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A communication from George W. Brega, relative to the Canadian fisheries.
MAY 27, 1868.—Referred to the Committee on Naval Affairs and ordered to be printed.
TREASURY DEPARTMENT, May 25, 1868. SIR: I have the honor herewith to transmit a communication of this date from Mr. George W. Brega, containing additional information respecting the Canadian fisheries and the regulations of the Canadian government in regard to granting licenses to foreign vessels to fish within their waters, and which it is requested may be received and made part of his supplemental report on the trade within the British provinces, transmitted by me on the 14th instant.
Hon. SCHUYLER COLFAX,
Secretary of the Treasury.
Speaker House of Representatives.
WASHINGTON, May 25, 1868.
SIR: Since the date of my supplemental communication to you, upon trade with the British provinces of North America, I have received more precise information as to the enactments made by the government of Canada respecting the granting of licenses to foreign vessels to fish for or take or cure any fish of any kind in British waters, within three marine miles of any of the coasts, bays, creeks, or harbors of Canada. As the matter is intimately connected with the subjects treated upon both in my report and supplementary report, and of great interest to a large class of American citizens, I beg permission to transmit you the information, and to request that you will have this letter made a portion of my supplementary report.
my report of March last I stated that the Canadian authorities had asked permission of the British government to increase the license fee upon foreign vessels to $2 a ton for the season, and that I had reason to believe that the permission would be granted. The permission having been given, an act, which I
append, respecting fishing by foreign vessels, passed the Canadian parliament on the 20th instant, and on the same day an order in council was issued, declaring that $2 a ton for the season should be the rate for the present year. The act is almost literally a copy of the local acts of Nova Scotia and New Brunswick upon the same subject shortly before the negotiation of the reciprocity treaty. Very respectfully, GEO. W. BREGA.
Hon. HUGH MCCULLOCH,
Secretary of the Treasury.
AN ACT respecting fishing by foreign vessels.
Her Majesty, by and with the advice and consent of the Senate and House of Commons of Canada, enacts as follows:
1. The governor may, from time to time, grant to any foreign ship, vessel, or boat, or to any ship, vessel, or boat not navigated according to the laws of the United Kingdom or of Canada, at such rate, and for such period not exceeding one year, as he may deem expedient, a license to fish for or take, dry, or cure any fish of any kind whatever, in British waters, within three marine miles of any of the coasts, bays, creeks, or harbors whatever, of Canada, not included within the limits specified and described in the first article of the convention between his late Majesty King George the Third and the United States of America, made and signed at London, on the 20th day of October, 1818.
2. Any commissioned officer of her Majesty's navy serving on board of any vessel of her Majesty's navy cruising and being in the waters of Canada for purpose of affording protection to her Majesty's subjects engaged in the fisheries, or any commissioned officer of her Majesty's fishery officer, or stipendiary magis. trate on board of any vessel belonging to or in the service of the government of Canada and employed in the service of protecting the fisheries, or any officer of the customs of Canada, sheriff, magistrate, or other person duly commissioned for that purpose, may go on board of any ship, vessel, or boat within any harbor in Canada or hovering (in British waters) within three marine miles of any of the coasts, bays, creeks, or harbors in Canada, and stay on board so long as she may remain within such place or distance.
3. If such ship, vessel, or boat be bound elsewhere, and shall continue within such harbor or so hovering for 24 hours after the master shall have been required to depart, any one of such officers or persons as are above mentioned may bring such ship, vessel, or boat into port and search her cargo, and may also examine the master upon oath touching the cargo and voyage; and if the master or person in command shall not truly answer the questions put to him in such examination, he shall forfeit $400; and if such ship, vessel or boat be foreign, or not navigated according to the laws of the United Kingdom or of Canada, and have been found fishing, or preparing to fish, or to have been fishing (in British waters) within three marine miles of any of the coasts, bays, creeks, or harbors of Canada, not included within the above-mentioned limits, without a license, or after the expiration of the period named in the last license granted to such ship, vessel, or boat under the first section of this act, such ship, vessel, or boat, and the tackle, rigging, apparel, furniture, stores, and cargo thereof shall be forfeited. 4. All goods, ships, vessels, and boats, and the tackle, rigging, apparel, furniture, stores, and cargo liable to forfeiture under this act, may be seized and secured by any officers or persons mentioned in the second section of this act; and every person opposing any officer or person in the execution of his duty under this act, or aiding or abetting any other person in any opposition, shall forfeit $800, and shall be guilty of a misdemeanor, and, upon conviction, be liable to imprisonment for a term not exceeding two years.
5. Goods, ships, vessels, and boats, and the tackle, rigging, apparel, furniture, stores, and cargo seized as liable to forfeiture under this act, shall be forthwith delivered into the custody of the collector or other principal officer of the customs at the port nearest to the place where seized, to be secured and kept as other goods, ships, vessels, and boats, and the tackle, rigging, apparel, furniture, stores, and cargo seized are directed by the laws in force in the province in which such port is situate to be secured and kept, or into such other custody and keeping as the governor in council, or a court of vice-admiralty shall order.
