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"4. To what point on the 56th parallel is the line to be drawn from the head of the Portland Channel, and what course should it follow between these points?
"5. In extending the line of demarcation northward from said point on the parallel of the 56th degree of north latitude, following the crest of the mountains situated parallel to the coast until its intersection with the 141st degree of longitude west of Greenwich, subject to the condition that if such line should anywhere exceed the distance of 10 marine leagues from the Ocean then the boundary between the British and the Russian territory should be formed by a line parallel to the sinuosities of the coast and distant therefrom not more than 10 marine leagues, was it the intention and meaning of said Convention of 1825 that there should remain in the exclusive possession of Russia a continuous fringe, or strip, of coast on the mainland, not exceeding 10 marine leagues in width, separating the British possessions from the bays, ports, inlets, havens, and waters of the Ocean, and extending from the said point on the 56th degree of latitude north to a point where such line of demarcation should intersect the 141st degree of longitude west of the meridian of Greenwich?
"6. If the foregoing question should be answered in the negative, and in the event of the summit of such mountains proving to be in places more than 10 marine leagues from the coast, should the width of the lisière, which was to belong to Russia, be measured (1) from the mainland coast of the ocean, strictly so-called, along a line perpendicular thereto, or (2) was it the intention and meaning of the said Convention that where the mainland coast is indented by deep inlets forming part of the territorial waters of Russia, the width of the lisière was to be measured (a) from the line of the general direction of the mainland coast, or (b) from the line separating the waters of the Ocean from the territorial waters of Russia, or (c) from the heads of the aforesaid inlets?
“7. What, if any exist, are the mountains referred to as situated parallel to the coast, which mountains, when within 10 marine leagues from the coast, are declared to form the eastern boundary?"
The Convention was ratified on the 3rd March, 1903.
The full text of the Convention is set out in the Appendix to this Case.
The accompanying Case, together with the documents, official correspondence, maps, and other evidence, on which the Government of Great Britain relies, contained in Appendices I, II, and III to the Case, is delivered pursuant to Article II of the Convention.
The Convention between Great Britain and Russia to be interpreted. by the Tribunal was concluded on the 16th (28th) February, 1825.
By a Treaty between the United States and Russia concluded on the 18th (30th) March, 1867, Russia ceded to the United States all the territory and dominion then possessed by her on the Continent of America and in the adjacent islands within geographical limits therein described. In fixing the eastern limits the line of demarcation between the Russian and the British possessions in North America, as established by the Convention between Russia and Great Britain of the 16th (28th) February, 1825, and as described in Articles III and IV of that Convention, was adopted word for word. An interpretation of the Treaty which will fix the line of demarcation between the British and Russian possessions in North America, as it was laid down in the Treaty of 1825, will delimit the boundary-line between those territories adopted by the Treaty of 1867, and as it continues to be at the present time.
On the cession of the territory to the United States, the name "Alaska" was substituted for "Russian America."
Throughout almost its entire length, that is to say, up to latitude 60°, the disputed territory adjoins the Province of British Columbia on its westward side. The boundaries of this portion of the British possessions in America were fixed by an Imperial Act of 1863, which specifies the western boundary to be the Pacific Ocean and the frontier of the Russian territories in North America, the north to be the 60th parallel of latitude, the east the 120th meridian of west longitude and the summit of the Rocky Mountains.
The remaining portion in dispute adjoins the Yukon territory, and includes the easterly boundary of the coast strip from the vicinity of Yakutat Bay to the 141st meridian.
British Columbia did not enter the Canadian Confederation until July 20th, 1871, when its territory became a part of the Dominion of Canada.
The Yukon territory was created by an Act of the Federal Parliament June 13th, 1898, out of the territory added to Canada on June 23rd, 1870.
Only a portion of the international boundary is in dispute. With that part beginning at or near Demarcation Point on the Arctic Ocean at longitude 141° west, and following that meridian southwards a distance of about 450 marine miles until it strikes the summit of the mountains near Mount St. Elias-which is just within Canadian territory-the present enquiry has nothing to do. For that distance the boundary is a purely geodetic one, and a meridian of longitude can be ascertained with scientific precision.
The disputed part of the boundary-line is that which runs from the 141st meridian to the commencement of the line according to the Treaty, at the southernmost point of Prince of Wales Island. It may be said to be, roughly speaking, about 550 marine miles in length. Inasmuch as in the Treaty the line is described commencing from the south, that order will, as a matter of convenience, be observed in this Case.
The general geographical character of the territory in dispute will be appreciated by looking at the map No. 37 in the Atlas, which will also show the lines drawn in accordance with varying interpretations of the Treaty.
1.-Maritime Discoveries, 1741-1821.
