1845. Previously to 1845 the trade of the United States and other nations with the British provinces of Canada and others north and east of the United States was burdened with a system of differential duties which discriminated against foreign importations in favor of British to such an extent as to prevent any extensive importations into those provinces from the United States.
Under these circumstances our exports, which, for the four years preceding the reciprocity-treaty, averaged about eleven millions of dollars per annum, did not average, for the period extending from 1821 to 1844, four millions per annum. (Estimated from table 3, 1st division, H. R. Ex. Doc., 38th Cong., 1st sess.)
In 1845 the British government changed their colonial commercial policy by authorizing the Canadian legislature to regulate their own tariff. In 1846 the Canadian legislature removed the existing differential duties, and admitted American manufactures and foreign goods, purchased in the American markets, on the same terms as those from Great Britain. This change gave a considerable impetus to importations from the United States, so that by the years 1851–’52–’53 they were upward of twelve, ten and a half, and thirteen millions of dollars, respectively. (S. Ex. Doc. No. 1, 32d Cong., 1st sess., p. 85.) (Estimated from table 3, 1st division, H. B. Ex. Doc, 38th Cong., 1st sess.)
1849. A proposition for a reciprocal relaxation of commercial restrictions between the United States and the British North American provinces was presented by Mr. John F. Crampton, the chargé d’affaires of Great Britain, in a note of the 22d March, 1849, which, with the correspondence to which it led, is to be found in the congressional documents.
1850. President Taylor’s message, transmitting this correspondence to the House of Representatives, submits to Congress the expediency of effecting an arrangement for a free trade between the United States and the provinces in their natural productions, providing, also, for the free navigation of the Saint Lawrence and of the canals connecting it with the lakes. 1850.
1848. Mr. Packenham, the British minister, had, in 1846, communicated with the Secretary of the Treasury, (Hon. Robert J. Walker,) who immediately submitted the matter to the Government; and Mr. Crampton again brought the subject before him in 1848. 1848, in consequence of which a bill was drawn up by Mr. Grinnell of the Committee on Commerce of the House of Representatives, and its adoption recommended by the Secretary of the Treasury in a letter to that committee of 1st of May, 1848. The bill was passed by the House of Representatives, but was not voted upon that session by the Senate. (Ex. Doc. No. 64, H. R., 31st Cong., 1st session.)
1849. Mr. Crampton, on the 25th of June, 1849, wrote to the Secretary of State, Mr. Clayton, inclosing a memorandum drawn up by Hon. William Hamilton Merritt, one of the Canadian cabinet, sent to Washington to ascertain the decision of the United States. The [Page 293] memorandum reviews the efforts made by the provincial government, and the notice given by Hon. Mr. Robinson, in the provincial parliament, of an address to the Queen, praying for a return to protection, &c., incloses copy of a letter from Mr. Grinnell, of the Committee on Commerce, to Hon. R. J. Walker, and Mr. Walker’s reply meets objections to reciprocity, and elaborates considerations in favor of it.
1848. Mr. Grinnell to Mr. Walker, April 28, 1848, asks his views on reciprocal free trade in the articles of the growth or production of the provinces and the United States, respectively.
Mr. McC. Young replies for Mr. Walker, warmly approving it. The Canadian bill on the subject is given, and is said to be the exact counterpart of the bill before Congress.
1849. Mr. Clayton wrote to Mr. Crampton 26th June, 1849, in reply to his note of the day before, which inclosed the memorandum made by Mr. Merritt. As a measure affecting the revenue, the proposed arrangement would be referred to Congress, before whom a copy of the papers would be laid. Refers, as furnishing a British example for this, to Mr. Bancroft’s efforts to negotiate at London a commercial treaty, in 1847, when the necessity of a similar reference to Parliament was pointed out to him; and to the failure of the reciprocity-bill in the Senate, after considerable debate, when a bare majority would have carried it, as an indication that a treaty having the same objects in view could not be expected to obtain the requisite majority of two-thirds. (Ho. Reps. Ex. Doc. Reps. Ex. Doc. No. 64, 31st Congress, 1st session.)
1851, Dec. 2. President Fillmore’s annual message of 2d December, 1851, invites the attention of Congress to the question of reciprocal trade with British provinces; states that overtures for a convention have been made, but suggests that it is preferable that the subject should be regulated by reciprocal legislation. Documents submitted showing the offer of British government, and measures it may adopt, if some arrangement on this subject is not made.
