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Speeches of Mr. DeCosmos on the Esquimalt Graving Dock and the Canadian Pacific Railway, and the Alaska… De Cosmos, Amor, 1825-1897 1878

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11  DeCOSI
Thursday, 21st Feb., 1878.
Ma. DeCOSMOS moved for a copy
of all correspondence in 1877 and 1878,
and not now before Parliament,
between the Imperial, Dominion, and
British Columbia Governments respecting the Canada Pacific Bailway; and
also a copy of all correspondence in
1877 and 1878 between the said "Governments respecting the Graving-dock
at Esquimalt. He said that this resolution might have been separated into two parts, but he
knew of no. good or sufficient reason why the Government should make
any objection to it as it was drawn.
The House would recollect that last
year, notwithstanding the fact that the
Governor-General had visited British
Columbia, and notwithstanding the fact
that despatches had passed between
the Government of British Columbia
and the Imperial Government—and he
presumed that despatches had passed
from this Government to the Imperial
Government—they had had no copy
whatever of the despatches which had
passed with regard to the position of
the Dominion Government respecting
the Canadian Pacific Kailway; that
was, so far as the settlement of the difficulty relative to British Columbia was
concerned. They had had a despatch,
however, he believed, from the Imperial Government, which had been communicated to the House, and the hon.
the Premier had last Session stated that
the Government were in possession of
no despatches, leaving the House to
infer that His Excellency the Governor-
General had taken the business of i ettl-
ing the British Columbia difficulty
apparently out of the hands of his responsible advisers, and had done as he
thought proper in the matter. In other
words, they were to assume that the
despatch of His Excellency the Gover- nor-General last year was sent either
with or without the consent of his Ministers. Now, there was a point in that
connection that might be distJussed.
It was not his wish, however, to deal
with it at the present moment. All he
asked for under the first head was
that all the despatches between the
Imperial,Dominion andProvincial (British Columbia/Governments should be
at a very early day placed before the
House, in order that the House might
intelligently discuss the question of the
Canadian -Pacific Railway. The next-
point would occu'py a little more of the
time of the House, and, in order that
he might place it intelligently before
the House, he craved its indulgence.
He asked, in this regard, for a copy of
all the correspondence that had taken
place, in 18?^ and 1878 between
the said Governments, respecting
the Graving-dock at Esquimalt.
Some correspondence on this subject could be found in the Sessional Papers of this House, and
some in the Sessional Papers of
the Province of British Columbia.
He would state the case briefly,
from the commencement. The Government of the Dominion, led by the
right hon. gentleman who now led the
Opposition, agreed with British Columbia to aid it in the construction of this
dock. The hon. gentleman who led the
Government of to-day, also confirmed
that agreement. The aid was to be
given as a bonus by both Governments.
The members of the late Government
had agreed that it was to be a bonus;
and the hon. the leader of the present
Government said he would strictly
carry out what the late Government
had agreed to perform; but, in that
respect ho (Mr. Mackenzie) had not
done so. As he (Mr. DeCosmos) understood it, and as the Province of British
Columbia understood it, the hon. the
leader of the present Government had
violated a plain and distinct bargain;
He made this brief statement at present
with the view of preparing the House
for what he intended to lay before it,
and then hon. members would be
able to see how this question stood.
The first point to which he would
draw the attention of the House was
that, in the 1873 Session of the Legislature of British Columbia, he moved
the following resolutions:—
"Resolved—$hat Article 12 of the Terms of
Union between this Province and the
Dominion of Canada provides for the construction of a first-class Graving Dock, in the
following words : ' The Dominion Government shall guarantee the interest for ten
years, from the date of the completion of the
.works, at the rate of five per centum per
annum of such sum, not exceeding £100,000
sterling, as may be required for the construction of a first-class Graving Dock at
"That the Terms above specified were
adopted in the full belief that the proposed
guarantee would be sufficient to _ secure the
construction of the dock by private enterprise.
" That although tenders have been publicly
invited in England, Canada, and the
United States, yet none have been received
since the close of last Session of the Legislature.
" That only one tender had been received
previous to the close of last Session, and
that the Legislature refused to accept.
"That, from trustworthy information, it is
certain that the guarantee for the construction of the Graving Dock is not sufficient to
induce private enterprise to engage in the
'" That it is highly desirable, from a naval
and mercantile point of view, that the
Graving Dock should be constructed without
"That Article 9 of the Terms of Union
states—' That the influence of the Dominion Government will be used to secure the
continue! maintenance of the naval station
at Esquimalt.'
