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.
Exports (including re-exports).
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
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
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.
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
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
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
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
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.
Image description updated May, 2004.