Mr. Tower to Mr. Hay.

Sir: I duly communicated to Her Majesty’s principal secretary of state for foreign affairs your note No. 1552, of the 6th ultimo, relative to the provisional boundary between Alaska and the Dominion of Canada, and have now received a reply from the Marquis of Salisbury, submitting a modified form of agreement.

His Lordship states that the proviso in your proposal with regard to freedom of access to the valley of the Porcupine Creek would render it impossible to draw the provisional line of boundary without practically transferring both banks of the Klehini River to the American side, and the text of the agreement has therefore been amended in such a manner as to permit persons proceeding to and from Porcupine Creek to carry with them such goods and articles as they desire without being required to pay any customs duties, while the arrangement that the line should follow the high or right bank of the Klehini is retained.

By this means Her Majesty’s Government confidently trust that the freedom of passage asked for by your Government is satisfactorily assured.

With regard to the alterations in the last paragraph of the agreement, I may state that, as the line is to be provisional it does not seem necessary to appoint commissioners for the purpose of erecting appropriate monuments. The officers on either side, who may be in the vicinity, can be intrusted with the work of erecting such temporary marks as may be deemed requisite.

With the above explanations I have now the honor to communicate to you the draft of the agreement, with the modifications suggested by [Page 328] Her Majesty’s Government being marked in red ink [underscored] and to state that, should it meet with your approval, I am authorized to sign without any delay.

I have, etc.,

Reginald Tower.

agreement as to provisional boundary at the head of the lynn canal.

It shall be agreed between the Governments of the United States and that of Great Britain that the boundary line between Canada and the Territory of Alaska in the region about the head of the Lynn Canal shall be provisionally fixed without prejudice to the claims of either party in the permanent adjustment of the international boundary.

In the region of the Dalton Trail, a line beginning at the Peak west of Porcupine Creek, marked on the map No. 10 of the United States Commission, December 31, 1895, and on sheet No. 18 of the British Commission, December 31, 1895, with the number 6500; thence running to the Klehini River in the direction of the peak north of that river, marked 5020 on the aforesaid United States map and 5025 on the aforesaid British map; thence following the high or right bank of the said Klehini River to the junction thereof with the Chilkat River, a mile and a half, more or less, north of Klukwan: Provided that persons proceeding to or from Porcupine Creek shall be freely permitted to follow the trail between the said creek and the said junction of the rivers into and across the territory on the Canadian side of the temporary line wherever the trail crosses to such side, and subject to such reasonable regulations for the protection of the revenue as the Canadian Government may prescribe, to carry with them over such part or parts of the trail between the said points as may lie on the Canadian side of the temporary line, such goods and articles as they desire, without being required to pay any customs duties on such goods and articles; and from said junction to the summit of the peak east of the Chilkat River, marked on the aforesaid maps 5490.

On the Dyea and Skagway trails the summits of the Chilkoot and White passes.

It is understood, as formerly set forth in communications of the Department of State of the United States, that the citizens or subjects of either Power found by this arrangement within the temporary jurisdiction of the other shall suffer no diminution of the rights and privileges which they now enjoy.

The Government of the United States will at once appoint an officer or officers in conjunction with an officer or officers to be named by the Government of Her Britannic Majesty to mark the temporary line agreed upon by the erection of posts, stakes, or other appropriate temporary marks.