claims did not appear, upon further examination, to comprehend all the coast between the River St. John and the Strait of Belle Isle but extended no farther than the Ance des Espagnols or Bay Phillippeaux (present Bradore Bay), what therefore lay to the eastward might properly continue with the Government of Newfoundland, and the diasadvantage in point of fishery of re-annexing the remainder to the Government of Quebec, if any, would be less, as by far the greater part of it was rocky and inaccessible, and therefore could be of no use to the cod fishery.
18. On the 22nd April, 1773, His Majesty in Council approved of the report of the Lords of Trade of the 2nd of March, 1773, recommending that the Labrador coast from the River St. John to Bay Phillipeaux be re-annexed to the Government of Quebec, and accordingly ordered His Majesty's Attorney and Solicitor General to prepare and lay before him a draft of an instrument proper to be passed under the Great Seal of Great Britain for re-annexing to the Government of Quebec such part of the coast of Labrador as was situated between the River St. John and the Ance des Espagnols or Bay Phillippeaux (present Bradore Bay) together with the islands of Anticosti and Madelaine and all other smaller islands upon the said coast. Instead of this being done, the whole coast of Labrador from the River St. John to the entrance of Hudson Strait was annexed to the Province of Quebec by the British North America (Quebec) Act, 1774.
SECOND PERIOD: FROM THE BRITISH NORTH AMERICA (QUEBEC) ACT, 1774, TO THE NEWFOUNDLAND ACT, 1809.
19. On the 22nd June, 1774, the British North America (Quebec) Act, 1774, 14 Geo. III., chap. 83 (Imperial), was assented to.
20. In consequence of the changes made by this Act, fresh instructions were given to the Governor of Quebec indicating how he was authorised to deal with the territory newly added to the province. In these Instructions (which were repeated in those
given to all the succeeding Governors of Quebec and Lower Canada down to 1839) the term "coast of Labrador" was unquestionably used to designate only the immediate seaboard upon which the fishery operations were carried on—i.e., the fishing coast—and not as including any land in the upper or interior country (vide, Arts. 30 to 36, Instructions to Guy Carleton, 3rd Jan. 1775). They assimilated the regulations which had already been adopted before the Quebec Act was passed, subject to some modifications respecting Canadian possessions on that coast.
Canadians were to be secured in their exclusive possessions on that coast and left free to carry on their sedentary fisheries, but on all such parts of the coast where there were no Canadian possessions, and more especially where a valuable cod fishery might be carried on, the Governor was to make the interests of British subjects going out to fish there in ships fitted out from Great Britain the first object of his care, and, as far as circumstances would admit, to establish on that coast the regulations, in favour of British fishing ships, contained in the Act of 10 & 11 William III., c. 25. Moreover, he was on no account to allow any possession to be taken, or sedentary fisheries to be established, upon any parts of the coast that were not already private property, by any persons whatever, except only such as should produce annually a certificate of their having fitted out from some port in Great Britain.
In light of these instructions, those which were subsequently given to the Governor of Lower Canada after the passing of the Clergy Endowments (Canada) Act, 1791, 31 Geo. III., c. 31 (Imperial), authorising him in the most ample manner to make grants of land upon the banks of any navigable river within the Province without any exception of the rivers flowing to the coast of Labrador, and requiring him to inform the Lords of Trade yearly of the nature and extent of the several fisheries carried on either on the coasts, lakes or rivers of the Province, show very clearly that navigable rivers and lakes were not regarded as part of the coast of Labrador, and that the latter term was used in its narrow sense as applying only to the margin of land next to the sea accessible and useful for the purposes of the fishery.
21. By Order in Council (Imperial) of the 24th August, 1791, the Province of Quebec was divided into two provinces to be called the provinces of Upper and Lower Canada, respectively, by a line of division which was carried up the Ottawa River to Lake Temiskaming and from the head of that lake by a line drawn due north "until it strikes the boundary line of Hudson's Bay." The Province of Lower Canada as thus constituted included the parts of the coast of Labrador which the Quebec Act, 1774, had withdrawn from the care and inspection of the Governor of Newfoundland and annexed to and made part and parcel of the Province of Quebec. By the Clergy Endowment (Canada) Act, 1791, 31 Geo. III., chap. 31 (Imperial), provisions were made for the government of the new provinces by legislative councils and assemblies.
