No. 252.

Mr. Fish to Mr. Thornton.

Sir: I have the honor to acknowledge the receipt of your note of the 14th instant, inclosing a copy of a dispatch from his excellency the Governor General of the Dominion of Canada, and of the papers which accompanied it. I must invite your attention and that of her Majesty’s authorities to the first paragraph of the order in council of the 8th of January last, as quoted in the memorandum of the Prime Minister of the Dominion of Canada, accompanying the dispatch of his excellency [Page 411]the Governor General, which paragraph is in the following language, to wit:

That the system of granting fishing license to foreign vessels, under the act 31 Vic., cap. 61, he discontinued, and that henceforth all foreign fishermen be prevented from fishing in the waters of Canada.

The words underscored seem to contemplate an interference with rights guaranteed to the United States under the first article of the treaty of 1818, which secures to American fishermen the right of fishing in certain waters which are understood to be claimed at present as belonging to Canada.

I have the honor to be, with the highest consideration,

HAMILTON FISH.