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RETURN To an Address presented to His Honour the Lieutenant-Governor, praying him to cause to be laid… British Columbia. Legislative Assembly 1899

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 62 Vict. Correspondence—Quebec Conference. 1323
To an Address presented to His Honour the Lieutenant-Governor, praying him to
cause to be laid before the House a copy of all correspondence, or any memoranda,
that has passed between this Government and the Dominion of Canada, or any
other party, in relation to the Quebec Conference of 1898.
By Command.
Provincial Secretary.
Provincial Secretary's  Office,
mn& February, 1899.
Victoria, 26th August, 1898.
Dear Sir Wilfrid,—This Government naturally feels a great interest and solicitude in
the present International Conference at Quebec, and in the results which may arise from its
In several of the subjects which it is stated the Conference will discuss, British Columbia
interests are directly and largely involved, and we are, therefore, very anxious that those
interests should not be prejudiced or injured by any decision or arrangement which may be
reached, nor disregarded when they may appear to be opposed in some respects to those of
other parts of the Dominion.
We presume that, from the manner in which the Conference will be conducted, there will
be no opportunity for representatives of the Provinces to address it on any matters in which
the latter are interested.
We, therefore, propose to lay before you a memorandum touching on the subjects in
which British Columbia is more immediately interested, for the information of the British
members of the Conference.
This we shall hope to forward to you in a few days, and meanwhile I write you informally
to inform you of what we propose to do.
I would esteem it a great favour if you could inform me if there will be any means
whereby this Government can be kept advised as to the proceedings of the Conference, so that,
if thought necessary, we could submit our views to you on any question concerning Provincial
interests, should circumstances arise which appeared to make such a course desirable.
Trusting that the Conference will have valuable and permanent results to the Dominion,
and expressing my confidence that you will not allow the interests of British Columbia to
suffer by reason of our remoteness and other circumstances,
I am, etc.,
(Signed)        F. Carter-Cotton,
Minister of Finance.
The Pt. Hon. Sir Wilfrid Laurier, P.C., G.C.M.G.,
Prime Minister of Canada, Ottawa.
Quebec, 2nd September, 1898.
Dear Mr. Carter-Cotton,—I have the honour to acknowledge the receipt of your favour
of the 26th of August. The Canadian Commissioners will welcome with great satisfaction
any memorials which you choose to send them, expressing your views, or the views of your
colleagues, upon any of the questions with which the Commission will have to deal. 1324 Correspondence—Quebec Conference. 1898
You want me to inform you if there will be any means whereby your Government can be
kept advised as to the proceedings of the Conference, so that, if thought necessary, you could
submit your views to us on any question concerning Provincial interests, should circumstances
arise which would appear to make such a course desirable.
The proceedings of the Conference are confidential, and, therefore, this last request could
not be complied with; but you know the subjects of the Protocol, and if you care to address
us upon them I can only repeat that your representations will be welcome. The Protocol
accepted by the two Governments, embodying the subjects to be dealt with, has been made
public, but I could send you a copy of it if you so desire.
I have, etc.,
(Signed)        Wilfrid Laurier.
The Hon. F. Carter-Cotton,
Minister of Finance, Victoria, B.C.
Copy of a Report of a Committee of the Honourable the Executive Council, approved by His
Honour the Lieutenant-Governor mi the 22nd day of September, 1898.
The Committee of Council, having had under consideration the various matters affecting
the relations of the Dominion of Canada and the United States to be adjudicated upon by the
International Committee of Conference at Quebec, and now under Treaty, recommend to His
Honour that the Memorandum submitted by the Hon. the Minister of Finance, hereto
attached and dated September 7th, 1898, be transmitted to the Hon. the Secretary of State
for Canada.
And the Committee further recommend that His Honour request the Hon. the Secretary
of State to forward the said Memorandum to the Hon. Sir Wilfrid Laurier, Prime Minister
of Canada, and one of Her Majesty's Honourable Commissioners, as containing the views of
the Lieutenant-Governor in Council on the subjects to be dealt with by the Honourable
Commissioners, so far as they affect the interests of British Columbia.
The Committee advise His Honour's approval.
(Signed)        A. Campbell Reddie,
Deputy Clerk Executive Council.
Of the Lieutenant-Governor in Council of British  Columbia, for the consideration of Her
Majesty's Commissioners at the Lnternational Conference at Quebec.
List of Subjects.
Behring Sea.
Alaska Boundary.
Fisheries of the Pacific Coast.
Bonding Privileges.
Alien Labour and Mining Rights.
Reciprocal Arrangements :—
Agricultural Interests.
Duty on Lead Ore.
Delimitation of Boundaries.
Conveyance of Prisoners.
Wrecking and Coasting.
Appendices. 62 Vict. Correspondence—Quebec Conference. 1325
The subjects for consideration are understood to be as follows :—
1. The questions in respect to the fur seals in Behring Sea and waters of the North
Pacific Ocean.
2. Provisions in respect to the fisheries of the Atlantic and Pacific Coasts, and in the
waters of the common frontiers.
3. Provisions for the delimitation and establishment of the Alaska-Canadian boundary
by legal and scientific experts, if the Commission shall so desire, or otherwise.
4. Provisions for the transit of merchandise to or from either country across intermediate
territory of the other, whether by land or water, including natural and artificial waterways
and intermediate transit by sea.
5. Provisions relating to the transit of merchandise from one country to be delivered at
points in the other beyond the frontier.
6. The question of alien labour laws applicable to the subjects or citizens of the United
States and Canada.
7. Mining rights of citizens or subjects of each country within the territory of the other.
8. Such readjustment and concession as may be deemed mutually advantageous of customs
duties applicable in each country.
9. A revision of the agreement of 1817 respecting naval vessels on the lakes.
10. Arrangements for the more complete definition and marking of any part of the
frontier line by land or water, where the same is now insufficiently defined, or so marked as to
be liable to dispute.
11. Provisions for the conveyance for trial or punishment of persons in the lawful custody
of the officers of one country through the territory of another.
12. Reciprocity in wrecking or salvage rights.
Relating to the subjects under consideration by the Honourable Commissioners composing the
International Committee of Conference at Quebec, so far as they appear to affect the
interests of British Columbia.
Behring Sea.
Among the appendices hereto indicated as No. 1(a) will be found a memorial of Canadian
sealers respecting their interests. The representations therein contained will have already
been brought to the attention of Her Majesty's Honourable Commissioners, and it is unnecessary to refer at equal length to the merits of the case, being, as they are, fully and admirably
set forth by the memorialists.
It is essential in connection with the consideration of this subject to keep several things
clearly in view. These are (1) international rights, (2) financial interests of the sealers, and
(3) industrial interests.
