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Address of His Excellency the Governor-General of Canada, on the subject of the relations between the… Dufferin and Ava, Frederick Temple Blackwood, Marquis of, 1826-1902 1876

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Array DDRESS
OY HIS EXCELLENCY
THE GOVERNOR-GENERAL OF CANADA,
ON THE SUBJECT OE
THE RELATIONS BETWEEN THE DOMINION GOVERNMENT AND BRITISH COLUMBIA,
IN  RESPECT TO THE
CANADIAN   PACIFIC   RAILWAY.
Delivered  at Government House, Victoria, Sept. 20th, 1876,
to a Deputation op the Reception Committee.
victoria :
PRINTED BY RICHARD WOLFENDEN,   GOVERNMENT PRINTER.
1878.
4
P^J 
THE LIBRARY
,
THE UNIVERSITY OF
BRITISH COLUMBIA
Gift
Provincial Archives of B.C. ADDEESS
07 HIS EXCELLENCY
THE GOVERNOR-GENERAL OF CANADA,
ON THE SUBJECT OF
THE RELATIONS BETWEEN THE DOMINION GOVERNMENT AND BRITISH COLUMBIA,
IN RESPECT TO THE
CANADIAN   PACIFIC   RAILWAY.
Delivered at Government House, Victoria, Sept. 20th, 1876,
to a Deputation op the Reception Committee.
victoria :
PRINTED BY RICHARD W0LF1NDEN,   GOVERNMENT PRINTER;
1876.  ADDRESS.
i Gentlemen:—lam indeed very glad to have an opportunity before quitting British Columbia of thanking
you, and through you the citizens of Victoria, not only
for the general kindness and courtesy 1 have met with
during my residence amongst you * but especially for
the invitation to the banquet with which you have
honoured me. I regret extremely that my engagements did not permit me to accept this additional proof
of your hospitality ; but my desire to see as much as
possible of the country, and my other engagements,
forced me most reluctantly to decline it. I shall, however, have a final-opportunity of mingling with your
citizens at the entertainment arranged for me at Beacon.
Hill this afternoon, to which I am looking forward
with the greatest pleasure. Perhaps, gentlemen, I may
be also permitted to take advantage of this occasion to
-express to you the satisfaction and enjoyment 1 have
derived from my recent progress through such portions
• of the Province as I have been able to reach within
the short period left at my disposal. I am well aware
I have visited but a small proportion of your domains,
and that there are important centres  of population
: from which I have been kept aloof. More especially
have I to regret my inability to reach Cariboo, the
• chief theatre of your mining industry and the home of
. a community with whose feelings^ wishes, and sentiments it would have been very advantageous for me
to have become personally acquainted. Still by dint
of considerable exertion I have traversed the entire
coast of British Columbia from its southern extremity.
to Alaska. I have penetrated to the head of Bute
Inlet. I have examined Seymour Narrows, and the
other channels which intervene between the head of
Bute Inlet and Vancouver Island. I have looked into
the mouth of Dean's Canal, and passed along the en- trance of Gardner's Channel. I have visited Mr. Duncan's wonderful settlement at Metlakatlah, and the
' interesting Methodist mission at Port Simpson • and
have thus been enabled to realize what scenes* of primitive peace and innocence, of idylic beauty, and material comfort can be presented by the stalwart men and
comely maidens of an Indian community under the
wise administration of a judicious and devoted Chris-
tian missionary. I have passed across the intervening
Sound of Queen Charlotte Island to Skidegate, and
studied with wonder the strange characteristics of a
Hydah village with its forest of heraldic pillars. I have
been presented with the sinister opportunity of a
descent upon a tribe of our Pagan savages in the very
midst of their drunken orgies and barbarous rites, and
after various other explorations I have had the privilege of visiting, under very gratifying circumstances,
the Eoyal City of New Westminster. Taking from
that spot a new departure, we proceeded up the valley
of the Fraser where the river has cloven its way
through the granite ridges and bulwarks of the Cascade range, and along a road of such admirable construction, considering the engineering difficulties of the
line and the modest resources of the colony when it
was built, as does the greatest credit to the able administrator who directed its execution. Passing thence
into the open valleys and rounded eminences beyond,
we had an opportunity of appreciating the pastoral
resources and agricultural capabilities of what is known
as the bunch grass country. It is needless to say that
wherever we went we found the same kindness, the
same loyalty, the same honest pride in'their country
and its institutions which characterize the English
race throughout the world, while Her Majesty's Indian subjects on their spirited horses, which the ladies
of their families seemed to bestride with as much ease
and grace as their husbands and brothers, notwithstanding the embarrassment of one baby on the pommel and another on the crupper, met us everywhere in
large numbers and testified in their untutored fashion
their genuine loyalty and devotion to their White
Mother.     Having   journeyed   Eastward   as   far   as Kamloops and admired from a lofty eminence in its
neighbourhood what seemed an almost interminable
prospect of grazing lands and valleys susceptible of
cultivation, we were forced with much reluctance to
turn our faces homewards to Victoria. And now that
I am back it may, perhaps, interest you to learn what
are the impressions I have derived during my journey.
Well, I may frankly tell you that I think British
Columbia a glorious Province—a Province which
Canada should be proud to possess, and whose association with the Dominion she ought to regard as the
crowning triumph of Federation. Such a spectacle as
its coast line presents is not to be paralleled by any
country in the world. Day after day for a whole
week, in a vessel of nearly 2000 tons, we threaded an
interminable labyrinth of watery lanes and reaches
that wound endlessly in and out of a network of
islands, promontories, and peninsulas for. thousands of
miles, unruffled by the slightest swell from the adjoining ocean, and presenting at every turn an ever shifting combination of rock, verdure, forest, glacier, and
snow capped mountain of unrivalled grandeur and
beauty. When it is remembered that this wonderful
system of navigation, equally well adapted to the
largest line of battle-ship and the frailest canoe, fringes
the entire seaboard of your Province and communicates
at points sometimes more than a hundred miles from the
coast, with a multitude of valleys stretching eastward
into the interior, while at the same time it is furnished
with innumerable harbours on either hand, one is lost
in admiration at the facilities, for inter-communication
which are thus provided for the future inhabitants of
this wonderful region. It is true at the present moment they lie unused except by the Indian fisherman
and villager, but the day will surely come when the
rapidly diminishing stores of pine upon this continent
will be still further exhausted, and when the nations
of Europe as well as of America will undoubtedly be
obliged to recur to British Columbia for a material of
which you will by that time be the principal depository. Already from an adjoining port a large trade is
being done in lumber with Great Britain, Europe, 6
Australia, and South America, and I venture to think
that ere long the ports of the United States will perforce be thrown open to your traffic. I had the pleasure of witnessing the overthrow by the axes of your
woodmen of one Of your forest giants, that towered to
the height of 250 feet above our heads, and whose
rings bore witness that it dated its birth from the
reign of the Fourth Edward* and where it grew, and
for thousands of miles along the coast beyond it, millions of its contemporaries are awaiting the same fate.