In consequence of this division of the Province of Quebec, fresh instructions were given to the Governor. These contained the provisions with regard to the fisheries on the coast of Labrador, the trade with the Indians of the interior country, and the granting of lands within the province and information respecting the fisheries, to which reference has been made above.
22. Throughout the whole period, during which the coast of Labrador continued to be part of the Province of Quebec (1774-1809), the Governor of Newfoundland was required, not as Governor, but as Commander of the King's ships employed for the protection of the fisheries, to superintend those on the Labrador coast as well as those of Newfoundland; and an inspection of the correspondence of the Governor of Newfoundland with the home authorities which led to the enactment of the Newfoundland Act, 1809, shows that the provision for re-annexing the coast of Labrador to the Government of Newfoundland was inserted in that Act for the purpose of securing the better regulation of the fishermen and others frequenting that sea-coast, and particularly the suppression of the illicit trade which American fishermen had been reported to be carrying on there.
THIRD PERIOD: FROM THE NEWFOUNDLAND ACT, 1809, TO THE BRITISH NORTH AMERICA (SEIGNORIAL RIGHTS) ACT, 1825.
23. On the 30th March, 1809, the Newfoundland Act 1809, 49 Geo. III., chap. 27 (Imperial), received the royal assent. Such parts of the coast of Labrador. His Majesty had, by his Proclamation of 1763, been pleased to declare he had put under the care and inspection of the Governor of Newfoundland were, by section 14 of this Act, re-annexed to the Government of Newfoundland.
24. On the 4th June, 1810, Admiral Sir John Thomas Duckworth was appointed Governor of Newfoundland and of all the coast of Labrador and adjacent islands (the Magdalen Islands excepted) as described in the Royal Proclamation of 1763. His commission was, in all material respects, similar to those under which Graves and Palliser had acted; as were also the commissions given to his successors, Admiral Sir Richard Godwin Keats (1813-1816), Vice-Admiral Francis Pickmore (1816-1818), and Vice-Admiral Sir Charles Hamilton (1818-1825). In Duckworth's instructions as Governor, he was directed to encourage the trade and intercourse with the Indians residing in the Island of Newfoundland, but no instructions were given to him with regard to trade with the Indians who frequented the seaboard of Labrador or the land at the back thereof.
25. On 20th October, 1818, a convention was signed in London between Great Britain and the United States whereby it was agreed that:—
"The inhabitants of the said United States shall have for ever, in common with the subjects of His Britannic Majesty, the liberty to take fish of every kind on that part of the southern coast of Newfoundland which extends from Cape Ray to the Rameau Islands, on the western and northern coast of Newfoundland; from the said Cape Ray to the Quirpon Islands; on the shores of the Magdalen Islands; and also on the coasts, bays, harbours and creeks from Mount Joli, on the southern coast of Labrador, to and through . . ."
". . . the Strait of Belleisle, and thence northwardly, indefinitely, along the coast, without prejudice, however, to any of the exclusive rights of the Hudson's Bay Company."
This liberty of fishing, though described as being "in common" with British subjects, did not (as the official records of the negotiations between the British and American plenipotentiaries explicitly show), include the right to fish in any rivers or waters flowing to the coast. The North America Fisheries Act, 1819, 59 Geo. III., chap. 38 (Imperial), was passed to enable His Majesty to carry into execution the stipulations of this convention and to make regulations for that purpose.
26. In 1820, the Governor of Newfoundland reported to the Colonial Secretary that it had been represented to him that there was an extensive inlet on the coast of Labrador called "Gross Water" (Hamilton Inlet) which was said to abound with very fine fir timber fit for naval purposes. An expedition was sent out by the Governor in 1821 and reported that the inlet had been discovered and that Canadian merchants were found settled there engaged in the salmon fishery and doing an extensive fur trade with the Indians. From the description of the expedition it is clear that it was Lake Melville that was "discovered."
Canadian traders and trappers had occupied posts in that region continuously since 1773. The posts which had been established thirty years earlier by the Canadian merchant, Fornel, and abandoned on the outbreak of the Seven Years' War, were re-occupied in 1773, and were the centre of a considerable Indian trade. There is every reason for asserting that no white people other than Canadians had ever dwelt in that country up to and considerably beyond the period of this exploratory voyage. These people were always recognized by the Governments of Quebec and (afterwards) of Lower Canada as under their care and jurisdiction.
27. In 1824, the Imperial Parliament, by the statute 5 Geo. IV., chap. 51, repealed the Act of 10 and 11 Wm. III., chap. 25, and enacted as follows:—