"That the'construction of the dock would
be a powerful inducement to Her Majesty's
Government to continue Esquimalt as a
naval station ; and that the continuance of
Her Majesty's ships in the waters of British
Columbia would contribute most materially
to preserve peace between the white population and Indians, and by that means save to
the Dominion Government large sums
that might otherwise be expended in suppressing Indian outbreaks.
"That the Graving Dock partakes more of
a National and Federal than of a Provincial
character. This is especially the case in
view of the necessity of a first-class dock
for the repair of Her Majesty's' ships in
the North Pacific, and also in view of
the early construction of the Canadian
Pacific Railway, and the consequent development, of an extensive trade carried on in
steamships and sailing vessels of the largest
class, between China, Japan and Australasia
on the one side, and British Columbia on the
| That, as the(true intentand spirit of Sec-
lion 12 of the Terms of Union was to secure
beyond-a doubt the construction of the dock,
and°as the guarantee in Section 12 is insuiSP
cient, this House respectfully recommends
His Excellency the LieutenautiGovernor to
secure its construction without delay, on one
of the following conditions •— ^
"1. To increase the guarantee in £100,000
sterling from five per centum per annum for
ten years, to £120,000 sterling at 7£ per centum per annum for twenty-five years.
" 2. In lieu of the present or proposed increased guarantee, the Dominion Government to construct the dock.
"3. The Dominion Government to grant to
this Province such sum of money in cash, in
lieu of the guarantee in Section 12 of the
Terms of Union, as may enable the Provincial
Government to undertake the construction
of the dock."
These resolutions were really the basis
of subsequent negotiations with  the
late   and   the   present   Government
respecting pecuniary aid for the dock,
and they were based on Section 12 of
the Terms of Union.    Before he proceeded to quote other authorities on the
subject, he might state that.the.present
Government   refused    to    give     the
$250,000 as a bonus  to the Province,
but had offered to charge it as a debt
against the Province.   The next point
was   that    there   never   were    any
. communications with  the   Dominion
Government asking it to loan money
for the construction ofithedock; but, in
•evejry ease, after it was found that the
guarantee of interest to private enterprise was insufficient, the communications with the Government were that
they   would   grant    a   certain   sum
in lieu of the guarantee, or, in other
words,    pay   to    the    Province   a
certain     sum     in     lieu    of    that
guarantee.     It   would   be   observed
that  those   resolutions   were   passed
before any   communication was had
with the late or present Government
to grant to that Province such sum of
money in cash in lieu of the guarantee.
It would be observed, from those statements, that they had no intention to
ask a loan.   In 1873, after the passing
of those resolutions, he wrote a letter
to the then Minister of Public Works,
the hon. member for Charlevoix (Mr.
Langevin),   in    which   were   these
" The intention of the negotiatiors of the
Terms of Union, as you doubtless well know,
was to secure the construction of a dock-
first class. The guarantee, however, is
insufficient, hence I advise you either to
construot the dock at Dominion expense, or
.pay to us a lump sum of money of not less
than $250,000."
That letter, written to the ex-Minister
of Public Works, in September, 1873,
showed that the question of bouuowing
money, or taking money as an advance
to be charged against the debt of
the Province, never was entertained by
the Provincial Government. In the
autumn of 1873, he came to Ottawa,
opened negotiations with the late
Government, and, in the afoseneeiof the
hon. the Minister of Einanee, he carried on negotiations with the hon. the
member for Charlevoix, then the
Minister of Public Works, With respect
to this dock. When the hon. the
Minister of Finance returned, it was
arranged that the sum of $250,000
should be granted to the Province to
aid in the construction of the Gua\tiHg
Dock, and that in lieu of the guarantee
to which they were entitledrunder the
Terms of Union. He would read for
the information of the House a letter
of the hon. the ex-Finance Mihi&fce?*,
addressed to himself on that subject:—
" Ottawa, Nov. 3,1877.
" DeakSib,—With respect to the conversation I had with you respecting the Dominion
aid towards the Graving Dock, and your
application to the Minister of Public
■Works upon the subject, I have consulted my colleagues, and we are prepared
to submit to Parliament a formal proposition
to the following effect: That in lieu of the
interest of £100,000 for ten years, which was
secured bv the 12th Section of the Order in
Council dated July 1st, 1871, we propose
that advances should be made to you- fnom
time to time, upon certificates of the progress of the work, not on the whole to exceed
£50,000 sterling.
