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merchandise claiming to be entitled to free entry under the Reciprocity Treaty, to be accompanied Canada. by a Consular certificate "that it is the growth or produce of the Province."*
By a Treasury Circular dated May 2nd 1855, these certificates had been dispensed with to obviate expense and inconvenience in the intercourse between the British Provinces and the United States under the Reciprocity Treaty.
The object of their renewal, by the circular of 12th February last, is, undoubtedly, to protect the manufacturing interests of the United States, and the carrying trade on their coasts to their own vessels, and in their own channel of commerce, as well as for statistical purposes.
It rests with the Canadian Government to decide whether it would be advisable to adopt a like course for
By reference to the tables forwarded herewith, it will be found that nearly one million bushels of wheat were shipped by vessel from this port alone to Kingston and Montreal during the year 1857.
A settlement of this matter is looked for with interest at this point, although I do not think the full effect of the action of the United States Government is generally comprehended, namely, that it will cut off the North-eastern States as markets for all kinds of produce of the Western States, which collect at Montreal, whether manufactured there or not. It is not because it is manufactured in Canada, but because the wheat is not grown there, that the article of flour is excluded from the terms of the treaty.
I have no means of estimating the extent to which the trade between this lake and Montreal will be prejudiced.
I am informed by a merchant engaged in this trade that the shipments of flour alone, for this year, already amount to forty thousand barrels to Montreal.
None of this can be resold to the United States, the supplies for which have been a considerable item in the trade.
In connexion with this subject it may be noted that one of the advantages of position of Montreal as a market for western produce is contained in the following extracts from the report of Messrs. Childe, McAlpine, and Kirkwood, on the trade and navigation of the St. Lawrence:
"The value of such a water power (Montreal) is enhanced by being located in close contiguity to
"A considerable portion of the surplus of the west is required for consumption in the manufacturing
Under this construction, the mills must grind for home consumption and European export, not for the expected markets of Maine and Newhampshire.
J. E. W.
On Tariff Laws of United States as they affect the Import Trade between Chicago and the Canadian
IN the short history of this trade the following fact is noticeable, that whilst the produce of the Western States have to a large extent found their ultimate markets in Great Britain, the amount of European productions imported by that route, and entered for duty at Chicago, though small in 1854, is less in 1855, and still less in 1856, shewing the only retrogade movement in the trade, with the exception of a small quantity of pig iron and salt (partly coarse Liverpool, and partly Mediterranean). The imports in British vessels are of the provincial productions of lumber and fish.
It was confidently hoped that the result as regards the import trade would have been different, but independently of other reasons, the growth of this trade has been materially checked by a lukewarmness produced amongst merchants of both countries from the operation of the United States Tariff laws as enforced by the Customs authorities at this port under the direction of the United States Treasury Department.
No goods, the production of Great Britain or any foreign country, can be entered as direct importations at any United States port on these lakes (when brought by way of the St. Lawrence River), unless the following regulations are complied with:
1st. It must appear they were intended for a particular port.
2nd. Their indentity must be traced by affidavit of transhipper.
3rd. Ownership must not have changed in Canada.
4th. The continuity of the voyage must not be broken for an unreasonable time; and,
5th. The whole amount named in the invoice must be forwarded for entry.
If these regulations be not complied with, it is insisted that the "goods are liable to be assessed on "their wholesale value in the principal markets in Canada at the period of their exportation therefrom." Hence, a merchant in Cleveland, Cincinnati, Toledo, Detroit, Milwaukee, or Chicago, six cities, with an aggregate population of 400,000, cannot buy any goods in bond in Montreal or other Canadian market without paying duty on the market value of the article in Canada, whereas, in the markets on the United States seaboard, all articles can be purchased in bond, subject to an ad valorem duty on their value in the principal markets of the countries whence last imported.
The words of the treaty are "growth AND produce." In the form adopted by the United States Treasury Circular, the words "growth or produce" are used.
This disadvantage is the more remarked, as the United States markets have of late attracted the trade of Western Canada from its own seaboard.
