p. 1019 C
PALLISER TO SHELBURNE,
RECOMMENDING EXTENSION OF REGULATIONS OF ACT OF 10 & 11 WM. III. TO THE COAST OF LABRADOR, ETC.
COL. COR. N. VOL. 3
MY LORD,—I beg Leave to represent to Your Lordship, that as there is no Statute Law for regulating the Fishery on the Coast of Labrador, there seems to be an absolute necessity for a Clause to be inserted in some Act of Parliament, for extending such part of the Act of the 10th & 11th of William 3d to the Coast of Labrador and the Islands now annex'd to the Government of Newfoundland, as respects British Fishing, Ships, without which, the utmost confusion and mischief must immediately ensue, as well amongst a multitude of Lawless Crews from the different Colonies and our Fishers from Britain, as between them and the French in Combination with the Canadians and the Quebec Traders against all the rest, also with ye natives of the Country, for neither I, nor any Officer under me, will venture to interfere and prevent them, not being myself supported or secured from vexatious suits, but on the contrary, have (unheard) been turned over to the Courts of Law, for only moving a few Setlers from thence, who had pretended to take possession of 140 Leagues of that Coast, without any Licence from the King, and by Authority only of a Colonel in the Army,/I therefore beg Leave humbly to submit what is above proposed to Your Lordship's Consideration, and am with great Respect.—
Most Obedient and most
London 24th Febry 1768.—
P.S.—That Your Lordship may Judge of what is above proposed, I take Leave to add my farther reasons for it.
Because by the above mentioned Act, Fishing Ships are described to be Ships from England, Wales, & Berwick, now from Britain.
Because such Ships only are qualified to be Admirals, and they only have a Judicial Authority in the respective Harbours, to decide all Disputes on the
spot in the first instance, and to preserve Peace and Order, and to see the Rules of the Act duly Executed.—
Because such Ships have the Lawfull right to the choice of all Places as they respectively arrive, & are not to be excluded from any.
Because no Person whatever can possess and use any place till such Ships arriving from England, Wales & Berwick (now from Britain) are all Provided.
These and other Powers and Privileges granted by the said Act to Fishing Ships, is what has kept the Fishery in the hands of British Adventurers in Newfoundland, and without a Clause to Establish the same, or some other form of Government for the Fishery in Labrador, the consequences * to be apprehended is* dreadfull,—27 such Ships having established Fisheries there the last Year, and I suppose not less than 50 are now Equiping for that Coast, trusting to their being Protected in their Rights and Privileges, which, under the Authority of my Patent as Governor and the Kings Instructions to me, I assured them of.
To The Right Honble the Earl of Shelburne, one of His Majesty's Principal Secretaries of State.
Endorsed: London 24th Febry 1768.