Regarding the first, it was clearly established by the Paris award that pelagic sealing
was a legitimate pursuit. Under this ruling, although the rights of sealers were restricted
and limited by regulations under the award, presumably for the protection of seal life, the
propriety and legitimacy of the sealing industry were not only fully confirmed, but there was
a very clear recognition of vested rights. The regulations do not per se legally affect the right
to take seals in the open sea, nor do they in the smallest degree concede to the United States
special property rights in the seals, except in regard to those within territorial limits. They
were adopted simply as a matter of international policy, applicable only to a special set of
The rights of sealers to, and their interests in, the seals are therefore as fully established
as are those of the salmon canners to carry on the industry of salmon canning on the Fraser
River ; and in pursuance of their calling, during a period of years, large vested interests have
been created. These are important, not only to the sealers themselves, but to the Province as
a whole, and for many years sealing ranked among the leading of Provincial industries.
The Regulations, whether we regard them as beneficial in achieving the objects for which
professedly they were framed—a matter which is clearly open to dispute—are a restriction of
natural rights, and in operation have not had the effect that was apparently contemplated by
the framers. 1326 Correspondence—Quebec Conference. 1898
In practical effect, the regulations cut the sealing season in two, and render the sealing
fleet inoperative in Behring Sea during three of the most favourable sealing months of the
year, namely, May, June and July. At the end of the close season the fleet is again interrupted, particularly in September, by stormy weather. The result generally has been to
hamper and render unprofitable a legitimate and otherwise profitable industry, without, as
already intimated, in any way conserving seal life.
Regarding the last-named observation, it has been shown by experts commissioned to
investigate the biological conditions that disease is a material factor in the diminution of seals,
and such diminution, therefore, is no valid argument for the total restriction or repression of
pelagic sealing; and no sufficient data have been obtained to lead us confidently to assume
that diminution from that or any other cause will continue to the limit of total extinction.
Parasitic diseases affect more or less all plant and animal life, with a periodicity which
cannot be accurately determined or accounted for; and it is a matter of common knowledge
that repletion frequently and almost invariably alternates with depletion. The observation of
experienced investigators is in line with the conclusion that the destruction by pelagic sealing
is incomparable with the natural rate of increase, and that disease and other natural causes
account for extermination in an extraordinary degree. In other words, if seals are diminishing
in the North Pacific Ocean and Behring Sea, pelagic sealing does not and cannot be said to
account for the greater percentage of loss.
There is no reason to assume that disease will not run its course, and that seals will not
again multiply. It would, therefore be clearly an injustice to deprive the Canadian sealers of
a right to participate in an industry in which important property interest has developed, on
grounds that are untenable and, in fact, have not been demonstrated to, if at all, sufficiently
To take away from the sealers such a right by treaty is to deprive them of prospective
profits for all time to come, or as long as such treaty may continue to remain in force; and to
agree to give up, on the plea of the conservation of seal life, the right to participate in an
industry concerning the future of wdtich, so far as it is affected by natural causes, it is impossible to make any prediction, would, it is respectfully contended, be a leap in the dark.
Adverting to the financial interests and condition of those engaged in sealing, this is a
matter of very serious concern. The industry has been carried on for years, and under
ordinary circumstances and freedom from restraint, profitably ; but the actual circumstances
and conditions have materially affected the result to those engaged in it, by reason of interruptions, seizures, and other exterior causes, the outcome of the unsatisfactory position in
which sealing has been placed through what is commonly known as the Behring Sea question.
During the long period of international dispute, the financial standing of many of the sealers
was impaired, debts and obligations were incurred, and the industry to a large extent practically ruined. Although reparation has been made on a certain basis of compensation, it by
no means represents satisfaction for the injuries sustained by those who laboured or invested
their money. The losses have been of a cumulative character, and are not ascertainable by
the ordinary methods of appraisement.
Apart altogether from the standpoint of public and international policy, the sealers of the
Pacific Coast of Canada have special claims for consideration at the hands of Her Majesty's
Commissioners. Statistics of the industry will be found in the Memorial referred to, and
regarding that it is assumed that no further information is necessary. From these the nature
and extent of the industry may be ascertained ; and Her Majesty's Honourable Commissioners
will see that, if any arrangement is effected whereby the rights of sealers in the open sea are
exchanged for other benefits which may appear to be of greater advantage to Canada as a
whole, they on their own behalf, and the Province of British Columbia on its behalf, are
entitled to be fairly and fully compensated, not only in respect to vested interests and past
losses, but in respect to the value of the industry, and, so far as may reasonably be determined,
to prospective damages as well.
It is pointed out, in addition to all other considerations referred to, that the sealing industry
is one in which large numbers of the Indians of British Columbia, who constitute a considerable element of the population, and are loyal and faithful subjects of Her Majesty, are largely
interested, and to an important degree are dependent upon it for a living. To take away from
the Coast tribes the right to pursue, kill, and traffic in seals would be to deprive them of what
they regard and truly is their birthright and a means of livelihood. On the other hand, to
exempt them from the operations of a treaty prohibiting pelagic sealing would open the door to 62 Vict.        Correspondence—Quebec Conference. 1327
evasions of the law which might, and undoubtedly would, lead to international complications.
In addition also to the Indian hunters, who number from five hundred to nine hundred,
there is about an equal number of whites engaged in connection with the industry, whose
living more or less wholly depends upon it. The number of employees varies from year to
year, but it averages annually from 1,500 to 1,600 of the population, to whom about $350,000
in wages is paid.
The loss to British Columbia in case of sealing being prohibited would be very serious
indeed, and especially so in the case of the City of Victoria, where the wages earned is mainly
spent, and where supplies for outfitting, from $100,000 to $150,000 per annum, are purchased.
The attention of Her Majesty's Commissioners is called to Appendices 1, (a), (b) hereto,
containing the Memorial of Canadian Sealers already referred to, and also to a Report to the
British Columbia Board of Trade on the same subject.
Alaska Boundary Question.
This is a question which had the consideration of the Legislature of British Columbia as
far back as 1872, when a Resolution passed, praying the Lieutenant-Governor to call the
attention of the Government of the Dominion of Canada to the necessity, in the interests of
"peace, order, and good government," of taking steps for having the boundary line properly
defined. The causes which led to this action at that time were very similar to those which
have given the subject recently so much prominence, namely, the discovery of large quantities
of gold in the far north, in what is known as the Cassiar District. A large number of miners
had gone into the Dease Lake country, and there was practically only one route to the gold
fields, and that was via the Stickine River, which had its outlet through Alaskan or American
territory. The conditions and relative importance of the subject, as related to the interests
of British Columbia, have not materially changed in the meantime. It will be unnecessary
for the information of Her Majesty's Commissioners to enter into any lengthened discussion
of the merits of the British side of the contention, or to elaborate upon the importance of a
correct and speedy delimitation, except in so far as it may be deemed desirable to urge the
great importance of its bearing upon the interests of the Province of British Columbia.
From the prominence which the subject has had in the public press, and from the
attention paid to it by the Dominion authorities in ascertaining available physical and other
data, it is assumed that all the information possible, and in all probability much more than is
within the power of this Government to afford, has been supplied.
The boundary question resolves itself into three main or physical divisions, each of which
is dependent upon a distinct series of evidence, or independent data, as follows :—
1. The construction of the Clause of the Treaty of 1825, by which the line of demarcation
from Cape Chacon, the southernmost point of the Prince of Wales Island, is to be determined
until it reaches a point of the Continent at the 56th degree of north latitude.
