REPORT OF COMMISSIONER OF CROWN LANDS TO PRIVY COUNCIL, CANADA, 19 MARCH, 1864.16
Department of Crown Lands,
Quebec, 19th March, 1864.
The Commissioner of Crown Lands has the honor to report the recurrence of acts of jurisdiction on the part of officers of the Government of Newfoundland, on that part of the coast of Labrador which is within the eastern frontier of Canada, at Blanc Sablon Bay.
The Imperial Statute, 6 Geo. IV, cap. 59, re-annexed to Canada certain portions of the coast of Labrador, and all adjacent islands, formerly within the Province of Newfoundland. That Act established the boundary line as drawn due north and south from the Bay of Blanc Sablon (inclusive) as far as the 52nd degree of north latitude, including all islands adjacent. In consequence of seizures made at Wood Island by the Customs Officers of Newfoundland, in 1860, a report of facts was made by this Department to the Law Officers of the Crown, describing the geographical position of the island and also the exact line of boundary, as laid down from the terms of the Imperial Statute. The joint opinion of the then Attorneys General is, that Wood Island is within the limits of Canada. Acting upon that opinion, the Department has instructed its officers to regard as Canadian territory and exercise authority over the islands and mainland situated west of the line so drawn. At the bottom of Blanc Sablon Bay, close to the frontier, but clearly inside (or westward) of such a line, there are important fishing establishments owned by Canadians. Last year, an officer of Newfoundland levied Customs dues at one of these establishments ; and the parties aggrieved apply for redress through this Department.
The undersigned respectfully submits this matter for the consideration of the Governor General in Council.
6 Return and Supplementary Return to House of Commons (Can. 1868), pp. 6-7.