[Protocol of Conference between the High Commissioners on the Part of the United States of America and the High Commissioners of Great Britain]
The High Commissioners having met, the protocol of the conference held on the 4th of May was read and confirmed.
Lord de Grey said, that as the Joint High Commission would not meet again after to-day, except for the purpose of signing the Treaty, he desired, on behalf of himself and his colleagues, to express their high appreciation of the manner in which Mr. Fish and his American colleagues had, on their side, conducted the negotiations. It had been most gratifying to the British Commissioners to be associated with colleagues who were animated with the same sincere desire as themselves to bring about a settlement, equally honorable and just to both countries, of the various questions of which it had been their duty to treat, and the British Commissioners would always retain a grateful recollection of the fair and friendly spirit which the American Commissioners had displayed.
Mr. Fish, in behalf of the American Commissioners, said that they were gratefully sensible of the friendly words expressed by Lord de Grey, and of the kind spirit which had prompted them. From the date of the first conference the American Commissioners had been impressed by the earnestness of desire manifested by the British Commissioners to reach a settlement worthy of the two Powers who had committed to this Joint High Commission the treatment of various questions of peculiar interest, complexity, and delicacy. His colleagues and he could never cease to appreciate the generous spirit, and the open and friendly manner in which the British Commissioners had met and discussed the several questions that had led to the conclusion of a Treaty which it was hoped would receive the approval of the people of both countries, and would prove the foundation of a cordial and friendly understanding between them for all time to come.[Page 407]
Mr. Fish farther said that he was sure that every member of the Joint High Commission would desire to record his appreciation of the ability, the zeal, and the unceasing labor which the Joint Protocolists had exhibited in the discharge of their arduous and responsible duties, and that he knew that he only gave expression to the feelings of the Commissioners in saying that Lord Tenterden and Mr. Bancroft Davis were entitled to, and were requested to accept the thanks of, the Joint High Commission for their valuable services, and the great assistance which they had rendered with unvarying obligingness to the Commission.
Lord de Grey replied, on behalf of the British Commissioners, that he and his colleagues most cordially concurred in the proposal made by Mr. Fish that the thanks of the Joint High Commission should be tendered to Mr. Bancroft Davis and Lord Tenterden for their valuable services as Joint Protocolists. The British Commissioners were also full as sensible as their American colleagues of the great advantage which the Commission had derived from the assistance which those gentlemen had given them in the conduct of the important negotiations in which they had been engaged.
Monday, the 8th of May, was appointed for the signatures of the Treaty.
- J. C. BANCROFT DAVIS.