1851. The accompanying papers were: Note of March, 1851, from Sir H. L. Bulwer to Mr. Webster, inclosing copy of letter of 6th January, 1851, from Mr. F. Hincks, inspector-general of customs, Canada, to Hon. R. McLane, chairman of Committee on Commerce, House of Representatives. Sir H. L. Bulwer thinks that the Canadians consider that their application for an interchange of agricultural products has failed because they have generously, without stipulations, conceded many commercial advantages which it was in their power to bestow; and that their only mode of securing desired privileges is to revoke concessions made. His attention had been drawn to two resolutions which passed the Senate on the subject, which he was told would have passed the House if proposed to that body.
Proposes entering into a negotiation.
Mr. Hincks, in his letter to Mr. McLane, recites the important changes which have occurred in the colonial policy of Great Britain concerning the regulation of commercial matters, and the removal of differential duties from American productions; that had Canada at that time stipulated that in return for her admission of American manufactures, the duties should be removed from her products, it would have been the interest of the United States to have agreed to it. No such proposition, however, was made; and the very important concession scarcely attracted attention in the United States. Describes the important results in the increased demand for American productions in the provinces, and the hardship of Canadian raw products, sent to the United States, being burdened with high duties. Urges with much force and [Page 294] intelligence the considerations in favor of some arrangement of the question.
Sir H. L. Bulwer to Mr. Webster, March, 1851. Unless the Canadian concessions are reciprocated, they will retaliate by withdrawing them. Offers the Saint Lawrence, and canals, and the fisheries of Nova Scotia and New Brunswick. Wants to know frankly whether the United States will treat or recommend legislation securing reciprocity. Incloses copy of a dispatch of June 7, 1851, from Lord Elgin, governor-general, to Sir Henry L. Bulwer, in which he expresses fears that public opinion in Canada will demand a resort to closing the canals, to levying a duty of 20 per cent, on American goods, and a return to differential duties on grain and breadstuff’s, vegetables, fruits, seeds, animals, hides, wool, cheese, tallow, horns, salted and fresh meats, ores, plaster of Paris, ashes, timber, staves, and wood.
Incloses extracts to the effect that the British government are prepared to open the fisheries if the United States will admit fish free. This arrangement not to apply to Newfoundland.
1851–’52, Dec. 4. The adjustment of the questions of commercial reciprocity and the fisheries was the subject of conferences between Mr. Everett and Mr. Crampton during the brief service of the former as Secretary of State, as appears in a postscript to an instruction of the 4th December, 1852, to Mr. Ingersoll, United States minister to London, but no record was kept of what transpired in those conferences. (The instruction and P. S. above referred to are printed in Sen. Ex. Doc. No. 3, special session, March 8, 1853.)
1852 Dec. 6. President Fillmore, in his annual message of 6th December, 1852, referring to the agitation of the preceding summer, on the fishery question, thinks the moment favorable for the reconsideratio of the question of the fisheries, with a view to place them upon a more liberal footing of reciprocal privilege. He states that there is a willingness on the part of Great Britain to meet us in such an arrangement, which will include the subject of commercial intercourse with the British provinces. Has thought that each subject should be embraced in a separate convention. (Sen. Ex. Doc. No. 1, 32d Cong., 2d sess.)
1852–’53. The Committee on Commerce of the House of Representatives, of which the Hon. D. L. Seymour was chairman, had under consideration sundry memorials relative to reciprocal trade, and reported House bill No. 360, accompanied by a report, with appendices, covering the subjects of reciprocal trade, the navigation of the Saint Lawrence, and the fisheries. (Rep. No. 4, Ho. Reps., 32d Cong., 2d sess.)
1853, Feb. 2. On the 2d February, 1853, Hon. D. L. Seymour, chairman of Committee on Commerce, House of Representatives, submitted to Mr. Everett the draught of a bill referred to in the foregoing, with a view to being informed how far pending negotiations authorize the belief that the British government and provinces are prepared, on their part, to give effect to such a bill. (The bill is printed in Appendix to Congressional Globe, 32d Cong., 2d sess., p. 198.)
On the 4th February, 1853, Mr. Everett replied that the bill contained the most important provisions of an arrangement between the countries; but that the British minister, under his then existing instructions, was not authorized to conclude a treaty, corresponding in all respects with the bill; and suggested that, for the sake of avoiding the evils of leaving the fishery question unadjusted, Congress limit its action to the passage of a short bill, referring to the fisheries alone, providing that whenever the President shall issue his proclamation that United States fishermen are admitted to a full participation in the colonial fisheries, [Page 295] colonial fish shall be admitted duty free into the United States. Such bill to be merely temporary. (Report, Book, vol. 6, p. 492.)
1852, Dec. 4. Mr. Everett, in an instruction of the 4th December, 1852, to Mr. Ingersoll, wrote that some progress was made by Mr. Webster in preparations to negotiate with Mr. Crampton on the fisheries and commercial reciprocity. President still desirous that negotiation should proceed; and it would be taken up as soon as possible.
