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REPORT Relating to the Mission of the Honourable Mr. DeCosmos as Special Agent of the Province of British… British Columbia. Legislative Assembly 1882

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 45 Vic. Mission of Hon. Mr. DeCosmos. 329
REPORT
Relating to the Mission of the Honourable Mr. DeCosmos as Special Agent of the
Province of British Columbia to Canada and England on the subject of the
Island Railway.
T. B. Humphreys,
Provincial Secretary.
Provincial Secretary's Office,
th February, 1882.
The Provincial Secretary to Mr. De Cosmos.
Victoria, B.C., 30th March, 1881.
Sir,—By direction of the Committee of Council, I have the honour to acquaint you
that you have been appointed Special Agent and Delegate to proceed to London for the
purpose of supporting the prayer of the enclosed petition to Her Majesty.
I am also to state that His Honour the Lieutenant-Governor will inform the
Dominion Government of your appointment, and request the Secretary of State for
Canada to respectfully move His Excellency the Governor-General to provide you with
a suitable introduction to Her Majesty's Principal Secretary of State for the Colonies.
I have, &c,
(Signed)       T. B. Humphreys,
Provincial Secretary.
Mr. DeCosmos to the Provincial Secretary.)
Ottawa, April 13, 1881.
Sir,—I have the honour to acknowledge the receipt of your letter dated at Victoria,
B.C.; SOth March, 1881, in which you state that, by the direction of the Committee of
Council, I have been appointed Special Agent and Delegate to proceed to London for
the purpose of supporting the prayer of a petition to Her Majesty, signed by Frederick
Williams, Speaker of the Legislative Assembly, dated at Victoria, B.C., 25th March,
1881. a copy of which was enclosed to me in your letter; and in which also you further
state that His Honour the Lieutenant-Governor would inform the Dominion Government
of my appointment and request the Secretary of State for Canada to respectfully move
His Excellency the Governor-General to provide me with a suitable introduction to Her
Majesty's Principal Secretary of State for the Colonies.
I have, &c,
(Signed)       A. DeCosmos.
The Attorney-General to Mr. DeCosmos.
Victoria, 29th March, 1881.
Dear Sir,—With respect to your Mission to the Colonial Office on Eailway matters,
it is considered very desirable that you should refrain from raising any questions on
behalf of the Province, during your negotiations, which will tend to disturb the selection
of route, within British Columbia, at present made by the Dominion Government.   Such
25 830 Mission of Hon. Mr. DeCosmos. 1881
questions involve the consideration of engineering opinions with which we should not,
in accordance with past policy, interfere. In the present instance, moreover, they
would, if raised, disturb and unsettle existing plans, and probably lead to a postponement
of construction at Esquimalt and Port Moody,—the terminal points of the Eailway on
the Island and Mainland, fixed by the Dominion Government.
The request made in the Memorial of the Legislative Assembly, to be permitted to
regulate its own Tariff of Customs and Excise until Eailway communication shall be
established through British Territory with the Eastern Provinces, is practically one for
a guarantee against future delays in railway construction, and is not in any sense to be
regarded as a release of any of the obligations entered into by the Dominion at Confederation.
No reasonable person can doubt the right of the Province to compensation for
Canada's failure to perform its railway agreement.
In making a claim for compensation it may be fairly assumed for all practical purposes that July, 1*81 has passed, and that Canada has not only failed to construct the
Canadian Pacific Railway as agreed upon in 1871, but has not even commenced the line
from the seaboard of the Province as stipulated. Applying the ordinary legal rule governing such cases to the present case, British Columbia is entitled to be placed as far as
possible in the position she would have occupied at the above date had Canada fulfilled
its railway agreement. In naming no sum, the Legislative Assembly has left the claim
to be dealt with according to the best of your judgment, as many circumstances must
necessarily arise during your negotiations which could not be anticipated.
1 have, &c,
(Signed)       Geo. A. Walkem.
Mr. DeCosmos to the Attorney-General.
Ottawa, April 14, 1881.
