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RETURN Of copies of Correspondence showing the contentions and claims of the Province against the Dominion,… British Columbia. Legislative Assembly 1908

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 RETURN
Of copies of Correspondence showing the contentions and claims of the Province
against the Dominion, or vice versa, in regard to Fisheries, Hatcheries, Foreshore.    June 1st, 1901, to February 12th, 1908.
W. J. BOWSER,
Attorney-General,.
Attorney-General's Department,
February 17th, 1908.
[Telegram.]
Victoria, B. C, 1st June,  1901.
Sir Louis Davies, K.C.M.G.,
Ottawa, Ont.
The Government of British Columbia are ready to assume the duties denned in the
judgment of the Privy Council in the fisheries case, and are bringing into force the Act passed
at the last Session. The fishing season is approaching. Can we arrange matters so that no
friction will arise to in any way interfere with this important industry 1    Kindly answer.
D. M. Eberts, Attorney-General.
[Telegram.]
Ottawa, Ont, 3rd June, 1901.
Hon. D. M. Eberts, Attorney-General,
Victoria, B. C.
Dominion Government quite willing you should assume protection such Provincial
fisheries as under Privy Council decision belong to Province. Had no difficulty with Ontario
or Quebec, except with respect sea-coast fisheries, as to which test case agreed upon between
Dominion and Quebec, pending which we retain control. Suggest similar arrangement with
British Columbia. If decided afterwards in your favour we to account for net receipts after
payment fair share administrative expenses. Regarding Fraser River proper to point where
it debouches into sea, both Governments have legal right issue licences and exact fees, but I
would propose, to avoid conflict authority, Dominion should retain control and account to
Province such proportion of licence fees as may be agreed on, or, in case of disagreement,
adjusted by a referee. Beyond mouths of rivers Dominion Government must retain exclusive
control. If this disputed by Province, Privy Council must decide. Your Statute contains
provisions for Provincial regulation similar to those originally contained Ontario Statutes.
These are ultra vires. Ontario has repealed them. Would require undertaking your
Government allow them remain abeyance till next Session and then repeal.
L. H. Davies. M 2 Correspondence re Fisheries, etc. 1908
[Telegram.]
Victoria, B. C,  15th June, 1901.
Sir Louis Davies, Minister Marines and Fisheries,
Ottawa, Ont.
In answer to your telegram of 3rd instant, Government British Columbia willing to let
question of the sea-coast fisheries remain in abeyance. Regarding Provincial rivers Fraser,
Naas, Skeena and others, " Dominion to collect licences this season and account to Province
for such proportion of licences as may be agreed upon, and, in case of disagreement, to a
referee acceptable to both Governments." This Government willing to amend Fishery
Act first opportunity where it may be found it has infringed on Federal rights. Kindly
.answer.
D.  M. Eberts, Attorney-General.
(No answer.)
Victoria, B. C, April 19th, 1902.
Hon. James Sutherland, Minister Marine and Fisheries,
Ottawa,  Ont.
Sm,—By an arrangement made by the late Minister of Marine and Fisheries, Sir Louis
Davies, and this Government in June last, it was agreed that for the season of 1901 the
Dominion Government should collect the licences, and pay over such proportion of same as
might be agreed on. Our Government has had no return of their proportion of licences, and
I would like to be assured that our share will be paid over at an early date. Will you kindly
send a statement of the revenues collected during the year 1901 from that source in British
Columbia ?
I have, etc,
D. M. Eberts, Attorney-General.
Minister of Marine and Fisheries,
Ottawa, Ont., 26th April,  1902.
D. M. Eberts, Esq., Attorney-General,
Victoria, B. C.
Dear Sir,—I have the honour to acknowledge the receipt of your letter of the 19 th
instant referring to the arrangement entered into between my predecessor and your Government regarding the collection of licence fees in British Columbia by this Department during
1901 pending the final settlement of the question raised by the decision of the Judicial Committee of the Privy Council rendered 26th May, 1898, and the subsequent refund of a portion
thereof to your Government.
The subject of your letter will receive my consideration.
Yours faithfully,
James Sutherland.
(No further answer ever received to above.) 8 Ed. 7 Correspondence re Fisheries, etc. M 3
[Telegram.]
Victoria, B. C, 27th June, 1902.
The Hon. Minister cf Marine and Fisheries,
Ottawa, Ont.
Our Fisheries Act has been amended pursuant to suggestions of Minister of Justice and
will be brought into force by proclamation unless an arrangement can be arrived at with your
Government respecting a fair division of fees for fishery licences. Such an arrangement was
in force last year. I would refer you to telegram of Sir Louis Davies. As fishing season
about to commence I would request that you advise me as soon as possible whether your
Government will make arrangement for this year.
D. M. Eberts, Attorney-General.
[Telegram.]
Ottawa, Ont., June 28th, 1902.
D. M. Eberts, Esq., Attorney-General,
Victoria, B. C.
Pending decision sea-coast fisheries and subjects before conference would suggest plan
mutually adopted last year be continued Dominion retaining control licences and agreeing to
account for any proportion licence fees that may hereafter be decided upon as belonging to
Province.    Your acceptance this arrangement by wire will suffice.
James Sutherland
[Telegram.]
Victoria, B. C, 30th June, 1902.
Hon. James Sittherland, Ottawa, Ont.
British   Columbia   Government   accepts   your   proposals   that  last   year's   arrangement
respecting fisheries be continued this year.
D. M. Eberts, Attorney-General.
The British Columbia Fisheries.
[B. C. Sessional Papers, 1903, p. K 14.]
The Right 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 LTnited 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. M 4 Correspondence re Fisheries, Etc. 1908
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
in 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 Provivces, 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 4|- 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.
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 fishery 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 the taxation would be unnecessary and,
therefore, unjust.
In reply to a 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 8 Ed. 7 Correspondence re Fisheries, etc. M
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
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 varied 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
purpose.
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.
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. 8 Ed. 7 Correspondence re Fisheries, etc. M 7
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 traps, 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
advisable.
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 12|- 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
n every respect in which it is possible to promote the development of mutual interests.
We know the Dominion has the right and has 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
issus 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 a '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. M 8 Correspondence re Fisheries, etc. 190S
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
Columbia. Believe us to be,
Dear Sir Wilfrid,
Very respectfully yours,
(Signed)        Edwd. Gawler Prior,
Russell House, Ottawa, February 3rd, 1003.
D. M. Eberts.
Proposed Settlement re Fisheries.
[B. C. Sessional Papers, 1903, p. K. 44.]
Ottawa, Feb. Sth, 1903.
To the Honourable R. Prefontaine,
Minister of Marine and 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. :—
Fisheries :
1900-1. 1901-2.
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  f   1,026 57
Hardware  177 60
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 8 Ed. 7 Correspondence re Fisheries, etc. M 9
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
$200,000.
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
Fish hatcheries (operation):
1900-1. 1901-2.
Fraser River $    1,648 01 $5,03164
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,
Sir,
Your obedient servants,
(Signed) E. G. Prior,
m D. M. Eberts.
[Telegram.]
Victoria, B.C., 30th March, 1903.
Hon. R. Prefontaine,
Ottawa, Ont.
When may we expect an answer relating to amounts due British Columbia under fishery
modus vivendi of last two years 1 Very important, as we are presenting our estimates to
Parliament.    Kindly answer to-day.
D. M. Eberts, A. G.
[Telegram.]
Victoria, B. C, 25th April, 1903.
Hon. R. Prefontaine,
Minister of Marine and Fisheries, Ottawa, Ont.
Will you kindly reply to my telegram of SOth of March ?    What arrangements do you
propose for collections and divisions of licence fees for this season 1
D. M. Eberts, A. G. M 10 Correspondence re Fisheries, etc. 1908
[Telegram.]
Ottawa, Ont., 27th April, 1903.
D. M. Eberts,
Attorney-General, Victoria, B. C.
Pending decision, sea-coast fisheries and subjects before conference, would plan mutually
adopted last two years be continued another year, Dominion retaining control licences and
agreeing to account for any proportion of licence fees that may hereinafter be decided on as
belonging to Province ? Your acceptance this arrangement by wire will suffice. Matter now
under decision in Council and about to be settled soon.
R. Prefontaine.
[Telegram.]
Victoria, B. C, 26th May, 1903.
Hon. R. Prefontaine,
Ottawa, Ont.
