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 ∟ Newfoundland and Labrador

1 de facto, in 1934, Newfoundland gave up self-rule, but remained a de jure independent dominion until it joined Canada
Canada
in 1949.

National holidays celebrated on 24 June, Discovery Day, and 26 September, Dominion
Dominion
Day. Patron saint St. John the Baptist.

Newfoundland was a British dominion from 1907 to 1949. The dominion was situated in northeastern North America
North America
along the Atlantic coast and comprised the island of Newfoundland and Labrador
Newfoundland and Labrador
on the continental mainland. Before attaining dominion status, Newfoundland was a British colony, self-governing from 1855. Newfoundland was one of the original "dominions" within the meaning of the Statute of Westminster of 1931 and accordingly enjoyed a constitutional status equivalent to the other dominions at the time. In 1934, Newfoundland became the only dominion to give up its self-governing status, ending 79 years of self-government.[2] This episode was precipitated by a crisis in Newfoundland's public finances in 1932. Newfoundland had accumulated a significant amount of debt by building a railway across the island and raising its own regiment for the First World War.[2] In November of that year, the government warned that Newfoundland would default on payments on the public debt.[2] The United Kingdom
United Kingdom
government quickly established the Newfoundland Royal Commission to inquire and report on the position.[2] The Commission's report was published in October 1933. It recommended that Newfoundland give up its system of self-government temporarily, and allow the United Kingdom
United Kingdom
to administer the dominion through an appointed commission.[2] The Newfoundland parliament accepted this recommendation and presented a petition to the King asking for the suspension of the constitution and the appointment of commissioners to administer the government until the country became self-supporting again.[3] To enable compliance with this request, the United Kingdom
United Kingdom
Parliament passed the Newfoundland Act
Newfoundland Act
1933, and on 16 February 1934, the UK government appointed six commissioners, three from Newfoundland and three from the UK, with the Governor as chairman.[3] The dominion was never to be self-governing again. The system of a six-member Commission of Government continued to govern Newfoundland until it joined Canada
Canada
in 1949 to become Canada's tenth province.[4]

Contents

1 Name and flags 2 Political origins 3 First World War
First World War
and afterwards 4 End of responsible government 5 Second World War 6 National Convention and referenda 7 National anthem 8 See also 9 Footnotes 10 References 11 External links

Name and flags[edit] The official name of the dominion was “Newfoundland” and not, as is sometimes reported, “ Dominion
Dominion
of Newfoundland”. The distinction is apparent in many statutes, most notably the Statute of Westminster which listed the full name of each of the dominions to which that statute applied referring to New Zealand
New Zealand
as the “ Dominion
Dominion
of New Zealand” and to Canada
Canada
as the “ Dominion
Dominion
of Canada”, but referring only to "Newfoundland".[5]

The Newfoundland Blue Ensign, colonial flag from 1870 to 1904

The Union Flag
Union Flag
was adopted by the legislature as the official national flag of Newfoundland on 15 May 1931, before which time the Newfoundland Red Ensign, as civil ensign of Newfoundland, was used as the national flag (though not adopted by the legislature).[6] Political origins[edit] In 1854 the British government established Newfoundland's responsible government.[7] In 1855, Philip Francis Little, a native of Prince Edward Island, won a parliamentary majority over Sir Hugh Hoyles
Hugh Hoyles
and the Conservatives. Little formed the first administration from 1855 to 1858. Newfoundland rejected confederation with Canada
Canada
in the 1869 general election. Prime Minister of Canada
Canada
Sir John Thompson came very close to negotiating Newfoundland's entry into confederation in 1892. It remained a colony until acquiring dominion status in 1907 after the 1907 Imperial Conference decided to confer dominion status on all self-governing colonies.[8] A Royal Proclamation
Royal Proclamation
was issued granting Newfoundland and New Zealand
New Zealand
dominion status effective 26 September 1907 with the title of the head of government being changed from premier to prime minister.[citation needed] The annual holiday of Dominion
Dominion
Day was celebrated each 26 September to commemorate the occasion. First World War
First World War
and afterwards[edit]

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Map of Newfoundland in 1912. Note the border discrepancy regarding Labrador, something that would eventually be settled in Newfoundland's favour by the Judicial Committee of the Privy Council
Judicial Committee of the Privy Council
in 1927.

