Page images


When this Convention shall come into operation, and during the continuance thereof, the following articles imported into the Colony of Newfoundland from the United States shall be admitted free of duty S

Agricultural implements and machinery imported by Agricultural Societies for the promotion of agriculture.

Cranes, derricks, fire clay, fire brick, rock drills, rolling mills, crushing mills, separators, drill steel, machinery of every description for mining used within the mine proper or at the surface of the mine, smelting machinery of all kinds when imported directly by persons engaged in mining, or to be used in their mining operations and not for sale.

Brick machines.
Dynamite, detonators, blasting powder, and fuse,
Raw cotton and cotton yarn.
Corn for the manufacture of brooms and whisks.
Chair cane, unmanufactured.

Cotton seed oil, olive oil, boracic acid, acetic acid, preservatine, when imported by manufacturers to be used in the preservation of fish or fish-glue.

Hemp, hemp yarn, coir yarn, sisal, manilla, jute, flax, and tow.
Indian corn.

Oil cake, oil cake meal, cotton seed cake, cotton seed meal, pease meal, bran, and other preparations for cattle feed.

Manures and fertilizers of all kinds, and sulphuric acid when imported to be used in the manufacture of manures.

Lines and twines used in connection with the fisheries, not including sporting tackle.
Ores to be used as flux.
Gas engines when protected by patent.

Ploughs, harrows, reaping, raking, potato-digging, and seed-sowing machines when imported by those engaged in agriculture, and not for sale.

Engravers' plates of steel, polished, for engraving thereon; photo-engraving machinery, viz.: Router, bevelling, and squaring machines, screen-holders, cross line screens, and chemicals for use in engraving, wood for blocking, engraving tools, and process plates.

Printing presses, printing paper, printing types, printers' ink, when imported by bonâ fide printers for use in their business.

Salt, in bulk, when imported for use in the fisheries; and the duties to be levied and collected upon the following enumerated merehandize imported into the Colony of Newfoundland from the United States shall not exceed the following amounts, viz. :

Flour, 25 cents. per barrel.
Pork, 1 dol. 50 c. per barrel of 200 lbs.

Bacon and hams, tongues, smoked beef, and sausages, 2 cents per lb., or 2 dol. 50 c. per 112 lbs.

Beef, pigs' heads, hocks, and feet, salted and cured, 1 dollar per barrel of 200 lbs.
Indian meal, 20 cents per barrel.
Peas, 30 cents per barrel.
Oatmeal, 30 cents per barrel of 200 lbs.
Rice, cent per lb.
Kerosene oil, 6 cents per gallon.


It is understood that if any reduction is made by the Colony of Newfoundland, at any time during the term of this Convention, in the rate of dnty upon the articles named in Article IV of this Convention, coming from any other country, the said reduction shall apply to the United States, and that no heavier duty shall be imposed on articles coming from the United States than is imposed on such articles coming from elsewhere.


The present Convention shall be duly ratified by His Britannic Majesty and by the President of the United States of America, by and with the advice and consent of the Senate thereof, and the ratifications shall be exchanged at Washington as soon thereafter as practicable.

Its provisions shall go into effect thirty days after the exchange of ratifications, and shall continue and remain in full force for the term of five years from the date at which it may come into operation, and, further, until the expiration of twelve months after either of the Contracting Parties shall give notice to the other at the end of the said term of five years, or at any time afterwards.

In faith whereof we, the respective Plenipotentiaries, have signed this Convention, and have hereunto affixed our seals.

Done in duplicate at Washington, this 8th day of November, in the year of our Lord 1902.


Speech by Sir R. Bond on Second Reading of Foreign Fishing-vessels Bill of 1905, delivered

April 7, 1905.

THE Right Honourable the Premier (Sir Robert Bond).—Mr. Speaker, when moving the first reading of this Bill on Wednesday last, in reply to a question put by the leader of the Opposition, I stated that the object of the measure is to inforın foreign fishermen that they are no longer entitled to enter within the three-mile limit for any purpose whatever, except as provided by Treaty with His Majesty's Government.

Under the Foreign Fishing Vessels Act of 1893, which this Bill is intended to repeal, the Governor in Council was authorized to issue licences to foreign fishing-vessels, enabling them to enter any port on the coasts of this Colony to purchase bait, ice, supplies, and outfits for the fishery and to ship crews.

Authority was conveyed to foreign fishing-vesssels to enter any port of entry for the purpose of applying for such licence, and power was given to the Governor in Council to make rules and regulations respecting the terms and conditions under which such licences should issue.

