Sir F. Bruce to Mr. Seward

Sir: As the reciprocity treaty is about to expire, I am anxious to report in a formal shape the disposition of the government of the United States with reference to the important question of its renewal, and I therefore submit for your consideration the following proposals, which embody the views of her Majesty’s government with respect to it.

Her Majesty’s government have seen with much satisfaction the increase of the trading relations between the United States and the British provinces which has grown up under the treaty, and the beneficial results of the stipulations it contains, by virtue of which each contracting party enjoys the uninterrupted use of the facilities of transport to the seaboard possessed by the other, and participates side by side in the fisheries without restriction or interference.

Her Majesty’s government would be well content to renew the treaty in its present form.

At the same time they are ready to reconsider the treaty in conjunction with the government of the United States, if such a course would be agreeable to them, and so to modify its terms as to render it, if possible, more beneficial to both countries than it has hitherto been.

If the government of the United States should feel disposed to adopt the latter course, an arrangement of a provisional character might be entered into with a view to afford time for fresh negotiations, and I should take pleasure in submitting to the consideration of my government any proposal to that effect which you might do me the honor to communicate to me.

I have the honor to be, with the highest consideration, sir, your most obedient, humble servant,


Hon. William H. Seward, &c., &c., &c.