The Newfoundland Red Ensign, civil flag from 1907 to 1931

Newfoundland's own regiment, the 1st Newfoundland Regiment, fought in the First World War. On 1 July 1916, the German Army wiped out most of that regiment at Beaumont Hamel on the first day on the Somme, inflicting 90 percent casualties. Yet the regiment went on to serve with distinction in several subsequent battles, earning the prefix "Royal". Despite people's pride in the accomplishments of the regiment, Newfoundland's war debt and pension responsibility for the regiment and the cost of maintaining a trans-island railway led to increased and ultimately unsustainable government debt in the post-war era. After the war, Newfoundland along with the other dominions sent a separate delegation to the Paris Peace Conference but, unlike the other dominions, Newfoundland neither signed the Treaty of Versailles in her own right nor sought separate membership in the League of Nations. In the 1920s, political scandals wracked the dominion. In 1923, the attorney general arrested Newfoundland's prime minister Sir Richard Squires on charges of corruption. Despite his release soon after on bail, the British-led Hollis Walker commission reviewed the scandal. Soon after, the Squires government fell. Squires returned to power in 1928 because of the unpopularity of his successors, the pro-business Walter Stanley Monroe
Walter Stanley Monroe
and (briefly) Frederick C. Alderdice (Monroe's cousin), but found himself governing a country suffering from the Great Depression. The Judicial Committee of the Privy Council
Judicial Committee of the Privy Council
resolved Newfoundland's long-standing Labrador
Labrador
boundary dispute with Canada
Canada
to the satisfaction of Newfoundland and against Canada
Canada
(and, in particular, contrary to the wishes of Quebec, the province that bordered Labrador) with a ruling on 1 April 1927. Prior to 1867, the Quebec
Quebec
North Shore portion of the " Labrador
Labrador
coast" had shuttled back and forth between the colonies of Lower Canada
Canada
and Newfoundland. Maps up to 1927 showed the coastal region as part of Newfoundland, with an undefined boundary. The Privy Council ruling established a boundary along the drainage divide separating waters that flowed through the territory to the Labrador
Labrador
coast, although following two straight lines from the Romaine River
Romaine River
along the 52nd parallel, then south near 57 degrees west longitude to the Gulf of Saint Lawrence. Quebec
Quebec
has long rejected the outcome, and Quebec's provincially issued maps do not mark the boundary in the same way as boundaries with Ontario
Ontario
and New Brunswick. End of responsible government[edit]

Colonial Building

The Union Flag, official flag of the Dominion
Dominion
of Newfoundland from 1931 and Canadian province of Newfoundland from 1949 to 1980