In your telegram 27th April last you say question as to how much Dominion Government
will pay British Columbia under discussion and about to be settled.    Have you settled amount
due for years 1901 and 1902?    Kindly answer quickly as information required for purpose
of our estimates.
(No answer received.)
D. M. Eberts, A. G.
[B. C. Sessional Papers, 1905, p. P 40.]
Attorney-General's Office,
Victoria, B. C, 21st March, 1904.
The lion. R. Prefontaine,
Minister of Marine & Fisheries, Ottawa, Ont.
Sir,—Since the year 1901 there has been a correspondence between the Dominion
Government and that of the Province of British Columbia relative to the fisheries of this
Province, beginning with a telegram from my predecessor, Mr. Eberts, to your predecessor,
Sir Louis H. Davies, and dated the 1st of June, 1901.
On the 3rd June Sir Louis Davies wired to Mr. Eberts, stating, among other things, that
he " had no difficulty with Ontario or Quebec with respect to sea-coast fisheries, as to which
test case agreed upon between Dominion and Quebec." I have had the report diligently
searched here, and find nothing of this case.    May I ask what has been done in the matter 1
Further on Sir Louis pointed out that " both Governments have the right to suggest that
the Dominion Government should avoid conflict and account to the Province for such proportion of the fees as may be agreed upon, or, in case of disagreement, adjusted by a referee."
This agreement was continued in 1902, and again in 1903, and as we appear to be as far
as we ever were from a settlement, I suppose it will have to be renewed for 1904. But I
should like to point out to you that the Dominion appears to have carefully taxed the industry
all it will stand, and year after j*ear receives the taxes, and that is the end of it.
Now, as far as the Dominion and Provincial relations with respect to the fisheries are
concerned, the simple facts are of a somewhat startling character, and, I submit, are such as
should appeal to you to have placed upon a fairer basis.
Let me present a few facts before you; it has probably been done before, but they lose
nothing by repetition :
For the  14 years ending SOth June,  1901, the Dominion collected fishery
revenues   $1,049,651
Of that sum British Columbia contributed         400,740
or 38 per cent.
The total expenditures in the entire Dominion for that period were       6,345,292
The total expenditures for the same period in British Columbia were  163,240
or a trifle more than 24 per cent. 8 Ed. 7 Correspondence re Fisheries, etc. M 11
In the same period the Dominion paid to the Eastern Provinces bounties. , . .     2,218,967
British Columbia has never received any bounty.
The Dominion has paid in the same period in Eastern Provinces for fishery
protection      1,337,740
In British Columbia nothing.
While in the year ending 30th June, 1901, British Columbia contributed 67
per cent, of the fishery revenues collected in the Dominion, only 7 per
cent, of the expenditures were made in British Columbia.
In the year ending 30th June, 1902, the total fishery revenues collected from
the Dominion fishery interests amounted to  67,945
Of which British Columbia contributed  41,178
or 60 per cent, of the total.
One more instance :—
In 1901 the total value of the fishery products of the Dominion was $25,737,153
Total value fishery products of British Columbia      7,942,771
Total value of salmon fishery of British Columbia      6,569,956
or 90 per cent, of salmon products of the Dominion.
Total sum expended in propagation of salmon on the Atlantic coast  23,483
In British Columbia  11,079
Thus, while British Columbia furnished over 32 per cent, of the fishery products of the Dominion, only .144 per cent, of the expenditures for support and maintenance was spent in that Province.
In all the other Provinces the expenditures have exceeded the collections. Does your
Government consider that equitable 1
On the 27th of April, 1903, you wired my predecessor that the "matter is under discussion in Council, about to be settled soon." The word is ambiguous, but one cannot but wonder
when that " discussion " will end, particularly in view of the fact that Mr. Eberts' wire of the
26th of May remains unanswered.
So far as the management and control of the fisheries are concerned, this Government
cannot understand the reason for such a difference in the treatment meted out to British
Columbia when compared to the other Provinces.
With respect to the settlement of sums due this Province, in conformity with Sir Louis
H. Davies' wire of the 3rd June, 1901, and subsequent agreements, this Government has to
request that your Government either accept the proposal for settlement made by the Province
in 1903, make a counter proposition, or that steps be taken at once towards the appointment
of a referee, and the submission of the entire question, that the Province be no longer deprived
of the amount of revenue justly due from the fisheries, and that you should authorise some one
to confer with the Government of British Columbia relative to the respective rights of the
Province and the Dominion, in order to see if any conclusion entirely satisfactory can be
reached, and, if not, that proceedings can then be taken to obtain the opinion of the Judicial
Committee of the Privy Council as to our respective claims.
The Privy Council decided that the fisheries of the Province are the property of the
Province. The Province is not satisfied with the present management of its fisheries by the
Dominion. Our vested interests are crying out against the lack of intelligent conservation of
their interests. Our fisheries are of such value and importance that this Government is bound
to conserve them in every possible way. To do this, we must have our fair proportion of the
revenues which your Government has been collecting under an agreement which emanated
from your Government, and which we have faithfully observed ; yet, year after year, your
Government continues to tax the industry and retain the proceeds of such taxation; and this
after a somewhat tardy avowal that the Province is entitled to a fair proportion of the revenues
collected.
May I now ask that this matter receive the attention that, from a Provincial standpoint,
it seems to deserve.
I have, etc.,
Charles Wilson,
A ttorney- General. M 12 Correspondence re Fisheries, etc. 1908
[Telegram.]
Victoria, May 6th, 1904.
Sir Wilfrid Laurier, K. C. M. G.,
Prime Minister, Ottawa.
Government of British Columbia very anxious your Government should settle claim of
Province respecting fisheries according to agreement made Hon. Minister of Fisheries. See
letter 21st March last Attorney-General British Columbia to Hon. R. Prefontaine. Kindly
wire what action your Government will take.
(Signed)        Richard McBride.
[Telegram.]
Ottawa, Ont., May 10th, 1904.
The Hon. R. McBride,
Premier, Victoria, B.C.
In answer to your telegram of sixth instant beg to state that you might send a delegate
with authority to confer with Minister of Marine and Fisheries here.
(Signed)        Wilfrid Laurier.
Rigid Honourable Sir Wilfrid Laurier,
Ottawa,  Ont.
[Telegram.]
Victoria, B.C., May 19th, 1904.
If agreeable to you, will send Member of the Executive Council with Commissioner
Babcock to confer with the Minister of Marine and Fisheries, reaching Ottawa on or about
fifteenth June.    Please answer.
(Signed)        Richard McBride,
Premier.
Victoria Chambers,
Ottawa, June 15th, 1904.
Hon. J. Raymond Prefontaine,
Minister of Marine and Fisheries, Ottawa.
Sir,—Pursuant to the request made by Sir Wilfrid Laurier and yourself at our interview
this morning, I beg to submit herewith a memorandum setting out the proposals of the Government of the Province of British Columbia respecting the salmon and interior fisheries of
the Province and the settlement of the claims of the Province in regard to the licence fees
collected by the Dominion Government since Confederation.
I have, etc.,
(Signed)        Fred. J. Fulton,
Provincial Secretary of the Province of British Columbia.
Memorandum.
1. The Dominion to repay to the Province that amount of the total fisheries licences
collected in British Columbia since Confederation which is in excees of the total expenditures
for construction, support and maintenance of hatcheries and policing salmon waters.
The claim for this amount rests, since the year 1900, on the agreement made in 1901
between the Dominion and the Province, which agreement was renewed and continued in 1902 .
and 1903.    The reasons for the claim of the Province for a settlement on the same basis for
the years prior to 1901 are precisely the same as those which actuated the agreement made in
1901. 8 Ed. 7 Correspondence re Fisheries, etc. L 13
2. The Dominion to pay to the Province a proportion of the Halifax fisheries award, or
compensation for the loss sustained by the Province as a result of the Treaty of Washington.
3. The Dominion to agree to transfer the entire control of the salmon and interior
fisheries in British Columbia to the Province, the Province agreeing to construct and maintain
hatcheries and to enforce regulations without cost to the Dominion, or that this question be
referred to a commission.
4. Failing the immediate concession by the Dominion to the Province of the entire control
of the salmon and interior fisheries, or pending a settlement of the point, the Dominion to
agree to transfer the control of existing hatcheries and the propagation of fish to the Province,
the Province agreeing to support and maintain the said hatcheries without cost to the
Dominion. In such case, the amount claimed in Paragraph 1 to be immediately paid to the
Province, the agreement or modus vivendi entered into in 1901 to be again renewed and continued for the current year. We would further respectfully suggest and urge that the
Province be consulted before new regulations are promulgated.