6. All goods, vessels, and boats, and the tackle, rigging, apparel, furniture, stores, and cargo condemned as forfeited under this act, shall, by direction of the collector or other principal officer of the customs at the port where the seizure has been secured, be sold at public auction; and the proceeds of such sale shall be applied as follows: The amount chargeable for the custody of the property seized shall first de deducted and paid over for that service; one-half of the remainder shall be paid without deduction to the officer or person seizing the same; and the other half, after first deducting therefrom all costs incurred, shall be paid to the receiver general of Canada through the department of marine and fisheries; but the governor in council may, nevertheless, direct that any ship, vessel, boat, or goods, and the tackle, rigging, apparel, furniture, stores and cargo seized and forfeited shall be destroyed, or be reserved for the public service. 7. Any penalty or forfeiture under this act may be prosecuted and recovered in any court of vice-admiralty within Canada.
8. The judge of the court of vice-admiralty may, with the consent of the person seizing any goods, ship, vessel or boat, and the tackle, rigging, apparel, furniture, stores and cargo, as forfeited under this act, order the redelivery thereof, on security by bond to be made by the party, with two sureties to the use of her Majesty: and in case any goods, ship, vessel or boat or the tackle, rigging, apparel, furniture, stores and cargo so redelivered is condemned as forfeited, the value thereof shall be paid into court and distributed as above directed.
9. Her Majesty's attorney general of Canada may sue for and recover in her Majesty's name any penalty or forfeiture incurred under this act.
10. In case a dispute arises as to whether any seizure has or has not been legally made, or as to whether the person seizing was or was not authorized to seize under this act, oral evidence may be heard thereupon, and the burden of proving the illegality of the seizure shall be upon the owner or claimant.
11. No claim to anything seized under this act and returned into any court of vice-admiralty for adjudication shall be admitted unless the claim be entered under oath, with the name of the owner, his residence and occupation, and the description of the property claimed; which oath shall be made by the owner, his attorney or agent, and to the best of his knowledge and belief.
12. No person shall enter a claim to anything seized under this act until security has been given in a penalty not exceeding $240 to answer and pay costs occasioned by such claim; and in default of such security the things seized shall be adjudged forfeited, and shall be condemned.
13. No writ shall be sued out against any officer or other person authorized to seize under this act for anything done under this act, until one month after notice in writing delivered to him or left at his usual place of abode by the person intending to sue out such writ, his attorney or agent; in which notice shall be contained the cause of action, the name and place of abode of the person who is to bring the action, and of his attorney or agent; and no evidence of any cause of action shall be produced except such as shall be contained in such notice.
14. Every such action shall be brought within three months after the cause thereof has arisen.
15. If on any information or suit brought to trial under this act on account of any seizure, judgment shall be given for the claimant, and the judge or court shall certify on the record that there was probable cause of seizure, the claimant shall not recover costs, nor shall the person who made the seizure be liable to any indictment or suit on account thereof; and if any suit or prosecution be brought against any person on account of any seizure under this act and judg. ment be given against him, and the court or judge shall certify that there was probable cause for the seizure, then the plaintiff, besides the thing seized or its value, shall not recover more than 34 cents damages, nor any costs of suit, nor shall the defendant be fined more than 20 cents.
16. Any officer or person who has made a seizure under this act may, within one month after notice of action received, tender amends to the party complaining, or to his attorney or agent, and may plead such tender.
17. All actions for the recovery of penalties or forfeitures imposed by this act must be commenced within three years after the offence committed.
18. No appeal shall be prosecuted from any decree, or sentence of any court touching any penalty or forfeiture imposed by this act, unless the inhibition be applied for and decreed within 12 months from the decree or sentence being pronounced.
19. In cases of seizure under this act, the governor in council may, by order, direct a stay of proceedings; and in cases of condemnation may relieve from the penalty in whole or in part, and on such terms as may be deemed right.
20. The several provisions of this act shall apply to any foreign ship, vessel or boat in or upon the inland waters of Canada; and the provisions hereinbefore contained in respect to any proceedings in a court of vice-admiralty shall, in the case of any foreign ship, vessel or boat, in or upon the inland waters of Canada, apply to, and any penalty or forfeiture in respect thereof shall be prosecuted and recovered in, one of the superior courts of the province within which such cause of prosecution may arise.
21. Neither the 94th chapter of the Revised Statutes of Nova Scotia, (third series,) "Of the coast and deep-sea fisheries," nor the act of the legislature of the province of Nova Scotia, passed in the 29th year of her Majesty's reign, chapter 35, amending the same, nor the act of the legislature of the province of New Brunswick passed in the 16th year of her Majesty's reigu, chapter 69, intituled," An act relating to the coast fisheries, and for the prevention of illicit trade," shall apply to any case to which this act applies; and so much of the said chapter and of each of the said acts as makes provision for cases provided for by this act is hereby declared to be inapplicable to such cases.