BC Sessional Papers

REPORT OF DELEGATES TO OTTAWA, 1903. British Columbia. Legislative Assembly 1903

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DELEGATES  TO  OTTAWA, 1903.  3 Ed. 7 Report of the Delegates to Ottawa. K 3
Submitted to His Honour the Lieutenant-Governor by the Hon. E. G. Prior and the
Hon. D. M. Eberts on their mission to Ottawa as a Delegation from the Government of British Columbia.
By Command.
Provincial Secretary.
Provincial Secretary's Office,
10th March, 1903.
To His Honour the Lieutenant-Governor in Council, :
May it Please Your Honour :
The undersigned have the honour to submit the following report of their visit to Ottawa,
in which they were authorised by you to interview the members of the Dominion Government
with reference to certain matters in dispute between the Dominion of Canada and the Province
of British Columbia :—
We left Victoria on Saturday, January 17th, ultimo, and arrived in Ottawa on the afternoon of Friday, January 23rd, having arranged by wire with Sir Wilfrid Laurier, on the way,
for a meeting of the members of the Delegation with the members of the Dominion Cabinet on
Monday, the 26th of January. The meeting took place in the office of the Premier and
President of the Privy Council, Sir Wilfrid Laurier, a number of the members of the
Cabinet being present.
The Hon. E. G. Prior, Premier, addressed the Executive upon the objects of the
Delegation, outlining the subjects to be discussed.   The purport of his remarks was as follows :
The Delegation desired to present for the consideration of the Prime Minister and the
members of the Dominion Executive a number of matters connected with British Columbia
affairs. To some extent the case was the same as it was in 1901, when Hon. Mr.. Dunsmuir,
as Premier, and the Attorney-General submitted their memoranda. It was not proposed to
cover the whole of the ground then gone over. One or two of the issues of that day had been
practically settled, and one or two others have adjusted themselves in the lapse of time. The
matters to which it was wished especially to draw attention were the following :—
Readjustment of the financial relations of the Province with the Dominion :
The question of fisheries in British Columbia:
The regulation of Mongolian immigration :
The right of the Province to a greater share of the revenue arising out of the operation of
the Chinese Immigration Act:
Readjustment of some of the boundaries of Indian Reserves in British Columbia, in
accordance with the agreement arrived at some years ago between the two Governments, viz.,
that the boundaries of Indian Reserves should be readjusted from time to time in accordance
with the growth or diminution of the Indian population.
There were also several matters, such as the rights of the Province to foreshores and the
minerals under the same; the minerals under Indian Reserves ; the salaries of Judges; and the K 4 Report of the Delegates to Ottawa. 1903
co-operation of the two Governments in respect to railway construction, which it was desired
to discuss with the various Ministers having charge, respectively, of such matters.
In regard to the readjustment of financial relations, the Delegation had several important
considerations to urge, in addition to what had already been presented as contained in the
report of the Delegation to Ottawa in 1901. However, as the Premiers of other Provinces
had an appointment with the Prime Minister the following day (Tuesday, January 27th), the
Premier deferred the remarks on that subject until a future occasion. So far as the claims of
British Columbia were coincident with the claims of the other Provinces, the Delegation was
heartily in sympathy with them and was working in accord. The position of British Columbia
was, however, a unique one, owing to its peculiar geographical configuration, its remoteness
from the Eastern trade centres, and other conditions which would be referred to in due season ;
and on account of these considerations the Delegation claimed that, while the resolutions of the
Quebec Conference of Provincial Premiers are in the right direction, they do not go far enough,
so far as the Province of British Columbia is concerned.
Hon. D. M. Eberts, Attorney-General, had special charge of the case in reference to
fisheries, and the Premier, Colonel Prior, requested him to present it for their consideration,
as being more familiar with the subject than he was.
Mr. Eberts then addressed Sir Wilfrid and his colleagues at some length, dealing very
fully with the subject of the fisheries. The substance of Mr. Eberts' remarks is contained in
a memorandum submitted by the Delegation to the Prime Minister, a copy of which accompanies this Report.
On the following day, Tuesday, 27th January, the members of the Delegation met, as
arranged by previous appointment, with the representatives of the various Provinces who
attended the Inter-Provincial Conference at Quebec, as follows:—
Hon. G. W. Ross, Premier, Ontario.
Hon. S. N. Parent, Premier, Quebec.
Hon. E. G. Prior, Premier, British Columbia.
Hon. R. P. Roblin, Premier, Manitoba.
Hon. G. N. Murray, Premier, Nova Scotia.
Hon. L. J. Tweedie, Premier, New Brunswick.
Hon. Arthur Peters, Premier, Prince Edward Island.
Hon. H. Archambeault, Quebec.
Hon. D. M. Eberts, British Columbia.
Hon. F. P. Latchford, Ontario.
Hon. W. Pugsley, New Brunswick.
Hon. H. T. Duffy, Quebec.
Hon. Benjamin Rogers, Prince Edward Island.
Hon. John F. Whear, Prince Edward Island.
There was a conference held in the Russell House in the morning, when the various
members signed a printed document containing the resolutions passed at the Quebec Conference,
in which was included a letter by the Premier of British Columbia to Hon. S. N. Parent
respecting the special claims of that Province. It was agreed to meet again in the afternoon
and present, pro forma, the resolutions, as signed, to Right Hon. Sir Wilfrid Laurier, which
was duly done. Hon. G. W. Ross, Premier of Ontario, was the spokesman for the members
of the Conference. Sir Wilfrid replied. In doing so, he assured the representatives of the
Provinces present that the resolutions would be considered, stating thatit might be necessary
to amend the British North America Act; but that was, however, a matter for consideration.
The members of the Delegation again waited on Sir Wilfrid on Wednesday morning,
January 28th, when they discussed with the Premier and his colleagues the question of Oriental
immigration. What was stated on that occasion is contained in a memorandum submitted to
Sir Wilfrid subsequently, as a record of the discussion. Sir Wilfrid pointed out that, with
reference to the Japanese, the Japanese Government had of its own volition restricted
immigration from Japan to a practically prohibitive point, and that the enactment of legislation on the lines of the Natal Act was not only wholly unnecessary but would be gratuitously
insulting to a friendly power with which the Dominion Government was desirous of cultivating
the most friendly trade relations. Sir Wilfrid said that the Dominion Government would not
in the future disallow anti-Chinese legislation which it was competent for the Provincial
Legislature to pass, but would discountenance discrimination so far as the Japanese were
concerned. 3 Ed. 7 Report of the Delegates to Ottawa. K 5
In respect to the refund of the Chinese head tax to the Province, Sir Wilfrid Laurier
pointed out that an Act had been passed at the last Session of the Dominion Parliament
providing for an Order in Council for a refund of 50 per cent, after July 1st, 1902. The
Delegation urged that the Order in Council be passed immediately, and that the Act should
be amended allowing the Province 75 per cent., and should apply to the whole period during
which the Chinese Restriction Act had been in force.
Arrangements were then made with Sir Wilfrid for a subsequent conference, at which to
discuss the question of financial relations, and the time agreed on was the 4th of February.
In the meantime, Mr. Eberts, accompanied by the Provincial Deputy Commissioner of
Fisheries, had an interview with officials of the Marine and Fisheries Department.
Unfortunately, the Hon. Mr. Prefontaine, Minister, was unable to be present, owing to other
A memorandum on financial relations, being the Premier's statement in full, is attached.
This is a replica of what was handed to Sir Wilfrid on the occasion of meeting on Wednesday,
February 4th. The memorandum was accompanied by maps showing the settled portions of
British Columbia marked in red, and the inhabitable valleys of the interior not yet settled, in
green ; also by statistical appendices, and the Report of the Delegation to Ottawa in 1901.
On this latter occasion several other matters were taken up, including the salaries of
Supreme and County Court Judges and assistance to railways in the Province.
By appointment, the members of the Delegation met the Minister of Marine and Fisheries,
Hon. Mr. Prefontaine, at 9.30 a. in. on Thursday, 5th February, the interview lasting one
hour. They then met the Deputy Minister of Marine and Fisheries and Mr. Venning of that
Department, and discussed the modus vivendi of 1901-02 until 12:30.
An appointment was made with the Minister of Justice in order to discuss the question
of the Alaska Boundary. Unfortunately, the Hon. Mr. Fitzpatrick was ill, and the conference
did not take place.
At 3 p.m. the same day another conference was held with the Deputy Minister of Marine
and Fisheries and Mr. Venning, to discuss the details of accounts between the Province and
the Dominion under the modus vivendi, the question of fish hatcheries, etc. The conference
lasted until 4.50 p.m.
Subsequently, by appointment, a meeting was held in the office of the Hon. the Minister
of the Interior, when the following questions were discussed :—
1. The readjustment of the boundaries of Indian Reserves, by which a return to the
Province should be made of any portion of such reserves too large for the depleted tribes, in
accordance with the agreement originally made with the Dominion Government. Hon. Mr.
Sifton promised to take the matter up immediately with Mr. Vowell, Indian Commissioner in
British Columbia, whom he had sent for, and give an early reply.
2. Mineral rights in Indian Reserves. The Minister thought that the matter was one
easy of arrangement, and promised to send the Government of British Columbia a proposition
at an early date. He said that the administration of mineral lands in the railway belt
according to arrangement had worked well and satisfactorily.
3. Nicola Indian Reserve, False Creek Indian Reserve, all of which were matters brought
to the attention of the Provincial Government by correspondence.
In the evening another conference was held with the Hon. the Minister of Marine and
Fisheries, the Deputy Minister and Mr. Venning, during which the details of the Fisheries
settlement under the modus vivendi of 1901-02 were discussed until 10 p.m. A definite
proposal was submitted, copy of which is herewith given.
During the stay of your Delegates in Ottawa they were afforded every facility to present
their views, and they desire to express their appreciation of the courtesy and attention shown
them by Sir Wilfrid and his colleagues. K 6 Report of the Delegates to Ottawa. 1903
The Hon. E. G. Prior, in presenting the claims of the Province for a readjustment
of financial relations, made the following statement:—
In making claims on the Dominion Government, Sir Wilfrid, the Government of British
Columbia has not striven to make a case to bleed the Federal Treasury in order that they
may replenish the Provincial Treasury. They have not invented imaginary grievances, nor
have they approached the matter from a party point of view or with partisan ends to serve.
I, myself, brought some of the matters strongly to the attention of the late Conservative
administration, as you yourself know, and if that administration, of which I was a supporter
and for a time a member, were in power to-day I should not be one whit less persistent in our
demands than I am. I want you to understand, and I believe you do understand, that the
position we take is in no way influenced by political or mercenary motives. We believe
thoroughly that our case is founded on right, and that our grievances are just as real as we
represent them to be.
The position we take is not that the Dominion Government has violated the terms of
union, or that we are entitled to compensation for lack of fulfilment in any substantial respect,
as the performance of a legal contract could be construed ; but we do contend that in the
development of the constitution, in its actual operation, from the date of Confederation in 1871,
that a state of affairs has grown up in British Columbia and in the Dominion, as the result of
the union between the two, that has established a moral right and a sound constitutional
claim on our part for increased recognition—a state of affairs that was not anticipated by either
party to the Federal compact.
I am handing you a memorandum of the considerations that constitute our case. I have
had it prepared for your use and the use of your colleagues, not because there is much in it
that is not already familiar to you as a parliamentarian of long experience, but because it
places the constitutional aspect of our case in a concise form, and may, in the arrangement of
its main facts, suggest some features as worthy of consideration in a way which heretofore
never so appeared to your mind. In the memorandum in question I have tried to make the
arguments complete, and not, let me assure you, Sir Wilfrid, to instruct you in the facts of
Canadian constitutional history.    Summarised, they are :—
That there is an absolute precedent in the Nova Scotia settlement of 1868, inasmuch as,
without any charge of violation of the terms of union by the Dominion, the claims of Nova
Scotia were recognised on the grounds that the sources of revenue left to the Province were
not sufficient to meet local requirements, and on the grounds generally that the peculiar
geographical position and exceptional conditions of that Province demanded a revision of the
financial arrangements. It was admitted in Parliament that there were substantial grounds
for the claims made, that there was an injustice, and that it was incumbent upon the Dominion
Government to redress grievances where they existed, not only on moral grounds, but to ensure
the success of Confederation :
That, after careful investigation and reference to the best and highest authorities, it was
competent for the Parliament to adjust financial relations, where necessary, without a change
in the British North America Act:
That the principle once established and, as a matter of fact, put in force on several
subsequent occasions in respect to other Provinces, it is not only competent but a matter of
right and constitutional necessity on the part of the Dominion to apply that principle whenever and wherever the circumstances justify it:
That it is recognised that the Act of Union is a contract and a treaty binding for all time
to come, but that it is not a contract like the laws of the Medes and Persians, invariable, but
subject to modification as circumstances demand, as the resolutions of the Premiers presented
to you yesterday premise. At the time of the British North America Act, or the British
Columbia Terms of Union were passed, it was impossible for either party to foresee the results
of union, or to fix in an absolutely definite way and unalterably the financial relations, so as to
provide equitably for all time to come for the requirements of both classes of governments ; and
that it was the evident intention of the framers that adequate provision should be made for
both: 3 Ed. 7 Report of the Delegates to Ottawa. K 7
That, with reference to British Columbia, although it is not contended that is was forced
into Confederation as it is claimed Nova Scotia was, yet the circumstances and conditions of
the Province were such that there was but little alternative left to her in the matter of terms :
That the terms were not the terms the people of British Columbia asked for and believed
were necessary for the adequate administration of local affairs and the development of the
That, as shown by the debates which took place both in the local House and in the Houses
of Parliament at Ottawa, in neither case were the framers of the terms able to accurately or
even approximately foresee what the results would be, and that in a great measure for both it
was a leap in the dark :
That the people of British Columbia did, from a local knowledge of their own Province,
appreciate the necessity of and stipulate for a much larger provision for the financial requirements of the Province than was conceded by the Dominion :
That the Dominion Government did not agree to the terms of British Columbia for the
reason that they feared and believed that this Province would remain a drag on the Dominion,
and it is well known they could only secure the ratification of the treaty in the House by
granting the least favourable conditions possible. The Government at Ottawa, in the matter
of British Columbia, acted solely on the policy of creating a nation extending from ocean to
ocean, and in doing so were under the conviction that they were assuming burdens quite out
of proportion to the value of the Province as an asset—in other words, sacrificing material
interests to a large extent in the interests of patriotic sentiment—that of " rounding out
Confederation."    The whole debate confirms that view of it absolutely :
That the reasons which dictated the policy of the Government at that time have been
shown by the developments which have taken place in British Columbia, and the financial
results which followed, to have been entirely and absolutely erroneous aud unfounded :
And that, therefore, although the framers of that treaty were without doubt honest, high-
minded, and, from the knowledge they possessed then,' justified in that course, their reasons
having proved unfounded the Government of- to-day is entitled in equity to recognise the
consequences of those errors and compensate for the inordinate benefits the Dominion has
received, and also increase the allowance for the requirements of the public service in a Province
demanding so extraordinary a rate of expenditure for its settlement and development.
With your permission, Sir Wilfrid, I will read an extract from the memorandum bearing
on the attitude of the Dominion Government respecting British Columbia in that time. (See
Memorandum A.)
Now, Sir, with respect to the actual facts that have transpired subsequently in the
history of the Province, I will read from my letter to Hon. Mr. Parent, included in the
document submitted to you by the Premiers yesterday, showing what the peculiar geographical
situation is, and the conditions which have affected the development of our Province. On that
head is practically our case, although we prcpose to submit memoranda in detail in proof of
our assertions.    (See Memorandum B.)
I want to point out to you what our special circumstances (referred to in my letter to
Hon. Mr. Parent) are :—
, 1.  The cost of administration, owing to the physical character of the country.
2. The distance from the commercial, industrial and administrative centres of Eastern
3. The non-industrial character of the Province, as compared with Eastern Canada,
whereby a larger percentage of goods are imported and consumed, increasing the contributions
to the Federal Treasury, in the way of taxes, in a ratio of three to one.
4. The disadvantage of the Province in relation to the markets for its special products.
I have, in the letter to Hon. Mr. Parent, in your possession, gone into a brief discussion of
all these points, and I wish to draw your attention to that letter; but I wish, as part of the
subject is new matter, particularly, to deal more in detail with one or two of the points
referred to.
Cost op Administration.
In regard to No. 1, I have only to exhibit this map to illustrate what I mean by the
physical character of the country increasing the cost of administration. The whole interior
of the Province of British Columbia is more or less mountainous, and the valleys or agricultural parts suitable for settlement are few and far apart.   The settlements that have taken place K 8
Report of the Delegates to Ottawa.
through mining development are also widely distributed and found often in very inaccessible
places. In fact, without going into a long description of conditions with which everybody who
bas been in the country is familiar, the cost of building roads to connect these various settlements, sometimes over mountain tops, or along their steep sides, through rock, etc., is very
expensive; and in many instances the expensive means of communication which it is necessary
to provide only serve a comparatively few people, from whom there is anything but adequate
revenue to be derived.
It is necessary, too, to provide educational facilities, supply officials in various capacities,
build public buildings ; in short, supply all the facilities that would be necessary in a thickly
settled community. This is not only true of the interior but also of the coast, where the
thickness of the forest, the denseness of undergrowth and great size of the trees make it still
more expensive to clear and grade roadways.
As you will see by this map, we have only begun to touch the rim of the Province, and
yet the Government has, according to a statement prepared for me by the Government
Engineer, who says it is well within the mark, built 6,000 miles of road, at a cost of
$12,000,000, and 5,000 miles of trails, at a cost of $1,000,000, or $13,000,000 in all. Now,
to give the rest of the Province still undeveloped a similar system of communication will cost
I do not know how many times more. Few of these roads can be considered as finished roads
at that. They are, as a rule, nine or ten feet wide, simply graded roughly, and constantly
being repaired and improved. There are also numerous bridges and culverts to be constructed,
which are very expensive indeed. I am submitting the particulars of a few roads that have
been built of late years, to give you an idea of the cost in different districts, as follows:—
Main Waggon Roads.
Length.                 Width. Cost per Mile.
In East Kootenay 20                  9           feet $1,000
Revelstoke    41 10              „ 3,350
Slocan Riding 12A                9              „ 1,600
Yale (West)    4" 10 to 12    ,, 4,544
m    (East)    5f 12 to 14   „ 1,700
Richmond (Coast)    4 16 to 22   ., 2,000
Rossland    6| 10              n 1,185
Near Vancouver (Coast)    1.8 12 to 16    n 2,220
    9 10              „ 1,510
All of these are still under construction.
The physical configuration of the country, therefore, greatly increases the cost of government. Population can never be concentrated or compact, and, as a consequence, the cost of
the individual factor of population is proportionately very much greater than in the Eastern
Provinces. The revenues, as a consequence, to be derived must be very much less in proportion
to the area, or the individual must be taxed very much higher. One or both of these results
invariably follow.
I have made a comparison of the cost of the various services in the different Provinces
under different heads, as nearly as they could be grouped from what appears in the Public
Accounts, and the result is as follows, which is substantially correct, though subject to correction in some details :—
B. C.
N. B.
N. S.
P. E. I.
Population (in round figures) ..
$ .52
$ .20
$ .33
$ .055
$ .16
$ .16
Education (1891)	
Total cost of_Administration .
3.00 3 Ed. 7 Report of the Delegates to Ottawa. K 9
There is still to take in the cost of Municipal Government. As it happens, there are only
two Provinces which compile municipal statistics, Ontario and British Columbia, but for our
purposes Ontario may be taken as fairly representative of the others. The cost of Municipal
Government, according to latest published returns of the Ontario Department of Statistics, is
$6 per head of the population. We have now the basis of a perfect comparison between
British Columbia for the year 1901, in respect to the cost per head for govenmental purposes,
and it is as follows :
Ontario. British Columbia.
Provincial        $ 1 85             $12 60
Municipal  6 00       1 75
Customs (average for Dominion)   5 28       16 00
Excise ,  2 00    (Included in Customs.)
$15 13 $30 35
There are two important distinctions to make in the case of British Columbia, as compared with Ontario, and to some extent with the other Provinces, and they are that, owing to
the municipalisation in the East, a very large burden of responsibility is thrown upon the
municipalities which in British Columbia is borne by the Province; and that, owing to the
character of the population in British Columbia, which includes 45,000 Chinese, Japanese and
Indians, who contribute to the general revenues in a very insignificant degree, the whole of the
taxation falls on a population equivalent to about 50,000 adult white male population, or an
amount of over $100 per head for all purposes per annum. The above comparison is, therefore, greatly increased as against British Columbia, and exceeds, all round, the ratio of three
to one. This is a condition of affairs arising out of our peculiar physical characteristics and
geographical situation for which we claim special consideration.
To illustrate more clearly the effect of the physical configuration in the cost of administration, I have here a table showing the expenditures and receipts in three of our large outlying districts, covering a period of five years. The expenditures include the cost of salaries of
officials in the districts, of education, hospitals and charities, works and buildings, roads,
streets and bridges, surveys and miscellaneous, but not of the administration of justice, of
legislation, the interest on public debt, the general expenses of civil government, and many
other large items of expenditure which cannot be apportioned to districts. The revenues
include all the revenues which arise out of the respective districts.    The totals are :—
For Five Years, 1896-7 to 1900-1.
Expenditures. Revenues.
Cassiar       $311,908 94   $323,038 37
Cariboo         340,007 85   307,832 04
Yale         727,323 83   683,480 50
$1,371,240 62 $1,314,350 91
From the results shown in the above five years' experience, it will be seen how far short
the ordinary revenue is of the ordinary expenditure in such large districts. The revenue
includes all sources of money supply, while the expenditure only includes the appropriations
within the districts.
As another illustration of how the financial situation works out in new districts : Last
year there was a proposal to settle one hundred families in the fertile valley of the Bulkley
River, south of Hazelton, on the Skeena River. The members of the colony, as inducements,
asked that the Government should assist them in taking in their families and effects, to give
them 320 acres of land free for each family, to build a road from Hazelton to the settlement,
75 miles in length, and build schools, etc. Upon making an estimate, the initial cost for the
first five years was as follows :—
Road from Hazelton, 75 miles     $75,000 00
Two school-houses .        5,000 00
One Government building. ,         1,200 00
Cross-roads         5,000 00
$86,200 00 K 10 Report of the Delegates to Ottawa. 1903
In addition to this, to be taken into account, were:—
The salary of two teachers       $1,800 00
The salary of one Government official  1,200 00
Or a total in five years of       15,000 00
Grand total outlay in five years   $101,200 00
The greatest possible revenue that could have been reaped in return would have been:
Poll tax, at $3 per head per annum on 300 male adults      $    900 00
Land tax, on a valuation of the Government price of land for
purchase, @ $5 per acre  1,200 00
2,100 00
Or, in five years ..       10,500 00
At the end of five years, provided the land was pre-empted on
the usual terms, the Government would receive, @ $1 per
acre        32,000 00
Or a total of       42,500 00
As against an expenditure of over     100,000 00
Of course, in five years there would have been others added to the population, and in all
probability there would have been miscellaneous receipts under mining licences, etc., but there
would have been increased expenditure as well. This shows, in a practical way, what it costs
to open up new districts in British Columbia. In other words, unless mining development
accompanies settlement to increase the revenue, the ordinary settler, to use a homely expression,
costs more than he comes to.
