in America — its history so far ernment. In a limited sense there is al. should not create fear as to the future ready a loose system of federation between except in the minds of sectarian and sec- England and her dependencies. The cen. tional pessimists who are too often raising tral government of England, as the guargloomy phantoms of their own imaginings. dian of the welfare of the whole empire, While this element naturally clings to its co-operates with the several governments national language and special institutions, of her colonial dependencies, and by com. yet it has, under the influence of a com- mon consultation and arrangement enplete system of local self-government, deavors to come to such a determination taken as active and earnest a part as the as will be to the advantage of all the English element in establishing and interests at stake. In other words, the strengthening the confederation. The conditions of the relations between En. expansion of the African race in the gland and Canada are such as to ensure Southern States is a question of the fu- unity of policy as long as each governture for the federal republic which its ment considers the interests of England statesmen will find much more difficult and the dependency as identical, and keeps than any that Canadian statesmen have ever in view the obligations, welfare, and to solve on account of the existence of unity of the empire at large. Full cona French nationality who possess the sultation in all negotiations affecting Canlively intelligence of their race, exercise ada, representation in every arbitration all the privileges of self-government, and, and commission that may be the result of above all things, must comprehend that such negotiations, are the principles which their true interests lie in a prosperous have been admitted by England of late Canadian confederation, and not in union years in acknowledgment of the develop with a country where they would event- ment of Canada and of her preseot position ually lose their national identity. The in the empire, and any departure now from federal union gives expansion to the so sound a doctrine would be a serious innational energies of the whole Dominion, jury to the imperial connection and an and at the same time should afford every insult to the ability of Canadians to take security to the local interests of each a part in the great councils of the world. member of the federal compact. In all Canada then is no longer a mere prov. matters of Dominion concern, Canada is ince, in the old colonial sense of the term, a free agent. While the queen is still but a Dominion possessing many of the the head of the executive authority, and attributes of a self-governing nation. Her can alone initiate treaties with foreign past history is not that of a selfish people, pations — that being an act of complete but of one ever ready to make concessions sovereignty - and appeals are still open for the sake of maintaining the most to her Privy Council from Canadian courts friendly relations between England and within certain limitations – it is an ad- the United States. Every treaty that has mitted principle that so far as Capada has been made with the United States has been granted legislative rights and privi- been more or less at the expense of some leges by the imperial Parliament - rights Canadian interest, but Canadians have and privileges set forth explicitly in the yielded to the force of circumstances, and British North America Act of 1867 – to reasons of national comity and good she is practically sovereign in the exercise neighborhood. Canada has been always of all those powers as long as they do not ready to agree to any fair measure of reconflict with treaty obligations of the ciprocal trade with her neighbors, but this parent State or with imperial legislation paper has shown that all her efforts in that directly applicable to her with her own direction have been fruitless for years. consent. It is true that the queen in The two political parties since 1867, the council can veto acts of the Canadian year of confederation, have been avowParliament, but that supreme power is edly in favor of reciprocity, and the difonly exercised under the conditions just ferences of opinion that have grown up stated, and can no more be constitutionally between them since 1879, when the presused in the case of ordinary Canadian ent government adopted a so-called pa.
tional policy or system of protection, have must come when from no other cause than been as to the extent to which a new treaty the development of the national life in the with the United States should go; whether dependency, there must be a clash of in. it should be, generally speaking, on the terests with the mother-land; and in any basis of the Treaty of 1854, or a complete such case, much as I would regret the measure of unrestricted reciprocity, or, in pecessity, I would stand by my native other words, free trade in the manufac-land.” He denied the proposition that tured as well as in the natural products of “the Canadian tariff would have to be the two countries. This issue was for- assimilated to the American tariff, a prop. mally raised at the general election which osition that involves discrimination against took place on the 5th of March last. At England.” In his opinion, "reciprocity the very beginning of the contest the can be obtained upon an assimilation of organs of the government published an tariffs, or upon the retention of its own official communication, addressed by the tariff by each country.” The people of governor-general in December last to the Canada, he believed, would not have secretary of state for the colonies, in which reciprocity at the price of “consequences the desire is expressed for the opening up injurious to their sense of honor or duty of negotiations with Washington for the to themselves or the mother-land." To purpose of arranging, if possible, a recip- the charge of the prime minister that unrocal measure of trade on the basis of restricted reciprocity is “veiled treason," 1854" with the modifications required by he gave a negative in unmeasured terms. the altered circumstances of both coun- With the minor party issues that have, tries,” and with such "extensions as are complicated this important contest for the assumed to be “in the interests of Canada political supremacy in Canada, we have and the United States," as well as in the nothing to do in this historical review of hope of coming to satisfactory conclusions events affecting the relations of Canada with respect to the fisheries, the coasting and the United States. We have confined trade, wreckage, and the boundary be ourselves to a brief statement of the nature tween Alaska and the Dominion. The of the vital issue which has been directly leader of the government, Sir John A. submitted to the people of the Dominion. Macdonald, also issued an address in The result of the contest, after some which he emphatically set forth the rea. weeks of heated controversy -- and Ensons why he claimed a continuance of the gland can assuredly teach her dependensupport he had received from the country cies nothing in this respect — has been, since 1878. Having expressed his deter- so far as we can judge from the data before mination “to build up on this continent, us, to give Sir John Macdonald's ministry under the flag of England, a great and a majority over the whole Dominion of powerful nation,” he went on to vindicate above thirty in a House of two hundred ihe “national policy of his government and fifteen members, against an average as the source of the national and indus- majority of fifty in the last Parliament. trial development of Canada up to the The expression of public opinion in Cappresent time, and to oppose the policy of ada appears to be decidedly, in favor of unrestricted reciprocity' on the ground some fair measure of trade with the United that it must involve, among other grave States, but the problem is whether the evils, discrimination against the mother dominant party in that country under excountry, and inevitably result in the anisting circumstances will be content with nexation of the Dominion to the United a moderate treaty on the basis of that of States." In answer to this emphatic ap- 1854, with such changes as will meet the peal of the veteran prime minister, Mr. later condition of things. As already in. Laurier, the leader of the opposition, ar- dicated, while the present government raigned “the national policy upon every favors restricted reciprocity, they are claim made in its behalf," and defended pledged to maintain the general principles the policy of his party," which is absolute of the national policy, and to agree to no reciprocal freedoin of trade between Can. measure that will discriminate against the ada and the United States.” As to the parent State. The gravity of the political charge that “ unrestricted reciprocity " situation for some time to come must be would involve discrimination against En intensified by the fact that, while the party gland, he met it, “squarely and earnestly." of unrestricted reciprocity has been de. “ It cannot be expected,” he wrote, " it feated in the Dominion as a whole, it has were folly to expect, that the interests of developed strength in the provinces of a colony should always be identical with Ontario and Quebec, where the total repthe interests of the mother-land. The day | resentation of one hundred and fifty-seven