President Fillmore sent to Congress, on the 7th February, 1853, a message, inclosing report from Secretary of State, giving the state of the pending negotiation, which he, Mr. Everett, said had been dilligently pursued; reported the willingness of British government to arrange the fishery question. Refers to desire for reciprocal free trade.
Refers also to a resolution on the subject which passed the House some time previously, and to the attention paid to the subject by Congress. Time necessarily to be consumed in the negotiation in consequence of necessity of British minister referring to London for instructions, would probably render impossible the conclusion of a comprehensive arrangement that session. Meantime recommends that a bill admitting provincial fish free, on condition that United States fishermen are admitted to full participation of provincial fisheries, be passed that session. (Ho. Reps., Ex. Doc. 40, 32d Cong., 2d sess.)
June 16. 16th June, 1853, Mr. Marcy, in a note to Mr. Crampton, acknowledges receipt of a memorandum indicating additional subjects which British government desires to have brought into pending negotiation relative to fisheries and reciprocity trade. Deemed preferable to restrict negotiation to the objects already under discussion, though no objection exists to including other matters when obviously connected with these objects. (Record of notes to Brit. Leg’n, vol. 7 p. 367.)
The memorandum referred to is not on file.
1853. In the summer of 1853, Mr. Marcy discussed with Mr. Crampton the questions involved in the proposed treaty; but no record exists in this Department indicating the nature of those discussions, except a note of September 1, 1853, from Mr. Marcy to Mr. Crampton, submitting a projet of the treaty.
Says his comments will be brief, because his views have been already presented in conferences.
Says the third article is a new one, inserted to bring in northwest coast of British possessions.
By second article of projet heretofore submitted by British government, and by the same article of that submitted to Mr. Crampton, and by him referred to his government, no restriction made to any part of United States coasts; therefore it is but fair to open Pacific coast of British possessions to United States fishermen. Has introduced in article 2 a clause excepting coast of Florida, not on account of value of fisheries, but apprehended interference with slave population by free blacks from Bahamas, and partly also from apprehended interference with rights of wreckers. Has excepted also shell-fish, to prevent misapprehension. Has amended the expression in the first article of the British draught, which prohibited United States fisher men from interfering “with the operations of the British fishermen/’ so that it will read: Provided, that in so doing they do not interfere with the rights of private property, or with British fishermen in the peaceable use of any part of said coast in their occupancy, &c. Proposes modification of second article, and to [Page 296] specify the rivers and estuaries which are to be excluded from operations of the first and second articles.
“In both projets before submitted, Newfoundland was omitted from the enumeration of the possessions to which treaty applied.” Has included it now.
The third article of the British draught, requiring the abandonment of our bounty system, is omitted, because we could not abandon the bounty to cod-fisheries.* It gives no advantage to our herring and mackerel fishermen, the classes affected by the in-shore clauses of the’ treaty, over the British fishermen of the same classes. The bounty is given to certain deep-sea fishermen only, to countervail the duties charged by the United States on salt, (30 per cent, ad valorem.)
Reciprocal clause as to canals would be nugatory, as United States own none.
Free registration of provincial-built vessels not admissible, for obvious reasons, which were stated, pp. 387, 388 of record.
Proposed privilege of clearance of British vessels from ports in United States to ports on Pacific Coast would be unconstitutional.
Has excluded from the free list all manufactures and books.
Points out the necessity for caring for the interests of the Southern and Southwestern States in making the list of free articles. Has on that ground added rice, tar, pitch, and turpentine.
Proposes to omit coal from free list, in return for which United States will omit leaf tobacco and unrefined sugar.
Furs included on free list as a concession deserving an equivalent.
The following is a copy of the projet:
projet of treaty.
The Government of the United States being equally desirous with Her Majesty the Qneen of Great Britain to avoid further misunderstanding between their respective citizens and subjects in regard to the extent of the right of fishing on the coasts of British North America, secured to each by the first article of a convention between the United States and Her Britannic Majesty’s government, signed at London on the 20th of October, 1818; and being also desirous to regulate the commerce and navigation between their respective territories and people, and more especially between Her Majesty’s possessions in North America and the United States, in such manner as to render the same reciprocally beneficial and satisfactory, have respectively named plenipotentiaries, &c., &c., who have agreed upon the following articles:
It is agreed by the high contracting parties that, in addition to the liberty secured; to American fishermen by the above-Darned convention of October 20, 1818, of taking, curing, and drying fish on certain coasts of the British North American Colonies therein defined, the inhabitants of the United States shall have, in common with the subjects of Her Britannic Majesty., the liberty to take fish of every kind, except shell-fish, on the sea-coasts and shores, and in the bays, harbors, and creeks of Canada, New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, Newfoundland, Prince Edward Island, and of the several islands thereunto adjacent, without being restricted to any distance from the shore, with permission to land upon the coast and shores of those colonies and the islands thereof, and also upon the Magdalen Islands, for the purpose of drying their nets and curing their fish; provided that in so doing they do not interfere with the rights of private property, or with British fishermen in the peaceable use of any part of said coast in their occupancy for the same purpose.
