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Report of the commissioner appointed to inquire into the grievances of the settlers within the tract… Harrison, E. 1901

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 1 Ed. 7,\Inquiry into Grievances of Settlers, E. &a N. Railway Lands.        337
/    < —
REPORT
Of tho Commissioner ajuiQinted to inquire into tho grievances of tho settlers within
-   the tract of lands granted to tho Esquimalt and Nanaimo Railway Company.
By Command.
J. D. PRENTICE,
Provincial Secretary.
Provincial Secretai~y'a  Office,
2nd March, 1901.   ,
Victoria, January 4th, 1901.
To the Honourable Sir Henri Gustaw Joly de Lotbinidre, K.C.M.G., Lieutenant-Governor of
the Province of British Columbia. .
.Your Honour,—I have the honour, in pursuance of the Commission dated the 12th day
of October, 1900, appointing mo to inquire into the grievances of the settlers within the tract
of lands granted to the Esquimalt and Nanaimo Railway Company, to report as follows:—
The Commission was opened at Nanaimo on the 24th day of October, 1900.
At the request of some of those who appeared, the taking of their evidence was adjourned
until the 8th day of November, 1900.
. A circular letter was then sent by registered post to each person who was known to have
claimed as a settler, and to those who were known to claim through prior settlers, calling
attention to the adjournment and the time and place of holding the next sitting.'
Sittings, of which public notice was given, were also held at the Court House,-Oambcr-
land (Comox District), and at the Court House, Duncan (Cowichan District).
No claimant appeared before me who had settled on land prior to the Railway reserve of
the 30th June, 1873. Every person who appeared before me had either received a grant
under " An Act relating to tho Island Railway, the Graving Dock, and Railway Lands of the
Province," Chapter 14 (19th December), 1883-84, commonly called the "Settlement Act,"
either from the Dominion or from the Esquimalt and Nanaimo Railway Company, or had
purchased or was devisee of land which had previously been so granted. Certain of the
settlers on the Island Railway Belt who took possession of lands included in that Belt, and
who are referred to in section 23 of the Settlement Act as squatters, claim that, in lieu of the
grants to them, under that Act, of' the surface rights to the land they were in possession of,
they should have received, and should yet receive, grants from the Crown .without any reservation, except of the precious metals—grants, as some of them put it, the same as other people
received of lands outside the Belt, or of lands inside which were pre-empted before the
reservation.
They lay particular stress on the fact that coal, in particular, was excluded from the
grants they received.
Another claim advanced is, that if the right to the minerals (if any) under their lands
cannot be granted to them, they should have " something in lieu of them."
Others complain that the railway was built through their lands without compensation for
the right of way. 338 "        Inquiry into Grievances of Settlers, E. & N. Railway Lands.      1901
Another complaint is that they have been told and believe that the Esquimalt and
Nanaimo Railway Company obtained not only a grant of the coal and other minerals under
the land squatted on, but also obtained from the Government of Canada, under the head of
" lands in lieu of lands pre-empted or otherwise alienated within the Railway Belt," the same
quantity of additional lands, with coal rights, as that squatted on, thus, in that respect,
doubling what the Company ought to receive.
This complaint may be disposed of at once, as it has in fact no foundation whatever.
Like claims are set up by persons who were not the original squatters, but who purchased
the improvements, or whatever right or interest the original squatters had; in some cases
before the Settlement Act was passed, and in others after its passage; in some cases after the
original squatter obtained a grant under that Act, and in cases, also, where they themselves
have obtained a grant under that Act. These persons contend that their claims should stand
on the same footing as if they were original squatters.
Another position taken in one case is that, though at present he has no grievance or complaint, still if any one who squatted on the belt after the reservation should get a grant of
anything other than the surface rights, or receive anything additional to, or in lieu of, the grant
under the Settlement Act, all should be treated alike, and he "should receive what the others
get."
To understand the position of affairs, and the nature of these claims, and what, if any,
ground there may be for them, it is necessary to go into the history of the railway belt from
the time the lands on Vancouver Island were reserved for railway purposes, and to examine
the different provisions of the law from time to time governing the disposal and acquisition of
Crown lands on Vancouver Island; to ascertain how and to what extent Crown lands could
be acquired, and in what manner, and to what extent, they could be granted, and as the claims
are advanced in respect of, and in consequence of, entry on and possession of Crown lands when
under reservation, it becomes necessary to inquire into the facts and circumstances attendant
on and surrounding the entry on and taking possession of these lands; and as the complaints
are against grants issued to them of the surface rights, which the Legislature authorised to be
granted to them under the Settlement Act, it is also necessary to inquire into the circumstances under which those grants were made, and issued to and received by the grantees.
Railway Belt and Reservation of Crown Lands on Vancouver Island for Railway
Purposes.
Vide B. G. Papers in connection with the construction of the C. P. R-, 1880, B. C. Sessional
Papers, 1879, el ann. seq.:
On the 20th July, 1871, British Columbia was admitted into and became part of Canada,
on certain Terms and Conditions.
, Section 11 of the Terms of Union is as follows:—
"11. The Government of the Dominion undertake to secure "the commencement simultaneously, within two years from the date of Union, of the construction of a railway from the'
Pacific towards the Rocky Mountains, and from such point as may be selected east of the
Rocky Mountains towards the Pacific, to connect the sea-board of British Columbia with the
railway system of Canada; and, further, to secure the completion of such railway within ten
years from the date of the Union :
" And the Government of British Columbia agrees to convey to the Dominion Government, in trust, to be appropriated in such manner as the Dominion Government may deem
advisable in furtherance of the construction of the said railway, a similar extent of public
lands along the line of railway throughout its entire length in British Columbia, not to exceed,
however, twenty miles on each side of the said line, as may be appropriated for the same
purpose by the Dominion Government from the public lands in the North-West Territories and
the Province of Manitoba: Provided that the quantity of land which may be held under preemption right, or by Crown grant, within the limits of the tract of land in British Columbia
to be so conveyed to the Dominion Government, shall be made good to the Dominion from
contiguous public lands; and provided, further, that until the commencement, within two
years as aforesaid from the date of the Union, of the construction of the- said railway, the
Government of British Columbia shall not sell or alienate any further portions of the public
lands in British Columbia in any other way than under right of preemption, requiring actual
residence of the pre-emptor on the land claimed by him: 1 Ed. 7      Inquiry into Grievances of Settlers, E. & N. Railway Lands.        339
"In consideration of the land to be so conveyed in aid of the construction of the said railway, the Dominion Government agree to pay to British Columbia from the date of the Union
the sum of one hundred thousand dollars per annum in half-yearly payments in advance."
Immediately upon Union all lands of the Province 'were withdrawn from sale or alienation. On tho 7th day of June, 1873, by Order of the Governor-General in Council, on a
Memorandum of the Chief Engineer of the Canadian Pacific Railway, Esquimalt, on Vancouver
Island, was fixed as the terminus of the Canadian Pacific Railway; and it was decided that a
lino of railway be located between the Harbour of Esquimalt and Seymour Narrows, on the
said Island, and that application immediately be made to the Lieutenant-Governor of British
Columbia for the conveyance to the Dominion Government, in trust, according to the 11th
paragraph of the Terms of Agreement of Union, of a strip of land twenty miles in width along
the eastern coast of Vancouver Island, between Seymour Narrows and the Harbour of Esquimalt, and it was intimated that an Order of the Lieutenant-Governor of British Columbia in
Council, appropriating this tract of land in furtherance of the construction of the said railway,
would be necessary in order to operate as a sufficient conveyance and reservation of the said
land to and for the Dominion Government.
On the 10th day of June, 1873, application was made to the British Columbia Government for such conveyance.
On the 30th day of June, 1873, the Lieutenant-Governor in Council reserved the twenty-
mile Belt lying between Esquimalt Harbour and Seymour Narrows, and the conveyance in
trust of the said land asked for by the Dominion Government was deferred, and the following
notice of reservation was adopted and ordered to be published in a Gazette Extraordinary:—
"Whereas, by an Order in Council, dated the 7th day of June, 1873, of the Honourable
the Privy Council of Canada, it has been decided ' that Esquimalt, in Vancouver Island, be
fixed as the terminus of the Canadian Pacific Railway, and that a line of railway be located'
between the Harbour of Esquimalt and Seymour Narrows, on the said Island':
"And whereas, in accordance with the terms of the said Order in Council, application has
been made to His Honour the Lieutenant-Governor of British Columbia for a reservation and
for a conveyance to the Dominion Government, in trust, according to the eleventh paragraph
of the Terms of Agreement of Union, of a strip of land twenty miles in width along the eastern
coast of Vancouver Island, between Seymour Narrows and the Harbour of Esquimalt, in
furtherance of the construction of the said railway:
"And whereas it has been deemed advisable that the lands within the limits aforesaid
should be reserved prior to any conveyance aforesaid being made thereof :
" Public notice is, therefore, hereby given that from and after this date a strip of land
twenty miles in width along the eastern coast of Vancouver Island, between Seymour Narrows
and the Harbour of Esquimalt, is hereby reserved."
Official notification of this reserve was published in tho Government (British Columbia)
Gazette on the 1st day of July, 1873. In the usual course of business the Queen's Printer
would forward copies of this Gazette to the different Government Agents and Land Recorders.
On the 30th June, 1873, Mr. T. L. Fawcett, Land Recorder at Nanaimo, was informed
by letter, by the Chief Commissioner of Lands and Works, of the reservation, and instructed
that no more pre-emptions would be granted in that belt.
By report of the Dominion Privy Council, approved by the Governor-General on the 3rd'
day of September, 1873, it was submitted—
" that so long as the land referred to is not alienated from the Crown, but held under
reservation, the object of the Government of the Dominion will be obtained, that object being.,
simply that when the. railway shall come to be constructed the land in question shall he at the
disposition of the Government of the Dominion for the purposes laid down in the eleventh
section of the Terms of Union with British Columbia."
On the 22nd day of September, 1873, the Provincial Government urged that the boundaries
of the land on Vancouver Island proposed to be claimed by the Government of the Dominion,
in trust, to aid in the construction of the railway under the Terms of Union, might be at once
defined, and that a competent person in this Province might be appointed to dispose of said
lands on such terms as would admit of settlement, and authorised the Honourable Amor De
Cosmos, President of the Executive Council and Premier of the- Ministry, to confer with the
Government of Canada on this subject. 340 Inquiry into Grievances of Settlers, E. & N. Railway Lands.      1901
On the 8th day of October, 1873, the Provincial Government were informed that "the
subject of the occupation of lands reserved by the Dominion Government" would receive
due consideration.
On the 22nd day of November, 1873, the Government of British Columbia, after stating that
the non-fulfilment by the Dominion Government of the Terms of Union had caused a strong
feeling of anxiety and discouragement to exist throughout the Province, asked the Dominion
Government for a decided expression of its policy with regard to the fulfilment of tho
Eleventh Article of the Terms of Union, and that the decision arrived at be communicated at
the earliest moment possible.
On the 9th day of February, 1874, the Legislature of British Columbia protested against
the infraction of the Eleventh Article of the Terms of Union, as the construction of the
railway had not been commenced.
In 1874 proposals were made on behalf of the Dominion Government, inter alia,
" To commence the construction from Esquimalt to Nanaimo immediately, and push that
portion of the railway on to completion with the utmost vigour, and in the shortest practicable time,"
provided British Columbia would agree to a relaxation of the Terms of Union.
On the 11th day of June, 1874, the Government of British Columbia appointed.a special
agent and delegate to proceed to London and present and support a memorial and remonstrance,
on behalf of British Columbia, regarding the non-fulfilment of Clause 11 of the Terms of
Union, by the Dominion Government.
In section 19 of such memorial or petition, it was, inter alia, stated that, immediately
upon union with Canada all lands of the Province were withdrawn from sale or alienation,
and that the Provincial Government had agreed to reserve, and had ever since reserved, the
Belt on Vancouver Island, "a tract of most valuable land, abounding in vast mineral wealth,
and easy of access from the sea."
On the 17th day of November, 1874, the decision of the Earl of Carnarvon on tho controversy between the Dominion of Canada and the Province of British Columbia respecting
the Canadian Pacific Railway was rendered, deciding, inter alia, "that tho railway from
Esquimalt to Nanaimo should be commenced as soon as possible, and completed with all
practicable dispatch."
On the 31st day of March, 1875, at the then session of the British Columbia Legislature, Mr. Robson, Member for Nanaimo, asked the following question:—(Journals, 1875,
p. 26.)
" The Premier of Canada, having stated from his place in Parliament that the British
Columbia Government have power under the 11th section of the Act of Union to allow
persons to go upon the land reserved on Vancouver Island for railway purposes, and having
intimated that the Dominion Government would be disposed favourably to regard the exercise
of such power, is it the intention of the Government to permit pre-emption upon the said
lands?"
The Honourable Mr. Beaven, Chief Commissioner of Lands and Works, replied as
follows:—
" No official information has been received by the Government on the subject referred to,
but application was made to the Dominion Government, on behalf of tho Province, for the
purpose of securing the settlement of the lands reserved for railway purposes on the East
Coast of Vancouver Island, without jeopardizing the rights of British Columbia to railway
construction ; but no such arrangement has been consummated. The Government do not
intend at present to issue any certificates of pre-emption for lands in the reservation referred
to."
