The Labrador Boundary


Privy Council Documents


Volume I
Contents




JOINT APPENDIX.

Page 84
sponsored by
Dr. David Graham,
St. John's, NL

Page 86
sponsored by
Dr. Evan Simpson,
St. John's, NL


p. 84

of the entire annual return of the Colony from the fisheries. It is the only transitory fishery now remaining in America. Every summer a fluctuating population of from twelve to twenty thousand Newfoundland fisherfolk annually migrate from Newfoundland to the coast of Labrador for the fishery. To them that coast is what Newfoundland was to their forefathers—a temporary fishery. They disperse themselves along the extensive coastline which forms the base of the enterprise, and from June to October are briskly engaged in reaping the harvest of the sea. These fishermen are of two classes—"stationers" and "floaters." The former have temporary establishments in certain harbours and fish nearby, shipping much of their cured product direct to market from the coast; the latter have no fixed location but carry on their venture from their schooners wherever fish is plentiful. They are "green fish catchers" and bring their fares to Newfoundland to be dried or "made." About 1,000 to 1,200 vessels classed as "floaters" are annually engaged in the Labrador fishery. In October the season is over and the fishermen return to their homes in Newfoundland. Many of the temporary establishments of the "stationers" have been long established, but probably none of them has a grant or any other title than that of occupation. The policy of the Newfoundland Government has always been, in theory, to leave the shore and contiguous land free to anyone, so that when one man leaves it another may make use of his former situation. The general rule is that the firstcomer has the choice of the berths. It is, no doubt, a survival of the rule which prevailed under the Act of 10 & 11 Wm. III., chap. 25, of keeping the coast free for the temporary use of the British fisherman.

   35. As might be expected in the very nature of things, the services provided by the Newfoundland Government on the coast are almost wholly identified with facilities intended to subserve the convenience and general interests of the fishery. These consist, for the most part, of the operation during the fishing season, of post offices and a mailboat service from St. John's for the utility and primary convenience of the Newfoundland fishermen, of wireless telegraph

p. 85

stations at different points along the seaboard to facilitate the communication of information with regard to the fishery and of lights along the coast to aid the fishermen in navigation. In addition, medical aid for the fishermen is provided by a medical officer who travels on board the mail steamer; and occasionally, when the fishery fails and starvation threatens the planters on the immediate seaboard, the Government comes to their assistance with small supplies of food. The relief and care of the Indians on the Peninsula has always been, and is, provided for by the Canadian Government. A few denominational schools are conducted on the southern extent of the coast for the benefit of the permanent inhabitants; the bodies in charge of these schools receive a small annual grant from the Newfoundland Government. The administration of justice on the whole coast is entrusted to one or two persons, notably Dr. Wilfred T. Grenfell, who hold commissions from the Newfoundland Government as Justices of the Peace. All told, the total appropriations for the coast of Labrador, exclusive of the school grant, are, according to Dr. Grenfell, under $30,000 per annum. Newfoundland levies no local taxation on the coast of Labrador, but when trade on the coast is active during the summer months, its revenue officers collect a considerable sum, certainly not less than $150,000.00 per annum, along the coast in the form of customs duties.

   By 1892 the question of the delimitation of the boundary between Canada and Newfoundland had become acute and delegates representing the Governments of Canada and Newfoundland met at Halifax in November, 1892, to consider that and other questions at issue between the two Governments. At the meeting the Canadian delegates acquiesced in the proposal advanced by the delegates for Newfoundland to delimit the Labrador boundary whenever the Newfoundland Government was prepared to do so; an examination of the question being in the meantime made by geographical experts.

   36. In 1902, the Government of Newfoundland, embarking on a new administrative departure, issued certain timber licences covering large areas land on the north and south sides of the Hamilton

p. 86

River near the head of Lake Melville. As the granting of these licenses constituted an encroachment on its territory, the Dominion Government brought the matter to the attention of the Colonial Secretary with a view to the cancellation of the licences. The Government of Newfoundland, to which the correspondence was referred, not only declined to admit there had been any encroachment on Canadian territory, but contended that the areas covered by their timber licenses were many miles to the eastward of the line which had been laid down by the Imperial Legislation as the boundary between the Dominion and the part of the coast of Labrador under its authority.

   In 1907, on the advice of the Colonial Secretary, it was agreed by the two Governments to submit the question of the boundary to the Judicial Committee of His Majesty's Privy Council, for decision, under the provisions of section 4 of the Judicial Committee Act, 1833, 3 & 4 Wm. IV., chap. 41; and on the 11th November, 1920, an agreement was signed on behalf of the two Governments settling the terms of the question to be referred to the Judicial Committee and the procedure upon the reference. This agreement was varied, as regards the procedure, by an agreement dated 2nd November, 1922.

CHAS. J. DOHERTY.
CHARLES LANCTOT.
AIMÉ GEOFFRION.
H. STUART MOORE.
C. P. PLAXTON.


In the Privy Council                 


IN  THE   MATTER  OF  THE   BOUN-
      DARY
BETWEEN THE DOMINION
OF CANADA  AND THE  COLONY
OF     NEWFOUNDLAND   IN   THE LABRADOR PENINSULA.         


BETWEEN

THE  DOMINION  OF  CANADA
 OF  THE  ONE  PART

AND

THE  COLONY  OF  NEWFOUNDLAND
 OF  THE  OTHER  PART.





CASE

OF THE DOMINION OF CANADA










CHARLES RUSSELL & CO.,
            37. Norfolk Street,
Strand, W. C. 2.



          LONDON: PRINTED BY WILLIAMS CLOWES AND SONS, LIMITED, DUKE STLEET, STAMFORD STREET, S.E.1, AND GREAT WINDMILL STREET.

[1927lab]



 

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