p. 384                                            N



No. 88.

AFFIDAVIT OF W. E. SWAFFIELD.


In the Privy Council.


IN THE MATTER of the BOUNDARY between
      the   DOMINION   of   CANADA   and   the
      COLONY  of   NEWFOUNDLAND  in  the
      LABRADOR   PENINSULA.



    I, WILLIAM ERNST SWAFFIELD, of 56 McGill Street, Montreal Canada, Manger of the Hudson's Bay Company's Fur Warehouse at Montreal, make Oath and say as follows: —

    1. I was for 29 years in the service of Hudson's Bay Company on Labrador. I went to Davis Inlet in 1891 as Post Manager. After 9 years there I went to Cartwright for 5 years in the same capacity. I then went to Rigolet for 7 years and to Cartwright again for 8. During those last 10 years of my service on Labrador I was District Manager of the Labrador District consisting of 4 posts, viz: — Cartwright, North West River, Davis Inlet and Rigolet.

    2. As District Manager I visited North West River once a year for inspection. I recall that C.S. Porter & Company of New York established a fur trading post at Cartwright in 1916 at North West River in 1917, and at Rigolet in 1919, and that the Revillon Company established a post at North West River over 20 years ago, which they still maintain.

    3. I always paid duties to the Newfoundland Government for each of the Hudson's Bay Company's posts in my District and so to the best of my knowledge, information and belief, did my predecessor. I base this belief on my recollection of the Companies' books and the fact that when I took over there was no suggestion that the duties had not been or ought not to be paid. The annual payment for the District ranged between $2000 and $5000.

    4. About 1911 a census was taken for the Newfoundland Government and a little later I took a rough census of the two Bays, Sandwich and Eskimo, for the Canadian Government. To the best of my recollection there were about 350 people in Sandwich Bay and about 700 in Eskimo Bay

p. 385

(Hamilton Inlet), this 700 being about equally divided between North West River and Rigolet Sections.

    5. I used to send stores to Mud Lake, a sub-post of North West River, about eighteen miles further up the Bay situate at the entrance of Grand River. Mud Lake is about the end of Salt Water. When the tides come up it "backs up" the River there in its flow outward.

    6. The Indians used regularly to come to Davis Inlet from the interior. Sometimes considerable numbers of them amounting to not less than about 100 came from Ungava Bay and I often did $5000 of trade with them in one session.

    7. Indians used also to come out to North West River every Summer and Winter. In the Summer they would camp there for weeks, make their canoes, dress their deer skins, and do other work and in the Winter they would come out to trade. We opened accounts for many of them and made them advances every Fall against their Winter's catch of fur and the number of them coming out is increasing in recent years.
    Our Company has recently bought the Revillon Company post at North West River and that Company has withdrawn from Labrador altogether.

    8. During all the time I was on [sic] Labrador the Newfoundland Government always prohibited the cutting of timber within a three mile limit from the sea and forbade the Summer fishermen, the permanent settlers, the Eskimos or the Indians to trap for fur out of season.

    9. The permanent residents who numbered on the average some 3000 always subsisted on furring in the Winter. Men, women, and children took part in it, and their hunting took many of them as far as the height of land.

    10. At North West River the tide in the Fall of the year is brackish and the water too salt to be drinkable.

    11. My Company was frequently called upon to relieve distress and when this happened used to recover the money from the Newfoundland Government. Such relief was given not only to the white settlers but also to the Eskimos when required.

    12. The whole of the Hamilton Inlet as far as Goose Bay is navigable by steamers. The Newfoundland Government's mail steamers regularly go to North West River.

SWORN at Montreal Canada this                 WM. E. SWAFFIELD.
  16th day of February 1926.

J.M. KILBOURN..          

[1927lab]


 

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