The Minister in Canada (Phillips) to the Secretary of State

No. 762

Sir: Adverting to the Legation’s despatch No. 508 of July 6, 1928,11 with particular reference to the second page, et seq., which states that Mr. Alexander Johnston, Deputy Minister of Marine and Fisheries, had informed me confidentially that the Canadian Government was considering a new draft of a treaty for the protection of [Page 33] the Fraser River system of sockeye salmon fisheries, the text of which Mr. Johnston was good enough to send to me quite informally and which I transmitted to the Department as an enclosure to the despatch referred to,12 I now have the honor to inform the Department that the Under-Secretary of State for External Affairs has communicated to me a draft of a proposed treaty on this subject satisfactory to the Canadian Government, a copy of which I transmit herewith enclosed. It desires to learn in this connection whether the draft as presented is acceptable to the Government of the United States and, if so, whether it would be possible to proceed with the signing of a treaty in time to permit of consideration by the United States Senate and the Dominion Parliament during the coming Session. The Under-Secretary of State for External Affairs also would wish to know, for communication to London in connection with a request for full powers to sign any such treaty, the Plenipotentiary who would sign on behalf of the President of the United States and the place of signing.

As the Department may observe, the draft approved by the Dominion Government is identical with that transmitted to the Department in my despatch No. 508 of July 6, 1928, save that certain unimportant alterations are made in the introduction; and that Article II of the draft treaty referred to is materially changed in the manner desired by the Department according to informal exchange of correspondence between the Treaty Division and the Legation (See Mr. Barnes’ letter to Mr. Newson of August 30th last,13 and ensuing correspondence on the subject of Article II of the Convention).

I have [etc.]

William Phillips

Draft of a Proposed Convention for the Protection of the Fraser River System of Sockeye Salmon Fisheries

His Majesty the King of Great Britain, Ireland and the British Dominions beyond the Seas, Emperor of India, and the President of the United States of America, recognizing that the protection, preservation and propagation of the salmon fisheries in the Fraser River System is of common interest to the Dominion of Canada and the United States; that the Fraser River is potentially the greatest sockeye salmon producing area in North America; that its capacity is indicated by the catches of the so-called “big years” of the past, when approximately two million cases of sockeye salmon were packed in the whole System as compared with about one hundred and fifty [Page 34] thousand cases per annum at the present time; that at least seventy-five per cent of the natural spawning areas are above Hell’s Gate Canyon, and that it was only during the so-called “big years” of the past that these areas were seeded; that with the application of proper fish cultural methods combined with adequate protection of the fisheries, there is no known reason why an annual fishery could not be established on the proportions of the “big years” of the past, and that it is in the common interest of both countries that this resource that now largely does not exist should be built up and maintained, have resolved to conclude a convention and to that end have named as their respective plenipotentiaries;

  • His Majesty for the Dominion of Canada;
  • The President of the United States of America;

Who, after having communicated to each other their full powers, found in good and due form, have agreed upon the following Articles.

Article I

The provisions of this Convention and the regulations issued pursuant thereto shall apply to the Fraser Eiver and the streams and lakes tributary thereto and to all waters frequented by sockeye salmon included within the following boundaries;

Beginning at Carmanah Lighthouse on the southwest coast of Vancouver Island, thence in a straight line to a point three marine miles due west astronomic from Tatoosh Lighthouse, Washington, thence to said Tatoosh Lighthouse, thence to the nearest point of Cape Flattery, thence following the southerly shore of Juan de Fuca Strait to Point Wilson, on Quimper Peninsula, thence in a straight line to Point Partridge on Whidbey Island, thence following the western shore of the said Whidbey Island, to the entrance to Deception Pass, thence across said entrance to the southern side of Reservation Bay, on Fidalgo Island, thence following the western and northern shore line of the said Fidalgo Island to Swinomish Slough, crossing the said Swinomish Slough, in line with the track of the Great Northern Railway, thence northerly following the shore line of the mainland to Atkinson Point at the northerly entrance to Burrard Inlet, British Columbia, thence in a straight line to the southern end of Bowen Island, thence westerly following the southern shore of Bowen Island to Cape Roger Curtis, thence in a straight line to Gower Point, thence westerly following the shore line to Welcome Point on Seechelt Peninsula, thence in a straight line to Point Young on Lasqueti Island, thence in a straight line to Dorcas Point on Vancouver Island, thence following the eastern and southern shores of the said Vancouver Island to the starting point at Carmanah Lighthouse as shown on the United States Coast and Geodetic Survey Chart No. 6300, as corrected to October 20, 1924, and on the British Admiral Chart No. 579.

