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The Pacific Railway. Britannicus' letters from the Ottawa Citizen McLeod, Malcolm, 1821-1899 1875

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THE PACIFIC RAILWAY.
BRITANNICUS  LETTERS
-FROM THE-
OTTAWA  CITIZEN.
OTTAWA : " Citizen Publishing Company.
1875.  PACIFIC   RAILWAY.
.   BRITANNICUS' LETTERS IN OTTAWA CITIZEN.
"THE   PACIFIC    RAILWAY    QUESTION."
LETTER IVo. 1.
To the Editor of The Citizen:
Dear Sir,—Under this heading we have just had from
the Montreal Ministerial press, viz., Herald, Witness and Star,
a series of articles urging, in effect, the impolicy of a Canadian
Pacific Railway from ocean to ocean, wholly on Canadian
ground. At the same time, with an inconsistency which can
only be rightly read through the glamour of an " organized
hypocrisy," they hold forth, to use the words of the Star, that
| owing to its magnitude, and involving as it does the vital
interests of the Dominion, the question of constructing the
Pacific Railway is, by all odds, the most important which
could occupy the attention of the Canadian press and people."
" The Conservatives insist," the Star goes on to say, "that
the policy of the Macdonald Government concerning it was
better than that of the present Administration." | The
writer then gives his " facts " and " figures " and general
prelections—wild, exceedingly—in support of his argument,
concluding with the damning sentence—"The entire project
appears to be nothing short of
A STUPENDOUS ACT OF FOLLY
on the part of its orignators, as well as their successors, and
the Colonial Office authorities as well." In other words, and
as so emphatically put in the House by Mr. " Speak Now"
Wood, in his memoriable thirty shekelled speech against his
former friends and masters in this " vital" matter of Pacific
Railway in and for Canada—" Is the mad scheme of a mad
Government."
Where—if anywhere—the madness is, in the matter, I
cannot, even at this advanced moment, after much actual
a—Rr. knowledge of the full truth of much of what, at the initiation
of the scheme, was unavoidably assumed merely in predicate,
really say. This much, however, I can say. That at the
general election—one sprung on the country, as a trap, so
strong and unanimous was public opinion in favor of the
scheme, that even the Chief of the Ultra-Annexation Section
Ministry .of the day, the Hon. (ai*d now Chief Justice)
Dorion, on the hustings of Napierville, standing amongst the
sons of old Chateauguay, and seeking then and there their
1 sweet voices " for election, answered, when anxiously asked
on the point, " our scheme " (i.e., The Pacific Railway),
« WILL BE IN THE MAIN THAT OF THE LATE MINISTRY."
As to the soundness—impos of compos—of the mind of the
honorable gentleman^ to whom, according to all reports, the
Chief Justiceship of our Supreme Court has just been offered,
and who now, by the pre-eminent ability manifested by him
in his present high office, commands the respect and approving
regards of all parties, I leave it to his successor in the office
of Minister of Justice to this Dominion, and to the " Stars,"
varied and somewhat erratic and nebulous perhaps, in his
immediate galaxy to show forth. Our night, political, is
dark, no doubt, and we look anxiously for Aurora, (not Mr.
Blake's however), look for the dawning of a better and
a longer day.
No ! the cry, utterly false, of the moment, on the part
of a few, a very few, not "nine-tenths" as Sir Alexander
Gait in his letter of the other day hath it, yea, not one-tenth
of one tenth of one-tenth of the people proper of Canada, of
" No Pacific Railway," I say, is
NOT MADNESS EXACTLY BUT SOMETHING WORSE,
something rather of that treachery to national entity, which
men call treason. I speak plain in this matter, for the occasion in its imminence, calls for it.
And now as to this.issue of relative schemes, the so-
called " Macdonald one " and so-called " Mackenzie one," I
take up the gage of our enemies, and shall do my best to show
yhidi is the better cause. The ground I propose to go over
is too extended for a single letter and will probably require 3
a series, but which I shall make as short as possible, compatibly with the nature and importance of the case.
I purpose to show, in the first instance, what the first
project was, and in doing so to confine myself, as much as
possible, to authenticated data, and to deductions which may
fairly defy cavil—and all to the effect that the first scheme
was one which, as ever appeared, and as still appears to me,
and as I believe to all of Canada, or out of it, who had honestly
looked into it, was and is best calculated for the immediate
consolidation and
PERMANENT WELFARE OF CANADA
as well as for the advancement and safeguard of those larger
and higher interests, material and moral, involved in the
work in its national and international aspects.     «
As to the details of the scheme, I shall, as need be for
the argument, take them up; and in so far as space in your
columns will allow, shall make my reasoning as exhaustive
as possible.
In adopting the term " Mackenzie scheme," however, I
beg distinctly, in limine, to say that I do not consider it as a
Pacific Railway in any sense. When I come to it in discussion I shall explain this.
In the meantime, in connection with this view, I would
point to the incident that at this moment I have evidence of
the fact in the open and van-cry avowal of " No Pacific Railway" in Canada on the part of Mr. Mackenzie's special
nominee, Mr. Thomas Workman (Oh, unbelieving Thomas !)
in the pending Montreal election. Add to that, as evidence
indubitable, our Premier's own speech at his own Sarnia, just
forty-eight hours ago. At the same time Messrs. Blake and
Huntington—statesmen whose avowed policy is to drive
British Columbia out of our Confederation—hold seat and high
rule in executive in Ottawa.
Yours,
BRITANNICUS.
Ottawa, 14th October.
The Montreal Star, so far as we understand, is an Independent and not a Ministerial journal.—Ed. Citizen.
J LETTER- IVo. «.
The Macdonald Scheme.
To the Editor of The Citizen :
Sir,—The theme is a large one, and for fair dealing
should be accompanied with an extended line of introductory
remark to show, as it were, the immediate " reason (neces -
sity) of the thing;" but, as the public mind has been, we
assume, for the nonce, already favorably impressed on this
point, and that all effort to change it, now and of late, has
so far failed, at least to any extent worthy of mark, we defer
observation on this head to general comment, in conclusion,
on review of the comparative schemes in question.
THE SCHEME AS FORMULATED IN CONTRACT,
and as set forth in the charter was laid thus! " Whereas,
by an Act of the Parliament of Canada,"—we cite verbatim
from the charter act—" passed in the thirty-fifth year of our
reign, entitled an Act respecting the Canadian Pacific Railway, it is provided, upon the considerations therein declared,
that a railway to be called ' The Canadian Pacific Railway,'
should be made in conformity with the agreement referred
to in the preamble to the said Act, and should extend from
some point on or near Lake Nipissing, and on the south shore
thereof to some point on the shore of the Pacific Ocean ; both
the said points to be determined by the Governor in Council,
and the course and line of the said railway between the
said points to be subject to the approval of the Governor in
Council."
" And whereas it is, by the said Act, further provided,
that two, and only two certain branch lines, viz! The Pembina one and the then contemplated Nepigon one (if required
and as might be determined by ultimate survey lor location)
should be constructed within certain periods, viz., the former
by 31st December, 1874; the latter, together with the whole
1 Lake Superior seatimt^ from Lake Superior to Red River, by
the 31«< December, 1876."
RAILWAY.
" That the Company may and shall lay out, construct,
equip, maintain and work a continuous railway, of the width 5
or gauge of four feet eight and one-half inches; which railway shall be made in conformity with the Act hereinbefore
recited, and with this our royal charter; and such railway
shall extend from such point on or near Lake Nipissing, and
on the south shore thereof, to some point on the shore of
the Pacific Ocean, both the said points to be determined by
the Government, and the course and line of the said railway
to be subject to the approval of the Government."
Then follow provisions as to " specifications" to be
agreed on by the Government and the Company. And
further, it was stipulated—Sec 8.
"That the Company shall" [should] " within two years
from the 20th July, 1871, commence simultaneously the
construction of the railway from the Pacific Ocean -towards
the Rocky Mountains, and from a point [i. e. on or near the
south shore of Lake Nipissing, as fixed by Act of Parliament
as already stated] in the Province of Ontario, hereafter
[thereafter] to be determined by the Government, towards
the Pacific Ocean, to connect the seaboard of British Columbia
with the railway system of Canada, i. e., by a continuous railway wholly in Canada. The whole to be finished within
ten years from 20th July, 1871."
" The capital stock of the company shall be ten million
dollars [distributed rateably, according to population, throughout the provinces in the Federation, and in the sums respectively, stated in the charter] which shall not be increased
but by Act of Parliament [such capital stock having been
already subscribed as aforesaid] to be held in shares of one
hundred dollars each, which shall in all respects be deemed
personal property, and ten per centum thereon shall be paid
into the hands of the Receiver-General of Canada, in money or
Canadian Government securities, within one month after the
date of these presents, to remain in his hands until otherwise ordered by Parliament." Interest on deposit while
unforfeited.
The section following, at considerable length, provides
for calls on shares after the ten per centum thereof so placed
in deposit.
By section "41"—too long for citation at present—
power to issue bonds for construction to an amount " which
k shall not exceed forty thousand dollars per mile, to be issued
in proportion to the length of railway to be constructed," is
given to the company, such bonds to be a " first charge on
the rapiway and its appurtenances."
LAND GRANT.