With such facilities of access as I have described to
the heart and centre of your various forest lands,
where almost every tree can be roiled from the spot
upon which it grew to the ship which is to transfer it to
its destination, it would be difficult to over-estimate
the opportunities of industrial development thus indicated * and to prove that I am not over-sanguine in my
congectures I will read you a letter recently received
from the British Admiralty by Mr. Innes, the Superintendent of the Dockyard at Esquimalt :—
" From various causes spars from Canada, the former main
source of supply, have not of late years been obtainable, and the
trade in New Zealand spars for top-masts has also completely died
away. Of late years the sole source of supply has been the casual
-cargoes of Oregon spars, imported from time to time, and from
these the wants of the service have been met. But my Lords feel
that this is not a mode to be depended upon, more especially for
the larger sized,spars."
Their Lordships then proceed to order Mr. Innes
to make arrangements for the transhipment for the
dockyards of Great Britain of the specified number of
Douglas pine which will be required by the Service
during the ensuing year,—and what England does in
this direction other nations will feel themselves compelled to do as well. But I have learnt a further lesson •
I have had opportunities of inspecting some of the spots
where your mineral wealth is stored, and here again
the ocean stands your friend, the mouths of the coalpits I have visited almost opening into the hulls of the
vessels which are to convey their contents across the
ocean. When it is further remembered that inexhaustible supplies of iron ore are found in juxtaposition with your coal, no one can blame you for regarding the
beautiful Island on which you live as having been
especially favoured by Providence in the distribution
of its natural gifts. But still more precious minerals
than either coal or iron enhance the value of your possessions. As we skirted the banks of the Fraser we
were met at every turn by the evidences of its extraordinary supplies of fish; but scarcely less frequent
were the signs afforded us of the golden treasures it
rolls down, nor need any traveller think it strange to
see the Indian fisherman hauling out a salmon on to
the sands, from whence the miner beside him is sifting
the sparkling ore. But the signs of mineral wealth which
may happen to have attracted my personal attention are
as nothing, I understand, to what is exhibited in Cariboo, Cassiar, and along the valley of the Stickeen, and
most grieved am I to think that I have not had time to
testify by my presence amongst them the sympathy I
feel with the adventurous prospector and the miner in
their arduous enterprises. I had also the satisfaction
of having pointed out to me where various lodes of
silver only await greater facilities of access to be worked with profit and advantage. But perhaps the greatest
surprise in store for us was the discovery, on our exit
from the pass through the Cascade range, of the noble
expanse of pastoral lands and the long vistas of fertile
valleys which opened up on every side as we advanced
through the country ; and which, as I could see with
my own eyes from various heights we traversed, extended in rounded upland slopes or in gentle depressions for hundreds of miles to the foot of the Eocky
Mountains, proving, after all, that the mountain ranges
which frown along your coast no more accurately indicate the nature of the territory they guard than is
the wall of breaking surf that roars along a tropic
beach identical with the softly undulating sea that
glitters in the sun beyond. But you will very likely say
to me, of what service to us are these resources which
you describe, if they and we are to remain locked up in
a distant and at present inaccessible corner of the
Dominion, cut off by a trackless waste of intervening
territory from all intercourse, whether of a social or of s
a commercial character, with those with whom we are
politically united ? Well, gentlemen, 1 can only answer : Of comparatively little use, or at all events of
far less profit than they would immediately become,
were the Eailway upon whose construction you naturally counted' when you entered into Confederation
once completed. But here 1 feel I am touching upon
dangerous ground. You are well aware from the first
moment I set foot in the Province I was careful to inform everyone who approached me that 1 came here as
the Governor-General of the Dominion, the Eepresen-
tative of Her Majesty, exactly in the same way as I
had passed through other Provinces of the Dominion,
in order to make acquaintance with the people, their
wants, wishes, and aspirations, and to learn as much as
I could in regard to the physical features, capabilities,
and resources of the Province; that I had not come on
a diplomatic mission, or as a messenger, or charged
with any announcement, either from the Imperial or
from the Dominion Government. This statement I beg
now most distinctly to repeat. 2-Tor should it be imagined I have come either to persuade or coax you into
any line of action which you may not consider conducive to your own interests, or to make any new promises on behalf of my Government, or renew any old
ones; least of all have I a design to force upon you
any further modification of those arrangements which.
were arrived at in 1874 between the Provincial and the
Dominion Governments under the auspices of Lord
Carnarvon. Should any business of this kind ever have
to be perfected, it will have to be done in the usual constitutional manner through the Secretary of State. But
though I have thought it well thus unmistakably and
effectually to guard against my journey to the Province
being misinterpreted, there is I admit one mission with,
which I am charged—a mission that is strictly within
my functions to fulfil—namely—the mission of testifying by my presence amongst you and by my. patient
and respectful attention to everything which may be
said to me, that the Government and the entire people
of Canada, without distinction of party, are most
sincerely desirous of cultivating with you those friendly and affectionate relations, upon the existence of which
must depend the future harmony and solidity of our
common Dominion.    Gentlemen, this mission I think
you will .adinit I have done my best to fulfil.    I think
you will bear me witness that I have been inaccessible
to no one, that I have shown neither impatience nor indifference during the conversations I have had with
you, and that it would have been impossible for any
one to have exhibited more anxiety thoroughly to understand your views.    I think it will be further admitted that I have done this, without in the slightest degree seeking to disturb or embarrass the march of your
domestic politics. I have treated the existing Ministers
as it became me to treat the responsible advisers of the
Crown in this locality, and I have shown that deference
to their opponents which is always due to Her Majesty's
loyal opposition.    Nay, further, I think it must have
been observed that I have betrayed no disposition either
to create or foment in what might be termed, though
most incorrectly, the interest of Canada, any discord
or contrariety of interest between the Mainland and
the Island.    Such a mode of procedure would have
been most unworthy ; for no true friend of the Dominion should be capable of any other object or desire than
to give universal satisfaction to the Province as a whole.
A settlement of the pending controversy would indeed
be most lamely concluded if it left either of the sections
into which your community is geographically divided,
unsatisfied.    Let me then assure you on the part of the
Canadian Government, and on the part of the Canadian
people at large, that there is nothing they desire more
earnestly or more fervently than to know and feel that
you are one with them in heart, thought, and feeling.
