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BC Sessional Papers

A FURTHER PAPER Relating to the non-fulfilment by Canada of the Railway Clause of the Terms of Union. British Columbia. Legislative Assembly. 1877

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 40  Vic. Canadian Pacific Railway. 431
Relating to the non-fulfilment by Canada of the Railway Clause of the  Terms
of Union.
By Command.
Provincial Secretary's Office, Provincial Secretary.
26lh March, 1877.
Copy of a Report of a Committee of the Honourable the Executive Council, approved by
His Excellency the Lieutenant-Governor on the 26ih day of March, 1877.
The Committee of Council, having had before them the Despatch of the Earl of
Carnarvon to the Earl of Dufferin, dated 18th December, 1876, and the Despatch of the
Earl of Carnarvon to Lieutenant-Governor Eichards, dated 18th January, 1877, in reply
to the Petition ot the Legislative Assembly of British Columbia to Her Most Gracious
Majesty the Queen and to the Report of a Committee of the Executive Council of
British Columbia, dated 3rd June, 1876, and having reference to the non-fulfilment by
the Canadian Government of the modified Railway agreement recommended in 1874 by
the Bight Honourable the Earl of Carnarvon, in substitution for the 11th clause of the
Terms of Union under which British Columbia entered the Canadian Confederation,
1. That they desire to thank Lord Carnarvon, Her Majesty's Principal Secretary
of State for the Colonies, for the careful attention ho has devoted to the consideration
of the complaint of the Province concerning the failure of the Dominion Government to
commence railway construction in British Columbia.
2. That they deeply regret that His Lordship should have been unable to feel
himself in a position to urge upon Canada the necessity of carrying into effect at once
the terms of the agreement entered into in 1874; inasmuch as the continued delay,
deepening, as it naturally does, the sense of disappointment and injury under which the
people of the Province have so long laboured, renders it difficult to sustain that feeling
of confidence in the Canadian Government without which it will be impossible for the
union to be productive of beneficial results, either to the Dominion or the Province.
3. That they, howrever, feel that they are bound to accept the recommendations of
Lord Carnarvon to concede to the Dominion Government the short delay of another
summer, which His Lordship informs them is still necessary to enable fuller and more
conclusive reports to be procured from Marine Engineers and Naval Officers than have
yet been obtained, and which His Lordship states are necessary for the determination
of the question of the Railway terminus on the Pacific.
4. That with regard to the acceptance by the Province of a money equivalent in
lieu of the Esquimalt and Nanaimo portion of the Railway, and in compensation for
delay, they do not think it advisable to re-open the terms, and are, therefore, not
prepared to enter upon the consideration of the question.
5. That they desire to reiterate in the most distinct and emphatic manner their
earnest protest against the unwarrantable assumption by the Dominion Government
that the Treaty obligation to construct the Canadian Pacific Railway has been limited
or in any degree modified or affected by the Besolution of the 11th of April, 1871, passed
by the House of Commons several days after the Terms of Union creating that obligation had been adopted and ratified by the Parliament of Canada. 6. That they desire particularly to report, that the succession of failures on the
part of the Dominion Government to fulfil the several Railway agreements solemnly
entered into with this Province, has produced a feeling of disappointment and distrust,
so wide-spread and intense, as to severely and injuriously affect the commercial and
industrial interests, and seriously retard the general prosperity of this- portion of the
7. The Committee request that Your Excellency will be pleased, if this Report be
approved, to cause copies thereof to be severally forwarded to the Right Honourable
the Secretary of State for the Colonies, and to the Honourable the Secretary of State
for Canada.
(Signed) W. Smithe,
Minister of Finance and Clerk Executive Council.


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