The Labrador Boundary

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28 Oct., 1926.

Sir John Simon.

28 Oct., 1926.

Sir John Simon.

28 Oct., 1926.

Sir John Simon.

Viscount Haldane.

Sir John Simon.

28 Oct., 1926.

Sir John Simon.

Sir John Simon.

28 Oct., 1926.

Sir John Simon.

p. 285

I think I have stated accurately the effect of the documents. Perhaps I may now give your Lordships a couple of references, and then leave that point. The reference which is perhaps most illustrative for the purpose would be this. Turning to Volume II, page 834, you will find the terms of the instructions to Governor Sir Guy Carleton, which accompanied his enlarged Commission consequent upon the extension of the boundaries of Quebec.

Sir THOMAS WARRINGTON : The document begins at page 820. It is the year 1775. That is after the passing of the Quebec Act.

Sir JOHN SIMON : That is after the passing of the Quebec Act. The result of the passing of the Quebec Act was that you had to enlarge the area of the Government of Quebec, and you had to contract the area of the Government of Newfoundland. Here I am calling attention to the enlargement of the duties of the Governor of Quebec. I merely pick this out as an illustration—there are plenty more. I would like to take page 832, paragraph 30. “ The extension of the limits of the Province of Quebec necessarily calls forth your attention to a variety of new matters and new objects of consideration ; the protection and control of the various settlements of Canadian subjects, and the regulation of the Peltry Trade in the upper or interior country on the one hand, and the protection of the Fisheries in the Gulph of St. Lawrence, and on the Labrador Coast on the other hand, point to regulations, that require deliberation and despatch.” The most important extension was the extension west and south. The other one was comparatively small. Then paragraph 32 says : “ It is our Royal intention, that the Peltry Trade of the interior country should be free and open to all our subjects, inhabitants of any of our Colonies ” and so forth. All that refers, at any rate primarily, to the interior country. Then at page 834, line 37, we have this : “ We have mentioned to you the Fisheries upon the Coast of Labrador, as the main object of your attention ; but the commerce carried on with savages of that coast, and the state and condition of these savages deserve some regard.”

Viscount HALDANE : This is a part of the Labrador Coast which Quebec had got.

Sir JOHN SIMON : This is after 1774 ; your Lordship is quite right. It refers not to the Hudson's Bay area, but to time other area.

Viscount HALDANE : It refers to what Quebec had got.

Sir JOHN SIMON : I do not think it can be disputed, if my argument is accepted as to the boundaries of the Hudson's Bay area, that the effect of 1774 was to make Quebec include everything which was to the south of the line I have just traced on the model. That, I think, is plain.

p. 286

Viscount HALDANE : That is the whole of the Labrador fisheries.

Sir JOHN SIMON : Always limiting yourself to the Atlantic side of Cape Chidley. No doubt that is true. Tue paragraph says : “ We have mentioned to you the Fisheries upon the Coast of Labrador, as the main object of your attention ; but the commerce carried on with savages of that Coast, and the state and condition of those savages deserve some regard ; the Society of Unitas Fratrum, urged by a laudable zeal for promoting Christianity, has already, under our protection, and with our permission, formed establishments in the northern parts of that Coast for the purpose of civilising the Natives, and converting them to the Christian Religion. Their success has been answerable to their zeal ; and it is our express will and pleasure, that you do give them every countenance and encouragement in your power ” and so forth. In paragraph 39 in the same way there are instructions about the timber. Side by side with that, however, you will find that the exercise of the Admiralty jurisdiction, the general preventing of the incursion of unauthorised persons interfering with the Labrador fisheries, remains with the Governor of Newfoundland. I will give your Lordships an illustration. You will see it in the same volume, Volume II. I could trace this out with a great many instances, but probably these are enough for the moment. Will your Lordships take page 498.

Viscount HALDANE : That is very peculiar, and it may be that there was a division in the Cabinet.

Sir JOHN SIMON : It is not for me to say whether there were divisions in the Cabinet in the middle of the eighteenth century.

Viscount HALDANE : We know there were.

Sir JOHN SIMON : But I really think, if I may say so, that the explanation is a different one. I will not go into detail now. I think the explanation is that the Governor of Newfoundland down to a certain point had two things to do. Then in 1774 there is a change, as a result of which he ceases to have one of the two things to do, but he retains the other of the two things.

Viscount HALDANE : It is very difficult to draw the line.

Sir JOHN SIMON : I have no doubt the point is that somebody does draw it, and here it is at page 498. These are the instructions to Robert Duff, who was Governor of Newfoundland.

Viscount HALDANE : This was in 1775 ?

Sir JOHN SIMON : Yes. It is exactly contemporaneous with what I last read.

p. 287

Lord SUMNER : These are Admiralty instructions.


Viscount HALDANE : Emanating from the Lord High Admiral.

Sir JOHN SIMON: Yes. I have traced these things very carefully, and I find them carefully co–ordinated. I could give you a series of documents in the third volume showing this was discussed between Lord Dartmouth and the Admiralty, Lord Dartmouth and Governor Carleton, Governor Carleton and Governor Duff. It was all divided up very carefully.

Viscount HALDANE : At that time the Lord High Admiral was independent of the Cabinet. His superior was the King, and only the King. The King said “ I am superior to the Cabinet and my servants, and I will take the advice of which of my servants I think proper.”

Sir JOHN SIMON : On the other hand, Lord Dartmouth was not at the Admiralty, The thing begins, I can assure your Lordship—and if necessary I will give your Lordship the reference in Volume III—with a careful discussion between the Secretary of State and the Admiralty as to what will be the best way to divide it up.

Viscount HALDANE : Most probably. But they were not co–equals.