Canada would indeed be dead to the most self-evident
considerations of self-interest and to the first instincts
of national pride if she did not regard with satisfaction
her connection with a Province so richly endowed by
Nature, inhabited by a community so  replete with
British loyalty and pluck, while it afforded her the
means of extending her confines and the outlets of her
commerce to the wide Pacific and the countries beyond.
It is true circumstances have arisen to create an un- 10
friendly and hostile feeling in your minds against
Canada. Vou consider yourselves injured, and you certainly have been disappointed. Far be it from me to
belittle your grievances, or to speak slightingly of your
complaints. Happily my independent position relieves
me from the necessity of engaging with you in any irritating discussion upon the various points which are
in controversy between this Colony and the Dominion
Government. On the contrary, I am ready to make
several admissions. I don't suppose that in any part of
Canada will it be denied that you have been subjected
both to anxiety and uncertainty on points which were
of vital importance to you. From first to last since the
idea of a Pacific Eailway was originated, things, to use
a homely phrase, have gone ••contrairy" with it, and
with everybody connected with it, and you in common
with'many other persons have suffered in many ways.
But though happily it is no part of my duty to pronounce
judgment in these matters, or to approve, or blame, or
criticise the conduct of anyone concerned, I think that
I can render both Canada and British Columbia some
service by speaking to certain matters of fact which
have taken place within my own immediate cognizance,
and by thus removing from your minds certain wrong
impressions in regard to the matters of fact, which have
undoubtedly taken deep root there. Now, gentlemen,
in discharging this task—I may almost call it this duty
—I am sure my observations will be received by those
I see around me in a candid and loyal spirit, and that
the heats and passions which have been engendered by
these unhappy differences will not prove an impediment
to a calm consideration of what I am about to say, more
especially as it will be my endeavour to avoid wounding
any susceptibilities, or forcing upon your attention
views or opinions which may be ungrateful to you.
Of course I well understand that the gravamen of the
charge against the Canadian Government, is that it has
failed to fulfil its treaty engagements. Those engagements were embodied in a solemn agreement which was
ratified by the respective Legislatures of the contracting parties, who were at the time perfectly independent
of each other, and I admit they thus acquired aU the
! 11
characteristics of an international treaty. The terms of
that treaty were (to omit the minor items) that Canada
undertook to secure, within two years from the date of
the union, the simultaneous commencement at either
end of a railway which was to connect the seaboard of
British Columbia with the railway system of the Dominion, and that such railway should be completed
within ten yearB from the date of union in 1871. We
are now in 1876. Five years have elapsed, and the
work of construction even at one end can be said to
have only just begun. Undoubtedly under these circumstances everyone must allow that Canada has failed
to fulfil her treaty obligations towards this Province,
but unfortunately Canada has been accused not only
of failing to accomplish her undertakings, but of what
is a very different thing,—a wilful breach of faith in
having neglected to do so. Well, let us consider for a
moment whether this very serious assertion is true.
What was the state of things when the bargain was
made ? At that time everything in Canada was prosperous : her finances were flourishing, the discovery of
the Great North West, so to speak, had inflamed her
imagination; above all things railway enterprise in the
United States and generally on this continent was being
developed to an astounding extent. One trans-continental railway had been successfully executed, and
several others on the same gigantic scale were being
projected; in fact it had come to be considered
that a railway could be flung across the Eocky
Mountains as readily as across a hay field, and the
observations of those who passed from New York and
San Francisco did not suggest any extraordinary
obstacles to undertakings of this description. Unfortunately-one element in the calculation was left entirely
out of account, and that was the comparative ignorance
which prevailed in regard to the mountain ranges and
the mountain passes which intervened between the
Hudson Bay Company's possessions and our Western
Coast. In the United States, for years and years,
troops of emigrants had passed Westward to Salt Lake
City, to Sacramento, and to the Golden Gate; every
track and trail through the mountains was wayworn
L 12
'and well known: the location of a line in that neighbourhood was pre-determined by the experience of
persons already well acquainted with the locality.
But in our case the trans-continental passes were
sparse and unfrequented, and from an engineering
point of view may be said to have been absolutely unknown. It was under these circumstances that Canada
undertook to commence her Pacific Eailway in two
years, and to finish it in ten. In doing this she undoubtedly pledged herself to that which was a physical
impossibility, for the moment the engineers, peered
over the Eocky Mountains into your Province they
saw at once that before any one passage through the
devious range before them could be pronounced the
best, an amount of preliminary surveying would have
to be undertaken which it would require several years
to complete. Now. there is a legal motto which says
nemo teneatur ad impossible, and I would submit to you
that under the circumstances I have mentioned, however great the default of Canada, she need not
necessarily have been guilty of any wilful breach of
faith. I myself am quite convinced that when Canada
ratified this bargain with you she acted in perfect good
faith and fully believpd that she would accomplish her
promise, if not within ten years, at all events within
such a sufficiently reasonable period as would satisfy
your requirements. The mistake she made was in
being too sanguine in her calculations, but remember,
a portion of the blame for concluding a bargain impossible of accomplishment cannot be confined to one
only of the parties to it. The mountains which have
proved our stumbling block were your own mountains,
and within your own territory, and however deeply an
impartial observer might sympathize with you in the
miscarriage of the two time terms of the compact, one
of which,—namely as to the commencement of the line
in two years from 1871—has failed, and the other of
which, namely, its completion in ten, must fail, it is impossible to forget that yourselves are by no means
without'responsibility for such a result. It is quite
true—in what I must admit to be a most generous
spirit—you intimated in various ways that you did not 13
desire to hold Canada too stricstiy to the letter of her
engagements as to time. Your expectations* in this
respect were stated by your late Lieutenant-Governor,
Mr. Trutch, very fairly and explicitly, although a very
unfair use has been made of his words, and I have no
doubt that if unforeseen circumstances had not intervened, you would have exhibited as much patience as
could have been expected of you. But a serious crisis
supervened in the political career of Canada. Sir John
Macdonald resigned office, and Mr. Mackenzie* acceded
to power, and to all the responsibilities incurred by
Canada in respect to you and your Province. Now
it is asserted, and I imagine with truth, that Mr.
