REPORT 0F GENERAL SUPERINTENDENT ON PROTECTION OF FISHERIES ON COAST OF LABRADOR (FARMS).
COLONIAL OFFICE RECORD 197/45. JOURNAL OF
THE ASSEMBLY, NEWFOUNDLAND. Appendix.
Copy of Report of the General Superintendent of Fisheries on the Protection of the Fisheries on the Coast of Labrador, and in the Straits of Belle Isle, during the summer of 1867.
31st October, 1867.
I have the honour to report for the information of His Excellency the Governor, that on receipt of the mails for Labrador per R.M.S. “Delta” for which the “Brilliant” had been delayed, I lost no time in getting her under way and sailed on the 9th July.
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On enquiring what these fishermen did when the fishery partially failed, I was glad to hear that the greater part of them had small farms which yielded them no small profits. It is to be regretted that all of our people are not similarly situated. I cannot conceive how so many of them are in continual poverty, dependent on the Government [year] by year, while their neighbours, who have no better chances to rise, are tolerably well off, unless it be that their habitual indolence and improvidence are the causes; for if the thousands of acres of fine land on this coast were cultivated and attended to by our poorer classes, Newfoundland would be in a flourishing condition.
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16th. Left L'Anse Amour at 5 a.m. and arrived Forteau 1 p.m. Visited the lighthouse which cost £20,000 and found everything in excellent order. The keeper, Mr. Blamfield, is a worthy man and has been in charge 12 years. The captains of H.M. ships, who have called at this place, speak of him in the highest terms. By his industry he has shown what can be done in respect of husbandry and he now enjoys the fruits of his labours. Our people have the benefit of this light as well as that of Belle Isle, and I hope they know how to appreciate it.
17th. Left Forteau and steered East.
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While I was on Belle Isle, His Excellency the Governor visited the Labrador. If I had seen him it would have afforded me much pleasure to have taken him up some of the bays and rivers, where it would be unsafe for a man-of-war to venture.
I have the honour, etc.,
The Honble. John Bemister,