The Politics of Newsprint: The Newfoundland Pulp and Paper Industry, 1915-1939
In the early twentieth century, forestry products accounted for approximately two per cent of Newfoundland exports by value. By the early 1930s, the forest sector provided over 50 per cent of exports by value and the economic basis for new settlements on or near the railway. Only half of the labour force in the industry was employed full-time. Two major pulp and paper companies dominated the sector, holding leases to almost all the island's productive forests on generous terms. Neither firm was based in Newfoundland, and both exported large parts of their revenues. What had occurred was the development of an enclave industry at very considerable cost in terms of control over resources and obtaining an adequate government return. The period between 1915 and 1930 saw the successful promotion of a mill at Corner Brook and the failure of an attempt to establish another major development on the Gander River. All proposals for development were contingent upon government financial assistance. Newsprint politics involved the colonial government, promoters, banks, and the imperial government. Newfoundland interests were usually overridden, and colonial governments were forced into acts of unprecedented generosity to support and expand the industry.
01 Jan 1990
Pulp and Paper Mills
Strategic Research Theme
Community and Regional Development