Were this tariff prohibition removed, and the Canadian seaboard markets placed on the same footing as those of New York and Boston, it is thought that the wholesale merchants in Canada could succesfully cultivate relations with the western cities above named, which would justify them in increasing their yearly stock of imports, and that they could bid for a share of the western trade by cheaper rates of freight and quicker despatch in forwarding the merchandise. The completion of the Grand Trunk Railway perfects the link of railway communication between the Western States and the Canadian seaboard.
I have endeavoured to investigate the real state of the United States tariff laws on this point, and find that the remarks on the state of these revenue laws by Mr. Secretary Guthrie in his annual Treasury Report are very pertinent; they are as follows:
"The revenue laws consist of various Acts of Congress commencing with the organization of the "Government, with so many amending, repealing, and conflicting provisions that it is difficult to ascer"tain what is in force, consequently what is the law upon any particular point." A case materially bearing on this subject has been recently reported in the Supreme Court of the United States at Washington. By that case (Stairs v. Peaselee, 18 Howard Reports,) it was decided that merchandise, a production of the East Indies only, which was shipped and invoiced from Halifax in Nova Scotia to Boston, United States, must be assessed according to its value in the principal markets of the British dominions. That it was for the merchant appraisers to decide what these markets were, and that they did right in appraising them at their value in London and Liverpool as the principal markets in Great Britain, and not at Halifax, from which they were brought into the United States.
Also, that the word "country" used in this connexion embraces all the possessions of a foreign state, however widely separated, which are subject to the same supreme executive and legislative control.
In this case the value at Halifax was less than that in London and Liverpool.
The principle laid down by Chief Justice Taney in his judgment would seem to cover the converse where goods shipped and invoiced to United States from any port within the British provinces have a higher value than in the principal wholesale market of the British dominions.
Now following this construction, the duty on such articles as pig, bar, railway iron, crockery, hardware, salt, various manufactures, ale, beer, &c., should be assessed on their value in the largest wholesale market within the British dominions, as Glasgow, Staffordshire, Liverpool, Cardiff, Sheffield, Manchester, Leeds, London, and certainly not on their value in the limited markets of Quebec or Montreal.
The Western States of the Union would favour any measure which would promote commercial intercourse with the British provinces.
Opposition, on the other hand, would be met with in New York.
It must be borne in mind that the navigation of the Welland Canal (British owned) by American vessels has permitted a very extensive carrying trade between New York and Boston, and the Western States by way of the United States lake ports of Ogdensburgh and Oswego to be built up, which coula not exist without the use of this canal.
Nevertheless, British provincial vessels are excluded from any share of this carrying trade by the operation of the United States coasting laws, and the growth of a similar trade from the British seaboard beyond the provincial boundaries westward is checked as above described.
On the difference between the Laws of Canada and the United States, relating to Inland
There are many matters relating to the British mercantile marine on the inland water which are not generally understood.
I have been occasionally applied to for advice in matters of title; and here the question has arisen, how far the Imperial Acts are intended to apply to shipping wholly employed in the inland navigation.
I have found that a diversity of opinion was entertained upon this subject.
In a recent case, Sir John Robinson, the Chief Justice of Upper Canada, in delivering judgment, says on this point:
"It is indeed not as clear as it might have been made whether the statute of 8 and 9 Vict. c. 89., "was intended to apply to shipping wholly employed in the inland navigation of our lakes and rivers; "but the 20th clause of the 12th and 13th Vict. c. 29, seems to assume that it was so intended, and it
appears to have been so understood by our Legislature."
The above decision also refers to the second part of the Merchants' Shipping Act of 1854, relating to British ships, their ownership, measurement, and registry, which applies to the whole of Her Majesty's dominions.
In the marginal remarks to Return Noor 1856, I mentioned certain inconveniences to which British vessels trading with this lake (Michigan) were subject. These have existed during the past season, and with this addition, that British vessels have been libelled in the United States courts at this and other ports for claims alleged to be due, accruing in Canada, and in some cases from former owners. Of such cases I will speak more fully in treating of the conflict existing between the laws of the British provinces and the United States regulating their inland shipping. During the two years of my residence here the settlement of differences between "masters and seamen" has been a subject of considerable difficulty.
