British Columbia History

British Columbia Historical Quarterly Jul 31, 1945

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JULY, 1945 We
Published by the Archives of British Columbia
in co-operation with the
British Columbia Historical Association.
W. Kaye Lamb.
The University of British Columbia, Vancouver, B.C.
Willard E. Ireland.
Provincial Archives, Victoria, B.C.
(On active service, R.C.A.F.)
J. C Goodfellow, Princeton. T. A. Rickard, Victoria.
W. N. Sage, Vancouver.
Editorial communications should be addressed to the Editor.
Subscriptions should be sent to the Provincial Archives, Parliament
Buildings, Victoria, B.C. Price, 50c. the copy, or $2 the year. Members
of the British Columbia Historical Association in good standing receive the
Quarterly without further charge.
Neither the Provincial Archives nor the British Columbia Historical
Association assumes any responsibility for statements made by contributors
to the magazine.
The Quarterly is indexed in Faxon's Annual Magazine Subject-Index. BRITISH COLUMBIA
"Any country worthy of a future
should be interested in its past."
Vol. IX. Victoria, B.C., July, 1945. No. 3
From "Tickler" to "Telegram": Notes on Early Vancouver
By Bessie Lamb =.    175
Pioneer Days in Pulp and Paper.
By Herbert Carmichael    201
Royal Commissions and Commissions of Inquiry in British
Columbia.   A Checklist.
Part IV.:  1921-1942.    (Conclusion.)
By Marjorie C. Holmes     213
Notes and Comments:
The Last Journey of British Columbia's Largest Canoe.
By E. M. Cotton    229
Leonard Norris:  1865—1945.
By Margaret Ormsby       232
British Columbia Historical Association  234
Contributors to this Issue      235
The Northwest Bookshelf:
Jefferys:  The Picture Gallery of Canadian History.    Vol. II.
By Helen R. Boutilier  237
Longley: Sir Francis Hincks.
By Margaret Ormsby    239
Parker:  Local History.
By W. Kaye Lamb—   241 1
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A 26-year-old lumber clerk in the long vanished sawmill at
Moodyville, on the North Shore, was Greater Vancouver's first
newspaper editor. Just sixty-seven years ago, after much burning of midnight oil, William Royde Colbeck managed to produce
the first issue of a provocative little journal, the Moodyville
Tickler. English born1 and said to have been educated at Oxford,
Colbeck had displayed his literary bent a few months before,
when he contributed a poem entitled " A Happy New Year!"
to the New Year's Day issue of the Victoria Colonist.2
The first issue of the Tickler was dated July 20, 1878. Colbeck was evidently aware that he was making history for a
sub-title announced the paper as " The Pioneer Advocate of Bur-
rard's Inlet." The spritely leading article on the first of its four
small pages, each of whiqh measured approximately 8V2 by 12
inches, commenced as follows:—
The present is decidedly an age of civilization. One of the chief signs of
progress in this respect is the possessing a local paper. Moodyville, then,
can now claim to be, what it really is, a go-ahead, prosperous, civilized
locality.    For here is the proof—here is its newspaper!
Craving " a more than ordinary amount of indulgence from his
readers," Colbeck then explained that the Tickler had been
Written at odd intervals, during the wee sma' hours of the night, in moments
hurriedly stolen from that sleep which one was loth to renounce—when
nought was to be seen but the fitful flash of the night-watchman's lantern,
• as he went his stealthy rounds—nought to be heard but the steady splash!
splash! of the dripping water as it drops with its never-ceasing monotonous
thud on the floor of the " Old Mill" (where the office of the Tickler is for
the time located), drawing scanty draughts of inspiration from nought but
the plaintive melody of a couple of Thomas cats  .  .   .
(1) He was the eldest son of the Rev. W. R. Colbeck, vicar of Fressing-
field, Suffolk. (Death notice in the Victoria Colonist, June 23, 1892, which
in error places Fressingfield in Norfolk.) In April, 1879, in New Westminster, he married Anna Jane Young. (Ibid., April 13, 1879.) After her
husband's death Mrs. Colbeck returned to British Columbia with her family.
A daughter, Nora, now Mrs. Horne, resides at Port Mellon.
(2) Colonist, January 1, 1878.
British Columbia Historical Quarterly, Vol. IX., No. 3.
175 176 Bessie Lamb. July
Elsewhere he explained further that
Owing to the enforced participation in the somewhat active duties of life as
they present themselves around a saw-mill, the Editor will not be able to
devote more than three nights a week to the interests of the Tickler.
Only the editing of the little paper was done at Moodyville;
the printing was done in some shop, as yet unidentified, in New
At this late date it is difficult to judge how serious a venture
the Tickler was intended to be. The motive for its appearance
may have been partly political. A general election was impending, and Colbeck devoted considerable space to the questions of
the day, and in particular to the building of the Canadian Pacific
Railway. He was an ardent supporter of Sir John A. Macdonald
and the Conservative party, and condemned Alexander Mackenzie and the Liberals in no uncertain terms. But a newspaper
must win local support if it is to survive, and this the Tickler
evidently failed to do. The price—50 cents per copy—doubtless
limited its circulation; its satirical touch (one news column was
headed " Current Falsehoods "), and Colbeck's habit of indulging his lively sense of huiriour at the expense of his fellow mill-
workers, may well have further limited its popularity. One of
the less personal sallies deserves quotation:—
Notices of deaths, unless accompanied by a special fee, will be restricted
to two lines and a half, but an enclosed five-dollar bill (silver taken at a
discount) will ensure a double-headed, double black-edged column, devoted
to praises of the deceased, and enumerating his peculiar vices (if he had
any). His pedigree will be traced back to the Conquest, and his whole life's
career will be " done up " so brown that his dearest relative, not even his
mother-in-law, would be able to recognize the picture.
For a gratuity, however, of twenty dollars, the editor guarantees to
indite a delightfully sublime and pathetic obituary notice in blank verse,
to put in a personal appearance, if requested, at the wake, and ere morning
dawns amidst the ruin of broken heads and broken bottles, so customary at
these mournful family gatherings, to pronounce such a eulogy over the dear
remains as would bring tears to the eyes of a Dromedary!
How long the Tickler survived we do not know. It was intended to be a weekly,3 but only three issues, or at the most four,
are thought to have appeared.4   The only copy known to be in
(3) In noticing the first issue, the Colonist described the Tickler as "a
small four-page hebdomadal."
(4) See the account in the Vancouver Province, October 12, 1935. 1945 From " Tickler " to " Telegram." 177
existence is the well-preserved first issue presented to the Vancouver City Archives ten years ago by Mrs. H. A. Chrjstie. She
received it from her father, the late Joseph Mannion, well known
in early days as proprietor of the old Granville Hotel, and later
a member of the first City Council of Vancouver.6
Colbeck was active and public-spirited, and although the
Tickler vanished, he soon gained some prominence in the community. In 1881 he was elected President of the Burrard Inlet
Mechanics' Institute,6 and the following year was serving as
a Director of the Royal Columbian Hospital.7 But he had decided
to try his fortune elsewhere, and left for Australia, apparently
in the summer of 1882. There he turned once more to journalism, and became sub-editor of a Sydney paper.8 He died at the
early age of 40 on January 13, 1892, in Cape Town, where he
had gone to visit a brother.9
The second newspaper published on the shores of Burrard
Inlet was the Port Moody Gazette, a four-page six-column weekly
that first appeared on Saturday, December 15, 1883. At that
time Port Moody was confident that it would be the terminus
of the Canadian Pacific Railway, and a real-estate boom was in
full swing. Steel rails had begun to arrive in March, and the
first locomotive for the railway, then under construction through
the Fraser Canyon and Fraser Valley, had been landed on the
Port Moody dock, amidst great excitement, in October.
The price of the Gazette by subscription was $2 per annum,
" invariably in advance." Ostensibly the paper was an independent venture, edited by P. S. Hamilton, formerly of Halifax,
(5) Ibid.
(6) The old Minute Book of the Institute (original in the Vancouver
Public Library; transcript in Provincial Archives) shows that he served
two years on the Committee before being elected President on April 9, 1881.
He presided at the annual meeting held on April 1, 1882, but evidently
resigned later in the year, as one of the purposes of a meeting held in
November was the election of a successor.
(7) See R. T. Williams, British Columbia Directory for the Years 1882-
88, Victoria, 1882, p. 227.
(8) See the brief article by A. Cromar Bruce in the Vancouver News-
Herald, September 11, 1942.
(9) Colonist, June 23, 1892. 178 Bessie Lamb. July
who had been at one time editor of the Winnipeg Times.19
Actually it was merely an offshoot of the New Westminster
Mainland Guardian, owned by J. K. Suter, and as such was
promptly pounced upon and torn asunder by the Guardian's
local contemporary, the British Columbian, which greeted it as
On Saturday the first number of the Port Moody Gazette made its appearance. It is a 24 column paper, edited by Mr. P. S. Hamilton of Port Moody,
and printed at the Guardian office in this city. It is always a pleasure to
welcome new faces in the great journalistic family, when there is any
ground for expecting that the addition will be for the public good. We are
sorry that in this latest venture we are unable to discover any promise of
usefulness. The Port Moody Gazette is practically a reprint of the Guardian, under a changed name. From beginning to end it is a fraud. While
professing to be issued at Port Moody, it is wholly made up, printed and
published in this city. The first page is devoted to a description of Port
Moody, which is quite proper, followed by some extracts from the Guardian.
The second page has a brief introductory article, followed by over two
columns of old Guardian editorials. The reading matter of the third and
fourth pages is verbatim from the Guardian. . . . The " salutatory"
states that the paper will be independent in politics, and the editorials are
as rabidly partisan as anything that could possibly be conceived. It bristles
all over with political misrepresentation and falsehood. We really cannot
congratulate either Port Moody or its editor upon the first issue of the
Gazette. If its initial number is so completely devoid of merit, and so
thoroughly unreliable, there is not much hope for those that are to come.
If Port Moody needs a paper, let her have one by all means; but let it be
an honest, independent newspaper and not a Guardian with the label
changed, so as to deceive.11
The Gazette's relatively mild rejoinder appeared in its second
The Editor of the British Columbian . . . has no more conception of
gentlemanly courtesy than a Thug might be supposed to have of Christian
Charity. He hails our first appearance with savage abuse. No doubt, he
does find it provoking after having had Port Moody vigorously canvassed
... in the effort to make it his own preserve, to find that now a new and
vigorous journal has occupied the field and is certain to hold it. ... the
fellow tries to be witty (!) over some defects in our first issue, which any
sane reader could see were errors of the compositor and proof-reader. . . .
Until our arrangements are perfected and our own new press up  .  .   .  we
(10) See the note from the Halifax Herald reprinted in the Gazette for
February 9, 1884.
(11) New Westminster British Columbian, December 19, 1883. ■• 1945 From " Tickler " to " Telegram." 179
have made  .  .  .  arrangements for being printed at the office of another
But Hamilton (if he it was) might as well have saved his
ink and paper, for the appearance of the Gazette could not help
but rekindle the time-honoured feud between J. K. Suter of the
Guardian and John Robson of the Columbian.1* The quarrel
had been fast and furious during the Provincial election of 1882,
in which Robson was a candidate. Many of the exchanges had
been both personal and highly abusive. Suter's remark that
Robson was " unprincipled and untrammeled with the feelings
of a gentleman," and Robson's counter charge that Suter was
"a coward and a moral assassin," are typical. After Robson
entered the cabinet in July, 1883, he had less time for journalism, and the Columbian was left in the hands of his brother
David. But, as the item quoted above shows, David was both
able and willing to continue the feud with the Guardian,
Perhaps because Robson is a much more prominent figure,
James Kay Suter has usually been ignored or misrepresented by
historians. His venomous editorials give a completely false impression of the man, and suggest nothing of his interesting
background. Born in Scotland in 1823, Suter went thence to
Liverpool. He was highly educated in languages, literature, and
music, and was proficient as a chorister, pianist, and violinist.
When a young man he emigrated to the Southern States, where
he seems first to have turned to journalism for a living. While
there he trained a church choir of negro singers, whose lovely
voices delighted him. He was attracted to British Columbia by
(12) Port Moody Gazette, December 22, 1883.
(13) The differences between the two dated back to 1869, when, during a
period of hard times, Robson moved the Columbian from New Westminster
to Victoria, where Suter was then employed by the Colonist. Within a few
months the Colonist purchased the Columbian, and the latter ceased publication. Robson became editor of the Colonist, and about the same time Suter
was discharged. Robson always denied that he was in any way responsible
for Suter's dismissal, but a life-long animosity sprang up between the two
men. Later in 1869 Suter moved to New Westminster and founded the
Mainland Guardian. Robson himself returned to New Westminster in 1880,
purchased the Dominion Pacific Herald, and in 1882 changed its name to
that of his original paper, the British Columbian. See " John Robson versus
J. K. Suter. Three articles on Robson's early career," in British Columbia
Historical Quarterly, IV. (1940), pp. 20&-15. 180 Besses Lamb. July
the Cariboo gold rush. (One small incident in his travels there
remained long in his memory: he awoke one morning to find
what he was sure must be the devil himself staring at him, but
instead it turned out to be one of the famous Cariboo camels,
which had stuck its head into his tent!) Returning to Victoria,
he joined the staff of the Colonist, and then, in 1869, moved to
New Westminster and founded the Mainland Guardian.1*
Suter crowned the Royal City's first May Queen on May 4,
1870, and his own account of the ceremony deserves quotation:—
Meanwhile a forlorn-looking object, who was stated to be the " oldest bachelor" present, was made to place the crown on the fair young head, that
waited to receive it. The unfortunate man muttered some words which our
reporter did not think worth while to take a note of; but we really thought
it the refinement of cruelty to bring the poor fellow into the midst of such a
group of lovely young creatures, who must have made his miserable condition more glaringly apparent to all. We hope, for the sake of humanity,
that some kindly disposed young lady will usher him into matrimonial bliss
ere another May Queen ascends the throne."
Those who knew him personally tell us that Suter was a gentleman of the old school; that he was of an artistic and retiring
nature, except in his political writings, which were at times so
charged with vitriol that they involved him in difficulties and
damage suits which virtually ruined him. Despite his May Day
plea, he never married, and in later years lived alone with a
negro servant. He died in poverty in New Westminster on
December 18, 1899, at the age of 76, and lies buried in an
unmarked grave in the old Sapperton Masonic Cemetery.16
But to return to the Port Moody Gazette. The paper was
more than an ordinary speculation to Suter. He believed in the
future of Port Moody, invested heavily in the townsite, and lost
as heavily when the boom finally broke. In the interval he had
had his difficulties with the Gazette. P. S. Hamilton served as
(so-called) editor for only three months, and then set up shop
as a barrister, notary, and real-estate agent. Thereafter the
Port Moody representative of the Gazette was listed as " manager " instead of " editor " of the paper. Several persons held
the post in succession; of these Frisby Logan held the post for
(14) Information kindly furnished by Mrs. R. G. Dingle, of New Westminster, a grand niece of J. K. Suter.
(15) Mainland Guardian, May 7, 1870.
(16) Information chiefly from Mrs. Dingle. 1945 From " Tickler " to " Telegram." 181
the longest term. His duties were confined to soliciting subscriptions and advertising, and to reporting local events. The
bulk of the material for the paper was drawn from the Guardian, and the printing continued to be done by the Guardian
The fate of the paper was always bound up with that of Port
Moody itself, and that in turn depended upon whether or not
the town actually became the terminus of the transcontinental
railway.17 During the greater part of 1884 negotiations were
in progress between Van Horne and the Hon. William Smithe,
Premier of the Province, with a view to extension of the line
to Coal Harbour. It was known that something of the kind
was afoot, but the Gazette refused to recognize that actual construction of such an extension was even remotely possible. Even
the official announcement that the railway was to be built to a
point farther down the Inlet was not accepted as final, and the
Gazette and Port Moody fought on gallantly. The Gazette was
still appearing regularly when the first regular passenger train
arrived at Port Moody from the East on July 4, 1886; but it
did not live to record the passing of the first train that travelled
on to Vancouver. The final issue, dated March 15, 1887, appeared a little more than two months before that event.
By the first days of 1886 it was apparent to all that Port
Moody's star had waned, and that Vancouver was destined to be
the chief centre of population on Burrard Inlet. The infant
metropolis greeted its first newspaper, the Vancouver Weekly
Herald and North Pacific News, on Friday, January 15, 1886.
Copies of the first issue were placed in the Deighton Hotel, the
Sunnyside Hotel, Joe Mannion's Granville Hotel, and other
favourite haunts, and the citizens soon foregathered to see what
kind of a paper " Bill " Brown had produced on the hand-press
he had brought from Toronto, and installed in an office on Car-
(17) Legally, it may be noted, Port Moody remains to this day the
terminus Of the Canadian Pacific Railway; technically, the line thence to
Vancouver is only a branch line. In every sense that matters in a practical
way, however, the terminus moved to Vancouver in 1886-87. 182 Bessie Lamb. July
rail Street, between Powell and Oppenheimer (now East Cordova) streets.18
' The city had not yet been incorporated; a notice to the effect
that application for incorporation would be made to the Provincial Legislature at the next session was perhaps the most
important item in the paper. In a sense Vancouver did not yet
exist, and this fact was reflected in the advertisements that
filled about a third of the Herald's pages. Some of the merchants indicated the location of their premises by using the older
names Coal Harbour, Hastings, and Granville; others used Vancouver, followed by one or more of the older names in brackets.
But the Herald was looking to the future, and had much to say
about the present activity and impending development of the
community. It noted that the Canadian Pacific Railway was
building its first wharf; that there had been thirty-six ships
in the harbour in 1885, and that lumber shipments during the
year had aggregated 20,000,000 feet. It quoted from a speech
by the Hon. John Robson, then Provincial Secretary and Minister of Finance, who had remarked:—
It is impossible to form any conception of the future of this new city but
with the Dominion and England at its back the probabilities are that it will
soon become a place of importance. It is the city on the Pacific Coast and
towards it many eyes are turned.
William Brown, editor and proprietor of the Herald, was a
native of Fife, Scotland, where he was born in 1827. Before
coming to British Columbia he had published the Walkerton
Herald in Bruce County, Ontario. His Vancouver Weekly Herald
was a seven-column, four-page paper, and the venture fared so
well that within a few months he was able to secure a new and
more elaborate printing plant. His intention was to publish the
Herald tri-weekly; but before this plan could be carried into
effect the great fire of June 13, 1886, swept the city, and Brown
lost everything.
f" •  i     •■-.'. •:■•;■'    ''J'1   i'.-r ■-"   " Hi;!
(18) The copy of the first issue of the Herald in the Vancouver City
Archives survived an experience that would have destroyed most papers.
