The Labrador Boundary


Privy Council Documents


Volume XII


Contents








8 Nov., 1926.

Sir John Simon.

The Lord
Chancellor.

8 Nov., 1926.

Viscount
Haldane.

Sir John Simon.

8 Nov., 1926.

Sir John Simon.

8 Nov., 1926.

Sir John Simon.

Viscount
Haldane.

Sir John Simon.

Viscount
Haldane.

Sir John Simon.

Viscount
Haldane.

Sir John Simon.

8 Nov., 1926.

Sir John Simon.

The Lord
Chancellor.

Sir John Simon.

Viscount
Haldane.

Mr. Macmillan.




p. 757

William III did not really apply to the new area. However, that my Lords, is my second point, which I just want to mark down before we come to controversial matters.
The third point which I suggest is also worth noting as a matter of common ground is this, and here I am afraid for the moment Lord Haldane may not be disposed to agree with me, but I am sure he will if I have rightly appreciated how the argument must go ; it ought to be common ground, and on reflection I think it will be common ground : that ever since 1774 in my green area there never has been, and there never could have been, any undistributed middle, if I may presume to use a phrase of formal logic in quite a different sense ; that is to say, in 1774 the Statute threw into Quebec the whole of my green, including any portion, whether it be broad or narrow, which had previously been Newfoundland, and from that moment, Newfoundland was ousted for a certain period of time from the mainland altogether, and any area which Newfoundland might formerly have had, whether it be narrow or broad, was included in the extended Province of Quebec. Now what has happened since ? Nothing whatever has , happened since which could possibly cause the springing up in this green area of a tertium quid, a no–man's–land, an undistributed middle, or whatever you call it, because all that has happened since is——

Viscount HALDANE : I do not call it a No–man's–land.

Sir JOHN SIMON : I quite know ; your Lordship has warned me of that already : there has never been an undistributed area since. From that moment it has either all belonged to Quebec, or all belonged to Newfoundland, or partly belonged to the one and partly belonged to the other.

The LORD CHANCELLOR : I think Mr. Macmillan took that view.

Sir JOHN SIMON : He did, my Lord ; I am only anxious to nail it down, if I may, because, of course, the moment that that is conceded, and what is more important, if I may say so, the moment it is appreciated that must be the logical conclusion, all questions about the Order in Council of 1880 go clean out of the case.

Viscount HALDANE : I am not satisfied yet, but I will hear you about it.

The LORD CHANCELLOR : It all depends on whether, when the boundary is brought up to the Southern boundary of Hudson's Bay, it travels along that boundary to the sea.

Sir JOHN SIMON : Yes, that is quite true.

Viscount HALDANE : Of course, it is clear that, when Quebec was

p. 758

extended in 1825, there was a line drawn which showed what belonged to Quebec.

Sir JOHN SIMON : I appreciated your Lordships would want to have this matter put before you, and we have taken the liberty of preparing for your Lordships inspection, if you will be so good as to look at it, what is my original hand chart with this difference : that we have put upon it, I think in rather a generous way, a band of brown which will indicate what we understand to be the view presented by Mr. Macmillan. His view is that all that Newfoundland got—he concedes it got territory, but all it got was something which was of a certain width,—I am not for a moment discussing a mile or not—which runs round the coast and the inlet with the exception and the curious exception I think, of the largest inlet of them all, and therefore his view would be, that what I have now got marked on this in brown is all that Newfoundland acquired on Labrador in 1763.

Viscount FINLAY : By the brown you mean the fringe to the zone ?

Sir JOHN SIMON : Yes, my Lord. If I may give your Lordships one or two copies, you will see exactly what I mean. I am only concerned to show, what I think must follow, that since at one period in 1774, Newfoundland was expelled from Labrador, and since after that all that has happened is that Quebec has given up as much as Newfoundland has regained, there is not and there never has been, any space between Quebec territory and Newfoundland territory, which could possibly belong to neither the one nor the other.

