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The crisis in B.C.: an appeal for investigation Cotsworth, Moses B. (Moses Bruine), 1859-1943 1915

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Array Crisis in B.C.
An Appeal for
5 cents
Postage   Extra
The  Ministerial  Union  of the  Lower
^Mainland  of B.C.
Copies can be had from
IN sending out this pamphlet to the public the Committee who act on behalf
of the Ministerial Union of the Lower Mainland of British Columbia
would say:
(1) The facts set forth are not published in any partisan spirit nor to
serve the purposes of any political party whatever. Since November last we
have had them under investigation, and we publish them now only from the
most urgent sense of public duty. It is with the desire to keep the whole
matter, so vital to the life of the province, above the level of mere party
politics that we append our names hereto.
(2) The man who has brought the facts to light, Mr. M. B. Cotsworth,
F.G.S., is by experience thoroughly equipped for the task, as will be seen
from the following outline of his career:
During 1873-1883 he was trained as accountant and statistician by the N. E.
Railway of England. 1883 became manager of the River Trent Navigation
Company. 1886 appointed commercial manager of Manner's Colliery Company, Derbyshire. 1888 selected by the English Chambers of Commerce and
City Corporations to investigate railway rates in freight and expressage.
1890 assisted British Government's Board of Trade in railway and canal
legislation. 1892 published his book, "Maximum Railway Rates"; the standard
authority in  the  United  Kingdom,  now  in  its  fifth   enlarged   edition.     1892
; retained by the North Eastern Railway to revise and reorganize their more
than 3,000,000 rates in the United Kingdom. 1907, after IS years actuarial work,
relinquished this retainer to campaign against the N. E. R. Co.'s unjust attempt
to  depreciate   Superannuation   Funds  of  Employees,  taking  the   case  before
j sub-committee of the British House of Commons and obtaining redress.
In 1907 he visited Canada and British Columbia coast, and was invited by
the British Columbia Government to redraft Civil Service and Superannuation
Bills. On return journey assisted the Liberal Government at Ottawa in
reform of civil service and final drafting of Canadian Annuities Act. 1908, in
December, received cable from the British Columbia Government requesting
him to come out from England to assist with the Public Service Bill, and
came the next month.    1909 was appointed chairman of Commission appointed
j to regrade the civil service staff throughout the province of British Columbia.
I Later  appointed   Provincial  Auditor  to   investigate   the  municipal   affairs   of
j New Westminster and Burnaby.
I The documents published herewith, and his refusal to be paid off- before
completing his work on the Civil Service Commission, or to become a party
to the system of land-grabbing (though invited to do so in January, 1908)
prove his moral integrity and efforts to promote the permanent welfare of
the people of British Columbia.
(3) Not only have we the results of Mr. Cotsworth's investigation of
years into these matters, but we have made the strictest investigation possible
ourselves We have spared no pains to verify the statements made. We
have original documents and copies of many others (verified by members of
our committee from originals in the archives of the Legislature and elsewhere); the Journals and Records of the Legislative Assembly have been
•examined and we are prepared to substantiate all statements made.
The references given throughout, and the documents published, give ample
opportunity to any citizen to verify the  facts.
As moral leaders of the people of this province we are in duty bound to
. make known the truth regardless of consequences.
(4) Finally, we appeal to the people of all parties to insist that a nonpartisan Judicial Commission be appointed, by either the Dominion or Imperial
Government, with full powers and instructions to lay bare the entire truth,
to publish its findings and, where wrong has been done, to bring the offenders
to justice.
Signed on behalf of The Ministerial Union of the Lower Mainland.
N. A. HARKNESS, President.
A.  E.  COOKE, Secretary.
W. S. A. CRUX.
A.   M.   O'DONNELL. The Crisis in B.C.
PRESENT conditions in British Columbia as regards financial stringency,
business stagnation and unemployment are such as need no comment.
The following pages do not seek to prescribe any panacea for the ills
of the body politic. They simply aim to uncover one source of the present
trouble, and place before the people of British Columbia some authentic facts,
the knowledge of which is essential to the redemption of the life of this
province.    The urgency of the crisis is sufficient reason for their publication.
According to the British Columbia Year Book, published by R. E. Gosnell,
the Premier's secretary, in 1911, the area of British Columbia is 257,560,000
acres (p. 336). But regarding this "it is necessary to understand that only
about one-twenty-fifth of its area is agricultural land; that the valleys which
make up this latter area are scattered here and there and are in most instances
widely intermittent; that a good deal of it is still remote from communication;
that 90 per cent, of it is still in a virgin condition; that only a very small percentage of it is open land, and but little of that that has not required irrigation, dyking or draining to bring into cultivation; that by far the greater
part of it has to be cleared of forest and of that some of unusually heavy
growth; that the more favored localities, relatively small in proportion, are
in the settled communities and near large towns or main lines of communication in a country still only incipiently developed," etc. (p. 229).
That is the statement of the Year Book "published by authority of the
Legislative Assembly of British Columbia."    Now for some others:
On January 1, 1914, Hon. W. R. Ross, Minister of Lands, made the statement in the "Daily Colonist" of Victoria, "In the past seven years about
2,500,000 acres of land have been taken up by pre-emptors. There are today
no less than 93,000,000 acres under reserve for pre-emption, and, of the lands
surveyed during the past two years, 1,700,000 acres have been subdivided into
sections of 160 acres, and are open for pre-emption, enough to furnish 160
acres to each of 10,625 additional pre-emptors. . . . Every assistance is
given to those who seek to go on the land."
In the Legislature, on January 29, 1914, the same gentleman stated "that
there were 4,500,000 acres available for settlers WITHIN THREE MILES
OF RAILWAYS.    ("Colonist," January 31.)
Attorney-General Bowser later made a vigorous defence of the present
Government's land policy, when addressing the Conservative Association of
Ward VI, Vancouver, on December 11, 1914. He stated that reserves had
been "placed along the routes of the Canadian Northern, Grand Trunk Pacific
and Pacific Great Eastern to prevent the speculator getting in and grabbing
lands along the line of railroads," and added, "The total amount of land
surveyed and ready for the pre-emptor, and the pre-emptor alone, amounted
to 91,128,567 acres, one-third of the total area of the province." "In the whole
of Canada there are only 36,000,000 acres under cultivation, while in British
Columbia alone we have 91,128,567 acres surveyed and reserved for the settler."
("News-Advertiser"  and  "Daily   Province,"  Vancouver,   December  12,   1914.)
Still more recently the Government has issued a series of expensive and
elaborate folders dealing with the lands of the province along the lines of
railroad. One of these is entitled "Surveyed Lands for Settlers," and at top
and bottom of the title page stand the words "Free Surveyed Lands." Other
striking announcements, in bold type, on cover and inside are: "Room for
Thousands along Railways," "Homes Await Settlers," "2,292,127 Acres of
Surveyed Lands Held for Pre-emption." Two large maps occupy most of the
folder—one showing the area traversed by the Grand Trunk Pacific Railway,
and the other that crossed by the Pacific Great Eastern Railway, Canadian
Northern Pacific Railway and part of the Grand Trunk Pacific Railway. Each
map is emblazoned with the words "Surveyed Lands Colored Red"; and both
show practically every acre of surveyed land in the province in striking red
3 color.    These  maps  have been  issued to  the public since  the  close  of the
recent session of the Assembly.
Summing up the above statements of responsible Ministers of the Crown
and the maps issued by the Government, we find we are asked to believe:
(1) There are over 90,000,000 acres of land surveyed and held for the pre-
emptor alone. (2) 4,500,000 acres of this are available within three miles of
railways. (3) All these lands have been reserved from the possibility of
seizure by the speculator. (4) They are free to the settler, who is given every
assistance to get on the land.
Above Statements Deliberately False and Misleading
Now what is the real truth of the matter? What are the actual, dependable
facts of the situation, as revealed by the records in possession of the Government? Alongside the four conclusions summarized in the preceding paragraph we place the following:
(1) The British Columbia Year Book, as quoted above, states that "only
about one-twenty-fifth 'of the area of British Columbia' is agricultural land."
That is less than 11,000,000 acres.
The Dominion census returns for 1911 (Vol. IV, p. vii) records 22,618,000
acres as the total amount of possible farm lands in British Columbia.
The report of the Surveyor-General for British Columbia for 1914 was
that the total area of surveyed lands in this province was 28,920,511 acres.
Of this, 5,189,522 acres is not under Provincial jurisdiction, and deducting
timber, coal and mineral-claim areas we find 17,997,920 acres left. (Report
p. 53.)
(2) In answer to questions sent by the Agricultural Commission to the
Provincial Assessors, asking how much agricultural land is still available
within twenty miles of a railroad, or wagon-road, no less than twenty out of
the twenty-nine Provincial Assessors replied that there was none left.
These answers were entirely suppressed in the report of the Agricultural
Commission, and though Mr. Parker Williams, M.L.A., secured an Order of
the House on February 19, 1915, for a "Return showing the complete answers,"
the Return was never made. Premier McBride stated on the last day of the
Session that it could not be got ready in the fifteen days intervening. But
Mr. Cotsworth found the original answers in the office of the Commission and,
later, compiled the full Return in half-a-day.      (See Appendix A.)
(3) The series of eleven Pre-emptor's maps, issued by the Department
of Lands for the guidance of settlers, show almost every section of surveyed
land in the province as already taken up, leaving only the mountainous, broken
and inaccessible lands for the pre-emptor. These maps, especially the Fort
George, Bulkeley, Nechako, North Thompson and Quesnel sheets, prove conclusively that the "all-red" folder just issued by the Government, and referred
to above, is the most deliberate and cruel piece of misrepresentation that could
be perpetrated on prospective settlers in British Columbia.
It is safe to say, in spite of the repeated assertions of responsible Ministers
to the contrary, that about 90 per cent, of the available agricultural lands of
British Columbia have been alienated from the people to whom they properly
Land-grabbers and Their Booty
(4) The Assessment Rolls of this province prove clearly that the great
bulk of the land already taken up has passed into the hands of greedy speculators, to the serious injury of the country's development and the robbery
of the honest settler.
The following acreages, shown opposite the various names, are merely
part of the vast areas speculators control, as gleaned by casual searches
through  the  provincial  assessment rolls  in  remote  districts.
Some of the largest holders control enormous additional acreages, covertly
held under the cover of names used as mere pawns in the game of subverting
the land law, with the connivance of Ministers of the Crown governing
British Columbia.
HELD   IN   VANCOUVER  Bva$r     Xillooet     Qmineca      RupTrt
Bonthorne Lennard & Co.  16,435 16,435
c-o Bowser, Reid & Wallbridge — 16.909 13,458                         783       2,668
B. C. Securities Co., Ltd.  12,160 12,160
Croft & Ashby   101,326 101,326
Geo. Fairbairn  12,710 12,710
Neil  Gething   81,490 46,020                    35,470
Grand Trunk Land Co.   83,876 79,508                                     4,368
G. T. P. Development Co.  14,233 14,233
c-o Gwillin, Crisp & McKay  13,300 13,300
c-o Jas. A. Harvey & Partners  107,473 105,233 (See Taylor-Har.)     2,240
North Coast Land Co.  141,192 57,611                     19,717     63,864
c-o Peace River Co.  221,602 640* 212,522       5,400       3,040
c-o L. C. Porterfield  61,849 61,849
c-o Shaw & Shaw   10,880 10,880
Star  Realty Co.   17,669 17,669
c-o Taylor, Harvey, Baird & Grant 11,174 11,174     (See Harvey & Partner)
Jos. A. Tretheway  14,193 14,193
L. Alexander   41,591 41,591
c-o Bodwell & Lawson  36.665     17,613 4,340     14,712
Bond & Clark  22.720      12,160 10,560
c-o B. C: Cattle Co.   16,742 16,742
c-o Eberts & Taylor  30,720 30,720
c-o Gore & McGregor  63.075     63,075
c-o J.  G.  Johnston    10,880   (Two different addresses)     10,880
G.  O.  Leask    30,593     30,593
c-o Neil F. McKay  10,080 10,080
J. E.  Miller   22,083     22,083
c-o Pemberton & Son  10.200 1,920       8,280
R. Perks & Son   14,080 14,080
F.  M.  Rattenbury   28,577*   (See Seattle) 17,634     10,943
Robertson & Heisterman  56,177     27,157 29,020
c-o E. H. Hicks-Beach, Hazelton—     19,552 19,552
Jno. G. Kenworth, Lillooet      11,729 11,729
Western  Can.  Ranch  Co.,  Lillooet    41,093     41,093 (Held in Victoria)
c-o F. C. McKinnon, Hazelton —      11,480 11,480
Jos. O. Tretheway, Hanceville —      14,193      14,193
Stuart Valley Land & Invest. Co.     52,454 52,454
Wm. C. Lestikow      44,403     44,403
c-o Bauman & Keliher  15,600 15,600
Grand Trunk Pacific Land Co. — 47,729     47,729
F.    M.    Rattenbury,    of   Victoria,
c-o Trafford Hutison  14,726      14,726* (See Victoria)
Finlay R. McQueen      18,115     18,115
Total    -—1,612.785   718,116   323,182    197,770   373,717
Spokane Syndicate    550,000   acres as below 550,000
Incomplete total  .2,162,785 923,717
It is significant to note the subterfuges to which some of the above resort
to hide the extent of their holdings, e.g., J. G. Johnston, of Victoria, has about
half of the tax notices sent to the Empress Hotel, and others to the Union
Club, consequently neither the assessor nor persons experienced in searching
the assessment rolls can be sure that J. G. Johnston owns the combined
areas, of which 6,400 acres are notified to the "Empress" and 4,480 acres to
the "Club," unless they know him, or trace the combined cheques when
Similarly, F. M. Rattenbury, the architect for the government buildings
at Victoria, has only part of his tax notices sent to Victoria, where he resides.