It went down in the steamer Prince Rupert when she sank in Swanson Bay
in September, 1920, and was found to be relatively undamaged when it was
dried out after the vessel was raised in January, 1921. Facsimiles of the
first issues of the Herald, Advertiser, News, and World will be found in the
special edition published by the World in June, 1896, pp. 49-50. 1945 From " Tickler " tq " Telegram." 183
He was not a lone sufferer, for two other papers had been
established in Vancouver shortly before the fire. The earlier
of these, the Vancouver Advertiser, made its bow on Saturday,
May 8, and had the distinction of being not only the first daily
published in Vancouver, but the first daily published t>n the
mainland of British Columbia. Its office was on the north side
of Powell Street, west of Columbia Street—about opposite the
Europe Hotel of the present day.
The editor and manager of the Advertiser was William B.
Macdougall, who soon became known locally as " Wandering
Willie.",!;He was the son of the Hon. William Macdougall, then
a well-known journalist and politician, who is now remembered
chiefly as Governor of Rupert's Land at the time of the Red
River Rebellion. The son had had some experience on a weekly
paper in Ontario, and hoped to accomplish great things in the
Far West. He had gone first to Nanaimo, where he was asso-.
dated with a short-lived weekly, Westward Ho! In Vancouver
the original stake that enabled him to launch the Advertiser is
understood to have been furnished by John Hay.19
The Advertiser was a five-column, four-page paper, approximately 13 by 20 inches in size. It took its own advent somewhat
seriously, and noted in its fourth issue that "About the first enterprise that really marks the transformation of a community from
a village to a city is the establishment of a daily newspaper."
About half its columns were filled with advertising, while a great
show was made on the front page of mail and telegraph dispatches from world centres. At the same time local events were
by no means neglected. Thus on May 11 a whole column was
devoted to the first meeting of the new Vancouver City Council,
and Mayor MacLean's inaugural address was printed in full.
On May 19 an elaborate account of the plans for the original
Hotel Vancouver appeared, while on the 22nd a great Indian
potlatch, held on the North Shore at the Second Narrows, was
described by a special reporter in all its vivid details. A feature
of the paper was a roundup of local notes that appeared regularly
on the last page,   Critics of Vancouver's climate may care to
(19) The original printing staff of the Advertiser consisted of: J. J.
Randolph, foreman; Jerry Maxwell, W. E. Peck, W. B. Miller, Colonel
Phillips, and E. K. Sargison, printers. 184 Bessbs Lamb. July
know that in one of the earlier issues the first item in the column
consisted of the three words: " Rain! Rain!! Rain!!! "
On May 31, the Advertiser, hitherto published in the evening,
suddenly changed its policy and became a morning daily. Two
small news items called attention to the change. One read:
" Good morning Vancouver Daily Advertiser," and the other;
" Last day of May, 1886. First issue in Vancouver of a morning
daily newspaper." The reason given for the new policy was
that the Advertiser was determined to keep pace with Vancouver's progress, and that a morning paper was an advertisement •
for a city. Actually the paper switched to the morning field
because it was known that a rival journal, a morning daily, was
to commence publication the next day. This was the Vancouver
News, which duly appeared on Tuesday, June 1. Its publishers
were James H. Ross and N. Harkness; its printers, W. Rogers
and Percy Whitworth. Ross, who spent his boyhood in Belleville, Ontario, largely determined the character and policy of
the paper. Wanderlust had led him as a young man to Winnipeg, where he joined the staff of the Free Press. The West still
called, and presently Ross found himself in Vancouver.
A few lines from his introductory editorial will be of
For the News we have only to say that it is a business enterprise	
Understanding that individual prosperity depends upon general progress
their primary aim will be to advance and maintain the interests of the city
of Vancouver; to make known to visitors and impress upon residents its
splendid prospects and unparalleled possibilities.
In politics the News will be independent, the organ of no party or faction.
. . . Our aim will be to improve as the town improves, to keep pace with
its progress, however rapid; to make the paper at all times worth its price.
The public shall judge whether that effort is successful.
In this same issue the News declared Vancouver to be " the
most promising young city in America," and it continued to be
an enthusiastic booster for the community as long as it existed,
and in spite of all difficulties. Not the least of these was the
great fire of June 13, which destroyed its office and equipment.
As we have seen, the Herald suffered a like affliction, and so did
the Advertiser. All three papers were thus left bereft of premises
and printing presses, and with the slenderest resources from
which to make good the heavy loss. 1945 From " Tickler " to " Telegram." 185
The News was the first of the three to reappear after the fire.
Ross, who was in church when the alarm was raised,
escaped with his wife and child running to the Hastings Mill wharf, [and]
lost everything in the way of worldly goods except the clothes on his back.
He spent that memorable Sunday night sitting outside a fisherman's shack
at Moodyville, just across the Inlet, while his wife and child slept on the
fisherman's cot.20
On the Monday he went to Victoria, and there purchased a printing plant belonging to J. B. Ferguson, proprietor of a book and
stationery store. The next day he returned to Vancouver, borrowed a horse, and rode bare-back to New Westminster, where
he spent the night writing up the fire. John Robson, then Minister of Finance, had taken a friendly interest in his predicament, and had arranged to have a stop-gap edition of the Neivs
printed in the British Columbian office until such time as Ross
could get established again.21
Tradition has it that the News was on sale in Vancouver on
the afternoon of the third day after the fire—that is to say, on
Wednesday; and a news item in the Columbian confirms this.22
But the fact remains that the paper itself is dated Thursday,
June 17. As the Columbian expressed it, the News " came out
... on the half-shell,"23 in a diminutive three-column edition,
measuring about 9 by 12 inches, and consisting of a single sheet
printed on both sides. Rut if the paper was physically small,
its spirit was courageous. The entire issue was devoted to the
fire, and the single brief editorial is worth quoting in full:—
The Caldwell block, wherein the Netvs office was situated, was one of the
first to be overtaken by the fire, and not even a scrap of paper was saved.
Like nearly all others who had started in business in the new city, however,
we perceive that the fire, whatever may be its effect upon individuals, is to
the city as a whole not a very serious matter; in fact it can scarcely impede
the progress of Vancouver at all. A few months, or even a few weeks, will
restore the city to as good a basis as it was on before the fire. We have
therefore determined to continue the publication of the Daily News.    It will
(20) Province, December 20, 1935 (an article on Ross published at the
time of his death). Mrs. Ross is said to have died later from the effects of
■exposure.   Ibid.
(21) The first issue of the News is said to have been printed on a hand-
press by " Sid " Peake, from type set by " Bob " Matheson, later a dentist
in Kelowna.
,   (22) See Columbian, June 19, 1886.
(23) Ibid. 186 Bessie Lamb. July-
appear in reduced form (we hope, however, to present four pages in a few
days) until new material can be obtained.
Vancouver was pictured as already literally " rising from
the ashes," and the forty or more structures detailed in a
" partial list of buildings already commenced " included a new
office for the News on Cordova Street, near the site of the present Manitoba Hotel.
Ross continued to publish his small-sized emergency edition
for a fortnight or more,24 but this involved a round trip ride
every day to New Westminster, and the effort was too great to
continue for long. Publication therefore ceased temporarily in
the first days of July, but the News reappeared in full-size format on July 23, by which time its new office and printing plant
were capable of use.
Friday was the regular publication day of the Weekly Herald,
and it managed to appear as usual on Friday, June 18, though
in a reduced size. This edition, like that of the News, was
printed in the hospitable office of the British Columbian.25 But
William Brown, too, found the strain of improvised publication
too great, and the paper lapsed for a time. Meanwhile construction of a new building and plant went on apace. Both were
ready by the latter part of August, and on September 3 the
Herald resumed regular publication from its new premises.26
The new building, which is shown in the accompanying illustration, was erected on the southeast corner of Cambie and Hastings streets—a site destined to be associated permanently with
journalism in Vancouver, for it is now occupied by the Province
In later days the Advertiser was to claim proudly that it "was
the first journal to resume publication on the ruins of our prosperous and promising city after the great conflagration . . . "27
(24) The first issue published after the fire was No. 12, dated June 17.
The Provincial Library file of the News includes a copy of No. 21, dated
June 26; the size is still 9 x 12 inches. As the first full-size issue, dated
July 23, is No. 27, presumably publication of the emergency edition continued
until No. 26, i.e., until July 1 or 2.
(25) See News-Herald, August 6, 1942.
(26) See R. T. Williams, Vancouver City Directory 1888, Victoria, 1888,
p. xv.
(27) Vancouver Advertiser, December 20, 1886. k
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The claim was justified, for although no copy of the paper appeared until June 29, this issue was printed by the Advertiser's
own new plant, which had been set up in a tent on Carrall Street,
between Cordova and Water streets. Editorially the Advertiser
struck a noble attitude, and declared: " Our immediate prospects are indestructible. We will rise again superior to all difficulties.   Fortis in arduis."28
But the Advertiser's own prospects were, in fact, anything
but indestructible. Macdougall had reached the end of his financial resources, and he was hard put to it to keep his venture
afloat. In September the paper ceased to be published daily and
became a weekly; a sub-title, Pacific Coast Canadian, was added
at the same time. Macdougall contended that the amount of
news available was not sufficient to justify the publication of
a daily: but there is little doubt that the real reason for the
change was lack of funds. The wages of the staff were falling
in arrears; and in October dissatisfaction reached such a pitch
that the staff abandoned the Advertiser and launched a new
paper, the Evening Register. Only two copies of the Register
were published, however, as Macdougall managed to scrape
together a little money, and his staff returned to their posts.
On December 20, the Advertiser even resumed daily publication,
and at the same time increased its size from four to five columns.
Macdougall bravely asserted that this was necessitated "by pressure upon our advertising columns at this time.   .   .   . "29
The News meanwhile seems to have fared somewhat better,
though Harkness sold out his interest in the paper in July, when
things were at their worst, and left for California. Henceforth
James Ross was sole proprietor. The pride which the paper took
in the city is striking; special attention was always devoted to
local matters. Ross sensed that Vancouver had a great future,
and even attempted occasionally to preserve some of the pioneer
lore that he felt sure would be of interest to posterity. Thus in
September, 1886, he printed what he believed to be the real story
of " Gassy Jack " Deighton, the character who won for Granville the nickname " Gastown," and stated specifically that he
(28) Ibid., June 29, 1886.
(29) Ibid., December 20, 1886. 188 Bessie Lamb. July
was publishing it for the benefit of future historians who would
be seeking the truth about Deighton's career.30
One other small incident may be noted in passing. Ross's
good friend John Robson came to town, and Ross himself thus
described how the visit nearly resulted in physical violence to
Hon. John Robson came to Vancouver and addressed an open-air meeting,
speaking from a large burned stump. He was much annoyed by a man
named Moody, a hotelkeeper from Moodyville, across the harbor.
The next morning the Daily News said some severe things about the
interrupter. This so angered the Moodyville hotelkeeper that he came over
in the afternoon armed with a big horsewhip with which he intended to
thrash the editor. Fortunately, I had been called to Victoria that morning,
so could not be found, and so escaped the chastisement that was intended for
me.    The hotelman did not make a second visit.31
In January, 1887, the News increased its size from six to
seven columns, thereby maintaining its two-column lead over its
rival, the Advertiser.22
In spite of the fire, and regardless of the difficulties met with
by the local press, it was evident that 1886 had been a year of
remarkable progress for Vancouver. In its last issue for the
Old Year the Weekly Herald commented as follows:—
The calm repose of the little village of Granville was only beginning to be
disturbed by the tread of the stranger on her streets a year ago. The few
acres on which the village stood were surrounded by tall and stately pines
sheltering its inhabitants from the stormy blasts of winter and the scorching
rays of the summer sun. But where are those guardians now? And where
is the little village around which they stood as sentinels? All are gone.
. . . The woodman's axe laid low the tall pines and the fire blotted out of
existence every vestige of old Vancouver. The transformation has been so
complete that really nothing remains to remind the old resident of the past
save the waters of the Inlet and the mountains beyond.33
In the last days of 1886 the Advertiser, with a characteristic
touch of melodrama, announced the coming of a new era in international communication with the completion of the MacKay-
Bennett and Canadian Pacific Railway telegraph system, a combination of land lines and cables that placed Vancouver in direct
(30) For the sketch of Deighton's career see the News, September 14
and 15, 1886.
(31) Quoted from the Province, December 20, 1935.
(32) The change in size was made with the issue of January 24, 1887.
(33) Weekly Herald, December 31, 1886. 1945 From " Tickler " to " Telegram." 189
contact with Europe. The progress of the press has always been
so closely associated with improvement in communications that
it will be worth while to digress briefly and outline the history
of the telegraph in British Columbia.
The telegraph first came to the Province as a result of the
celebrated Collins' Overland venture, which aimed to connect
the United States and Europe by means of a wire running
through British Columbia, Alaska, and Siberia.34 The Collins'
line (also known as the Western Union Extension) was completed to New Westminster in time to bring the news of the
assassination of President Lincoln over the wires on April 18,
1865. Construction northward continued rapidly, and before
work stopped in 1866 the line had reached Fort Stager, on the
Kispiox River. Though the portion north of Quesnel was soon
abandoned, a branch line was run into Barkerville, and the newspapers at the Coast were thus able to keep in close touch with,
the chief centres of population then existing in the Interior.
Victoria was linked with the mainland by telegraph in 1866.
The line followed a roundabout route through the United States,
passing from the Saanich Peninsula to San Juan and Lopez
islands, and thence to the Washington mainland. The line linked
up with that from New Westminster to the Interior at Matsqui,
which was the.relay station for all messages coming from or
through the United States. The last of the three cables necessary for the connection with Vancouver Island was laid on April
24, and the same afternoon greetings were exchanged between
New Westminster and Victoria. The capital, in the words of
the Columbian, was at last " in communication with civilization."35
Burrard Inlet was first linked directly with the telegraph
system in 1869, when S. P. Moody had an extension brought to
Brighton (Hastings), and a cable laid from there across the
Inlet to Moodyville. The first message passed over this wire on
April 11. Moody paid for this extension himself, but the Western Union Company supplied wire, insulators, and instruments.
He generously allowed the general public to make use of his
(34) A comprehensive account of the Collins' Overland Telegraph is
scheduled for publication in an early number of this Quarterly.
(35) Columbian, April 25, 1866.
2 190 Bessie Lamb. July
private wire, and at first the charge for a message to New Westminster was no more than 25 cents. Later it was found necessary to double the rate.36
In February, 1871, the Government of British Columbia
secured a perpetual lease of the lines of the Western Union
Company that lay within the Colony, and in July the Dominion
Government took over the lease, in accordance with the terms
of union. The Dominion inspectors found that parts of the lines
were in bad repair, and that maintenance costs were frequently
unduly high. A rebuilding and expansion programme, intended
to reduce costs and increase revenue, was therefore carried
through by degrees during the ensuing decade. A line from
Victoria to Nanaimo was completed in 1878-79. But 1881 was
Canadian cable was laid between Vancouver Island and Point
Grey. From Point Grey the new line came direct to Granville,
on Burrard Inlet, and then continued on to New Westminster.
The first telegraph operator at Granville was Samuel Maclure; his office was on the southwest corner of Water and Carrall streets. Maclure belonged to a family of telegraphers. His
father, John Maclure, assisted by his daughter, Sara, the first
woman telegraphist in Western Canada, operated the repeating
office at Matsqui. As noted above, this busy office was then the
the most memorable year, for two reasons: First, the Government purchased the Western Union lines, and, secondly, a direct
junction between the lines in British Columbia and the Western
Union line to the United States. Later, when arrangements
were changed and the Matsqui office was closed, Sara Maclure
was transferred to Victoria. There she met and afterwards
married J. C. McLagan, who, as we shall see, later founded the
Vancouver World. Following her husband's death Mrs. McLagan
for a time herself acted as editor of the World.
Samuel Maclure was succeeded as operator at Granville by
his brother, John Charles Maclure, who is still a resident of
Burrard Inlet was thus in telegraphic communication with
the world for years before the completion of the railway, but '
changes were swift and advances rapid after the coming of the
(36) See F. W. Howay, " Early Settlement on Burrard Inlet," British
Columbia Historical Quarterly, I. (1937), p. 112. 1945 From " Tickler " to " Telegram." 191
Canadian Pacific. On September 20, 1886, the railway opened
its telegraph system for public business throughout the Dominion. Early in October the Dominion Government sold to the
railway most of its lines in British Columbia, including the
through line from Kamloops to Victoria. Finally, on December
20, 1886, the Vancouver Advertiser was able to announce the
completion of arrangements whereby the land lines of the Canadian Pacific Railway and the cables of the MacKay-Bennett sys-
'tem were united to provide a through wire from the Pacific
Coast to Europe. On the day of its completion New Westminster
and Old Westminster exchanged greetings by cable. The local
newspapers were jubilant, for they would now be able to publish
each day regular press dispatches from all over the world,
instead of being dependent, as heretofore, on a more expensive
and erratic service routed through the United States.37
The New Year—1887—was to witness important developments in journalism in Vancouver. These were occasioned by
the arrival in the city of Francis L. Carter-Cotton, a 40-year-
old Yorkshireman, who had first visited Canada in 1879, and
who decided to take up permanent residence here in 1886.
Associated with him was R. W. Gordon, an Edinburgh-born
financier of large means.
Their first enterprise was the Vancouver San Juan Lime
Company, of which Gordon was president and manager. Their
second venture was to be a newspaper, of which Carter-Cotton
would be managing editor. Though not a trained journalist, he
was a shrewd man of business, and a forceful writer. Moreover, Carter-Cotton had political ambitions, and he undoubtedly
hoped that the paper would be a political asset as well as a good
(37) It may be of interest to note the location of the Canadian Pacific
telegraph office in early days. It is believed that for a few weeks the old
wooden Canadian Pacific building at the foot of Richards Street was used
for telegraphic purposes, but the first permanent quarters were in the Bay-
view Block, on Cordova Street, between Granville and Seymour Streets—just
opposite the present Canadian Pacific depot. By 1890 all the Canadian
Pacific offices had been moved to the New York Block, on Granville Street,
the site of which is now covered by the northern end of the Hudson's Bay
Company's department store.    The telegraph office was on the second floor. 192 Bessie Lamb. July
He seems at first to have thought in terms of an entirely new
journal, but decided instead to buy out both the News and the
Advertiser. Neither was in a position to ask a high price, and
the purchase would both reduce competition and gain him whatever good-will had accrued to the old papers. The purchases
became effective on March 31, 1887, when the News and Advertiser were merged in the first issue of a morning daily, the Vancouver News and Daily Advertiser. Formal announcements on
the editorial page, signed by James H. Ross and W. B. Macdougall, gave notice that they had disposed of their interests to
Messrs. Gordon & Cotton. Macdougall served for a time as a
member of the editorial staff of the new paper, after which he
drops from sight. Ross left Vancouver, and later published a
paper in Smith's Falls, Ontario. Eventually he moved to Winchester, Ontario, where he seems still to have owned the Press
at the time of his death on December 18, 1935.