The history of the various voyages of discovery in the Northern Pacific and Behring Sea forms a considerable literature by itself. During the negotiations resulting in the Treaty between Great Britain and Russia in 1825, and afterwards, in the course of the presentation of the Behring Sea Case under the Treaty of the 29th February, 1892, an exhaustive examination was made of all sources of information under this head, but for present purposes a short summary is deemed sufficient.
The part of the New World washed by the North Pacific 7 Ocean was discovered much later than any other part of the North American torrid and temperate zones. The evident reason for this is its greater remoteness from Europe and the fact that it could only be reached by doubling Cape Horn or the Cape of Good Hope.
The Russians had crossed Siberia and reached Kamtschatka in 1697. In 1728-29 Behring practically proved the separation of the continent as high as 67° on the coast of Asia. In the following year, according to Coxe, he made another attempt to reach land to the east, but, after sailing 50 leagues from the Asiatic coast without seeing anything, returned to Okhotsk and afterwards to St. Petersburgh. Nothing more was done until 1741. In June of that year two vessels set sail, the one commanded by Behring, the other by his lieutenant Tchirikoff. According to Müller, the historian of the expedition, Behring came in sight of land in 58° 28′ north latitude, and Tchirikoff in latitude 56°. Behring did not reach the mainland, but sent a boat on shore for water on a large island. He named Cape St. Elias, at the southern end of Kayak Island, but did not land or take possession. It is not clear that Behring ever reached the mainland. Tehirikoff, according to Müller, reached the mainland in 56°, and sent 10 men in a boat for water. As they never returned they were probably massacred. Six more sent after them never came back to the ship, and probably met the same fate. On the 27th July Tchirikoff returned to Kamtschatka. As Müller in his map shows no islands on the coast where Tchirikoff landed, it is believed that he landed on one of the large islands and mistook it for the mainland. A number of Russian voyages are outlined by the historian Coxe, extending from 1741 to 1748, to the Aleutian Islands, Fox Islands, Andreanorski Islands, and other territories comprehended in the Alaskan peninsula and islands to the north. In 1763, Glottof, on a trading voyage, reached Kadiak Island. In 1764 to 1768, Synd, a lieutenant of the Russian navy, made an expedition along the coast to Behring Strait. From this time to the visit of Captain Cook, according to Bancroft, single traders and small companies continued to traffic with the islands in much the same manner as before.
Upon these discoveries Russia based in part her claims to maritime and territorial jurisdiction over the northern part of the Pacific Ocean and the north-west coast of America, which will be referred to hereafter. Her later discoveries were along the tracks of Cook and other modern navigators.
The Spanish Government sent three exploring expeditions along the west coast of North America between 1774 and 1779. These expeditions visited certain points on the west coast, up to the 60th degree of latitude.
In 1786, La Perouse, on his voyages around the world, under instructions from the French Government, first made the mainland of North America near Mount St. Elias. Thence he sailed eastward and southward, following the outer shores of the Alaskan and British Columbia Archipelagos to the coast of California.
United States' vessels first traded on the north-west coast in 1788. No survey of the north-western coast was made until 1778, when Captain Cook, who had been sent out by the English Government, reached the American coast. Cook explored the north-west coast from about 44° north latitude as far as Prince William Sound and Cook's Inlet, and took possession of the coast territory. He was the first to lay down the main outlines of the north-western part of the continent. His surveys were until very recently considered in some parts the most reliable in existence. They did not, however, extend inside the islands.
Captain Cook's expedition was followed by those of Captain James Hanna in 1785, Captain Peters in the same year, Portlock and Dixon in 1786, Meares in 1787, 1788, and 1789, and Vancouver in 1792-94.
Post-Captain George Vancouver, R. N., had been instructed by the British Admiralty in 1791 to make an exploration of the northwest coast of America, between latitudes 30° and 60° north, to acquire accurate information as to whether there was any water communication from the north-west coast towards the eastern coast of North America; to ascertain the number, extent, and situation of European settlements on said north-west coast; and, further,
to visit Nootka (on the west coast of Vancouver Island) and receive from the Spanish Commandant there restitution of the lands and buildings the property of British subjects which had been seized by the Spaniards in 1789, but which Spain, by Convention of 28th October, 1790, had agreed to restore.
He set out from England in 1791, and, in accordance with his instructions, wintered at the Sandwich Islands in the winter of 1791-92.
In the spring of 1792 he crossed to the continental coast, and examined northward, that year, as far as Fitz Hugh Sound, returning to the Sandwich Islands again for the winter.
Early in 1793 he sailed again to the west coast of America, reaching it near Cape Mendocino. He then proceeded north to Nootka,