Charles Jost Burchell

Sydney, Nova Scotia Canadian Confederation Halifax, Nova Scotia

Charles Jost Burchell
Charles Jost Burchell.png
High Commissioner to the Dominion of Newfoundland
In office
In office
High Commissioner to Australia
In office
Personal details
Born(1876-07-01)1 July 1876
Sydney, Nova Scotia
Died12 August 1967(1967-08-12) (aged 91)
Halifax, Nova Scotia
E. Gertrude Currie
(m. 1901)

Charles Jost Burchell, PC (1 July 1876[1] – 12 August 1967[2]) was a Canadian diplomat. He served as Canada's first High Commissioner to Australia from 1939 to 1941 and as Canada's first and last High Commissioner to the Dominion of Newfoundland serving from 1941 to 1944 and again from 1948 to 1949.[3]

Burchell also raised the possibility of the island, which was then ruled by a British appointed Commission of Government, might join Canadian Confederation following the war. He "quietly sounded out prominent St. John's citizens on Confederation and quietly encouraged St. John's lawyer John McEvoy to promote publicly Confederation between the two countries." Burchell concluded that the restoration of responsible government by Britain may have to occur before the island would consider joining Canada.[4]

Early life

Charles Jost Burchell was born in Sydney, Nova Scotia on 1 July 1876. He attended Sydney Academy and Dalhousie University, read law, and was admitted to the Nova Scotia bar in Apri 1899.[5]

He married E. Gertrude Currie on 8 May 1901, and they had four children.[5]

Diplomatic career

Jost's initial term as High Commissioner was from 1941 to 1944 when he was succeeded by James Macdonald. However, he would serve a second sojourn from 1948 to 1949.

The mission remained following the war in order to deal with the withdrawal of American troops, negotiate a 99-year lease for a Canadian military airbase at Goose Bay and, ultimately, to negotiate Newfoundland's entry into Canadian Confederation following the 1948 Newfoundland referendums. Burchell was sent back to Newfoundland in 1948 in order to negotiate the British colony's terms of union with Canada.[6]

The High Commission was closed on March 31, 1949, shortly before Newfoundland officially became a Canadian province. On April 1, 1949, Buchell was named to the Queen's Privy Council for Canada in recognition of his work as High Commissioner.


Charles Jost Burchell died at his home in Halifax on 14 August 1967.[7]


  1. ^ Pierre G. Normandin. "The Canadian parliamentary guide". p. 24. Missing or empty |url= (help)
  2. ^ Entry on
  3. ^ Foreign Affairs and International Trade Canada Complete List of Posts
  4. ^ Melvin Baker (March 2003). "Falling into the Canadian Lap: The Confederation of Newfoundland and Canada, 1945-1949" (PDF). (Newfoundland and Labrador) Royal Commission on Renewing and Strengthening Our Place in Canada. Retrieved 11 February 2007.
  5. ^ a b Parker, Charles Whately; Greene, Barnet M., eds. (1922). Who's Who in Canada, Volume 16. International Press. p. 1295. Retrieved 19 July 2020 – via Google Books.
  6. ^ "Description: Canadian High Commission to Newfoundland sous-fonds". Library and Archives Canada. Archived from the original on 30 September 2007. Retrieved 11 February 2007.
  7. ^ "Charles Burchell". The Gazette. Halifax. CP. 14 August 1967. p. 41. Retrieved 19 July 2020 – via