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United States Department of State / Papers relating to the foreign relations of the United States, with the annual message of the president transmitted to Congress December 5, 1905
(1905)

Uruguay and Paraguay,   pp. 912-918 PDF (2.4 MB)


Page 912

URUGUAY AND PARAGUAY. 
SEIZURE OF THE CANADIAN SCHOONER AGNES G. DONAHOE BY URUGUAY. REQUEST FOR
THE GOOD OFFICES OF THE UNITED STATES BY THE GOVERNMENT OF GREAT BRITAIN.
The British Ambassador to the Secretary of State. 
[Memorandum.] 
BRITISH EMBASSY, 
Washington, April 12, 1905. 
SEIZURE OF THE AGNES G. DONAHUE BY THE URUGUAYAN 
AUTHORITIES. 
 On the 11th of November, 1904, the Agnes G. Donahoe, a Canadian schooner
comnanded by Captain Ryan, was seized by a Uruguayan ship the Ingeniero,
some three-fourths of a mile from shore, and taken to Montevideo, charged
with sealing in territorial waters. 
 The captain maintained that all the seals on board—some 390—had
been caught on the high seas, but the TJruguayan Government denied this and
stated that, having granted to a private firm the concession of killing seals
on the coast, they were obliged to prevent raiding; that the ship had been
caught in flagrante delictu close inshore while seal ing, and, later, that
the ship was guilty of illegal association, robbery, and srnuggling. 
 The captain and crew were therefore confined to the ship pending the finding
of the courts. 
 The defending counsel, Doctor Wilson, repeatedly requested that they should
be allowed out on bail, and Mr. Baring, His Majesty's minister, who was applied
to by the Canadian government, also tried to procure their liberation by
appealing to the minister for foreign affairs. 
 The latter, however, replied that the case was in the hands of the courts
and could not be interfered with, and it soon became evident that there was
a fixed determination on the part of the Uruguayan authorities to make an
example of the master and crew of the schooner and establish a precedent
for the future. Although the crew were eventually released on the owners'
recognizances, the captain and the vessel are still detained. 
 Doctor Wilson maintained that the laws of the Republic were silent on the
subject of the offense, but his application for a stay of proceed ings was
repeatedly rejected, and on December 24 Mr. Baring was instructed to remonstrate
against further delay in bringing the men to trial and to ask for a definite
statement respecting the crime and the law under which the charge was made.
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