The British Ambassador (Geddes) to the Secretary of State

No. 327

Sir: With reference to the note which you were so good as to address to me on March 28th in regard to the negotiation of a treaty or treaties for the protection of salmon fisheries beyond the limits of the territorial waters, I have the honour to inform you that I have now received a despatch from the Government of Canada setting forth their views in regard to this matter. The Canadian Government share the view of the United States Government that it is necessary for the proper protection of salmon fisheries that they should be adequately controlled beyond as well as within, territorial waters. Both Governments have already agreed that it is essential that they should join their efforts in preserving and building up the salmon fisheries of the Fraser River System, and with that object a treaty was signed as long ago as the 25th May, 1920. This treaty, however, has not yet been ratified by the Senate of the United States, although the fisheries of that System, which admittedly could be made one of the most important to both countries on the Pacific Coast, are rapidly deteriorating year by year. Further, both countries have agreed on the necessity for joint efforts to saving the halibut fisheries of the Pacific Coast and a treaty to that end has been awaiting signature since October, 1919, Canada having on several occasions in the meantime urged that the treaty should be completed. While, therefore, the Canadian Government are prepared to consider details for a treaty for the protection of salmon in extraterritorial waters, they are of opinion that the even more important treaties for the protection of the Fraser River salmon fisheries and of the Pacific halibut fisheries and for the settlement of other matters should first be completed.

I have [etc.]

A. C. Geddes