BC Sessional Papers

REPLY TO BRITISH COLUMBIA'S DEFAMERS. British Columbia. Legislative Assembly 1894

Item Metadata

Download

Media
bcsessional-1.0063382.pdf
Metadata
JSON: bcsessional-1.0063382.json
JSON-LD: bcsessional-1.0063382-ld.json
RDF/XML (Pretty): bcsessional-1.0063382-rdf.xml
RDF/JSON: bcsessional-1.0063382-rdf.json
Turtle: bcsessional-1.0063382-turtle.txt
N-Triples: bcsessional-1.0063382-rdf-ntriples.txt
Original Record: bcsessional-1.0063382-source.json
Full Text
bcsessional-1.0063382-fulltext.txt
Citation
bcsessional-1.0063382.ris

Full Text

 57 Vict. Reply to British Columbia's Defamers. 161
REPLY TO BRITISH COLUMBIA'S DEFAMERS,
Lettter from Mr. Beeton (Agent General for British Columbia) to Hon. Mr. Davie, Premier of
the Province.
33, Finsbury Circus, London, E. C,
October 25th, 1893.
Dear Sir,—I beg to call your attention to the enclosed from Mr. H. R. Beeton, of
Messrs. Woolston & Beeton ; my reply to this communication was to the effect that I believed
the proprietor and editor of the " Daily News Advertiser" to be a leading member of the
Opposition in the Assembly, that you had recently been addressing political meetings on the
Mainland, and 1 supposed that the individual in question, with others, had descended to the
low level of scurrilous abuse by way of a rejoinder to your speeches on behalf of the Government, that the best way to deal with such abuse was for the Government to confront the
editor on the floor of the House, with this communication addressed to me, and so demonstrate
to the country this gross instance of party warfare and want of patriotism.
I know no one better able than yourself to do justice to the Government case. I hope
you concur in this view.
I sent the other day a copy of the Imperial Institute Year Book, also a copy of the Royal
Commission Official Catalogue of the British Section at the World's Fair, sent to me as a
member of said Royal Commission.
I remain,  Dear Sir,
Yours, faithfully,
The Hon.   7heo.  Davie,  Q. C,  M. P. P., &c, &c.
Premier and Attorney Genera',
Victoria,  British Columbia.
H. C. BEETON,
Agent-General for British Columbia.
[enclosure.]
6a, Austin Friars, London, E. G,
14th October, 1893.
My Dear Sir,—My attention has been called by dealers in the Colonial Market to the
issue of the Vancouver "Daily News Advertiser" of 24th September last, reporting a meeting
on the previous day for the purpose of appointing delegates to a " Constitutional" Convention,
to be held at Kamloops this month, for the purpose of considering the relations of the Island
and the Mainland. From these proceedings it appears that the Rev. G. R. Maxwell stated
that the members of the Cabinet of B. C. were found drunk about hotels in Vancouver on the
occasion of their visit, and that, what is more important, a Mr. Ker stated that since 1887 there
had been a regular deficit in the budget of $200,000, and that Mr. Turner, in the " Montreal
Gazette," had tried to refute the fact by stating that whenever there was a deficit they borrowed
money in the English market, and kept the accounts in so simple a manner that they had no
capital account, but put all the money they had obtained to the revenue account, thus causing
Provincial ruin, with more criticism in the same sense.
I need scarcely say that such statements appearing in the press of the Province, even
after allowing for the heat of party feeling, are very damaging to the Provincial credit, and I
should be glad if you were able to write me any comments on the matter which would
have the effect of allaying the suspicion thus occasioned.
Your, &c,
H. R. BEETON.
//.   C. Beeton, Esq. 162 Reply to British Columbia's Defamers. 1894
Letter from Premier Davie to Mr. H. C. Beeton.
Victoria, B. G, November 27,  1893.
My Dear Sir :—I am much obliged for your letter of 25th October, and accompanying
letter from Mr. H. R. Beeton. I have had printed, and now enclose you (a) copy of petition
to the Governor-General setting out the grievance against the Government urged on behalf of
the Mainland, (b) copy of a Minute of the British Columbia Government in reference to such
petition, (c) copy of a letter written by Hon. Mr. Turner to the "Montreal Gazette," dated
May 10, 1893 ;  (d) interview with the writer, published in the "Toronto Empire."
The documents (b), (c), and (d), you will find to contain a sufficient answer to the statements of the petition and to what was said at the meeting mentioned by Mr. H. R. Beeton.
I do not allude to the personal slanders of the clergyman, Mr. Maxwell. An intimate
acquaintance with my colleagues, and myself, of many years standing, will enable you to
appreciate the remarks of that reverend detainer at their true worth.
I am, my dear Mr. Beeton,
Yours very truly,
Theodore Davie.
PETITION
To the Rigid Honourable Sir Frederick Arthur Stanley, G.C.B., Earl of Derby, Baron Stanley
of Preston, Governor-General of Canada, etc., etc., &c, and to His Excellency the Governor-
General in Council:
May- it Please Your Excellency :
The petition of the undersigned people of British Columbia humbly sheweth :
That all  rural  districts, without  regard  to their political   leanings, are crying out  for
larger appropriations for work of development:
That the Estimates submitted to the Legislature at  its  last Session  show   Revenue and
Expenditure as follows :
Receipts (in round numbers) from—
Dominion Subsidies $ 242,000
Land Sales  175,000
Timber and Mining Revenue  97,000
Miscellaneous, including Interest and Reimbursements, 122,000
Taxes, and charges in nature of taxes  424,000
Total Provincial Revenue $1,060,000
And Expenditures (in round numbers) for—
Charges of Government and Maintenance, other than
works of development $1,011,000
Surveys             50,000
Roads, Streets, Bridges, and Wharves       215,000
