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[12] During my visit at Blanc Sablon Bay, and while engaged in visiting the ports which have always been considered as a part of the territory of Canada, those namely of Fruing & Co., at the head of the bay, and Le Boutillier & Co., on Wood-Island, I was informed that the officers of customs, of the Labrador coast, which belongs to the Government of Newfoundland, had been to those establishments, and had demanded from the persons in charge, the duties payable on the goods which they had imported from Europe this year, amounting to a considerable sum, under pain of having them confiscated, as they had been last year. I shall remark, further, that the said officers claimed the whole of Blanc Sablon Bay, as well as Wood Island, as belonging to Newfoundland, in virtue of a clause in an Imperial Act, which declares that the western boundary of the territory belonging to Newfoundland, on the Labrador coast, shall be in 51° 25' N. and 57° 09' W. (The words in Italics are extracted from the Commission of the Governor General.) [13]
On 25th July, I went on board of the armed cutter “ Hawk,” Stephen Marsh, Esquire, Commander, belonging to the Government of Newfoundland. That gentleman, who is the Commissioner of the Fisheries, told me that he had received orders from his Government to consider the western boundary of the territory belonging to Newfoundland, as lying on the meridian of 50° 9' W. from Greenwich, and that accordingly the whole of Blanc Sablon Bay and Wood Island lie within his jurisdiction. Now, as my letter of instructions from the Department, dated 20th June, 1864, directed me to treat Wood Island as a possession of Canada, a conflict of jurisdiction arose, creating for the inhabitants of these parts, a state of things full of difficulty and even peril, as they did not know to which Government obedience was due, and their industrial as well as their commercial pursuits suffered in consequence.
If I had been at Blanc Sablon Bay when the Newfoundland officers of customs made their visit to the establishments on Wood Island to collect duties, I should have resisted their claims, as required by my instructions, and should have made use of all the means at my disposal to prevent them from levying contributions on fishing establishments, which, up to that time, had always been considered as belonging to Canada. The House of Le Boutillier and brothers, at Wood Island, were forced to pay, this year again, £60 sterling for duties, and the House of Fruing & Co., of Blanc Sablon Bay, £46 8s. lld. sterling. But as an undesirable conflict of jurisdiction might have ensued, and as the claims of the Newfoundland officers of Customs will probably be renewed next year, and it might happen again, as it has happened in the present year, that I should not be on the spot in time to protect out traders and fishermen against these encroachments on our territory, and it is very desirable to put an end to these conflicts of jurisdiction, I take the liberty of recommending that the Governments of Canada and Newfoundland come to an understanding, with a view to a final arrangement of the matter in dispute, and that monuments should be planted on the division line, by competent persons, to show, in an unmistakeable manner, the boundary line (East) of Canada, in Blanc Sablon Bay. [13-75]

28 Annual Report of Pierre Fortin, Stipendiary Magistrate, Commander of the . . . . Protection of the Fisheries in the Gulf of St. Lawrence during 1864. Quebec, 1865, pp. 12-13, 75.

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[18] At Anse aux Blancs Sablons, at Woody Island and at Green Island, the products of the cod fishery had, up to that time, been below the average. However, the cod had appeared in larger numbers for some day past, and there was ground for hope that the fishery might yet yield average results. [19]
The Collector of Customs of the Government of Newfoundland, stationed in the vicinity of Anse aux Blancs Sablons, had this year, as in previous years, exacted payment from the establishment of Fruing & Co., situated near the head of that Bay, of Customs duties to the amount of £48 sterling ; and from the establishment of Le Boutillier and Brothers, situated at the Western extremity of Woody Island, of similar duties, amounting to £40 sterling.
This had occurred shortly after the opening of the navigation and it had been impossible for me to reach the place in time to oppose the pretensions of the Newfoundland officer, as by my instructions I was directed to do, and to protect the traders who, according to official documents, furnished to me by the Government, had their establishments on Canadian soil.
I am, however, bound to add that the Newfounland Collector, in support of the jurisdiction claimed by his government over the territory in dispute, that is to say, a part of Anse aux Blancs Sablons and the western extremity of Woody Island, produced a copy of the commission of Sir William Bannerman, as Governor of Newfoundland, printed in the Royal Gazette of that Colony, in which it was stated that the western boundary of the Government of Newfoundland (on the coast of Labrador) was in 51 degrees 25 minutes north latitude, and 57 degrees 9 minutes of longitude west from Greenwich, and that it included Blancs Sablons and Woody Island.
It appeared to me, on consulting the hydrographie charts which I had with me—those of Captain Bayfield and others—that if the frontier of Newfoundland on the coast of Labrador extends as far as 57 degrees and 9 minutes of west longitude, the claims of that Government to the territory in dispute are well founded, and we cannot claim either Anse aux Blancs Sablons or Woody Island. [20-62]

29 Annual Report of Pierre Fortin, Stipendiary Magistrate, Commander of the . . . . Protection of the Fisheries in the Gulf of St. Lawrence during 1865. Quebec, 1866, pp. 18-20, 62-63.

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