Viscount HALDANE : In 1825 they gave to Newfoundland all the part not belonging to Quebec ?

Sir JOHN SIMON : Might I put it for a moment in my own way, with your Lordship's kind help. If you would not mind looking at my map, I could explain my meaning on the map very plainly. This is all subject to one observation, which the Lord Chancellor made to me just now, which I thoroughly appreciate. But assume, my Lords, for a moment, if you would, that the uncoloured portion of the chart now before your Lordships, is Hudson's Bay territory—I quite appreciate that that is a separate question, but assume it for the purpose in hand

Viscount FINLAY : You mean to the West ?

Sir JOHN SIMON : Yes, my Lord, the uncoloured portion at the West ; your Lordship is quite right. Then your Lordships remember you get the old Province of Quebec, as defined in 1763, limited by the River St. John running up to its source on the West, and then by a line which unites the head waters of the River St. John, whatever they may be, with Lake St. John, and so forth—my lozenge. Now, my

p. 759

Lords, I may be right or I may be wrong when I suggest that Newfoundland at the same time got the green—indeed, it would be at that moment the green and the pink.

Viscount HALDANE : Are you talking of 1825 ?

Sir JOHN SIMON : No, I am talking of 1763 ; I want to take the things in order. I say I may be right or I may be wrong, my 1763 Newfoundland may be too big (your Lordships will decide), but suppose for the moment it was so small that it is nothing more than the selvedge which I have coloured here in a brown edging—supposing that is all Newfoundland got, then the position in 1763 was this, that Quebec for the moment was nothing more than this slate–coloured lozenge (of course, it is not all shown on this map, it goes down to Quebec and Montreal), and Newfoundland on this view would be nothing more than this little brown trimming or fringe. Then comes 1774. Now 1774, whatever else it does, does this : it expels Newfoundland from Labrador altogether, and it adds to Quebec, not only what Newfoundland had, but everything else which is cut off by running that immense boundary round, you recollect, down to Ohio, the Mississippi, and coming to the boundary of the Hudson's Bay territory ; and it therefore leaves you with this enormous tract all called Quebec. That, therefore, is all Quebec, in 1774 onwards until the next change. Therefore, even if Mr. Macmillan is right when he says that the Newfoundland area was limited to this fringe, the result of 1774 was that the green, the pink, the slate colour and the yellow were all New Quebec. Now what has happened since ? Nothing has happened since except this, that Quebec has lost to Newfoundland what Newfoundland previously had. She has not given anything up to any third party, and consequently if you will now give me back what I formerly had, whether it be merely this narrow fringe which is painted brown, or whether it is the larger area which I claim, it follows necessarily that what I have got, leaves a remnant which is all Quebec. Consequently, there cannot have been between 1774 and the present day any intermediate area which could be the subject matter of an Order in Council in 1880 or otherwise ; the Order in Council in 1880, as Lord Haldane knows very well, was an Order in Council which applied to all the unappropriated land all over British North America. For example it brought into Canada places in the extreme North like Baffin's Land, in enormously high latitudes—it brought in, for all I know, and I think my Lord would say it did bring in, some areas unappropriated or unorganised areas of land. It was not addressed specifically to Labrador at all.

Viscount HALDANE : It was the territory to which the Crown was entitled.

Sir JOHN SIMON : I quite agree. This is where the Lord Chancellor brings in the perfectly just qualification, if I may presume

p. 760

to say so : it may be that it had an operation on something which was previously Hudson Bay ; very likely ; but my point is that if I am discussing as to the appropriation to–day of an area which was not Hudson's Bay, but was in Labrador, it may be Newfoundland to–day, or it may be Quebec to–day, but it is mere want of logic to suggest it could possibly be any third thing to–day, because whatever Quebec has lost to Newfoundland, Newfoundland has got, and whatever Newfoundland has not got from Quebec, Quebec has got.

Viscount HALDANE : But can you assume that—take this 1825 Act—Quebec has got a Western boundary, Quebec has nothing in the green ?