It is understood that the above-mentioned liberty shall not extend to the right of fishing in the estuaries and rivers hereinafter designated; that is to say,
which right is reserved exclusively for British fishermen.
It is agreed by the high contracting parties that British subjects shall have, in common with the citizens of the United States, the liberty to take fish of every kind, except [Page 297] shell-fish, on the sea-coasts and shores of the United States, (except the coasts of the State of Florida and the adjacent, islands,) and on the shores of the several islands belonging thereto, and in the hays, harbors, and creeks of the United States and of the said islands, without being restricted to any distance from the shore; with permission to land upon the coasts of the United States and of the islands aforesaid, (except the coast of Florida and the adjacent islands,) for the purpose of drying their nets and curing their fish; provided that in so doing they do not interfere with the rights of private property, or with the fishermen of the United States in the use of any part of the said coasts, in their occupation for the same purpose.
It is understood that the above-mentioned liberty shall not extend to the right of fishing in the rivers and estuaries of the United States hereinafter designated; that is to say,
which right is reserved exclusively for American fishermen.
It is agreed that the reciprocal rights and privileges granted to the citizens and subjects of the high contracting parties in the two foregoing articles (first and second) shall, to the full extent therein conceded, be enjoyed by them, respectively, to take, dry, and cure fish of any kind, except shell-fish, on the sea-coasts and shores; on the continental territories and possessions of either party; on the coasts of the Pacific Ocean, and in the bays, harbors, and creeks of the said territories and possessions; and on the coasts and shores of the adjacent islands belonging to either party, without being restricted to any distance from the shores.
It is agreed that the articles enumerated in the schedule hereunto annexed, being the growth and produce of the aforesaid British Colonies or of the United States, shall be admitted into each country, respectively, free of duty.
Grain, flour, and breadstuffs of all kinds.
Animals of all kinds.
Fresh, smoked, and salted meats.
Cotton-wool, seeds, vegetables.
Undried fruits, dried fruits.
Fish of all kinds.
Hides, furs, skins, or tails, undressed.
Stone and marble in its crude or unwrought state.
Butter, cheese, tallow.
Lard, horns, manures.
Ores of metals of all kinds.
Pitch, tar, turpentine, ashes.
Timber and lumber of all kinds: round, hewed, and sawed; manufactured in whole or in part.
Plants, shrubs, and trees.
Rice, broom-corn, bark.
Gypsum, ground or unground.
Hewn or wrought buhr-stones.
Flax, hemp, and tow, unmanufactured.
It is agreed that the citizens and inhabitants of the United States shall have the right to navigate the river Saint Lawrence and the canals in Canada, used as the means of communicating with the great lakes and the Atlantic Ocean, with their vessels, boats, and crafts as fully and freely as the subjects of Her Britannic Majesty, subject only to the same tolls and other assessments as now are or may hereafter be exacted of Her Majesty’s said subjects; it being understood, however, that the British government retains the right of suspending this privilege, on giving due notice thereof to the Government of the United States.
It is further agreed that if at any time the British government should exercise the said reserved right the Government of the United States shall have the right of suspending, if it think fit, the operations of Article IV, of the present treaty, for so long as the suspension of the free navigation of the river Saint Lawrence or the canals may continue.[Page 298]
It is also agreed that the citizens and inhabitants of the United States shall have the right to the free navigation of the river Saint John, in the province of New Brunswick, as fully and freely as the subjects of Her Britannic Majesty, and that no export duty or any other duty shall he levied on lumber or timber of any kind cut on that portion of the American territory in the State of Maine, and watered by the river Saint John and its tributaries, and floated down that river to the sea, when the same is shipped to the United States from the province of New Brunswick.
The present treaty shall take effect whenever the laws required to carry it into operation shall have been passed by the Imperial Parliament of Great Britain and the British provincial assemblies on the one hand, and by the Congress of the United States on the other; and shall he binding only so long as said laws, whether now existing or hereafter to be enacted, shall remain in force; and whenever the Imperial Parliament or the provincial assemblies on the one hand, and the Congress of the United States on the other, shall repeal said laws, or either of them, this treaty shall cease to be binding on the other party. Either party may, however, after the expiration of seven years, terminate the said treaty, by giving to the other one year’s notice of its intention to have the same terminated and become inoperative.
