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of North America were suddenly turned towards this hitherto unknown and almost inaccessible region. Tens of thousands of people in the early spring of 1897 started for “The Klondike,” as the new mining district was popularly termed. The shortest way to it was by the Lynn Canal over the Skagway (White) and Chilcoot Passes and down the Yukon River. The pilgrims were of various nationalities, but mainly United States' citizens. Many stopped at Dyea and Skagway, while others pushed on over the passes to the gold-fields. By this movement of travel Dyea and Skagway came into existence. If there had previously been one or two isolated and temporary squatters at these points, their presence could not, it is believed, be shown to be of such a character as to constitute a settlement by or on behalf of the United States. It is to be particularly noted that this movement of population took place as a movement toward the Canadian Klondike, and the Settlements of Dyea and Skagway were an incident thereof, and came into existence wholly without reference to the question as to whether the sites of these Settlements were in British or United States' territory. In the early summer of 1897, therefore, the position was that some thousands had got over the passes, others were camped at Dyea and Skagway, and the movement was rapidly growing. Food and supplies bad to be transported from the cities of the Pacific coast through Lynn Canal and over the passes.
It will be observed that this traffic had to pass from the towns and cities of British Columbia and the Pacific Coast States through the waters which separate the islands and strip of coast owned by the United States to the mouth of Lynn Canal, and thence over the
frontier, wherever it might be, into the Canadian territory. 94 Under these circumstances, the Canadian Government was
forced by the imperious necessities of the case to make provision for the traffic, and this explains their subsequent action.
British vessels were met by the fact that the regulations governing the action of the United States' revenue officers in charge of Alaskan ports were interpreted by them as forbidding landing from any British vessel anywhere on the shores of Lynn Canal, Juneau on the Gastineaux Channel being the only port of entry in this part of the territory.
These regulations were put in force, notwithstanding that Canada's claim to the territories at the head of Lynn Canal was at the time well known to the United States' Government. A reconnaissance having been made by Lieutenant Schwatka, of the United States' army, in the year 1883, of the passes from the Lynn Canal to the Yukon, embraced in the disputed territory, the Canadian Government in 1887, as already stated in this case, shortly after they had official notice of his report, caused a protest to be lodged with the Government at Washington against the implied claim of Lieutenant Schwatka that this pass, called by him Perrier Pass, and now known as the Chilkoot Pass, was in United States' territory. Again, in 1888, the Canadian Government forwarded a further protest to Her Majesty's Government for communication to the United States' Government against a rumoured attempt of the United States to exercise jurisdiction at the White Pass, claiming it as British territory; and in the same year, during the currency of the Fishery negotiations at Washington, Dr. G. M. Dawson, as representing Her Majesty's Government, in an informal conference with Mr. Dall, representing the United States, put forward the contention that the territories surrounding the head of Lynn Canal were British. The report of the conference between Dr. Dawson and Mr. Dall was subsequently laid before Congress by President Cleveland, in his message dated 2nd March, 1889. In recommending to the President the publication of these documents, the Secretary of State observed: “These documents are considered of value as bearing upon a subject of great gress early in 1896. The position was, therefore, that the High Contracting Parties had not had time to meet to consider the boundary-line, and the matter was still sub judice.
international importance, and should be put in shape for public information.” 95 Indeed, by the year 1892, such a diplomatic rapprochement
had been arrived at between Great Britain and the United States with reference to the ascertainment of the true boundary that on the 22nd July of that year a Convention, hereinbefore referred to, was entered into between the two countries for a survey, with a view to the delimitation of the line in accordance with the spirit and intent of the Treaties. By this Convention, it was agreed that the boundary was to be considered and established as soon as practicable after the receipt of the Report of the Commissioners. That Report was signed on the 31st December, 1895, and laid before the Parliament of Canada and the United States' Con
It is obvious that if the Canadian Government had instructed British vessels to disregard these Regulations, there would have been grave danger of a serious collision. Instead of pursuing a course thus at variance with sound and prudent international practice, the Canadian Government opened communication with the Government of the United States, and proceeded to make the best arrangement possible for the protection of her trade with the Yukon, while at the same time reserving her rights as to the ultimate determination of the boundary. On the 22nd July, 1897, the Canadian Commissioner of Customs inquired of the United States' Treasury Department if Canadian goods could pass from Juneau, Alaska, to the Yukon frontier without payment of customs duties if owners paid for United States' officers accompanying the goods. The Assistant Secretary of the Treasury, in reply, inquired if it would facilitate matters to make Dyea a sub-port of entry. On the following day the Canadian Commissioner of Customs replied that it would facilitate matters if Dyea were made a sub-port of entry
pending settlement of boundary question,” and requested that, if this arrangement were agreed to, the Treasury should issue instructions to allow British steamers from Canadian ports to land and receive passengers and goods at Dyea. This arrangement was approved of on the same day, “merchandise to be accompanied by
a Customs officer at expense of owners." On the 19th 96 August following the Canadian Acting Minister of Customs
sent the following despatch to the United States' Treasury Department:
* Freight and passengers for Yukon are going in by White Pass, and the landing is at Skagway Bay, three miles south of Dyea. American vessels deposit freight and passengers at the bay, but privilege refused to Canadian vessels. Customs officers can as conveniently pass entries at Skagway as at Dyea. Will you please instruct officials by wire to extend privilege of landing at Skagway Bay to Canadian vessels as conceded to American vessels."