"I have, &c,
I S. L.   TlLLBt.
" To Hon. A. DeCosmos,M.P."
It would be seen from that letter that
the Finance Minister of that day
understood that the $250,000 as to
be paid to the Province from time to
time, asa gift or graiat, and not charged
against the debt of the Province. The
Ministiy of that day retired, and the
hon. gentleman who now leads the Government formed the present Administration. As his (Mr. DeOosmos') mission at that time was both to
the Dominion and to England
with regard to the dock, he .considered it his duty, before going to
England, to obtain the confirmation of
the present Government to the'-agree-
ment he had made with the late Government. He found, at the outset, that f
they called in question the nature of
the guarantee. He communicated, he
believed, first, semi-officially with the
hon. the Minister of Marine and Fisheries, and next, he thought, with the
hon. the Premier, and after the question as to whether the Province was
bound to pay back any sum of money
advanced on that guarantee or nof, it
was decided, as the House might fairly
infer from the following statement in
his report, that the guarantee mentioned in the Terms of Union, could
not be made a charge against the Province. In his report, drawn up on
his return to British Columbia, dated
2nd February, 1874, the words were
as follows:—
" As a matter of record, it may here be
p'uted that the nature of the guarantee in
Section 12 of the Terms of Union respecting
the Graving Dock, was considered during
the negotiations with Mr. Mackenzie, and
that the decision was that the £50,000 sterling in lieu of the guarantee of interest, in
Section 12 of the Terms of Union, should be
given to the Province as a grant or bonus,
and was not to be charged as a debt against
the Province."
In order to go to the Imperial Government with a confirmation from the new
Dominion Government, he communicated with the present Premier, and
he agreed also to grant the $250,000
in aid of the Esquimalt Graving-dock.
The question of the repayment of this
money, or of charging it against the
debt, was not a part of that agreement
in any shape, way, manner or form;
and he believed he could conclusively
show the House, outside of the letter he
now intended to read, that such was
the case. He would read the letter
from the Premier to himself:—
I Ottawa, 14th Nov., 1873.
"My Deae Sir,—With reference to the
proposal you submitted on behalf of the
Government of British Columbia, viz., to
advance £50,000 to aid in the construction
of a Graving Dock at Esquimault, in lieu of
the guarantee of interest at five per centum on
£100,000 for ten years, provided by the
Terms of Union, I have to say that any
change in the mode of aiding in the construction of this work, from that agreed io,
will require the sanction of Parliament.
"I can only say, at present, that the Government will sabmit a measure to Parliament
to carry out your proposal, or some scheme
equivalent thereto.
"I am, &c,
(Signed),        "A. Mackenzie.
«' Hon. A. DiCoshos."
They had in that letter a statement
from the head of the Government that
ho would submit a measure to Parliament to carry out his (Mr. DeCosmos')
proposal. His proposal did not ask for
a loan to assist the construction of the
Graving Dock. His proposal to the
Government, dated 29th October, 1873,
"fi(the Province)proposes therefore to construct the dock if the Dominion Government
will pay to the Province the sum of $250,000
in lieu of the guarantee provided under
Section twelve of the Terms of Union."
There was nothing whatever in this
proposal which authorized the Government to interpret it as an application
for a loan. He might go beyond that.
Here was another proof that in the
negotiations, so far as he was concerned, there was no reference whatever to a loan :—
" Ottawa, Nov. 11, 187S.
" British  Columbia   Representatives j to   the
Hon. A. Mackenzie:
I Sir,—We fully agree with the proposal of
the late Government to ask Parliament to grant
to British Columbia £50,000 sterling, in lieu of
the guarantee under the Terms of Union, for
the construction of a first-class Graving Dock
at Esquimalt, and now have the honour to say
that, if the same be submitted by the present
Government to Parliament for its sanction, it
will receive our undivided support.
"We have, &c,
(Signed,)   " A. DeCosmos,
" E. Dewdney,
"J. S. Thompson,
" R. W. W. Oarrall,
" H. Nathan,
I H. Nelson."
