« VorigeDoorgaan »
ish Government on the Pacific Coast; that the contents of the lease were known to that government at the time of its inception; that the interpretation of it by the contracting parties in regard to the territory leased was brought to the knowledge of both the British and Canadian Governments by the map and evidence published by the House of Commons; and that Great Britain, having failed to reject such interpretation at the time and having permitted it to be made public without reservation, must be deemed to have conceded its correctness.
The positive and strong proofs of the occupation and sovereignty exercised by Russia between 1825 and 1867 over the lisière, submitted in the Case of the United States, would seem to make it unnecessary to add thereto further evidence, but for the doubt sought to be thrown upon such occupation and sovereign acts in the British Case."
It is suggested that no more conclusive proof could be produced to establish the dominion of Russia over the lisière than the lease which was accepted by the Hudson's Bay Company. It has already been shown that the limits of the lisière were definitely established before the British parliamentary committee in 1857, and that the operations of the Hudson's Bay Company under the lease extended to the inlets of the mainland and especially to the head of Lynn Canal. A further proof of this latter fact is to be found in the report of the Ogilvie Canadian surveying party of 1887 and the depositions of J. J. Healy, l'nited States Deputy Collector, and others. From these it appears that Ogilvie found it difficult to induce the Chilkat Indians to transport his party across the mountain passes, because of the ill-feeling against the British on account of the killing of some of the tribe by the Hudson's Bay Company during the time of their trading operations in that vicinity.
Reference was made in the Case of the Cnited States to the practice of Russia in conferring upon the native chiefs who signalized their loyalty to that government silver baulges or medals, with such inscriptions as “Allies of Russia."" Three of these medals which were presented by the Russian Government to the head chief of the Chilkat tribe, and which have descended through his family and are now the property of a Chief resident at Klukwan, have been obtained and photographic reproductions of them will befound in the Appendix to this Counter Case.a
(U. S. Case, p. 74.
a British Case, p. 85.
In confirmation of the authority exercised over the inhabitants on the Russian mainland, even during the lease, the statement of Sir George Simpson is herewith submitted. He narrates that in 1841, as his vessel approached Fort Wrangell, he saw the Russian and British flags flying at half-mast from the Hudson's Bay Post, and in landing he found that the chief trader, Mr. McLoughlin, had been killed by a Canadian in a drunken row, and that the fort was beseiged by two thousand Indians. He was of the opinion that Canadian criminal jurisdiction did not extend to the leased Russian territory, and he decided to carry the murderer to Sitka, although the Russians had no court of criminal jurisdiction in America. He also assembled the native chiefs and warned them that for any overt acts of hostility "they would be most severely punished both by the Russians and by ourselves.”
The discovery of gold placers on the Stikine River in 1862 led to a great influx of adventurers, and the Russian Government became alarmed lest it might lead to the loss of its territory in that region, the newspapers at Victoria, B. C., claiming that the mouth of that river should be beld by Great Britain in the interest of the miners. An investigation by the Russian Government developed the fact that the gold fields were “not less than 165 Italian miles from the mouth of the Stikine, far beyond the Russian possessions which extend only 30 miles (524 versts) from the shore.” It was decided that the best way to protect the Russian territory was to renew the lease to the Hudson's Bay Company, a question then pending; and this was accordingly done.
These facts, in rebuttal of the assertions in the British Case, show that Russia exercised control over the native tribes on the mainland, that it exercised and was accorded jurisdiction by the British over the leased territory, and that it knew the extent of that territory and was prepared to enforce its authority therein. Taken in connection with the evidence submitted in the Case of the United States, it is conclusively established that for forty-two years after the treaty of 1825 Russia, under its interpretation of that treaty, held undisputed sovereignty on the mainland which it had publicly demarked upon its official maps, and which it transferred with an unimpaired title to the United States in 1867.
a U. S. Counter Case, App., facing p. 214.
• Ibid., App.. pp. 27-31.
THE PROPOSED BOUNDARY SURVEY OF 1872-1874.
The British Case devotes considerable attention to the correspondence which took place between 1872 and 1878 respecting a suggested survey of the boundary from the head of Portland Canal to mount St. Elias and thence to the Arctic Ocean. The object had in view in discussing this correspondence seems to have been to show “the unwillingness" or "failure of the United States Congress to provide for [the] Survey."а It is suggested, however, that facts much more pertinent to the issues before the Tribunal are established by this correspondence.