It is proposed to repeal the whole Act of 1893, but certain sections of that Act are embodied in this Bill. For instance, sectious 2 and 3 of that Act are combined in section 1 of this Bill, excepting that reference to the issue of licences is omitted. Section 2 of this Bill is practically the same as section 4 of the Act of 1893. Section 3 is the same as section 5 of the old Act, omitting reference to licences. Section 4 of this Bill is the same as section 6 of the 1893 Act; section 5 is the same as section 7 of that Act; section 6 is the same as section 8 of that Act; section 7 is the same as section 9 of that Act; and section 8 is the same as section 11 of the 1893 Act. It may be contended that under Acts which relate to our fisheries there is sufficient power to do all that is contemplated by this Bill. My reply to that would be that the Government is advised that the measure now before the House is desirable. It is desirable that the policy of the Government in respect to foreign fishing-vessels should be made perfectly clear and unmistakable.

That policy is not to grant licences to such vessels, enabling them to enter any of the ports of this Colony and purchase bait, ice, supplies, and outfits for the fishery, and to ship crews, under existing circumstances. This being the policy of the Government, the retention on our Statute Book of the Foreign Fishing Vessels Act of 1893 would be misleading and might prove vexatious.

What are the existing circumstances that render it desirable and expedient that foreign fishing-vessels should be precluded the privileges contemplated by the Foreign Fishing Vessels Act of 1893 ?

In the case of the French fishing vessels, the disadvantage at which our fishermen are placed by reason of the bounty system which the Government of France extends to her fishermen on our coasts, and which enables them to undersell us in foreign markets.

In the case of American fishermen, the almost prohibitive tax which Congress continues to impose upon all our fishery products that seek a market within the border of the United States, and the pronounced hostility of those fishermen, whose interests have been sustained by the supplies obtained from within our jurisdiction, to that measure of reciprocity that the administration of their country has pronounced equitable and just.

And the further circumstance that warrants the present policy of the Government in respect to all foreign fishing-vessels is the shortage of bait supplies that has confronted our own fishermen during the past two years.

That that shortage is but of a temporary character we have every reason to believe. The herring, caplin, and squid, which comprise our bait fishes, are most erratic in their habits. Scientists tell us so, and experience has proved it. That those fish for some reason forsake long stretches of coast for a season, and in some instances for years, and then return again to their former habitat, we have had demonstrated to us over and over again. But while this is so, while we know that the embarrassment in respect to the scarcity of bait on certain sections of our coast is only temporary, it would be an act of madness on our part to continue to supply to foreigners what we require ourselves, unless we receive therefor a quid pro quo.

The generous treatment that we have been extending to American fishermen in this respect during the past fifteen years, while fully appreciated and respected by the Administration of the United States, is apparently not appreciated, and is certainly not respected, by the fishermen of that country, who have so largely benefited by it; and the best way to bring them to a realization of their position of dependence upon our bait supplies is to withhold those supplies. We have said to the fishermen of the United States, provided our fishery products are admitted into your markets upon the same footing as your own, we will permit you to obtain from our supply all the bait fishes you require for the conduct of your fisheries. The answer we have received from those fishermen bas been, “ We don't thank you for bait. We pay for it, and hundreds of your people are dependent upon the dollars that we scatter in the purchase of that bait.” They go further, and by misrepresentation succeed in influencing the Senate to thwart the Administration of their country in consummating a measure that, while dealing out justice to this country, would have been mutually advantageous.

Permit me to refer to proof of the correctness of my allegations.

On the 4th December, 1902, Senator Lodge presented to the United States' Senate certain papers and statistics in regard to Gloucester and New England fisheries. These papers were : referred to the Committee ou Foreign Relations to be printed, and I have been favoured with a copy of the said papers and statistics that I now have before me.

The first paper is a letter addressed by Messrs. John Pew and Son, of Gloucester, to the Honourable Henry Cabot Lodge, under date the 1st December, 1902. In the main this deals with the mackerel fishery conducted from Gloucester, and the probable result of competition. Suffice it to say, in reply thereto, that Newfoundland has no mackerel fishery whatsoever. There was a time, forty or fifty years ago, when mackerel was as plentiful as caplin upon our shores, and people used them in the same manner. They were so plentiful that they were carted througli the streets of this city to be used in the making of compost for manure by farmers, as caplin and s juid are used to-day. However, during the last thirty-five or forty years, they have almost, if not altogether, disappeared from our coasts, so that the statement of Messis. Pew and Son, rade for the purpose of influencing the United States' Senate, is entirely inisleading and incorrect, and has no bearing whatever upon the Newfoundland Treaty. It is quite probable. that no more than six or seven, if that number, of the Senators were cognizant of the fact that Newfoundland possessed no mackerel fishery, and the majority of the Senators were therefore deceived by the paper that was put before them, from which I have quoted.