" Fifty millions acres of land, in blocks [alternate] not
exceeding twenty miles in depth on each side of such main
line." [We italicise the words " each side," for they vary—
vary very much to the advantage of the grantees—from the
terms quoad hoc of the Mackenzie scheme, according to
which the railway may bisect the " blocks of twenty square
miles each" (alternate) "along the line of said railway."]
The blocks in the former as in the latter case, to be "alternate,"
but with a frontage or " width " of " not less than six miles
nor more than twelve miles, the alternate blocks to be held in
reserve by the Government at the " upset price " of two dollars
and a half per acre, the average value as predicted in the
contract of the lands so granted.
Special provision is made for arrangement with the Province of Ontario as to grant in that portion of the railway
within it I and further the charter provided:—
" That if it shall be found that any of the alternate
blocks laid out along the line of the railway are unfit for
settlement, the company shall not be bound to receive from
the Government any greater depth of land in such blocks
than one mile, computed from the railway.
That the lands to be granted in aid of the main line of
railway from out of the lands of the Dominion, and the lands
to be granted in aid of the said branches (Pembina and Nepi-
gon) shall consist of such land as shall be found east of the
Rocky Mountains, between the parallels forty-nine and fifty-
seven of north latitude, and the Company shall not be bound
to receive any lands which are not of the fair average quality of
the land in the sections of country best adapted for settlement
lying within those limits; and the same shall be laid out as
nearly as may be, contiguous to the lands granted along the
main line of Railway, and to the Lake Superior Branch."
We especially emphasize this passage; because the terms
—most loose and really most reprehensible—in the Mackenzie
scheme, allow of selection anywhere in the whole Northwest, including coal and gold lands for any number of miles of
railway done.    Of this, more anon.
SUBSIDY IN MONEY.
" That a subsidy or aid in money, amounting; to $30,-
000,000, is hereby granted to the company, payable from
time to time by instalments at intervals of one month as any
portion of the railway is proceeded with, in proportion to the
length, difficulty of construction and cost of such portion,
such proportions to be ascertained and settled in the same
manner as is herein provided with respect to the grants of
land."    Costs of survey to be included in such subsidy.
BOARD  OF TRUSTEES.
That the company may by by-law create a Board of
Trustees to consist of three persons, to be chosen and to be
removeable at pleasure, as follows, that is to say : one member
thereof by the Government, one other member thereof by
the Board of Directors, and the one other member thereof by
the bondholders, in such a manner as may be provided by
such by-law.
The duties and powers of this Board are defined at much
length, and are obviously in safeguard of the interests of the
Government and bondholders, as well as for proper function
of the company in the course of their work.
It ought to be stated also that a telegraph line, in connection with the railway, and for public utility is amply
provided for in the charter. And further it was provided that
the company should convey by their railway whatever military forces, naval or military stores, ammunition, guns, baggage, &c, should be required by the military or naval authorities, " on such terms and conditions and under such regulations as the Government should from time to time make."
BRITANNICUS.
Ottawa, 15th October, 1875.
LETTER IVo. 3.
Further Consideration of the Scheme,
To the Editor of The Citizen :
Sir,—In my last I  was longer than I intended to be
but could not well be shorter, as the contract itself was so 8
terse and so full of detail—providing everything, and against
every contingency—that I found it impossible to further
abreviate ; and besides, I happened to be hurried, by press
of urgent duties, when I wrote. One word, however, before
I close on this head.*
THE MACDONALD CONTRACT
was framed eminently in the public interest, and in terms
to defy the acutest hypercriticism of its bitterest assailants.
There was, in safeguard of public interest, no flaw in it, and no
one, of any character at stake for professional ability or rectitude, dared to pretend, in the House, nor even in the press,
that there was any in it. On the contrary, the defect or
fault of the contract was that it was too onerous " hard" and
restrictive on the contractors, and from the tenor ol Sir Hugh
Allan's testimony on this point, on the Royal Commission,
they had begun to feel this. For instance, in the matter of
bond issue, the restriction to forty thousand dollars per mile
was too narrow. In my humble opinion, taking the total
length of line from the eastern terminus to the Pacific shore
at 2,665 miles, my estimate, as stated in detail in my letters
of 1869, and as subsequently confirmed by actual survey, as
reported by Mr. Fleming, and giving a total estimated cost
of $150,000,000, viz. : 50,000,000 acres at $2.50 per acre,
and $30,000,000 in money. The bond margin should have
been wider, viz., $60,000 per mile. Other points in the same
line of remark I might make, but forbear for the present.
FEASIBILITY of the macdonald line.
" Thirty millions of dollars and some fifty millions of
acres of land were devoted to the work of constructing; a
road by a line that had never been surveyed, through an un-
knoivn land save to the fur trader and the Indian,"
So says the Star in his article under consideration.
It is not true.
In the first place, at the very initiation of the project
the Government had before them, abundance of reliable information derived from the late Mr. Waddington's reports
and plans of actual survey from the Pacific coast eastward to
the valley of the river Montreal in the Ottawa Valley, or at
least, of some of the most difficult portions of the route, and
a careful and  exhaustive collection of facts from Imperial bluebooks and our own as to our north-west, and from the
Crown Land Office of British Columbia, and also from the
ever faithfully kept itineraries, journals, reports and maps,
[M.S.S.] of leading officers in the Hudson's Bay Company's
service lent for the occasion, and from the Thompson and
other professional reports of exploratory survey in our own
archives, and in all these the Government had abundant data
to go on. But further. In April, 10th, 1872, ten months
before the date of charter in question, Mr. Fleming, the En-
gineer-in-Chief of the work, published his progress report,
showing enough to confirm the assumption of feasibility; and
on the 2nd of that month, on the strength of actual knowledge acquired the Government by formal Minute of Council
adopted the Yellow Head Pass^-as first indicated by Wad-
dington and myself—as the " gate "—railway gate—to British
Columbia from the east. From that time to the date of contract the survey with a staff of Home twenty-two or twenty-
four companies strongly equipped—a survey force of power
and effective energy beyond parallel—was continued untiringly, and by that time it was fully known to the contracting parties that not only a feasible line of railway but one infinitely easier, cheaper and better than any possible American
one, from our Eastern Railway System to the Pacific Ocean,
existed within our own borders !
I state this from thorough personal knowledge; but to
prove the fact 1 would, but briefly, refer to Mr. Fleming's
last report of survey, viz : that ol 1874, and which has been
scattered broadcast over the land. His conclusion—see page
34-6 in general summary—is thus expressed by himself, viz :
| That the practicability of establishing raihoay communication
across the continent, wholly ivithin the limits of the Dominion, is
no longer a matter of doubt.
It may indeed "—he goes on to say—" be now accepted
as a certainty, that a route has been lound, generally possessing favorable engineering features, with the exception of a
short section approaching the Pacific coast; which route,
taking its entire length, including the exceptional section
alluded to, will on an average show lighter work and will
require less* costly structures than have been necessry on
many of the railways now in operation in the Dominion."
b—By. 10
In  my  next,  I propose   taking up  the | Mackenzie
Scheme."
BRITANNICUS,
Ottawa, 15th Oct., 1875.
LETTER IVo. 4.
Further Consideration of the Scheme.
To the Editor of The Citizen :
" THE MACKENZIE SCHEME,"
As originally laid, is to be found in Chap. 14 of our Dominion
Acts of 1874.    (Assented to, 26th May, 1874.)
THE LINE OF RAILWAY
is defined thus :—
" Section 1. A railway to be called the t Canadian Pacific
Railway' shall be made from some point near to and south of
Lake Nipissing to some point on British Columbia on the Pacific Ocean, both the said points to be determined and the
course and line of the said railway to be approved of by the
Governor in Council.
" Section 2. The whole line of the said railway, for the
purpose of its construction, shall be divided into four sections:
The first section to begin at a point near to and south of
Lake Nipissing, and to extend towards the upper or western
end of Lake Superior, to a point where it shall intersect the
second section hereinafter mentioned ; the second section to
begin at some point on Lake Superior, to be determined -by
the Governor in Council, and connecting- with the first sec-
tion, and to extend to Red River, in the Province of Manitoba ; the third section to extend from Red River, in the
Province of Manitoba, to some point between Fort Edmonton and the foot of the Rocky Mountains, to be determined
by the Governor in Council; the fourth section to extend
from the western terminus of the third section to some point
in British Columbia on the Pacific Ocean."
BRANCHES.
I Section 3. Branches  of the said railway shall also be
constructed as follows, that is to sav I—
" First.—A branch from the point indicated as the pro-,
posed eastern terminus of the said railway to some point on 11
the Georgian Bay, both the said points to be determined by
the Governor in Council.
" Secondly.—A branch from the main line near Fort
Garry, in the Province of Manitoba, to some point near Pembina on the southern boundary thereof."
By section 4, these branches are to be "considered, to all
intents and purposes, as forming part of the Canadian Pacific
Railway."
TELEG-RAPH LINE.
" Section 5. A line of electric telegraph shall be con
structed in advance of the said railway and branches, along
their whole extent respectively, as soon as practicable, after
the location of the time shall have been determined upon."
By Section 6. The " guage " (gauge) of the railway is
defined to be four feet eight inches and a half; and further
it is laid down, as a distinctive principle in the manipulation
of the scheme, that the " grades of the railway, and the materials and manner of and in which the several works forming part thereof shall be constructed, and the mode of working the railway, including the description and capacity of
the locomotive engines and other rolling stock, shall be such
as shall be determined by the Governor in •Council."
