The Labrador Boundary


Privy Council Documents


Volume XII


Contents








8 Nov., 1926.

Sir John Simon.

8 Nov., 1926.

Sir John Simon.

8 Nov., 1926.

Sir John Simon.

8 Nov., 1926.

Sir John Simon.

8 Nov., 1926.

Sir John Simon.





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foundland.” That being his petition, if your Lordship just glances over the next two or three pages (I need not delay, because my learned friend Mr. Barrington–Ward read it) you will see on page 1963 that it is done.The point of it is this : not that that is Labrador, but that it is a claim put forward, acknowledged and made good under the ambit of the Statute 10 and 11 William III.

Mr. MACMILLAN : No, it is not inconsistent with that Act.

Sir JOHN SIMON : I think my learned friend is right : “ To be not inconsistent with that Act.” It is no good reading 10 and 11 William III as though it gave exclusive protection to cod. The truth is that even before there was any question of Labrador, there were other fisheries which, side by side with cod, were being established in this part of the world. I take as my second instance in Volume III the case of Cartwright. This again your Lordship has had a reference to, and I will not delay. It is page 1059. There were two people called Cartwright, and this was George. This was a long petition. I can pick out what matters in it very briefly, and it is very important. It was a memorial of George Cartwright which showed : “ In the spring of the year 1770, when no British subject in Labrador would venture to reside farther northward than Chatteau Bay ”–your Lordship remembers where that is–“ and the islands immediately adjacent, your Lordships' Memorialist, at great hazard and expence settled himself in the River Charles on the said Coast, in order to establish Seal and Salmon Fisheries ; to fish for Cod : to carry on the Furring Business ; to open a friendly and Commercial intercourse with the Esquimaux Indians with whom we were then upon very bad terms ; and to commence, if possible, a Shore Whale–fishery.” Having set that out, in the following pages he deals with the different kinds of fishery, and on page 1061 he says : “ The Salmon Fisheries of Labradore are extremely numerous.” I think your Lordship has already had that paragraph, and on page 1062 he deals with the furring business. Then on page 1063 he talks of the importance of the English getting sealing and salmon fishing crews, and so on. The consequence of it all is this : if you look at page 1066 you will see that these having come before the authorities at home–I remember the Lord Chancellor pointing out that this was a document addressed to the authorities at home–it is endorsed, do you observe, “ Newfoundland,” it was docketed or ticketed at the end. On page 1070 you get the way in which it is dealt with by the Lords of Trade to whom it had been referred. Page 1069 begins : “ Representation of Lords of Trade to the King upon Memorials presented by Cartwright,” and so on ; and the way in which it is dealt with is this. There is a very remarkable passage on page 1070, “ That having been attended by the several Memorialists in person, and entered fully into an examination of the nature and circumstances of the Fisheries for Seal and Salmon in the rivers and bays upon the Coast of Labrador ”–observe the rivers upon the coast of Labrador–“ as likewise of the

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Fishery for Cod by Ships fitted out from Great Britain, it does appear to us from the different Seasons proper for these Fisheries, and the different modes of carrying them on, that they may not only be conducted without interruption and detriment to each other, but that the only method of making these undertakings an object of Consideration to the Public, or of advantage to Individuals concerned in them, will be by thus carrying them on in connection with each other by Ships annually fitted out from Great Britain.” The idea was that these annual excursions from Great Britain would be excursions by people who were going to fish salmon as well as cod. “ And as it does further appear to be manifest that actual residence and continued possession are essentially necessary to the carrying on the Seal and Salmon Fisheries on the Coast of Labrador ”–we shall see in a moment whose business it was to deal with this actual residence on the Coast of Labrador–“ We beg Leave humbly to submit to your Majesty the following regulation as proper for securing the possessions of persons concerned in the said resident Fisheries of Seal and Salmon on the above coast, namely, That such of Your Majesty's Subjects of Great Britain and Ireland who have taken or shall hereafter take such actual possession in any of the Rivers and Bays ”–no sort of distinction between salinity or marine fauna–“ on the coast of Labrador to the North of the Streights of Bellisle, and who have erected, or shall hereafter erect Houses and Warehouses, and have made or shall hereafter make other Establishments necessary to the carrying on the Seal and Salmon Fisheries, shall be protected in such possession, provided such persons do for the future annually fit out from Great Britain one or more Ship or Ships to be employed in the Cod Fishery on the said Coast of Labradore, and provided also ”–I ask attention to these concluding words, on line 28, on page 1070 –“ and provided also that the greatest care be taken that the Proprietor or Proprietors of such fishing Posts do not claim or occupy a greater Extent of the Coast within the said Bays or Rivers.” There you have, as I think Lord Sumner observed the other day, a phrase that you are not to “ occupy a greater extent of the coast within the rivers.” What does that mean, unless it means that the person who drew up this document conceived the coast, in this connection, as being a slope that went down, through which various rivers might run–“ than shall in the Judgement of Your Majesty's Governor of Newfoundland –”it is in terms treated as a matter in the jurisdiction of Newfoundland–“ or the Officer by him deputed, be thought absolutely necessary in proportion to the Number of Vessels.” I know your Lordships have had that passage before, and I respectfully submit that it is a very striking passage occurring, as it does, in the year 1773 ; that is to say within a very short time, a very few years, in ten years, of the beginning of this very annexation. I have not myself observed any other passage which bore directly on this instance of Cartwright, and I am indebted to my learned friend Mr. Geoffrion for the remaining reference in Volume VI. I am indebted to my learned friend for his candour in reading it, because obviously, so far as it had any bearing upon the case, it was

