CHAPTER II.--DESCRIPTIVE. (continued)

Imports and Exports.

  42. Newfoundland's principal exports are the products of her fisheries, forests and mines. In return she imports flour, sugar, salt, meat, molasses, tea, and other foodstuffs; coal, gasoline, dry goods, clothing, and a wide range of manufactured articles.

  43. The following figures show the extent of Newfoundland's trade during the four years 1928-29 to 1932-32. The full figures for 1932-33 are not yet available.

Imports.

$
Exports (including re-exports).
$
1928-29
1929-30
1930-31
1931-32
......................
......................
......................
......................
29,237,381
31,871,151
25,261,701
18,135,651
36,797,703
40,051,959
33,537,569
26,689,476

  44. The value of newsprint and mineral products exported in 1931-32 was $15,400,000 and $3,500,000 respectively or, taken together, $18,900,000 out of a total of $26,700,000. The paper mills and the mines are conducted by outside interests, and of the three main industries the fishery alone is carried through by local enterprise from start to finish. The value of fishery products exported during the years 1928-29 to 1931-32 has been:

$
1928-29
1929-30
1930-31
1931-32
............................................
............................................
............................................
............................................
16,031,735
14,963,004
10,469,856
6,393,548

  45. Of Newfoundland's imports, nearly one-half come from Canada; about one-third come from the United States; and one-sixth from the United Kingdom. Canada, however, takes only a small proportion of Newfoundland's exports, $1,300,000 worth in 1931-32 out of a total of $26,690,000, the bulk, mostly newsprint and mineral products, being taken by the United States and the United Kingdom in the proportion of five-thirteenths and four-thirteenths respectively. The principal markets for Newfoundland's salt fish, which in past years has formed her chief export, are Spain, Portugal, Italy, Greece, Brazil and the West Indies.

  46. Tables giving classified lists of imports and exports are contained in Appendix C. For further particulars of Newfoundland's trade reference is invited to the report on "Economic Conditions in Newfoundland" recently compiled by Your Majesty's Trade Commissioner in Newfoundland and the Maritime Provinces of Canada (Stationary Office Publication No. 552 of 1933).

Constitution and Local Government.

  47. Newfoundland is a Dominion and has enjoyed responsible government since 1855.

  48. Legislative authority is vested in the Governor and two Houses of Parliament. Members of the Upper House, known as the Legislative Council, are appointed by His Majesty on the recommendation of the Governor acting on the advice of Ministers; such appointments are for life. Members of the Lower House, known as the House of Assembly, are elected by the people. There are at present 17 members of the Upper House; the membership of the Lower House was reduced in 1932 from 40 to 27. Labrador is not represented in either House.

  49. The Governor presides at meetings of the Executive Council, or Cabinet, which at present consists of twelve members, seven of whom hold portfolios. The work of the Council, however, is largely done by a Committee of Council, consisting of the members of the Executive meeting under the chairmanship of the Prime Minister. The Minutes of the Committee are formally approved by the Executive Council, presided over by the Governor.

  50. The qualification of candidates for election to the House of Assembly is possession of property exceeding $2,400 in value or a net annual income of $480.00. Members are given a sessional allowance of $600.00 reduced from $1,000 in 1932. Members of the Legislative Council or Upper House receive a sessional allowance of $200.00.

  51. The franchise is limited to British subjects of not less than two years' residence. Men are entitled to vote at 21 and women at 25 years' of age.

  52. There are two main political parties, the Liberals and the Conservatives. The latter now hold office.

  53. Outside the capital, there is no local municipal government and no local taxation or rating. In 1933 an Act was passed enabling areas with population of not less than 1,000 to establish a local authority to administer local affairs within the area. St. John's itself is a municipality conducted by a Mayor, a Deputy Mayor, and 7 Councillors. Municipal elections are held triennially. All householders are entitled to vote; non-householders may vote if they are males of 21 years of age and have paid a poll tax of $5.00. The municipality administers the laws relating to Public Health, and is responsible for the maintenance and lighting of streets, the public supply of water, the upkeep of public gardens and the good government of the City. The tramway and telephone services are operated by private companies. Elementary education, both in St. John's and in the outports, is provided by the Churches, aided with money grants from the Government.

  54. In St. Anthony local affairs are looked after by the International Grenfell Association, of which Sir Wilfred Grenfell is the founder and head.

Fishing village of St. Anthony. Central station of Grenfell Mission, Newfoundland, n.d.
Photographer unknown. From the album of photographs furnished to the Newfoundland Royal Commission, August 1933. Courtesy of the Centre for Newfoundland Studies Archives (Coll-207), Memorial University of Newfoundland Library, St. John's, Newfoundland.
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St. Anthony


Image description updated May, 2004.



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