The Consul General at Ottawa ( Foster ) to the Secretary of State

No. 4215

Sir: In response to instruction of December 17th, I now have the honor to forward herewith, copy of a letter I have received from Mr. A. Johnston, Deputy Minister of Marine and Fisheries, in reply to the personal message conveyed to him by me, on behalf of the Honorable William Phillips, Under Secretary of State.

I have [etc.]

John G. Foster

The Canadian Deputy Minister of Marine and Fisheries ( Johnston ) to the Consul General at Ottawa ( Foster )

Sir: Referring to your letter of the 19th instant,9 I would be very much obliged if you will convey to Mr. William Phillips, Under-Secretary of State, Washington, D. C. the following message;

[Page 482]

Immediately following the receipt of your message through the Consul General for the United States resident here, the questions raised by you were referred to the Department of Justice. I am now in receipt of a communication from the Deputy Minister of Justice in the following terms:

“Referring to Mr. Found’s conversation with Mr. Edwards, in which he asked to be advised with regard to the questions raised by the Consul General of the United States! in his personal message to yourself of the 19th instant, I am of opinion that questions 1 and 2 in said letter are to be answered in the negative, and that with regard to question three, it is to be observed that section 9 makes a foreigner subject to forfeiture for two additional causes which do not apply to Canadian or British vessels, namely (1) preparing to fish and (2) entering territorial waters for a prohibited purpose. It does not in my view relieve British vessels from seizure and forfeiture for breach of any of the provisions of the Treaty or of the other provisions of the Act”.

I hope the view expressed in the communication from the Department of Justice will be satisfactory to you. There is certainly no intention on our part to relieve British vessels from seizure and forfeiture for breach of any of the provisions of the Treaty. If any reasonable doubt arises in the mind of anyone that this would be possible under the legislation of last session, steps will be taken to remedy it during the next Session of Parliament.

I regret the delay in replying to your letter, which is accounted for by the non-arrival of the opinion of the Department of Justice, until this morning.

I have [etc.]

A. Johnston
  1. See telegram of Dec. 17 from the Under Secretary of State to the consul general at Ottawa, p. 480.