Office of the Minister of Marine and Fisheries,
Ottawa, June 16 th, 1904.
Honourable Fred. J. Fulton,
Provincial Secretary of British Columbia, Ottawa.
Dear Sir,—I have your letter of yesterday's date, submitting a memorandum of the proposals of the Government of British Columbia respecting a settlement of the question affecting
the salmon and interior fisheries of your Province, and a settlement of the claims of British
Columbia in regard to licence fees collected by the Dominion Government since Confederation.
The first proposal contained in your memorandum is that the Dominion should repay the
Province that amount of the total fisheries licence fees collected in British Columbia since
Confederation, which is in excess of the total expenditures for construction, support and maintenance of the hatcheries and policing of salmon waters.
The memorandum points out that the claim for this amount since the year 1900 rests on
the agreement made in 1901 between the Dominion and the Province, which agreement was
renewed and continued in 1902 and 1903; the reasons for the claim of the Province for a
settlement on the same basis for the years prior to 1901 being precisely the same as those
which actuated the agreement made in that year.
It is obvious that the claims for the years prior to the modus vivendi agreement of 1901,
must depend upon whatever settlement may be finally achieved. Therefore, the consideration
of any actual figures for present purposes should apply solely to the period beginning with that
year, during which the Minister of Marine and Fisheries entered into an arrangement with
the Province, taking the form of a telegram, which, for handy reference, may be quoted as
follows :—
" Dominion Government quite willing you should assume protection such Provincial fisheries as under Privy Council decision belong to Province. Had no difficulty with Ontario or
Quebec, except with respect sea-coast fisheries, as to which test case agreed upon between
Dominion and Quebec, pending which we retain control. Suggest similar arrangement with
British Columbia. If decided afterwards in your favour, we to account for net receipts after
paying fair share administrative expenses. Regarding Fraser River proper to point where it
debouches into sea, both Governments have legal right issue licences and exact fees; but I
would propose, to avoid conflict, authority Dominion should retain control and account to
Province for such proportion of licence fees as may be agreed on, or in case of disagreement
adjusted by a referee. Beyond mouths of rivers Dominion Government must retain exclusive
control. If this disputed by Province, Privy Council must decide. Your Statute contains
provisions for Provincial regulations similar to those originally contained Ontario Statutes.
These are ultra vires. Ontario has repealed them. Would require undertaking your Government allow them remain in abeyance until next session, and then repeal."
By a tacit understanding, this agreement has since obtained, and the Dominion Government accordingly has continued to administer the licence system on that basis.
During the three fiscal years ending June 30th, 1903, the Dominion Government collected
revenue in respect of fishing licences from all sources, whether those licences covered fishing
operations in the rivers, in the estuaries, or on the bold coast line, and it is not to be forgotten L 14 Correspondence re Fisheries, etc. 1908
that in estuaries and on the coast, the Federal Government recognises a clear distinction in its
claim to fishing rights, as compared with the river or inland fisheries, claimable by the Province. Indeed it is questionable whether careful inquiry into this point would not reveal the
fact that the great bulk of all fishing operations under licence from the Dominion is conducted
in waters outside the proprietary interests of the Province, and therefore within the jurisdiction of the Dominion, for, under the most liberal interpretation of the Privy Council decision,
the Province can successfully maintain only such rights as are appurtenant to the soil, and
thus of a proprietary character. It surely cannot be maintained, with any hope of success,
that Provincial rights in respect of the fisheries could extend beyond the limit of proprietary
interest.
The revenue thus collected by the Dominion, therefore, covers an area transcending the proprietary claim of the Province, and for the three years above
referred to, as ending 30th June, 1903, amounts to $137,079.62
The expenditure incurred during the same period on account of the regulation
and protection of the fisheries, including the construction, maintenance, running
expenses, etc., of fish-breeding establishments, as well as the construction and
maintenance of fisheries patrol steamers, amounted in the aggregate to    212,090.60
This leaves an apparent balance for these three years in favour of the Dominion
as against the Province of      75,010.98
To this should be added the difference between the expenditure ($69,062.18)
and the revenue ($41,758.34) up to the 31st of May of the current fiscal year....     27,303.84
Showing a total balance in favour of the Dominion as against British
Columbiaof $102,314.82
In other words, during the period covered by the modus vivendi, that is, for the fiscal
years ending 30th June, 1901, 1902 and 1903, and up to the 31st May, 1904, the Dominion
Government has expended in the protection and conservation of the British Columbia sea-
coast and inland fisheries a sum of $102,314.82 in excess of the fisheries licence revenue
collected from all sources, whether inland, estuary or sea-coast fishing, and whether properly
claimable by the Province or debatable under the Privy Council decision.
The second claim advanced by the memorandum is, that the Dominion should pay to the
Province a proportion of the Halifax Fisheries Award for compensation for the loss sustained
by the Province as a result of the Treaty of Washington.
It has frequently been explained that, in the nature of things, the Province of British
Columbia can have no claim to participation in this Award, inasmuch as the amouut was paid
by the United States Government to the Government of Her Britannic Majesty as a compensation for privileges granted United States fishermen on the Atlantic coasts of Canada, in
excess of those granted to British subjects by that Treaty.
The privileges for which the Award was made applied solely to the operations of United
States fishing vessels on the Atlantic coasts of Canada, and the award was in compensation
for the concurrent use of certain fisheries and fishing privileges on there particular coasts.
Under the provisions of that Treaty, British subjects in the Province of British Columbia were
not compelled to share their inshore fisheries with the fishermen of the United States as were
the Atlantic fishermen, and must, therefore, be regarded as having no claim to any compensation for the use of the inshore fisheries on the Atlantic coasts.
The next suggestion contained in the memorandum is, that the Dominion should agree to
transfer the entire control of the salmon and interior fisheries in British Columbia to the
Province, the Province agreeing to construct and maintain fish hatcheries, and enforce regulations without cost to the Dominion ; otherwise this question to be referred to a Commission.
Or, failing the immediate concession by the Dominion to the Province of the entire control of
the salmon and interior fisheries, or pending a settlement of the point, the Dominion to agree
to transfer the control of existing hatcheries, and the propagation of fish, to the Province, the
Province agreeing to support and maintain the said hatcheries without cost to the Dominion.
The memorandum adds that in such case, the amount claimed by paragraph one should be
immediately paid to the Province, the agreement or modus vivendi entered into in 1901 being
again renewed and continued for the present year, and also that the Province should be
consulted before new regulations are promulgated.
This is a proposal which the Dominion is in no way prepared to favourably consider,
inasmuch as it is entirely opposed to its idea of an adequate settlement of the question, and in
all its negotiations with the other Provinces affected by the decision of the Imperial Privy 8 Ed. 7 Correspondence re Fisheries, etc. M 15
Council in 1898, it has sought to bring about an adjustment of the case, by which it can
acquire all rights in respect of proprietary interests in the fisheries that have by that decision
been secured to them.
This decision, which separated the proprietary rights from the sole and undoubted right
of legislation with regard to the fisheries, secured to the Dominion the latter function, and
under no circumstances or conditions is it the present intention of the Dominion to abandon
to any of the Provincial Governments the powers and duties thus involved.
Therefore, the proposal for the transfer of the entire control of the salmon and interior
fisheries, as well as of existing fish hatcheries, and any other cognate interests possessed by the
Dominion, is not such as under the conditions obtaining could meet with the approval of the
Federal Government in any settlement which may be effected between the Provinces and the
Dominion.
In concluding these brief comments upon the proposals advanced by your Government,
I deem it important to impress upon you that in order to obviate any future misunderstanding
with regard to the ultimate effect of the modus vivendi, which is only a temporary arrangement, the attitude of the Dominion Government in this connection, of which an intimation is
afforded by that portion of this communication which explains that in dealing with the other
Provinces the object has ever been to reach some conclusion by which the Federal Government
may secure the undivided control of the fisheries of the Dominion, in order that a definite and
uniform policy may continue to obtain, looking to the conservation and development of so
valuable a national asset.
