THE hovering laws have very seldom been under discussion through diplomatic channels. It is only within recent years that the validity of these laws of one country has been questioned by another government. As a matter of fact, it was not until the last half of the last century that these laws came directly under discussion diplomatically, when Great Britain began to object to Spain's claim to a general jurisdiction for all purposes in the marginal seas for two leagues. In some cases, the discussions are incomplete, because some of the communications are not available; but whenever the question has arisen, all available materials have been included. In most cases, however, there has been sufficient material to present, in a general way, the position of the Governments involved. Some early materials are included, in order to show the continuity of the position of the Government in question.