The Secretary of State to the Canadian Minister (Massey)

Sir: I have the honor to refer to your note No. 34, dated March 2, and the Department’s acknowledgment of March 8, 1929,47 in regard to the desire of your Government to learn whether the United States Government would be prepared to participate in a conference between representatives of the two Governments to discuss fisheries questions outstanding between the United States and Canada.

As stated in the Department’s note of March 8, your note was [Page 77] brought to the attention of the appropriate authority of this Government, and a response dealing with this matter has now been received.

It is the opinion of the competent authorities of this Government that the outstanding fisheries questions between the United States and Canada are essentially questions of the proper husbandry of the resources in international waters. Reference in this regard is made to the salmon fisheries situation in the Fraser River, which was dealt with in a treaty signed in this city on March 27 last,48 and to the matter of the halibut fishing industry, concerning which a new treaty between the two Governments is now being negotiated with the view to placing further essential safeguards around that fishery to insure its maintenance. Mention should also be made of the Great Lakes fisheries which are seriously depleted and which must yield, sooner or later, to more centralized control if they are to be maintained.

The agreements which have already been reached between Canada and the United States concerning the salmon and halibut fisheries have demonstrated the efficacy of dealing with single phases of the fisheries question independently. It is, therefore, deemed inadvisable by the competent authorities of this Government to undertake a general discussion of the fisheries situation pending the conclusion of the new treaty governing the halibut fishing industry which is now under consideration. I need hardly add, however, that this Government is entirely agreeable to undertaking concurrently with the consideration of the halibut treaty an independent discussion of the Great Lakes fisheries, or of similar phases of the fisheries question.

Accept [etc.]

For the Secretary of State:
W. R. Castle, Jr.
  1. Department’s note of March 8, 1929, not printed.
  2. Ante, p. 55.