Sir JOHN SIMON : I have no doubt the Lord High Admiral was a very important person. It was not till long afterwards that he took the humble position of an ordinary seat in the Cabinet. Still, look at the language of it : “ Whereas we have appointed you Commander in Chief of His Majesty's Ships & Vessels employ'd and to be employed at and about the Island of Newfoundland the Islands of Madelaine & Anticosti and upon the Coast of Labrador.” Then they go on to say : “ Whereas you have received His Majesty's Commission appointing you Governor & Commander in Chief in and over the Island of Newfoundland and of the Islands of Madelaine in the Gulph of St. Lawrence, and of all the Forts & Garrisons erected & established in the said Islands, And also His Majesty's Instructions for your Government therein you are to take particular care ”—to do so and so. His own Commission has been narrowed. Then over the page, on page 498, would you kindly note the language used in paragragh 7 ; this is the only point I am making on it. “ You are to settle and guard the Fishery not only at Placentia & St. Johns but as far to the Northward upon the Coasts of Newfoundland & upon those of the Continent of Labrador as your command extends.” My Lord, his Command extended up to Hudson's Straits, “ And to exert your best endeavours to encourage & support the Whale Fishery in the Straits of Belle Isle, the Cod Fishery in York Harbour and on the other parts of the Coast of the abovementioned Continent, as also the Seal, Sea Cow &

p. 288

Salmon Fisheries on the said Coast ; And to hinder any Trade or intercourse being carried on by any Person whatsoever other than the Subjects of Great Britain with the Inhabitants of that Country which of right belongs solely to His Majesty ; and whereas the Coat of Labrador and the Islands adjacent have, by a late Act of Parliament been re–annexed.” This is the territorial business, he has lost his territorial area—re–annexed to the Province of Quebec. And His Majesty hath by His Instructions to the Governor of that Province ”—which is Governor Carleton, those are the very instructions I have just been reading.

Viscount HALDANE : “ Upon the Coasts of Newfoundland and upon those of the Continent of Labrador,” you say that is upon the coasts of Labrador.

Sir JOHN SIMON : I do.

Viscount HALDANE : They use the expression “ the Continent of Labrador ” as contrasted with coast.

Sir JOHN SIMON : I quite accept that. It is not quite, with great respect, the point I am making. The point is you get here apparently a sub–division of what was formerly in a single hand, and all I am urging is that that goes to show you cannot describe the sum total of the Newfoundland connection with, I will not say either coast or continent, but with the green area as being limited to the care and inspection of the fisheries and all these other things, because that goes on just the same : “ After you have transferred to the Province of Quebec,” that is Governor Carleton at line 10, the page I had previously read in the same volume. “ Dated the 3rd of January last signified to him, that the Fisheries on the said Coast & Islands are objects of the greatest importance, not only on account of the Commodities they produce but also as Nurseries of Seamen upon which the strength & security of His Kingdoms depend,” and so forth.

The LORD CHANCELLOR : These are instructions to Governor Duff, not as Governor of Newfoundland, but as Admiral of the Fleet.

Sir JOHN SIMON : Your Lordship is quite right. Without turning them up now you might think it convenient to make a note of those references which will show how the two things are knitted together. In Volume III you will find, at page 1147, the letter of the Secretary of State, Lord Dartmouth, to the Admiralty, discussing what should be done. Ten pages on in Volume III, page 1157, you will find the letter from Lord Darmouth to the Admiralty in the following year, April, 1775, about it, and in the same volume, page 1162, you will find Governor Duff in communication with Sir Guy Carleton about it, and in Volume III at page 1163, you will find Governor Duff in communication with the Secretary of State, Lord Dartmouth about it. What the Lord

p. 289

Chancellor says is perfectly just, what it shows undoubtedly is Admiralty instructions. That is quite just. All I am saying is that it rather helps, if I need further help, to show that the persons who were dealing with this matter in the sixties and seventies of the 18th century—when they talk about the coast of Labrador they were not doing what very naturally suggests itself perhaps to some of us to–day, they were not, as a matter of fact, meaning the coast of Labrador for the purposes of territorial jurisdiction.
I have finished with the green books, I am sure your Lordships will be very glad, at any rate, at present. My friend, Mr.Barrington–Ward, who is going to follow me, is going more particularly to address an argument to the subject of fisheries ; that is a compartment which I am very very glad indeed, amongst others, to leave in his hands.
My other reference to you is to a map. I wish your Lordships to take, as a mere illustration, and I think a striking illustration, one of the maps in the Newfoundland Atlas, a map which is made by a well–known cartographer of the time which you have already looked at, namely Bellin, and as was not uncommon when Mr. Bellin, or other people of that sort, made a map, they accompanied the map by some sort of book which you could buy and read at your leisure. Here is the Book. (Producing same.)

The LORD CHANCELLOR : What is the number of the map?

Sir JOHN SIMON : Bellin's map is No. 12 of the Newfoundland Atlas and it was accompanied by a book which we have got from the British Museum.

Viscount HALDANE : What is the date of it?

Sir JOHN SIMON : 1755, map makers always tend to copy one another. I have here, and it is a very interesting book, the volume from the British Museum, and some extracts from it have been printed and are in the Record. It is called “ Remarques sur la Carte de l'Amerique Septentrionale ” between certain degrees of latitude “ avec une Description Géographique de cette Partie de l'Amerique ” and so on “ Par M. Bellin.” It is published at Paris at the Golden Bible in 1755.

Viscount HALDANE : That is not an official document?

Sir JOHN SIMON : Certainly not. If your Lordship cares to look at the note opposite Map No. 12 you will learn all about Mr. Bellin, he was a very considerable person in the French Officialworld.

The LORD CHANCELLOR : We have gone far beyond the rules of evidence in this case.

Mr. MACMILLAN : You notice I have not intervened at all.
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