On the other hand, one hundred families settled there would have contributed at least
$2,500 per annum to the Dominion Treasury, without the Government practically assuming
any responsibility in connection with them.
These are the practical problems which the local Government have to face in British
Columbia, and is one reason why we claim the local sources of revenue are not sufficient to
meet the demands on the treasury as is, in fact, shown by the receipts and expenditures since
Confederation. I think I have shown you very clearly that we cannot administer the affairs
of the Province on a basis similar to that of the other Provinces, or anything like a similar
allowance for local expenditures.
Position op Isolation.
With regard to consideration No. 2, there are two features of our relations which have
had very important effects ; one is political and the other is commercial. I shall simply point
to the serious handicaps distance and the lack of representation in the Dominion Cabinet have
had upon our affairs. I shall not dwell upon it; it is manifest. In matters of moment,
correspondence is always unsatisfactory, and to go to Ottawa for the purpose of obtaining
personal interviews with members of the Government involves much time and money, with
the result that in the past, in most cases, our interests have been sacrificed or overlooked for
lack of that personal attention which, in Eastern Canada, is always possible to obtain without
much expense or inconvenience.
The commercial aspect is the one which, however, has the keenest interest for us. I refer
to the extra cost to the consumer occasioned by freight rates from the East. We have, from
the outset, and more particularly from the time that the Canadian Pacific Railway was completed, purchased the greater part of our supplies of all kinds from Eastern Canada. British
Columbia and the North-West have been, and are to-day, the best markets the Eastern merchant
and manufacturer have, either at home or abroad.
In Eastern Canada—in what we may call old Canada—the cost to the consumer, conveyed
from points of entry like Montreal, Toronto, Halifax and other cities, varies, from the nearest
points to the most distant, from 12J cents per 100 lbs. to 50 cents. It may, in exceptional
cases, reach 75 cents. The official through rate from eastern distributing or terminal points to
western terminals varies, according to the classification of goods, from $2 to $3.25 per 100 lbs.
What are known as commodity rates, to meet competition from New York to San Francisco 3 Ed, 7 Report of the Delegates to Ottawa. K 11
and other Coast points, are, however, lower than that. In addition to that, while the consumer
in the East only pays one local rate, the people of the interior not only pay the through rate
to the Coast, but the local rate back again, which, in some cases, equals the through rate. It
makes no difference whether the car of goods is delivered in Nelson or Vancouver—that is the
case. It is impossible to avoid the conclusion, therefore, Sir Wilfrid, that freight rates, by
virtue of our position, constitute a very important additional impost which the consumer has
to pay to the Dominion in another form.
In regard to the revenues which the Province pays to the Dominion, which comes under
head No. 3, the case was fully gone into by my predecessor in 1902, and I can add very little
to the representations then made, except to say that the report of the Auditor-General for the
fiscal year since shows that a similar condition of affairs still exists. I propose to quote from
the summary made at that time: —
"Since 1872, the revenue contributed by British Columbia to the Dominion, up to July
1st, 1901, will have amounted to, roundly, $42,000,000. Taking the average of the population for the three census periods, 1871 to 1881 ; 1881 to 1891 ; and 1891 to 1901, at 81,000,
and that of all Canada at 4,500,000 for the same periods—had the whole of the people of the
latter contributed in the same ratio per capita, the revenue would have amounted to
$2,333,250,000 instead of $886,360,000.
" In other words, i of the population has contributed about -fv of the revenue of Canada
in 30 years.
" Conversely, if the contribution of British Columbia, for that period, had been on the
same basis as the rest of Canada, it would have amounted to only $15,957,000.
" Taking the population at 5,250,000 and 125,000, respectively, the per capita contribution
of all Canada in 1899 was $8.93 per head, and that of British Columbia $25.67 per head.
" If the revenue from British Columbia had been on the same ratio as the rest of Canada,
it would have amounted to only $1,116,250, instead of $3,194,808.
"Taking the customs and excise alone, which amounted in 1899 to $34,958,000 for the
Dominion, and $2,627,500 for the Province, on the same basis of population, the per capita
contributions are $6.65 and $21.02. Had the whole population of Canada contributed in the
same ratio as British Columbia, the taxation derivable from inland revenue and customs would
have been $110,250,000, instead of $34,958,000.
" Conversely, if British Columbia had contributed in the same ratio as the rest of the
Dominion, the revenue from British Columbia from these sources would have been only
"In 1899, our Provincial contributions to the Dominion Treasury, from all sources, were
$3,208,788; and our share of all expenditure by the Dominion was $1,334,618.
" If the whole of Canada had contributed in the same ratio, the revenue of Canada for
that year would have been $134,767,000, instead of $46,741,250.
" Now then, coining to the statements of contributions to the Dominion Treasury and the
expenditure from the same in British Columbia, the result of computation covering a period
of 30 years, is as follows :—
"The total amount expended by the Dominion in the Province up to 1st July, 1901—
estimating the expenditure for the present year—will have been $28,968,091 ; the total contributed by British Columbia to the Dominion during the same period will have been
$42,475,349 ; leaving a balance in favour of the Province of over $13,500,000.
"The expenditures in the Province include the $750,000 paid to the Esquimalt and
Nanaimo Railway Company as a subsidy, and all the other railway subsidies ; the debt of the
Province assumed by the Dominion in 1872 and interest on the same, and everything else
directly or indirectly connected with the Province, which has been paid for by the Dominion.
" While the Province has a clear surplus of over $13,500,000 to its credit, apart, of course,
from its legitimate share of the cost of government of Canada as a whole, on the other hand
the liabilities of the Dominion, which were $122,000,000 in 1872, have risen to $350,000,000
in 1900. The position of British Columbia, therefore, is, that it has not only practically paid
its own way and recouped the Dominion for everything that it has cost, directly or indirectly,
but, in addition, has become liable for its share of the debt of the Dominion, which, on a per
capita basis, amounts to $9,500,000.
" The practical aspect of the case is this :—A province has a certain population and
contributes a certain revenue. What it pays as imposts to the treasury is, per capita,
its impost or burden of government.    Computations on that basis in various ways show, as a K 12 Report of the Delegates to Ottawa. 1903
general and almost invariable result, that for a whole period of years the burden has been two
and three-quarter times that of the rest of Canada, taken as a whole.
" Dominion expenditure in the Province is, of course, greater per capita than that of the
rest of Canada, but not in the same ratio, inasmuch as, taken together, there is a clear and a
large surplus of revenue over expenditure.
" That it is not true of the whole of Canada is shown by the general result that the net
debt created since 1872 is over $190,000,000, and the gross debt over $230,000,000. The
excess of expenditure over receipts has been $233,506,525."
I have taken the Auditor-General's report for the fiscal year ending June 30th, 1901, the
latest available, and I find that all the items of expenditure of every character and for every
purpose amount to $1,869,648. That includes $234,960 for the telegraph line into Dawson
through British Columbia and $128,140 for defence work at Esquimalt, which is entirely
national in its character. Our contributions, on the other hand, under all heads amount to
$3,342,874. In the last ten years our contributions have amounted to, in round numbers,
$26,000,000; and the expenditures within the Province of the Dominion have amounted to
There has been no effective answer to the above statements attempted. It has been said
that we cannot make any accurate comparisons based on the revenue collected at ports of entry
as to what Provinces contribute. I grant this is true in the other Provinces, because goods
entered are distributed throughout the Dominion and consumed elsewhere. In the case of
British Columbia, we know that our merchants do not, to any appreciable extent, re-export her
goods imported for consumption. Everything that is imported is consumed and the consumer
pays the whole duty. Therefore, while we cannot make a fair comparison with other Provinces individually, we can with the Dominion as a whole, which is quite sufficient for our
purposes, inasmuch as conditions are fairly uniform throughout the whole of Eastern Canada.
It is true that since 1898 our merchants have sold goods in the Yukon, though not to an
extent to materially alter the results ; besides, the goods brought in from Canada which have
already paid duty in the East and are consumed in British Columbia more than compensate
for the consumption in the Yukon. An investigation made in 1897 proved that about 25 per
cent, of the goods imported from Eastern Canada had already paid duty there, and as the
goods from there form a large proportion of the whole of the goods imported, the amount of
the duty thus paid indirectly to Canada by British Columbia is very considerable.
On the other hand, by the exceptional position of British Columbia on the extreme west,
it is found advantageous in some lines to buy largely from Great Britain, from the United
States and other countries. British Columbia not being in a position to manufacture cheaply
for itself, and as a matter of fact not being a manufacturing Province, is obliged to import
more largely than other Provinces to supply its special wants. Hence the large amount of
customs collections. Were the supplies thus imported, and dutiable, purchased in Eastern
Canada, the extra cost in the price and the freight rates by rail would make the cost still
greater to the consumer than now.
As shown in the accompanying memorandum, in dealing with the Nova Scotia case for
better terms it was held that that Province, by reason of its position and the nature of its
population, did pay more duty to the Dominion than other Provinces, and it was conceded, if
true, to be a circumstance worthy of being taken into account. It is demonstrated in our
case to be true beyond any question or shadow of doubt, and to an extraordinary extent. If,
in reply, it be stated that that is one of the natural outcomes of Confederation, which could
not be helped or anticipated, we say it is the duty of the Dominion Government to scsk for
and apply the remedy by increasing the allowance to the Province as a compensation for its
undue contributions to the Dominion treasury.
In the statement of receipts and expenditures given in the report of the Delegation of
1901, from which I have quoted, the expenditures are not distinguished in the way of capital
account and otherwise, as might have been done, charging ourselves simply with the interest
per annum. As a plain matter of book-keeping, we have put down on one side all the revenues
from the Province, and on the other, put down all the moneys that have been expended by the
Dominion in the Province or on account of the Province for whatsoever purpose. We have
not included the cost of the Canadian Pacific Railway, as that was a national undertaking for
national purposes; but we have included such expenditures which are national in the same
sense, such as building of the Esquimalt graving dock, the construction and maintenance of
lighthouses, quarantine and immigration, Dominion steamers, marine hospitals and the cost of 3 Ed. 7 Report of the Delegates to Ottawa. K 13
the Indians, for whom we set apart over half a million acres of our best land. We have
charged ourselves with the subsidy which was allowed the Province on account of the Dominion
Railway belt within the Province, but we have not charged the Dominion with over 59,000,000
acres of land in that belt, which was estimated by the Government at the time of Confederation as worth $1 per acre.
Distance from Markets.
I now come to the last head. In my letter to Mr. Parent I alluded at some length to
this phase of the matter. I pointed out that, while we bought so extensively in the East and
paid the high rates of freight which the distance necessarily entailed, there were no markets
in the East for our products, and that ever since Confederation we have had to find a market
in Great Britain and foreign lands for our lumber, fish and minerals, and sell in competition
with the products of other nations, where there was cheap labour. We have had to pay long
distance freights on both what we bought and sold; we have been obliged all through life to
reverse the order of successful business principles, and buy in the dearest market and sell in
the cheapest. It is only recently that we have been able to find a market in Canada for
lumber and fruit, and that is in the North-West. To that market we are looking with some
hope in the future, providing we can obtain more direct railway communication.
Instead of the Province, under its physical handicaps and its peculiar situation and
conditions, being assisted and encouraged in its efforts to develop the country, its people are
being inordinately taxed as compared with other Provinces, and our efforts to secure a recognition of the facts are, in manyr quarters, regarded with suspicion, and, I was going to say,
derision. It is worthy of note that in almost every matter we have brought to the attention
of the Dominion Government, such as the fisheries, the Chinese head tax, the question of
financial relations and our contributions to the Federal treasury, as compared with expenditures, the outcome of Confederation has been the same,—a disproportion of benefit to the
Dominion, and a set of circumstances in British Columbia different to what pertains in the
I want to say to you, Sir Wilfrid, and to your colleagues, as a duty we owe to the
Province of British Columbia, that if we do not obtain a just recognition of those claims,
founded on the representations we have made, nothing can stop the agitation for readjustment
of relations that will grow out of them, and that sooner or later the people, who are fully alive
to their disabilities and their requirement,  will as a unit demand as right what we pray for.
There are many ways in which we think it would pay the Dominion—we don't ask it as
a favour to the West—to pay more attention to the resources and possibilities of the country
on the Pacific Coast. In the past, every step in tiiat direction has sent the revenues up by
bounds, and this in future is still more possible, by instituting a policy of increased railway
development, encouragement of shipbuilding, assistance to the iron and steel industry,
ameliorating the conditions of the lead and silver mining; and, what is very important, the
exploitation of markets on the Pacific Ocean to which the products of British Columbia would
be directly tributable. The Government of British Columbia, on its own account, has been
making investigations in the direction of extending trade in its special products, and finds that
in fish and fish products, iron and steel and their manufactures, paper and pulp, and timber
and lumber there are possible openings of great value, and that the resources of the coast of
British Columbia, with available facilities for cheap ocean transportation, upon which the
whole fabric largely depends, are such that, without entering into competition ^,t all with the
products of Eastern Canada, a magnificent trade could in time be built up on the West Coast
and industries of great magnitude established. These would be of inestimable value to the
Dominion and repay a hundred-fold the energies and expenditure involved in bringing it about. K 14 Report of the Delegates to Ottawa. 1903
The Rigid Honourable Sir Wilfrid Laurier, G.C.M.G.,
Prime Minister.
Dear Sir Wilfrid,—Pursuant to the understanding arrived at during the interview you
were kind enough to afford the members of the British Columbia Delegation, on Monday, the
28th ultimo, we beg to submit a memorandum of our case as presented by the Honourable
the Attorney-General, and incidentally also to present some observations with respect to
objections raised by your colleagues on that occasion.
In his remarks the other day the Honourable the Attorney-General dwelt upon the fact
that, unfortunately, British Columbia had been excluded from the benefits to Canada accruing
under the Halifax award, notwithstanding that, as part of British North America under the
terms of the treaty, it was entitled to consideration on account of disability suffered by British
Columbia through the refusal of the United States to open their market to our fish and fish
oil. At that time fish oil was an important, and practically the only, fishery product of the
Province, and the trade to be obtained on the Pacific coast was of the greatest possible value.
In the expenditure for fishery development on the Atlantic coast, compared with what has
been spent on the Pacific coast, we are specifically debarred from referring to the bounties
paid to the fishermen of the Maritime Provinces, because, it is held, the benefits of the award
were to apply locally and not generally. This is alleged as an incident in which, from the
very commencement of Confederation, our interests, owing to the isolated position of our
Province, politically as well as otherwise, have been side-tracked. The position of the Province
m respect to the Halifax award is fully outlined in the copies of Orders in Council and correspondence attached, which are submitted for your consideration. As the distribution of the
moneys under this award is now under consideration, the arguments set forth therein are as
cogent now as then.
In former correspondence, included in the report of the Delegation to Ottawa in 1901, it
was pointed out very clearly that the manifest policy of the Dominion Government, or of the
Department of Marine and Fisheries, was not to make a revenue out of fisheries, but to
encourage and develop the industry to the greatest possible extent.
In this connection the Attorney-General observed that in every country of the world in
which fishing is carried on the records go to show that a similar policy prevails, and that
revenue is only an incidental feature of policy designed to cover ordinary expenses of administration, and is not considered as in any way essential in comparison with the main cost.
That this is, and has been, the policy of Canada is evidenced by the figures submitted, showing
that since July 1st, 1887, exclusive of bounties, the expenditure involved in fisheries services,
fish breeding, fisheries protective service and miscellaneous, amounted to $4,522,254. The
revenues for the same period from the taxation of the Provinces, for fishery purposes, amounted
to $1,049,651. Of those revenues, $400,740 was realised out of British Columbia alone, or 38
per cent, of the" total, while only the sum of about $200,000, or a little less than i\ per cent,
of the total expenditures, came back to British Columbia in the way of appropriations for all
purposes. This constitutes a direct tax on the salmon industry, which was the only one
affected. Under the circumstances, the Government of British Columbia claimed that the
Province is justly entitled to a return of all the contributions under the head of fisheries
licences since Confederation, less the sum expended in the administration of the fisheries by
the Dominion. This is based on the ground that nothing has been done in British Columbia
by the Dominion towards the development of the fisheries, for which they have not been fully
paid. In other words, that the Dominion Government is not entitled to receive something for
which they gave nothing in return. In view of the very large excess of expenditure over
revenue in the other Provinces, and more especially in view of the fact that, under the decision
of the Judicial Committee of the Privy Council, British Columbia has all along been entitled
to collect a portion of the fishery revenues, and if it were to receive back the whole of the
amounts paid in at Ottawa it would not be unduly favoured. 3 Ed. 7 Report of the Delegates to Ottawa. K 15
The Honourable the Minister of Finance, when this view was being presented, suggested
the parallel of the post office service in one part of the country yielding more largely in
revenues than in another, and asked if a similar contention should prevail. There is, however,
no analogy between the post office and fisheries services. In one, as has been pointed out
already, the policy is not one of revenue, any more than, for instance, it would be in the
matter of the development of agriculture. In the case of the post office, the service is
essentially, as with a railway or telegraph system, for the benefit of those who use it for
business or social purposes, and its operation is so regulated, theoretically at least, as to yield
a revenue equal to the cost, the general principle at the base of its operation being that those
who use it shall pay for it in proportion to their use. It is obviously unfair that the fisheries
of British Columbia should contribute to the support of the fisheries of the Atlantic ; and even
if, as one Minister suggested, the fish were so plentiful in British Columbia that no special
efforts of development are required, the right does not exist, as in that case taxation would
be unnecessary and, therefore, unjust.
In reply to the question of a minister, who asked what was proposed to be done with the
money if it were refunded to the Province, it may be stated in confirmation of what the
Attorney-General promised, that the Government would apply it to a special fund, the
proceeds of which would be exclusively devoted to the development of the fishery industry,
and thus the people of the Province would receive an adequate return for their contributions
in the past. The fishery resources of the Pacific Coast are so important, and so much depends
upon them in relation to our peculiar position in other respects, that with proper husbanding
and fostering care they are capable of immense expansion, and not only of employing a large
portion of the population remuneratively and building up big industries, but of adding
tremendously to the importance of Canada, and, what is of special interest to your Government,
of returning vastly increased revenues to the Dominion in the way of customs and excise. On
the assumption that the fishery population could be doubled in a few years, which is a modest
assumption based on what has already been the rate of increase, the customs and inland
revenue receipts would be augmented by at least $250,000 per annum.
At the present time, as pointed out by the Attorney-General, British Columbia, in
respect to capital invested and fishery products, is second among the Provinces in the
Dominion. The figures are given in full in the appendices. The fishery industry is and has
been, therefore, contributing very largely to the general revenues of Canada, and, by the
impost of licences to the extent that has obtained in the past, it is being doubly taxed, and
that without any special or corresponding benefit or necessity.
The next matter of particular importance to be considered is the position which the
Province takes in regard to the administration of the fisheries. The members of the Delegation have been asked what steps the Provincial Government would take and what policy it
would pursue that cannot be equally well undertaken by the Dominion, more especially in
view of the fact that the other Provinces are agreed to allow the Federal Government to
remain in control as formerly.
What we claim is that, with a better local knowledge of the industry and the conditions
which govern its success, we are in a better position to understand the requirements. The
experience of the past has been, and we speak now of all Governments at Ottawa, that the
administration of the fisheries in our Province has not been satisfactory. One reason for this
is the distance from the administrative centre and the difficulties in the way of bringing the
views of those engaged in the industry, both employers and men, into intimate touch with the
official heads of the Department. Another difficulty is the inability of officers, however anxious
to do the right thing at all times and under all circumstances, to understand the conditions
which exist 3,000 miles away, and to appreciate the requirements which only accurate local
knowledge and local experience can determine. The knowledge required in the handling of
fish and control of fishing on the Pacific is not to be obtained by experience of conditions in
the East. The varieties of fish, and especially of the salmon, are different; their habits are
not the same; their habitat is widely distributed ; and, altogether, any uniform set of regulations which might apply successfully in the Maritime Provinces would be totally unsuitable
in British Columbia. As a matter of fact, the Maritime Provinces, being closely in touch
with Ottawa, with officials there representing local knowledge, acquired either by long residence
there or by easy access to the fishing grounds, have had their wants adequately looked after, which
accounts for the very large excess of expenditure over revenue derived from the fisheries there,
and the very wise and progressive measures of development and protection that have been K 16 Report of the Delegates to Ottawa. 1903
instituted. That is only natural and right. We do not complain of the attention that has
been paid to the fisheries of the Atlantic Coast. The Government is justified in doing what
it has done. The results have been manifold and of immense benefit to Canada; but the
Government inaugurated a policy there and carried it out successfully, because it has always
been in a position to know what was the right policy to pursue. The Maritime Provinces, by
reason of their nearness to the administrative centre, and the fact that their fishery interests
have from the outset been well and fully represented in the Government, have, in other words,
had a fair opportunity of moulding and directing their own fishery policy in accordance with
their own requirements. What the people of the Eastern Provinces have done in this respect,
we believe the Province of British Columbia can do successfully for itself and for similar
reasons. It can be done with less cost to the Province, and with better results for, and
greater return to, the Dominion.
The salmon, the catching and canning of which constitute one of the greatest and most
important industries of the Province, have their sources in the headwaters and tributaries of
the great rivers which find an outlet along a coast several thousand miles in extent, and which
form a network of streams and lakes in the vast interior. The policy of conservation and
development necessary to the continuance of that industry on a large and increasing scale
involves the careful and systematic investigation of the conditions governing propagation
throughout the area referred to. The salmon have many natural enemies, and the supply is
dependent upon many and various conditions in nature, as well as for repletion, where the
annual catch is so great, upon artificial methods. It is necessary to locate hatcheries at points
where it is known the best natural spawning grounds exist. The conditions demand not only
one but many hatcheries, in order to obtain the best possible results. They also demand that
the best experts obtainable, who have extensive local knowledge, should be on the spot to
devote their attention wholly to the subject of propagation; for it can hardly be expected that
work of the kind, so extensive and yet so local in its character, can be supervised or directed
effectively from Ottawa, even though the most scientific and expert knowledge is at command.
