April 21, 1981

To the Senate of the United States:

On March 6, 1981, I asked the Chairman of the Committee on Foreign Relations to uncouple two pending treaties, signed March 29, 1979, relating to East Coast fishery and maritime boundary matters. I made this request after members of the Senate leadership advised me the treaties could not be ratified as they were.

My goal, as I am sure is yours, is to resolve the fishery problem and at the same time fortify our strong and close relationship with Canada.

Our two nations have built a friendship based on good will and mutual respect, recognizing that we both have independent, national interests to pursue. I believe that the proposed course of action will ensure the settlement of the maritime boundary by an impartial and binding procedure, and that it will allow a future fisheries relationship with Canada to be based on better known facts and circumstances.

Therefore, I recommend that the Senate give advice and consent to ratification of the Treaty Between the Government of the United States of America and the Government of Canada to Submit to Binding Dispute Settlement the Delimitation of the Maritime Boundary in the Gulf of Maine Area, signed at Washington, March 29, 1979, subject to technical amendments including an amendment which would allow it to be brought into force without the entry into force of the accompanying fishery agreement. And, I request that the Senate return to me without further action the Agreement Between the Government of the United States of America and the Government of Canada on East Coast Fishery Resources, signed at Washington, March 29, 1979.

I believe that the course of action outlined above is in the best interest of the United States and will contribute to the close and cooperative relationship with Canada that we seek.

Ronald Reagan
The White House,
April 21, 1981.