HC Deb 12 June 1888 vol 326 c1823
MR. SAMUELSON (Gloucester, Forest of Dean)

asked the Under Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs, What were the reasons given by the Newfoundland House of Assembly for their "disinclination to adopt the arrangement arrived at in Paris," in 1886 by the respective agents of the Governments of France and Great Britain in regard to the disputed claims of the French as to their fishing rights upon the coasts of the Island?


The chief ground of objection on the part of the Newfoundland Legislature was that the proposed arrangement gave to French fishermen the right of purchasing bait for the prosecution of their fisheries on the banks of Newfoundland, thereby enabling them to take fish, the sale of which entered into competition with fish caught by Newfoundland fishermen, who were unable to compete with the French in the markets of Europe owing to the large bounties given by the French Government to their fishermen.

In answer to a further Question from Mr. SAMUELSON,


said, Her Majesty's Government had always held that the right of fishing was common off certain parts of the coast; but the Newfoundland Legislature held that if the French were allowed to purchase bait it would be prejudicial to the interests of the Newfoundlanders.