Tuesday, June 14, 2011

60 years ago: June 14, 1951

New Labrador Logging Operation 'Will Life People Out of Poverty'

St. John's, Nfld., June 14—Premier Smallwood announced today that European interests had signed an agreement to start a logging operation in the virgin forests of Lake Melville in Labrador.

Under the agreement a Swiss firm headed by Dr. Arthur Siegheim will cut 200,000 cords of pulpwood annually, pay a royalty directly to the government of $1,000,000.

The agreement is for 10 years and is renewable for another 10 years. A bill will be presented in the provincial legislature to ratify the agreement. Under the contract the new project will employ 1,500 men earning roughly $2,000,000 annually in wages.

The company will establish two [sic] with a view to having the loggers live there permanently with their families. A company plan will be brought in to assist the loggers in financing the building of their homes.

"This is the first step in opening up the vast, untapped resources of the northern territory of Labrador," Harold Horwood, the member of the provincial legislature for Labrador, said today referring to the announcement.

"It is the first real industry in Labrador," Mr. Horwood said, "and is the prelude to the establishment of other industries using wood as the raw material.

Mr. Horwood said "the new operations will centralize the white population of Labrador. Taking them from the poverty stricken areas around the coast and move Melville area. [sic] It will put money in their pockets and raise their standard of living tremendously."

— Toronto Star, June 14, 1951

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