The arrival of a new printing plant from San Francisco
made possible certain changes in the new paper, and on May 12,
1887, it appeared as the Daily News-Advertiser, the name under
which it became famous, and under which it continued to be
published for more than thirty years. Carter-Cotton's excursion into journalism was faring well. " With a circulation
nearly doubled, and an advertising patronage at about one-third
more in value than existed before," he wrote in this same issue,
" there can be no doubt of the public appreciation of the advent
of this paper."
As already noted, Carter-Cotton was not a journalist by profession, and many writers have enlarged upon the defects of
the News-Advertiser, judged even by the standards of the 1880's,
let alone those of a later day. A former member of the editorial
staff wrote in 1911:—
The News-Advertiser, under Mr. Cotton's management, never became what'
is popularly known as an up-to-date newspaper. Its editor had not been
trained in newspaper work and did not recognize the true value of news or
the importance of method and arrangement. ... To the deficiencies of
the telegraphic service then supplied to this province his paper added a
seeming lack of ability to discriminate between what was important and
what was valueless. Nor did it ever occur to Mr. Cotton, apparently, to
supplement the regular press service with special correspondence, except by
occasional meagre despatches from Victoria and Ottawa.    Of departments 1945 From " Tickler " to " Telegram." 193
such as are now relied upon by newspapers to win popular patronage and
approval the News-Advertiser had none.38
But the paper progressed steadily in spite of its defects,
partly because a decade and more passed before it was faced
with a more enterprising local rival, and partly because it possessed important merits and was shrewdly managed from a business point of view. It gained an enviable reputation for
accuracy. Local news and Provincial affairs were carefully
reported. Carter-Cotton was a member of the Legislature almost
continuously from 1890, and for years the proceedings of the
House were reported so conscientiously that the News-Advertiser
gained the nickname " the Hansard of British Columbia." Then,
again, the paper had political drive and direction. Its editor
was an ardent Conservative, and he advanced his point of view
consistently and vigorously. As a consequence the journal
quickly became a force to be reckoned with in both civic and
Provincial affairs.
If the News-Advertiser was unenterprising in its news columns, it was relatively progressive in the matter of mechanical
equipment. At first this had been of the simplest description,
consisting of little more than a few frames upon which rested
cases of type, a paper-cutter, and a hand-power Country Campbell press that printed only two pages at a time. The plant was
soon improved, however, and commencing with the issue of
February 22, 1888, the News-Advertiser press was run by electricity. It was the first newspaper so printed in Canada, and
perhaps the first on the continent. Details are none too clear,
but apparently electricity was not used after electric street-cars
began to operate in the city, at the end of June, 1890. One story
has it that the street-cars taxed the power supply to the limit,
with the result that the News-Advertiser press slowed down
every time a car passed near the office; another states that the
cars made a change in voltage necessary, and that the motor in
the News-Advertiser's press-room could no longer be used. In
any event, we know that a water-wheel was installed, with a
steam-engine for reserve power. George Bartley, a well-known
pioneer printer, later recalled: " When I started with the News-
(38) J. B. Kerr, "Journalism in Vancouver," British Columbia Magazine, VII. (1911), p. 577. This interesting article is unfortunately marred
by errors of fact in its account of the News and Advertiser. 194 Bessie Lamb. July
Advertiser we had every possible power:   steam, gas, water,
electricity, candles, and coal oil lamps."39
Mention of the coal-oil lamps brings to mind the fact that'
a cold snap could prove extremely troublesome to a newspaper
in the 1880's. Tradition asserts that Carter-Cotton planned to
publish a special Christmas edition in 1888, but that owing to
cold weather it was still not through the press in February, 1889.
This experience may account for his lack of interest in " extras "
of any kind. In January, 1893, Vancouver experienced one of
the coldest periods in its history, and as a result the Neivs-Adver-
tiser almost missed publication. Setting type was like handling
chunks of ice with bare hands; type-cases had to be crowded
into the reporters' room, while Tom Spink, wrapped up in his
overcoat, made up the forms in the chilly composing-room.
Printing was difficult, for there was frost on the rollers, and oil-
lamps had to be placed under the ink-wells. In spite of all hardships the News-Advertiser finally appeared, though several hours
That same year—1893—mechanical typesetting was first
introduced in Vancouver. The News-Advertiser installed four
Rogers Typograph machines, and their arrival caused a week-
long printers' strike, much to the regret of all concerned. During the strike the paper was brought out by the editorial and
business staffs, and not an issue was missed.
The News-Advertiser commenced publication as a four-page
seven-column paper. A little more than a year later, on May 5,
1888, it was increased in size to six pages, each of six columns,
and on July 1, 1888, expanded again to eight pages, each of six
columns. This size it retained for many years. At the beginning the paper had been housed briefly on Carrall Street, near
Cordova Street, but by July, 1887, it had moved to a one-story
frame building on Cambie Street between Hastings and Cordova
streets. The site is now occupied by the rear portion of the
Dominion Bank building. In 1890-91 new and much larger
quarters were built on the northeast corner of Cambie and Pender streets, where the editorial offices and press-rooms of the
Province now stand.    The new premises cost $20,000, and al-
(39) Notes by George Bartley in Vancouver City Archives. 1945 From " Tickler " to " Telegram." 195
though barn-like in appearance were regarded at the time as
a notable addition to the city's business district.
Old notes and photographs make it possible to give some idea
of the premises and staff of the News-Advertiser as they were
at this period. The business office was situated to the left of
the entrance. William Keene, one of the first settlers in North
Vancouver, was the book-keeper. H. Neville Smith was in charge
of circulation and delivery, and many leading professional and
business men of to-day started their careers as News-Advertiser
route boys.
The editorial room was next to the business office. Here, for
many years, Carter-Cotton would be found every night, remaining at his desk until the paper had gone safely to press. This
room served, too, as a grand rallying place for prominent politicians during the stirring elections of the 90's.
Adjoining was the reporters' room, with J. B. Kerr in charge
of local news. " Husky" Jack Wilson, killed in the Boer War,
was proof-reader, and Thomas Spink, later of Port Haney, was
foreman in the composing-room. George Pound was in charge
of the press-room, while old " Pete " Atkinson ran the newspaper
The News-Advertiser soon became firmly entrenched, and it
was clear that any rival would have to have a long purse if it
were to compete successfully. Carter-Cotton made this doubly
certain, and further increased the difficulties of any would-be
competitor, by securing a monopoly of the news service furnished
by the Canadian Pacific telegraph.
To begin with, the only competition was that offered by the
city's first paper, the Weekly Herald, owned by William Brown.
In an effort to keep up his end, Brown commenced publication of
a daily evening edition on June 1, 1887, and the name Evening
Herald was adopted on October 12. But the opposition offered
by the News-Advertiser proved to be too strong, and the Herald
suspended publication in June, 1888. The Herald building, on
the southeast corner of Hastings and Cambie streets, was adjacent to that of the News-Advertiser, on the northeast corner of
Cambie and Pender streets, and it was later taken over and occupied by the bindery department of the News-Advertiser. G. A.
Roedde, whose sons are still in business in Vancouver, was in 196 Bessie Lamb. July
charge of this bindery. The land upon which the Herald building stood was owned by the Canadian Pacific Railway, and as
the company was unwilling to grant a lease, Carter-Cotton
purchased the property. Eventually the Herald office was
demolished to make way for the Carter-Cotton building, now the
Province building.
William Brown had become known locally as the "dean of
the printing industry," and though he retired from both newspaper work and the printing trade the title stuck. He entered
into partnership with Henry Mutrie to form the real-estate firm
of Mutrie & Brown, and continued to serve the city for many
years as alderman, chairman of the waterworks committee, and
school trustee. The last years of his life were spent quietly at
his home in Mount Pleasant. He died in September, 1917, at
the age of 90.
Only three months after the demise of the Herald the News-
Advertiser was faced with a new rival, the Vancouver Daily
World. The managing editor was J. C. McLagan, who in 1884
had helped to found the Times, a Liberal daily, in Victoria. He
was attracted by the possibilities of the new city of Vancouver,
and by the field offered there for a paper opposed politically to
Carter-Cotton and the News-Advertiser. The World, a large
seven-column evening journal, first appeared on Saturday, September 29, 1888. The office was located at first in the old
Masonic Hall, on Cordova Street, between Homer and Cambie
streets. From there the World moved in May, 1891, to a building of its own near the corner of Pender and Homer streets, a
site it occupied for many years.
Politically the World professed to be " independent," as many
another paper has done. In this connection Carter-Cotton's
comment on the first issue is amusing:—
Although on this coast the circumstances are such as forbid an evening
paper ever attaining to the circulation or influence of a morning journal,
there is ample room in this city for a bright and crisp evening paper, and
the World appears determined to fill this position while its profession of
" peace with everyone, no politics in mine " would carry even a Grit through
much warmer climes than that of Vancouver.4*
McLagan's chief assistant was J. M. O'Brien, a clever and
able writer.    The new paper fared not too badly, though it was
(40) News-Advertiser, September 30, 1888. THE DAILY NEWS.
vol. i.
VANCOUVEK, B.C., JUNE 17,1886.
No. 12.
Probably never since the davs
of Pompeii and Herculaneum
was a town
so completely and suddenly as
was Vancouver on Sunday.    All
the morning the usual  pleasartt
breeze   from    the   ocean   was
spoiled by smoke from fires Jn
the . portion   of   the   townsite
owned by "the C. P. R. Co., west
of the part of the town already
built, but no alarm was felt in
consequence. The place wherein
these fires existed was .until two
or   three   months ago. covernd
with   forest.    A  large  force cf
-men had been engaged in clearing it.   The trees were all.failed,
and.the fallen trees, stumps;etc.,
iwete being disposed of by bum-
log here and  there "Jn separate?
riieaDS;   A few weeks ago, during*1 a gale from  the  west, the
city was- filled with smoke and
cinders from these fires, and  fire
reached close to several outlying
buildings, but  after some fighting danger was averted.    This,
doubtless, tended to lull the people into a sense of "security on
Sunday.     It- was   about   two
o'clock in the afternoon that the
breeze which had been blowing
from the west
and flames surrounded a cabin
near a large dwelling'to the west
of the part of the city solidly
.built up. A few score men had
been on guard with - water and
buckets, between this dwelling
and the cabin; but when the
wind became a gale they were
forced to
and in a few minutes the dwel-
■ ling was- a mass of flames and
the whole, city was filled with
flying cinders and dense clouds
of smoke. The • flames spread
from this building to adjoining
ones with amazing rapidity.
THE     WHOLE     CITY     WAS    IN
less than forty -.nirrutes after the
first house was afire    0' course.
this being the "case, a  number
It is to be feared that the seven
whose bodies were recovered
constitute only a fraction of the
whole number who perished.
The total number of-victims
and their identity will  probably
With   the   exception   of    Mrs.
Nash   and    Mr.  Craswell,   the
bodies recovered were all burned
to crisp and barely  recogn izable
as  human  remains.    Mr. Cras-
well's body was found in a well
wherein he took refuge and died'
of suffocation.    A young   man
named Johnson, and his mother
were  found  in  the same well.
Johnson was dead and Mrs.Johnr.
son has since died.
The body of Mr. Fawcett," the*
soda water-.. Manufacturer, • was
identified by his wife, by means of
his watch-chain..
Persons living near the Harbor
atlid :?«i.~the eastern pari of- the
city hurried toward the wharves
at the Hastings Mill, and crowded upon the steamers moored to
the wharves. On the steamers
and wharves, while the city was
a mass of roaring flame, were
gathered hundreds of frightened
and excited men and sobbing women and children. . Anon there
emerged from the dense smoke
one and another,
with singed hair and blistered
hands and faces, who had struggled almost too long to save property. A considerable number
of people were surrounded by
the fire and ccrnered near J. M.
Clute & Go's store, and their only
means of escape was to make
rafts of the planking in a wharf
at that place, and push out into
the harbor. The wind was blowing fiercely, making the water
rough, and the party were in no
They made their way to a vessel
which was at anchor in- the harbor, and the watchman on the
vessel, with all the proverbial-insolence and stupidity of "insect
authority," refined' to. iet the
party come ,aboard„ ..He. very
1 j,■»••)■)  ixrceived,   however,   that
his refusal "did not count," and
that his very life would "not
count" for much if he attempted
to keep the people off the vessel,
and surrendered unconditionally.
Those who vitnessed the conflagration froni the water describe
the sight as
beyond description.
Many ol" the large number
who lived nearer False Creek
than the harbor. and made their
way toward that body of water,
had a hard struggle to escape
with their lives. Mr. Joseph
Templeton got through only
with the assistance of others
Mr. Martin, of the Burrard hotel,
barely escaptd with his life, and
was prostrated when he reached
a place of safety. John Boult-
bee and CA Johnson saved their
lives hy lying down and
in the earth,; Both are still suffering from their injuries. Everyone suffered' noi a liulv from
the blinding and suffocating
smoke. Families were separated, and agonized women ran
wildly about crying for missing
children or husbands. Many
men were completely crazed,
and did not recover their senses
for hours. The disaster was one
of the most sudden and terrible
which ever, in the history of the
earth has overtaken a community.
The number of
is estimated at from f<x>
to iooo. In the'west end
of the city one building alone
remains. In the ef£st end are
the Hastings mill, which was
saved by the wind veering to
the north, and the dwellings of "Mr., k. H. Alexander
and Aid. Caldwell On the
banks or False Creek two hotels
and eight or ten other buildings
escaped. This is all that remained of the citv of Vancouver on the morning after the
There were probabf\ not more
than,a score of pcopie   m   the
city on'Sunday who did not lose
[something in the  shape either
of goods,  personal   property or
Courtesy Vancouver Daily Province.
Facsimile of the first page of the first issue of the Vancouver Daily News
published after the great fire of June 13,1886. 1945 From "Tickler" to "Telegram." 197
greatly handicapped by the priority on the telegraphic news
service held by Carter-Cotton. In its earlier years, however, it
was scarcely more progressive in the arts of journalism than
the News-Advertiser. The great days of the World belong to a
later period.
The fact that the World was not giving the News-Advertiser
a real run for its money probably contributed to the launching
of another newspaper venture in 1890. For some time past
Carter-Cotton's attacks on the civic administration had been both
vigorous and pointed, and Mayor David Oppenheimer and a
group of associates, including J. W. Horne and C. D. Rand,
determined to found a paper that would sponsor their policies
and point of view. The result was the Daily Telegram, which
commenced publication on Friday, June 6.41 It was an evening
paper, but nevertheless was intended much more as a challenge
to the News-Advertiser than to the World.
The manager of the Telegram was W. J. Gallagher, who had
been foreman of the News-Advertiser. Unfortunately, actual
control of the paper lay not with him but with a committee consisting of Oppenheimer and his friends, and all the deficiencies
of committee control soon became apparent. Differences of
opinion within the group were inevitable, and the Telegram as a
result lacked the consistency that can characterize a paper dominated by a single personality. In addition, Carter-Cotton's news
monopoly made it necessary for the Telegram to have recourse
to a substitute service that was so expensive that it could not be
continued indefinitely.
The first office of the Telegram was on Homer Street, but in
July, 1891, it moved to the Horne Block, on Cambie Street. It
seems to have paid some attention to advertising novelties, and
some of its efforts now make amusing reading. A solemn warning against the use of Chinese sugar, for example, pictured the
many-legged creatures with which it was alleged to be infested,
and many of the patent medicine advertisements are on a par.
Turning to another aspect of advertising, the Telegram on October 13, 1891, charged that the News-Advertiser was spreading
(41) See Vancouver World, June 7, 1890. The earliest copy of the
Telegram actually seen by the writer is No. 47, dated July 31, 1890, in the
file in the Provincial Library. 198 Bessie Lamb. July
type in the printing of its advertisements, thereby making them
occupy more space and bring in more revenue. This was held
to be contrary to contract and to constitute unfair competition.
The World was persuaded to take up the same cry, but this
display of energy could not save the Telegram. The issue for
October 14 carried a notice calling a general meeting of the
shareholders to consider the advisability of increasing the capital
stock of the Telegram Company to $100,000. As financial difficulties multiplied the enthusiasm of the paper's backers vanished.
More and more of the work involved in its publication fell upon
Gallagher, until he found himself doing even the office boy's
work, but unable to earn an office boy's salary. In the autumn
of 1892 the inevitable happened; the Telegram fell into the hands
of a receiver and quietly expired.
Gallagher soon after tried his luck with a weekly paper, the
Monitor, but it survived for only a few months. He then went
to Nanaimo, where for a time he ran the Nanaimo Daily Telegram. This, too, proved financially unsuccessful, and sometime
in 1894 he went to the Hawaiian Islands. His last venture was
the Financial Times, published in Honolulu. There Gallagher
died in December, 1898.42
It so happens that the first edition of McKim's well-known
Canadian Newspaper Directory appeared in 1892, and the facts
and figures there given enable us to summarize the state of the
press in Vancouver at what is seen to be, in retrospect, the end
of a period of the history of journalism in the city. According
to the census of 1891 the population of "Vancouver was 13,685.
In this little city three full-fledged daily newspapers were battling
for existence. The News-Advertiser's daily edition had a circulation of 1,500, and cost $8 per annum; its weekly edition had a
circulation of 2,000. The World reported a daily circulation of
1,500, and an annual subscription of $10. Its weekly edition was
credited with a circulation of 3,500. The Telegram, nearing the
end of its career, had a circulation of 750; its subscription rate
was $8 a year.43 About the same time Mayor Oppenheimer made
a survey of business and industry in "Vancouver, and reported
(42) Information given to Vancouver City Archives by W. J. Gallagher's
son, Rex Gallagher.
(43) Canadian Newspaper Directory, Montreal, 1892, pp. 185-6. 1945 From " Tickler " to " Telegram." 199
that the capital invested in Vancouver newspapers amounted to
$50,000; that their annual pay-roll was $55,000; and that they
had a total of eighty-six employees.44
After the disappearance of the Telegram, the News-Advertiser and the World went their quiet way for a number of years.
It was not until 1898 that a new personality and a new paper—
W. C. Nichol and the Province—blazed into the journalistic
heavens and opened a new era in Vancouver's newspaper world.
Bessie Lamb.
Vancouver, B.C.
(44) R. T. Williams, British Columbia Directory 1892, Victoria, 1892,
788, o   s
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Not long before his death, which occurred in September, 1944, Mr.