Messrs. Pew and Sons then proceed to ask in their paper the question, "What does Gloucester get by such a Treaty ?" and to answer it thus: “Only this one small thing, thewithdrawal of the tonnage tax which Newfoundland imposes, namely, 1 dol. 50 c. per net ton or American fishing-vessels that seek Newfoundland ports at certain seasons of the year for the purpose of buying fresh bait. . . . . Under the Treaty of 1818, Article I, we understand that United States' inhabitants have for ever the liberty to take fish of every kind on that part of the southern coast of Newfoundland which extends from Cape Ray to Rameau Islands; on the western and northern coasts of Newfoundland from Cape Ray to Quirpon Islands; and also on the coasts, bays, harbours, and creeks from Mount Joli, on the southern coast of Labrador, to and through the Straits of Belleisle, and thence northwardly indefinitely. Therefore the liberty of buying bait free of tonnage tax already exists in this long stretch of sea coast, and the Hay-Bond Treaty is no benefit whatever.”

This deliberate statement, made to influence the Senate, is tallacious and misleading.

In the first place, the Treaty that I had the honour of negotiating in 1902,* means to the United States' fishermen not only “ the withdrawal of the tonnage tax," but the important privilege of purchasing bait fishes in any of the harbours of this Colony, a privilege for the ten years' use of which, under the Washington Treaty, the Halifax Fishery Commission, which sat iw 1877, awarded Newfoundland 1,000,000 dollars, or an annual subvention of 100,000 dollars per annum. The Treaty of 1818, to which Messrs. Pew and Son referred in their paper to the Senate, conveys no such privilege. Under that Treaty they have no right whatever to buy bait on any part of the Newfoundland coast, and they have only been permitted to do so by virtue of the Foreign Fishing Vessels Act, which this Bill now before the House proposes to repeal.

The Treaty of 1902, now before the Senate of the United States, is intended to secure to American fishermen equal privileges with our own people in the winter herring fishery; and I repeat that the statement made by Messrs. Pew and Sons, that the Americans under the Treaty of 1818, have the right to buy or take these herring in the creeks and harbours on the southern coast of Newfoundland, between Cape Ray and Rameau Islands; and on the northern and western coast of Newfoundland, between Cape Ray and Quirpon Islands, is incorrect and misleading; and I desire to emphasize the statement that, in my opinion, the fishermen of the United States of America have no right, under the Treaty of 1818, cither to take for themselves or to purchase bait fishes in the harbours, creeks, or coves between Cape Ray and Rameau Islands on the southern coast of Newfoundland, or in the harbour's, creeks, or coves between Cape Ray and Quirpon Islands on the northern and western coast; and that the liberty extended to them under the 'Treaty of 1818 to take fish in the harbours, bays, and creeks of this Colony, is limited to that portion of our dependency from Mount Joli, on the southern coast of Labrador, to and through the Straits of Belleisle, and thence north wardly indefinitely. This is a point of vast importance to the people of this country. I believe I am correct in saying that it is the first time that this position has been taken, and, if I am correct in my interpretation of the Treaty of 1818, the whole winter herring fishery of the West Coast has been carried on for years by the Americans simply at the sufferance of the Government of this Colony.

It is surprising that the Senate did not see the fallaciousness of the statement made by the Messis. Pew in regard to the rights of American fishermen on the portion of the coast of this Colony to which I have just referred, for the Honourable Dwight Foster, that eminent American lawyer who represented the United States of America at the Halifax Fishery Commission in 1877, declared in his closing argument on behalf of the United States before that Commission that “No rights to do anything upon the land are conferred upon citizens of the United States runder the Treaty of 1818. So far as the herring trade goes, we could not, if we were disposed to, carry it on successfully under the provisions of the Treaty, for this herring trade is substantially a seining from the shore—a strand fishery, as it is called—and we have no right anywhere conferred by Treaty to go ashore aid seine herring. We have no right to go ashore for any purpose anywhere on the British territories, except to dry nets aud cure fish.”

* The Hay-Bond Convention.

I'venture to go further than the learned counsel for the United States in his admission, and to express the opinion, after very careful consideration, that American fishermen not only have no right to land and seine herrings, but they have no right to enter into the harbour's, creeks, or coves from Cape Ray to Rameau Islands, and from Cape Ray to Quirpon Islands, for the purpose of buying herrings or fishing for them.