A large part of his notices are sent to him care of Trafford Hutison, of
Further "land-grabs" are shown in Appendix B.
Falsification of Royal Commission's Report
(5) The Assessment Rolls of the province also show that the statistical
pages of the Report of the Agricultural Commission, issued last year, have
been cleverly manipulated to cover up the most glaring instances of land-
grabbing in certain districts'.
On pp. 352-353 of that report we find that, in Lillooet district, 606 persons
are reported as holding 227,737 acres of land, and 8 corporations 59,263
acres. Also 573 persons own 311,592 acres of wild lands and 3 corporations only 522 acres. But the Lillooet assessment rolls for the same year,
1913, show that no less than 212,522 acres are held in the name of the Peace
River Land Company, 108 Pacific Building, Vancouver; that is, one corporation alone holds 152,737 acres MORE than the total the report shows for
eleven corporations.
Again, in Nelson district the Commission's report gives a total of 5,332
persons holding 463,264 acres, and 638 corporations holding 36,961 acres. But the
Assessment Rolls record that two men in Glencoe, Minn., U.S.A., named Henry
L. Simons and J. A. Nowell, hold, respectively, 358,055 acres and 54,919 acres;
while E. R. C. Clarkson, of Vancouver, has 21,624 acres. That is, these three
men hold 434,598 acres, while the Royal Commission reports that only 463,264
acres is held by a total of 5,332 persons.
In this particular instance there could be no excuse for such a report
from the Commission, since Commissioner Alex. Lucas, M.L.A., was formerly
Provincial Assessor for the Nelson district, until compelled to resign by the
Civil Service Commission in December, 1909, on account of neglect of his
duties, and a "timber deal" by which he pocketed about $10,000. 'He had
left his post and journeyed to Vancouver, in spite of repeated refusals of
leave of absence, to put through the deal.
But a shameful feature of the whole situation in these very districts is
that this land so largely held by foreign speculators is assessed at only 10
cents an acre, while the British Columbia Government paid no less than 40'
cents an acre for what was left of the Railway Subsidy Lands in this region,
after speculators had exploited all that was worth their taking. This price
was fixed by the "Railway Subsidy Lands Repurchase Act of 1912," when
Mr. Lucas was one of the men who voted to pay the 40 cents an acre to
certain railway schemers, including F. August Heinze, for whom the firm of
Bowser, Reid & Wallbridge were acting as solicitors.
How Government Has Aided the "Grabber"
The laws of British Columbia forbid the sale of more than 640 acres of
Crown lands to any one person, until the first purchase has been cultivated
or improved "to the extent of $3 per acre" (R. S. 1897, c. 113, sec. 30; R. S. 1911,
&c). How, then, have such great areas of the best lands come into the hands of
speculators and "grabbers" as shown above? These lands are not cultivated nor
improved in any sense of the word.    How then have the statutes been evaded
6 and the people plundered to such an enormous extent? The process has been
reduced to the simplest terms by a couple of legal devices that open the door
to the most gigantic frauds.
In the year 1907, the McBride Government introduced into the Land Act
an amending clause of one line which enacted that "Land may be staked or
located by an agent under this section." This permitted any one man to
stake tens of thousands of acres of land in the names of others who had
never seen it.
Then, the so-called "Power of Attorney" (which purports to give an
irrevocable transfer of the land staked, from the person whose name is used
to stake it, to the speculator or "grabber") enabled these land-thieves to send
their "agents" to stake out the best lands of the province along the line of
prospective railroads, and everywhere else they wished.
The method was absurdly simple. The speculator having secured inside
information, from friends in power, as to where the surveyors would be working next year, or where a new railroad was likely to run, secured as many
signatures as he possibly could on these bogus "Powers of Attorney." They
were easily obtained for a dollar, or a drink, or the mere asking, from those
who never intended to take up land. Then off went the "grabber" himself,
or his agent, ahead of the surveyors, staked thousands of acres of the richest
lands in the names of his "dummies," filled in the application forms, filed
them along with the "Powers of Attorney," paid his 50 cents per acre as
first payment and the land was secured. Nothing further was paid, in most
cases not even the taxes, until later the land was resold at high prices to
unsuspecting settlers, who often were unable to get a proper title to the land.
Thus the law was evaded, the Crown tricked and the bona-fide settler fleeced,
while the land-thief grew rich and the public conscience became debauched,
from the owner of the "dummy" name to the Ministers responsible for the
honest administration of the law.
This whole method of securing Crown lands has been definitely declared
to be fraudulent and illegal by the Supreme Courts of British Columbia and
the Dominion of Canada.    (See Appendix C.)
The so-called "Power of Attorney," which is used for this purpose, is'
contrary to both the spirit and letter of the British Columbia Statutes.
(1) It purports to confer upon the person named therein power to acquire
land in a manner not allowed by the law. (2) It purports to be an "irrevocable power of attorney," even after the death of the signer, which is directly
at variance with Sections 2 and 7 of the Power of Attorney Act. (Revised
Statutes of British Columbia, 1911, Chap. 6.)
The "Land Act," Sec. 157, declares that land granted or secured through
any such fraudulent method may be returned to the Crown.
But though immense areas of the choicest lands have been thus stolen
fiom the people and the Crown in British Columbia, though the Government
records in the land offices throughout the province show this clearly, no steps
whatever have been taken to recover these lands or punish the despoilers of
the people. On the contrary, the Attorney-General declared on the floor of
the House that "the speculator must have a chance." So hundreds of speculative friends have been allowed to seize more land than they can even pay
the taxes for. And, now, by the passing of Bill No. 16, on 3rd March last, the
Lieutenant-Governor-in-Council can "postpone the payment of any moneys
due or accruing due" to the Crown, by any such men, and for such a time
as the Government may advise.
Results of the "Staking" Amendment of 1907
The immediate result of the one-line, amendment to the. Land Act,
introduced by the conniving Government in 1907, giving power to stake land
by agent, was a tremendous increase in applications to purchase land. The
following summary is taken from the records in the "British Columbia
Gazettes" for 1908-1910.    The detailed list is given in Appendix C.
No. of    Aver, per Total % of
Year Stakers     Staker Acreage       Increase
1908         10 14,504 145,040
1909        23 16,058 379,680 162%
1910        84 20,832 1,749,840 361%
Total for the first three  years,  2,274,560  acres.
7 All the grabs recorded here exceed 6,000 acres each, and the table shows
that in the two years following the "Amendment," 33 "stakers" cornered
524,720 acres. Then came the Railway Legislation of 1910, which naturally
raised the value of the lands thus stolen, and 84 "stakers" laid hold of no
less than 1,749,840 acres of the best Crown lands in that year. Thus 117
"agents," in three years, looted the public domain in the interests, of the land-
sharks to the extent of 2,274,560 acres.
This was immediately followed by the "Land Act" of 1911, which doubled
the price of all Crown lands, and thus made these speculators immensely
wealthy by doubling the value of what they had already secured at the
former rates.
Yet the game still went merrily on, and in the "British Columbia Gazette"
for October 3, 1912, we find the record for one week only a total of 464,995
acres.   (See Appendix D.)
Attempt to Stop Work of Commission
Perhaps the most glaring evidence of the purpose of the Government to
allow this wholesale robbery of the public to go on, till their speculative
friends were satisfied, is to be found in the letter printed below.
The Civil Service Commission appointed in 1909 consisted of Mr. Moses
B. Cotsworth (chairman), Mr. J. A. Mara and Mr. Curtis Sampson. In pursuit
of their duties these gentlemen discovered such evidence of this fraudulent
land seizure that they reported to the Executive Council, in January, 1910,
per Paragraph 55 of their Report regarding the Department of Lands:
"Records were kept amidst many difficulties, the most serious of which
arose from the too long continued practice of allowing land to be purchased
and pre-empted  beyond  the  limits  of then  existing  surveys.
"The present rapidly extending system of surveys seems to render it
unnecessary to dispose of lands beyond the limits of approved surveys."
We quote from  Mr.  Cotsworth  himself:
"At the time that clause in the Commission's Report was drafted I had
not the slightest idea that any of the Executive Council or their friends
were  implicated in grabbing Government land and  timber,  etc.
"But evidently it touched some of them 'in the raw,' because next day I
received the following letter to induce me to hand over my papers that night:
" 'Provincial Secretary's Office,
" 'M. B. Cotsworth, Esq., « 'Victoria, January 24th,  1910.
" 'Victoria.
" 'Sir,—Following upon the determination of the Government, arrived at
some two weeks ago, to have the work of the Public Service Commission
terminate, it was decided at a meeting of the Executive Council held this
morning, to request you to hand in all your books and papers in connection
with the Commission to the Deputy Provincial Secretary today.
" 'The Executive Council has decided to hand you a cheque for eight
thousand dollars ($8,000), together with travelling expenses, in payment of
your services as Chairman of the Public Service Commission, less the amount
already advanced. j haye the honor tQ  ^   \f-
" 'Your obedient servant,
'"(Signed) H. E. YOUNG,
" 'Provincial Secretary.'"
This would seem to indicate that the clause in the Report of the Commission which advocated limiting all land sales and grants to surveyed
areas, and would thus effectively have killed the system of "grabbing" all
over the country, was so highly objectionable that the work of the commission must end immediately and the report be suppressed. But Mr.
Cotsworth refused to stop work, neither of his colleagues on the commission having been informed by the Government of the offer of $8,000
which had been made to him only. He had framed the Act under which the
commission was appointed and so was able to continue his work until
finished. But to this day the report of that commission has never been
published by the Government.
Further light is thrown on this letter by an incident that took place
about two weeks previous to its writing.   The commissioners, in the course of their work, discovered that Hon. Thos. Taylor, Minister of Public Works,
and Sir Richard McBride had planned to retire Mr. F. C. Gamble, Chief
Engineer and Deputy Minister of Public Works, from both these positions,
in favor of a personal friend of Mr. Taylor, a man then employed at Revel-
stoke by the Canadian Pacific Railway for about $75 a month. The pretext
for removing Mr. Gamble was that he was "getting past his work," although
he was one of the ablest and most upright public servants, and has this year
been honored by election to the presidency of the Canadian Institute of
Mr. Taylor had already gone, with the Premier's consent, to Revelstoke
to arrange for his friend's appointment as Deputy Minister of Public Lands.
Commissioner Sampson being away, Messrs. Cotsworth and Mara at once
interviewed Sir Richard McBride, told him frankly that unless he wired
immediately to Mr. Taylor revoking power to appoint his friend, and insisting on Mr. Gamble's retention as Deputy Minister, they would resign their
commissions and publicly proclaim this abuse of public trust and the injury
these two Ministers were putting upon a most efficient and honorable public
servant. In Mr. Cotsworth's words, "Premier McBride stormed awhile, set
his jaw, and tried to browbeat us. But finding we would not budge he sent
the telegram which safe-guarded an able civil servant and saved much money
from being squandered, while Mr. Gamble remained Public Works Engineer."
How the Speculator Bleeds the Settler
The following letter illustrates the methods used by the "grabber" to
gain immense profits out of the large areas obtained by fraud on the Land
Note that the prices quoted are for large areas, which are to be sold
over again to the bona-fide settler at greatly increased prices.
Farm Lands, Coal and Timber Lands, Etc.
503 Dominion Trust Building,
Vancouver,  B.C.,
Oct. 25th, 1912.
Mr. A. Henry,
231—7th Street,
New Westminster, B. C.
Dear Sir,—I have this day sent you, under separate cover, full reports on
26,000 acres in the Peace River District for $7.50 per acre; 20 sections in the
Finlay'Valley, Peace River District, at $7.50 per acre; 118 sections in the
Nation Lake District at $7.50 per acre; 53,503 acres in Beaver Dam and Big
Bar Lake District at $7.50 per acre; 13,000 acres on Middle River and Tacla
Lake at $8.00 per acre; 20 sections on Banks Island at $10.50 per acre; 36,470
acres adjoining Francois Lake at $7.00 per acre; 100,000 acres in the Naas
River District at $8.50 per acre; 39,000 acres in the Lillooet District at $7.00
per acre.