Herbert Carmichael completed the first draft of an autobiography, entitled
Memoirs of an Emigrant. Born in Ireland in 1866, he came to British
Columbia in 1889, and soon became widely known in the business world.
Few men took a livelier interest in the industrial development of the Province, and his autobiography contains many passages of interest to the
economic historian. This is particularly true of the chapter in which Mr.
Carmichael tells the story of the first paper-mill in British Columbia, and
indicates briefly how it led on to the vast pulp and paper industry of the
present day. This chapter is here printed through the courtesy of the
author's son, Mr. Maurice Carmichael, of Victoria. Except for a few
changes in punctuation, the original text has been followed throughout,
but footnotes and an appendix have been added in order to permit the
incorporation of additional material.
The story of the little paper-mill at Alberni was first told in detail by
Mr. J. A. Lundie in the Powell River Digester, the house organ of the
Powell River Company, in the issue dated June, 1930 (Vol. 9, No. 6, pp.
1-8), and retold for a larger audience in Pulp and Paper of Canada for
December, 1932 (Vol. 33, pp. 473-5). Certain details gathered by Mr.
Lundie and not repeated by Mr. Carmichael have been included in the
In 1890 I met William Hewartson. Mr. Hewartson had been
manager of a little mill at Yarm, in Yorkshire, where they made
the wrappers for Bryant & May's match-boxes. Residents of
England will remember that match-box, of a yellow colour,
depicting a bride and groom and the inscription: " At last I have
found a match to please me."
After conversations with Hewartson I became convinced that
there was a future for paper-making in British Columbia, and
I got together a company for that purpose called the " British
Columbia Paper Manufacturing Company, Ltd."1 We had as
directors five of the most successful business-men in Victoria,
(1) According to the records on file in the office of the Registrar of
Companies, Victoria, the papers incorporating the company (which are
dated July 15, 1891) were filed on August 17, 1891. The object of the
company was " to manufacture paper and all its products in the Province
of British Columbia "; the capital was to be $50,000, divided into 500 shares
of $100 each.
British Columbia Historical Quarterly. VoL IX., No. 3.
201 202 Herbert Carmichael. July
with myself as secretary.2 Collectively we knew quite a lot,
but unfortunately that did not include paper-making. William
Hewartson was manager, and he chose as a site for the mill the
first falls on the Somass River, in Alberni District. As it turned
out, the site was not the best, as the fall in the river was low, not
more than 10 feet, and barely that when the tide was high, as
high tide affected the tail-water of the turbines.
Hewartson was sent to England to purchase the plant, but
as his knowledge was confined to making paper from rope and
rag, he bought that kind of machinery, which was not suited to
making paper from wood, the natural raw material of this
Land was purchased, and a dam built across the Somass
diverting part of the flow into a flume, which took the water to
three turbines.3 We first built a small sawmill, which turned
out all the lumber used in the construction of the paper-mill.
The machinery arrived from England4 and was installed in
the mill. It consisted in the main of one Galloway steam-boiler,
two spherical rag boilers, five beating engines, a 60-inch Four-
drinier paper-making machine, and a three-roll calender. There
was also a bag-making machine, and a dynamo for electric
(2) The five directors were W. P. Sayward, Joshua Davies, J. Stuart
Yates, Thomas Shotb6lt, and James Thomson. Herbert Carmichael was
secretary and general manager; William Hewartson was the first manager
of the paper-manufacturing department. A list of shareholders dated
February 26, 1894, shows that at that time 270 shares had been issued and
were held by twenty-nine persons. Herbert Carmichael owned 150 of these
shares, practically all of which were fully paid up. The total sum paid in
at that date was $26,450; unpaid calls amounted to only $550.
(3) "A 24-H.P. Leffel turbine was installed in the machine room; a
'100-H.P. turbine ran the beaters, and the third, generating 40 horsepower,
catered to the power requirements of the saw mill." Powell River Digester,
June, 1930, p. 7.
(4) The machinery was brought by the British bark Ariadne; she
arrived at Esquimalt on May 4, 1892, 147 days from London. The actual
unloading took place about a month after her arrival, and the machinery
was taken to Alberni in the steamer Mascot.
(5) See the elaborate description of the machinery published in the
Victoria Colonist, June 4, 1892, and reprinted as an appendix to the present
article. It will be noted that the writer assumes throughout that the
machinery was intended for the manufacture of paper from wood-pulp, 1945 Pioneer Days in Pulp and Paper. 203
We started building the mill in 1892,6 and the first sheet of
paper was made in June, 1894.7 Samples of this sheet, and of
all the other papers made in the Alberni mill, are now in the
Provincial Archives.8
We made a lot of good wrapping-paper,9 but we struck our
first snag when we tried to make wood-pulp. Hewartson's idea
was to make soda wood-pulp, treating the wood chips in the rag
boilers with soda ash and quicklime, thereby making caustic
soda. We did not have pressure enough in the boilers to reduce
the wood to pulp, but Hewartson argued that if we treated it long
enough we would get the result without the pressure, but in
actual practice it did not work.
We started in with 5 lb. of chemical to the boiler, and
increased this until we had 500 lb. in the poor little 6-foot spheri-
cals. It broke down the chips a little, but when mixed with rag
and old newspaper and run through the paper-machine, it looked
which was not the case.    According to the Powell River Digester, June,
1930, p. 4, the plant was second-hand.
(6) Delay in completing the dam in turn delayed construction of both
the sawmill and the paper-mill. See Powell River Digester, June, 1930,
pp. 3-4: "... in 1891, the contract for the dam across the Somass River
was let to the firm of Russell & Johnson, of Victoria. In the spring, a big
freshet swelled the waters to unusual heights, washed away all the work
already done, and the firm abandoned the project. In 1892, Mr. R. H. Wood
. . . accepted the contract to proceed with the construction of the dam.
The flood tides during 1892-93 retarded progress, and it was not until 1894
that the dam was completed and ready to supply water to the mill."
(7) On one of the samples in the Provincial Archives, Herbert Carmichael wrote: " First paper properly made at Alberni made from rotten
jute. July 24, 1894." A note in the Colonist for August 7, 1894, reads:
" The first paper turned out by the mills at Alberni, a fine quality of brown
wrapper, has just reached the market." All the paper produced at Alberni
found a ready market in Victoria and Vancouver.
(8) The collection includes some seventy samples. Ordinary brown
wrapping-papers predominate, but the special paper required by butchers,
and Manilla, blotting, and tissue papers are all included. The sample made
from " pure fern " is light greyish-brown in colour.
(9) The Powell River Digester, June, 1930, estimates that the plant had
a maximum capacity of 50 tons daily. " Occasionally it produced near
capacity, often it worked on curtailed schedules, and not infrequently was
closed down for weeks at a stretch. Probably on an average it ran for
six months a year during the two years of its precarious existence." (Ibid.,
P. 8.) 204 Herbert Carmichael. July
like a wallpaper you might see in a nightmare or the artistic
product of a cubist. There were bits of paper on which you
could read the news interspersed with miniature cordwood held
together with rope and rag. We abandoned wood as a source of
paper and continued to run until we had collected the last pound
of rope, rag, or waste paper to be had in Victoria, Vancouver, or
Puget Sound.10 Even then we tried bracken fern, as it was the
fall, and made a fair sheet of paper, but it could not compete wijth
wood in price.
Then we shut the water off the turbines and considered what
was best- to be done.11
I might say here that many legitimate enterprises have come
to grief in British Columbia due to lack of experience in the
matter in hand, but I believe this must always be the case in any
young community; however, the attempt is often praiseworthy
and leads to greater things.
I was left with the Alberni mill on my hands, and had to
decide what was next to be done. With the experience gained
at this mill I realized several things—first, that Alberni was not
the best site available for a wood-pulp mill, and secondly, that
we did not have nearly enough capital for such an enterprise.
I decided that the best I could do would be to get together the
essentials for the business and turn them over to persons who
were familiar with wood-pulp paper, and who could raise funds
adequate for a large undertaking.
The first thing was to get the best site, so I arranged to get
reports on all the large-sized water-powers on the mainland and
Vancouver Island as far north as the Island extended. When
the reports came in, the fall at Powell River seemed to be the
best. It was not too far away, some 80 miles north of Vancouver, on the mainland.    The falls were close to the sea, and
(10) The Digester (p. 4) states that the bulk of the rags used were
imported from England. " Everything- from ships' sails to construction
overalls were used—and when this supply showed symptoms of exhaustion,
ferns, manila rope, and even tarred hemp imported from the Esquimalt
naval depot was commandeered."
(11) This would be sometime in 1896. By that time Hewartson was no
longer manager of the plant. Notes on the file of paper-samples in the
Archives indicate that he was succeeded by a man named Flemming, who
in turn gave way to Dunbar, a Scot, who had previously been foreman. 1945 Pioneer Days in Pulp and Paper. 205
were fed by a lake 2 miles wide by 40 miles long. I visited the
site and found the natural falls to be 119 feet, which could be
increased by a dam.
I filed an application for the water-right, though not in my
own name as I was still in the Government service; and while
there was nothing to prevent my doing so, I decided to keep in
the background, and thus others have got the credit for starting
the enterprise.
I foresaw that the financial load would be too heavy for me
to carry alone, so got a partner and later expanded into a small
The next thing was to secure the timber for pulp-making,
and from my mining trips through the country I knew where
the best timber was; but how to acquire it was the question, as
there was no legal machinery for taking it up. We jumped that
hurdle [in 1901] by having the Legislature pass an Act to allow
timber to be taken up for pulp purposes.12
We incorporated the Powell River Paper Company, Ltd., in
1908 [sic], and shortly after another company sprang into being,
incorporated as the Clowhom Power Company, with a water-
power on Seechelt Inlet.13 Frank Beer and Henry B. Thomson
were behind this company. I suggested to Thomson that we had
better combine forces than work separately, which we did, but
at the same time keeping the companies intact.
(12) This legislation provided for leases of pulp-wood forests for twenty-
one years; the annual rental was to be 2 cents per acre, and the royalty
25 cents per cord of pulp-wood cut. In addition, the lessees were required
to build and operate in the Province a mill with a certain specified minimum
daily output, proportionate to the acreage held under lease. In all 354,399
acres of forest were taken up under the Act before it was repealed in 1903.
See R. E. Gosnell, The Year Book of British Columbia, Coronation edition,
Victoria, 1911, p. 251.
(13) Mr. Carmichael's recollection of events is here not entirely accurate. The Powell River Paper Company, Ltd., was not organized until
1909; see note 16, infra, for details. The company {hat first took up the
water-right at Powell River was known as the Pacific Coast Power Company; the directors included J. J. Shallcross, a great friend of Carmichael's.
The water-right to the Clowhom River Falls, on Seechelt Inlet, was acquired
by the Industrial Power Company, of which Frank Beer and H. B. Thomson
were directors. No doubt the latter was referred to popularly as the
" Clowhom Power Company." 206 Herbert Carmichael. July
The " Pulp Act " [passed in 1901] allowed a certain time in
which to select pulp lands which would afterwards be surveyed
and granted to the companies applying for them. After this
Act was passed the bright idea occurred to several gentlemen
that they might horn in with profit to themselves, so at least four
survey parties were sent out to select timber under the " Pulp
Act." While they were busy going north by steamer and boat,
we were equally busy marking two maps with red ink, showing
the applications of the Powell River Pulp & Paper Company14
and the Clowhom Power Company under the same Act.
Some two months later, when these survey parties returned
and presented their applications to the Department of Lands,
they were met with: " We are sorry, but that tract has been
granted to the Powell River Company." " Then we will take
this one." " That has been granted to the Clowhom Power Company."   And so on, covering most of the timber that was suitable.
Then these people stirred up the hand-loggers, telling them
they were going to lose their livelihood, and petitions began to
come in to the Government asking that the pulp applications be
annulled. By Government grapevine I heard of this in time to
have other petitions arrive supporting the applications, and thus
the one lot of petitions cancelled the other.
The final result was that we had secured 400 square miles of
timber, from which we could survey 200 square miles. These
were of course pooled, and later the Clowhom Company sold out
to the Powell River Company. We employed Herbert Dawson,
who later became Surveyor-General of British Columbia, to make
the surveys, which took two years to complete.
During the first fight between the two companies,16 I sailed
from Texada Island in the Viola, a half-decked 18-foot boat with
(14) As pointed out in note 13, supra, the Powell River Company was
not yet in existence at this time; the reference should be to the Canadian
Industrial Company, Ltd., which leased a total of 134,551 acres of pulp-wood
forest under the Act passed in 1901. When the Powell River Paper Company, Ltd., was formed in 1909 it took over the water-right filed by the
Pacific Coast Power Company and the pulp-wood leases held by the Canadian Industrial Company.
(15) As the context shows, the writer intends this to mean the fight
between the Canadian Industrial Company and the Clowhom Company on
the one hand, and the outside groups who were attempting to " horn in "
on the other. 1945 Pioneer Days in Pulp and Paper. 207
jib and mainsail, to Powell River, a distance of 5 miles, and
pushed the boat as far up the river as possible. My wife and
small son [Maurice] were with me; we camped on the south
bank that night, and heard that a party of surveyors had gone
up to the lake. This looked suspicious. Next day, wandering
round, the small boy saw a notice on a tree and drew our attention to it.    It turned out to be a rival claim to the water-right.
The only thing to do was to get back to Victoria and secure
our water-right before the application was opposed.
At Powell River there is only one big tide in the day, and if
we were to get the boat off we must catch the tide at 4 p.m. It
was then 3 o'clock. The tent came down in rapid time, and
everything was stowed aboard just as the survey party came
down on the opposite bank, and gazed at us in astonishment.
It was the end of October, and a storm was coming up from
the south-west, over Texada Island. It was getting dark, and
there was a lot of choppy water between us and the Island, so
I decided to try and make the lee off Grief Point, 4 miles south.
We got there just as a storm of sleet and rain burst on us. It
was an uninviting spot, strewn with huge boulders; on shore
were the remains of an Indian fish-drying shed, with a room
8 feet square.
I got my passengers ashore, made a fire, and we had something to eat. There is only a little shelter at Grief Point from
a south-west wind, and as the tide went out in the night I heard
the boat bumping against the boulders. I said that I would have
to anchor her farther out, but my wife did not like my going on
board. " You will be drowned," she said. I said that without
the boat we would starve, as it might be long enough before any
one passed the shore. I got on board and poled out, but found
that to get clear of boulders I had to go into much deeper water.
Then there was nothing to do but take off my clothes and swim.
I rolled them in my slicker and slipped over the side, balancing
the bundle on my head. All this time there was a wail from
land—" Come ashore! "—and remember it was pitch dark.
As soon as there was any light we were on board, and under
reefed sails we made a fast but wet crossing of the 4 miles to
Marble Bay, Texada Island. At 8 a.m. we caught the steamer
to Vancouver, where we arrived in the evening, and a wire from 208 Herbert Carmichael. July
me to my partner got him to the Government Buildings in Victoria just in time to have our water-right safely recorded.
Powell River presented a different aspect then from what it
does now. Then there were neither buildings nor people; now
it is a good-sized town.
For some years both our syndicate and myself had some hard
financial sledding. The times were not good and investors were
few. I was urged to abandon the enterprise and told that the
wood in this country would not make good paper, that we could
not get chemicals, etc. To combat this I had tests made of
different British Columbia timbers, and found that they would
all make paper—some, of course, better than others. Spruce
seemed the best, with a long, strong fibre and little resin. Douglas fir, while good, had too much resin, which interfered in both
chemical and mechanical pulp. Hemlock, of which there seemed
an unlimited supply, was nearly as good as spruce, and now, I am
told, makes the best rayon pulp.
I went to Howarth & Jordan, who were running a sulphate of
soda pulp and paper mill at Everett, in the State of Washington.
I asked Mr. Howarth to come in with me. He said that I had a
good scheme, but that he and his partner had just bought the
Everett mill from the Astoria interests, and that they would have
their hands full to keep it running.
From Everett I went to Oregon City, on the Willamette River,
above Portland, Oregon, to see the managing director, Mr. Johnson. I found he was in San Francisco, so went on south to that
city. It was winter, and the road-bed of the Southern Pacific
Railway was not as it is now. It was washed out in three places,
with the rails hanging in the air. We had to get out in the
middle of the night and go round by a path to where three cars
and an engine were waiting to take us on. Twice more we were
blocked in the same way, and for miles we were running without
train orders, and the whistle going most of the time. I did not
like the feeling that we might meet a train at any curve coming
north while we went south. When we got near Sacramento the
track was under water for miles, and we only made 3 or 4 miles
an hour, and when we arrived at Oakland ours was the last train
over that line for a week. —'  »'     -—. .»■  -' : 7^:—:—.   ,V-*T    . a
'';••'. *-,_-J ' -i^C "i     =..»'',,"^?'.«flflH
IMIW^i WlhWi ^ iMBr*-^!^fciB^
BS*^                   **_                       • 'WMBtSHnH
•  '.- -      :  ::r&-          '                ' |
j                                        ■
-■    * / /    frTilf^TSWPlH
Courtesy the Puwell River Company.
The two little spherical boilers from the old Alberni paper-mill
as they appeared in 1930, almost hidden by the trees and bushes that
had grown up since the mill ceased operations in 1896. 1945 Pioneer Days in Pulp and Paper. 209
When I saw Mr. Johnson in the big city I used my best powers
of persuasion to get him to join me. He listened attentively and
gave me a good hearing, but he finally said: " Mr. Carmichael,
you have a good proposition, but you are fifty years ahead of
the times. There is enough newsprint made now to supply the
Pacific Coast and a mill of the capacity you propose will not be
wanted for many a long day, but I wish you luck."
A few years later this same Mr. Johnson was a director of the
Powell River mill, after my friends and I had sold out. I went
to his office in San Francisco and reminded him of our previous
conversation. I asked him: "What do you think of it now?"
His reply was: "I never would have thought it possible, and
I can hardly credit yet the growth of the Pacific Coast." He died
shortly afterwards.
We then went to London, England, to see if we could raise the
funds there, and got a flotation underwritten. The public, however, only took 20 per cent, of the subscription, leaving 80 per
cent, on the underwriters' hands. One of these tried to see if
there was a loophole whereby he could get out of his contract.
There was a clause in the contract stating that we could not go
to allotment unless we had a certain amount subscribed and paid
for in cash. We did have this, and went to allotment. Part of
what we considered as cash were two cheques accepted by the
banks concerned, and the treasurer of the company allowed these
cheques to remain in his safe without putting them through the
bank. The underwriters took action to annul the allotment,
stating that a certified cheque was not cash. We claimed that it
was. It was the first case of its kind to come before the Courts,
and it was argued at length. The Judge held that an accepted
cheque was not cash, for the reason that if the bank had failed
the cheque could not have been turned into money, so the case
went against us, and we had to look elsewhere for funds.
