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United States Department of State / Foreign relations of the United States diplomatic papers, 1937. The British Commonwealth, Europe, Near East and Africa

Canada,   pp. 160-199 PDF (14.9 MB)

Page 184

A meeting was called in Room 388 of the Western European Divi-
sion and was attended by Mr. John Hickerson, Assistant Chief of
the Western European Division, Mr. Dooman of the Division of Far
Eastern Affairs, Mr. Bonbright of the Western European Division
and Mr. Keating of the Treaty Division.
  Mr. Bell stated that he had just returned from a trip to the Pacific
coast where he had attended a meeting of the International Fisheries
Commission; that the members of the Commission were greatly con-
cerned with the fact that they had received definite information that
a British-registered fishing vessel was being outfitted at Oslo, Nor-
way, and was about to depart for the Northern Pacific waters which
are covered by the halibut convention. The vessel is named Thorland
and is classed as a mother ship with all modern equipment and freez-
ing apparatus together with small boats. Mr. Bell stated that the
vessel's owners have already entered into negotiations with distrib-
uting organizations in the United States and Great Britain with a
view to having the organizations agree to purchase the halibut. If
the British vessel is successful it is believed that the vessels of other
countries will become immediately interested. The Commissioners
are particularly anxious not to have Japanese vessels enter this area.
They believe unless something is done to stop the project the whole
convention will be jeopardized and that Americans and Canadians
will object to having the area regulated when other vessels come in
to take advantage of the sacrifice made by the Americans and Cana-
dians. Mr. Bell further stated that a formal resolution was passed
by the Commission and signed by each member and that copies there-
of will be forwarded at an early date to the two Governments con-
cerned so that they may be made a basis for joint representations to
Great Britain with a view to preventing British-registered fishing
vessels from engaging in halibut fishing in the Northern Pacific area.
  Mr. Hickerson stated that he believed that we could take the matter
up with a fair chance of success but that it would be most advisable to
take the matter up with the Canadians first and make sure that they
will make a protest with us through the Canadian High Commissioner
at London.32 He believed that working through the Canadians our
representations by the American Ambassador at London would be
more effective and that they could probably reach the difficulty by
preventing access to the British market of halibut caught in the
Northern Pacific area when these waters were closed to such fishing
by the International Fisheries Commission. Commissioner Bell
agreed that this would solve the question because the only other im-
portant market besides the United States is the British market and
" Vincent Massey.

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