Sir,—Your official letter, dated March 29th, 1881, containing instructions to be
observed by me as Special Agent and Delegate to London, and explanations respecting
the Petition of the Legislative Assembly to the Queen, came to hand yesterday. I have
carefully noted your wishes.
I have, &c,
(Signed)       A. DeCosmos.
Mr. DeCosmos to the Attorney-General.
Ottawa, April 20th, 1881.
Sir,—I have the honour to enclose herewith, for your information, a copy of a
letter dated Ottawa, April 13th, 1881, that I addressed to the Right Hon. Sir John
A. Macdonald, and also a copy of a letter dated Ottawa, April 16th, 1881, that I received
this day from him in reply to my communication of the 13th inst.
It will be observed that he refers to my letter, of the 13th inst. as being "on the
subject of the Esquimalt and Nanaimo Railway," and does not notice the paragraphs in
it referring to the Petition to the Queen.
I have, &c,
(Signed)       A. DeCosmos.
Mr. DeCosmos to Sir John A. Macdonald.
Ottawa, April 13tb, 1881.
Sir,—I have the honour to state that on November 6th, 1880, I informed the Secretary of State for Canada that 1 had been authorized by an Order in Council of the
Government of British Columbia to press upon the Dominion Government the importance of carrying out their agreement to construct the Esquimalt-Nanaimo section of
the Canadian Pacific Railway, and report the result from time to time to the former
Government. 45 Vio. Mission of Hon. Mr. DeCosmos. 331
On November 8th, I received a reply from the Under-Secretary of State acknowledging my letter, and stating that a copy of the Order in Council referred to had been
received from the Lieutenant-Governor of the Province.
Between the latter date and the 28th February last, 1 had several interviews with
yourself, Sir Charles Tupper, Bon. J. IL Pope, and Mr. D. Mclntyre of the Syndicate,
respecting the agreement referred to, but without reaching a final conclusion on the
subject.    Since then the question has remained in abeyance.
To-day 1 received a letter from the Hon. T. B. Humphreys, Provincial Secretary of
British Columbia, in which I was officially informed that I had been appointed Special
Agent and Delegate to London to support the prayer of a Petition of the Legislative
Assembly of that Province to the Queen, a copy of which is herewith enclosed.
This action of the Government and Legislative Assembly, whilst it raises in the
Petition new questions, and includes the former one, for the consideration of the
Dominion and Imperial Governments, has not, as I understand it, superseded my
authority to press upon the Dominion Government the importance of carrying out their
agreement to construct the Esquimalt-Nanaimo section of the Canadian Pacific Railway.
I am, however, authorized to proceed to London to support the Prayer of the Petition;
and unless it is your desire to consider here, without undue delay, the questions raised
in it, with a view to their final and satisfactory settlement, it will be necessary for me
to complete my preparations to proceed to London at an early day. In case you should
decide to consider, here, the prayer of the Petition, of course it will be understood as
being done without prejudice to the petitioners.
I may remark that I have always held in the past, and still hold that, as a matter
of souud public policy, any important matter in dispute between a Province of Canada
and the Dominion Government ought to be exhaustively considered by the representatives of the respective Governments at Ottawa before presenting ari appeal for the
consideration and decision of Her Majesty's Government. Such was my advice when
Mr. Walkem was en route to England in 1874 with a Petition to the Queen; and such,
also, were my views as expressed and reported in the Hansard Debates of the Session of
1876.
In submitting this matter for your consideration, I trust that you may be pleased
to favour me with a reply at an early day.
I have, &c,
(Signed)       A. DeCosmos.
Mr. DeCosmos to the Attorney-General.
[Telegram.]
Ottawa, April 18, 1881.
Hon. G. A. Walkem, Victoria, B. C.
Appointment London received 13th. Wrote Sir John, same day, stating first
appointment not superseded, and asked whether he wished to consider prayer of Petitioners without prejudice to Petitioners.    No answer yet.
(Signed) A. DeCosmos.
Mr. DeCosmos to the Attorney-General.
[Telegram.]