1854, June 5. On the 5th of June, 1854, the treaty was signed by Mr. Marcy and Lord Elgin, and on the 20th of the same month submitted to the Senate.
The following is a copy of the message and treaty as submitted.
To the Senate of the United States:
I transmit to the Senate for its consideration, with a view to ratification, a treaty extending the right of fishing, and regulating the commerce and navigation between Her Britannic Majesty’s posessions in North America and the United States, concluded in this city on the 5th instant, between the United States and Her Britannic Majesty.
Washington, June 20, 1854.
The Government of the United States being equally desirous with Her Majesty the Queen of Great Britain to avoid further misunderstanding between their respective citizens and subjects, in regard to the extent of the right of fishing on the coasts of British North America, secured to each by Article I of a convention between the United States and Great Britain, signed at London, on the 20th day of October, 1818; and being also desirous to regulate the commerce and navigation between their respective territories and people, and more especially between Her Majesty’s possessions in North America and the United States, in such manner as to render the same reciprocally beneficial and satisfactory, have, respectively, named plenipotentiaries to confer and agree thereupon—that is to say, the President of the United States of America, William L. Marcy, Secretary of State of the United States, and Her Majesty the Queen of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland, James, Earl of Elgin and Kincardine, Lord Bruce and Elgin, a peer of the United Kingdom, knight of the most ancient and most noble Order of the Thistle, and governor-general in and over all Her Britannic Majesty’s provinces on the continent of North America, and in and over the island of Prince Edward; who, after having communicated to each other their respective full powers, found in good and due form, have agreed upon the following articles:
It is agreed by the high contracting parties that in addition to the liberty secured to the United States fishermen by the above-mentioned convention of October 20, 1818, of taking, curing, and drying fish on certain coasts of the British North American Colonies, therein defined, the inhabitants of the United States shall have, in common with the subjects of Her Britannic Majesty, the liberty to take fish of every kind, except shell-fish, on the sea coasts and shores, and in the bays, harbors, and creeks of Canada, New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, Prince Edward Island, and of the several islands thereunto adjacent, without being restricted to any distance from the shore; with permission to land upon the coasts and shores of those colonies and the islands thereof, and also upon the Magdalen Islands, for the purpose of drying their nets and curing their fish; provided that, in so doing, they do not interfere with the rights of private property or with British fishermen in the peaceable use of any part of the said coast in their occupancy Tor the same purpose.
It is understood that the above-mentioned liberty applies solely to the sea fisheries, and that the salmon and shad fisheries, and all fisheries in rivers and the mouths of rivers, are hereby reserved, exclusively, for British fisherman.
And it is further agreed that, in order to prevent or settle any disputes as to the places to which the reservation of exclusive right to British fishermen, contained in [Page 299] this article, and that of fisherman of the United States, contained in the next succeeding article, apply, each of the high contracting parties, on the application of either to the other, shall, within six months thereafter, appoint a commissioner. The said commissioners, before proceeding to any business, shall make and subscribe a solemn declaration that they will impartially and carefully examine and decide, to the best of their judgment, and according to justice and equity, without fear, favor, or affection to their own country, upon all such places as are intended to be reserved and excluded from the common liberty of fishing under this and the next succeeding article, and such declaration shall be entered on the record of their proceedings.
The commissioner shall name some third person to act as an arbitrator or umpire in any case or cases on which they may themselves differ in opinion. If they should not be able to agree upon the name of such third person, they shall each name a person, and it shall be determined by lot which of the two persois so named shall be the arbitrator or umpire in cases of difference or disagreement between the commissioners. The person so to be chosen to be arbitrator or umpire shall, before proceeding to act as such in any case, make and subscribe a solemn declaration in a form similar to that which shall already have been made and subscribed by the commissioners, which shall be entered on the record of their proceedings. In the event of the death, absence, or incapacity of either of the commissioners, or of the arbitrator or umpire, or of their or his omitting, declining, or ceasing to act as such commissioner, arbitrator, or umpire, another and different person shall be appointed or named as aforesaid to act as such commissioner, arbitrator, or umpire, in the place and stead of the person so originally appointed or named as aforesaid, and shall make and subscribe such declaration as aforesaid.
Such commissioners shall proceed to examine the coasts of the North American provinces and of the United States, embraced within the provisions of the first and second articles of this treaty, and shall designate the places reserved by the said articles from, the common right of fishing therein.
The decision of the commissioners, and of the arbitrator or umpire, shall be given in writing in each case, and shall be signed by them respectively.