Total Estimated Expenditure '.'. .$1,276,000
Thus showing a deficit of $216,000 to be made up from borrowed money, in order to carry
on the ordinary work of the country. 57 Vict. Reply to British Columbia's Defamers. 163
And the Petition of the undersigned further sheweth :
That with full knowledge of the facts above set forth, and while protesting its inability
to meet the demands of all sections of the Province for larger expenditures on works of
development, the Government has, by an Act entitled " An Act to provide for the erection of
New Buildings for the accommodation of the Provincial Legislature and the Public Departments," taken power to borrow the sum of six hundred thousand dollars to meet the first
estimate of the cost of said buildings;
That the present public buildings could, with small additions, be made to serve the
purposes of the Province for many years to come ;
That the proposed expenditure cannot be justified upon any ground of necessity or
expediency, and that it will involve an addition to the debt of the Province which will
seriously curtail its ability to provide for necessary works of development ;
That the Government has, further, promised consideration to a demand made upon the
Province for financial aid by the promoters of a new trans-continental railway, to be called the
British Pacific Railway, and his, by a Government Act, extended the time limit of the charter
of said railway, pending consideration of said demand, the promoters asserting that said
railway cannot be constructed without such aid ;
That said demand is for a guarantee of interest, at four per cent, per annum, upon bonds
of the said railway, to the amount of $6,000,000.
And the Petition of the undersigned further sheweth :
That, owing to the rapid increase in the population of certain parts of British Columbia
since the opening of the Canadian Pacific Railway, the Legislative Assembly of the Province
has not been, for many years, representative of the people of the Province ;
That the said Assembly is non-representative to an extent entirely subversive of the
principle of responsible government, as (he subjoined statements from the returns of the last
general election will show ;
The Mainland, with 9,025 registered voters, returned 17 members ;
The Island, with 6,535 registered voters, returned 16 members;
The Province is divided into 18 constituencies, with a total registered vote of 15,560. Of
these voters, 12,691 are registered in seven constituencies, which elect sixteen members, and
the remaining 2,869 voters are registered in eleven constituencies, which elect seventeen
members ;
At the last general election the seven constituencies registering 12,691 voters returned
only four members as supporters of the Government, while eleven small constituencies, having
2,869 voters, returned sixteen Government supporters, and one of the four Government
supporters elected by a large constituency having resigned before the meeting of the House,
his place was supplied by an opponent of the Government ;
At a meeting of the House, therefore, we had (giving each member his proportion of the
votes registered in his constituency) :
19 members who were supporters of Government, representing 4,576 registered voters;
14 members who were not supporters of Government, representing 10,984 registered
voters.
And the Petition of the undersigned further sheweth :
That at various times before and since the last general election, and particularly in the
Speech of His Honour the Lieutenant-Government at the opening of the House in January
last, a measure providing for a just redistribution of representation has been promised, the
words of His Honour's speech being : " The time has arrived when the altered conditions of
the Province demand a change in the method of popular representation in the Legislative
Assembly, and a measure of redistribution will, therefore, be submitted to you."
That this often-repeated promise has not been fulfilled.
And the petition of the undersigned further sheweth :
That the Mainland portion of British Columbia, according to the census of 1891, has an
area of 366,300 square miles, whereas the Island portion embraces 16,002 square miles only;
that the said Mainland portion has, therefore, the greater need of exjienditure upon works of
development; that the said Mainland portion contributes over two-thirds of the total revenue
collected within the Province, and has, by the census of 1891, a population of 61,406 as
against 36,767 on the Island; and that the natural resources, from the development of which
the prosperity of the country must come, lie largely on the Mainland; 164 Reply to British Columbia's Defamers. 1894
That, therefore, the people of the said Mainland portion of British Columbia object most
strongly to the squandering of the Provincial resources in non-productive undertakings, by the
vote of a non-representative House, and are now advocating the separation of the Mainland
from the Island as the surest means of relief from the evils under which they at present suffer.
Your petitioners, therefore, having within their power no constitutional means of redress,
pray that Your Excellency may be pleased to veto the aforesaid Parliament Buildings
Construction Act, so that the same may have no force or effect until and unless it be assented
to by a majority of the members of a Legislature properly representative of the people of the
Province.
And your petitioners will ever pray, etc.
Copy of a Report of a Committee of the Honourable the Executive Council, approved by  His
Honour the Lieutenant-Governor on the 2nd day of September, 1893.
The Committee of Council have had under consideration a communication from the
Deputy Minister of Justice to the Hon. the Attorney-General, dated 17th July, 1893, enclosing
