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Pacific railway. Extra tax for it, not necessary. British Columbia McLeod, Malcolm, 1821-1899 1876

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 PACIFIC   RAILWAY.
BRITISHl COLUMBIA
FAX FOR IT, NOT NECESSARY.
"United,  We Stand : :
Printed by the tfmze*-: Printing and Publishing Company,.Sparks Street.  ft
Britannscus' Letters published in Iks Ottawa I Citizen/'
(Citizen, 28th December, 1875.)
THE
"D A HTTPTn     13 "P CS IT T ~KT 'ffl\ TH
itJx\j 1 J? IU   irxL-iJV lJNOiij.
Bribe to British Columbia.--That $760,000!
LETTER   No,   1.
To the Editor of The Citizen.
Dear Sir,—I would, on this subject, in its imminence to
-^Lo   -O-XX    UX     V^adULoiULCo-i     UvJil    U-OXlxJioDxUxx    LU   Uxx-oX    ch    V\ Ui LI   \JX.    oVVJJ.   tllxU.
i   > ^   -"*■
this, although you have so well put forward ybur points on
it—and which, I perceive, have been copied, with due credit
to you, by the Montreal Gazette.
Absence has prevented me from earlier noticing the
thing.
In former letters in the Gazette and also in your columns,
I have taken occasion to state and comment on the so-called
" British Columbia difficulty," and more particularly as to the
solution or "settlement" of that difficulty by the arbitra-
nient (Lord Carnarvon's) to which the parties more immediately interested in the issue had agreed.
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y * «/ X */
call it, we have—strange to say—what (to me at least)
seems a total ignoreinent of that arbitrament—one which this
same Ministry in the Government of Canada had pledged
itself to abide by, and which, by formal Minute of Council of
18th December, 187^
-one
„i.
nth
vear ago, a montn
Lord Carnarvon's decision—they unreservedly acknowledged
in the following terms, viz. :—" The Committee of Council
" request that Tour Excellency will be pleased to convey to
x «/ x «/
| Lord Carnarvon their warm appreciation of the kindness
" which led his lordship to tender his good offices to effect a
Jl cJ
" settlement of the matter in dispute, and also to assure his
" lordship that every effort will be made to secure the reali-
x t/
" zation of what is expected." (See page 51 of Blue Book,
" Terms of Union," of 1875.) f
2
What the terms laid down by Lord Carnarvon were, need
not be here repeated at full length, but for the present argument it may be well to refer to them ; briefly, they were :
1. " That the railway from Esquimault to Nanaimo"
should be commenced as soon as possible, and completed with
all practicable despatch."
2. " That'the surveys on the mainlaid should be pushed
on with the utmost vigor."
3. " That the waggon road and telegraph line should be
" immediately constructed * * * c I am of opinion,' said
" Lord Carnarvon, in his minute of award, \ that they should
" be proceeded with at once, as, indeed, is suggested by your
Minister.'—He is addressing the Earl of Dufferin as Gover-
nor-General.
4. " That $2,000,000 (two millions of dollars) a year, and
% not $1,500,000 shall be the mininum expenditure on rail-
" way works within the Province from the date at which the
" surveys are sufficiently completed to enable that amount to
" be expended on construction." And, here, Mr. Editor, I
would point to the reason of this requirement as given by
Lord Carnarvon in this solemn state paper, for this paramount
" statute labor."—His words, on this head, are, " In naming
7 7 7 O
this amount.    I understand that,
«IT BEING ALIKE  THE   INTEREST  AND   WISH  OF   THE DOMINION GOV-
"ERNMENT
' to urge on, with all speed, the completion of the works now
| to be undertaken, the annual expenditure will be as much
j in excess of the minimum of $2,000,000 as in any year it
\ may be found practicable."