Ottawa, April 18, 1881.
Hon. G. A. Walkem, Victoria, B.C.
To whom would Customs receipts belong if Dominion Government concede to Province the right to regulate and collect them?
(Signed) A. DeCosmos. 332 Mission of Hon. Mr. DeCosmos. 1881
The Attorney-General to Mr. DeCosmos.
[Reply.]
Victoria, April 20th, 1881.
Hon, A. DeCosmos, Ottawa.
Intention is that Province should get Customs Duties and Excise for its own use
until Railway is completed, as stated in my letter, twenty-ninth March.
(Signed) Geo. A. Walkem.
Mr. De Cosmos to the Attorney- General.
Ottawa, April 26th, 1881.
Sir,—Herewith, I have the honour to transmit a copy of a letter, dated this day,
addressed to the Hon. John O'Connor, Secretary of State.
On the 22nd instant, he informed me that the Privy Council had drawn up a reply
to my letter of the 13th instant to Sir John A. Macdonald; and to-day he requested me,
as I had not received the answer of the Council, to remind him of it. It is presumed
that^the transmission of the answer was delayed owing to the illness of Sir John A.
Macdonald.
I have, &c,
(Signed) A. DeCosmos.
Mr. De Cosmos to the Secretary, of State for Canada.
Ottawa, April 26th, 1881.
Sir,—In accordance with your verbal request, this morning, at our interview, I
have the honour to remind you that I have not yet received the answer of the Privy
Council to my letter of the 13th instant, addressed to the Right Honourable Sir John A.
Macdonald, respecting the questions contained in the Prayer of a Petition of the Legislative Assembly of British Columbia to the Queen, a copy of which was transmitted
with my communication referred to.
I have, &c,
(Signed) A. DeCosmos.
Mr. DeCosmos to the Attorney-General.
Ottawa, May 9th, 1881.
Sir,—I have the honour to enclose herewith a copy of a letter, dated this day, that
I addressed to the Hon. John O'Connor, Secretary of State for Canada, requesting the
favour of an answer, at an early day, to my letter of the 13th ultimo, with enclosure,
addressed to Sir John A. Macdonald.
The delay of nearly a month, I may remark, in answering my letter and explaining
the views of the Government thereon, is attributed to the illness of Sir John A. Macdonald.
I have, &c,
(Signed) A. DeCosmos.
Mr. DeCosmos to the Secretary of State for Canada.
Ottawa, May 9th, 1881.
Sir,—With reference to my letter of the 13th ultimo, with enclosure, addressed to
the Right Honourable Sir John A. Macdonald, and referred by him to the Privy Council
for their consideration, I have the honour to request that I may be favoured with an
answer thereto at an early day, if possible. 45 Vic. Mission of Hon. Mr. DeCosmos. 338
I have no wish to unduly press the Government for a reply, considering the magnitude of the questions involved in the Petition to the Queen, still, as the time is passing
rapidly away, I am anxious to learn the decision of the Government on the matter in
question, so that in the event of it being deemed necessary for me to proceed to London,
I may be able to complete my preparations to go there at an early day.
I have, &c,
(Signed) A. DeCosmos.
Sir John A. Macdonald to Mr. DeCosmos.
Ottawa, May 14th, 1881.
Dear Sir,—I have to acknowledge the receipt of your letter of this date, on the subject of the Petition of the Legislative Assembly of British Columbia to the Queen, with
reference to the construction of the Canadian Pacific Railway on Vancouver Island, and
of the Continental Section of the Province.
That subject has engaged the attention of the Privy Council, and is now before it.
I shall, inconsequence of your letter, call the attention of that body again to the
matter.
1 am, &c.,
(Signed) John A. Macdonald.
Mr. DeCosmos to Sir John A. Macdonald.
Ottawa, May 16th, 1881.
Dear Sir,—I have to acknowledge the receipt, this day, of yours of the 14th inst.,
in reply to mine of the same date.