We returned to British Columbia and made a connection with
the Brooks-Scanlon Lumber Company, an American company
operating in British Columbia. After some negotiating they
became sufficiently interested for the principals to wish to see
Powell River and as much of the timber as possible.
We chartered a small steamer and took the party north from
Vancouver.    There were in the party Dr. Dwight F. Brooks, 210 Herbert Carmichael. July
head of the Brooks-Scanlon Company; Mr. Michael J. Scanlon, a
genial Irishman; J. J. Shallcross; Charlie Olts, our timber-
cruiser ; and myself.    I was deputed to be the showman.
Dr. Brooks was past middle-age, and seemed to be the most
taciturn gentleman I had met for quite a long time. To my
remarks about the beautiful day, the sheltered waters, and the
fine sunset, he mostly grunted; this continued for a couple of
days, so I said to myself, if that's your idea why bother, so I left
him severely alone and talked to Charlie Olts and the others.
We were a week away on the trip, and on the third or fourth day
Dr. Brooks came over to where I was and asked questions, and
finally became most friendly and talked to me all the time till
our return.
They were pleased with the prospects, and agreed to purchase
the property for cash. I said I was willing to take part of my
interest in shares, but they said they wanted it all.16 In this
I think they made a mistake, as they made several costly blunders
which I could have steered them clear of.
They took in as partner a pulp man from the East who was
unfamiliar with Western conditions, and I understand his ideas
cost them a lot of money, so much so that he was replaced by the
Mr. Johnson of Willamette Mills. Since then there has been a
steady increase in the size of the Powell River mill, till they now
have an output of 700 tons of paper per day, and a development
of 25,860 horse-power. They are using all the power available
at Powell River, and have also taken in Lois River, some 16 miles
south, which gives them an additional 22,000 horse-power.
(16) The memorandum and articles of association of the Powell River
Paper Company, Ltd., were dated October 21, 1909. All the important
directors and large shareholders were residents of Minnesota; practically
all of them were lumbermen. The authorized capital was first set at
$1,000,000, but this was increased to $1,500,000 in 1910. The present Powell
River Company was formed in July, 1911, " To acquire by purchase from
the Powell River Paper Company, Limited, all the property, real or personal, rights, contracts, privileges, powers, and franchises " held by the
latter, and the sale and purchase were duly provided for in an agreement
between the two companies dated August 22, 1911. Clearing operations in
the Powell River area commenced in the fall of 1909, and the first ton of
newsprint ever produced in British Columbia was shipped in May, 1912. 1945 Pioneer Days in Pulp and Paper. 211
Thus the little mill at Alberni became the father of the Powell
River enterprise, with an invested capital of over twenty million
dollars,17 and still going strong.
Herbert Carmichael.
Victoria, B.C.
(17) The Powell River Company's authorized capital was originally
$4,000,000. This was increased to $5,000,000 in 1912 and to $10,000,000 in
1925. According to the latest figures available, the capital investment of
the company now amounts to just under $35,000,000. The plant is one of
the largest individual producers of newsprint in the world.
The Ariadne is Now Discharging the Necessary
Special Machinery.
An Expensive and Complicated Plant, and How
it Will be Used.
The bark Ariadne has just discharged a very large and extremely valuable portion of her cargo, which consists of the principal machinery for the
new paper mill at Alberni. It has all arrived safely, with the exception of
two small breakages which can easily be made good.
The machinery belonging to the company makes up four separate plants
—a wood pulp plant, a paper making plant, a bag making plant, and a
sawmill outfit. The pulp mill consists of one massive chipping machine,
with heavy chipping disc 6 ft. 6 in. in diameter, which will chip logs up to
8x18. The knives are fixed to the disc, which revolves at the speed of 180
per minute, and will dispose of about twenty tons of logs per day. Connected by a conveyor with this machine is another, equally heavy and
massive, for crushing up the chips as they are made, the object attained
by this severe crushing being that the wood is better prepared for the
boiling, the fibres being all opened out and partly disintegrated.
. The next operation is the boiling of the chips in a globular revolving
boiler, of which there are two in this plant. These boilers are each about
seven feet in diameter, and very strongly made. A large manhole with
suitable bolts, etc. closes the opening by which the chips are filled in. The
liquid to boil the wood being first introduced, the boiler revolves, and when
the mixture has been sufficiently boiled, the lids are taken off, and the boilers
automatically empty themselves into small wagons placed below to receive
the fibre, which is now partially reduced to the consistency of pulp. 212 Herbert Carmichael.
If the wood is a soft or non-resinous fibre, or in case of waste paper
being utilized, the next process is to fill the boiled material into two large
Kollergangs or granite-edged runners. The running stones are five feet in
diameter by 18 inches wide. These machines have self acting attachments
for keeping the pulp always in front of the running stones. In the process
for strong fibres the boiled material is poured into oval beating machines
in which a heavy roll of metal with steel knives on the circumference
revolves at a speed of 200 per minute. This roll circulates the pulp around
the oval tanks and grinds at the same time.
When the pulp is sufficiently reduced, it is emptied by a valve at the
bottom of the tank into a cast iron circular receiver, and then kept in constant motion. In connection with this part of the mill there is also a rag
and rope-cutting machine, capable of preparing ten tons of rags, etc., daily;
also steam tanks, for soaking waste papers, taking out the ink from printed
papers, and preparing both for manufacture.
The paper-making machine marks the second process in the formation
of the liquid pulp into the sheet of paper. This operation is performed by
straining the pulp through a special machine, which separates all the knots
or lumps from the finer pulp. This machine consists of a massive brass
receiver, the bottom of which is covered with slots of the necessary width,
by which a jogging motion is given to this receiver. The paper making
machine consists of that portion in which the wet pulp is first received.
This is made up of a fine iron framework, copper and brass rollers, and an
endless piece of brass wire cloth; also two thick, endless bands of India
rubber. The formation of the wet pulp into the damp sheet of paper is
After leaving the wire cloth the paper, in its first stage as paper, is
passed on endless blankets through heavy press rollers, and thence under
and over five steam-heated drying cylinders. These thoroughly dry the
sheet of paper as fast as it is made. The paper is then passed through a
stock of calendar rolls, and wound on a spool—the sheet of paper, as finished
is often five feet wide, by any length wanted.
The machine for cutting the reels of paper into square sheets is a large
and heavy one. It is intended to be used when the manufacture of paper
necessitates a much larger and wider paper making machine than the one
described above. This cutting machine will cut a sheet 112 inches wide, or
any width down to 6 inches, and any length from 9 inches to 144. The
paper, in passing through, never stops; the knife that makes the cross cut
is a revolving one.
The paper bag machine is a marvel of ingenuity. It is designed to make
any size of bag, from the one to hold four ounces of chocolates up to the
one for 20 pounds of sugar. The machine works at a speed of 60 to 250
bags per minute, and will also print anything wanted on the bags as they
are made, the printing capacity being 10,000 per hour. The bags are
pressed, pasted, dried, printed and delivered ready for the market all at the
one operation.
—Victoria Daily Colonist, June 4, 1892. ROYAL COMMISSIONS AND COMMISSIONS
By Marjorie C. Holmes.
Part IV., 1921-1942.
97. Commission on Health Insurance, etc. (appointed under the "Public
Inquiries Act," November 19th, 1919):   report on Maternity
20 pp.
Original typewritten report on file in the Provincial Secretary's
Office, Victoria.
Commissioners: E. S. H. Winn, Chairman of the Workmen's Compensation Board, and T. Bennett Green, of New Westminster.
Appointed November 19, 1919; report dated March 18, 1921.
The commissioners were instructed to gather information on maternity insurance legislation in other parts of the world, and to inquire
if public interest warranted the introduction of such legislation in the .
Province. Some valuable suggestions as to the administration and
value of public health nursing were made in the report, including the
recommendation that the Province be divided into public health districts
supervised by public health nurses.
98. Report of the Health Insurance commission submitted by E. S. H.
Winn, Chairman; Dr. T. B. Green; Mrs. C. Spofford; D. Mc-
108 pp.
Original typewritten report and proceedings on file in the Provincial
Secretary's Office, Victoria.
Commissioners:  As above.
Appointed November 19, 1919;  report dated March 18, 1921.
The report was signed by E. S. H. Winn; Dr. T. B. Green expressing himself as being unable to agree with the recommendations.
The commission confined its efforts to a study of literature from
other countries, with a view to investigating British Columbia's needs,
and the extent to which legislation in other countries was applicable to
British Columbia. Mr. Winn's report recommended that Province-wide
compulsory health insurance should be brought into force, but before
such legislation was enacted, a tentative bill should be drawn up and
circulated widely among those interested, to test public reaction.
British Columbia Historical Quarterly, Vol. IX., No. 3.
213 214 Marjorie C. Holmes. July
99. In the matter of the Public Inquiries Act and in the matter re coal
commission, etc. (before Alex. Henderson, Esq., K.C, commissioner); report of commissioner.
20 pp.
Original typewritten report and proceedings on file in the Provincial
Secretary's Office, Victoria.
Commissioner:  Alexander Henderson, K.C, of Vancouver.
Appointed March 2, 1921;  report dated April 25, 1921.
The commissioner investigated the cost of coal production, transportation to dealers, cost to consumers, profits of coal-mine operators,
and the profits to dealers. He recommended that the short ton be used
as a measure in all Government compilations; that dealers be licensed
and required to furnish monthly returns to the Government; that stocks
of coal be accumulated during the summer; that standard grades be
adopted; that combines be dissolved; and that an effort should be made
to reduce freight charges.
100. [Commission  .   .   .   to inquire into the question as to whether
the purchase by the Vancouver and District Joint Sewerage
and Drainage Board of a portion of District Lot 386, New
Westminster Land District, for the sum of $75,000 was a justifiable one; and into the disposition of the purchase moneys by
the said Board for the said land.]
No report found.
Commissioner:  Robert Wark, of Victoria.
Appointed April 13,1921; report dated [June, 1921].
The commissioner's report is quoted extensively in the Victoria
Daily Times, June 30, 1921, and the Daily Colonist, July 1, 1921.
Charges had been made that members of the Greater Vancouver Sewerage Board had profited in the purchase by the board of a gravel-pit at
Coquitlam. The commissioner found that the board was justified in
buying the gravel-pit, but could have bought it for less, if it had not
been deliberately misled and lied to by the auditor for South Vancouver,
H. J. Perrin. The report stated that Perrin had benefited by $29,350
by the purchase.
.   1922
101. Royal Commission re Albert Richard Baker, Chairman of Game
' Conservation Board.  (Under " Public Inquiries Act.")  Report
of H. C. Shaw, Commissioner.
5 pp.
In Sessional Papers   .   .   .  Second Session 1921.    pp. V17-V21.
Original typewritten report and evidence on file in the Provincial
Secretary's Office, Victoria.
Commissioner:  Henry Curtis Shaw, police magistrate of Vancouver.
Appointed November 21, 1921; report dated February 16, 1922.
The commissioner investigated charges of malpractice in office
against Albert Richard Baker, chairman of the Game Conservation
Board, which had been made In the  Legislature by  Robert Henry 1945 Commissions of Inquiry. 215
Pooley, member for Esquimalt. Mr. Pooley made eighteen specific
charges against Dr. Baker as well as the allegations of malpractice.
The commissioner dismissed ten of the charges, but investigated the
remaining eight. Evidence of bad feeling between the Police and Game
Departments was uncovered, and certain evidence of loose dealing in
furs was found, but in the latter matter no evidence was brought out
to show any personal gain for Dr. Baker.
102. Report re the Pacific Great Eastern Railway by Hon. Mr. Justice
W. A. Galliher of Court of Appeal of British Columbia . . .
Commissioner. Victoria, B.C.: Printed by Charles F. Ban-
field, Printer to the King's Most Excellent Majesty.    1924.
Cover-title, 21 pp.
Also in Sessional Papers   .   .   .   Session 1924-   pp. M 1-M 21.
Original typewritten report and evidence on file in the Provincial
Secretary's Office, Victoria.
Commissioner: Mr. Justice W. A. Galliher, of the Court of Appeal.
Appointed February 20, 1924;  report dated April 22, 1924.
The commission was appointed in response to a petition made by
members of the Provincial Party to investigate charges that the Pacific
Great Eastern Railway Company had made certain payments to the
Conservative and Liberal party funds to secure the good-will of those
parties in the Legislature; that the Company had made gifts of money
to William J. Bowser, Leader of the Opposition, and William Sloan,
Minister of Mines; and that there had been gross wastage of public
money in the building of the railway. Sixteen specific charges were
set out in the terms of the commission, but the commissioner found that
there was nothing in the evidence to warrant the- imputation of anything dishonest in the carrying-out of the work by the Government.
103. Commission under the United Church of Canada Act.
Original typewritten report on file in the Provincial Secretary's
Office, Victoria.
Commissioners: Rev. William Leslie Clay, D.D., Thomas Humphries,
William H. Maclnnes, all of Victoria; Rev. James S. Henderson, D.D.,
Rev. Robert G. MacBeth, D.D., William Wright Fraser, Rev. Albert E.
Mitchell, D.D., Rev. George A. Wilson, D.D., Rev. Edward McGougan,
all of Vancouver;  James G. Robson, of New Westminster.
Appointed December 30, 1925; report dated February 14, 1927.
This commission, having the force of a public inquiry, was appointed
under the " United Church of Canada Act," to advise upon the settlement of certain properties to be awarded to the congregations of the
Presbyterian Church in British Columbia.
James G. Robson did not sign the report. 216 Marjorie C. Holmes. July
104. Report of the Royal Commission on Mental Hygiene (appointed
under the " Public Inquiries Act" by Order in Council dated
December 30th, 1925). Membership of Commission: E. J.
Rothwell, M.B., M.L.A. (Chairman); Brigadier-General V. W.
Odium, M.L.A. (Secretary); W. A. McKenzie, M.L.A.; Reginald Hayward, M.L.A.; P. P. Harrison, M.L.A. Printed by
authority of the Legislative Assembly. Victoria, B.C.: Printed
by Charles F. Banfield, Printer to the King's Most Excellent
Majesty.    1927.
Cover-title, 54 pp.
Also in Sessional Papers   .   .   .  Session 1926-27.   pp. C 1-C 54.
Commissioners:   As above.
Appointed December 30, 1925;  report dated February 28, 1927.
This commission was originally appointed as a special committee of
the Legislature,* but the members asked to be permitted to continue
their researches, and report at the next session of the Legislature.
Accordingly, on December 30, 1925, the commissioners were appointed
under the " Public Inquiries Act" to pursue their investigations. The
commissioners recommended the establishment of a psychopathic hospital, sterilization of certain classes of mental patients, and some administrative changes in the hospitals. This report also includes a study on
" The heredity and place of origin of the patients admitted to the
Provincial Mental Hospitals of British Columbia," by Helen P. Davidson.
See also No. 10-9, infra.
105. Royal Commission held pursuant to " Public Inquiries Act," Chap
ter 114, Revised Statutes of British Columbia, 1924 (re " Campaign funds "); findings.
14 pp.
Original typewritten report, evidence, and exhibits on file in the
Provincial Secretary's Office, Victoria.
Commissioners: Mr. Justice Aulay Morrison, of the Supreme Court;
Rev. James S. Henderson, D.D., and W. H. Malkin, both of Vancouver.
Appointed February 23, 1927;   report dated April 6, 1927.
This commission was appointed as the outcome of a Dominion royal
commission investigating matters connected with the Customs Department, which revealed that the liquor interests had made large contributions for campaign funds to both political parties in the Province.
A Select Committee of the Legislature had already investigated and
reported four specific charges: (1) increase in the price of beer;
(2) lobbying by brewery interests; (3) higher prices for whisky paid
by the Liquor Control Board; (4) use of secret service funds for
political purposes. The commission was appointed to investigate these
charges. The commissioners found that any money paid by the brewers
had had no effect on the enactment of legislation to bring about beer-by-
the-glass, and that no undue prices had been paid by the Liquor Control
* See Journals of the Legislative Assembly, November 18, 1925. 1945 Commissions of Inquiry. 217
106. Re " Public Inquiries Act";   a Commission issued to the Hon.
Mr. Justice Morrison re allegations of Frank Carlow.
15 pp.
Original typewritten report, evidence, and exhibits on file in the
Provincial Secretary's Office, Victoria.
Commissioner:   Mr. Justice Aulay Morrison, of the Supreme Court.
Appointed April 14, 1927;   report dated June 2, 1927.
The commission investigated the charges made by one Frank Carlow,
that public business had been improperly transacted, and that members
of the Legislature or Government officials had resorted to improper
methods to obtain campaign funds, but found no evidence to support
the claim.
107. Final report under the commission issued on 14th April, 1927, to
the Hon. Mr. Justice Morrison; re Gauthier charges.
20 pp.
Original typewritten report, evidence, and exhibits on file in the
Provincial Secretary's Office, Victoria.
Commissioner:  Mr. Justice Aulay Morrison, of the Supreme Court.
Appointed April 14, 1927;   report dated June, 1927.
The commission is properly part of the preceding one, but is mentioned separately here as a separate report was submitted. There is
no record of an interim report to which the commissioner refers in his
report. The commissioner found that there was no evidence to support
the charges of " improper conduct of public business " made by J. A.
108. Report on the Economic Conditions in certain Irrigation Districts
in the Province, by William George Swan.   Appointed a Commissioner under the " Public Inquiries Act."   Victoria, B.C.:
Printed by Charles F. Banfield, Printer to the King's Most
Excellent Majesty.    1928.
Cover-title, 107 pp.
Also in Sessional Papers   .   .   .  Session 1928.   pp. U 1-U 107.
Commissioner:  William George Swan, of Vancouver.
Appointed July 26,1927; report dated December 16,1927.
The commissioner was appointed to investigate the economic and
financial condition of certain irrigation districts, and to make recommendations to better the condition prevailing in those districts. The
main recommendations made by Mr. Swan were the lowering of the
rate of interest payable, and the increasing of the repayment time from
thirty to fifty years.
109. Final Report of the Royal Commission on Mental Hygiene (ap
pointed under the " Public Inquiries Act " by Order in Council
dated December 30th, 1925). Membership of Commission:
P. P. Harrison, M.L.A. (Chairman);   V. W. Odium, M.L.A. 218 Marjorie C. Holmes. July
(Secretary); W. A. McKenzie, M.L.A.; Reginald Ha/yward,
M.L.A. Printed by authority of the Legislative Assembly.