5. c< Lastly, that on or before the 31st December, 1890,
" the railway shall be completed and open for traffic from the
I Pacific seaboard." [Not from Vancouver's Island, be it
remarked] " to a point at the western end of Lake Superior,"
•fee—and he proceeds to observe, by way of dictum, obiter—
X 7 J J 7
f The day is, however, I hope, not very distant when a con-
" tinuous line of railway through Canadian territory will be
" practicable, and I therefore look upon this portion (i.e., north
" of Lakes Superior and Huron) of the scheme as postponed
"rather than abandoned." In connection with this, and as indicative of the guiding
principle, which, as a primum mobile, moved the essentially
British Colony of British Columbia in taking the determined
stand it did on the vital federal pact with the Dominion of
Canada, and which Lord Carnarvon accepted, I would here
cite the propositum of Attorney-General Walkem, as laid in
his letter to the Earl of Carnarvon, of date October 31st,
1874, given us in page 43 of the Blue Book," Terms of Union,"
already referred to.    His words are these ■
" This railway agreement, while purposely and in part
| framed, as I shall hereafter show, to promote the interests of
" British Columbia, is not an agreement for the construction of
"d railway loithin merely provincial limits, for simplyprovin-
" cicdpurposes. It is an agreement of a much more compre-
" hensive character, designed, in fact, mainly to advance, and
" indeed to effect,
"A real Union and consolidation of tlie British Possessions
u on the Continent of North America.
I In the attainment of this great end, " British Columbia
I is, owing to her present isolation, especially interested."
In this joint and several interest—I hold—this solidarity
in its largest, deepest and most eminent sense—is that essential W2c7^z£i5i7*7{/, (an element) in the vital contract—the great
federal compact in question. And even beyond that • in
Empire interest, does that principle of soliditary—" United
we stand; divided we fall"—hold with all the inherent force
of national etre. So obvious is this, that even the present Gov-
7 X.
ernment, in its Minute of Council of 17th September, 1874,
consenting (though evidently unwillingly) to arbitration, and
O     \ O J O     %7   f 7
in diplomatic deference to the expressed sentiments and views
of Her Majesty's Secretary of State for the Colonies, in approaching the matter of arbitrament, was pleased to say—
I The lot of British Columbia is cast in with the other
" North American Provinces."—Query, Why omit the word
"British" in the designation of British North America?
" And it becomes the duty "—continues the Minute to say—
"of all the Confederated "Provinces to consider to some
" extent the general welfare."
So far, well! Now for the application of this incontestable principle in Canadian polity !    Let us see how, in this
J 4
last " shuffle," it is (if at all) being carried out.    But I musl
defer further remarks to another letter.
Yours, <&c,
BRITANNICUS.
Ottawa, 2/th December, 1875.
LETTER   No.   S.
Citizen, 30th. December, 18*76.
Bribe to'British Columbia.—That | $750,000."
1
o the Editor of
J. HE
Citizen.
Dear Sir,—In the Minute of Council of 20th September
last, but only now made known to us, and that via British
Columbia, where it has iust been
7 O
purpose; must we look for its
t j
sprung," for its own da
i.cciibUil
-reason ot i
a.
mys
tery.
The
w
rhn    p
tiiii1 *-■
lg is, as you
veil
remarK,
i • ■ I r 11
JL CL L XX *-
obscure, and is a piece of special pleading difficult to understand. Although, probably, from habit of work, more accustomed to the unravelment of special pleading?, in the courts,'
than yourself, I must say I agree with you. The I reasoning"
J 7 «/ O J O
—if reasoning it can be called—is, to borrow a term from the
O 7
French logicians, en cercle vicieux § and further, lacking ground,
they (the dictators of such Minute) make ground, make facts,
—i.e.. a storv of them untrue—as they did not hesitate to do
7 %7 v
as to certain pretended "insurmountable" physical difficulties
in British Columbia, and which I had occasion to contradict
and expose in your columns, by .reference to Mr, Fleming's
survey reports, official, and as published in Blue Book.    So
•/ X •* x
far as
i   r*on   rporhPT
X -L-Clxx gcLvxiv/x
nowever,
THE EXCUSE GIVEN IS, THAT AN INCREASE OF TAXATION
would be n
^O.P.SSf
for
procedure with the work of a Pacific
Railway. The words of the Minute on this point are these :
—" And it cannot be too clearly understood that any agree-
" ment as to yearly expenditure, and as to completion by a
" fixed time, must be subject to the condition thrice recorded
7 U
"in the iournals of Parliament, that no further increase of
O 7 I the rate of taxation shall be required in order to their ful-
" filment."
Let us see if this be true.
