Chargé Carter to the Secretary of State.

No. 107.]

Sir: I have the honor to inclose herewith a translation of my cable of this date with reference to the Newfoundland fisheries question, and also a copy of the memorandum upon which it was based.

I was sent for yesterday by Sir Edward Grey to come and see him at the foreign office, where, through Mr. Villiers, one of the under secretaries, he communicated to me the substance of the above-mentioned memorandum, at the same time stating in the most friendly spirit that although convinced that the present incident, which might not seem important in itself and probably occurred owing to ignorance or misapprehension of the terms of the convention of 1818 on the part of those engaged, under the present circumstances he considered it necessary to call your attention to the matter, hoping you would receive it in the spirit it was offered, and would be disposed to cause the American fishermen to be instructed to desist from this action, which he submitted was clearly in excess of their treaty rights.

I have, etc.,

John Ridgely Carter.


His Majesty’s Government have received information that United States fishermen are constructing platforms for freezing herring on the shore of Bay of Islands on the west coast of Newfoundland.

Article I of the convention of 1818 between Great Britain and the United States stipulated that American fisherman shall “have liberty, forever, to dry and cure fish in any of the unsettled bays, harbors, and creeks of the southern part of the coast of Newfoundland” described previously in the same article as the part of the coast between Cape Ray and the Rameau Islands; but that “the United States hereby renounce, forever, any liberty heretofore enjoyed or claimed by the inhabitants thereof to take, dry, or cure fish on or within three marine miles of any of the coasts, bays, creeks, or harbors of His Britanic Majesty’s dominions in America not included within the above-mentioned limits.

The incident now reported has probably occurred owing to ignorance or misapprehension of the terms of the convention. His Majesty’s Government consider it necessary, however, to call attention to the matter and to express the hope that the American fishermen may be instructed to desist from action which is clearly in excess of their treaty rights.