(extract from an lecture to the Newfoundland Historical Society
on March 25, 1982, by Norman Crane)

In 1933, Newfoundland was bankrupt and Great Britain appointed a Royal Commission of Enquiry "to examine into the future of Newfoundland and in particular, to report on the financial situation and prospects therein." This Royal Commission was headed by Baron Amulree and the report which was submitted, comprising 283 pages, became known as the Amulree Report. It was this report that recommended the suspension of Responsible Government in Newfoundland and that government by Commission should be instituted until such time as it might be deemed feasible to revert to Responsible Government. It is also in this report that we find mention made of the first circumstance which led to the formation of "The Newfoundland Rangers." This Commission had but two avenues open to them if they were to make recommendations that would lead to betterment of the financial picture of Newfoundland. They could make recommendations that would involve the development of the natural resources of the Island and they could make recommendations to affect economies in the administration of government. The greatest natural resource was, of course, the fishery. This resource was in trouble at the time and because of this, it was natural that a close look should be taken at the land-based resources; as so we see a reference to a fur industry, followed by the following comments:

"One such a scheme has been worked out, from both the scientific and administrative standpoints the next step would be to arrange for a new body of game wardens which would doubtless be required for its execution. This body might, we suggest, be organized on similar lines to The Royal Canadian Mounted Police."

Later in the report, we again find reference to the proposal of a fur industry and the formation of a new force of game wardens, but the recommendation now goes on,

"Should such a body be formed on the lines we recommend, it might be practical to assign to it other duties than those of game wardens. In the North West Territories of Canada, for instance, the Royal Canadian Mounted Police enforce all Federal Criminal Statutes as well as those of the North West Territories Council."

The report then goes on to list the numerous duties then performed by the Royal Canadian Mounted Police in the North West Territories. It also proceeds to envisage the proposed Force to be empowered to--and I quote--

" . . . eventually take over all public works, not only in the interior, but in the outports as well. They might collect the Customs and other revenue at all but the most important posts, might assist in the operating of the Post Office and Railway, and generally might undertake duties, excluding those assigned to the Magistrates and Fisheries Inspectors, which are at present distributed among a number of minor officials. On this basis, the establishment of such a Force would combine efficiency with economy. The Force might also operate in Labrador."

In 1934, the recommendation of the Amulree Royal Commission that Responsible Government of Newfoundland should be suspended, was acted upon and another Commission was set up to govern the Country. It is clear that the new Commission placed a lot of faith in the recommendations contained in the Amulree Report as they proceeded to take action on some of them, one of which was the "formation of Game Wardens." Early in 1935, legislation was enacted authorizing the organization of "The Newfoundland Rangers."

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Revised March 14, 1997.