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ever afterwards. At no time was this contention controverted by Russia, and towards the close of the negotiations its truth was frankly admitted.
The relation of the British fur traders and the Hudson's Bay Company towards the disputed strip were, however, of a most intimate character, as shown by the various letters of J. H. Pelly, Deputy Governor of the Company, to Mr. Canning and others. The following extracts are made from a letter by Mr. Pelly to Mr. George Canning, the 25th September, 1822:
“In the year 1793, Sir Alexander McKenzie crossed the Rocky Mountains in 56° 30' north latitude, and penetrated to the Pacific Ocean in latitude 52° 20'. Immediately after his return the British fur traders sent expeditions and established trading posts in the country to the westward of the Rocky Mountains. New trading stations have been gradually formed as the country was more fully explored, and until 1821 the whole trade of an extensive district named New Caledonia, and extending from the mouth of Fraser's River, situated about 49° north latitude to about 60° north latitude, was carried on by the British Northwest Company. “The partnership of the British North-west Company being then about to
expire, arrangements were made in 1821 by which the Hudson's Bay Com13 pany acquired possession of all the forts and trading stations of that Asso
ciation situated in New Caledonia, as well as in other parts of British
North America. "The principal forts, or permanent and centrical trading stations in New Caledonia, now occupied by the traders and servants of this Company, are situated at the Rocky Mountain Portage in 56° north latitude and 121° west longitude; on Stewart's Lake, in 54° 30' north latitude and 125° west longitude; on McLeod's Lake, in 55° north latitude and 124° west longitude, and on Fraser's Lake, in 55° north latitude and about 127° west longitude; and there are several minor trading posts, the situations of which are occasionally changed according to local circumstances. By these means an extensive trade is carried on with all those Indian tribes which inhabit the country from about 60° north latitude as far south as the mouth of Fraser's River, which is in about 49° north latitude, and between the Rocky Mountains and the sea.
“The British fur traders have never met with the traders of any other nation in that country, and it does not appear that any part of it has ever been occupied by the subjects of Russia or of any other foreign Power.
“This Company has trading establishments also in Mackenzie's River, which falls into the Frozen Ocean as far north as 66° 30' north latitude, which carry on a trade with those Indians who inhabit the country to the west of that river and to the north of 60° of north latitude, and who, from the nature of the country, can communicate more easily with Mackenzie's River than with the trading posts in New Caledonia.”
S. Doc. 162, 58-2, vol 3- -2
THE NEGOTIATIONS ON BOUNDARY QUESTION (1821–25) AND THE
TREATY OF 1825.
On the 4th September, 1821, the Emperor of Russia published an Ukase, expressed to be for the protection of Russian trade with the Aleutian Islands and the part of the north-west coast of America subject to Russia. Certain rules were annexed to the Ukase, of which the first two were as follows:
“1. The pursuits of commerce, whaling, and fishery, and of all other industry on all islands, posts, and gulfs, including the whole of the north-west coast of America beginning from Behring's Straits to the 51° of 'northern latitude, also from the Aleutian Islands to the eastern coast of Siberia, as well as along the Kurile Islands, from Behring Straits to the south cape of the Island of Urup, viz., to the 45° 50' north latitude, is exclusively granted to Russian subjects.
"2. It is therefore prohibited to all foreign vessels, not only to land the coasts and islands belonging to Russia, as stated above, but, also to approach them within less than 100 Italian miles. The transgressors' vessel is subject to confiscation along with the whole cargo.”
By a previous Ukase, published the 27th December 1799, the Emperor Paul had created the Russian-American Company, and had granted to it extensive privileges in this region. It was this Company that would reap the benefit sought to be conferred on Russian subjects by the Ukase of 1821.
The Ukase of 1821 was communicated by Baron Nicolay to the Marquess of Londonderry by a dispatch of the 12th November, 1821, in answer to which Lord Londonderry, writing on the 18th January, 1822, stated that as to the exclusive sovereignty alleged to belong to Russia over the territories described in the Ukase, as also the exclusive right of navigating and trading within the maritime limits therein set forth, His Britannic Majesty must be understood as reserving all his rights. The United States also protested.
In the course of the discussions which arose out of the Rus15 sian pretensions, that Power receded from the claim to exclu
sive dominion upon the seas in question. That part of the controversy is not now material. Suffice it to say that it was ulti
mately set at rest by the Award of the Arbitral Tribunal created by a Treaty between Great Britain and the United States, signed at Washington on the 29th February, 1892, to settle the differences which had arisen between these two Powers respecting the seal fishery in Behring Sea.
As regards the territorial boundary on land, the negotiations for a settlement originated in a suggestion made by Count Lieven to the Duke of Wellington in September, 1822, and recorded by the Duke in a Memorandum of the 16th of that month. On this occasion Count Lieven suggested that if Great Britain had any claim to territory on the north-west coast of America, such claim should now be brought forward. These negotiations, which will be summarized below, resulted in the Treaty of 1825, the construction of which is now in question.