Victoria, B.C.: Printed by Charles F. Banfield, Printer to the
King's Most Excellent Majesty.    1928.
Cover-title, 20 pp.
Also in Sessional Papers   .   .   .  Session 1928.   pp. G 1-G 20.
Original evidence and exhibits on file in the Provincial Secretary's
Office, Victoria.
Commissioners: As above.
Appointed December 30, 1925;  report dated March 9, 1928.
This is the second and final report of the Mental Hygiene commission. (For the earlier report see No. 104, supra.) The work of the
second year was concentrated largely on the problem of mental deficiency. Data were gathered on existing legislation and the best methods
of tackling the problem. The commissioners recommended the appointment of a provincial psychiatrist and the establishment of a psychopathic hospital, special classes for mentally deficient children, and the
establishment of vocational schools for mental defectives.
110. [Commission  .   .   .   to   inquire   into   the   economic   conditions
throughout the Province with respect to immigration, land
settlement, and colonization, and especially with reference to
the several areas coming under the Sumas Drainage, Dyking
and Development Board, the Oliver District, and areas administered by the Land Settlement Board.]
No report found.
Commissioner: William Henry Gaddes, of Kelowna.
Appointed November 21, 1928.
111. Final report Sumas Relief Commission, 1928.
6 pp.
Original typewritten report and evidence on file in the Provincial
Secretary's Office, Victoria.
Commissioners: Bruce Dixon, Inspector of Dykes, chairman; David
Whiteside, of New Westminster, and William Lyle Macken, of Chilliwack.
Appointed March 21, 1928; report dated January 17, 1929.
The chairman of this commission was appointed by Statute (1928
chapter 42), the other two commissioners by Order in Council March
21, 1928. The commission was appointed to investigate specific cases
in regard to the adjustment of assessments in the Sumas area covered
by the " Sumas Dyking District Relief Act, 1928," and to determine
damages in certain areas occasioned by the Sumas reclamation project.
The commissioners were impressed by the possibilities of the entire
Sumas area, and recommended that if any further relief was contem- -
plated, or any adjustment to be made, that it be done without delay. 1945 COMMISSIONS OF INQUIRY. 219
112. Report of Milk Inquiry Commission, 1928.   Presented to the Legis
lature January 22nd, 1929 . . . Printed by authority of the
Legislative Assembly. Victoria, B.C.: Printed by Charles F.
Banfield, Printer to the King's Most Excellent Majesty.   1929.
Cover-title, 112 pp.
Also in Sessional Papers . .  . Session 1929.   Vol. 1, pp. K1—K112.
Original typewritten report on file in the Provincial Secretary's
Office, Victoria.
Commissioners: Frederick Moore Clement, Dean of the Faculty of
Agriculture, University of British Columbia; Hibbert Winslow Hill,
M.D., Director of Laboratories, University of British Columbia; George
Ernest Hancox, barrister, of Vancouver.
Appointed May 19, 1928;  report dated January 17, 1929.
The commissioners were appointed to investigate the whole question
of milk-supply to the city of Vancouver and the adjacent and neighbouring municipalities. The commissioners made recommendations regarding the marketing and supervision of dairies, prices of fluid milk, and
also recommended changes in the Acts regulating the marketing and
sale of milk.
113. Report of the Royal Commission appointed by Order in Council
No. 1352, approved on the 5th day of December, 1928, under
the authority of the " Public Inquiries Act" re Saanich
15 pp.
Original typewritten report, evidence, and exhibits on file in the
Provincial Secretary's Office, Victoria.
Commissioner: Peter Secord Lampman, Judge of the County Court,
Appointed December 5, 1928; report dated May 31, 1929.
The commissioner was to investigate any matters of administration
in Saanich municipality, the valuation of agricultural holdings, the
question of a separate municipality for Wards 3 and 4, the division of
the municipality into wards, domestic water-supply, sewer system, and
the cost of local and other improvements. After investigating, the
commissioner gave it as his opinion that Wards 3 and 4 would be too
small a municipality for economical administration, and that land was
assessed and taxed for more than it could stand. He thought that the
ideal situation would be for the more thickly populated portions to
amalgamate with the city of Victoria, and the country districts to form
a separate municipality.
114. Report of the Royal Commission appointed by Order in Council
No. 748, approved on the 16th day of May, 1929, under the
authority of the " Public Inquiries Act " to inquire into certain
allegations against John L. Barge, of Queen Charlotte City,
Province of British Columbia.
lp. 220 Marjorie C. Holmes. July
Original typewritten report on file in the Provincial Secretary's
Office, Victoria.
Commissioner:  W. E. Fisher, barrister, of Prince Rupert.
Appointed May 16,-1929; report dated August 23,1929.
Barge was charged with retaining Government property, which
charge was found to be proved.
115. Public Enquiries Act re Kelowna Police;   Report  of Lindley
Crease, K.C, Commissioner.
pp. 11, xxviii.
Original typewritten report, appendix, evidence, and exhibits on file
in the Provincial Secretary's Office, Victoria.
Commissioner:  Lindley Crease, K.C, of Victoria.
Appointed April 16, 1929;  report dated September, 1929.
Charges had been made by Provincial Constable P. Corrigan, of
Kelowna, that members of the city police force were lax in the performance of their duty, and of maladministration of the force. The Kelowna
police made counter-charges against Provincial Constable Corrigan.
The terms of the commission enabled the commissioner to investigate
police administration generally, in the city of Kelowna. He found that
• the Chief of Police of Kelowna, Robert William Thomas, had not faithfully served the citizens of the town, that the city police were lacking
in the performance of their duty, and that they had failed to co-operate
with the Provincial Police Constable.
116. [Commission  .   .   .   authorizing  an inquiry  into  the  grading,
mixing, handling, and marketing of grain  .   .   .   ]
157 pp.
Commissioners: Hon. James Thomas Brown, Chief Justice of the
Court of King's Bench, Saskatchewan; John August Stoneman, of
Saskatoon; William John Rutherford, Dean and Professor of Agriculture, University of Saskatchewan.
Appointed (British Golumbia) March 15, 1929; report dated September 5, 1929.
This was  a  commission granted by the  Government  of  British
'Columbia to give the royal commissioners of the Saskatchewan grain
inquiry authority to pursue their investigations in British Columbia.
As far as British Columbia was concerned the evidence related to the
facilities for grain handling at Pacific coast ports.
117. Progress report of the Royal Commission on State Health Insurr
ance and Maternity Benefits; Presented to the Legislature
February 11th, 1930. Printed by authority of the Legislative
Assembly. Victoria, B.C.: Printed by Charles F. Banfield,
Printer to the King's Most Excellent Majesty.    1930.
Cover-title, 30 pp. 1945 Commissions op Inquiry. 221
Typewritten evidence on file in the Provincial Secretary's Office,
Commissioners: C. F. Davie; William Farris Kennedy; Lorris E.
Borden, M.D.; George S. Pearson; John Joseph Gillis, M.D.; all members of the Legislative Assembly.    Charles H. Gibbons, Secretary.
Appointed April 16, 1929;  report dated January 15, 1930.
The commission investigated existing legislation on health insurance
in other countries of the world, having in mind the application of such
legislation to British Columbia.
■ For a later report see No. 122, infra.
118. Report of the Royal Commission Investigating the Fruit Industry
(and inter-related conditions) of the Districts Territorially
known as the Okanagan, Kootenay, and Kettle River of the
Province of British Columbia, by W. Sanford Evans. Appointed a Commissioner under the "Public Inquiries Act."
Part I. Dealing with the subjects set forth in the terms of the
Commission under Classifications A, B, and C. Printed by
authority of the Legislative Assembly. Victoria, B.C.: Printed
by Charles F. Banfield, Printer to the King's Most Excellent
Majesty.    1930.
Cover-title, 23 pp.
Also in Sessional Papers . . . Session 1980. Vol. 2, pp. AA1-
Original typewritten report on file in the Provincial Secretary's
Office, Victoria.
Commissioner:   W. Sanford Evans, economist, of Winnipeg.
Appointed August 26, 1929;  report dated February 8, 1930.
The commissioner was appointed to investigate the value of land,
irrigation, water-supply, farming, and fruit-growing, varieties of produce, packing, distribution, marketing, manufacture of by-products, storage and transportation, and relations between the producer and vendor
in the districts of the Province named in the commission. The report
mentioned above deals only with the first three subjects of the commission. After investigating, the commissioner came to the general
conclusion that the agricultural industry in the territory was worth
maintaining and developing. In.spite of the expense involved, in view
of the fact that the Province had already made extensive loans to
irrigation districts and had one large irrigation project, he felt that
the financial position, while difficult, was not necessarily incapable of
betterment. He recommended that a complete soil and topographical
survey be.systematically proceeded with; that the Government accept
the principle of payment according to ability to pay, and abandon the
existing plan of payment by regular fractions of the debt; that the
amount a district be required to pay in any one year on account of
construction costs should be proportionate to the value of its products,
'and that the question of ensuring an ample water-supply should be a
primary duty.
By Order in Council dated October 31, 1929, the area in which the 222 Marjorie C. Holmes. July
inquiry was to be held was extended to include the Kettle River and
Kootenay districts of the Province.
For a later report see No. 120, infra.
119. [Commission  .   .   .   to  hold a full inquiry,  investigation
examination into the administration of the Board operating
under the Government Liquor Act.]
No report found.
Commissioner: Albert F. Griffiths, chartered accountant, of Victoria.
Appointed October 22, 1930.
120. Report of the Royal Commission Investigating the Fruit Industry
(and inter-related conditions) of the Districts Territorially
known as the Okanagan, Kootenay, and Kettle River of the
Province of British Columbia, by W. Sanford Evans. Appointed a Commissioner under the "Public Inquiries Act."
Part II. Dealing with the Subjects of Production and Marketing under the Terms of the Commission. Printed by authority
of the Legislative Assembly. Victoria, B.C.: Printed by
Charles F. Banfield, Printer to the King's Most Excellent
Majesty.    1931.
Cover-title, 29 pp.
Also in Sessional Papers . . . Session 1981. Vol. 2, pp. W1-
Original typewritten report on file in the Provincial Secretary's
Office, Victoria.
Commissioner:   W. Sanford Evans, economist, of Winnipeg.
Appointed August 26, 1929;  report dated January 15, 1931.
The commissioner, in this report, considered problems of production
and marketing. He investigated marketing during the previous ten
years, taking apples as the main example, and going fully into the facts
regarding supply, export, cost of production and yield, cold storage,
and markets. He criticized the existing " Produce Marketing Act,"
calling it " an extraordinary statute" and pointing out its defects.
He recommended that immediate steps be taken to institute a method
of dealing with prices by means of an association of shippers; that all
trade matters needing common action be handled by this Shippers'
Council; and that the growers be organized so that matters of common
interest could be discussed by them.
For the earlier report see No. 118, supra.
121. Report of the Royal Commission appointed by Order in Council
No. 1373 appointed on the 19th day of November, 1930, under
the authority of the " Public Inquiries Act " re Mount Douglas
7 pp. 1945 Commissions of Inquiry. 223
Original typewritten report, evidence, and exhibits on file in the
Provincial Secretary's Office, Victoria.
Commissioner:   Oscar C. Bass, Deputy Attorney-General.
Appointed November 19, 1930; report dated March 16, 1931.
The commissioner investigated the management, regulation, protection, and control of Mount Douglas park, near Victoria. Charges
had been made by F. A. Grahame, of Victoria, that the Victoria-Saanich
Beaches Association, administrators of the park, had neglected it, and
had despoiled its natural beauty by selling gravel and cutting a new
road. The commissioner found that the charges were substantiated by
the evidence brought forward.
122. Final report of the Royal Commission on State Health Insurance
and Maternity Benefits, 1932. Printed by authority of the
Legislative Assembly. Victoria, B.C.: Printed by Charles F.
Banfield, Printer to the King's Most Excellent Majesty.    1932.
Cover-title, 63 pp.
Also in Sessional Papers   .   .   .   Session 1982.    Vol. 2 pp. X 1-X 63.
Original typewritten report on file in the Provincial Secretary's
Office, Victoria.
Commissioners: C. F. Davie, chairman; George S. Pearson;, Dr.
L. E. Borden; Dr. J. J. Gillis; W. F. Kennedy; all members of the
Legislative Assembly.
Appointed April 16, 1929; report dated January 30, 1932.
The commissioners had already presented a Progress Report to the
Legislature on February 11, 1930 (see No. 116, supra). This Final
Report consists of a digest of the evidence received on world laws, and
discussion of the need for health insurance in British Columbia, the
class of persons to be served, the mode of levying the contribution, and
other administrative details. The commissioners strongly recommended
that a compulsory scheme of health insurance and maternity benefits
be set up in the Province at an early date.
123. Report of the Royal Commission on Chiropractic and Drugless
Healing. Held under the Provisions of the " Public Inquiries
Act." Printed by authority of the Legislative Assembly. Victoria, B.C.: Printed by Charles F. Banfield, Printer to the
King's Most Excellent Majesty.    1932.
Cover-title, 11 pp.
Also in Sessional Papers   .   .   .  Session 1982.   pp. Q 1-Q 11.
Original typewritten report and evidence on file in the Provincial
Secretary's Office, Victoria.
Commissioner: Mr. Justice Denis Murphy, of the Supreme Court.
Appointed September 10, 1931;  report dated February 17, 1932.
The chiropractors and drugless healers of the Province had applied
for an Act regulating their practice, and the commissioner was charged
to investigate in order to ascertain which of the chiropractors and 224 Marjorie CL Holmes. July
drugless healers now practising should be so registered. The commissioner made a full inquiry, and in the first case recommended that an
examining board, composed exclusively of duly qualified chiropractors,
be set up and should be authorized to grant recognition of graduates of
colleges, which, in their opinion, gave a proper course in chiropractic
of not less than six months. The commissioner stated that the Act
should prohibit the prescribing or administration of drugs or medical
preparatives by chiropractors, and the practice by them of midwifery
or surgery. In the second case the commissioner recommended that no
change be made in the " Medical Act" in respect to examination of
drugless healers, but saw no reason why an Act should not be passed
regarding the " protection of persons skilled in the use of what may be
termed the mechanics of such drugless healing."
124. Province of British Columbia: Report of the Municipal Taxation
Commission, 1933.    1934.
Cover-title, 90 pp. mimeographed.
, Original typewritten report and evidence on file in the Provincial
Secretary's Office, Victoria.
Commissioners: His Honour Andrew M. Harper, Judge of the
County Court of Vancouver, chairman;  A. D. Paterson, of Ladner.
Appointed May 22, 1933;  report dated February 9, 1934.
The commission was appointed to inquire into and review the financial and administrative condition of the various municipalities of the
Province, as constituted under the " Municipal Act," and also the financial relationship between the Provincial Government and the municipalities. The commissioners made forty-two recommendations after taking
evidence in all parts of the Province. The principal recommendations
were: (1) that mothers' pensions be a wholly Provincial obligation;
(2) that the thickly-populated parts of Saanich be annexed to the city
of Victoria; (3) that social services should not be a charge upon the
land; (4) that municipal grants should be a fixed amount for a certain
term of years; (5) that certain institutions and certain social services
should be wholly a charge upon the Province, and (6) that hospital
grants should be increased.
125. [Commission issued to His Honour Algernon Ernest Doak  .   .   .
to inquire into matters (relief camp strikers) in so far as they
took place in the Province of British Columbia.]
Commissioner: Judge Algernon Ernest Doak, of the District Court
of Saskatchewan.
Appointed February 13, 1936.
This is a commission issued by the Province of British Columbia to
facilitate the work of Judge Doak, appointed by the Saskatchewan
Government to inquire into matters connected with the riot of relief
camp strikers at Regina on July 1, 1935. The report was made public
in Saskatchewan on May 16, 1936. 1945 Commissions of Inquiry. 225
126. Report of the Royal Commission approved by Order in Council
No. 5, appointed on the 6th day of January, 1937, under the
authority of the " Public Inquiries Act," re the. Home of the
Friendless;  commissioner's report.
24 pp.
Original typewritten report and evidence on file in the Provincial
Secretary's Office, Victoria.
Commissioner:  H. Irvine Bird, barrister, of Vancouver.
Appointed January 6, 1937;  report dated July 23, 1937.
Complaints regarding the administration and conduct of the Home
for the Friendless, in Burnaby, and the similar institution in West
Summerland, were the cause of this investigation. In the main, charges
made were found to be proved, in that the aged were likely to become
public charges, that fire protection was not adequate, and that discipline
was harsh. The commissioner urged that some legislation be enacted
by the Legislature to regulate the operation of such homes.
127. Report of the Royal Commission approved by Order in Council
No. 24, approved on the 6th day of January, 1937, as amended
by Order in Council No. 552, approved on the 5th day of May,
1937, under authority of the " Public Inquiries Act "  ...  re
projectionists and kinematographs.
20 pp.
Original typewritten report on file in the Provincial Secretary's
Office, Victoria.
Commissioner:   James M. Coady, barrister, of Vancouver.
Appointed January 6, 1937;  report dated August 9, 1937.
The commissioner investigated motion-picture theatre projection-
rooms, and described the methods employed in various types of theatres
rather fully. The question of whether it be in the public interest to
allow fewer than two licensed projectionists to operate a kinematograph
in a projection-room containing more than one kinematograph, and
whether a machine should be operated in a theatre which has no
rewind-room was also inquired into. In neither case did the commissioner find that such things were necessary.
128. Report of the Royal Commission approved by Order in Council
No. 944 appointed on the 25th day of August, 1937, under the
authority  of  the  " Public  Inquiries  Act"  re  Beban  mine
6 pp., 2 maps.
Original typewritten report and evidence on file in the Provincial
Secretary's Office, Victoria.
Commissioner: Ridgway R. Wilson, mining engineer, of Vancouver.
Appointed August 25, 1937;  report dated September 7, 1937.
The commissioner investigated circumstances leading up to and
surrounding the flooding of Beban mine at Extension, which led to the 226 Marjorie C. Holmes. July
death of three miners. No evidence of negligence was brought out at
the inquiry, but the commissioner found that an error of judgment in
allowing an insufficient factor of safety in connection with the distance
the old No. 1 Extension mine-workings extended beyond the point shown
by the old mine plan, had occurred. The error was not attributable to
any one person. The direct cause of the disaster was the failure to
file with the Department of Mines an accurate mine plan of the old
No. 1 mine. Recommendations were made by the commissioner to
prevent such circumstances happening in the future.
129. Report of the Royal Commission approved by Order in Council
No. 186 appointed on the 19th day of February, 1937, under
authority of the " Public Inquiries Act" re Labour Dispute
between Burns and Company, Limited, and its employees.
9 pp.
Original typewritten report, evidence, and exhibits on file in the
Provincial Secretary's Office, Victoria.