I feel that you will agree with me that there can be no difference of opinion as to the vast
importance to the general interest of the Dominion of our sea-coast and inland fisheries, which,
while at present prosecuted with much vigour, are capable of such further material development ; and in no place are the possibilities of this development more apparent than in the
Province and around the coasts of British Columbia, where practically virgin fisheries of the
greatest wealth await the successful exploitation to achieve assured success.
Possessed as the Dominion Government is, by virtue of the British North America Act,
of the sole right of making laws and regulations for the protection, conservation and development of the fisheries of Canada, it must be obvious that their best interests can be conserved
by the exercise of such undivided authority, and I feel that if some arrangement can be reached
by which the absolute control of these valuable interests, of a proprietary character and otherwise, may be brought within the jurisdiction of the Dominion, it cannot but enure to the
general benefit and enable the Government to continue and expand measures already initiated
to bring about a more profitable exploitation and development of the fisheries, and a betterment of the condition of the fishing population, with its attendant influences.
Yours faithfully,
(Signed)       R. Prefontaine.
Victoria Chambers,
Ottawa, 20th June, 1904.
Hon. Raymond Prefontaine,
Minister of Marine and Fisheries, Ottawa.
Dear Sir,—Your letter, dated 16th inst., was duly delivered to me on Saturday afternoon.    I will summarise it briefly as I understand it.
First, in answer to our claim for settlement of the amounts collected by the Dominion
Government since Confederation, you say that the claim for the years prior to 1901 must
depend on final settlement, and since the modus vivendi of 1901, the expenditure on fisheries
in British Columbia has exceeded the revenue by $102,314.82.
Second, that the Dominion will not grant our request to concede the control of the
fisheries and hatcheries to the Province, even temporarily.
And third, you suggest that the Dominion having the control, the Province should
transfer to the Dominion its proprietary rights in the fisheries.
The question for me now to consider is what, if anything, is left for me to discuss with
you. I would recall to you that on three previous occasions delegates from the British
Columbia Government have come to Ottawa and discussed this matter of the fisheries with
your Government; that our claims have been laid before you both personally and in writing,
setting out the figures on which we based our claims, such figures being taken from the reports of your Department, and to which previously no exception had ever been taken; that our
Attorney-General wrote you fully again on 2lst March last, urging our claims and giving
figures, to which no reply was received until the Prime Minister's telegram requesting our
Government to send a delegate to Ottawa to discuss matters, in response to which request I
am now here.
Your reply to our request that we be granted the control of the fisheries does not leave
that point open for any further discussion on my part.
Your suggestion that the Province cede to the Dominion its proprietary rights is of so
important and radical a nature that it can only be decided upon by our Government in
Executive, and after the most careful consideration. As you have informed me that you
intend visiting British Columbia next month, I would suggest that a conference be arranged
between you and our Executive in Victoria, when the matter can be discussed. I cannot,
however, leave this part of the subject without pointing out that what you term in your letter
"a valuable national asset" has been decided by the Privy Council to be the property of the
Province.
We come then to the question of the settlement of our claims for a proportion of the
revenues collected by the Dominion. Your letter seems to me to preclude discussion of our
claims for the three years prior to 1901, as you say it must depend upon whatever settlement
may be finally achieved. I was in hopes that you would be prepared to admit the force of our
contention that the reasons for settlement of this part of our claim upon the same basis as for
the subsequent years are precisely the same. The Privy Council decided that the proprietary
rights in the fisheries had belonged to the Province ever since Confederation. It follows,
therefore, that whatever revenues the Dominion has derived or collected from the fisheries in
British Columbia have been derived from what was the property of the Province, and therefore, legally and equitably belonged to the Province and not to the Dominion. Even if it be
still open for me to discuss this part of the question any further, it is impossible to do so
without the figures, and the same remark applies to our claim for the period subsequent to the
modus vivendi of 1901. I can only assume that in the figures given by you in your letter you
have included all expenditures on capital account as well as for administration of fisheries and
hatcheries, which, as was pointed out last year, are not fairly chargeable against these years.
May I venture to ask if you will be good enough to furnish me with an itemized statement of
expenditures—(I do not mean in detail, but under different headings)—as well of revenues
collected prior to, as well as since, the modus vivendi of 1901. If this cannot be handed to
me to-morrow, may I ask, as I am leaving here on Wednesday morning, that you be good
enough to forward it as soon as possible to our Premier, Mr. McBride, at Victoria, and the
matter could then be discussed when you meet, as I hope you will, our Executive there next
month.
In conclusion, I enclose herewith a memorandum of suggestions for amendment of the
existing fishery regulations, for which, as the season is advancing rapidly, and the reasons for
the changes are so urgent, I would ask your immediate and favourable consideration. I am
handing a copy of this Memorandum to Mr. Prince, and Mr. Babcock intends to discuss same
fully with him.
Yours faithfully,
(Signed)        Fred. J. Fulton,
Provincial Secretary.
Office of the Minister of Marine and Fisheries,
Ottawa, Canada, June 21st, 1904.
Dear Sir,—I have your letter of the 20th, in reply to mine of the 16th instant, on the
subject of the claim of British Columbia against the Dominion, arising out of the decision of
the Judicial Committee of the Imperial Privy Council in respect of the reference as to fishery
rights of the Dominion and. the several Provinces, as affected by the " British North America
Act" effecting confederation.
Primarily, you summarise the points of my letter and reach the conclusion that with the
exception of some phases with which you deal, and to which I purpose referring, that there is
practically little, if anything, left to discuss at the present juncture, and you intimate that the
suggestion touching the cession of proprietary rights is so important and so radical in its nature 8 Ed. 7 Correspondence re Fisheries, etc. M 17
that it can only be decided upon by your Government in Executive, and then only after the
most careful consideration, while you in turn suggest an arrangement for a conference between
myself and your Executive, at Victoria, during my proposed early visit to that Province.
At this point I should like to refer to a phase upon which it seems to me we are proceeding at present from a somewhat different standpoint. It is evident that you regard the
Premier's invitation for representation by your Government, in a discussion of Fishery matters, at this moment to be sufficiently comprehensive to embrace an arrival at detailed data,
which would permit of an immediate assessment of the value of the proprietary interests and
jurisdiction, which may eventually be relinquished or acquired on either part, through any
final adjustment which may be reached; whereas, the discussion in question contemplated no,
immediate consideration of data or of methods of fixing figures, and thus, at the very outset,
placing a specific money value upon the concessions which either might be called upon to make.
You are doubtless aware that the main point at issue between the Federal Government
and the Atlantic Provinces hinged on the claim advanced to the extra-territorial jurisdiction,
or three-mile limit, which the Dominion regards as wholly distinct from any proprietary
interest, which may or may not exist in the right of the Provinces to low water mark,
arguable as appurtenant to the soil.
It was in turn suggested that a test case should be instituted in the Courts; that terms
of reference should be agreed upon to the Supreme Court, or that a means of settlement of
perhaps broader scope should be agreed upon, without resort to litigation or a finding of the
Courts on a reference, and it was in order, if possible, to reach some conclusion as a basis of
procedure, that the discussion in question was arranged.
Obviously, such a conference was in its character more of a preliminary nature, designed
to pave the way to the possibility of a consideration of equivalents for concession between the
contending interests, rather than an actual assessment thereof, even had a basis been provided.
So far as a discussion of the figures for the period extending from the date of British
Columbia's entry into the Dominion (1871) up to the date of the modus vivendi (1901), is
concerned, it is apparent that any consideration thereof must form part of the settlement of the
whole question, based upon present or acquired rights, and in the event of any such acquisition
on either side, it may be that the settlement suggested by the modus vivendi, which contemplated no such concessions, will require to be readjusted. However, as requested by you, I
shall be pleased to furnish the Premier of British Columbia with a statement of the revenue
and expenditure on account of the Fisheries service in the Province.
Reverting to your suggestion that I should discuss the larger question with the Executive
of British Columbia, when in Victoria, I may say that I shall be pleased to avail myself of
the opportunity, even if the result of such a discussion should only operate to assist in bringing
about some definite basis for the achievement of a conclusion of this long-standing disparity of
right and jurisdiction between the Province and the Dominion.