It is admitted that such questions are much embarrassed by the absence of any colonial enactments bearing thereon; and by the jurisdiction assumed in such cases by the United States courts, until the last few years, the trade in "British Plantation Vessels was confined either to their own coasts or to short voyages of a few days' duration between the British ports and those on the United States shores of Lake Ontario. This last season from 120 to 140 voyages have been made from British ports on Lake Ontario to Chicago, Milwaukee, and Racine on Lake Michigan, a distance of over 1,200 miles each way, each voyage occupying about six weeks, and the average complement of each vessel being ten sailors.
I cannot give a correct estimate of the like voyages made to the American ports of Buffalo, Cleveland, Toledo, and Detroit, on Lake Erie; but the number must be very considerable. As far as I ean ascertain, there is no colonial provision requiring agreements with seamen to be made in writing, such as is enjoined in Section 149 of the Merchants' Shipping Act, 1854, in foreign-going vessels in the United Kingdom, but the same laws which relate to masters and servants, regulate the relations between masters and seamen; that is, a parol hiring is sufficient. The terms and duration of service, where no special agreement is made, being controlled by custom.
This trade is of such a recent date that no custom has been established. I believe, in the majority of instances the engagements are intended to last from Lake Ontario to Lake Michican and back, embracing a period of about six weeks. The consequence is, that, on arrival at a foreign port, disputes arise as to the nature of the contract.
I have know as many as eleven libels or attachments on British vessels in one day issued by Courts of various degrees in this port. By the United States laws, agreements between masters and seamen are required to be in writing in all voyages between one State and another on the inland waters, laying the master under penalty for default; and, in the absence of such agreement, the seaman's testimony is received and wages allowed for services actually performed. In a trade where navigation is closed for five months in the year, despatch to vessels is of the utmost consequence, and masters frequently elect to pay the demands and ship fresh men even at higher rates, than to be subjected to delay and litigation. I have often attended on the trial of these cases in some of the inferior courts, and pointed out the state of the laws regulating these matters in the British provinces, and contended that, even admitting the jurisdiction, the question should be decided in uniformity with the laws of the country to which the vessel belonged, and where the contract was made, and on similar evidence.
I am confident that these difficulties would be materially abated and justice more often satisfied by an adaptation of those sections of the "Merchants' Shipping Act, 1854," relating to engagements with the crew to such British colonial vessel. Sections 288, 290, of that Act seem to have been framed in view
of such a case.
These circumstances make the application of the "Merchants' Shipping Act, 1854," by Her Majesty's Consuls in these lakes somewhat difficult, e. g., that part of Section 109 relating to provisions applicable to colonial ships is stated to apply to all ships registered in any of Her Majesty's dominions abroad where any of such ships are out of the jurisdiction of their respective governments, and to the owners, masters, and crews of ships.
Amongst the cases there named are:
First, rights to wages and remedies for the recovery thereof.
Second, shipping and discharge of seamen in foreign ports.
Fourth, relief of seamen in distress in foreign ports.
As to remedies and wages I have spoken above. Section 160 enacts, that all seamen shall be shipped and discharged in a foreign port before the Consul under a penalty for neglect.
With the exception of that of the "Madeira Pet," the only British foreign-going ship which has ever arrived here, this has in no case been done.
I have pointed out the provision to the masters of vessels, but under existing circumstances have not deemed it advisable to endeavour to force it, for although it would seem to be in conformity with the wording of the Act and with the practice which I understand exists regarding colonial vessels trading with the seaboard ports of Boston and New York, yet the fact of part of the crew being shipped under articles from Chicago, and the remainder under a parol engagement from a Canadian port, appears incongruous and contrary to the spirit (though not to the letter) of the proviso contained in Section 149. Moreover, in the establishment of this consulate I have been unwilling to impose any duties which might appear in the light of burdens on the shipping interest, unless clearly defined by the laws, either British or American,
The subject of the relief of seamen in distress ranks properly in this connexion.
In close connexion with the foregoing there is a subject well worthy of examination, viz. :—The difference in the laws and legal procedure regulating the British and American maritime interests on the inland lakes and the consequence of such difference.
In the British provinces the admiralty jurisdiction does not extend above tide water, and consequently as there is no court of admiralty, or other court competent to give a remedy (in rem.) against the vessels, the proceedings both arising out the contracts on account of the vessels, and from wrongs committed by them, is only by personal suit against the owners.
