The Labrador Boundary


Privy Council Documents


Volume XII


Contents








9 Nov., 1926.

The Lord
Chancellor.

Sir John Simon.

Viscount Finlay.

Sir John Simon.

Lord
Warrington.

Sir John Simon.

9 Nov., 1926.

Sir John Simon.

9 Nov., 1926.

The Lord
Chancellor.

Sir John Simon.

The Lord
Chancellor.

Sir John Simon.

Mr. Macmillan.

Sir John Simon.

9 Nov., 1926.

Sir John Simon.

Mr. Macmillan.

Lord
Warrington.

Sir John Simon.

9 Nov., 1926.

Sir John Simon.

Viscount Finlay.

Sir John Simon.





p. 857

The LORD CHANCELLOR : In this paragraph it says, "All the lands lying about the Great Lakes and beyond the Sources of the Rivers which fall into the River St. Lawrence," it is not "Beyond the Rivers," but "Beyond the sources."

Sir JOHN SIMON : That is quite true, my Lord.

The LORD CHANCELLOR : Then in the next paragraph you get this as the boundary, "On the North West It will be bounded by a Line drawn South from the River St. John's in Labrador by the heads of those rivers which fall into the River St. Lawrence." If you take those words, "Sources" and "Heads," it rather looks as if it might be not beyond the Rivers themselves, so to speak, but above the sources and heads of the rivers.

Sir JOHN SIMON : It is quite possible.

The LORD CHANCELLOR: It may be that one ought to have put some emphasis on the word "Rivers." Of course, if you do that, you really start at the St. John River.

Sir JOHN SIMON : You do. I have taken the view myself, my Lord Chancellor, and I think what you are putting is the same view (I suggest it for consideration) that on one reading of these words, it might very well be right to bring in what I have sometimes called my yellow. I do not mean the yellow on the big chart, but the yellow on my little hand chart ; whereas on another view, "the Indian country" would not extend even to that, but in neither view, in my respectful submission, is it carried into any area which is material to me.

Viscount FINLAY : It is a little obscure for a precise boundary, but does it really much matter for the present purpose ? We do not at all doubt that the Indian country was a sort of definition

Sir JOHN SIMON : I do not think it matters at all ; and when I ask your Lordships' attention, as I shall have to do quite briefly, both to the way in which this was dealt with as an executive act—at present this is mere advice, but it was followed up by executive action in respect of both the Indian lands in the Southern and the Northern areas—and there are the maps, and really, when you examine the maps, it is not open to question that Labrador has got nothing to do with it at all.

Lord WARRINGTON : It looks rather as if they were dealing not with Labrador at all, because that is referred to on page 909 as being something already done.

Sir JOHN SIMON : Yes, my Lord. That is why I thought it was important to call attention to the fact that when they start on this topic, it is regarded as an entirely new topic.

Lord WARRINGTON : They are dealing with something different.

p. 858

Sir JOHN SIMON : Yes ; they have got rid of Labrador, and now they are dealing with a totally different subject matter. Your Lord- ship remembers that at the bottom of that page, 910, you get this further reference : "In order however that Yr Majesty may judge with the greater 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."

Viscount FINLAY : Have we got that ?

Sir JOHN SIMON : Yes, my Lord ; it is No. 27 in the Canadian Atlas, but whether an inspection of it makes it so absolutely clear is another thing.

The LORD CHANCELLOR : What is the actual date of this map ? It is evidently just after 1763.

Sir JOHN SIMON : Yes, my Lord. This is, as your Lordship sees, a map by Bowen, but in spite of the note which has been made on the face of it, which you will see just above the word "Atlantic" in "Atlantic Ocean" and which says "The chart which accompanied the report," and so on ; and in spite of the careful enquiry which has been made, which I quite accept in all good faith, I rather wonder whether or not these can be the actual colours of it. If you inspect it, you can see in a sense what the Indian Country is, because you carry your eye up the Mississippi, and you come across something or other, whatever it may be, which is the Hudson's Bay boundary in the present case, rather suggesting that it was this straight line which your Lordships remember occurs in some maps. You get the great lakes, and you get, around them, the names of the tribes, like the Sioux, and the Algonguins—Your Lordships will notice where they are put. They are put round between Lake Superior and Lake Huron. Then the Iroquois are put between Lake Michigan and Lake Huron, and there is a whole series of names further down in the conquered country, and so on. I apprehend that if you looked at this map, you might not unreasonably say : "Without getting a precise boundary, I know that the boundary of the Indian country is the Mississippi, the Southern boundary of Hudson's Bay." And would your Lordships observe that on this map the actual expression is "Southern Boundary" ; the word "Southern" is used. So that when I get a description, I am a little disposed to think that it means some portion of the boundary thus marked ; and I find that that runs very nearly—though, I agree not quite—to the corner of the pink. Then you get the Province of Quebec, and then you get a boundary which is the boundary of the thirteen ancient colonies, and then at the bottom you get Florida.

p. 859

The LORD CHANCELLOR : Again you get the clear distinction between the St. Lawrence River, which is above Anticosti, and the Gulf which is below.

Sir JOHN SIMON: You do, my Lord ; and I think your Lordship was justified in saying that my acceptance of the view that the St. Lawrence River runs up as far as the Western end of Anticosti may perhaps, on some of the maps at any rate, have been carrying it a little far. The practice is not consistent ; but I made the concession because I think for the purpose of any point in the case we might take that. It would not hurt me..

The LORD CHANCELLOR : In your Geologist's map it is put higher up. You have a series of them somewhere.

Mr. MACMILLAN : I produced some maps.