Commissioner: His Honour Judge J. C. Mcintosh, Junior Judge of
the County Court of Nanaimo.
Appointed February 19, 1937;  report not dated.
The dispute concerned not wages, nor hours of labour, but the
activities of the newly-formed labour union, and the retaliatory action
of the Burns company manager. As no agreement had been arrived at,
the commissioner submitted a plan for settlement of the dispute.
130. Coal and Petroleum Products Commission (British Columbia).
Volume I. Report of the Commissioner The Honourable Mr.
Justice M. A. Macdonald relating to The Petroleum Industry
(Being Paragraph 2 and part of Paragraph 3 of the Terms of
the Commission) October 21st, 1936. Victoria, B.C.: Printed
by Charles F. Banfield, Printer to the King's Most Excellent
Majesty.    1937.
Volume II. Report of the Commissioner The Honourable Mr.
Justice M. A. Macdonald relating to The Coal Industry (Being
Paragraph 1 and part of Paragraph 3 of the Terms of the
Commission) September 27th, 1987. Victoria, B.C.: Printed
by Charles F. Banfield, Printer to the King's Most Excellent
Majesty.    1937.
Volume HI. Report of the Commissioner The Honourable Mr.
Justice M. A. Macdonald relating to Paragraph 8 of the Terms
of the Commission December 5th, 1938. Victoria, B.C.:
Printed by Charles F. Banfield, Printer to the King's Most
Excellent Majesty.    1938.
Cover-title, pp. xxvii., 332;  pp. xl., 422; pp. xxxv., 500.
Also in Sessional Papers . . . Session 1987, Vol. 2, pp. HH 1-
HH332; 111-11422; and Sessional Papers . . . Session 1988, VoL
2, pp. HH 1-HH 500. 1945 Commissions of Inquiry. 227
Original report, evidence, and exhibits on file in the Provincial Secretary's Office, Victoria.
Commissioner: Mr. Justice M. A. Macdonald, of the Court of
Appointed November 28, 1934; reports dated October 21, 1936;
September 27, 1937;  December 5, 1938.
The commissioner was appointed to inquire into matters connected
with the coal and petroleum industries—the cost of production, manner
and cost of preparation (both for wholesalers and retailers), transportation, cost to dealers and consumers,, profits (both to owners and
sellers), and "generally, all matters tending to show the comparative
value of coal and petroleum products for economic use as aforesaid in
British Columbia, and the value to the economic welfare of British
Columbia of the development of industry based upon the production of
the fuels enumerated, or tending to show whether or not the prices
charged for coal and petroleum products respectively are unjust or
unreasonable ..." The commissioner divided his report as shown
above, and reported on each part separately. The principal findings of
each part are summarized in the introduction. The report is very
exhaustive in its treatment of the subjects discussed, and the findings
are too detailed to enable them to be quoted or even summarized in
this checklist.
131. Report of the Commissioner appointed pursuant to Section 492
of the " Municipal Act" and the provisions of the " Public
Inquiries Act" to inquire into the Police Administration of
the Corporation of the City of New Westminster.
19 pp.
Original typewritten report, proceedings, and exhibits on file in the
Provincial Secretary's Office, Victoria.
Commissioner: His Honour Frederic W. Howay, Judge of the
County Court of New Westminster.
Appointed April 14, 1942;  report dated May 22, 1942.
On complaint of E. C. Mills, alderman of New Westminster, of
dereliction of duty, inefficiency of administration, and laxity of law
enforcement on the part of the police department of New Westminster,
the commissioner was appointed to investigate the charges. However,
he did not find that the evidence supported the complaints.
132. " Public Inquiries Act" " Natural Products Marketing (British
Columbia) Act." Report of His Honour Judge A. M. Harper,
Commissioner appointed by an Order of the Lieutenant-
Governor in Council, dated the 30th day of September, A.D.
1941. Victoria, B.C.: Printed by Charles F. Banfield, Printer
to the King's Most Excellent Majesty. 1942.
Cover-title, 72 pp.
Original typewritten report, evidence, and exhibits on file in the
Provincial Secretary's Office, Victoria.
Commissioner: His Honour Andrew M. Harper, Judge of the County
Court of Vancouver. 228 Marjorie C. Holmes.
Appointed September 30, 1941;   report dated September 14, 1942.
The commissioner was appointed to investigate the operations generally of marketing boards and of the agencies set up by them; the
rules, regulations, and transactions of these marketing boards and
agencies; complaints of administration; and any other relevant facts.
After investigating, the commissioner recommended sweeping changes
in the set-up and operations of the British Columbia Marketing Board
and the B.C. Coast Vegetable Marketing Board, advocating changes in
personnel and enlargement of the jurisdiction of the Board. He also
advocated changes in the constitution of the B.C. Coast Vegetable Board
to provide for election of members by delegates from local units, and
he advised further that the Board be given power to exempt small
growers of vegetables from operation of the Marketing Act, and that
fruit-growers be given a better accounting of all deductions and overages.
133. Public Inquiries Act (British Columbia). Report of the Commissioner The Honourable Mr. Justice Gordon McG. Sloan relating
to The Workmen's Compensation Board, 1942. Victoria, B.C.:
Printed by Charles F. Banfield, Printer to the King's Most
Excellent Majesty.    1942.
Cover-title, 245 pp.
Also in Sessional Papers . . . Session 1948. Vol. 2, pp. DD 1-
DD 245.
Original typewritten report and proceedings on file in the Provincial
Secretary's Office, Victoria.
Commissioner: Mr. Justice Gordon McG. Sloan, of the Court of
Appointed July 1,1941; report dated September, 1942.
This commission was fact-finding, and investigation was made into
any complaints which had been made concerning the administrative
policy of the Workmen's Compensation Board. The commissioner was
also to investigate and examine relevant facts and reasons therefor,
relating to proposed amendments to the existing Act which might be
brought to his attention, and any other facts pertaining to the general
scope of the inquiry. In his report the commissioner recommended that
certain allowances under the Act be increased; that the Act be broadened to permit the Board to order and pay for chiropractic treatment
to compensation cases; that a per diem allowance be permitted to men
brought to Vancouver for medical examination, etc., from other localities, in addition to travelling expenses and time-loss compensation. The
commissioner discussed the question of certain occupational diseases,
notably hernia and silicosis, very fully, and made certain suggestions
in this connection. In the early pages of the report the history of
workmen's compensation in British Columbia was reviewed. NOTES AND COMMENTS.
Editor's Note.—In the first days of September, 1911, Mr. E. M.
Cotton, well-known native son of New Westminster, and his brother,
Walter, set out to join their father, who was in charge of a Government survey party at Stuart Lake. They travelled first from
Vancouver to Prince Rupert in the steamer Prince George. Then,
after an exciting trip up the Skeena River to Hazelton in a sternwheeler, they proceeded overland to Babine Lake. Down this they
paddled to Babine Portage, which they crossed to Stuart Lake,
their destination. Six weeks later it was time to start for home,
and it was on this return journey that the events here chronicled
The approach of cold weather early in November warned us that
it was time to break camp and head down river for " Outside " or run
the risk of being frozen in where we were for the winter. The camp's
only means of travel was an old river scow, which unfortunately was
not large enough to carry us all with safety. We decided that eight,
including myself, would remain behind and try to find some other
means of getting away before the freeze-up came. Failing that we
would spend the winter in Fort St. James.
We did our best to locate a boat but could find none large enough
to carry eight men and equipment. We had almost given up when
we heard about a large Indian dug-out canoe near Fort St. James.
We were told that this canoe would more than fill our needs, in size
at least.
It was certainly large enough! In fact it was believed to be the
largest ever built in British Columbia—55% feet long, and 4 feet wide.
It was of the dug-out type, hewn from a single huge log. Strangely
enough it was made of Cottonwood instead of the usual cedar. It had
been used several years by the Hudson's Bay Company as a freighter
on Takla Lake. It was very ancient and almost paper thin in places.
We realized that we were taking our lives in our hands to venture into
those ice-filled rivers in such a craft. But beggars can't be choosers,
and we felt that we had no alternative. We either had to take our
chances with the river or stay where we were for the winter. Of the
two we preferred the river. We took the precaution, however, of hiring
Jimmy Alexander, an Indian guide, with the reputation of being the
best fast-water canoeman in the country, to act as our pilot.
Including Alexander there were nine members in our little party.
They were: Harry Reid, the expedition's cook, Bill Wright, Glen
Pluver, a chap named Anderson, my brother W. H. Cotton, myself, and
two whose names I cannot recall. At the present time Harry Reid
lives in New Westminster, Glen Pluver in Clayburn, and my brother in
British Columbia Historical Quarterly, Vol. IX., No. 3.
229 230 Notes and Comments. July
Smithers, where he is Government engineer.    I have lost track of the
We must have been a memorable sight that cold December morning
as we left Fort St. James in our odd craft, propelled by six large oars,
three on each side, steered by a huge 15-foot sweep at the stern (the
canoe was too large for paddles), jammed with equipment, and with
smoke pouring from the full-sized camp stove that we had erected on
a platform at the rear. We must have looked like something left over
from the flood.
For all its unsightliness, that stove certainly proved a comfort.
It rained and snowed most of the time, and as we had no covering over
the canoe we felt the cold bitterly. We travelled without stopping all
day, and camped on shore at night. At intervals during the long cold
day the men would leave their places at the oars and make their way
back to the stove, where Harry Reid always had a steaming pot of soup
or tea ready. This, followed by a comforting smoke by the fire, soon
had us ready for another turn at the oars.
We had little or no trouble until we neared the Fraser River (it
Fort George. There we ran into large quantities of pancake ice which
kept rubbing through the soft Cottonwood of the canoe, forcing us to
go ashore and find spruce gum to patch the leaks. The canoe was old
and thin, and while in the ice area we were forced to stop for repairs
five or six times a day. In sub-zero weather this was anything but
a pleasant task.
Arriving at Fort George Canyon we found it completely frozen
over, and the ice piled so high that we were forced to go ashore and
carry, or rather slide, our huge canoe along the river bank to open
After leaving Fort George, where we stopped for supplies, we had
clear sailing until we reached dangerous Cottonwood Canyon. Here
the water is exceedingly swift and foams and churns through the
narrow rocky canyon at a great rate. Even the light and easily-
handled river canoes seldom tried to run this tricky and extremely
dangerous canyon, and we knew that to attempt it in our clumsy
55-footer was out of the question. We went ashore, and Jimmy Alexander went on ahead to size up the possibilities of portaging our
equipment along the river bank. After some time, he came back to
report that it would be impossible to carry the canoe on the shore, as
the banks along the canyon were too steep, and covered with several
feet of snow. That left us no alternative. We must run the canyon,
55-footer or no.
This decided, we wasted no time in starting lest we lose our nerve,
for we needed steady nerves for the task ahead. With our hearts in
our mouths we started, and it seemed that we had no sooner left the'
shore before we felt the rush of the canyon. We gained momentum
like a falling stone. Faster and faster, cutting through the angry
waters like an arrow, our bow sent showers of spray over the feverishly 1945 Notes and Comments. 231
straining oarsmen, whose oars seemed to barely touch the rushing
Had it not been for Jimmy Alexander we never would have made it.
He did a wonderful job of steering our clumsy craft through the
dangerous maze of huge rocks. Time and again, by what seemed only
inches, we missed great jagged rocks which would have torn gaping
holes in the sides of the canoe, and in an instant consigned us to swift,
certain death in the icy waters.
The swift manoeuvring almost cost the life of Harry Reid, our cook.
A sudden lunge of the canoe caused a section of the stove pipe to fall
overboard. Harry made a wild grab for it, and was saved from falling
overboard by Jimmy Alexander, who pulled him to safety by the seat
of his trousers. After what seemed a lifetime, we finally got through.
That ride was the fastest and most thrilling I ever had. It is great to
look back upon.    But never again!
After that, pancake ice was our only trouble. We made good progress, and at nightfall on the sixth day camped just a few miles from
Quesnel, and were off to an early start the next morning. As we
approached Quesnel we were surprised to see a large crowd lining the
river bank awaiting our arrival. We were at a loss to explain the
unexpected welcome until Mr. Collins, of the Hudson's Bay store,
explained. We had been sighted as we rounded the bend of the river,
about 3 miles above Quesnel, by Mr. Allison, a druggist. The odd
appearance of our craft, with the smoke pouring from our stove,
aroused great curiosity as to just what was the queer type of ship
approaching. Soon the whole village gathered to witness the arrival
of the mysterious craft. We must have been a great sight at that,
nine woefully tired and unshaven men in a giant six-oared, stove-
cluttered canoe.
We soon had the canoe unloaded on the bank, and having enjoyed
the open-handed hospitality of the good people of Quesnel, we continued
our journey homeward, leaving the river and travelling overland.
We were sorry to leave our great canoe behind. It had served us
faithfully and carried us through dangerous waters to safety. After
we had gone the people of Quesnel erected a shelter over the canoe, and
I believe it is still there; on view to all who wish to see this giant
55%-footer, reputed to be the largest canoe ever built in British
E. M. Cotton.
The party arrived in New Westminster the day before Christmas.
Since this narrative was written, word has been received that
the great canoe is no more. Though it had been protected from the
weather to some extent in recent years, it had been left exposed
so long that the bottom, and finally the sides, rotted away. The
remains are said to have been dumped into the Fraser not long
ago.—Editor. 232 Notes and Comments. July
LEONARD NORRIS:   1865-1945.
Leonard Norris, who died in Vernon on April 18, 1945, lived
many long and useful years in the Okanagan, and devoted the last
twenty years of his life to collecting historical information concerning
the Valley he knew so well.
Mr. Norris was born on a farm at Brampton, Ontario, in 1865.
His parents brought him to Langley Prairie in 1874. He was a young
man of seventeen when he first came to the Okanagan Valley, intending,
as he once said, " to stay probably a year and then move on "; but " the
beauty and magic of the country laid its spell" on him, and he " soon
grew to love the bunchgrass hills, the lakes that mirror the beauty of
tree and sky." For a while he worked on ranches in the Lumby district, then in December of 1887 he pre-empted land in the vicinity of
Round Lake, just off the Vernon-Kamloops road.
He had hardly commenced to farm his land when he was asked to
take over the duties of provincial police constable at Lansdowne.
He accepted the appointment on the understanding that it was only
a temporary one and that some one else would soon replace him. This
step, however, marked the beginning of his public service, for in July,
1890, he was asked to serve in the capacity of Provincial Collector of
Taxes. Three years later, in October, 1893, his integrity and ability
were recognized when he was appointed Government Agent in Vernon,
to succeed Moses Lumby. He remained in this office for thirty-three
years, until his retirement in 1926.
In carrying out his duties as police constable, Mr. Norris sometimes
travelled as far north as Enderby or as far south as Penticton.
He knew a great many of the early settlers intimately, and later, in
speaking of his early days in the Valley, he always emphasized the
fact that the people were law-abiding and peaceable. As Government
Agent, most of Mr. Norris's work was centred in Vernon. He knew
the district before the city was incorporated in 1892, and while it was
still known by the name of Priest's Valley. He lived through the
" boom days " of the nineties, when the cattle ranches were divided
and the first orchards were planted. He remembered the coming of
the railway in 1891, the sale of the Coldstream Ranch to Lord Aberdeen, and the early days of steamboat travel on Okanagan Lake.
He saw Vernon grow from a settlement of four or five scattered houses
to its war-time population of somewhere between six and seven
thousand. He supervised the removal of the Government offices from
the old red-brick Court House built in 1892, at a cost of $8,000, to
the fine new granite structure, costing $200,000, opened in 1914.
He watched the development of the fruit-growing industry from the
days of experimentation to those of specialization—and remained convinced that the Okanagan farmer was producing fruit which was too
expensive for the taste of the prairie consumer.
As the official representative of the Government in the Vernon district,  Mr.  Norris carried out multifarious  duties.    He dealt with 1945 Notes and Comments. 233.
matters which came to his cognizance as Magistrate, Collector of land
and other taxes, Registrar of Births, Deaths, and Marriages, Registrar
of the County Court, District Registrar of the Supreme Court, Registrar of Voters, Judge of the Small Debts Court, and Official Administrator. Everything from the supervision of road-work to the care of
the destitute and the sick called for his attention. The wide knowledge
of local affairs which he gained from his work could hardly be equalled
by others, and after his retirement his interest in the development of
the Vernon district never waned.
The Okanagan Historical and Natural History Society (later the
Okanagan Historical Society) was founded on September 4, 1925, as
the result of a meeting called by Mr. Norris in Vernon. The members
were interested in the whole field of British Columbia history, but their
primary purpose was to preserve historical material relating to the
early history of the Okanagan Valley. " It is only by securing information from all possible sources," Mr. Norris declared in his first
presidential address, " and then by comparison and deduction, that it is
possible to reach that degree of accuracy which is so desirable in dealing with matters of local history." The eleven Reports of the Okanagan Historical Society (the latest of which is now in the press) are
a testimonial to the industry and to the standards of the man who was
the real force in the Society. For, as every contributor to the Reports
knows, Mr. Norris had great enthusiasm for collecting data, and he
assumed the responsibility for seeing that the Reports continued to
be issued. To carry out his researches, he spent his winters in Victoria, working in the Provincial Archives and the Provincial Library.
In 1939, when he went east to visit his old home and to arrange to have
one of the Reports published, he spent some time in the Public Archives
in Ottawa and in the Provincial Library in Toronto. He was a model
to local historians for patient and industrious research, and he was far
too modest in accepting credit and thanks for his efforts.
The Reports of the Okanagan Historical Society are a mine of
information about the early settlement and development of the Okanagan Valley. There are life-histories of early farmers, tales of
adventure and of the vicissitudes experienced by the pioneers, historical accounts of the evolution of institutions, and descriptions of
natural phenomena. There is a good deal of spontaneity in the writing, so that one has the feeling that this is, as Mr. Norris intended it
to be, "history ... as told by the people themselves." Perhaps
it is because the reader obtains a real feeling for the life in a pioneer
community that the appeal of the Reports and the demand for them
have not been confined to the Okanagan Valley alone.
In his articles dealing with the wider field of British Columbia
history, Mr. Norris did not hesitate to tackle controversial subjects
or to question the authority of recognized historians. He took up
cudgels on behalf of the " wronged " miners of Cariboo, largely because
he was inspired by his faith in the goodness of the common man. 234 Notes and Comments. July
When he denounced politicians who had tried to use legal technicalities
to advance their own cause, he voiced his suspicion of any one who was
without principle. He tended to project his own sympathies and feelings into his writings, and to weigh the intentions and actions of
others by his own measure.
