"We can't allow things that are inaccurate to stand." — The Word of Our Dan, February 19, 2008.

Wednesday, March 04, 2009

We can has heroes

The caller calls in, and rhymes off the May 19, 1947 speech by Peter Cashin that callers of that inclination love to rhyme off.

“Peter Cashin is a personal hero of mine,” the nightly radio host says. “You should read him all the time.”

Indeed. Reading is good. This corner very strongly supports reading, and is against nonreading. So, in that spirit, a work, co-authored by the hero Cashin, though not as well known as the 1947 one, even if it should be.

It predates the speech, the one that those who have Cashin as their personal hero can recite nearly by heart, by nearly sixteen years, so it’s an oldie – but a goodie.

Bonus heroism: Coaker is another co-author.

* * *
St. John’s, October 7, 1931

It having been intimated to our Government that the Dominion of Canada, actuated by the spirit that animated the Fathers of Confederation, might be desirous of acquiring the Labrador Peninsula, so that Canada should extend its territory from the Atlantic to the Pacific, the Executive Council of Newfoundland decided to delegate three of their Ministers to meet you unofficially and ascertain the views of your Government on this matter. Our delegation consisted of Rt. Hon. Sir A. A. Squires, Prime Minister of Newfoundland; Hon. P. J. Cashin, Minister of Finance and Hon. H. M. Mosdell, Chairman of the Newfoundland Board of Health. The Prime Minister of Newfoundland was, unfortunately, unable to be present at the interview with you at Ottawa, which took place on Sept. 25th, but was cognisant thereof and expressed his thorough approval of the action of his two ministerial associates in discussing with you the matter mentioned.

Your undertaking at this interview was to submit the question for consideration of your Cabinet and to acquaint us at the earliest possible date whether or not the Government of Canada was prepared to receive official communications in this connection and to enter into official negotiations designed to effect the transfer of the territory as aforesaid. On Sept. 28th, our delegates, then at Montreal, received from you an intimation to the effect that you were prepared to receive an official communication from the Government of Newfoundland on the subject under consideration.

The two delegates who had had the unofficial conversation with you at Ottawa immediately conveyed this intimation to the Prime Minister of Newfoundland, who was also at Montreal, and, further, cabled full information to their ministerial colleagues in Newfoundland.

The Executive Council of the Government of Newfoundland met in formal session to consider this report, and, under date of October 3, 1931, a formal Minute of Council, duly signed by His Excellency the Governor of Newfoundland, issued appointing as an official delegation the three Ministers aforementioned in this communication, together with Hon. A. Barnes, Secretary of State for Newfoundland, and Hon. Sir W. F. Coaker, to meet official representatives of the Government of Canada and to endeavour to negotiate terms and conditions of the proposed transfer to the Dominion of Canada of the Labrador territory of the Dominion of Newfoundland.
This official delegation, while regretting that the Prime Minister of Newfoundland has been unable to remain in Canada for the official conversations in this connection, have now the honour to present to you certified copy of the Order-in-Council authorising their mission and describing their powers, and they beg also to be permitted to submit to you their proposals, regarding the suggested disposition of the Labrador territory of Newfoundland.

The Government of Newfoundland hereby offers to transfer to the Dominion of Canada the whole of the Labrador territory of the Dominion of Newfoundland, such transfer subject to the undermentioned general conditions and considerations:

1. The rights and privileges of the fishermen of Newfoundland, and such other rights and privileges of this nature as are actually existing in virtue of treaties still binding on the British Crown to be recognized and preserved by the Government of Canada;

2. Hudson’s Bay Company Concessions, rights and privileges, if any, to be safeguarded by the said Government of Canada;

3. Claims arising under licenses issued by the Government of Newfoundland in respect to timber lands in this territory to be adjusted in accordance with the terms of Paragraph 5 hereof;

4. The Government of Canada to assume the obligation of paying the full indebtedness of Newfoundland, amounting to Eighty-seven Million Dollars, approximately, and at the completion of negotiations to remit to the Government of Newfoundland the sum of Thirteen Million Dollars, approximately, making thus a total payment to the Government of Newfoundland of One Hundred Million Dollars in this behalf;

5. The Government of Canada to deposit in trust with a chartered bank in Montreal an additional amount of Ten Million Dollars with instructions to said bank to deliver said amount on presentation and delivery of a certificate issued by the Government of Newfoundland to the effect that all claims arising out of the issuance of timber licenses have been completely settled and that the said Government of Newfoundland is in a position to deliver to the Government of Canada a free and clear title to the Labrador territory of Newfoundland;

6. The Government of Newfoundland undertakes to submit to the Legislature of Newfoundland a Bill to convey to the Dominion of Canada the full and clear ownership of the Labrador territory aforesaid.

We trust the foregoing will prove satisfactory to you and to your Government and that it will be regarded as a reasonable basis for the initiation of negotiations in the connection herein discussed.
Very respectfully yours,

A. Barnes
P. J. Cashin
W. F. Coaker
H. M. Mosdell


At 7:23 AM, March 05, 2009 , Blogger Edward G. Hollett said...

The rhymers can never tell you or never want to discuss the context in which Cashin made that speech.

He went to London with a delegation to seek a guarantee of independence as long as London would bankroll it. He represented the independence of dependence on London.

Cap in hand, he asked the Whitehall politicians for cash. Guaranteed every year , as needed.

The London officials explained the facts of life to him. Carefully. Painfully.

At that point, Cashin invented the infamous conspiracy accusation which lives on to this day. cashin was an old-fashioned demogogue of the type so beloved by some people in Newfoundland (not necessarily Labrador).

It seems appropriate that his legacy is a fairy tale.


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