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son, are gentlemen whosc scientific attainments and special qualifications for the duties intrusted to them are too well known to require any vindication ou my part. But you complain of the fact that Dr. Dawson in 1890 wrote a paper on the protection of the fur seal in the North Pacific in which he committed himself to certain views. This shows that he has made this subject his special study, and it appears to me that he is all the more qualified on that account to take part in the labors of the Joint Commission, which, I beg leave to point out, is not a board of arbitration, but one of investigation.

Dr. Dawson's note on the fur seal to which you refer, was merely based upon such published material as was at the time available, and I have his authority for stating that he does not feel himself in any way bound to the opinions expressed from the study of that material, in the light of subsequent personal investigation on the ground.

You likewise complain that Sir George Baden-Powell had, previously to his selection as Commissioner, made public his views on the subject, and also that he is reported to have stated in an address to his parlia. mentry constituents that the result of the investigation of the Joint Commission and of the proposed Arbitration would be in favor of his Government.

Sir George Baden-Powell is particularly qualified to take part in the inquiry by reason of his personal investigation into the industrial part of the question, which he pursued in 1887 and 1889 in San Francisco and British Columbia. From the first he has advocated in all his public statements a full inquiry into the facts of seal life in Bering Sea before any final agreement should be arrived at, in order that the views of all parties should be tested as to the best method of protecting seal life. There is no just ground, therefore, for charging him with partial. ity. As regards the language imputed to him on the occasion of an address which he recently delivered to his constituents in England on the labor question, it appears that some introductory remarks in which he referred to the Behring Sea question were inaccurately reported. What he did state was that, thanks to the arrangement arrived at between the two Governments, the Behring Sea difficulty would now be settled in the true interests of all concerned and not of any one side or the other.

I may mention that the opinions of Prof. Mendendall and Dr. Merriam on the fur-seal question were published in several journals in this country shortly after their return from Behring Sea, and were stated (I know not with what accuracy) to be opposed to the views which have been urged on the side of Her Majesty's Government.

But I do not suggest that the United States Commissioners on that account are disqualified from taking part in the labors of the Joint Commission. I claim that all the Commissioners, British and American, are equally entitled to the confidence of both Governments, as men of science, honor, and impartiality,

The course which has been adopted for ascertaining what measures may be necessary for the protection of the fur-seal species is substantially the same as that which I had the honor to propose to you on behalf of Her Majesty's Government nearly two years ago in the form of a draft convention, inclosed in my note of April 29, 1890.

I rejoice that the proposal I then made is now to be carried out, and I cordially unite in the hope expressed in your note under reply that the result of the labors of the Joint Commission will promote an equitable and mutually satisfactory adjustment of the questions at issue. I have, etc.,

JULIAN PAUNCEFOTE.

CORRESPONDENCE RELATIVE TO THE MODUS VIVENDI OF 1892.

Mr. Blaine to Sir Julian Pauncefote.

DEPARTMENT OF STATE,

Washington, February 9, 1892. SIR: I have been informed by the American seal Commissioners that in an informal meeting with their British colleagues on yesterday the latter expressed an unwillingness to enter upon conferences of any other than an official character, and they therefore proposed that their joint conferences be postponed until after the Arbitration convention shall have been signed.

I beg to state to you that the Government of the United States is very anxious to expedite as much as possible the consideration of the important questions submitted to the Commissioners, and in view of the fact that it regards the Arbitration convention as substantially agreed upon, the American Commissioners have been instructed to make known to the British Commissioners their readiness to formally arrange the joint conference and proceed without further delay to the discharge of the duties assigned to them. I have, etc.,

JAMES G. BLAINE.

Sir Julian Pauncefote to Mr. Blaine.

BRITISH LEGATION,

Washington, February 11, 1892. SIR: I had the honor to receive yesterday your note of the 9th instant, in which you state that you have been informed by the American seal Commissioners that in an informal meeting with their British colleagues on the 8th instant, the latter expressed an unwillingness to enter upon conferences of any other than an official character, and they therefore proposed that their joint conferences be postponed until after the Arbitration convention has been signed.

The British Commissioners, to whom I communicated your note, have informed me that at the preliminary conference of the Commissioners on the 8th instant they discussed with their colleagues what work of a preparatory character could be got through at once. The meeting was informal, according to the conditions laid down in the last paragraph in your note to me of the 4th instant, and it was arranged by the four Commissioners to hold a second preliminary conference this day at the State Department at 3 o'clock, at which they could discuss certain matters, which they had undertaken to consider in the interval, and other preparatory work.

In consequence of your note of the 9th instant, the British Commissioners hope at the conference to-day to arrange with their colleagues that the joint conference shall proceed to business formally. I have, etc.,

JULIAN PAUNCEFOTE.

Mr. Blaine to Sir Julian Pauncefote.

17 MADISON PLACE,

Washington, February 12, 1892. MY DEAR SIR JULIAN: The motive you have always urged upon me for assembling the Commissioners on seal fisheries at an early date was that they could provide a modus virendi that would be sufficient, while the Arbitration should go on with plenty of time to consider the various points.

I was surprised to hear that your Commissioners yesterday declined to discuss the modus vivendi, on the allegation that that was a subject reserved for you and me. This puts an entirely new phase upon the work of the Commission and largely diminishes its value. Will you have the goodness to advise me of the precise scope of the work which you assigned to your Commissioners ? Very truly, yours,

JAMES G. BLAINE.

Sir Julian Pauncefote to Mr. Blaine.