copy of a petition purporting to be signed by F. Filian, E. W. Griffiths, and 1,024 others,
praying that His Excellency the Governor-General might be pleased to veto an Act of the
Legislature of last Session, intituled " An Act to provide for the erection of new buildings for
the accommodation of the Provincial Legislature and the Public Departments," and submitting
a series of statements in support of the prayer of such petition :
The report of the Hon. the Attorney-General, to whom the matter was referred,
remarks that whilst under the "British North America Act, 1867," in each Province the Legislature has the exclusive right of legislation, amongst other things, upon the subjects of (a) the
amendment of the Constitution, except as regards the office of Lieutenant-Governor, (b) the
borrowing of money on the sole credit of the Province, and (c) local works and undertakings,
and the complaint of the petitioners is as to matters coming under one or other of the exclusive
subjects of jurisdiction just mentioned, yet that the attention of His Excellency the Governor-
General in Council should be drawn to the facts hereinafter stated.
As to so much of the petition as alleges that the estimates submitted to the Legislature
at its last Session shew an estimated expenditure of $1,276,000.00 as-against an estimated
revenue of $1,060,000.00, "thus showing a deficit of $216,000.00 to be made up from borrowed
money in order to carry on the ordinary work of the country," the Minister remarks that the
quoted statement is misleading and untruthful, as implying that the sum of $216,000 is to be
made up from money to be borrowed for that purpose—the fact, on the contrary, being that
in the year 1891 it was decided by the Legislature to raise a loan of $1,000,000.00 for the
purpose of undertaking works of public utility throughout the Province; that the money was
borrowed accordingly, and had been only partially expended at the time of the voting of the
estimates alluded to, when there remained in the Treasury the sum of nearly $500,000.00, and
that in pursuance of the purpose for which the said $1,000,000.00 loan was raised the estimated
expenditure was made to exceed the estimated revenue, the surplus to be taken out of the
balance of the loan so remaining in the Treasury : that the total estimated expenditure was
not $1,276,000.00, as alleged in the petition, but was $1,277,157.00, of which sum, so far from
the charges of Government and maintenance, other than works of development, amounting to
$1,011,000.00, as alleged in the petition, the sum of $185,855.00 was voted for the purposes
of Education, exclusive of school buildings, the sum of $129,500.00 for buildings, schools, &c,
the sum of $50,000.00 for surveys throughout the Province, the sum of $215,500 00 for roads,
bridges and wharves, and $88,498.00 for miscellaneous expenditure :
That the finances of the Province are in a sound and healthy condition, its inscribed
stock ranking third amongst Colonial securities, the Dominion of Canada being first, the
Colony of Ceylon second, and the Province of British Columbia third : that the Province has
recently become the highway of a profitable trade which has sprung up  between  Canada and 57 Vict. Reply to British Columbia's Defamers. 165
the Australias and the Orient, and that Victoria, the capital of the Province, is the first port
of call in the Province for vessels engaged in that trade : that the buildings for the use of the
Public Offices and Legislature of the Province, erected in the very early colonial days when
British Columbia was isolated from the rest of the world, have now become unfitted for the
purposes of the Province, and are moreover in a very dilapidated condition, and that in view
of the necessity which exists for new public buildings, the Legislature at its last Session
resolved to expend the sum of $600,000.00 in the erection of a suitable structure. The
inference of the petition, apparently, is that more than $600,000.00 is to be expended in the
work, whereas the intention of the Act is to limit the expenditure within that amount.
As to so much of the petition as asserts that the Legislative Assembly is and lias been
for years non-representative of the people of the Province, the Minister observes that, with
certain additions to the number of members, the basis of representation is the same as that
which existed at the time of confederation, when the white population of the Island of Vancouver largely exceeded that of the Mainland. The number of members being then 25 for the
entire Province, was apportioned, notwithstanding the inequality in population, by giving 13
to the Mainland and 12 to the Island, and the same ratio has been kept up ever since :
The last decennial census shewed that the Mainland had a total population of 61,406, and
the Island of 36,767, and acting upon this basis the Government concluded to bring down a
Bill for redistributing the seats in the Legislative Assembly, but upon analyzing the census
returns, and deducting the Chinese and Indians, who are not voters, it appeared that the
white population on Vancouver Island was still in excess of that of the Mainland of British
Columbia.
The correspondence upon the subject of the census returns, and which correspondence
took place during the Session of the last Legislature was as follows :—
February 26th, 1893.
Hon. J. H. Turner to J. Lowe, Deputy Minister Agriculture, Ottawa:
Please wire total of Indians on Mainland, B. C. Also total Indians on Vancouver
Island.
February 27th, 1893.
J. Lowe, Deputy Minister, Agriculture, to Hon. J. II. Turner :
Total Indians on Mainland, 29,460.     On Vancouver Island, 5,742.
February 27th, 1893.
Hon. J. H.   Turner to J. Lowe, Ottawa :
Does total population of B. C. given in Bulletin 5 include Indians.
February 28th, 1893.
