EXTRACTS FROM SESSIONAL PAPER No. 65,
VOL. XLV., No. 23, 1911 (CANADA).
TO AN ADDRESS OF THE HOUSE OF COMMONS, dated the 9th December, 1910, calling for a copy of all Orders in Council, correspondence, papers, maps or other documents which passed between the Government of Canada or any member thereof, and the Government of Quebec, or any member thereof, or any other parties on their behalf, or between the Government of Canada and the Government of Ontario, or any members thereof, regarding the extension of the boundaries of the Province of Quebec, as set forth in an Order in Council dated 8th July, 1896, establishing a Conventional Boundary, therein specified. And also any correspondence, papers, documents, &c., that may have passed between the aforesaid Governments or members thereof, relative to the passing of an Act to confirm and ratify the aforesaid Conventional Boundary which was passed in 1898.
Secretary of State.
Hotel du Gouvernement.
Quebec, 6 décembre 1894.
MONSIEUR,—J'ai l'honneur de vous transmettre ci-joint, copie d'un arrêté en Conseil en date du 30 novembre dernier, au sujet de la frontière nord et nord-est, de la province de Québec, et de vous prier de vouloir soumettre ce document à Son Excellence le Gouverneur général en Conseil.
J'ai l'honneur, &c.,
(Sd.) J. A. CHAPLEAU,
L'honorable Secrétaire d'Etat,
COPY OF A REPORT OF A COMMITTEE OF THE HONOURABLE THE EXECUTIVE COUNCIL, DATED THE 21ST NOVEMBER, 1894. APPROVED BY THE LIEUTENANT GOVERNOR THE 30TH NOVEMBER, 1894.
RESPECTING THE SETTLEMENT OF THE NORTH AND THE NORTH-EASTERLY BOUNDARY OF THE PROVINCE OF QUEBEC.
The Honourable the Commissioner of Crown Lands, in a report dated the 21st of November instant (1894), sets forth : that the important question of the North and North-eastern Boundary of the Province of Quebec, although submitted on various occasions to the Federal authorities at Ottawa, remains up to the present unsettled, notwithstanding the fact that the pretentions of the Province of Ontario, for an analogous extension of territory, have been recognized by the Parliament of Canada and the Imperial Parliament.
That as a matter of justice and right, the Province of Quebec is fully justified in persisting as it does persist, in the views embodied in the resolutions of the Quebec Legislative Assembly of 1886, having reference thereto, copy of which has already been transmitted to His Excellency the Governor General in Council, and in claiming, as it does claim, for reasons similar or somewhat similar to those successfully urged by the Province of Ontario, for an extension to its boundaries, all the territory situate north of the height of land, as far as the northerly limits held by the French Government, at the time of the negotiations preliminary to the signature of the treaty of Utrecht in 1713, and more particularly the territory defined in the aforesaid resolutions, as follows :—
“All the country bounded on the west by a prolongation of the present boundary line between Ontario and Quebec to the south shore of James Bay, and by the shore line of this bay as far as the mouth of East Main River, on the north by the right bank of East Main River from its mouth to its source, thence by a line drawn to the northernmost waters of the Grand River Esquimaux, Ashuanipi or Hamilton, and by the left bank of this river to its mouth in Rigolet Bay (Hamilton's Inlet), on the east and north-east by the meridian of the easternmost point of the source of the River St. Paul or Little Esquimaux, and again on the east by this same river to the fifty-second degree of north latitude, following this parallel to its intersection by the meridian of Anse au Blanc Sablon, the present recognized eastern boundary of this province.”
That the lack of information relating to this extent of country is one of the explanations given for the delays which have occurred in the settlement of this just claim ;
That within the last three years exhaustive explorations have been effected by competent officers of the Geological Commission of Canada, through the principal waters system of that region, and that the Government
of Canada is no doubt at present in possession of the necessary data regarding the geography and resources of that country.
That these studies being now completed, the necessary legislation can be adopted by the Parliament of Canada, and the Honourable Commissioner recommends that a despatch be sent through His Honour the Lieutenant Governor to the Honourable the Secretary of State for Canada, praying that the Government of Canada submit at the next session of Parliament the adoption of a measure sanctioning the North Eastern Boundary of the Province of Quebec as laid down in the Resolutions of the Quebec Legislative Assembly of 1886 above cited.
(Sd.) GUSTAVE GRENIER,
Clerk, Executive Council.
(P .C. 2623.)
CERTIFIED COPY OF A REPORT OF THE COMMITTEE OF THE PRIVY COUNCIL, APPROVED BY HIS EXCELLENCY THE GOVERNOR GENERAL OF THE 8TH JULY, 1896.
On a Memorandum dated 6th July, 1896, from the Minister of the Interior, submitting the annexed Report from the Deputy Minister of the Interior, having relation to the subject of the Northern, North-western and North-eastern boundaries of the Province of Quebec, and containing a pro-posed description of the same.
The Committee on the recommendation of the Minister of the Interior advise that the said report be approved, and that the necessary steps be taken to obtain the acceptance by the Government of Quebec and the ratification by Parliament of the proposed description of the North-western, Northern and North-eastern Boundaries of the Province of Quebec therein contained.
Clerk of the Privy Council.
Department of the Interior, Ottawa,
29th January, 1896.
