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

No. 157

Sir: For a number of years complaints have been received from time to time from members of Congress and American firms engaged in the towing business on the Pacific Coast, of discrimination in favor of Canadian vessels when American vessels desired to load or discharge cargoes at non-customs ports in Canada, contrary to the practice which obtains in American waters with respect to Canadian vessels.

The situation appears to be adequately described in the despatch of September 4, 1930, from Consul Tewell, at Vancouver, of which a copy is enclosed.47

There are also enclosed copies of letters48 received recently from the Honorable Wesley L. Jones, United States Senate, and the Honorable L. H. Hadley, House of Representatives, on the same subject. Reference is made in this connection particularly to despatch No. 519, of July 12, 1928, from the former American Minister at Ottawa, Mr. Phillips.48

I am, of course, aware of the efforts which have been made since 1920 to obtain for American vessels engaged in towing operations on the Pacific Coast treatment similar to that accorded to Canadian vessels under our laws and regulations, with reference to the loading or discharging of cargoes at non-customs ports of Canada. I desire, however, that you again take up the matter with the Canadian authorities, pointing out to them, as stated in the despatch from Consul Tewell, that “The situation appears to be the result only of a difference in interpretation of very similar laws in the United States and Canada, the laws of the latter being strictly interpreted and enforced in the interest of Canadian tug boats, whereas corresponding laws of the United States are interpreted without distinguishing between American and foreign vessels”.

I trust that you will make an earnest effort to obtain reciprocal treatment for American vessels in this matter and I shall await with interest your reply as to the result of your representations.

Very truly yours,

For the Secretary of State:
W. R. Castle, Jr.
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