Confederation
1864-1949



The Labrador Boundary


Privy Council Documents


Volume I

Volume II

Volume III

Volume IV

Volume V

Volume VI

Volume VII

Volume VIII

Volume IX

Volume X

Volume XI
Contents

Volume XII








22 Oct., 1926.

Sir John Simon.

Lord Sumner.

Sir John Simon.

Lord Sumner.

Sir John Simon.

22 Oct., 1926.

Sir John Simon.

22 Oct., 1926.

Sir John Simon.

Viscount Haldane.

Sir John Simon.

22 Oct., 1926.

Sir John Simon.

The Lord Chancellor.

Sir John Simon.

22 Oct., 1926.

Sir John Simon.

The Lord Chancellor.

Sir John Simon.


p. 84

behind the fifty-second parallel, behind the pink piece, which at any time would be regarded as the Coast of Labrador; what is necessary for my argument is to say: the Coast of Labrador was at any rate a thing of such depth that a direction to cut 40 miles into it, and then to cut straight along to the west, was taking out a portion of a whole.

Lord SUMNER: Still inside the Coast of Labrador, which is taken away altogether; but you want it, if you can make it good in any way, for another purpose, because supposing you displace this mile strip, which you are endeavouring to do at present, you have to show. somehow or other, that the height of land is the boundary. If you could have got out of Mitchell clear evidence that the height of land was, on this map, somewhere along the line 52, and then you found that the line 52 was adopted by the Act of 1825 and elsewhere, you have made a step in the direction of saying that the Legislature has laid down the height of land as the boundary to be adopted, although they did not know where it was.

Sir JOHN SIMON: Yes.

Lord SUMNER: But if Mitchell does not show that, you have to get your starting centre elsewhere. It does not follow that the height of land was the alternative to the mile wide strip.

Sir JOHN SIMON: There may be intermediate views.

Lord SUMNER: The importance of it is that the Order in Council of 1880 gives everything to Canada that is not Newfoundland.

Sir JOHN SIMON: Yes.

Lord SUMNER: Therefore, Newfoundland, in order to make out its case, has not only to go beyond the mile long, but it has got to fetch up at the point you reach.

Sir JOHN SIMON: This is not a case where there is what you can call an onus of proof; the thing stands equally balanced; but I quite agree that I am not at liberty to say: this is a no man's land, and now I want it. If it is no man's land it is not mine.

Lord SUMNER: You have to say that the area you want, whatever it is, is Newfoundland according to the Order in Council of 1880; so it rests on you to march inland and establish your line if you can.

Sir JOHN SIMON: Quite. Now if I may just point, from my own point of view, what results from your Lordship's observation, for which I am much obliged, what I should really like to urge from that point of view is this: I do suggest, and I think this still stands, that

p. 85

examination of a map like Mitchell's map, goes to show that if you were going to cut the pink oblong from “The said Coast of Labrador,” you would not be trying to take out of the total more than is in it. I quite see the point that the two things are not necessarily coincident. The point is that if you are directed to take a pint out of a quart pot, it is necessary to be sure that the quart is at least as big as the pint; and if the direction is that the pink oblong is to be taken out of “The said Coast of Labrador” then, “The said Coast of Labrador” must be at least as deep as the pink strip; and I use the map of Mitchell, I think, perhaps more accurately and more aptly, if I slightly vary the way in which 1 was putting the argument (I see the point entirely I think) when I say: Having regard to the maps available at the time and assuming that a map like Mitchell's might very well have been carefully examined, you can see at once that when Parliament said. “Now you are to take your shears and cut away, till you come to parallel 52,” they were not telling you to cut away to such a depth that you passed the boundary of the Coast. That, I think to be the accurate way to put it. If I may say so, now that the point has turned up, and before we pass away from Map No. 42, you will observe this other thing, that if you take this Map No. 42, the approximate height of land, though indeed it is at one point not north of parallel 52, it then takes a curve upwards, and there is a bulge; and it is very interesting to notice that in the comparatively recent Canadian maps, of which, of course, there has been a great number issued, some of them, although recognising the boundary comes up to the 52nd parallel and then runs along the line, indicate this bulge as going into Canada, before we begin to run up the height of land towards Cape Chidley.
Now, perhaps, as your Lordships has this atlas before you. you will turn to two other maps, just to see what I mean. I will ask your Lordships to turn, by way of example, to Map No.39, which is a map prepared by the authority of the Minister of the Interior of Canada, and issued by the Department of the Interior at Ottawa in July 1890, with a series of sources for it, which are mentioned. Now your Lordships see that the map so drawn indicates very clearly the view of the Canadian Authorities. You will find in the top right-hand corner of the map “Prepared by authority of the Honourable Edgar Dewdney, Minister of the Interior. Department of the Interior, Ottawa, July, 1890.” Would your Lordships observe the way in which it is done here: A red dotted line is used. Will your Lordships search for a moment for the boundary as it rises up from Blanc Sablon? You will see that there is a line which has got a red inscription “Due North and South Line,” and it is carried up to the 52nd parallel. Then, although as a matter of fact they simply leave the parallel, the parallel is the boundary, as your Lordships see, until you come to this red variation in about the meridian 62. Then you get a red variation which wanders between the lakes, and which is labelled “Height of Land approximately”—this was, of course, before the survey by Mr. Low, so that they did not know the thing accurately then—and it gives the height of land

p. 86

approximately. It begins to go northerly, and it takes its way between the two water systems, and comes out at Cape Chidley.