And to make certainty doubly sure on this score, it is
enacted, by Section 7, that—" The said Canadian Pacific Railway and the branches or sections hereinbefore mentioned,
and the stations, bridges and other works connected therewith, and all engines, lreight, and passenger cars and rolling-
stock shall be constructed under the general superintendence
of the Department of Public Works," and, of course, of its
own proper workmen.
And further, still, for jobbery, it is enacted by Section
8, that—" The Governor in Council may divide the several
sections of the said railway into sub-sections, and may contract with any person, co-partnership, or company, or company incorporated * * * for the construction of any
section or sub-section of the said railway, includiug all works <
connected therewith," &c, subject to the following provisions :—
" 1. That the works or any section or sub-section of the
*id railway shall not be given out to any contractor or con- 12
tractors except after tenders shall have been obtained for the
same." [Note —So far well, but the Departmental principle
now, and of late, as exemplified in the Palen and certain
large canal contract affairs, is evidently a very uncertain one
in this matter of " tenders."]
" 2. That the contract for any portion of the said works
shall not be given to any contractors unless such contractors
give satisfactory evidence that they possess—[Note—"Possess !" but, pray, with What security of continued possession
pending contract?]—a capital of at least four thousand dollars per mile of their contract, and of which twenty-five per
cent, in money, Government or other sufficient securities approved by the Governor in Council, shall havei been deposited to the credit of the Receiver-General," &c.
SUBSIDY.
" 3. That the total sum to be paid to the contractors
shall be stipulated in the contract, and shall be ten thousand
dollars for each mile of the section or sub-section contracted
for—[Note.—That, for whole line, including branches, would
make up fully $30,000,000, to which is to be added what
follows as to the four per cent, interest for twenty-five years
on capital on construction]—and that such sum (£<?., $10,000
per mile) shall be paid to the contractors as the work progresses, by monthly payments, in proportion to the value of
the work then actually performed (according to the estimates of the engineers designated for the purpose by the
Minister of Public Works) as compared with the value of the
whole work contracted for, including rolling stock and all
things to be dono or furnished by the contractors; and excepting money arising from the sale of' lands, as hereinafter
provided, no further bum of money shall be payable to the
contractors, as principal, but interest at the rate of four per
cent, per annum for twenty-five years from the completion
of the work, on a sum (to be stated in the contract) for each
mile of the section or sub-section contracted for, shall be
payable to the contractors in like manner and proportion,
and on like conditions, as payments are to be made on the
principal sum above mentioned ; and the tenders of "the work
sh.ill t>9 required to state the lowest sum per mile on which
such interest and guarantees will be required." •is
This, in effect, opens, it may be said, a fathomless gulf
of expenditure nominee "Pacific Railway." It is the most
reckless and astounding piece of legislature I know ol, and
even already, in the face of an adverse vote in one branch of
the Legislature, viz.: of twenty-three (or twenty-five) to
eighteen in the Senate in the matter of the Georgian Branch
contract, although no possibly part of the Pacific Railway
proper, is fast being acted on.    Of this, more anon.
LAMDS.
I 4. That a quantity of land, not exceeding twenty thousand acres for each mile of the section or subsection contracted for, shall be appropriated in alternate sections of
twenty square miles each along the line of the said railway."
[Note.—Not on each side, and to the full depth of the twenty miles on each sale, in alternate blocks as in the Macdonald
scheme]—" or at a convenient distance therefrom, each section
having a frontage of not less than three inileS, nor more than
six miles, on a line of the said railway, and that two-thirds
of the quantity of land so appropriated shall be sold by the
Government"—[no limit, mimimnm or maximum, as to price]
" at such prices as may be from time to time agreed upon between the Governor in Council and the contractor.-, and the
proceeds thereof accounted for and puid half yearly to the
contractors, free from any charge of administration or
management—the remaining third to be conveyed to the
contractors. The said lands to be of fair average
quality, and not to include any land already granted or occupied under any patent, license of occupation or pre-emption"
(Query—squatter ?) $5^ " right," " and when a' sufficient
quantity cannot be found in the immediate vicinity of the
railway "—[as in the whole 600 miles, iu Ontario from Nipissing to the western boundary of Ontario, beyond Lake
Superior]—" then the same quantity or as much as may be
required to complete such quantity, shall be appropriated at
such other places .as may be determined by the Governor in
Council." Not, be it remarked, as in the Macdonald scheme,
restricting the grant in such case, to co/utiguity to other lands,
granted, along the line. As before stated, this (the Mackenzie Act) gives the power of indefinite selection over the
whole vast area of our Dominion wild lands. 14
In connection with this, I would cite, from the same
statute book thefollowing—Chap. 19, (An Act to amend the
Dominion Lands Act), sec. 9. " Section forty-four of the said
hereinbefore first cited Act" (35 V., c. 23—"The Dominion
Lands Act") " is hereby repealed, and the following is substituted for and shall be read as the said section forty-four.
The Minister of tne Interior shall have power to protect any
person or persons desiring to carry on coal mining in unsur-
veyed territory, in the possession of the lands on which such
mining may be carried on, provided, that before entering on
the working of such mines, such person or persons make
written applications to the local agent to purchase such land :
* * survey * * estimate * * number of acres * * which shall
not exceed"—[i. e.for each person or body of persons]—'"fcix
hundred and forty acres, " at the rate of one dollar per acre"
No matter how valuable the coal measures be! and some of
them are reported of nearly twenty feet in thickness, cropping out conveniently on the river bank, and of good quality
for all industrial uses of such article. British Columbia best
kinds, including anthricate command from $12 to §20 per
ton in San Francisco, or at least did so lately, and the demand
for it is ever increasing.
The  coal  of the  Saskatchewan,  McLeod,  Athabaska,
Peace and Mackenzie Rivers, is lignite, or territory coal, a
compact bitumen, good for
rorge worK,
as proved
Fort
Edmonton by the Hudson's Bay Company, and oy sucn
scientists as Sir John Richardson, and by our own geological
staff, I believe, has been most favorably reported on. Moreover, ever close by it is iron ore and limestone in abundance.
To throw away such wealth—vital wealth—of a nation is
simply worse than folly.
My criticisms in this letter are long, but they are so
from a desire to do Mr. Mackenzie every j.tstice. In my next
I propose to show how his whole "four sections" of P.R.
have been virtually dropped by him, leaving to us two worse
than useless so-called branches, and a pretended mixed land
and water—or substitutional link-stringed sausage-like line—
the whole involving a waste, absolute, of many millions of the
people's money, and at the same time, by that very waste, dis- 16
abling us from ever accomplishing a Pacific Railway of our own.
Yours,
BRITANNICUS.
Ottawa, October 16th, 1875!
LETTEE  IVo. S.
Further Consideration of the Scheme.
To the Editor of The Citizen :
As part of the " Mackenzie scheme," and an important
incident in it, I would now touch on
THE   BRITISH COLUMBIA DIFFICULTY.
That the aim and policy of >the Mackenzie Ministry is,
and has ever been, to drive British Columbia out of the
Union, and thereby leave to the American Northern Pacific
Railway Company the monopoly of railway terminus and
seaport on the Northern Pacific coast, with command of the
Northern Pacific trade, there can be no doubt. The concurrence of all facts and acts on that side of the present issue,
lead conclusively to this as the primum mobile of the " difficulty '' as raised—raised in obvious American behalf.
As on all false issues, so in this, fallacy and untruth
have played much their part to subvert truth and right.
The assumed ground on which the repudiation of the
Federal pact with British Columbia was made, was, as we all
know, the pretence that it was "impossible" to accomplish
within the ten years prescribed in clause eleven of the
1 Terms of Union," the railway in question. On that point
we have evidence of the fact in the American Pacific Railway, a larger and far more difficult work, constructed in less
th/m half that time, and that when circumstances were most
unfavorable for such extra strain on American labor and
financial resources, viz. : at the end of their terrible war,
that there was ample time to do the work. On that score
the contractors, so far as appears from their testimony on the
Royal commission and from their course in the matter, had
no fears whatever. The Engineer-in-Chief had himself
stepped every inch of the way, and reported, as the result of
actual survey, two or three lines of feasible route.    So that 16
as to the "possibility" of the  thing there was really no
reasonable ground for doubt.
But, moreover, even if the physical difficulties of the
rou'e were such as to absolutely call for a prolongation of
time for completion, the legal obligation in so far as the
Dominion Government was concerned, still ever held with
full force. On this point Sir John Macdonald's opinion, as
given, commends itself as sound in reason, and we may all
well assume as sound in law, whatever, to the contrary, Mr.
Blake (Mr. Mackenzie's present Minister of Justice) may say,
or decline openly to say.    But to proceed.
I take up the blue-book of last Session (a copy got with
great difficulty), styled " Message relative to the Terms of
Union with the Province of Britis-h Columbia." From pages
thirty-five to forty is a long and augmentative Minute of
Council, dated 17th Sept, 1874. It runs thus: " The Committee of Council have had under their consideration the
despatch of the Right Honorable Lord Carnarvon, relating to
the complaints of the British Columbia Government with
respect to the Pacific Railway, and suggesting certain modifications made by the Dominion Government, through Mr.
Edgar, on the 8th May last."