The only legislation, the only entries in the "journals
of Parliament," on this point, will be found formulated in the
original Statute, chapter 71, of 35 Vic. (1872)—the Macdonald
Act, under the head " An Act respecting the Canadian Pacific Railway," and in the Mackenzie Act (chap. 14, of 37 Yic.)
on the same subject. The " third " entry in " journals " probably refers to the original resolutions on which the Macdonald scheme was based.
On this point, as to increase of taxation, the words of the
first Act, in preamble, are as follows :—" And that the public
1 aid to be given to secure that undertaking should consist
1 of such liberal grants of land, and such subsidy in money,
" or other aid, not increasing the present rate of taxation, as the
"Parliament of Canada should thereafter determine."
The italicization is my own, and merely for indication.
In the Mackenzie Act the terms on this point are:—
"And that the public aid to be.given to secure its accomplish-
" ment should consist of such liberal grants of land, and such.
"subsidy in money, or other aid, not increasing the then
«/ %7   7 7 CJ
" existing rate of taxation, as the Parliament of Canada should
" thereafter determine."
" That is "—as I read it—" that Parliament shall grant
enough of lands, as well as money, to obviate increase of taxation."    Nothing more, nothing less.
In interpretation of this, moreover, the context of these
Acts is to be taken. That context, in key-note preamble,
sets forth—" That the Government of the Dominion shalV—
I am citing, verbatim, from the Mackenzie Act—" shall"—
mark the term imperative!—"construct a railway from the
" Pacific towards the Rocky Mountains, and from such point
" as may be selected for the purpose east of the Rocky Moun-
" tains towards the Pacific, to connect the seaboard of British
"Columbia with the rail way system of Canada." The grounds
of such imperative necessity (already abundantly stated and
well known) are given in the Act. On the other hand, there
is not a word, from first to last, in that statute, nor in any
statute, nor in any journal entry of Parliament, so far as I
J 6
can learn, to the effect, that in case of insufficiency of aid
granted, or of necessity of increase of taxation for the work,
that it should be dropped, if begun, or that, if not begun, it
should not be so, at the earliest possible moment. The expression as to if non-increase of taxation," was, obviously,
merely in predicate, on the assumption that the aid vouchsafed would be ample to provide against such extra taxation,
and, certainly, not as a condition precedent or resolutory. So
that we have, in this respect, this singular incident, viz., a
State paper—the " Minute " in question—gravely stating as
law, statute law from the very Ministers of State themselves
who drew or dictated such Minute, what really is not law,
and urging that as a State reason for change of polity in this
great matter.
But to proceed with my argument.
Supposing, however, for the sake of argument, that the
law be such as is contended in the Minute, the question arises:
Is an increase of taxation, for the railway, necessary ?
f J v t/ 7 \J
I think not. As Sir John A. Macdonald truly said the
other day, in his great speech at the White banquet in Montreal, and as Dr. Tupper has also, in his place in the House of
Commons, well said, the lands along the line of railway, so
soon as made, would, most probably, have sold at an average
of $5 per acre, according to ruling prices (from $4 to $10 per
acre) of American lands (inferior to ours) along newly laid
railways in the Prairie States, across our border • and out of
the alternate blocks reserved by the Government there would
have been ample to pay interest and sinking fund on the
Dominion bonds for the successive payments, say, in progressive accretion, $3,000,000 (three million dollars) per annum, out of the $30,000,000 of money aid, Five per cent,
per annum, for interest and sinking fund on $3,000,000 is
only $150,000, and after the first year of work in construction would, with the- payments rateably on work 'done, be
assuredly recouped by land sales.
But it may be asked—Have not the present occupants
of our Treasury Benches money enough in hand already for
commencement, and even for a year or two hence or more,
for the work in question ? WHAT OF THE $30,000,000   (THIRTY MILLIONS) JUST  BORROWED BY OUR
FINANCE MINISTER, OSTENSIBLY CHIEFLY FOR THIS WORK.
On the 14th of May, 1874, nearly two years ago, the
Mackenzie Pacific Railway Act, giving full power for immediate and urgent action, was passed. Then, the whole route
from Nipiss'ing to Yancouver's Island, had been, almost exhaustively, explored and surveyed by an immense and most
efficient staff: and Mr. Fleming,  with more than a million
7 CJ7
dollars worth of plans of survey in hand, had, four months
before, formally reported not only a feasible route from Atlantic to Pacific seaboard, but one pre-eminently superior to all
others being or possible in United States latitudes.
