No. 32
5th December 1856
1. Lieutenant Flemming of the United States Army arrived here this day from Bellingham Bay, and having expressed a wish to see me, on particular business, I granted him an interview.
2. He then explained that he had been specially despatched by orders from Captain Pickett, the officerManuscript imageofficer in command of the military station now forming at Bellingham Bay, N. Latitude 48o, 40, to communicate with me in respect to some American soldiers, who have lately deserted from the detachment under his command, and taken refuge in Vancouver's Island, and that his instructions from Captain Pickett particularly enjoined him to enquire if Her Majesty's authorities would cause those and any other deserters from the American Army to be delivered up on his requisition, or would suffer them to be arrested within this Colony, by the act of the military authorities of the United States.
3. My answer to those proposals may be anticipated. IManuscript imageI explained to Lieut. Flemming that the steps proposed by him were decidedly illegal, and that no arrest could be made within this Colony, except by the regular course of Law.
4. I drew his attention to the tenth article of the Treaty between Great Britain and the United States of August 9th 1842, wherein
It is agreed that the United States and Her Britannic Majesty, shall upon mutual requisitions by their officers respectively made deliver up to justice all persons, who being charged with the crime of murder or assault with the intent to commit murder, or piracy or arson, or robbery or forgery, or the utterance of forged paper, committed within the jurisdiction of either, shall be found within the TerritoriesManuscript imageTerritories of the other; provided that this shall only be done, upon such evidence of criminality, as according to the laws of the place, where the fugitive or person so charged shall be found, would justify his apprehension, and commitment for trial, if the crime had there been committed.
5. I assured Lieut. Flemming that Her Majesty's authorities, were, on all proper occasions prepared to carry out the provisions of that Treaty to the letter; but that in the present instance the offense with which the American soldiers are charged is not one within the terms of the Treaty, the cases provided for being murder, assault with intent to commit murder, arson, robbery, forgery, and the utterance of forged paper, whereasManuscript imagewhereas the soldiers in question are simply charged with desertion from the United States Army.
6. I concluded by declaring that under those circumstances, I would not suffer them to be arrested in this Colony and our interview then ended.
7. Trusting that my decision on that occasion may be found correct, and meet with your approval.
I have the honor to be Sir
Your most obedient humble Servant
James Douglas

The Right Honble Henry Labouchere Esqre
Her Majesty's principal Secretary of State
For the Colonial Department.
Minutes by CO staff
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Mr Merivale
Copy to F.O.—saying that if Lord Clarendon concurs Mr Labouchere proposes to approve the Governor's conduct?
ABd 17/3
Mr Ball
Yes. There can be no doubt the Govr was right. But such an application, considering the notorious mode ofManuscript image dealing with our deserters, seems a bold one to say the least.
HM Mh 18
JB 20 Mh
Other documents included in the file
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Draft, Merivale to E. Hammond, Foreign Office, 26 March 1857, forwarding copy of the despatch for consideration.
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Draft reply, Labouchere to Douglas, No. 9, 9 April 1857.