The Minute goes on to respond to the different propositions laid be Lord Carnarvon, but while, as compelled by the
inherent force of these most reasonable propositions, the Cabinet of Canada yield, or rather pretends to yield, with a singular—I shan't say perversity, for that would be unparliamentary, perhaps—singular—taste, say—keep up a running
comment of protest, in the course of which they manifest
clearly their intention to make out their case, if possible. For
instance, in page 37, they say:—"Whatever may be the
route finally chosen, the line will of necessity traverse a
country with exceedingly rough topographical features for a
distan<e of five or six hundred miles from the eastern slope
of the Rocky Mountains to the extreme limitof the Provinces
on the Pacific."
This statement is very incorrect, save as to roughness
to some extent.    The average breadth—see any good map	
of British Columbia is only about 400 miles, and as the heads of
the inlets, Bute, Burrard's, or Bella Coola, or Douglas, to be 17
touched by railway, penetrate from forty to fifty miles inland,
the actual traverse would be only about 350 miles. Mr. Fleming's charts show this.
The Minute goes on to say :—"The country is, an immense plateau which maintains the general elevation to within
a few miles of the sea, but often rises into imshapely mountain ranges; some of these ranges tower to a height of over
9,000 feet."
This is singularly incorrect. Mr. Fleming's report of
1874 shows it to be so. His description of the Chilcotin
Plain, and that still lower plateau whose easterly outlet is
the Peace River Pa&s—Pass with ascertained height of only
11,750 " (seventeen hundred and fifty) feet above sea level
—gives an average from this height to only about one-third
of the pretended " 9,000 feet" in question, and the highest
height visible reported (see page 117) is laid by Mr. Marcus
Smith, engineer-in-chief, conducting the survey in British
Columbia, at only from 4,200 to 4,500 feet above the sea
level, while as per chart No. 4 to the report, the highest
point of railway route there, is laid at only 3,700 feet.
I thus allude to this incident in evidence of the animus
of the dictator or dictators of the Minute in question.
But further, while Lord Carnarvon insists upon a continuous line of railway from the Pacific to Lake Superior, they
answer only thus \—" It is intended by the Government that
the utmost diligence shall be manifestediu obtaining a speedy
line of communication by rail andioater from Lake Superior
westward, completing the various links of railway as fast as
possible, consistent with that prudent course which a comparatively poor and sparsely settled country should adopt.
* * * The Committee advise that Lord Carnarvon be informed that, while in no case could the Government undertake the completion of the lohole line in the time mentioned "
(viz. 1890) "an extreme unwillingness exists to another
limitation of time I but if it be found absolutely necessary to
secure a present settlement of the controversy by further concessions, a pledge may be given that the portion loest of Lake
Superior will be completed so as to afford connection by rail;'
{i.e., rail and water, as above-stated in the same Minute,)
"with existing lines of railway, through a portion of the
c—Ry. 18
United States and by Canadian waters during the season of
navigation by the year 1890 as suggested."
And how have they carried out even this substitutional
undertaking ?
Only, so far as known, putting the " links " of the Davison route under contract for railway. That route, at its
eastern terminus, is about a hundred miles south, and out of
the shortest and best (the Nipegon) line of route, as laid by
Mr Fleming, and over a much greater height and through
rougher country.
The portage links on this route are numerous, and vary
between a few yards and a quarter of a mile or so, on an
average between Lake Shebandowan and the Lake of the
Woods.
To put "steel rails" with, of course, corresponding locomotive engines on such links of poitage, would be like put-
tins; elephants to wheelbarrows. An ordinary tramway,
costing less than one quarter the cost of steel rails alone,
would answer all purposes, and b& best.
But, dear sir, who, with the Port of Duluth close-athand,
and offering continous rail transport thence to Manitoba,
would.ever think of taking such a trail, broken, arduous and
almost dangerous—as the Dawson-Mackenzie route—for locomotives, would have" scarcely space to stop, as well as start,
on those linking passages? The absurdity of the scheme is
evident.
As to the railway route westward of Red River, that,
according to all accounts, is intended to be equally, yea, much
more, off the true line, by a '"linking" digression through
the irreclaimable, and for any commercial passage, impassable swamps of the hyperborean Winnipegoosis.
Beyond this section, No. 3 of the Statute of 1874, Ave
have the British Columbia section. As to it all who have,
yet, from Mr. Mackenzie, is, that he has had some three hundred and sixty-five persons, all summer past, scouring the
country, in " survey " to find a route. % None "—they say—
" so blind, as those who 'won't see." Nearly one hundred
years ago, another Alexander McKenzie (brave Sir Alexander) had no difficulty—not the slightest—to find a way from
Montreal via  our Peace  Biver, to the shore of the Pacific. 19
,*e
Besides, our own Chief Engineer has—and in his report and
plans, in exhaustive detail, published nine mo>/tIis before the
date of the Minute of Council, aforesaid—showed, not only a
feasible, but comparatively to the American (with its moi.
than double of mountain height and way) an exceedingly fa
vorable line.
Last not least, I take up
THE GEORGIAN BAY BRANCH.
The scheme, as I have before said, is not and cannot be
proper, or in any way belong to the Pacific Railway scheme.
It is, to all intents and purposes, an American work to draw
to American ports, New York and Boston. To call it a
I branch," and at the same time insist—as Mr. Mackenzie in
the aforesaid Minute of Council, and has ever since, otherwise, done—on the eastern terminus of the Pacific Railway
being fixed to "some point on the western shore of Lake Superior," six hundred miles from such branch, and nearly eight
hundred miles from the present Canadian system $f railway,
is simply gibber. And what, to the public treasury, will be the
cost ? k
I cite the terms of the Foster contract, as published.
Length of road, estimate^ in contract at eighty-five miles:—
Subsidy, cash, $10,000 per mile       $850,000
'•'            "   4 per cent, for  twenty-five years  on
$7,500 per mile        637,500
Land—selection throughout all our North-West—say
(an extreme minimum) $5 per acre, 20,000 acres
per mile     S,500..000
$9,987,500
Add for utterly useless telegraph line in advance of
location of railway line, and in the teeth of the
statute ad hoc	
800,000
$10,787,500
Also, we may say, loss on steel rails, probably        500,000
$11,287,500
Finally, loss of survey   plans   by fire, reported at
$1,500,000, but say....     1,000,000
$12,287,500 20
OVER TWELVE MILLION DOLLARS
lost, or about to be, and which to that extent would cripple-
Canada in any further effort for a Pacific Railway.
The figures  I give are really within mark, and if challenged, I am prepared to prove them.
Yours
BRITANNICUS.
Ottawa, October 18th, 1875.
LETTER TSTo- «.
To the Editor of The Citizen :
Having thus hastily presented the two schemes, I would,
before passing to another head, just briefly observe as to
relative character and bearing, that in the former,
1 THE MACDONALD SCHEME,"
we have, in the statute, charter, contract, and every State
paper and official report and document on the subject, besides
the vast field work done at the very start, the strongest possible evidence of the honesty of purpose, practicability, and
proper adaptation of means to ends in view. In this respect
the scheme, as laid and started, bore, on its face, the charac-
On the  other hand,'j
ter
of reality
tor
thc-
public
good.
according to the internal evidence of its inherent defects and
faults, the latter
I THE MACKENZIE SCHEME jjj
can claim no such merit • but, to say the least of it, is a sham
and mischievous delusion,
Another feature worthy of remark in the issue is thai?
the Mackenzie Government have ever ignored the national
and international aspect of the Avork.
They, and those who write for them, treat it as merely—
as they call it—a | domestic " work, and by which, the country
—the present vast wilds to be traversed—first to be filled up
with settlers by means of the rail-water routes of Mr. Mackenzie.    All this is fatuous folly.
The whole, from Nipissing to the Pacific shore is, as we
all know,-a comparative wild, with physical features and
general geodesy of such character as to require—absolutely
require—a railway from the settled portion of Canada, with 21
its railway system eastward, direct, or direct as possible, to
.Manitoba and our further North-West. This route, namely,
via the north shore of Lake Superior, is thus stated by Mr.
Fleming in his report of 1874, page 33 :—
"FROM POET GARRY TO TORONTO AND MONTREAL.—Ail rail."
To Toronto. To Montreal.
Miles. Miles.
Via the Canadian Pacific Railway to Nipissing,
and continuation      s*;     1,173 1,288
Via Pembina and Chicago, Detroit, &c      1,589 1,925
Difference in favor of the Canadian Pacific
Railway  416 637
From Red River to the Pacific Ocean, as we all now
know, there is no course of navigation that would be available for extended commerce, and for the whole route, even
for internal development alono, a railway is necessary.
But, looking at the work in its bearing as an Inter-
Oceunic Highway, we have this to bear in mind, that as such
it would dominate over all others.
Firstly. Because, between the great " sailing arcs," as
laid down by Naury and others, across the North Atlantic
and Pacific Oceans, our line from Halifax to some port near
the north-western end of Vancouver's Island, would be that
of nearest connection.
Secondly. Our more northern route, in its shorter arc, is
shorter than any possible American one north of Mexico;
and, moreover, it lies in the direct line between mid-Europe
and mid-China and Japan.
Thirdly. The physical features of the route are far
more favorable than the present American one, with not cme
half of mountain height to overcome, and with less snow difficulty, and also less Indian trouble (if any) to contend with—
and with coal, wood and water in abundance, for railway
function, as well as for settlement, all along.
Fourthly. That with its easier grades and cheaper fuel,
besides shortness by about 300 or 400 miles, at least, and
with its more economic, though not'inferior construction, the
Canadian line would assuredly command a fair share of the
VAST TRAFFIC OF THE PACIFIC.
