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LETTER FROM F. ROGER TO SIR E. HEAD AND OTHERS.
5th December, 1863.
I am directed by the Duke of Newcastle to acquaint you that His Grace has had under his consideration the Act of the Legislature of Newfoundland Cap. 1 of 1863, against which you have remonstrated, so far as it provides for the imposition and collection of duties on the Coast of Labrador.
His Grace did not see anything in the various representations which he has received in opposition to this Act, which would have justified the unusual and expensive course of discussion before Her Majesty's Privy Council.
On the constitutional objections made to this Act, His Grace consulted the law officers of the Crown, who are of opinion that it is competent to the Legislature of Newfoundland to pass laws binding on the coast of Labrador, and His Grace thinks it by no means unjust, but to the contrary, that a revenue should be levied there sufficient to defray the expense incurred or which ought to be incurred by the Government on that coast.
With respect to the machinery of the Act, the Commissioners of Customs, to whom that point was referred, are of opinion that the provisions of the law are not necessarily oppressive.
Consequently, His Grace has not felt at liberty to advise that Her Majesty's Council should dissolve this Act, which accordingly has been left to his operation. At the same time he considers that if taxes are to be imposed by the Newfoundland Legislature on persons inhabiting the Labrador coast, these persons should be enabled to send representatives to the Newfoundland Assembly, and His Grace has accordingly recommended to the Governor, that the Act regulating the Representation should be so altered as to effect this object, so far as it can be effected by some alteration to the law.
I am, etc.,
(Signed) FREDERICK ROGER.
Rt. Hon. Sir E. HEAD, Bart.,
JOSHUA LE BAILLY, Esq.,
Sir R. P. COLLIER, Q.C., M.B.,
Messrs. HUNT & HENLEY.