p. 1931 C
EXTRACT OF A REPORT BY GOVERNOR HOLLOWAY TO VISCOUNT CASTLEREAGH.
C.O. 194. VOL. 47.
Isis at Spithead, 18th Novemr 1808.
I have the honor to acquaint your Lordship with my Return from Newfoundland in His Majesty's Ship Isis, which anchored here this Day after a passage of twenty two days from St. Johns Harbour. The heavy gales we have experienced since we sailed, have separated the whole of the Convoy, consisting of Twenty five sail of Vessels.
His Majesty's Ship Vestal also sailed from St. Johns on the same day, (the 27th Ultimo) having Nine more Merchant Vessels under her Protection, bound for the Coast of Portugal, Cadiz and the Mediterranean, which the Merchants have ventured to send, in hopes of meeting in some of those Ports, a favourable market for their Fish ; but this speculation (as I did myself the honor of writing your Lordship by His Majesty's Ship Medusa) continues to be greatly checked, for want of Official Information, to ascertain what Ports of Portugal and Spain are open.
* * * *
Having this Year had more Time to examine and reflect on the Observations made by my two Predecessors, together with the pointed Remarks made by the Lords of Privy Council on the Subject of the State of Newfoundland, which were communicated to me on my Appointment to that Government, I cannot but lament, that it was ever recommended to His Majesty's Ministers by my Predecessors, to grant Leases of Land on that Island ; it was striking at the Root of the Law, which had for so many Years regulated this Fishery as a Nursery for Seamen, and meant to discountenance Residency ; the great and improper increase of which, tends to Colonization : it likewise gives the Inhabitants a kind of Sanction to claim from Occupancy, Lands that are no longer used for the Fishery, for which Purpose alone they received their Grants from the different Governors agreeably to His Majesty's Instructions ; consequently can have no legal Right for to sell, mortgage, lease and transfer, as is now become a daily practice.
This Subject requires most serious Consideration and I shall be happy to meet their Lordships on it whenever it may suit their Conveniency. This Island is utterly incapable of raising sufficient Food for its own Consumption,
and the Inhabitants will most probably look where they ought not, for Supplies. I have read with great Attention the Remarks made on my Predecessor's Observations, by the Lords of Council for Trade and Foreign Plantations, and am fully convinced that they are perfectly correct in their opinion whenever the ancient System is departed from, and Colonization encouraged.
* * * *
I have the honour to be,
The Right Honble Viscount Castlereagh,
One of His Majesty's Principal
Secretaries of State, &ca, &ca, &ca.
No. 783. C
IMPERIAL ACT, 49 GEO. III., CHAP. 27.
30 MARCH, 1809.
An Act for establishing courts of judicature in the Island of Newfoundland and the Islands adjacent ; and for re-annexing part of the Coast of Labrador and the Islands lying on the said coast to the Government of Newfoundland.
Vide Vol. I, page 190.