Mackenzie and his political friends had always been
opposed to many portions of Canada's bargain with
British Columbia. It therefore came to be considered
in this Province that the new J&overnment was an
enemy to the Pacific Eailway. But I believe this to
have been and to be a complete misapprehension. I
believe the Pacific Eailway has no better friend in
Canada than Mr. Mackenzie, and that he was only
opposed to the time terms in the bargain because he
believed them impossible of accomplishment, and that
a conscientious endeavour to fulfil them would unnecessarily and ruinously increase the financial expenditure* of the country, and in both these opinions Mr. Mackenzie was undoubtedly right. With the experience we
now possess, and of course it is easy to be wise after
theN event, no one would dream of saying that the
Eailway could have been surveyed, located, and built
within the period named, or that any Company who
might undertake to build the line within that period
would not have required double or treble the bonus
that would have been sufficient had construction been
arranged for at a more leisurely rate, but surely it
would be both ungenerous and unreasonable for
British Columbia to entertain any hostile feelings
towards Mr. Mackenzie on this account, nor is he to be
blamed in my opinion if on entering office in so unexpected a manner he took time to consider the course
which he would pursue in regard to his mode of dealing
with a question of such enormous importance.   His 14
position was undoubtedly a very embarrassing one; his
Government had inherited responsibilities which he
knew, and which the country had cause to know, could
not be discharged. Already British Columbia had
begun to cry out for the fulfilment of the bargain, and
that at the very time that Canada had come to the
conclusion that the relaxation of some of its conditions
was necessary. Out of such a condition of affairs it
was almost impossible but that there should arise in
the first place delay—for all changes of Government
necessarily check the progress of public business,—and
in the next, friction, controversy, and collision between
the Province and the Dominion. Happily it is not
necessary that I should follow the course of that
quarrel or discuss the various points which were then
contested. You cannot expect me to make any admissions in respect to the course my Ministers may
have thought it right to pursue, nor would it be
gracious upon my, part to criticise the action of your
Province during this painful period. Out of the altercation which then ensued there issued under the
auspices of Lord Carnarvon, a settlement; and when
an agreement has been arrived at, the sooner the incidents connected with the conflict which preceded it
are forgotten, the better. Here then we have arrived
at a new era; the former laches of Canada, if any such
there had been, are condoned, and the two time terms
of the treaty are relaxed on the one part, while on the
other certain specific obligations were superadded to
the main article in the original bargain: that is to say
—again omitting minor items—the Province agreed to
the Pacific Eailway being completed in 16 years from
1874, and to its being begun " as soon as the surveys
shall have been completed," instead of at a fixed
date, while the Dominion Government undertook to
construct at once a Eailway from Esquimalt to Nanaimo, to hurry forward the surveys with the utmost
possible dispatch, and as soon as construction should
have begun, to spend two millions a year in the prosecution of the work. I find that in this part of the world
these arrangements have come to be known as the "Carnarvon Terms." It is a very convenient designation, and 15
I am quite content to adopt it on one condition, namely,
that Lord Carnarvon is not to be saddled with any of
the original responsibility with regard to any of these
terms but one. The main body of the terms are Mr.
Mackenzie's; that is to say, Mr. Mackenzie proffered
the Nanaimo and Esquimalt Eailway, the telegraph
line, the waggon road and the annual expenditure. All
that Lord Carnarvon did was to suggest that the
proposed expenditure should be two millions instead of
one and a half millions, and that a time limit should be
added. But, as you are well aware, this last condition
was necessarily implied in the preceding one relating
to the annual expenditure, for once committed to that
expenditure Canada would in self defence be obliged to
hasten the completion of the line in order to render
reproductive the capital she sunk as quickly as
possible. It is therefore but just to Lord Carnarvon
that he should be relieved from the responsibility of
having been in any way the inventor of what are
known as the " Carnarvon Terms." Lord Carnarvon
merely did what every arbitrator would do under the
circumstances; he found the parties already agreed in
respect to the principal items of the bargain and was
consequently relieved from pronouncing on their intrinsic merits, and proceeded at once to suggest to Canada
the further concession which would be necessary to
bring her into final accord with her opponent. In pursuance of this agreement the Canadian Government organized a series of surveying parties upon a most exten-
.sive and costly scale. In fact, during the last two years
two millions of money alone have been expended upon
these operations. The Chief Engineer himself has told
me that Mr. Mackenzie had given him carte blanche in the
matter, so anxious was he to have the route determined
without delay; and that the mountains were already as
full of as many theodolites and surveyors as they could
hold. I am aware it is said—indeed as much has been
hinted to me since I came here—that these surveys were
merely multipliedin order to furnish an excuse for further
•delays. Well, that is rather a hard saying. But upon
this point 1 can speak from my own personal knowledge, and I am sure that what I say on this head will 16
be accepted as the absolute truth. During the whole of
the period under review I was in constant personal communication with Mr. Fleming, and was kept acquainted
by that gentleman with everything thai: was being
done. 1 knew the position of every surveying party
in the area under examination. Now Mr. Fleming is a
gentleman in whose personal integrity, and in whose
professional ability every one I address has the most
perfect confidence. Mr. Fleming, of course, was the
responsible engineer who planned those surveys and
determined the lines along which they were to be
carried, and over and over again Mr. Fleming has explained to me how unexpected were the diffieuties he
had to encounter, how repeatedly after following hopefully a particular route his engineers found themselves
stopped by an impassable wall of mountain which
blocked the way, and how trail after trail had to be
examined and abandoned before he had hit on anything
like a practicable route. Even now, after all that has
been done, a glance at the map will show you how
devious and erratic is the line which appears to afford
the only tolerable exit from the labyrinthine ranges of
the Cascades. Notwithstanding, therefore, whatever
may have been bruited abroad in the sense to which I
have alluded, I am sure it will be admitted, nay,
I know it is admitted, that so far as the prosecution of the surveys is concerned, Canada has
used due diligence, yes, more than due diligence in
her desire to comply with that section of the "Carnarvon Terms " relating to this particular. You must
remember that it is a matter of the greatest moment,
affecting the success of the entire scheme, and calculated permanently to affect the future destiny of the
people of Canada, that a right decision should be arrived at in regard to the location of the western portion
of the line, and a Minister would be a traitor to a most
sacred trust if he allowed himself to be teased, intimidated or cajoled into any percipitate decision on such a
momentous point until every possible route had been
duly examined. When I left Ottawa the engineers
seemed disposed to report that our ultimate choice
would lie between two routes, both starting from Fort 17
George, namely, that which leads to the head of Dean's
Canal,, and that which terminates in Bute Inlet. Of
these two the line to Dean's Canal was the shortest by
some 40 miles, and was considerably the cheaper by
reason of its easier grades. The ultimate exit of this
channel to the dea was- also more direct than the
tortuous navigation out of Bute Inlet; but Mr. Mackenzie added—though you must not take what I am
now going to say as a definite conclusion on his part,
or an authoritative communication upon mine—that
provided the difference in expense was not so great as
to forbid it, he would desire to adopt what might be
-the less advantageous route from the Dominion point
of view in order to follow that Hne which would most
aptly meet the requirements of the Province. Without
pronouncing an opinion on the merits of either of the
routes, which it is no part of my business to do, 1 may
venture to say that in this principle I think Mr. Mackenzie is right, and that it would be wise and generous of
Canada to consult the local interests of British Columbia by bringing the Hne and its terminus within reach
of existing settlement, if it can be done without any
undue sacrifice of public money. From a recent article
in the Globe it would seem as though the Bute Inlet
line had finally found favour with the Government,
though I myself have no information on the point, and
I am happy to see from the statistics furnished by that
journal that not only has the entire line to the Pacific
been at last surveyed, located, graded, and its profile
taken out, but that the calculated expenses of construction though very great, and to be incurred only after
careful consideration, are far less than were anticipated.