This was an additional authority
showing the intention of the agent of
British Columbia to ask for a grant,
and not for an advance. Sometime
later he wrote two letters to the
Minister of Finance, asking when the
Government would be prepared to
bring forward a measure in respect to
the Graving-dock, and he also had an
interview with the Premier on the
subject. The latter brought in some
resolutions on the subject, but, when
these resolutions were before the
House, and when the Bill was framed
he (Mr. DeCosmos) found there was a
clause added by which it was proposed
that this money should be charged
against the debt of the Province. He
immediately remonstrated with the
hon. the Premier against putting a
new face upon the agreement with the
Province, or, in other words, for having 8
violated the agreement; and at last
this c^use was struck out. It might
be well for him to read the exact
words, so that the House might clearly
see what it was. The first part of the
Bill, as introduced, read in this way :—-
"1. In lieu of the guarantee of interest at
the rate of five per centum per annum for ten
years from the completion of the works, on
such sum not exceeding £100,000 sterling, as
may be required for the construction of a first-
class Graving Dock at Esquimalt, as pro-'ided
by the terms of the-Order of the Queen, in
Council for the admission of British Columbia
into the Union, advances may be made from
time to time, by the Governor in Council, out of
the Consolidated Revenue Fund, for the construction of such Graving Dock, upon certificates of the progress of the work; such advances not to exceed, in the whole, $250,000,
and to be considered as part of the indebtedness
of the Province in calculating the subsidy payable to it."
After making his remonstrance, and
after hon. members of British Columbia had also remonstrated against it,
the clause: "And be considered
part of the indebtedness of the Province in calculating the subsidy payable
to it," was struck out, and the Bill was
finally passed. But the hon. the Premier had said to the hon. members for
British Columbia that he was prepared
to carry out what Mr. Tilley had agreed
to do. The hon. the Premier stated
that Mr. Langton, the Auditor-General,
had told him that it was only to be an
advance, and not a bonus. He (Mr.
DeCosmos) denied the correctness of
Mi*. Langton's assertion, and it was
left to be settled on the basis
of what the late Government had
agreed to do. Finding that the
hon. the Premier was unwilling to do
anything in the shape of granting that
money as a bonus to the Province, he
wrote to the hon.member for Charlevoix
(Mr. Langevinj, the ex-Minister of
Public Works, and also to Governor Til-
ley, of New Brunswick, who was the
ex-Finance Minister, with whom he had
negotiated, with the full and firm belief that, if those gentlemen stated the
facts to the present Ministry of the
agreemer t, with respect to the
Graving-dock, made with the late
Government, no objection whatever
would be taken to the payment of this
money from time to time as the dock
progressed. He would draw the attention of the House to the reply of Mr.
" Government House,
" Frederioton, 28th May, 1874.
" Dear Sir,—In reply to your communication of the 23rd inst, I beg to state that the
£50,000 sterling agreed to be advanced to the
Government of British Columbia towards the
Graving Dock, was in lien of the facilities secured for that purpose under the Terms of Union.
I cannot see how there could be any misunderstanding in the matter, as my letter of the 3rd
November, 1873, appears sufficiently definite,
and the Act just past cites ihe conditions ia
the fir3t section
" I have the honour to be, dear Sir,
"Yours faithfully,
"S.   L.   TlLLBT.
"To Hon. A. DeCosmos, M.P."
In order to give additiona ■ evidence to
the present Government that the
meaning of the evidence, andtheinten-
I tiou of the late Government was to
grant the money as a bonus, he sent the
following telegram: —
1 Ottawa, 2nd June, 1874.
" Your letter of May 28th and telegram o
May 29th,received, and I understand them to
mean that the £50,u00 sterling, promised to
be advanced in aid of the construction of a
Graving Dock at Esquimalt, was to be a gift
to British Columbia in lieu of Section 12 of
the Terms of Union. Is that your meaning ?
(Signed,)       " A. DeCosmos.
| To His Excellency Governor S. L. Tilley,
Predericton, N.B.'"
Here was the reply :
" St. Andrews, 3rd June, 1874.
" £50,000 sterling was not to be charged to
debt, but given in lieu of guarantee Graving
Dock.   Thought my letter explicit.
(Signed,) 18. L. Tilley.
I To Hon. A. DeCosmos."