YET, TO THIS DAY, WE  HAVE  NOT A FOOT OF PACIFIC  RAILWAY MADE',
AND EVES SURVEY IS STOPPED.
As to other public works, canal, what of them ? Let
Montreal answer, Baie  Verte answer, Manitoba answer, and
7 7  7
our whole Dominion from Victoria to Halifax answer—not a
spade turned; not a cent to the exceptant starving laborers,
honestly and nobly, in their own way seeking work in their
own country, and for it!
As to the Esquimault (pronounced 'Squymolt) and Na-
niamo Railway, it was the exceptional votes of Senator Penny
and two or three others of that side that gave a casting preponderance to the Conservative minority, and which minority,
it was well known, was influenced by the rumour, strongly
believed, that an American "ring" was organized to grasp
this thing. The policy of the present Government as to it
was different from that of the preceding one, who, I understood, ever regarded and treated it as, integrally, of the main
7 C 7 CJ      _        .    %/    7
line of the Canadian Pacific Railway, and they actually, by
their engineer staff, broke ground for the railway on it, on or
O CD *7 7
before the 20th day of July, 1873, within the " two years,"
according to the Terms of Union.
On the other hand, the Mackenzie Ministry, by Minute
7 *7    s      «/
of Council, 23rd July, 1874, [see page 31, of Blue Book,
" Term of Union," &c, already cited], and as is also admitted
7 7 *7 J  7
in the Minute of Council of 20th September last, now before
us, limited the western section of the Canadian Pacific Railway to  the " seaboard " on the mainland, and thereby ex- /*"■
8
eluded the island work in question from the main scheme. It
was in such mutilated or excised shape that it was brought
before the House by this pro-American Ministry, and even in
*/ X *7   7
that form, and although deprecating such change, Dr. Tupper
and others of the Ministry—the fathers of the original
scheme—voted for it; voted, not, perhaps, in approval of the
work as one merely local, but to obviate any charge or suspicion of tergiversation on their part against British Columbia
r-"~~ —  —^o
or any part of it
Tivn   9R+L    1RV^
DJlO.  ZrOlIl,  lo I O,
Yours,
BRITANNICUS.
I
LEI
'ER
_L*-*i O.
d.
Citizen, 3rd Januarv, IS"
Bribe to British Columbia.—That " $780,000."
lo the Editor of The Citizen :
)ear Sir,-
-Th
next point I w
lci i ais<
is, as to tn<
pretence that this contingency of non-execution in case of ne-
JL Oft/
cessity, of increase of taxation for the work, was distinctly
«/  7 ? *y
advanced in the proposition, or terms for arbitration as agreed
on. On this head, the words of the Minute, [of September last]
now before us, are as follows •—" The other important feature
of the arrangement."—N. B.—The only " other," previously
<—' «/ 7 X %/
discussed, was the Esquimault and Nanaimo Railway—
" namely "—says the Minute—" the limitation of time for the
"completeness of a certain portion, and the specification of a
" certain yearly expenditure, were deemed to be within the
" meaning of the Pacific Railway Act, 1874," (viz, the Mackenzie Act aforesaid,) " subject of course, to the condition already
" mentioned, and which was referred to in the Minute of Council,
"of December ISth, 1S74, when the Government f expressed a
" ' willingness to make these further concessions/ " &c.
- The "condition" in question, as the said Minute of September shows, was, as I have stated, non-execution of work
in case of necessity of increase of taxation, ad hoc.
Referring to, and carefully reading the Minute of 18th
December, alluded to—it is very short, covering only half a
7 «/ 7 CD m/
V. page of ordinary Blue Book—and also the Minute of 17th
September, 1874, in which the proposita and arguments pro of
Council, on the proposed arbitration, are set forth in full, and
with more than special pleading, and referring also to all
Minutes of Council and every conceivable documentor paper,
as published, in this matter, I fail to find any mention, or
allusion in any wav, to such a "condition," directly or in-
m * *7    * j,
directly, and the inuendo, or premiss, on this head, in this
mf 7 7 ST 7 7
State paper—State paper to destroy the scheme of this inter-
oceanic railway in Canada—is
UTTERLY   UNTRUE.