Messrs. Pew and Son, in their paper, proceeded to state further that “In this stretch of coast-that is to say, between Cape Ray and Quirpon Islands—are situated Bay of Islands and Bonne Bay, where fifty or more of our New England fishing-vessels go to engage in the winter herring fishery. Having herring come into the United States free of duty, as contemplated by the Bond-Hay Treaty, simply transfers this winter fishery over to the British flag" If the position that I have taken up in regard to this section of the coast of this Colony is correct, the exclusive rights to the winter herring fishery are under the British flag to-day, and always have been so ever since the dominion of the British flag was first established in North America.

The other papers presented to the United States' Senate by Senator Lodge on behalf of the New England fishermen scarcely merit criticism. They consist of extracts from newspapers published under a wrong impression prior to the publication of the 1902 Treaty. It is perhaps worthy of notice, however, that the paper marked No. 2, signed by a Mr. Nickerson, alleges that, “ If the Hay-Bond Treaty is ratified, one of the consequences that will ensue is that vessels from Nova Scotia will go to Newfoundland and register, and that thus the products of the Nova Scotia fisheries would find admission into the United States free through the Newfoundland Convention."

The absurdity of this statement will be apparent on reference to the IInd and IIIrd Articles of the Hay-Bond Treaty. Article II of that Treaty stipulates that the fishery products to be admitted into the United States shall be “the products of the fisheries carried on by the fishermen of Newfoundland,' and Article III stipulates that " the officer of Customs at the Newfoundland port where the vessel clears shall give to the master of the vessel a sworn certificate that the tish shipped were the products of the fisheries carried on by the fishermen of Newfourdland, which certificate shall be countersigned by the Consul or Consular Agent of the United States."

At the time of the drawing up of the Hay-Bond Treaty I had in view the possibility which Mr. Nickerson regards as a certainty, and I caused the insertion of the Articles to which I have referred in order to prevent any question arising in connection with Canadian fish, and it possibility of the evasion of the true intent and meaning of the Treaty:

Another paper put in was signed by J. Donahue, F. E. Libby, and other New England fish dealers, who took up the position that our people were dependent upon the Americans coming to our shores to buy bait; that there was no danger of the withdrawal of bait privileges by the Government of Newfoundland, inasmuch as a large number of the people of this Colony were dependent upon the dollars that the Americans left here in return for the supply of bait fishes; and I have observed that a certain section of the press of New England has referred to the 'people of this Colony as paupers, and to our fishery products as “pauper fish.” The challenge has been thrown out by that press that the Legislature of this Colony dare not interfere or attempt to restrict our people in the supply of bait fishes to the American fishing fleet.

Another position which has been taken, not only by individual vessel owners of Gloucester, but also has been advocated by a large and influential section of the American press, is that the ratification of the Hay-Bond Treaty will cause the displacement of American fish in American markets; that it will mean the destruction of the fisheries of New England, which it is contended is the nursery of the American navy. It would amuse the House if I were to lay before them the special paper which was forwarded by the fishing interests of New England to the United States Senate on this point. It would be amusing in view of the facts that are revealed by the registers of shipping and other public records. It is only necessary to have reference to those records to be convinced of the fact that out of 8,000 fishermen who man the fishing fleets of New England, some 4,000 are Newfoundlanders, about 1,500 are of American birth, and the balance consists of Nova Scotians, New Brunswickers, Portuguese, and Scandinavians. We learn that in some instances whole crews of vessels sailing out of Gloucester are made up of Nova Scotians. The Gloucester “ News” of the 20th November, 1902, gave an interesting report of the three months' trip of the schooner “ Aloha,” owned by Messrs. Cunningham and Thompson, in which it was stated that the “skipper was a native of West Bay, Cape Breton, while his fishery lads were the flower of Shelburne County, Nova Scotia."

During the recent war with Spain the United States' Government sent two man-of-war ships to Gloucester for recruiting purposes, and although they remained there the whole summer there was only an enlistment of about 300 men, the majority of whom were not American born. At the same time the commercial city of Boston enlisted from its workshops and factories more than 1,7(10 mien for the same purpose.

It can readily be understood why it is that Gloucester and New England fishing interests vbject to the ratification of the Ilay-Bond Convention, for at the present time they virtually have a monopoly of the frozen herring industry. That industry has largely built up the fishery interests of New England. It is impossible for our people to compete with the Americans while


they have to face an import duty of three quarters of a cent per pound, which is equivalent to 25 per cent. of the value of the article.

The expenses attending the prosecution of the frozen herring trade by the Americans are insignificant, because their vessels are not under the necessity of going to the expense of bringing to Newfoundland either large crews or implements of trade.

