p. 4187

No. 1601.




I, SIR PATRICK THOMAS MCGRATH, of 6, Gower Street, St. John's, Newfoundland, President of the Legislative Council of Newfoundland, make oath and say as follows :—

1. With reference to the statement in the Historical Narrative, forming an annex to the Canadian Case, para. 35, page 84, that
“ Newfoundland levies no local taxation on the coast of Labrador, but when trade is active during the summer months, revenue officers collect a considerable sum, certainly not less than $150,000.00 per annum, along the coast in the form of customs duties.

(a) I have prepared the appended Statement of Customs Revenue collected at Labrador by the Colony of Newfoundland, for the fiscal years from 1911-12 to 1924-25.

(b) The totals shown in each year are the result of adding together the amounts received at the four Customs-House Stations at Labrador Blanc Sablon, Cartwright, Rigolet, and Labrador, the latter being the designation of the Station maintained on the mail steamer during the summer months.

(c) These figures have been taken from the Printed Pamphlets of “ Newfoundland Customs Returns ” issued by the Department of Customs each year.

(d) I could not carry this record further back than 1911-12 because the volumes available in London only go that far.

(e) I ascribe the very low collections in 1915-16 and in 1916-17 to the partial commercial paralysis due to the war,

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(f) The statement is as follows :—

Year. Revenue
1911-12 . . . . . . . . . $4630.27
1912-13 . . . . . . . . . 6301.40
1913-14 . . . . . . . . . 6668.53
1914-15 . . . . . . . . . 5141.41
1915-16 . . . . . . . . . 1122.61
1916-17 . . . . . . . . . 2889.44
1917-18 . . . . . . . . . 6726.54
1918-19 . . . . . . . . . 4702.28
1919-20 . . . . . . . . . 11046.04
1920-21 . . . . . . . . . 11791.97
1921-22 . . . . . . . . . 11624.86
1922-23 . . . . . . . . . 10944.55
1923-24 . . . . . . . . . 14376.52
1924-25 . . . . . . . . . 10101.57

2. I find from the Newfoundland Customs Returns for 1924-25 and previous years, that supplies for the Deep Sea and Moravian Missions are admitted into the Colony and its Dependencies, free of duty, and I know of my own knowledge, that this has been the case for many years past.

3. With reference to the paragraph copied from the book entitled “ Labrador ” by Grenfell and Others, printed at the top of page 2580, Appendix of Documents, and reading as follows :—

“ In winter, residence in Labrador is especially discouraged by lack of communication, and the permanent population, except round the newly established mills, is decreasing entirely.”

I have extracted from the Census returns of Newfoundland, the following ligures with respect to Labrador during the past three decades, as follows :—

(a) Total. North of
1901 . . . 3,947 . . . 1,301 . . . 2,646
1911 . . . 3,939 . . . 1,226 . . . 2,713
1921 . . . 3,774 . . . 897 . . . 2,877

(b) The population of the area north of Hamilton Inlet is virtually altogether Eskimo, and I have deducted the population of this area from that of the remainder of the region, thus exhibiting the approximate White and Eskimo populations as shown above.

(c) The decrease in the Eskimo population shown in the past decade, is due almost entirely to the ravages of influenza in the autumn

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of 1918, when the mortality was very great, some of the settlements being almost entirely destroyed.

(d) The allusion in the extract from Dr. Grenfell's book quoted above, to the lumber mills, shows that this refers to a period nearly twenty years ago. The mills have not been operating for the past sixteen years, and the lumber men, brought into the country in connection with the operations at these mills, left again as soon as the mills ceased operating, and as the starting and closing of these mills occurred between the Census years, 1901 and 1911, the figures shown above, represent the ordinarily normal population of the coast at the three Census periods, apart from the extraordinary decrease of the Eskimo population, due to influenza before 1921.

4. With reference to an extract from the book “ Labrador ” by Grenfell and Others, printed on page 2579 of the Appendix of Documents, and reading as follows :—

“ Five Marconi stations have been placed on the coast, and these are of very great value. They cover two hundred miles of coast, but do not yet connect with Newfoundland, and only very indirectly with anywhere. When the Canadian station on Belle Isle is working, then Labrador can talk with the outside world via Canada. But none of these stations is opened except during the summer months. The power of the most southern station at Battle Harbour has been greatly increased and practically has put us now in touch with the outside world.”

I have been in communication with the Manager of the Canadian Marconi Company at St. John's, and the Superintendent of the Newfoundland Postal Telegraphs at St. Johns, and find that :—

(a) There are nine Wireless stations on the Labrador coast, owned by the Newfoundland Government and operated on their behalf, by the Marconi Company, these stations being located as follows :—
Battle Harbour,
Venison Island,
Flat Island,
Cape Harrison,

(b) The stations north of Battle Harbour are in operation from the opening of navigation to the close of the fishing season.

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(c) The station at Battle Harbour is in direct communication with the station at Fogo, on the north-east coast of Newfoundland, all the year round. Battle Harbour station has been kept open during the winter for the last 13 or 14 years. The Fogo station has always been kept open during the winter.

(d) The stations at Battle Harbour, Venison Island, Flat Island, Domino and Smoky were erected by the Newfoundland Government in 1904, and the cost of these, as far as can be ascertained. was $5692.55. The Government operated these stations during the years 1904 and 1905, at a cost in each year, of roundly $1500.00. The Marconi Company, in 1906, took over the operation, and the Government spent about $2000.00 to put them in proper repair before handing them over to the Company. In 1910-11, the stations at Grady, Holton, Cape Harrison and Makovik were constructed at a cost of, roundly, $9000.00. In all the years from 1906 up to date, the Government has paid the Company royalties in connection with the operation of these stations, increasing from, roundly, $2500.00 in 1906-7 to $9246.00 in 1922-23. The total expenditure up to the end of 1925 on construction and operation of these stations was $118,292.50.

Sworn at 76 Victoria Street in the City of
Westminster this 29th day of September 1926.
Before me
A Commissioner for Oaths.


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