J. Lowe, Ottawa, to Hon. J. If. Turner :
Population in Census Bulletin relative B. C. includes Indians.
February 28th, 1893.
Hon. J. II. Turner to J. Lowe, Ottaica :
Please wire number of Indians in the 5 B. C Districts.
March 1st, 1893.
J. Lowe to lion. J. II. Turner:
Following sub-divisions by Agencies, Indian population slightly in excess of figures given.
West Coast, 2,864; Cowichan, 2,048; Kerakeweth, 1,905; Okanagan, 878; Williams Lake,
1,803 ; Fraser River, 4,338 ; Kamloops, 2,401 ; Kootenay, 696 ; North-West Coast, 4,001;
Babine, 2,645 ; bands not under agency, 11,796. 166 Reply to British Columbia's Defamers. 1894
24th March, 1893.
Hon. J. II. Turner to J. Lowe, Oltai
Your telegram of 27th February gives total Indians, Mainland, 29,460; Island, 5,742.
Bulletin gives total population B. C. 98.173. Deducting Indians, this leaves white population
B. C. 62,971. Is this correct? State how many whites on Island and how many on Mainland.    Please wire reply as soon as possible.
25th March, 1893.
./. Lowe, Ottawa, to lion. J. II. Turner :
Whites on Island, 31,025 ; on Mainland, 31,946.
The accuracy of these figures seeming to be open to grave doubt, the Government
concluded to postpone the introduction of the redistribution measure until corrected returns
could be had, and after the Legislature had risen the following correspondence ensued between
the Premier of the Province and the Department of Agriculture :—
13th April, 1893.
The Hon. Theo. Davie, Premier, to J. Lowe, Ottawa :
In your telegram to Hon. Mr. Turner, dated 25th March, you give whites on Island
thirty-one thousand and twenty-five, and on Mainland thirty-one thousand nine hundred and
forty-six. Do these include Chinese ; if so, how many on Mainland and Island, respectively ?
Please consult Mr. Johnson, the Statistician, as to the results wired by you to Mr. Turner,
and ask him to wire me comprehensively following information based upon the Census :—
Total population Province, including Chinese and Indians; apportionment total population between Mainland and Island; how many Indians on Mainland, how many on Island ;
how many Chinese, Mainland ; how many Chinese on Island ; how many whites on Island,
exclusive of Indians and Chinese ; how many whites on Mainland, exclusive of Indians and
Chinese.
18th April, 1893.
J. Lowe, Ottawa, to Hon. Theo. Davie, Premier:
Population British Columbia * absolutely as follows :—Vancouver Island -Indians,
5,325; Chinese, 3,183; whites, 28,259; total, 36,767. Mainland-Indians, 29,634; Chinese,
5,727; whites, 26,045; total, 61,406.
That since the date of the last communication above set out, the census schedules in
the Department at Ottawa have been scrutinized, and, as a result, instead of placing the
white population of Vancouver Island at 28,259, and of the Mainland at 26,045, as shewn by
the Department of Agriculture, the white population appears to Vie distributed as between
the Mainland and Island as follows, viz. :—
On the Mainland, 37,293, and on Vancouver Island 27,997.
It will thus readily be seen that unless the Government were prepared at the time of the
Session of the Legislature to accept as a basis of its promised re-distribution measure a population of whites upon Vancouver Island in excess of those upon the Mainland, it was
not in a position, in view of the information received from the Department of Agriculture, to
introduce the re-distribution measure at that time, and that, consequently, if the census
returns were to be a governing feature in framing the Bill, nothing else could reasonably be
done than to postpone the measure, which was accordingly done.
As to so much of the petition as states that the Province is divided into eighteen
constituencies, with a total registered vote of  15,560, and that of these voters 12,691 are
* This telegram is printed as it was received, but it would appear that an error has occurred in the
transmission, the word "absolutely" being used for " abstracted." Mr. Lowe, in a letter to the Attorney-
General, dated September 2nd, 1893, states that the word used by him was "abstracted." 57 Vict. Reply to British Columbia's Defamers. 167
registered in seven constituencies, which elect sixteen members, and the remaining 2,869
voters are registered in eleven constituencies, which elect seventeen members, the Minister
remarks that the number of registered voters in any particular constituency is not by any
means an accurate indication of the number of persons who are eligible for the franchise in
such constituency, inasmuch as no scrutiny has hitherto been made of the claims of persons
applying to be registered as voters, and in some constituencies apathy and indifference in
the registration of voters has been the rule, whilst in other constituencies a determined and
persistent effort has been made to place names upon the register of voters. The Minister
moreover remarks that population naturally flows to the cities, which in point of population
largely outnumber the outlying districts, including those districts where the principal industries
of the country, such as farming, mining, lumbering, are carried on. That it has always been
the policy of this Province to accord the outlying districts just representation, and it is noteworthy that the real complaint of the petitioners seems to be that the cities are not accorded
all, or nearly all, of the representation. That as to so much of the petition as asserts that the
Mainland has an area of 366,300 square miles, whereas Vancouver Island embraces 16,002
square miles only; that the Mainland portion has therefore the greater need of expenditure
upon works of development, and that the said Mainland portion contributes over two-thirds
of the total revenue collected within the Province, the Minister observes that the principle