The high contracting parties hereby solemnly engage to consider the decision of the commissioners conjointly, or of the arbitrator or umpire, as the case may be, as absolutely final and conclusive in each case decided upon by them or him respectively.
It is agreed by the high contracting parties that British subjects shall have, in common with the citizens of the United States, the liberty to take fish of every kind, except shell-fish, on the eastern sea-coasts and shores of the United States, north of the 36th parallel of north latitude, and on the shores of the several islands thereunto adjacent, and in the bays, harbors, and creeks of the said sea-coasts and shores of the United States, and of the said islands, without being restricted to any distance from the shore, with permission to land upon the said coasts of the United States and of the islands aforesaid, for the purpose of drying their nets and curing their fish: provided, that in so doing, they do not interfere with the rights of private property, or with the fishermen of the United States in the peaceable use of any part of the said coasts in their occupancy for the same purpose.
It is understood that the above-mentioned liberty applies solely to the sea-fishery, and that salmon and shad fisheries, and all fisheries in rivers and mouths of rivers, are hereby reserved exclusively for fishermen of the United States.
It is agreed that the articles enumerated in the schedule hereunto annexed, being the growth and produce of the aforesaid British colonies, or of the United States, shall be admitted into each country respectively free of duty.
Grain, flour, and breadstuffs of all kinds.
Animals of all kinds.
Fresh, smoked, and salted meats.
Cotton-wool, seeds, and vegetables.
Undried fruits, dried fruits.
Fish of all kinds.
Products of fish and of other creatures living in the water.
Hides, furs, skins, or tails undressed.
Stone or marble, in its crude or unwrought state.
Butter, cheese, tallow.
Lard, horns, manures.[Page 300]
Ores of metals of all kinds.
Pitch, tar, turpentine, ashes.
Timber and lumber of all kinds, round, hewed, and sawed, unmanufactured in whole or in part.
Plants, shrubs, and trees.
Rice, broom-corn, and bark.
Gypsum, ground or unground.
Hewn, or wrought, or unwrought buhr or grindstones.
Flax, hemp, and tow, unmanufactured.
It is agreed that the citizens and inhabitants of the United States shall have the right to navigate the St. Lawrence, and the canals in Canada, used as the means of communicating between the great lakes and the Atlantic Ocean, with their vessels, boats, and crafts, as fully and freely as the subjects of Her Britannic Majesty, subject only to the same tolls and other assessments as now are, or may hereafter be, exacted of Her Majesty’s said subjects; it being understood, however, that the British government retains the right of suspending this privilege on giving due notice thereof to the Government of the United States.
It is further agreed that if at any time the British government should exercise the said reserved right, the Government of the United States shall have the right of suspending, if it think fit, the operation of Article III of the present treaty, in so far as the province of Canada is affected thereby, for so long as the suspension of the free navigation of the river St. Lawrence or the canals may continue.
It is further agreed that British subjects shall have the right freely to navigate Lake Michigan, with their vessels, boats, and crafts, so long as the privilege of navigating the river St. Lawrence, secured to American citizens by the above clause of the present article, shall continue; and the Government of the United States further engages to urge upon the State governments to secure to the subjects of Her Britannic Majesty the use of the several State canals on terms of equality with the inhabitants of the United States.
And it is further agreed that no export duty, or other duty, shall he levied on lumber or timber of any kind, cut on that portion of the American territory in the State of Maine watered by the river Saint John and its tributaries, and floated down that river to the sea, when the same is shipped to the United States from the province of New Brunswick.
The present treaty shall take effect as soon as the laws required to carry it into operation shall have been passed by the Imperial Parliament of Great Britain, and by the provincial parliaments of those of the British North American colonies which are affected by this treaty on the one hand, and by the Congress of the United States on the other. Such assent having been given, the treaty shall remain in force for ten years from the date at which it may come into operation, and further, until the expiration of twelve months after either of the high contracting parties shall give notice to the other of its wish to terminate the same; each of the high contracting parties being at liberty to give such notice to the other at the end of the said term of ten years, or at any time afterward.
It is clearly understood, however, that this stipulation is not intended to affect the reservation made by Article IV of the present treaty with regard to the right of temporarily suspending the operation of Articles III and IV thereof.
And it is hereby further agreed that the provisions and stipulations of the foregoing articles shall extend to the Island of Newfoundland, so far as they are applicable to that colony. But if the Imperial Parliament, the provincial parliament of Newfoundland, or the Congress of the United States shall not embrace in their laws enacted for carrying this treaty into effect the colony of Newfoundland, then this article shall be of no effect, but the omission to make provision by law to give it effect, by either of the legislative bodies aforesaid, shall not in any way impair the remaining articles of this treaty.[Page 301]
The present treaty shall be duly ratified, and the mutual exchange of ratifications shall take place in Washington, within six months from the date hereof, or earlier if possible.