This is the policy the Province has in view and the policy it is carrying out. It has
already located one hatchery, which, when completed, will have a capacity of rearing 25,000,000
fry. It proposes others; and these will all be constructed as part of an effective system of
propagation. The experience of the Province since salmon-canning began in 1876 has almost
been invariable in demonstrating that there are regular periods of runs of salmon in great
plenty, followed by runs of smaller size, or years of plenty and years of scarcity. This
periodicity has not been satisfactorily accounted for and may never be explained, but the presumption is a fair one, that by artificial methods of increasing the supply of healthy fry each
year results will follow similar to those in other places where the salmon run has been repleted
after depletion, that periodicity will be broken up and a uniform supply of salmon be made
available each year. If this can be achieved, our salmon interests will, commercially, be greatly
benefited. It will take a very large number of fry to be deposited every year to materially
affect the supply. There is, however, no limit to the possibilities of the industry, provided
the regulations are of such a character as to permit a sufficient number of adult fish to reach
the spawning grounds every year. To accomplish this, the regulations must be made to meet
the known conditions as they exist from year to year and not as they are at present, applying
to all seasons alike. For instance, the regulations of 1901—which were sufficient, in that
year of plenty, to allow all the fish desired for commercial purposes to be taken and yet left
abundance for spawn—were shown to be totally inadequate in 1902, a poor year, when too
great a proportion of the run was taken, and there was a consequent scarcity of fish on the
spawning beds, many of which were unoccupied. This naturally suggests greater expenditure
for propagation in years of scarcity and the establishment of auxiliary stations for that
It is no part of our mission, nor is it our desire, to criticise the management of the
hatcheries at present in operation in the Province ; but what we do say is, that they are neither
large enough in capacity nor sufficiently well located to be as effective as they should be in
propagation. Furthermore, we believe the Province could operate them to greater advantage
to the fishery industry than has been done in the past; and the Government is willing to
assume their management without cost to the Dominion.
The Attorney-General also brought to your attention the peculiar conditions which render
a change in the nature of the regulations permitting the use of traps and purse-nets in certain
localities as desirable. 3 Ed. 7 Report of the Delegates to Ottawa. K 17
The methods in use in American waters for capturing the sockeye salmon that pass from
the open sea along the west and south coast of Vancouver Island, through Juan de Fuca
Strait, thence into the American Sound, on their way to the Fraser River, necessitates a change
in the existing fishery regulations in our Province, if we are to conserve our interests in the
salmon fisheries. The Americans concede that fully 95 per cent, of the sockeye salmon caught
in Puget Sound waters were bred in and are seeking to return to the Fraser River.
We favour the use of traps in a limited district in our Province. In the discussion of this
question it has been pointed out, on the one hand, that the use of traps is a destructive method
of catching fish; that too great a proportion of the run is taken; that their use will exterminate the fish and will deprive the fishermen of employment, because the cost of traps is so
great that only men of means could own and operate them.
On the other hand, it is said that the use of traps is more scientific, more economical,
and the more easily regulated method of catching fish, that by no other method can they be
taken in clear waters; that in the clear waters of the straits and sounds the fish are in better
condition for use; that the fish taken are not killed until removed from the traps; that they
can be held for a week or 10 days without injury to their canning qualities; that when the
packing capacity of the cannery has been reached the traps can be closed; that fish taken in
gill nets are killed or fatally injured in being removed from them ; that their catch cannot be
regulated, and, at times is in excess of the capacity of the canneries; that there is an ever
increasing scarcity of labourers in the packing establishments; that the men who are now engaged
in the hazardous and laborious business of fishing would find ready and equally remunerative
employment in the canneries and in connection with the placing and work of trap fishing.
At the present time the Americans are, by means of traps and purse nets, catching the
very fish which should be taken by our fishermen while passing through our-waters in the
straits, and south of Discovery Island. During the past season the State of Washington
issued 305 trap, 84 purse net and 92 drag net licences for the capture of these salmon, while
under the Dominion regulations our fishermen were confined to the use of gill nets, which are
not suited to successful use in the clear waters through which the fish pass before entering the
American waters. If the use of traps endangers the perpetuation of our Fraser River salmon
fishery, then the Americans will soon have accomplished the extinction of these fish and will
be reaping the benefits.
We do not, at this time, advocate the use of traps in any of the waters of the Province
that are unaffected by the use of American traps. In our own channels, north of Discovery
Island, when the fish are moving towards the Gulf of Georgia en route to the Fraser River and
where they are not apt to encounter American traps we do not believe the use of traps is
Further, our contention is that it is a suicidal, one-sided and altogether unbusinesslike
arrangement to allow the Americans, on account of the prejudice against traps, to enjoy the
monopoly of catching fish by that method. It is not only a detriment to the Canadian fishing
industry in respect to the supply of fish, but it enables them to secure fish at from 3 to 7 cents
each as compared with from 12J to 25 cents per fish which our canners have to pay; and to
sell them in English markets in competition and regulate the prices there. The American
cannery men have the advantage of the United States market, from which our canners are
excluded by a duty, and are, at the same time, able to control the British markets to which by
far the largest part of our pack is sent. We have every reason to believe that if our canners
placed traps along the shores of Vancouver Island, in the waters south of Discovery Island,
through which the salmon pass before entering the American waters of the Sound, it would
prove a strong lever towards an arrangement being reached with the authorities of the State
of Washington, whereby uniform regulations could be enforced on both sides of the line, more
especially as along the Pacific Coast the cannery interests are rapidly becoming consolidated
into a few large companies, the managers of which are fully alive to the desirability of preserving the industry by effective regulations.
In any event, it is manifestly a foolish policy to permit the Americans to reap all the
benefits of the use of traps, from which, however, there is no reason to anticipate under proper
regulations and control, anything but beneficial results.
This Government has no desire to usurp the rights of the Dominion Government in respect
to the regulation of the fisheries, but our policy is to co-operate with the authorities at Ottawa
in every respect in which it is possible to promote the development of mutual interests. K 18 Report of the Delegates to Ottawa. 1903
We know the Dominion had the right and have for a number of years collected taxes to
the extent that has been mentioned, and that at the same time the Province had a similar
right which it did not exercise. We most respectfully request that in the future not a greater
sum shall be extracted from that source than would be sufficient to carry out the Dominion
regulations. With that in mind we submit that a tax in the form of a licence not greater than
$2.50 per boat should be ample for that purpose. Under such an arrangement there would
be no conflict of authority or embarrassment arising from both Governments attempting to
issue licences, as under such proposed arrangement the Province would refrain altogether from
raising a revenue by the issuance of licences to fishing boats.
As you are aware, after it had been announced that the latter intended to avail itself of
the rights under the decision of the Judicial Committee of the Privy Council, an agreement
was reached in 1901 between the Department of Marine and Fisheries and the Province,
whereby, at the instance of the Hon. Minister of Marine and Fisheries, a modus vivendi was
established. In a general way it was agreed that the Dominion should remain in control and
account to the Province for such proportion of licence fees as might be agreed upon, and in
case of disagreement the proportion was to be adjusted by a referee. It is the wish of the
Dominion Government that the modus vivendi should continue in force until a final decision
as to the full rights of the Provinces in the fisheries are determined ; but we suggest that
there now be a definite understanding as to what that proportion of return of revenue should
be to each Government. On our part we think there should be returned to the Provincial
Government for fishery purposes that amount of revenue collected which is in excess of the
operating expenses, or a fixed sum as may be agreed upon.
In conclusion, we beg to affirm the assurances of the Attorney-General that the desire of
the Government of British Columbia is to work in perfect harmony with the Dominion
Government in all matters of fishery regulation and development, so that their joint efforts
may redound to the benefit of the Dominion of Canada as well as of the Province of British
Believe us to be,
Dear Sir Wilfrid,
Very respectfully yours,
Russell House, (Signed)        Edwd. Gawler Prior,
Ottawa, February Srd, 190S n D. M. Eberts. 3 Ed. 7 Report of the Delegates to Ottawa. K 19
A.—1. Nova Scotia Better Terms.
2. B. C. Terms of Union, from Provincial point of view.
3. B. C. Terms of Union, from Dominion point of view.
B.—Proce.edings of the Interprovincial Conference held at the City of Quebec from the
18th to the 20th December, 1902, inclusive.
C.—Proposed Settlement re Fisheries.
D.—Minutes of Council re Halifax Fishery Award.
E.—Expenditures and Receipts, Province and Dominion, 1901.
F.—Fisheries Statistics.
G.—Table showing Cost of Administration in outlying Districts.
H.—Better Terms allowed to Provinces.
K.—Cost of Boad Building in British Columbia.
L.—Alien Immigration.  3 Ed. 7 Report of the Delegates to Ottawa. K 21
1.—Nova Scotia Better Terms.
Although the matter came up for debate in the Dominion House of Commons and in the
Ontario Legislature after the settlement of the Nova Scotia grievances, upon the initiation of
Hon. Edward Blake, then, as now, a very respectable authority upon constitutional matters,
there was nothing to show in what occurred at the Quebec Conference, or at the time of the
passing of the Act, that the terms arrived at represented a finality. It is true that Hon.
Edward Blake, and the Ontario House, of which he was leader at the time, declared that they
did, but upon reference to the law officers of the Crown in Great Britain, who replied that the
Act granting better terms to Nova Scotia was competent for the Dominion Parliament to pass
under the powers vested in it by the 31st section of the British North America Act of 1867.
Hon. Edward Blake, in the debate which arose in the House of Commons subsequently, stated
that the law officers of the Imperial Government were not infallible. In answer, Sir John
Macdonald agreed that they w.ere not infallible, but said: "Still, they must be listened to
with every respect, especially in this case when they were sought for by the Ministry, a leading
member of which was the Lord Chancellor, the highest Judge in the land. For all practical
purposes this judgment was final and there was no appeal from it. There we could rest
perfectly satisfied that our action was perfectly constitutional, within our power, and can only
be repealed by an Act of the Imperial Parliament."
Hon. Edward Blake also held that the financial relations made by the Union Act, as
between Canada and the several Provinces, could not be changed without the consent of the
several Provinces. This point, so far as can be gathered from the debates, was not discussed
in the House of Commons in connection with the resolution of Mr. Blake, moved on March
30th, 1870, but it did come up, incidentally, in connection with the debate upon the admission
of British Columbia into Confederation in 1871. On that occasion it was shown that the
compact between the Province and the Dominion was in the nature of a treaty; but it was
not a treaty among Provinces, which could only be altered by the consent of the Provinces.
The terms of the B. N. A. Act imply no compact as among Provinces, any more than there
is an implied compact among municipalities in any of the Provinces. The Crown Colonies had
certain sovereign rights of their own apart from any other Crown Colonies, and when they
passed into Confederation they carried these sovereign rights, as defined in the Constitution,
into Confederation with them. The terms of a treaty between powers affecting only those
powers can always be altered or modified by those powers by mutual consent; and the Dominion, by virtue of its sovereign rights over the expenditure of its own revenue, can always
readjust the financial relations existing between itself and any of the Provinces. The exercise
of this right is subject only to disallowment by the Imperial Government. The right of the
Dominion Government to make allowances to the Province of British Columbia in respect to
any grievance or financial disabilities remains, therefore, unquestioned. For instance, the right
of the Dominion Government to build a bridge in British Columbia, or to supplement the
grant made by the Province for a bridge, whether the bridge is wholly or partly by the
Province, or whether the bridge is being built or not by the Province. The same is true of
any public undertaking. It may resolve itself into a question of precedent, but not of constitutional right under the B. N. A. Act. The principle has been established by reference, and
has remained unchallenged since 1870. Only a decision of the Judicial Committee of the
Privy Council could alter it.
As pointed out in the resolutions passed at the recent conference of Provincial Premiers
at Quebec, there are two important considerations to be kept in mind. One is, that at the
time the B. N. A. Act was passed in 1867, and at the time the Union Act of British Columbia
was framed, it was impossible to foresee the development of the Dominion or of the Province
of British Columbia, and to fix in a definite and unalterable way the distribution of the revenue
so as to make sufficient provision for the Central Government and at the same time to furnish
the various Provinces with the means adequate to carry on the local affairs. The other is, that
it was the evident intention—it could not have been otherwise—of the framers of the Terms
of Union to make adequate financial provisions for carrying on the affairs of the Central
Government and those of the various Provinces. The contentions involved in the foregoing conclusions are based upon precedent of the
strongest possible character, because nearly all the arguments that can be adduced in their
support were advanced in the demand of the people of Nova Scotia for better terms, the result
of which confirmed their soundness and applicability in the present case.
To begin at the beginning and review briefly the Nova Scotia case, and institute a comparison as we proceed with the conditions which obtain in British Columbia, it may be
remarked that the people of Nova Scotia first and foremost declared that they had unwillingly
entered the federal compact; that, in fact, Confederation had been forced upon them, and that
the dissatisfaction with the terms of union would simply tend to aggravate the situation. It
is now conceded, of course, that the Nova Scotians were unwilling partners in the first
instance, and that it had much to do with the dissatisfaction arising out of the terms upon
which the Province entered Confederation.
It may not be generally known that British Columbia, more than Nova Scotia, was not
willingly admitted to the Union. It is true that the terms of union were finally passed by a
unanimous vote of the Assembly, and that at that time the Act of Union was practically
unopposed. Prior to that, however, the proposal to enter Confederation had been voted
down in the Legislature and was strongly opposed by the Executive Council. There were a
number of prominent men throughout tbe Colony who were heartily in favour of union, but
there was as well a strong element opposed to it. Generally speaking, there was little or no
sentiment in favour of union with Canada from the point of view which largely prevailed in
Eastern Canada, viz., to realise the dream of a nation extending from ocean to ocean. In fact,
had it not been on account of the isolated position of the Province and the hard times which
existed as the result of over speculation in real estate and the slump in the output of the placer
mines, British Columbia would not have joined the union at the time it did. They agreed to
it wholly and solely on account of the prospects of a railway which Confederation afforded.
The people of British Columbia loved not Canada at all, but a high road east. That one idea
swayed the feeling for union, and to obtain it on favourable terms many other considerations
affecting future relations were lost sight of. It is questionable, even then, if the Executive
Council would have passed it at the time it did if it had not been for the influence of the
Imperial authorities. British Columbia was a Crown Colony without responsible Government,
in which the Governor was a very important and controlling factor. When the proposal was
first made and resolutions were unanimously passed in its favour by the Legislature of 1867,
Governor Seymour was opposed to it. However much his views may have been influenced
subsequently by instructions from Home is not known, but at all events the attitude of the
Government was changed to one of opposition, and the Legislature reversed its previous
favourable vote, declaring that Confederation was undesirable, even if practicable, and urging
upon Her Majesty's Government not to take any steps towards its consummation. Governor
Seymour was succeeded by Governor Musgrave, who had explicit instructions from the Home
Government to bring about union, it being a policy of the latter to consolidate the British North
American possessions. The wish of the Imperial authorities was practically mandatory under
the circumstances, and resolutions framed by his council to that end, so far as British Columbia
was concerned, were submitted to the Legislature in 1870, which were unanimously passed,
although their discussion elicited a good deal of opposition to the scheme as illustrating the
private opinion of members.
Therefore, to a considerable degree at least, British Columbia had but little alternative in
the matter of joining the union with the other Provinces, and, under the circumstances, may
be said to have been forced into Confederation as much as Nova Scotia was. Further reference to the subject will be made in connection with the consideration of financial relations.
The agitation for repeal of the terms of union in Nova Scotia in 1868 became very bitter,
and reached a crisis in that year, when the people were almost unanimous for secession. After
matters had reached such a stage that it seemed almost impossible to conciliate them, Sir John
wrote a letter to Hon. Joseph Howe, who was the leading exponent of the grievances of the
people, and was head of the agitation, which, however, had gone beyond the limits anticipated
by him at the outset. Sir John Macdonald, in his letter, suggested a quiet conference with a
deputation from Nova Scotia, in which the whole matter could be talked over fully and frankly,
and promised that the Dominion Government would adjust any inequalities that could be
shown to exist, and assured them of its desire to meet the Province in a most liberal spirit.
To this Mr. Howe responded in the most friendly spirit, and assured Sir John of the support
of the representatives from that Province, in case justice was done.    The arguments adduced 3 Ed. 7 Report of the Delegates to Ottawa. K 23
by Mr. Howe and his colleague, Mr. A. W. McLellan, might, in some respects, have been adduced by the deputation from British Columbia. The following extracts from Mr. McLellan's
letter are interesting :—
" First, because Nova Scotia imports more dutiable goods per head of the population than
any other Province named in the Act of Confederation.
" The imports into Nova Scotia for home consumption, say, in 1867, were $39.50 per head.
The same year into Canada, after deducting coin and bullion, military stores, etc., not included
in imports in Nova Scotia, they were only $20. Hence, applying one tariff over all, the
amount collected per head in Nova Scotia will greatly exceed that in Canada.
"You may safely assume, as a rule, that our people, mainly engaged in fishing, mining,
ship-building, will import more largely than yours, differing so much in geographical position,
occupation, habits. As Confederation gives free trade with Canada in manufactured goods,
part of our wants will be supplied there, but, in many cases, at as high a cost to the consumer
as if imported elsewhere under a 10 per cent, tariff, the only benefit being to the Canadian
" Another financial objection, and one which bears heaviest with many, is the want of a
sufficient sum for local services.
" Had our local Government confined their appropriations to the net sum Confederation
gives, and provided by bill, as they must do eventually, for raising, by taxation on the counties,
the balance required to sustain local services, you would, in less ■ than six months see Nova
Scotia out of the Confederation, or only conciliated by British bayonets.        * * *
" That Nova Scotia did not consent to the Act of Confederation that she struggles to be
released from, is mainly because she believes it takes away the old, long-enjoyed and valued
possession without returning any equivalent. The people believe they are called upon to give
up a large portion of the sum from which they have hitherto sustained their local services, and
whilst unwilling to do this, they ask what concessions are the people of Canada making for
Confederation; and when you fail to show that it is a fact of mutual concessions, they naturally
and determinedly rebel against a surrender of at least one-third the average allowance for local
purposes.        *        *        *
" Until you are able to demonstrate to our people that the surrender of so great a part of
their local expenditure is the exchange given for some equally valuable concession by Canada,
you must not hope to conciliate Nova Scotia.
" Sir John Rose, in a confidential report on the financial position of Nova Scotia to Lord
Monck, Governor-General of Canada, divided it into a number of headings and came to several
important conclusions, of which the following are two :—
" That the increase of customs presses more directly on Nova Scotia than the other
"That the local sources of revenue at present possessed by Nova Scotia are inadequate to
carry on their services devolving on the Province.
" In his opening remarks, Sir John Rose said :—
" ' The primary object of the inquiry was to ascertain whether the burdens of the people
of Nova Scotia are greater now than they would have been had. no union taken place, and
substantially to contrast the position of that Province with the other sections of the Dominion
in order to see whether the financial arrangements, as settled by the Union Act, operate any
relative injustice towards her.'
" In dealing with the objections by Nova Scotia, he remarks :—
" 'The hardship resulting from the nominal increase in customs is, as is urged by Nova
Scotia, further aggravated by the fact that whereas her products chiefly consist of ships, lumber,
fish and coal, she had to dispose of these abroad, and consequently had to import nearly all her
articles of consumption from foreign countries; thus causing her population to pay a higher
sum per head in duties than the people of any of the other Provinces; that, therefore, the
increased duty in customs is one which peculiarly affects her exceptional position, and that the
nominal percentage of increase does not represent the real addition to the burdens of her people.
" ' It is further urged that, notwithstanding this increase in her burdens, the total amount
to be received by her from the Dominion Treasury, and from the Provincial sources of revenue,
and the assets reserved by her, fall far short of what she formerly had, and less indeed than is
necessary to carry on the Government and provide for the local services which the new constitution has assigned to her. K 24 Report of the Delegates to Ottawa. 1903
" ' It is ascertained that if there had been no union and Nova Scotia had raised her tariffs
to the extent since done by the Dominion Parliament, it would have been sufficient to have
met her increased liabilities, provided for her local services, and left a surplus beyond ; whereas
it is contended that, notwithstanding, the revenues left at her disposal are inadequate to meet
the service she has customarily provided for.'"
The above excerpts do not, of course, represent Rose's own opinion as such, but simply his
statement of Nova Scotia's position in Confederation, as put forth by the advocates of repeal.
His conclusions, already referred to, show to what extent he admitted the grievances complained of.
Mr. John Langton, Auditor-General, to whom was submitted Mr. McLellan's letter, made
a very long and detailed report on the subject of the grievances, from which a few extracts are
made :—
"Mr. McLellan's facts are, therefore, borne out by taking a more extended period, and the
reason which he gives for the disproportion, viz., the different habits of an agricultural population from those of one engaged in fishing, mining, ship-building, is, no doubt, to some extent
"The final point which is discussed in Mr. McLellan's letter is a most important one for
Nova Scotia, and is, indeed, the basis of the whole question between us, viz., has Nova Scotia
the means of carrying on the necessary local expenditure without having recourse to direct
taxation, or some other means of raising the requisite revenue, over and above what it will
have to contribute to the general Government 1
" It will be evident that they will not be relieved from their financial difficulties by
Confederation. In every year the Dominion statement shows a surplus, and in every year that
of the Province shows a deficiency.
" This statement appears to me to be conclusive, as to the impossibility of Nova Scotia
carrying on its ordinary expenditures under the present terms of Confederation, without
resorting to direct taxation, or throwing the burden of education or local works, partly at least,
upon the municipalities. * * *
" I think the above considerations sufficiently indicate (1) that Nova Scotia is now unable
to meet its local wants without local taxation to the extent of from $200,000 to $250,000 ;
(2) that if Confederation had never taken place, it would have been obliged to have increased
its annual taxation to fully as great an extent as it is now under the Dominion; (3) but that,
in that case, its local wants would have been provided for, at least for some years to come,
whereas now there will still be a deficiency for local purposes."
In conclusion, Mr. Langton states :—
" I think it is also established that Nova Scotia does not contribute more than its share
towards the general expenses, but that without some additional resources it will not have the
means of paying for its local expenditure."
As the result of this correspondence and negotiation, which has only been briefly alluded
to, the Dominion Government agreed to two things :—
1st. That the debt of Nova Scotia on entering the Union be placed at $9,186,756 (instead
of $8,000,000), and that the Province be relieved from any charge of interest, unless her debt
exceed that sum ; and,
2nd. That for ten years from the 1st July, 1867, an annual subsidy of $82,698 be paid to
that Province.
There were in the list of grievances of Nova Scotia, practically speaking, eight heads,
which may be enumerated as follows :—
The non-consent of the people to Union :
An unjust proportionment of debts :
Non-allowance for cost of new Provincial building taken over by the Dominion :
Non-allowance for Provincial note circulation of Nova Scotia.
Non-deduction from Savings Banks deposits :
Non-allowance for stores in hand at time of Union :
Non-allowance for difference in currency :
Inadequate provision for local expenditure.