What that is, according-  to last trade returns (blue book) I 9,9
gave, Mr. Editor, in considerable detail in one of my letters
in your columns during last session in Ottawa.    To repeat,
it is
ONE THOUSAND MILLIONS OF DOLLARS PER ANNUM.
Thus, in summary :—
British Pacific Trade, as per return of 1873	
United States Trade, as per return of 1873-4	
0502,287,405
154,912,438
Add for Europe (except Britain) saj- (at least)
$657,199,843
342,800,157
On that,  «■
$1,000,000,000
present gross annual transit revenue of the
American Pacific Railway line or lines from New York to
San Francisco is—as in one of my Britannicus letters of 1869
I estimated it would be—at least $35,0U0,i»00. On this point,
I would refer to the annual report of the Government directors in re the Union Pacific railroad, who have just filed their
annual report for the year ending July 1st, 1875, at Washington. " The gross receipts," they say, "were $11,522,021 "
—"operating expenses, $4,788,630"—"reduction of debt
last year of $678,000, and a total of $2,600,000 land grant
bonds paid off since the completion of the road." " Increase "
(of revenue) "they estimate can be run up to $20,000,000
per annum without any increase of its bonded debt." Finally
they conclude by saying: "The road is a vast and valuable
property, well cared and well maintained and capable of returning to the Government the investment it has made therein."
This, be it noted, is only as to a portion, and that the
most difficult and costly to maintain in the whole route
fr#m Atlantic to Pacific. The other parts of the line are not
so authentically reported on, but they certainly may be assumed at fully double the above.
Estimating the cost of our line at $150,000,000 or even
$200,000,000, two percent, (say about half o; the present
American percentage on transit revenue of their line) on the
said total of Pacific Trade—afast growing one—would amply
pay cost of construction,'maintenance, and at the same time
give good dividends.
WHY SHOULD WE LOSE ALL THIS !
Besides, why should we lose British Columbia ?   In her £0
whole vast area of 350,000 square miles there is abounding
wealth. Gold, and other valuable minerals in her mountains'
—all over—fertility, beyond compare in our land, in her
valleys, vast plateaux, and ever green shores. Her haborage
is the best of all the Pacific shore in its whole 50,000 miles
of length; and her teeming waters are the richest in the
world. A wealth, undeveloped, for empire is there. It is
our's by every right under heaven ; and ours it is, in duty,
to hold to it, and as befits us as men in the families of nations,
to use it for weal.
The same considerations, the same sentiments, the same
higher sense of duty holds as to our North-west, We, the
British people won, and under Providence, are vouchsafed
that grand new heritage. Shall we sell it, as a mess of po-
tage, to another ? Have we Canadians no land we can call
" our own ? " Have we no country with its altars and its
hearths, which we may cling to in life ? or, are we to be but
the victims of a deep-laid treachery ?
These are no idle questions.     They are evoked by the
startled sense of a sudden and portentous danger.    In the
life of a people, as of the individual, occasion will anon arise,
when in crisis, and for "clear life," the arm must strike, and
Sthat with utmost force.    Such is our present.
Like the unravelment of a vast conspirac}-, when once
the secret is out, is the development of that " attempt on
Canada," which began with the desecration of the sanctities
of a private escritoire, and which, so far, has but advanced in
the same or similar line of path. What then, it may be
asked, is
'•' THE DUTY OF THE HOUR ? "
It is, as declared by our Imperial Parliament, with the assent
of Her Majesty, in the Preamble of the Union Act—that
solemnity under Avhich we assumed, and became professedly,
and, in iact, a " Union of certain Provinces," " to conduce to
the welfare of these Provinces, and promote the interests of
the British Empire."
These are the very Avords, grave j and potent, of the—
to us—great and paramount " British North America Act of
1867,"—the command and duty of our Confederation,,
Yours, BRTTANNICUS.     \
Ottawa, 19 th October, 1875. f
24
LETTER 3fo. "7.
How the Government are proceeding under the Act?
To the Editor of The Citizen :
gIRj—Your exposition of the. Sifton, Ward & Company's
contracts for the construction of certain "links" in Mr. Mackenzie's telegraph and rail-water scheme for our Pacific railway has just reminded me that I ought to have said more
than I did, in my letters in your columns the other day, in
this matter of telegraph line in connection with the Pacific
Railway. The facts—esoteric facts—you bring out in relation
to the mysterious contracts in advance both for the telegraph
line and the so-called Pacific railway of Mr. Mackenzie, suggest to one the propriety of stating more fully, on this head,
(Pacilic Telegraph Line) the law of the case of our statute
book.
THE SOLE AUTHORITY FOR THE WORK
is the Act (Dominion) of 1874, Chap. 14, under head, " An
Act to provide for the construction of the Pacific Railway,"
section 5 of which runs thus j—" A line of electric telegraph
shall be constructed in advance of the said railway and
branches," (i. e. as described in sections 1 and 2 of the same
Act, the | Canadian Pacific Railway " to be " made from some
point near to and south of Lake Nipissing to some point in
British Columbia on the Pacific Ocean "—these are the very
words of Mr. Mackenzie's own said Act on the x subject)—
" along their whole extent respectively "—says section 5,
now cited—"as soon as possible after the location of the linm
shall have been determined on."
The particular facts, in relation to the above, worthy of
note, are :—
Firstly. That at the time for tender for such work (the
telegraph), viz, to 22nd July, 1874, there was no location of
Pacific Railway, as required by the Act—Act just passed—
less than two months before.
Secondly. That the line of route for the telegraph in
question, between the mouths of the Kaministiquia and Red
River, is not, and can never be, part of the Pacific Railway
as contemplated, and in terms in the statute clearly defined.
Thirdly. That as to the British Columbia section, we 26
have Mr. Mackenzie's own assurance—in his speech at Sarnia
the other day—that even yet, the road there is not located.
Fourthly. That a telegraph terminus on the western
shore   of Lake  Superior—eight  hundred  miles  from  the.
Canadian system of telegraph—can be of no use to any one
in Canada, save those  who may pocket the money for such
jobbery.
Fifthly. To this day, not an inch of the " Canadian Pacific
Railway," as defined Jay our statute, and as subsidized by
the Imperial Government as well as by the Dominion of
Canada, has been Sjj located "—in the sense of the law, viz.—
by actual location in field, and deposit of plans thereof, as by
law (our statute of 1874 invoking, ad hoc, " the Railway Act
of 1868 ") required.
Sixthly. That the appropriation of one million dollars,
specifically for this (the Telegraph) in the "supplies" of last
session is in the teeth of the statute, and obviously, beyond
considerations relating to the Pacific Railway in question.
Finally. That the authorization by Act, chap. 3 of last
session, to borrow money, on Dominion Credit, to the amount
of $20,926,666.67 (twenty millions, nine hundred and twenty
six thousand, six hundred and sixty-six dollars, sixty-seven
cents) ostensibly for " Balance of Loan /-or Canadian Pacific
Railway" is one, which in the light of recent developments,
calls for jealous regard on the part of the people most
concerned.
More, on this head, might be said, but, for the present,
it is well for all to watch, and as things fall out and tell, act,
or prepare to act, decisively.
Yours, BRITANNICUS,
Ottawa, 26th Oct., 1875.
LKrr'X'JER, :vo. s.
Repudiation by Ministry.
To the Editor of The Citizen :
The report, just received, of the. success of Canada s
Finance Minister in negotiating a further loan, of something
over $12,000,000, say twelve million and a half, in the London Money Market, suggests a remark or two, in sequence to
what I have just advanced in your columns.
d—Rt. 26
Of this amount, three-fifths are, it is authoritatively
stated, covered by the
IMPERIAL guarantee.
As to that guarantee, extending to £2,500,000 sterlings
say about $12,500,000, it is to be remarked, that it was
PRINCIPALLY FOR THE PACIFIC RAILWAY,
As then (1871) when granted, contemplated in'the terms of
Union with British Columbia, and as defined in our statute
(the Canadian Pacific Railway Act) of 1872.
Whether the other two-fifths of this special guarantee
has been already touched in this very large loan (about $20,-
000,000) of last year, does not, so far as I have been able to
gather, appear. But be that as it may, we have now the
fact, that we have
ON IT, BORROWED MONEY TO THE EXTENT OF AT LEAST §9,000,000.
And at the same time have used the credit for floating, conjunctly, a few millions, more of our own unguaranteed paper,
and which, of course, indirectly, got the benefit of the
Imperial Guarantee,, The result of which was on allocation,
on 4 per cent, interest, at only about 1^ (one and a quarter)
per cent, below par. Whether or not, this was a " good
loan " for Canada, I leave others to show. What I purpose
to show now, is, that, in this transaction there is
SOMETHING MOST QUESTIONABLE.
Let me explain myself, and for that I must crave indul--
gence for reference to "dry law"—statutes—on the subject.
I shan't be long.