Well, gentlemen, should the indications we have
received of the intentions of the Government prove
correct, you are very much to be congratulated,' for I
am well aware that the line to Bute Inlet is the one
which you have always favoured, and I should hope
that now at last you will be satisfied that the Canadian
Government has used, as it undertook to do, all
possible expedition in prosecuting the surveys of the
Hne to the Pacific Coast. I only wish that Wadding-
ion Harbour, at the head of the Inlet, was a better 18
port. I confess to having but a very poor opinion of it,
and certainly the acquaintance Ihave made with Seymour
Narrows and the intervening channels which will have
to be-bridged or ferried, did not seem to me to be very
favourable to either operation. Well, then, we now
come to the Esquimalt and Nanaimo Eailway. I am
well aware of the extraordinary importance you attach,.
to this work, and of course I am perfectly ready to
admit that its immediate execution was promised to
you in the most.definite and absolute manner under
Lord Carnarvon's arbitration. I am not, therefore,
suprised at the irritation and excitement occasioned in
this city by the non-fulfilment of this item in the
agreement—nay, 1 will go further, I think it extremely
natural that the miscarriage of this'part of the bargain
should have been provocative of very strenuous language and deeply embittered feelings, nor am 1 surprised that as is almost certain to follow on such occasions,
you should in your vexation put a very injurious construction on the conduct of those who had undertaken
to realize your hopes; but still I know that I am addressing high-minded and reasonable men, and moreover that
you are perfectly convinced that I would sooner out
my right hand off than utter a single word that I do
not know to be an absolute truth. Two years have
passed since the Canadian Government undertook to
commence the construction of the Esquimalt and
Nanaimo Eailway, and the Nanaimo and Esquimalt
Eailway is not even commenced, and what is more
there does not at present seem a prospect of its being
commenced. What then is the history of the case,
and who ie answerable for your disappointment? I
know you consider Mr. Mackenzie. 1 am not here to
defendvMr. Mackenzie, his policy, his proceedings, or
his utterances. 1 hope this will be clearly understood.
In anything I have hitherto said 1 have done nothing
of this sort, nor do I intend to do so. I have merely
stated to you certain matters with which I thought it
well for you to be acquainted, because they have been
misapprehended, and what I now tell, you are also
matters of fact, within my own cognizance and which
have no relation to Mr. Mackenzie as the head of a- 19
poHtical party, and 1 tell them to you not only in your
own interest, but in the interest of public morality and
EngHsh honour. In accordance with his engagements
to you in relation to the Nanaimo and Esquimalt Eailway Mr. Mackenzie introduced as soon as it was possible
a Bill into the Canadian House of Commons, the clauses
of which were admitted by your Eepresentatives in
Parliament fuUy to discharge his obligations to yourselves and to Lord Carnarvon in respect to that undertaking, and carried it through the lower House by a
large majority. 1 have reason to think that many of
his supporters voted for the Bill with very great
misgivings both as to the policy of the measure, and
the intrinsic merits of the Eailway, but their leader
had pledged himself to exercise his Parliamentary
influence to pass it, and they very properly carried it
through for him. It went up to the Senate and it was
thrown out by that body by a majority of two. 'Well,
I have learnt with regret that there is a very widespread conviction in this community that Mr. Mackenzie had surreptitiously procured the defeat of his own
measure in the Upper House. Had Mr. Mackenzie
dealt so treacherously by Lord Carnarvon, by the
Eepresentative of his Sovereign in this country, or by
you, he would have been guilty of a most atrocious
act, of which 1 trust no public man in Canada or in any
other British Colony could be capable. I tell you in
the most emphatic terms, and I pledge my honour
on the point, that Mr. Mackenzie was not guilty of any
such base and deceitful conduct-r—had 1 thought him
guilty of it either he would have ceased to have been
Prime Minister or I should have left the country. But
the very contrary was the fact. While these events
were passing I was in constant personal communication
with Mr. Mackenzie. 1 naturally watched the progress of the Bill with the greatest anxiety, because 1 was
aware of the eagerness with which the act was desired
in Victoria, and because I had long felt the deepest
sympathy with you in the succession of disappointments to which, by the force of circumstances, you had
been exposed. When the Bill passed the House of
Commons by a- large majority with the assent of the
J 20
leader of the opposition, in common with everyone else,
I concluded it was safe, and the adverse vote of the
Senate took me as much by surprise as it did you and the
rest of the world. I saw Mr. Mackenzie the next day
and I have seldom seen a man more annoyed or disconcerted than he was; indeed he was driven at that interview to protest with more warmth than he has ever used
against the decision of the English Government, which
had refused, on the opinion of the law officers of the
Crown, to allow him to add to the members of the
Senate, when soon after his accession to office, Prince
Edward Island had entered Confederation. | Had he
" been permitted," he said to me, ato have exercised
-" his rights in that respect, this would not have
I happened, but how can these mischances be prevent-'
*• ed in a body, the majority of which, having been
| nominated by my political opponent is naturally
| hostile to me." Now, gentlemen, your acquaintance
with ParHamentary Government must tell you that
this last observation of Mr. Mackenzie's was a perfectly just one. But my attention has been drawn to the
fact that two of Mr. Mackenzie's party supported his
Conservative opponents in the rejection of the Bill, but
surely you don't imagine that a Prime Minister can
deal with his supporters in the Senate as if they were
a regiment of soldiers. In the House of Commons he
has a better chance of maintaing a party discipline, for
the constituencies are very apt to resent any insubordination on the part of their members towards the
leader of their choice. But a Senator is equally independent of the Crown, the Minister, or the people, and
as in the House of Lords at Home, so in th*e Second
Chamber in Canada, gentlemen will run from time to
time on the wrong side of the post. But it has been
observed—granting that the two members in question
did not vote as they did at Mr. Mackenzie's instigation
j—he has exhibited his perfidy in not sending in his '
resignation as soon as the Senate had pronounced
against the Bill. Now, gentlemen, you cannot expect
me to discuss Mr. Mackenzie's conduct in that respect.