There is evidently a misapprehension as to the real object of my note, as you made
no reference in your letter to my request asking you to cause to be forwarded to Her
Majesty's Principal Secretary of State for the Colonies the Petition of the Legislative
Assembly of British Columbia to the Queen, nor to supplying me, as the Special Agent
and Delegate deputed by the Legislative A ssembly to support the prayer of the Petition,
with an introduction to the Principal Secretary of State for the Colonies, in accordance
with the request of His Honour the Lieutenant-Governor of British Columbia in his
despatch to the Secretary of State for Canada.
I take occasion, therefore, to draw your attention to the real object of my letter of
the 14th instant.
An early reply is particularly requested, as the unsatisfactory state of affairs
existing between British Columbia and Canada render it necessary for me to proceed
with all possible dispatch to London.
I am, &c,
(Signed) A. DeCosmos.
Sir S. L. Tilley to Mr. A. DeCosmos.
Ottawa, 16th May, 1881.
Sir,—Sir John A. Macdonald has desired that your letter to him of 13th April, on the
subject of the construction of a Rail Way between Esquimalt and Nanaimo, should be
submiited to the Committee of the Privy Council, and I have to-day taken the opportu
■nif.Tr of (.nmnlvimr with   hiu  I'dnimat
be
be
submitted to the Committee of the Privy Council, and I have to-day taken the opportunity of complying with his request.
You are aware that every effort is now being put forward by the Government to
construct the Pacific Railway from this part of Canada to the seabvurd of British
Columbia; that the main line in that Province will cost a very large sum of money
and that some of its most expensive sections are already under contract. 334 Mission of Hon. Mr. DeCosmos. 1881
With this evidence of the good faith with which the Government is dealing with
the question before them, we trust that the people of British Columbia will be satisfied,
and that it will be recognized that the Esquimalt and Nanaimo Railway should be left
over for the present, as a work which is not essential to the connection of the seaboard
of British Columbia with the Canadian system of Railways.
2. In the meantime, the Government of the Dominion will avail themselves of every
opportunity of pressing the question of the construction of this Railway, as a private
enterprise, upon the attention of the Canadian Pacific Railway Company, in furtherance
of views already expressed to you by Sir John Macdonald, Sir Charles Tupper, and Mr.
Pope, and which are referred to in your letter.
3. I trust that the explanations which I have given you will prove sufficiently
satisfactory to you to render unnecessary your proposed mission to London.
4. In any event, Her Majesty's Government can only be approached by you
through His Excellency the Governor-General.
I am, &c,
(Signed) S. L. Tilley.
Mr. DeCosmos to Sir S. L. Tilley.
Ottawa, 18th May, 1881.
Dear Sir,—I have the honour to acknowledge the receipt, on the 17th instant, of
your letter of the 16th instant, in which you inform me that Sir John Macdonald had
desired that my letter of the 13th April, on the subject of the construction of a Railway
between Esquimalt and Nanaimo, should be submitted to the Committee of the Privy
Council, and that you had done so on that day.
In reply, I have the honour to state that there is a manifest misapprehension on
your part as to the contents and object of my letter of the 13th ultimo, and in proof of
this statement I refer you to the letter itself.
The following extract from my letter of the 13th ultimo, to Sir John A. Macdonald,
makes it perfectly clear what was my paramount object in addressing it to him, viz.:—
" I am, however, authorized to proceed to London to support the prayer of the
"Petition; and unless it is your desire to consider here, without undue delay, the ques-
" tions raised in it, with a view to their final and satisfactory settlement, it will be
"necessary for me to complete my preparations to proceed to London at an early day.
"In case you should decide to consider here the prayer of the Petition, of course it will
"be understood as being done without prejudice to Petitioners."
Not having replied to the real object ot my letter, you leave me no other course
open but to proceed to London.
At a future time I may reply to the other statements in your letter.
I have, &c,
(Signed) A. DeCosmos.
Mr. DeCosmos to the Attorney-General.
Quebec, 20th May, 1881.
Sir,—1 have the honour herewith to enclose a copy of letter, dated on the 16th
instant, that I received on the 17th instant, from Sir S. L. Tilley, purporting to be a
reply to my letter of the 13th ultimo, addressed to Sir John A. Macdonald.