2. The determination of the line of demarcation from the last-named point following the
coast line (see Clause III. of the Treaty, quoted in the foregoing) until a point on the coast is
reached where it is intercepted by the 141st degree of west longitude.
3. Fixing, astronomically, the 141st degree of west longitude, and its prolongation northward " as far as the frozen ocean."
In regard to division No. 3, no remarks are offered.
With respect to No. 2, it is assumed that all the physical data necessary for a judicial
arbitrament are before Her Majesty's Commissioners, and that nothing that can be offered
will strengthen the evidence in behalf of the Canadian contention, or that any observations
are necessary to accentuate the importance of arriving at a just and expeditious settlement
of the question, so far as the interests of Canada and the United States are concerned.
With reference to No. 1, it would appear that there has existed heretofore a disposition
on the part of the Dominion authorities not to open up the question of what has been regarded
by the United States as the accepted boundary line, namely, through Portland Channel,
although frequent and strong representations have been made upon the subject by the Government of British Columbia.
It is contended on behalf of British Columbia that the boundary line runs north through
Clarence Strait, terminating at the head of Behm's Canal or on the mainland shore in Ernest
Sound, either one of which would be consistent with the terms of the Treaty. Upon the
decision as to which of these courses is to be followed, Portland Chaunel or Clarence Strait, 1328 Correspondence—Quebec Conference. 1898
depends the ownership of territory about 3,000 square miles in area, including the large island
of Revilla de Gigedo, Annette Island, and a group of smaller islands. These islands, as well
as the shore of the mainland, are extremely important on account of their fisheries, the rich
character of wdiich has previously been referred to. Mineral claims have been recorded on
Annette Island, and, although little attention has yet been paid to the mineral resources of
that particular district, it is not impossible—it is at least quite possible—that discoveries of
an important character may be made at any time in the future.
Owing to a variety of reasons, of which the two foregoing are perhaps of the greatest
moment, it is important that the territory in question should belong to Canada, as, from
careful consideration of all the evidence in support of its contention, the Government of
British Columbia is thoroughly convinced that a proper judicial construction of Articles III.
and IV. of the Anglo-Russian Treaty of 1825 can have no other effect. This was the
conclusion of the late Mr. Justice Gray, one of the Fathers of Confederation, and a well-known
Canadian jurist, who first brought the matter prominently to the attention of the Government
of British Columbia, and who prepared a careful report on the subject, which is included in
the Appendices to this Memorandum, and to be found in the Sessional Papers of British
Columbia on page 451, 48 Vic.
In the Appendices will also be found a number of Orders in Council passed at various
times, and other data, which may be of interest in connection with the consideration of the
subject of the Alaskan Boundary.
Fisheries of the Pacific Coast.
Perhaps one of the most important questions affecting the interests of British Columbia
to come before the Quebec Conference is that of the provision in respect to the fisheries of the
Atlantic and Pacific Coasts and the waters of the common frontier. The possibilities involved
in the development of the fisheries of the Pacific Coast are very great, and any equitable
arrangement for reciprocity in fish and fish products cannot be but of immense importance to
the future of British Columbia.
There are several important respects in which a thorough consideration of our interests
would prove beneficial in effecting any arrangement that might be contemplated by the
Honourable Commissioners after having heard all the evidence.
1. A free market in the United States would enable our fishermen to compete with the
Americans who fish in British Columbia waters and sell our fish in the United States markets,
from which we are now excluded. At the present time, there is no adequate protection of
fishery interests on the Pacific Coast, and practically no steps have been taken to limit or
restrict the American fishermen who frequent the fishing beds at the north end and to the
northward of Queen Charlotte Island. While our fishermen are confronted with a duty in
selling fish or fish products on the other side of the line, where an extensive market exists, the
American fishermen take their cargoes to Seattle and Tacoma, from which points they ship eastward to New York and Boston and other cities, and thus obtain a very unfair advantage over
British subjects in Canadian waters. There are no statistics available as to the amount of fish
caught by American fishermen in the Coast waters of British Columbia, but it has been estimated
by those interested in the subject that it at least equals the aggregate catch of our own people.
A very large quantity of halibut is annually caught and shipped by the Americans in this way.
It is conceded that the halibut of British Columbia waters is both in quality and quantity
superior to that of any other part of the world, those caught to the north of Queen Charlotte
Island especially being very large and exquisite in quality, and are found on the feeding
grounds there in prodigious numbers.
2. It is probable, too, that fish oil, guano, and other fish products, which have only a
limited local demand at present, would find a considerable local market in San Francisco and
on the Coast generally. The several varieties of dog-fish oil produced, the oil of the rat-fish
and shark, and the offal of the salmon canneries are among the most important products that
could be utilized by free access to the United States markets. Oil of very superior quality is
produced, and, owing to the great abundance of oil-producing fishes and immense quantities of
offal from the canneries, there are very large and important industries in prospect, provided
that a good market could be obtained. Locally, the finer varieties of dog-fish oil are used for
lubricating purposes and the less valuable for logging purposes, but sufficient local demand
does not exist to cause it to be manufactured profitably or extensively. 62 Vict.        Correspondence—Quebec Conference. 1329
3. If a sufficiently cheap fish product could be obtained it is quite probable that an
extensive market could be established in Mexico,. Peru and the Southern Coast generally, and
the Oceanic Islands of the southern hemisphere, where canned salmon is too dear for consumption by the natives, but where herring, salmon and possibly other fishes so prodigiously
abundant on the whole coast would find sale in salted form. The experience of the West
India Islands is proof of the possibilities of British Columbia in this regard. It is not
improbable, too, in the event of the sealing industry being done away with that the owners of
sealing vessels might be able to turn their vessels to some account in establishing this trade.
Whaling has been carried on for years by San Francisco skippers more or less profitably, and
with the advantage of a large market afforded by free access to the United States strong
inducements would be created for capital and labour embarking in enterprises giving promise
of profitable investment.
4. There has been so far no delimitation of territorial waters of the Pacific Coast apart
from the international and generally accepted understanding as to a three mile limit. The
provisions of the Washington Treaty only affect the Atlantic Coast fisheries. The waters of
the Straits of Fuca and the Gulf of Georgia, and their extensions to Queen Charlotte Sound,
are inland waters, but in Hecate Straits, the mouth of which is about 65 miles wide, and in
the northern end of which the most valuable fish banks are located, the question arises as to
whether the water is territorial or open sea, and whether the three-mile limit is outside of
Queen Charlotte Islands or should follow the sinuosities of the coast line. The Provincial
maps show the line outside, the whole of Hecate Straits being regarded as Provincial waters,
but that is merely an unauthorative delimitation by Provincial map makers, and can be
regarded only as an indication of what are claimed to be our rights. The waters of the
Straits of Hecate are at least within Provincial boundaries, and the fact that these waters
contain the most valuable and the greatest number of our food fishes, the settlement of the
question of territorial limits is a most important consideration in connection with the subject
of fisheries, and Her Majesty's Honourable Commissioners are strongly urged to give it their
most serious attention.