The LORD CHANCELLOR : Yes ; when you were arguing the Hamilton Inlet point. There is a map of the St. Lawrence River which makes the St. Lawrence cease there.

Sir JOHN SIMON : I think you cannot settle it at any moment, and I do not know why you should. When you come to describe the limits of a harbour in the United Kingdom you get all sorts of curious and rather artificial lines, determining, for instance, what is the Thames and what is something else.
But, reading the documents of 1763, it is hardly possible to suppose that a map of this sort, dealing with these very severe anxieties which prevailed in the summer of 1763 in reference to the Illinois and the Federated Nations and the Confederacy, and those forts which were up here in the heart of the United States—it is hardly possible to suppose that they were harking back to a frozen area where there were no forts, and which at that time was not regarded as being of any value to anybody, and where, as far as I know, there was never any systematic relation between the French and these people at all.

Mr. MACMILLAN : I do not know whether your Lordships would allow me to call attention to the use of the phrase "the mouth of the River St. Lawrence" in the Proclamation on page 153 of Volume I, because I think that is very relevant on this particular matter. It is in the same Proclamation, and it is called "the mouth of the River St. Lawrence," and it is "by the west end of the Island of Anticosti." I do not know that it is a concession.

Sir JOHN SIMON : I beg your pardon for calling it a concession. All that I meant was that I was not seeking to dispute it. I will give you another, if you like.

p. 860

Mr. MACMILLAN : As many as you like.

Sir JOHN SIMON : I will give you this one : You will find a passage in which Cape Rosieres is described as being at the mouth of the River St. Lawrence.

Mr. MACMILLAN : I think I had already called attention to that. I cannot regard that as a concession, either. Now, perhaps, you will give me something which is of value.

Sir JOHN SIMON: I can only offer you the truth, and although the truth is valuable, it is not valuable to Canada.

Lord WARRINGTON : Do you say that the rivers which are referred, to there, the rivers falling into the St. Lawrence, mean the Rivers to the west of the River St. John ?

Sir JOHN SIMON : I think so, my Lord.

Lord WARRINGTON : The rivers on the pink part of that map.

Sir JOHN SIMON : Yes, my Lord. There are two views, as my Lord Sumner said just now. One view would be this, and as far as one can take a view apart from being a mere advocate—I do not know whether one can—it seems to me to be rather an attractive view. There is a great deal to be said for the view that the description of this land which was around the great lakes and beyond the sources of the rivers, is really to be regarded as meaning "trans" or "ultra" as opposed to "cis." It is like saying "Trans-alpine Gaul" instead of "Cis-alpine Gaul." It depends upon the point from which you are paragraph immediately above, or two other passages in the same document which do not give rise to this difficulty at all. looking. That is confirmed by the reference to "westward" in the paragraph immediately above, or two other passages in the same document which do not give rise to this difficulty at all. the

Viscount FINLAY : I do not see how you apply the Trans-alpine and Cis-alpine analogy to this.

Sir JOHN SIMON : I was endeavouring to explain it, my Lord. The point is this, at line 19 on page 910 in Volume III—

Lord. WARRINGTON : They fulfil both the conditions. They lie around the Great Lakes and are limited to this side.

Sir JOHN SIMON : Yes, my Lord. I should like Lord Finlay to see it, because I know he takes an interest in these classical analogies. It is only a suggestion, but I think myself that there is a good deal in 35 it. The question, my Lord Finlay, if I may put it in that way, is : What exactly are you to understand, in line 19, by the word "beyond?"

p. 861

Viscount FINLAY : Yes.

Sir JOHN SIMON : Now, if you regard yourself as one of the Lords of Trade who is describing this Indian country (which you already have described, you know, as being in the heart of the continent and around the Great Lakes), may it not be that the description here, "all the lands lying about the Great Lakes and beyond the Sources of the Rivers which fall into the River St. Laurence from the north," really means' that if you proceeded from here, you would have to pass those rivers in older to get into the country in question. In that sense it is exactly like the way in which a Roman administrator spoke of Gaul on this side of the Alps or Gaul on the other side of the Alps or beyond the Alps. But it does not very much matter, because, upon any view— I think I have made the point plainly and I will not repeat it—it does not invade my green area at all.

Viscount FINLAY : I do not know what difference it makes, but it seems to me that you are supposed to be going up the rivers which fall into the river St. Lawrence from the north.

Sir JOHN SIMON : Undoubtedly that is true, my Lord, yes.

Viscount FINLAY : Then you would get beyond their sources.

Sir JOHN SIMON : Yes, my lord. The whole question is, whether you are to regard yourself as travelling up the river or standing on this side of it.

Viscount FINLAY : Travelling up the river, certainly.

Sir JOHN SIMON : Your Lordship has your view, and I have nothing more to say. It seems to me to be rather doubtful which it is, but it does not matter to my case, I think.
Now, the next document is on page 915, where again you see this interesting conflict of view as to what was the right policy. On page 915 I have now got, in my chronological statement, to July the 14th, 1763. Let me remind the Board, if I may, of what it is that happens. The Lords of Trade have said : "We think that the Province of Quebec should be this lozenge-shaped, slate-coloured province," such as your Lordships remember that I have got there ; and the Secretary of State, taking the name of the King, is saying : "Everything that you have said is very good, and of course I quite agree that we ought to preserve this interior country and not allow it to be the subject of private acquisition or settlement ; but ought you not to throw the interior country, the yellow, inside the boundaries of Quebec ?"
That leads me to repeat what I ventured to say to your Lordships yesterday afternoon, that there is surely a very great fallacy in supposing that you are depriving the natives of any rights that they may have in hunting grounds or the like, merely because.

[1927lab]




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