Confederation
1864-1949



The Labrador Boundary


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Contents

Volume XII








26 Oct., 1926.

Sir John Simon.

26 Oct., 1926.

Sir John Simon.

26 Oct., 1926.

Sir John Simon.

26 Oct., 1926.

Sir John Simon.

26 Oct., 1926.

Sir John Simon.




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no perpetual Residence or planting is intended ; It will there be sufficient to provide for the free Trade of all Your Majesty's Subjects under such Regulations, and such Administration of Justice as is best suited to that End. Such We apprehend to be the case of Newfoundland, where a temporary Fishery is the only Object, and this We suppose has been the reason, which induced Your Majesty to annex the Coast of Labrador ”—in a moment we shall see what that is likely to mean—“ to that Government ; Such is the ease of Senegal and the Principle upon which we suppose Your Majesty thought proper to put that River and Country under the Administration of the African Committee. And such we apprehend ”—this passage has some importance—“ will be the Case of that Territory in North America which in Your Majesty's Justice and Humanity as well as sound Policy is proposed to be left, under Your Majesty's immediate Protection, to the Indian tribes for their hunting Grounds.” Now, my Lords, it is suggested in the Case against me that my green area is larger than it ought to be because one ought to assume that a considerable portion of it is thus carved out for Indian hunting grounds. My Case is that that is completely to misunderstand both the geography and the history of the period, and that the Indian Country and the Indian hunting grounds will be found in the heart of the Continent of North America, and I think I can establish that. “ where no Settlement by planting is intended, immediately at least, to be attemped ” and so on. Now, at the new paragraph in the middle of page 909 “ We shall defer at present entering into any particulars, as to the number of Troops which it may be necessary to maintain for this purpose. The Number and Situation of the Posts and Forts, and the Regulations proper to be established for a free Trade from all Your Majesty's Colonies into the Indian Country ; ‘ till by further Information from Your Majesty's Commander in Chief of America, and from Your Majesty's Agents for Indian Affairs, We shall be enabled to make a more full and particular Report upon so interesting and important a Subject.” Now the next sentence : “ And We apprehend that no such Delay can be attended with any material Inconvenience, since, if Your Majesty shall be pleased to adopt the general proposition of leaving a large Tract of Country ”—now my Lords—“ round the great Lakes.” If that is a true description, it completely knocks out the idea that my green area is what is being talked about. “ Round the great Lakes, as an Indian Country,” which is a phrase I shall show your Lordships was used again and again with a particular connotation, “ open to Trade, but not to Grants and Settlements, the Limits of such Territory ”—now this is a most striking passage—“ the limits of such Territory will be sufficiently ascertained by the Bounds to be given to the Governors of Canada and Florida on the North and South, and the Mississippi on the West ; and by the strict directions to be given to Your Majesty's several Governors of Your ancient Colonies for preventing their making any new Grants of Lands beyond certain fixed Limits to be laid down in the Instructions for that purpose. And We apprehend that in the mean time the Security of this Trade will be sufficiently provided for by the Forts already erected, and such Garrisons as Your Commander in

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Chief, may, at his Discretion, think proper to keep in them.” Then, over the page I do not think I need read the first two paragraphs. Now I come to line 11 on page 910. “ Canada as possessed and claimed by the French consisted of an immense tract of Country including as well the whole Lands to the Westward indefinitely which was the Subject of their Indian Trade ”—it is not in this green area at all, it is hundreds, perhaps thousands, of miles away—“ which was the Subject of their Indian Trade, as all that Country from the Southern Bank of the Rivet St. Lawrence where they carried on their encroachments. It is needless to state with any degree of precision the Bounds and Limits of this extensive Country ”—that means the Indian Country—“ for We should humbly propose to your Majesty that the new Government of Canada should be restricted, so as to leave on one hand, all the Lands lying about the great Lakes and beyond the Sources of the Rivers which fall into the River St. Lawrence from the North ”—you observe not “ the Gulf of St. Lawrence,” but “ The River St. Lawrence ”—“ to be thrown into the Indian country, and on the other hand, all the Lands from Cape Roziere to Lake Champlain, along the Heights where the Sources of the Rivers rise, which fall into the Bay of Fundy and Atlantic Ocean, to be annexed to Nova Scotia and New England in such a manner as upon any future directions after particular Surveys have been made shall appear most proper. If this General Idea shall be approved the future Bounds of the new Colony of Canada will be as follows.” Now I would most respectfully invite your Lordships to observe the way in which the Lords of Trade now trace out the future bounds of the new Colony of Canada, because you will find this very striking thing (Lord Sumner made an observation to me two days ago about this, and I think he may be particularly interested) you will find as far as the Lords of Trade were concerned they were undoubtedly tracing a height of land from the high waters of the River St. John. My Lord observed, of course, quite justly, that, if you look at the Map of Mitchell, it did not seem that merely by joining the height of the River St. John to the Lake St. John, you necessarily did so ; but observe the language here used : “ On the South East it will be bounded by the high Lands which range across the Continent from Cape Roziere in the Gulph of St. Laurence to that point of Lake Champlain above St. Johns which is in Latitude 45 Degrees North ” ; that, your Lordships remember, was running along the height of land South of the St. Lawrence.

