p. 1938 C
EXTRACT FROM A LETTER FROM BOARD OF TRADE TO HENRY GOULBURN.
COL. COR., NEWFOUNDLD. VOL. 37. R 26.
Office of Committee of Privy Council
Whitehall, 24 Apl 1817.
* * * *
2dly. The proposed disposal, by Emigration, of some of the Surplus population of Newfoundland.
Upon this The Lords of this Committee have only to observe, that if such of the Inhabitants of Newfoundland as may be disposed to emigrate, should come within the rules which are applied to Emigrants from the United Kingdom to His Majesty's Foreign Possessions, their Lordships see no reason why similar facilities should not be given to the former : altho' it may certainly be doubted whether considering the distress which is stated to prevail in Canada, the present is a favourable opportunity for suddenly and extensively adding to the Settlers of that province.
3dly. As to the Cultivation of the Soil in Newfoundland.
It cannot be denied that an extension of Cultivation in Newfoundland will be a complete departure from the principles which have hitherto (at least till very recently) governed the administration of that Island. The whole System was founded upon the supposition that the Fishery was to be carried on from hence, and any permanent Settlement on the Island was discouraged as much as possible. But the great length of the late War, and the Encreasing prosperity of the Fisheries, gradually, and almost insensibly, overturned that System, and the resident population of the Island is become extremely numerous, amounting to not less perhaps than 40,000 or 50,000 persons.
To displace these persons would be impracticable, even if it were advisable, & if they were to depend for their Subsistence entirely upon Supplies from other Quarters, circumstances may easily be Conceived, in which the people might be exposed to imminent peril, a proof of which is to be found in the present distressed Condition of the Settlement. This view of the Case was
felt so strongly by His Majestys Government, that the Governor was a few years since authorized to make small grants of Lands reserving a trifling quit rent, and my Lords see no reason why this plan should not be acted upon to a greater extent. It would undoubtedly add in no inconsiderable degree to the resources and Comforts of the Colony, and at the same time contribute to improve its revenue, particularly if the grants were Sufficiently extensive to admit of the Land being applied to the purpose of pasture, instead of being confined, as they now are, to small plots of ground for gardens ; and My Lords think that in making these grants the Governor should lay out of his consideration the particular occupation or calling of the Individual who may apply for a grant, the object of the change proposed, being to encrease the amount of Subsistence to be procured in the Colony, for the people at large, and not to promote the Interests of particular classes.
4. The adoption of a new System of Government.
This being a Matter of a political nature, can scarcely be considered as coming within this Department ; but My Lords are of Opinion, that whatever may be though adviseable to adopt upon this Subject, ought not to be deter-mined upon without the most mature Deliberation.
I am, Sir,
Your most obedient Humble Servant,
Henry Goulburn Esq.
&c. &c. &c.
No. 787. C
EXTRACT FROM “HISTORY OF NEWFOUNDLAND,”
BY D. W. PROWSE, Q. C. [LONDON, 1895.] Pp. 406-407.
The Governor, Sir Francis Pickmore, had been ordered to remain through the winter in Newfoundland. Dr. Carson's pamphlet had shown up the absurdity of Governors coming out for two or three months in the year. Henceforth all their Excellencies were perennials, not fleeting annuals. Admiral Pickmore was a firm, courageous old man, but the toil, exposure, and anxiety of the last terrible winter told on his enfeebled constitution, and on the 24th of February he died.