It would be very improper for me to do so, but though
I cannot discuss Mr. Mackenzie's conduct, I am perfect- 21
ly at liberty to tell you what I myself should have done
had Mr. Mackenzie tendered to me his resignation.    I
should have told him that in my opinion such a course
was quite unjustifiable, that as the House of Commons
was then constituted I saw no prospect of the Queen's
Government being advantageously carried on except
under his leadership, and that were he to resign at that
time the greatest inconvenience and detriment would
ensue to the public service.    That is what I should
have said to Mr. Mackenzie in the event contemplated,
and I have  no doubt. that the Parliament and  the
people of Canada would have  confirmed my decision.
But it has been furthermore urged that Mr. Mackenzie
■ought to have re-introduced the Bill.    Well, that is
again a point I cannot discuss, but I may tell you this,
that if Mr. Mackenzie had done so, I very much doubt
whether he would have succeeded in carrying it a second
time even in the House of Commons.    The fact is that
Canada at large, whether rightly or wrongly I do not
say, has unmistakably shown its approval of the vote
in the Senate.    An opinion has come to prevail from
one end of the Dominion to the other, an opinion which
I find is acquiesced in by a considerable proportion of
the inhabitants of British Columbia, that the Nanaimo
and Esquimalt  Eailway cannot stand upon  its own
merits, and that its construction as a Government enterprise would be, at all events at present, a useless expenditure  of the public  money.    Now again let me
assure you that I am not presuming to convey to you
any opinion of my own on this much contested point.
Even did I entertain any misgivings on the subject it
would be very ungracious for me to parade them in
your presence and on such an occasion.    I am merely
communicating to you my conjecture why it is that Mr.
Mackenzie has shown no signs of his intention to reintroduce the Nanaimo and Esquimalt Eailway Bill into
ParHament, viz. :—because he had no chance of getting
it passed.   'Well, then, gentlemen, of whom and what
have you to complain ?    Well, you  have every right
from your point of view to complain of the Canadian
Senate.   You have a right to say that after the Government of the day had promised that a measure upon 22
which a majority of the inhabitants of an important
Province had set their hearts should be passed, it was
ill-ndvised and unhandsome of that body not to confirm,
the natural expectations which had thus been gendered
in your breasts, especially when that work was itself
offered as a solution to you for a previous injury.    I
fully admit that it is a very grave step for either House
of the Legislature, and particularly for that which is
not the popular branch, to disavow any agreement into-
which the Executive may have entered, except under a
very absolute  sense of public duty.    Mind, I am not
saying that this is not such a ease, but I say that you
have got a perfect right from your own point of view,,
so to regard it.    But, gentlemen, that "is all.    You have
got no right to go beyond that.    You have got no right
to describe yourselves as a second time the victims of"
a broken agreement.    As I have shown you, the persons
who had entered into an engagement in regard to this-
Eailway with you and Lord Carnarvon had done their
very  best to  discharge their   obligations.    But   the
Senate who counteracted their intention, had given no
preliminary promises whatsoever either to you or to-
the Secretary of State.    They rejected the Bill in the
legitimate exercise of their constitutional functions, and
there is nothing more to be said on this head, so far as-
that body is concerned, either by you or Lord Carnarvon, for I need not assure you that there is not the*
slightest chance that any Secretary of State in Downing Street would attempt anything so unconstitutional,
so  likely   to  kindle  a flame throughout the   whole
Dominion, as to coerce the free legislative action of her-
Legislature.    But there is one thing I admit the Senate
has done, it has revived in their integrity those original-
treaty obligations on the strength of which you were
induced to enter Confederation, and it has re-imposed
upon Mr. Mackenzie and his Government the obligation
of offering you an equivalent for that stipulation in the--
I Carnarvon Terms " which he has not been able to-
make good.     Now,  from the very strong language
which has been used in regard to the conduct of Mr,
Mackenzie, a bystander would be led to imagine that as
soon as his Eailway Bill had  miscarried,   he   had 23
cynically refused to take any further action in the
matter. Had my Government done this they would
have exposed themselves to the severest reprehension,
and such conduct would have been both faithless to
you and disrespectful to Lord Carnarvon ; but so far
from having acted in this manner, Mr. Mackenzie has
•offered you a very considerable grant of money in consideration of your disappointment. Now here again I
won't touch upon the irritating controversies which
have circled round this particular step in these transactions. I am well aware that you consider this offer
to have been made under conditions of which you have
reason to complain. If this has been the. case it is
most unfortunate, but still whatever may have been
the sinister incidents connected with the past, the one
solid fact remains that the Canadian Government has
offered you $750,000 in lieu of the railway. This sum
lias been represented to me as totally inadequate, and
.as very far short of an equivalent. It may be so or it
may not be so. Neither upon that.point will I offer
an opinion, but still I may mention to you the principle
upon which that sum has been arrived at. Under the
Nanaimo and Esquimalt Eailway Bill, whose rejection
"by the Senate we have been considering, Canada was
to contribute a bonus of $10,000 a mile; the total"
distance of the line is about 70 miles, consequently the-
$750,000 is nothing more or less than this very bonus
•converted into a lump sum. Now since 1 have come
here it has been represented to me by the friends of
the Eailway that it is a line which is capable of standing on its own merits, and that a company had been
.almost induced to take it up some time ago as an un-
subsidied enterprise. Nay, only yesterday the local
paper which is the mOst strenuous champion for the
Hne, asserted that it could be built for $2,000,000 ; that
the lands—which, with the $750,000, were to be replaced by Mr. Mackenzie at your disposal—were worth
several millions more, and that the Eailway itself
would prove a most paying concern. If this is so, and
what better authority can I refer to, is it not obvious
that the bonus proposal of the Dominion Government
.-assumes at least the semblance of a fair offer, and even 2*
if you did not consider it absolutely up to the mark, it
should not have been denounced in the very strong
language which has been used. However, I do not
wish to discuss the point whether the $750,000 was a
sufficient offer or not. I certainly am not empowered
to hold out to you any hopes of an advance—all that
I would venture to submit is that Mr. Mackenzie having
been thwarted in his bona fide endeavour to fulfil this
special item in the " Carnarvon Terms " has adopted
the only course left to him in proposing to discharge
his obligations by a money payment. I confess I
should have thought this would be the most natural
solution of the problem, and that the payment of a
sum of money equivalent to the measure of Mr. Mackenzie's original obHgation, to be expended under
whatever conditions would be most immediately advantageous to the Province, and ultimately beneficial
to the Dominion, would not have been an unnatural
remedy for the misadventure which has stultified the
special stipulation in regard to the Nanaimo and Esquimalt Eailway, but of course of these matters you yourselves are the best judges, and I certainly have not the
slighest desire to suggest to you any course which you
may think contrary to your interests. - My only object
in touching upon them at all is to disabuse your minds
of the idea that there has been any intention upon the
part of Mr. Mackenzie, his Government, or of Canada,
to break their faith with you. Every single item of"
the "Carnarvon Terms" is at this moment in the
course of fulfilment. At enormous expense the surveys
have been pressed forward to completion; the fifty
millions of land and the thirty millions of money to
be provided for by Canada under the Bill are ready ;.
the profiles of the main line have been taken out, and
the most elaborate information has been sent over to
Europe in regard to every section of country through
which it passes; several thousand miles of the stipulated telegraph have been laid down, and now that the
location of the western terminus seems to have been
determined, though upon this point I have myself no
information, tenders 1 imagine will be called for almost
immediately.   Whatever further steps may be neces- 25
sary to float the undertaking as a commercial enterprise will be adopted and the promised waggon-road
will necessarily follow pari passu with construction.
