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REPORT OF J. WINTER ON THE LABRADOR REVENUE SERVICE, 1865.
COLONIAL OFFICE RECORDS 197/41. JOURNAL OF THE ASSEMBLY, NEWFOUNDLAND. Appendix.
Report of J. Winter, Esq., on Labrador Revenue Service for 1865.
24th November, 1865.
I have the honour to report as follows on the Labrador Revenue Service, 1865.
[July 15th.] Arrived at Rigoulette. Here the Hudson Bay Company have a branch establishment and agent. We were obliged to wait here for the “Jaques Carter,” which we had left at Cartwright. She came into Rigoulette but landed no part of her cargo here, and proceeded for N.W. River. We left Rigoulette together and arrived in company at N.W. River, 30th—the Hudson Bay Company's chief establishment is here, and I caled on the agent for the duties per “Jacques Cartier.” He at first refused to pay, stating that his principal Mr. Smith, had said that he considered N.W. River beyond the jurisdiction of Newfoundland. As my instructions were to the contrary, I told him I could not allow the goods to go out of my possession until the duties were paid, which he at length consented to do under protest.
August 2. Returned to Rigoulette. Here we found the barque “Ocean Nymph” had arrived to the Hudson Bay Company from London with a general cargo. Mr. Smith, the head agent, came in her as a passenger, he had left Rigoulette for N.W. River in a boat and passed us in the night. I immediately put an officer on board the vessel, and the captain and a clerk came on board and reported the vessel and cargo and gave me an account of the goods already landed.
I then called on the agent Mr. Groves, and requesed him to allow me to examine the goods landed, and to pay the duties. He refused to do either. I told him that I would allow nothing to be landed from the vessel until the duties were paid. He said his instructions were to have the goods for
Rigoulette landed and put into the stores, to be locked up and to keep the keys, and that the goods for N.W. River were to be put on board a schooner and sent there. I then gave orders to the officer on board to allow nothing to leave the vessel. This had the effect of bringing the captain on board with a view to making an arrangement. The captain fully understood his position and the justice of the course I had taken, but represented the serious consequence of delaying the vessel. I accordingly made an offer, which, considering all the circumstances of the case, I thought most advisable, viz:—to make a warehouse of the stores for the goods landed and to be landed at Rigoulette, an account to be taken of all the goods put there, and two locks to be put on the doors, the agent having one key and I the other. The goods for the N.W. River to be put on board the schooner and left in my charge until released by payment of duties.
This arrangement was at once accepted, and the discharging proceeded without any interruption by us. We were obliged to stay here while the vessel was discharging. While here the “Lalla Rookh” Capt. Dodge, from Boston, arrived, and was entered and paid duties. She proceeded to N.W. River and in a few days returned to Rigoulette with Mr. Smith on board. After he landed, I called upon him. He said he expected me up in the “Lively” with the goods on board. I told him that the goods having been landed at Rigoulette, and shipped into another vessel, which wag an importation at that place, I could not run the risk of allowing the goods to leave Rigoulette before the entries were passed and the duties paid or secured. He then stated that the greater part of the goods for N.W. River were intended to be sent 200 or 300 miles into the interior for the Indians and the remainder, except a small quantity, were to be sent to Hudson Bay. These articles, being intended for consumption out of our jurisdiction, he asked me to allow them to pass through overland, by way of N.W. River, without payment of duty. This, I told him, the law would not permit me to do, there being no provision to meet such cases. He then produced invoices of the goods, corresponding in all respects, with what had been landed from the vessel, and gave me a bill for the amount of the duty, but under protest as regards three-fifths, this being, as he alleged, the proportion intended to be sent out of our jurisdiction.
The amount received from the Hudson Bay Company this year was large, and the first, except a small amount last year, that has been collected from them. The large importation this year may be accounted for partly by an increase in their trade, but chiefly from their importing two or three years' stock of many articles at once. This will, of course, lead to a comparatively small collection from that Company the ensuing year or two.
Having now reached our northern limit, we left Rigoulette on the 21st August, having been detained here till this time, waiting for the discharge of the “Ocean Nymph” and in getting the duties on the cargo.
22nd Mullin's Cove.
29th. Hawk's Harbor.
I called on Mr. George Dike for the purpose of ascertaining his answer with regard to the duty on the cargo of salt by the “Test” last year, which I had given him time to consider. His only answer was that he would not pay the duties. As he then rendered himself liable to a penalty under the Act, of which he was well aware, I laid a complaint before the Judge, who summoned him to appear before him. The case having been heard by the Judge, he was told he would have either to pay the penalty or go to goal. He chose the latter, and was accordingly sentenced to a month's imprisonment in Harbor Grace.
I have the honour to be, Sir,
Your most obedient humble servant,
Hon. John Kent,
Receiver General, etc.