All of these lands are the choice of picked lands in British Columbia.
Every section is well watered and the soil is A 1. The Lillooet District property is more suitable for general farming and stock raising than any of the
other tracts, which are A1 colonization or syndicate propositions, suitable
for general farming.
Thanking you in advance for the enquiry and awaiting an early and favorable reply.    I remain,
Yours very truly,
(Signed)      A.  E.  DeVEAUX.
The following summary is taken from the above letter and the detailed
reports of the "staker" which accompany it, including that of the exploiter's
survey for 67,000 acres in  Swan  Lake and  Kis-Ka-Kia-Kow  River  districts.. District Acres Rate Total Price
Peace  River *  26,000 $7.50 $195,000
Peace River—Finlay Valley  12,800 7.00 89,600
Nation  Lake     75,520 7.50 566,400
Beaver Dam and Big Bar (Lillooet)  53,503 7.50 401,273
Tacla Lake (Omineca District)  13,000 8.00 104,000
Banks  Island  -  12,800 10.50 134,000
Francois Lake  39,470 7.00 276,200
Naas River  100,000 8.50 850,000
Lillooet   1     39,000 7.50 292,500
Lillooet 2   L  10,000 7.00 70,000
Swan Lake and Kis-Ka-Kia Kow River 67,000 7.50 502,500
Total - 449,093 acres for $3,481,473
This would have provided 2,807 settlers with 160 acres each, and at $1.00
per acre, payable to the public treasury. Whereas these exploiters are scheming to wring at least $3,032,280 from the incoming settlers, handicapping them
on the average at least $1,080 each, and seriously crippling the development
of the country.
In the "staker's" report re the Nation Lake District, 118 sections of 640
acres are carefully described in detail; the whole area being finally described
in these words, "For mixed farming or dairying or for wheat, I think this
block of land would prove excellent, and in my estimation would be just
what was wanted for a large colony of settlers.
Of the 118 "dummy" names that are given as owning these 118 sections,
43 are apparently British or American, while all the others are names of
foreigners—Italians, Greeks,. Slavs, etc.—and in no case is any proper address
The worst results of this nefarious system of land-grabbing are to be
found in the political debauchery of the thousands who become parties to
such gigantic swindles, and above all in the hardships and miseries inflicted
upon hundreds of settlers and their families for whom it becomes impossible
to secure homes in any district or upon any conditions where success and
happiness may be gained. One instance of this, out of the many that might
be cited, is given below. It is reprinted from "The Evening Post" (the shortlived evening edition of the Victoria "Colonist"), dated August 16, 1909:
"The pathos of a pioneer's life is strikingly illustrated in the story brought
to Quesnel by L. Knuston, whom residents of British Columbia last heard
of at the time of his departure last spring for the heart of the Nechaco country,
for which destination he set out on foot with his wife, the latter wheeling a
baby in its perambulator, while her sturdy husband 'packed' the blankets and
supplies, all being necessarily limited to the barest necessities.
"They arrived at the Nechaco completely worn out, and after numerous
thrilling adventures and countless hardships, to find that the ranch in which
they had invested all their hard-earned savings and which had been pictured
to them by the real estate agents as little short of an earthly Eden, was anything but what they had been led to expect—being practically valueless for
farming and incapable of providing the simplest means of life.
"Knuston and his loyal wife, having pinned their faith on their newly-
purchased home, were heartbroken as well as destitute, and with true pioneers'
compassion for them the settlers got together and raised by private subscription sufficient to keep them going and set them on their feet for a little while.
"Their difficulties multiplied when, shortly after, a child was born prematurely, no doubt in consequence of the experiences which the unfortunate
mother had undergone on the trail, and instead of recovering health and
spirits, Mrs. Knuston sank from the advent of her baby, dying some five
weeks ago.
"The unfortunate settlers at that time were subsisting by the kindness of
Indian neighbors, who gave the poor woman simple burial.
"The bereaved husband and father decided that he could no longer remain
in the country that had been so cruel to him, and tramped wearily over the
long trail once more, carrying his two babies, now motherless. The children
are at present being cared for by friends in the vicinity of Quesnel.
10 "Knuston is sending a petition to the Attorney-General, endorsed by
sundry other settlers of the Nechaco asking that steps be taken against the
realty agents who deceived him, and whom he holds primarily responsible for
the death of his faithful wife."
This pathetic instance is only typical of many others well known to settlers
all over this Province. In some cases men have sought for months to get a
pre-emption in an accessible region, have spent their last dollar in the effort
to do so, only to find that the speculators had been allowed to corner every
available quarter-section, and that the assistance and information received at
the Land Office was worse than useless. Others have located, put up their
homes and begun cultivation, only to discover afterwards that they had really
settled on land that was owned by the ubiquitous "grabber," who dispossessed
them. Survey or land office information had been entirely astray. Yet the
Minister of Lands asserts that "every assistance is given to those who seek
to go on the land."
That British Columbia is immensely rich in coal deposits of the very best
kind has long been established. But the enormous extent of these areas cannot be realized by the average citizen, much less can he appreciate the danger
of wholesale exploitation of this untold wealth by syndicates who are utterly
regardless of the future interests of this country and its people.
The "B. C. Gazettes" for the past ten years show that the exploiters'
stakers have been as busy with Coal Lands as with the agricultural areas.
In ONE ISSUE ALONE, October 3, 1912, George M. Beirnes is recorded
as staking 30,720 acres, which were all applied for in his own name on the 8th
and 9th of August of that year. In the same "Gazette," A. D. Lloyd is
credited with 26,880 acres, all applied for within three days, while others have
staked areas running into thousands of acres.
Fabulous Wealth Alienated to Syndicates
In the British Columbia Year Book, p. 184, an estimate is given of the
' cqal areas partly examined," which gives a total for the province of 1,351
square miles, with a tonnage of 40,225,000,000. But that this is far below the
truth is seen from the fact that the Skeena River area is given as only 16
square miles with 61,000,000 tons of anthracite coal. The blue-print map
issued by the Prince Rupert Syndicate in October, 1912, shows that the fifteen
men who compose this syndicate have got possession of 60 square miles of
this richest area.
In fact, this whole territory, known as the "Groundhog District," and
drained by the Skeena and Naas Rivers, has been estimated as covering 2,000
square miles of the best anthracite coal, the majority of which seems to be
already alienated from the people of this province by grasping syndicates.
In December, 1911, a lengthy and very detailed report was furnished by Ronald
C. Campbell-Johnston, Mining and Metallurgical Engineer, to Kobes &
Beaton, of Chicago, a Harriman syndicate controlling 145 square miles in
this Groundhog district. Comparing this official report with the maps of the
Prince Rupert Syndicate we find that the following syndicates have corralled
the areas given below:
Mackenzie & Mann about 90,000 acres
B. C. Anthracite Co.        "     30,000 acres
Western  Development  Co.          "     30,000 acres
National Finance        "      30,000 acres'.
.   Kobes & Beaton, Chicago        "     92,800 acres
Prince Rupert Syndicate          "     38,400 acres
The Prince Rupert "Daily News" of March 25, 1913, also reports that
Andrew Laidlaw, of the Oregon Short Line, owns 50 square miles or 32,000
acres. :
In Mr. R. C. Campbell-Johnston's Report, made to the Kobes and Beaton
Syndicate, at their request, it is stated that during the summer of 1911 he
had made an exhaustive survey of the 30,000 acres belonging to the B. C.
Anthracite Co., of Quebec; that "four other mining engineers of high standing"
corroborate the data and evidence sent to  Kobes and Beaton regarding the
ii character and wealth of the whole district. The 92,800 acres held by this
Syndicate are exhaustively considered, and the coal compared with that of
every other coal in the Empire and U. S. A. The "Coal Mines Act" of 1910
and others are annexed with the comment: "This enables anyone to become
absolute owner of these surface rights, also coal and petroleum." The
estimated tonnage per square mile is 59,960,000 tons, but taking the extremely
conservative estimate of 30,000,000 tons per mile, the report continues: "These
figures give an approximate tonnage of 4,350 million tons; coal beyond all
conception and impossible to ever extract for a century. An output of 100,000
tons per diem, per annum (300 days), is 30,000,000 tons, or, divided into above
total, enough for 145 years. The matter of quantity and quality of coal are
established beyond all peradventure." Careful estimates of the Cost of Production, including the present high cost of wages (which will be permanently
lowered after the arrival of the larger population that will settle around here)
shows a cost of $2.14 per ton F.O.B. Mine, plus 86 cents per ton for railway
operation, including the haulage of empty wagons, totalling $3.00 per ton,
whilst we are paying about $7.00 per ton for common House and Manufac-
■ turing Coal in Prince Rupert, Vancouver and Victoria, and much higher for
Sold at $4.00 "run of mine," and $4.50 screened, the estimated daily output
of 5,000 tons per day is calculated to yield a profit of not less than $10,300
per day,' or $3,090,000 per year from the 2 collieries of the proposed Company.
That would pay 31 per cent. Interest upon the $10,028,000 Capital actually
required to begin efficient development of this 92,800 acre block, as below:
Purchase from the Government $    928,000
Cost of Railway, etc.    4,900,000
Cost of Terminals  —     1,000,000
Cost of Collieries    1,200,000
"Purchase" from "Stakers and Owners"   •__   2,000,000
Gross Total Capital Required $10,028,000
The facilities for plunder of the public Resources are here shown by the
technical "owners" demanding $2,000,000 at the outset, without their having
paid the conniving Government the paltry $928,000 which the Provincial
Treasury is expecting to get in years to come for the whole of the Land
and Coal in that enormously valuable 92,800 acres.
How the Coal-grabbers Rob the Public
The following letter demonstrates clearly how even the illiterate foreigner
can rob the people of British Columbia of immense portions of their heritage
and then tell Europe and America to "stand and deliver" according to the
approved methods of the modern highwayman:
"Prince Rupert, B.C., 17 April, 1913.
"M. B. Cotsworth, Esq.
"Dear Sir,—Re anthracite coal at Ground Hog Mountain. The Prince
Rupert Syndicate wich I have interest owns 39 section of 640 acres each the
title is in first-class shep licences fee beeng payed for the year. I have for
sale the above property at $2.00 (two) per acre, terms $10,000 with balance
over a year, that price is net to the Syndicate, your commission you have to
get above the two dollars.
"My proposition, if you can handle to interest somebody to rise the first
payement of the $10,000. Myself I will put $1,000 and incorper a company for
$2,000,000—$500,000 as tesarene [preference?] stock, $500,000 stock to be sold
all over America and Europe in order to meet the others payement and develop
the property, and $1,000,000 stock for ourself who will pay the $10,000 and
buy the property.
"Your obedient servant,
"Filippo "F. Panvini,
"P. O. Box 818.
"S.P.—That property inside 3 years will be worth $20,000,000 as soon the
railroad get in.—Panvini.
"Wilfrid McDonald & Hanna locators of the land."
12 The names of the sixteen men who form this Prince Rupert Syndicate are
given on a slip attached to the letter, and include the name of the Italian
himself, the writer and promoter of this precious scheme. The map of the
district  enclosed  shows  the  holding to  be  not  39 but 40 square  miles.
And this kind of thing goes on behind the people's backs, who are assured
by those responsible for the laws that should control it, that this is legitimate
development of our resources, and therefore the speculator must have a
chance.    How long will the people submit to be so easily fooled?
If British Columbia is renowned for anything it is for the extent and
magnificence of its Timber Resources. The Forestry Commission of 1909-
1910, on p. 17 of its Final Report, estimates the total stand of timber in
British Columbia at 240,000,000,000 feet, "half the probable stand of Canada."
Of this an "area of 15,000,000 acres within the jurisdiction of the Provincial
Government is capable of yielding, under the present methods of logging,
nearly 200 billion of merchantable timber," which would greatly increase if
"liberty to waste and destroy" were properly restricted. There is little doubt
but this can be valued at $350,000,000, while the annual crop of timber in
British Columbia will be worth more than $10,000,000 per year.
But nowhere has the speculator and ravenous "syndicate" been more
busy, and in nothing has the legislation of the past been more obliging and
more helpful to the exploiter's interests than in connection with these mighty
Timber resources.   The following table is from p. 17 of the above Report:
Tenure. Stand per   Total Stand
Crown  Granted Acreage     acre in ft.     in ft. B. M. %
1   Vancouver        318,000       35,000      11,130,000.000 6
2. Mainland         552,000       10,000       5,520,000,000 3
Total Crown Granted       870,000 16,650,000,000 9
3. E. & N. Railway -       375,000        14,300       5,380,000,000 3
*4. C.P. Railway, unpublished.