On the 25th day of March, 1875, the Dominion Privy Council reported on a Memorandum, dated 25th March, 1875, from the Honourable the Minister of Public Works, reporting
for the consideration of Council that, prior to the commencement of any works of construction on the proposed railway from Esquimalt to Nanaimo, which the Dominion Government
have agreed to build under the arrangement made through Lord Carnarvon, at the instance of
British Columbia, it is essential that the Province of British Columbia should convey, by ~l
1 Ed. 7      Inquiry into Grievances of Settlers.'E. & N. Railway Lands.       341
legislation, to the Dominion Government, in trust, to be appropriated in such manner as the
Dominion Government may deem advisable, a similar extent of public lands along the line of
railway before mentioned (not to exceed twenty miles on each side of said line), as may be
appropriated for the same purpose by the Dominion from the public lands of the North-West
Territories and the Province of Manitoba, as provided in tho Order in Council, section 11,
admitting the Province of British Columbia into Confederation; and that it was desirable
that the British Columbia Government should be at once notified that it will be necessary,
during the present session of the Legislature of that Province, to pass an Act so to appropriate and set apart lands to this extent, and for this purpose; the grant to be subject, otherwise,
to all the conditions contained in the said Eleventh Section of the Terms of Union.
The Committee of Council concurred in the above report of the Minister of Public
Works, and recommended that the British Columbia Government be notified accordingly, and
an Act of the Legislature of British Columbia was passed, intituled:
" An Act to authorise the Grant of certain Public Lands to the Government of the
Dominion of Canada for Railway Purposes."     (Assented to the 22nd day of April, 1875.)—
reciting that,
"Whereas it is expedient to provide for the grant of public lands to the Dominion
Government required for a railway between the Town of Nanaimo and Esquimalt Harbour"
and enacting by section 1:—
" From and after the passing of this Act there shall be and there is hereby granted to
the Dominion Government for the purpose of constructing, and to aid in the construction, of
a railway, between the town of Nanaimo and Esquimalt Harbour, in trust, to be appropriated in such manner as the Dominion Government may deem advisable, a similar extent of
lands along the line of railway before mentioned (not to exceed twenty miles on each side
of the said line) as may be appropriated for the same purpose by the Dominion from the
public lands of the North-West Territories and the Province of Manitoba, as provided in
the Order in Council, section 11, admitting the Province of British Columbia into Confederation; such grant to be subject otherwise to all the conditions contained in the said
eleventh section of the Terms of Union."
And by Section 2:—
" All and every the provisions of the " Railway Act, 1868," passed by the Parliament of
Canada in the thirty-first year of the reign of Her Majesty, and being Chapter 68, including
any Acts amending the same, in so far as the provisions therein contained are applicable to
the said railway or any section thereof, and are not inconsistent with or repugnant to the
provisions of this Act, shall, mutatis mutandis, be considered as forming part of this Act, and
are hereby incorporated herewith."
The line of railway between Esquimalt and Nanaimo was subsequently practically located
and steel rails landed at those two places.
On the 20th day of September, 1875, the Dominion Government offered $750,000 to the
Province as compensation for any delays which might take place in the construction of the
Canadian Pacific railway, such $750,000 to be applied by the Province to building a railway
from Esquimalt to Nanaimo, or to such other local public works as the people of the Province
might think advantageous, and undertook to surrender any claims to lands which might have
been reserved for railway purposes.
The Provincial Government unhesitatingly but respectfully declined this proposal, and
strongly pressed upon the Dominion Government the absolute necessity of the Railway Agree-'
ment being carried out according to the terms thereof.
On the 21st day of January, 1876, the Legislature of British Columbia again protested
and strongly urged that Lord Carnarvon's settlement be carried out, and on the 2nd day of
February, 1876, petitioned Her Majesty.
On the 15th day of May, 1876, Mr. Ash moved, seconded by Mr. Bryden:—
"That, in the event of the lands reserved for railway purposes on the east coast of Vancouver Island reverting to the Province, it is the opinion of this House that the claims of
bona fide agricultural settlers should be respected."
The motion was withdrawn by leave of the House. 342- Inquiry into Grievances of Settlers, E. & N. Railway Lands:      1901
On the 9th day of June, 1876, the Dominion Government concurred in a memorandum
reporting that they had withdrawn from sale or settlement certain lands in Manitoba and the
North-West, and that the line of the Canadian Pacific Railway had been defined and located
through part of British Columbia, and requesting that the lands in British Columbia along
this line from Tete Jaune Cache to a point near the confluence of the Stewart and Chilcoot
rivers be forthwith conveyed, and that at present an Order in Council of British Columbia
appropriating the land will suffice, but suggesting that an Act bo passed by tho Legislature of
British Columbia conveying the said lands to Her Majesty for the purposes of the Government
of Canada, and to be appropriated in such manner as the Dominion Government might deem
advisable in furtherance of the construction of the said railway, and further recommending
that, in order to give due information to the public, and to prevent squatters, or the preemption of any portion of the land so conveyed, the Lieutenant-Governor should be invited to
give public notice of the passing of such Order in Council and of the conveyance of the said
lands.
On the 23rd day of May, 1878, the Dominion Government cancelled the Order in Council
of the 7th day of June, 1873, designating Esquimalt as the terminus of the Canadian Pacific
Railway and requiring the conveyance of the Island Railway Belt.
On the 29th day of August, 1878, the Legislature again petitioned Her Majesty.
On the 22nd day of April, 1879, the following Order in Council was passed by tho
Dominion Government, annulling the Order in Council of the 23rd day of May, 1878, and
reviving the Order in Council of tho 7th day of June, 1873.
"On a memorandum dated the 16th day of April, 1879, from the Honourable tho Minister
of Public Works, representing that on a memorandum from the Chief Engineer of the Canadian Pacific railway, dated the 23rd day of May. 1873, an Order in Council was passed on the
7th day of June, 1873, fixing Esquimalt, on Vancouver Island, as the terminus of the railway
in British. Columbia. That subsequently, on the 25th day of March, 1875, an Order in
Council was passed authorising the Dominion Government to notify the Government of
British Columbia that it would be necessary that the Legislature of that Province, then in
session, should pass an Act setting apart such extent of public lands along the line of railway
in Vancouver Island in the manner set forth by the eleventh paragraph of the Terms of Agreement of the Union, and recommending that the Order in Council of the 23rd day of May,
1878, be annulled, and that of June the 7th, 1873, be revived, and that a copy of the Minister's
Report to Council be furnished to the Honourable the Secretary of State for transmission to
the Government of British Columbia for their information."
On the 14th day of May, 1879, the Provincial Government requested the Dominion
Government to inform them whether a former reserve made at the instance of the Dominion
Government along the Fraser and Thompson rivers to Tete Jaune Cache should be cancelled
or retained.
In June, 1879, the Provincial Government were informed that the object of tho Order in
Council of the 22nd day of April, 1879, was simply to rescind the Order in Council of the
23rd day of May, 1878, so as to leave the General Government free to adopt whichever route
might appear, in the public interest, the most eligible, and that it was not proposed to release
the reservation of land on either route.
On the 1st day of April, 1880, the Dominion Government requested the Provincial Government to grant them lands outside the forty-mile belt in lieu of lands within that limit
which should be found to be valueless, and to supply the deficiency caused by the International
boundary on the Mainland and the coast line of Vancouver Island, respectively, falling within
the forty-mile belt.
In reply, the Dominion Government were requested—
1st. To define the lands which they might consider valueless for agriculture or other
economic purposes;
2nd. To indicate the lands which they might desire to secure in lieu thereof;
3rd. To state how they proposed to deal with such lands if ceded to them, the Committee
deeming it essential that this should bo done in order to prevent, as far as possible, an extension of the serious injury and loss already sustained by the Province by the withdrawal from
settlement, since June, 1873, by special request of the Dominion, of a valuable tract of 3,200
square miles of land on Vancouver Island for railway purposes; 1 Ed. 7      Inquiry into Grievances of Settlers, E. & N. Railway Lands.       343
4th. To inform the Provincial Government of the nature of the guarantees that they
were willing to give that railway work on the Mainland would be continuously and actively
prosecuted, and that, within an early definite period, the promise to construct the Island
section of the trunk line would be fulfilled.
In October, 1880, tho following letter and estimate were sent by the Honourable George
A. Walkem to the Honourable Amor De Cosmos, who was conducting negotiations with the
Dominion Government relative to railway matters:—
"Lands and Works Department,
"Victoria, B. C, October 29th, 1880.
"Hon Amor De Cosmos, M.P.,
" Ottawa.
" Sin,—I enclose you a statement, carefully gathered from the records of the Department,
of the lands available for railway purposes within the Mainland and Island belts. The statement is comprehensive enough to need no explanation. Coal croppings have been found as
far south as Shoal Harbour, and discoveries of coal have recently been made in several
localities south of Nanaimo. The lands containing these prospects have been applied for, but
of course cannot be dealt with by the local Government, as they were ceded to the Dominion
by Statute of 1875.
" For seven years back, intending settlers have been turned aside from the eastern coast
of the Island on account of the lands being locked up for railway purposes.
"This state of things, either in the interests of the Dominion or of any railway company,
must be very damaging, as both must depend upon settlement of the lands for revenue.
"I feel assured, from the active interest and able advocacy you have displayed in dealing
with this subject, that you will exert every influence within your reach to have the island
section commenced as soon as possible.
" When a time limit of ten years for the construction of the whole line is fixed, why
should this portion of it be left untouched for a longer period ? The line already established
on the Mainland cannot be prejudiced by any arrangements for securing speedy construction
of the further section referred to.
"I have telegraphed in a condensed form the substance of the enclosed figures, so that
you might have them for immediate use.
"I have, etc.,
(Signed)       "George A. Walkem,
" Chief Commissioner of Lands and Works."
" Estimate (closely approximate) of area of public lands which have been disposed of within
the Railway Belt between Esquimalt and Nanaimo; area af coal deposits, etc.
"Vancouver Island.
Acres. Acres.
" Total area of Railway Belt, square miles, 1,100  704,000
Sold or pre-empted 126,500
Indian reserves, surveyed .'     13,590
Government reserves, surveyed '...      1,200
Newcastle townsite (surveyed into lots, 126 acres)..  724
Sold          42
         682
Timber leases ■      3,316
Coal lands sold       10,034
     155,322
" Available for railway purposes 548,678
"The coal deposits within the Railway Belt extend—
" 1st. From near Cape Mudgb to North-West Bay, and have a productive area of about'
300 square miles. 344' Inquiry into Grievances of Settlers, E. & N. Railway Lands.       1901
" 2nd. From Departure Bay to the north end of North Saanich, and, including the
adjacent islands, is estimated to have a productive area of 160 square miles, half of which may
be said to appertain to Vancouver Island.
(Signed)       "W. S. Gore,
" Surveyor-General."
On the 26th day of January, 1881, in the Provincial Legislature, Dr. Ash presented a
petition from the residents of Comox, which was read, received and ordered to be laid on the
table.
On the 3rd day of March, 1881, on motion of Dr. Ash, seconded by Mr. AbramS, it was
resolved that—
" In the opinion of this House, the petition of the residents of the Electoral District of
Comox, respecting the withdrawal of the existing reserve of the twenty miles of land lying
between Nanaimo and Seymour Narrows, deserves the favourable consideration of the Government."
The Legislature of British Columbia again petitioned Her Majesty, and Lord Kimberley,
in August, 1881, expressed the opinion that—
1st. The construction of a light line of railway from Nanaimo to Esquimalt;
2nd. The extension, without delay, of the line on the Mainland to Port Moody ; and
3rd. The grant of reasonable compensation in money for failure to complete the work
within the term of ten years, as specified in the conditions of Union,
would offer a fair basis for a settlement of the whole matter.
On the 21st day of March, 1882, it was moved by Mr. Smithe, seconded by Mr. Harris
(B. C. Journals, 1882, p. 23),—
"That this House being very strongly of opinion that the rights of settlers upon lands
within the railway reserve in the Province should be recognized;
" Be it therefore Resolved, That a respectful address be presented to His Honour the
Lieutenant-Governor, praying that he will be pleased to communicate with the Dominion
Government with a view to provide for a recognition of the settlers' rights on railway lands
in this Province, and to arrange the terms upon which tho title to said lands shall be acquired
by the said settlers ;
" And be it further Resolved, That the title of squatters upon lands within any railway
reserve in the Province to the lands upon which they havo squatted shall be secured to them
before the said reserved railway lands shall be transferred to the Dominion Government, or to
any railway syndicate."
The Honourable Mr. Walkem, Chief Commissioner of Lands and Works, moved in
amendment, seconded by Mr. McGillivray, that all the words after "being," in the first line,
be struck out, and the following substituted therefor:—
"of the opinion that the rights of bonft fide settlers who have settled upon and cultivated
land within the railway reserve in this Province, and who would have been entitled to preempt the said lands had they not been reserved, should bo recognized ;
"Beit therefore Resolved, That a respectful address be presented to His Honour tho
Lieutenant-Governor, praying that ho will be pleased to communicate with the Dominion
Government with a view to provide for recognition of such settlers' rights and to arrange tho
terms upon which the title to said lands shall be acquired by them."