In the United States, however, an admiralty jurisdiction on the inland lakes has from the earliest times been recognized, and in 1845 Congress enacted :
"That the district courts have the same jurisdiction in matters of contract and fort concerning steamboats and other vessels of twenty tons burthen and upwards, enrolled and licensed for the coasting trade and employed in business of commerce and anvigation between ports and places in different states and territories upon the lakes and navigable waters connecting said lakes, and is now exercised and possessed by the said courts in cases of like steamboats and other vessels employed in navigation and commerce upon the high seas or tide waters within the admiralty and maritime jurisdiction of the United States. The maritime laws of the United States, as far as the same is or may be applicable thereto, shall constitute the rule of decision in such suits, in the same manner and to the same extent, and with the same equities as it now does in cases of admiralty and maritime jurisdiction with the saving of the rights of trial by jury, and of a concurrent remedy at common law in competent cases."
And in 1851 the Supreme Court of the United States decided that the admiralty and maritime jurisdiction granted to the Federal Government by the constitution of the United States is not limited to tide waters but extends to all public navigable lakes and rivers where commerce is carried on between different states or with a foreign nation. Propeller "Genessee Chief" vs. Fitz Hugh et al, 12 Howard U. S. Rep. 443. In delivering judgment in this case, Chief Justice Taney discussed at length the policy of extending admiralty jurisdtction to inland waters.
Thus, in the United States claims can be enforced in admiralty with or without a jury against the vessel itself, or at common law by personal suit against the owner at election of the plaintiff, whilst in the British provinces the latter remedy only is available.
It is only natural that United States citizens should prefer their own courts where the choice lies with them, but proceedings against British vessels in the United States admiralty courts are becoming frequent where the subject matter of litigation, the evidence and the parties to the suit are all within the jurisdiction of the British Provincial Courts.
For example, in cases of contracts for work, materials, supplies, etc., for which in Canada the contracting parties alone are liable, it has happened that in event of disputes or insolvency opportunity has been watched of libelling the vessel in a foreign port.
In some of these cases the vessel had charged owners subject to the dates of the claims.
Also where a collision take place between two British vessels, the only remedy in Canada is against the owner of the vessel in default.
The United States laws offer the additional remedy by suit in admiralty against the ship.
Again, where an American vessel is in default in a collision or injury done to British ships, the only remedy in the provincial courts is by personal suit against the owners, who probably do not reside within the jurisdiction.
It is unnecessary for me to enter further into detail here. I am not aware whether this subject has had the attention either of the Imperial or Provincial Governments, but have considered it my duty to state the evils which experience has shown me do exist, and to endeavour to point out some of the causes. For, even supposing the most friendly relations to exist between the two countries, and admitting that there is no reason why the one should be afraid to trust to the equity of the courts of the others, it is submitted that inconveniences and confusion must necessarily result where an admiralty procedure under a maritime code is recognized by the one only, especially where the two flags meet in waters British or American, or common to both.
Should admiralty jurisdiction be extended above tide water, I would suggest that legislation thereon should be as much in uniformity with the Federal Laws of the United States now in force as circumstances permit, unless there are strong reasons to the contrary.
The conflict between the laws of the different States of the American Union, where such exists is fuel to the fire of litigation.
In the above statement I have not given any instances in detail, but I do not think it is asserting too much to say that each port in the British provinces to which a vessel engaged in this trade belongs can furnish some evidence in corroboration.
J. E. W.
COMPARATIVE ANALYTICAL TABLE, showing Exports from Chicago, U. S., to Great Britain and
No. of vessels
Value in sterling
- in feet
- in brls.
- in bus.
British 15,2631798 6,5421138
90,577 21,787 122,015
508,796 233,670 11,553
1,305,956 513,637 15,556
7,570 65,754 50,000
77 16,619 7,209,494
= 179 1,402 70 75,757 818
Flour. Tallow. Lard.
COMPARATIVE TABLE, showing Number of British Vessels arrived at and departed from the Port of
110 26,700 17,225,658
490,000 18 bags beans.
17 tons brown corn, 1 shingle machine,
194 tons in British. 22 in American.
Total British in tons
Grand total in tons
Difference in favour of
119 29,389 15,443,984 1,949, 592 921 144
340 3,648 32,250
40,884 1 3 183,389 0 4