As a public servant and as an historian, Mr. Norris showed steadiness of purpose. One could recall his other fine qualities, but those
who knew him need no reminder of the warmth of his friendship, or his
ability as a raconteur, or his subtle sense of humour. They can properly regret the extreme reticence which prevented him writing his own
reminiscences, and his modest refusal to accept during his lifetime
full credit and recognition for his work as a local historian.
Margaret A. Ormsby.
Vancouver, B.C.
Members and friends of the Vancouver Section enjoyed a rare treat on
Tuesday, April 10, when a crowded meeting was addressed by Mr. William
Bleasdell Cameron. Author of The War Trail of Big Bear and co-author
of When Fur was King, Mr. Cameron was the sole survivor of the famous
Frog Lake massacre of 1885, and the meeting was planned in recognition,
of the 60th anniversary of the North West Rebellion. Seven or eight veterans of '85 were in the audience, including Judge J. A. Forin, who spoke
briefly but most entertainingly, and Rev. C. C. Owen. Mr. Cameron devoted
the first part of his address to a graphic account of his own experiences at
the time of the massacre, and he and Judge Forin exhibited various photographs and relics, some of which related to Louis Reil personally. The
speaker then passed on to kindred topics, one highlight being an explanation
and demonstration of the Indian sign language, the deftness of which
delighted those present. Mr. Cameron was until recently in charge of the
Royal Canadian Mounted Police museum at Regina, and now plans to make
his home in British Columbia.
Both the Victoria and Vancouver sections had called meetings for Monday, May 7. Owing to the " V-E Day " celebrations the Victoria meeting
was postponed, but the Vancouver Section judged it best to carry on. The
speaker of the evening was to have been Major J. S. Matthews, Vancouver
City Archivist, but illness unfortunately prevented his attendance. The
substitute speaker was Dr. W. Kaye Lamb, who spoke on Some Pioneer
Journalists, and described the development of printing and the press in
British Columbia from the late 1850's to the coming of the telegraph in
Seventy members attended the postponed meeting of the Victoria Section, which was held in the Parliament Buildings on Friday, May 11. The
speaker was Mr. P. M. Monckton, B.C.L.S., of the Forest Branch of the
Department of Lands. His subject was Historic Trails of the Cassiar
Country, and both Mr. Monckton's talk and the coloured slides with which 1945 Notes and Comments. 235
it was illustrated were much enjoyed by the large audience. The old overland telegraph-line, the gold excitement of the seventies, and other historic
events and relics were described and illustrated.
The Victoria Section held its last meeting of the season in the Parliament Buildings on Monday, June 4. The speaker was Mr. B. A. McKelvie,
whose subject was Jason Allard: Prince, Fur-trader and Gentleman. It
will be recalled that Mr. McKelvie delivered this same address in Vancouver
in January, at the annual meeting of the Association. The text will appear
in an early issue of this Quarterly.
Bessie Lamb, M.A., is a member of the teaching staff of the Vancouver
High Schools. Miss Lamb's thesis for her Master's degree dealt with the
origin and development of newspapers in Vancouver, and the article in this
issue is based upon the first chapters of this study.
Marjorie C. Holmes is Assistant Librarian of the Provincial Library,
Victoria. Her long experience in Legislative reference work has given her
a unique knowledge of Government documents, and it is no exaggeration to
say that no other person could, at this time, have compiled the Checklist of
Royal Commissions and Commissions of Inquiry, the last instalment of
which appears in this issue.
Margaret A. Ormsby, M.A. (British Columbia), Ph.D. (Bryn Mawr), is
Lecturer in the Department of History at the University of British
The Picture Gallery of Canadian History. Illustrations drawn and collected by C. W. Jefferys, assisted by T. W. McLean. Vol. II.: 1763 to
1830.   Toronto: The Ryerson Press, 1945.   Pp. xvi., 271.   $2.
The many Canadians who have been eagerly waiting for the second
volume of The Picture Gallery will find in it much to satisfy their curiosity."
The period covered is 1763-1830, and readers would do well to ask themselves these questions before they open the new sketch book: What do
I know of this period? What are the characteristics of this stage in my
country's development?
Far too large a proportion of our citizens will have to admit that they
can recall little more than the beginnings of British rule, the coming of the
Loyalists, and the War of 1812. Others may add " Selkirk started the Red
River Colony," or " Talbot brought settlers to Ontario." Readers of this
Quarterly will look for references to Cook, Vancouver, Mackenzie. All will
find some old friend, and much that is new, for the author-illustrator has
presented a pictorial record of the era when the newly acquired colony
decided to remain loyal to her conquerors, when a form of government
acceptable to the varied elements of her population was being sought, and
when the vast area from Atlantic to Pacific was either being discovered, or
was providing a home for those whose economic well-being had been upset
by the American and French Revolutions and their aftermath.
In his introduction, Dr. Jefferys explains his motive in setting forth a
visual interpretation of Canadian history: " My purpose is merely to supply,
a guide to further research, and to indicate by a limited number of typical
drawings the resources available." (p. vi.) On the whole, he has achieved
his ambition. The notes refer to many titles which are accessible to readers
throughout the Dominion, and the suggestions are made in such a way that
the general reader, as well as the research scholar, is tempted to delve
further into the subject. In this connection, British Columbia readers will
be surprised at the lack of definite references to the work of Judge F. W.
Howay on the maritime fur-trade. His contribution is listed as an editor
of The Colnett Journal for the Champlain Society, but his earlier and even
more important contributions to the Transactions of the Royal Society of
Canada are not mentioned. Much the same criticism might be made in
relation to the study of Indian totems. Local studies such as those of Dr.
G. H. Raley might have been mentioned, or the pictorial presentation given
by Emily Carr in her paintings and in Klee Wyck.
The volume is divided into four parts, and although the author's plan is
not always clear to the reader, it is possible to give a sub-title for at least
three of the sections. Part I. might be called " The Beginnings of British
Rule." A large proportion of the sketches relate to the American Revolution and its effect upon Canada, both during the period when many hoped
British Columbia Historical Quarterly, Vol. IX., No. 3.
237 238 The Northwest Bookshelf. July
to add Quebec to the rebellious thirteen colonies, and also to the time of the
Loyalist migrations. The sketches and notes are presented in such a way
that contrasts between the New England states and the interior sections of
the middle colonies, with their consequent influence upon Loyalist colonies
in the Maritimes and Upper Canada, cannot be overlooked. In this section
also there are sketches of Samuel Hearne and of exploration and trade to
the Pacific Coast. Included in the reference to Captain Cook's voyages is
an interesting note on John Webber, R.A., the official artist attached to the
Part II. might be described as " Pioneer Settlement." Sketches of Government buildings and churches show that Upper Canada was emerging
from the first clearings. Scenes of Canadian cities include buildings still
in existence, such as Prince's Lodge, Bedford Basin, near Halifax. Detailed
drawings of sawmills and grist-mills show developments, and sketches of
furniture depict the beginnings of industry in central Canada. Pictures of
axes and hatchets show the influence which climatic conditions had upon
tools designed for Canadian forests. The west coast is represented by a
sketch of John Jewitt, captive at Nootka, and Simon Fraser and the North
West fur-trade.
The War of 1812 is the subject of over a score of the sketches in Part
III. Many of these are from The Field Book of the War of 1812, by Benson
J. Lossing, while the details of the march of the 104th Regiment of New
Brunswick were provided by Mr. G. H. Markham, of Saint John, N.B. Dr.
Jefferys has rendered a service in making such material available. A small
section is devoted to the Red River Settlement, and there are two sketches
of David Thompson.
The last part suffers most from a weakness which is unfortunately
apparent throughout the whole book—lack of organization. There are
sketches of lighting equipment, doorways, houses, churches, bridges, governors, spinning-wheels, colleges, and totem-poles, following one another without any reason for their being so placed. All are interesting, and all have a
place in an account of the social development of Canada, but they would be
much more valuable if they were grouped. One sketch, totems for example,
suggests something which appeared earlier, but only a good memory or
patient searching enables the reader to find it, as there is no index.
There are one or two unfortunate defects in editing. The picture of the
meeting of the first Legislative Assembly of Lower Canada, 1792, is by
Charles Huot, who is known for his murals in the Legislative Building in
Quebec, but this fact is nowhere mentioned in this volume. The reader is
merely told to look up a reference in Volume I. The note relating to canoe
routes to the north west, sketched on page 111, is wrongly placed, and is
inserted between notes referring to pages 76 and 77 (p. 120). Winter costumes sketched on page 106 include that of a priest; a note on page 133
calls attention to the fact that he is wearing a " rabat"; but for a detailed
drawing of this one must turn to page 142, and for an explanation to page 1945 The Northwest Bookshelf. 239
187. It should surely have been possible to bring illustrations and text into
a more convenient relationship than this.
In some respects the second volume of The Picture Gallery is disappointing. For one thing, introductory notes to the various parts, which proved
so interesting for the first section of Volume I., are lacking. A topical or
geographical arrangement would have made the work more valuable for
reference. But while there is reason to criticize the editing of the work, it
has real value and should be included in school and public libraries as well
as in all collections of Canadiana. There is one respect in which it will
prove more attractive to members of the British Columbia Historical Association than did Volume I. The Pacific Coast does receive some attention,
the Quarterly is listed among periodical publications of value, and the Provincial Museum is given as a source of information, although the Archives
is still unrecognized.
The appearance of this volume is particularly timely, and it is to be
hoped that it will find its way into the hands of many service personnel.
During the war years young Canadians have learned more about their
country from actual travel than the most optimistic teacher could ever hope
to inspire them to learn by study—more, probably, than many teachers
whose experience has been limited to one province know themselves.
Younger students have become conscious of other parts of Canada through
letters from their service friends; curiosity has been aroused, and Canada
is no longer merely a succession of names on a railway timetable.
Helen R. Boutilier.
Vancouver, B.C.
Sir Francis Hincks. A Study of Canadian Politics, Railways, and Finance
in the Nineteenth Century. By R. S. Longley. Toronto: The University of Toronto Press, 1944.    Pp. vi., 480.    $3.
In this biography, Professor Longley, of Acadia University, has supplied
us with a painstaking account of the career of an Irishman, Francis Hincks,
who came to reside in Toronto in 1831, and who later played an important
part in Canadian political life from 1838 to 1854, and again from 1869 to
1873. In the interval between his periods of residence in Canada, Hincks
served as governor in the West Indies and in British Guiana, earning the
reward of knighthood for his services as an Imperial administrator.
Hincks entered public life in Canada as the result of his business connections and his friendship with Robert Baldwin, and through the office
which he held as editor of the Examiner, a Toronto journal sponsored
by the Reformers of Upper Canada after the rebellion of 1837. In his
editorials he came out strongly in favour of the principle of responsible
government. He did much to form opinion in Upper Canada, and apparently had some influence even on Lord Durham. He also wrote in favour
of the establishment of party government, and he laid the basis for the
creation of the Laf ontaine-Baldwin alliance. 240 The Northwest Bookshelf. July
With the support of the Reformers, Hincks was elected as member for
Oxford County in the first Union Parliament. Within six weeks of the
opening of the session he yielded to Lord Sydenham's " mesmeric power,"
decided to put constitutional issues aside and to support the Governor's
legislative programme. This step strained his friendship with the Reformers, and brought forth charges involving Hincks's loyalty and honesty.
Similar reversals in policy later in his career make it difficult to estimate
his worth and to assess the importance of his role in Canadian politics.
Mr. Longley is careful to point out in his conclusion that while Hincks
" advocated party loyalty and party organization, he himself was never a
dependable follower of any political party" (p. 439) and that "he earned
for himself an unenviable reputation of being a political opportunist" (p.
440), but it is obvious that the author feels a certain amount of embarrassment on account of his subject, and his explanations for Hincks's conduct
are not always completely satisfying. For example, he writes in explanation of Hincks's action in 1841: " He knew that responsible government as
he desired it had not been conceded, but, with an ability to compromise
which was to characterize his whole political career, he considered half a
loaf better than no bread and accepted what the Governor offered."    (p. 87.)
Hincks seems to have put his own interests first from this time. Without Baldwin's approval, he accepted the office of Finance Minister from
Bagot in 1842. A reconciliation was effected late in 1843 between Hincks
and Baldwin, but lingering suspicion of Hincks on the part of some of
Baldwin's supporters probably had something to do with the dislike which
George Brown bore for Hincks for a period of thirty years. Hincks, however, worked for the Reform cause for some years. When the Reformers
suffered a reverse in 1844, he became editor of the Pilot, published in Montreal to spread the party's doctrines. He also promoted the Lafontaine-
Baldwin alliance, and in 1848 had the satisfaction of seeing the principle of
responsible government recognized when Elgin called on Baldwin and
Lafontaine to form a ministry. He served as Finance Minister in their
government. In this capacity he revealed sound business sense by succeeding in bringing order into Canadian finances and in restoring public credit.
He also took vigorous action to combat the annexation movement, both
because of his desire to keep the Imperial connection, and because it was
affecting negotiations he was conducting with the Baring Brothers for
funds to assist the development of Canadian industries.
During the period from 1851 to 1854, Hincks was Prime Minister of
United Canada. On more than one occasion during this time he showed
impatience with those who did not readily fall in with his designs. He
sacrificed the support of the radicals within his group by his caution in the
matters of the secularization of the Clergy Reserves and the abolition of
seignorial tenure. He broke off the railway negotiations with the Colonial
Secretary, Sir John Pakington, in 1852, and engaged the service of private
capital in spite of his previous stand in )pposing construction by private
enterprise. He reversed his policy with regard to opening the St. Lawrence
to American shipping, and he arranged the Reciprocity Agreement of 1854 1945 The Northwest Bookshelf. 241
without consultation with Nova Scotia. Finally, in 1854, when there were
more than a few murmurs that he had used public office to favour his own
interests, he resigned before the Speech from the Throne had been read.
The following year he joined the Imperial service.
Mr. Longley is of the opinion that Hincks " made his best contribution
to Canadian development before 1851, and that after this date he was too
often a combination of shrewd politician and efficient administrator." (p.
445.) He does not exonerate Hincks of all the charges current in his time:
that he introduced the spoils system into Canadian politics, that he used his
knowledge concerning plans for the expansion of the Grand Trunk Railway
for personal profit, and that he took advantage of other circumstances; but
he is not very harsh in condemnation of Hincks's failings: " The best that
can be said of the reports is that they lowered his political prestige and led
to his defeat; at their worst they tell the story of a public man to whom the
temptations of office proved overwhelming." (p. 241.) At the conclusion
of his study he arrives at the opinion that Hincks's " achievements far outnumber his failures, and that he should be listed as one of our great Canadian statesmen." (p. 446.) This view seems to be tenable if one takes into
account the important financial measures, such as the Bank Acts of 1870
'and 1871, the promotion of railway enterprises, and the negotiations with
the United States which he conducted in connection with the Reciprocity
Agreement of 1854 and the Treaty of Washington of 1871. In these matters he showed vision, and revealed faith in the future of his country. One
cannot, however, forget his connection with one of the greatest scandals in
Canadian political life, the Pacific Scandal of 1872.
Mr. Longley has dealt carefully with details and incidents in Canadian
political history and recounted Hincks's role at particular moments, but one
could wish for less formality in tone and attitude in discussing the work of
a figure who sometimes aroused violent antipathy to his policies. It is disappointing that the reader does not gain a clearer impression of Hincks's
personality. One would like to know, too, whether Hincks had any political
philosophy, or whether he was motivated solely by self-interest. More
attention might have been paid to his relations with other public figures in
Canada, particularly in the later years of his life.
Margaret Ormsby.
Vancouver, B.C.
Local History: How to gather it, write it, and publish it. By Donald Dean
Parker; revised and edited by Bertha E. Josephson. New York: The
Social Science Research Council, 1944.    Pp. xiv., 186.    $1.
This excellent handbook calls to mind a minor but treasured item in my
own library—a manual for the motorist published thirty-two years ago by
the Buick Company. The latter not only takes it for granted that the purchaser of a new Buick car may be unable to drive an automobile; it
assumes further that the car may be delivered to him by rail, and that he
may have to extract it from a box car and learn to run it without benefit of 242 The Northwest Bookshelf.
either mechanic or service station.    Nothing is taken for granted.    Every
smallest detail of upkeep and operation is dealt with at length.
And so it is with Local History. It has been written in the light of two
circumstances. First, there are not nearly enough professional historians
to record the regional history of this vast continent; much of great interest
must inevitably be lost unless it is noted down by capable amateurs. Secondly, many of the most promising amateurs are without any formal training in research methods, and many of them have no one to whom they can
turn for direction. This handbook is intended to help make good these
deficiencies. It is " meant to give to the individual of intelligence, with
more than average educational advantages, the necessary information for
gathering, writing, and publishing the history of his own community—his
village, town, city, or county." Like the old Buick manual, it takes nothing
for granted. Every likely spurce of material is indicated; the relative
merits and the difficulties peculiar to the use of each is pointed out. The
pages devoted to " Old Residents," for example, will interest any one who
has ever interviewed an old-timer, and few who read it will fail to pick up
a new trick of the trade. Even the professional historian can read this
handbook with profit, for an elementary yet comprehensive outline of the
technique of one's trade is frequently useful, particularly if it is as well
arranged for ready reference as this one.
W. Kaye Lamb.
Vancouver, B.C.
Printed by Chables F. Banfield, Printer to the King's Most Excellent Majesty.
600-745-7293 We
Organized October 31st, 1922.
His Honour W. C. Woodward, Lieutenant-Governor of British Columbia.
Hon. H. G. T. Perry     .... Honorary President.
Helen R. Boutilier .... President.
B. A. McKelvie     ----- Past President.
Mrs. Curtis Sampson        ... 1st Vice-President.
E. G. Baynes ----- 2nd Vice-President.
Madge Wolfenden     - Honorary Treasurer.
W. Kaye Lamb      ----- Honorary Secretary.
Mrs. M. R. Cree. E. M. Cotton.          J. C. Goodfellow.
A. G. Harvey. T. A. Rickard.       H. T. Nation.
W. N. Sage.       E. G. Rowebottom.
Willard E. Ireland W. Kaye Lamb
(Provincial Archivist). (Editor, Quarterly).
Helen R. Boutilier H. C. Holmes
(Vancouver Section). (Victoria Section).
To encourage historical research and stimulate public interest in history;
to promote the preservation and marking of historic sites, buildings, relics,
natural features, and other objects and places of historical interest, and to
publish historical sketches, studies, and documents.
Ordinary members pay a fee of $2 annually in advance. The fiscal year
commences on the first day of January. All members in good standing
receive the British Columbia Historical Quarterly without further charge.
Correspondence and fees may be addressed to the Provincial Archives,
Parliament Buildings, Victoria, B.C.


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