Viscount HALDANE : I do not want to turn it up, but I would like the reference to Mitchell's Map.

Sir JOHN SIMON : That is No. 11 of the Canadian Atlas. There is another map in the Canadian Atlas which is perhaps even a better one, because I think it is the one that is referred to in a moment here ; but may we continue reading the description first “ which high Lands separate the heads of the Rivers which fall into the great River St. Lawrence from the heads of those which fall into the Atlantick Ocean or Bay of Fundy.” Now that is height of land evidently.

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Sir THOMAS WARRINGTON : Where were you reading then?

Sir JOHN SIMON : Line 28 on page 910. “ On the South East, it will be bounded by the high Lands which range across the Continent from Cape Roziere in the Gulf of St. Laurence ”— You will remember that is South of the St. Lawrence, “to that point of Lake Champlain above St. Johns which is in Latitude 45 Degrees North ; which high lands separate the heads of the Rivers which fall into the great River St. Lawrence, from the heads of those Which fall into the Atlantick Ocean or Bay of Fundy on the North West ”— now here is a curious thing—“ on the North West it will be bounded by a Line drawn South from the River St. Johns in Labrador ”—that is a different River, of course—“ by the heads of those Rivers which fall into the River St. Lawrence as far as the East end of Lake Nippissin upon the Ottawa River,” there can be no doubt at all that that was supposed to be indicating a slope ; “ and on the South West by a Line drawn due West to the River St. Lawrence from that point on Lake Champlain which is directly opposite to where the South Line falls in and so cross the said River St. Lawrence and pursuing a North West course along the Heights where the Rivers rise, that fall into the Ottawa River, to be continued to the East End of Nippisin Lake where the North Line terminates.” That is the origin of the description in the Proclamation which your Lordships remember was made a little later in the year, the Proclamation of October 7th, 1763, to which the reference is Volume I, page 153. That is the origin of that lozenge area. I will ask your Lordships, if you would think proper, to let me read down to the middle of the next page before we turn to the map. “ In order however that your Majesty may judge with precision of the Limits of Canada as above described, and also of those We shall propose for Florida, and of the Country we think right to be left as Indian Territory, We humbly beg leave to refer to the annex'd Chart in which those Limits are particularly delineated, and of which Your Majesty will have a clearer Conception than can be conveyed by descriptive Words alone.” We think we know which Chart this is a reference to, as I will show you in a moment. Now will your Lordships observe the language of the next half page, commencing at the top of page 911. “The Advantage resulting from this restriction of the Colony of Canada will be that of preventing by ”—by what ?—“ by proper and natural Boundaries,” that means by the answer which physical geography will give. “as well the Ancient French Inhabitants as others from removing & settling in remote Places, where they neither could be so conveniently made amenable to the Jurisdiction of any Colony or made subservient to the Interest of the Trade & Commerce of this Kingdom by an easy Communication with & Vicinity to the Great River St. Lawrence. And this Division ”—now the language is a little important—“ by the heights of Land to the South of the River St. Lawrence will on the one hand leave all Your Majesty's new French Subjects, under such Government, as your Majesty shall think proper to continue to them in regard to the
2 M