The debate on this motion and amendment was adjourned to the next sitting of the
House, and subsequently the motion'was withdrawn.
In April, 1882, the Legislature of British Columbia, by Chapter 15, "An Act to incorporate the Vancouver Land and Railway Company," incorporated Lewis M. Clement and
others, to build a railway from Esquimalt to Seymour Narrows.
By section 17, the Company were to give security for the construction, completion and
equipment of the railway.
By section 18, the Government of British Columbia, provided security were given, were
to set aside and reserve to the Company, and upon completion of the railway were to grant to
the Company, 1,900,000 acres, more or less, of public lands on Vancouver Island, within
boundaries extending from the head of Saanich Inlet to Seymour Narrows, and including all
coal, minerals and substances whatsoever thereupon and thereunder. 1 Ed. 7       Incuiry into Grievances of Settlers, E. & N. Railway Lands.       345
By section 19, special provision was made as to farming squatters.
By section 20, the existing rights with regard to the lands referred to, Of all persons and
corporations whoso titles had not been completed, were not to be affected.
On the 21st day of April, 1882, Chapter 13 of 1875, "An Act Conveying the Railway '
Belt on Vancouver Island," was repealed, and on the same day all public lands on Vancouver
Island, bounded on the south by a straight line drawn from the head of Saanich Inlet to
Muir Creek, on tho Straits of Fuca; on the west by a straight line drawn from Muir Creek,
aforesaid, to Crown Mountain; on the north by a straight line drawn from Crown Mountain
to Seymour Narrows; and on the east by the coast line of Vancouver Island to the point of
commencement, were reserved for the purpose of enabling tho Government of British
Columbia to carry out the Clement's Bill, and on the next day official notification of this
reserve was published in the Government Gazette.
The original reservation of 1873, was, however, not rescinded.
In November, 1882, the British Columbia Executive reported that, prior to the last
session of the Legislature, the Government had been unable to induce the Dominion Government to provide for the construction of the railway on Vancouver Island :
That during the session two applications to incorporate companies by Private Bill to
construct a railway on tho east coast of Vancouver Island had been made; one by the Vancouver Land and Railway Company (the Clement's Bill); the other by R. Dunsmuir and
others, as the Victoria, Esquimalt and Nanaimo Railway Company, asking for a land grant
similar to the one in the Clement's Bill; that the Clement's Bill had failed through failure to
give security, and that tho Victoria, Esquimalt and Nanaimo Bill had been killed in the
House; and that the attention of the Dominion Government be called to the question, with
the request to take such steps as might be necessary to secure the construction of the railway
from Esquimalt next spring, and to give such an assurance as early as possible, so as to enable
the Provincial Government to place it before the Legislature at the opening of the approaching session.
Between April, 1882 and February, 1883, certain settlers who had pre-empted lands in
the Island Railway Belt before the reservation,, but who had not proved up and obtained
their Crown grants, and certain persons who had taken possession of Crown lands in that
belt after the reservation of 1873, and the conveyance to the Dominion Government of tho
21st April, 1875 (referred to in tho Clement's Bill as "squatters"), petitioned the Governor-
General to take into consideration their previous requests, that an official intimation that the
settlers or squatters would be secured their promised rights, and that they would be able to
obtain the land on the same terms_ and conditions as similar lands outside the railway reserve
had, in previous years, been conveyed to pre-einptors.
This petition was also signed by some who already held other lands, and wished to
increase the size of their estates, and claimed additional land without living on it, and whose
" possession " of it was a mere figure of speech.
It was also signed by some who had squatted after the passage of the Clement's Bill, and
by some who had purchased—after the Clement's Bill—the improvements of some prior
squatter.
This petition was signed by 121 persons, including 24 in Cowichan District.
On the 10th day of February, 1883, the Provincial Executive reported with reference to
the Island railway, among other things:—
" That the land on the east coast of Vancouver Island had been continuously withheld
from settlement since July, 1873, up to the present time, and the development of that
fertile tract of country, abounding in mineral wealth, had been retarded to an incalculable
extent."
And they recommended as a basis of settlement of the railway and railway land questions that
the Dominion be urgently requested * * * " to commence to construct the
Island railway and to complete it with all practicable dispatch, or by giving such compensation
for failure to build it as would enable the Provincial Government to build it as a Provincial
work and open the east coast lands for settlement."
A copy of this Report was given to the Agent of the Dominion Government, and a copy
was sent to the Dominion Secretary of State. 346 Inquiry into Grievances of Settlers, E. & N. Railway Lands.      1901
On the 26th day of February, 1883, in the Provincial Legislature (B. C. Journals, 1883,
p. 14), Mr. Raybould, Member for Nanaimo, asked the Leader of the Government:—
" If they are aware that a petition has been forwarded to the Dominion Government by
the settlers in Cedar, Cranberry, Wellington, Mountain, Comox and Cowichan Districts, and
if it is the intention of the Provincial Government to respect the 'squatters" rights if it is
found that the Island railway lands have reverted to.the Province?"
The Honourable Mr. Smithe replied:
" The Government are aware that such a petition was forwarded. . The lands are reserved
for railway purposes to the Federal Government, against whom a claim exists for keeping the
lands so long from settlement without building the Island railway. In the event of those
lands reverting to tho Province it will be the aim of the Government to deal equitably with
all bonfl, fide settlers."
On the 15th day of March, 1883 (B. C. Journals, 1883, p. 34), Mr. Dunsmuir asked the
Leader of the Government:—
" Is it the intention of the Government to lift the reserve off the lands on the east coast
of Vancouver Island with a view to opening more lands for settlement?"
The Honourable Mr. Smithe replied:—
" In view of the negotiations now pending between the Provincial and Dominion Governments for the construction of the Island railway by the Dominion, the Government do not feel
at liberty at present to deal with the lands on the east coast of tho Island. It is hoped,
however, that construction of the railway and settlement of the lands will proceed simultaneously, and the efforts of the Government will be directed to that end."
In the same session, on the 7th day of May, 1883 (Journals, 1883, p. 75) "An Act
Relating to the Island Railway, tho Graving Dock and Railway Lands of the Province," was
introduced by the Honourable Mr. Smithe, Leader of the Government, after negotiations
between the Provincial Government and the Agent of the Dominion Government in the
Province.
This Bill passed its second reading on the 9th day of May, 1883, and its third reading
on the 10th day of May, 1883, and was assented to on the 12th day of May, 1883.
This Act, after reciting therein the supposed effect of what had been agreed on, granted
■to the Dominion part of the lands mentioned in the Clement's Bill, including all coal, etc.,
and minerals and substances whatever thereupon and thereunder.
Section (f) of the recitals stated that the lands to be so conveyed, except as to tho coal
and other minerals, and also except as to timber lands, should be open for four years from the
passing of the Act to actual settlers for agricultural purposes to the extent of 160 acres to
each actual settler.
By section 25, the price of timber lands was to be fixed by the Dominion Government or
the Company.
By section 23, the Company were to be bound by section (/), and were also to grant to
each bona fide squatter who had continuously occupied and improved any of the lands within
the tract to be acquired from the Dominion Government, for a period of one year prior to the
1st day of January, 1883, the freehold of the surface rights of the squatted land to the extent
of 160 acres to each squatter.
On the 12th day of June, 1883, the Lieutenant-Governor in Council rescinded the
reservation of the 30th June, 1873, and reserved all public lands lying within the following
boundaries in furtherance of the construction of the Island railway:—
"A tract of land bounded on the south by a straight line drawn from the head of
Saanich Inlet to Muir Creek, on the Straits of Fuca; on the west by a straight line drawn
from Muir Creek aforesaid to Crown Mountain; on the north by a straight line drawn from
Crown Mountain towards Seymour Narrows to the fiftieth parallel of latitude; thence due
east along the said parallel of latitude to a point on the coast opposite Cape Mudge; and on
the east by the coast line of Vancouver Island to the point of commencement."
This last reservation in effect excluded part of the lands included in the original reservation of 1873, and which had been also reserved to carry out the Clement's Bill. 1 Ed. 7      Inquiry into Grievances of Settlers, E. & N. Railway Lands.       347.
In the meantime, on the 9th day of May, 1883, the Dominion Government had, on consideration of the despatch of the Provincial Government of the 10th day of February, 1883,
recommended certain propositions as a final adjustment of all differences between the two
Governments, proposing, among other things, that the Dominion Government should appropriate lands on Vancouver Island, and the sum of $750,000, to a Company to be incorporated at
their instance by the Legislature of British Columbia, and which Company should give satisfactory security for the completion of tho railway from Esquimalt to Nanaimo.
The Dominion Government declined to make the railway a Government work, which ■
they claimed Chapter 13 of the Stututes of 1883 virtually did; and on the 23rd day of June,
1883, appointed Sir Alexander Campbell to personally communicate with the Provincial
Government on various questions unsettled between the two Governments, and to urge a
speedy meeting of the Provincial Legislature to amend Chapter 13, of 1883; and to communicate with Mr. Dunsmuir, or other capitalists desirous of forming a Company, to construct
the railway.
On the 17th day.of August, 1883, Sir Alexander Campbell wrote the following letter:!—	
'< At Victoria, 17th August, 1883.
" Dear Mr. Smithe,—I should be glad to have a reply to my inquiry about the treatment to be accorded to bon& fide settlers anterior to the setting aside of the railway belt
between this place and Nanaimo. As I mentioned to you, I promised to sond a reply to the
persons who waited on mo.    I should be glad to carry out this promise before leaving.
" Yours faithfully,
(Signed)       "A. Campbell."
To this letter Mr. Smithe replied :—
"Victoria, B. C, 17th August, 1883.
" Dear Sir,—Concerning your inquiry about the treatment to be accorded to bon& fide
settlers anterior to the setting aside of the railway belt between Esquimalt and Nanaimo, I
have no reason to believe that there can be any such settlers, as the right to pre-empt existed
before and at the time the railway reservation was established. Persons desiring to settle at
the time would have preferred pre-empting to squatting upon the land."
" Yours, etc.,
(Signed)       "Wm. Smithe."
On the 20th day of August, 1883, a memorandum of the arrangement made between the
two Governments was signed by the representative of each Government, and on the same day
a  contract  for  the construction of   the railway was executed  by Mr. Dunsmuir and his .
associates and Sir Alexander Campbell, and placed in  escrow pending sanction  by  both
Legislatures, the Government of British Columbia agreeing to obtain the assent of the con-  ■
tractor to the purchase by settlers of surface rights at one dollar per acre;   the Government
of Canada agreeing to grant to the contractor all the land on Vancouver Island granted to
the Dominion Government by Chapter 13 of 1883, and all coal, minerals and substances in
or under such lands, and also the foreshore rights, with the right to the coal and other minerals under the foreshore, in so far as such coal, minerals and substances and foreshore rights .
were owned by the Dominion Government.
On the 5th and 7th days of December, 1883, petitions were presented to the Legislature
of British Columbia then in session (Sessional Papers, 1884, pp. 5 to 11) from residents of
Nanaimo and Comox, protesting against the Settlement Act, and submitting for the consideration of the Legislature their objections, among other things :—
"That the Settlement Bill virtually creates a monopoly, inasmuch as it makes no stipulation that the Dominion Government shall transfer the railway reserve to the Railway Company
under provisions that shall secure to the public the right to purchase agricultural, timber and
coal lands at any fixed price, or in any definite quantity, or that the regulations provided for
the purchase of coal lands from the Dominion Government in other parts of the Dominion
have not been made to apply to the Vancouver Island Railway Reserve."
These petitions were signed by fifty-four of the claimants who had signed the petition to
the Governor-General before referred to, and were read, received and laid on the table, and
ordered to be printed. "348 Inquiry.into Grievances of Settlers, E. & N. Railway Lands.      1901
On the 7th day of December, 1883, (B. C. Journals, 1884, p. 11) orders were granted for
Returns showing the names of all persons who, during the present year, had made claim to
land within the original reserve on Vancouver Island, the names of those whose claims had
been recognized by the Chief Commissioner of Lands and Works, and the nature, extent and
locality of the claims so recognized; and the Return was presented on the 10th day of
December, 1883.
On the 12th day of December, 1883, the Honourable the Chief Commissioner of Lands
aud Works was asked by Mr. Grant:—
" What acreage of land is held by pre-emption right, or by Crown grant, within the
limits of the tract of land on Vancouver Island known as the Railway Reserve, and what
number of acres are so reserved ?"
The Leader of the Government was also asked :—
"What steps, if any, were taken by the Government to make tho value of the Vancouver Island Railway Reserve and the land in Peace River known to capitalists in Canada,
Europe and the United States, before concluding the present arrangement with the Dominion
Government 1"
On tho 12th day of December, 1883, Mr. Dingwall asked :—
" Is the Comox Valley, or any part of the District, open to settlement there; if so, on
what terms ?"
The Honourable the Chief Commissioner of Lands and Works replied :—
" No part of the Comox District is open for settlement any more than it has been during
the last ten years. Settlers can, of course, hold Crown lands by occupation, pending the
settlement of the Island railway question. Intending settlers are advised to that effect by
the Immigration Agent.