It will be convenient, before going into detail, to indicate broadly the points now in difference between the parties before this Tribunal.
In the accompanying Atlas will be found a map showing the different lines which have been suggested as giving effect to the Treaty applied to the topography as now understood. From this it will be observed that at the southern end of the line there is a dispute as to the channel along which the boundary ought to be drawn, in obedience to the provision which requires that it should follow “la passe dite Portland Channel."
On the side of Great Britain it is contended that Portland Channel means the channel which Vancouver can be shown to have so named, that is to say, the narrow channel north of Wales Island and Pearse Island, and extending into the interior for 82 miles.
The United States, on the other hand, maintain that the wider · channel to the south of these islands must be taken to be denoted as the commencement of the channel referred to by the expression “la passe dite Portland Channel,” the identity of which, so far as its upper part is concerned, is not in dispute.
Great Britain, however, further contends that if there is to be any departure from the clear nomenclature of Vancouver, there
are, as will be hereafter explained, other channnels up which 16 the line should be drawn in preference to that suggested by
the United States. With regard to the rest of the line, the dispute is of a somewhat different character. According to Article III of the Treaty, , the line is to follow the crest of the mountains situated “parallèlement à la côte” to the point of its intersection with the 141st degree of west longitude. By Article IV it is provided that wherever the crest of these mountains is at a distance of more than 10 marine leagues from the ocean, the limit between British possessions and the lisière of coast which is to belong to Russia shall be formed by a line parallel to the coast, and which shall never be more distant therefrom than 10 marine leagues.
It is to be observed that the provision in Article IV, just mentioned, operates only in a given event, and then only as a corrective of the line primarily laid down, namely, that of the mountains. The event in which it is to operate is if the crest of the mountains, which extend in a direction parallel to the coast, is at a distance of more than 10 leagues from the ocean. It will be seen from the map already referred to, and more in detail from the large maps inclosed in the portfolio which accompanies this Case, that, in point of fact, the whole coast region is extremely mountainous, and that the mountains supply, speaking generally, the boundary stipulated for by the Treaty.
It is contended on behalf of Great Britain that the coast (“côte ") with regard to which the mountains are contemplated as running in a parallel direction is the general line of coast of the Ocean (referred to in Article IV), and not the shore line of narrow inlets breaking that line; and, further, that the expression “montagnes situées parallèlement à la côte” and “montagnes qui s'étendent dans une direction parallèle à la côte" do not necessarily denote mountain chains, but include the case of separate mountains in the vicinity of the coast, a line drawn through the summits of which would, roughly speaking, be parallel to the general line of the coast.
The contention of the United States, on the other hand, is that there is no defined range of mountains running parallel to the coast in this region, but that the whole region is a sea of mountains,” and that, therefore, the provisions of Article IV become
applicable, and that the boundary is to follow, at a distance 17 of 10 marine leagues, and, even through this sea of moun
tains, the sinuosities of the coast. The latter phrase is, moreover, interpreted as requiring the line to be deflected inland on the occurrence of every inlet, so that it shall in no place be less than 10 marine leagues from salt water.
The above, in broad outline, are the matters in difference, though a subordinate point may arise as to the manner in which the termination of the water boundary at the head of the Portland Channel is to be connected with the point at which the boundary commences to run by reference to the mountains, or the 10-marineleague limit, as the case may be.
A statement of the British territorial claims having been invited as already mentioned, written instructions were, on the 27th September, 1822, given by Mr. Canning to the Duke of Wellington for his guidance in connection with this question in any discussion which he might have upon the subject with Count Lieven at Verona. These instructions were of a general character, and merely stated that the information with which the Duke had been furnished would enable him sufficiently to prove to the Russian Ministers that Great Britain, through the Hudson Bay's Company, had an equal, if not a superior, claim to that of Russia, and that the British claim extended to many degrees of higher latitude than the 51st parallel. The Duke of Wellington bad several discussions with Count Lieven upon the point, in which the extent to which occupation had gone on either side was discussed in general terms; but it was afterwards agreed, as recorded in a despatch of the Duke of Wellington to Mr. Canning of the 29th November, 1822, that the Memoranda recording these discussions should be considered as “non avenus,” and that the Russian Ambassador in London should address to Mr. Canning a note in answer to that which Lord Londonderry had addressed to Count Lieven on the Ukase of 1821 being communicated to him.
Accordingly, on the 31st January, 1823, Count Lieven wrote to Mr. Canning proposing that on both sides the question of strict right should be provisionally put aside, and that all the differences to which the Ukase had given rise should be adjusted by a friendly
arrangement, founded only on the principle of mutual con18 venience, and that such arrangement should be negotiated at
St. Petersburg. In pursuance of this proposal, Mr. Canning, by a despatch of the 5th February, 1823, desired Sir Charles Bagot, the British Ambas