Further—I say, if such a pretension had been made to
Lord Carnarvon, it would have been such a self-stultification on
the part of the Dominion Government as would at once
have, caught his   intelligence,  and   would   have  at  once
CJ CD 7
been set aside—set aside as totally, and, in its nature, necessarily, unfounded. In all matters, a rule imperative—as is
the Statute in question, in its terms, peremptorily ordering
this railway construction—must not only subordinate, but
even, if need be, override any merelii director}/, or internal
7 7 */ «/ is 7
rule, proper to it, such as that immediately in question. In
this instance, however, there was, as I shall show, no necessity to trench on such internal rule; and if there be such
necessity now, I sav that it has been caused by the wrongful
mf 7 t »7 CJ
act or acts, neglect or neglects of those very men, who now
S f^, CD mf
set up this cry to cover their shame, and at the same time
cloak their policy of total repudiation of contract and sworn
X mf XT
duty as to this matter of Pacific Railway.
THERE   « WAS AND IS NO NECESSITY " FOR EXTRA TAXATION FOR TfflS
WORK.
I advance this on the following facts :—•
1. When the subsidy (fifty millions of acres of lands fit
m/        \ m/
for settlement and $30,000,000 in money) was first voted, as
7 7 mf    7 7
it was in the Macdonald Act. ad hoc, of 1872, the Dominion
finances had been managed—so well managed—as to produce,
if I remember right, an average surplus of over a million and
O      " ox
a half dollars per annum, and the legitimate employment of
X 7 CJ X mf 10
which was in just such works of chief public moment as the
national railway in question.
2. That, two years afterwards, when, in the meantime,
over a million and a half had been well and wisely and
faithfully spent in survey, and that, with the good result
mf X mf   7 CJ ^
already stated by me. the present Ministry, by the Mackenzie
mf %7 7 X. %7    7 mf ._,.
Act, ad hoc, in effect, materially increased that subsidy, viz.,
in the matter of lands, by giving selection (throughout our
whole Dominion wild lands) while allowing the original
quantum per mile, and, in the matter of money, by, in effect,
adding to the original thirty millions of dollars ($10,000 per
mile, including branches and sidings) that mysterious " four
per cent, for twenty-five years," to be paid to contractors on
" a " {id est. any) " sum (to be stated in the contract) for each
" mile of the section or subsection, &c." I give, on this particular feature, the ipsissima verba of the statute. The passage speaks for itself—thatis,/that the Dominion is to borrow
from the poor contractors !!
3. At the same time, in the same session, the same Ministry, by its 17-4 per cent, of customs' tariff", increased taxa-
mf   7 mf X.       X :* 7    '.
tion at the rate of 16 2-3rds per cent.
I 4. At the same time, in the category of public works to
be done, this then already advanced project of Pacific Railway,
was pre-eminently the first in hand, one—as admitted on all
sides, and as solemnly declared by Acts of Parliament—of
vital interest to the whole Confederation.
At the same time, it is true, a very large inflation .of
7 ft/ O
Canadian canal schemes was just then started, but that, even
already, has collapsed into limits which may be called normal,
and which, in any case, should, at least, be co-ordinated with
the railway scheme.
There are other facts which weigh, but I must hurry to
CJ        7 ft/ >
close this.
Before leaving this point, however, I would glance at
the two relative schemes of subsidy.
The Macdonald one was—as we all know—fifty millions
«/
of acres along or contiguous to line of railway or to its lands
on grant, and thirty millions in cash, payable rateably as the
work should progress, and with a bond power to the company
of $40,000 per mile. 11
The Mackenzie subsidy, as explained, is, in effect, double
the above both in lands and money.
