711.428 Queen City/115

The Secretary of Commerce (Roper) to the Secretary of State

My Dear Mr. Secretary: In reply to your communication of March 14, 1933 (Le–711.428 Queen City/107 [111]),37 enclosing a copy of a dispatch from the American Legation at Ottawa, it is noted that The Secretary of State for External Affairs for Canada, states “There are undoubtedly fundamental questions susceptible of adjustment and settlement only by means of a complete revision of the present fisheries arrangements between the two countries. The Canadian government would be prepared to commence a consideration of the present fisheries arrangements, with a view to the mutual benefit of those engaged in the fisheries in both countries.”

[Page 78]

I am informed by the Commissioner of Fisheries of this Department that one of the most pressing problems from our point of view is to obtain consent of the United States Senate to ratification of the pending Fraser River Sockeye Salmon Fisheries Convention.38 As Canada has already approved of this Convention, it appears that the obligation for initiating further action in this case rests with the United States.

I am also informed that if our Great Lakes fisheries are to be properly administered and the danger of their economic exhaustion eliminated, the natural procedure would be through a convention with Canada along the lines of the existing halibut convention of the eastern north Pacific39 and the pending sockeye salmon treaty. Because of the opposition of certain influential persons connected with our Great Lakes fisheries, the Department has hesitated to recommend the initiation of negotiations to that end. It is believed that the opposition has been slowly losing ground and careful consideration should be given as to whether we are not nearing the time for such action.

As to the need for consideration of other fisheries arrangements between the two countries, it is suggested that the State Department may wish to inquire as to the nature of the questions which Canada desires to have considered.

The action taken by the Canadian Government in providing for the release of certain American fishing vessels is appreciated.

Sincerely yours,

Daniel C. Roper
  1. Not printed.
  2. Convention of May 26, 1930, Foreign Relations, 1930, vol. i, p. 505.
  3. Convention of May 9, 1930, ibid., p. 518.