Its very unsatisfactory character left me no other course open but to proceed to
London at once.
After several days' delay, I received to-day my credentials, accrediting me to the
Principal Secretary of State for the Colonies.
I shall leave here to-morrow, on the " Parisian," for Liverpool.
I have, &c,
(Signed) A-. DeCosmos. 45 Vic. Mission of Hon. Mr. DeCosmos. 335
Mr. DeCosmos to the Principal Secretary of State for the Colonies.
London, May 31st, 1881.
My Lord,—I have the honour to inform you that, in March last, I was appointed
by the Government and Legislative Assembly of British Columbia, Special Agent and
Delegate to proceed to London to support the prayer of a Petition to Her Majesty the
Queen,—a copy of which is herewith enclosed; and that I arrived here yesterday, in
order to carry out the object of my appointment.
I have, also, the honour to enclose, for your information, a copy of the official letter
of the Provincial Secretary of the Province, dated at Victoria, B.C., March, 30th, 1881,
advising me of my appointment, and that His Honour the Lieutenant-Governor would
request the Secretary of State for Canada to move His Excellency the Governor-
General to provide me with a suitable introduction to your Lordship.
In accordance with the request of His Honour the Lieutenant-Governor, His
Excellency the Governor-General was pleased to give me a letter of introduction to
your Lordship, which I have the honour herewith to enclose.
1 have, therefore, respectfully to request that your Lordship may be pleased to
honour me with a personal interview, in relation to the objects of my mission, at the
earliest moment that may be convenient to you.
I have, &c,
(Signed) A. DeCosmos.
TO THE QUEEN'S MOST EXCELLENT MAJESTY.
Most Gracious Sovereign :
We, Your Majesty's most dutiful and loyal subjects, the Members of the Legislative
Assembly of the Province of British Columbia, in the Fourth Session of the Third
Parliament assembled, humbly approach Your Majesty for the purpose of representing—
1. That the Province was mainly induced to enter into the Dominion Confederation
in 1871 by the offer and agreement on the part of the Dominion, as appears by the
Treaty of "Union of that year, to construct and complete a Railway on or before July,
1881, through British Territory, connecting British Columbia with the Eastern
Provinces.
2. That, on the 31st day of July, 1874, the Government of this Province presented
a humble Petition to Your Majesty respecting the non-fulfilment by the Dominion of its
Railway obligations towards British Columbia, as are contained in the Treaty of Union
between the Dominion and British Columbia, assented to by Your Majesty in the
year 1871.
3. That negotiations thereupon ensued, which resulted in Your Majesty's Principal
Secretary of State for the Colonies (the Earl of Carnarvon) signifying his decision on
the question in dispute, which decision, it is important to observe, was assented to by
the Dominion Government.
4. That the following, amongst other conditions, form part of this decision:—
(«:) "That the Railway from Esquimalt to Nanaimo shall be commenced as soon as
" possible and completed with all practicable dispatch.
(b ) " That $2,000,000 a year, and not 11,500,000, shall be the minimum expenditure
" on railway works within the Province from the date at which the surveys are suf-
" ficiently completed to enable that amount to be expended on construction. In naming
" this amount I understand that, it being alike the interest and the wish of the Dominion
" Government to urge on with all speed the completion of the works now to be under-
" taken, the annual expenditure will be as much in excess of the minimum of $2,000,000
" as in any year may be found practicable.
(c.) -'Lastly, that on or before the 31st December, 1890, the railway shall be com-
" pleted and open for traffic from the Pacific seaboard to a point on the western end of
" Luke Superior, at which it will fall into connection with the existing lines of railway 336 Mission of Hon. Mr. DeCosmos. 1881
" through a portion of the United States, and also with the navigation on Canadian
" waters. To proceed at present with the remainder of the railway extending, by the
" country northward of Lake Superior, to the existing Canadian lines, ou_,'ht not, in my
" opinion, to be required, and the time for undertaking that w >rk must be determined
" by the development of settlement and the changing circumstances of the country. The
" day is, however, I hope, not very distant, when a continuous line of railway through
" Canadian territory will be practicable, and I therefore look upon this portion of the
" scheme as postponed rather than abandoned."
