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No. 448.]

No. 172.

General Schenck to Mr. Fish.


London, July 16, 1873. (Received July 30.) SIR: On Monday, the 14th instant, I had an interview with Earl Granville at the foreign office, and brought to his notice the ruinous influence on the trade to the British settlements on the Gold Coast of Africa, occasioned by the late increase there, without notice, of the duty on rum and tobacco, of which you had given me information in your No. 401. Aided by the papers communicated from the Treasury Department at Washington, of which copies were inclosed in your dispatch, I was enabled to specify and explain the disastrous effect of this measure on the business of Mr. Bartlett, of Boston, and perhaps other regular traders to that coast. I represented the particular hardship to those who had cargoes on the way, and claimed that, apart from any possible question of the legality of the order of council, some redress or relief was justly due to those who were taken by surprise and suffered from the change of tariff made in this unusual way without warning or notice.

Lord Granville asked me if it was the practice in the United States to give notice in such cases. I informed him that it certainly was; that any legislation of Congress providing for a material increase or decrease of duties on imports was either made prospective, as to the time of its taking effect, or accompanied by some condition protecting bona-fide shippers and dealers as far as practicable, or to some reasonable extent, from loss by the alteration of the law. His lordship said he thought that to prevent hurtful speculation during an interval between the passage of a tax law and its going into operation, the opposite course was generally pursued by Great Britain. However, after some discussion of the proper policy and of the grievance complained of in this instance, he made a note of the facts and views I presented, and promised to bring the matter without delay to the attention of the appropriate department of Her Majesty's government for consideration and their decision.

I have to remark to you, though, that perhaps a new element has ere this entered into the case of Mr. Bartlett and the other parties concerned. The progress of the war waged by the Ashantees against the British settlements on the Gold Coast and the destruction of Elmira and the region of country acquired by Her Majesty's government from the Dutch may have broken up altogether or otherwise seriously affected the trade in question.

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SIR: Your No. 411, with copies of two official dispatches from the consuls of the United States at Malta and Tripoli, and of an unofficial

communication from the former relating to the traffic in slaves between Tripoli and the Levant ports, via Malta, and sent to me for my information, was received on the 7th instant.

Although not instructed to approach Earl Granville on the subject, yet a convenient occasion presenting itself, in an interview with him a few days since, the continued existence of such a slave traffic and the circumstances under which it is carried on were casually discussed between us. I thought it might be well to ascertain how far attention here had been given to the matter.

His lordship said it had been much under consideration and was a subject of frequent instruction to, and correspondence with, British officials. He assured me that Her Majesty's government desired always to do all that is possible to put an end to such trade. With this view they were glad to know of any supposed evasions of British law, or any lack of vigilance at Malta, that might interfere with any discovery or suppression of the practice on the part of illicit traders. He remarked that one great difficulty encountered was the consenting spirit with which many of the women from Tripoli were ready to go into Turkish slavery.

I gave his lordship afterward, confidentially, some extracts from the official statements of our consuls at Malta and Tripoli, taking care, however, to confine what was furnished him to those portions only of their reports which related to the manner of smuggling the slaves past Malta.

I have, &c.,

No. 174.


No. 455.]

General Schenck to Mr. Fish.

LEGATION OF THE UNITED STATES, London, July 19, 1873. (Received August 5.) SIR: I have had an interview with Lord Granville, and a very satisfactory conversation with him about the proposed agreement of Japan with Italy, which formed the subject of your No. 408.

I stated to his lordship, as instructed by you, the views of the President. I spoke of the necessity of unity of action on the part of the treaty powers, and of the probable danger to the future interests of all if one state should separate itself in its policy, or by exceptional engage ments or privileges, from the rest. On all points I found Lord Granville entirely in accord with you and with the President. He had already obtained information of the movement; had expressed the objections of Her Majesty's government to Mr. Cardona, the minister from Italy to this court, who was then here but has just gone home on leave of absence; and had given instructions to the diplomatic representatives of Great Britain in harmony with those you suggest.

Lord Granville's understanding is, that the offer from Japan was drawn out by advances made, in the first place, on the part of Italy; but he also understands, from his conversation with Mr. Cardona and from other sources, that the proposed arrangement is not likely now to be followed up to any completion.

