The Secretary of State to Chargé Carter.

No. 118.]

Sir: I have to acknowledge the receipt of your No. 107 of the 16th instants.a You therewith inclose a copy of the British memorandum on which was based your telegram of that date with regard to the information received by His Majesty’s Government, that fishermen of the United States were constructing platforms for freezing herring on the west coast of Newfoundland.

By an omission of part of the context of Article I of the treaty of 1818, the memorandum makes it appear that by that treaty the United States renounced the liberty to take, dry, or cure fish on any of the coasts, etc., of Newfoundland other than the southern coast between Cape Ray and the Rameau Islands; whereas, under the treaty, our fishermen have the right to take fish on the western and northern coasts of Newfoundland within certain described limits, as well as in certain other localities.

While I have no thought that there was any intention on the part of the framer of the memorandum to give it any such interpretation or that the meaning to be conveyed was other than that our fishermen by the treaty were excluded from drying and curing fish, so far as Newfoundland is concerned, elsewhere than on the southern coast, I deem it advisable that you should call Sir Edward Grey’s attention to the misleading language of the memorandum.

That I understood by your telegram of December 16 that reference was had therein to the drying and curing of fish and not to the taking of fish, is shown by my wired reply of the same day’s date that “our fishermen are not entitled to construct platforms for freezing herring on the west coast of Newfoundland.”

I am, etc.,

Elihu Root.