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BC Sessional Papers

ANNUAL REPORT OF THE BUREAU OF PROVINCIAL INFORMATION, 1909. British Columbia. Legislative Assembly 1910

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 10 Ed. 7 Bureau of Provincial Information. H 29
Victoria, March 3rd, 1910.
The Honourable W. J. Bowser, K. C,
Minister of Finance and Agriculture, Victoria.
Sir,—I have the honour to present the Annual Report of the Bureau of Provincial
Information for the year ending December 31st, 1909.
During the year the following bulletins, folders, etc., were compiled and published :—
Bulletin No. 10, Land and Agriculture  10,000
ii        it    17, Game of British Columbia  15,000
,i        ii    20, Fisheries of British Columbia  10,000
n         ii    22, New British Columbia  10,000
ii        ,i    23, Handbook of British Columbia  30,000
Folder—Facts about British Columbia  250,000
Women's Life and Work in British Columbia  1,500
Report on Graham Island  6,500
Notices—Prince Rupert Lots, Circulars, etc  1,750
In.addition to the above, there were printed in London, England, for distribution from
the Agent-General's office and at the various horticultural exhibitions:—
Bulletin No. 10, Land and Agriculture      20,000
,i        ii    23, Handbook of British Columbia     30,000
A sketch map of the Province was sent out with Bulletin No. 10, and a map of the
Northern Interior with Bulletin No. 22.
There are now in the hands of the King's Printer revised editions of Bulletin No. 17,
Game of British Columbia ; Bulletin No. 25, Game Fishes of British Columbia ; and a new
folder in which hunting and fishing for sport are featured. Bulletin No. 25 will be published
in English and German, and, with the folder, will be distributed at the Sportsmen's Exhibitions
to be held at Vienna and Brussels during the coming summer. The folder will also be
distributed at the Chicago Sportsman's Show, in March and April, 1910.
The increasing demand for information regarding the interior and northern districts
necessitates the immediate publication of a new edition of Bulletin No. 22.
In the distribution of the bulletins, maps, etc., about 40,000 were mailed directly from
the office to individual applicants, over 50,000 were circulated at the Seattle Fair, 90,000 at
the Toronto and Ottawa Exhibitions, 88,000 at exhibitions in Great Britain, 10,500 by the
Vancouver Tourist Association, while large quantities were used by agents of the Dominion
Government in the United States, agents of the Canadian Pacific Railway and Grand Trunk
Pacific Railway, boards of trade, tourist and publicity associations, and other public bodies.
Copies of all bulletins were mailed to public libraries, leading newspapers, boards of trade H 30 Bureau of Provincial Information. 1910
clubs, Government departments (Canadian, British, colonial, and foreign), and to many colleges
and schools. For the convenience and information of travellers, sets of bulletins and maps
were mailed to all the hotels in the Province. Besides the regular publications, the Bureau
sent out a large quantity of miscellaneous printed matter, including departmental and other
reports, Acts of Parliament, reports of boards of trade, agricultural, horticultural, mining,
and tourist association pamphlets, prospectuses of land and irrigation companies, and
sectional maps and blue prints.
There was a very notable increase in the correspondence, entailing a proportionate increase
in the general work, and the number of visitors seeking information was often so great as to
impede the routine of the office.
The great bulk of the letters were from Canada and the United States, a majority of the
writers seeking pre-emptions or purchases of Crown lands in the interior and northern
districts. Numerous inquiries received from Great Britain, mainly by persons of more or
less capital, were principally for fruit lands and small holdings fitted to mixed farming,
poultry, and dairying. The increasing number of these applications is a testimony to the
efficiency of the advertising of the fruit possibilities of the Province in the British Isles.
Many members of the Army and Civil Service of India wrote expressing a desire to secure
homes on Vancouver Island, where they could enjoy the conveniences of civilisation and find
suitable educational facilities for their children, on retirement on pension. A number of
these gentlemen have already purchased property and many more are coming during the next
twelve months. A great many letters were received from individuals and companies desiring
to buy large tracts of land for speculative purposes. These were invariably referred to the
" Land Act," which confines the area of land purchasable by an individual buyer to 640 acres.
The great increase in the number of letters received indicates that the Bureau is
accomplishing the objects for which it was established—i. e., the awakening of widespread
interest in British Columbia and the furnishing of reliable information regarding its resources
and opportunities. The task of collecting data and compiling statistics on a great variety of
subjects is made difficult through the indifference of correspondents and the absence of
organisation in many of the outlying districts. These obstacles to thorough correctness are
inseparable from the conditions prevailing in a community in which progress is so rapid and
universal, and will only be removed when the municipal system is established throughout the
It is gratifying to report that the efforts made to satisfy inquirers are appreciated as
evidenced by the receipt of a large number of letters expressing thanks and satisfaction.
A notable feature of the year was the number of requests for specific information and
advice as to the investment of capital, and the establishment of manufacturing and other
industries. In these cases correspondents were furnished with all available information and
thus several were encouraged to visit the Province and embark in business.
The collecting and compiling of agricultural statistics was assigned to the Bureau, and, in
furtherance of the work, suitable forms of crop returns were prepared and forwarded to
secretaries of farmers' institutes throughout the Province, together with letters of instruction
as to the distribution of the forms, etc. The result was disappointing, as only a small
percentage of returns received were complete, many were only partly summarised, while about
one-third of the secretaries neglected the work in toto.
Applications for employment were not nearly so numerous as in former years, an indication that the demand for help of all classes is greater and the condition of the workers
greatly improved. There was quite a demand for farm help and domestics, and in many cases
these were supplied through the Bureau. 10 Ed. 7 Bureau of Provincial Information. H 31
The work of the office increased to such an extent that the staff often found it difficult to
keep up with, but in all cases it was cheerfully and efficiently done.
The number of letters received and answered was 38,079, compared with 26,974 in 1908,
16,920 in 1907, and 9,280 in 1906.
I have the honour to be,
«    Your obedient servant,
VICTORIA,  h. (..;
Printed by Richard Wolfenden, I.S.O., V.D., Printer to the King's Most Excellent Majesty.


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