No. 257.

Mr. Thornton to Mr. Fish.

Sir: In compliance with instructions which I have received from the Earl of Clarendon, I have the honor to inclose, for the information of the Government of the United States, copies of letters which have been addressed by the admiralty to Vice-Admiral George G. Wellesley, commanding her Majesty’s naval forces on the North America and West Indies station, and of a letter from the colonial department to the foreign office, from which you will see the nature of the instructions to be given to her Majesty’s and the Canadian officers, who will be employed in maintaining order at the fisheries in the neighborhood of the coasts of Canada.

EDW’D THORNTON.

Mr. Wolley to Vice-Admiral Wellesley.

Sir: I am commanded by my lords commissioners of the admiralty to transmit for your information and guidance the inclosed copies of Foreign Office letters, dated 2d, 7th, and 9th instant, referring to. the resolution of the House of Representatives at Washington, in regard t6 the intention of the government of the Dominion of Canada to suspend the licenses to foreign vessels for the in-shore fisheries on the coasts of the Dominion. My lords desire that you will detach a sufficient force to Canadian waters to protect Canadian fishermen, and to maintain order, and you are to instruct the senior officer of such force to cooperate cordially with any United States force sent on the same service.

I am, &c.,

THOMAS WOLLEY.

P. S.—The following telegram has been sent this day to her Britannic Majesty’s consul at New York:

“Please to communicate the following instructions to the senior naval officers at Halifax and Bermuda by first opportunity:

“‘Admiral Wellesley to make preparations at once for sending vessels to protect Canadian fisheries in concert with United States naval authorities. Instructions sent to Halifax by to-day’s post.’”

Mr. Lushington to Mr. Hammond.

Sir: In reply to your letter of this day requesting that copies of the recent instructions given to Vice-Admiral Wellesley for the protection of the Canadian fisheries may [Page 416]be sent to you for communication to the Government of the United States, I am commanded by my lords commissioners of the admiralty to transmit to you a copy of a letter addressed to the vice-admiral on the 9th of April, (of which you were informed by letter of the same date,) and of a letter addressed to him on the 5th instant, on a representation from the secretary of state for the colonies.

My lords request that you will lay the same before the Earl of Clarendon.

I am, &c.,

VERNON LUSHINGTON.

Mr. Rogers to the secretary of the admiralty.

Sir: In Mr. Secretary Cardwell’s letter to the lords commissioners of the admiralty of the 12th of April, 1866, it was stated that American vessels should not be seized for violating the Canadian fishing laws, “except after willful and persevering neglect of the warnings which they may have received; and in case it should become necessary to proceed to forfeiture, cases should, if possible, be selected for that extreme step in which the offense has been committed within three miles of land.”

The Canadian government has recently determined, with the concurrence of her Majesty’s ministers, to increase the stringency of the existing practice of dispensing with the warnings hitherto given and seizing at once any vessel detected in violating the law.

In view of this change and of the questions to which it may give rise, I am directed by Lord Granville to request that you will move their lordships to instruct the officers of her Majesty’s ships employed in the protection of the fisheries that they are not to seize any vessel unless it is evident and can be clearly proved that the offense of fishing has been committed, and the vessel itself captured within three miles of land.

I am, &c.,

F. ROGERS.

Mr. Wolley to Vice-Admiral Wellesley.

Sir: With reference to my letter of the 9th April last, in regard to the protection of Canadian fisheries, I am commanded by my lords commissioners of the admiralty to transmit to you, for your information and guidance, the inclosed copy of a letter from the under-secretary of state for the colonies, dated 30th ultimo, relative to the recent determination to increase the stringency of the existing practice by dispensing with the warnings hitherto given, and seizing at once any vessel detected in violating the law.

My lords desire me to remind you of the extreme importance of commanding officers of the ships selected to protect the fisheries exercising the utmost discretion in carrying out their instructions, paying special attention to. Lord Granville’s observation that no vessel should be seized unless it is evident and can be clearly proved that the offense of fishing has been committed, and that the vessel is captured within three miles of land.

I am, &c.,

THOMAS WOLLEY.

Mr. Holland to the undersecretary of state for foreign affairs.

Sir: I am directed by Earl Granville to acknowledge the receipt of your letter of the 9th instant, requesting to be furnished, for communication to the Government of the United States, with copies of the instructions issued to the commanders of the Canadian vessels engaged in the protection of the fisheries.

Lord Granville desires me to state, for the information of Lord Clarendon, that the Governor General of the Dominion has been requested by telegraph to forward to this office any instructions already issued on this subject, or that may be issued in consequence of Lord Granville’s dispatch to the Governor General, of which a copy is inclosed.

I am, &c.,

H. HOLLAND,
[Page 417]

Lord Granville to Sir John Young.

Sir: I have the honor to transmit to you the copy of a letter which I have caused to be addressed to the admiralty respecting the instructions to be given to the officers of her. Majesty’s ships employed in the protection of the Canadian fisheries.

Her Majesty’s government do not doubt that your ministers will agree with them as to the propriety of these instructions, and will give corresponding instructions to the vessels employed by them.

I have, &c.,

GRANVILLE.

His excellency the Right Honorable Sir John Young, Baronet, &c., &c., &c.