Addington to Merivale (Permanent Under-Secretary)
June 14th 1853
I have laid before the Earl of Clarendon your Letter of the 11th of April last, forwarding Extracts of a Despatch from the Governor of Vancouver's Island respecting a Claim made by American Citizens on behalf of the United States to the Sovereignty of the Islands in the Canal de Arro; and relating to an alleged violation of British Territory on the West Coast of Vancouver's Island.
With regard to the Islands in the Canal de Arro, I am directed by Lord Clarendon to refer you to my Letter of the 10th of February 1848, transmitting a Copy of a Despatch from Her Majesty's Minister atWashingtonManuscript image Washington, reporting a conversation with Mr Buchanan, then Secretary of State of the United States, upon the expediency of defining the Boundary between the British and American Territories in the Gulf of Georgia and Fuca's Straits, and also to my Letter of the 21t of November 1849, stating that the Government of the United States proposed to lay before Congress at its next Session the proposal of Her Majesty's Government to appoint a Commission to mark the Boundary in Question; and I am to add that no further Report has been received from Mr Crampton on this subject.
It appears to Lord Clarendon that if the matter be of importance and that the affair requires accordingly to be settled, Mr Crampton should be instructed again to call the attention of the American Government to it; but if not, I am to suggest, for the consideration of the Duke of Newcastle, that it might be well not to add another Question to the many now pending and not likely soon to be arranged.
2nd point.
With respect to the violation of Territory which is undoubtedly British, and to which there is no disputed claim to Sovereignty, Lord Clarendon is of opinion that the Governor of Vancouver's Island should take such steps asManuscript image as the Duke of Newcastle may think proper for asserting and maintaining British Rights in such Territory from Foreign Aggression.
I am, Sir,
Your most obedient humble Servant,
H.U. Addington

Minutes by CO staff
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Mr Merivale
As the Governor's promised second desph (see 3851) respecting the Sovereignty of the Arro Islands has not arrived we can hardly say whether the question is at present of such importance as to demand being pressed on the attention of the American Govt. But judging from what we now have before us I should conceive that the matter might be postponed, according to the wish of Lord Clarendon, without any serious inconvenience arising.
On the 2nd point, the violation of B. Territory, I presume the Governor should be instructed to show a decided front against foreign aggression.
ABd 16 June
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Mr Peel
1. I remember that on looking with Mr Laurence at the maps I felt satisfied that this question of boundary, whenever it becomes important, can only be settled by a fresh convention or by arbitration. The point is by no means clear. But wait for the Governor's next despatch?
2. The For. Office has not answered our second question—perhaps we did not put it clearly. What we wanted to know is, whether for Americans to trade with Indians on the W. coast of Vanc. I. is to be regarded as a "violation" of our territory—on which point I think instructions to the Governor should be explicit. The fishing within 3 miles is, I conclude, admittedly contrary to the existing relations between the countries.
HM June 16
FP 17
Ld Clarendon should be informed that a further communication shall be made to him on the first point as soon as further despatches are received from the Governor and in the mean time no steps will be taken in the matter as recommended by him.
The second point should be again placed before him fully & clearly with a request for careful consideration.
N 17