has always been recognized by successive Legislatures, that on account of its larger area, the
Mainland has greater need of expenditure upon works of development, and that, acting upon
such principle, even in years when the revenue of the Mainland did not equal that of
Vancouver Island, larger expenditures in works of development were made upon the Mainland
than upon Vancouver Island, and ever since Confederation, the proportionate expenditure for
such works upon the Mainland, has largely exceeded what would have been its share, in
proportion to population, and to the contribution of the Mainland towards the revenue.
The increase of population upon the Mainland has been of modern growth, but, as in the
past so at present, the appropriations for works of development largely exceed either its quota
of population, or its contribution towards the revenue, as a consideration of the Public
Accounts for the last fiscal year abundantly shows. For instance, the grant for roads, streets
and bridges upon the Mainland was $159,500, and upon Vancouver Island was $56,000.
For buildings and schools, the Mainland grant was $81,300, and upon Vancouver Island
$16,900. For surveys, the Mainland estimate was $48,000, and the Island $2,000. Upon
education, the Mainland grant was $101,920, and upon Vancouver Island was $73,220.
Upon Hospitals and Asylums, the Mainland grant was $41,550, and the Island $16,300—
shewing total grants under these heads, upon the Mainland, $432,270, and upon Vancouver
Island, $164,420.
Taking the census return of 98,173, as the entire population of the Province, the total
appropriations, under the above headings, for Mainland and Island ($596,690), if equally
apportioned on the per capita basis, would give $6.08 per head, which, according to the
distribution of population as between the Mainland and Island (Mainland, 61,406; Island,
36,767) would entitle the Mainland to $373,348 and the Island to $223,342, instead of the
existing division of $432,270 upon the Mainland and $164,420 upon the Island. But if the
expenditures are to be divided according to the population, other than Indians and Chinese
(Indians especially, and Chinese, contribute but little towards Provincial revenue), the
advantage given to the Mainland is made still more apparent. The last amended census
returns give 37,293 as the Mainland white population, and 27,997 as the Island white
population. This would give, out of the total appropriation of $596,690, a per capita allowance of $9.14, or $340,858 to the Mainland and $255,832 to the Island, and assuming with
the petition that the people of the Mainland now contribute two-thirds of the revenue, it is
shown that the Island by no means receives one-third of the appropriations granted by the
Legislature for works of development.
As to so much of the petition as asserts that at the last general election seven constituencies registering 12,691 voters (it omits mention of the number of votes actually polled)
returned only four members as supporters of the Government, while eleven small constituencies
having 2,869 voters returned sixteen Government supporters, and that one of the four
Government supporters elected by a large constituency having resigned before the meeting of .
the House, his place was supplied by an opponent of the . Government, the Minister draws
attention to the fact that, of opponents to the Government, at the last general election, there
were only five returned  to  the  Legislature;  the remaining members were returned either as 168 Reply to British Columbia's Defamers. 1894
supporters of the Government, or else as independent of either the Government or its
opponents : that the member to fill the vacant seat alluded to was not elected as an opponent,
and that the number of votes actually polled at the general election for candidates avowedly
supporting the Government, was equal to the number of votes polled for both opponents and
independents combined. The Minister further remarks that three of the five members
returned in opposition to the Government were from the City of Victoria, which constituency
returns four members, the fourth candidate returned being a Government supporter. The
highest vote polled in that constituency by the three members returned in opposition to the
Government was that of the senior member, who received 1,226 votes, the fourth or junior
member receiving 851 votes: the other members in opposition to the Government were
returned, one as the junior member for Yale, and the other as the junior member for Nanaimo
District, the one receiving 396 votes, and the other 157 votes. The vote of the country was
therefore overwhelmingly in favour of the Government and those who were pledged to deal
with the Government independently of its supporters or opponents.
As to so much of the petition as alleges that the Government has promised consideration
to a demand for financial aid to a new transcontinental railway, and that such demand is for
a guarantee of interest at four per cent per annum upon bonds of the railway to the amount
of $6,000,000, the Minister observes that no demand for any such guarantee has been made
upon the Province, but that the Province has promised, and is prepared to accord, fair
consideration to any proposition for financial aid which may be within the capacity of and of
advantage to the Province.
The Committee, concurring in the report of the Honourable the Attorney-General,
recommend that copies of this Minute (if approved) be forwarded to the Honourable the
Secretary of State, and the Minister of Justice, for the information of His Excellency the
Governor-General in Council. Certified,
(Signed)        A. Campbell Reddie,
Deputy Clerk, Executive Council.
(       Copy of Honourable Mr. Turner's Letter to the Editor of the Montreal Gazette.
BRITISH COLUMP.IA AFFAIBS.
