p. 1564                                         N

No. 616


In the Privy Council.

IN THE MATTER of the BOUNDARY between       the   DOMINION   of   CANADA   and   the       COLONY  of   NEWFOUNDLAND  in  the       LABRADOR   PENINSULA.

      I, THOMAS WINTER, of Water Street, St. John's, Newfoundland retired merchant, make Oath and say as follows:—

      1.  I am a son of James Winter, who was collector of Customs on Labrador for the Newfoundland Government between 1863 and 1868. As a boy of 17 or 18 I accompanied my father as his Customs House Broker on his trips up and down the Labrador Coast in 1865 and 1866, collecting duties.

      2.  IN each of these two years we left St. John's about the 1st June and made two journeys in the schooner Volant, commanded by Captain Pike, of Carbonear, up and down the coast between Blanc Sablon and North West River. We were accompanied by Mr. Benjamin Sweetland, Judge of the Labrador Court, and his bailiff, Mr. Jonas Purchase.

      3.  I remember that the cases with which Judge Sweetland had to deal were usually disputes about the ownership of cod-fishery posts on the outer shore and salmon fishing posts in the rivers. I never heard of his decisions being questioned in any way.

      4.  My father collected duties at the same time from different business houses carrying on the fishery on a large scale along the coast and “supplying” or “fitting out” the fishermen. These firms, as distinct from those domiciled in Newfoundland and having branches on the Labrador coast, included De Quetteville & Co., Falle and Co. Boutillier Bros. at Blanc Sablon, T. & D. Slade at Battle Harbor, Larmour & Co. at Grady Harbor,

p. 1565

and Hunt and Henley at Cartwright, with branches at Grady, Long Island, Venison Tickle, and Francis Harbor, and the Hudson's Bay Company at Rigolet and North West River.

      5.  We used to stay a few days at North West River, and the same at Rigolet on each of our trips. The North West River post was maintained by the Hudson's Bay Company for the trade of the interior. The Indians, both Montagnais and Nascopies, used to come out from the interior and stay at the posts, bringing out furs and taking back the supplies for which they traded them, e.g. powder, shot, clothing and traps. Mr. Donald Smith, afterwards Lord Strathcona, was in charge of the North West River post at that time and also of the district for the Hudson's Bay Company. So far as I know he never raised any objection to pay duties.

      6.  To the best of my recollection the Hudson's Bay Company paid between £5000 and £1,000 in duties on the Labrador.

      8.  The Hudson's Bay Company did a large trade in furs with white and half-breed trappers and the Indians. My recollection is that the Company had posts in the interior to which supplies were sent from North West River, the furs at these interior posts being sent out to North West River for export.

SWORN at St. John's, Newfoundland,              THOS. WINTER.
     this 19th day of March 1926,

Before me,                           
Supreme Court of Newfoundland.    

No. 617.                                N


Vide, Part VIII B, No. 415, p. 1296.



Partnered Projects Government and Politics - Table of Contents Site Map Search Heritage Web Site Home