The Labrador Boundary

Privy Council Documents

Volume I

[17 July,

Page 136
sponsored by
Dr. Maudie Whelan,
Beachy Cove,

Page 137
sponsored by
John & Lorraine Munro,
Halifax, NS

[29 Feb.

p. 136

No. 11.

(Enclosure 2 in No. 9; referred to in No. 10.)


July 17th, 1903.

        The Committee of Council had under consideration despatch No. 24 of date of the 8th April, received from the Right Honourable the Secretary of State for the Colonies and the accompanying copy of a despatch from the Governor General of Canada on the subject of the issue by the Govt. of this Colony of a license to cut timber on lands now for the first time claimed to be within the jurisdiction of the Province of Quebec. The Committee are unable to admit the claim set up by the Canadian Government, and deny that there has been any encroachment by this Government upon the territory of the Province of Quebec.
        By the Royal Proclamation of 1763 the River St. John was made the Eastern limit of the Province of Quebec on the North shore of the St. Lawrence and all the rest of that shore and of the Atlantic Coast of Labrador to Hudson's Straits with Anticosti and the other islands in the Gulf of St. Lawrence, were annexed to Newfoundland.
        Eleven years later (1774) the Labrador, the North shore of the River and Gulf of St. Lawrence, and the islands in the Gulf were all transferred to Quebec by the Quebec Act. They remained part of Quebec until 1791 and part of Lower Canada until 1809 in which year the Imperial Parliament passed an Act (49 George III, Cap. 27) which re-annexed to Newfoundland all that had been added to it by the Proclamation of 1763 with the exception of the Madalaine Islands. In the year 1825 the Imperial Parliament passed an Act (6 Geo. IV. Cap. 89) which restored to Lower Canada part of what, had been taken from it in 1809 namely so much of the coast of Labrador as "lies to the Westward of a line to be drawn due north and south from the Bay or Harbour of Ance Sablon, inclusive, as far as the fifty-second degree of North Latitude with the Island of Anticosti and all other Islands adjacent to such part as last aforesaid of the coast of Labrador."
        It is clear from the foregoing that it was a portion of the coast of Labrador that was transferred to Canada and only that portion as "lies to the Westward of a line to be drawn due North and South from the Bay or Harbour of Ance Sablon, inclusive, as far as the Fifty-second degree of North Latitude." This left the whole peninsula of the Labrador under the jurisdiction of the Government of this Colony. The license to cut timber

p. 137

referred to in the report of the Committee of the Honourable the Privy Council of Canada now under consideration is many miles to the Eastward of line which was laid down by the Imperial Statute above quoted as the boundary line between the Province of Quebec and the Newfoundland Labrador.
        On the 31st July 1880 an Imperial Order in Council was passed in the following terms, namely:—"From and after the First day of September 1880 all British territories and provinces in North America not already included within the Dominion of Canada and all Islands adjacent to any of such territories or possessions, shall, with the exception of Newfoundland and its dependencies, become, and be annexed to, and form part of, the said Dominion of Canada and become and be subject to the Laws for the time being in force in the said Dominion, in so far as such laws may be applicable thereto."
        This in no way affected the Labrador Peninsula which was within the jurisdiction of the Government of Newfoundland.

(Sd.) R. BOND C.C.   
Approved, (Sd.) CAVENDISH BOYLE, Governor, 24 July, 03.

No. 12.


Hotel du Gouvernement,                   
Quebec, 29 Fevrier, 1904.  

        J'ai l'honneur de vous transmettre, pour la considération de Son Excellence le Gouverneur Général en Conseil, le mémoire ci-inclus, concernant un certain territoire sur la rivière Hamilton, au Labrador, en dispute entre le Gouvernement de Terre Neuve d'une part, et le Gouvernement du Canada et celui de la Province de Québec, d'autre part.

J'ai 1'honneur d'être, Monsieur,           
Votre obéissant serviteur,             
L. A. JETTE,                      
Lieutenant Gouverneur.  

L'Honorable Secrétaire d'Etat,



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