Of these only two were allowed, and of these the last named was the most important, and
is the one upon which the Province of British Columbia makes a demand for increased subsidy.
Sir John Rose, in his report on the subject, says :—
" The undersigned is not insensible to the arguments which were favourably pressed, that
the two smaller Provinces are in some respects placed at a disadvantage, as compared with the 3 Ed. 7 Report of the Delegates to Ottawa. K 25
larger ones; that the cost of their local Government must necessarily be more per head; that
the resources of Nova Scotia are as yet comparatively undeveloped ; that the coal trade, upon
which she depends for a considerable portion of her local revenue, is in a condition of unusual
depression; and that the physical character of the country entails on her a larger expenditure
to secure the necessary means of communication than the other Provinces have to meet."
Concluding his remarks, he said : —
" He believes that if the arrangements proposed are carried out, Nova Scotia will have
sufficient means at her disposal to meet these services which devolve upon her by the terms of
the Union Act, provided they are placed on a moderate and efficient footing."
These extracts are given not because they, in every case, present an exact parallel in so
far as the contentions of British Columbia are concerned or are invariably pertinent, but
because they, in the main, confirm the one principle which is at the base of the resolutions
passed at Quebec by the Premiers of the Provinces, and which is one of the foundations of the
British Columbia case, viz. : that it was intended that there should, be sufficient residue of the
revenues diverted to the Dominion left to the Provinces under the Terms of Union to amply meet
local requirements for all time to come, and that where it can be successfully shown that the
revenue is inadequate to provide for local services, there is not only a strong precedent
obtaining redress at the hands of the Dominion authorities, but that the Dominion Government is constitutionally competent to afford a remedy.
It may be readily admitted that at the time Nova Scotia made her demands it was a
critical time in the history of the Confederation movement, and that it was politic as well as
extremely necessary in the cause which the Fathers of Confederation had at heart so much
that the discontent in that Province should be allayed ; but it is also true that a substantial
and very real injustice existed ; that the grievances were submitted to competent authorities
for reports as to their genuineness; that these reports in regard to the main contentions of the
people of Nova Scotia confirmed the grievances as substantial; and that the remedy which
gave relief was constitutionally and properly applied. It cannot, in justice, be held that where
other and similar causes of inequality of relations or injustices arise in the development of the
constitution, that because a similar set of circumstances do not exist there should be no
redress. It is true that a resolution was passed by the House of Commons in 1870, immediately subsequently to its review of the Nova Scotia case, declaring that in future, in the
opinion of that House, beyond the Act respecting Nova Scotia, no further grant or provision
should be made out of the general revenues of Canada for the support of the Government or
Legislature of any one of the Provinces. In this Sir John Macdonald acquiesced, amid the
laughter and cheers of the House. Such a resolution did not in any way shut the door to
future adjustments, and was purely political in its character.
That it did not, and should not, shut the door even to the people of Nova Scotia, was an
opinion shared evidently by the Hon. Mr. Fielding, present Minister of Finance, who, in 1884,
led another agitation in that Province and carried it sweepingly on the cry of " better terms
or secession." As a consequence, a resolution was passed in 1885 by the Legislative Assembly
of Nova Scotia, in which it was resolved that at the time of union the financial terms were
wholly inadequate to meet the requirements of the various services of the Government; that
after 17 years it was found that the objections first urged applied with greater force than in
the first year of the union, and that, if better financial terms were not made, the House
affirmed the advisability of taking steps to secure a severance of the political connection
between the Province and the Dominion. Here, again, was affirmed the paramount principle
of insufficiency of revenue.
It was again a critical time in Canadian history, owing to the troubles in the North-West,
and the result of the appeal to the Dominion, although the claims were never formally recognised, was that the construction of the Extension railway was taken over in Nova Scotia,
together with the acquisition of wharves, and payment therefor made by the Dominion
Government in the sum of $1,324,042. The precedent for better terms may, therefore, be
regarded as absolutely established.
2.—B. C. Terms op Union, prom Provincial Point op View.
Coming back again to the question of financial relations so far as British Columbia is concerned, several very interesting points were brought out during the debate on the resolutions
submitted by the Executive Council in 1871 to the Legislative Assembly and in Committee of the
Whole.   It is almost necessary to read these debates in full in order to enter into the minds of the K 26 Report of the Delegates to Ottawa. 1903
men who were committing the Colony to Confederation, and to understand the motives which
they had in view and the impressions they had in regard to the probable outcome. The legal
effect of a transaction is in law often determined by the mental attitude of the person responsible for it. That is to say, it is often necessary to inquire into the conditions surrounding the
performance of an act or the making of a contract, in order to determine its legal effect. So
the Act of Confederation, binding on future generations, should be viewed as far as possible
through the eyes of the men who originated and sanctioned it, and the conditions which
influenced them should be understood, in order to say whether the contract then entered into
mutually is such a contract as in equity requires substantial revision. There is this material
distinction between a commercial or business contract and a political compact or treaty. In
the one, terms are capable of being enforced to the letter, irrespective of their consequences
to the interests of either party to it. In the other, a contract or treaty between the Dominion
and the Provinces, which the act of Confederation really was, is entered into not only ostensibly for the good of the whole people and the mutual advantage of the two powers so alien,
but good and mutual advantage are essentially the very essence of the contract, and if, in the
operation of the Act, it can be shown that one of the powers affected is unduly burdened by
the conditions, and the results are inequitable, there is an absolute constitutional necessity for
readjustment. There is nothing commercial, whereby one of the parties may hope to reap a
profit at the expense of the other party, involved in a treaty of Confederation.
Therefore, in studying the debates over the resolutions submitted to the Legislative
Assembly of British Columbia, we can arrive at a fair understanding of the agreement they
reached, not so much from what they did as from why they did it. In the first place, not one
of the speakers predicted in any way accurately the outcome of the terms of union, that is, in
respect to financial results. They were all fairly able and representative men of the Province,
but the experience of Confederation in the older Provinces of Canada was not sufficient to
guide them, and, besides, the conditions in British Columbia were so entirely different to
conditions in the other Provinces that, as a rule, that experience would not have applied, even
if it had existed.
One speaker, for instance, thought that the result of Confederation would be the adoption
of what would be practically a system of free trade with the world, and that, therefore, it
would be necessary to have a sum stipulated at first sufficient to meet all the requirements of
the public service, and provide for a surplus that could be applied to works of development.
He represented one phase of opinion.
Another thought the result would be the opposite, and that Canada would adopt the
American protective system, and that, therefore, British Columbia should stipulate for a fair
return of the revenues contributed to the Dominion, which, owing to the anticipated rapid
increase of population, would yearly grow much larger.
Others thought the increase of population would be slow, others that it would be very
rapid. A prominent and able member of the House considered that one result would be the
equalisation of taxation and conditions throughout the whole of the Dominion within two or
three years, and that the only way to meet the special requirements of British Columbia, then
and there, was to stipulate for a large enough sum at the outset, irrespective of condition of
It was also urged that the Dominion Government would act fairly, reasonably and
liberally, and that in case the terms should prove to be inequitable, or the financial arrangements inadequate, provision would be made from time to time for relief. In fact, this was in
a large measure assumed and acted upon, though not so expressed. The whole spirit actuating
the framers of the resolutions in question was one of dependence upon the good faith of the
There was a great variety of opinion expressed, but all arguments were based on one
idea and led to the common conclusion that, whatever was the result, the peculiar conditions
of the Colony demanded that subsidies from Ottawa should be fixed at first large enough to
equalise local revenue and expenditure and leave a surplus for works of development. The
disparity of conditions as between British Columbia and the East was recognised, and the
proposed financial arrangements were based on those conditions, as far as it was possible then
to anticipate the future.
British Columbia had then less than 10,000 of a white population, and its entire population was estimated at and probably did not exceed 40,000. A subsidy based on population at
80 cents a head would have been manifestly insufficient.    It was decided to fix the population 3 Ed. 7 Report of the Delegates to Ottawa. K 27
at a nominal figure of 120,000. The wisdom of this arrangement, had it been carried out, has
been confirmed by our subsequent experience. The basis of 120,000 was arrived at in this
way, as stated by the mover of the resolutions :—
"This estimated population of 120,000 is nominal, and has been arrived at by comparison
of the revenue and population, because in the absence of actual census, and to facilitate
financial arrangements, it has been deemed best to calculate according to the revenue-producing
powers of British Columbia compared with Canada; thus we have it officially from Canada
that her customs and excise produced $2.75 per head of the population ; at the same rate, $2.75
per head, our customs represent the same at present as a population of 120,000 Canadians
produce.    This estimate of 120,000, therefore, though nominal, is really just and fair."
The amount of debt we were desirous of having allowed for by the Dominion was also
arrived at in the same way.     The Chief Commissioner said, among other things:—
" With regard to the reasons for adopting the number of 120,000 as the basis of population, we ask something for undeveloped resources. The expenses of living in this Colony are
much higher than on the Atlantic Coast; there is more per head paid for taxes here than in
any other part of the Dominion. One dollar here is in reality worth no more, that is to say,
it goes no further than one shilling in the Eastern Provinces; and one man here pays as much
to the revenue as four on the other side. The basis, in fact, is the basis of customs paid by
each individual in this Colony, compared with the customs revenues per individual in Canada.
* * * Practically and equitably, I believe this to be a fair basis. It may be
open to some logical objections, but I believe it is equitable. The estate which we propose to
hand over yields at that rate as we now find it. We turn it over into the hands of those who
are to manage it. It is for us to consider how. If they reduce the customs, it is nothing to
us ; we must have a basis as favourable as this."
It is unnecessary to quote at length the many references to that feature of the situation
as it then appeared, but the necessity of largely increased subsidy from the Dominion, over
what was finally decided upon, was fully anticipated, and strongly dwelt upon throughout.
But the prospects of obtaining a railway, coupled with the fact that the Dominion Government would not agree to the financial terms proposed by British Columbia, led the House
finally to concur in the terms offered by the Dominion, which have proved to be inadequate
financially and inequitable.
3. B. C. Terms of Union, prom Dominion Point op View.
It will be interesting to note how little was understood of British Columbia in the
Dominion Houses when the proposal came to be discussed there, where it was discussed rather
in the light of assuming a very great burden for the sentimental purpose of "rounding out
the Dominion." It was never apparently expected that this Province would pay the Dominion
in the ordinary sense of the term, and this accounts for the rejection by the Ottawa Houses of
the financial terms offered by the Province.    One or two extracts will suffice:—
Hon. Mr. Sandborn, in the Senate, said : " It does seem to me a monstrous proposition
to ask this House to accept such terms as British Columbia, which does not enjoy responsible
Government at all, may choose to offer. If the honourable member will look over these papers
he will see that Governor Musgrave sends a petition from certain persons in Victoria, asking
for some alterations in the terms. He tells them that the people of the Colony have the best
terms they can expect—in fact better terms than they ought to have; but, nevertheless, he will
send the memorial in the hopes of getting still more."
Hon. Mr. Hazen said:—"I cannot see how British Columbia has the cheek, if that is a
parliamentary expression, to ask so much. I never saw a more extraordinary proposition in
my life. I think we should leave the gentlemen who passed Confederation to assume the
whole responsibility of this transaction."
At the time British Columbia was admitted it must be understood that the Government
of Canada intended to build the railway by means of land grants, as had been done in the
United States, and it was not then contemplated to give any large money bonus. Had that
been anticipated at that time British Columbia would not have got even as good terms as she
did, or might not have been admitted at all. The policy of the Government was definitely
announced in the Senate by the Government leader, in these words:—
"We knew what had been done on the other side of the border. The Northern Pacific
Railway was being built simply by land grants. We certainly had plenty of land to give for
the same purpose, and the Government proposed to act liberally." K 28 Report of the Delegates to Ottawa. 1903
Moreover, the Dominion Government expected to make a deal out of the Province in this,
as announced by Sir George E. Cartier, in the Commons:—
" While this clause was under discussion between the delegates (of British Columbia) and
the Government it was proposed by the Dominion that the Colony should hand over a forty-
mile strip of land towards the construction of the railway. That would be 24,000 square miles
of land, or 50,360,000 acres of land, not merely agricultural land, but mineral land. Placing
that land at one dollar per acre, it would be equal to a grant of $50,360,000 towards the
construction of the railway. It was proposed to give the Colony $100,000 per annum, which,
placing the interest at five per cent, would be the annual interest on the value of 2,000,000
acres of land, leaving the remainder to be used by this Government."
Sir Francis Hincks, Minister of Finance, figured it out this way:—
"The charges to the Dominion in connection with British Columbia were estimated at
$460,000, and the revenues from all sources $360,000, leaving an annual charge of about
$100,000 upon Canada."
Sir A. T. Gait, said:—"By these resolutions they were threatened with a very grave
responsibility in regard to the early commencement and completion of the Pacific Railway.
He was certainly opposed to terms of this kind, however desirous of extending the union and
meeting the wishes of British Columbia."
That the terms were regarded as very liberal is shown by what Sir Leonard Tilley said
by way of excuse for conceding so much as the Dominion already had to British Columbia:—
" He entirely agreed with his honourable friend, that it was impossible to take large
Provinces into the Dominion, with a small population, and acquire all their lands without
giving them in return the means of carrying out the local works necessary to make the
country attractive to immigrants ; and how could it be expected that the people of this large
Province, twice the size of Ontario, would be in a position to develop the resources of their
country without assistance—and that assistance was what the Government proposed to render
in the proposition before the House. At the present time it cost from 12 to 14 cents a pound
for all supplies sent into that country, and no one could live there unless he earned $5 a day.
If, however, the country were opened up, they would be able to get supplies there as cheap as
at Ottawa, and those who now live on $5 a day would be able to live on $2.50 a day, and
there would very soon be a population which would yield a revenue that would speedily compensate for the cost of the railway."
The facts, therefore, go clearly to show that when British Columbia entered Confederation she did so handicapped by every possible condition unfavourable to securing such terms as
were necessary to efficiently administer the local Government affairs, and at the same time
carry on the work of developing resources by the building of roads and railways, erecting
bridges and wharves, public buildings throughout the country, etc. As a consequence, forty-
nine-fiftieths of the Province is still unopened and undeveloped, as will be seen more readily
by a glance at the accompanying map, in which the settled portions are marked in red.
Owing to the lack of knowledge of the Province which existed in older Canada, and the
inability of either Canadians or British Columbians to foresee the nature of developments to
follow Confederation, Canada, on the one hand, was unwilling to admit British Columbia except
on the least onerous conditions possible, believing that it would remain a drag and a burden
financially on the Dominion for all time to come, its union with the other Provinces being only
justifiable on the higher sentimental grounds of completing a Canadian nationality; while, on
the other hand, British Columbia, by reason of its isolated position and insignificant population, was forced to accept terms the people who assisted in framing the Constitution believed
to be inadequate to properly provide for local requirements.
The extracts from Hansard reports of the debates on the admission of the Province show
clearly why British Columbia did not get better terms at the outset, reasons being advanced
and acted upon which subsequent events have shown to have been entirely erroneous.
It is manifestly clear that if you argue that a certain train of circumstances, events and
conditions will follow as the result of pursuing a certain policy, and the adoption of that policy
is a matter of material consequence to one of the parties to the argument, who is compelled by
virtue of the force of circumstances then existing to concur, and an entirely different series of
results follow to what was predicted, such results being what would have accrued to the benefit
of such party and not to the other exclusively—in such case, it is clear, I repeat, that the
party injured by the policy pursued is entitled, or would in common law be entitled, to recover
the benefits so accrued. This is precisely the position in which British Columbia now claims
to be, and which every fact adducible shows it to be. 3 Ed. 7 Report of the Delegates to Ottawa. K 29
Proceedings of the Interprovineial   Conference  held  at  the City
of Quebec from the 18th to the 20th December,
1902, inclusive.
(Presented by the Provincial Premiers to Sir   Wilfrid Laurier, with the Appendix containing
copy of the Hon. E.  G. Prior's letter to Mr. Parent?)
The Interprovineial Conference, convened by the Hon. S. N. Parent, Premier of Quebec,
met on the 18th of December, 1902, at six o'clock P. m.
This Conference was called by the following circular letter sent by the Honourable Mr.
Parent to the Premiers of the different Provinces of the Dominion :—
Quebec, 20th November, 1902.
Dear Sir,—Before Sir Wilfrid Laurier's departure for Europe, in June last, I had
occasion to speak to him concerning the increase of the subsidy paid by the Dominion Government to the different Provinces. This question has been talked of at different intervals, and
especially in 1887, when the Interprovineial Conference held meetings, but for different reasons
nothing has been done in that regard up to the present moment.
Sir Wilfrid Laurier did not disapprove of the project, but expressed the desire that no
step be taken in the matter until he returns. This I did, but I think that now that the session
is near at hand the moment has come when it is proper to submit the question to the consideration of the Dominion Government.
It is not now my intention to give all the reasons which, in my opinion, have a bearing
on the question, allow me simply to say this : the Dominion has, of late especially, taken large
development, its population has increased in a fair degree and the public revenue has also been
steadily increasing. As a consequence of the increase of population, the Provinces, in their
respective sphere of action, are called upon to make provision for larger expenses, viz., the
Administration of Justice, Public Instruction, etc., etc., and this without any increase of
revenue worthy of notice. In fact, the Provinces have very few sources of revenue, and these
have now practically, in so far as I can see, nearly reached high water mark, while, on the
other hand, the revenue of the Dominion is increasing.
My object in writing you is to ask you whether or not you would be disposed to take
joint action in that regard with the Premiers of the other Provinces. I am writing to them to
the same effect. It is my opinion that if we could arrange in such a way as to agree on a joint
meeting of the Premiers, which could take place early in December next, in Quebec, for
instance, if agreeable to you and other Premiers, or in any other place convenient, it would be
very easy then to come to an understanding which could not fail to have the best results.
As the object of such a meeting should be the adoption of a joint resolution to be presented
to the Dominion Government, we might perhaps use, as a basis, the resolutions adopted by the
Interprovineial Conference in 1887, to the same effect.
These are the suggestions which I intended to submit to your consideration, and I would
be much obliged to you if you would kindly advise me in that regard at your earliest convenience.
Yours truly,
S. N. Parent,
Premier of Quebec.
In answer to the foregoing circular, the following provincial ministers were present at
Government House, Quebec, at 6 o'clock p.m., on the 18th December, 1902 :—
Honourable S. N. Parent, Premier and Minister of Lands, Mines and Fisheries.
ii H. Archambeault, Attorney-General.
n A.  Turgeon,  Minister of Agriculture.
n J. J. Guerin, Minister without portfolio. K 30 Report of the Delegates to Ottawa. 1903
Honourable H. T.  Duffy,  Provincial Treasurer.
ii Lomer Gouin, Minister of Colonization and Public Works.
ii A. Robitaille, Provincial Secretary.
Nova Scotia.
Honourable G. N. Murray, Premier and Provincial Secretary.
ii J. W. Longley, Attorney-General.
New Brunswick.
Honourable L. J. Tweedie, Premier and Provincial Secretary.
ii Wm. Pugsley, Attorney-General.
Prince Edward's Island.
Honourable Arthur Peters,  Premier and Provincial Secretary.
ii John F. Whear, Minister without portfolio.
Honourable R. P. Roblin, Premier.
The Honourable G. W. Ross, Premier of Ontario, unable to be present on account of
pressing engagements, transmits to Honourable Mr. Parent a memorandum containing his views
on the questions to be discussed at this conference.
The Hon. Mr. Prior, who has replaced the Hon. Mr. Dunsmuir as Premier of British
Columbia, regrets being unable to be in Quebec for the date fixed for the conference, but
concurs with pleasure in its object.
The Hon. Mr. Parent moves that the Hon. Mr. Murray be selected as chairman of the
It is moved in amendment by the Hon. Mr. Murray, seconded by the Hon. Mr. Roblin,
that the Hon. Mr. Parent be appointed chairman.    Adopted.
It is moved by the Hon. Mr. Parent, seconded by the Hon. Mr. Murray, that Gustave
Grenier, Clerk of the Executive Council, P. Q., be appointed secretary.    Adopted.
The chairman read the following address :—
Honourable Gentlemen,—
It is with great pleasure that I welcome your presence in this capital and express to you
my thanks and those of the Government of which I have the honour to form part, for your
having complied with the invitation to discuss some of the subjects in which we have a common interest.
The favourable manner with which all the Provinces received the suggestion of taking
into consideration the financial situation in which the constitution governing us has placed the
local governments, and of consulting as to the means of improving it, indicates the widespread
nature of the uneasiness existing on this subject in the minds of all public men entrusted with
provincial affairs.
I regret that the Premiers of two of the Provinces have been unable to be present with
us. One has been prevented by circumstances of the highest importance, and the other by
distance from the place of our meeting. The views of the former will be submitted in a
memorandum which has been transmitted to me and which I will lay before you. Both gentlemen view with favour the object proposed to be realised by this conference.
I deem it my duty at once to declare that by this conference, no more than by the conference of 1887, the persons convening it do not intend to embarrass the Federal authorities; in
inviting you we have only obeyed the sincere desire to bring about an opportunity of studying
with you the best measures to be adopted to remove the financial difficulties under which we
suffer, and which are due to the imperfections of the organic law which governs us. I have
reason to believe that the Government of Canada so considers it, and that every decision
which we may adopt with a view of placing our finances on a more solid basis will receive
from that Government the most favourable attention.
The question of the amendments to be made to the Union Act is not now submitted for
the first time to the attention of public men in this country. It has often, in this and other
Provinces, been the subject of discussion in the Legislatures, of representations to the Federal 3 Ed. 7 Report of the Delegates to Ottawa. K 31
Government, and of debate in the Parliament of Canada. It was especially at the time of the
meeting of the distinguished men who formed part of the interprovineial conference held here
in 1887 that it gave rise to most earnest debate, and that the claims of the Provinces were
most clearly formulated.
Some of the aspirations then expressed have since been realised. A number of reforms
suggested at that time still remain to be effected. Among the latter, one of the most
important is undoubtedly that referring to the readjustment of the federal subsidy, and, subject
to the suggestions which you may deem expedient to make, it is that which I submit to your
I will further invite you to study the question as to whether it would be expedient to
make representations to the Government of Canada upon the legislation which has been
suggested to it respecting matters which concern the revenue of the Province. The exportation of pulp wood, upon which it has been asked to impose a heavy export—in fact a
prohibitive—duty, gives to this question a great importance, seeing that in some of the
Provinces the cutting of this wood already produces a large revenue and one that bids fair to
become from year to year much greater.
Four of the Provinces have applied to the Government of Canada for a part of the
indemnity paid on account of the Fisheries by the United States in pursuance of the award of
the Halifax Commission. The fact that the Federal authorities have now under consideration
the merits of this claim, since we fully exposed our views to them, in June last, will not
perhaps allow of our making further representations in the matter at this time.
