No. 507.
Mr. Phelps to Mr. Bayard.

No. 673.]

Sir: I have the honor to inclose herewith copies of a telegram which I received from you on the 31st ultimo* and of my reply to the same, together with those of my note to the Marquis of Salisbury respecting the refusal of the Canadian authorities to allow the cargoes of the two American vessels to be landed at Halifax, and of the answer thereto which I received from the foreign office.

Yesterday morning your telegram of the 2d reached me, and I thereupon addressed to the Marquis of Salisbury, in pursuance of your instructions therein contained, a note, of which I inclose a copy herewith.

I am gratified by the promptitude with which Her Majesty’s Government has caused this matter to be satisfactorily settled.

I have the honor, etc.,

E. J. Phelps.
[Inclosure 1 in No. 673.]

Mr. Phelps to Lord Salisbury.


My Lord: I have the honor to acquaint you that I have just received a cable dispatch from my Government informing me that the consul-general of the United States at Halifax has reported that two American vessels laden with fresh fish have been compelled to put into that port for repairs, and that their cargoes will rot unless allowed to be landed, which the Canadian authorities have forbidden as being a violation of the treaty and of British statutes. The consul-general adds that if this refusal be persisted in the fish must be thrown overboard, serious loss being thereby inflicted upon the owners of the vessels.

I am instructed to bring your lordship’s attention to this transaction, which is regarded by my Government as afresh violation of the provisions of the existing treaty between Great Britain and the United States as well as of the ordinary comity that [Page 698] should subsist between two friendly nations. It is made more pointed by having occurred while the representatives of the two countries are actually engaged at Washington in an effort to adjust the questions in dispute touching the fisheries And it is felt by my Government to be an attempt on the part of the Canadian authorities to bring to bear upon the negotiations a pressure similar to that which they have previously employed to obtain from the United States an alteration of its revenue laws.

I venture to add, my lord, the expression of my opinion that this transaction, if persisted in, will have very grave consequences in its probable effect on the negotiations now pending at Washington.

I have, etc.,

E. J. Phelps.
[Inclosure 2 in No. 673.]

Sir J. Pauncefote to Mr. Phelps .


Sir: I have the honor to acknowledge the receipt of your letter this day, relating to the refusal by the Canadian authorities at Halifax to permit two American vessels with fresh fish on board to land their cargoes at that port.

I beg leave to assure you, in reply, that this matter shall receive immediate attention.

I have, etc.,

J. Pauncefote.

(For the Marquis of Salisbury.)
[Inclosure 3 in No. 673.]

Mr. Phelps to Lord Salisbury.

My Lord: I am instructed by my Government to express to your lordship the satisfaction it has felt with the prompt and effectual interposition of Her Majesty’s Government in the matter of certain American fishing vessels at Halifax, mentioned in my note to your lordship of February 1, and in Sir Julian Pauncefote’s note of the same date, in reply.

And I have the honor to be, etc.,

E. J. Phelps.
  1. See Doc. No. 504, ante, page 695.
  2. Not printed herewith.