Well, then, gentlemen, how will you stand under these
-circumstances ? You will have got your line to Bute
Inlet. Now I will communicate to you a conclusion I
have arrived at from my visit to that locality. If the
Pacific Eailway once comes to Bute Inlet, it cannot
stop there. It may pause there for a considerable time,
until Canadian trans-Pacific traffic with Australia,
China, and Japan shall have begun to expand, but such
a traffic once set going, Waddington Harbour will no
longer serve as a terminal port, in fact it is no harbour
-at'all, and scarcely an anchorage,—the Eailway must
be prolonged under these circumstances to Esquimalt,
that is to say if the deliberate opinion of the Engineers
should pronounce the operation feasible, and Canada
shall in the meantime have acquired the additional
financial stability which would justify her undertaking
what under any circumstances must prove one of the
most gigantic achievements the world has ever witnessed.
In that case of course the Nanaimo Eailway springs
into existence of its own accord, and you will then be in
possession both of your money compensation and of the
thing for which it was paid, and with this result 1 do not
think you should be ill-satisfied. But should the contrary be the case, the prospect is indeed a gloomy one;
should hasty counsels, and the exhibition of an impracticable spirit throw these arrangements into confusion, interrupt or change our present railway programme, and necessitate any re-arrangement of your
political relations, I fear Victoria would be the chief
sufferer. I scarcely like to allude to such a contingency, nor, gentlemen, are my observations directed
immediately to you. Now I know very well that neither
those whom 1 am addressing nor do the greater
majority of the inhabitants of Vancouver Island or of
Victoria, participate in the views to which I am about
to refer, but still a certain number of your fellow-
citizens, gentlemen with whom I have had a great
deal of pleasant and interesting conversation, and who
have shown to me personally the greatest kindness and 26
courtesy, have sought to impress me with the belief
that if the Legislature of Canada is not compelled by
some means or other, which however they do not
specify, to make forthwith these 70 miles of railway,
they will be strong enough, in the face of Mr. Mackenzie's offer of a money equivalent, to take British
Columbia out of the Confederation. Well, they certainly won't be able to do that. I am now in a position
to judge for myself as to what are the real sentiments
of the community. I will even presume to say I know
more about it than these gentlemen themselves. When
once the main line of the Pacific Eailway is under
weigh, the whole population of the Mainland would be
perfectly contented with the present situation of affairs,,
and will never dream of detaching their fortunes from
those of Her Majesty's great Dominion. Nay, I don't
believe that these gentlemen would be able to persuade
their fellow citizens even of the Island of Vancouver
to so violent a course; but granting for the moment
that theif influence should prevail,—what would be the
result ? British Columbia would be still part and
parcel of Canada. The great work of Confederation
would not be perceptibly affected. But the 'proposed
line of the Pacific Eailway might possibly be deflected
south. New Westminster would certainly become the
capital of the Province, the Dominion would naturally
use its best endeavours to build it up into a flourishing
and prosperous city. It would be the seat of Government, and the home of justice, as well as the chief social
centre on the Pacific Coast. Burrard Inlet would become a great commercial port, and the miners of
Cariboo with their stores of gold dust would spend
their festive and open-handed winters there. Great
Britain would of course retain Esquimalt as a naval
station on this coast, as she has retained Halifax as a
naval station on the other, and inasmuch as a constituency of some 1,500 persons would not be able to
* supply the material for a Parliamentary Government,.
Vancouver and its inhabitants, who are now influential
by reason of their intelligence rather than their numbers, would be ruled as Jamaica, Malta, Gibraltar,
Heligoland, and Ascension are ruled, through the instru- 27
■mentality of some Naval or other Officer.    Nanaimo
would become the principal town of the Island, and
Victoria would lapse for many a long year into  the
•condition of a village, until the development of your
<;oal fields, and the growth of a healthier sentiment had
prepared the way for its re-incorporation with the rest
-of the Province; at least that is the horoscope I should
-draw for it in the contingency contemplated by these
gentlemen.    But God forbid that any such prophecy
should be realized.    I believe the gentlemen I have
referred to are the very last who would desire to see
the fulfilment of their menaces, and I hope they will
forgive me if I am not intimidated by their formidable
representations.    When some pertinacious philosopher
insisted on assailing the late King of the Belgians with
-a raphsody on the beauties of a Eepublican Government His Majesty replied, " You forget, sir, I am a
Eoyalist by profession."    Well, a Governor-General is
&, Federalist by profession, and you might as well expect the Sultan of Turkey to throw up. his cap for the
•commune as the Viceroy of Canada to entertain a suggestion for the disintegration of the Dominion.    I hope
therefore \hey will not bear me any ill-will for having
declined to bow my head beneath their " separation "
.arch.    It was a very good humoured, and certainly not
a disloyal bit of "bounce" which they had prepared
for me. I suppose they wished me to know they were the
■u arch " enemies of Canada.    Well, I have made an arch
reply.    But, gentlemen, of course, I am not serious in
discussing such a contingency as that to which I have
referred.     Your numerical weakness as a community
is your real strength, for it is ^a consideration which
.appeals to  every generous  heart.    Far  be the  day
when on any acre of soil above which floats the flag of
England, mere material power, brute political preponderance, should be permitted to decide such a controversy as that which we are discussing.     It is to men
like yourselves who,  with  unquailing fortitude  and
heroic energy have planted the laws and liberties and
the blessed influences  of English homes amidst the
wilds and desert plains of savage lands, that England
-owes the enhancement of her prestige, the diffusion of 28
her
tongue,
widening renown,
the increase of her commerce and her ever-
:1 woe betide the Government or
Statesmen who, because its inhabitants are few in
number and politically of small account, should disregard the wishes or carelessly dismiss the representations however bluff, boisterous or downright, of the
feeblest of our distant colonies. No, gentlemen, neither
England or Canada would be content or happy in any
settlement that was not arrived at with your own
hearty approval and consent, and equally satisfactory
to every section of your Province; but we appeal to
your moderation and practical good sense to assist us
in resolving the present difficulty,—the genius of the
English race has ever been too robust and sensible to
admit the existence of an irreconcileable element in its
midst. It is only among weak and hysterical populations that such a growth can flourish;—however
hard the blows given and taken during the contest,
Britishers always find a means of making up the
quarrel, and such I trust will be the case on the present occasion. My functions as a constitutional ruler
are simply to superintend the working of the poHtical
machine, but not to intermeddle with its action. I
trust that I have observed that rule on the present
occasion and that, although 1 have addressed you at
considerable length, 1 have not said a word which has
not been strictly within my province' to say or has
intruded on those domains which are reserved for my
responsible advisers. As I warned you would be the
case, I have made no announcement, I have made
no promise, I have hazarded no opinion upon any
of the administrative questions now occupying the
joint attention of yourselves and the Dominion. I
have only endeavoured to correct some misapprehensions by which you have been possessed in regard to
matters of historical fact, ,and I have testified to the
kind feeling entertained for you by your feUow.subjects
in Canada, and to the desire of my Government for the
re-estabHshment of the friendHest and kindest relations between you and themselves, and I trust that I
may carry away with me the conviction that from
henceforth a less angry and irritated feeHng towards 29
Canada will have been inaugurated than has hitherto
subsisted. Of my own earnest desire to do anything I
can to forward your views so far as theymay be founded in justice and. reason 1 need not speak. My presence here and the way in which I have spent my time
will have convinced you of what has been the object
nearest my heart. I cannot say how glad I am to have
come, or how much I have profited by my visit, and I
assure you none of the representations with which I
have been favoured will escape my memory or fail to be
duly submitted in the proper quarter.
