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tageous to arrange these regulations by mutual agreement. The United States are ready to make any reasonable arrangement as to the police of the St. Lawrence which may be suggested by Great Britain. If the claim made by Mr. Clay was just when the population of the States bordering on the shores of the lakes was only 3,400,000, it now derives greater force and equity from the increased population, wealth, production, and tonnage of the States on the Canadian frontier. Mr. Clay advances his argument on behalf of our right, the principles for which he contended have been frequently and by various nations recognized by law, or by treaty has been extended to several other great rivers. By the treaty concluded at Mayence in 1831, the Rhine was declared free from the point where it is first navigable into the sea. By the convention between Spain and Portugal, concluded in 1835, the navigation of the Douro, throughout its whole extent, was made free for the subjects of both countries. In 1853, the Argentine Confederation, by treaty threw open the free navigation ot the Parau and Uruguay rivers to the merchant vessels of all nations. In 1856, the Crimea war was closed by a treaty which provided for the free navigation of the Danube. In 1858, Bolivia, by treaty, declared that it regarded the Rivers Amazon and La Plata, in accordance with the fixed principles of national law, as highways or channels opened by nature for the commerce of all nations. In 1859 the Paraguay was made free by treaty, and in December, 1866, the Emperor of Brazil, by Imperial decree, declared the Amazon to be open to the frontier of Brazil to the merchant ships of all nations. The greatest living British authority on this subject, while asserting the abstract right of the British claim, says it seems difficult to deny that Great Britain may ground her refusal upon strict law; but it is equally difficult to deny, first, that so doing she exercises a law harsh in the extreme. Secondly, that her conduct with respect to the navigation of the St. Lawrence is in glaring and discreditable inconsistency with her conduct with respect to the navigation of the Mississippi on the ground that she possessed a small domain in which the Mississippi took its rise. She insisted on the right to navigate the entire volume of its waters, on the ground that she possessed both banks of the St. Lawrence, where it disembogues itself into the sea. She denies to the United States the right of navigation, though about one-half of the waters of Lakes Ontario, Erie, Huron, and Superior, and the whole of Lake Michigan, through which the river flows, are the property of the United States. The whole nation is interested in securing cheap transportation from the agricultural states of the west to the Atlantic seaboard to the citizens of those States. It secures a greater return for their labour to the inhabitants of the seaboard. It offers cheaper food to the nation, an increase in the annual surplus of wealth. It is hoped that the Government of Great Britain will see the justice of abandoning the narrow and inconsistent claim to which the Canadian Provinces have urged their adherence.
Wheaton in his "Elements of International LaW," gives a statement of the controversy on the subject in the following words:
"The claim of the people of the United States of a right to "navigate the St. Lawrence to and from the sea, was, in 1826, "the subject of discussion between the American and British' "governments.
"On the part of the United States Government, this right is "rested on the same grounds of natural right and obvious neces"sity which had formerly been urged in respect to the river "Mississippi. The dispute between different European powers '•' respecting tne navigation of the Scheldt, in 1784, was also referred to in the correspondence on this subject; and the case '" of that river was distinguished from that of the St. Lawrence '" by its peculiar circumstances. Among others, it is known to '" have been alleged by the Dutch, that the whole course of the ■"two branches of this river which passes within the dominions of "Holland, was entirely artificial; that it owed its existence to "the skill and labour of Dutchmen; that its banks had been "erected and maintained by them at a great expense.
"Hence, probably, the motive for that stipulation in the treaty "of Westphalia, that the lower Scheldt, with the canals of Sas "and Swien, and other mouths of the sea adjoining them, should "be kept closed on the side belonging to Holland. But the case "of the St. Lawrence was totally different, and the principles on "which its free navigation was maintained by the United States "had recently received an unequivocal confirmation in the solemn "act of the principal States of Europe.
"In the treaties concluded at the Congress of Vienna, it had "been stipulated that the navigation of the Khine, the Neckar, "the Mayn, the Moselle, the Maese, and the Scheldt, should be "free to all nations. These stipulations, to which Great Britain "was a a party, might be considered as an indication of the pre "sent judgment of Europe upon the general question.
"The importance of the present claim might be estimated by "the fact that the inhabitants of at least eight States of the "American Union, besides the territory of Michigan, had an *' immediate interest in it, besides the prospective interests of "other parts connected with this river, and the inland seas "through which it communicates with the ocean. The right of "this great and growing population to the use of this its only "natural outlet to the ocean, was supported by the same prin'• ciples and authorities which had been urged by Mr. Jefferson ''in the negotiation with Spain respecting the navigation of the "river Mississippi. The present claim was also fortified by the '• consideration that this navigation was, before the war of the "American Revolution, the common property of all the British "subjects inhabiting this continent, having been acquired from "France by the united exertions of the Mother Country and the "Colonies in the war of 1756. The claim of the United States "to the free navigation of the St. Lawrence was of the same "nature with with that of Great Britain to the navigation of the "Mississippi, as recognized by the 7th article of the Treaty of "Paris 1763, when the mouth and lower shores of that river "were held by another power. The claim, whilst necessary to "the United States, was not injurious to Great Britain, nor "could it violate any of her just rights.