To the Editor of the Gazette :
Sir,—I think that your article in to-day's Gazette, entitled " A Plaint from British
Columbia," is likely to be somewhat misleading to those not intimately acquainted with
matters in that fair Province. Take, for instance, the statement that the expenditure of the
Province is nearly $200,000 in excess of its revenue. This is very wide of the actual
fact, as more than $200,000 of that expenditure is to be paid out of a loan raised in London
in 1891, expressly for the purpose. In that year it was decided that it would greatly
advance the prosperity of the Province to carry out works of development in order to open it
up, such as roads, bridges, surveys, &c., in all directions, and for this purpose to raise a loan
of a million dollars, and at the same time to make, if possible, arrangements whereby the two
old loans, bearing respectively 6 per cent, and 4| per cent, interest, should be consolidated
with the new loan at a low rate of interest. This plan was eminently successful in spite of
the unsettled state of the money market at that time. B. C. succeeded in borrowing a
million dollars at 86, bearing only 3 per cent, interest, thus costing the Province, including
discount, a little over 3|- per cent., and at the same time satisfactory arrangements were made
to convert the old debt. This conversion is now going on by the issue of 3 per cent, inscribed
stock in place of the old 4A and 6 per cent, debentures, and the result is that already some
$20,000 a year is saved to the Province, and about $100,000 of the sinking fund of the old
debts has been released and may be used by the Province. An indication of the success of
British Columbia's financial scheme is shown by the 3 per cents., which sold in 1891 at 86,
and are to-day worth about 93, and the Province could now borrow, by adding to its 3 per cent,
inscribed stock, on the London market, whatever money it wants at about 91 to 92. In fact
British Columbia securities stand about third in the Colonial list, the Dominion being first,
Ceylon second, British Columbia third, 57 Vict. Reply to British Columbia's Defamers. 169
I have said that the million dollars was raised for the purpose of carrying out development works. Now, the public accounts of British Columbia being kept in a very simple way,
the proceeds of the loan were not placed to a capital account and the public works carried out
by its means debited against it, but was simply added to the revenue of the year, the effect
being that the revenue in that year was largely in excess of expenditure, but in succeeding
years it had the contrary effect, making expenditure appear to be greatly over revenue.
This, however, was not real, as the excess was provided for by the balance of the loan lying in
the bank drawing four per cent, interest. At the commencement of the present financial year
there was some $280,000 of the loan still in hand. 1 may here add that the result of the
expenditure thus made is proving highly remunerative, the revenue steadily increasing. In
1881 it was about $405,000, and in 1891 over a million.
Turning to expenditure last year, ending June 30th, there was paid out for public
works, surveys, etc., about $460,000, but fully $300,000 of this should be charged against the
loan, as also should the discount (the difference between 86 and par) and expenses of the loan,
and consolidation, now $175,000. It would then be seen that the actual revenue was considerably over the ordinary expenditure. The same argument applies to the present year. The
expenditure is estimated to be, including these special works, about $200,000 over revenue,
but we have the money, the balance of the loan, ready to pay this excess. Now a few words
about the representation of the Province. At Confederation by far the largest part of the
population, at least three-fourths of it, was on Vancouver Island, but in order to balance fairly
the public interests in each section the members of the Legislature were evenly divided. The
Island with almost all the population having the same number of members as the Mainland,
but as the City of Vancouver grew up and settlers came on to the Fraser River lands, it was
felt that these important sections should be represented. Accordingly, at last election four
additional members were given to the Mainland and three to the Island and Islands—making
seventeen for Mainland and sixteen for the latter section ; a promise was also made, that if
the census showed any important change in population, a Redistribution Bill would be brought
in, and it was the intention of the Government to introduce this measure during the session
just over—urged on thereto by the claims of the residents in Vancouver and on Fraser River,
that there were nearly double as many white inhabitants on the Mainland as on the Island,
but, to the astonishment of most parties, when the census bulletins came to be examined it
was found that after deducting the Indians and the Chinese, who were included in the
census, but who do not vote, it was found that the Island had nearly 2,000 more whites
than the Mainland. Many claim that this is incorrect, but still the census authorities assert
that their enumeration is correct. In the face of such a showing it was thought by the Government to be more judicious to defer the Redistribution Bill until the next session, and in the
interim to endeavour to prove or disprove the accuracy of the census. This makes no real
difference as to the time at which redistribution will take place, as had the Bill been brought
in and carried last session it would not come into effect until next election, or about July,
1894.
Now, as to the $600,000 for new Parliament Buildings and Government Offices for
British Columbia. This vote I consider a most judicious and business-like one. The present