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entirely opposed to the interests of Canada. At page 2772, of Volume VI, this same man, George Cartwright, in the following year, is reporting what he is doing. Your Lordship sees where we have got to. Cartwright mentions this claim, that he ought to be confirmed in the possession of territory in Labrador for the purposes of a salmon fishery. He is told by the Lords of Trade that his claim is good and that the Government of Newfoundland will grant it. Then on page 2770 of Volume VI you get in the following year his own report to the authorities, and he describes what he has been doing, and all about the salmon season on the Charles River, This man, George Cartwright, was the most important person in Sandwich Bay, an area which my learned friend does not suggest should be taken from me. I want to see what kind of things he is doing there. On page 2771 he gives an account of how he was getting on in his sealing and salmon posts and how he has fixed up a sealing and two salmon posts. Over the page, 2772, at the bottom of the page, George Cartwright is reporting : “ Our Shalloway is this instant returned ”–that is some sort of vessel–“ from Sandwich Bay where she left our Furriers in possession of the Salmon Rivers.” Reading that with the document of the previous year, which is, as we see, to be regarded as the granting of a title which is to be conferred on him through the Governor of Newfoundland, how is it open to serious dispute that salmon, and, for the matter of that, furring is quite as much an affair in this neighbourhood as cod? The third date I selected is 1777. The name of the man is again Irish, like Skeffington, it is Coghlan, and you will find in Volume III, at page 1269, a passage which again my learned friend, Mr. Barrington–Ward, called attention to. I will only deal with it, therefore, in this connection, very briefly. In the year 1777 Coghlan is saying : “ Early in the Government of my very respected good friend, Sir Hugh Pallisser “–he was the Governor of Newfoundland–“ and by His recommendation I was the first English Subject that settled in the Seal Fishery at Chateaux, so long back as the year '65, and finding it most eligible to pursue the Cod and Salmon Fisheries farther North on the said Coast, I fitted out an armed Sloop to guard against the Esquimaux Indians, and having Lord Rutherford on Board, then Lieutenant of the Niger, the late Sir Thomas Adams, Commander at Chateaux, the said Sloop proceeded on a Discovery from the former Port to Cape Charles, Alexis, St. Francis, and Porcupine Bays, on the North Coast of Labrador.” He is referring to Sir Hugh Palliser, and he says Sir Hugh Palliser is the man who has encouraged him to do this, and he is describing how he went to various places on the Coast of Labrador, which he names, Cape Charles, Alexis, St. Francis, Porcupine Bay on the Coast of Labrador, “and on her return encouraged by Sir Thomas Adams “–he was the deputy–“ I communicated my intentions to Sir Hugh Palliser of Settling a Residence at the former places, for the purpose of carrying on a Cod and Salmon Fisheries, in whose answer to me on the occasion he says ‘ pursue