This settled the point that so far as the
action of the late Government, through
the ex-Finance Minister,was concerned,
the intention was that this $250,000
should be paid to the Province as a gift,
and was not to be charged against the
debt of the Province. The next letter
he would read,confirming this position,
was a letter addressed to himself by
the hon. the ex-Minister of Public
Works—the member who was now on
the floor of this House, the hon.
member for Charlevoix :—
| Quebec, 1st June, 1874.
" My Dear Mr. DeCosmos,—Your letter
of the 29th of May has just reached me. In
answer, I have no hesitation to say that the
Government to which I belonged promised to
grant to British Columbia, ae a "bonus, the
sum of £50,000 sterling in lieu of the guarantee contained in the 12th Section of the Terms f
of Union. We were convjja^ed that British
OoJiypbia could not build their Graving Dock
with that guarantee ; and inasmuch as the
intention of both parties to the Terms of
Ijnion was to secure that Graving Dock, we
thought it but just, to replace it by such
a sum as would secure it to your Province, British Columbia and Great Britain
contributing their share, or British Columbia
supplementing the balance. Of course this
sum of £50,000 sterling was not to be an advance of money, but a bonus in place of the
guarantee. We knew we would have to ob-
I ain the sanction of Parliament to such an
arrangement, and we told you we would do
so. I am very positive about these negotiations, inasmuch as I was conducting them,
chieflv, previous to the return of Mr. Tilley
from England. I hope the above will prove
satisfactory, and remain, my dear Mr.
" Yours very truly,
| Hector L. Lansevin.
1 Hon. A. DeCosmos, M. P."
If further proof were wanting, he be-
lioved that it could be had ; but here,on
tlio evidence of two witnesses, he
thought he had established conclusively
that the agreement of the late Government was to pay $250,000 to the Province of British Columbia to aid in the
construction of the Graving-dock. The
hon. the Premier having agreed, in the
presence of the members of British
Columbia, that he would do what Mr.
Tilley had agreed to do, afterwards
violated that agreement by refusing to
pay the money over to the Province
to enable it to construct the clock.
Five years, nearly, had elapsed since
these negotiations were entered into,
and had the Government kept faith
with the Province, the dock, instead of
being only started—a mere coffer-dam
only being now in the course of construction—would have been completed,
and Her Majesty's ships of war might
have been docked there. It might have
been used as a implement of defence
in case of war between the Imperial
Government and Russia or any other
country, and as a nucleus for a colony
of ship-builders. The money expended
would have given employment to a
considerable number of men, and thereby increased the revenue derivable
frpm and Excjse by this Dominion ; bat, as it was,this,
,one of the Terms of the Union, was
now practically in abeyance. In going
a step further, he wisbed to direct tfte
attention of the House to a report of the
Committee of the hon. the Privy Council of 29th May,1876, in whichtheMin-
ister of Finance was credited with using
the following language :—
" The hon. the Minister of Finance, under
these circumstanqej3,advises that the Government of British Columbia be informed that,
in the opinion of this Government, the first
section of Chapter 17, 37 Victoria, only contemplates an advance of certain moneys, and
that it is not in the power of the Government
of the Dominion to make a gift of the sum of
$250,0C0, as would appear, from the preceding telegram, to be expected by the Government of British Columbia."
From this, they found that,in 1876, the
Government having in its possession
undoubted evidence of the agreement
with the late Government, for he sent
the letters he received from the hon.
member for Charlevoix, and the present Governor of New Brunswick, to
the Government, and copies were taken
of them—interpreted the first section
of Chapter 17, Victoria 37, to mean
merely an advance (and not a bonus to
the Province; again, showing that
the hon. the Premier—instead of Cftrny;-
ing out his deliberate agreement nyi^e
on the floor of the House with the hfift.
members for British Columbia, when
the Bill was passed—again concurred
in violating the agreement between
British Columbia and 1hc Dominion.
He had further evidence in his possession as to the views entertained by
the Government, with respect to that
sum of money. He intended to show
what the opinion of the leader of the
Government was with respect to the
Dock in February, 1874, before any
difficulty had arisen between the Government of British Columbia and the
Dominion with respect to the construction of the railway. Ho would
read to the House a telegram received
from the hon. the Minister of Public
Works, to whom he had sent a telegram, asking hi m to telegraph :%.Q$py of
the ox Finance Minister Tilley's letter
to him (Mr. DeCosmos) respecting the
dock, which had been mislaid here at
Ottawa, in the hon. gentleman!s office
he believed, before bis return to British
Columbia. To that telegram he received the following answer from the
Minister of Public Works:—
" Ottawa 6th, Feb., 18.74,
" Your telegram went astray.   Government
offer is to pay ($26,000) two hundred ajid fifty thousand dollar^, as dock work progresses in
lifett<6f guarantee provided by Terms of Union.
