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BC Sessional Papers

PAPERS Relating to the non-fulfilment by Canada of the Railway Clause of the Terms of Union. British Columbia. Legislative Assembly 1878

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 41 Vic. Canadian Pacific Railway. 415
Relating to the non-fulfilment by Canada of the Railway Clause of the Terms of
By Command.
A. C. Elliott,
Provincial Secretary's Office, Provincial Secretary.
1th February, 1878.
Copy of a Eeport of a Committee of the Honourable the Executive  Council, approved
by His Excellency the Lieutenant-Governor on the 8ih day of November, 1877.
The Committee of Council having had under consideration the subject of the
construction of the Canadian Bacific Bailway, report—
That the year having nearly elapsed, which was represented by the Bight Honourable the Secretary of State for the Colonies as being required by the Dominion Government to enable it to determine the route and terminus of the Canadian Bacific Bailway,
it is highly desirable that the Government of this Frovince should be advised at the
earliest period possible of the result of the year's surveys, in order that they may be in
a position to convene the Legislature at an early date, and lay before it definite information with reference to the intention of the Dominion Government to carry out its
Bailway obligations to this Brovince, under the terms of the settlement recommended
in 1874 by the Earl of Carnarvon, and agreed to by the Dominion Government as well
as that of this Frovince.
That having complied with the request of Lord Carnarvon to grant the delay he
thought necessary, as represented in his despatches of dates the 18th December, 1876,
and 18th January, 1877, respectively, the people of British Columbia now feel that His
Lordship will be careful to discountenance any further unnecessary delay in the
commencement of Railway construction within the Brovince: and they confidently
expect that on or before the expiration of the year His Lordship will be able to give
the Government an assurance that actual construction will be begun as soon a3 tenders
can be received and contracts awarded; and that work thereon be prosecuted thereafter
in a manner that will ensure the ultimate completion of the undertaking within such
reasonable period as the interests of the Empire, the Dominion, and the Frovince alike
The Committee advise that the Beport be approved, and that copies be forwarded
by His Honour the Lieutenant-Governor to the Bight Honourable the Secretary of
State for the Colonies, and the Secretary of State for the Dominion of Canada.
(Signed) Wm. Smithe,
Minister of Finance and Clerk Executive Council.
The Secretary of State to the Lieutenant-Governor.
Ottawa, 29th December, 1877.
Sir,—With reference to your despatch of the 9th ultimo, and the accompanying
Minute of your Executive Council of tho 8th of that month, I have the honour to
transmit to you herewith, for the information of your Government, a copy of an Order of
His Excellency tho Governor-General in Council on the subject of the construction of
.the Canadian Bacific Bailway.
I have, etc.,
(Signed) R, W. Scott. 416 Canadian Pacific Railway. 1878
Copy of a Report of a Committee of the Honourable the Privy Council, approved by
His Excellency the Governor-General in Council, on the 2ith clay of December,
The Committee have had under consideration the despatch from the Lieutenant-
Governor of British Columbia of the 9th of November, 1877, enclosing copy of a Minute
of his Executive Council of the 8th of that month, which had been, forwarded to the
Secretary of State for the Colonies, on the subject of the construction of the Canada
Bacific Bailway.
The Honourable the Minister of Bublic Works, to whom the above despatch and
enclosure were referred, observes that the Minute in question calls the attention of the
Secretary of State for. the Colonies to the delay the Earl of Carnarvon thought necessary
in commencing the construction of the Bacific Bailway, in his despatches of December
18th, 1876, and January 18th, 1877, and states that the British Columbia Government
are anxious to obtain a knowledge of the result of the year's surveys as early as possible,
in order that they may be in a position to convene the Bocal Legislature at an early
date, and lay before it " definite information as to the intentions of the Dominion
" Government to carry out its railway obligations."
The Minister reports that the delay deemed necessary before advertising for tenders
was consequent upon the manifest necessity of making a carefulinstrumental survey of
the Fraser Valley route, upon which an exploratory survey only had been made in previous
That as early as the season permitted, a large staff Of engineers was sent to perform
this work under the immediate charge of Mr Cambie.
That the field work was finished about the beginning of November, and in the course
of that month the engineers returned to Ottawa, where they are now engaged in plotting
the results of the season's operations.
That it will take some time yet to accomplish this, and to report in such detail as
will enable the Government to come to a decision as to the value of the route. That it
is impossible to venture upon any decided opinion in advance of the complete report,
maps, and profiles of the road, which are now in course of preparation.
That the Government also took necessary steps to obtain accurate information
regarding the possibility of a route to the ocean at Fort Essington, at the mouth of the
Skeena Biver ; as well as to ascertain tho feasibility of a better pass through the Rocky
Mountains in the vicinity of Bine Biver. That the information on both these points will
be embraced in the rej>ort of the Engineer, and will include tho reports of tho Naval
Officers upon the harbour at the mouth of the Skeena.
That, so far as can be seen at present, there would appear to be no necessity for any
further explorations in British Columbia with the view of the determination of the best
route froni the summit of the Bocky Mountains to the sea.
That the conclusion reached will be duly communicated to tho Secretary of State
for the Colonies.
The Committee concur in the foregoing report, and advise that a copy of this
Minute be transmitted to Lord Carnarvon and to the Lieutenant-Governor of British
(Signed)       W. A. Himsworth,
Clerk Privy Council,


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