In the former, as I have understood it, it was calculated
that with the land grant, at an upset price of $2.50 for the
inter-blocks reserved by Government, and with no restriction as to price for lands not falling within the railway grant,
X -      O mf      CJ 7
there would have been no difficulty in making the cash payments—comparatively small at first—or in case of default in
x «/
this respect, these early cash payments,. say as I have said
before, $150,000 for interest and sinking fund, in the first of
7      " > CJ 7
the ten years for construction, and so on. That the Ministry
of that day were safe in such predication, the recorded results
of land sales in Manitoba, since then, abundantly show. The
Hudson's Bay Company alone, out of their allotment (not a
large one) only about 500 acres on Red River, have, according to press reports of public land sales, sold to the amount
of about a million and a half. Add to that Crown Land sales,
including the City of Winnipeg with its 5,000 or nearly that
of active, and not unrich population, and also, at a valuation,
7 X        JL 7 7 7
the large extent of free grants—a duplication of the preced-
O O x x^
ing estimate—and we have in all this abundant evidence
that with the advance of the work through there, say from
-i_i 7 mf
Pembina to Winnipeg, and thence direct to the Pacific, there
X   - O/ /
would have been ample land sales to pay, to both the railway company and the Government, all financial exigencies
in the scheme, and that, without the slightest strain on the
general revenue—without one farthing of extra taxation on the
people, and without the slightest prejudice to the public credit,
but the contrary.   I sav this from personal knowledge of tl
ne
country, and from the personal knoweledge of the eagernes~,
J -1 X O CD 7
even in central and essentially agricultural England, for early
mf CJ <—- ' «/
settlement in our North-West, and even in the far Peace
River District, as you, Mr. Editor, have had occasion recently
to know in the applications to your office for information
from me, or for the further means of getting such as to the
7 O O
glowing fields and pastures fine in that further, golden Ca-
O o   » 7   cj
nada—the " Wild  North   Land,"—whence,   the other day,
7 * mf   f
Professor Selwyn (geologist) and Professor Macoun (botanist)
brought samples of cereals, wheat and barley, probably un-
OX 7 mf   7    X m7
surpassed in excellence and value, viz. \ " Wheat, 68 lbs. the 12
bushel, and from 60 to 85 bushels to the acre";'   " barley, 58 '
(not 48, so the press report give it) " the bushel."    The first
I wheat, sown on the slopes of the Rocky Mountains in those
hisrh latitudes, was by a relative of my own, fiftv vears ago.
%^/ 7 ml mf 7 mf        mf CJ
I have his letter reporting the fact at that time.
The extent of that further " fertile belt," is over three
-* 7
hundred millions of acres. Had the Macdonald scheme gone
on, that region would have been tapped by this time, for railway from Pembina to the Northern Saskatchewan (route, all
prairie) could have been made at the rate of three miles or so
a day, as was done in the American Pacific railway, over like
ground.    By such highway—a stretch of about four hundred
O «/ O ^ ft/
miles—a mine of wealth, all sufficient for western as well as
eastern construction, would at once have been opened, and
the great work would, as it were, have made itself. In this initiatory leverage lay, what, to me at least, seemed the absolute
mf CJ mf   7 7 7
and certain poxcer, without extra taxation, of carrying out the
scheme, as implemented in the charter contract, so ruthlessly
torn.    Conclusion in next, short.
Yours,
BRITANNICUS.
December 29th, 1875.
LETTER,   No.   -J.
Citizen, 4th January, 1876.
Bribe to British Columbia.—That $750,000 !
To the Editor of The Citizen.
Dear Sir,—A word, before I close, as to British Columbia—our scarcely " lesser half" in political importance.
HER CASE.
Carnarvon award:
Mainland Railway expenditure, $2,000,000 per annum
to 1890, say  $30,000,000
Waggon road and telegraph, say       3,000,000
Esquimault and Nanaimo Railway, 160 miles—average cost per mile as in Intercolonial Ewy., say.     6,000,000
$39,000,000 13
SAY FORTY MILLIONS.
To buy off which, a douceur of
ONLY^"§(50,000 '■'—SAY TWO CENTS IX THE DOLLAR!
Is now offered to the gentleman (or a majority of them) who,
for the moment constitute, in Legislature, the Government
/ CJ 7
of that Province.