You say you cannot leave this part of the subject without pointing out that what I term
in my letter as a "valuable national asset," has been decided by the Privy Council to be the
property of the Province. I cannot avoid the conclusion that either I did not make myself
plain or that you have misinterpreted me, nor can I subscribe to the opinion that the Privy
Council has decided the Canadian fisheries to be the property of the Provinces as such. True,
each of the Provinces may be said to possess some fisheries of an inland character, of greater or
lesser value, but the vast wealth of tbe Dominion fisheries, at present but partially developed,
are essentially those exploited by the deep-sea fishermen, and are of a national and not of a
provincial character. These are those which can be more particularly referred to as a national
asset, the development and betterment of which have recently received considerable attention.
I have noted your memorandum, containing suggested amendments to the Fishery
Regulations, which will receive my careful consideration.
Yours, etc.,
(Signed) R. Prefontaine.
Hon^ Fred. J. Fulton,
Provincial Secretary of British Columbia,
Victoria Chambers, Ottawa. M 18 Correspondence re Fisheries, etc. 1908
Report of   Fishery Delegation, 1905.
[B. C. Sessional Papers, 1905, p. F 39.]
To His Honour the Lieutenant-Governor in Council.
Sir :—The undersigned has the honour to report that, as authorised by you in accordance
with a request from Sir Wilfrid Laurier, he proceeded to Ottawa, accompanied by Mr. J. P.
Babcock, Fishery Commissioner, to confer with members of the Dominion Government on
certain fishery questions in dispute between the Dominion of Canada and the Province of
British Columbia.
I reached Ottawa on June 14th, 1904, and at once waited upon the Honourable Raymond
Prefontaine, Minister of Marine and Fisheries, and arranged with him for a formal interview
with himself and the Premier, Sir Wilfrid Laurier, on the next day at 11 a.m.
At the interview on the morning of the 15th there were present Sir Wilfrid Laurier,
Honourable R. Prefontaine, Senator Templeman and Mr. Babcock. I presented the case for
the Province, and was followed by Mr. Babcock, who went fully into details. Considerable
discussion followed, which resulted in my being requested to submit a memorandum setting
out the claims and proposals of our Government, which I accordingly did.
Our subsequent negotiations were chiefly conducted in writing, and I have the honour of
presenting herewith, in order, as a report, the correspondence as a whole, from which the
main facts in connection with the entire negotiations can easily be gathered.
I have the honour to be,
Sir,
Your obedient servant,
Fred. J. Fulton.
At Vancouver, B. O, 23rd August,  1904.
To the Honourable Richard McBride
Premier of British Columbia, Victoria, B. C,
My Dear Premier,—Referring to our interview, when I had the honour of meeting
some of your colleagues on Saturday, the 20th instant, I think—and perhaps you will agree
with me—that, pending the settlement of the question of Fisheries between your Government
and the Dominion of Canada, the modus vivendi accepted by both Governments since the 3rd
of June, 1901, should be continued in its entirety, but, at the same time, I may be allowed to
suggest that, without waiving any of the rights claimed by both Governments, in order to
facilitate the successful application of the remedies to be adopted and so strongly recommended
by the different interested bodies of British Columbia, and so as to put the fishing industry
in a better position, full control should be assumed by the Department of Marine and
Fisheries for the Dominion by taking over and administering the whole of the Fisheries of
the Province so as to meet the seriousness of the situation.
Mr. Babcock, your Provincial Commissioner, would then become our own officer as
Superintendent of the British Columbia hatcheries, receiving the same emoluments.
Trusting that this will meet with your Government's approval and will soon be followed
by a complete settlement of the question.
I remain,
Yours very truly,
R. Prefontaine. 8 Ed. 7 Correspondence re Fisheries, etc. M 19
Further   Correspondence.
Victoria, B. C, October 12th, 1904.
The Honourable R. Prejontaine,
Minister of Marine and Fisheries, Ottawa.
Sir,—I have the honour to refer to your letter, dated the 16th day of June, to Mr.
Fulton, President of the Executive Council, and your further letter dated the 23rd August,
addressed to me, on the subject of the salmon fisheries of this Province.
The letter of the 16th of June distinctly declines the proposal of this Government that
the management of the salmon fisheries should be transferred to the Province, and suggests
that the undivided control of the salmon fisheries should be secured to the Dominion, " in
order that a definite and uniform policy may continue to obtain, looking to the conservation
and development of so valuable a national asset."
The letter of the 23rd of August is to the same effect, viz. : that " Full control should be
assumed by the Department of Marine and Fisheries for the Dominion by taking over and
administering the whole of the fisheries of the Province so as to meet the seriousness of the
situation."
With respect to the request that the Province should abandon any rights it may have in
the fishery in question, in order that the Dominion may assume control, may I be permitted
to remind you that under the modus vivendi the Department of Marine and Fisheries has for
some years past exercised full control over the salmon fishery, and that the result of the
exercise of that full control has not been of such a character as to encourage the Provincial
Government to accede to the request contained in your letters, or to justify the Province in
parting with any power it may possess that will assist in preserving this valuable Provincial
asset from complete extinction.
It follows, then, that I am reluctantly obliged to dissent from some of the statements
contained in your letter of the 16th of June, particularly the final one " that if some arrangement, etc."
I cannot but express the profound regret I feel at the attitude assumed by the Dominion
Government. Nothing in the past can justify the claim that the undivided control of the
salmon fishery will, if placed in the hands of the Dominion, enure to the benefit of this
important industry.
Among other matters necessary for the preservation of this fishery, the propagation of fish
stands pre-eminent. In order, then, to do all that the Province can do in conjunction with
the Dominion, I have the honour to make the following proposal :—
The Province will, at its own cost, continue the present hatchery at Seton Lake, and
construct and maintain another at some convenient spot on the waters of the Fraser River:
The Dominion and Provincial hatcheries to be placed under the absolute control of Mr.
Babcock, with full authority as to engaging and discharging the necessary employees »
Mr. Babcock's salary to be paid jointly by the Dominion and the Province :
Mr. Babcock to make a full report to the Department of Marine and Fisheries, and the
Minister having control of the Provincial Fisheries.
If, in addition to the foregoing proposal, the Dominion erected two new hatcheries on
the waters of the Fraser River, and one on Rivers Inlet, a very important step would have
been taken towards preserving the fishery.
In any event, it is not, under existing circumstances, and with the harmful experience, of
the past, the intention of this Government to part with any rights or powers it may possess
in relation to the salmon fishery, but, on the contrary, it is proposed at the next session of the
Legislature to pass such intra vires legislation as will enable the Province to obtain some
revenue to devote to the preservation and maintenance of the salmon industry.
I have the honour to be,
Sir,
Your obedient servant,
Richard McBride, Premier. M 20 Correspondence re Fisheries, etc. 1908
Ottawa, October 29 th, 1904.
Dear Sir,—I have to acknowledge the receipt of your letter of the 12th instant, referring
to my letter dated 16th June last, to Mr. Fulton, President of the Executive Council, and
my further letter to you of the 23rd August, on the subject of the salmon fisheries in the
Province of British Columbia, and making certain proposals in connection with fish culture.
The question is one which, at the present moment, I cannot take up for decision, as the
matters touched in your letter must necessarily be considered as a whole, and I am not just
now aware of the standing of the negotiations in the hands of the Department of Justice,
looking to a reference of certain questions of right, to the Supreme Court, for a finding.
Yours faithfully,
R. Prefontaine.
Honourable Richard McBride,
Premier of British Columbia, Victoria, B. C.
(B. C. Sessional Papers, 1935, p. F 47.)
Victoria, B. C, 10th January, 1905.
Hon. Raymond Prefoidaine,
Minister Marine and Fisheries, Ottawa.
On 19th ultimo I wired you as follows :—"Kindly send at earliest possible date itemised
statement of expenditures and revenue re Fisheries, asked for in my letter 20th June last and
promised in your reply 21st June."    No reply jet.    May I expect one soon 1
(Signed)        Fred. J. Fulton,
Provincial Secretary.
Office of the Minister of Marine and Fisheries, of Canada,
Ottawa, January 12th, 1905.
Dear Sir,—Reverting to our correspondence of June last, and with reference to your
telegram of yesterday's date, on the subject of a suggested adjustment of fishery matters
between the Dominion and the Province of British Columbia, I enclose a complete statement
of the annual expenditure of this Department, under different headings, in connection with
the fisheries in your Province, prior and subsequent to the modus vivendi of 1901, as well as a
statement of revenues annually collected during the same period, embracing the twenty-eight
years from 1876 to 1904.
Yours faithfully,
(Signed)        R. Prefontaine.
