BC Sessional Papers

THIRD REPORT OF THE AGENT-GENERAL, LONDON. British Columbia. Legislative Assembly 1905

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 5 Ed 7 Report of Agent-General. F 37
THIRD REPORT OF THE AGENT-GENERAL, LONDON.
(To 31st December, 1904.)
Office of the Agent-General for British Columbia,
Salisbury House, Finsbury Circus, E. C,
London, 3rd February, 1905.
The Honourable Richard McBride, M. P. P.,
Premier,
Victoria^ British Columbia :
Sir,—The last report covered a period of ten months up to 31st October, 1903, having
been sent on 13th November, 1903, owing to the early meeting of the Legislature. Consequently, the present report is for fourteen months up to 31st December, 1904. The work of
the office has increased very materially during this period. In addition to the great number
of visitors making inquiries respecting agriculture, mining, fisheries, land and other matters,
there has been a much larger correspondence and a great demand for the valuable Government
pamphlets relating to the various resources of the Province—all of which is shown by the fact
that some 3,600 letters have been received and there have been sent out to all parts of Great
Britain and Ireland, and to many other countries, some 4,300 letters, about 2,150 postal
packages—each containing one to ten pamphlets—and express and freight train parcels
containing about 13,500 reports and other Government publications. The callers during the
same time have numbered 3,900, and owing to the information they obtained, some 460 have
gone out to British Columbia with the intention of settling there—probably half of them
accompanied by their families. Almost all these settlers will take some capital with them ; in
some cases, at any rate, running up to several thousand pounds. The majority of these
purpose starting in some branch of agriculture, the most attractive to them being, apparently,
fruit-growing, dairying and poultry. There has been a considerable amount of inquiries from
agricultural labourers who desire to obtain employment, with the ultimate intention of taking
up land for themselves. I feel that it is difficult to advise them to go out unless they have
money enough (in addition to that required for their passage) to keep them until they secure
employment. If arrangements could be made in the Province to inform me periodically of the
approximate number that could find employment in the various districts, the rate of wages and
other particulars, there would, I believe, be no difficulty in obtaining here really good,
intelligent and experienced agricultural workers, who would form a valuable addition to the
Province. It must be borne in mind in this connection that several Colonies give small
pecuniary aid as an inducement to such settlers, and that the cost of passage to British Columbia is very considerable. Still, there is a steadily growing feeling amongst this class in favour
of our Province. This arises largely from the exhibition of British Columbian fruit here, which
proved to be a practical way of demonstrating what that Province could produce and what
sort of climate it possesses.
The inquiries respecting mining and mining employment have not increased during the
year, no doubt owing to the very bad condition of the mining markets here. During the last
few months, however, a better feeling has arisen and many more inquiries have been made.
The office is, however, handicapped with respect to this—the greatest industry of the Province—
on account of not receiving monthly or quarterly telegrams of gross output of the mines (not
values).    These telegrams, if published from this office, would greatly increase the interest of F 38 Report of Agent-General. 1905
the mining community, and probably have the effect of inducing capitalists to investigate with
a view to investing in our Province.    I send a cutting from the London " Times " of the
1st instant:—
Canadian Mining.—During the past week the
Rossland Mines shipped 6,300 and the Boundary Mines
13,090 tons of ore.
This meagre item, under the heading " Canadian Mining," is stuck away in an obscure
corner of that paper and nothing appears to show who sent it, and on the face of it it has no
authority, and is consequently not noticed ; whereas, if similar information appeared as coming
from this office, it would receive attention and result in much good. Inquiries have recently
been made respecting platinum, molybdenum, wolfram and zinc, and have been referred to the
Department of Mines, Victoria.
The forest wealth of the Province is now proving of great interest, and the small but
excellent exhibit of British Columbian woods, sample doors, etc., now in this office, has called
forth great praise from some of the largest timber dealers here. At present, however, there
appears to be little chance of cut timber and timber manufactures competing with Norway and
Sweden, owing to the lower rate of freights from the Baltic.
The principal paper manufacturers of this country are now convinced of the great
advantages of British Columbia for the manufacture of wood pulp and paper. At a recent
banquet of the British Wood Pulp Association, the largest organisation of its kind in the
world, I spoke at length on the subject, and have since received numerous inquiries. There
is every possibility of two or more large companies, formed in this country, starting work
during the present year, and I am informed to-day that one company, of which some of the
directors represent and are members of the largest and most reliable paper manufacturing firms
in Britain, has already secured the greater part of its capital of some £350,000, and will
very soon commence work in the Province, putting up the latest machinery and employing a
large number of men.
Inquiries have of late been made from Scotland as to the possibilities for deep sea fishermen, herring curers, net makers, etc. The most important of these inquiries have been sent
to the Department at Victoria for reply.
During the past year many photographic slides have been lent to lecturers throughout the
country. I have spoken on many public occasions and also lectured and exibited views of
British Columbia—my last lecture being at Caxton Hall, Westminster, for the League of the
Empire—and on the 28th inst. I have to read a paper at the meeting of the Royal Horticultural Society.
The exhibition of British Columbian fruit at the shows of the Royal Horticultural Society
on 18th October and on 12th, 13th and 14th December were very successful, and were the
means of spreading most valuable information about British Columbia all through Great
Britain. These shows have drawn the attention of agriculturists to the great advantages of
the Pacific Province. On the 21st December last I forwarded a full report of the last Fruit
Exhibition, intending it to be a part of this annual report.
I have the honour to remain,
Your obedient servant,
J. H. TURNER,
Agent-General for British Columbia.
VICTORIA, B.C. :
Printed hy Richard Wolfbndbn, I.S.O., V.D., Printer to the King's Most Excellent Majesty.
1905.

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