Newfoundland; Economic, Diplomatic, and Strategic Studies

By R. A. MacKay | Go to book overview

IV
THE BAIT ISSUE

THE abortive fishery negotiations of 1881 were resumed at Paris in 1884. The British delegation was assisted by Sir John Hawley Glover, recently appointed Governor of Newfoundland, whose departure to his new post was expressly delayed to enable him to attend the Paris conference.1 On being informed by the Administrator that negotiations had been re-opened the Newfoundland legislature was careful to reiterate its hope that "no modifications will be made in the treaties without the knowledge and assent of the people of this Colony, a right guaranteed to us by the despatch of Mr. Labouchere in 1857".2 This condition was scrupulously observed by the British government. The commissioners reached agreement on 26th April, 1884, and an Arrangement was signed subject to the approval of the British and French governments. In conveying this information to Glover, Lord Derby promised: "Her Majesty's Government will not intimate that approval until the Colonial Government and Legislature have had an opportunity of studying its provisions and of considering the great advantages which it affords for the settlement of the long outstanding and difficult question of the fisheries". At the same time Derby strongly advised the summoning of a special session of the legislature to ratify the Arrangement, which he went on to describe as "being a most advantageous one to the interests of the Colony".3

The principal terms of the Arrangement were as follows: first, France withdrew her claim to an exclusive fishery and

____________________
1
Derby to Glover, 12th June, 1884. J. of H. of A., 1886, app. pp. 550-68.
2
20th February, 1884. Ibid., 1884, p. 20.
3
Derby to Glover, 12th June, 1884. Ibid., app. pp. 550-68.

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