5. Another point requiring attention is the peculiar position of Point Boberts in relation
to Canadian Fisheries Regulations. It is suggested that an arrangement might be made
similar to that which at present exists respecting wrecking privileges, which permits the use of
American wrecking apparatus in waters contiguous to American territory. The application
of this principle to the difficulty experienced at Point Roberts would place the contiguous
waters under Canadian regulations. For some time there has been a great deal of local
irritation and complaint concerning the use of fish traps and other appliances forbidden in
Canadian waters in the catching of salmon. The peculiar position which Point Roberts
occupies in relation to the boundary line suggests the desirability of some amicable understanding being arrived at. The American waters there command the entrance to the Fraser
River, and the fish circumnavigate the Point before entering, and this fact has been taken
advantage of by American and other fishermen in the use of fish traps, &c. It is pointed out
here for the consideration of Her Majesty's Honourable Commissioners that if the American
contention of property in seals, that their killing in the open sea is contra bonos mores, is valid,
it should be equally valid in regard to the salmon entering the Fraser and other British
Columbia waters, and that Canadian regulations should govern their capture in waters at least
contiguous to the mouth of the Fraser River. The example furnished by the Paris Award,
under which regulations were framed for the protection and preservation of seal life, might be
followed in establishing similar regulations for the protection of salmon against the destructive
methods employed by American fishermen. Attention is directed to Appendices 3 (a), (6), (c)
and (a!).
Bonding Privileges.
In respect to subjects 4 and 5, there is unanimity of opinion that there should be
mutually amicable and reciprocal arrangements. The friction and vexatious delay arising out
of the regulations governing the ingress of goods to the Yukon, and the methods of enforcing
them, have so sufficiently emphasized the importance of friendly relations as to render any
further expression of opinion unnecessary; and in any event these matters have been brought
so prominently to the attention of, and are so well understood by Canada's representatives in
the conference, that any suggestions are uncalled for.
It cannot, however, be too strongly impressed upon Her Majesty's Commissioners the
importance of retaining and conserving to British Columbia a legitimate share of the Yukon 1330 Correspondence—Quebec Conference. 1898
trade, and the urgent demand and necessity existing therein for facilitating the transit of
merchandise by our merchants to and from -the northern interior of this Province and the
North-West Territory. At the outset their interests suffered in comparison with those of the
United States cities of the Pacific Coast by reason of regulations which were considered
inequitable and unnecessarily vexatious.
No change is apparently desired in respect to the present system of bonding referred to
in subject 5. This is eminently satisfactory at present, and in this connection it may be
remarked that the importance of terminal points, such as Vancouver and Victoria, is greatly
enhanced by the system, and its continuance is clearly to their advantage.
The relation, too, of the trade of the coast cities to the markets of Kootenay and the
mining centres of the interior clearly suggest how important it is to preserve and promote to
the utmost degree the' privileges of traffic intercourse and exchange on a reciprocal basis.
Both directly and indirectly the considerations involved in 4 and 5 of the subjects in question
intimately affect the mercantile and shipping interests of British Columbia. Further reference
to this subject will be found in the report made to the Secretary of the Victoria Board of
Trade hereto appended.
Alien Labour and Mining Eights.
So far as the Province of British Columbia is concerned, these two subjects at the present
time affect principally the mining districts of Kootenay. There is not much complaint made
respecting citizens of the United States coming into British Columbia to labour, and so far as
the sentiment of the people of the Province is generally concerned it is safely assumed that
reciprocal privileges and rights would be quite acceptable. There has at times been exhibited
in the press and in certain sections of the community a feeling of indignation on account of
the unnecessarily hostile legislation on the part of the United States, but these expressions of
opinion have been of a sentimental and a general character rather than the result of local
influences of competition. In British Columbia, although American citizens are seeking
employment and investment on the Canadian side of the line, and while this is not true of
Canadians so far as the United States territory is concerned, there have been few, if any,
protests on account of such a condition of affairs. On the contrary, American citizens who
have been pioneers in the development of the Kootenay District are welcome so long as the
laws of the country are respected. There have, however, been frequent comments on the
inequality of conditions existing on the two sides of the boundary line, and there is a growing
disposition on that account to impose greater restrictions with respect to the alien labour.
It is assumed that the question of mining rights relates exclusively to the territories of
Alaska and the Canadian Yukon, as mining rights within Provincial territory are wholly
under the control of the Province, and consequently would be excluded from the subjects to be
dealt with by the Commissioners.
So far as British Columbia is concerned the citizens of the United States have the
same rights and privileges extended to them as are extended to British subjects, with the
exception that they cannot vote in Provincial elections or hold office, and are obliged to declare
their intention of becoming British subjects in order to pre-empt Crown lands. Locally it is
a subject which has had consideration in the Legislative Assembly, and an effort was made to
exclude aliens from mining privileges; but the amendment to the mining laws proposing to
enact the principle was defeated.
As an evidence of the sentiment which more or less prevails in the interior on the question
of mining rights, the following extract from the Nelson Tribune of June 27th, 1898, may be
interesting.    In discussing the subjects to come before the Conference it says:—
" Of these, the questions which more directly affect the people of Kootenay are those
relating to the rights of Canadians to stake and hold mineral claims in the United States, and
the relief of Canadians from the provisions of the Alien Labour Law. For years complaint
has been made that the several States in the Union do not accord to Canadians the same
rights with respect to the staking and holding of mineral claims which every Province of the
Dominion accords to the citizens of the United States. This injustice has been more keenly
felt in this Province, and being contiguous to the mining States of Washington and Idaho, the
Canadians keenly appreciate the unfairness of a system under which Americans have equal
rights with them in Canada, while they are permitted to enjoy no such rights across the
boundary line. So firmly is the belief in the injustice of this that several attempts have been
made in the Legislature of the Province to pass retaliatory legislation, but so far without 62 Vict.        Correspondence—Quebec Conference. 1331
success.    It would tend to create a much better feeling throughout Kootenay if, as the result
of the Commissioners' finding, this disability were removed from Canadians."
The conditions affecting the lumber interests in British Columbia are entirely different
to those of Eastern Canada. From the fact that on the Atlantic Coast the lumber interests
are largely on the Canadian side of the line, there is no competition complained of from the
United States, while, on the other hand, there is everything to be gained by free access to the
United States markets.
On this coast the climatological conditions are more or less similar all along the Pacific
Coast, and these have produced a great abundance of timber, south as well as north of the 49th
parallel of latitude. Consequently, the British Columbia lumbermen are confronted by very
keen competition from the lumbermen of the States of Oregon and Washington, and are
obliged to operate under very unequal conditions. American lumber is admitted free to
Canada, while the Canadian lumbermen pay $2 per M. for entering their lumber in the United
States. The manufacturers of Puget Sound are, therefore, enabled to compete with our manufacturers in the North-West Territory and Manitoba, to the great disadvantage of the latter,
and ship large quantities of lumber and shingles from the numerous mills on Puget Sound.
