Page images

CONVENTION between Great Britain and the United

States of America, relative to the Territory on the North-
West Coast of America.-Signed at London, August 6, 1827.

His Majesty the King of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland, and the United States of America, being equally desirous to prevent, as far as possible, all hazard of misunderstanding between the two Nations, with respect to the Territory on the North-West Coast of America, West of the Stoney or Rocky Mountains, after the expiration of the IIId Article of the Convention concluded between them on 20th of October, 1818; and also with a view to give further time for maturing measures which shall have for their object a more definite settlement of the Claims of each Party to the said Territory, have respectively named their Plenipotentiaries to treat and agree concerning a temporary renewal of the said Article, that is to say :

His Majesty the King of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland, the Right Honourable Charles Grant, a Member of His said Majesty's Most Honourable Privy Couneil, a Member of Parliament, and Vice-President of the Committee of Privy Council for Affairs of Trade and Foreign Plantations; and Henry Unwin Addington, Esquire :

And the President of the United States of America, Albert Gallatin, their Envoy Extraordinary and Minister Plenipotentiary to His Britanpick Majesty :

Who, after having communicated to each other their respective Full Powers, found to be in due and proper form, have agreed upon and concluded the following Articles:

Art. I. All the Provisions of the II Id Article of the Convention concluded between His Majesty the King of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland, and the United States of America, on the 20th of October 1818, shall be, and they are hereby further indefinitely extended and continued in force, in the same manner as if all the provisions of the said Article were herein specifically recited.

II. It shall be competent, however, to either of the Contracting Parties, in case either should think fit, at any time after the 20th of October, 1928, on giving due notice of 12 months to the other Contracting Party, to anuul and abrogate this Convention; and it shall, in such case, be accordingly entirely annulled and abrogated, after the expiration of the said term of notice.

III. Nothing contained in this Convention, or in the IIId Article of the Convention of the 20th of October, 1818, hereby continued in force, shall be construed to impair or in any manner affect, the Claims which either of the Contraeting Parties may have to any part of the Country westward of the Stoney or Rocky Mountains.

IV. The present Convention shall be ratified, and the Ratifications shall be exchanged in 9 months, or sooner, if possible.

In witness whereof, the respective Plenipotentiaries have signed the same, and have affixed thereto the Seals of their Arms.

Done at London, the 6th day of August, in the Year of our Lord 1827. (L.S.) CHA. GRANT.


(The Ratifications of this Convention were exchanged in London, 2d April, 1828.]

CORRESPONDENCE between Great Britain and The : United States, relative to Commercial Intercourse between of America and the British West India Colonies.

June to October, 1827.

[ocr errors]



[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]


Page 1. Albort Gallatin, Esq. to Vise.

count Dudley............. Upper Seymour-street, 4th June, 1827. 976 2. Albort Gallatin, Esq. to Vis

count Dudley........... Upper Seymour-street, 17th Aug. 992 -3. The Earl of Dudley to Albort 11 Gallatio, Esq............. Foreign Office, ....... 1st Oct. 984 14. Albert Gallatin, Esq. to tho

Earl of Dudley........... Upper Seymour-street, 3d Oct. 992 Ling No. 1.-Albert Gallatin, Esq. to Viscount Dudley.

Upper Seymour-street, 4th June, 1827. The Undersigned, Minister of The United States of America, has the honour, in compliance with Instructions from his Government, to present to the consideration of Lord Viscount Dudley, His Majesty's Principal Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs, some further explanatory, observations on the subject of the Colonial Intercourse, which have been suggested by the Note of Lord Dudley's Predecessor in

Office, of the 27th of January last.* së It is not intended thereby to renew the discussion of Abstract Questions, already sufficiently debated, but to remove such misapprehensions as may still be entertained of the views and proceedings of the Government of The United States on that subject.

The Undersigned is instructed explicitly, to state: Ist, that duriog the whole time which elapsed between the Negociations of the Year 1824 and the Order in Council of July, 1826, the Government of The United States had entertained no doubt of the disposition of His Majesty's Government to renew the Negociations on that point, and to settle it

* Sec Page 494

to open

by a Conventional Arrangement: 2dly, that the conditions, on which it was intended by the Act of Parliament of July, 1825, the trade to American Vessels, have never been explained or distinctly understood, that they had not, therefore, been deliberately considered by the American Congress, and that that Body had not pronounced any decision on those Conditions prior to the Order in Council of July, 1826.

The reasons which had induced the belief, that His Majesty's Government was still disposed to negotiate on that subject, have already been stated.

Whatever might be the abstract rights of Great Britain, and her opinion of those rights, in respect to the regulations of an intercourse between her Colonies and The United States, she had, in fact, consented to negotiate on that subject. She had, as late as March, 1826, 8 months after the date of the Act of Parliament of July, 1825, announced to the Government of The United States her disposition to renew the Negotiations generally, and without making an exception as to that point, which had been one of the subjects of the Negotiations intended to be renewed. The Act of Parliament had not been officially communicated, nor any intimation given that it was meant as a substitute to Negotiations.

It has not been unusual, at least on the part of The United States, to communicate such Acts as may affect, or are connected with Negotiations. The Convention 1815 was made in pursuance of an Act of Congress, which was officially communicated to the Government of Great Britain.