The first act under which the present Ministry borrowed
and continue to borrow money, is Chapter 2 of Dominion
Session of 1874—in the preamble of which it is textually
stated, as ground of loan, that—" Whereas, one of the terms
and conditions on which the Colony of British Columbia was
admitted into union with the Dominion of Canada, by an
Order of Her Majesty in Council of the sixteenth day of May j
1871, was that the Government of the Dominion should
secure the construction of a railway (in this Act referred tl
as the Pacific Railway) to connect the seaboard of BritisH
Columbia with the railway system of Canada, in the mannel
more particularly mentioned in the schedules to the said*
order. 2?
o
And whereas it is expedient to raise by way of loan
the purpose of the construction of the Pacific Raihoay, and
also for the improvement and enlargement of Canadian canals,
1 sum not exceeding eight millions sterling."      *    *    *     *
"And whereas by the Act of the Parliament of the
United Kingdom, known as " The Canadian (Public Works)
Loan Act of 1873 "—after the recital of the facts aforesaid,"
(viz., as to loan for Pacific Railway and canals, and one
million one hundred thousand pounds sterling for fortifications under " The Canada Defences Loan Act of 1870 ")—
I and that it is expedient to authorize the Treasury"
(British) " to guarantee a portion not exceeding two million
five hundred thousand pounds of such loan of eight million
pounds sterling for the above mentioned purposes, and to
guarantee a further portion of the said loan not exceeding
one million one hundred thousand pounds" (sterling) "in
substitution for a guarantee of a loan under " The Canada
Defences Loan Act, 1870 "—the said Act is repealed ; and it
is enacted that, subject to certain conditions to be observed
b}7- the Parliament of Canada the Treasury may guarantee in
such manner and form, and on such conditions as they think
fit, the payment of the principal and interest (at a rate not
exceeding four per cent, per annum) on all or any part of any
loan raised by the Government of Canada for the purpose of
the construction of the Pacific Railway and the improvement
and enlargement of the Canadian canals," (i.e., I take it,
canals—comparatively limited—as contemplated at the date
of the Imperial Act, ad hoc, viz., 36 37 v. ch. 45)—" so that
the total amount so guaranteed from time to time "—continues the preamble—" do not exceed three million six
hundred thousand pounds."
Professedly in accordance with this preamble the Act
(ch. 2 of 1874) was passed. Under it Mr. Cartwright made
his great loan of last year. Under it, we find moreover in
the Supplies of that year, the following special votes [page
13] as to the Pacific Railway :
Fort Garry and Pembina Eailway $    650,000
Pacific Eailway Survey ••••■•      500,000
Pacific Eailway construction, and improvements on navigable
watersin interior in connection therewith    1,500,000
In all. then $2,650,00 0 28
In the following session, last past, we have in chap. 3 of
it. the following further authorization for loan, sec. 5. " And
whereas, there remain unborrowed and negotiable of the loans j
authorized by Parliament for the several works hereinafter
mentioned," &c,—inter alia.—" Balance of the loan for the
construction of the Canadian Pacific Railway $20,926,666,67.
[Twenty millions, nine hundred and twenty-six thousand
six hundred and sixty-six dollars, sixty-seven cents.]
In connection with the above, in the supplies of last
session [page 15 of statutes,] under the head " Pacific Railway " we have a total of $6,250,000, including an item of
$2,000,000 for steel rails and fastenings," and an item—a
rc-vote, I take it—of $500,000 for " Pembina Branch."
Taking all these facts together, i t may faii4y be assumed
that the present Government have by loan, as stated, drawn
all or nearly all, that was vouchsafed to us in the Imperial
guarantee ior the Pacific Rail\va}\
The money secured—pocketed in a sense—they now openly
avoir their policy of no Pacific Railway !
In the meantime, not an inch of the road has been built.
The whole is emphatically repudiated, and with it every
solemn compact and obligation relating to it. As to the " steel
rails "—a stern reality—they, I presume, will sell well as
)ld iro
u,   and tv
ill just answer the American
ine across
our border, and thence into our Fort Garry.
But, apart from the aspects of the case, in its material
features, there is a higher consideration at stake in this
wondrous scheme of revolution by " organized hypocrisy,"
&c.    It is the honor of the Canadian name !   WJiat of it '.'
Yours,
BRITANNICUS.
Ottawa. 2nd Nov. 1875.
LETTER rVo. O.
Misappropriation of North-West Lands.
To the Editor of The Citizen.
Sir,
-This, to the
^.xx^, TO ou^ Dominion, is a vital matter
just come to my notice in reading the report of the
contract" for the building of the so-called " G
Branch of the Canadian Pacific Rail
It nasi
Foster
eoreian Bay
wav 29
The 7th clause of that contract, as laid before the House
runs thus :—" The road to be constructed in comformity with
the C. P. Railway Act of 1874, and subject to all its provisions
except those ichich provide for the land appropriated having a
certain frontage on the railway; and inasmuch as the Dominion
Government may not become proprietors of land on this
railway, the contractor will receive land in some other portion
of the Dominion."
The only statutory enactment on the subject is section
•1 of chapter 14 of last session of our Dominion Parliament
under the head " Canadian Pacific Railway," to wit \—'■' That
a quantity of land not exceeding twenty thousand acres for
each mile of the section or sub-section contracted for, shall
be appropriated in alternate sections of twenty square miles
each along the line of the said railway, or at a convenient distance tlierefrom, each section having a frontage of not less
than three miles nor more than six miles on the line of the
said railway, &c. * *
And when a sufficient quantity cannot be found in the
immediate vicinity of the railway, then the same quantity,
or as much as may be required to complete such quantity,
shall be appropriated at such other places as may be determined by the Governor in Council."
The obvious meaning of the above is that the land so
granted shall be on the line, or if it cannot be found, then
,the nearest that can be found, bid no other, shall be available
for the purpose. This limitation to line of route is an
essential principle in all such subsidies, and from the
exceptional character of the act (alienation of public lands
I Crown desmesne ") it is to be strictly, i.e., most restrictively
interpreted. The quantity is in consideration of the mixed
quality, bad as well as good, on the line of route. In the face
of all this .we have now before us, pressed with the force of
an immense majority, the proposition that by a statute of
our land, may, and shall, nearly two millions of acres of the
I very pick" of our North West lands, practically be granted
to the Boston or other foreign capitalists (represented by
Mr. Foster), capitalists, who to raise revenue for their Hoosac
Tunnel and its costly lines incidental, and to secure unto
themselves* our North West transit trade, thus extend to us 30
their arms. The present selling price of these lands, in the
outskirts of settlement, even before the issue of a single
patent, or promise of title in any shape, is from $4 to $10
per acre for pre-emption or squatter rights. So said Dr.
Tupper in his speech the other night on the matter of Pacific
Railway, and we believe he was right. But our immense
and most valuable
COAL .LANDS
" measures " of good economic seams, running up to twenty
feet in thickness, cropping out in surface or river bank, and
that most abundantly on the direct line of railway or other
road route from Red River to the Yellow Head,, or, in fact,
to any of our Rocky Mountain Passes, are worth infinitely
more, and may, before long, whenever touched by rail or
settlement, be worth thousands of dollars per acre. As to
our
GOLD LANDS,
they also may, I presume, be so given away. These are
startling facts, and should draw the closest and most jealous
attention to this scheme of Georgian Bay Branch subsidy.
Relatively also should these facts prompt some scrutiny at
least, as to the item of (only) $6,250,000 [six millions odd]
of dollars " for the Pacific Railway," and on which, Messrs.
Mackenzie and Blake, on the first occasion of debate thereon,
so ruthlessly tried to gag all constitutional debate !
What are we ?
Yours,
BRITANNICUS.
Ottawa, 10th March, 1875.
LETTER IVo. lO.
Lake  Superior—Eastern   Terminus   [" for   all
Time"] of the " Canadian" Pacific Railway.
To the Editor of The Citizen :
Sir,—From what would appear some exceptional irregularity [suppressive] in the distribution, even amongst
members of Parliament [at least those on the "Opposition"]
of the papers [printed] in the matter of" the British Columbia
difficulty," as " settled " by the intervention, in arbitration 31
of the Right Honorable the Secretary of State for the Colonies,
I have been unable to get communication of the important
documents until to-day. They are too voluminous for mastery
at a glance, but even in a cursory glance, I find enough to
somewhat surprise anyone not in the secret.
In page 38 of the blue book on this subject, under the
head, " Copy of a Report of a Committee of the Honorable
the Privy Council, approved by His Excellency the Governor
General on the 17th September, 1874," I find the following
in response to the Earl of Carnarvon's proposition :—
" The fourth condition involves another, precise engage-
| meat to have the whole of the railway communication
I finished in 1890. There are the strongest possible objections
I to again adopting a precise time for the completion of the
" lines. The eastern portion of the line, except so far as the
i mere letter of the conditions is concerned, affects only the
" Provinces east of Manitoba, and the Government have not
|1 been persuaded either of the wisdom or the necessity of imme-
| diately constructing that portion of the railioay which traverses
| the country from the roest end of Lake Superior to the proposed
1 eastern terminus-on Lake Nipissing near Georgian Bay, nor
" is it conceived that the people of British Columbia could,
" with any show of reason whatever, insist that this portion
I of the work should be completed within any definite time,
i inasmuch as if the people, who are chiefly if not wholly affected
" by this branch of the undertaking, are satisfied [?], it is
I maintained that the people of British Columbia would
I practically have no right of speech in the matter."
