Newfoundland; Economic, Diplomatic, and Strategic Studies

By R. A. MacKay | Go to book overview

Provinces of Canada, the region most nearly comparable economically to Newfoundland. One serious difficulty which he encountered was the absence of adequate statistical series on Newfoundland's economic development and much detailed and tedious statistical work was thus essential before a report could be begun. In this work Dr. Saunders was ably assisted by Mr. H. C. Cummings, M.A. (later Lieut., R.C.N.V.R.), of St. John's. The tables on Newfoundland trade in the Appendix are, it is felt, an important statistical contribution to an understanding of Newfoundland's economic problems. Dr. Saunders' first draft was completed in 1943 and circulated to the Supervisory Committee and others for comment and criticism, but in view of economic changes since then much revision was essential before publication. Owing to other commitments Dr. Saunders was unable to undertake revision, which was accordingly done by the editor, who confesses to having taken wide liberties with Dr. Saunders' original material. In fairness to Dr. Saunders, the editor must, therefore, assume responsibility for the final text of the section on the Economy of Newfoundland.

It will also be recalled that in planning the studies we felt that special attention should be given to Newfoundland's strategic position in the North Atlantic. Two chapters are devoted to this topic: In Part II, Chapter I, Major Gerald S. Graham discusses Newfoundland's position during the centuries when the nations of the Old World were contending for mastery of the New; in Part II, Chapter XIV, Professor A. R. M. Lower examines the important rôle of Newfoundland in the Second World War and analyzes its position in the light of recent technological changes in warfare and the rise of the United States as a major world power.

The historical studies in Part II by Professor A. M. Fraser throw new light on the evolution of the British Commonwealth of Nations and on Newfoundland-Canadian relations. It has usually been assumed that Newfoundland's political autonomy flowed from that already granted other dominions or self-governing colonies. Professor Fraser's narrative of the negotiations over the "French Shore" and over American fishing rights indicates, however, that Newfoundland's struggle

-viii-

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