BRITISH LEGATION,

Washington, 13 February, 1892. DEAR MR. BLAINE: In reply to your letter of yesterday, I beg to state that in my opinion the British Commissioners are right in holding that they have no power under their present mandate to discuss the question of a modus vivendi for the next fishery season. Their authority is limited by the terms of the Joint Commission agreement which we signed on the 18th of December last.

That authority is confined to l'eporting their views on what fishery regulations of a permanent character may be necessary with a view to arbitration. The question of a modus vivendi, pending the result of the Arbitration, is one for the two Governments to discuss. I have certainly urged, as an additional reason for the early meeting of the Joint Commission, that its reports would furnish valuable materials for such discussion; but it can hardly be contended that the Commissioners can properly deal with such a question without special authority from their respective Governments.

I communicated to Lord Salisbury the proposal you made to me at our interview of the 2d instant that our two Governments should agree to a modus vivendi, and I am awaiting his lordship's reply. I remain, etc.,

JULIAN PAUNCEFOTE.

Sir Julian Pauncefote to Mr. Blaine.

BRITISH LEGATION,

Washington, February 13, 1892. SIR: With reference to your note of the 4th instant inclosing a copy of the draft of the proposed Behring Sea Arbitration convention, I have the honor to in vorm you that, as previously arranged between us, I transmitted a copy of the draft by the mail of the 6th instant to the Marquis of Salisbury for the approval of Her Majesty's Government, and that I am awaiting his lordship's instructions before proceeding further in the matter. I have, etc.,

JULIAN PAUNCEFOTE.

Sir Julian Pauncefote to Mr. Blaine.

BRITISH LEGATION, Washington, February 19, 1892. (Received February 20.) SIR: On the occasion of our interview on the 2d instant, when you handed me the draft of the Behring Sea Arbitration convention, which I forwarded to London for the consideration of Her Majesty's Government, you asked me whether they were prepared to agree to a modus vivendifor the next fishery season in Behring Sea. In transmitting the draft of the Arbitration convention to the Marquis of Salisbury I did not fail to inform him of your inquiry, and I have now received a reply from his lordship to the effect that Her Majesty's Government can not express any opinion on the subject until they know what “modus vivendīyou desire to propose. I have, etc.,

JULIAN PAUNCEFOTE.

Mr. Blaine to Sir Julian Pauncefote.

DEPARTMENT OF STATE,

Washington, February 24, 1892. SIR: I am in receipt of your favor of the 19th. You therein inform me that Lord Salisbury can not express any opinion on the subject of the modus vivendi until he knows what we desire to propose.

I am glad to hear that Lord Salisbury contemplates a modus; for it is obvious that it is impossible to conclude the Arbitration within the time originally set. Indeed, we shall hardly be able to enter upon it, The delays have been much greater on the part of Great Britain than on the part of the United States.

In reply to your inquiry the President suggests that the modus should be much the same as last year in terms, but that it should be better executed. It was very ineffective last year, for there were a larger number of seals in Behring Sea taken then than ever before. The vessels had already set out before the modus was agreed upon, and it

, was impossible to give them notice in time to avoid their taking seals. Her Majesty's Government did not take such efficient measures as an earlier date this year will render practicable.

If Her Majesty's Government would make her efforts most effective, the sealing in the North Pacific Ocean should be forbidden, for there the slaughter of the mothers heavy with young is the greatest. This would require a notice to the large number of sealers which are preparing to go forth from British Columbia. The number is said to be greater than ever before, and without any law to regulate the killing of seals the destruction will be immense. All this suggests the great need of an effective modus. Holding an arbitration in regard to the rightful mode of taking seals while their destruction goes forward would be as if, while an arbitration to the title of timber land were in progress, one party should remove all the trees.

I shail have to ask you to transmit the contents of this note to Lord Salisbury by telegraph. Every day that is lost now entails great trouble upon both Governments. I lave, etc.,

JAMES G. BLAINE.

Mr. Blaine to Sir Julian Pauncefote.

DEPARTMENT OF STATE,

Washington, February 26, 1892. MY DEAR SIR JULIAN: Mr. Myers, our consul at Victoria, telegraphs to-day that there are

Forty-six sailing schooners cleared to date. Six or seven more to go. At the same date last year thirty-one cleared.

I think from this you will see that if we do not come to an understanding soon there will be no need of an agreement relating to seals in the North Pacific or in the Behring Sea. I will be glad if you will let Lord Salisbury know this fact. Very truly, yours,

JAMES G. BLAINE.

Mr. Blaine to Sir Julian Pauncefote.

DEPARTMENT OF STATE,

Washington, February 27, 1892. SIR: I have the honor to state that if you will have the kindness to call at this Department on Monday morning next, the 29th instant, at 11 o'clock, I shall be prepared to sign with you the treaty for the arbitration of the Behring Sea question which has been agreed upon between the Government of the United States and that of Her Britannic Majesty. I have, etc.,

JAMES G. BLAINE.

Sir Julian Pauncefote to Mr. Blaine.

BRITISH LEGATION, Washington, February 29, 1892. (Received March 1.) SIR: Immediately upon the receipt of your note of the 24th instant, respecting a renewal of the modus rirendi in Behring Sea, and in accordance with the wish therein expressed, I telegraphed its contents to the Marquis of Salisbury. In that note, after observing that it is impossible to conclude the arbitration within the time originally set, and that the delays have been much greater on the part of Great Britain than on the part of the United States, you proceed to inform me that, in the view of the President, the new modus virendi should be much the same as that of last year, in terms; that, owing to the earlier date this year, it could be more effectively executed; but that, "if Her Majesty's

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