Honourable Frederick J. Fulton,
Provincial Secretary, Victoria, B. C. 8 Ed. 7
Correspondence re Fisheries, etc.
M 21
STATEMENT
Showing the annual expenditure of, and revenue collected by, the Dominion Government
on account of the fisheries service since Confederation.
Province or British Columbia.
Year.
1867
1868
1869
1870
1871
1872
1873
1874
1875
1876
1877
1878
1879
1880
1881
1882
1883
1884
1885
1886
1887
1888
1889
1890
1891
1892
1893
1894
1895
1896
1897
1898
1899
1900
1901
1902
1903
1904
General
Service.
635 00
690 00
1,423 73
1,399 92
1,721 48
1,599 08
1,599 92
2,231 97
1,437 13
1,878 53
5,860 72
3,661 83
4,333 63
3,634 41
4,320 53
6,158 17
5,490 60
5,283 21
6,218 74
6,226 77
8,841 64
8,508 79
8,459 47
13,662 17
17,886 36
18,560 00
17,808 45
15,133 65
$174,665 90
Cruisers.
32,558 58
43,742 47
576,301 05
Fish Breeding
$ 3,704 31
11,873 17
5,405 87
4,623 35
5,653 90
4,933 26
4,202 61
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
20,507 00
23,275 29
25,040 81
$157,463 51
Total.
635 00
690 00
1,423 73
1,399 92
1,721 48
1,599 08
1,599 92
5,936 28
13,310 30
7,284 40
10,484 07
9,315 73
9,266 89
7,837 02
7,680 04
9,054 74
9,121 28
8,556 31
9,087 93
9,043 79
11,682 26
10,898 25
12,195 61
16,404 05
35,596 13
39,067 00
73,642 32
83,916 93
$408,430 46
Re
10 00
672 50
790 00
127 50
365 30
922 50
943 50
6,934 55
6,416 00
11,367 50
12,914 02
8,192 48
40,264 00
25,337 90
23,517 25
26,410 75
39,888 82
47,864 75
45,801 75
53,195 35
52,960 35
41,178 00
42,940 62
56,904 34
$545,919 93
Further  Correspondence.
Ottawa, January 18th, 1906.
Dear McBride,—With reference to the three subjects which we discussed some weeks
ago  when you and Mr. Tatlow did me the honour of calling on me, that is to say :—
1. The Fisheries;
2. The Peace River Lands ; and
3. The Indian Reserves,
I now beg to answer as follows :
1st. With regard to the Fisheries, we will continue, until otherwise settled, the arrangements now existing between the Dominion and the British Columbia Governments, by which M 22 Correspondence re Fisheries, etc. 1908
the Dominion Government will undertake and exercise full jurisdiction over the fisheries in
British Columbia, collect the revenue and bear all the expenditure, subject to an adjustment
of accounts later on.
With regard to hatcheries, the responsibility of this Government, under existing circumstances, to regulate, conserve and propagate the fishing industry being admitted, its obligations
to provide the cost of necessary hatcheries must also be conceded. It will, therefore, only be consistent with this view that the hatchery built and now being operated by your Government,
assuming that it is necessary and meets requirements, should be transferred to the Marine and
Fisheries Department, which owns and operates all the other hatcheries in British Columbia.
That is also the view of yourself and colleagues, as expressed when in Ottawa a few weeks ago.
The other and larger phase of the question, the respective rights of the Dominion and the
Province in the fisheries, which it is our earnest wish to bring to a speedy settlement, would
not in any way be affected by the acquisition by the Dominion of the Provincial hatchery.
Before a transfer could be made there would necessarily be some important details to consider, such, for instance, as the value of the property, the employment by this Government of
the present Provincial hatchery officials, &c, which would more readily be determined by
personal consultation.
If, therefore, this proposition meets with your approval, I will be glad if you will confer,
in respect of such details, with my colleague, the Hon. W. Templeman, who has been requested
by me to deal with the matter.
I am not yet prepared to give you a definite answer as to your request that we should
recoup the Province for the building cost of this hatchery, but this is a question as to which I
will give you a definite answer after the return of the Minister of Finance, who is now, as you
know, in Nova Scotia.
As to the other two questions, the Peace River Lands and the Indian Reserves, I would
ask you to be so kind as to put your request in writing, so that, as the matters are new to me,
T can place them before the Council.
Believe me, dear Mr. McBride,
Yours very sincerely,
Wilfrid Laurier.
Hon. Richard McBride,
Prime Minister, Victoria, B. C.
Victoria, B. C, February 27th, 1906.
The Right Hon.
Sir Wilfrid Laurier, G. C. M. G., P. C,
Prime Minister of Canada, Ottawa, Ont.
Dear Sir Wilfrid,—In order to facilitate a settlement in regard to the fisheries, the
Provincial Government is willing to agree to the proposal in your letter of January 18th, and
also set out in a letter dated August 23rd, 1904, from the late Minister of Fisheries, that
pending the settlement of tde question of the fisheries between the Dominion and the Federal
Governments the modus vivendi accepted by both Governments since the 3rd June, 1901,
should be continued, by which, without waiving any of the rights claimed by either Government, the Dominion Government would undertake and exercise full jurisdiction over the
fisheries in British Columbia, collect the revenue and bear all the expenditures, subject to an
adjustment of accounts later on.
This Government is also willing to transfer to the Dominion Government the hatchery,
built and now being operated by the Province at Seton Lake, the larger phase of the question,
the respective rights of the Dominion and the Province in the fisheries, being in no way affected
by the acquisition by the Dominion of the Provincial hatchery. In this connection you say
that "the responsibility of the Government (Dominion) under existing circumstances to regulate,
conserve and propagate the fishing industry being admitted, its obligations to provide the
cost of necessary hatcheries must also be conceded."
In taking over the hatchery and assuming full control of the fisheries we believe it but
right that the Dominion should recompense the Province for the outlay it has been put to in
connection with this work. 8 Ed. 7 Correspondence re Fisheries, etc. M 23
The expenditure by the Province on Seton Lake Hatchery, Rivers Inlet Hatchery, Fish
Ladder at Quesnel Lake Dam, and investigation of young salmon in fresh waters of the Province
from 16th October, 1901, to 31st December, 1905, is as follows:—
Seton Lake.
Salary of Deputy Commissioner from Oct. 16th, 1901, to Dec. 31st, 1905. .$12,625 00
Travelling expenses      2,150 83
Construction and maintenance of hatchery at Seton Lake    42,583 07
$57,358 90
Rivers Inlet.
Construction and salary of field assistant    $ 1,107 71
Fish ladder at Quesnel Lake dam construction  4,140 30
Investigation of life of young salmon in fresh water of the Province, salary
assistant, superintendent and expenses  2,744 58
$65,381 49
All this expenditure was essential to the carrying on of the work of conserving and
propagating the salmon, and was undertaken by the Province as the result of Sir Louis Davies'
proposal of June 3rd, 1901.
It may be pointed out that at Birkenhead River the Dominion Hatchery now occupies
the site of the experimental plant erected by the Province, and that the Dominion Government has all the advantages of the field-notes taken by the Provincial official in its construction of the hatchery at Rivers Inlet.
This Government also asks that the suggestion of the late Minister of Fisheries, in his
letter of August 23rd, 1904, be adopted, that Mr. Babcock, Provincial Commissioner, become
the Dominion officer " as Superintendent of the British Columbia hatcheries, receiving the
same emoluments," in order that the agreement entered into with Mr. Babcock by the
Provincial Government may be carried out.
As to the details of the transfer, this Government will be pleased to confer with Senator
Templeman, as you suggest.
Regarding the main question, the respective rights of the Dominion and the Province in
the fisheries, and the amount which the Dominion should pay to the Province in respect of
collections from licences, as mentioned in the arrangement made with Sir Louis Davies in 1891,
there seems to be no reason why a speedy settlement should not be made.
As requested in the letter, dated March 21st, 1904, from the Attorney-General of the
Province to the Minister of Marine and Fisheries, I would suggest with respect to the settlement of sums due the Province, in conformity with Sir Louis Davies' wire of June 3rd, 1901,
and subsequent agreements, that steps be taken at once towards the appointment of a referee
and the submission of the entire question, and that you authorise some one to confer with the
Government of British Columbia relative to the respective rights of the Province and the
Dominion, in order to see if any conclusion entirely satisfactory can be reached, and, if not,
that proceedings can be taken to obtain the opinion of the Judicial Committee of the Privy
Council as to our respective claims.
