Chargé Carter to
the Secretary of State.
Sir: I have the honor to inclose herewith a
translation of my cablegram of the 28th instant and also a copy of a
memorandum handed me by Sir Edward Grey in reply to my note of the 18th
instant, all in connection with the Newfoundland fisheries question.
From the memorandum in question it will be seen that Mr. O’Reilly, the
inspector of the Newfoundland customs, who had spent ten days among the
fishing smacks at Bay of Islands, reported that though fishing nets and
tackle had been lost through stress of weather no willful destruction of
any kind had taken place, and that on the contrary the fishermen were
all quiet and on friendly terms and in fact no antagonistic feeling
whatever existed between the Newfoundlanders and the American
I have, etc.,
His Majesty’s Government have received by telegraph from Sir W.
MacGregor, the governor of Newfoundland, a reply to their inquiry
concerning the complaint that American fishing nets and fishing
tackle had been maliciously damaged or interfered with by
His excellency states that he is able emphatically to contradict this
rumor. Inspector O’Reilly, who had spent ten days among the fishing
smacks at Bay of Islands, reported that though fishing nets and
tackle had been lost through stress of weather or inexperience, no
willful destruction of any kind had taken place. On the contrary,
the fishermen were all quiet and on friendly terms. The magistrate
at Bonne Bay reported that he had received no complaints and that he
was unaware of any willful damage having been inflicted.
Sir W. MacGregor’s statement is corroborated by the officer
commanding His Majesty’s ship Latona, who
reports that after a gale at the beginning of December rumors of
willful damage had been spread. Investigations had, however,
resulted in eliciting the fact that many nets had, owing to the
gale, been dragged and fouled and in some cases had been cut to
clear them. This was due in some measure to the inexperience of the
United States fishermen, who were unaccustomed to the herring
fishery. There was no antagonistic feeling whatever between the
subjects of the respective countries.
Note.—To be continued in Foreign Relations, 1906.