Viscount HALDANE: What is the line shown between where the red does not go any further north, and the red at the subsequent point?

Sir JOHN SIMON: It is parallel No. 52, my Lord.

Viscount HALDANE: That is not what I mean. You see that from parallel No. 52, the red line goes up.

Sir JOHN SIMON: Yes, my Lord.

Viscount HALDANE: And then it turns round, and there is nothing shown, red or anything else, between that point and the point of the red height of land further up.

Sir JOHN SIMON: I think, with great respect, that there is a continuous red line which runs right up to Cape Chidley from the point where your Lordship started from—a continuous line.

Viscount HALDANE: You follow it down until it turns the corner?

Sir JOHN SIMON: Yes, my Lord.

Viscount HALDANE: That explains it.

Sir JOHN SIMON: I do not in the least wish to stress this part of the case too much, although I must say that I think it is a little bit striking. Here you have the Minister of the Interior, the Ministry of the Interior, the very Ministry which is responsible in Canada for these matters, issuing with its authority, publicly, in 1890, an exposition of the relation between the Dependency of Newfoundland—your Lordship sees the words “Dependency of Newfoundland”—on the one hand, and the Province of Quebec on the other hand.

The LORD CHANCELLOR: Where does it say that the height of land which is marked in red is the boundary?

Sir JOHN SIMON: I think nobody can read the inscriptions on this map. “Canada,” “Dependency of Newfoundland” and “Quebec,” without saying, “This is intended to indicate that the Peninsula of Labrador is distributed in that way.”

The LORD CHANCELLOR: I am not sure.

Sir JOHN SIMON: I will only say that I do not see any other method.

p. 87

The LORD CHANCELLOR: If that was so, you would expect the red line to continue until it joined the upright line from Blanc Sablon.

Sir JOHN SIMON: I really think that that is due to the fact that the 52nd parallel is the parallel that is being followed until you get it coloured. I will show your Lordship another map in a moment, showing that filled in. I do not want to press this unduly, but it seems to me that it is difficult to suppose that, as late as 1890, the Dominion authorities did not take this view. And I am going to prove it by despatches and by declarations of the most solemn kind.

The LORD CHANCELLOR: I doubt whether you can found much on this map. The red line continues from the corner right into what is admittedly Canada. There cannot be a boundary there.

Sir JOHN SIMON: I think your Lordship will find that I am right. Does your Lordship see the big word “Canada.”

The LORD CHANCELLOR: I do.

Sir JOHN SIMON: Will your Lordship observe that that inscription is entirely to the left of the red line which is called “height of land”?

The LORD CHANCELLOR: That is right.

Sir JOHN SIMON: Then just at the bottom will your Lordship kindly observe the inscription “Province of Quebec”?

The LORD CHANCELLOR: Yes.

Sir JOHN SIMON: That is entirely within the boundary which I am indicating to your Lordship.

The LORD CHANCELLOR: It crosses the indication of the height of land.

Sir JOHN SIMON: I am sure your Lordship will forgive me. It only crosses the indication of the height of land at a place where it is irrelevant for the purpose in hand.

The LORD CHANCELLOR: That is where the thing does not quite hang together.

Sir JOHN SIMON: May I make it quite plain to your Lordship what I mean? When your Lordship says that the word “Province,” at the letter I, crosses the indication of the height of land, the height of land there is the height of land which divides the water that flows into the Hudson's Bay from the water which flows into the Gulf of St.

p. 88

Lawrence. It does not matter which it does, for the purposes of the Province of Quebec.

The LORD CHANCELLOR: I know that perfectly well.

Sir JOHN SIMON: I am sure your Lordship does.

The LORD CHANCELLOR: Yes; and that shows that that is not intended to be an inter-colonial boundary, or at all events not the whole of it.

Sir JOHN SIMON: If your Lordship pleases. I do not want to stress the thing a shade more than it ought to he stressed. If your Lordship thinks that it does not indicate any more than that, I am quite content, because I have plenty more.

I will just take one other at the moment, and then I think probably your Lordship would like me to resume the chronology. Perhaps your Lordships would now kindly look at Map No. 35. This is another map which is issued by order of the Minister of the Interior of the Dominion, and it is a map of the Dominion of Canada, published in 1878, by the Department of the Interior, Dominion Lands Office, Ottawa. Your Lordship will observe that so far as Canada is concerned, it is all coloured.

Viscount HALDANE: Coloured pink.

The LORD CHANCELLOR: This is not open to the observations which I made just now.

Sir JOHN SIMON: I think I may say that I have dozens which are not. Now I am going to ask your Lordship to be so good as to take the original of this map in your hand, because if your Lordship's copy is like mine, there has been a failure to colour a small portion of what is sea water. I do not know whether it is so in your Lordship's copy, but it is a mere mistake in the printing; the original is quite all right. I will hand the original to your Lordship. (Same handed.)

The LORD CHANCELLOR: What is the meaning of the words “Supposed boundaries.”

Sir JOHN SIMON: It is what they say. I suppose that your Lordship will say whether the supposition is correct.

The LORD CHANCELLOR: It is a curious expression.

Sir JOHN SIMON: Oh, it is, my Lord, yes. I do not think that there can be any doubt at all that the the year when this was printed for public information by the Minister of the Interior, and the Dominion Lands Office—I suppose he was inviting enterprising people from the

[1927lab]




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