The Labrador Boundary

Privy Council Documents

Volume XII


12 Nov., 1926.

Sir John Simon.

12 Nov., 1926.

Sir John Simon.

12 Nov., 1926.

Sir John Simon.


Sir John Simon.

12 Nov., 1926.

Sir John Simon.

12 Nov., 1926.

Sir John Simon.

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the long document, where you will find, about the middle of page 4, this paragraph : "The Paper (Appendix A) contains a description of the several lines as agreed upon in the negotiations to which we refer ; and to the end, your Majesty may have a more perfect view of them, we have annexed to such description a map (Appendix B) in which we have endeavoured to trace those lines out, with as much accuracy as the general maps of America will admit of." Then following it comes a very important passage, in which the Lords of Trade are saying, to this effect : " If you examine the map, you will notice that this yellow line round by Florida only leaves a comparatively narrow band for British settlement." It cuts very deep, you will see. y But as you pass northerly, when you pass from the yellow to the blue or pink, " You will find," they say, " we have given more elbow room. The middle colonies will be able to push out into the interior, and have a bigger boundary than before."

Viscount FINLAY : By the " middle colonies " I think they mean Carolina ?

Sir JOHN SIMON : They mean North Carolina, South Carolina, and Virginia. The map, your Lordship sees, traces this boundary. Your Lordship will have noticed that the boundary does not quite end so as to cut off an area. It ends at a place called Owege. That was subsequently settled in a document which follows in a moment, principally owing to the efforts of Sir William Johnson at Johnson Hall, where he negotiated with the Indians and made a bargain which carried on the boundary—I have had it traced in detail—to Fort Stanwix.

Viscount FINLAY : Where is that ?

Sir JOHN SIMON : It is not marked. Does your Lordship see where " Mohawk River " is written, which runs into the Hudson just to the east of Lake Ontario. Fort Stanwix, your Lordship will take it, is close by the letter " M" in " Mohawk." Johnson Hall, which is the place where Sir William Johnson lived, and where he met these Indians and negotiated with them, is also on the River Mohawk. You may take it as practically being just at the end of the word " Mohawk." There was a subsequent negotiation which just rounded off that corner.
Your Lordships will remember that in this long document I have read, there was at the bottom of page 3 a reference to a plan for the management of Indian affairs, and I promised to give the reference. The reference is in Volume II, page 840. This is what they referred to as " A plan for the management of Indian affairs prepared by this Board in 1764."

Lord WARRINGTON : The long document was 1768.

Sir JOHN SIMON : Yes. They are referring to something which

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had already happened. They say in the plan prepared three years ago various things happened. We have here the plan.
In Volume II, on page 840, is a plan which is enclosed in the instructions which were sent to Sir Guy Carleton. Will your Lordship turn back to page 820 ; I think it is convenient to begin at that page. Will you observe the date ? The date is the 3rd January, 1775. The Quebec Act of 1774 had just become law. The boundaries of the Province of Quebec had by that Act, as your Lordship knows, been extended from our original slate coloured lozenge, which is on the map over there, so that it included the whole of the yellow as well as taking in the green and the pink. There being this immensely extended area, Sir Guy Carleton has been given new instructions. I will put it in this way. I am really adopting an observation of Lord Haldane. Sir Guy Carleton, who, down to that moment had been what you might call Governor of Lower Canada, was now, whilst still remaining Governor of Quebec, becoming Governor of Upper Canada.

Viscount HALDANE : Right to the west.

Sir JOHN SIMON : It is important to remember that, because you will find in the instructions sent to Sir Guy Carleton, in 1775, the expressions "the interior country" or "the Indian country," or "the upper country" are used indiscriminately. When they talk about these things they are not talking about the things nearer the Atlantic, but things back the other way. If your Lordship takes page 820, I will pick out three or four instances which show it at once. At line 20, on the page there is an extract from the Canadian Archives : " The Board of Trade submitted to the King the draught of a new Commission for Governor Carleton with such formal changes only, as compared with the last, as were required by the terms of the Quebec Act. On December 22nd "—that is only about ten days before the thing was —ssued—" the Board of Trade laid before the King the draught of the General Instructions for Governor Carleton. " This draught" they say " contains not only such instructions as are usually given to other governors, so far as the same are applicable to this Province under its New Constitution of Government ; but also such other directions for the establishment of Judicature ; the reform and regulation of Ecclesiastical matters ; and the arrangements proper to be made " in respect of two areas, in respect of one, ' the Coast of Labrador,' and two, ' the interior country.' " Your Lordship remembers the passage from Lord North's speech in the House of Commons when he introduced the Quebec Bill in which he said, " some Honourable Members have criticised tin Government because they are making Quebec so big," and he said : "We are adding two new countries."

Viscount HALDANE : The interior country was not the interior of Labrador.

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Sir JOHN SIMON : He says two new countries, one of them being the Coast of Labrador, which he calls one of two countries, and the other the interior country. It is something which is now the United States of America.

Viscount HALDANE : A great deal.

Sir JOHN SIMON : It makes up to-day something like five and a half of the States of the Union, if you look at a modern map.

Viscount HALDANE : Did Sir Guy Carleton himself become Lord Dorchester, or his son ?

Sir JOHN SIMON : He himself became Lord Dorchester. My impression was that Graves ultimately become a peer, and I was right : he finished up by being an Irish peer.

Viscount HALDANE : Lord Dorchester was not Lord Dorchester of Dorset, but he was Lord Dorchester of Dorchester, Oxon, which afterwards became famous ecclesiastically.