The Hon. T. MAYNE DALY,
Minister of the Interior.
SIR,—I have the honour to report that I have, in accordance with your request, given careful consideration to the various references which have been made from Council of despatches from His Honour the Lieutenant Governor of Quebec, having relation to the subject of the Northern, North-western and North-eastern boundaries of that Province.
The views of the Provincial authorities as to what these boundaries should be are set forth in a report, dated 4th June, 1886, made by a select committee of the Legislative Assembly “ to consider the question of the Northern and North-eastern limits of the Province of Quebec, and the necessary measures to be taken in order that such limits do include the territories to which it is entitled by establishing and defining such rights.” The correspondence which has passed between the Province and the Government of Canada in this relation has been laid before Parliament, and shows in effect that what the Province contends for is the continuation to the shore of James Bay of the due north line from the head of Lake Temiscamingue which already constitutes the Eastern boundary of the Province of Ontario ; thence along the shores of James Bay to the mouth of the East Main River, and along that River to its source ; thence by a right line to the most northerly waters of the Ashuanipi or Hamilton River ; thence descending that stream until it intersects the boundary of Newfoundland territory in Labrador ; and finally following the last named boundary to Blanc Sablon on the north shore of the Gulf of St. Lawrence.
This proposal, with the correspondence arising out of it, was referred to the Department of the Interior in December, 1889. I then reported that next to nothing was known about the East Main and Hamilton Rivers ; that like all other rivers they undoubtedly had several sources and branches, and that before they could be adopted as a boundary it would be necessary to determine in each case which of the branches is to be adopted as the dividing line. It was then regarded as possible that some of the branches of both streams might extend far away to the north, and include territory which it was not contemplated by either Government should be included in the Province of Quebec. Even if both Governments were agreed as to the propriety of adopting the Legislative Assembly's suggestion on its merits, the branches and sources of the respective rivers to be adopted for the purposes of the boundary, and to be connected by a right line, should first be agreed upon.
With a view to the acquisition of as much as possible of the information which was thus indicated as being necessary, Mr. William Ogilvie was despatched to James Bay in the spring of 1890. His survey settled definitely and affirmatively a point upon which up to that time there was more or less doubt ; that is, as to whether the Temiscamingue meridian, although actually made the Eastern boundary of the Province of Ontario by an Act of the Imperial Parliament on the assumption that it intersected James Bay at the point indicated upon all existing maps, really did touch the waters of the Bay at all. Mr. Ogilvie fixed the point at which the Temiscamingue line reaches the waters of the Bay, made a reliable survey of the coast-line from that point to the mouth of the East Main River, and determined the latitude of the mouth of the River. In 1892 Mr. A. P. Low of the Geological Survey connected by a micrometer survey Ogilvie's station at the mouth of the East Main River with Lake Mistassini, 308 miles of the East Main River being included in this survey. Again in 1893 Mr. Low continued his survey
from the point on the river which he reached the previous season up to the head of Patamik Lake, from which he went to Ungava Bay by the Koksoak or Ungava River, and from thence to Hamilton Inlet, where he spent the winter. In the spring of 1894 he surveyed the Hamilton River from Goose Bay to a point some distance up the Ashuanipi branch, and returned to that section last year with the object of obtaining further particulars respecting the country about the head waters of the Manicougan River.
The Government are now in possession of sufficient information to show that the proposal made by the Government of Quebec in 1886 is a practicable one.
I do not contend that the boundary proposed is a legal boundary, but on the contrary admit that it is a conventional one. The true limit of the Province of Quebec on the North would probably be the boundary between New France and the territories of Great Britain on the northern part of the continent. There was some difference of opinion between France and England as to where the boundary should be, and the commissioners appointed to decide the question never reported. Even if that boundary had been finally established it could not now be adhered to, because in the interval, after an arrangement and a re-arrangement, the Imperial Government finally detached from the Province of Quebec and placed under the jurisdiction of Newfoundland the strip along the Atlantic coast extending from Anse Sablon to Hudson Strait described by " Letters Patent " dated 28th March, 1876, as follows : " The Coast of Labrador from the entrance of Hudson's Strait to a line to be drawn due north and south from Anse Sablon on the said coast to the 52nd degree of north latitude, and all the Islands adjacent to that part of the Coast of Labrador."
What therefore is now aimed at is a conventional line which will also be convenient and easily ascertained, and it is believed that in the description appended to this memorandum that aim has been attained, the only portion of the lines it describes which would appear to require to be established by any further actual survey being the right line connecting the waters of the East Main River with the water of the Ashuanipi. The suggestion made by the Hon. David Mills when this matter was discussed in the House of Commons in 1893 was that the Rupert River should be the boundary, his contention being that the territory lying to the south of it would be equal in extent and it might be presumed superior in value and importance to the territory which the Province of Quebec would yield to Canada north of that river. But the Rupert River would serve as a boundary only in respect of the territory lying between Lake Mistassini and James Bay, and there would be a great tract of country lying between Lake Mistassini and the Hamilton River which would have to be connected by an artificial line, the cost of surveying which it is impossible to estimate, but which would in any event be very great. All that is known about that part of the country, including the exploration of Mr. Lowe, would indicate that neither its soil nor its climate make it suitable for agricultural or pastoral purposes ; that its supply of timber is of no great value ; and there would appear to be no indications from