With respect to that of March, 1823, the Bill was, during its progress in Congress, communicated by the Secretary of State to His Majesty's Minister at Washington, and it became a topick of Official Conference between them while on its passage, and of Official Correspondence in less than a month after its enactment.

But it was because the Act of Parliament of July, 1825, was intended by the British Government to supersede all Negotiation, that the communication of such a change of its resolution, as to the manner of regulating the Colonial trade, was necessary to the only Power with whoin Great Britain was Negotiating on that subject. It is not al. ledged that the omission was an intentional discourtesy towards the American Government. But it is, nevertheless, true that, combined with the invitation of Mr. Vaughan, to renew the Negotiations generally, it had the effect of misleading The United States, in regard to the views of the British Government.

It was to this end only that reference was made to the Letter addressed from the Department of State to a Member of Congress. That Letter, which was of a publick nature, and had acquired, by a Copy of it being furnished to Mr. Vaughan, an official character, might, with great propriety, be appealed to, as a conclusive evidence of the views taken at that time, by the Government of The United States, of the Act of Parliament.

The opinion expressed in that Letter was corroborated by the subsequent forbearance of the Government of Great Britain, to enforce that Act towards The United States. This suspension, which has since been declared to have been in consideration of the pendency before Congress of propositions arising out of the Act, had, for want of any explanation, the effect of confirming The United States in their belief, that Negotiation, and not Legislation, was the Instrument still in the contemplation of both Governments for regulating the Colonial Intercourse.

It is much to be regretted that the Instructions transmitted to Mr. Vaughan, and referred to in the Note of Lord Dudley's Predecessor in

ffice, of the 27th January last, did not authorize him to make any communication on the subject during the Session of Congress. Had any explanation been given at that time, of the true meaning of the Conditions offered by the Act of Parliament, and of the ultimate views of His Majesty's Government, Congress would have been enabled and induced to deliberate and decide on those Conditions.

It has, however, been inferred from the publick proceedings of the Legislature of The United States, that they had, on a free and deliberate consideration, declined to subscribe to the terms on which es. emption from Colonial prohibition was impartially tendered to all Nations.

It may often happen, when referring to the proceedings of the Legislature of another Nation, which have terminated in no affirmative Act, that the Votes and Resolutions, on measures which have not been thus matured, may not be fully comprehended; that the motives and bearings of those Votes and Resolutions may be misconceived. Some notice will be taken of the proceedings alluded to, for the purpose of correcting the erroneous impression which they seem to have made.

A Petition from Baltimore, such as has been described by His Majesty's Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs, was presented to Congress. "The Petitioners were uninformed of the Negociations of 1824, and of the subsequent correspondence between the two Governments. The Petition was referred in both Houses to the regular Committees. A separate Motion for the repeal of the discriminating duties had been previously made in the House of Representatives, and had been rereferred in the same manner.

The Committee of the House of Representatives, whether knowing that the subject had been taken up in the Senate, or form any other cause, made no Report. There was no Resolution discussed in that House, and consequently no deliberation or decision upon it.

The Committee of the Senate understood a compliance with the request of the Petitioners to be tantamount to an admission:" of British

Vessels, indiscriminately, into the Ports of The United States, with their cargoes, from whencesoever arriving, or of whatsoever composed, on the same terms as American Vessels, or those of the most favoured Nations, which is the same thing:" and they reported, in substance, that there was a strong ground of preference for an arrangement being effected, if practicable, by a Convention between the two Governments, rather than to rely on independent Acts of Legislation, sometimes ambiguous, and at all times subject to revocation; that a corresponding desire to arrange that intercourse appeared to exist on the part of the British Government; that the Negotiations respecting it were expected to come to a definitive issue before the next Session of Congress; and that it was not, therefore, expedient at that time to legislate on the subject.

This Report was made to the Senate on the 31st of March, 1826, 9 days after Mr. Vaughan's Communication on the renewal of the Negotiations.

It was re-committed, with an understanding that a Bill should be brought in, repealing the discriminating Duties. Such a Bill was accordingly reported, a Copy of which the Undersigned has the honour to enclose, containing a repeal, and nothing but a simple repeal, of these Duties.

The Bill was, on motion, ordered to lie on the Table, by a majority of two votes. This vote, the only one taken upon it, had no other effect but to prevent the Bill being acted upon on that day. It might have been called up on any other day, but it had been brought in near the close of the Session; and, whether from want of time, or, what is more probable, from reliance on the successful issue of Negotiations, it was not again taken into consideration. Had it been taken up and passed into a Law, it would not have been such a compliance with the terms of the Act of Parliament of July 1825, as was contemplated by Great Britain, since it did not repeal the restrictions laid by a former Act of Congress on the circuitous or indirect intercourse.

It appears from the course of the proceedings, and from the result, that the subject was not taken up in one of the Houses ; and that, in the other, the precise purport of the terms offered by the Act of Parliament, was not, at that time, inore distinctly understood than by the Executive, whilst the same reliance seems to have been placed in the result of the expected Negotiations. It is certain that the Conditions of the Act of Parliament, such as they are therein expressed, were not taken into deliberate consideration by the American Congress, and that that Body has never rejected nor pronounced any decision on those Conditions...,

Up to this day, it is still uncertain whether the real meaning of those terms is distinctly understood by The United States. The doubts entertained in that respect were stated at large in the Note of the Un

« PreviousContinue »