I will now place before you the chief reasons in support of the demand for the readjustment of the Federal subsidy, and, in so doing, I will confine myself to those which more
particularly concern the Province of Quebec, assured as I am that the representatives of each
Province will make known those which are special to them.
Under Article 118 of the "British North America Act, 1867," the Province receives
subsidies of two kinds, first a specific sum of $70,000, and, secondly, 80 cents per head of the
population of 1,111,566, established by the census of 1861.
The subsidy of 80 cents per head was granted to the Provinces in consideration of the
abandonment made by them of their customs and excise duties. By Article 64 of the Quebec
resolutions the Provinces transferred to the general Parliament their powers of taxation, for
an annual grant equal to 80 cents per head of its population. Article 43 of these resolutions
reserved to the Provincial Legislatures the right of direct taxation, and what was really transferred by Article 64 comprised only indirect taxation. As all indirect taxes are either customs
or excise duties, it follows that the annual grant of 80 cents per head was in consideration
of the abandonment to the central Government of the customs and excise duties theretofore
collected by the Provinces. The distribution of taxing powers established by the Union Act
gives effect to the provisions of these resolutions.
The subsidy per head amounts to $889,252.80 for Quebec. During the first year of
Confederation the revenues from customs and excise amounted to $11,580,968.25. For the
year 1900 these two sources of revenue produced $38,245,223. Hence it follows that the
Province of Quebec, which, for the first year of the present system, received a subsidy equal to
about 7f per cent, of the customs and excise duties collected by Ottawa, received for the year
1900 only a percentage of about 2J per cent, of these revenues.
The specific subsidy was granted to us to meet the expenses of Government and of the
Legislature, but it is far from attaining that end now, for in the year 1900 these services
occasioned a total expenditure of $503,903.51 ; it was even insufficient to meet them in the
year 1868, during which it was necessary to spend the sum of $213,232.51.
In deduction of these subsidies, between the 1st July, 1867, and the 1st January, 1873,
the Province of Quebec was charged, each six months, with its proportion of the half-year's
interest on the amount by which the debt of the late Province of Canada exceeded, at the end
of the previous six months, $62,500,000 (section 112 B. N. A. Act), which interest forms an
aggregate amount of $1,327,507.02.
By the Act of the Dominion (1873), 36 Victoria, chapter 30, the fixed amount of the
debt of the late Province of Canada, assumed by the Dominion, was increased from $62,500,000
to $873,006,088.84, and the Provinces of Ontario and Quebec were conjointly liable for interest
on such amount as the debt of the late Province of Canada should be in excess of this latter
amount; the amounts of the debts of the other Provinces, assumed by the Dominion, being
increased in proportion, and their subsidies increased in the same proportion. K 32
Report of the Delegates to Ottawa.
From the 1st January, 1873, to the present time, the full amount of the annual subsidy,
as fixed by the B. N. A. Act, section 118, viz., $959,252.80, has been paid, without deduction.
By the Act of the Dominion (1884), 47 Victoria, chapter 4, the subsidies of the Provinces
of Ontario and Quebec, conjointly, were increased by the sum of $269,875.16, the increase to
the subsidy of the Province of Quebec being $127,460.68, which amount has been paid by the
Dominion from the 1st July, 1884, to the present time; the subsidies to the other Provinces
of the Dominion being increased at the same time in proportion to their respective populations,
according to the census of 1881.
The amount of subsidies, therefore, received by the Province of Quebec, since Confederation, has been as follows :—
From the 1st July, 1867, to the 1st January, 1873, an annual subsidy of $959,252 80
From which was deducted Quebec's share of the interest on the excess of debt of
the late Province of Canada, which, during the same period, averaged. .   241,364 00
Leaving a net annual amount received by the Province of Quebec of $717,888 80
From 1st January, 1873, to the 1st July, 1884, an annual subsidy of $959,252.80, without
From 1st July, 1884, to the present time, an annual subsidy of $1,086,713.48, without
No mention is made in the foregoing of the annual interest on the subsidy granted by
the Dominion Act of 1884 (47 Victoria, chapter 8) to the Province of Quebec, in consideration
of their having constructed the railway from Quebec to Ottawa, amounting to $119,700 per
annum, paid by the Dominion to the Province of Quebec, as this subsidy has nothing to do
with the subsidies to the Provinces of the Dominion, under the B. N. A. Act and the Acts
readjusting the same, but is one of a number of subsidies granted by the Dominion to different
railways under the said Act of the Dominion (47 Victoria, chapter 8).
The expenses for the services, other than those for Government and Legislation above
referred to, which have to be provided for by the Province in the administration of public
affairs, show a yearly and constant increase.
Further, the development of the Province has occasioned new expenditure.
The following comparative table shows at a glance the increase :—
Comparative Statement or the Expenditure op the Province of Quebec for the Fiscal Years
1867-1898 and 1900-1901.
Civil Government	
Administration of Justice	
Education, etc .     .   .   	
Asylums, Hospitals and Charities    	
Crown Lands, Public Works, Agriculture and Colonisation.
Licences, etc	
Public Debt	
Inspection of Industrial Establishments	
Quebec Official Gazette	
Provincial Board of Health	
Pensions : Civil Service, etc	
Municipalities' fund	
Property sold	
Sundry payments	
$104,096 45
300,442 63
26,964 40
109,144 06
275,605 27
125,256 53
226,678 82
15,050 28
1,183,238 44
$ 278,307 42
618,296 88
60000 00
235,596 09
465,589 68
397,895 75
678,806 83
72,769 65
1,617,344 06
12,000 00
13,000 00
17,625 08
45,321 47
180 00
286 40
123,310 10
71,592 S3
,707,932 24
The larger part of this increase is due to various causes, which, notwithstanding all the
care given to the management of public affairs, it has been impossible to control. 3 Ed. 7 Report of the Delegates to Ottawa. K 33
It is to be attributed in the first place to the increase in population. In 1868 the population was 1,111,566 souls, while in 1901 the figure was 1,620,974 souls. This increase in the
population is inevitably a source of expenditure to the Provincial Government, and, although
it is incumbent upon it to neglect no means of attracting to the Province and keeping therein
a large population, it is unfortunately true that the accomplishment of this duty occasions a
constant diminution in its pecuniary resources.
This increase in the population is directly responsible for the additional cost for the
administration of justice, the maintenance of tbe educational system, the support of prisons
and asylums and the assistance given to educational and charitable institutions, etc.
As respects the administration of criminal justice, there is another reason for the increase
in the expenditure.    It is Federal legislation which, on more than one occasion, has imposed
upon the Province the payment of expenses over which the latter has had no control.
The following table establishes these ever increasing expenses :—
1868 $223,732 95
1878    350,382 96
Increase    $126,650 01
1878 $350,382 96
1888   433,839 03
Increase        83,456 07
1888 $433,839 03
1898    451,950 14
Increase         18,111  11
Total increase  . $ 228,217  19
On the other hand, the revenue of the Federal Government from $13,687,928, which it
was in 1868, increased to $51,029,994 in 1900. From the figures above given, it will be seen
that the customs and excise duties form a large portion of the revenues paid into the treasury
of Canada in consequence of their surrender by the Provinces.
For these reasons, I submit that in demanding from the Federal authorities an increase
in the subsidy per capita we are asking for a simple act of justice.
Paragraph 5 of the 17th resolution adopted by the Interprovineial Conference of 1887,
and approved by the Legislatures of the Provinces represented thereat, formulates in the
following manner the basis upon which both the specific and per capita subsidies might be
calculated :—
" That this conference is of opinion that a basis for a final and unalterable settlement of
the amounts to be yearly paid by the Dominion to the several Provinces for their local purposes and the support of their Governments and Legislatures, may be found in the proposal
following, that is to say :—
(A) Instead of the amounts now paid, the sums hereafter payable yearly by Canada to
the several Provinces for the support of their Governments and Legislatures to be according to
population and as follows :—
(a) Where the population is under 150,000 $100,000
(b) Where the population is 150,000, but does not exceed 200,000    150,000
(c) Where the population is 200,000, but does not exceed 400,000    180,000
(d) Where the population is 400,000, but does not exceed 800,000    190,000
(e) Where the population is 800,000, but does not exceed 1,500,000    220,000
(/) Where the population exceeds 1,500,000  240,000
(B) Instead of an annual grant per head of the population now allowed, the annual payment hereafter to be at the same rate of 80 cents per head, but on the population of each Province
as ascertained from time to time by the last decennial census, until such population exceeds
2,500,000; and at a rate of 60 cents per head for so much of said population as may exceed
2,500,000 :
(C) The population as ascertained by the last decennial census, to govern except as to
British Columbia and Manitoba; and as to these two Provinces, the population to be taken to
be that upon which, under the respective statutes in that behalf, the annual payments now
made to them respectively by the Dominion are fixed, until the actual population is by the
census ascertained to be greater; and thereafter the actual population so ascertained to govern: K 34 Report of the Delegates to Ottawa. 1903
(D) The amounts so to be paid and granted yearly by the Dominion to the Provinces
respectively to be declared by Imperial enactment to be final and absolute, and not within the
power of the Federal Parliament to alter, add to or vary."
For our part we adhere to that resolution, and I place it before you as the proposition of
our Province upon this matter, with the reserve, however, that we suggest that the rate per
head be fixed at $1 and not at 80 cents.
We believe we are justified in asking that the rate per head be fixed at $1 so as to be able
to meet the expenses of the administration of Criminal Justice, respecting which a distinct
claim was made at the Conference of 1887.
In the majority of the Provinces, it has become impossible by taxation to cover the
increased expenditure, and it appears to us that the only method of meeting all the public
requirements is to have the views above expressed accepted by the Federal Government.
If our demand is favourably entertained the Province of Quebec will receive for the specific
subsidy a sum of $240,000, and for the subsidy per capita, at the increased rate and with the
population as fixed by the census of 1901, a sum of $1,620,974. This would mean an increase
of $170,000 on the specific subsidy, and of $731,722 on the other, or a total increase of
$901,722.    The other Provinces would have corresponding increases.
With the additional sums so placed at the disposal of the Province we could encourage
education, agriculture and colonisation, aid in the development of our natural resources and
nascent industries ; furnish, by practical instruction, the generations to come with the means of
engaging in the economic struggles of the future, and supervise with a more jealous care the
observance of the laws which insure the security of persons and property.
This expenditure would directly benefit the Government of Canada, which would be more
than repaid the sums handed over to us by additional customs and excise duties paid into the
public treasury by the increased population attracted to the country.
In this manner our deliberations will result in assuring greater security and prosperity
and in consolidating to a greater degree the Confederation of the Provinces.
May they also draw closer the bonds which unite them, and, if possible, enhance the
warmth of the feelings of peace, benevolence and concord which characterises the relations
between the Governments presiding over their destinies.
The Chairman then laid before the conference the following memorandum from the Hon.
Mr. Boss, Premier of Ontario :—
Memorandum Respecting the Financial Basis op the Provinces Under the
British North America Act.
In considering a revision of the financial basis of the Union of the Provinces, we propose,
for the sake of convenience, first to consider the terms of Union as they apply to the four
Provinces of Ontario, Quebec, Nova Scotia and New Brunswick, and to compare, very briefly,
their position and their wants in 1867 with their position and wants at the present time.
In arranging the terms of Confederation, the Union Act provided for the maintenance
of the Governments of the four Provinces named by a specific subsidy of eighty cents per
head, based on the population of 1861, with a grant in the aggregate of $260,000 for civil
government and legislation—the Provinces to raise such additional revenue from Crown Lands,
tavern licences and other minor sources as they may deem necessary by direct taxation.
That the Fathers of Confederation had a very inadequate conception of the demands
which thirty-five years of development would make upon the Provinces is quite evident from
the speeches delivered while the Quebec resolutions were before the Legislative Assembly of
Sir A. T. Gait, referring to the revenue necessities of the Provinces, said (Confederation
Debates, page 69): "The local revenue of Upper Canada, during the last four years, has
averaged the sum of $739,000, and that of Lower Canada, $557,239; together they amount
to nearly $1,300,000, independent of the eighty cents per head which it is proposed to allow
the local Governments out of the general exchequer for the purpose of meeting their local
expenditures.     These local expenditures include such items as the administration of justice, 3 Ed. 7
Report of the Delegates to Ottawa.
K 3c
the support of education, grants to literary and scientific societies, hospitals and charities, and
such other matters as cannot be regarded as devolving upon the General Government. The
whole charge, exclusive of the expenses of local Government and legislation, on an average of
the last four years, has in Lower Canada amounted to $997,000, and in Upper Canada to
$1,024,622, per annum. In addition to these sums will have now to be added such amounts
as may be required to meet the cost of the Civil Government of the country and of legislation
for local purposes. It may be difficult to form any reliable estimate of the sums required for
this purpose, but when the House considers that, according to the statements given of the
expenditure during the last four years, there will be available in the whole Province of Canada
the sum of no less than $1,043,015, it must, I think, be admitted that if those charged with
the administration of local affairs in Upper and Lower Canada exceed this amount they will
be guilty of a degree of profligacy and extravagance for which a speedy remedy will be found
by the people."
From the previous quotation it will be seen that Sir A. T. Gait assumed that, excluding
the expenses of local Government and legislation, Upper and Lower Canada (now Ontario and
Quebec) would have a surplus of one million dollars a year over the annual expenditure on
administration of justice, education, hospitals and charities, and agriculture, etc. Whether
wisely or not, the people of these two Provinces have disregarded the economical basis laid
down by Mr. Gait, and on these items alone the expenditure for 1901, instead of being
$1,300,000 for the two Provinces, as fixed by Mr. Gait, has reached the sum of $2,433,539.71
in the case of Ontario alone, and in the case of that of Quebec the sum of $
The Hon. George Brown (page 94, Confederation Debates) reviewing the subsidies of the
Provinces, said: "I am persuaded, Mr. Speaker, that the House will feel with me that we in
Canada (by that meaning Upper and Lower Canada) have very little to complain of in regard
to the subsidies for local government."
Without waiting to discuss whether, at the time of the Union, the provision made for the
Provinces was not generous (having regard to available revenue and the wealth of the country),
it is quite clear that this provision was made without adequately anticipating the growth of
population and the urgent demands which modern conditions imposed upon the Provinces in
the way of education, hospitals aud charities, the administration of justice and other expenditures of a local and necessary character. The small household with its moderate wants, on the
basis of 1861, is very different to the larger household of 1901 with its many wants, and the
proposition now for consideration is should not the terms of the Union Act be amended so that
automatically the subsidies from the Dominion would bear the same relation to the wants of
the population at each decennial census as presumably they bore at the time they were first
A brief comparison of the expenses of the Provinces in 1861 and 1901 will make this clear.
The following table shows the expenditure of the four Provinces on four of the largest items of
expenditure in 1861 and in 1901 :—
Nova Scotia.
New Brunswick.
Asylums, Hospitals & Charities
It is unnecessary to make a prolonged argument to show that in regard to these four items
what would be a reasonable expenditure in 1861 would be far from satisfactory in 1901, having
regard to the increased population and the natural growth of expenses in the administration of K 36
Report of the Delegates to Ottawa.
public affairs. Education being more progressive is necessarily more expensive. Teachers
require larger salaries ; competition requires that the arts and manufactures be considered in
the light of modern science; the conditions of agriculture require greater knowledge and skill;
asylums and hospitals are demanded by motives of humanity as well as economy ; and there is
no avoiding the increased expenditure, unless we are content to allow the Province to lapse
into indifference to the modern spirit of enterprise and development.
It may be said, however, that the Provinces have their own sources of revenue, independent of subsidies from the Central Government, and to these they should apply for the
moneys necessary for the comfort of their people and the effective development of their
resources. But, as a matter of fact, the Provinces do tax themselves, and very liberally too,
for local purposes, in addition to the subsidies, as the following statement for the year 1901
Total revenue	
Subsidies from the Dominion
Raised from local sources ...
Nova Scoti
That the Provinces were not expected to contribute more than a reasonable portion from
local sources for their own wants is further apparent by the following considerations :—
(1.) In determining the subsidies which the Central Government could afford to pay, the
available revenue of the Central Government had to be considered. This in 1867-8 was
$13,486,091, of which $11,570,968 was derived from customs and excise. The amount paid
in subsidies the first year of the Union was $2,753,966, or about 24 per cent, of the income
of the Central Government from customs and excise. Now in 1901 the gross revenue of the
Dominion reached the large sum of $52,514,701, of which $38,743,550 was derived from
customs and excise, of which the sum of only $4,250,607 was paid to the seven Provinces of
the Dominion, or about 11 per cent, of the income from customs and excise. How much of
that revenue came exclusively from the four original Provinces it is impossible accurately to
determine, but the fact remains that the seven Provinces proportionately receive only about
half the sum from the Dominion compared with the first four Provinces that entered into
Confederation. Indeed, if the revenue of the Dominion was to be the basis of financial aid
to the Provinces, and the proportions agreed upon in the B. N. A. Act were now continued,
the Provinces would be in receipt of double the amount now paid by the Dominion. It is true
that there is no compact that the subsidies should increase according to the revenues of the
Central Government, although such a basis would be eminently fair, inasmuch as the moneys
(customs and excise) from which the subsidy is paid by way of refund for maintenance of
local Governments is collected from the people of the Provinces, and, indeed, in some respects
such a basis for the payment of subsidies would be fairer than payment on the basis of population, as being a refund in proportion to the amount collected.
(2.) The present basis ignores the fact that, while the increase of population lightens the
burdens of the Dominion inasmuch as it multiplies the contributors to the revenue from
customs and excise, the increase of population adds to the burdens of the Provinces without
any corresponding contribution towards their maintenance. For instance, the Provinces,
through the Central Government, are taxed for maintaining the Department of Emigration.
This department justifies its existence by increasing population from foreign parts, and the
Government is recouped for this expenditure through the Customs and Excise Departments.
The Province, however, that has to provide for the education of these emigrants, for the
administration of justice so far as they are concerned, and for the maintenance of their indigent
or insane, has no means of recouping itself because of this increased expenditure imposed on
it through the Dominion except at its own expense. Surely this circumstance must have been
overlooked or the subsidies would not have been rigidly based on a fixed population as has
been the case.
Moreover, in its laudable efforts to develop and strengthen the influence of Canada, the
Central Government has imposed many charges upon the people for public works, the purchase 3 Ed. 7 Report of the Delegates to Ottawa. K 37
and opening up of the North-West Territories, the deepening of our canals, the construction
of the Intercolonial and Pacific Bailways, etc. The effect of this expenditure, we are glad to
notice, in the last thirty-five years, has been largely to increase the population of Canada, but
while the Dominion Government holds in its own hands the power to meet the wants of this
natural increase (although that increase is Provincial in its character), the Provinces, so far as
their administration of the responsibilities devolving upon them by the Act, receive no benefit
whatever, but rather lose from this increase, as the charges by the Dominion Government,
which the people of the Province have to meet in order to carry on these large undertakings
increase the difficulties of the Provincial Governments in meeting the charges which this
increased population imposes upon them under the Constitution.
The Provinces are, in this way, subjected to a double charge: (1) To find the means
through increased customs and excise charges for public works undertaken by the Dominion
and (2) to provide for the maintenance of the population which naturally follows in their
The undersigned are, therefore, of the opinion that the B. N. A. Act should be amended
so as to provide :
(1) That the Provinces should receive an annual subsidy of 80 cents per head on the population of each Province as ascertained from time to time by the last decennial census.
(2) That in the case of Provinces with a population less than 1,000,000, an annual allowance of $200,000 should be made in addition to the subsidy in the preceding paragraph mentioned, for the maintenance of civil government and legislation, and in the case of Provinces
with a population of 1,000,000 or over, an annual allowance of $300,000, for similar purposes.
(3) That the said sums be paid in half-yearly payments as at present.
It is then resolved that a committee composed of the Hon. Mr. Parent, chairman, and the
Honourable Messrs. Archambeault, Pugsley, Longley and Peters be appointed to prepare a resolution concerning the readjustment of the Federal Subsidy to the Provinces, and the cost of
the administration of justice in criminal matters.
The committee submit the following resolutions, which are unanimously adopted :—
Whereas, at the time of the passing of the British North America Act, 1867, and the
subsequent enactments affecting the same, it was impossible to foresee the development of the
Dominion, and to fix in a definite and unalterable way the distribution of the revenue so as to
make sufficient provision for the Central Government, and to furnish the various Provinces
with the means adequate to carry on their local affairs;
Whereas, it was the evident intent of the framers of the Union Act, as expressed in the
Quebec Resolutions of 1864, and in the debates at the Conference at which they were adopted,
to make adequate financial provision for carrying on the affairs of the Central Government and
those of the various Provinces;
Whereas the financial resources of several of the Provinces, as determined by the various
provisions of the Union Act and of the other statutes governing the matter, are no longer sufficient to meet the expenditure necessary to carry on the public affairs of the Provinces, and to
promote in an efficient manner their development and progress;
Whereas, under the various statutes now governing the financial arrangements between
the several Provinces and the Dominion, a specific subsidy is payable to each Province as
Ontario $80,000
Quebec.,    70,000
Nova Scotia     60,000
New Brunswick    50,000
Manitoba    50,000
British Columbia    35,000
Prince Edward Island    30,000
Whereas this subsidy was granted to the Provinces for the maintenance of their Governments and Legislatures, but is entirely inadequate for the said purposes, and in order to attain
the ends for which it is granted it would be necessary to increase it and apportion it as hereinafter provided;
Whereas, in addition to the above specific subsidy above referred to the various Provinces
are allowed by the Union Act and by subsequent enactments an annual grant of 80 cents per K 38
Report of the Delegates to Ottawa.
head of their population as established for the Provinces of Ontario and Quebec by the census
of 1861, and for the Provinces of Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, Manitoba, British Columbia
and Prince Edward Island, by the last decennial census;
Whereas this subsidy was granted to the Provinces in consideration of the transfer to the
Central Government of their customs and excise duties;
Whereas the revenue of the Federal Government was in 1868 $13,687,928, of which the
sum of $11,580,968.25 was from customs and excise duties, and the revenue in 1900 was
$51,029,994, of which the sum of $38,245,223 was from customs and excise duties ;
Whereas the population of the two Provinces, for which the basis of the calculation of
the per capita subsidy is the census of 1861, has increased as follows :—
Census of
Census of
Whereas this increase of population has imposed upon the said Provinces heavier burdens
in order to meet the increased cost of Administration of Justice, Legislation, Education, Maintenance of Prisons and Asylums, Agriculture, Public Works, Charities, etc., and the other
urgent demands which modern conditions impose upon them ;
Whereas no corresponding increase of subsidy has been granted, notwithstanding the
additions to the revenue of the Federal Government;
Whereas it is but fair that, in order to place the Provinces in a position to meet such
increased expenditure, the annual per capita subsidy should be calculated according to the
population of the several Provinces ascertained by the preceding decennial census, and that
upon this basis the subsidies to be granted would be as follows :—
Nova Scotia	
New Brunswick	
British Columbia 	
Prince Edward Island
Pop. census
Actual subsidy.
