p. 1497 N
[Enclosure 1 in No. 555.]
CHAS. HUNT TO LORD STANLEY.
Old Broad St., 10th march, 1842.
On behalf of the Merchants engaged in Fisheries on the Coast of Labrador, I beg to call Your Lordship's attention to the accompanying Copies of their Memorials to Your Lordship's Predecessor complaining of an attempt by the Authorities of Newfoundland to levy Colonial duties on the Labrador Coast. The facts stated in the Memorial are briefly as follows.
That the Coast of Labrador is not at all referred to in the Royal Commission authorising the formation of a Colonial Legislature in Newfoundland and is not included in either of the Electoral Districts into which that Colony is divided. That no part of the Revenue of Newfoundland has ever been laid out in Labrador. That no public Officer whatever of Justice, Police or otherwise (except the Collector of Customs) resides on that Coast or is even sent thither. That the British Fishermen have little more than a concurrent right in Labrador with those of the United States, the latter having by Treaty permission to fish on any part of the Coast, of which they avail themselves largely, and at the same time engage in trading with goods on which no duties are or can be levied. The effect therefore of exacting duties from the British Merchant, is simply that of encouraging the American fisheries and injuring our own. Your Lordship will observe that the reply of Lord J. Russell states merely his belief that Labrador as a dependency of Newfoundland is legally subject to the duties levied in that Colony. Admitting that this view is correct which the Memorialists are advised is not the case) they would beg Your Lordship's interference under the circumstances above mentioned, to take such steps as may be necessary for their relief. In the meantime I am to request your Lordship will cause instructions to be sent to the Governor of Newfoundland to desist from the attempt to enforce payment of the duties complained of, which His Excellency last season intimated through the Collector of Customs his intention of doing in the coming Season, and as the Vessels engaged in Labrador Fisheries will leave this Country during April and May, I would respectfully beg your Lordship's early attention to the subject.
I remain, &c.,
(Signed) CHAS. HUNT.
The Rt. Hon. Lord Stanley,