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BC Sessional Papers

REPORT OF THE BUREAU OF PROVINCIAL INFORMATION FOR THE YEAR 1916 British Columbia. Legislative Assembly 1917

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or THE
Victoria, B.C., January 12th, 1917.
The Honourable Ralph Smith,
Minister of Finance, Victoria, B.C.
Sir,—I liave the honour to submit the Report of the Bureau of Provincial Information for
the period ending December 31st, 1916.
Since the last report the publications of the Bureau of Provincial Information for the year
ending December Slst, 1916, were as follows:—
New Climatic Bulletin  (No. 27)     3,500
Strathcona Park Book       2,000
Total publications  5,500
Received from  Provincial   Government officials  and  other  sources,  in  addition  to  books,
maps, etc., already on hand:—
Maps from Surveyor-General  2,100
Maps from Colonist Printing Office  4,200
Heaton's " Opportunities " Booklet   8,000
Books from Band Department   2,100
Books from' Agricultural Department   3,500
Books from Mines Department    735
Board of Trade Reports  624
Miscellaneous   3,350
Grand   total   books,   maps,   etc.,   printed   and   received   up   to
December 31st, 1916    30,109
Number of books, maps, bulletins, etc., mailed, expressed, freighted, and otherwise distributed
by shipment from offices of Bureau:—
Miscellaneous distribution in answer to written requests, 5,077 parcels,
estimated at five pieces to each parcel  ■  25,385
To Government Agents, number of books, maps, etc     5,895
Panama Pacific Exposition, including 100 Year-books ,   14,662
Agent-General for British Columbia iu London, books, maps, etc     2,532
Railway companies, books, maps, etc     5,754
Board of Trade, books, maps, etc     5,156
Public libraries iu India, books, maps, etc        636
British Columbia Fruits Market Commissioner, Calgary, books, maps, etc.    1,900
Sundry distribution of folders, books, maps, etc        890
Estimated number of pieces of literature distributed at office to callers
in General Office during year, 1,559 callers, estimated two pieces of
literature to each caller      3,118
Estimated number of pieces of literature distributed to callers at
Secretary's Office during year, 641 callers, estimated four pieces to
each caller     2,564
Total books, maps, etc., distributed during year from Bureau
Offices through all channels   68,492 T 28 Bureau op Provincial Information. 1917
Callers at General Office ,     1,559
Callers at Secretary's Office        641
Total callers to Bureau of Information      2,200
Letters received at Bureau Offices during year      4.654
Number of letters written to inquirers and correspondents during year,
in addition to literature sent      1,712
N.B.—Duplicate or manifolded letters to Government Agents or others, counted as one
letter only.
Many photographs and much literature have been furnished to lecturers, libraries, colleges,
and educational institutions for use in Great Britain, Canada, and the TJnited States. A number
of the British Columbia Year-books of 1911-14 (last edition) have been supplied by request to
various libraries in Great Britain, Canada, and the United States, as well as a copy each to all
of the public libraries in India of cities over 100,000 population ; 118 of these Year-books have
also been supplied to railway companies in Canada and the United States, for use in the libraries
of their observation-cars.
Inquiries from intending settlers have run mainly to mixed farming and stock-raising, with
a fair share of inquiries regarding poultry-raising. Fruit-growing has not accounted for as large
a number of inquiries as heretofore. A particularly large number of letters have beeen received
regarding stock-raising, mainly cattle, with a few letters from sheep-raisers in Canada and the
United States.
Inquiries for investment have this year nearly all been confined to minerals and mining,
with a few requests concerning timber. Very little inquiry was had as to fisheries, manufacturing, or general business.
Twenty-nine of the thirty Government Agents in the Province have brought their district
reports up to July, 1916, covering a detailed list of twenty-four questions, taking up matters of
interest to intending settlers. These reports have been copied and sent to hundreds of inquirers,
and form a valuable addition to the books, maps, etc., forwarded to inquirers. The Secretary-
wishes again to record special appreciation of the valuable aid extended to his Department in
this respect, aud in other ways, by the Government Agents.