,116,872 80
889,252 80
320,000 00
257,010 40
122,004 80
78,538 40
87,262 40
Pop. census
$1,746,357 60
1,319,118 40
367,659 20
264,896 00
203,957 60
140,525 60
82,607 20
$629,484 80
429,865 60
47,659 20
7,885 60
81,952 80
61,987 20
1,258,835 20
Whereas several of the Provinces are not in a position to provide by taxation or otherwise for the additional expenditure required and were not expected to contribute for local
purposes more than a certain portion of such expenditure;
And whereas the additional subsidy to be paid by the Government of Canada would be
more than reimbursed to them by the additional customs and excise duties collected for the
Dominion Treasury from the increased population attracted to the country ; be it, therefore,
Resolved (1), That this Conference is of opinion that an equitable basis for a settlement
of the amounts to be yearly paid by the Dominion to the several Provinces for the support of
their Governments and Legislatures, and in lieu of the allowance of eighty cents per head
heretofore paid, may be found in the proposal following, that is to say : 4 Ed. 7 Report of the Delegates to Ottawa. K 39
(A.) Instead of the amounts now paid the sums hereafter payable yearly by Canada to
the several Provinces for the support of their Governments and Legislatures to be as follows :
(a.) Where the population is under 150,000 $100,000
(b.) Where the population is 150,000, but does not exceed 200,000    150,000
(c.)  Where the population is 200,000, but does not exceed 400,000    180,000
(d.) Where the population is 400,000, but does not exceed 800,000    190,000
(e.) Where the population is 800,000, but does not exceed 1,500,000    220,000
(/) Where the population exceeds 1,500,000    240,000
(B.) Instead of an annual grant per head of the population now allowed, the annual payment
hereafter to be at the same rate of 80 cents per head, but on the population of each Province
as ascertained from time to time by the last decennial census, until such population exceed
2,500,000 ; and at the rate of 60 cents per head for so much of said population as may exceed
(C.) The population as ascertained by the last decennial census to govern, except as to
British Columbia and Manitoba ; and, as to these two Provinces, the population to be taken
to be that upon which, under the respective statutes in that behalf, the annual payments now
made to them respectively by the Dominion are fixed until the actual population is by the
census ascertained to be greater; and thereafter the actual population so ascertained to govern.
(D.) The amounts so to be paid and granted by the Dominion to the Provinces half-yearly
and in advance.
Resolved (2), That the Premiers of the various Provinces and such other Ministers as
may be appointed by the respective Governments, be a committee to submit the foregoing
resolutions to the Government of the Dominion.
Whereas, in the opinion of this Conference, it is considered just that the expense of
administering the criminal law of Canada should be borne by the Federal Government;
therefore, it is
Resolved, That in addition to the foregoing resolution, the Dominion Government be
requested to consider the matter of the cost of administration of criminal justice conjointly
with the other matters submitted, and in addition to the amounts that may be allowed to the
Provinces under the claims above set forth, to award to each an amount for that purpose
commensurate with the expenditure necessary to be made in that regard.
This Conference further recommends that any apportionment of such amount should be
based upon the population of each Province as determined by each decennial census and should
not exceed 20 cents per capitum.
That the Chairman be requested to arrange for an appointment with the Dominion for
the purpose of presenting to them the resolutions of the Conference.
(Signed) S.  N.  Parent,   Chairman.
Horace Archambeault, L. J.   Tweedie,
Adelard Turgeon, R. P. Roblin,
H. Thos. Duffy, Arthur Peters,
G. H. Murray, John F. Whear.
Gustave Grenier, Secretary.
The following letter was received by the Chairman from the Hon. Mr, Prior, Premier of
British Columbia, on receipt of a copy of the foregoing resolutions :—
Premier's Office, Victoria,
Hon. S. N. Parent, 3rd January,  1903.
Premier,  Quebec.
Dear Mr. Parent,—I have received your letter of the 24th instant, accompanied by a
copy of the resolutions passed at the recent Conference of Provincial Premiers. I am very
much indebted to you for your courtesy in this matter, as I was anxious to obtain some idea
of the proceedings before I start for Ottawa, which I propose to do about the 10th of this
As explained briefly in my telegram, it was impracticable for me to take advantage of the
invitation to attend the Conference in question. I only received your message notifying me of
the date of the meeting the afternoon of the day upon which it would have been necessary for K 40 Report of the Delegates to Ottawa. 1903
me to have started in order to reach Quebec in time. We had two bye-elections on, and several
of my colleagues were absent at the time. You see, therefore, how very difficult it would have
been, under the circumstances, for me to have been present. In addition to that, we had already
practically arranged to meet the Ottawa Government early in January, which would have
necessitated two trips east or a very long stay there. Distance from the seat of Government
is always one of our great troubles here in dealing with the central authorities.
I have read with special interest the resolutions passed at your meeting, and it would
have afforded me a great deal of pleasure to have been there to have taken part in your deliberations. It would also have afforded me a desirable opportunity of personally explaining the
peculiar position in which this Province, under the terms of Confederation, is placed in relation
to the Dominion, and, to some extent, the other Provinces. We have a set of conditions to
deal with here which only long familiarity with the Province itself would enable you to fully
understand. For this reason I would have been able to personally demonstrate the nature and
reasonableness of our claims for better terms, or, more strictly speaking, fairer terms. For this
reason, also, I was pleased to see the action that was taken. I fully realise that without the
co-operation and good-will of the other Provinces it would be difficult to impress upon the
Dominion authorities the justice of what we seek. The resolutions are very much on the lines
of our main contention, and, therefore, I have received great encouragement from the able
presentment unanimously adopted by the Conference concerning the necessity for a readjustment of financial relations. While, however, they coincide with our views at this end, and
greatly strengthen our case, they do not, so far as we are concerned, go far enough to meet
the special requirements of British Columbia, and I am going to take this opportunity of presenting the salient features of our contention for your consideration and that of the other
Premiers. To avoid the necessity of going into minute details, 1 am sending you a copy of the
correspondence submitted to our Legislative Assembly as the report of the Delegation which
went to Ottawa in 1901. This deals with one or two matters of general interest to you, but
dwells mainly on the inadequate returns received from the Dominion for the revenues contributed to Ottawa by the Province. We intend, during the proposed Convention, to supplement
the arguments therein presented with others, which relate to the special physical characteristics of the Province, whereby the sources of revenue provided under the terms of Confederation
are shown to be wholly insufficient to meet the requirements involved in the efficient maintenance of civil government and the development of our resources. If this can be shown
absolutely beyond contradiction, as it can be, simple justice demands ample recognition of our
grievances. Naturally, in seeking special consideration we anticipate objections on the part of
the other Provinces, but if we can show that by the very nature of the relations which exist
among the different parts of Canada in the way of inter-provincial trade and commerce, such
recognition of just claims, based on facts and reasonable considerations of public policy, will
enure beneficially and equally to all other parts, we expect not opposition but co-operation on
their part.
To illustrate quite clearly what I am endeavouring to show, I will take two or three
instances from practical experience in our country's affairs. Permit me to cite one or two
chapters in our political history. When, in compliance with the terms of the contract with
British Columbia, it was proposed to build the Canadian Pacific Railway, and to open up the
North-West, there was, as you know, great opposition in Eastern Canada, and in some respects
very reasonable opposition, too, on the ground that the credit of the East was being staked for
the benefit of the West, and that the older Provinces would be bankrupted by the attempt.
I am free to confess that at that time the people of British Columbia thought they had made
a very good bargain indeed, a bargain which almost produced a crisis in Dominion affairs.
However, Canada very wisely, as it turned out, staked its credit and its resources on the venture,
and the Canadian Pacific Railway was built. That act made Canada the country it is to-day,
and British Columbia alone, from a purely book-keeping aspect, not taking into account the
immeasurable results from a commercial and industrial point of view, has paid back, over and
above all expenditures, to the Dominion the whole cash outlay on account of that railway.
Moreover, British Columbia and the North-West have provided a market for the East that
has proved to be a mine of wealth, and there have followed, as a direct consequence, also, the
trans-Pacific steamship lines and Pacific cable and possibilities of future trade that were at
first not even dreamed of.
Again, the building of the Crow's Nest Railway was the direct outcome of the demand of
Eastern merchants and manufacturers for more direct communication with the mining markets
of the Southern Interior, the results of which have clearly demonstrated the wisdom of the 3 Ed, 7 Report of the Delegates to Ottawa. K 41
enterprise. It has also incidentally provided facilities for smelters in the supply of coke,
which has been of immense advantage to Canada, and without which the development of the
mining industry since that time would not have been possible.
What is a very pertinent illustration of the force of our contention is that at the present
time and for some time past Canada has been paying immense sums out of the general revenue
and from its land resources to open up and populate the North-West, which, to a very considerable extent, is drawing from the population of the older Provinces as well. No one objects to
that, although the expenditure is almost wholly local in its application. Why ? Because
population and development in the North-West mean that the whole of Canada will be repaid
many times, in revenue and in the additional outlet for its commerce and its manufactures, what
that development has cost. The fact that the unalienated territory is part of the domain of
Canada does not alter the argument in the least, because if similar results will follow in any
of the Provinces by pursuing a similar policy of development, similar reasons should prevail for
adopting such a course.
Therefore, if we can show you that beyond a shadow of doubt the granting of our claims
is in harmony with your interests, there is only one conclusion to be arrived at, and that is,
that it is in your interests not only not to oppose but to assist us in every way possible.
Every enterprise that has been undertaken in the West, from the building of the Canadian
Pacific Railway to the opening up of the Yukon, has been followed by an immediate and
direct jump in revenues and an augmentation of the trade and industry of the Dominion.
Take the tables in the " Report of the Delegation " sent you, and you would from them alone
be able to note the commencement and progress of these enterprises. It is the people of the
East who at every stage benefit by the growth of the West. By affording your merchants and
manufacturers a safe and remunerative market for your surpluses, which in turn has given
employment to your population and afforded a market for your farm produce at home, we have
made Canada prosperous. We pay a very considerable part of the duty incidental to the
protection which ensures you this market, and we pay a freight bill many times greater than
does the Eastern consumer. On the other hand, we can prove to you that in British Columbia,
by reason of the physical characteristics of our country, the cost of administration is several
times greater than in any other Province, and that every settler we get costs more to us than
his value as a local revenue producer, so that the responsibility increases proportionately, and
I was going to say, inordinately, with the population. We have a Province of 265,000,000
acres in extent, with about 6,000,000 acres of habitable area, and the cost of schooling, policing
and judicial administration, roading, bridging, the maintenance of hospitals and all the rest of
it in settlements widely separated, with great physical barriers between, is quite out of
proportion to the revenues which can fairly, and without proving burdensome, be made returnable. On the other hand, such settlers, without responsibility and comparatively little cost to
the Dominion, contribute still more largely to the Federal coffers. You will see that our
Customs and Inland Revenue represent a per capita contribution of $16.50 to the Dominion,
including every man, woman, child, Indian, Chinaman and Japanese in the Province—or about
three times the average contribution to the whole of the Dominion. We can show you by accurate
official statistics that the taxation of each of such individuals—for Dominion, Provincial and
Municipal purposes—in the Province, is about $30 per head, which is mainly borne by an adult
white population of 45,000, which is not less than $100 per head per annum (based on an adult
white population of 50,000). It is true that the Province is rich in natural wealth, and if it
were not thus rich it would long ago have failed in carrying on responsible self-government,
or at least in development to any, except the most limited, extent. With an adequate
allowance from the Dominion to carry on what is necessary to render our great natural wealth
available, without burdensome imposts on the people who must undertake this work, the area of
development would so increase and the prosperity of the country would be so enhanced that
the direct returns to the Dominion would many times repay it. This is practically your
contention in the resolutions you have submitted for the consideration of the Dominion Government, only in our case, being a new country and affording the greater opportunities for
development, the contention is more forcible and more particularly applicable. You point out,
and that truly, that the Provinces are doing the work of development from which in results
the Dominion reaps the larger benefits. As the consequence of prosperity arising out of
Provincial development, the revenues and surpluses of the Dominion are yearly growing larger,
while the main sources of revenue upon which the Provinces have had to depend—such as
public lands and timber—are diminishing by reason of depletion. K 42 Report of the Delegates to Ottawa. 1903
You must remember that when we entered Confederation we had less than 10,000 of a
white population. Apart from the old Yale, Westminster and Cariboo road leading into
Cairboo—then far past the zenith of its prosperity, a trail leading into and through the
southern interior, known as the Dewdney trail, and a few roads in the southern part of Vancouver Island, the country—380,000 square miles in extent—was absolutely without land
communication of any kind. Lode mining was consequently out of the question, and placer
mining, carried on only by the primitive methods then in vogue, was on the decline. There
was, apart from a very limited local consumption, no market for coal except in San Francisco.
There was absolutely no fishery industry and no market for the fish so abundant in our seas.
When salmon canning was subsequently inaugurated the market was in far-off England,
reached by sailing vessels. The only demand for our lumber—saving limited local consumption—was in foreign markets, in which we were handicapped by distance and the lack of
carrying facilities. That market has increased little, if any, up to the present day. Our lands
were limited in extent and much harder to clear and make available for cultivation than
farming lands in Eastern Canada. Every mile of road or railway cost three times what it did
in the East. Labour was scarce and dear, and the cost of living far higher than in older
settled communities. The source of supply of necessaries of life was in San Francisco,
Eastern Canada and in England, with heavy freight bills to add to their cost, and under
altered conditions is still largely in Canada. In fact, up to the present these conditions exist
still, though in a much modified way. The point is, that we buy but cannot sell in the Eastern markets. Our future must depend upon the exploitation of our natural sources of wealth
—mining, lumbering, fishing and farming—and the possibilities of trade which the favourable
position on the western seaboard affords. Our industries must depend largely, for all the
machinery employed, upon the East. Our merchants buy their supplies mainly from your
wholesale traders. And in no way, except in the North-West, do we enter into competition,
and that only in natural products, with what the East has to sell. For our products we must
compete in the markets of the world with other countries in which conditions of labour are
much easier. Every settler in British Columbia, for whose comfort, convenience and safety
we must provide, is an additional customer for your merchants and manufacturers and
an additional contributor to the general revenues of the Dominion. The vast interior of
this country still untouched can only be opened up by the building of railways and
vast expense in building roads, and in administration when opened up. Our extreme
western position and distance from eastern centres involve an important additional impost in
the way of freights, as compared with carrying rates in Eastern Canada. While all this is
true; while our responsibilities are, comparatively speaking, so much heavier and our handicaps
so much greater, we are limited, under the terms of Confederation, to exactly the same sources
of local revenue for local purposes as are all the other Provinces. A natural answer to this,
and, on the face of it, a reasonable answer, is that this Province has greater undeveloped
resources to draw from to produce revenue than the other Provinces, and that by diverting a
greater share of the proceeds in the way of taxation to the treasury the revenues would be
increased. There are three such resources and I will deal with them in order—fisheries,
timber and minerals. As to the first, all revenues in the way of licences in the past have gone
to the Dominion, who claimed exclusive jurisdiction. This is, as you know, a question at issue
at the present time and constitutes one of our claims against the Dominion. As to timber,
there are stumpage fees and royalties per thousand feet, etc. So keen, however, was the competition for local business, and so small a margin of profit was there in foreign business, that
our lumbermen have found it often difficult to pay these imposts. For a time the Province
allowed a rebate on foreign shipments of twenty-five cents per thousand. As a matter of fact,
our mill men have not made money for a number of years, and an additional impost would
have put them out of business. They are handicapped as it is by discrimination in freights
as between British Columbia and Puget Sound ports, as shown in the report of the delegation
to Ottawa in 1901. In mining we receive a large revenue from miners' licences, record fees,
and the like. In addition, the Province imposed a two per cent, tax on output on ore, less
freight and treatment. This latter has constituted the greatest grievance on the part of the
mining community and is a burning issue to-day. Owing to the low price of lead and silver, and
the low grade of our immense bodies of copper ores (and in the price of copper there has been
a recent big drop), even with the best and most modern facilities for smelting, which we
possess, the margin of profit is small. So much so is this the case that the Government has
decided to readjust the incidence of taxation on mines, and may possibly change the system 3 Ed. 7 Report of the Delegates to Ottawa. K 43
altogether. So that you see the answer suggested, owing to present conditions, is not an
answer at all. Even in coal, we are not in the happy position of Nova Scotia, with a large
market at our doors. Our principal market is on the Pacific Coast, which is limited to certain
requirements, and the recent developments in the oil fields has produced a new fuel, which is
to some extent taking its place. If we put a further tax on the output we take it out of the
pockets of the local consumer. It is true we have coal fields in the interior supplying coke,
but if an increased tax were put on there it would have to apply to all coal produced in the
That British Columbia, under the burdens it has had to carry, should have prospered as
it has, and perfected its machinery of administration in all lines of civil government, is, I am
proud to say as Premier, a tribute to the enterprise, stability and intelligence of its citizens.
By faith in the possibilities of the future we have overcome many difficulties and placed the
Province in an enviable position of prominence, to which, of course, many natural advantages
and attractions have contributed; and, of course, too, when I say that I say as much for
Eastern Canada, from which our best blood has been drawn, or from stock common to both in
the older countries in Europe.
You are no doubt thoroughly familiar with the grievances of which Nova Scotia complained at the time that Province claimed better terms. You will observe that two of the
grounds, at least, upon which redress is sought are identical. It was upon those two grounds,
namely, inadequate sources of revenue and disproportionate contribution of revenue to the
Dominion Treasury that the claims of Nova Scotia were recognised and allowance made
therefor. You will remember, also, that as late as 1885 the grievances of Nova Scotia were
still an issue in that Province, when the Legislature of that Province passed a resolution
declaring for better terms or secession. The Hon. Mr. Fielding, present Minister of Finance,
was leader of that movement, and in the resolutions in question set forth that the disabilities
of which Nova Scotia complained in 1868 still existed and had become accentuated by the
lapse of time. While no formal settlement of these grievances took place, nevertheless it is
well known that the Dominion Government made concessions which appeased the discontent,
and we have heard nothing more of it. There are, therefore, most substantial precedents to
justify our course.
There are a number of matters included in our case which, apart from the question of
readjustment of financial relations, have been outstanding in dispute for some time, which are
of no special interest to you and to which I need not draw your attention. But on the main
issues I cannot better emphasise the importance of our contention than by quoting an extract
from my predecessor contained in a letter to Rt. Hon. Sir Wilfrid Laurier on the subject:
" The potential sources of revenue belong to the Dominion. We have proved to you that
we pay three times the average contribution of Canada to the Dominion and get less than half
back. If the people of British Columbia were able to retain all they contribute in taxes to
the Provincial and Dominion Governments, they could support every public utility of the
Province, both Provincial and Dominion, build their own railways, and still have a surplus
every year to their credit."
I must apologise for so unduly trespassing upon your time and attention as I have in this
letter, but I wished you to understand clearly the merits of our contention, and to demonstrate
to you what a special interest I take in the objects of your conference and how much we in
this part of the world sympathise with any concerted movement looking to the revision of the
terms of Confederation, so far as they affect the subsidies paid to the Provinces. I hope to
see you while East, and in the meantime I beg to assure you of my sincere desire to co-operate.
Yours very sincerely,
Edwd. Gawler Prior,
Premier. K 44 Report of the Delegates to Ottawa. 1903
Proposed Settlement re Fisheries.
Ottawa, Feb. 5th, 1903.
To the Honourable R. Prefontaine,
Minister of Marine aud Fisheries, Ottawa.
Sir,—Since our interview to-day we have been engaged getting particulars of the
amount collected by the Dominion Government in British Columbia for the years 1901-2 for
fishing licences. You will remember that an arrangement was made with the British Columbia
Government by Sir Louis Davies for the year 1901, which was continued for 1902. During
those years there was collected for the Dominion Government for licences $52,960.35 and
$41,178.65 respectively, and, as appears by the account furnished us, there was paid out the
following sums, viz :—
1900-1 1901-2
Fisheries :
Salaries of officers $ 1,686 25 $ 2,650 00
Disbursements        1,270 10 1,084 15
Wages, special guardians      7,766  13 7,008 73
Expenses '.      1,870 37 1,869 80
Miscellaneous      5,273 51 6,033 05
$17,866 36 $18,560 73
Fraser River Hatchery:
Salaries $ 500 00 $     500 00
Collecting ova  789 94 939 00
Hardware  62 22 287 20
Repairs ,  94 18
Labour  220 00 2,873 95
Miscellaneous  75 85 357 31
$ 1,648 01 $ 5,031 64
Granite Creek Hatchery :
Construction $16,061 76
Collecting ova  $ 1,026 57
Hardware  17760
Labour  3,013 12
Miscellaneous  1,831 05
$16,061  76 $ 6,048 34
Skeena River Hatchery :
Construction  $ 9,420 59
$35,576 13 $39,069 30
By the above arrangements the Dominion was to account to the Province for such proportion of licence fees " as may be agreed on, or, in case of a disagreement, adjusted by
referee." We need scarcely call your attention to the fact that the Dominion Government
had collected in the past 14 years upwards of $400,000 from fishing licences, and had, during
that time, spent in administration of the fisheries and building and operating hatcheries about
We think that a fair settlement of the amount due British Columbia under the modus
vivendi should be the sum of $44,984.28, which we make up in the following manner:—
1901 1902 Total
Amount expended for salaries of officers,
disbursements, wages  (special guardians), expenses, miscellaneous $17,866 00        $18,560 73        $36,426 73 3 Ed. 7 Report of the Delegates to Ottawa. K 45
1900-1 1901-2
Fish hatcheries (operation)
Fraser River $ 1,648 01 $ 5,031  64
Granite Creek  6,048 34        $12,727 99
$49,154 72
1901 1902
Amount received from licences $52,960 35 $41,178 65        $94,139 00
Balance on hand $44,984 28
We note during those years there has been spent in the erection of hatcheries at Skeena
and Granite Creek the sum of $25,490.35. In all fairness, when you consider the excess of
revenue over expenditure in British Columbia for the past 21 years, these building charges (in
a basis of settlement for the years 1901-2) should not be charged up against the Province, and
that the Province should be entitled to the difference between receipts and expenditure
for administration of fisheries and hatcheries, viz.: the said sum of $44,984.28. If the same
mode of recouping the Province is carried out this year, we would suggest that the Province
be allowed as a fixed sum 50 per cent, of the receipts for licences.
We have the honour to be,
Your obedient servants,
(Signed.)        E. G. Prior,
,, D. M. Eberts.
Minute of Council, No. 184, 1883.
