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Convention between the United States and Great Britain providing for January 24, 1903.

the settlement of questions between the two countries with respect to
the boundary line between the territory of Alaska and the British
possessions in North America. Signed at Washington January 24,
*1903; ratification advised by the Senate February 11, 1903; ratified
by the President February 24, 1903; ratified by Great Britain
February 16, 1903; ratifications erchanged at Washington March 3,
1903; proclaimed March 3, 1903.

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Whereas a Convention between the United States of America and
Great Britain providing for the settlement of questions between the
two countries with respect to the boundary line between the territory
of Alaska and the British possessions in North America, was concluded
and signed by their respective Plenipotentiaries at Washington, on
the twenty-fourth day of January, one thousand nine hundred and
three, the original of which Convention is word for word as follows:

The United States of America and His Majesty Edward the Seventh, Contracting parties,
of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland, and of the British
Dominions beyond the Seas, King, and Emperor of India, equally
desirous for the friendly and final adjustment of the differences which
exist between them in respect to the true meaning and application of
certain clauses of the convention between Great Britain and Russia,
signed under date of February 28/16, A. D. 1825, which clauses
relate to the delimitation of the boundary line between the territory of
Alaska, now a possession of the United States, and the British posses-
sions in North America, have resolved to provide for the submission
of the questions as hereinafter stated to a tribunal, and to that end
have appointed their respective plenipotentiaries as follows:

The President of the United States of America, John Hay, Secre Plenipotentiaries. tary of State of the United States; and

His Britannic Majesty, The Right Honorable Sir Michael H. Herbert, K.C. M. G., C. B., His Britannic Majesty's Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary;

Who, after an exchange of their full powers which were found to be in good and due form, have agreed upon the following articles:

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A tribunal shall be immediately appointed to consider and decide

Alaskan Boundary

Tribunal the questions set forth in Article IV of this convention. The tribunal Members of. shall consist of six impartial jurists of repute who shall consider judicially the questions submitted to them, each of whom shall first subscribe an oath that he will impartially consider the arguments and evidence presented to the tribunal and will decide thereupon according


Secretary, bailiff, ete.

appointed by the President of the United States, and three by His Britannic Majesty. All questions considered by the tribunal, including the final award, shall be decided by a majority of all the members thereof.

In case of the refusal to act, or of the death, incapacity or abstention from service of any of the persons so appointed, another impartial jurist of repute shall be forthwith appointed in his place by the same authority which appointed his predecessor.

The tribunal may appoint a secretary and a bailiff to perform such duties as they may prescribe, and may employ scientific experts if found to be necessary, and may fix a reasonable compensation for such officers. The tribunal shall keep an accurate record of all its proceedings.

Each of the High Contracting Parties shall make compensation for the services of the members of the tribunal of its own appointment and of any agent, counsel, or other person employed in its behalf, and shall pay all costs incurred in the preparation of its case. All expenses reasonably incurred by the tribunal in the performance of its duties shall be paid by the respective governments in equal moieties.

The tribunal may, subject to the provisions of this convention, establish all proper rules for the regulation of its proceedings.







Written or printed

Counter case to be submitted.

Each of the High Contracting Parties shall also name one person to attend the tribunal as its agent.

The written or printed case of each of the two parties, accompanied case to be submitted by the documents, the official correspondence and all other evidence

in writing or print on which each party relies, shall be delivered in duplicate to each member of the tribunal and to the agent of the other party as soon as may be after the organization of the tribunal, but within a period not exceeding two months from the date of the exchange of ratifications of this convention.

Within two months after the delivery on both sides of the written or printed case, either party may, in like manner, deliver in duplicate to each member of the tribunal, and to the agent of the other party, a counter-case and additional documents, correspondence and evidence in reply to the case, documents, correspondence and evidence so presented by the other party. The tribunal may, however, extend this last mentioned period when in their judgment it becomes necessary by reason of specal difficulties which may arise in the procuring of such

additional papers and evidence. Copies of reports, If in the case submitted to the tribunal either party shall have speci

fied or referred to any report or document in its own exclusive possession without annexing a copy, such party shall be bound, if the other party shall demand it, within thirty days after the delivery of the case, to furnish to the party applying for it a duly certified copy thereof; and either party may call upon the other, through the tribunal, to produce the original or certified copies of any papers adduced as evidence, giving in each instance such reasonable notice as the tribunal may require; and the original or copy so requested shall be delivered as soon as may be and within a period not exceeding forty days after receipt of notice.