" The committee advise that Lord Carnarvon be informed
1 that while in no caselcould the Government undertake the
I completion of the whole line in the time mentioned, an
| extreme unwillingness exsists to another limitation of
1 time; but if it be found absolutely necessary to secure a
" present settlement of the controversy by further concessions
I a pledge may be given that the portion west of Lake
I Superior will be completed so as to afford connection by
| rail with the existing lines of railway through a portion of
1 the United States and by Canadian waters daring the
" season of navigation bv the year 1890 as suggested." 32
In page 42 of the same blue book, we have Lord
Carnarvon's final reply on this point thus : " 5. Lastly, that
•• on or before the 31st of December, 1890, the railway shall
" be completed and open for traffic from the Pacific seaboard
" to a point at the Western end of Lake Superior, at Avhich it
" wrill fall into connection with existing lines of railwaj'
" through a portion of the United States, and also with the
1 navigation on Canadian waters. To proceed at present
" with the remainder of the railway extending by the country
" northward of Lake Superior, to the existing Canadian
" lines, ought not in my opinion, to be required, and the
" time for undertaking that work must be determined by
" the developement of settlement and the changing cir-
" cumstances of the country. The clay is, however, I hope
"'not very distant when a continuous line of railway
"through Canadian Territory will be practicable, and /
" therefore look xipon this portion of the scheme as postponed
" rather than abandoned.
The italicization  is  my own, to  obviate,  for brevity
comment.
;-J2w   These extracts, speak for themselves !
Read by the light of surrounding facts—inter alia, the
fact, that the 500 miles and upwards of navigation from our
most westerly lake ports to the eastern terminus in question
is, in a sense, virtually American, per force of the American
Sault Ste. Marie Canal—sole link of those great waters—the
great scheme as laid now, is essentially one to serve the
interests of the United States rather than Canada proper, or
Britain. That at least I believe is the opinion of some, if
not the bulk, of the people of Canada.
Yours, BRITANNICUS.
Ottawa, March 16th. 1875.
letter  mm   11.
British Columbia Settlement.
To the Editor of The Citizen j
Sir,—In sequel to my last, 1 have only to add as the
conclusions to which every unbiased reader of the papers in
question must arrive at on this subject. 33
1. That the determined policy of the present Ministry,
from first to last, has been to have no Canadian Pacific Railway, as proposed and agreed to between Canada and British
Columbia, and as implemented by Dominion Act, ch. 71 of 35
Vic, and as subsidized by the Imperial Government.
2. That the expression of " hope " on the part of Lord
Carnarvon, that the section from Nipissing to Red River is
to be considered as only " postponed rather than abandoned "
(see page 42 of Blue Book), has not been acceded to by the
present Ministry, but that, on the contrary, their avoidance
of that line by now fixina; the eastern terminus at the mouth
of the Kaministiquia River, about seventy miles south of
that line (the Nipigon one), reported by the chief engineer
of the work, Mr. Fleming, as the shortest and best in that
quarter, precludes all such hope, so long as they' rule in the
matter.
3. That the- practical effect of such break (one of about
900 miles distance from the south-east corner of Lake Nipissing; to Rat Portage, north end of the Lake of the Woods,)
Avould be to make all our North West territories and British
Columbia an appanage of the United States in all commercial
relations, and with a tendency, naturally, to a change of-
I flag " and social status in that direction.
4. That in this view, all expenditure in public works,
or even Government, west of the foot of Sault Ste. Marie
(the western limit of Canadian navigation proper), is worse
than a mere waste of public money belonging to Canada.
5. That, as the object of scarcely secondary moment in.
the scheme of a. Canadian Pacific Railway as originally laid,
the great Pacific trade between Great Britain, Europe, and
the Eastern States was sought to be touched, and that to
that end the road in question should be in every sense a
through one, and short and good as possible, between the
two Oceans.
6. That that trade, even already, as appears by the last
official returns [of which I gave you, Mr. Editor, details in
my pamphlet herewith enclosed], amounts, for Britain and
the United States alone, to nearly $700,000,000 [seven hundred million dollars]; and that on it, even at the start, the
i—Ry. American Commercial Marine [Pacific] and the Americahj
Transcontinental Railways are fast growing rich.
7. That the present Ministry seem to ignore this element of transcontinental general transit trade, and pretend
to treat the work as a merely domestic one.
I close here for the present, but shall continue the
subject.
Ottawa March 19 th, 1875.
Yours,
BRITANNICUS.
LETTER,  No.  lit.
International   Highway.
To the Editor of The Citizen ;
Sir,—In continuation, let me add the following consideration on this subject.
8. That it is in this larger view that by the earliest and,
in fact, by all sincere advocates of a British American railway, from Atlantic to Pacific, this scheme has been chiefly
urged.
That this has been done from an intelligent appreciation
of the following; facts.
a. That we hold the most northern and shortest arc
possible for railway from ocean to ocean, north of Mexico.
b. That our higher latitude bears, in terrene oblate, a
lower level than any south.
c. That the physical features and natural resources of
the whole country on our line of route, are no less favorable,
but the contrary, for railway construction and maintenance,
than the present American one, the summits and general line
in our route being in height less than half that of the
American one in question, or any other possible in the whole
area of the United States, and with less snow difficulty to
contend with.
d. That our route is in direct line of connection with
the two great " sailing arcs" (ocean highways) of the
Nortern Atlantic and Pacific,ii line of best commercial transit
from mid-Asia to mid Europe, shorter, on an average (accord- f
35
ing to reports) by 1,000 to 2,000 miles than by San Francisco.
e. That the trade according to the last official returns
for 1873-74 of Great Britain and the United States, even
already, and with remarkably rapid ratio of increase since the
establishment of a transcontinental railway to San Francisco
with its incidental Pacific steamship lines in every direction,
amounts to nearly $700,000,000, viz :—
BRITISH PACIFIC TRADE—A.l>. 1S73.
China, including Ilbng Kong and Macao  $151,126,9*75
Japan  45,877,500
Islands hi the Pacific  861,625
Straits Settlements  38,681,595
Australian Colonies and New Zealand  366,739,710
Total  $503,287,405
UNITED STATES TRADE—A.D. 18*73-4 to JUNE 30th. 1874.
Japanese Free Ports  50,322,54?
" China and Japan " (thus lumped in blue hook, see pages
124,433, meaning China and Japan inclusive of Japanese
Free Ports  54,221,554
British East Indies and Australia (thus lumped in blue book) 25,147,607
: Sandwich Islands  2,013,461
Dutch East Indies  7,812,088
Bullion—China and Japan  15,395,181
Total  $154,912,438
SUMMARY OF TOTALS.
British Pacific Trade  $503,287,405
United States   do         154,912,438
$658,199,843
Add, for the rest of Europe, say, fairly, one half of that
and we have a grand total of at least $1,000,000,000 (one
thousand million dollars). Two per cent, on which (an ex
tremely minimum predicate) would, most probably, pay cost
and something over.
9. That this consideration of the route as a through one,
for general and international trade, was not advanced, nor
even mentioned by either of the parties, in submitting their
respective '''cases" to Lord Carnarvon, as arbitrator; and, in
fact, as appears by report of_"Miuute of Council," our
Government seemed to studiedly exclude it, by limiting the 36
field for consideration to British Columbia and "nearest"
railway connection eastward, viz., with the United states*]
"system" of. railways by the Pembina branch, and with
"Canadian navigation" on the western shore of Lake Superior,
expressly, at the same time, denying the right of British
Columbia -to urge any considerations for the eastern sec-
tiou of the road as proposed and contemplated by clause
11 of the original "Terms of Union" of British Columbia with
Canada. The language in the Minute of Council in question
(see page 38) on this point, is so marked as to call for citation.
"The eastern portion, except so far as the mere letter of the
" conditions is concerned, affects only the Provinces east of
" Manitoba,       * * * *
" the people of British Columbia woidd practically have no right
" of speech in the matter !!"
Lord Carnarvon, as arbitrator, could decide on the case
or cases, only as laid before him, and certainly this question
of "right of speech" as to this eastern section, was not left to
him, but on the contrary, he was in a sense, told not to touch
it. Yet, Sir, he did, and that in a manner emphatic, imperative,
though gentle. As England's present chief guardian in such
matters, he spoke. It is for us, the people of Canada, to
respond. On this point and others I shall conclude in my
next. Yours,
BRITANNICUS.
LETTER mo. 13.
International   Highway.
To the Editor of The Citizen :
Sir,—Taking up this theme where I closed in my last*:
I have to say :—
10. That Lord Carnarvon, in his obiter dictum, in which
he was pleased to say that he considered the eastern section merely "postponed and not abandoned," and that he
"hoped"—to use his own words—"that the day is not
very far distant when a continuous line of railway through
Canadian territory will be practicable"—that is to say, I
take it, railway completed and in working order—did, in
effect, urge that to be done as soon as possible. O I
That the first consideration in such a work which weighs
in the Imperial mind, and that, as onVe of first and highest
moment, is the military one in relation to those parts of the
empire more immediately affected by it.
To that consideration we of Canada, as an integral -part
of the empire, are equally, and, in fact, more especiallv,
bound.
Moreover, the British Government has, in a manner
which, so far as we know, bespeaks a desire to encourage us
to such a work, offered, as a first offering or " luck penny,"
a subsidy-of £2,500,000 stg. That is now at our command
for the Canadian Pacific Railway, as determined at the time
of the grant, and not, I take it, for the pro-American scheme
of the present Government, Chap. 2 of last session non
obstante.