And now, gentlemen, I must bid you good bye; but
before doing so there is one other topic upon which I
am desirous of touching. From my first arrival in
Canada I have been very much preoccupied with the
condition of the Indian population in this Province.
You must remember that the Indian population are not
represented in Parliament, and consequently that the
Governor-General is bound to watch over their welfare
with especial solicitude. Now, we must all,admit that
the condition of the Indian question in British Columbia is not satisfactory. Most unfortunately, as I think,
there has been an initial error ever since Sir James
Douglas quitted office, in the Government of British
Columbia neglecting to recognize what is known as the
Indian title. In Canada this has always been done;
no Government, whether provincial or central, has
failed to acknowledge that the original title to the land
existed in the Indian tribes and communities that
hunted or wandered over them. Before we touch an
acre we make' a treaty with the chiefs representing the
lands we are dealing with, and having agreed upon
and paid the stipulated price, oftentimes arived at after
a great deal of haggling and difficulty, we enter into
possession, but not until then do we consider that we
are entitled to deal with an acre. The result has been
that in Canada our Indians are contented, weU affected
to the white man, and amenable to the laws and Government. At this very moment the Lieutenant-
Governor of Manitoba has gone on a distant expedition
in order to make a treaty with the tribes to the northward of the Saskatchewan.   Last year he made two 30
treaties with the Sioux and Crows; next year it has
been arranged that he should make a treaty with the
Blackfeet, and when this has been done the British
Crown will have acquired a title to every acre that
lies between Lake Superior and the top of the Eocky
Mountains. • But in British Columbia, except in a few
cases where, under the jurisdiction of the Hudson Bay
Company or under the auspices of Sir James Douglas,
a similar practice has been adopted, the British Columbia Government has always assumed that the fee simple as well as the sovereignty resided in the Queen.
Acting upon this principle they have granted extensive
grazing leases and otherwise so dealt with various sec^
tions of the country as greatly to restrict or interfere
with the prescriptive rights of the Queen's Indian
subjects. As a consequence there has come to exist a
very unsatisfactory feeling amongst the Indian population. Intimations of this reached me at Ottawa two or
three years ago, and since I have come into the Province my misgivings on the subject have been confirmed. Now, I confess I consider that our Indian fellow-
subjects are entitled to exactly the same civil rights
under the law as are possessed by the white population, and that if an Indian can prove a prescriptive
right of way to a fishing station, or a right of way of
any other kind, that that right should no more be ignored than if it was the case of a white man. I am well aware
that among the coast Indians the land question does
not present the same characteristics as in other parts
of Canada, or as it does in the grass countries of the
interior of the Province, but I have also been able to
understand that in these latter districts it may be even
more necessary to deal justly and liberally with the
Indian in regard to his land rights even than on the
prairies of the North-West. I am very happy to think
that the British Columbia Government should have
recognized the necessity of assisting the Dominion
Government in ameHorating the present condition of
affairs in this respect, and that it has agreed to the
creation of a joint commission for the purpose of putting
the interests of the Indian population on a more satisfactory footing.   Of course in what I have said I do 31
not mean that, in our desire to be humane and to act
justly, we should do anything unreasonable or Quixotic,
or that rights already acquired by white men should
'be inconsiderately invaded or recalled; but I would
venture to put the Government of British Columbia on
its guard against the fatal eventualities which might
arise should a sense of injustice provoke the Indian
population to violence or into collision with our scattered settlers. Probably there has gone forth amongst
them- very incorrect and exaggerated information of the
warlike achievements of their brethren in Dakotah, and
their uneducated minds are incapable of calculating
chances. Of course there is no danger, of any serious
or permanent revolt, but it must be remembered that
even an accidental collision in which blood was shed
might have a most disastrous effect upon our present
satisfactory relations with the warHke tribes in the
North-West, whose amity and adhesion to our system
of government is so essential to the progress of the
Pacific Eailway. and I make this appeal, as I may call
it, with all the more earnestness since I have convinced
myself of . the degree to which, if properly dealt
with, the Indian population might be made to contribute
to the development of the wealth and resources of the
Province. I have now seen them in all phases of their
existence, from the half-naked savage, perched like a
bird of prey, in a red blanket, upon a rock trying to
catch his- miserable dinner of fish, to the neat Indian
maiden in Mr. Duncan's school at Metlakatlah, as modest and as well dressed as any clergyman's daughter
in an English parish, or to the shrewd horse-riding
Siwash of the Thompson Valley, with his racers in
training for the Ashcroft stakes and as proud of his
stackyard and turnip field as a British squire. In his
first condition it is evident he is scarcely a producer or
consumer; in his second he is eminently both; and in
proportion as he can be raised to the higher level of
civilization will be the degree to which he will contribute
to the vital energies of the Province. What you want
are not resources, but human beings to develop them
and to consume them. Eaise your 60,000 Indians to
the level Mr. Duncan has taught us they can be brought t  • 32
and consider what an enormous amount of vital power
you will have added to your present strength. But I
must not keep you longer. I thank you most heartily
for your patience and attention. Most earnestly do I
desire the accomplishment of all your aspirations, and
if ever I have the good fortune to come to British
Columbia again I hope it may be by —Eail.  

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