The interests of the lumbermen of British Columbia are exceptionally important, and
should have special consideration by the Convention at Quebec, for the reason that British
Columbia now contains the greatest compact area of valuable timber existing on the North
American Continent, and in future it must necessarily become the principal source of supply.
A meeting of the lumbermen of Vancouver and Westminster, held to take into consideration the interests of the lumbermen, adopted a series of resolutions bearing on the subject, as
follows :—
"That this meeting expresses itself as of the opinion : (1) That up to the present time
logs have not been exported from this Province to the United States to any appreciable
extent. (2) That owing to the high protective tariff, no market is found in the United States
for lumber and shingles manufactured in British Columbia, but on the contrary, serious competition is experienced from United States manufacturers in Canadian markets in which these
products are used, notably in parts of this Province, in the Yukon country, and in Manitoba
and the North-West. (3) That conditions governing the cost of production of lumber and
shingles differ materially in British Columbia from any other part of the Dominion, as, on
account of its geographical position and other conditions, manufacturers are compelled to a
great extent to use machinery, consumable mill supplies, food stuffs, and clothing of United
States manufacture or source upon which an import duty has been levied. (4) That until
such a time as a broad measure of reciprocity is adopted between the United States and
Canada, which will permit not only the free entrance into the United States of all kinds of
lumber of Canadian manufacture, but also the free admission into Canada from the United
States of all articles which affect the cost of production of lumber and shingles in British
Columbia, the manufacturers of these articles in this Province will be at a disadvantage in
having to compete with the B-nited States manufacturers, and may, therefore, fairly claim from
the Dominion Government the protection of an import duty on products similar to their own."
Mr. R. H. Alexander, Manager of the British Columbia Mills, Timber and Trading Company, Vancouver, submits the following considerations in connection with the duty affecting
the lumber interests : —
" First—That the shipment of lumber and shingles produced in British Columbia to the
United States is practically impossible under the present restrictive tariff imposed by the
United States Government.
" Second—That the free entrance into Canada of lumber manufactured in the United
States is detrimental to the successful prosecution and expansion of the industry in British
"Third—That if instead of reciprocal free trade with the United States a duty were
imposed on United States lumber entering Canada (notably on pitch pine), the trade of British
Columbia with the Eastern Brovinces would be increased, as our principal product of Douglas
fir would be used to a much larger extent in place of pitch pine.
"Fourth—That with the revival of the demand in the markets of the United States it
would be possible, under mutual free trade conditions, to make shipments of our lumber to the
markets of the United States. 1332 Correspondence—Quebec Conference. 1898
" Fifth—That circumstances seem to indicate an increased measure of prosperity in the
United States, and consequent thereon an increased home consumption, which would in all
probability have the effect of raising prices in their domestic markets to a point that would
withdraw the United States manufacturers from being our competitors in Canadian markets
to any serious extent; and such revival of business would under free trade relations probably
secure to British Columbia producers a share of business in the United States equal, if not
exceeding, what they might lose in Canadian markets by the free entrance of United States
" Sixth—That in accordance with this view of the question, we would be prepared to
accept free trade with the United States in our production, provided that the measure includes
the lately acquired territory of Hawaii and embraces lumber of all kinds (except, perhaps,
furniture woods), irrespective of what species of tree it may have been manufactured from,
and whether the lumber is rough or dressed; the latter term to include lumber planed on
either one or all four sides, matched, bevelled, beaded, or similarly ornamented, and to include
all kinds of flooring, ceiling, siding, clap-boards, and casings; also that shingles should be
included in the free list.
"Seventh—That without reciprocal free trade the free entrance of lumber manufactured
in the United States into Canada is an outrage on the Canadian producer, and that failing an
equitable provision for free trade being obtained, it is the duty of the Government of Canada
to discontinue the privilege."
Agricidtural Interests.
In this respect, too, British Columbia may be regarded as representing the antithesis of
conditions in the East. This Province, as previously intimated, lies within the climatic belt
which extends from California to Alaska, the products of which are largely identical. We
would, therefore, be peculiarly affected by a reciprocal arrangement that might be beneficial
in Eastern Canada. In the first place, we sell absolutely nothing in the line of agricultural
products in Washington, Oregon, or California, and it is doubtful to what extent our trade
may develop with Alaska. On the other hand, these States are our chief competitors in
everything we have for sale, and in a reciprocal arrangement their products would capture the
entire Kootenay market and compete strongly with that of Manitoba and the North-West,
upon which British Columbia must for all time depend as an outlet for its surplus products.
In the second place, the products of Washington, Oregon and California are especially
favoured in competition with British Columbia and the coast cities, by having water facilities
of communication, which, as is well known, are always cheaper than transportation by rail.
Formerly, almost the entire market of Victoria, Nanaimo, Westminster and Vancouver was
supplied from the United States coastwise, particularly in fruit and vegetables. Of recent
years, the production of home products has gradually increased, until at the present time, with
the exception of the early varieties which come in before British Columbia fruits and vegetables have matured, our farmers control their own market; and in dairy, grain and meat
products a similar condition of things is being rapidly brought about, until it may be safely
assumed that within two or three years our farmers will supply practically everything that is
required in the ordinary way, and such as can be grown or produced within the Province.
This, partially at least, may fairly be claimed as due to the protection the farmers have
enjoyed in a protective tariff, but to what extent that would succeed under a reciprocal tariff,
which would permit the free entry of products of the Pacific Coast States, is doubtful.
During the recent depression, competition from the States of Washington and Oregon in fruits
and vegetables and beef products, especially mutton, was very keen, and our farmers suffered
severely. In fact, they were in many cases reduced to a point below actual living conditions.
Oregon mutton, owing to the fact that Oregon farmers were deeply in debt and had to sacrifice their products to meet interest on their loans, was sold at two and three cents a pound,
and the same was true to some extent of other products.
It must be considered in this connection that the markets of British Columbia in the
mining districts, in the Yukon, in the North-West Territories and Manitoba, are still in an
early stage of development, and though important, even at the present time, must, if our
anticipations of their future are at all realized, grow to enormous proportions; and in a treaty
arrangement contemplated to be more or less permanent, due regard must be had to the possibilities of the future in the West, as well as to the present conditions and interests of the 62 Vict. Correspondence—Quebec Conference. 1333
East. It is difficult to realize or to predict what the future of the western country may be,
and, therefore, what may yet prove to be important and extraordinary concessions should not
be made without the most careful consideration.
In regard to the agricultural interests of the West, a reciprocal arrangement should only
be considered in connection with the general advantages that are to be obtained in the West
in respect to other important resources; but considered by themselves, the interests of agriculture in British Columbia would certainly be sacrificed on any basis of exchange in purely
natural products.
It is impossible to say exactly the amount of our agricultural imports from Eastern
Canada and the United States, but it has been most carefully estimated at from two to two
and a half millions annually, and it is probably greater at the present time, notwithstanding
that local products are so materially increased as, in many instances, entirely to displace
imports in some lines.
Duty on Lead Ores.