In faith whereof we, the respective plenipotentiaries, have signed this treaty and have hereunto affixed our seals.
Done; in triplicate, at Washington, the fifth day of June, anno Domini one thousand eight hundred and fifty-four.
W. L. MARCY. [l. s.]
ELGIN & KINCARDINE, [l. s.]
The Senate, by a resolution of the 2d August, 1854, sanctioned the ratification of the treaty as above presented without amendment. Aug. 2, 1854.
August 9. September 9. It was ratified August 9, 1854, and exchanged September 9, 1854.
1865, Mar. 17. On the 17th March, 1865, Mr. Adams, the minister of the United States at London, under instructions from the Secretary of State, gave official notice that the treaty would terminate at the expiration of one year from that date.
1866, Mar. 17. On the 17th of March, 1866, the President issued a proclamation declaring the treaty terminated.
1869, July 12. Sir Edward Thornton, on the 12th of July, 1869, handed to Mr. Fish a memorandum of basis of negotiation, proposing:
- Renewal of the fishery privileges as under reciprocity treaty of 1854, with such extensions as altered circumstances may require, on condition that arrangement for trade satisfactory to Canada is made.
- Subject to same condition, same rights of navigation of Saint Lawrence as under reciprocity treaty, and corresponding rights on other inland waters of the British possessions in North America, extended to citizens of the United States, on similar rights being extended to Canada as to the United States waters, Canada to enter into arrangements with a view of improving access to the ocean by enlargement and deepening of the canals on receiving assurance of the permanency of the commercial intercourse proposed.
- Subject to same condition, Canada will consider the questions of mutual opening of coasting trade;
- Liberal and reciprocal arrangement of patent and copyright laws;
- Providing for extradition of persons committing any crimes but those of a political nature.
- Transit trade to be free and unrestricted, with no other charges than necessary to protect revenue. This subject to be regulated by treaty or legislation.
- Exchange, during such period as may be agreed upon, of the productions of the sea, forest, mines, and agriculture, and animals and their products, on reciprocal terms as nearly free as possible. Schedule of treaty of 1854 basis of new arrangement, but may be added to by both and embrace certain manufactures; duty, if any, to have for basis internal-revenue tax of the United States.
- Canada to adjust excise duty on spirits, beer, tobacco, and other cognate articles, on best revenue standard to be agreed on by both parties; Canada to do all she can to prevent illicit trade between the United States and Canada. (Volume of notes from British Legation, July 12, 1869.)
Seventeenth March, 1870, Sir E. Thornton wrote to Mr. Fish a private and confidential letter. He had a reply to inquiries made at Mr. Fish’s suggestion, whether the Canadian government would grant the free navigation of the Welland Canal and Saint Lawrence, [Page 302] and put the canal into a proper state for navigation, in return for a considerable reduction in the import duties in this country on lumber, salt, fish, and coal, or a possible abolition of all duty on the first three articles. In reply, Canadian government regrets absence from the proposal of products of the most populous sections of Dominion. Of the four articles named, without knowing how much the duty on coal could be diminished, they consider that the free importation of fish would be the only satisfactory part of the proposal. 1870, Mar. 17.
Incloses two schedules which Mr. Fish suggested would be necessary; one a free list, the other of articles which might have to be subject to certain rates of duty.
Schedule No. 1 is a free list; No. 2 a list of articles to pay a certain import duty in both countries. If they are adopted by United States, or propose not unacceptable modifications, free navigation of the Saint Lawrence and the use of the canals will be granted; and he is authorized to declare that it is the policy of Canada to maintain the greatest efficiency in canals. Asks early answer.
Hides and pelts.
Furs, skins, and tails, (undressed.)
Timber and lumber, round, hewed, sawed, unmanufactured in whole or in part.
Pitch, tar, turpentine, and ashes.
Plants, bulbs, trees, and shrubs.
Ores and minerals of all kinds.
Cotton and wool.
Stone and marble, (unwrought.)
Flax, hemp, and tow, (undressed.)
Buhr or grind stones.
Clays, earths, and gravel.
Plaster of Paris, (not ground or calcined.)
Tanners’ bark, and extracts thereof.
Animals of all kinds, ad valorem, 5 per cent.
Poultry, ad valorem, 5 per cent.
Fish, viz: Mackerel, per barrel, $1; salmon, per barrel, $1; herrings, [Page 303] arid all other fish in barrels, 50 cents; fish not in barrels, and not otherwise described, ad valorem, 5 per cent.
