Sir Julian Pauncefote to Mr. Day.
New London, Conn., July 20, 1898.
Sir: With reference to the proposal for the adoption of a provisional line of determination of the Alaska boundary in the region of the Lynn Canal without prejudice to the rights of either Government, I have the honor to inform you that I did not fail immediately on receipt of your note number 1006, of the 9th of May last, to transmit copy of it to the Governor-General of Canada, who has since been in communication with Her Majesty’s Government on the subject.
It appears that the arrangement which the Dominion government have had in contemplation is that pending the settlement of the boundary question, and as to the territory traversed by the mountain passes which lead from Taiya Inlet, each Government should remain in possession of the territory now occupied by it, and that for this purpose a line should be drawn at the summit of the passes or the watershed between the rivers flowing into Taiya Inlet and the tributaries of the Yukon River. This would be satisfactory to them.
They observe, however, that while your note above referred to places the provisional line at Taiya summit, it proposes to apply the principle of the watershed range between rivers flowing into the Lynn Canal and rivers flowing into the Yukon River to the route commonly called the Dalton Trail, which leads from the head of the Chilkat Inlet.
The effect of this would be to place the boundary line much farther inland than the Canadian government consider reasonable under the circumstances.
In view of this objection on the part of the Canadian government, I have been instructed by the Marquis of Salisbury, without going further into the merits of the case at present, to propose to you that the Canadian and United States officers, respectively stationed at the head of the Lynn Canal, should be directed not to advance beyond the positions already occupied by them, and that the provisional boundary line should be referred to the joint commission at Quebec for adjustment.
Hoping that the above suggestion will meet with the approval and concurrence of your Government,
I have, etc.,