The Committee of Council have had under consideration the equitable claim of this
Province to share in the annual grant of one hundred and fifty thousand dollars ($150,000),
or other sum that may be voted in aid of the development of the Canadian sea fisheries, etc.,
following the receipt by Canada of four million five hundred thousand dollars ($4,500,000), a
portion of the award made by the Commissioners under the fishery provisions of the Treaty of
The well-known history of the proceedings under the treaty which led to the above award,
in particular the long delay in the making and payment of the award, and in the disposal of
the money after it had been paid into the Canadian treasury; also the conflicting legal opinions given in Canada and in England, respecting the refusal of the United States to open their
markets to British Columbian fish and fish-oil under the treaty, sufficiently account for any
seeming delay on the part of the Provincial Government in taking action on this matter. The
provision by the Canadian Parliament for an annual grant of one hundred and fifty thousand
dollars ($150,000), to compensate, in part, those who have suffered by the operation of the
treaty, and to aid in the development of the sea-fisheries, is a particular reason why the claim
of the Province should now be stated.
The ground of the claim is the grievous injury sustained by the operation of the Treaty of
Washington. British Columbia, it need not be said, was within the scope of that treaty.
Provision was made in it for the navigation of one of her principal rivers, which, flowing in its
lower course through a foreign country, gives access to mining fields. Arbitration, under the
treaty, deprived the Province of a large area of valuable island territory, comprising the most
accessible part of her sheltered inshore fishing grounds, and this area and these fishing grounds
were transferred to a foreign power without the assent of the British Columbian Legislature.
The Washington Treaty more importantly and permanently affected British Columbia than
any other part of Canada. K 46 Report of the Delegates to Ottawa. 1903
Instead of receiving consideration for this loss of territory and fishing grounds, the
Province has suffered grievous exceptional injury, in addition, during 10 years past, by the
refusal of the free access to the United States markets for her fish and fish-oil, which is enjoyed
under the treaty by all other British possessions in North America ; and this loss probably
will continue during the two years that have yet to run until the fishing provisions of the
treaty terminate.
The Province, further, has been injured by the exclusion of her fishermen from United
States territorial waters, and by the intrusion of United States fishermen into British Columbian
waters, which has not been checked by the Canadian authorities.
It is clear British Columbia was intended to be included within the operation of the fishing provisions of the treaty.
The original proposition of Sir Edward Thornton, as appears by his letter of 26th January,
1871, to Mr. Fish, was that a "friendly and complete understanding should be come to between
the two Governments as to the extent of the rights which belong to the citizens of the United
States and Her Majesty's subjects respectively, with reference to the subjects specially suggested for the consideration of the proposed Joint High Commission."
In accordance with the explicit understanding thus arrived at between the two Governments, Earl Granville issued instructions to the High Commissioners on the 9th of February,
1871. These instructions state that the subject which the British Government were prepared
to refer to an International Commission, as regards the fisheries, was " the whole question of
the relations between the United States and the British Possessions in North America."
In the correspondence and instructions, there is no limitation of the question to the fish -
eries of the British Possessions on the Eastern or Atlantic side of the Continent, nor does it
appear from the protocols of  the Conference, containing an account of the negotiations upon
the various subjects included in the treaty, that  such a limiting  proposal was  at  any time
made, or received the sanction of the Home Government.
After the signature of the treaty, the Earl of Kimberley addressed a despatch to Lord
Lisgar, llth June, 1871, describing the negotiations and recommending the Canadian Legislature to pass the Acts necessary to give effect to the fishery provisions of the treaty. His Lordship therein mentions the " union of British Columbia with the Dominion " as an accomplished
fact, though the formal union did not take place until the 20th of July, 1871 ; and, in urging
that the provisions should be considered by Canada as part of a whole, the Secretary of State
specifies, among other things, the various matters which had been adjusted on the Pacific side
of the Continent, thus correlating the adjustment of these with the fishery provisions.
The exclusion of British Columbia would have been inconsistent with the object of the
negotiations, which, as the above correspondence shows, was to arrive at a " friendly andcom-
plete understanding." An arrangement that excluded the valuable fisheries of British Columbia—the only British territory hemmed in north and south by the United States—would not
have been complete, nor would it have been effective in removing causes of difference, as the
occasion of the present minute shows.
It is well known that the fishing provisions of the treaty, taken by themselves, would not
have been acceptable, either in Canada or the United States. The treaty, as a whole, was
accepted by the contracting powers, and the stipulated conditions of assent by the British
Dependencies given, as a means of securing amity and adjusting differences on a perpetual
basis. It could not have been intended, nor was it intended, as the correspondence and
instructions above mentioned show, that in a treaty of such a character the weakest community concerned should alone, among the British Possessions in North America, be pushed
to the wall and specially injured.
The facts stated in the foregoing recital show that it was reasonable for the Province to
expect compensation and advantages from the operation of the treaty, at least in so far as
could be obtained by reciprocal free fishing, with free import of fish and fish-oil; but these
have been refused by the United States, as above mentioned.
The ground of this refusal is unknown, as the United States have not had to make
explanations in reply to any official demand on behalf of the Province.
The refusal has been regarded by Canada as an illegal restriction. The formally expressed
opinions, both of the present and of the late Government of Canada, favour the construction
of the fishery provisions of the treaty that would secure free access of British Columbia fish
and fish-oil to United States markets, and of British Columbian fishermen to United States 3 Ed. 7 Report of the Delegates to Ottawa. K 47
territorial waters. But the law officers of the Crown in England, who held office in 1875,
have expressed an opinion that the treaty, as drawn up, is ineffective to secure these rights to
British Columbia.
The date of the signature of the treaty was the 8th of May, 1871. It was ratified by
Great Britain, 6th of August, 1872; by Canada, 14th June, 1872; by Prince Edward Island,
29th June, 1872; and by United States, 1st March, 1873, in an Act of Congress, which fixed
the 1st of July, 1873, as the date on which the fishery provisions should come into force.
British Columbia became part of Canada on the 20th of July, 1871.
In the absence of precise information, it can only be surmised that the United States
refuse to British Columbia reciprocal free fishing with free import of fish and fish-oil, on the
ground that the territory was not a part of Canada at the date of the signing of the treaty,
8th May, 1871, though it had been part of Canada for nearly two years, at the date of the
complete ratification, namely, 1st July, 1873.
This view, if it is the view of the United States Government, is contested, as above said,
by Canada, as appears from the copy of a report of the Honourable the Privy Council, approved
by His Excellency the Governor-General on the 30th April, 1875, in which a report upon the
subject by the Hon. A. A. Dorion, Minister of Justice, elated 5th of February, 1874, is
referred to and adopted. The principle laid down in the above report was acted upon, in
reference to Prince Edward Island, by the Canadian Government in 1879, as appears by a
report of the Honourable the Privy Council, approved by His Excellency the Governor-
General in Council, the 10 th December, which refers to and adopts the report of a subcommittee composed of the Hon. James McDonald, Sir L. Tilley and Sir A. Campbell, upon a
claim of Prince Edward Island under the Washington Treaty to a proportionate share of the
Halifax award.
The contrary opinion of the law officers of the Crown in England, above referred to, had
been previously stated in a despatch of the Right Honourable the Earl of Carnarvon to the
officer administering the Government of Canada, dated 12th August, 1875.
The Committee of Council do not express an opinion as to the strict law in the above case,
respecting which the above authorities differ. It appears sufficient for the present purpose to
refer to the fact that two Ministers of Justice and two Governments of Canada, successively,
favour the principle on which the provincial claim is preferred, so far as it is based on the
inclusion of the Province within the true intent of the fishery provisions.
The opinion of the law officers of the Crown in England, who were in office in 1875, if
correct, would strengthen the present equitable claim of the Province for redress, by showing
nonfeasance on the part of the negotiators of the treaty, which omits, owing to defective
language, what the correspondence between the two Governments and the instructions of the
Home Government required to be included.
It may, however, be remarked that diplomatic usage, as well as strict rules Of law, might
have to be considered in interpreting treaties. An examination of the " List of Treaties of
Commerce between Great Britain and Foreign Powers," printed at Ottawa in 1880, by order
of Parliament, shows that it is usually stated in a treaty that it shall be in force from the day
of the exchange of ratifications. Probably that usage would govern the construction of treaties
in which no date of commencement is stated, of which there are many. When it is intended
that a treaty shall come into force at the date of signing, it is so stated in the agreement—for
instance, in the treaty with the United States 3rd July, 1815 ; with Sweden and Norway 18th
March, 1826; with the Netherlands 27th October, 1837; with Portugal 3rd July, 1842.
Inconvenience might be caused were territory excluded that was added to either of two
contracting powers in the interval between the date of signing a treaty by agents and its
ratification. The ratifications, in the case of the Washington Treaty, were not complete until
nearly two years after its signature.
The practical question, now, is as to the measure and kind of compensation that can be
obtained by British Columbia. A full share of the above-mentioned annual grant of one'
hundred and fifty thousand ($150,000) dollars, though inadequate, is a reasonable expectation
under the circumstances. It is not the purpose of the Committee of Council to discuss here
the special question of the rights of the Province to a proportionate share of the capital sum
received by Canada under the award of the Halifax Commission, as, notwithstanding the
particular description in the treaty of the subject-matters in respect of which the arbitration
was to be undertaken, it has been asserted by the Parliament of Canada that the portion of
the award which  has been paid  to Canada constitutionally, and of right,  belongs to the K 48 Report of the Delegates to Ottawa. 1903
Dominion, and as the proposal of the Canadian Government now is to distribute, as a matter
of general policy, an annual sum, representing the interest of the money, for the purpose of
partly compensating those who have suffered, and to aid in developing the sea fisheries. But
it may be remarked, in passing, that, if claims for proportionate shares of the capital sum were
established, this Province would be entitled to share with the other Provinces, according to
the reading of the articles relating to the arbitration.
The subject-matter in respect of which the Halifax arbitration was undertaken is stated
somewhat differently in the treaty from the stipulation as to reciprocal free imports of fish and
fish oil. It is as to the latter only that the words "Dominion of Canada" are used in the
treaty. The award was to be in respect of the excess, over the United States concession, of
the value of the enjoyment of certain British fisheries specified in Article 18 of the Washington
Treaty, namely, the fisheries of Quebec, Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, Prince Edward and
other islands, together with other fisheries that had been defined in the Convention of 1818.
These latter fisheries, defined in that Convention, were, therefore, considered in that award.
They included the fisheries on that portion of the north-west of America which, now, is the
Canadian Pacific seaboard, and, though the use of these was limited to ten years in the Convention of 1818, yet, as part of the fisheries or fish areas "defined " in that Convention, they were
opened to the United States by Article 18 of the Washington Treaty.
It remains only to be added, what is well known, namely, that the fisheries of British
Columbia constitute one of the chief resources. Probably, as was stated in the report upon the
Province by the Hon. H. L. Langevin, C. B., in 1871, they are the "richest in the world."
Nearly all the commercial fish of Eastern Canada, except mackerel, are abundant, together
with varieties unknown there. The annual value of the sea-produce of British Columbia, at
present, amounts to about one-fifth of the annual value of the total fish exports of Canada. A
larger proportion of her population than of any other Province of the Dominion is directly
engaged in the fisheries. They can be easily developed, owing to the extent of sheltered inshore
fishing grounds and the mild winters; but the cost of boats, fishing gear and equipments is
higher than in other parts of the Dominion. The value of the fisheries, practically, is, of course,
great or small, according to the markets possessed. To British Columbia, with a comparatively
small home population to create a local demand for fish, foreign markets are everything. The
Province, geographically, is placed remote from any other American markets, and these having
been shut, it has only been found possible to develop largely in the Province sea-products, such
as salmon and seal-furs, for which distant markets—European markets—could be found. The
development of the fisheries has been checked and great injury sustained. Available capital
has been held back from investment in fisheries, owing to the uncertain position of the
Province in regard to fishing matters and markets for fish. This has been especially disappointing as, during the past ten years, the progress of the whole Pacific seaboard, and the
demand for fish products in the more populous part of it, have been marked and continuous.
It is not too much to say that there would have been fleets of British Columbian fishing boats
in the British and United States territorial waters on this side of the Continent, and that
Victoria, New Westminster and Nanaimo would have been more important centres of an export
fish and fish-oil trade, had the Province not been denied its rights under the Washington
The Dominion Government will not require to be reminded of the great national interests
concerned in using every legitimate means to take advantage, on the Pacific as on the Atlantic
side of the continent, of the opportunities which nature offers to the hands of industry and
statesmanship, for the creation, through the development of the teeming fisheries on our vast
island-fringed, sheltered coasts, of a future source of additional naval strength to Canada, that
can scarcely be over-estimated, in a quarter of her territory where, from the nature of things,
naval strength always must constitute the chief security of the Dominion.
The Committee of Council feel assured that the Dominion Government, upon the preceding,
it is hoped, fair and temperate exposition of the unfortunate position of the Province in this
matter, will recognise, in accordance with the principles which they already have approved, the
equitable, if not strictly legal, claim of British Columbia, not to be still further excluded from
consideration, but to be compensated reasonably and in just proportion for the grievous injury
sustained by the operation of that part of the Washington Treaty which may be considered
applicable under the circumstances, and, in particular, by the Province having been unable to
obtain the use of the United States territorial fisheries in the North Pacific and free access to
the United States markets for fish and fish-oil during ten years past, and, probably, during the 3 Ed. 7 Report of the Delegates to Ottawa. K 49
two years yet to come, at the end of which the fishery provisions of the Washington Treaty will
terminate, in consequence of the notice which, it is believed, the United States Government
have given or intend to give.
The Committee desire, in conclusion, to draw the attention of the Dominion Government
to what appears to be the very unsatisfactory position of the British Columbian fisheries under
diplomatic arrangements between Great Britain and the United States respecting the fisheries
on this side of the continent. While highly appreciating the consideration usually given by
the Government of the Dominion to British Columbian matters, so far as they are known to
them, yet, as this Province is unrepresented in the Dominion Cabinet, it appears to be essential
to the maintenance of proper relations between the Province and the Dominion, and required
for the information of the Home Government, that no international arrangements should be
concluded affecting the trade of this Province, especially as regards fish, coal and lumber,
without some such full communications with its Government as may be necessary under these
The Committee may not have full information, at present, on the subject of the fishery
treaties between Great Britain and the United States that affect British Columbia, and it is
mainly with the view of obtaining better information thereupon that they make the following
remarks on this matter, which may soon rise into importance.
If the Province is excluded from the fishery provisions of the Washington Treaty, or if,
being included, the operation of these provisions should be terminated, the only international
agreement applicable to the British Columbian fisheries would be the Treaty of 1783 ; or, if that
treaty were considered to be abrogated by the war of 1812, then there would be no existing
agreement at all.
By the terms of the Treaty of 1783, the fishermen of the United States had the unrestrained right to enter into all waters up to the shores of every part of British North America,
and there is no reservation of salmon or any other fish. The fisheries of salmon and other
valuable fish on the British Columbian " coasts," and in her " bays " and " creeks," are important," and it could not be denied that British Columbia is part of " British North America,"
which are the words used in the Treaty of  1783.
It is doubtful if the general provisions of the Convention of 1818, supposing that to be
an existing compact, apply to the Canadian Pacific seaboard, as the fisheries, or at least the
fish-areas on that seaboard, were not included in these general provisions, but were made the
subject of a special article, No. 3, of that Convention, embodying an arrangement that was to
terminate in ten years. There is nothing about the fisheries of the Pacific sea-board in the
Boundary Treaty, commonly called the "Oregon" Treaty of 1846.
The formal acknowledgment of the property of Canada and Newfoundland, in 1871, in
their inshore fisheries, made by the purchase by the United States, under the Washington
Treaty, of the right of entry into British North American territorial waters for the purpose of
fishing,—an admission valuable in relation to the Atlantic inshore fisheries by barring United
States claims to enjoy them under former treaties, if such claims were made—could not be
urged in the case of the inshore fisheries of British Columbia, if it is denied that her fisheries
formed part of the subject-matter considered in the Halifax Award, or so-called purchase.
The Committee advise that this Minute be approved, and that a copy thereof be forwarded
to the Honourable the Secretary of State for Canada, in order that the claim of this Province
to share in the annual appropriation of one hundred and fifty thousand ($150,000) dollars may
be considered by the Dominion Government, and in order, also, that due consideration may be
given to the uncertain and unsatisfactory position of the fishery interests of British Columbia
as regards the future.
(Signed)        M. W. Tyrwhitt Drake,
President Executive Council.
Clement F. Cornwall.
June 28th, 188S. Minute of Council, No. 107, 1884.
The Committee of Council have had under consideration the letter of the Honourable the
Secretary of State for Canada to His Honour the Lieutenant-Governor, dated Ottawa, llth of
March, 1884, setting forth the grounds on which the Canadian Government are unwilling to
recommend to His Excellency the Governor-General a favourable consideration of the request
contained in a Minute of Council of this Government dated 28th June, 1883, to be permitted
to share in the grants following the receipt by Canada of $4,500,000—a portion of the Halifax
Fishery Award.
It is sincerely to be regretted that the views of the two Governments on this important
question do not at present accord, and that further discussion is necessary in order to effect an
equitable adjustment of the Provincial claim.
The Canadian Government attribute their unwillingness, in part, to their opinion as to
the intention of the Canadian Parliament, evidenced by the discussions therein when the grants
were made to other Provinces without including British Columbia; but it may be remarked
that the claim of this Province was not then, and has not since been, submitted to Parliament
in such a manner as to be fully understood—a fact that must weaken materially any inferential argument from the presumed intention of Parliament.
It is not denied by the Canadian Government, and it is, indeed, indisputable, as shown in
the above Minute of this Government, dated 28th June, 1883, that the Province has suffered
grievous injury from the operation of the Treaty of Washington, and also that the Province
was intended to be included within the operation of its fishery provisions. There is nothing in
the preliminary correspondence between the Governments of Great Britain and the United
States, or in the instructions to the Commissioners charged with the negotiation of the treaty,
to limit the question of the fisheries to the British possessions on the eastern or Atlantic side
of the Continent—a limitation that would have been inconsistent with the object of the negotiations as set forth in the correspondence. This Government, moreover, considers, as stated
in its above Minute, that the British Columbian fisheries, as part of the fisheries or fish-areas
defined in the Convention of 1818, were by the terms of the fishery provisions of the Treaty of
Washington to be considered in the Halifax arbitration, together with the fisheries of Quebec,
Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, Prince Edward and other islands. But looking to the circumstances of the question, and for various practical reasons which need not be here enumerated,
and bearing in view the diverse opinions that have been expressed as to the ineffectiveness of
the language of the treaty to secure the rights of the Province, this Government, while reserving legal rights, has preferred the present claim as a claim of equity based on the circumstances
of the case and the unquestioned intent of the preliminary correspondence and instructions
rather than as a claim based on the letter of the treaty itself.
The counter-statement of the Canadian Government, contained in a letter of the Honourable the Secretary of State now under reply, does not impugn the validity of such a claim.
On the contrary, it may be said that the argument used therein, derived from the allegation
that the principal subjects of the treaty are dealt with separately and arranged for settlement
under provisions independent one of the other, with the effect of barring any general claim
on the part of the Province, only throws into stronger relief the complaint of this Province
of inequitable treatment and tends more strongly to show that the treaty omits (if it does
omit), owing to defective language, what the correspondence between the two Governments of
Great Britain and the United States and the instructions of the Home Government required
to be included within the treaty.
The Committee, therefore, do not consider it expedient, at present, to express any opinion
as to the correct legal interpretation of the treaty in its bearing on the question at issue, more
particularly as competent legal authorities have given different opinions on this point. Without opening the claim of the Province to a decision narrowed by a strictly legal construction of
the terms of the treaty, it may be mentioned that there are now the four subjoined opinions
relating to this subject, of which two opinions favour the principle on which the Provincial
claim is preferred, so far as it is connected with the fishery provisions of the treaty :—
(1.) Approved Report of the Honourable the Privy Council of Canada, 30th April, 1875 ;
(2.) Approved Report of the Honourable the Privy Council of Canada, 10th December,
(3.) Despatch of the Right Honourable the Earl of Carnarvon, 12th August, 1875;
(all of which are referred to in the Minute of Council of this Government, dated the 28th
June, 1883); 3 Ed. 7 Report of the Delegates to Ottawa. K 51
(4.) Letter of the Honourable the Secretary of State for Canada to His Honour the
Lieutenant-Governor, dated llth March, 1884, now under reply.
The claim of the Province rests upon equitable if not strictly legal grounds, though,
possibly, it may be upheld on the latter. The Committee, without repeating details, would
here quote and confirm the following passage in their former Minute, dated 28th June, 1883 :—
" It is well known that the fishery provisions of the treaty, taken by themselves, would
not have been acceptable either in Canada or the United States. The treaty as a whole was
accepted by the contracting powers, and the stipulated conditions of assent by the British
Dependencies given, as a means of securing amity and adjusting differences on a perpetual
basis. It could not have been intended, nor was it intended, as the correspondence and
instructions above mentioned show, that in a treaty of such a character the weakest community
concerned should alone among the British possessions in North America be pushed to the wall
and specially injured."
Taking a general view of the matter as it now stands, it is not denied that British
Columbia has suffered grievous, exceptional injury by the operation of a treaty not submitted
for assent to her Legislature, and under wdiich Canada has received a very large sum of money.
In seeking redress, the question practically seems to be whether the Provincial claim is to be
judged simply by a strict legal construction of the terms and wording of a treaty which it is
admitted does not embody the requirements of the contracting parties as expressed in the preliminary correspondence and instructions, and by a construction which is one of several different
interpretations given by competent authorities, and is at variance with the former opinions
(Minute of Council of Privy Council of Canada, 30th April, 1875) of the Government which
now denies redress. The Committee consider that a wider view of the Provincial claim should
be taken, and that the Province should be compensated reasonably and in just proportion.
Under these circumstances, if the Canadian Government do not see their way to recommend a favourable consideration of the Provincial claim to His Excellency the Governor-
General, the Committee advise that they be requested to facilitate a joint reference to the
Home Government as one of the principals of the Treaty of Washington; and being well
informed on British Columbia affairs at the time of the negotiation of that Treaty and of Confederation, for an expression of their opinion as to the equitable position of British Columbia
in the present matter, with the object of assisting the Dominion and Provincial Legislatures
in forming a judgment on any proposals which the Governments respectively may have to
submit to them for an adjustment of the Provincial claim.
The Committee further advise that the attention of the Canadian Government be drawn
to that portion of the Minute of Council of this Government, dated 28th June, 1883, which
refers to the uncertain and unsatisfactory position of the fishery interests of the Province as
regards the future, which is not noticed in the letter of the Honourable the Secretary of State
now under reply.
The Committee also advise that a copy of this Minute, if approved, be forwarded to the
Honourable the Secretary of State for Canada.