Meats, fresh, salted, and smoked, per pound, 1 cent.
Butter, per pound, 2 cents.
Cheese, per pound, 2 cents.
Lard, per pound, 1 cent.
Tallow, per pound, 1 cent.
Grease, and grease scraps, ad valorem, 5 per cent.
Fruits, green, dried, and undried, ad valorem, 5 per cent.
Seeds, not including cereals, ad valorem, 5 per cent.
Hay and straw, ad valorem, 5 per cent.
Bran, ad valorem, 5 per cent.
Vegetables, including potatoes and other roots, ad valorem, 5 per cent.
Hops, per pound, 5 cents.
Wheat, per bushel, 4 cents.
Barley and rye, per bushel, 3 cents.
Oats, buckwheat, and Indian corn, per bushel, 2 cents.
Pease and beans, per bushel, 2 cents.
Flour of wheat or rye, per barrel, 25 cents.
Indian and buckwheat meal, and oatmeal, per barrel, 15 cents.
Coal, per ton, 50 cents.
List of appendices, with description of contents.
- No. 1. Statistics of trade with provinces for certain years, in articles on free list of reciprocity treaty.
- No. 2. Report of Committee on Commerce, House of Representatives, on the operation of the treaty of 1854. Pointing out defects and suggesting remedies. (Report No. 22, H. R., 37th Gong., 2d sess.)
- No. 3. Report of Secretary of Treasury to House of Representatives, in answer to a resolution, presenting statistics of trade with Canada, &c., illustrative of the working of the treaty, the Canadian tariffs of 1849 and 1862, and the rates of toll in 1864 on the Canadian canals. (Ex. Doc. No. 32, H. R., 38th Gong., 1st sess.)
- No. 4. A report of Hon. Israel T. Hatch upon commercial relations with the British provinces and the comparative importance of American and Canadian commercial channels of transportation of property from the west to the sea-board. (Ex. Doc. No. 78, H. R., 39th Gong., 2d sess.)
- No. 5. Reports by George W. Brega, esq., upon trade with the provinces of British North America, the free navigation of the Saint Lawrence and the Gulf fisheries. (Ex. Docs. Nos. 240 and 295, H. R., 10th Gong., 2d sess.)
- No. 6. Report of Hon. Israel T. Hatch upon the commercial relations of the United States with the Dominion of Canada, to enable Secretary of Treasury to further answer House resolution 9th July, 1866, calling for a statement of the trade and commerce with the provinces, and a statement of the revenue derived therefrom since the termination of the treaty, and of all changes in the Canadian tariffs since that date, also of comparative importance of American and Canadian channels of transportation. (Ex. Doc. No. 36, H. R., 40th Gong., 3d sess.)
APPENDIX No. 1
Statistics of trade between the United States and the British North American Provinces for certain specified years in articles which, during the existence of the reciprocity treaty, were admitted free of duty, reciprocally, into both countries.
|Description.||imports from british north america.||domestic exports to british north america.||Reciprocity treaty imports for half year ending June 30, 1855.|
|Animals of all kinds||55,586||42,126||1,658,970||5,503,318||6,130,082||15,485||67,036||1,324,703||58,516||345,806||262,611|
|Fresh, smoked, and salted meats||8,985||4,013||392,934||850,328||(*)||†618, 353||1,133,140||1,236,917||2,314,811||899,637||8,023|
|Fish, and products of fish||532,663||807,161||1,959,760||2,189,846||1,169,407||2,737||24,320||43,860||71,330||47,694||17,201|
|Furs hides, skins, or tails, undressed.||46,270||44,569||277,974||442,712||622,832||6,260||93,025||469,067||233,786||206,168||38,281|
|Stone or marble, crude||24,251||17,502||127,932||36,831|
|Coal bituminous, including anthracite||§188,784||243,784||497,403||§1,210,004||613,106||41,362||352,568||257,179||815,794||1,048,347|
|Pitch, tar, and turpentine||6,766||1,040||22,604||74,078||62,526||9,434||120,640||175|
|Timber and lumber, unmanufactured in whole or in part||9,017||1,493||3,416,481||4,515,626||║8,672,828||31,882||39,816||18,292||167,492||244,503||571,727|
|Other articles, included in the free-list of the reciprocity treaty||31,843||7,213,616||1,130,114||1,620,172||189,735||243,359||380,774||300,993||414,358||594,319||1,320,963|
* See butter, &c.
† Including lard.
‡ Including meats, &c.
§ Fiscal year ending June 30.
║ Including firewood and manufactures of wood.
- Bounties abolished by revenue act of 28th July, 1866.↩