(Signed) " A. Mackenzie."
That was final and conclusive evidence
as to the understanding existing between the Province of British Columbia
and the Dominion on the 6th February,
1874. Having explained this matter^
and given to the House a brief narrative of the negotiations respecting the-
Graving Dock, he considered he had
cHSiJharged his duty, alike to his con-
iSattients, to the Province of British
Columbia and to the Dominion. He
trusted the hon. the leader of the Government would find occasion to make
reparation to the Province of British
Columbia for the great wrong he had
committed in not carrying out the
agreement made with it in November,
1^7'L He trusted also the Government
would consent to bring down the
p'SJJiCrs called for in this motion.
.Mr. BUNSTER said ho felt it a duty
incumbent upon him to second the
motion, inasmuch as His Excellency
the Governor-General, when he visited
British Columbia, promised faithfully,
and he supposed His Excellency had
the ear of the Government when he
made that statement, that railway construction should be commenced, according to the terms of the Carnarvon
award. This promise, he might add,
had been made in his own presence. The
terms of the treaty under which British
Columbia had entered the Dominion
had not been carried out in that spirit
of fair play which would be expected
from British statesmen. However,
thanks to one of the great natural
resources of the Pacific Province, which
was being rapidly developed and
worked, a change had taken place
in the prospects of British Columbia, and the people there did
not care so much as formerly
whether British statesmen carried out
their promises or not, as the future of
that great country was now assured.
Through their faith in the Dominion,
British Columbia had lost a railroad,
that would, under similar circumstances, have been built years ago
by their American neighbours'. The
people of British Columbia would have
had a railway running- past their doors
were it not for the way the Canadian
Pacific Railway bad been villified by
one party and ignored by the other, it
was the first time in history that anything had been said against British enterprise ; but it was owing to the failure
of British enterprise that to-day they
were without a road. If British Columbia had not entered the Confederacy of
Canada, they would have been in a position to make treatios with the Americans to bring their railroads to British
Columbia, which had been fully their'
intention. It was well known the
Americans wished to get hold of British
Columbia; but, having much British1
blood in their veins, tbe people of
British Columbia preferred to ally
themselves to Canada and stand by the
old flag. Had Canada been true to
her promises ? He could only reply
no. Three hundred British citizens
had been' swept away in a moment
through the wreck of a tub of a steamboat, indirectly occasioned by the
want of a railroad, for, if the American
railroad had been built, there would
have been no necessity for a steamboat, and they would not have had
widows and orphans left on their
hands. The loss of that vessel and so
many lives was one which could not
bo compensated by the building of the
Canadian Pacific BailrOad, which was
a mere myth in comparison. All that
was required to build the Pacific
Railroad was brains and intelligence.
The increase in the value of the public
domain would more then cover the
cost of building the road. The Government was too oautious, too much
afraid of going into debt. That was a
mistake. English capitalists loaned
money to the South AmericanRepublics
for railroad speculation in the United
States, and never got a cent in
return, eithe/ in capital or interest.
We had a good country; there was
plenty of money in England to buy
the'steel rails, and sufficient labour to
build the road, and all that was required was pluck, enterprise, and
energy on the part of the Canadian
Government to go on with the road.
The population would follow. They had
had a good example already in some
of the Western States of the American
Union, where the people were now;
bringing water to fertilize their lands
from thirty to forty miles distance, at
an expense of millions of dollars, and yet 8
were well repaid for their labour and
expenditure. And they were sending
their cereals to Europe from that heretofore barren desert. Canadians would
not awake t© the advantages they had
over and above the Americans, among
them being two days and nine hours
gain in time from China to Liverpool
by the Canadian route. They would
not awake to the importance of
the country. He declared without
fear of contradiction, that they had
allowed their neighbours to get ahead
of them and they (the Americans)
knew it and boasted of it. Had
the Dominion developed its own
resources, they would not to-day see
five hundred thousand Canadians
seeking employment in another
country, when their own country owned
a better domain. In connection with
that question, some members had seen
fit to state that the members from
British Columbia had tried to monopolize the time of the House. That
he denied emphatically. He thought
the spirit of the members from
British Columbia had been to utilize
the time of the House in the interests
of the Dominion at large, to show the
resources of the country, and no one
could fail to acknowledge that British
Columbia, with her great and enduring
resources, was anything less than a
jowel of great price to Canada and the
Empire. She possessed greater and
more valuable resources than the whole
of the Dominion combined, whether
they considered her lumber, coal,
agricultural or mineral resources, her
seas teeming with fish, her numerous
harbours or her general climate.