" Provision is made in the Settlement Bill now before the House for the sale of the land
• within the Railway Belt at one dollar per acre, by the Provincial Government acting as agents
of the Dominion Government."
By chapter 14 of 1883-1884, " An Act relating to the Island Railway, the Graving Dock
and the Railway Lands of the Province," commonly known as the Settlement Act, which was
introduced on the 7th December, 1883, read a third time on the 18th, and assented to on the
19th day of December, 1883, the Legislature of British Columbia, after reciting that negotia-
. tions between the two Governments had been pending relative to delays in the commencement
and construction of the Canadian Pacific Railway, and relative to the Island Railway *
* * and railway lands of the Province, and that it had been agreed—
(a.) To amend the grant to the Dominion  Government of the lands on the Mainland
for Canadian Pacific Railway purposes, so that the same extent of British Columbia lands on
• each side of the line wherever finally settled should be granted to the Dominion Government
in lieu of the lands conveyed by chapter 11 of 1880:
(6.) That the Government of British Columbia should obtain authority of the Legislature
to grant to the Government of Canada that portion of the lands set forth and described in Act
No. 15 of 1882 (the Clement's Bill), extending from the south boundary thereof to a line running east and west half way between Comox and Soymour Narrows, and also a further portion
of the lands conveyed by the said Act to the northward of and contiguous to that portion of
the said lands last specified, and equal in extent to the lands within the limits thoreof which
might have been alienated from the Crown by Crown grant, pre-emption or otherwise:
(c.) The Government of British Columbia was to obtain authority to convey three and a
half millions of acres of land in Peace River District to the Dominion Government:
(d.) The Government of British Columbia were to procure the incorporation, by Act of
their Legislature, of certain persons to be designated by the Government of Canada for the
construction of the railway:
(e.) The Government of Canada, upon the adoption by the Legislature of British Columbia
of the Agreement, were to seek the sanction of Parliament to contribute $750,000 to the
construction of a railway from Esquimalt to Nanaimo, and they agreed to hand over to the
contractors who might build such railway the lands which were or might be placed in their
hands for that purpose by British Columbia: 1 Ed. 7    Inquiry into Grievances of Settlers, E. & N. Railway Lands.        349
(/.) The lands on Vancouver Island to be so conveyed, except as to coal and other
minerals, and except as to timber lands, were to be open for four years after the passing of this
Statute to actual settlers for agricultural purposes at the rate of $1.00 per acre to the extent
of 160 acres to each settler, and in any grants to settlers the right to cut timber for railway
purposes, and right of way for the railway, and stations and workshops, were to be reserved:
Sub-section (f) also provided that until the railway should be completed, the Provincial
Government should be the agents of the Government of Canada for administering, for thei
purposes of settlement, the lands so conveyed, and might issue records to actual settlers:
The moneys received by them were, however, to be paid over to the credit of the Dominion
Government, and such moneys, less expenses, on completion of the railway to the satisfaction
of the Dominion Government, were to be paid over to the railway contractors.
(g.)   ■ * * * * *
(h.) *****
(j) *****
(k.) This Agreement was to be taken by the Province in full of all claims up to that date
by the Province against the Dominion in respect of delays in the commencement and construction of the Canadian Pacific Railway, and in respect of the non-construction of the Esquimalt
and Nanaimo Railway, and was to be taken by the Dominion Government in satisfaction for
additional lands under the Terms of Union, but should not be binding unless and until the
same should be ratified by both Legislatures. And the Act further recited that the said
agreement should be ratified, and provision should be made to carry out its terms.
By the Act it was then enacted:—
Sec. 1. That the thereinbefore recited agreement should be, and the same was thereby,
adopted. 	
*****
Sec. 3 granted to the Dominion for the purpose of constructing, and to aid in the construction, of the railway, and in trust to be appropriated as they might deem advisable, but save
as thereinafter excepted, all that tract of land on Vancouver Island bounded on the south by
a straight line drawn from the head of Saanich Inlet to Muir Creek, on the Straits of Fuca;
on the west by a straight line drawn from Muir Creek aforesaid to Crown Mountain; on the
north by a straight line drawn from Crown Mountain to Seymour Narrows; and on the east
by the coast line of Vancouver Island. And including all coal, minerals and substances whatsoever thereupon, therein and thereunder.
Sec. 4 excepted from the grant that portion thereof lying to the northward of a line
running east and west half way between the mouth of the Courtenay River (Comox District)
and Seymour Narrows.
Sec. 5 provided that the Government of Canada should he entitled, out of the excepted
tract, to lands equal in extent to those alienated up to the date of the Act by Crown grant,
pre-emption or otherwise within the limits of the grant.
Sec. 6 enacted that the grant should not include any lands then held  under  Crown '
grant, lease, agreement for sale, or any other alienation by the Crown, nor Indian Reserves or
settlements, or naval or military reserves.
Sec. 26 enacted that the existing rights of any persons or corporations in any of the
lands to be acquired by the company incorporated by the Act should not be affected by the
Act.
Sec. 23 provided that the company should be governed by sub-section (/) of the before
recited agreement, and that each bona fide squatter who had continuously occupied and
improved any of the lands within the tract to be acquired by the company from the Dominion
Government for a period of one year prior to the first day of January, 1883, should be entitled
to a grant of the freehold of the surface rights of the said squatted land, to the extent of 160
acres to each squatter, at the rate of $1.00 per acre.
Sec. 7 granted to the. Dominion Government three and a half million acres of land
in the Peace River District.
By Chapter 6, 1884, of the Dominion Statutes, " An Act respecting the Vancouver Island
Railway, the Esquimalt Graving Dock and certain Railway lands of the Province of British
Columbia granted to the Dominion," the agreement before recited and the agreement with the
contractors to build the railway were approved of and ratified by the Dominion Legislature. 350 Inquiry into Grievances of Settlers, E. & N. Railway Lands.       1901
By sections 3 and 7, the Governor in Council was empowered to grant a subsidy of
$750,000, and the lands and minerals granted to the Dominion Government by the Provincial
statutes, and also the foreshore rights and the coal and other minerals under the foreshore or
sea opposite any such land, in so far as such foreshore rights and coal and minerals were vested
in Her Majesty as represented by the Dominion Government, on completion of the work to
the satisfaction of the Governor in Council, but subject nevertheless to the same provisions as
to grants of surface rights to settlers and squatters as are contained in the Provincial statutes;
and
By section 7, provision in the same terms as in the Provincial statutes was made for the
administration of the land by the Provincial Government, as agent for the Dominion
Government
By sub-section (4) of section 7, the price of timber lands was to be fixed by tho Dominion
Government or the Railway Company; and
By sub-section (5) of the same section, tho existing rights of any persons or corporations
in any of the lands to be acquired by the Company were not to bo affected.
On the third reading of this Act, Mr. Gordon, member for Nanaimo, called attention to
the fact that a number of persons had squatted on the lands and claimed mineral rights.
Acquisition of Crown Lands and Crown Mineral Lands on Vancouver Island.
The Island of Vancouver, " together with all royalties of the seas upon the coast and all
mines Royal thereto belonging," was granted by Her Majesty on the 13th January, 1849, 12
Victoria, to the Governor and Company of Adventurers of England trading into Hudson's
Bay, "to the intent that the said Governor and Company should establish a settlement of
resident colonists and should dispose of the land there as might be necessary for the purposes
of colonization."
The Company sold lands, reserving all minerals, but licensed their grantees to mine for
coal, should they think proper to do so, under the lands acquired by them from the Company,
upon paying a royalty of two shillings and sixpence per ton.
Several thousand acres of land were sold by the Company on these terms.
The grant of the Company was subsequently surrendered, and the Crown lands were
administered by the Governor of Vancouver Island, and subsequently the Crown lands were
placed at the disposal of the Legislature.
Vancouver Island Laws.
By a Proclamation, 19th February, 1861, land in certain districts might be pre-empted.
21st March, 1861, the provisions of above proclamation were extended to the whole of
Vancouver Island and its dependencies.
9th May, 1861, provision was made for leave of absence from pre-emptions.
Tho Vancouver Island Land Proclamation, 6th September, 1862, repealed provious
proclamations and authorised sale of public lands by auction and the pre-emption of land which
was not reserved and not the site of an existent town, or auriferous land available for mining
purposes or an Indian reserve or settlement.
The pre-einptor was required to record and to enter into possession, to "occupy," and to
improve the land to the extent of $2.50 per acre, and pay 4s. 2d. per aero for it.
The Governor had power, until conveyance, to grant leases for any terms of years, of all
or any minerals under pre-empted lands.
The Colony of Vancouver Island was united to the Colony of British Columbia, the union
taking effect 17th November, 1866.
By an Act, No. 22, 1869, of the Legislature of British Columbia (The Mineral Ordinance,
1869), proclaimed as to Vancouver Island, 20th October, 1870, provision was made for the
acquisition and working of mineral lands, and coal and other minerals other than gold.
By section 2, application had to be made in writing, to the Assistant Commissioner of
Lands and Works for the district where the land required was situate, for a prospecting licence
over such land, not exceeding two years from date of application.
By section 3, the applicant, after locating the land, was to give a written description,
together with a plan showing the boundary posts set up and stating other land marks.    The 1 Ed. 7    Inruiry into Grievances of Settlers, E. & N. Railway Lands.        351
application and plan were to be in duplicate, one to be filed of record in the Assistant Commissioner's office, and the other to be transmitted to the Chief Commissioner, to be retained
for general reference.
By section 8, no prospecting licence was to-issue until the applicant had proved, to the
satisfaction of the Assistant Commissioner, that he had posted notice of his intention to apply,
on the land required and on the Court House, for fourteen clear days, or if the ground hadbeen
previously recorded, then for one month previous to his application, and that no valid opposition had been substantiated before the Assistant Commissioner.
On proof of the preliminary requirements, the Assistant Commissioner was to issue the
prospecting licence.
By section 10, upon proof satisfactory to the Assistant Commissioner that the applicant
had bona fide worked for coal, etc., during the term of two years, the applicant was entitled
to an extension for a second period of one year, and such further time as the Governor should
think fit.
By section 11, the prospecting licence might include:—
(1.) For coal alone, 500 acres to each individual applicant, or 2,500 acres to an association or company consisting of not less than 10 persons.
(2.) In the case of minerals other than coal or gold, not exceeding 100 acres to each
individual applicant, or 500 acres to any association or company of not less than 10 persons,
out of which the licensee might select the mineral land to be included in the Crown grant.
By section 15, priority of record gave priority.of right.
By section 17, the licensee could acquire a right of road or railway to the sea.
The price of coal lands up to and including 1,000 acres was fixed at $5 per acre, but if
$1,000 were beneficially expended the grant would issue for 1,000 acres without payment of
the upset price.
The price for mineral lands containing other than coal or gold, for a quantity not exceeding 3 chains by 2 chains, was fixed at $100, with costs of survey.
In the case of a company, not less than 10, for a quantity not exceeding 30 chains by 6
chains, the price was fixed at $250, with costs of survey; but if the licensee had expended
not less than $1,000 in bonS. fide mining, or if an association or company of three or more had
expended not less than $500, the Crown grant could issue without payment of any, or of only
a portion, of the upset price.
It was provided that nothing in the Ordinance was to limit or affect the rights of the
Crown in Crown lands, or the right to grant or lease tracts of land for mining purposes on
any special application, or to make reserves for Government or other public purposes.
By the Land Ordinanco, 1870, the former land laws were repealed. Under this Ordinance, unoccupied, unsurveyed and unreserved Crown Lands, to the extent of 160 acres, on
Vancouver Island might be pre-empted. The intending pre-emptor had to obtain permission
in writing from the Land Commissioner to enter on the land. Within thirty days he had to
enter into possession and mark out the land applied for on the ground, and make a written
application to the. Commissioner to have his claim recorded.
The Commissioner then recorded the land as a pre-emption claim, making a record in
triplicate; the original was to be handed to the pre-emptor and the duplicate was to be
retained by the local land Commissioner for reference, and the triplicate was forwarded to the
head office at the Lands and Works Department, and after there being examined and passed
on, and if found in accordance with the Act, was finally entered in the Land Office Pre-emption Register.
To obtain a grant the pre-emptor had to permanently "occupy" his pre-emption claim
for four years. Such occupation had to be a continuous bona fide personal residence of tho
pre-emptor on his pre-emption claim, and he was not to be absent from it for any ona period
exceeding two months in the year without permission in writing of the Land Commissioner,
and then for any period not exceeding, altogether, four months in any one year.
The permission had to be issued in duplicate, the original to be handed to the pre-emptor
and the duplicate to be retained of record in the Land Commissioner's office.
On showing good cause, to the satisfaction of the Land Commissioner, the pre-emptor
could obtain a licence to substitute. This hud to be in writing and in duplicate, and the
duplicate retained of record in the Land Commissioner's office.