11. This eastern section, for a distance of from 700 to
900 miles [according to what may hereafter be determined
as the western boundary of the Province of Ontario] runs
through the Province of Ontario, whose Government, though
thereunto applied to by the Dominion Government, has, so
far, declined to say or do aught with regard to the disposal
of her lands in Pacific railway subsidy, as proposed by the
Dominion. That in alternative, in the case of the so-called
Georgian Bay Branch of the Pacific Railway, the present
Government have bound themselves to give an equal extent
in some other part (without defining where or whereabouts)
in the North-west territories of the Dominion of Canada.
That the illegality and unconstitutional character of
such alienation of the Crown domain—one, if largely applied,
fraught with dangers that strike at the very root of political
liberty in such a new field of social organization and government—forbid its application to the 700 or 900 miles in question through Ontario.
That a land subsidy as to this portion may be assumed
as an impracticability on the part of the Dominion Government.
12. That to meet the difficulty, and under considerations
which obviously commend themselves in the relations of
Canada and the Parent State as to such a work, the British
Government should,  I  humbly think, be respectfully re- 38
quested to further aid the work in question by a supplementary subsiby, say of £3,000,000 sterling, making, with
the previous £2,500,00*0 sterling, a total subsidy of £5,500,-
000 sterling, sufficient, probably, to cover hall' the cost of
this section.
That the whole of this be applicable to the construction
solely of the eastern section, from the eastern terminus, as
first fixed by the Act of Parliament [Chap. 71 of 35 Vic],
to the western boundary of Ontario [wherever that may be].
That in consideration of such subsidy the determination
[location] of the precise point or place of such eastern ter-
minias, and of all main objective points along the whole line
of route to the Pacific shore, and the terminus [temporary or
permanent] there, be left entirely to the Imperial authorities. But that all subsequent work in construction shall be
under the control of the Dominion Government, subject,
however, to such regulations as may be prescribed and
agreed to for the proper application of such subsidy in the
progress of the work.
That such work on the eastern section shall be begun
at the eastern terminus as soon as the same can be reached
by rail or boat navigation, and simultaneously, or before
that, and as soon as possible, at or from the head of Nepigon
Bay, or such point thereabout as may seem advisable, and
that from such point the work shall be prosecuted eastward
and westward with all possible energy in the most direct line
possible, and without any digression towards the Dawson
route, other than connection at Bat Portage at the head of
the Lake of the "Woods, or wherever, thereabouts, the engineer in chief of the railway in question may advise.
That westward from the boundary of Ontario the land
grant system, as provided by the first statute (chapter 71 of
35 vie.) of the Dominion Parliament on the subject shall apply
in connection with the money subsidy therein provided—or
such further i.um for the purpose as may be determined on
by the Parliament of Canada.
That in the meantime all the works now in hand or
initiated, in connection with the' Pacific Railway, or having
any subsidiary relation thereto do proceed as determined on
by Paidiament. 39
I have still a remark or two to make before I cau well
"conclude, but for that I must, Mr. Editor, crave your indulgence to another and really last letter.
Yours,
BRITANNICUS.
Ottawa, March 21th, 1875.
LETTER   :STo.   14.
Our Heritage in Jeopardy.
To the Editor of The Citizen :
Sir,—In conclusion, I would respectfully ask attention
for a moment or two to the physical features, and also incidentally, to the political aspects of the case in this respect.
'Taking any true map of British North America, we may
observe, first, the compact unity—a feature itself an element
of strength in a country—of the whole vast terrain.
In area, we find from best authorities, that it is three
and a quarter millions of square miles, or within about one
hundred thousand square miles of that assigned to the United
States. Of this total of Canada and Newfoundland, no less
than 2,206,725 square miles, according to the official report
[1872, page 14] of the Surveyor-General of Dominion Lands,
fall under the head of " Dominion Lands," and which, of
course, are exclusive of Provincial lands.
To this Dominion land total let us add, for our present
argument, the 350,000 square miles of British Columbia and
we have a grand total of over two millions and a half of
square miles, north and west of us, and which, for the nonce,
we may term our new grand heritage of the North West.
From the silver gleaming shores of Lake Superior to the
furthest golden mountain heights and isles of British Columbia, a stretch of 2,000 miles with an average cereal breadth of
500 miles, is the grandest and richest virgin field for homesteads on earth. I know the land. On its far, northern
border I was born, and in early life, side by side with my
father, thence traversed it from Pacific to Atlantic, and have
touched its three oceans.
Let us glance at its boundaries, for they also, I hold, are
elements of strength unto the country     On the east, w6 see, 40
as to any effort in Avar, a broad and impassable belt of hyperborean ice-hill and field, and a rock-bound, ever tempest
tossed coast. On the west (British Columbia) a vast mountain, mural, rock coast, deeply fiorded, with abounding sheltering harbors, but utterly unassailable to any naval force,
save, in the immediate coast (a very limited one) of the
Georgian Gulf, under the guns of our lost San Juan. On our
north is the intangible Arctic. On the south we have from
Puget Sound to the Rocky Mountains, a system of vast &nd
insurmountable mountain ranges running in varied directions,
Ossa on Pelion piled, and with passages so few, narrow and
difficult, that no aggressive force could cope with any military
resistance in such Thermopyla\ From the Rocky Mountains
to Pembina we have, in defence, the so-called " American
Desert," the Prairie of the Southern Saskatchewan, the home
of the ever (to Britain) loyal Bedouins of the Plains—men of
utmost fight and ever fiercest hate against their traditional
"enemies"—the "Boston Long Knives, or, briefly," "The Long
O 7 %/ 7 O
Knives," with such native army of Sikhs "true to their salt,"
the British North West could well hold its own. From Pembina to Lake Superior is a region of swamp and high rugged
rock impassable to military movement. Arrived at Lake
Superior we find ourselves on what, practically in every point
of view, are American (U.S.) waters, for that PoAver, in and
by virtue of its Sault Ste. Marie canal, alone holds the
means of placing war craft on this inner and thus dominating
" sea." On its death-still northern boundary (:'the British")
shores, no British arsenal, port nor jetty, can furnish aught
for fight. To transport material thither, for vessel construction, or gunboat of even smallest type, is utterly impossible
without a railway from the nearest Atlantic port say Montreal, Quebec or Halifax, to say, the sheltered head of
Nepigeon Bay.
As to Lake Huron, on its northern shores especially the
same misfortune and difficulty, but in modified degree, would
occur.
In this—this immense unbridged, unroaded, untouched
wild between us of settled (older) Canada, and our younger
self in Manitoba—is our fatal weakness. Military authorities
tell us so.   We see it. c
41
But worse still. While neglecting to open a military
roadway (rail) for our defence and commercial convenience,
by our unassailable North, we construct one from the very
fort gate of our enemy on our southern border to within the
very portals—unguarded—of the capital of our heritage. In
other words, a Pembina and Winnipeg railway, without one
wholly on our own ground from the railway system of
Eastern Canada, would be a thing ever of menace or, in case
of war, of destruction to our national interests throughout all
the North and West of our Dominion. On the other hand,
with the latter, with the countervailing power and effect, it
would, in war, he comparatively or perfectly harmless, and
in peace be but useful.
Hence the " necessity," as has ever been urged by the
riginal promoters—necessary Imperial as well as Canadian
—that the scheme of a British American Pacific Railway
should be one from seaport to seaport, contimoous, straight,
strong, and short as possible, but touching, on military and
commercial considerations, certain objective points.
TIius was the contract—one based on statute specific ad
hoc—carefully implemented by the late Government. Thus
did the people of all Canada vote for it. At the Napierville
hustings—on or close to the memorable battle field of old
Chateauguay—Chief Justice Dorion, then a candidate, and
the recognized chief of the avowed " annexation " section of
the present Government, distinctly said to his anxious constituents, and to the country in general, then and there, that
I their scheme would be,in the main, that of the late Government,
id est as a through and continuous railway from the railway
system of Eastern Canada to the Pacific. For that, and that
alone, I repeat, was the electoral vote of all Canada cast. Mr.
Mackenzie's prelections on the theme were, it is true, somewhat, and rather rapidly, yaried, especially about the American border, but in the umain" they were as publicly declared by his honorable colleague.
It was not the " scheme" that was, at the electoral urn
condemned, btit it was the " story " of its moving as got up,
for a purpose, to the popular ear. It was, in fact, too good, too
great, too  transcendent in brimful promise of good to all con- 42
cerned in it for any rival interest or adverse national power
to passively let slip. Hence the record—scarce not treasonous—of its defeat—-so far !    Shall it rest so ?
Yours,
BRITANNICUS.
March 23rd, 1875.
OTTAWA:
Printed by the Citizen Printing and Publishing Company, Sparks Street.
1875. 1
ERRATA.
Page    2, line 13—For " of compos," read " or compos."
" 6, line IT—For " predicted," read " predicated."
" 8, line 16—For " they had begun," read •' they, evidently, had begun.'
" 13, line   3—For "legislature," read "legislation."
" 14, line 20—For " anthricate;" read " anthracite."
" 14, line 24—For " territory," read " tertiary."
" 16, line 15—For " augmentative," read " argumentative."
" 18, line 25—For " those linking," read " those short linking."
" 18, line 33—For " who have," read " we have."
.   " 21, line 21—For " Naury," read " Maury."
" 27, line    2—For " to the purpose," read " for the purpose."
" 28, line    2—For " sec. 5," read " sec. 4."
" 35, line 18—For "inclusive," read "exclusive."
" 41, line 11—For "the countervailing,"  read "its  countervailing."
" 41. line 15—For " necessary," read " necessity."   

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