An export duty on British Columbia ores has been advocated by many as a measure
calculated to encourage smelting within the Brovince. This may be regarded, however, as an
internal policy which would not come under review; but in any reciprocal arrangement the
position of our lead miners should be very carefully considered. The sentiment in the mining
districts affected particularly, but generally prevailing throughout the Province, is strongly in
favour of a higher import duty on lead. At present the United States duty on the percentage
of lead in the ore represents a profit, or rather loss of profit, which in low grade mines is a
serious handicap to that industry. A ton of ore containing 60 per cent of lead pays $12 a
ton duty going into the United States; and as that country has a surplus of lead for export, it
is shipped into Canada, and the limited market there is supplied.
One of the two things would be satisfactory, and would have one of two results. An
increase of duty on the lead ore going into the United States would cause our lead ores to be
smelted at home and procure the home market for lead, which is about equal to or a little less
than the output of Kootenay for the last year. The aggregate of lead consumption in Canada
is said to be 15,000 tons per annum, or about 5,000 less than the output of Kootenay in 1897.
On the other hand, reciprocity in lead ores would mean the exportation of our ores to the
United States to be smelted. It would also, however, mean an increased profit in the
operation of the mines, and extended operations, particularly in the low grade properties.
The adoption of either course referred to would present decided advantages over the one-sided
condition of affairs which now exist. Slocan has so far been the principal lead-producing
district, and on account of the high grade character of its ores the mine owners can afford to
ship and pay the excessive duty on the lead ores carrying silver; but there are other districts
likely to become almost, if not equally, as important as Slocan, in which low grade ores
predominate. Reference may be made to several mines in East Kootenay, the North Star
and Moyie, and properties in the Illecillewaet, Lardeau, and Trout Lake Districts. These
undoubtedly would benefit largely, and be very materially assisted in their development by
the reduction of the United States duty, or, to a lesser extent, perhaps, by the imposition of a
duty equal to that imposed by the United States. Some important data with reference to
this subject will be found in the Appendices, particular attention being called to the Report
of the Committee appointed by the Kaslo Board of Trade on lead and the tariff, and to Mr.
G. O. Buchanan's Report on his mission to Ottawa in connection with the same matter.
Shipping men claim that there are certain local conditions affecting the interests of
towing disadvantageously, so far as Canadian tug-owners are concerned. One is the matter of
quarantine, whereby all vessels are forced to report at Port Townsend, and complaints are
made of certain irritating and annoying delays, which place Canadians at a disadvantage in
competing for trade.
In British Columbia, there is only one quarantine station, namely, Albert Head, for
Victoria. Vessels calling at other ports, such as Vancouver, Nanaimo, etc., go there direct,
and are not compelled to report at a particular place as on the other side. What would
probably be required to place the two countries on an equal footing would be a set of regulations framed by an independent commission, with a view to allaying local irritations and doing
away with the disadvantages which affect shipping and all other industries in proportion to
the extent to which they are permitted to exist. 1334 Correspondence—Quebec Conference. 1898
Reciprocity in Branding.
Following this will be found extracts from an interview in the Winnipeg Free Press,
containing the remarks of Dr. McEachran with reference to an International branding system
for the purpose of protecting the Custom Department of both Governments in passing of stock
from one country to another. This relates to the North-West, but in some degree it affects
the interior of British Columbia as well, where stock in number are crossed backward and
forward. Considerable difficulty was experienced by Mr. Thomas Ellis last year, and a claim
for compensation was presented through this Government on his behalf on account of some
seizures of cattle that were made by the United States authorities. These cattle were passing
from one point of the Canadian frontier to another through American territory. The correspondence and particulars of this matter are known to Sir Richard Cartwright, one of the
Commissioners, to whom representations were made. This is perhaps not exactly identical
with the question to which Dr. McEachran refers, but whatever action is taken by the stock-
ranchers of the North-West will probably affect the cattlemen of the interior of British
Columbia contiguous to the boundary in a similar way, and some general regulations governing the transfer of stock mutually advantageous might be formulated.
Extract from Dr. McEachran's interview in the Winnipeg Free Press, August 26th, 1898.
" While I visit the West in connection with the ranching business, I have been specially
commissioned by the Department of Agriculture to confer with stockmen on the subject of
International brands. A communication was received from the Government at Washington,
through the British Ambassador, Sir Julian Pauncefote, by the Government of Canada,
suggesting the adoption of some practical method for the protection of the cattle industry of
both Canada and the United States in the western portion of each country. This was with
the view of preventing frauds being perpetrated on the Customs of either country by parties
using the same brand in Canada and the United States, thus enabling those desirous of
defrauding either Government to cross their cattle from one country into the other without
paying duty to either. This was the subject of communication some months ago between the
two Governments, and it is now being pressed that this subject, with others relating to the
live stock industry of both countries, be considered at the International Conference now
sitting at Quebec."
Delimitation of Boundaries.
This subject involves no consideration other than natural determination of the southern
boundary line.
It is understood that, during the work of the survey of the Boundary Commissioners,
there was a portion of the line, extending through a very rough section of country, where no
monuments were erected, and that recently some mineral claims were recorded near the
boundary line in the section of country referred to. There was, as a consequence, an
uncertainty as to the side on which these claims were located. It does not appear that any
special information is required on this subject.
Conveyance of Prisoners.
The consideration of this subject will include the case of the Stickine and other rivers
having an outlet from Canadian territory through Alaska. Prior to the purchase of the latter
country by the United States, under the provisions of the Anglo-Russian Treaty the rivers of
Alaska were open to the subjects of Great Britain and free for all purposes for ever.
Subsequently, however, by the Twenty-sixth Article of the Treaty of Washington, 1871, to
which Great Britain was a party, navigation was made open for all purposes of commerce
only, and to that extent was a diminution of the rights formerly held. Hence it occurred
that, in the early days of the Cassiar excitement, an American citizen named Peter Martin,
who was tried and convicted at the Assizes at Cassiar, in being conveyed to Victoria for
incarceration, committed a grievous assault on the constable and escaped. He was recaptured
and tried in Victoria on a second charge and convicted, but, on representations being made by
the American Government on his behalf, he was released on the ground that the assault was
committed on American soil. Hon. Edward Blake, Minister of Justice, criticized very severely
the concession referred to, which he designated as one "by Great Britain to the United States
which gave nothing and got everything." 62 Vict. Correspondence—Quebec Conference. 1335
Owing to the development of the Cassiar District and the Canadian-Yukon Territory, it
is important in the interests of the effective administration of justice that the officers of the
law should have the right of conveying prisoners down the Yukon and Stickine Rivers to
their mouths. The same right should be given in respect to the southern boundary of the
Province, owing to its physical character and convenience of routes.
Reciprocity in Wrecking.
Under the law at present in force, the citizens of the United States have the right to use
American wrecking appliances in waters contiguous to their own, and those only. For
instance, the American wrecking companies were employed in raising the San Pedro in
Victoria Harbour, because it was held that these were contiguous waters; but while it would
be an advantage perhaps in some respects if there were reciprocity in wrecking privileges on
this coast, it would be disadvantageous in respect to other interests.