As a small country which relied primarily upon the export of fish, paper, and minerals, Newfoundland was hit very hard by the Great Depression. Economic frustration combined with anger over government corruption led to a general dissatisfaction with democratic government. On 5 April 1932, a crowd of 10,000 people marched on the Colonial Building
Colonial Building
(seat of the House of Assembly) and forced Prime Minister Squires to flee. Squires lost an election held later in 1932. The next government, led once more by Alderdice, called upon the British government to take direct control until Newfoundland could become self-sustaining. The United Kingdom, concerned over Newfoundland's likelihood of defaulting on its war-debt payments, established the Newfoundland Royal Commission, headed by a Scottish peer, William Mackenzie, 1st Baron Amulree. Its report, released in 1933, assessed Newfoundland's political culture as intrinsically corrupt and its economic prospects as bleak, and advocated the abolition of responsible government and its replacement by a Commission of the British Government. Acting on the report's recommendations, Alderdice's government voted itself out of existence in December 1933.[2] In 1934, the Dominion
Dominion
suspended Newfoundland's self-governing status and the Commission of Government took control. Newfoundland remained a dominion in name only.[9] Newfoundland was ruled by a governor who reported to the colonial secretary in London. The legislature was suspended.[10] The severe worldwide Great Depression
Great Depression
persisted until the Second World War broke out in 1939. Second World War[edit] Further information: British Empire in World War II
British Empire in World War II
and World War II by country § Newfoundland Given Newfoundland's strategic location in the Battle of the Atlantic, the Allies (especially the United States
United States
of America) built many military bases there. Large numbers of unskilled men gained the first paycheques they had seen in years by working on construction and in dockside crews. National income doubled as an economic boom took place in the Avalon Peninsula
Avalon Peninsula
and to a lesser degree in Gander, Botwood, and Stephenville. The United States
United States
became the main supplier, and American money and influence diffused rapidly from the military, naval, and air bases. Prosperity returned to the fishing industry by 1943. Government revenues, aided by inflation and new income, quadrupled, even though Newfoundland had tax rates much lower than those in Canada, Britain, or the United States. To the astonishment of all, Newfoundland started financing loans to London. Wartime prosperity ended the long depression and reopened the question of political status. The American Bases Act became law in Newfoundland on 11 June 1941, with American personnel creating drastic social change on the island. This included significant intermarriage between Newfoundland women and American personnel.[11][12] A new political party formed in Newfoundland to support closer ties with the U.S., the Economic Union Party, which Earle characterises as "a short-lived but lively movement for economic union with the United States". Advocates of union with Canada
Canada
denounced the Economic Union Party as republican, disloyal and anti-British, no American initiative for union was ever created.[11] National Convention and referenda[edit] Main article: Newfoundland referendums, 1948 As soon as prosperity returned during the war, agitation began to end the Commission.[13] Newfoundland, with a population of 313,000 (plus 5,200 in Labrador), seemed too small to be independent.[14] Joey Smallwood was a well-known radio personality, writer, organizer, and nationalist who long had criticized British rule. In 1945 London announced that a Newfoundland National Convention
Newfoundland National Convention
would be elected to advise on what constitutional choices should be voted on by referendum. Union with the United States
United States
was a possibility, but Britain rejected the option and offered instead two options, return to dominion status or continuation of the unpopular Commission.[15] Canada
Canada
cooperated with Britain to ensure that the option of closer ties with America was not on the referendum. In 1946, an election took place to determine the membership of the Newfoundland National Convention, charged with deciding the future of Newfoundland. The Convention voted to hold a referendum to decide between continuing the Commission of Government or restoring responsible government. Smallwood, the leader of the confederates, moved for the inclusion of a third option — that of confederation with Canada. The Convention defeated his motion, but he did not give up, instead gathering more than 5,000 petition signatures within a fortnight, which he sent to London through the governor. Britain insisted that it would not give Newfoundland any further financial assistance, but added this third option of having Newfoundland join Canada
Canada
to the ballot. After much debate, the first referendum took place on 3 June 1948, to decide between continuing with the Commission of Government, reverting to dominion status, or joining the Canadian Confederation. Three parties participated in the referendum campaign: Smallwood's Confederate Association campaigned for the confederation option while in the anti-confederation campaign Peter Cashin's Responsible Government League and Chesley Crosbie's Economic Union Party
Economic Union Party
(both of which called for a vote for responsible government) took part. No party advocated petitioning Britain to continue the Commission of Government. Canada
Canada
had issued an invitation to join it on generous financial terms. Smallwood was the leading proponent of confederation with Canada, insisting, "Today we are more disposed to feel that our very manhood, our very creation by God, entitles us to standards of life no lower than our brothers on the mainland."[16] Displaying courage and persistence, he succeeded in having the Canada
Canada
option on the referendum.[17] His main opponents were Cashin and Crosbie. Cashin, a former finance minister, led the Responsible Government League, warning against cheap Canadian imports and the high Canadian income tax. Crosbie, a leader of the fishing industry, led the Party for Economic Union with the United States, seeking responsible government first, to be followed by closer ties with the United States, which could be a major source of capital.[18]

The Newfoundland dollar
Newfoundland dollar
bill issued in 1920

Newfoundland postage stamp

The result proved inconclusive, with 44.5 percent supporting the restoration of dominion status, 41.1 percent for confederation with Canada, and 14.3 percent for continuing the Commission of Government. Between the first and second referenda, rumour had it that Catholic bishops were using their religious influence to alter the outcome of the votes. The Orange Order, incensed, called on all its members to vote for confederation, as the Catholics voted for responsible government. The Protestants of Newfoundland outnumbered the Catholics by a ratio of 2:1. Some commentators believe that this sectarian divide influenced the outcome of the second referendum, on 22 July 1948, which asked Newfoundlanders to choose between confederation and dominion status, produced a vote of 51 percent to 49 percent for confederation, and Newfoundland joined Canada
Canada
in the final hours of 31 March 1949. National anthem[edit] The anthem of the Dominion
Dominion
of Newfoundland was the "Ode to Newfoundland", written by British colonial governor Sir Charles Cavendish Boyle in 1902 during his administration of Newfoundland (1901 to 1904). It was adopted as the dominion's anthem on 20 May 1904, until confederation with Canada
Canada
in 1949. In 1980, the province of Newfoundland re-adopted the song as a provincial anthem, making Newfoundland and Labrador
Newfoundland and Labrador
the only province in Canada
Canada
to adopt a provincial anthem. The "Ode to Newfoundland" continues to be heard at public events in the province; however, only the first and last verses are traditionally sung. See also[edit]