Sir JOHN SIMON : My learned friend says in 1786 Sir Guy Carleton became Lord Dorchester. If we look at these instructions we have to remember that a man who, down to that moment, had been the Governor administering what might be called Lower Canada, is now getting this immense extension of upper country.

Viscount HALDANE : And away to the south.

Sir JOHN SIMON : And away to the south. I will not trouble about intermediate matters, but will your Lordships turn on to page 832, with that in mind, and see what is the nature of the language used in the instructions to Sir Guy Carleton as soon as Quebec is extended in this way. It is at line 30, at the bottom of the page. "The extension of the limits of the Province of Quebec necessarily calls forth your Attention to a Variety of new Matter and new Objects of Consideration ; The protection and control of the various Settlements of Canadian Subjects, and the regulation of the Peltry Trade"—observe the language "in the upper or interior country," on the one hand ; that is one of the two ; "upper or interior" are rather striking words— "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."

Viscount HALDANE : This took in a good bit of what afterwards became the Northwest territory.

Sir JOHN SIMON : I think my map there puts it quite fairly. Your Lordship will see what I mean. If you take the different colours 1 here it is right; the slate colour was the old Province of Quebec in 1763

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(what I have called inaccurately a lozenge) ; the yellow is the very large extent to the west and south which was involved in the new boundaries. As we know at the same time there was "and also the Coast of Labrador" ; and the question for your Lordships will be whether that did not in the circumstances really mean the green and the pink. At any rate, there is no doubt as to what he means by the upper or interior country, because "upper" means "go up the St. Lawrence" ; it is Upper Canada. I was going to read No. 31 again.

The LORD CHANCELLOR : This has all been read.

Sir JOHN SIMON : I am not stare that the point was made when my learned friend read it. I do not think the point was clearly made ; I did not hear it ; that each one of these posts that is here referred to is right up in the interior country. In the same way—without delaying you —No. 32 deals with the peltry trade of the interior country, and at line 25 speaks of " are fully stated in a plan proposed by our Commissioners." I do not think your Lordship's attention has been called to the plan. The plan is on page 840: " That the Trade and Commerce with the several tribes of Indians in North America under the protection of His Majesty shall be free and open to all His Majesty's subjects, under the several Regulations and Restrictions hereafter mentioned, so as not to interfere with the Charter to the Hudson's Bay Company. That for the better Regulation of this Trade, and the Management of Indian Affairs in general, the British Dominions in North America be divided into two Districts, to comprehend and include the several Tribes of Indians mentioned in the annexed Lists A and B." Then : " That no Trade be allowed with the Indians in the southern District, but within the Towns belonging to the several Trades included in such District ; and that in the Northern District the Trade be fixed at so Many Posts, and in such Situations, as shall be thought necessary." 4 and 5 may not matter. No. 6 : " That the Agent or Superintendent for the Northern District shall be allowed three Deputies," and so on ; " the agent and superintendent for the Southern district two deputies." No. 7 is rather interesting : " That there shall be a Commissary, Interpreter, and Smith "—the Smith, I rather fancy is the armourer, perhaps the gentleman who sharpened the arrows—" appointed by His Majesty to reside in the Country of each Tribe in the Southern District and at each Post in the Northern District."

The LORD CHANCELLOR : He might have been for the horses.

Sir JOHN SIMON : I thought of that, my Lord, but I am not quite sure that the natives had any horses. It is obvious that they would want some assistance of a mechanical kind for sharpening all sorts of tools. On page 845 you get paragraph 42 : "That proper Measures be taken, with the Consent and Concurrence of the Indians, to ascertain and define the precise and exact Boundary and Limits of

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the Lands, which it may be proper to reserve to them, and where no Settlement whatever shall be allowed." That is the thing that was being done so elaborately three years afterwards by this map. That fits the whole thing together. Then, my Lord, on the last page, 846, you get the list of Indian Tribes in the northern and then in the southern districts. The first six under List A are what were sometimes called the Iroquois, the Mohocks, and so on. The rest, my Lord, are what we call the western confederacy. The southern district contains those people who are mentioned more elaborately in the report I have referred to, document No. 19 in my new documents, and your Lordship notices that there are no Esquimaux, Naskopis and Montagnais at all.

Lord WARRINGTON : Algonquins are mentioned.

Sir JOHN SIMON : They are certainly mentioned. If your Lord-ship would like to see what is presumably meant I will take a much later document which has the advantage that it comes from Canadian official sources and is in Volume VIII at page 3731. This is much later, but apparently some census of a general sort was taken, surveying the whole North American continent in 1870. Your Lordship has only been given a small extract. My learned friends have provided us with the map, and when I look at the map I can see what the Algonquins are supposed to be ; they are No. 11.

Viscount HALDANE : It is marked " Census of 1881 " at the bottom of page 3731.

Sir JOHN SIMON : Has your Lordship the map ?

Viscount HALDANE : I have the census, and I have the map in front of me.

Sir JOHN SIMON : If your Lordship would kindly look at the bottom right-hand corner you will see it says : " Accompanies Census of Canada, 1870-71."

Viscount HALDANE : It may be that the census took a long time to make.

The LORD CHANCELLOR : On page 3729 it is headed " Census 1871."

Sir JOHN SIMON : I am not for a moment so much on the date ; I am merely asking your Lordships to observe what at any rate on this map is regarded as the area of the Algonquins. Though it may be perfecly true that as a matter of racial origin or similarity you may regard them as cousins or illustrations of some more widely spread stock (I dare say it is so), the question is whether it is reasonable to suggest that in the list attached to the plan which I have just read


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