On the day following the Canadian Acting Minister of Customs received the following reply from the Treasury Department:
“On the 6th instant, limits of Port of Dyea were extended to include Skagway, and deputy in charge instructed accordingly. This action gave Canadian vessels same rights as vessels of United States."
Four important facts are made evident by this correspondence:
1. The objective point referred to in the first Canadian communican is the “Yukon frontier,” no special locality being mentioned.
2. The reference to Dyea and the proposition to make it a subport of entry came from the United States' Government.
3. Canada, in accepting this proposition, expressly provided that her acceptance was "pending settlement of boundary question.”
4. The necessity of the Case requiring immediate action rendered it quite impossible for the Canadian Government to adopt any other course than that which was followed.
A few months later the Canadian Government, in the early part of the year 1898, formally protested to the Imperial Government that the United States had established a sub-port of customs at Dyea, in territory which they claimed was rightfully British, and urged the desirability of establishing the boundary-line as contemplated by the Convention of 1892. An agreement was subsequently reached for establishing a provisional line as a boundary, but without prejudice to the claim of either Government, and matters have since remained in statu quo.
It is submitted, therefore, that the claims put forward by the United States' Government to hold Dyea and Skagway as Settle
ments made without notice of adverse rights, and without 97 any mutual communication saving the rights of Great Britain,
are not claims which are justified by the facts. It is necessary to refer to one other alleged act of possession on the part of the United States-the construction of certain storehouses on Wales and Pearse Islands, territory claimed to be British. These storehouses were constructed by the United States' Government in the summer of 1896, but nothing was known with regard to them by the Canadian Government until the year 1901.
In October 1901, it was discovered that on Chart No. 3091, published by the United States' Coast and Geodetic Survey, of part of the Pacific coast, the following names appeared:
“St. House No. 1,” on the eastern shore of Wales Island.
“United States' Storehouse No. 3,” on the shore of Halibut Bay, which is a small indentation of the western shore of Portland Canal.
“United States' Storehouse No. 4,” on the western shore of Portland Canal, to the north of the mouth of Salmon River, near the head of Portland Canal.
The exact point designated by the name was indicated on the chart in each case by a small dot.
An inquiry was at once directed to the United States' Government “as to the nature of the storehouses and the reason for their erection in this territory, the title to which was and still is the subject of diplomatic negotiation.” In February 1902, Secretary Hay replied:
"That the storehouses are upon territory which has been in the possession of the United States since its acquisition from Russia, and that the designation of Portland Canal is such as has been noted on all the charts issued by the United States since that acquisition,” and added
“I am not aware that the Government of His Britannic Majesty ever advanced any claim to this territory before the signature of the Protocol of the 30th May, 1898, preliminary to the appointment of the Joint High Commission." In his letter, Mr. Hay directed attention to a certain report of
the Bureau of Engineers of the United States' army. From 98 this report, it appears that the storehouses in question had
been built in 1896 by parties landed by a United States' revenue-cutter, which had been sent out for the purpose. This report further states that after the completion of each of the buildings referred to, the “flag was hoisted,” “three cheers given,” &c. In short, the usual formalities ordinarily observed in takiug possession of newly-acquired territory were gone through with, and this, although all these regions so formally taken possession of by the United States are claimed by them to be part of that territory which they have held for seventy years of undisputed occupation by the Russians and themselves. Wales Island in particular, upon which one of these storehouses was erected, with these solemn formalities, is within a few miles, across a narrow channel (the Portland Canal of Vancouver) from Port Tongass, which occupied by the United States as a military post for several vears after 1867.
In reply to the above letter of Secretary Hay of February 1902, the attention of the Secretary of State of the United States was directed by Mr. Raikes, the British Chargé d'Affaires at Washington,