5 Timber leaseholds        619,000       20,000     12,380,000,000 7
6 Special License     9,000,000        12,000    108,000,000,000       S6
7. Mill timber on Pulp and Lease-      387,000       12,000       4,640,000,000        2
Total Alienated 11,251,000 stand of    147,050,000,000       77
Reserve timber land conjectured to
be Ya total Forest area under Provincial supervision, say roughly—    3,750,000        12,000     45,000,000,000       23
Total    15,001,000 192,050,000,000
*Why did not the Commissioners insist upon the C. P. R. Co. declaring the
Acreages of their Timber, in view of the fact that the great Railway Publication known as "Poor's Manual," for the year 1914, on page 1685, records that
"the C. P. R. owns 1,697,994 acres in B. C." most of which is Timber Land.
The Companies' officials know well that most of it is Timber Land, and they
know pretty closely how much.
The bitter fact disclosed by investigation is, that nearly 60 per cent, of
the timber Assets of B. C. were "annexed" by the Exploiters' Stakers, part of
whom resorted to illegal subterfuges to stake parts of the 9,000,000 acres they
corralled during 1906 and 1907.
That this condition of affairs has been the result of legislation directly
fostering it is readily shown. The history of Forest Legislation is briefly given
from the beginning by the Forestry Commission's Report on pp. 11-13. Up
till the year 1901 the legislation was generally such as conserved the interests
of the people and provided for development of their great Timber resources.
In 1901 "provision was made for renewal of Leases of unsurveyed, unpre-
empted Crown lands for consecutive and successive periods of 21 years" on
the same terms and conditions as already existed. Staking of land for Licenses
was also restricted to 640 acres, and the fee increased from $50 to $100.
13 But in 1905, after the McBride Government had got into power, a radical
change was made in the Timber laws. The provision for Granting Timber
Leases was abolished. The Special License System was changed by enacting
"that all special timber licenses thereafter issued would be transferable and
renewable each year for 21 successive years." "It was also provided that all
special licenses then in force or applied for should be transferable and renewable each year for 16 successive years at the same fee as was then payable
for such license."
Now what happened?   The subtle and far-reaching character of the change
thus instituted may be partly seen from the fact that the area for which licenses
were granted during the period immediately following increased more than
10 times.    Here is the table exactly as given on p. 28 of the Report:
Year No. of Licenses Acreage
1900   143 143,000
1902    526 336,640
1904    1,451 928,640
1907    over 15,000       over 9,600,000
Practically about 10,000,000 acres were thus grabbed in 1907, and facilities
for transfer to grasping Syndicates were provided by keeping the fee for
transfer at $2.00.
This fee was increased in 1910 to $5.00, but in. the interval of "three years
nearly 12,000 licenses passed from hand to hand" (Report, p. 29); that is, 80%
of those whose names were used to stake almost 10,000,000 acres of timber
in 1907 allowed these immensely valuable licenses to go into the hands of
timber syndicates.
The "Reserve" That Did Not Reserve
On the 24th December, 1907, an Order-in-Council was passed by the Government, reserving all unalienated timber in the Province, and a few weeks
later, when Mr. Cotsworth, after a journey up and down the Coast, urged
upon Premier McBride the duty of conserving the forests for the people,
the Premier said, with characteristic emphasis, "We have put a Reserve on
every timber area and are going to conserve it. No one can buy a single
stick of Timber from the Government now." To quote Mr. Cotsworth's own
words, recently written in the light of subsequent investigations:
"Naturally, I then thought Premier McBride's statement sincere and was
grievously disappointed when the Forest Commission in 1911 Reported that
more than 11,250,000 acres, approximately 80 per cent, of the Government
Timber, had been alienated from the Crown, leaving only about 3,750,000
acres of the poorest Timber as their 'estimate' of the scrubby and remote
remnant left.
"I was further shocked to find that at the time I was advocating to Premier
McBride the paramount duty of keeping entire Government possession of
the timbered areas, such vast shoals of Timber License applications were daily
passing through the Lands Department, that the increased staff could not
cope with them within reasonable time—while further, these areas had been
staked wholesale by dummy 'Powers of Attorney'—similar to others used
more widely for staking Land and Coal—when in some cases even the alleged
Agent as staker had never been on the land until after the Timber 'Reserve'
was supposed to be effective on December 25, 1907—only a few weeks before
Premier McBride told me that 'half-truth,' which was more misleading than
an untruth."
This boasted "Timber Reserve" put into force after 80% of the timber
had gone into the hands of unscrupulous "grabbers" simply had the effect
of levering up the values of such holdings which an obliging Government had
made transferable, and which by the Act slipped through in 1910 ("Land Act
Amendment Act," Sec. 6) were still further enormously increased in value
by being made "transferable and renewable from year to vear while there is
on the land merchantable timber in sufficient quantity to make it commercially
Who Got Hold of These Timber Areas?
The consequence of such legislation is that today the vast majority of
those  Licenses  are held by Trusts,  Syndicates,  and other Exploiters  in  the
14 United States and elsewhere, without the Government of B. C. being able to
tell who owns them. Therefore it is easy to evade letting British Columbians
know the vast areas held by such "Timber Holding Co.'s'.' as the—■
Pacific Mills Ltd., of San Francisco,  Capitalized at $10,154,500
(Although their assets—almost  entirely Timber—are in B. C.)
The Michigan Pacific Lumber Co., of Michigan, U.S.A.     1,500,000
The Biitish Canadian Lumber Co., of Quebec — 20,000,000
The  Pacific  Lumber  Co.  of Quebec       3,500,000
The Upper Fraser Lumber Co., Quebec      2,500,000
The'Mackenzie  &  Mann  Co., Toronto       5,000,000
The Columbia Lumber Co.     5,500,000
That the Government is fully conscious of the consequences of their action
in such matters is evident from the falsification of information furnished in
the Assembly and to the public.
On p. 129 of the Journals of the B. C. Legislature for 1914 is given a
"Return," made on 4th March, at the request of Mr. Parker Williams, in
which the Government states that the Canadian Puget Sound Co. held 4,280
acres of timber. But the books of that company, and a printed statement
issued by it to the shareholders on June 1, 1914, show definitely that it held
57,593.3 acres, valued at $5,659,564. This is a valuation of $99.00 per acre,
whereas the Provincial Treasury received for this property about ONE
Another "Return" presented to the Assembly on 6th February, 1914, shows
only 982,500 acres of timber as having been alienated from the people to the
speculator. This "Return" when analyzed and put plainly as it should have
been done for the information of the House and the public, is as follows:
TIMBER HOLDERS % B. C.    Other Prov.    U.S.A.
Acres Acres Acres
Bloedel, Stewart & Welch, Seattle  13,433
B. C. Timber & Trading Co., Vancouver      82,145
Mossom  M. Boyd, Bobcaygeon, Ont.       . 10,740
Brooks-Scanlon Lumber Co., Vancouver      22,249
Erunnette Saw Mills Co., Westminster       14,732
Canadian  Bank of Commerce, Victoria       26,686
Dominion Trust Co., Vancouver     146,572
Fraser River Tannery, Minneapolis  43,672
Strachan Johnson, Toronto .  10,314
Michigan Trust, Seattle  35,549
McDougall & Carmody, Vancouver      26,886
North Pacific Lumber Co., Vancouver       54,774
Otis Stables Lumber Co., Wycliffe      10,855
Quinn & Whitney, Saginaw, Mich.  35,360
Sutton Lumber Trading Co., Seattle  69,249
Holders of less than 10,000, various       95,883 5,353 58,220
B. C. Wood Pulp & Paper Co., Vancouver...      55,669
Swanson Bay Forest Co., Vancouver       84,180
Western Can.  Trust Co., was  in Vancouver,
now  Fleishhacker   Bros.   &  Johnson,   San
Francisco        79,999
620,631 26,407 335,482
A Combined Total of 982,520.
Which is only &%% of the 11,251,000 acres, page 17 of the Forestry Commissioners' Report proves to have been alienated before December 31, 1910.
This simply means that the Government had the effrontery to foist on
the Legislature and the people of British Columbia a mere twelfth-part of
the truth in a matter of the most vital public concern. They have left completely unaccounted for the other 92% of the alienated timber of this province.
They do not tell us that the German firm of Fleishhacker Bros, of San Francisco, along with Alvo von Alvensleben, control vastly more than the 80,000
acres here recorded, although the British Columbia records do not show how
15 much.  They do not say how much of the 146,572 acres held by the Dominion
Trust was controlled by such exploiters.
These facts are covered up by misleading figures and deceptive "Returns."
Government Officials Share in the Plunder
The following Agreement and Letter show how even the small fry follow
the syndicate "sharks" in the spoliation of the public:
"Articles of Agreement made this 26th day of March, 1906, at Nakusp, B.C.
"Between A. M. Symons of Pingstone Creek, St. Leon, and John Barry
of Pingstone Creek, St. Leon, B.C.,  Parties of the First Part,
"Walter Scott, Mining Recorder, Nakusp, B.C., Party of the Second Part.
"1. Whereas the parties of the first part have some timber limits to locate
near Sugar Lake, in Yale District, and they hereby agree to give the party
of the second part, one-half interest (yi) in the sale of the timber, when
disposed of;
"2. And that party of the second part agrees to advance the monies for
advertising in the British Columbia Gazette and Mail-Herald paper, Revelstoke,
the said timber limits at Sugar Lake, Yale District, and to receive from the
parties of the first part, one-half (yi) interest in the sale of the said timber
limits, all outlays of monies to be a first lien on the said timber.
"In witness whereof the said parties to these presents have hereunto set
their hands and seals the day and year above written.
"Witness: M. C. Purcell. "A. M. SYMONS,
0 "JOHN  T.  BARRY."
"The Government of the Province of British Columbia
"Mining Recorder's Office
"Nakusp, B.C., Feb. 26,  1915.
"M. B. Cotsworth, F.G.S., Accountant,
"Dominion Hotel, Victoria
"Dear Sir,—In reply to yours of the 24th inst., re John T. Barry's estate,
I beg to enclose copy of agreement dated 26th March, 1906, and copy of the
number of the 14 Timber Licences that John T. Barry had an one-fourth (ytf)
interest in,
"The Government is going to give relief to Timber Holders. I have done
my best re this Barry interest, caring for it as my own.
"No licences has been surveyed, estimate of Timber 10,000,000 m to the
mile. Character of Timber, Cedar 55 per cent., Pine 15 per cent, and the other
30 per cent, made up of Fir, Spruce and Hemlock.
"I am interested in 25 miles of Timber, and in touch with a party from
the States, and offered the 25 miles for $5,000 a mile, that is including the
14 miles that J. T. Barry has one-fourth (%) interest in. I expect to get
word some of these days if they will take the proposition up.
"I am just as anxious as Mr. Barry to sell. War came on last year and
knocked everything flat. After the war is over we expect good trade in
timber; more enquiry already.
"Two years ago I went up to Revelstoke with Mr. Barry and B. G.
Hutchison, of Dodd Investment Company, of Spokane, Washington. R. G.
Hutchison was acting as Mr. Barry's lawyer or agent, and got all the particulars you are asking me for. Ask Mr. Barry if that is not so. My lawyer
told Mr. Barry that if I had been many a person, I would have sold the
Barry interest at his death and been rid of same. (So you understand my
position in the matter. It has cost me a large sum in holding the 25 miles
of Timber).   It will be good some day.
"Yours truly,
"(Signed) WALTER SCOTT."
A letter from the manager of the Imperial Bank in Revelstoke, dated
March 9, 1915, shows that the above Mr. Scott has "pledged 25 Provincial
Timber Licenses to the Bank as security to certain advances. Licenses were
issued to A. N. Symons, and we hold a transfer from Symons to Scott, but
the transfer has never been registered on the books of the Department" IV.   PULP  LEASES  AND  MILLS
It is unnecessary to trace in detail the course of the legislation which kept
congenial pace with the speculator's footsteps in the Pulp and Paper
industry (?) in British Columbia, and fostered his opportunities as fully as
in the case of the Timber exploitations. Space forbids. It is enough to say
that the Amendment to the Land Act of 1901 which caused Pulp Leases, to
be granted "upon very liberal terms," resulted in a number of companies being
"formed at once to take advantage of the provisions of the Act" (Forestry
Report, p. 50). By end of 1902 large districts had been reserved for these
companies to select Pulp lands therefrom. By 1903 enough had been selected
to provide over 80,000 tons of pulp per year and the concessions weie stopped.
Strict conditions had been laid down, regarding these leases, by which the
companies contracted to erect, equip and maintain a Pulp Mill of certain
capacity. Leases for not more than 21 years were granted at a rental of 2 cents
per acre, and a royalty of not more than 25 cents per cord cut. Four companies during 1903-1907 acquired 554 square miles or 354,399 acres oi timber
for this purpose. But under the paternal administration of the McBride
Government, all these companies pleaded inability "to comply with the literal
requirements and conditions of leases, and made repeated applications for
extensions of time in which to fulfill their contracts. These were invariably
granted," and by 1910 "only one of the companies had actually constructed
and equipped a mill."  All the leases, however, still existed.