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Rights & Usages already secured or that may be granted to them ” : that is to say the French Canadians, Canadians whose origin is French, who speak French and have been accustomed to live under the French regime, will have their own seignories and their French law, and they want to have a boundary that will throw them into that area. Then see how it goes on : “ On the Other hand, the reannexing to Nova Scotia all that Tract of Land from the Cape Roziere along the Gulph of St. Lawrence with the whole Coast ”—“ coast ”—“ of the Bay of Fundy to the River Penobscot, or to the River St. Croix will be attended with this particular Advantage, of leaving so extensive a Line of Sea Coast to be settled by British Subjects ”—that will be thrown into Nova Scotia. If I may for the moment seek to demonstrate by the use of my Chart, I would like to show your Lordships what I understand them to be saying in that latter passage. In that latter passage the Lords of Trade are referring to the Gaspe Peninsula at the mouth of the St. Lawrence. What they are saying is: We propose that the boundary of this new British Government of Canada, or Government of Quebec, should run along the heights of land which divide the Rivers that flow North into the St. Lawrence from the Rivers which flow South in this direction, and they say by making the boundary run by the heights of land you will secure two objects. The first is that you will be throwing into your Province of Quebec people of French origin who will naturally want to be in that area, and on the other hand you will be returning to Nova Scotia an area which the French before they were defeated had very largely invaded, and you will be securing that there can be a settlement by British Subjects of the Coast which runs from the corner of Nova Scotia down to, it may be St. Croix or this River, the Penobscot. Your Lordships have, in this very document the implicit acknowledgement that the Nova Scotia Coast, regarded as an area of administration, goes up to the height of land, just as the height of land becomes the Southern Boundary of Quebec. You have on the previous page, page 910, a proposal which is not quite the proposal which is adopted in the Proclamation : The proposal that the boundary shall not be a mathematically straight line from the head waters of the St. John to the Lake St. John, but that it shall run to the heads of those Rivers which fail into the River St. Lawrence as far as the East End of Lake Nipissin. and there is left, as your Lordships will see, a very curious conundruun, and certain inconsistencies, I think I must call it, if the annexed chart is the one which is supposed (I will call your Lordships' attention to it now) because when you look at the annexed chart, which was being sent by the Lords of Trade, in order that your Lordships may have a clearer conception than can be conveyed by descriptive words alone, you will find that the proposed boundary of this new Province of Quebec does, it is true, start from something like the head waters of St. John, and does, it is true, pass through Lake St. John, but there does appear to he a certain area to the North of it, which you might still regard, and, if you looked at the map, you would think was still being drained into the St. Lawrence. That area, however (it is not very wide) is undoubtedly an

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area which the Commissioners seem to have thought might be left unorganised, and it may be that the Indian country, though I am satisfied your Lordships will think that the main Indian country is round by the great Lakes—but it is quite conceivable that the Indian country may have come up to some point here, so far as it is drained into the River St. Lawrence, but what I am contesting is the suggestion that there is any reason at all to suppose that the Indian Country comes into my green. Now the map which appears to be referred to under this description, “ The Annex'd Chart,” is in the Canadian Atlas, No. 27.
This map, which is by a cartographer called Bellin, Geographer to His Majesty, is “ a map of North America describing and distinguishing the British, Spanish and French Dominions, on this Great Continent, according to the definitive Treaty concluded at Paris on the 10th February, 1763.” Whether this is the actual document or not, does not appear to be quite certain, but would your Lordships observe, on the lower part of the chart, at the right hand side, just above the words “ Atlantic Ocean,” there is a note that has been made upon the map by my friends representing Canada, I understand : “ This map is the chart which accompanied the Report from the Lords of Trade and Plantations to the King, dated 8th June, 1763.”

Sir THOMAS WARRINGTON : That was put on for this litigation?

Mr. MACMIILLAN : Yes.

Sir JOHN SIMON : My friend, Mr. Stuart Moore, seems to have had this compartment more particularly in his mind ; at any rate he has been kind enough to tell me that some few years ago, when the Record Office was visited for the purpose, there was a volume which contained amongst other things, this report of the Lords of Trade, and that at that time there was a map which I understand my friend to say corresponded to this, attached to or bound up with the report from which I have been reading. Apparently the searches at the Record Office have been such that the map is no longer attached to the report, but I will assume that it is the map.
Now, my Lords, just see how very striking, on the face of this map, is what is said on page 91l as to the advantage of a division by the heights of land south of Gaspé. It is the boundary between the pink and the green, and what the Lords of Trade are saying is: “ We draw a line”—your Lordships know Lake Champlain, we might take that in—“ along the heights of land ”—in fact you will see a succession there of eight little molehills, which no doubt represent that—“ and we draw it so that the water flowing into the St. Lawrence is in the pink, and the water flowing into the Atlantic Ocean is in the green” ; and they say “ by drawing it on the heights of land in that way we shall throw into the Province of Quebec the French–speaking population that ought to be in it, while at the same time we shall be reannexing to Nova Scotia all that tract of land from Cape Rozière

[1927lab]




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