Confederation
1864-1949



The Labrador Boundary


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8 Nov., 1926.

Mr. Geoffrion.

8 Nov., 1926.

Mr. Macmillan.




p. 747

Mr. GEOFFRION : My point is this, it is that we have there these Indians, these very Indians, the Tadousac Indians coming and saying : We want to be placed under the protection of the Conqueror and General Murray gives a Proclamation confirming that, and he reports to William Pitt. I say, there is, therefore, additional evidence, if any is needed, of the fact that these Indians who had been under the protection of the King of France, even if they had not passed by International law, under the Treaty and the Capitulation, under the protection of the King of England, were taken under his protection then. We have on page 2761 the same thing, I will not read it to your Lordships, and we have, finally, evidence how it was understood when the Pontiac Rebellion broke out, a rebellion of Indians generally, the Montagnais understanding from what had happened they had been taken in as citizens or subjects of the British Empire remained loyal. That appears at page 3243. That is all I wish to say on the question except one point, which I forgot to make in my opening remarks the other day, which I will make very briefly, and then I will retire. I may seem stubborn, but I am dealing with the conversation between Lord Egremont and the Governor of the Hudson's Bay Company just before the Proclamation was issued. My suggestion is that the more likely view of that conversation is not that the Governor then and there abandoned the Grimmington Island line and accepted the height of land as a limit, because that is my friend's case, when previously, even in 1759, and ever since 1713, they had been writing and formally insisting on the Grimmington–Mistoseny line, and particularly later, in 1774, as regards the Grimmington grant Mr. Agnew was asking up to Cape Chidley, and it was curtailed wherever the Hudson's Bay line may happen to be. My suggestion is the more likely view of that conversation is when the Governor knew, as undoubtedly was the fact, the coast for fishing purposes was under the control of the Governor of Newfoundland, as they had no coast fishing interests, or even coast fishing rights, they said : We do not care, go as far as you like. There is further this, in that respect, it is incredible, I suggest, in view of the fact that in every other grant made around that time, where the rights of the Hudson's Bay Company are always expressly mentioned and guarded, and in view of the uncertainty of the depth line of the Hudson's Bay Company, leaving aside the Cape Chidley–Grimmington question, it is incredible that this grant to the Governor of Newfoundland should not have contained similar words as we find in the Agnew grant, and as we find everywhere saying that the grant, if there was to be hinterland, would go to the limits of the Hudson's Bay Company, or rather they would have said : We grant to the Governor of Newfoundland the whole of the Labrador Peninsula except what belongs to the Hudson's Bay Company, or Quebec, which is really what my learned friend claims.
On the question of Woody Island, as I understand it, we suggest our view being that we have the Anse Sablon line inclusive.
This, my Lords, concludes my argument.

p. 748

The LORD CHANCELLOR : We understand that.

Mr. MACMILLAN : It was lest nothing was said about it at all, it might be said to have gone by default.

The LORD CHANCELLOR : You dealt with it.

Mr. MACMILLAN : I am afraid I did not. Mr. Barrington–Ward dealt with it, but I did not personally deal with it. I did not want it to go by default.

Sir JOHN SIMON : I do not understand my friend to have conceded it. That point is left entirely open.

Mr. MACMILLAN : Quite so, but you might very properly have said, as nothing has been said about it at all, that we accepted your argument.

[1927lab]




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