After making improvements to the extent of $2.50 per acre, upon proving that he had
done so by the declaration in writing, of himself and  two other persons, that he had made 352 Inquiry into Grievances of Settlers, E. & N. Railway Lands.      1901
such improvements and had " occupied " his pre-emption from the date of record, he could
obtain a certificate of improvements. Such certificate had to be in triplicate, and the
original went to the pre-emptor and the duplicate was to be filed in the Land Commissioner's
office, and the triplicate sent to the head office of the Lands and Works Department, and the
issue of the certificate was to be noted on the pre-emption record.
After the grant of this certificate, but not before, the pre-emptor might transfer his preemption right to any person entitled to hold a pre-emption claim, subject to the provisions of
the Ordinance as to " occupation " forfeiture and payment for the land.
The transfer had to be in writing,' and signed in the presence of the Commissioner, and
to be in triplicate, and the duplicate and triplicate to be retained and filed of record in the
offices of the Land Commissioner and the head office.
Only one pre-emption claim was to be held at a time, under forfeiture of any prior claim
and improvements on it.
After the Government had surveyed the land, the person registered for it in the Preemption Register, if a certificate of improvements had been issued in respect of it, and the
condition of four years' occupation had been fulfilled, could purchase it at $1 per acre, the
first instalment to be paid to the Land Commissioner within three months after the service
of notice requiring payment, or within six months after notice in the Government Gazette.
Upon payment and proof of written notice having been posted for a period of 60 days,
and fulfilment of the provisions of the Ordinance, the Crown grant issued, the only reservation of minerals being gold and silver.
The right was also given tho Crown to resume not exceeding one-twentieth of the land,
for making roads and other works of public utility.
This Act remained for some time, the principal Act being amended by Chapter 31 of
1872, dealing with water rights for agricultural purposes, and by Chapter I of 1873.
By this latter Act permission was given to pre-empt by agent, duly authorised in writing.
Provision was made as to the manner of marking the boundaries of pre-emption claims.
By section 6, the pre-emptor became entitled to a Crown grant as soon as he obtained a
certificate of improvement.
Provision was also made for throwing open such unappropriated lands, as the Governor
in Council might deem expedient, to public sale at an upset price of not less than $1 per acre.
Free Grants.
Provision was also made authorising the Lieutenant-Governor to appropriate public lands
considered suitable for settlement and cultivation, not being mineral lands, under regulations
to be made by Order in Council.
Before any person could be located for a free grant he had to make affidavit, among other
things, that the land applied for was suitable for settlement and cultivation and not valuable
chiefly for minerals, and that the location was desired for actual settlement and cultivation
and not for the purpose of gold, silver and other minerals.
Section 25. And no Crown grant was to issue for a free grant until certain specified
settlement duties had been performed.
In tlie case of a location under the free grant provisions, the land was to be free of debts
or liabilities contracted or incurred before the issue of a Crown grant, and after its issue was
to be exempt from execution or sale for debts during twenty years next after the date of
the location.
It was further provided that nothing should be construed to exempt any land from levy
or sale for taxes.
The form of the Crown grant under the principal Act was also verbally amended to
meet the change of British Columbia having become a Province instead of a Colony.
By the Mineral Ordinance, 1869, Amendment Act, Chap. 3, 1873, 21st February, 1873,	
Section 7, Prospecting Licences for coal were done away with.
Section 2 authorised the sale of coal lands on and after the 21st July, 1873, at such price,
not less than $1 per acre, as the Lieutenant-Governor in Council might determine.
By section 3 it was enacted that any person desiring to carry on coal mining upon any
unsurveyed tract of land should be protected in the possession of the tract on which mining 1 Ed. 7     Inquiry into Grievances of Settlers, E. & N. Railway Lands.        353
was carried on, provided before entering and working he made a written application to purchase the land, accompanied by a description setting forth the situation and dimensions of the
land and accompanied by payment of the price, estimating the number of acres not to
exceed 640.
. . The application had to be filed in the office of the Lands and Works Department,
Victoria, and upon an authentic survey being made of the land, the claimant, provided that
the mine had been continuously and bona fide worked between application and survey, became
entitled to a Crown grant.
Section 4 required that coal lands held under any prospecting licence issued under the
Mineral Ordinance, 1869, should be continuously and bona fide worked.
Further provision was made as to acquiring rights of way over the lands of other persons
and for obtaining land for shipping facilities.
By section 21 any Crown grant under the Mineral Ordinance of minerals other than coal
was to pass the precious metals to the grantee, and such grant was hot to contain any
reservation of the right of the Crown to any gold or gold ore.
On the 30th day of June, 1873, the Provincial Government reserved the Railway Belt on
Vancouver Island.
So that the laws governing the acquisition of Crown lands and of minerals contained in
them at the time of this reservation were:—
The Land Ordinance, 1870;
The Mineral Ordinance, 1869;
The Land Ordinance Amendment Act, 1872;
The Land Ordinance Amendment Act, 1873;
. The Mineral Ordinance Amendment Act, 1873.
By Act No. 2,1874, the different provisions of the land laws were again embraced in one
Act, but this Act was disallowed and was repealed.
This Act purported to allow unreserved land to be pre-empted.
By Chapter 5, 1875, "An Act to amend and consolidate the laws affecting Crown Lands,"
22nd April, 1875, the previous Land Acts were repealed.
Unsurveyed Land.
With respect to 'unsurveyed land, the Act (sec. 3) authorised the record of any tract of
unoccupied, unsurveyed and unreserved Crown land to the extent of 160 acres on Vancouver
Island.
By section 5, the person desiring to " record " unoccupied, unsurveyed and unreserved
land was required to place a stake or post at each corner of the land applied for, four. inches
square and standing not less than four feet above the ground, and on each post a notice:
"A. B.'s land, N. E. post," and so on.
If such land should not be so staked off and marked, the occupant had no right at law or
equity therein or thereto.
The applicant had also to make and furnish the Commissioner a Declaration, in duplicate,
in the following form:—
FORM No. 2.
"Land Act, 1875."
Declaration.
District of
I, of , do solemnly and sincerely declare, That the
land for the record of which I have made application, dated the day of 18      ,
is unoccupied, unsurveyed, and unreserved Crown land within the meaning of the " Land Act,
1875," and not an Indian settlement, or any portion thereof; that I have staked off and
marked such land in accordance with the provisions of the "Land Act, 1875"; and such land
has not, nor any portion of it, been heretofore recorded, occupied, held or pre-empted by me,
nor has the same been abandoned by me or any other person for the purpose of my recording
the same under the provisions of this Act, nor is ray present application to record the same
made in trust for, on behalf of, or in collusion with, any other person or persons, but honestly 354   .      Inquiry into Grievances of Settlers, E. & N. Railway Lands.       1901
on my own behalf for settlement and occupation; and I also declare that I am duly qualified
under the said Act to record the said land; and I make this solemn declaration conscientiously
believing the same to be true, and by virtue of the "Oaths Ordinance, 1869."
Declared and subscribed by the within named]
on the day of >•
A.D. 18    , before me, '   J
Commissioner or J. P.
Signature of Declarant.
And if the applicant made in such declaration any statement, knowing the same to be
false, he was to have no right at law or in equity to the land recorded.
By section 9, upon compliance with these provisions and on payment of $2 to the Commissioner, the Commissioner was to record the land and give to the applicant, thereafter called
a " settler," a certificate of record in the following form:—
•FORM No. 3.
"Land Act, 1875."
Certificate of Record of Unsurveyed Land.
Original (to bo retained by Settlor) (No. in District Register.)
Name of Settler ,    District of
Date of Record
Number of Acres
Where situated
Description of boundaries of land
The above boundaries are subject to confirmation with and rectification upon official
survey.
Signature of Commissioner.
N.B.—Plan of the land to be drawn on the back of this sheet.
Such record was to be in triplicate, the original to be handed to the settler, the duplicate
to be retained by the Commissioner for local reference, and the triplicate to be forthwith
forwarded to the head office of the Lands and Works Department, Victoria, to be there
registered in the Land Office Register.
Within thirty days after record the settler was to enter into occupation. If he ceased to
occupy the land, his claim might be cancelled and all improvements and buildings became
forfeited to the Crown, and the settler had no further rights therein or thereto and his certificate of record became null and void.
By section 11 the occupation required was a continuous bona fide personal residence of
the settler, his agent or family.
12. The settler, his agent and family, were entitled to bo absent from the land for any one-
. period not exceeding two months in any one year.    If continuously absent for a longer period
he was deemed to have ceased to occupy it.
13. The land was deemed to be abandoned if unoccupied for more than four months in the
aggregate in one year, or for more than two-months consecutively.
14. No person was entitled to hold two claims at the same time, and if he recorded more
than two claims he forfeited all right to the prior claim, and to all improvements and buildings
on it, and such prior claim became open to record by any one else complying with the Act.
15. The settler might have the land he recorded surveyed by a surveyor approved of and
acting under instructions from the Chief Commissioner of Lands and Works.
Within three months after survey, and a deposit of the map in the office of the Commissioner, and notice of survey in the Government Gazette, the "settler" had to file a written and
dated statement, describing the land settled on, and the locality of his improvements, and to
make and file with the Commissioner a declaration, in duplicate, in the following form, signed
by himself (Form 4) and two other persons acquainted with the facts: 1 Ed. 7      Incuiry into Grievances of Settlers, E. &'N. Railway Lands.       355
FORM No. 4.
"Land Act, 1875."
Declaration.
District of
We, , of , of and of ,
severally declare; and first I, the said , for myself say:—
1. That the land in respect of which I have filed a written statement, dated the
day of , 18    , with the Commissioner for the District of , is the
land which I claim by virtue of a record, dated the day of , 18    .
2. That I have occupied in manner prescribed by the "Land Act, 1875," the land recorded
by me on the said day of , 18 , from the time of the said record up to
the present time.
3; And I make this solemn declaration, conscientiously believing the same to be true,
and by virtue of the "Oaths Ordinance, 1869."
4. And I, the said , for myself, declare and say that the statement of the said
contained in paragraph 2 of this declaration is true, and I make this solemn
dclaration conscientiously believing the same to be true, and by virtue of the "Oaths Ordinance, 1869."
5. And I, the said , for myself, declare and say that the statement of the said
contained in paragraph 2 of this declaration is true, and I make this solemn
declaration conscientiously believing the same to be true, and by virtue of the " Oaths Ordinance, 1869." , ;•
Declared and signed by , on the!
day of , 18    , before me,        /
Commissioner or J. P.
Declared and signed by , on the"!
day of , 18    , before me,        J
Commissioner or J. P.
Declared and signed by , on the\
day of , 18    , before me,       /
Commissioner or J. P.
Signature of Declarant.
Signature of Declarant.
Signature of Declarant.
After the expiration of such three months, the Commissioner was to record such land in
the name of the settler as a "homestead settler."
By section 16, if the settler failed to make and furnish such written statement and declaration, or if the declaration were fraudulently obtained, or if it contained wilfully false statements,
the land recorded, with all improvements, was forfeited to the Crown, and such settler had no
further right therein or thereto.
When the land became included in an official survey, the settler had to proceed as in a
case where the survey had been made at his own instance, and on his fulfilling the requirements
of the Statute he could be recorded as a "homestead settler."
If he failed to do so, the like consequences attached as in a case of failure where the land
had been surveyed at his own instance.
By section 21, the requirements as to making and filing the statement and declaration
above mentioned were extended to cases where a right to land had been acquired previously to
the Act of 1875, with the like consequences in case of non-compliance. 356       .  Inquiry into Grievances of Settlers, E. & N. Railway Lands.   . 1901
In the Case of Surveyed Land.
Section 24 authorised the pre-emption of any tract of unreserved land to the extent of 160
acres on Vancouver Island.
The applicant had to apply in writing, in duplicate, for leave to pre-empt, and to make
and furnish the Commissioner a declaration, in duplicate, as follows:—
FORM No. 5.
" Land Act, 1.875."
Declaration.
District of
I, , of do solemnly and sincerely declare that the land, for tho
pre-emption of which I have made application, dated the clay of ,
18 , is unoccupied and unreserved Crown land within the meaning of the " Land Act,
1875," and is not an Indian Settlement or any portion thereof; and such land has not, nor
has any portion of it, been heretofore recorded, occupied, held, or pre-empted by me, nor has
the same been abandoned by me or any other person for the purpose of my pre-empting the
same under the provisions of this Act, nor is my present application to pre-empt the same
made in trust for, on behalf of, or in collusion with, any other person or persons, but honestly
on my own behalf for settlement and occupation ; and I further declare that I am duly
qualified, under the said Act, to pre-empt the said land ; and I make this solemn declaration,
conscientiously believing the same to be true, and by virtue of the "Oaths Ordinance, 1869."
Declared and subscribed by the within named on I
the day of 18    , before me     / 	
Signature of Declarant.
Commissioner or J. P.
If the applicant made any statement in his declaration knowing it to be false, he forfeited all right at law or in equity to the land.
Upon compliance with these provisions the Commissioner recorded such land in the name
of the applicant as a " homestead settler " and gave him a certificate in the following form:—
FORM No. 6.
"Land Act, 1875."
Certificate of Pre-emption of Surveyed Land.
Original (to be retained by Homestead Settler).    No. in District Register.
Name of Homestead Settler District of
Date of Pre-emption
Number of acres
Where situated
Description of boundaries of land
Signature of Commissioner.