There does not seem to be any reason why this matter should remain longer in abeyance,
nor is it necessary to refer at length to the efforts that have been made by the Province, as
shewn by the correspondence that has passed between the two Governments to secure a settlement.
Believe me, dear Sir Wilfrid,
Very sincerely,
Richard McBride,
Premier. M 24 Correspondence re Fisheries, etc. 1908
[Telegram.]
Victoria, May llth, 1906.
Right Hon. Sir Wilfrid Laurier :
What is prospect closing arrangement with your Government for transfer Provincial
hatchery and Commissioner Babcock, as per negotiations by correspondence with Hon. Temple-
man ?
Richard McBride.
[Telegram.]
Ottawa, Ont., May 14th, 1906.
Hon. Richard McBride, Victoria :
Your two telegrams received. I have referred matter of hatchery to the Minister of
Fisheries. With regard to Peace River lands, I understand from Interior Department that it
it will not be possible to complete surveys before first of October.
Wilfrid Laurier.
[Telegram.]
Ottawa, Ont., May 17th, 1906.
Hon. Richard McBride, Victoria:
In view of the meeting within two or three months of representatives of the Provinces and
the Dominion to consider all questions at issue, is deemed advisable to then take up and settle
the whole question of the British Columbia fisheries.    Trust this view will meet your approval.
Wilfrid Laurier.
[Telegram.]
Victoria, May 29th, 1907.
Hon.  W. Templeman,
Acting Minister Marine and Fisheries, Ottaiva.
Rumoured that Dominion Government has leased fishing in Cowichan Bay to Company.
Protest emphatically on account of injury to fishing in Cowichan River,  and also because it
is an encroachment on Provincial rights.
R. G. Tatlow,
Acting Premier.
Office of the Minister of Marine and Fisheries of Canada,
Ottawa, May 31st, 1907.
Hon. R. G. Tatlow, Acting Premier, Victoria, B. C.
Dear Sir,—I have your telegram of 29th instant, in the following terms :—
" Rumoured that Dominion Government has leased fishing in Cowichan Bay to Company.
Protest emphatically on account injury to fishing in Cowichan River,  and also  because it is
encroachment on Provincial rights."
While the Federal Government is disposed to give the views of your Government every
consideration, I may say that the view held of the lease in question is entirely at variance
with that expressed in your telegram.
It is confidently expected that instead of having the injurious effect upon the fisheries of
Cowichan River which you appear to anticipate, the lease in question will have precisely the
opposite effect and prove of great benefit to the river, contributing to the supply of those
classes of fish which sportsmen are anxious to see propagated, and at the same time permitting
participation in and maintenance of a commercial enterprise, tending to the general development and advancement of the community.
The lease is conditional on the maintenance by the lessees of a salmon hatchery of the
capacity of ten million eggs, and the lessees are bound to provide space in the hatchery for
such quantity of steelheads and spring salmon as this Department may desire to breed therein, 8 Ed. 7 Correspondence re Fisheries, etc. M 21
in the angling interest. No steelheads are permitted to be taken, and must be liberated alive
if incidentally captured ; also, spring salmon may not be taken before the 1st July, and any
such captured before that date are to be liberated alive.
Touching that portion of your telegram which refers to the lease as an encroachment on
Provincial rights, I may say that the Department cannot share your view in this respect.
You are aware that in the year 1901, following the decision of the Privy Council, the
Attorney-General for the Province introduced a Bill before the Legislative Assembly, entitled
"The British Columbia Fisheries Act, 1901," which trenched largely upon the functions of
the Dominion Government in essaying to legislate for the protection and preservation of the
fisheries, and, among other things, it provided for the issue of certain licences and leases.
The Minister of Marine and Fisheries for the time being called the attention of the Attorney-
General of your Province to this fact, which resulted in an arrangement for the repeal of the
Provincial Act where it was found to infringe upon Federal rights, and a modus vivendi was
entered into by which the Federal Government was to continue the granting of fishery licences
as heretofore, and to account to the Provincial Government for any proportion of the revenues
which a final settlement of the question might reveal to belong to the Province.
While there may be some question for final adjustment with regard to the issue of leases
and licences, the gravest complications are likely to occur if it is possible to have a divided
jurisdiction in this respect, pending the event of a definite adjustment.
I may add that the modus vivendi entered into in 1901 has since continued, and this
Department was certainly under the impression that the leases and licences in respect of any
kind of fishing operations were to be administered by the Federal Government, an accounting
for the fees which might be held to be claimable by the Province to be made eventually.
The issue of the lease in question is, therefore, not at variance with the understanding of
this Department as to the scope of the modus vivendi, and the wisdom of keeping the issue of
leases and licences under undivided control seems to be obvious.
(Signed)        W. Templeman,
Acting Minister.
Victoria, B. C, June 7th, 1907.
Hon.   Wm.  Templeman,
Minister of Marine and Fisheries, Ottawa.
Sir,—I am in receipt of your letter of the 31st May and regret that I cannot coincide
with your views that the lease of the fishing in Cowichan Bay will have other than an injurious
effect, and in this connection I am enclosing herewith a memorandum embodying the views of
the Provincial Fisheries Commissioner, Mr. J. P. Babcock, showing that he feels very strongly
on the subject,—a feeling which is unanimously shared by the residents of the district affected.
I would also refer you to the evidence taken before the Fisheries Commission last year, in
which you will see that your own Inspector, Mr. Taylor, pronounced against allowing fishing
in Cowichan Bay.
With respect to the present position of the modus vivendi, I might point out that the
arrangement arrived at in the year 1901 was only temporary and has been renewed from year
to year, this Province having time after time made representations as to the necessity of the
long-promised accounting and settlement of the question in dispute.
We were informed by you that it was the intention to finally dispose of all these matters
at the Conference of Provincial Premiers in October last. No communication has been received
from you since that time and no request as to the renewal of the modus vivendi; we feel free,
therefore, to take such action as appears to us most desirable in the case, as under the present
circumstances the fisheries interests of the Province appear liable to be injuriously affected.
Consequently, we have issued a Proclamation in the British Columbia Gazette of the 6th June,
1907, bringing into force the British Columbia Fisheries Act of 1901 and amending Acts.
I would call your attention to section 8 of the Amending Act of 1902, which provides
that we may prohibit fishing in any waters within the Province, excepting under authority of,
a fishing lease, permit or licence, granted by virtue of our Act.
No objection has ever been taken by the Federal Authorities to the Act of 1902, and we
therefore feel at liberty to enforce its provisions.
I have, etc.,
R. G. Tatlow,
Acting Premier. M 26 Correspondence re Fisheries, etc. 1908
Victoria, B. C, November 22nd, 1907.
The Right Hon. Sir Wifrid Laurier, B.C., G.C.M.G.,
Prime Minister of Canada, Ottawa.
Dear Sir Wilfrid,—Permit me to draw your attention to the position of the Government of British Columbia with respect to the important question of the Fisheries, and to remind
you that although for a number of years past the Province has been anxious and willing to
come to some settlement with the Dominion, this desirable end has not been attained.
That the delay in coining to a definite result is through no fault of the Government of
British Columbia may be gathered from a perusal of the correspondence between the Dominion
and the Province, the main points of which I beg briefly to recall.
When in a telegram dated June 1st, 1901, the then Minister of Marine and Fisheries,
Sir Louis Davies, was informed by the Attorney-General of British Columbia that the Government of British Columbia was ready to assume the duties defined in the judgment of the Privy
Council in respect to the fisheries, it was proposed by the Dominion, and accepted by the
Province, that the question of the sea-coast fisheries should for the meantime remain in abeyance, the Dominion remaining in control pending the settlement of a test case, while, as regards
the Provincial rivers, the Dominion should collect licences for the season and account to the
Province for such proportion as might be agreed upon, or, in case of disagreement, adjusted by
a referee. This agreement is set out in the telegram from Sir Louis Davies to Hon. D. M.
Eberts, of June 3rd, 1901, and the reply dated June 15th of the same year.
In April of the ensuing year the Province asked for an accounting of its share of the
revenue collected ; but, though the same modus vivendi has been continued from year to year
and the Province has repeatedly requested that steps be taken to appoint a referee in conformity
with Sir Louis Davies' wire and subsequent agreements, this has not been done by the
Dominion.