It conclusively discloses the fact that, during the period named, there was no controversy between the two Governments as to the interpretation of the treaty of 1825, nor aş to the general course which the boundary line should follow. The Legislative Assembly of British Columbia of 1872, wbich initiated the suggestion, asked the Dominion Government “to have the boundary line properly laid down."" The action of the succeeding Legislative Assembly of 1874 (which is omitted from the correspondence in the British Case) is more specific as to the line that it desired to have demarked, which it described as “the boundary of the 30 mile belt of American territory running along a part of the seaboard.” It again urged upon the Dominion Government the necessity of having the said boundary established and defined."( The Privy Council of the Dominion of Canada and the Governor General approved of the action of the Legislative Assembly, and asked the British Government to take the necessary steps to have the boundary determined and marked;" and the British minister in Washington was instructed to bring the matter to the attention of the Government of the United States.
Accordingly be inquired of the Secretary of State if his Government would be willing to agree to the appointment of a Commission for the
purpose of defining the boundary line between Alaska and British
a British Case, p. 29.
CU. S. Counter Case, p. 50.
Columbia.” The Secretary " was perfectly satisfied of the expediency of such a measure,” but expressed some doubt, for reasons given, as to whether Congress would make the necessary appropriation. But on a second call the minister learned that the President was so impressed with the advantage “ of having the boundary line laid down at once," that he would recommend favorable action on the part of Congress.
In his next annual message President Grant referred to the happy result of the arbitration which adjusted the water boundary from the 49th parallel, and said " the award leaves us, for the first time in the history of the United States as a nation, without a question of disputed boundary between our territory and the possessions of Great Britain on this Continent.” He then referred to the difficulties attending the determination of our admitted line of boundary" after occupation and settlement, and in view of the sparsely occupied condition of Alaska, he recommended Congress to provide for a joint Commission to determine the line between that territory and British Columbia.
In no part of the correspondence is there any indication of the existence of a controversy over the terms of the treaty, but on both sides it was agreed that it was desirable to have the line laid down and marked by a joint survey and this fact seems to be recognized in the British Case. There was, however, a further fact established by the correspondence of special significance in the determination of the questions submitted to the Tribunal--to wit, certain points were approximately indicated through which the boundary line should be drawn between the head of Portland Canal and mount St. Elias.
After the President's message had been sent to Congress and a bill introduced to carry out his recommendation, the British Minister called upon the Secretary of State and was informed by him that the subject of the joint survey had been under investigation by the engineer department, and it had been found that for the United States alone it would cost one million and a half of dollars, and would require ten years of labor; and he feared that Congress would not authorize such an expenditure. Under the circumstances it was believed that it would be quite sufficient "to decide upon some particular points to be marked," and these it was suggested should be the head of the Portland Canal, the points where the boundary line crosses the rivers Skoot, Stickeen, Taku, Islecat [Chilkoot and Chilkaht, Mount
« British Case, App., pp. 164-5.
ol'. S. Counter Case, p. 145.
St. Elias, and
The determination of these points alone it was estimated would occupy four years of time and cost the United States a half a million of dollars."
These suggestions were accepted by the British Minister without dissent, forwarded by him to London and thence communicated to the Dominion Government, with instructions to report upon the cost of the last proposed survey. The Privy Council took it under consideration and referred it for an estimate to Captain D. R. Cameron, the commissioner engaged in the survey of the boundary along the 19th parallel, transmitting to him the American proposition, including the points to be fixed and a list of the rivers named. The subject also engaged the attention of the Dominion Surveyor General, J. S. Dennis, who, in a report to the Minister of the Interior, enumerated the rivers which were to be crossed by the boundary, giving the list which the British Minister had furnished. Later the Secretary of State sent to tbe British minister a written report on the subject, prepared by Gen. Humphreys, Chief of Engineers, in which were enumerated the Staken, Taku, Chilkat, the Alsekh rivers," on which were to be fixed the points of intersection with boundary line;" and this latter was also sent to Captain Cameron, as well as to the Foreign Office in London. In making his report in 1875, Captain Cameron included this list of rivers on which the boundary was to be marked. The next year the Prime Minister of Canada in a report to the Privy Council mentioned the rivers named by the Secretary of State as the particular points whereon the boundary line should be marked;' and a year later, 1877, the Privy Council, in a Minute, repeated the list.'
Neither the British representative at Washington, the Foreign nor Colonial Office in London, the Prime Minister of Canada, its Privy Council, nor the Surveyor General entered any dissent from the proposition that the boundary line when laid down was to cross the rivers named. The British Case quotes a sentence from Captain Cameron's report in which he stated that the Government of Canada "expect the terms of the Treaty to be fully and strictly carried out.",
a British Case, App., p.168.
Ibid., p. 189.