Each party may present to the tribunal all pertinent evidence, documentary, historical, geographical, or topographical, including maps and charts, in its possession or control and applicable to the rightful decision of the questions submitted; and if it appears to the tribunal that there is evidence pertinent to the case in the possession of either


Evidence, etc.

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cretion order the production of the same by the party having control

It shall be the duty of each party through its agent or counsel, Arguments.
within two months from the expiration of the time limited for the
delivery of the counter-case on both sides, to deliver in duplicate to
each member of the said tribunal and to the agent of the other party
a written or printed argument showing the points and referring to the
evidence upon which his Government relies, and either party may
also support the same before the tribunal by oral argument of coun-
sel. The tribunal may, if they shall deem further elucidation with
regard to any point necessary, require from either party a written,
printed, or oral statement or argument upon the point; but in such
case the other party shall have the right to reply thereto.

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Former treaties to be considered.

Vol. 15, p. 539.


It is agreed by the High Contracting Parties that the tribunal shall consider in the settlement of the questions submitted to its decision the Treaties respectively concluded between His Britannic Majesty and the Emperor of All the Russias under date of 28 16 February, A. D. 1825, and between the United States of America and the Emperor of All the Russias concluded under date of March 30/18, A. D. 1867; and particularly the Articles III, IV, V, of the first mentioned treaty, which in the original text are word for word as follows:

"La ligne de démarcation entre les Possessions des Hautes Parties Contractantes sur la Côte du Continent et les Iles de l'Amérique NordOuest, sera tracée ainsi qu'il suit:

“A partir du Point le plus méridional de l'Ile dite Prince of Wales, lequel Point se trouve sous la parallèle du 5tme degré 40 minutes de latitude Nord, et entre le 13lme et 133me degré de longitude Ouest (Méridien de Greenwich), la dite ligne remontera au Nord le long de la passe dite Portland Channel, jusqu'au Point de la terre ferme où elle atteint le 56me degré latitude Nord; de ce dernier point la ligne de démarcation suivra la crête des montagnes situées parallèlement à la Côte, jusqu'au point d'intersection du 141me degré de longitude Ouest (même Méridien); et finalement, du dit point d'intersection, la même ligne méridienne du 141me degré formera, dans son prolongement jusqu'à la Mer Glaciale, la limite entre les Possessions Russes et Britanniques sur le Continent de l'Amérique Nord-Ouest.”

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“Il est entendu, par rapport à la ligne de démarcation déterminée dans l’Article précédent;

“1. Que l'Isle dite Prince of Wales appartiendra toute entière à la Russie.

“2. Que partoute où la crête des montagnes qui s'étendent dans une direction parallèle à la Côte depuis le 56me degré de latitude Nord au point d'intersection du 141me degré de longitude Ouest, se trouveroit à la distance de plus de dix lieues marines de l'Océan, la limite entre les Possessions Britanniques et la lisière de Côte mentionnée ci-dessus comme devant appartenir à la Russie, sera formée par une ligne parallèle aux sinuosités de la Côte, et qui ne pourra jamais en être éloignée que de dix lieues marines."

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“Il est convenu en outre, que nul Etablissement ne sera formé par l'une des deux Parties dans les limites que les deux Articles précédens

tanniques ne formeront aucun Etablissement soit sur la Côte, soit sur
la lisière de terre ferme comprise dans les limites des Possessions
Russes, telles qu'elles sont désignées dans les deux Articles précédens;
et, de même, nul Etablissement ne sera formé par des Sujets Russes
au delà des dîtes limites.”

The tribunal shall also take into consideration any action of the sev-
eral governments or of their respective representatives preliminary or
subsequent to the conclusion of said treaties so far as the same tends
to show the original and effective understanding of the parties in respect
to the limits of their several territorial jurisdictions under and by virtue
of the provisions of said treaties.


Questions to be decided.

Referring to Articles III, IV, and V of the said treaty of 1825 the
said tribunal shall answer and decide the following questions:-

1. What is intended as the point of commencement of the line?
2. What channel is the Portland Channel?

3. What course should the line take from the point of commence-
ment to the entrance to Portland Channel?

4. To what point on the 56th parallel is the line to be drawn from the head of the Portland Channel, and what course should it follow between these points ?