buildings are altogether too small, are in no way adapted to the wants of the Province, are
greatly dilapidated, and in fact must be replaced. Well, sir, the Government, after mature
consideration decided that it was more economical to put up good buildings suitable for the
growing wants of the Province, and the fact that the money can be had through our 50-year
inscribed stock at less than 3| per cent., helped to influence this decision. The vote m favour
of these buildings was carried by 21 ayes in a house of 32.
As to the revenue of the Mainland exceeding that of the Island it does so very considerably, being last year about $634,000 against that of the Island $373,000, but the expenditure
for all purposes in the Mainland in the same time was about $800,000 and in the Island
$435,000. These revenues both include land sales on the Mainland $213,000, and on the
Island $58,000. By recent additions to the Land Act, no land is to be sold except pre-emption
claims and surveyed lands.
I am not at all inclined to believe that the agitation for separation of the Mainland from
the Island is very extensive. It is true, no doubt, that there are some, both on the Island and
Mainland, who think it would be an advantage to divide them, but it appears to me they do
not realize what separation means. In the first place it would greatly prejudice the credit of
the Province ; instead of borrowing at 3|- per cent, we should probably find it difficult to get
money at 5 or 6.    Then   the population  of  British Columbia is  so small that an  additional 170 Reply to British Columbia's Defamers. 1894
Government for it would be absurd, and would entail such an outlay as would be
altogether out of proportion to the number of people in each of the sections. It certainly
would enormously increase the cost of Government for the Mainland, as the expenses there,
owing to great distances, difficulty of travel, and other causes, are much larger in proportion.
On the other hand, the Island being so compact and having such perfect water communication,
the share of expenses would probably be greatly reduced. What is wanted, however, for the
Province is not more Government, but concerted action and more people.
Yours respectfully,
(Signed,)    J. H. TURNER,
Minister of Finance for British Columbia.
Windsor Hotel, May 10th.
Interview with Honourable Mr. Davie published in the Toronto Empire on 30th June, 1893.
The Ottawa correspondent of the Toronto Empire, under date of the 30th ult, writes :
Hon. Mr. Davie, Premier of British Columbia, is still in the city. The Empire correspondent
had an interesting chat with him last night on Pacific Coast matters. Handing Mr. Davie a
copy of the paper, your correspondent asked him if he had read an article on British Columbia
affairs published in Truth on June 1st.
" No," responded Mr. Davie. " Since I left British Columbia I've seen very few English
papers."
He then read the following article :
" A serious crisis seems to be impending in the relations between Vancouver Island and
the Mainland of British Columbia, owing to the reckless expenditure and financial dishonesty
of the Government and Legislative Assembly, which are mainly representative of the Island.
The Mainland, with an area of 366,000 square miles and a population of 61,000, returns only
17 members, whilst the Island, with an area of 16,000 square miles and a population of 36,000,
returns 16 members. The situation is aggravated by the unequal distribution of the electors
amongst the constituencies, the result of which is the present Government numbers 19
supporters in the present House, who represent 4,576 registered electors, while their 14
opponents represent 10,984. At the present time the Mainland party are specially incensed
against proposals of the Government to spend $600,000 upon a new Parliament house, and to
guarantee interest to the amount of $6,000,000 on bonds of the proposed British Pacific
Company, at a time when the budget of the colony shows a deficit of $216,000, and there is a
strong feeling that this is part of a deliberate policy to incur debts for the benefit of the
Island, the burthen of which will fall chiefly on the Mainland. It is obvious that the present
disparity between the representatives of the two sections of the country cannot continue, and
when Lord Aberdeen takes over the reins of Government he cannot do better than set himself
to right the anomaly before worse mischief ensues."
"Well," said the Provincial Premier, "I am very much obliged to you for drawing my
attention to this. Mr. Labouchere should have obtained better information, and then he
would not have published so ridiculous a fabrication. He has evidently taken for granted the
text of a petition to the Governor-General, gotten up by a few malcontents, resident in one
section of the Mainland of the Province. We are told that the population of the Mainland is
61,000, but we are not informed that, according to the census of 1891, that number includes
four-fifths of the entire Indian population of the Province, and the greater number of the
Chinamen. Neither are we told that the census returns place the white population upon
Vancouver Island in excess of those upon the Mainland by more than 2,000. So far from
the budget showing a deficit of $216,000, there has not been an instance within at least the
last five years where the yearly revenue actually collected has not considerably exceeded the
annual estimate. True, there has been occasional expenditure in excess of actual revenue ;
but that has been expenditure upon public works of money borrowed for the express purpose
of being so expended. In 1891 it was decided to borrow a million dollars to be expended in
public works. This was done by issuing inscribed stock, bearing three per cent, interest,
