No. 13
4th January 1867
My Lord,
Among the Many difficulties growing out of the union of the two Western Colonies is that in regard to San Juan. As I understand, That Island remains for thepresentManuscript image present under the joint Military occupation of Great Britain and the United States. The Municipal law of either Country is excluded from it. The farmers and few shopkeepers pay no taxes and have no Civil Courts.
2. On the Union being effected the Customs Law of British Columbia was at once extended over Vancouver Island, and then came the question as to how articles the growthofManuscript image of San Juan were to be treated on their arrival in Victoria. If we admitted everything that came from San Juan, where we could not establish a Custom House, duty free, the whole trade of Puget's Sound and probably of San Francisco would centre in the Island in dispute. If on the other hand we taxed all imports from San Juan, it would appear as if we renounced our claim to the Island andtreatedManuscript image treated it as a Foreign Possession.
3. Under these Circumstances I have thought it best to have Forms like the enclosed printed which when signed by the Officer in Command at the English Camp will admit the Articles specified in the accompaning Invoice duty free.
4. I enclose Copy of a letter I have addressed to the Senior Naval Officer on this subject. The Marines who garrison the Island are IbelieveManuscript image believe temporarily under his command.
I have the honor to be
My Lord,
Your most obedient
humble Servant
Frederick Seymour
Minutes by CO staff
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Mr Elliot
I send you the last Letter we have from the F.O. on this subject—d. 8 Feb/64. The question has been lying dormant since that time.
See 1992 B.C.
ABd 26 Feb
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As regards the question of produce imported from San Juan, Governor Seymour's mode ofactionManuscript image action appears judicious and the best of which the case admitted. I should send the despatch to the Foreign Office and express a disposition if Lord Stanley concurs, to approve of the Governor's proceedings.
For further remarks see minute on 1992.
TFE 27 Feby
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Ld Carnarvon
When question opened, should it not go further?
CBA 28/2
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It will be as well to send this and 1992 at the same time to the F.O. observing that they show a difficult state of affairs & not without risk of further complications. That in my opinion it is desirable to take the earliest opportunity of coming to an understanding with the U.S. Govt upon the claims of the two countries & that if Ld Stanley can make any suggestion in this sense I shallManuscript image be very happy to cooperate with him.
Dft at once of this for me to see.
C 28/2
Documents enclosed with the main document (not transcribed)
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Copy, Seymour to Captain R.B. Oldfield, Senior Naval Officer, 3 January 1867, discussing the question of San Juan Island.
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Oldfield to Seymour, 4 January 1867, reporting he had given the forms to Captain Bazalgette.
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Printed form, certifying that the goods enumerated in the attached invoice were the produce of San Juan Island.
Other documents included in the file
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Draft reply, Buckingham to Seymour, No. 11, 23 March 1867.