5. In extending the line of demarcation northward from said point on the parallel of the 56th degree of North latitude, following the crest of the mountains situated parallel to the coast until its intersection with the 141st degree of longitude west of Greenwich, subject to the condition that if such line should anywhere exceed the distance of ten marine leagues from the ocean then the boundary between the British and the Russian territory should be formed by a line parallel to the sinuosities of the coast and distant therefrom not more than ten marine leagues, was it the intention and meaning of said convention of 1825 that there should remain in the exclusive possession of Russia a continuous fringe or strip of coast on the mainland, not exceeding ten marine leagues in width, separating the British Possessions from the bays, ports, inlets, havens, and waters of the ocean, and extending from the said point on the 56th degree of latitude north to a point where such line of demarcation should intersect the 141st degree of longitude west of the Meridian of Greenwich?

6. If the foregoing question should be answered in the negative, and in the event of the summit of such mountains proving to be in places more than ten marine leagues from the coast, should the width of the lisière which was to belong to Russia be measured (1) from the mainland coast of the ocean, strictly so-called, along a line perpendicular thereto, or (2) was it the intention and meaning of the said convention that where the mainland coast is indented by deep inlets forming part of the territorial waters of Russia, the width of the lisière was to be measured (a) from the line of the general direction of the mainland coast, or (b) from the line separating the waters of the ocean from the territorial waters of Russia, or (c) from the heads of the aforesaid inlets?

7. What, if any exist, are the mountains referred to as situated parallel to the coast, which mountains, when within ten marine leagues from the coast, are declared to form the eastern boundary!


Meeting of tribunal,

The tribunal shall assemble for their first meeting at London as soon as practicable after receiving their commissions; and shall themselves fix the times and places of all subsequent meetings.



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The decision of the tribunal shall be made so soon as possible after the conclusion of the arguments in the case, and within three months thereafter, unless the President of the United States and His Britannic Majesty shall by common accord extend the time therefor. The decision shall be made in writing, and dated, and shall be signed by the members of the tribunal assenting to the same. It shall be signed in duplicate, one copy whereof shall be given to the agent of the United States of America for his government, and the other to the agent of His Britannic Majesty for his government.

Signed in duplicate.

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When the High Contracting Parties shall have received the decision Experts to establish of the tribunal upon the questions submitted as provided in the fore- formity with decision. going articles, which decision shall be final and binding upon all parties, they will at once appoint, each on its own behalf, one or more scientific experts who shall with all convenient speed proceed together to lay down the boundary line, in conformity with such decision.

Should there bé, unfortunately, a failure by a majority of the tribunal to agree upon any of the points submitted for their decision, it shall be their duty to so report in writing to the respective governments through their respective agents. Should there be an agreement Partial agreement. by a majority upon a part of the questions submitted, it shall be their duty to sign and report their decision upon the points of such agreement in the manner hereinbefore prescribed.

Report of failure to agree.

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The present Convention shall be ratified by the President of the Ratification.
United States, by and with the advice and consent of the Senate, and
by His Britannic Majesty, and the ratifications shall be exchanged in
Washington or in London so soon as the same may be effected.

In faith whereof we, the respective plenipotentiaries, have signed Signatures. this Convention and have hereunto affixed our Seals.

Done at Washington, in duplicate, this 24th day of January, A. D. 1903.

John HAY


Exchange of ratifi cations.


And whereas the said Convention has been duly ratified on both parts, and the ratifications of the two governments were exchanged in the City of Washington, on the third day of March, one thousand nine hundred and three;

Now, therefore, be it known that I, THEODORE ROOSEVELT, Presi-
dent of the United States of America, have caused the said Convention
to be made public, to the end that the same and every article and clause
thereof, may be observed and fulfilled with good faith by the United
States and the citizens thereof.

In testimony whereof, I have hereunto set my hand and caused the
Seal of the United States of America to be affixed.
Done at the City of Washington, this third day of March, in the

year of our Lord one thousand nine hundred and three, and
[SEAL) of the Independence of the United States the one hundred
and twenty-seventh.

By the President:

Јону HAY

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