Newfoundland Act, a British Act of Parliament
Act of Parliament
that confirmed and gave effect to the Terms of Union agreed to between the Dominion
Dominion
of Canada and the Dominion
Dominion
of Newfoundland on 23 March 1949. List of prime ministers of the Dominion
Dominion
of Newfoundland General elections in Newfoundland (pre-Confederation) List of political parties in Newfoundland and Labrador List of Newfoundland Cases of the Judicial Committee of the Privy Council (pre-1949) Charles Jost Burchell, Canada's High Commissioner to Newfoundland, involved in negotiating union with Canada. High Commissioner of Newfoundland to the United Kingdom

Political parties in the Dominion
Dominion
of Newfoundland

Conservative parties in Newfoundland (pre-Confederation) Liberal parties in Newfoundland (pre-Confederation) Fisherman's Protective Union Newfoundland People's Party United Newfoundland Party

Footnotes[edit]

^ Statute of Westminster 1931, Newfoundland Act
Newfoundland Act
1949 ^ a b c d e f Hiller, JK (2002). "The Newfoundland Royal Commission, 1933 (The Amulree Commission)". Newfoundland and Labrador
Newfoundland and Labrador
Heritage Web Site. Retrieved 29 December 2015.  ^ a b Commonwealth and Colonial Law by Kenneth Roberts-Wray, London, Stevens, 1966. P. 830 ^ British North America
North America
Act, 1949 (12, 13 & 14 G. 6, c. 22) ^ The Statute of Westminster, 1931 22 Geo. 5, c4 (U.K.) ^ "Historic Flags of Newfoundland (Canada)". October 2005. Retrieved 2010-06-22.  ^ Webb, Jeff. "Representative Government, 1832–1855". Retrieved 2008-10-17.  ^ History of Newfoundland & Labrador
Labrador
Archived 2 June 2011 at the Wayback Machine. at Mapleleafweb.com ^ Webb, Jeff A. (January 2003). "The Commission of Government, 1934–1949". Newfoundland and Labrador
Newfoundland and Labrador
Heritage Web Site (2007). Retrieved 2007-08-10.  ^ Neary, Peter (1988). Newfoundland in the North Atlantic World, 1929–1949. McGill-Queen's Press – MQUP. p. 25.  ^ a b Earle, Karl McNeil (Winter 1998). "Cousins of a Kind: The Newfoundland and Labrador
Newfoundland and Labrador
Relationship with the United States". American Review of Canadian Studies. 28: 387–411. doi:10.1080/02722019809481611.  ^ Overton, James (Autumn 1984). "Coming Home: Nostalgia and Tourism in Newfoundland". Acadiensis. 14 (1): 84–97. JSTOR 30303385.  ^ Gene Long, Suspended State: Newfoundland Before Canada
Canada
(1999) ^ R. A. MacKay, Newfoundland: Economic, Diplomatic, and Strategic Studies, (1946) online edition ^ James K. Hiller, Confederation: deciding Newfoundland's future, 1934–1949 (1998) ^ Joseph Roberts Smallwood, I chose Canada: The memoirs of the Honourable Joseph R. "Joey" Smallwood (1973) p. 256 ^ Richard Gwyn, Smallwood: The Unlikely Revolutionary (1972) ^ J. K. Hiller, and M. F. Harrington, eds., The Newfoundland National Convention, 1946–1948. (2 vols. 1995). 2021 pp. excerpts and text search

References[edit]

Earle, Karl McNeil. "Cousins of a Kind: The Newfoundland and Labrador Relationship with the United States" American Review of Canadian Studies, Vol. 28, 1998 online edition Fay, C. R. Life and Labour in Newfoundland University of Toronto Press, 1956 Keith, Arthur Berriedale. Responsible Government in the Dominions Clarendon Press, 1912 Keith, Arthur Berriedale. "The Report of the Newfoundland Royal Commission" Journal of Comparative Legislation and International Law, Third Series, Vol. 16, No. 1 (1934), pages 25–39 MacKay; R. A. Newfoundland; Economic, Diplomatic, and Strategic Studies (Oxford University Press, 1946) online Neary, Peter. Newfoundland in the North Atlantic World, 1929–1949 (McGill-Queen's Press 1988)

External links[edit]

Atlantic Crossroads, a 1945 Allied propaganda film on Newfoundland's role in the Second World War

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Legend Current territory Former territory * Now a Commonwealth realm Now a member of the Commonwealth of Nations Historical flags of the British Empire

Europe

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17th century and before 18th century 19th and 20th century