Sir JOHN SIMON : That is right, I think, my Lord.

Viscount HALDANE : Very well. Where do you find that the green has been disposed of by the Crown, except in the original documents of 1763, and what I call the temporary subsequent Statute ?

Sir JOHN SIMON : I am afraid I have not quite conveyed my point to your Lordships. It is my fault entirely. The point is simply this : Was there anything in this area which could be operated on by the Order in Council of 1880 ? That is the question.

Viscount HALDANE : If the Statute was out of the way, so far as it affects it, Quebec had not got it, Newfoundland had not got it, and the Crown had got it.

Sir JOHN SIMON : It is my fault entirely ; your Lordships will forgive me for repeating a little. Your Lordship says, Quebec had not got it, or Newfoundland had not got it ; surely, my Lord, one or the other of them had got it for this reason ; that 1774 threw the green into Quebec, nothing has ever taken it out of Quebec.

Viscount HALDANE : That Statute has gone as regards that, but the boundary of Quebec has been subsequently fixed, in 1825, in a way which precludes Quebec it seems to me coming outside that boundary.

Sir JOHN SIMON : With great respect—it is my fault entirely—I have failed to put what I wish to say. We are just taking the critical dates ; 1763, 1774, 1809 and 1825. In 1763 I quite agree Quebec's boundaries were so limited that, of course, there was a very considerable extent of country outside them, and it is a matter of dispute whether so much of my map as is painted green and pink, being outside Quebec, was at that date inside Newfoundland ; that is the controversy. Be that as it may, quacumque via, when I come to the next matter, 1774, the boundaries of Quebec are so extended, that you get Quebec now running right up to the water's edge, the whole way round there, and

p. 761

therefore in 1774, 1775, and 1776 and so on, the green area beyond any question, is Quebec, and so is the pink area.

The LORD CHANCELLOR : You recognise that you are not dealing with Mr. Macmillan's point that in 1763, as set up by the Proclamation of 1763, the back part of your green area was in reserve for the Indians.

Sir JOHN SIMON : That, of course, I am going to deal with under the subject of, What is the Indian Country ? The point I am making is merely that I want to get this Order in Council of 1880 clean out of the case, because, with very great respect, I think it is plain it cannot have anything to do with it. The Lord Chancellor is pointing out the distinction—I quite understand there will be a very important discussion as to whether the Indian country, an expression which I think I can quite easily expand into a different area, includes anything in the green ; if it does, so much the worse for me. But my point merely is, my Lords, that so far as any Order in Council goes, which issued in 1880, any area in the British North American Continent, that was not inside a Province, was put into Canada. That cannot have had any operation in this area, because if I pass from 1774 onwards, the whole area was Quebec ; when I come to 1809, as Lord Haldane has just kindly pointed out, it is perfectly true there was a cutting off from Quebec of a something, and when I come to 1825, there is a returning from Quebec of so much of Quebec as formerly was Newfoundland, but it leaves Quebec with everything that was not formerly Newfoundland ; consequently the Order in Council of 1880 does not touch the point, though, of course, what has been said by the Lord Chancellor, Lord Haldane, and other members of the Board about the question as to whether any portion of my green is to be regarded as the Indian country, is a very important question indeed.

Viscount HALDANE : It is only important for the purpose of showing why they wished to retain that territory unallotted. You must remember that here the Crown has the whole, and it was disposing of it progressively, and these Statutes were successive stages in the disposition. See what it says in 1825.

Mr. MACMILLAN : I do not know if it would be of any assistance if I were to offer a word now ; my learned friend invites me to do so, because he has put it on common ground. I think the position was this, on our side, as contrasted with Sir John Simon's, that in 1763, there were four persons or four bodies interested in the Labrador Peninsula : Hudson's Bay, Newfoundland, Quebec and the Indian Reservation. My learned friend eliminates the fourth one, and says there were three persons interested only. After 1774 our primary position is that there were three persons there, Hudson's Bay, Quebec and Indians.

[1927lab]




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