M. W. Tyrwhitt Drake,
Approved, President Executive Council.
Clement F. Cornwall.
May 8th, 188f
Minute of Council, No. 278, 1884.
The Committee of Council have had under further consideration the correspondence
between the Dominion and Provincial Governments relative to the claim of the Province to
share in the benefits of the Halifax Fishery Award. The Order in Council of the Provincial
Government in reference to this claim is dated the 28th June, 1883. The letter of the
Honourable the Secretary of State for Canada, in reply, is dated the llth March, 1884. The
further statement of the Provincial Government is in a Minute of Council dated 8th May,
1884, to which no reply has been received. A very strong feeling exists in the Province on
this subject, which will be increased by delay in making an adjustment, or by the refusal of
equitable treatment. K 52 Report of the Delegates to Ottawa. 1903
For this reason the Committee, in again referring to the matter, express the hope that the
Dominion Government will review the considerations that have been urged to show the
grievance of which British Columbia complains, and the justness of her claim to participate in
money received from the Home Government by Canada under the treaty which has operated
so injuriously to British Columbia.
If this reconsideration should not have the result of bringing the two Governments
nearer in opinion, which the Committee are very unwilling to anticipate, it appears that the
most practical course open is, as suggested in the Minute of Council of this Government, dated
8th May, 1884, to take means—not necessary or desirable on ordinary occasions—to enlarge
the information on this subject of the respective Legislatures by eliciting an expression of
opinion thereon from the Home Government—one of the principals to the treaty referred to,
and well acquainted with British Columbian affairs at the time of the negotiation of the treaty
and of Confederation—unless the Dominion Government is able to make a counter proposal
more likely to lead to the desired result.
The Committee beg further to state that they are in expectation of receiving from the
Dominion Government an assurance that, as far as the latter may properly intervene in international negotiations, care will be taken that no international arrangement shall be concluded
affecting the trade of this Province, especially as regards fish, coal and lumber, without such
full communications with the Provincial Government as may be necessary to secure that the
interests of British Columbia may not be overlooked or allowed to go to the wall for want of
information respecting them, as has happened in time past. This matter, together with the
apparently unsatisfactory position of Canadian fisheries on this side of the Continent, in relation
to treaties between Great Britain and the United States, was mentioned in the Minutes of
Council of the Provincial Government dated respectively the 28th June, 1883, and the 8th
May, 1884, which were transmitted to the Dominion Government.
The Committee advise that a copy of this Minute, if approved, be forwarded to the
Honourable the Secretary of State for Canada.
Wm. Smithe,
Clement F. Cornwall. President, Executive Council.
December SOth, 1884. 3 Ed. 7 Report of the Delegates to Ottawa. K 53
Expenditures by Dominion op Canada in B. C, 1901.
Receiver-General $ 4,089
Lieutenant-Governor , 9,000
Judiciary  42,513
Penitentiary  42,150
Defences, Esquimalt  128,140
Telegraph Line to Dawson      234,960
Public Buildings  123,300
Harbours and Rivers  144,754
Dredging  119,247
Subsidies ,  242,689
Indians  119,443
Customs  103,260
Esquimalt Graving Dock  11,831
Government Telegraph Lines  12,301
Experimental Farm    . 6,430
Quarantine  20,241
Pensions ,  15,675
Excise  20,264
S.S. Quadra  25,132
Lighthouses  29,361
Fisheries  17,866
Hatcheries  17,710
Post Office  248,888
Miscellaneous  88,745
Receipts op Dominion of  Canada from B. C, 1901.
Customs  $2,363,378
Excise  482,926
Land Offices  7,533
Timber  14,906
Fisheries  52,960
Post Office  249,458
Esquimalt Graving Dock  13,348
Chinese Immigration  131,354
Miscellaneous ,  16,925
£3,332,788 K 54 Report of the Delegates to Ottawa. 1903
Fisheries Statistics.
In 1900 there was a total of $10,990,125 invested in the fisheries of the Dominion of
Canada. In the list of Provinces British Columbia stands second in the amount of capital
engaged, being credited with a fishery investment of $2,987,104, as against Nova Scotia,
which takes first place, with an investment of $3,278,623.
In the list of Provinces for the year 1900, British Columbia ranks second in the value
of her fishery products, with total of $4,878,820, while Nova Scotia again takes first place, with
$7,809,152, out of the total products of the Dominion fisheries, amounting to $21,557,639.
British Columbia, therefore, is accredited with 27 % of the total capital invested in fisheries
of the Dominion in 1900, and produced 22^% of the total product. Since 1900 the capital
invested in British Columbia fisheries has been more than doubled, and her products for 1901,
owing to the largest salmon pack in her history, are believed to have exceeded Nova Scotia in
the value of products.
The total expenditures of the Dominion for the support and maintenance of her fisheries
for the year ending June 30th, 1901, amounted to $491,569, of which amount $35,596, or little
more than 7 % (.072), was charged to British Columbia.
The Dominion collected from its fisheries in 1901 $88,145, of which amount $78,966 was
directly collected from the Provinces, and of that amount $52,960, or over 67 %, was collected
in British Columbia.
It is shown, therefore, that British Columbia has 27 % of the capital invested in the
Dominion fisheries, produces 22J % of her total fishing products, contributes 67 % of revenues
raised from the Provinces, and is charged only with 7 % (.072) of the moneys expended by the
Dominion for the maintenance and betterment of her fisheries. This has been our position for
the past 14 years. We do not make the claim that it has been the policy of the Dominion
Government for the past 14 years to so manage our fisheries as to make them a treasury
revenue producer only. The figures submitted for your consideration, however, substantiate
our contention that our fishery interests have not received at the hands of the Department the
attention that their extent, value and revenues derived from them justified.
The means and energy devoted by the Department to the advancement and maintenance
of the Atlantic sea-board fisheries is in such marked contrast to these manifest for our Pacific
Coast fisheries as to compel attention and to warrant us in presenting a review of the expenditures, under the various heads made by the Dominion in the Provinces during the past 14 years,
together with revenues contributed by them, and we do this that it may be understood that
the figures already submitted for the years 1900 and 1901 are not exceptional and reflective
only of the conditions for those years. We, therefore, ask attention to the tabulated statements which follow, which have been compiled from the published reports of the Department
of Marine and Fisheries. A review of these tables will disclose that the total expenditures of
the Fisheries Department of the Dominion (less $449,931 expended and charged under heads
of " Miscellaneous," and which is not segregated to show the expenditures made thereunder in
British Columbia) for the past 14 years, ending June 30th, 1901, amounted to $6,345,292,
of which amount $163,240, or a little less than 2| °/0 (.257) was expended in British Columbia,
while the total revenues from taxation of the fisheries of the Dominion for the same period
amounted to $1,049,651, of which amount $400,740, or 38 %, was collected in British Columbia.
The tables are as follows :—
Total Revenues Collected from Provinces by Dominion from Fisheries for past 14
years ending June 30th, 1901.
Ontario  $316,951 61
Quebec  83,268 11
New Brunswick    124,468 84
Nova Scotia...,  81,859 03
P. E. Island  18,748 76
North-West Territory  23,614 81
British Columbia  400,740 47
,049,651 63
Showing that 38 % of total revenue was raised in B. C. Ed. 7
Report of the Delegates to Ottawa.
K 55
Total Expenditures on Fisheries by Dominion  for  past 14 years ending june 30th,
1901, together with amount spent in British Columbia.
Fisheries service  $2,216,590 36
Fish breeding        571,993 90
Fisheries protective service    1,337,740 57
Fishing bounties    2,218,967  24
Miscellaneous (449,931)	
British Columbia.
$102,586 32
60,653 77
Not known.
Showing that only little more than 2J
£6,345,292 07          $163,240 09
/ (.0257) of expenditures was made in British
Showing total expenditures by the Dominion from July 1st, 1887, to June 30th, 1901. Charge
to "Fisheries Service," "Fish Breeding," "Fisheries Protective Service," and "Fishing
Bounties," together with total amount expended and charged under these heads in
Province of British Columbia :—
Total Expenditure by the Dominion, under heads.
Total Expenditure in Province op
British Columbia.
1899-1900 ...
1900-1901 . ..
882,046 09
83,681 18
66,873 32
71,206 05
72,121 28
79,314 68
86,963 99
95,518 25
97,061 72
98,731 64
90,332 14
95,278 59
85,629 92
111,825 51
$41,082 04
41,325 12
39,126 91
39,496 45
43,957 74
47,322 49
45,024 67
39,730 93
38,050 41
27,330 73
28,002 32
34,522 57
38,070 12
68,961 40
$77,102 98
69,693 82
64,434 66
83,050 16
93,397 40
106,805 39
115,147 59
100,207 29
102,021 72
99,357 01
101,807 96
105,133 27
97,370 11
124,211 21
$163,757 92
149,990 63
149,999 85
165,967 22
156,892 25
159,752 15
158,794 54
100,089 42
163,567 99
154,389 77
157,504 00
159,459 00
160,000 00
158,802 50
$3,061 83
4,333 63
3,634 41
4,220 53
6,158 17
5,490 60
5.2S3 21
6,218 74
6,226 77
8,841 64
8,508 79
8,459 47
13,662 17
17,886 36
$5,653 00
4,933 26
1,823 57
3,339 51
2,896 57
3,630 68
3,273 10
2,869 19
2,817 02
2,840 62
2,389 46
3,736 14
2,741 88
17,709 77
$2,216,590 36
$617,993 90
•91,337,740 57
$2,218,967 24
$102,586 32
$60,653 77
None. K 56
Report of the Delegates to Ottawa.
Table showing  Cost of  Administration of Outlying   Districts
and   Revenues  Derivable.
Streets and
1896-97 ..
$ 2,933 28
10,786 59
18,971 53
14,626 33
20,242 28
$1,840 18
1,684 00
1,484 00
2,594 00
3,961 05
$   207 58
1,340 00
10,565 18
S   9,026 11
23,295 36
108,964 47
12,372 89
17,279 23
$ 14,007 15
44,152 91
161,882 68
40,921 17
50.945 03
$ 13,192 59
33,757 84
1897-98 ..
$7,046 96
5,698 75
3,500 43
1898-99 ..
$16,217 75
7,827 52
111,517 43
95,269 78
69,300 73
1900-01    .
9,462 47
$311,908 94
$323,038 37
1896-97 ..
$ 7,695 75
9,241 75
10,210 65
8,748 00
9,916 55
$2,787 00
2,165 00
3,396 66
3,275 26
2,677 90
$4,300 00
4,300 00
4,050 00
2,466 66
2,300 00
$   159 77
199 65
4,672 91
4,546 73
8,596 86
$ 44,889 61
46,580 78
65,250 98
40,507 65
62,881 93
$2,320 00
820 00
700 00
350 00
$ 62,152 13
63,307 08
78,281 10
59,894 30
76,373 24
8 54,195 14
1897-98 ..
61.86S 78
69 296 01
1898-99 ..
65,191 84
54,351 27
1900-01 ..
$340,007 85
$307 832 04
1896-97 ..
1897-98 ..
$16,726 50
22,975 50
26,079 53
18.808 37
27.809 22
$31,011 88
35,993 13
41,052 40
37,746 25
39,777 S3
$3,000 00
3,600 00
5,700 00
4,070 50
8,355 00
$ 4,444 84
19,508 15
14,040 54
1,428 69
10,774 90
$ 39,300 94
52,172 49
52,996 60
35,831 54
113,605 96
$   418 80
$700 00
700 00
900 00
500 CO
$ 8,201 36
10,139 18
11,665 16
12,126 10
12,169 59
$103,804 32
144,988 45
152,434 23
110,511 45
215,585 38
$132,079 40
133,449 22
159,663 43
133,268 57
125,019 88
1898-99 ..
1900-01 ..
3,183 38
$727,323 83
$683,480 50
Better Terms Allowed to Provinces.
Nova Scotia in 1868.
New Brunswick in 1873 was allowed $150,000 per annum as compensation for loss of
export duty on logs under the Treaty of Washington in 1871. Under the Terms of Union
New Brunswick was permitted to impose this duty, which had been in force since 1842. It
has always been regarded, and really was, a very liberal settlement. It was arranged by Sir
Leonard Tilley, one of the New Brunswick representatives on the Dominion Government.
There was a general readjustment of terms in 1873, as the result of agitation in Ontario
and Quebec against the payment of interest on 10| millions, by which amount the actual debt 3 Ed. 7 Report of the Delegates to Ottawa. K 57
of the old Province of Canada exceeded its allowed debt of $62,500,000 under the Union Act.
The following sums were allowed to be assumed by the general Government as liabilities on
behalf of the Provinces :—
Provincial debts at time of Confederation $ 77,500,000
Debts subsequently assumed or allowed :
Nova Scotia (better terms)  1,186,736
Old Provinee of Canada  10,506,080
Ontario  2,848,289
Quebec  2,549,214
Nova Scotia    2,343,059
New Brunswick .....:.  1,807,720
Manitoba .'.  3,775,606
British Columbia  2,029,302
Prince Edward Island  4,824,023
Total  .$109,430,148
Prince Edward Island in 1901 was allowed $35,000 per annum for failure to provide
regular communication, winter and summer, between the island and mainland, as per Terms of
Union. Communication at times is irregular, owing to hummocky ice in straits, which can
never be overcome, except by tunnelling.
Nova Scotia in 1885, in which the Government of Canada took over the Extension line
railway constructed by Nova Scotia and paid therefor $1,324,042, purchased certain wharves,
and extended the line to Sydney as a work of general benefit. This line was afterwards
amalgamated with the Intercolonial system; and in 1901 when a sum of $671,836 was placed
in the estimates in connection with claims of that Province (see Hansard Debates, page 5892).
New Brunswick in 1901 also received the sum of $280,692 (see Hansard Debates, page
Cost of Road Building in British Columbia.
Statement Showing  Length,   Width, and Average Cost per  Mile op   Certain
Waggon Roads.
East Kootenay, North Riding.
Toby Creek Waggon Road :
Length 20 miles.
Width graded, averages , 9 feet.
Cost per mile (approximate)  $1,000.
Still under construction.
Revelstoke Riding.
Columbia River Waggon Road :
Length 4| miles.
Width graded, averages 10 feet.
Cost per mile (approximate) $3,350.
Still under construction.
Slocan Riding.
South Fork Kaslo Creek Waggon Road:
Length 12J miles.
Width graded, averages 9 feet.
Cost per mile (approximate) $1,600.
Still under construction. K 58 Report of the Delegates to Ottawa. 1903
Yale,   West Riding.
Lillooet-Lytton Waggon Road :
Length 4 miles.
Width graded, averages 10 to 12 feet.
Cost per mile (approximate) $4,544.
Still under construction.
Yale, East Riding.
Main Kettle River Road :
Length ,    . . 5f miles.
Width graded, averages 12 to 14 feet.
Cost per mile (approximate) $1,700.
.... Richmond Riding.
Hastings-Barnet Road :..-...	
Length 4 miles.
Width graded, averages 16 feet.
n      between ditches 22    it
Cost per mile (approximate) $2,000.
Still under construction.
Rossland Riding.
Norway Mountain Waggon Road :
Length 6| miles.
Width graded, averages     10 feet.
Cost per mile (approximate) $1,185.
Still under construction.
Westminster District.
Reformatory Road (near Vancouver):
Length 1.8 miles.
Width graded, averages . 12 feet.
n      between ditches 16    n
Cost per mile (approximate)      $2,220.
Chilliwhack Riding.
Mount Baker Waggon Road :
Length 9 miles.
Width graded, averages 10 feet.
Cost per mile (approximate) $1,510.
Alien Immigration.
Victoria, B. C, 6th March, 1903.
Rt. Hon. Sir Wilfrid Laurier, K. C. M. G.,
Prime Minister, Ottawa.
Dear Sir Wilfrid,—I am not sure whether I left with you a memorandum of my
remarks on the subject of the Chinese and Japanese immigration, made during our interview
with you at Ottawa on Wednesday, January the 28th. If not, it was my intention to have
done so; and in that case I beg to submit what was the purport of the views presented by
myself and my colleague, the Hon. the Attorney-General, in order that they may be a record
of the proceedings.    After referring to the delicate nature of the subject, which we were aware 3 Ed. 7 Report of the Delegates to Ottawa. K 59
was beset with peculiar difficulties, inasmuch as it involved international relations, it was
pointed out that the people of British Columbia regarded it, as they were justified in doing,
largely from a local point of view, as it was in that way they felt it most keenly. It was
stated that we wished to place the matter fairly and frankly before you from that standpoint.
It was further stated that it was a problem that had confronted the people of British Columbia
for years, as you well know, and that it was one that sooner or later would have to be dealt
with by the Dominion as a whole, if it is to continue to expect the cordial and loyal support
and allegiance of that Province to the Dominion.    I said :
" The people of that Province are almost a unit and unanimous in their feeling on the
subject, and the Government, in response to the general demand of all classes, has from time
to time endeavoured to deal with the subject in a way which would afford relief. I may say,
under the circumstances, that the Government of British Columbia,—any Government of
British Columbia—will feel compelled to re-enact that legislation, which, as far as it has been
allowed to operate, has been very efficient in carrying out what was desired. So far as this
present Government is concerned, it feels impelled to the course, not as an attitude of threat
or an act of hostility to the Dominion Government, but as an assertion of its rights to self-
" The whole evils of Mongolian immigration are felt locally. Of the 22,000 Chinese and
Japanese in Canada in 1901, as shown by the census of that year, about 19,500 were in
British Columbia. Leaving out the native Indian population, that number represents exactly
one-eighth of the white population; and when you consider that practically every one of that
19,500 comes into competition as labourers with the labouring white element of the Province,
and are willing to work for less than one-half of what white men will work for,—because,
owing to their low standard of living, they can and do subsist on less than one-fourth of what
a white man can subsist on,—you can readily understand what is the feeling of the people
with whom they come in contact and competition. I am free to admit that in some capacities
and menial occupations the Chinese and Japanese have been, and still are, very useful; but to
whatever extent they have been useful there can be no possible doubt about the extent to
which they enter into injurious competition with the labour interests of the Coast, and that
their number henceforth should be limited, as far as the power of the Dominion can do so. If
the Dominion Government intends to disallow our legislation in that direction, then we ask,
in the interests of the Province of British Columbia and in compliance with the unanimous
wish of the people there, to take the matter up and deal with it in a manner satisfactory to us
by competent legislation. We ask that an Act on the lines of the Natal Act be passed, which,
as intimated by Mr. Chamberlain, would be unobjectionable from an Imperial point of view.
As we argued, there should be a sufficiently large head-tax imposed to practically exclude the
Chinese. This is the wish of the whole people of British Columbia, who feel at the present
time that their interests are being sacrificed to Dominion and Imperial interests.
" The Chinese and Japanese population is on the increase in British Columbia, not only
actually but relatively, which will be shown in this table I have here :—
"In 1871 there were 1,250, or one-twelfth of the population.
ii   1881 ii        4,350,  n   one-eleventh n
ii   1891 ii        9,360, ,,   one-tenth „
,.  1901 ,,      19,500,  n   one-eighth „
" This relative increase has taken place notwithstanding the rapid increase of the whole
We were very much pleased to learn from you during our interview that you did not
propose to disallow restrictive anti-Chinese legislation which was competent on the part of the
British Columbia Legislature to enact.
British Columbia's share of the head-tax was also dealt with by the Delegation. It was
reported in the newspapers that the Delegation had asked for a refund of fifty per cent, of the
head-tax to the Province, instead of twenty-five as formerly, notwithstanding the fact that the
Dominion Parliament had already passed an Act in 1902 refunding fifty per cent, of the tax
to the Province after the 1st July, 1902.
You will remember, however, that we did not ask for fifty per cent, but seventy-five per
cent, of the head-tax, and we asked that the refund should cover the period during which the
Act was in force. If the principle of fifty or twenty-five per cent, has been recognised as our
right, then we are equally entitled to a refund covering all those years.    Why it should apply K 60 Report of the Delegates to Ottawa. 1903
to a period subsequent to July, 1902, only, I cannot quite comprehend, more especially in view
of the fact that, it being proposed to increase the tax to $500, little or no revenue from that
source will henceforth accrue to the Province. I would call your attention to the fact that the
same request was made by the Delegation in 1901, and that for years the Government has
asked for it and the Legislature has passed frequent resolutions as a petition to the Dominion
Government, praying for such a refund,
In the memorandum I had prepared for you on the subject I quoted the language contained in Mr. Dunsmuir's letter to Right Hon. Sir Wilfrid Laurier, as follows :—
" While only one-quarter of the revenue so derived is returned to the Provincial Treasury,
practically this Province has to suffer the whole of the evils arising from such immigration.
What we beg to propose, and believe to be our right, is that the moneys remaining over after
the expenses of administering the Act are met should be paid to this Government. The right
of the Province to the present apportionment is, I understand, based upon the material effects
of Chinese immigration in the Province, and is regarded as a compensation for the resultant
evils. If the principle of any apportionment at all is a right and just one, then the claims of
the Province to the whole of the revenue is equally obvious. I think that is so clear as not to
admit of argument. The numbers of Chinese who find their way to Eastern Canada are small,
and the effect on the labour market in consideration of the largeness of the total population,
is, on the aggregate, so insignificant as not to be appreciable. On the other hand, our population is so comparatively limited that any influx of Chinese is felt in a correspondingly
increased ratio."
There has never been any considerable number of Chinese east of the Rockies, and
consequently, the effect of their competition among the population of 5,000,000 was
infinitesimal. In 1891 there were only 400 odd, and in 1901 only 2,500, or about -g^Vo of the
A great many people are inclined to think that the Chinese and the Japanese are a very
harmless, industrious people who give no trouble. They are certainly very industrious, but I
wish to repeat for your information what was stated by the Hon. the Attorney-General, that
during the year 1902 there were in British Columbia 420 convictions of Chinese and Japanese
for various infractions of the law. This, out of a population of 19,500, is a very large percentage, more particularly when you know that a Chinaman is about the hardest sort of an
individual to convict in a Court of Law, and a large number more escape. It involves a very
serious outlay on the part of the Province every year.
In round numbers, since the Chinese Restriction Act was in force, the Dominion has
collected very nearly, if not quite, $1,800,000, of which there has been returned about $500,000
to the Province. We claim that at least seventy-five per cent, of that revenue should go to
the Province. I do not know why it was ever originally fixed at twenty-five per cent.,
because, if it was intended to be compensation for the local evils arising out of Chinese
Immigration, the Province was entitled to practically all of it. On other grounds there could
have been and was no reasonable argument in favour of such an arrangement.
Believe me to be,
Dear Sir Wilfrid,
Yours faithfully,
\ Edwd. Gawler Prior,
Printed by Richard Wolfenden, Printer to the King's Most Excellent Majesty.


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