p. 948 JOINT
GOVERNOR PALLISER TO LORDS OF TRADE.
COLONIAL OFFICE RECORDS 194/16, T. 57 & PRIVY COUNCIL RECORDS 16/52
Before I left England, His Majesty signified his commands to me upon matters relative to the French in this Government, by one of his Principal Secretarys of State through the Board of Admiralty. I have therefore from time to time transmitted accounts of all occurrences upon such matters through the same channel for His Majesty's information.
And now the fishing season is over I shall according to His Majesty's instructions receiv'd from your board lay before your Lordships accounts of all such matters as seem proper for your information concerning the trade and fisheries.
Having had no particular instructions concerning the new conquered lands annex'd to this government, and having the last year experienced the want of some regulations on those coasts, I thought it necessary to make some before I left England for the guidance of the commanders of His Majesty's ships on their respective stations, a copy is the inclos'd paper marked (No. 1) by those coasts and islands being anex'd to the Newfoundland government.
I understood the fisherys there are intended to be governed by the same principals of policy as that of Newfoundland ought to be, that, to be a British not an American fishery. I have, therefore, by those regulations admitted only American whale fishers within certain limits and under certain restrictions : this I judged proper, aprehending people from Britain will not so readily undertake it within the Gulph of St. Laurence, therefore that so valuable a branch of the fishery might not in the mean time be lost, I thought it proper to allow this privilege to the Americans, but strict measures must be taken for preventing them doing mischief on the coast and from carrying on the cod fishery in the government, which is ruinous to the British cod fishery, more especially as they do and always will deal, with the French at St. Pierres, and at the Petit Nord, I have therefore given strict orders that no vessels from the plantations shall resort to any part of Newfoundland between Cape Bonavista and Point Riche.
The salmon fisherys in this country being capable of great improvement I have published an order (No. 2) for encouraging new undertakers which has not yet had time to produce the effects intended, but many people have
assured me, that they will the next year come out provided with nets and tackle now they know they can have liberty to use them.
The Paper (No. 3) is a Copy of what I caused to be dispers'd amongst our People who went to Labradore this year, as Preparatory for Facilitating measures for carrying into Execution that part of His Majesty's Instructions for Conciliating the affections of the Savages, and for Introducing a Comunication and Commerce with them.
For enabling me to make proper Reports in Order to your Lordships forming a Judgment of the nature and Disposition of those People and of what Advantages His Majesty's Subjects may hope to reap from that Coast, I went there myself, and met with a party of between Four and Five Hundred of those Savages who come yearly from the North down to the Streights of Bell Isle and by means of the Brethren of the Unitas Fratrum, I had many interviews and conversations with them, for an account of the informations we got from them. I refer your Lordships to a narrative of what passed at the interviews I had with them, which I shall lay before you at my return to England; therefore will here only add my opinion that those people who have hitherto been so much dreaded, may in a very short time by kind treatment and fair dealing, be made exceeding usefull people to His Majesty's Subjects, they are expert whale catchers and naturally fishers, are almost amphibious creatures, living constantly on little Islands along the coast, and subsist almost wholly upon fish.
I am likewise of opinion that under proper regulations that coast may prove a source of great wealth and naval strength to the nation, and as some regulations seemed imediately necessary for preventing our far more savage and ungovernable inhabitants of Newfoundland, from getting footing there, I have published some rules and orders which I judged proper in the present state of things till your Lordships shall make others, a copy thereof is (No. 4) by it your Lordships will observe that I have endeavoured to link the cod, whale, seal and salmon fisherys together, in such manner as to me seemed best for encouraging adventurers and for raising a spirit of emulation amongst them, could some societys of merchants from the trading Towns in England
(where they are not already engaged in the sloathfull monopolizing method of carrying on the Newfoundland Fishery) be engaged with a due mixture of Greenland Whale fishers and cod fishers, to try the Coast of Labradore, I think they and the publick would soon find their account in it, but these are imperfect hints which I submit to your Lordships better judgment.
I must acquaint your Lordships that the Brethren of the Unitas Fratrum have taken great pains as well in the business of their mission as in assisting me in matters for His Majesty's service. I therefore take leave to mention them as very worthy of that countenance and protection which His Majesty and your Board are pleased to honour them.
* * *
I am also to acquaint you that the inhabitants carrying on a fishery upon the Coast of Labrador, established there by grants from General Murray, are also clandestine traders as well with the Islands St. Pierre and Miguelon as
directly from France, one of their vessels from Bordeaux going in at the Streights of Bell Isle run ashore on the Coast of Labradore near to the place where I was, between 50 and 60 tons of wine of her cargo was saved and seiz'd.
My Lords, Very respectfully,
Most obedient and most humble servant,
St. John's, Newfoundland,
30th October, 1765.
Letter from Hugh Pallisser, Esq., Governor of Newfoundland to the Board, dated October 30, 1765, relative to the Trade and Fisheries of his Government.
Recd. November 30
— March 4, 1766.