1579 New Albion 1583–1907 Newfoundland 1605–1979 *Saint Lucia 1607–1776 Virginia Since 1619 Bermuda 1620–1691 Plymouth 1623–1883 Saint Kitts 1624–1966 *Barbados 1625–1650 Saint Croix 1627–1979 *Saint Vincent and the Grenadines 1628–1883 Nevis 1629–1691 Massachusetts Bay 1632–1776 Maryland since 1632 Montserrat 1632–1860 Antigua 1635–1644 Saybrook 1636–1776 Connecticut 1636–1776 Rhode Island 1637–1662 New Haven

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1818–1846 Columbia District/Oregon Country1 1833–1960 Windward Islands 1833–1960 Leeward Islands 1841–1867 Canada 1849–1866 Vancouver Island 1853–1863 Queen Charlotte Islands 1858–1866 British Columbia 1859–1870 North-Western Territory 1860–1981 *British Antigua
Antigua
and Barbuda 1862–1863 Stickeen 1866–1871 British Columbia 1867–1931 * Dominion
Dominion
of Canada2 1871–1964 Honduras 1882–1983 * Saint Kitts
Saint Kitts
and Nevis 1889–1962 Trinidad and Tobago 1907–1949 Newfoundland3 1958–1962 West Indies Federation

1. Occupied jointly with the United States. 2. In 1931, Canada
Canada
and other British dominions obtained self-government through the Statute of Westminster. See Name of Canada. 3. Gave up self-rule in 1934, but remained a de jure Dominion until it joined Canada
Canada
in 1949.

South America

1631–1641 Providence Island 1651–1667 Willoughbyland 1670–1688 Saint Andrew and Providence Islands4 1831–1966 Guiana Since 1833 Falkland Islands5 Since 1908 South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands5

4. Now a department of Colombia. 5. Occupied by Argentina during the Falklands War
Falklands War
of April–June 1982.

Africa

17th and 18th centuries 19th century 20th century

Since 1658 Saint Helena14 1792–1961 Sierra Leone 1795–1803 Cape Colony

Since 1815 Ascension Island14 Since 1816 Tristan da Cunha14 1806–1910 Cape of Good Hope 1807–1808 Madeira 1810–1968 Mauritius 1816–1965 The Gambia 1856–1910 Natal 1862–1906 Lagos 1868–1966 Basutoland 1874–1957 Gold Coast 1882–1922 Egypt

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6.  League of Nations
League of Nations
mandate. 7. Self-governing Southern Rhodesia
Southern Rhodesia
unilaterally declared independence in 1965 (as Rhodesia) and continued as an unrecognised state until the 1979 Lancaster House Agreement. After recognised independence in 1980, Zimbabwe was a member of the Commonwealth until it withdrew in 2003.

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League of Nations
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Oceania

18th and 19th centuries 20th century

1788–1901 New South Wales 1803–1901 Van Diemen's Land/Tasmania 1807–1863 Auckland Islands9 1824–1980 New Hebrides 1824–1901 Queensland 1829–1901 Swan River/Western Australia 1836–1901 South Australia since 1838 Pitcairn Islands

1841–1907 New Zealand 1851–1901 Victoria 1874–1970 Fiji10 1877–1976 Western Pacific Territories 1884–1949 Papua 1888–1901 Rarotonga/Cook Islands9 1889–1948 Union Islands9 1892–1979 Gilbert and Ellice Islands11 1893–1978 Solomon Islands12

1900–1970 Tonga 1900–1974 Niue9 1901–1942 *Australia 1907–1947 *New Zealand 1919–1942 and 1945–1968 Nauru 1919–1949 New Guinea 1949–1975 Papua and New Guinea13

9. Now part of the *Realm of New Zealand. 10. Suspended member. 11. Now Kiribati
Kiribati
and *Tuvalu. 12. Now the *Solomon Islands. 13. Now *Papua New Guinea.

Antarctica and South Atlantic

Since 1658 Saint Helena14 Since 1815 Ascension Island14 Since 1816 Tristan da Cunha14 Since 1908 British Antarctic Territory15 1841–1933 Australian Antarctic Territory
Australian Antarctic Territory
(transferred to the Commonwealth of Australia) 1841–1947 Ross Dependency
Ross Dependency
(transferred to the Realm of New Zealand)

14. Since 2009 part of Saint Helena, Ascension and Tristan da Cunha; Ascension Island
Ascension Island
(1922–) and Tristan da Cunha
Tristan da Cunha
(1938–) were previously dependencies of Saint Helena. 15. Both claimed in 1908; territories formed in 1962 (British Antarctic Territory) and 1985 (South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands).

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1 Annexed by Canada
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in 1949 2 Rhodesia
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unilaterally declared independence in 1965, but this was not recognised internationally. Declared itself a republic in 1970.

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Newfoundland and Labrador
portal

Authority control

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