The record was to be made in triplicate, one for the " settler," and another to be retained
by the Commissioner for local reference, and the third to be forwarded to the head office of
the Lands and Works Department, to be finally registered in the Land Office Pre-emption
Register.
Within thirty days after record, the " homestead settler " was to enter into occupation,
which the Act (section 29) required to be a bona fide personal residence of the " homestead
settler," his agent or family.
If he ceased to so occupy the land his claim might be cancelled and all improvements and
buildings became forfeited to the Crown. 1 Ed. 7      Inquiry into Grievances of Settlers, E. & N. Railway Lands.       357
The " homestead settler," his agent and family, were allowed to be absent from the land
for any one period not exceeding two months in any one year, and was deemed to have ceased
to occupy tho land when absent continually for a longer period than two months.
And the land was deemed to be abandoned when unoccupied for more than four months
in the aggregate in one year, or more than two months consecutively.
By section 32, lands to the extent of 640 acres might be pre-empted in partnership by
a partnership of not more than four, formed for the purpose of pre-empting and working
land.
Each partner, however, had to represent his interest in the firm by actual residence, but
it was not necessary for each partner or his agent to reside on his particular pre-emption.
Partners or their agents might reside on one homestead, but the homestead had to' be
situated on some portion of the land pre-empted by such firm.
To obtain a certificate of improvements to land so pre-empted it was sufficient to show to
the Commissioner that improvements amounting in the aggregate to $2.50 per acre on the
whole land had been made on some portion thereof.
The " homestead settler," upon proving to the Commissioner by the declaration in writing
of himself and two other persons, or in such other manner that the Commissioner might
require, that he had been in occupation of his pre-emption from the date of the record, and
that he had made permanent improvements thereon to the value of $2.50 per acre and had
occupied such land for two years, could obtain a certificate of improvements, which declaration
was to be in the following form:—
FORM No. 8.
"Land Act, 1875."
Declaration.
District of
We, , of , do solemnly and sincerely declare as
follows:—
And firstly, I, the said , for myself, declare that I have been in the
occupation of my pre-emption claim from the date of the record thereof, and have occupied
the said claim for the space of two years, and have made permanent improvements thereon to
the value of two dollars and fifty cents per acre. [Here set out fully in detail the nature of
the improvements.]
And secondly, we, , for ourselves, declare that the above-named ■
has been in the occupation of his pre-emption claim from the date
of the record thereof, and has made permanent improvements thereon to the value of two
dollars and fifty cents per acre, the details whereof are correctly set forth above by the
said
And we make this solemn declaration conscientiously believing the same to be true, and
by virtue of the "Oaths Ordinance, 1869."
Declared and signed by the within named on the 1
day of , A.D. 18    , before me,   I
Commissioner or J. P. Signature of Declarant.
Declared and signed by the within named, on the
day of A.D. 18    , before me,
Commissioner or J.P. Signature of Declarant.
Declared and signed by the within named, on the
day of , A.D. 18    , before me,
"I
Commissioner or J. P. Signature of Declarant. 358' Inquiry into Grievances of Settlers, E. & N. Railway Lands.      1901
At the bottom of the form was printed:
" Extract from Land Act, 1875—Meaning of ' Occupation.'
" The occupation herein required shall mean a continuous bona fide personal residence of
the homestead settler, his agent or family, on the land recorded by such homestead settler, but
Indians or Chinamen shall not be considered agents.
" Every homestead settler, as well as his agent and family (if any), shall be entitled to be
absent from the land recorded by such homestead settler for any one period not exceeding two
months during any one year. He shall be deemed to have ceased to occupy such land when
he shall have been absent continuously for a longer period than two months.
• "Any such land shall be deemed to be abandoned when the same shall have been
unoccupied by the homestead settler, his agent or family, for more than four months in tho
aggregate in one year, or for more than two months consecutively."
Such certificate was to be in triplicate, one part to be handed to the "homestead settler,"
and another to be retained by the Commissioner for local reference, and the third part transmitted to the head office of the Lands and Works Department.
And it was the duty of the Commissioner to note the issue of such certificate on the
original pre-emption record, which must have been produced to him at the time of applying
for the certificate by the "homestead settler" and on the duplicate pre-emption record retained
in the Commissioner's office.
By section 35, no "homestead settler" was to hold at the same time two claims by preemption, and any person so pre-empting more than one claim forfeited all right, title and
interest to the prior claim recorded by him, and to all improvements thereon, and the land
included in such prior claim became open for pre-emption.
Section 36. After the grant of the- certificate of improvements the Crown grant issued,
upon payment of $5 therefor, and without payment for the land.
There were no reservations of minerals other than gold and silver in such grant.
But the Crown had the right to resume one-twentieth for roads * * or other works
of public utility.
No transfer of any surveyed or unsurveyed land pre-empted or recorded, was valid until
the Crown grant had been issued.
By sections 39, 40, 41, 42, 43, 44, 45, 46 and 47, provision was made for leasing lands by
the Lieutenant-Governor in Council for timber and other purposes.
By section 41, a "settler's" or "homestead settler's" claim might be acquired on lands
leased for timber purposes, but in such case timber could only be cut for use on the claim, and
if cut for sale or for any purpose other than for use on his claim, or for clearing it, all his
interest became forfeited.
By sections 48, 49, 50, 51, 52, 53, 54 and 55, provision was made as to water rights.
By section 58, an appeal to a Judge of the Supreme Court was given to any person
affected by any decision of a Magistrate or Commissioner.
By section 60, it was provided that the Governor in Council "shall at any time,'by notice,
* *. reserve any lands not lawfully held by record, pre-emption, purchaso, lease or Crown
grant, for the purpose of conveying the same to the Dominion Government, in trust, for the
benefit of the Indians or for railway purposes, as mentioned in Article 11 of the Terms of
Union, or for such other purposes as may be deemed advisable."
By sections 61 and 62, unappropriated and unreserved lands were open to purchase at $1
per acre.
The Lieutenant-Governor in Council might order such surveyed lands as he might deem
expedient to be put up for public sale at the upset price of $1 per acre.
In the case of unsurveyed land the intending purchaser must first have had the land
required surveyed, at his own cost, by a surveyor approved of and acting under the instructions of the Chief Commissioner of Lands and Works, or Surveyor General, but the regulations
as to the sale, purchase and price, were to be the same as in the case of surveyed land.
The Crown grant reserved no other minerals but gold and silver, but gave power to
resume land, not exceeding one-twentieth of the lands so granted, for making roads * * or
other works of public utility or convenience.
Section 83, provided that each Commissioner should keep books of record in which
should be entered every record * * • or other document relating to, or affecting any preemption claim in his District. 1 Ed. 7    Inquiry into Grievances of Settlers, E. & N. Railway Lands. 359
By Chapter 13, 1878.(the Mineral Act, 1878), further provision was made as to the
acquisition by free miners, of claims for minerals other than coal, and found in lodes or veins,
denning the sizes of claims and the terms and conditions under which they might be recorded,
and providing as to the mode of obtaining Crown grants of them.
By Chapter 21, 1879, 29th April, the Land Amendment Act, 1879, it was provided:—
By section 1, that the purchase money, or balance thereof, for lands hitherto acquired,
should be paid in four equal annual instalments, the first of which should be due and payable
three months after notice in the Gazette of survey.
Section 2, enacted that, if the purchase money were not paid, the records of the claim
might be cancelled, and the improvements and any instalments of purchase money previously
paid might be forfeited, absolutely, to the Crown.
By section 4, persons thereafter recording or pre-empting surveyed land should pay $1
per acre in four equal annual instalments.
By section 5, unappropriated, unoccupied and unreserved lands, the surveys of which
had been duly made and confirmed by notice in the Gazette, should be open for purchase at
the rate of $1 per acre, after such land had been offered for sale at the upset price of $1 per
acre.    Payment was to be made in full at the time of purchase.
By section 6, persons desirous of purchasing unsurveyed, unoccupied and unreserved
Crown lands were required, in addition to the requirements of section 62 of the Land Act of
1875, to give two months' notice of their intended application in the Government Gazette,
and in a newspaper, stating the name of the applicant, the locality, boundaries and extent of
the land applied for, together with its distance from mining or mineral claims, such notice to
be dated and posted in a conspicuous place on the land sought to be acquired, and in the
Government office, if any, in the District, and for not less than 160 acres, 40 chains by 40 chains.
By section 7, every applicant for land under section 62 of the Land Act, 1875, to whom
a Crown grant had not issued, was to comply with the provisions of section 6 of the Amending Act, 1879. •
By section 8, all notices of surveys were to state the name of the applicant.
By Chapter 6, 21st April, 1882, the "Land Amendment Act, 1882," (section 1) of'the
Land Act, 1875, and section 6 of the Land Amendment Act, 1879, were repealed and fresh
provisions made as to the sale of unsurveyed land.
But that section was not to apply to coal or other mineral lands.
By section 6, coal was excepted from Crown grants, and by section 8, the price of coal
lands on Vancouver Island was fixed at $10 per acre, and on the Mainland at $5 per acre.
Section 7 provided where any pre-emption claim was abandoned, no cancellation of the
records was necessary, but such pre-emption claim should be considered as waste lands of the
Crown.
On April 21st, 1882, the " Clement's Bill" was passed.
Chapter 17, 12th May, 1883 (the Land Amendment Act, 1883), it was enacted (section
1) that part of section 16 of the Land Act, 1875, should be repealed, and in lieu of an
absolute forfeiture in case the "settler" who had recorded unsurveyed land had not made and
filed a written statement and declaration within the statutory time (three months), the land
recorded by such " settler," with all improvements thereon, might be forfeited, and the Chief
Commissioner of Lands and Works might " cancel the record of such land in the books of the
Land Office, in which case the original record issued to the 'settler' should be deemed null
and void to all intents and purposes whatsoever."
By section 2, any "settler" who had had a survey made in accordance with the land laws,
at his own expense, of the land recorded by him, under the Land Act of 1875, and who had,
prior to the passage of the Act of 1883, satisfactorily proved his claim to the lands so surveyed,
and in the manner provided by the Act (1875), should have his name recorded as a "homestead settler" without any further declaration, notwithstanding more than three months
might have elapsed between the date of the Gazette notice of survey and the date of the proof
of such claim.
By section 5, lands known to contain minerals in lodes or veins were not to be acquired
under the land laws.
By chapter 3, 12th May, 1883 (the Coal Prospecting Act, 1883), section 1:—
Every person desirous of acquiring unoccupied, unreserved coal lands were required to
apply for a prospecting licence for a time not exceeding one year. 3G0 Inquiry into Grievances of Settlers, E. & N. Railway Lands.      1901
By section 2, the applicant had to give a.written description of the land, together with a
diagram showing, approximately, the position of the boundary posts, or stating land marks.
The application and plan were to be in duplicate and filed of record, and boundary posts had
to be erected.
By section 3, the land had to be taken up in accordance with sections 6 and 7 of the
Land Act, 1875.
By sections 4 and 5, no applicant was to be entitled to a prospecting licence until he
should prove to the satisfaction of the Chief or Assistant Commissioner of Lands and Works
that he had caused a notice of his intention to apply to be posted on the land and on the
Court House of the District for fourteen days, or if the ground applied for, or any part of it,
had been previously recorded, then for one calendar month previous to application.   r
By section 5, upon satisfactory proof of compliance with the preliminary requirements, a
prospecting licence issued on payment of $25.
By section 6, upon satisfactory proof of bona fide exploration for a year, the applicant
was entitled to an extension of the term for another year on payment of $50.
By section 8, the prospecting licence extended to 480 acres.
By section 13, every person desiring to purchase coal lands was required to proceed under
the Land Amendment Act of 18S2, and to state that he desired coal land.
The price of coal lands on Vancouver Island was fixed at $10 per acre.
On the 12th May, 1883, the first "Settlement Act" was passed.
On the 19th December, 1883, the second "Settlement Act" was passed.
Summary of Certain Provisions of the Laws Regulating the Acquisition of Crown
Lands and of Crown Mineral Lands from the time of the Railway
Reservation in 1873 to 1875.
In the case of Pre-emptions:
Only unsurveyed and unreserved land could be pre-empted to the extent of 160 acres on
Vancouver Island.
Permission had to be obtained to pre-empt.
Land had to be recorded and registered in head office.
Occupation by bonfi, fide actual personal residence was required.
Improvements to the extent of $2.50 per acre had to be made and proved by solemn
declaration, and payment of one dollar per acre made before pre-emptor was entitled to
Crown grant.
No transfer could be made until a certificate of improvement had been obtained.
In the case of sale:
Unappropriated^and unreserved lands were open for purchase at the rate of not less than
$1 per acre.
The Lieutenant-Governor in Council was authorised to order unoccupied lands to be put
up at public sale at an upset price of not less than $1.00 per acre.
In the case of Free Grants :
The Lieutenant-Governor in Council was authorised to appropriate public lands, not being
mineral lands, as free grants to actual settlers, to the extent of 250 acres in each case.
Timber Lands might be leased by the Lieutenant-Governor in Council at rental to be determined by him.
