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it was understood that it was not to be construed as affecting in any manner the rights under the Treaty to be determined whenever a joint survey should be made.

Having regard to the proviso subject to which this arrangement was accepted by the United States' Government, Mr. Hunter's survey has no binding effect. The incident is, however, of importance in that it brought to the attention of the United States Government the manner in which it was considered on the side of Great Britain the Treaty ought to be applied.

No further communications of importance with respect to this subject took place between the two Governments until 1884, when the question entered on a new phase. On the 24th April in that year Mr. Dall, an officer of the United States' Survey, writing semiofficially to Mr. Dawson, the Director of the Geological Survey of Canada, advanced the theory that a boundary according to the Treaty was impossible. “There being,” he wrote, “no natural boundary, and the continuous range of mountains parallel to the coast shown on Vancouver's Charts having no existence as such, the United States would undoubtedly wish to fall back on the line parallel to the windings of the coast, and which shall never exceed the distance of 10 marine leagues therefrom of the Treaty. It would, of course, be impracticable to trace any such winding line over that ósea of mountains.'»

The idea put forward by Mr. Dall was adopted by the Government of the United States. In a despatch addressed to Mr. Phelps, the United States' Ambassador in London, on the 20th November, 1885, Mr. Bayard, the United States' Secretary of State, referred to the question of the Alaskan boundary. He said the boundary

agreed upon by the Treaty of 1825 was then, and still was, a 35 theoretical one, based on the charts the negotiators had before

them. He stated that he was not aware that any question had arisen with regard to it between Great Britain and Russia before 1867, and that it was certain that none had arisen since between the Governments of Great Britain and the United States. Dealing with the water boundary at the south of the line, he treated Portland Channel as lying to the south of Wales Island - a conclusion which he apparently based on the assumption that the Prince of Wales Island referred to in the Treaty was the island now (but not in 1825) known as Wales Island.

With regard to the eastern boundary Mr. Bayard wrote as follows:

“There is, however, ample ground for believing that the erroneous premises upon which the negotiators apparently based their fixation of the inland boundaryline along the coast render its true determination and demarcation by monuments a matter of doubt and difficulty in carrying it into practical effect; and that, in prevision of the embarrassments which may follow delay in the establishment of a positive frontier line it is the interest and the duty of the two Governments to reach a good understanding which shall forth with remove all chance for future disagreement."

On the 19th January, 1886, Mr. Phelps, in formally communicating to

the Marquis of Salisbury the views of his Government, observed that the boundary indicated by the Treaty had no apparent ambiguity, but that it was described and established when the region through which it ran was entirely unexplored. With reference to the 10-marine league line, he writes as follows:

“The only other indication of this part of the boundary contained in the Treaties, the limit of 10 marine leagues from the ocean, equally fails of practicable location. The coast proves, upon survey, to be so extremely irregular, and indented with such and so many projections and inlets, that it is not possible, except at immense expense of time and money, to run a line that shall be parallel with it, and if such a line should be surveyed, it would be so confused, irregular, and inconsistent, that it would be impossible of practical recognition, and would differ most materially from the clear and substantially straight line contemplated in the Treaties."

Mr. Phelps added, as the result of the whole matter, that

“These Treaties * * * * * really give no boundary at all so far as this portion of the territory is concerned.” 36 The despatch concluded by suggesting that a Commission

be agreed on to acquire materials to serve as a basis for the establishment of a boundary-line by Convention.

In the note above referred to, Mr. Phelps had asked to be furnished with a copy of a certain map of the Dominion of Canada geologically coloured, which had been referred to by Mr. Bayard. In forwarding this map on the 27th August, 1886, the Earl of Iddesleigh draws Mr. Phelps' attention to the fact that the Alaska boundary shown therein was merely an indication of the occurrence of a dividing-line somewhere in that region. It would, wrote his Lordship, be clearly understood that no weight could attach to the map location of the line denoted, inasmuch as the Convention between Great Britain and Russia made its location dependenc on

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alternative circumstances, the occurrence non-occurrence of mountains, and, as was well known to all concerned, the country had never been topographically surveyed. The note ended by a distinct disavowal on the part of Her Majesty's Government of the correctness of the line shown.

In view of the importance which has been attached in the present controversy to the location of the line in a number of maps (to be referred to elsewhere in this case), it is important to direct attention to the language held by Lord Iddesleigh on this, the first occasion, when such a map was handed by a Representative of the British to a Representative of the United States' Government, and immediately after the problems presented by the topography had attracted attention. In fact, the line depicted upon this map was of the character which had been recently described by Mr. Bayard as conjectural and theoretical.

No survey was made as suggested by Mr. Phelps.