Mr. PUNSTER said her members
would compare favourably with the
members of any Parliament. Her
members came here to demand the
rights granted to British Columbia
under treaty, which remained unfulfilled. If they were pertinacious on
that point, it was through a sense of
duty, feeling that the treaty with
British Columbia had not been carried
out according to the spirit or letter of
the law, a fact which had grieved the
people much. There were many members and others in British Columbia
who could argue the case better than
the representatives in this House,
especially himself. When they had
entered into a solemn treaty, and
sacrificed thereby their j own interests—sacrificed railroads offered them
by other countries, the privilege
of making treaties with other countries,
—they certainly had a right to
ask of the Dominion Government
that it should carry out a portion of
the treaty, at least when the Government had sent steel rails to their shores
and piled them up, and then said they
were not going to utilize them in the line
of railroad for which those rails were
intended; when they had reserved lands
and thereby excluded immigration to
these lands; when emigrants, as good
Britishers as ever landed in Canada,
were obliged to go to other shores to
seek a home,—the people of British
Columbia had a right to feel aggrieved.
The Dominion had not built the road,
and the rails were still lying unused,
deteriorating in value more than if
laid down on the line. The Government lands would have paid four times
over the expense of building the road
even according to the prices obtained
for the lands at public auction. Emigrants could.not settle on tho lands reserved by the Dominion Government,
under contract; and yet the hon. the
Premier did not acknowledge the contract. Nevertheless, the contract existed. Emigrants who had been induced to come to the shores of British
Columbia had been obliged to emigrate
again to Washington Territory, Oregon,
and elsewhere, owing to not being
allowed to settle on those reserved
lands. Every fair-minded person couid
not but acknowledge that it was a deplorable state of affairs. The Government should take hold of this national
highway, and by it unite Canada from
coast to coast. He was satisfied the
Government could carry it out, if they
would only try, and, if they did not,
he could only repeat what he had
stated on other occasions, that some
else would.
Motion agreed to.
Mr. DeCOSMOS moved for a cppy
of  the   report,   with  accompanying 9
map, of the engineer who was employed last year in determining the
probable boundary line between British
Columbia and Alaska, and also a
copy of his instructions., with a copy of
the treaty or convention between (J real
Britain and Russia respecting the said
boundary. He said he considered that
this information ought to be placed in
the Sessional Papers, to give every
hon. member of this House a clear idea
of our relations with the United States,
so far as the boundary line of Alaska
was concerned. It was necessary that
this boundary should be defined, to
prevent a conflict in the civil and criminal jurisdiction of the two countries.
There was at this moment a great excitement in British Columbia with respect to mining, and valuable quartz
lodes had been found on the Alaska
side of the boundary. If, at any time
hereafter, quartz lodes were found
near the supposed boundary, it might
create more or less excitement of an
unpleasant character between the two
countries. It was necessary that, in
connection with the boundary, on the
Stickeen River more particularly, an
arrangement should be made between
the two Governments to determine a certain point as the
iimit of their respective jurisdictions. He was assured that at
the American town of Wrangel, situated
opposite the mouth of the Stickeen
River in Alaska, sales were made to
men employed on the British side of
the Stickeen during the year, to the
amount, in round numbers, of $100,000
worth vof merchandize. When be
drew the attention of the Government,
and especially of the hon. the Minister
of Customs, the other day, to the duties
paid at Stickeen, it was with the view
of ascertaining whether some evidence
could be obtained to corroborate the
statement made to him by steamboat
captains as to the trade on the Stickeen.
By the non-definition of the boundary,
even temporarily, by the two Governments, this trade was thrown into
American hands instead of into British
Columbia hands. He was assured that,
if the boundary proposed by Mr.
