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

No. 845

Sir: With reference to the Department’s instruction No. 157 of March 4, 1931, (file No. 842.801/49) and to subsequent instructions, directing the Legation to make representations to the Canadian Government regarding the treatment of American tug boats in Canadian waters as compared with the treatment of Canadian tug boats in American waters, I have the honor to transmit herewith copy of a reply which has now finally been received from the Canadian Government. As the Department will observe, the Canadian reply is a polite but uncompromising refusal to depart in any way whatsoever from existing Canadian practice in this matter.

It should be emphasized that the Legation’s note No. 399 of March 11, 1932, mentioned in the first sentence of the enclosed Canadian note, was merely a note of reminder and was the fourth formal written communication on the subject sent since the receipt of the Department’s instruction No. 157 first mentioned. In addition to these, there have been numerous oral representations in connection with this matter.

Respectfully yours,

For the Minister:
B. Reath Riggs

First Secretary of Legation

The Canadian Secretary of State for External Affairs (Bennett) to the American Minister (MacNider)

No. 86

Sir: I have the honour to acknowledge Mr. Riggs’ Note No. 399 of March 11th, 1932, on the subject of the treatment accorded United States tow boats in Canadian waters.

The Canadian Customs Act, Section 183, prohibits the entry of any vessel into any place other than a port of entry. By the terms of the Canadian Coasting law a vessel entitled to engage in the coasting trade may call at such places, but there is no provision of Canadian law by which this privilege might be extended to a vessel of foreign registry, although in exceptional cases where British registered vessels were not available, foreign vessels have been permitted to call at places other than ports of entry, provided that they first had called at the nearest customs port and a customs officer had been placed on board to supervise loading and unloading.

[Page 113]

His Majesty’s Government in Canada are of the opinion that the facilities afforded for the entry of ships in Canada, consisting of one hundred and forty-four chief ports of entry and two hundred and sixty sub-ports, are adequate for all reasonable requirements. It is considered unlikely that there exists on the Great Lakes any port or harbour to and from which ships might desire to trade which is not a port of entry and that the few exceptions on the coast of British Columbia are of minor importance in relation to the amount of trade and the greatly indented coastline.

Accept [etc.]

O. D. Skelton

For Secretary of State for External Affairs