No. 263.
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.,

[Inclosure 1.]

Captain James McDonald to Mr. Bayard.

Sir: The schooner Thomas F. Bayard, of Gloucester, of which I am master and part owner, sailed from Gloucester June 22 on a trip after halibut, with license and trade permit. My supply of bait becoming exhausted, I entered the port of Bonne Bay, on the northwest coast of Newfoundland, for the purpose of procuring a supply of bait on July 12. Directly on anchoring, I reported at the custom-house to the collector and stated my object was to buy bait. Mr. Taylor, the collector, of the port, immediately served upon me a notice, which I transmit herewith, to the effect that the presence of my vessel in the port was in violation of the articles of the convention of 1818, and also warned me not to buy bait. Having a copy of the Ottawa circular of March 5, 1886, with me, I produced it and read to the collector the treaty clause 2 there printed, and argued with him that I had the treaty right to come in here. His reply was, in substance, that he must perform his duty and prevent me from buying bait. I returned to my vessel, and, fearing I should be seized if I bought bait or fished in the three-mile limit or remained, I sailed for home, and arrived at Gloucester July 26, my voyage being broken up, and having a small fare. I left one of the best chances to obtain a large fare of fish, that were very plentiful in the vicinity of the port. I estimate the losses of the vessel and crew at $4,000, roughly.

I thought it proper to lay this matter before you that, if I had the right to fish on that coast, I might procure recompense and damages for the injury done my voyage.

I am, &c.,

[Page 517]
[Inclosure 2.]

2. Sworn statement of Captain McDonald, dated July 28, 1886. Printed as inclosure No. 1 to Mr. Phelps’s note of September 11 to Lord Iddesleigh. See ante. No. 174, p. 360.

[Inclosure 3.]

3. Sworn statement of Alexander MacEachern, dated July 27, 1886. (Ibid. See ante. No. 174, p. 361.