There is a mystery in this. If such a bargain be possible
—which I doubt much, in the face of the fact that other interests, Imperial, are involved in the matter—such a bargain
I say, would be open to the gravest suspicion, recalling to
mind Mr. Blake's memorable citation from some unnamed
poet—perhaps himself—certainly not " ITudibras, ' when
making, in Commons arena, his great chourineur * * *
speech at the (hugging of the fathers—the original promoters
—of this great work of a Canadian Pacific  Railway.    As
O ft/
spattered mud from the troubled pool, the lines have, casually,
stuck to the dry wall of memory, and such as I can recall
them, I give them. Originally, they seem to have been
applied to certain doings (" ring " work) in Washington :
•• Lost to sliame ! they vilely hark-i-,
Honor's name for Party's place;
Step t>y step, o'er Freedom's charter,
Leaving footprints of disgrace.
Beneath yon dome, whose coping,
Starts above them, straight and tall,
Brave men, in the dust are groping,
For the czumbs that from the table fall."
Further word on this is unnecessary. Quick as made, the
BURNING   INSULT
is, by the" people en masse, indignantly resented. So the
wires flash to us. No other answer could well have been
expected from those bold few of our race and blood, who, on
those distant shores of peoples strange and almost hostile,
have planted our red cross flag, and bravely guard it.
Bribe such men !—to such base treason ! ! Ah, Mr. Blake !
Ah ! Mr. Mackenzie, of the" steel rails," truly—surely !—yc
* f mf „«/ J
know not what ye do !
In charity, we must assume that " trouble "—those cankering, harrowing cares incidental to large State Govern- 14
ment—must have thrown you off your balance. It all comes,
I dare say—and I would say it in all pity for our poor
common weak humanity—from that unfortunate " steel rail'
and such like, " business " (or doings.) Three millions (for
that is what—what with the extra expenses of transport- in
and from Canada, storage, commissions, &c.—that | little
affair " has already cost the public treasury) is quite too much,
in outside expenditure, to take out of our budget margin for
accidental contingencies. We all understand .that—but, of
course, there must have   been a reason, or at least a ■motive,
7 7 7
for the venture. Was it good ?—Justifiable ? Ts it it, alone,
or other like | blundering," that starts the cry of " no funds "
CJ7 mf
in the Dominion   Treasury ?    Whether or not—why visit
«/ a/
such sins on poor British Columbia, as a sort of " scape-goat ?'
The railway—cost what it may—she, as well as the rest
of the Dominion, must have, and that as soon as possible.
Under the Macdonald-Allan contract the work was, as we
knpw, to have been at once begun within her borders, and
there is no reason to distrust but that the work, in British
Columbia, from Pacific terminus to railway connection at the
/ t/
Yellow Head Pass (eastern boundry of British Columbia.)
would have been completed even before the expiration of the
ten years, and then at once would have given her continuous
railway connection with the Eastern world.
The cost, within her borders, would probably have considerably exceeded forty millions, but that—as I have
already explained—would have come entirely out of the
subsidy, supplemented by the Railway Company's Bond Fund,
based on lands granted, and road as made—a fund susceptible
of extension by Parliament, to any required limit, in order
ix OT TO INCREASE TAXATION FOR THE WORK.
Now, as there is no utilization of t
Hie land grant—as, really,
the work does not go on, but is being pottered to death—there
is no fund from that source, and.at the same time there is not,
and as things are, cannot be, any bond fund on work done.
And it is by thus blundering aud pursuing a scheme at once
unwise, machiavelian rather, and certainly likely to prove
disastrous to all public interests concerned, that these British 15
Columbia claims, and determined rights, press on our Treasury.    But,
ON WHOM THE BLAME ?
One answer  only ; short, clear and crushing as a  thunder
stroke, can rightly be given: and if the people of this Domi-
J CD mf O XX
nion be not as Mr. Blake's Washington  " gropers ';   " in the
o ox
dust," for " crumbs that from the table fall," they'll quickly
give it.
One word as to our noble Governor-General. He was
absent—three thousand miles off, in Britain—when this obnoxious Minute of Council of September last was passed. In
any case, under our system of Responsible [Parliamentary]
•/ 7 «/ XL «/   J
Government, Ministers are really alone to blame for such
wrong doing as that in question.
o O x
We all know this, and I say thus much, on this jDoint.
7 mf 7 X s
merely to remove any misapprehension in the application of
«/ J X X XX
y animadversions in these letters.
Yours,
Ottawa, Dec. 30th, 18
BRITANNICUS.
lO.   

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