Lord Granville had also received from Mr. Cardona a statement of the terms of the provisional arrangement proposed by Japan. It is in

French, and being collated with that which is contained in your dispatch, the two are found to correspond, with the exception of the fourth paragraph, in which the words "corporal punishment," given in your copy, stand as "peines cruelles," (torture,) in the French version.

I have, &c.,

No. 175.


No. 464.]

General Schenck to Mr. Fish.


London, August 5, 1873. (Received August 21.)

SIR: In my No. 438 I referred to the information given me by Lord Granville, that Her Majesty's government were of opinion that it would be necessary to have some special legislation before they could conclude definitely any consular convention; and that such an act could not be expected to be passed during the present session of Parliament.

Some days afterward I suggested to his lordship that it would be more satisfactory, as at least an indication of progress toward the accomplishment of our desired understanding, and at the same time as an explanation, if he would make some declaration on the subject from his place in the House of Lords. This he readily assented to, and said it could be done, and he would do it, by arranging to have some peer interrogate him on the subject.

Two or three weeks more having gone by without any question or motion relating to the matter, and finding yesterday that Parliament was on the eve of prorogation, I called to remind Lord Granville of his promise. I found he had not forgotten it. He showed me the printed notice of an interrogation on the subject to be made by Lord Houghton. That interrogatory was put last night by Lord Monson, (in behalf of Lord Houghton, who was absent,) and I send you herewith a report of the proceedings, extracted from the Times of this morning.

In his reply you will observe that Earl Granville refers to "a paper which has been prepared embodying the whole question." That "paper" has not yet been furnished me, but his lordship told me in our conversation yesterday that he might ere long have some communication to make to me covering, as he hoped, the whole ground.

I have, &c.,


[Inclosure. From the Times, Tuesday, August 5, 1873.]


Lord Monson (on behalf of Lord Houghton) asked the secretary of state for foreign affairs whether any steps had been taken toward concluding a consular convention with the United States of America, and whether he was prepared to include in such a convention the means of effectively punishing acts of violence committed by the subjects of either nation on the high seas. Earl Granville said the matter had occupied the attention of the government for a very long time, and the difficulty in concluding a convention had been the necessity of some preliminary legislation on our part. Cor

respondence had gone on with several countries, especially with the United States, for twenty years. A memorandum, embodying the views of Her Majesty's government, led, some years ago, to a proposal by the United States for a convention; but difficulties arose, principally respecting the question of jurisdiction. The negotiation dropped, and had not been formally renewed with the United States; but there had been some informal communications between Sir Edward Thornton and Mr. Fish, and between General Schenck and himself. They had made some progress in the matter, and a paper had been prepared embodying the whole question. The foreign office was in communication with other departments of the government, and he had hopes that some agreement would be arrived at during the recess which would form the basis of legislation next session, though he could give no absolute pledge. Of course, in any such scheme, acts of violence at sea would form an important element. Progress had also been made in another way; for by the eleventh section of the merchant shipping bill of this session the government were empowered, by order in council, to extend to those countries which desired it the provisions of the merchant shipping acts with regard to the enlistment and discharge of seamen. He was not, therefore, without hopes that some progress would be made in a question of considerable importance both to foreign countries and to ourselves. He might add that it was absolutely necessary that something should be done, for an article in the treaty of commerce with France, concluded last month, provided that this was one of the subjects which would form part of a supplemental convention.

No. 427.]

No. 176.

Mr. Fish to General Schenck.


Washington, August 12, 1873. SIR: Your dispatch No. 440, of the 5th ultimo, has been received. The Department has been surprised at the statement of Lord Granville, to which it refers, that the communication by Sir Edward Thornton of a copy of his instructions upon the subject of the joint note to the maritime Powers, provided for by the Treaty of Washington, should be regarded as a reply to my note to Sir Edward on that subject. With due deference to the larger experience of Her Majesty's foreign office on such subjects, it had here been supposed that a reply to a note, to entitle it to be regarded as official or binding on the party which makes it, should be in the same form as the note to which it may purport to be

an answer.

Awaiting a reply of that character, the subject has remained in suspense. I am, &c.,

No. 177.