Every company practically turned itself into a Lumber and Sawmill concern issuing prospectuses which laid great stress on the great profits to be
gained in this way; some of these stated that sawmill timber was 85% of the
entire stand On their property. In some cases licenses to cut this timber
were given and agreements made which granted immense advantages to these
Companies over the ordinary Timber Companies, and gave the Treasury a
rental of $12.80 per square mile, instead of $140 as was required in the case
of a proper Timber license.
Finally came the Legislation of 1914 ("Forest Act Amendment Act," Sec.
9) extending Pulp Leases to 30 years, and of 1915, extending Water Records
and Licenses for 21 years, and providing for renewal for a similar period. Of
this more shall be said below.
Premier McBride on the Pulp Industry
The buoyant optimism of Premier McBride is clearly expressed in the
speech of the Lieutenant-Governor, when opening the Legislative Assembly
on January 21, 1915. Admitting the depression in the timber industry it is
stated that this is compensated by "the success attained in the manufacture
of Pulp and Paper products, which are finding brisk markets."
This recalls his election campaign of 1912, when in one of his speeches
he is reported as follows:
"He went on to deal with the development of the Pulp and Paper Industry
under the measure introduced by W. C. Wells, then Minister of Lands.
"(1) The Powell River Mills were now in operation after an expenditure
of $5,400,000, employed 1,200 men, all whites, and had a monthly payroll of
"(2) At Ocean Falls was another Mill on which $1,500,000 had been spent
and which, in 1911, employed 1,000 men, also all white.
"(3)  Over $1,000,000 had been spent on the Works at Swanson Bay.
"(4)  On others at Howe Sound over $600,000 had been  spent;   while
,     "(5) The British Columbia Wood, Pulp & Paper Co. had expended $400,000.
"These men were entitled to any return that was coming to them as
pioneers in the Industry." He made similar statements in the House on
February 6,  1912.
Where are these prosperous concerns today? Three of them are long
since bankrupt, and instead of about 2,400 men, the Ocean Falls, Swanson
Bay and B. C. Wood-Pulp & Paper Companies altogether now employ 3 men
as caretakers. Their capital has been largely wasted, the creditors and shareholders robbed wholesale, their workers thrown into the ranks of the unemployed, while the greedy gang of promoters have secured their, hold on the
plunder, because the Ministers of the Crown in B. C. failed to do their duty
in protecting the public.
17 It is impossible to deal with the tortuous details here, but Mr. Cotsworth
sets them forth in the larger booklet he is publishing. Meanwhile the briefest
outline is given regarding the two most flagrant of the wrongs.
Germans Capture the "Ocean Falls"
Premier McBride did not mention in the above speech that the share
Capital of the Ocean Falls Company was watered to $6,000,000, of which the
$4,500,000 above what he had quoted as being put into development, was
divided in stock between the wily "promoters" and their friends. That
$4,500,000 was exacted for the 79,999 acres of Pulp-Timber and Waterpower,
and the 260 acres acquired from the Government in January, 1907, by the
Bella Coola Development Company as per agreement below (see also Forestry
Report, p. 25). For these leases the Public Treasury gets (or is supposed to
get) 2 cents per acre, and even that paltry total of $1,600 was paid through
the usual "Trust Co." employed to hide the exploiter's names from the public.
The following excerpts from the Agreement demonstrate how the $4,500,-
000 was taken:
"Agreement dated the 23rd day of October, 1909.
"Between Ernest Walker, of the first part, and the Ocean Falls Company,
of the second part.
"WHEREAS the party of the first part in consideration of 800,000 Preference shares and 3,500,000 common shares in the capital stock of the Ocean
Falls Company, Ltd., and the sum of Two Hundred Thousand Dollars in
Cash, agrees to sell, and the party of the second part, agrees to purchase
Lot 31 in the Coast District of British Columbia, containing 260 acres more
or less, together with the Water Rights and Water Licenses appurtenant and
together with the two Wood-pulp leases numbered 1 and 2, both dated 9th
January, 1907, and given to the Bella Coola Development Company.
"The said shares ($4,300,000 worth) hereinbefore mentioned are to be issued
and the ($200,000) cash paid, as soon as the said properties have been validly
transferred to the party of the second part, and the consent of the Chief
Commissioner of Lands given to the assignment of the said leases.
"IN WITNESS whereof we have this 23rd day of October, 1909, hereunto
attached our names.
"Ocean  Falls   Company,   Ltd.
"SIGNED in the presence of "H. PERCY GORST,
•   "W. W. GRIFFIN "Chairman, Shareholders' Meeting.
"Secretary, Shareholders' Meeting."
But this is only the first stage of the progress of these two Pulp Leases,
which brings them into the hands of the Ocean Falls Co., with the consent
of the Chief Commissioner of Lands. Here they remain for a time, while a
multitude of innocent "shareholders," chiefly resident in Great Britain, are
drained of their life-long savings to meet the over-capitalization of $4,500,000.
Then comes the flotation of the "Pacific Mills, Limited,'' by Fleishhacker
Bros., a German Syndicate in San Francisco, to take over all the assets of
the bankrupt "Ocean Falls Co." Briefly put it amounts to this: This German
combination have been deliberately allowed by the B. C. Government, during
the war, to float $10,154,500 of stock, through the registration of a $500 Company in the Attorney-General's Department on November 27, 1914. (File
2270, Registrar's Office.) By that means Mortimer Fleishhacker and Herbert
Fleishhacker, with William Pierce Johnson (all of San Francisco), each received one-third of those 10,154,500 shares in the "Pacific Mills, Limited,"
which they are using to swallow up the Ocean Falls' inflated capitalization
of $6,000,000, together with the Pulp Mill and the 79,999 acres of Pulp Timber,
Waterpower and the small oddment of 260 acres freehold.
18 How These Germans Dictate B. C. Laws
On the same file in the office of the Registrar of Companies is another
document of great interest in the light of subsequent events. The following
are extracts:
"Agreement dated the 26th of January, 1914.
"Between J. Hamilton Benn and N. F. O'Brien, of London (England), as
sub-committee of Committee representing Bondholders of the First and Second Mortgage issued by Ocean Falls Company, Ltd., hereinafter termed the
first parties of the First part, and Mortimer Fleishhacker, Herbert Fleishhacker and William Pierce Johnson, of San Francisco, hereinafter called the
second parties of the Second part.
"Whereas, by an Agreement bearing even date herewith, and made between
Archie B. Martin, Receiver of Ocean Falls Co., Limited, of the First Part,
Western Canada Trust, Limited, of the Second Part, and the First Parties
hereto of the Third Part, and the Second Parties hereto of the Fourth Part,
the said Archie B. Martin agreed to sell to the Second Parties all the properties
and assets of the Ocean Falls Co., Ltd., except certain book debts, bills
receivable, logs and lumber mentioned in Schedule "B," theretofore for the
consideration in such agreement mentioned.
"And Whereas, the whole of the consideration passing to the said Vendor
under the said Agreement is receivable by the First ar>d Second Bondholders
of the said Ocean Falls Co., Ltd., or to the said Western Canada Trust, Ltd.,
as Trustee for the said Bondholders and no part thereof will be available
for the unsecured Creditors of the  Company.
"And Whereas, there is due by the said Company to its unsecured Creditors
the sum of $310,000.00, or thereabouts, being the balance due to such Creditors
after giving credit for the sum of $300,000.00 paid in Cash—being full settlement of all labor, claims, and all debts under $1,000, and approximately 33 1-3%
of the total amount of the Creditor's Claims outstanding at the time of such
cash payment.
"And Whereas, the parties hereto are desirous of making some further
provision for the unsecured Creditors of the Company, and the Government
of British Columbia have expressed their desire and intention to assist the
parties in making such provision and with that view the said Government
have consented to grant certain concessions and rights in connection with
the property and Assets agreed to be sold by the said Archie B. Martin to
the Second Parties, and the Second Parties shall transfer or cause to be
transferred fully paid Ordinary Shares in the Capital of the New Company
hereinafter mentioned to and for the benefit of such unsecured Creditors and
to the face value of their said claim.
"Now this agreement witnesseth, and it is hereby agreed as follows:
"(a) That upon the grant by the Government of the Province of British
Columbia of a valid extension of three years in time from the extensions
relieving the owner of said 2 Pulp leases, dated January 9, 1907, of the necessity during that period of said extensions, of operating a Pulp Mill as in
said Leases required.
"(b) And upon the said Government issuing in lieu of said 2 existing
Pulp Leases, a new Pulp Lease in the name of the second parties, or their
nominees, embracing the said areas now covered by said Leases, with a
term of thirty years from the 1st day of January, 1914, with a fixed royalty
of not more than 25 cents per cord during the term thereof.
"(c) And upon the Officials of the Government having such matters in
charge giving an assurance that the Government will assist said New Company in selecting additional lands containing a sufficient reserve of timber
so that the same, together with the timber covered by said Lease (or
Leases) in sub-division (b) described, will enable such new Company to
operate continuously during a 30-year period, such additional reserve of Timber being estimated at 2,000,000,000 (two thousand million) feet, and will
grant to the said new Company a Lease for said additional Timber areas
upon the most favorable terms obtainable.
"(d) And upon the said Government granting to the second parties an
agreement definitely fixing at rates not in excess of rates prescribed by the
Water License now held by the Company, for a period of 21 years, the fees
19 to be paid for the Water License held by the Company to be organized by
the second" parties and reserving the privilege permitted to be granted by
Section 317 of the Water Act.
"The second parties will upon the happening of the events referred to in
this clause, hand to the Trustees $310,000 in shares for the unsecured Creditors
[condensed from 3 clauses].
"Reference is hereby made to the said Contract between the parties hereto
and the Receiver of the Ocean Falls Company, Ltd., and the Western Canada
Trust Company as though the same were herein fully incorporated.
"In witness whereof the parties hereto have hereunto set their hands and
seal     [No signatures.]    Filed and registered 27th November, 1914.
'   "(Signed)      H. G. GARRETT,
"Registrar of Joint Stock Cos."
All this in plain terms simply means that this German Syndicate, under
the pretext of securing the Creditors of the bankrupt Ocean Falls Co., with
the consent and assistance of the B. C. Government, receive all the Assets
of that Company (over 80,000 acres of timber, etc.), 2,000,000,000 feet of
timber additional, and such legislation as they shall dictate, in return for
which they hand to those creditors $310,000 in shares in the Company they
proceed to capitalize at $10,154,500.
Not a word is said about the shareholders in the defunct Ocean Falls Co.,
nearly all of whom are resident in the British Isles.
Notice the date of this agreement—January 26, 1914—and see what
(1) The Government of British Columbia immediately passed and made
law the "Act to Amend the Forest Act" on 4th March, 1914, which extended
these Pulp Leases to 30 years at previous rates, thus conforming to clause (b).
(2) On March 6, 1915, in the very last afternoon of the recent session they
rushed through Bill No. 77, "An Act Respecting the Use of Water by Pulp
and Paper Companies," which in the identical terms of the Fleishhacker Agreement extends "the water records and licenses" "for a period of 21 years," "at
the rates specified in the agreement," which may be made by the Minister
of Lands with any existing Company which may desire to secure "the assets
and undertaking of an existing Company." It is also enacted that the licenses
may be extended for a further period of 21 years. This satisfies clause (d)
of the German agreement.
(3) On March 1, 1915, when Mr. Parker Williams asked in the Assembly,
"Has any undertaking or promise been made to any parties that pulp leases
will be granted?"; also what leases had been granted during the year 1914,
Hon. W. R. Ross replied by merely referring to the lease to be granted to
the B. C. Sulphite Fibre Co. for 211 million feet, and never mentioned the
agreement or lease to be given to the Fleishhacker Co.
These Germans already controlled 134,371 acres of pulp timber through
the Powell River Pulp Co., and it seems impossible to conceive that, in handing them this 79,999 acres also, the Government of B. C. would have so
prodigally promised them an additional 2,000,000,000 feet solely in the interests
of the "unsecured creditors."
Friends Profit and the Public Lose in Quatsino Deal
In 1904 and 1906 two Pulp Leases at Quatsino, covering 55,669 acres and
about 25,000 horse-power Water Records, were secured by a Victoria Syndicate headed by Mr. C. H. Lugrin, editor of the "Daily Colonist." These have
been held by different "promoters" and Companies for about ten years though
the legal conditions have never been fulfilled. They are now estimated as
worth $4,500,000 to pulp-makers—exclusive of Royalties. In 1908 Mr. Lugrin
and his friends received about $80,000 for these concessions by transferring
them to W. Greely Kolts, an American exploiter. They got about $1.44 per
acre, while the B. C. Treasury was supposed to get 6 cents (3 years rental).
