p. 1856                                  C

No. 764.



C.O. 195.   VOL. 9, p. 440.

To the King's most excellent Majesty.

May it please Your Majesty,
                  It appearing from the Reports of the State of Newfoundland made last Year to this Board by Your Majesty's Governor of that Island, That the military Establishments were neglected and the principal Fortifications in Ruins ; That an illicit and destructive Commerce had been carried on between Your Majesty's Subjects there and the French at Miquelon and St Peters ; That great Difficulties and Embarrassments had occurred in the Execution of the Instructions given by Your Majesty for the well ordering the Fishery in those Parts, where the Subjects of France are allowed by Treaty a concurrent Fishery ; and that a State of Inhabitancy, unrestrained by any Form or Consitution * of civil Government, had operated to the total Subversion of that Policy upon which the Fisheries dependent on that Island were originally established, and to defeat those great national Advantages, which were the Objects of the Regulations of the Statute of the 10th and 11th of William the third ; our Predecessors in Office thought it their Duty humbly to lay before Your Majesty in their Representations of the 11th of December 1764 and the 29th of April 1765, a full State of these several Matters, to the End that Your Majesty might, with the Advice of Your Council, take such Measures, and establish such Regulations as should be found necessary and expedient in a Case of so great Importance to the Interest of this Nation, and which appeared to require Attention.
        In Consequence of this Proceeding it becomes a necessary and indispensable Duty in us most humbly to lay before Your Majesty such further Reports, as have been made to us by Your Majesty's Governor of Newfoundland, of the present State of that Island, and of the several Occurrencies during the last Fishing Season, so far as they relate to those Parts of his Duty, on which he was directed to correspond with this Board.
        From these Reports, as contained in the Papers hereunto annexed, it will appear to your Majesty, That the Fortifications still continue in a State of Ruin and Decay ; That the illicit Commerce between Your Majesty's

p. 1857

Subjects and the French has been greatly enlarged and extended, That, from Claims of exclusive Property set up by Your Majesty's Subjects, the Difficulties attending the Execution of those Instructions of Your Majesty, relative to that Part of the Coast where the French are allowed a concurrent Fishery, have become more and more urgent ; and that the same disordered State of Inhabitancy still operates to subvert that Plan of Fishery adopted by the Statute of King William, and to render it's Provisions and Regulations nugatory and useless ; insomuch that it is the Sense and Opinion of Your Majesty's Governor, that it would be better for the national Interest, in respect to the Encouraging the Increase of Seamen, which is one main Object of the Act of King William, not to have any Fishery at all, than that it should continue to be carried on under the Disadvantages that at present attend it, in this View of the Spirit and Intention of that Act.
       How far Your Majesty's Governor is well founded in this Opinion, we do not take upon us to determine ; but certain it is, that the present State of this Island and of the Territories dependent thereupon does require the fullest Consideration ; and that a Revision of the several Regulations, which have been heretofore made in respect thereto, is now become essentially necessary.
       Every Information, which this Office can furnish relative to the antient Policy and present State of this important Part of the national Interests, is already before Your Majesty ; But that nothing may be wanting which may be of use in this great Consideration, we further beg leave humbly to lay before Your Majesty a Paper of Observations upon the State of the Newfoundland Fisheries communicated to us by Your Majesty's Governor since his Return to this Kingdom ; in which Paper are contained several Propositions for the future Regulation of this important Branch of Commerce tending to re-establish it upon the antient Policy of a Ship Fishery, the Propriety of which Policy Your Majesty's Governor appears in all his Plans and Measures to have zealously adopted.

                    *                *                *                *

                                                       GEO. RICE
                                                       I. DYSON

Mar. 27th 1766.



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