Sir Edward Thornton to Mr. Fish.

WASHINGTON, December 4, 1872. (Received December 5.)

SIR: I have the honor to inclose for your information a certified copy of the act of the legislature of Canada relating to the Treaty of Washington of May 8, 1871.

I have, &c.,


AN ACT relating to the treaty of Washington, 1871.

Whereas by article thirty-three of the treaty between Her Majesty and the United States of America, signed at the city of Washington on the 8th day of May, 1871, it is provided that articles eighteen to twenty-five, inclusive, relating to the fisheries, shall take effect as soon as the laws required to carry them into operation shall have been passed by the Imperial Parliament of Great Britain, by the Parliament of Canada, and by the legislature of Prince Edward's Island, on the one hand, and by the Congress of the United States on the other, and that such assent having been given, the said articles shall remain in force for the term of years mentioned in the said article thirty-three; and whereas it is expedient that the laws required to carry the said treaty into effect as respects Canada should be passed by the Parliament of the Dominion: Therefore Her Majesty, by and with the advice and consent of the Senate and House of Commous of Canada, enacts as follows:

1. The act of the Parliament of Canada, passed in the thirty-first year of Her Majesty's reign, chapter 61, intituled "An act respecting fishing by foreign vessels," and the act of the said Parliament passed in the thirty-third year of Her Majesty's reign, chapter 15, intituled "An act to amend the act respecting fishing by foreign vessels," and the act of the said Parliament passed in the thirty-fourth year of Her Majesty's reign, chapter 23, intituled "An act further to amend the act respecting fishing by foreign vessels," and the 94th chapter of the Revised Statutes of Nova Scotia (third series) intituled "Of Coast and Deep-Sea Fisheries," and the act of the legislature of Nova Scotia, passed in the twenty-ninth year of Her Majesty's reign, chapter 35, amending the same; and the act of the legislature of New Brunswick, passed in the sixteenth year of Her Majesty's reign, chapter 69, intituled "An act relating to the coast-fisheries, and for the preventing of illicit trade," so far as the said acts of the legislatures of Nova Scotia and New Brunswick, respectively, apply to any case to which the said acts of the Parliament of Canada apply, shall be, and are hereby, suspended as respects vessels and inhabitants of the United States of America engaged in taking fish of every or any kind except shell-fish on the sea-coasts and shores, and in the bays, harbors, and creeks of the provinces of Quebec, Nova Scotia, and New Brunswick, as shall also all acts, laws, or regulations (if any) over which the Parliament of Canada has control, which would in anywise prevent or impede the full effect of the said article eighteen.

2. Fish-oil and fish of all kinds, (except fish of the inland lakes and of the rivers falling into them, and except fish preserved in oil,) being the produce of the fisheries of the United States, shall be admitted into Canada free of duty.

3. Goods, wares, and merchandise arriving at any of the ports of Canada, and destined for the United States of America, may be entered at the proper custom-house, and conveyed in transit, without the payment of duties, through Canada, under such rules, regulations, and conditions, for the protection of the revenue, as the governor in council may from time to time prescribe, and under like rules, regulations, and conditions, goods, wares, and merchandise may be conveyed in transit, without payment of duties, from the United States, through Canada, to other places in the United States, or for export from ports in Canada.

4. Citizens of the United States may carry in United States vessels, without payment of duty, goods, wares, and merchandise from one port or place in Canada to another port or place in Canada, provided that a portion of such transportation is made through the territory of the United States by land-carriage, and in bond, under such rules and regulatious as may be agreed upon between the government of Her Majesty and the Government of the United States.

5. The foregoing sections of this act shall come into force upon, from, and after a day to be appointed for that purpose by a proclamation based upon an order of the governor in council, and shall remain in force during the term of years mentioned in article thirty-three of the said treaty.

No. 178.

Sir Edward Thornton to Mr. Fish.

WASHINGTON, January 24, 1873. (Received January 25.) SIR: With reference to my note of the 4th ultimo, inclosing, as another legislative document connected with the Treaty of Washington, of May 8, 1871, a certified copy of an act of the legislature of Canada, I have now the honor to forward herewith, in connection with that treaty, for

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