"On the part of the British Government, the claim was con'• sidered as involving the question whether a perfect right to the "free navigation of the River St. Lawrence could be maintained "according to the principles and practice of the law of nations.
"The liberty of passage to be enjoyed by any one nation "through the dominions of another, was treated by the most "eminent writers on public law, as a qualified occasional excep'• tion to the paramount rights of property.
"They made no distinction between the right of passage by a "river, flowing from the possessions of one nation through those "of another, to the ocean, and the same right to be enjoyed by '' means of any highway, whether of land or water, generally "accessible to the inhabitants of the earth. The right of passage "then, must hold good for other purposes besides those of trade, "' —for objects of war as well as for objects of peace,— for all "nations, not less than for any nation in particular,—and be "attached to artificial as well as to natural highways. The prin"ciple could not therefore be insisted on by the American govern"ment unless it was prepared to apply the same principle by "reciprocity, in favour of British subjects, to the navigation of "the Mississippi and the Hudson, access to which from Canada "might be obtained by a few miles of land carriage, or by the "artificial communications created by the canals of New York "and Ohio. Hence the necessity which has been felt by the "writers on public law, of controlling the operation of a principle "so extensive and dangerous, by restricting the right of transit "to purposes of innocent utility, to be exclusively determined by "the local sovereign. Hence the right in question is termed by "them an imperfect right.
"But there was nothing in these writers, or in the stipulations "of the treaties of Vienna, respecting the navigation of the great "rivers of Germany, to countenance the American doctrine of an "absolute natural right. These stipulations were the result of "mutual consent, founded on considerations of mutual interest, "growing out of the relative situation of the different States con"cerned in this navigation. The same observation would apply "to the various conventional regulations which had been, at "different periods, applied to the navigation of the river Missis"sippi. As to any supposed right received from the simultaneous "acquisition of the St. Lawrence by the British American people, "it could not be allowed to have survived the treaty of 1783, by "which the independence of the United States was acknowledged, "and a partition of the British dominions in North America was "made between the new government and that of another country. "To this argument it was replied, on the part of the United "States, that if the St. Lawrence were regarded as a strait, con"necting navigable seas, as it ought properly to be, there would "be less controversy. The principle on which the right to navigate straits depends, is, that they are accessorial to those seas "which they unite, and the right of navigating which is not ex"elusive, but common to all nations; the right to navigate the "seas drawing after it—that of passing the straits.
"The United States and Great Britain have between them "the exclusive right of navigating the lakes. The St. Lawrence "connects them with the ocean. The right to navigate both "(the lakes and the ocean), includes that of passing from one to "the other through the natural link.
"Was it then reasonable or just that one of the two coproprie"tors of the lakes should altogether exclude his associate from "the use of a common bounty of nature, necessary to the full "enjoyment of them?
"The distinction between the right of passage claimed by one "nation through the territories of another, on land, and that on "navigable water, though not always clearly marked by the "writers on public law, has a manifest existence in the nature of "things.
"In the former case, the passage can hardly ever take place, '' especially if it be of numerous bodies, without some detriment' "or inconvenience to the State whose territory is traversed. But "in the oase of a passage on water, no such injury is sustained.. "The American government did not mean to contend for any. "prinoiple, the benefit of which, in analogous circumstances, it "would deny to Great Britain.
"If, therefore, in the further progress of discovery, a connec"tion should be developed between the river Mississippi and "Upper Canada, similar to that which exists between the United "States and the St. Lawrence, the American government would "be always ready to apply, in respect to the Mississippi, the "same principles it contends for in respect to the St. Lawrence.
"But the case of rivers which rise and debouch altogether "within the limits of the same nation, ought not to be confounded "with those which, having their sources and navigable portions; "of their streams in States above, finally discharge themselves "within the limits of other States below.
"In the former case, the question as to opening the navigation"to other nations, depended upon the same considerations which "might influenoe the regulation of other commercial intercourse "with foreign States, and was to be exclusively determined by "the local sovereign. But in respect to the latter, the free navi"gation of the river was a natural right in the upper inhabitants, "of which they could not entirely be deprived by the arbitrary "caprice of the lower State. Nor was the faot of subjecting the "use of this right to treaty regulations, as was proposed at "Vienna to be done in respect to the navigation of the European "rivers, sufficient to prove that the origin of the right was con"ventional and not natural. It often happened to be highly "convenient, if not sometimes indispensable, to avoid controver•' sies by prescribing certain rules for the enjoyment of a natural « right.
"The law of nature, though sufficiently intelligible in its great "outlines and general purposes, does not always reach every "minute detail which is called for by the complicated wants and "varieties of modern navigation and commerce. Hence the right "of navigating the ocean itself, in many instances, principally '' incident to a state of war, is subjected, by innumerable treaties, "to various regulations. These regulations—the transactions of "Vienna, and other analogous stipulations—should be regarded "only as the spontaneous homage of man to the paramount