Mr. Woodbury to Mr. Bayard.
Sir: I have the honor to enclose for your consideration the affidavit of James McDonald, master of the schooner Thomas F. Bayard, who has been illegally driven from the waters of Bonne Bay, on the northwest coast of Newfoundland, in direct violation of the treaty of 1818.
In this connection I would refer you to the fact that the British Government have twice declined to ratify laws of Newfoundland prohibiting the sale of bait (see Executive Document No. 84, Forty-sixth Congress, second session, House of Representatives, pp. 106–7): once when the Duke of Newcastle was minister, and again when Sir M. Hicks Beach was colonial secretary, in 1878. In 1885 I wrote to our minister at London requesting him to ascertain at the colonial office whether since 1878 any law of Newfoundland prohibiting the sale of bait to foreigners had been approved, and the reply furnished him was, none had been. This is the only instance of the kind from Newfoundland that has come to my knowledge. Captain McDonald sails to-morrow, but proof of his loss will be made up and transmitted to the Department.
I forwarded some time since some evidence as to the collector at Magdalen Islands denying treaty rights to our vessels. I inclose the affidavit of A. McEachern, master of the schooner Mascot, that he was denied at Fort Amherst, June 10th, any privilege except wood and water, and also threatened with seizure even if he should take a pilot! The Magdalen Islands, like the west coast of Newfoundland, are by treaty particularly stated to be places where the common rights of fishery on land or sea are to be enjoyed by both parties to the treaty.
I am, &c.,