The condition of affairs here is reversed as compared with that existing on the Atlantic
coast. British Columbia has a coast line several thousand miles in extent, which, under any
arrangement of reciprocity in wrecking, would necessarily be open to owners of American
wrecking appliances, while, so far as the contiguous coasts are concerned, our interests would
practically only extend to Cape Flattery. In addition to this, owing to the great preponderance
of shipping interests in the United States from San Francisco north, the American firms are
supplied with superior wrecking facilities, which, in case of competition, could be utilised more
cheaply. In this way, a monopoly of the wrecking business would be placed in the hands of
Americans, to the disadvantage of those on the British Columbia side of the line who had
purchased equipments for this purpose. As shipping interests increase in importance and
magnitude, undoubtedly the facilities for wrecking will also increase and the expense lessen;
but for the present time, and for some time to come, they would be at a serious disadvantage
in respect of this class of work. At present, feeling among our shipping men is entirely
opposed to reciprocity.
So far as the coasting regulations are concerned, respecting which a good deal of complaint was heard a little time ago, there is evidently no change desired on the part of shipping
men, as will be evident by the report to the British Columbia Board of Trade, signed by four
gentlemen prominent in shipping circles, and representing large interests. For years past the
regulations have been enforced in the waters of British Columbia, and only in exceptional
cases has there been a departure from them. In the winter season, when our northern boats
have been laid up, American boats have received permits to call at such places as Port
Simpson, Masset, and other points at the extreme north, to which no objection has been raised
by local shipping firms, and, as a matter of fact, it was a matter of convenience to many who
desired to communicate with the northern coast. However, since the recent activity began,
during which Canadian vessels have been steadily employed coastwise, no necessity has existed
for granting American vessels licences to call at such points as have been named. Owing to
the great preponderance of United States shipping interests on the Pacific coast, it would be
detrimental to our own interests to permit reciprocity in coasting privileges.
In the various appendices to this Memorandum will be found statements of the views of
those whose interests are more directly affected, and who are qualified and duly authorised to
speak in behalf of the same. Attention is respectfully directed to the representations therein
Concerning the foregoing remarks, the aim has been, without burdening Her Majesty's
Honourable Commissioners with an exhaustive exposition of the circumstances and conditions
affecting the consideration of each subject, to indicate the salient points of contact of general
with local interests.
These, for convenience, may be summarised as follows:—
The Behring Sea question which in point of material interest almost exclusively affects
British Columbia, apart from considerations of local industry and vested rights, involves the
principal of international right and property in the seals taken in the open sea—a right which 1336 Correspondence—Quebec Conference. 1898
continues to vest in the people of this coast, and which only as a matter of international
policy in respect to the life of the seal affects the general question.
So far as pelagic sealing relates to the permanency of seal life, there is no data in observed
results to connect it by itself as a sufficient cause of extinction.
And as the consideration which would justify its prohibition is one of policy and not of
right, there are equal grounds for demanding that the slaughter of the seals at the rookeries
should absolutely cease, even though the rookeries are within territorial limits and subject to an
existing contract. Canada and the civilized world, for economic reasons, are as much interested
in the preservation of seals as is the United States. Pelagic sealing on the one hand, and
killing on the breeding grounds on the other, are equally rights, though derived in a different
way; and one should not be made subject to the exigencies of seal life as a matter of international policy more than the other.
Expert investigation has disclosed the existence of a very fatal parasitic disease, as well as
other natural causes sufficiently accounting by themselves for a diminution of the herds which
restricted measures in respect to capture in the open sea can in no way mitigate. Disease
may continue its ravages until the seals become extinct, or it may follow the course observed
in parasitic plagues in other animals and in plants, and become itself exterminated, and the
seals may again become healthy and multiply. Biologically the future of these animals cannot
be in the least determinated at present.
It is submitted, therefore, that the rights of posterity to participate in this industry
should be respected and fully considered.
The sealers' rights and vested interests, though apart from the general question, and
forming one division only of the issue, are important, and for present purposes a leading phase
of the dispute.
In the event of prohibition being agreed upon, it is submitted that full compensation
should be made to the Canadian sealers as claimed by them.
It is further submitted that the interest of the population of whites and Indians, to the
average number of 1,500 who are employed, and who mainly depend on it for a livelihood,
demand equal consideration. And it is still further submitted that the merchants and artizans
who are engaged in and benefited by outfitting, construction and repairs of vessels are also
entitled to the fullest consideration.
The interests of the Province in the fisheries of the Pacific coast suggest several things as
specially important.
1. The free entry of Canadian fish to the United States markets would be advantageous
in placing British Columbia fishermen on an equal footing with the citizens of the United
States who pursue deep sea fishing in British Columbia waters without restriction; in creating
a demand for our fish by opening out new and enlarged markets; by enlarging and creating a
market for fish oils, guano and other fish products.
2. The placing of the waters of Puget Sound, and particularly those contiguous to Point
Roberts, under regulations uniform wdth those in force on the Canadian side of the line.
3. The delimitation of territorial waters on the coast of British Columbia.
The settlement of the Alaska boundary question, from a Provincial point of view, is also
of especial concern, and in this connection it is strongly urged that the location of the boundary
line from Point Chacon northward should have the most careful consideration of Her Majesty's
Commissioners. In the opinion of this Government the original intention of the framers of
the Anglo-Russian Treaty of 1825 was that the line should run through Clarence Straits, as
all the provisions of Articles III. and IV., with one exception, would seem to imply, and
should include within British territory an area valuable in several important respects as a
possession, of about 3,000 square miles in extent now claimed by the United States.
The proper delimitation of the line northward from the 56th parallel of latitude is even of
greater importance to Provincial interests.
IV. and V.
Sentiment is a unit regarding the facilities that should be afforded for shipping to or from
either country across intermediate territory, and for the continuance of the bonding privileges,
which are entirely satisfactory as at present enforced. 62 Vict.        Correspondence—Quebec Conference. 1337
VI. and VII.
The feeling respecting alien labour, so far as the United States is concerned, is of a
passive character, except that sentiment is favourable, on general principles, to an equality of
conditions, which do not now exist, being established, and that such sentiment, unless allayed,
is likely to develop into an agitation for retaliatory measures.
In respect to mining rights in British Columbia, this is not a subject coming under review
by the Conference, and can relate to the Territories only. Regarding both these subjects,
however, equality of conditions and reciprocity in rights are strongly recommended.
Under this heading may be included lumber, agricultural interests, duty on lead ores,
towing, branding and coasting.
1. Our lumbermen demand that there should either be a free exchange of the products
of the forest or a reciprocity of tariff. At present our millmen are working under great
disadvantages and unfair conditions.
2. Agricultural interests, owing to the peculiar conditions existing here, would greatly
suffer under any arrangement for reciprocity in natural products, and the farming community
is practically unanimous for the retention of the present tariff.