Kolts, in 1909, transferred them to the Western Canada Pulp & Paper Co.,
getting $1,500 cash, $100,000 in shares and $30,000 commission for the "deal."
Seven months later Kolts induced this Company to sell to the B. C.
Wood-Pulp & Paper Co. which he himself and a confederate had formed.
Out of this deal Kolts was to get $8,000 cash and $170,000 in shares.
In 1910, circulars issued to shareholders in the B. C. Wood-Pulp & Paper
Co. state these leases will soon be worth $2,000,000.
20 The subsequent tortuous manipulations of these leases by certain "promoters" (including Lester W. David, of Chicago), aided by Messrs. Ellison,
Ross and Bowser, Ministers of the Crown, through which the people of B. C.
have been dispossessed of property worth $4,500,000, are set forth by Mr.
Cotsworth in his forth-coming booklet.
The correspondence on file in the office of the Minister of Lands shows
that Lester David, at one stage of the game, followed Mr. Bowser to Ottawa
to secure his influence in a certain transfer. From there Mr. Bowser wrote
the Minister of Lands to put through the deal. This was done by agreement
between the Minister and Lester David, dated 29th May, 1911, for a fee of
$10, although there were $2,227 arrears in rental on the timber alone. David
never fulfilled the terms of agreement, and up till January, 1915, the arrears,
now nearly $8,000, had not been paid.
The Pulp and Paper Company "promotions" alluded to above are only
typical of hundreds of such gross exploitations of the people by which thousands of our most worthy and hard-working citizens have been reduced to
poverty, and from which they have received absolutely no protection by the
Legislators and Administrators of law in this Province. The real cause of
the Financial Stringency, Business Depression and Unemployment in British
Columbia today is not the war, but the artful operations by which the money
of honest investors has been diverted from real development of provincial
resources into the crooked channels of speculation, company promotion and
Much of this has been done under what practically amounted to Government patronage,  witness the  following letter:
"TO THE PUBLIC: "Victoria, B.C., Nov. 26,  1912.
"The standing, ability and reputation of the officers and directors of the
Albion Trust Co., Ltd., the broad scope of their plans and their large capital
and extensive business experience, make it an enterprise which will benefit
the people of Western Canada as well as its stockholders.
"Minister of Finance,
"British Columbia."
The use to which such a letter was put in the spoliation of the public is
plain from the following, written after almost a year of injury done to those
who put their confidence in the above public endorsement of what turned out
to be a wholesale swindle:
"Messrs. Albion Trust Co., Ltd. "Aug- 19th> 1913'
"Victoria, B. C.
"Dear Sirs: We are instructed by Hon. Mr. Price Ellison to notify that
he will institute proceedings for an injunction to restrain the publication at
any place in any way of a letter signed by Mr. Ellison and addressed to your
Company, unless your Company forthwith publish the fact that the letter is
"The  Official  reports  of the  return   in  the  Canadian   and   English   Press
will have the effect of notifying the public that the letter is not backed by
Mr. Ellison at present. „\t i
v Yours very truly,
"Per B."
In keeping with this was the literature sent out by the Dominion Stock
& Bond Co. with the same Minister's name upon it as President of the Company, in order to sell land at prices from $27.50 to $40 per acre, much of which
had been got from the Government at $1 per acre.
Personal inspection and summation of the Registry Books and papers in
the office of the Registrar of Companies, show that such Companies have
been sanctioned without any adequate control, with such results as were
made famous in the case of the Dominion Trust and a host of others equally
21 Amazing Capitalization Sanctioned by Government
The "Tabulated List" of Limited Liability Companies issued in 1912
shows that there were allowed in B. C. no less than 4,760 such Companies,
floated mostly on "watered stock" and reaching the amazing capitalization of
$1,177,509,445, which averages more than $3,000 per head for every man, woman
and child in the Province—a record unheard of. This does not mean that
this amount was ever attempted to be raised, but that groups of five or
more men were authorized to exploit the people and resources of B. C. to
that extent.
That vast sum is still far short of the full total, as it does not include the
larger Limited Companies in B. C. which have their headquarters elsewhere,
such as the following:
The Canadian Pacific Ry. Co.'s Mileage in B. C.
The Grand Trunk Ry. Co.'s Mileage in B. C.
*The Pacific Great Eastern Ry. Co.'s Mileage in B. C.
♦The Canadian Northern Pacific Ry. Co.'s Mileage in B. C.
71 nor the B. C. Electric Co.'s $40,000,000 London,   England
74 Canadian Western Lumber Co.     10,000,000 Toronto
84 British Canadian Lbr.  Corp.     20,000,000 Quebec
84 Canadian  (Dunsmuir)   Coal     15,000,000 England
85 Canadian Explorers, B. C. portion —      5,000,000 Quebec
91 Mackenzie & Mann Co.       5,000,000 Toronto
92 Prince Rupert Hydro Elec. Co.       5,000,000 Quebec
96 B.  C.  Packers'  Association         4,000,000 New Jersey, U. S. A.
96 Corbin Coal & Coke Co.       5,000,000 Spokane, U. S. A.
98 Telkwa  Mining  Co.         5,000,000 Seattle,  U.S.A.
100 Empire Lumber Co., B. C. portion..      6,250,000 Delaware, U. S. A.
103 North America Timber Hold.  Co.—    15,000,000 Delaware, U. S. A.
691 B. C.  Breweries        5,000,000 Canada
808 Canadian Northern Town Prop.  —_    10,000,000 Toronto
And others too numerous to mention, beyond the above which total 150
Millions of Dollars.
*Add to this the known $80,000,000 for the C. N. R. and P. G. E. Guaran-
' tees, making another sub-total of $230,000,000 exclusive of the C. P.  R. and
G. T. P.; and bringing the grand total up to $1,407,509,445.
There are a few "Reconstructed Companies" in the 1,200 Million Dollars
listed, but they are more than counter-balanced by the many other B. C.
Companies, controlled from outside B. C, with separate capitalizations of
less than $4,000,000 each.
The gross injury put upon this Province and its people by this immense
over-capitalization and the consequent ruinous failures of such concerns as
the Dominion Trust, Albion Trust, C. H. I. C, Alpha Mortgage Co., National
Finance, &c, &c, could have been easily prevented by such a measure as
the "Sale of Shares Act," now in force in many parts of America and Europe.
This Act, as in force in Manitoba for the last three years, has effectively
controlled all company promotions, and is well-known to the Attorney-General
of B. C. During last session, before Mr. Bowser introduced his Amendment
to the Company's Act, Mr. Cotsworth interviewed Speaker Eberts and requested him to urge the Government to adopt this "Sale of Shares Act," for
the proper protection of the people against such exploitations as instanced
above, but without result.
For the average elector who may take the trouble to look into the bulky
volume of "Public Accounts" the feeling is inevitable that it is an absolutely
hopeless task to try to find where or how the public money goes in detail.
Expenditures are so frequently lumped together in confusing totals, names
and details so frequently missing, that the statistics are often unreliable and
practically useless. Large sums can be squandered or entirely disappear and
even the expert find it impossible to check them properly.
Only a few illustrations of how the public funds are used can be included
here, and totals only given to save space.
For the year  1902-1903,  just preceding  the   entrance   to   power   of   the
22 McBride Administration, the total Revenue, divided by the population of that
day shows $11.44 per head. After 10 years, 1913-1914, the total is $26.70, or,
deducting the "not permanent" items for Chinese Immigration, Land Sales
and Fees, which come to $6.70, we find the total Revenue per head of population to be $20; an increase of $8.56 per head in the ten years.
With this we must compare the expenditure, which in 1902-1903 was $19.90
per head, and in 1913-1914 was $40.70, being $20.80 increase; i.e., the increase
of expenditure per head in the 10 years is $12.24 above the increase of revenue
for the same period.
Year Revenue Expenditure           Deficit               Surplus
1902-3   $2,044,630 $3,393,182          $1,348,552*
1903-4  2,638,261 2,862,794 224,533*	
1904-5  2,920,462 2,302,418                                          $618,044
1905-6  3,044,442 2,328,126                                             716,316
1906-7  4,444,594 2,849,480                                       1,595,114
1907-8  5,979,055 3,686,350                                       2,292,705
1908-9  4,664,501 3,749,171 (Nine months)              915,330
1909-10  8,874,742 6,382,993                                       2,491,749
1910-11    10,492,892 8,194,803                                         2,298,089
1911-12  10,745,709 11,189,024               443,315
1912-13  12,510,215 15,412,322             2,902,107
1913-14  10,479,259 15,762,912            5,283,653
1914-15    10,048,915 13,742,010             3,693,095   As per public
1915-16   7,034,615 11,163,056            4,128,441     estimates
McBride Government Totals  $16,450,611 $10,927,347
Gross Deficit  $5,523,264
* Mostly for Bridge at New Westminster.
The above figures from the Public Accounts and Government's estimate
prove that during the last four years and present year the whole surplus
accumulated during the preceding seven years has been exhausted with an
additional $5,523,264.
In the Department of Agriculture alone the expenses reach a total that
averages $17 per head for every occupier the 1911 Census records as being on
the land. And this does not include the heavy expenses for printing, stationery,
postage, etc., which brings the total up to about $20 per head. $245,836 of
expenditure on this Department is not placed directly to its account, but
scattered under Miscellaneous expenditures from "votes" 240 to 257 and
elsewhere, so that the real facts are hidden.
In the Attorney-General's Department the estimates for Constitutional
Litigation and general law costs have leaped from $6,000 when Mr. Bowser
took office to $40,000 in 1914. But these estimates were overrun in his first
year by $10,000, and in the second by $15,000; and the total expense for this
purpose in seven years reaches approximately $196,000, while we only know
of one Constitutional case that has been won in that period.
The Public Debt of B. C, as given in the "Public Accounts" for 1913-1914,
would seem to be now reduced to $1.35 per head of the population, as against
$5.23 per head in 1903—a reduction of 75 per cent. But the fact is that it is
really being increased to $11.88 per head; more than double the amount in
1903, or nearly 9 times the $1.35 per head indicated by the 1914 Accounts.
The last "Estimates" show an increase from $1.35 per head of population to
$2.94, but this does not include the $8.94 per head falling due as interest on the
tremendous Railway Guarantees imposed on the country by the McBride
Government, a total of $3,507,608 per year.    (See below on Railway Burdens.)
Bogus Assets in Balance-Sheet
Turning to the Provincial "Balance-Sheet," on p. 9 of the "Public Accounts,"
we find, directly above the signature of the Auditor-General, the "Balance of
Liabilities over Assets" for this Province to be $7,227,183.31.
The "Assets" given, however, include some items which should properly
be removed and  so would increase this  liability by almost $250,000.
The $15,525.33 due for "Advance to Farmers for seed in 1895  (re Fraser
23 River floods)" is 20 years old and cannot now be collected, as some of the
men are dead and most of the others have moved away.
Another false "Asset" is the $232,975.20 paid for Interest on the Bonds
of the Nakusp and Slocan Railway. The Government handed that Railway
over to the C. P. R. in 1912.   But the worst is yet to come.
Deliberate Suppression of Millions of Arrears
On January 26, 1915, Premier McBride solemnly told the Legislators that
there was upwards of $14,000,000 or $15,000,000 due to the B. C. Treasury by
land purchasers in arrears ("Province," 27th January, 1915). Three days later
Hon. W. R. Ross stated the amount was only $9,020,000 ("Province," January
30). Which of them are we to believe? Or did neither of them know?
Let us see.
On pages 9 and 19 of the Journals of the Legislative Assembly of B. C,
is recorded the fact that on the 20th January, 1914, "On the motion of Mr.
Williams, seconded by Mr. Place, it was Resolved,"—
That an order of the House be granted for a Return showing the total
sums overdue the Treasury from:
1.   The Sale of Townsite Lots.
2     Sale of Agricultural Lands.
3. Timber Licenses.
4. Timber Royalty.
5. Purchase, Lease and Rental of Coal and Petroleum Lands.
That Return which should have been in the "Public Accounts" ready for
use of the people's representatives in the Assembly, was presented (vide
page 19), on January 28, 1914, by the Hon. Mr. Ross, in 5 lines without any
details, thus:
1. Sale of Townsite Lots  $3,127,695
2. Sale of Agricultural Land —     9,667,618
3. Timber Licenses   Nil
4. Timber Royalty        187,666
5. Purchase, Lease and Rental of Coal and Petroleum Lands 10,784
These figures were read by Mr. Ross, but were carefully omitted from the
printed page in both the "Votes and Proceedings" for that day, and the
"Journals of the Legislative Assembly." They were discovered by Mr. Cotsworth pigeon-holed in the Clerk's cupboard long afterwards. These figures are
of immense importance to the people of British Columbia, since they represent assets of practically $13,000,000 that should be given in the Public
Accounts of this Province. Why were they suppressed? Has the Government refused to place that amount on record, because payment must wait till
its friends have sold at large profit to the actual settler?