redeemable in 50 years. 57 Vict. Reply to British Columbia's Defamers. 171
"British Columbia threes are now quoted at 92 or 93, and rank third amongst colonial
securities—Canada being first, Ceylon second, and British Columbia third. The money so
borrowed was not to be expended at once, but year by year as required, the moneys on hand
being placed upon deposit, bearing interest. The $216,000 alluded to is a part expenditure
out of the $1,000,000 loan. At the last general election the Government was largely sustained
at the polls. Without regard to the distribution of electors amongst the constituencies, the
candidates in direct opposition to the Government received less than 25 per cent, of all votes
cast ; a third party, naming themselves the Independents, received about 25 per cent., whilst
the Government candidates received the remainder of the votes, or as many or more than both
Opposition and Independents combined. The figures to the contrary given in Truth's article
are drawn from fiction. As to the distribution of expenditure of public moneys, there has
been no discrimination whatever against the Mainland. With an excess of Indian and
Chinese population and extensive land sales the Mainland contributes considerably more to
the public revenue than does Vancouver Island ; but, at the same time, the expenditure on
the Mainland has always been, and necessarily, on account of its much larger area is, far
greater than upon the Island. Take the last fiscal year for example : In round figures the
revenue proper (not, of course, including any portion of the loan) was from the Mainland
$634,000, and from Vancouver Island $373,000 ; whilst the expenditure upon the Mainland
was $800,000, and upon Vancouver Island $435,000, the excess in both cases being provided
for out of the million-dollar loan."
" What about your expenditure on Parliament buildings ?"
" The new Parliament buildings are a public requirement, and their construction is fully
justified by the financial condition of the Province, the exports alone of which have grown
more than 225 per cent, during the last 20 years. W'ith the rapid growth of trade in its
inexhaustible products of coal, lumber, fish and fruit, and'undeveloped resources too numerous
to mention ; its discoveries, which are attracting the world, and the gold and silver mines of
Kootenay, Cariboo, and other regions ; the fact of its having the Pacific terminus of the
marvellous railway system of the C. P. R., and of Vancouver being the Pacific Ocean terminus
of the highway from Hongkong, Japan, the Australias, Fiji, the Sandwich Islands, towards
Great Britain, it is but right that suitable Parliament buildings should be erected. The
present ones were erected in 1858, and are now in such a dilapidated state as to be unfitted
for the couduct of public business. Changes in the representation to the Legislative Assembly,
owing to the influx of population in different parts, doubtless are called for, and the Government
have for some time contemplated a measure, based principally upon the population as shown
by the census, which it was conceded on all hands should form the basis so far as population
went. The measure would have been introduced last session, but when the census returns
came to be examined and the white population separated from the Indian and unenfranchised
population, there was, contrary to general expectation, shown to be a majority of the white
population upon Vancouver Island. There seems to be some confusion in the manner of
estimating the Indian population and the possibility that a more accurate enumeration will
show a different result, consequently the Government concluded to defer the redistribution
measure until next session, so that in the interval the census returns might be looked into,
and this is being done. The present system, which has been in operation since Confederation,
is fair enough, so far as it goes—for none of the districts have decreased in population—but
many of the districts have increased, and new ones have been formed. These have of course
to be taken into consideration, and suitable divisions and ridings made. No $6,000,000
guarantee to the British Pacific or to any other railway is in contemplation. Although the
Governor-General, when the petition from the malcontents of British Columbia comes before
him, will doubtless act upon the constitutional principle that the Province is itself the sole
adjuster of its own grievances, it is to be hoped that the petition will be referred to the
Province for its answer, as there ought to be an opportunity afforded of correcting the glaring
misstatements which it contains."
victoria, b. c. :
Printed hy Richard Wolfenden, Printer to the Queen's Most Excellent Majesty,

Cite

Citation Scheme:

        

Citations by CSL (citeproc-js)

Usage Statistics

Share

Embed

Customize your widget with the following options, then copy and paste the code below into the HTML of your page to embed this item in your website.
                        
                            <div id="ubcOpenCollectionsWidgetDisplay">
                            <script id="ubcOpenCollectionsWidget"
                            src="{[{embed.src}]}"
                            data-item="{[{embed.item}]}"
                            data-collection="{[{embed.collection}]}"
                            data-metadata="{[{embed.showMetadata}]}"
                            data-width="{[{embed.width}]}"
                            async >
                            </script>
                            </div>
                        
                    
IIIF logo Our image viewer uses the IIIF 2.0 standard. To load this item in other compatible viewers, use this url:
http://iiif.library.ubc.ca/presentation/cdm.bcsessional.1-0063382/manifest

Comment

Related Items