3. A very strong case has been made out by the representatives of the lead mining
interests in Kootenay for a revision of the tariff which would place the production of lead in
British Columbia on a more favourable basis, and in connection with the subjects to be
considered by the Conference they strongly urge that this subject should be included and
should have the consideration which its importance deserves. It is desired that either the
duty on lead coming into Canada should be increased to a rate equal to that imposed by the
United States on our lead ores, or that the latter should be admitted free into the United
States. In the former event, the smelting of ores in British Columbia would be encouraged ;
and in the latter, although the lead ores would be exported for treatment, there would be a
greater profit in the operation of the mines, and, consequently, an increased output and the
development of many low grade properties, which at present cannot profitably be worked.
4. In regard to towing, it is recommended that regulations should be framed removing,
as far as possible, the inequalities that may exist on either side of the line. Complaints are
made that Canadian tug-owners are unable to compete" in contiguous American waters, and
that the business of towing is in consequence in the control of one firm.
5. It is recommended by the cattlemen of the North-West that there should be international regulations for the transit of stock to and fro across the borders in order to protect
the customs on both sides of the line against fraud, and it is suggested in this connection that
there might be more satisfactory arrangements effected than exist at present for the conveyance of stock backwards and forwards through each other's territory.
6. From representations made by prominent shipping men, it would appear that there is
no change desired in the present coasting laws.
This subject only affects British Columbia interests slightly, and refers in our case to a
portion of the boundary line along which monuments were not placed at the time that the
Boundary Commission was delimiting our southern frontier, and in one or two cases has
resulted in an uncertainty as to on which side of the line mineral claims were located.
In connection with administration of justice in Cassiar, in cases where it is necessary to
convey prisoners down the Stickine, and possibly in one or two other similarly situated
districts, it is important that there should be provision made for their lawful custody through
the territory of the United States.
Owing to the conditions obtaining on this coast, whereby reciprocity in wrecking would
result in placing the business entirely in the hands of United States firms, the sentiment
among shipping men is entirely unanimous against reciprocity in wrecking or salvage rights. 1338 Correspondence—Quebec Conference. 1898
The danger has locally been apprehended that, owing to the predominating commercial
interests and relatively greater numerical importance of Eastern Canada, the presumably
lesser material interests and comparative isolation of the West would be submerged by and
subordinated to what might appear to be the general interests of the Dominion, considered in
the aggregate. It is well understood that for the practical solution of many difficult problems
involving numerous important interests, which affect various sections in a variety of ways at
one time, and in one general settlement the principle of compromise— or what is more familiarly understood as "give and take"—must to a greater or lesser extent prevail; in other
words, that there must be a balancing of interests and an offsetting of privileges, benefits and
advantages. In such a mutual adjustment, the stronger and most present considerations will
naturally prevail. It is feared that a section of the Dominion with resources largely undeveloped, and the greater possibilities of which still pertain to the future, may not have that
consideration of its requirements, which are more difficult to comprehend and provide for than
are the requirements of a section in which development has nearly obtained a maximum and
finality, and where conditions are more fixed and stable and easily determinable and understood, and thus be committed to and bound by the provisions of a treaty that is contemplated to
afford a permanent solution of and to govern the relations of two countries for all time to come.
It is not assumed that Her Majesty's Commissioners will willingly neglect, overlook or
reject any consideration affecting the permanent welfare of any portion of Canada; but that
this may result in some measure, in so far as British Columbia is concerned, from the lack of
an intimate knowledge of its requirements and conditions, has been urged upon this Government, and the importance attached to such a view of the situation has been fully appreciated ;
and it is for the purpose of reflecting local sentiment, so far as it can be ascertained, that this
Memorandum has been prepared, and is now submitted.
The point of view that is especially urged to be taken by Her Majesty's Commissioners,
in considering the interests of this portion of the Dominion, is that its industries, trade and
commerce and its resources are still in their initial stage, as compared with what their reasonable possibilities would suggest. The natural resources are exceedingly varied and extensive,
and the development will, if a complete settlement of all questions is arrived at as originally
contemplated, and as at present may be reasonably anticipated, be materially affected and
influenced by the outcome of the present Conference.
It may be confidently asserted, not as an assumption without a material and ample basis
of support, that in the near future the status of British Columbia in the Canadian Confederation will be recognised as peculiarly important, and as a highly potential factor among the
influences that are elevating Canada to a position of conspicuous eminence among the colonies
of the Empire, and to proud rank amongst the most civilised countries. Imbued wdth the
deep sense of the responsibility attaching to his representations, and the importance of the
interests at stake, the Lieutenant-Governor in Council submits with all confidence and due
respect the case of this Province to the solicitous care and mature judgment of Her Majesty's
distinguished representatives.
F. Carter-Cotton,
Dated the 7th of September, 1898. Minister of Finance.
Copy of a Report of a Committee of the Honourable the Executive Council, apjrroved by His
Honour the Lieutenant-Governor on the 26th day of September, 1898.
The Committee of Council submit for Your Honour's approval the accompanying Supplementary Memorandum of the 24th instant from the Honourable the Minister of Finance,
representing the importance of the coal exporting industry of this Province, and recommending that in the event of any arrangement being made with the Government of the United
States with a view to reciprocity in the exchange of natural products between the two
countries, that coal be included in the list of articles affected by such arrangement.
The Committee advise that a copy of this Minute, and of the said Memorandum, if
approved, be forwarded to the Honourable the Secretary of State for transmission to the Right
Honourable Sir Wilfrid Laurier.
A. Campbell-Reddie,
Deputy Clerk, Executive Council. 62 Vict. Correspondence—Quebec Conference. 1339
Memorandum of the Lieutenant-Governor in Council, of British Columbia for the consideration of Her Majesty's Commissioners at the International Conference at Quebec.
Supplementing its Memorandum of the 7th instant, this Government desires to bring to
the attention of Her Majesty's Honourable Commissioners the magnitude of the coal exporting
industry in British Columbia, and the importance of its interests being considered should any
arrangement for reciprocity of exchange in natural products be entered into with the Government of the United States.
As in the case of other industries, the conditions of which this Government has had the
opportunity of presenting to Her Majesty's Honourable Commissioners, so in regard to the
coal mining industry, the circumstances in British Columbia are almost the reverse of those
which prevail in Ontario and other parts of Eastern Canada. The excellence of the coal of
this Province, and its superiority over that found in the Pacific Coast States of the Union,
has secured a market for our coal in San Francisco and other places. The customs duty
which is levied on coal imported into the United States greatly reduces the demand which
would otherwise exist for British Columbia coal, as on account of the addition made to its cost
by the imposition of this duty it conies into unfavourable competition with inferior qualities
of coal sold at a lower price.
Should Her Majesty's Honourable Commissioners conclude any arrangement with the
Covernment of the United States for reciprocity in the exchange of natural products between
the two countries, this Government would respectfully, but earnestly, ask that coal be included
in the list of articles coming within the operation of such an arrangement.
F. Carter-Cotton,
Minister of Finance.
Dated the 21/.lh day of September, 1898.
Printed by Richard Wolfenden, Printer to the Queen's Most Excellent Majesty.


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