p. 1930 N
DUKE OF PORTLAND TO GOVERNOR WALDEGRAVE.
RECORD BOOK, ST. JOHN'S, NEWFOUNDLAND, VOLUME 14, p. 205.
Notwithstanding the directions given to your Predecessor on the Station, to enforce the Laws respecting our Fisheries and to compel the persons concerned in them to return home at the time appointed, I am sorry to observe that the Policy of these Laws has been completely defeated, and that the population of Newfoundland has in consequence increased to a degree, which in your opinion renders some further Establishments necessary for the due administration of Justice, within the Island.
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Should the holders of the Land required for enlarging the Burial Place at Newfoundland persist in their unreasonable demands for the same, His Majesty's Servants will no doubt think themselves warranted in applying to the Legislature for the purpose of obliging them to sell the same at a reasonable price, when this circumstance is clearly understood by the individuals concerned, I doubt not but they will be disposed to accomodate the Public Service upon fair and reasonable Terms.
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In consequence of the serious evils you have stated to arise in His Majesty's Service in Newfoundland, from the circumstance of its being included in the Military Commission of the Commander in Chief of His Majesty's Forces in North America, particularly that it disables you from holding Courts Martial within your Government upon Military offences committed there, as the offenders must be sent to Nova Scotia to be tried and that the delay thereby occasioned, and frequently the absences of some of the few Officers on the settlements, which such Proceedings require, is often an evil equally possible to that of letting the offenders go unpunished ; His Majesty, in order to guard against circumstances so prejudicial to His Service has thought proper by a new Commission to Lieut. General Prescott to appoint him Commander in Chief of His Majesty's Forces within his North American Provinces, exclusive of Newfoundland, and His Majesty's Pleasure has at the same time been received for granting to you the necessary authority for holding General Courts Martial in Newfoundland.
I am, Sir,
Vice Admiral Waldegrave.
Your most obedient humble servant,