Crown Mineral Lands,  not reserved for Government purposes, could be obtained under the
Mineral Ordinance, 1869, and Amendment of 1873, on complying with its provisions.
Coal Lands were for sale at such price as the Lieutenant-Governor in Council might determine, but were not to be sold for less than $1.00 per acre.
Special Mining Grants or Leases:
The Lieutenant-Governor in Council had   power  to  make grants or leases of tracts of
Crown lands for mining purposes, on special application, or on special cause shown. 1 Ed. 7      Inquiry into Grievances of Settlers, E. & N. Railway Lands.     - 361
From 1875 to 1879.
Crown Lands could be obtained by record and pre-emption.
Unsurveyed Lands, not reserved:
Could be acquired to the extent of 160 acres. After staking and marking the boundaries
of the claim, application had to be made in writing to record such land, enclosing a full
description and sketch plan.
A solemn declaration had to be mado and filed, showing the land was not reserved and was
open for record, and hud not been theretofore recorded, occupied, held by or pre-empted
by the applicant, and had not been abandoned by him or by any other person for the
purposo of the applicant's recording it; and that the application was not made in trust
for, or in collusion with, any other person.
Tho applicant had then to record, paying a record fee and receiving a certificate of record;
and was then registered as a " settler " in the Land Office Preemption Register at the
head office, Victoria.
After official survey, or survey made under official instructions and approval, the settler
had, within three months, to file a written and dated statement, describing the land
settled upon and the locality of his improvements, based upon the survey, and also to
file a declaration, of himself and two others acquainted with the facts, that the land
mentioned in the statement was the land he claimed by his record; that he had
" occupied" that land from the time of his record up to the time of his making the
declaration.
In the case of failure to make and file this statement within the said time limit of three
months, or if the declaration had been fraudulently obtained, or contained wilfully
false statements, the land recorded and the improvements became forfeited to the
Crown.
The " occupation " required was a continuous, bona fide personal residence of the settler,
his agent or family.
The " settler " had then to become recorded as a "homestead settler."
Surveyed Lands, not reserved :
Could be acquired to the extent of 160 acres by applying in writing for leave to pre-empt
as a " homestead settler," and making and filing a declaration showing that the land
was not reserved and was open for settlement, and had not theretofore been recorded,
occupied, held or pre-empted by the applicant, and had not been abandoned by him or
by any other person for the purpose of the applicant's pre-empting it, and that the
application was not made in trust for, or in collusion with, any other person.
Upon paying a record fee he was recorded as a " homestead settler," received a certificate
of record and was registered in the head office, Victoria, in the Land Office Preemption Register.
" The " homestead settler" could not obtain a Crown grant until he had obtained a certificate of improvement by proving that he had occupied his pre-emption from the date
of his record, and had mado permanent improvements thereon to the value of $2.50
per acre, and had occupied the land for two years.
The " occupation" required was a continuous bona fide personal residence of the home-
*        stead settler, his agent or family.
The "settler" could not transfer, and the "homestead settler" could not transfer until
after a Crown grant had been issued to him.
Acquisition by purchase:
'   Lands not reserved were open to purchase at $1 per acre.
If unsurveyed, the applicant had to have the survey made at his own expense by a surveyor
approved of and acting under instructions of the Chief  Commissioner of Lands and
Works, or Surveyor-General.
Surveyed lands :
The Lieutenant-Governor in Council had power to cause lands already surveyed to be
put up at public sale at the upset price of $1 per acre. 362 Inquiry into Grievances of Settlers, E. & N. Railway Lands.      1901
Timber lands could be acquired by lease.
Coal lands were for sale at such price as the Lieutenant-Governor in Council might determine,
but were not to be sold at less than $1 per acre.
Crown mineral lands and minerals not reserved could, up till  1877, be acquired under the.
Mineral Ordinance, 1869.
Special grants and leases :
The Lieutenant-Governor in Council had power to grant or lease Crown lands for mining
purposes on special application, or special cause being shown.
In 1877 provision was made as to minerals other than coal found in veins or lodes.
In 1878 this Act, and such portions of the Mineral ■ Ordinance,  1869, and amendment of
1873, as related to minerals other than coal, were repealed.
Provision was made as to minerals other than coal found in veins or lodes.
From 1879 to 1882.
In addition to the requirements of the Land Act of 1875, as to record and pre-emption,
the "settler" and "homestead settler" were required to pay $1 per acre in four equal annual
instalments. The first instalment was due one year from the date of record of the land
recorded or pre-empted, but the last instalment was not payable until after tho land recorded
should be surveyed.
In default of payment the record might be cancelled, and the land and improvements,
together with the instalments paid, were to be absolutely forfeited to the Crown.
A transfer could not be made by a settler, and a homestead settler could not transfer
until after a Crown grant had issued. '
Acquisition by purchase:
Surveyed lands, not reserved, after having been offered for sale by public auction at an
upset price of $1 per acre, were open for purchase at that rate. The purchase money
was to be paid at the time of the purchase.
Unsurveyed lands:
Notice of intended application to purchase had to be published by the applicant in the
British Columbia Gazette, and in a newspaper, and posted on the land, and on the
Government office in the District where the land was situate.
After such notice, and after survey, under instructions and approval of the Chief Commissioner or Surveyor-General, the applicant could purchase at $1 per acre.
Timber lands could be acquired by lease, at a rental to be fixed by the Lieutenant-Governor
in Council.
Minerals :
Minerals, other than coal, could be acquired under the Mineral Act, 1878.
Coal lands, not reserved, were for sale at such price as the Lieutenant-Governor in Council
might determine, but were not to be sold for less than $1 per acre.
From 1882 to 1884.
In 1882 the requirements of the Land Act of 1875, and amendments, were still in force
as to record and pre-emption, while fresh provision was made as to the manner in which unsurveyed lands, not reserved, might bo purchased.
Where a pre-emption claim had been abandoned, cancellation of the record was declared
not to be necessary.
Coal lands :
The price of coal lands was fixed at $10.00 per acre.
Gold and other minerals, excepting coal:
The law was amended and consolidated by Chapter 8 of 1882.
Timber lands could be acquired by lease, at a rental to be fixed by the Lieutenant-Governor
in Council. -
1 Ed. 7      Inquiry into Grievances of Settlers, E. & N. Railway Lands.        363
In 1883 the Land Act was again amended, and instead of absolute forfeiture through
the settler on unsurveyed land failing to file a written and dated statement within three
months after survey, the Chief Commissioner might cancel his record.
Where a settler on unsurveyed land, not reserved, had had a survey made at his own
expense, under Government instructions and approval, of land recorded by him under the
Land Act of 1875, and had, prior to the 12th day of May, 1883, proved up his claim to such
land, he could have his name recorded as a "homestead settler" without further declaration,
though more than three months might have elapsed between the date of the Gazette notice of
survey, and the date of proof of such claim.
Otherwise, the provisions requiring record, pre-emption and declaration, remained in force.
No transfer could be made until Crown grant was issued.
'Timber lands not reserved could be acquired by lease; rental to be fixed by the Lieutenant-
Governor in Council.
Minerals in lodes or veins :
Lands known to contain them could not be acquired under the land laws, but under the
Mineral Act, 1882.
Coal lands:
A Coal Prospecting Act was passed regulating the acquisition of coal lands not reserved,'
and the price fixed ut $10.00 per acre.
From the 19th December, 1883, the railway belt on Vancouver Island was under conveyance to the Dominion Government.   .
Findings.
I find that for years before, and at the time "squatters" went on these lands, there had
been and were laws governing the acquisition of Crown lands, coal and other minerals, and
timber, and enacting what Crown lands could be disposed of, and the terms on which lands
and minerals, and timber, authorised to be disposed of, could be acquired and title to them
obtained.
That in every such Act the Legislature authorised the reservation of Crown lands, and
restricted the acquisition of Crown lands, and coal and minerals on and under them, to unreserved * * * Crown lands.
That for years previously there had been established by the Legislature, and there was
at that time, a regular system of recording and record offices, recording officers and books for
carrying out the administration of such Crown lands as were unreserved.
And the laws required persons desiring to acquire Crown lands to record, and provided
for their being furnished with a record, certificate of improvements, Crown grant, or lease, as
the case might be, and for the records not only to be made in the District office, but to be
also registered in the Pre-emption Register at the head office at Victoria.
Applications had to be made in duplicate.
No record was allowed to be made on an application, unless in due form and accompanied
by the necessary declaration.
Printed forms were supplied to applicants, who were required to fill them in and sign
them in duplicate, accompanied by declaration in duplicate.
One set^—application, declaration, and certificate of record—was sent to the head office,
to be there examined and passed on, and, if found correct, was registered in the Pre-emption
Register at the head office of the Lands and Works Department.
That there were tribunals established to determine whether persons applying for Crown
lands, or for records of them, were entitled to do so or not, and the right to appeal was given,
and tribunals provided to which an appeal could be made against an unsatisfactory decision.
No claim in respect of a squatting on this Belt prior to 1875 was put in before me.
The lands squatted on were not at the disposal of the Provincial Government, or of any
officer of the Provincial Government.
Their reservation was required for railway construction, and had been authorised and
approved of by the Legislature, and from the 22nd April, 1875, before any one squatted on 3G4 Inquiry into Grievances of Settlers, E. & N. Railway Lands.      1901
them, down to the 21st April, 1882, part of this reserved belt was under conveyance to the
Dominion Government for the purpose of constructing, and to aid in the construction, of a
railway, the Provincial Legislature having on the 22nd April, 1875, conveyed for such purpose
the public lands along the line of railway, not to exceed twenty miles on each side of the line,
with the right to contiguous lands.
And no Act of the Legislature was at any time passed placing these lands at the disposal
of the Provincial Government for any purpose other than railway construction, but, on the
contrary, on the 21st day of April, 1882, by the "Clement's Bill," the Provincial Legislature,
with the object of obtaining the construction and operation of a railway, enacted that the
Crown lands, including minerals in that Belt, so squatted on should be reserved and set apart
for the purpose of railway construction, and that upon completion of the said railway they
should be granted in fee simple absolute to the Railway Company; but that farming squatters
who had made permanent improvements, and had permanently "resided on any of these lands
for not less than two years before the passing of that Act (which would not be later than 21st
April, 1880), should be entitled to purchase from the Company the surface rights of such lands
at one dollar per acre.
After that Company had failed to carry out their part of this contract, and while these
lands were, under tho authority of the Legislature, reserved for the purpose of obtaining the
construction of a railway, the Legislature of the Province, in May, 1883, conveyed them to the
Dominion, in trust, in pursuance of another contract adopted and ratified by the Legislature,
to convey them to persons who had contracted to build the Island Railway.
The lands squatted on, while not under actual conveyance, or agreement to convey, by the
Provincial Legislature, were reserved by the Provincial Government. For so doing the Government had the authority and sanction of the Legislature, under whose control (leaving aside, if
one can, the question of railway construction) the Crown lands were. The Legislature from
time to time, until it finally disposed of and conveyed these lands, authorised their reservation,
and distinctly enacted that unreserved Crown lands only could be recorded, or pre-empted, or
acquired for coal or other mining, or for other purposes; and knowing and expecting that these
lands ought to be, and in fact were, at their disposition, the Legislature did dispose of them.
The contention of the Province that the railway should be constructed by the Dominion
Government, and the fact that these lands were being held in reserve to obtain construction of a
railway, was a matter of public notoriety, and was the ground of repeated demands on the part
of the Province for railway construction, and of petitions and memorials from the Government
and Provincial Legislature to Her Majesty, from the time of the reserve in 1873 until the time
of the Settlement Act of 1883.
Not a single Session of the Legislature of British Columbia was held duriug those ten
years without the subject of railway construction coming up before the Legislature in some
form or other. The Province claimed that it had entered the Confederation under terms of
agreements and conditions intended not only to form, but to build up, a new Dominion, and
to secure easy communication from the Atlantic to the Pacific Oceans, and had agreed to aid
in effecting these objects by a conveyance of its public lands, and complaint was made at an
early stage, and reiterated, that to fulfil what the Province claimed were its obligations under
the Terms of Union, and to obtain the fulfilment of what it contended was an obligation of
the Dominion under those Terms, namely, to construct a railway, the lands in this Belt, valuable for their coal and mineral resources, and easy of access from the sea, had been kept reserved,
and applications for land for agricultural purposes, and for minerals, and for other purposes in
that Belt, had been refused.
The " squatters " went on these lands without recording or paying record fees :
Used them and the timber on them without paying for such use and without paying
taxes till 1884, after they had applied for and obtained grants under the Settlement Act.
They never mined or prospected for coal or other minerals.
In pursuance of the Settlement Act, they applied for and recorded the surface rights:
Applied for and received grants of such rights under the Settlement Act:
Registered their titles under the Land Registry Act, declaring that they were the owners,
claiming title under and by virtue of the grants they had obtained under the Settlement Act.
The persons who took possession of these lands claim that they should have Crown grants
issued to them under the Land Acts, as if they had recorded or pre-empted on the date on 1 Ed. 7      Inquiry into Grievances of Settlers, E. & N. Railway Lands.       365
which they squatted or on the date on which the person squatted whose improvements they
purchased, but all take the position that $1 per acre should have been paid for the land.