That this omission was intentional, is proved by the fact that when Mr.
Parker Williams, in the recent Session, on February 23, 1915, secured an
order for a "Return" covering the very same details up to December 31, 1914,
the "Return" was never made, and Premier McBride, 11 days later, stated it
could not be prepared in time before the House closed. But the Return of
the previous year had been presented in 8 days, and then suppressed. These
facts are in handy-ledgers and returns could be made in short time.
The fact is the Government were afraid to disclose the large sums owing
to the Treasury for Royalties, Licenses, Leases and purchases of the provincial lands and resources. Nor dare they give out the names, addresses and
vast land areas held by their confederates who owe most of the $13,000,000
the arrears due this Province.
N.B. The total arrears shown in the Dominion Public Accounts are only
$15,575,126, which is practically equalled by B. C. if interest were added td
the arrears due to this Province.
In this connection it may be mentioned that the Provincial Ledgers
reveal   some   interesting   things   that   seem   to   require   close   investigation.
Re Pasture Leases, Folios 205 ff. show that nine men hold more than half the
pasture leases issued during 1909, each about 1,000 acres, for which the rental
is $150 per year. These were all issued in 1909, yet only one year's rental
has been paid, though all are held in care of the firm of Bowser, Reid &
24 In the case of Oyster Bed Leases, which run for 21 years, Folios 266 to 274
reveal the fact that every one held in care of Bowser, Reid & Wallbridge has
been cut to a yearly rental of 50 cents per acre, while all others pay $1.   The
proper amounts (in case of those held in care of the Attorney-General's firm)
have been crossed out and the lower figures written in, while most of them are
several years in arrears.
Colossal Burdens Imposed by Railroads
One other item of public indebtedness is all that may be touched herein.
It has become so notorious it needs no discussion, yet the colossal burden
it will inevitably place on the people of this ill-fated Province demands some
In 1909 the agreement made with the Canadian Northern Railway, by
which the Bonds of that Railway were,guaranteed, both Principal and Interest,
was finally completed by Messrs. McBride and Bowser before they even consulted the Executive Council. This was so unconstitutional, and threatened
to injure the Province so seriously, that the Ministers of Finance and Lands
both immediately resigned, the former, Hon. Capt. Tatlow, stating that he
knew it was practically impossible for the C. N. R. to pay the interest on
the Bonds, and the Province would inevitably be called upon to pay it. Also
he claimed that Messrs. Mackenzie & Mann would keep coming back for more
money until they landed the  Province in  serious  financial  difficulty.
In February, 1912, Premier,: McBride brought in a Bill to provide for
further extension of the C. N. R. lines. In his -speech in the House, on
February 22, he stated, "Our present contract in this Bill ... is in the same
terms as the agreement of two years ago, and the same conditions are
involved." "I would say that the most prejudiced critic will agree that the
Canadian Northern has been a factor of tremendous benefit—a God-send to
British Columbia, and a blessing to the people of Canada." ("B. C. Magazine,"
February, 1912.)
What are the facts today? The "Public Accounts" show, on p. 27, that
this Province has guaranteed both Principal and Interest at 4 to Al/2 per cent,
of this Company's Bonds to a total of nearly $48,000,000.
The following table shows the Guarantees for this and others:
Canadian Northern Pacific Ry. — $47,950,000 Principal, and Interest at Ay2%
Pacific Great Eastern Ry.     31,710,000 " " " 4^%
Nakusp and Slocan Ry.         647,072 " " " 4%
Total   - — $80,332,072
Also a total of Railway Subsidies to Kettle Valley Ry. of $1,550,000.
According to answer made to Mr. Parker Williams on February 5, 1915,
a further amount of $10,000,000 will be needed to complete the P. G. E. Ry.
between Vancouver and Fort George, "over and above the Provincial Guarantees" already  given.
According to "Journals of B. C. Legislature for 1914," pp. 134-35, the
Canadian Northern Pac. Ry. Co. had previously applied for 7.365 acres for
Townsite purposes, out of which they have already made millions by real
estate exploitation.
Nothing is more morally certain than that the people of this province will
have to pay the interest of this huge indebtedness, as it has always had to
do in other cases for the past 12 years, as the following table shows (Public
Accounts, p. 21):
Railwav Yearly Interest
KaUway B. C. Paid
Nakusp & Slocan $26,200
Shuswap & Okanagan :     51.000
Victoria & Sidney       6.030
Towards which Victoria City pays yearly       9,000
Approximate Yearly Interest paid for Railways $92,230
How can it be done in a province where 90% of the best accessible land is in
the hands of unscrupulous combines, where every great natural resource has
be_en_ alienated wholesale from the people who are being forced to bear these
criminal burdens, who are already suffering untold miseries through unemployment and hardship directly resulting from such greed and fraud as is
outlined in these pages?
25 Thorough Investigation Needed
The whole story is not told here. Only the most thorough and impartial
investigation, by absolutely reliable and highly-trained investigators, into the
whole course of public affairs for years past, can lay bare the data for the
complete story. Never has there seemed graver cause for such an inquiry
in the interests of a people robbed and spoiled. All names and'addresses of
Companies, Syndicates and individuals who have knowingly engaged in the
exploitation of the Province or its people, or shared in the plunder, should be
published without fear or favor, and the guilty parties in Governmental or
other circles made to stand by the consequences.
It is the urgent duty of the people of British Columbia to demand that
such measures be taken, either by a Royal Judicial Commission appointed by
the Dominion Government, or by a Royal Commission from the Imperial
Government at London.
Our appeal is to the conscience of the people irrespective of party. If
this Province is to be saved from economic and social ruin, and from further
political degradation; if the heritage of its people is ever to be restored to
them, it can only be done by all right-thinking men facing the present situation, demanding most thorough investigation and calling to strict account
those who have brought about these conditions. For men of all parties this
is the supreme duty of the present hour.
Table showing the "Answers to Questions 5 to 13" suppressed by Agricultural Commissioners' Report. The answers sent in show that out of the
29 Provincial Assessors, only 9 reported any Government Land for Settlers
within 20 miles of Roads or Railways, as seen below:
Gross Area    Acres for
District Acres        Cultivation
Fort Steele  15,000 3,750
Golden    50,000 30,000
Kamloops    2,400,000 600,000
Kettle River  28,266 2,000
Nicola  920,442 30,000
Hazelton    100,000 50,000
Prince Rupert  2,177,200 43,544
Slocan  1,000,000 2,000
Vernon     1,267,200 63,360
Deducting Kamloops' and Vernon's 663,360 acres needing costly irrigation
before "Settlers" can possibly earn a living upon it, leaves 161,294 acres as
available for settlement within 20 miles of Railroad or Wagon Road throughout the whole province.
Table of Applications to Purchase Crown Lands in British Columbia during
the years 1908, 1909 and 1910.
Year    Date District
1908 April 16    Cranbrpok
May 21 Omineca
July 16 Omineca	
July 16 Skeena    1
July 23 Omineca   	
July 30 Skeena,  Q.C.I.	
July 30 Skeena,  Q.C.I.	
Oct. 22 Skeena,  Q.C.I.	
Aug. 6 Cariboo    : 1
Dec. 3 Cranbrook	
Agent's Name Acres
James Fisher .  10,000
James A. Hickey  15,000
Chas. E   Mahon  28,000
W. W. Clarke  10,000
Hartly A. Cullon  15,000
Alfred  C.   Garde     12,000
Angus Beaton  7,000
Geo. B. Campbell _._".  13,000
Allan Stewart .  15,840
Geo. O. Leask  19,200
10 "Stakers" averaged 14,504 acres in the total of  145,040
1909 Jan.     7    Skeena,   Q.C.I. 1 F. B. Allard  17,000
April 22    Fort  George       Richard  Grayston    10,000
April 29    Fort George 1 W.  Hay Meikle   9,600
26 Year    Date                 District                         Agent's Name Acres
1909 April 29 Skeena       James   Watt     14,000
May 27 Fort George       Chas.  H.   Pinker    7,400
July     3 Omineca       James Dorsey  10,000
July    3 Omineca       Wm. H. Wilson  10,000
July   10 Skeena          A.   E.  Johnston  —  13,000
July    2 Omineca       Frank Watson    16,000
July   15 Omineca       B. W. Huckell  9,000
July  22 Omineca       Jno. J. Matz   10,000
July   22 Fort George       D. E. Harris  10,000
Aug.    5 Omineca       Matt   Haller     23,000
Aug. 12 Cariboo       Philip White —'  17,000
Aug. 12 Omineca       Frank Watson  12,800
Aug.    5 Omineca       Robt.  Leake Gale   14,000
Aug. 26 Omineca       Matt.  Haller    12,800
Sept.   2 Omineca       John Dorsey  12,800
Sept.   9 Omineca 2 A.  Beaton  (went to stake coal) 12,800
Sept. 30 Omineca       Anton Oleson  18,000
Sept. 30 Omineca       J. W. Davis  7,000
Oct.     7 Fort Fraser 1 D. D. McPhail  44,800
Oct.   14 Skeena,  Q.C.I. 2 F.  B.  Allard     28,000
Oct.   21 Cariboo   2 W, Hay Meikle   20,480
Nov. 26 Omineca       F. H. Watson  20,000
23 "Stakers" averaged 16,508 acres  in  the  total  of    379,680
1910 Jan.   20    Skeena 2 Allan   Stewart     6,400
Jan.   20    Omineca 2 Frank Watson   46,000
Feb.   17    Cariboo       B. W. Dutcher  16,640
Feb.   17    Cariboo 3 W.   Hay   Meikle     14,000
Mar.    3    Fort George       A.   E.  Johnston    12,000
Mar.    3    Cariboo    1 W.   R.   Harrison     16,800
Mar.    3    Fort St. John 2 W.   R.   Harrison     50,500
Mar. 10    Fort George 1 Fred  C. Johnston    11,500
Mar. 24    Cassiar 1 Robt. Macdonald  16,800
Mar. 24    Cassiar 2 Robt. Macdonald -  15,260
Mar. 24    Cariboo 2 Fred C. Johnston  14,200
Mar. 31    Cariboo 4 W. Hay Meikle   8,900
April   7    Lillooet       Jonathan  Graham    14,080
April   7    Lillooet       J. P. Cunningham  15,000
April   7    Cariboo   .__• 1 R. T. Alexander  17,920
April 14    Victoria       J.  W.  Williams    6,000
April 21    Skeena, Q.C.I.       J.G.Johnstone   17,900
April 21    Cariboo 1 W.   H.   Harrison     9,200
April 28    Cariboo       Jas.  Hofercamp    14,500
April 28    Cariboo  1  Geo. E. Bowes  6,600
April 28    Cariboo  1 P.  G.  B.  Boedeker   6,600
April 28    Lillooet       J. D. Cunningham  6,000
April 28    Skeena,  Q.C.I.       E. J.  Tingley    7^680
April 28    Fort George 2 Geo. E. Bowes  52,220
May  12    Cariboo     1 James   Shepherd     6,000
May  12    Fort George       S. J. Henderson  6^600
May  12    Cariboo 1 Fred Shepherd  17,400
May  12    Cariboo 2 James   Shepherd     18,000
27 Year Date
1910 May 12
May 19
May 19
May 19
May 19
May 19
May 19
May 26
May 26
June 2
June 2
June 10
June 16
June 16
June 23
June 23
June 23
June 23
June 23
June 23
June 23
July 14
July 14
July 14
July 21
July 21
July 28
July 28
Aug. 4
Aug. 4
Aug. 18
Aug. 18
Aug. 25
Sept. 1
Sept. 8
Sept. 8
Sept. 8
Sept. 15
Sept. 22
Skeena, Q.C.I	
Fraser Lake  	
Fort George	
Fort George	
Fort George	
Fort George	
Fort George	
Fort George	
Cariboo and Lillooet
Cassiar    '.-
Peace   River  	
Fort George	
Omineca .—
Cariboo :	
Agent's Name Acres
1 Jas. F. Wood  12,000
2D.   D.   McPhail    6,400
1 Henry A. Porter  12,000
3 D.   D.   McPhail     8,000
A. J.   Gordon    14,000
1 Arthur Robertson  19,200
O. W. Rogers  10,000
D. H. Hoy  9,600
Geo.  Ogston   14,000
James   Deacon    25,000
5 W.  Hay Meikle   6,400
W. V   Bowron  19,200
2 R.  T.  Alexander   _______ 7,000
Chas.  Crowhurst   12,800
2 P. G. B. Boedeker  8,000
1 H.  L. Walters   9,500
W   W.  Wood   — 12,000
1 S.  P.  Dunlevy   12,000
Wm.  Dale    12,500
1 C. H. Walker  12,000
2 W. H. Sanders  10,000
2 S.   P.  Dunlevy    10,000
1 W. H. Sanders  10.000
J.  S.  H.  Rowbottom    20,000
2 Jas. F. Wood   36,000
3 Robert McDonald  38,000
Peter  Hamilton   10,000
1 Hans  P.   Gellstadt    24,000
2 Hans   P.   Gellstadt    14,000
4 Robert McDonald  13,000
Sam   Rossetti     12,000
Thos. C. Watson  12.000
Jas.  W.  Smith    32,000
1 W. W. McKirdy .  26,800
Robert Sparrow  15,000
Wm.   West     12,800
Jas. McVittie  6,400
Frank Dix   8,000
Wallace   Cunningham     10,000
John D. Nelson  12,900
J.  F.   Beatty   12,800
Jas. Livingston  10,000
Frank R. Strohn  7,600
2 W. H. Harrison  15.000
Geo. Fairbairn  10.000
James  Wilkins    13,000
J.  E.  Longton     28,200
Jas. H. Pettry  30,000
Eugene Croteau  34,000
2 Jas. H. Pettry  62,800
2 Arthur Robertson  18,000
3 James   Shepherd     40,400
2 Fred S. Shepherd  15.000
Donald McCallum  9,800
2 C. H. Walker  9,000
Fred  C.  Jones    22,500
28 Year Date
1910 Sept
Sept. 22
Sept. 29
Sept. 29
District    '                       Agent's  Name Acres
Cariboo       A.   P   Mclnnes    12,800
Skeena,  B.I.    1  B. L.' Tingley  22,400
Skeena       John Dybbarn  12,800
Skeena       L.  C.  Rattray  12,800
Cariboo ' 2 W.   McKirdy     14,000
Omineca       Albert   Goulet     13,000
Skeena,  Q.C.I. 3 Arthur Robertson  12,800
Nelson         p.  H. Siemen  10,000
Fraser Lake 2 Henry A. Porter  8,200
Cassiar ._      Angus   J.   Macdonald     7,000
Fort Fraser       E   E   Knight  8,400
Skeena,  B.I.   2 B.  L. Tingley  20,000
Cariboo       O. B. Allan  25.600
Cariboo       A. G   Davis -  10,000
Peace River       Carl J:  Kirk    18,000
Cariboo   3 Hans P. Gellstadt  36,400
Cassiar       Daniel Macdonald  14,000
Cariboo 2 Harry L. Walters  22,400
Cariboo       Jno.  Wm.  Allan    22,400
Cassiar       Alfred   Woodcioft     10,000
Lillooet       Philip  Macdonald    11,400
Cassiar   3 W.  H.  Harrison    11,000
Cariboo       George McGee  15,840
Cariboo 4 H   P.  Gellstadt    16,000
Skeena    2 W.  W.  Clark    6,400
84 "Stakers" averaged 20,831 acres in the total of   1,749,840
The above "Applications" to Purchase Land were abstracted from the
"B. C. Gazettes" by 'W. W. Baer and published in the Victoria "Times" on
6th December,  1913.