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your undertakings on the Coast of Labrador which are highly recommendary to me, and no after Commer, shall dispossess you’”. That is, the Governor of Newfoundland was saying that. “ Still the Difficulty of getting Proper people at that time to reside at the said Places was a hard task, however in 1769, being join'd by a Captain Cartwright, of the Army, and a Lieut. Lucas of the Navy, who were acquainted on the Coast, we formed a Settlement at Cape Charles, and fitted out an Armed Schooner to go among the Northern Tribe of the Esquimaux Indians to trade, the said Schooner having been unluckily lost, and Lieut. Lucas in her, who was a Man of Honour, I thought it most advisable to dissolve my connections with Mr. Cartwright having been subject to a heavy loss, each Persons settlements being allotted on the Coast of Labrador ”–the two partners separated ; one partner got his settlement at one point, and the other partner got his settlement at the other point : –“he remained with Cape Charles and Sandwich Bay Rivers, confirmed by Lord Dartmouth, then at the head of the Board of Trade, and I kept possession of Alexis and the other Rivers to Porcupine Bay, a little at this side of Mr. Cartwright ” ; and he gives a description of what he is doing. It follows, therefore, quite plainly, I think, from the instance of Mr. Coghlan, that with regard to the Alexis and other rivers–and there are a series of them ; they run down to the sea just south of the exit of Hamilton Inlet–there is no question, I should apprehend, that as a matter of fact all parties treated this area as an area in which salmon fishery and seal fishery and the occupation of rivers, establishing yourself to that extent inland, was perfectly within the jurisdiction of the Governor of Newfoundland.
I will give your Lordships one other instance, in 1821, and then I am content to pass from the point ; I could give more. In 1821, you find in Volume III, at page 1222, a passage which again my friend Mr. Geoffrion read this morning. I am not myself clear what was the purpose in support of any case of Canada for which it was read ; it appears to me to be a very strong instance the other way. This is Captain William Martin, who is a gentleman who was sent by a Governor Hamilton to explore Hamilton Inlet–this very area of water about which we are talking. If you will turn back to page 1215, you will see the origin of it. My learned friend Mr. Geoffrion did not refer to page 1215. This is in the year 1820. Now from 1809 onwards, Newfoundland was the authority over an area–I suggest over the green, but whether over the green or not, in 1820 this is what is happening. Governor Hamilton, the Governor of Newfoundland, is reporting to Lord Bathurst, who was Colonial Secretary : “ My Lord, it has also been represented to me that there is an extensive inlet on the coast of Labrador called Gross Water ”–now Gross Water is one of the names by which Lake Melville goes–“ which is said to abound with very fine fir Timber fit for Naval purposes, and it is my intention, if the force sent out will admit of it, to employ Captain Buchan whose experience and abilities are well adapted to such an expedition on this service next summer. I have lately heard that he is safely moored and covered over in the River Exploits.”

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Lord WARRINGTON : I was looking at Martin's report ; which is the one you are reading ?

Sir JOHN SIMON : I was reading at page 1215, as showing how it came about that there was an exploration of the Hamilton Inlet. The explanation is that at page 1215 Governor Hamilton was reporting to Lord Bathurst that there was this extensive inlet on the Coast of Labrador called Gross Water ; and Gross Water is an alias for Lake Melville. He is saying : “ I am going to send one of my naval officers to explore it.” The officer he did send was Captain William Martin, and now see what this gentleman, Captain William Martin, reports to his chief, Sir Charles Hamilton. He says at page 1222: “ I arrived in the entrance of this inlet the 12th instant, having but light and variable winds ” ; then he gives some navigating details, and then he says, at line 13 : “ From the 13th to the 23rd I have been employed in ascertaining the extent and source of this inlet." That is this very thing which my friend wants to call a lake: " I run up in the Brig 140 miles from N.N. W.” It runs about 140 miles inland.

Lord WARRINGTON : I think 140 miles goes to the entrance of Goose Bay.

Sir JOHN SIMON : Yes. There can be no doubt what this navigator was doing. Then he says : “ Thence I proceeded in a shallop (which a Canadian merchant kindly offer to accompany us) with Canoes to the source, where we arrived at a Grand Waterfall or rapids.” Those were the Grand Falls of the River Hamilton, which I suppose were then for the first time visited by a white man. That, of course, is not merely the head of Hamilton Inlet ; it is going up the River. There is a great fall of water at a point your Lordship appreciates which I need not indicate on this model, but it is higher up. I do not think on my little hand chart it is actually indicated, but I can tell your Lordships approximately where it is. If I am not mistaken, it is about the word “ Hamilton ” in the description “ Hamilton or Grand River.”

Mr. MACMILLAN : At the letter “H” of “Hamilton.”

Sir JOHN SIMON : Yes, between the “H” and the “M” ; I am not quite sure. It is somewhere near the first syllable of the word “Hamilton” in the inscription “ Hamilton or Grand River.” What this officer is doing, therefore, is this : the Governor of Newfoundland reports to Lord Bathurst that there is a great inlet and that he proposes in the next year to have it properly explored and surveyed. You then get his deputy, Captain Martin, going up and making this report and nobody can doubt that from the point of view of the navigator acting for the Government of Newfoundland he, at any rate, imagined that he was going upon an arm of the sea, and then he got up to, as my Lord says, Goose Bay perhaps.

[1927lab]




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