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The High Contracting Parties engage to have prepared as soon as practicable charts of the waters described in this Article, with the above described boundaries and the International boundary line indicated thereon. They further agree to establish within the territory of the United States and the territory of the Dominion of Canada such buoys and marks for the purposes of this Convention as may be recommended by the Commission hereinafter authorized to be established, and to refer such recommendations to the International Boundary Commission, United States-Alaska and Canada, for action pursuant to the provisions of the Treaty respecting the boundary between the United States and Canada signed February 24, 1925.14

Article II

The High Contracting parties agree to establish and maintain a Commission to be known as the International Pacific Salmon Fisheries Commission, hereinafter called the Commission, consisting of six members, three on the part of the United States of America, and three on the part of the Dominion of Canada.

The Commissioners on the part of the United States shall be appointed by the President of the United States, and one shall be the Commissioner of Fisheries of the United States and the other two shall be at all times residents and citizens of the State of Washington.

The Commissioners on the part of the Dominion of Canada shall be appointed by His Majesty on the recommendation of the Governor-in-Council.

The Commission shall continue in existence so long as this Convention shall continue in force, and each High Contracting Party shall have power to fill and, shall fill from time to time vacancies which may occur in its representation on the Commission in the same manner as the original appointments are made. Each High Contracting Party shall pay the salaries and expenses of its own Commissioners, and the joint expenses incurred by the Commission shall be paid by the two High Contracting Parties in equal moieties.

Article III

The Commission shall make a thorough investigation into the natural history of the Fraser River Sockeye salmon, into hatchery methods, spawning ground conditions and other related matters. It shall conduct the sockeye salmon fish cultural operations in the area described in Article I, and to that end it shall have power to improve spawning grounds, acquire, construct and maintain hatcheries, [Page 36] rearing ponds and other such facilities as it may determine to be necessary for the propagation of sockeye salmon in the waters covered by this Treaty, and to stock the waters with sockeye salmon by such methods as it may determine to be most advisable. The Commission shall also have authority to recommend to the two Governments the removal of obstructions to the ascent of sockeye salmon in the waters covered by this Treaty, that may now exist or may from time to time occur, and to improve conditions for the ascent of sockeye salmon, where investigation may show such to be desirable. The Commission shall report annually to the two Governments what it has accomplished and the results of its investigations.

The cost of all such work shall be borne equally by the two Governments, and the said Governments agree to appropriate annually such money as each may deem desirable for such work in the light of the reports of the Commission.

Article IV

The Commission shall have power to regulate and shall regulate the conditions under which sockeye salmon fishing may be carried on in the waters covered by this Treaty, but no regulation, amendment or revocation of a regulation shall be effective unless it is affirmatively voted for by at least two of the Commissioners from each country.

Article V

Each High Contracting Party shall be responsible for the enforcement of the regulations provided by the Commission in the portion of their respective waters covered by the Treaty, and the Commission may at any time investigate the manner and efficiency with which the regulations are being enforced in the waters of either High Contracting Party, and report its findings to the two Governments.

Article VI

Inasmuch as the purpose of this Treaty is to establish for the High Contracting Parties, by their joint effort and expense, a fishery that is now largely non-existent, each of the High Contracting Parties should share equally in the fishery. The Commission shall, consequently, in regulating the fishery do so with the object of enabling, as nearly as they can, an equal portion of the fish that is allowed to be caught each year to be taken by the fishermen of each High Contracting Party.

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Article VII

The High Contracting Parties agree to enact and enforce such legislation as may be necessary to make effective the provisions of this Convention, with appropriate penalties for violations thereof.

Article VIII

The present Convention shall be ratified by His Majesty in accordance with constitutional practice, and by the President of the United States of America, by and with the advice of the Senate thereof, and it shall become effective upon the date of the exchange of ratifications which shall take place at . . . . . as soon as possible and shall continue in force for a period of sixteen years, and thereafter until one year from the day on which either of the High Contracting Parties shall give notice to the other of its desire to terminate it.

In witness whereof, the respective plenipotentiaries have signed the present Convention in duplicate, and have affixed their seals thereto.

Done in duplicate at . . . . . , the . . . . day of . . . . , in the Year of Our Lord, Nineteen Hundred and …

  1. Post, p. 43.
  2. Enclosure not printed.
  3. Not printed.
  4. Foreign Relations, 1925, vol. i, p. 544.