The figures 1 to 5 are inserted in middle column to indicate those "stakers"
who exploited several subsequent areas.
Land Areas "Staked" arid Applied For by 117 "Stakers" in 3 Years
Arranged  According  to  Districts
Land District Acres
Cariboo '       13,000
Coast —    	
Fort Fraser ant? Lake	
Fort   George  —\	
Omineca          58,000
Skeena   :       10,000
Total for G. T. P. and C. N. R. Areas      81,000
Cranbrook       29,200
Nelson "	
Peace River	
Say ward	
Skeena, Q.C.I. .       34,840
Total for Other Districts      64,040
Total those 117 "stakers" staked     145,040 379,680 1,749,840
29 Names of the leaders who during these initial three years staked more
than 20,000 acres here follow in alphabetical order:
Acreage staked Acreage staked
before before
Agent employed— Dec. 31, 1910 Agent employed— Dec. 31, 1910
F.  B. Allard        45,000 W.  McKirdy       40,800
O. B. Allan —      25,600 D. D. McPhail      58,000
Jno. Wm. Allan      22,400 Jno. D. Nelson      25,800
Geo. E. Bowes      58,800 Jas. H. Pettry      92,800
Eugene Croteau      34,000 Arthur Robertson      50,000
S. P. Dunlevy      22,000 Tas.  Shepherd        64,400
Hans P. Gellstadt      90,000 Jas. W. Smith ...      32,000
Mat Haller —     35,000 Allan Stewart       22,240
W. R. Harrison      67,300 B. L. Tingley      42,400
W. H. Harrison      35,200 C. H. Walker      21,000
A. E. Johnston      25,000 H. L. Walters —     31,900
Fred C. Johnston      25,700 Frank Watson      74,800
F. C. Jones      22,500 Jas. E. Wood .     48,000
Waw^' M^X      2X Sub t°tal for 30 "stakers"._l,282,820
Rob^Ma^onaid--:::::::: K    Bal-staked by others listed-^zi°
Robt.  McDonald         51,000 3 yrs. total for 117 stakers..2,274,560
That is 16% beyond the 1,953,490 acres which the 1914 B. C. Year Book
on page 387, records as "purchased" during the years 1909, 1910 and 1911, which
(allowing for "over-lappings") corresponds, because the "Sanction to purchase" is generally recorded next year.
Supreme Court of Canada
(Vol. XLVIII, Page 558)
1913—*Oct. 28, 29, *Nov. 3.
James H. Brownlee (Plaintiff) Appellant; and Harry Mcintosh (Defendant),
B., who laid out and inspected Crown lands as a government surveyor, furnished information to the defendant and an associate which enabled them
to secure choice locations, comprising over 7,000 acres of these lands, in
the names of a number of persons nominated by them and employed as
"stakers." Subsequently B. assisted in the disposal of the lands thus
secured to innocent purchasers under an arrangement with the defendant
and his associate that he was to participate in any profits which should be
obtained on such sales. In an action by B. to recover compensation for
the services he had rendered in regard to these sales:—■
Held, that the circumstances disclosed a scheme concocted in opposition to
the policy of the British Columbia "Land Act," and in violation of its
provisions respecting the disposal of Crown Lands; consequently, the
agreement, being tainted with the character of the scheme, ought not to
be enforced by the courts.
Mr. Justice Duff, in giving judgment, records these vital facts:
"The plaintiff bases his claim upon a contract which he alleges he entered
into with the defendant and his associate Garnham in the spring of 1911, by
which they agreed that if the plaintiff would assist them in selling certain
lands in respect of which they then had a contract of purchase with the
British Columbia government they would remunerate him. The land in
question comprises about 7,000 acres in the northern part of British Columbia. These lands had been surveyed by the plaintiff under contract with
the government. In the preceding autumn the plaintiff, acting for the defendant and his associate, had applied for the purchase of the lands in the
names of different persons—there were ten or twelve parcels in all—nominated by them; and the applications having been accepted he had procured
30 the execution of conveyances by the plaintiff under contract with Mcintosh.
For this the appellant was paid 25 cents an acre. Later, in the spring of
1911, according to the plaintiff's story, Mcintosh and Garnham made the
further arrangements already mentioned upon which the action was brought.
"It is perfectly obvious that the scheme entered upon and successfully
carried out by Mcintosh and Garnham, through the agency of the plaintiff,
was a fraud upon the 'Land Act.' The conditions upon which surveyed
public lands might be purchased, in 1910, were those laid down in sections
34 and 36 of the 'Land Act' of 1908; and one of these conditions is expressed
in sub-section 11 of section 34, in the following words:
"34..—(11) 'No person who has given notice that he has applied for permission to purchase lands under the provisions of this section shall be entitled
to give notice of his intention to apply for permission to purchase any other
lands under the provision of this section until after he shall have either
abandoned his application for permission to purchase or acquired a Crown
grant of the lands for which he had previously given notice of his intention
to apply for permission to purchase, and shall have obtained a certificate
from the Commissioner that he has improved the said land to the extent
of three dollars per acre; land which is bona fide cultivated shall be deemed
to be improved land, and in other respects section 22 of this Act shall apply:
Provided always, that no person shall purchase more than one tract of land,
of whatever extent, under this section, until the above-mentioned improvements have been completed in accordance with the provisions of this Act.'
"Mcintosh, Garnham and the plaintiff would not, of course, be entitled
to purchase, under the provisions of this section, more than three separate
tracts of land without having complied with the conditions as to improvements. The plan adopted to evade these provisions was to make a number
of applications in the names of the nominees of Mcintosh and Garnham.
There can be no question that the real applicants were Mcintosh and Garnham. The scheme was to obtain Crown grants of these lands in violation
of the provisions of the statute, although in professed compliance with them,
and then sell the lands to purchasers, who, in the ordinary course, would
know nothing of the contrivance that had been resorted to. Any agreement entered into for the purpose of carrying out or facilitating the carrying
out of this fraud upon the 'Land Act' would be an agreement which it would
be the duty of the courts to refuse to enforce as soon as the character of it
should become apparent. The contract set up by the plaintiff under which he
agreed to assist in the sale of the lands is necessarily tainted by the character
of the scheme as a whole. It follows that the action ought to be dismissed.
For these reasons I concur in dismissing the appeal with costs."
Victoria, March 23, 1914.—The practice of land speculators staking lands
wholesale in the names of persons from whom they obtain powers of attorney
was declared by Mr. Justice Macdonald today to be an illegal extension of the
right to stake by an agent given in the 1907 Amendment to the Land Act.
In this he follows Mr. Justice Duff, who has declared that such a practice is
a fraud upon the province.
Important Judgment
Mr. Justice Macdonald deals with the matter in a most important judgment, dismissing Robert W. Clark's claim for damages from George W.
Swan for misrepresentation of the value of the land staked. His lordship's
attitude toward the practice that has become so prevalent since the government provided this loophole for party friends, is all the more emphasized
by the fact that he held the claim to be a good one on its merits, at the
same time that he put the plaintiff out of court because of the fraudulent
nature of the staking.
Clark was desirous of obtaining a large quantity of land in the Naas
Valley and arranged with one H. N. Boss to stake it under the Land Act for
purchase from the Provincial government. Boss, in turn, employed Swan,
and acting under instructions from the plaintiff, supplied defendant with the
names of persons who would be used as ostensibly desirous of purchasing
such land. The defendant was to receive 25 cents for every acre of land
so staked and reported upon.
31 Report Misleading
It was claimed by the plaintiff that Swan's report was grossly misleading
and had been so found by eastern investors. In the course of his judgment
his lordship says:
"The defendant seeks to escape liability on the ground that the whole
transaction in which the parties were engaged was contrary to public policy
as being an evasion of the Land Act and thus illegal. It is quite apparent
that the persons whose names were used by the defendant in staking the
land were not really intending purchasers from the government, they were
simply being utilized for the purpose of enabling the plaintiff to secure a
number of sections of land contrary to the provisions of the Act, which
provides that only one section can be purchased at one time. This practice
of using names for staking has been too prevalent in the province and was
recently considered illegal by the Supreme Court of Canada in Brownlee vs.
His lordship, dismissing the action but without costs, held that no right
of action could spring out of an illegal contract, and that the plaintiff was not
entitled under such circumstances either to damage or to recovery of money
Vide "B. C. Gazette," week ending 3rd October, 1912 (One Week Only)
Occupation of Applicants Acres %
Married Women     48,402 10
Spinsters       36,490 8
Widows       10,569 2
Nurses         3,799 1
Sub-Total for Women      99,260 21
Clerks and Stenographers  (partly women)—    40,056 9
Industrial Workers, as below     93,760 20
Contractors        5,520 ac.
Cooks        4,720   "
Loggers      5,549  "
Miners     7,120   "
Prospectors     5,900   "
Shoemakers     5,600  ■"
Various 59,351   "
Mechanics, as below     34,360 7
Carpenters 11,010 ac.
Machinists     3,480   "
Mechanics      2,560  "
Printers    10,440   "
Various    6,870  "
Merchants  and  Manufacturers     54,260 12
Professional Men    49,991 11
Real Estate Agents and Brokers     34,955 8
Laborers  (mostly cities)      34,274 7
Farmers and Ranchers (mostly in cities) .    24,079 5
Totals  464,995 100
Most of the 5 per cent, described as Farmers and Ranchers are like those
above them—merely speculators. Probably not one per cent, of the 1,052 miscellaneous Applicants will clear or use one of those 464,995 acres.—James
Scott had "staked" 74,040 acres, and Robert Cross 62,080 acres.
N.B.—In the same "Gazette" G. M. Beirnes "staked" 30,720 Acres of Coal,
and A. D. Lloyd 26,880 acres.
These men thus "staked" 57,600 Acres of Coal in one season.


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