In this connection I might refer particularly to my letter to you of February 27th, 1906,
wherein I distinctly asked that steps be taken at once towards the appointment of a referee
to settle the amount due the Province under the modus vivendi entered into in 1901 and succeeding years; and I now again ask that this phase of the question be adjusted.
With regard to the larger question of the respective rights of the Province and the
Dominion in the fisheries, this Government has continually urged that steps be taken to come
to a conclusion. In March, 1904, in a letter to the Minister of Marine and Fisheries, from
the Hon. Charles Wilson, Attorney-General, it was again urged that the Dominion should
authorise some one to confer with the Government of British Columbia relative to the respective
rights in the fisheries, and, if a conclusion was not reached, that proceedings be taken to obtain
the opinion of the Judicial Committee of the Privy Council as to the respective claims.
The same year the Hon. Fred. J. Fulton, accompanied by Mr. J. P. Babcock, Provincial
Fisheries Commissioner, was sent to Ottawa by this Government as a delegation to confer with
the members of the Dominion Government with a view to a settlement of the fisheries question.
Again, in 1905, Hon. Mr. Tatlow, the Finance Minister, and I discussed this matter
with you at Ottawa, when you promised that the matter would have immediate attention ;
and on February 27th, 1906, I wrote urging that a settlement of the entire question be
reached by means of a referee, or, failing that, by obtaining the opinion of the Privy Council;
but up to the present time the matter seems no nearer a settlement.
It is true that on October 24th of the present year the Hon. Wm. Templeman, while in
Victoria, discussed the matter of Fisheries with myself and Hon. W. J. Bowser, the Attorney-
General and Commissioner of Fisheries. He stated then that he had no authority to deal with
the matter, but promised a communication in due course. I may add that more than four
weeks have passed since then without any answer being received.
It will be seen, therefore, from the brief reference I have made to the matter, that it is
not from any lack of diligence on the part of this Government that a settlement has not been
arrived at with the Dominion.
I now beg to inform you that the Government of British Columbia, after careful consideration, has decided to exercise its jurisdiction in the fisheries in so far as that power
appertains to the Province.
I am, etc.,
Richard McBride. 8 Ed. 7 Correspondence re Fisheries, etc. M 27
[Telegrams.]
Ottawa, Feb. 10th, 1908.
Hon. R. McBride, Victoria, B.C. :
With reference to your communication of 22nd November concerning agent, Canadian
Government have appointed S. T. Bastedo agent to confer with you on matters at issue. He
will leave Ottawa for Victoria in a few days and before end of next week.
(Signed)        Wilfrid Laurier.
Sir Wilfrid Laurier, Ottawa, Ont. :
Your telegram  February  8th received.    Will be pleased to see Mr. Bastedo when he
reaches Victoria.
(Signed) Richard McBride.
Re   Foreshore.
Victoria, B. C, October 25th, 1907.
The Secretary, Department of the Interior, Ottawa, Can. :
Sir,—I have the honour to advise you that my attention has been directed to the fact
that the Dominion authorities have issued a foreshore grant or lease over foreshore lands at
Thetis Cove, on the east side of Esquimalt Harbour, the name of the lessee being F. Betterton,
of the B. F. Graham Lumber Company.
I have to enter a protest against the action of the Dominion authorities in the granting
of this lease, upon the ground that Thetis Cove is not now and never has been used for
harbour purposes, and for this reason the foreshore is under the jurisdiction of this
Government.
I have further to point out that by virtue of jurisdiction over foreshore at Thetis Cove
being vested in this Government, I issued a lease over certain foreshore lands at Thetis Cove
several months ago for the purpose of oyster culture, and that the action of the Dominion
authorities in issuing a subsequent lease over the same foreshore must result in very serious
complications.
I have, etc.,
(Signed)    Fred. J. Fulton,
Chief Commissioner of Lands aud Works.
Ottawa, 7th November, 1907.
The Chief Commissioner of Lands and Works,
Victoria, B. C.
Sir,—I beg to acknowledge the receipt of your letter of the 25th ultimo, No. 20,259/07,
addressed to the Secretary of the Department of the Interior, and by him transferred to
this Department for attention, with reference to the application of the B. F. Graham Lumber
Company, Limited, for a grant or lease of certain foreshore at Thetis Cove, on the east side of
Esquimalt Harbour.
In reply, I am to state that Thetis Cove, being part of a public harbour, is under the
jurisdiction of the Dominion Government, and in these circumstances any grant or lease of
foreshore lands or water lots in that cove must be made by them, and not by the Provincial
authorities.
I am, etc.,
(Signed)        F. Gourdeau,
Deputy Minister of Marine and Fisheries. M 28 Correspondence re Fisheries, etc. 1908
Victoria, B. O, November 30th, 1907.
F. Gourdeau, Esq.,
Deputy Minister of Marine and Fisheries, Ottawa.
Re Thetis Cove.
Sir,—I have the honour to acknowledge receipt of your letter of the 7th instant, in which
you state that Thetis Cove, being part of a public harbour, is under the jurisdiction of the
Dominion Government. I must join issue with you on this point, as our contention is that
it does not follow that every portion of the area included within any indentation marked on
the maps as a harbour necessarily forms part of such harbour. Whether it does or not is a
question of fact in each case, and in the present case we contend that Thetis Cove is much too
shallow to be used for harbour purposes and never was used as such, and, consequently, it
does not form part of Esquimalt Harbour and is within the jurisdiction of the Provincial
Government.
I have, etc.,
(Signed)        Fred. J. Fulton,
Chief Commissioner of Lands and  Works.
Ottawa, 7th December, 1907.
The Chief Commissioner of Lands and Works,
Victoria, B. C.
Sir,—I beg to acknowledge the receipt of your letter of the 30th ultimo, with further
reference to the question of jurisdiction in regard to the leasing of water lots in Thetis Cove.
In reply, I may say that this Department cannot see its way to accepting your view of
the matter.
I am, etc.,
(Signed)        F. Gourdeau,
Deputy Minister of Marine and Fisheries.
Office of the Minister of Marine and Fisheries of Canada,
Ottawa, February 1st, 1908.
Dear Sir,—On the llth March last I wrote to you that it had come to the knowledge of
the Department that since the Privy Council decision several leases of oyster areas had been
granted by your Government, apparently under the authority of section 41 of the Land Act of
the Province, and referred to the modus vivendi arrangement of 1901, according to which the
Dominion was under the impression that all leases and licences, including those for oyster
areas, were to be administered by the Federal Government, and the fees thereon ultimately held
to be claimable by the Province to be accounted for, but that the action of the Province
created a divided control at variance with the spirit of the modus vivendi and the final settlement it contemplated.
I also pointed out with regard to leases for such areas in public harbours, that there could
be no question as to the sole right remaining with the Federal Government to grant such
privileges.
To this you replied on the 25th March last that you had submitted the letter to the
Executive, and that the conclusion reached was that the question is on a very different footing
from that of Fishery Regulations, which was the only matter dealt with by the modus vivendi;
that British Columbia claimed the oyster areas to be the property of the Province, except,
possibly, where they were situated in public harbours, and as in the case of fish-trap sites the
Province takes the position that the Dominion has no power or authority to deal with the
granting of leases for the same, and that it cannot concede to the Dominion, even temporarily,
the right to deal with Provincial property.
I may say that this Government cannot but regard the leases issued to Colonel Alfred
Markham for areas in Esquimalt harbour for the cultivation of oysters otherwise than as
encroachment upon the property rights of the Dominion under the Privy Council decision, and
ordinarily calling for some immediate action on its part. 8 Ed. 7 Correspondence re Fisheries, etc. M 29
It is the intention, however, of the Federal Government to at once appoint and empower
a delegate to visit the several Provinces of the Dominion to discuss the question at issue
between them and the Dominion with regard to this fishery case, and it is expected that this
delegate will proceed within the next few days to British Columbia, for the purpose of taking
up with the accredited representatives of your Government a full discussion of the questions
at issue in this regard, with a view to reaching some basis for settlement to be reported to the
Federal Government; but in the meantime I desire to register the protest of this Department
against the action of the Local Government in issuing leases for areas for the cultivation of
oysters in public harbours, which are essentially the property of the Dominion.
Yours faithfully,
L. P   Brodeau.
victoria B. C:
Printed by Richard Wolfenden, I.S.O., V.D., Printer to the King's Most Excellent Majesty.
1908.

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