No. 6.
Sir L. S. Sackville West to Mr. Bayard.

Sir: I have the honor to inform you that I have received instructions from the Earl of Iddesleigh, Her Majesty’s principal secretary of state for foreign affairs, again to bring to your notice the grave representations made by Her Majesty’s Government respecting the seizure of the British vessels Carolena, Onward, and Thornton in Bering Sea by the United States cruiser Corwin, to which no reply has as yet been received.

On the 27th of September last I had the honor to address to you a note, in which I stated that Her Majesty’s Government requested to be furnished with any particulars which the United States Government might possess relative to this occurrence.

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On the 21st of October last I had the honor to inform you that I was instructed by the Earl of Iddesleigh to protest in the name of Her Majesty’s Government against such seizures, and to reserve all rights to compensation.

In a note dated the 12th of November last you were good enough to explain the delay which bad occurred in answering these communications, and on the same day I had the honor to communicate to you a dispatch from the Earl of Iddesleigh, a copy of which, at your request, I placed in your hands.

On the 7th ultimo I again had the honor to address you, stating that vessels were equipping in British Columbia for fishing in Bering Sea, and that the Canadian Government were desirous of ascertaining whether such vessels fishing in the open sea and beyond the territorial waters of Alaska would be exposed to seizure, and that Her Majesty’s Government would be glad if some assurance could be given that pending the settlement of the questions no such seizures of British vessels would be made in Bering Sea.

The vessels in question were seized at a distance of more than 60 miles from the nearest land at the time of their seizure. The master of the Thornton was sentenced to imprisonment for thirty days, and to pay a fine of $500, and there is reason to believe that the masters of the Onward and Carolena have been sentenced to similar penalties.

In support of this claim to jurisdiction over a stretch of sea extending in its widest part some 600 or 700 miles from the mainland, advanced by the judge in his charge to the jury, the authorities are alleged to have interferred with the peaceable and lawful occupation of Canadian citizens on the high seas; to have subjected their property to forfeiture and to have visited upon their persons the indignity of imprisonment. Such proceedings therefore, if correctly reported, appear to have been in violation of the admitted principles of international law.

Under these circumstances Her Majesty’s Government do not hesitate to express their concern at not having received any reply to their representations, nor do they wish to conceal the grave nature which the case has thus assumed, and to which I am now instructed to call your immediate and most serious attention. It is unnecessary for me to allude further to the information with which Her Majesty’s Government have been furnished respecting these seizures of British vessels in the open seas, and which for some time past has been in the possession of the United States Government, because Her Majesty’s Government do not doubt that if, on inquiry, it should prove to be correct, the Government of the United States will, with their well-known sense of justice, admit the illegality of the proceedings resorted to against the British vessels and the British subjects above mentioned, and will cause reasonable reparation to be made for the wrongs to which they have been subjected and for the losses which they have sustained.

In conclusion, I have the honor again to refer to your note of the 12th of November last, and to what you said verbally to me on the same day, and to express the hope that the cause of the delay complained ot in answering the representations of Her Majesty’s Government on this grave and important matter may be speedily removed.

I have, etc.,

L. S. Sackville West.