In 1887 the attention of Her Majesty's Government was drawn to the report made by Lieutenant Schwatka, of the United States' army, of a military reconnaissance conducted by him in Alaska in 1883, in which he stated that he had traversed Perrier Pass, and used language implying that it defined the boundary. Acting on instructions from his Government, Sir Lionel West, the British

Ambassador at Washington, by a note dated the 14th Septem37 ber, 1887, pointed out to Mr. Bayard that this was not

admitted by Great Britain. During the Fisheries negotiations between Great Britain and the United States, held at Washington in 1887-88, several informal Conferences took place, at the request of the British Commissioners, between Messrs. Dall and Dawson, at which the possibility of agreement upon certain conventional lines was discussed, but no result was reached from the report of these experts, the United States' Commissioners taking the ground that their powers did not authorize them to treat for an adjustment of the Alaska boundary.

The Report of these Conferences was laid before Congress by the President of the United States, and this document included a letter from Dr. Dawson, in which the Canadian contention as to the line crossing inlets is clearly put forward, and a letter in which this contention is combated with vigour by Mr. Dall, the American expert.

This Report contained a map showing how the boundary would run in accordance with the views presented by Dr. Dawson. On it the line is clearly marked as crossing the Lynn Canal in the vicinity of Berner's Bay.

This was the first occasion on which the boundary question had been discussed from the point of view of strict right since the topographical questions had emerged.

In June, 1888, information reached the Canadian Government to the effect that certain persons were about to receive a charter

from the Alaskan authorities to construct a trail from Lynn Canal by way of the White Pass to the interior of Alaska. In bringing this rumour to the attention of Sir John Macdonald, the then deputy of the Minister of the Interior observed:

“In view of the well-based contention on our part that the heads of the larger inlets which penetrate that portion of Alaska which consists of the coastline from Mount St. Elias to Portland Channel, and more particularly the head of Lynn Canal, are within our territory, it would appear to be important to protest against the granting of any rights by the United States or Alaskan Governments at the heads of these inlets." The attention of Lord Salisbury was at once called to this matter,

and Her Majesty's Minister at Washington instructed to 38 inform the United States' Government that this Report had

reached Her Majesty's Government, by whom it was presumed to be unfounded, “as the territory in question is part of Her Majesty's dominions.”

Sir Lionel West, in communicating upon this matter with the United States Government, omitted to specify precisely the locality to which the report had reference, and Mr. Bayard replied that neither his Department nor, as he stated in a subsequent note, the Department of the Interior had any information as to any proposed action of the character described.

In April, 1891, the attention of the Canadian Government was drawn to a Report of the United States' Coast and Geodetic Survey, in which it was stated that a survey was about to be made under the authority of Congress, which would involve the marking by monuments of a line through the Portland Canal to the 56th degree of latitude, thence north-westerly following as nearly as might be practicable the general trend of the coast at a distance of about 35 miles from it to the 141st degree of west longitude, thence due north to the Arctic Ocean.

Upon this Sir Julian Pauncefote was instructed to remind the United States' Government that the boundary at this point was at that present time the subject of some difference of opinion and of considerable correspondence, and that the actual boundary-line could only be properly determined by an International Commission. Sir Julian Pauncefote accordingly, on the 5th June, 1891, addressed a note to Mr. Blaine in conformity with these instructions.

In February 1892 a Conference took place between Delegates from the Canadian Government and the United States' Secretary of State, relating primarily to the extension and development of trade between the United States and the Dominion. At this Conference an agreement was reached respecting the Alaska boundary, which was embodied in a Convention signed at Washington on the 22nd July, 1892.

The preamble of this Convention recited that the parties were equally desirous of providing for the removal of all possible causes of difference between the respective Governments thereafter in regard to the delimitation of the existing boundary between their

possessions in America in respect to such portions of said 39 boundary as might not, in fact, have been permanently

marked in virtue of Treaties theretofore concluded. Article I provided as follows:


"The High Contracting Parties agree that a coincident or joint survey (as may be found in practice most convenient) shall be made of the territory adjacent to that part of the boundary-line of the Dominion of Canada and the United States of America, dividing the Province of British Columbia and the North-west Territory of Canada from the territory of Alaska from the latitude of 54° 40' north to the point where the said boundary-line encounters the 141st degree of longitude westward from the meridian of Greenwich by Commissions to be appointed severally by the High Contracting Parties, with a view to the ascertainment of the facts and data necessary to the permanent delimitation of said boundary-line in accordance with the spirit and intent of the existing Treaties in regard to it between Great Britain and Russia and between the United States and Russia.

“Application will be made without delay to the respective Legislative Bodies for the appropriations necessary for the prosecution of the survey, and the Commissions to be appointed by the two Governments shall meet at Ottawa within two months after said appropriations shall have been made, and shall proceed as soon as practicable thereafter to the active discharge of their duties.

"The respective Commissions shall complete the survey and submit their finai Reports thereof within two years from the date of their first meeting.

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