Under a United States' Treasury Department decision herring can be taken by engaging Newfoundland labour, and can be landed free of duty as if the catch had been taken by American

This virtually is an evasion of the law, and the matter has recently been freely agitated in the leading journals of New York and Boston under the heading of “ The Smuggling of Herring.” As a matter of fact, the frozen herring taken in American schooners to the United States cannot be properly termed a product of the American fisheries. The American fishermen do not catch them, neither do they employ Newfoundland fishermen to catch them. They are caught by the people of this Colony and sold to the American fishermen as an article of commerce, and are then, as has been termed by the American press, smuggled into the United States free of duty as a product of the American fisheries. One leading American Journal has declared that the loss of revenue accruing to the United States' Treasury during the year 1894-95 for duty on herring amounted to 84,000 dollars. In the year 1894 I was asked by the Special Agent of the United States' Treasury to furnish statistics in respect of the conduct of the winter herring fishery in this Colony by the Americans. I readily complied with the request, and it was upon the statistics that I gave them that the inquiry was based which led to the exposure in connection with the smuggling of herring into the United States in American vessels.

Under date the 12th March, 1894, I wrote the Treasury Department as follows, viz. :

"With regard to the facts surrounding the prosecution of the so-called frozen herring fishery, I have much pleasure in supplying the following information, which has been obtained from reliable sources :

“ New England schooners visit the southern coast of Newfoundland during the winter months, from October to March, for the purpose of obtaining frozen herring. As you correctly observe, “these vessels carry a small complement of men,' sometimes they carry a seine and seine-boat, but this is the exception-in fact, it is but seldom that they have either. The bulk of herring obtained by them is purchased from Newfoundlanders in a frozen state for cash; a limited quantity by barter, the commodities supplied being for the most part oil-clothes, rubber boots, cheap ready-made goods, flour, sugar, and salt beef; on these articles duty is usually paid.

"I am informed, however, by the Receiver-General, that there have been instances of attempts to evade the payment of customs duties, and he is of opinion that smuggling is still carried on, notwithstanding the great care taken to protect the revenue. It seems that a plea is made that owing to the nature of the voyage, an extra allowauce of oil-clothes, rubber boots, flannels, ship’s stores (including spirits), is made the crew and ship,' and there is grave suspicion that this surplus stock is bartered for herring without duty being paid on it. The price paid for the herring varies from 25 cents per basket to 40 cents per basket, and depends on the catch. As a rule, the fish is frozen on shore by Newfoundlanders; in some instances it is caught, frozen, and held in store awaiting the arrival of American vessels, when it is sold to the highest bidder for cash. In no case is gear supplied to Newfoundlanders to take fish except by actual sale of the article, i.e., herring nets or second-hand mackerel seines, the latter of which are too much worn to be of use for the purpose for which they were originally intended. Newfoundlanders are sometimes engaged by American skippers to assist as stevedores, but never for the purpose of catching herring. There is one case on record in which natives of this Colony were hired to take fish out of a stine. It occurred in St. Mary's Bay in the spring of 1893. One Solomon Jacobs, master of the schooner “Ethel B. Jacobs," shot his seine in Newfoundland waters, a large haul was made, and Newfoundlanders were hired to take the fish out and place it on board the schooner.

" To my general statement, made above, to the effect that “as a rule the fish is frozen on shore' there is one exception. Occasionally the poorer class of fishermen who require an immediate supply of provisions bring their unfrozen fish alongside and barter them. These herring are subsequently frozen on scaffolds on board, and, for the most part, by natives hired for that purpose.

" To sum up : Herring is never taken by Americans themselves. They are purchased in exchange for cash, and in a lesser degree for mercliandize, from Newfoundlanders who catch and freeze them. Newfoundlanders are never hired to catch herring for the Americans.

“ Care must be taken to distinguish between United States' vessels visiting this coast for the purpose of purchasing bait, supplies, &c., for the codfishery-in fact, those making Newfoundland ports a base from which to carry on fishing operations, and those who engage in the frozen herring trade. To the former licences (copy of which is inclosed) are issued, for which 1 dol. 50 c. per ton is charged; to the latter no charge is made except the usual ones, equally chargeable to Newfoundlanders, of light and customs dues.”

Turning to another phase of the question

In dealing with this Bill, it may not be disadvantageous to give a brief résumé of the history of the fisheries question as it relates to the intercourse between the fishermen of the United States of America and those of this Colony.

Before the American Revolution the inhabitants of all the British Colonies in North America possessed as a common right the right of fishing on all the coasts of what was then

« PreviousContinue »