And on failure of the Clement's Bill, there being a mistaken idea that the reservation was
also gone, several of them went together and tendered a $1 per acre to the Government Agent
at Nanaimo, who refused to take it.
In the case of a "squatter" before the 20th of April, 1879, this would be inconsistent
with the Act of 1875, as between the 22nd April, 1875, and the 20th April, 1879, those who,
by compliance with its provisions in respect of land not reserved, had come under the provisions of that Act and had become "homestead settlers" were, on complying with the
conditions of that Act, entitled to a free grant.
The provisions of the Land Act, 1875, if they had been in terms applied to lands reserved
on Vancouver Island, and assuming that such an Act would not have been in contravention
of the Terms of Union, would have helped materially to defeat the object which the Province
was striving to obtain, viz.:—
The construction of a railway, and that by or through the Dominion Government, as
where records and pre-emptions were granted under that Act the Crown grants carried coal
and other base minerals, and as amended by the Act of 1879 the payment was to be $1 per
acre, while it was evidently contemplated by those who undertook to build the railway and
were to get lands and minerals for so doing, were to decide the price and terms on which those
lands and minerals should be sold.
But the Acts respecting the Crown lands could not have any application to the Island
Railway Belt, as they only authorised record, pre-emption, etc., of unreserved lands.
Nor were the provisions of any such Act complied with or regarded by the persons using
these lands as squatters.
They did not apply in the manner required by statute to enable a record or pre-emption
to be made of land open for record.
In the majority of cases they left written applications with the Government Agent.
These they treated as if they were their own property; took them away from time to time, in
some cases leaving them again for safe keeping, and in others taking them away altogether.
They were told these lands were locked up, or reserved, and were not open for record or
pre-emption. They did not make the declaration, and could not truthfully make the declaration which the law required to be made previous to a record being made.
In the cases where they applied for coal, they were told they could not get coal.
In cases where they applied to purchase, or for timber, they were told the land could not
be sold, nor could timber leases be given.
They did not appeal from the refusals to record, or other decisions against their requests.
In some cases they did not take possession of any land; in some cases they were adding
to lands already held by them; in some they squatted on lands other than the land mentioned
in such applications, becauso they preferred some other piece, or because they had wrongly
described what they took possession of.
Sales of improvements were made and transfers given, which would have been directly in
conflict with the land laws if the land could have been recorded, and had been, under those laws.
Possession was abandoned, and transfers made, though if the provisions of the Land Act
had applied, they provided that land should not be abandoned for the purpose of being
recorded or pre-empted by some other person, and that before a Crown grant could be obtained
a certificate of improvement had first to be obtained on proof of " occupation " by continuous,
bona fide personal residence on the land for two years, and of improvements having been made
to the extent of $2.50 per acre, and no transfer could be made until a Crown grant had issued,
while in some cases improvements had not been made to the extent of $2.50 per acre when
the transfer was made.
A purchaser relying only on his purchase from one who had no legal right would necessarily himself have no rights.
Here, however, even where the transfer took place after the Legislature had decided in
1882 what a farming "squatter" was to get, and after the Legislature had enacted in 1882
that the price of coal lands was to be $10 per acre; and even after the grant had been obtained '366 Inquiry into Grievances of Settlers, E. & N. Railway Lands.      1901
under the Settlement Act, the claim is set up, not to get what the Land Acts where they
applied enacted should be given to those coming under their provisions, but to pass over them,
choose the benefit of some Act passed years previously, which in its turn never applied, and
which, if it had been in force as to these lands, could not have benefited, as its provisions
had not been regarded either in letter or in spirit.
Some of the squatters claim that the Agent, though he refused to record, told them that
if they went on the land they would get the first chance to it, or that their rights would be
respected. But I am satisfied that in no case did the Agent, or any member or officer of the
different Governments who held office, tell them what their rights would be or what they
would get; nor did any applicant endeavour to ascertain what he would get if he went on
and squatted.
The reservation of minerals was not an unheard-of thing, and in Nanaimo and vicinity
the conveyances from the Coal and Land Companies reserved the minerals. And almost
without exception the squatters had no thought about coal when they squatted, though in one
case I believe the applicant, though he was distinctly told that he could not get tho coal,
thought, from some expression of opinion of the Government Agent, that if he went on the
land he would get something in lieu of it.
Even if the Government Agent had assumed to define on what terms or conditions a
" squatter " would get the land, including coal and mineral rights or timber, he not only had
no authority to do so, but would have done so knowing that he had none, for, directly the
reservation was made, he was notified by the Chief Commissioner of Lands and Works :
"Victoria, June 30th, 1873.
" Mr. T. L. Fawcett, Nanaimo :
" Sir,—I have the honour * * * to inform you that the Government have
reserved a belt of land twenty miles wide, from Esquimalt to Seymour Narrows, and that
consequently, no more pre-emptions will be granted on that strip, with the exception of such
as have had permission granted to them."
Note.—The permission referred to means permission granted to "occupy" under the Land
Ordinance, 1870, and previous to the reservation.
And speaking generally as to pre-emptions made before the reservation, the Chief Commissioner in the same letter, states :— ■
" That the system of granting a leave of absence should be avoided as much as possible." ■
On July 3rd 1873, Mr. Fawcett, the Government Agent at Nanaimo, wrote the Chief
Commissioner, as follows :—
"Sin,—I have the honour to enclose an application from Joseph Perkins for permission
to pre-empt at Nanoose Bay. 1 informed Perkins of the proclamation reserving all the land
on this side of the Island of Vancouver for railway purposes, and that I believed his application was too late to be entertained, but, as he urgently wished me, I forward it to you."
In reply, dated Victoria, 7th July, 1873, he was told by the Commissioner:—
" I have to inform you that I am unable to grant permission to Joseph Perkins to occupy
land under the Land Ordinance, 1870. I must also draw your attention to my letter dated
30th ult., with regard to the 20-mile belt reserved along the Vancouver Island shore from
Esquimalt to Seymour Narrows, on which no land can be pre-empted."
On the 8th day of December, 1874, Mr. Joseph Ferguson, who had lands at Nanaimo
River, was informed by the Chief Commissioner, as follows :—
"I have the honour to acknowledge receipt of your letter dated 3rd December, 1874, in
reference to your previous application for a timber lease on Nanaimo River, and inquiring as
to the right of Messrs. Robertson, Carpenter &, Co. to cut timber there, and in reply would
beg to inform you that no lease has been granted for timber rights on Vancouver Island inside
the railway reservation."
Mr. Fiddick, who had applied by letter, dated the 8th of July, 1875, to purchase some
land adjoining his pre-emption claim in Cedar District, was informed by the Chief Commissioner, by letter dated 9th July, 1875, that
" This land is not open for sale." 1 Ed. 7    Inruiry into Grievances of Settlers, E. & N. Railway Lands.        367
With regard to applications to record land, Mr. Fawcett was written to by the Chief
Commissioner on the 10th of October, 1875, as follows :—
" I have the honour to point out that an application to record land, that contains no date
or signature, and is unaccompanied by a declaration, should not be received or dealt with by
you."
Mr. John Hemar, a claimant, who purchased whatever interest Albert Fuller had, after
Fuller had obtained a grant under the. Settlement Act for lands on which he had squatted,
had himself applied to record lands, and being refused by the Government Agent at Nanaimo,
applied through Mr. Hilbert, of Nanaimo, to the Lands and Works Department, and on the
17th September, 1878, was informed by the Department:—
" The land you desire to obtain is included within the railway reservation, and is therefore neither open for pre-emption nor purchase."
In March, 1879, the Government Agent at Nanaimo was written to by the Lands and
Works Department, and informed that Newcastle townsite was included in the railway
reservation, and as such could not then be dealt with by the Provincial Government.
On the 22nd day of April, 1882, Mr. Bray, Government Agent at Nanaimo, wrote to the
Lands and Works Department, asking—
" If there is any land open for pre-emption on the west coast of Vancouver Island in the
vicinity of Alberni, and if so to what extent? Some parties here wish to pre-empt or purchase over there, if the land is surveyed and open for pre-emption."
And was informed on the 1st day of May, 1882, that
"All lands within the limits of the reserve, the western boundary of which is described
as follows :—' Bounded on the west by a straight line from Muir Creek to summit of Crown
Mountain (Muir Creek is near Sooke Harbour, north-west of Otter Point), are reserved from
pre-emption or purchase. Lands nearer the boundary line indicated are open for pre-emption
or purchase under the existing laws.'"
The applicants who desired to comply with existing laws, and who were refused land, and
coal and mineral rights and timber, and did not take possession because they could not get
rights under existing laws, were compelled to give up their intention, or to pre-empt or apply
for lands miles away.
Still, they had no legal rights, nor had the persons who took possession of these lands,
regardless of any law, any rights, and had tho reservation been rescinded earlier, railway or
no railway, it did not follow that the laws as to lands known to be valuable for their coal and
minerals and timber, and applications for which had been refused, would always remain the
same.
The laws had been repeatedly altered previous to the reservation and during the reservation, and since then have been altered to meet the varying requirements.
But, even if the laws had remained the same during the reservation, and the reservation
had been removed so that these lands could have been acquired under the laws existing at the
time those who squatted before 1882 took possession of them, the squatter and other previous
applicants would not necessarily have obtained the coal by recording a pre-emption, nor by
paying one dollar an acre for the land, for the price of coal lands, down to 1882, was in the
discretion of the Lieutenant-Governor in Council, while the squatter in 1882 would have had
to pay $10.00 per acre.
And the timber lands had to be leased at a rental to be determined by the Lieutenant-
Governor in Council.
That persons had applied for lands and for coal and minerals in the railway belt, and,
being refused, did not take possession of them; and that others had taken possession'of lands
in it without any legal rn>ht to them, and that they could only get what legislative enactment
might at some future time give, was well known and had been specifically brought to the
attention of the Legislature from time to time.
The terms " settler," " pre-emptor," " occupy," "occupation," were well-known terms in
the phraseology of legislative enactment in British Columbia, the Legislature, while preserving
any existing rights, ignored the applicant who bad not taken possession. They dealt with
those cases where persons had taken possession of public lands without any legal right to do
so, and defined them by an appropriate term, "squatter." 368        ' Inquiry into Grievances of Settlers, E & N. Railway Lands.      1901
They placed all such persons who had "squatted " and continuously occupied and improved
lands up to a certain date on the same footing, irrespective of the date when they took
possession. '»
They decided in distinct terms in 1882 that "squatters" should get the surface rights
only, and again did so in the first session of 1883, and again in tbe session of December, 1883.
And'by the first and second Settlement Acts tho time up to which "squatting," if accompanied by residence and improvement, would be legally recognised by a grant of surface rights
was extended to January, 1882, instead of to April, 1880, as fixed by the Clement's Bill.
Their case was also mentioned in express terms in the agreement entered into between
the two Governments, and in the contract made for the construction of the railway, and in
the Act of the Dominion ratifying the agreement and contract.
The persons so taking possession of these lande did not themselves claim they had any
existing rights, but claimed to be "squatters," and applied for and acquired title under the
Settlement Act.
No matter how the agreement made with tho Dominion Government, or the Settlement
Act, or the decision of the Legislature as to what "squatters" should get, may now be
regarded, it is clear that it is impossible for them or claimants under them to now acquire tho
coal or minerals, if any, under the lands squatted on, as such coal and minerals have been conveyed to others.
Claims Prior to Reservation.
In two cases only were claims p*ut forward as coining under the section of tho Sottloment
Act saving existing rights.
One by Mr. Byron Crawford, who alleged lie had purchased, after the reservation, whatever
rights James Shields had, who was on Crown land prior to the reservation.
Shields, however, was not'recorded.
There was no written evidence of this transaction, nor any to show that Shields was
entitled to record. And Mr. Crawford himself applied to record and obtained his title under
the Settlement Act.
Another by J. B. Holmes, who agreed to purchase from D. Sullivan land to which he
alleged Sullivan represented he had coal rights through having the land prior to the rftilway
reservation. Sullivan, however, applied to record and obtained a grant under tho Settlement
Act, and Mr. Holmes completed his purchase knowing that, and after Sullivan had obtained
his grant.
Mr. Sullivan's name also appears in the petition to the Governor-General as having
resided on this land for six years, which would place him as being first in possession in 1876
or 1877.
Right of Way.
With respect to the claim for compensation for the right of way, the reservation was for
tho express purpose of having a railway built through it, and the squatters were well awaro
of this ; and it is to be regretted that they did'not accept the concession offered them by Mr.
R. Dunsmuir in the naturo of compensation irrespective of the rights of the Company to build
the railway without paying for the right of way..'
I beg to express my appreciation of the valuable services rendered by the Secretary, Mr.
Ellis, and by Mr. Bass, the stenographer on this Commission.
I enclose Appendix, with list of dates usoful for reference, and of Land Acts from time
to time applying to Vancouver Island, and Exhibits; and also the evidence of witnesses.
I have the honour to be,   '
Your Honour's obedient servant,
E. HARRISON, J.,
Commissioner.
victoria, n. c.
Printed by Kiciiakd WoinutDU, Printer to the King's Moat Excellent Majesty.
1901.

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