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RETURN Under section 47 of the "Revenue Act," relating to the remission of the tax of $105 imposed by… British Columbia. Legislative Assembly 1891

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 54 Vict. Remission of Tax of $105 on Mineral Claims. 317
RETURN
Under section 47 of the " Revenue Act," relating to the remission of the tax of $105
imposed by section 1 of the " Mineral Act Amendment Act, 1890."
By Command.
JNO. ROBSON,
Provincial Secretary.
Provincial Secretary's Office,
26th January, 1891.
Copy of a Report of a Committee of the Houourable the Executive Council, approved by His
Honour the Liexttenant-Governor on the 16th day of May, 1890.
On a memorandum from the Honourable the Minister of Mines, referring to the agreement
arrived at between the Dominion Government and this Province respecting the administration
of the minerals (excepting coal) within the railway belt *, and to section 1 of the " Mineral Act
Amendment Act, 1890," whereunder a tax of one hundred and five dollars is imposed upon
persons locating claims within the railway belt, payable at the time the claim is recorded.
The Minister observes that the said tax was imposed for the purpose of meeting the payment to the Dominion Government for the grant to the Province of the surface rights to the
claims located by the person paying such tax under the terms of the said agreement between
the Dominion Government and the Province, and whereby it was, among other things, provided
that any lands, as therein mentioned, sought to be acquired by the Provincial Government
should be set apart from alienation by the Dominion Government upon the Provincial Government depositing in the Department of the Interior a written application therefor, with such
description thereof as to enable them to be identified, and thereupon the consideration money
should immediately be paid.
The Minister also makes reference to the fact that the value of a mineral claim when first
located is invariably a matter of pure speculation, and that it is only by prospecting that the
miner finds out whether his claim is worth holding, or whether it is valueless ; that the prospector is usually a man who devotes his own labour to proving the mine, and has not the
means to employ other labour or methods in the enterprise, and that on an average more than
90 per cent, of claims recorded are, upon being tested, abandoned.
The Minister, therefore, considers that to meet the prospector, who is not likely to have
any resources but his own labour, at the outset with a demand for $105 in respect of a claim
most likely to be abandoned upon being tested, would be to not only cause great hardship and
to inflict great injustice to individuals, but would occasion great public inconvenience by
impeding prospecting and the development of the mining resources of the Province.
The Minister, therefore, considers that it would be conducive to the public good that the
said tax of $105 should be remitted, and recommends the remission of the same accordingly ;
and also advises that instructions be sent to the several Gold Commissioners and Mining
Recorders having jurisdiction within the railway belt, to accept and make records of mineral
claims without the said fee of $105 being first paid.
Certified.
(Signed)        Jno. Robson,
  Clerk, Executive Council.
* Sessional Papers, 1890, p. 461. 318 Remission of tax of $105 on Mineral Claims. 1891
Copy  of a Report of the  Honourable   the   Executive Council, approved by  His  Honour the
Lieutenant-Governor on the 3rd of June, 1890.
The Committee of Council having had under consideration the within report of the
Honourable the Minister of Mines with reference to the securing of a modification of the
arrangement concluded between the Dominion and Provincial Governments in relation to the
administration of the mineral lands within the railway belt, recommend that the report be
approved, and that a copy thereof, and of the Order in Council of the 16th May instant, be
transmitted to the Honourable the Secretary of State for Canada with a request that the terms
of the said agreement be amended in such a way that the payment of the consideration money
may be deferred until the time of the application for the Crown grant under the B. C. "Mineral
Act."
Certified.
(Signed)       Jno. Robson,
Clerk, Executive Council
With reference to the arrangement concluded by the Dominion and Provincial Governments in relation to the administration of the mineral lands within the railway belt in British
Columbia, the undersigned, with a view to securing a modification of the said arrangement,
begs leave to point out that by the terms of the settlement it was stipulated that the consideration money for any lands sought to be acquired by the Provincial Government should be paid
at the time of the application therefor ; that the Provincial Government in carrying out the
agreement sought the necessary legislation at the recent session of the Legislature when it was
enacted as follows :—
" 1. If any claim located or applied for under section 75 of the ' Mineral Act' is situated
within that portion of the Province through which the Canadian Pacific Railway runs, and
which has been granted to the Dominion Government, and hereinafter referred to as the railway
belt, the claimant must, at the time hereinafter specified and before the issue of the Crown
grant, deposit the sum of one hundred and five dollars, which sum will be applied by the
Provincial Government in obtaining a grant of the freehold from the Dominion Government,
but will not entitle the claim-holder to such freehold, unless he completes his title thereto whilst
he is the lawful holder of the claim :
" (a.) Where the application is made after the passage of this Act, the said deposit shall
be made at the time the claim is recorded, and in such case the payment of the said
sum shall be regarded as the expenditure required, by the 85th section of this Act, to be
made upon the claim itself within the first six months from the recording of the said
claim :
" (b.) Where the application has been made before the passage of this Act, the said deposit
shall be made within ten months from the passage of this Act :
" (c.) Where the applicant desires to acquire the claim under the provisions of section 88
of this Act, the sum of one hundred and five dollars shall, when paid, be allowed to him
in the accounting for the purchase money."
That subsequent to the passage of the said Act, it was ascertained that the effect of a strict
adherence to the arrangement with reference to the immediate payment of the consideration
moneys would (as explained in a certain Order in Council dated 16th May instant) cause great
public inconvenience by impeding prospecting and the development of the mining resources of
the Province ; nay, more, would completely prevent the attainment of the objects the two
Governments had in view when the settlement was agreed to.
Under the above circumstances it was that the memorandum upon which the Order in
Council of 16th May, instant, was based, was drawn up, and the undersigned now recommends
that a copy of said Order in Council, and of this Minute (if approved), be transmitted to the
Honourable the Secretary of State for Canada, with a request that the terms of the agreement
entered into between the two Governments be modified, so that the payment of the consideration money may be deferred until the time of the application for the Crown grant under the
" Mineral Act."
(Signed)       Jno. Robson,
Minister of Mines. 54 Vict. Remission of Tax of $105 on Mineral Claims. 319
Certified copy of a Report of a Committee of the Honourable the  Privy Council, approved by
His Excellency the Governor-General in Council on the 18th July, 1890.
The Committee of the Privy Council have had under consideration a despatch dated 7th
June, 1890, from the Lieutenant-Governor of British Columbia, transmitting a report of a
Committee of the Executive Council for the. Province of British Columbia, dated the 3rd of
June, 1890, with reference to the securing of a modification, as therein set forth, of the
arrangement concluded between the Dominion and the Provincial Governments in relation to
the administration of the mineral lands within the railway belt, and requesting that the terms
of the Order in Council of the Executive Council of British Columbia of the 16th of May,
1890, in relation to the same be so amended that the payment of consideration money may be
deferred until the time of the application for the Crown grant under the British Columbia
" Mineral Act."
The Minister of the Interior, to whom the despatch and enclosure were referred, reports
that he sees no objection to this request being complied with, provided the Government of
British Columbia will undertake to notify the Department of the Interior whenever they grant
a permit to any person to prospect for minerals within the railway belt of the land covered by
such permit.
The Committee submit the same for Your Excellency's approval, and they advise that the
Secretary of State be authorized to transmit a copy hereof, if approved, to the Lieutenant-
Governor of British Columbia for the information of his Government.
(Signed)        John J. McGee,
To the Honourable Clerk Privy Council,
the Secretary of State.
VICTORIA, B.C.:
Printed by Richard Wolfenden, Printer to the Queen's Most Excellent Majesty.

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