The total immigration to the Province of British Columbia for the year ending March 31st,
1916, was 2,836. This shows a decrease of 7,291 from last year, again proving the effect of the
war on immigration. In this connection, it is interesting to note that the total decrease In
Canada of immigration for the year is 96,252 as compared with last year, and that, except as
to the Maritime Provinces, British Columbia has suffered less than any other Province in the
Dominion as to loss for the year in point of numbers.
Considering the fact that there is practically no advertising from the Bureau of Information
which circulates outside of the Province, the letters received have held up well, being 4,654 for
this year, as against 5,365 for last year; particularly when taken in connection with the war
and the decrease in immigration.
Correspondence with the Agent-General's Office in London has been active during the year.
A large amount of Government reports, books, maps, etc., have been, forwarded to London, and
a complete set of photographs of all soldiers and others who have gone to the front have been
forwarded to this office for display in the British Columbia House. A number of inquiries have
been forwarded for reply from' the Agent-General's Office to this Department, covering both
inquiries as to investment, settlement, etc. With a cessation of hostilities, this branch of the
work is certain to assume large proportions.
The Secretary has written and published ten articles during the year, seven of these being
published in the School Mistress, a weekly publication in London, England; one article in the
Monetary Times Annual, of Toronto, Canada; and one article each in the British Columbia
Consumers' Magazine and the Island Motorist. He has also written and furnished to the
Monetary Times an article which will appear in the January, 1917, number, and an article
for Toronto Saturday Night, to appear later in 1917.
A number of interviews with prominent men from Great Britain, Canada, and United States.
and Japan, together with a few interviews with travellers from Australia, New Zealand, and
India, have been had by the Secretary during the past year, and books, maps, photographs,
and other material regarding the Province were in, every instance given to these men. 7 Geo. 5 Bureau of Provincial Information. T 29
The stock on hand is as follows:—
British Columbia folders   24,850
Illustrated post-cards of mining, fisheries, timber, agriculture, and big-
game shooting   800
Illustrated post-cards of angling and touring  4,750
Pre-emption books of various districts  S,863
Pre-emption maps of various districts   8,184
General maps of Province and various districts   18,080
Miscellaneous books, leaflets, etc  10.S89
Total books, maps, etc., on hand   76,416
Stock on hand, comprising office fixtures, etc. c—
Brown and grey Manila envelopes   4,000
Large white envelopes    4,000
Small white envelopes    4,000
Total envelopes on hand     12,000
Total cuts on hand         575
Two typewriters   (Underwood); 29 framed pictures; tables, glassed shelving,
rugs,  desks,  chairs,  clocks,  scales,  truck, hand-barrow,  carpenter's  tools,
revolving book-case, aud other book cases, stationery, etc.
The office is at this time without the services of the Assistant Secretary and the two men
formerly working in the outside office.    Two of these men are in the trenches and one in England.
One returned soldier is now in charge of the outer office.    The Secretary, this returned soldier,
and the Stenographer constitute the entire staff of the Bureau at present.
Vote No. 2S4. Publicity and Immigration, the grant from which this Department draws its
expenses outside of the salary charges, is a grant of $15,000 up to the end of the fiscal year of
March 31st, 1017.    Of this amount, $10,307.54 remained on December 31st, 1916.
The various departments of the Government have given valuable aid to the Provincial
Bureau-of Information, and this has been keenly appreciated by our Department. The staff
has done its work well and faithfully.
The business of the Department has been carried on with strict economy. A campaign of
advertising suggested for the Prairie Provinces has so far been held in abeyance, and expenses
have been cut down in every way possible because of present necessities. The need for a close
curtailment of expenses is still evident.
I have the honour to be,
Your obedient servant.
Printed by Williaji H. Cl'Llin, Printer to the King's Most Excellent Majesty.


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