Hunter who was sent there by the
Government last year, were adopted,
and a Customhouse station placed
there,   Canadian    steamships   would
I proceed there, and the miners who
visited them during the winter season,
would make their headquarters on the
British side of the line. As the matter
was now, they were really contributing
to build up the American side and to
the support of American steamers
passing from Portland to Alaska and
carrying Oregon produce, instead of
British steamers which might pass
through the mouth of the Stickeen
into British Columbian territory. He
hoped the Government would bring
down Mr. Hunter's report and maps,
and any additional information, which
would show the outline of Alaska in
front of British territory, the inland
Mr. BUNSTER, in rising to second
this motion, said it would have afforded
him much greater pleasure if the motion had been for the purchase of
Alaska. Hon. gentlemen might laugh,
but looking at the matter from a national point of view, he fully meant
what he said, from his knowledge of
the country, that the territory of
Alaska possessed a more genial clime
than Ottawa, notwithstanding its latitude, while its natural resources and
capabilities were more valuable than
people had any idea of. As early as the
months of January and February, gardening operations were commenced. He
questioned very much if they could do
that in Ottawa. Vegetation was rapid
during the summer season, but he
must acknowledge not so rapid as here
at the Capital. When hon. members
of this House sneered at Alaska, he
had a right to speak from his own personal knowledge, and tell them they
were mistaken ; and the day was not
far distant when, from the geographi-
calposition of this country, they would
see the force of his remarks on this
subject. They could not but recognize
the great fact, that British Columbia
was the centre of the British Empire,
between Australasia, luvrope and Canada. Hence, he felt that that Province occupied a proud position ; and
that it was the duty of every British
Columbian to keep his fellow countey-
men here well informed on British
Columbia. He remembei'ed when Spr
John A. Macdonald brought British
Columbia into the Union, much to her
detriment,    because     the    contract r
was   hot   earrieo   out.   that    it   was
considered a foohVh bargain; but to-day
the   Americans   felt   proud   of   thcii
Alaska   bargain.    Seven   millions   in
cash were paid for that, but not a dollar was paid for British Columbia. Let
the House contrast the difference, and
see wbat a mistake Cunada made during the Crimean war,  in  not  laying
hold  of that  country.    The  lease of
Alaska was more than enough to pay
one    million    dollars   annually.      It
was  the  best investment the United
States had ever made.
Mr.. MACKENZIE:   Mr.  Speaker,
this question raised by the hon. gentleman  behind  me,  is one of a great
deal of importance.    I would suggest
to him that he make his motion a little
wider.    The motion, as it  is  framed,
simply' calls for the report of Mr. Hunter, a civil engineer sent on an exploratory survey, to determine, as far as his
intelligence and information enabled
him to do so, the  true  boundary line
according to  the Russian Convention
of 1825 ; but we have had a good deal
of correspondence  on  this  subject, of
an official character, with the  United
States Government, and some questions
arose in connection with  the  navigation  of the Stickeen River, which is
affected to some extent  by the Treaty
of Washington.    I think it is desirable
that the hon. gentleman  should widen
his motion in this  sense, adding the
following   words:   " And   also   such
other papers as relate to the defining-
MacLean Roger & Co.
of the boundary line between Alaska
and British territory, and the navigation of the rivers passing from British
Columbia through Alaska to the sea.''
We will thus Ije able to place a collection of  paport in  consecutive order,
which will show the position in which
th;s matter stands at'the present time. I
may say that we  have made every,
effort vto get a settlement of this ques-
sion, and took the necessary means to
do so; but there seems to be some difficulty    on   the   part   of  the   United
States in( obtaining an 'appropriation
from   Congress   sufficient   to   accomplish the purpose desired. ' We then
endeavoured to obtain a definition of the
boundary at points of common interest^-
such as the crossing of the Stickeen
River; and this we failed in  accomplishing  in  consequence of the difficulty    experienced,     apparently,    in
Washington, in obtaining moftey from
Congress to devote to this object.    As
a matter of public interest, I think it
desirable that, if any return at all is
made to this motion, the return should
be as complete as possible, so as to
make   the   papeis,   when   printed,  a
work of referehco on the subject for
the   future.    If  the   hon.  gentleman
will consent to this amendmont, I will
be very glad to have the papers made
as complete as possible.
Me. DeCOSMOS said he was perfectly willing to accept the amendment
suggested by the hon. the Premier.
Motion, as amended, agreed to.
Sa£^7,ad ^Partme^^^^^


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