to Mr. Phelps.
Washington, November 12, 1886.
Sir: * * * I have already written you asking whether from the British foreign office you could obtain a copy of the report first made by the officer in command of the Canadian vessel by whom the schooner David J. Adams was seized, and you will perceive from the reply of Mr. Graham, who represents the Canadian Government in the suit in the vice-admiralty court at Halifax, that he declines to promise to produce the reports made by these officers at the time of the seizure, in which the causes for such action would naturally be set forth.
In the course of your correspondence or conversation with Lord Iddlesleigh it might be well to draw his attention to the difficulties thrown in the way of the American fisherman in not being permitted to learn the nature and extent of the offense with which they were charged, and so be compelled to go to trial without those certainties of allegation which are held in courts of justice to be incumbent upon the claimant before he is entitled to recover in any suit.
It really appears that this method of Canadian procedure is belittling the important principles involved in the international question now under consideration between the United States and Great Britain.
I am, etc.,