5. That owing to the total disregard by the Dominion of these and other conditions
contained in the Settlement so effected, the Legislative Assembly, early in the Session
of 1876, unanimously passed an humble Address to Your Majesty, praying that Your
Majesty would be graciously pleased to cause the Dominion Government to carry out
the agreement above referred to.
6. That, in reply to the said Address, Your Majesty's said Secretary of State was
pleased to advise the Province to submit to Railway construction being deferred until
the Spring of 1878, in order to enable the Dominion Government, during the year 18 7,
to solve some doubtful points connected with the Railway route; and that the delay
mentioned was conceded in deference to His Lordship's wishes, without prejudice,
however, to the rights of the Province.
7. That the Dominion Government having, up to the month of August, 1878, failed
to commence Railway construction in the Province, the Legislative Assembly, on the
30th of August of the same year, further humbly addressed Your Majesty on the subject.
8. That, for the purpose of avoiding needless repetition, and of affording Your
Majesty the fullest information on this subject, Your Petitioners crave leave to refer
Your Majesty to the contents of the above-mentioned Addresses presented to Your
Majesty, and to the several documents therein referred to.
9. That, in the Spring of 18S0, the work of construction was commenced by the
Dominion in the interior of the Province, but not from its seaboard, or between Esquimalt and Nanaimo.
10. That it is believed that arrangements have lately been made between the
Dominion and a Syndicate, or Company of capitalists, for the construction of the
Canadian Pacific Railway by 1891; which arrangements include about 500 miles of
Railway North of Lake Superior, but exclude the section of 70 miles of Railway
between Esquimalt and Nanaimo.
11. That, under the Treaty of Union, it was expressly stipulated and agreed that
railway construction should be commenced from the seaboard of the Province; and
under the Settlement effected in 1874 it was, as has been shown above, also expressly
stipulated and agreed that the section of the Eailway between Esquimalt and .Nanaimo
should be constructed and completed with all practicable dispatch, and that construction
of the line North of Lake Superior should be deferred until after the completion of
Railway communication between the seaboard of the Province and Lake Superior.
12. That although the Dominion Government has never questioned the right or
claim of the Province to have the Railway commenced from its seaboard, and has
moreover acknowledged that the Province is entitled to have the section of the line
between Esquimalt and Nanaimo constructed, yet no provision has been made by them
for the fulfilment of these portions of their railway obligations.
13. That, by the Treaty of Union, British Columbia was allowed to retain its own
Tariff until the Canadian Pacific Eailway should be completed, but believing in the
good faith of the Dominion and being desirous of promoting Confederation in its true
sense, the Province surrendered its Tariff in 1872 and adopted the Tariff of the
Dominion.
14. That, since the Province adopted this course, the Tariff of the Dominion has
been largely increased, to the serious injury of British Columbia, upon whom increased
burdens have been thereby placed without any of the compensating advantages which
are, in consequence of such increase, enjoyed by the Eastern Provinces of the Dominion, 45'jVic. Mission of Hon. Mr. DeCosmos. 337
15. That the time originally agreed upon in the Treaty of Union, for constructing
the Canadian Pacific Railway, will expire in July of this year without the terms thereof,
as to Eailway construction, having been even approximately fulfilled, no portion of the
Canadian Pacific Railway having, up to the present time, been constructed and equipped
in the Province.
16. That, under the circumstances herein and in the said Addresses set forth, Your
Petitioners humbly pray—
(a.) That Your Majesty will be graciously pleased to cause the Dominion Government to be moved to carry out their Eailway obligations to the Province, by
providing for the immediate commencement and active prosecution of Railway
work on the section of the Canadian Pacific Railway lying between Esquimalt
and NanaimO, and by constructing the portion of line between Port Moody and
Yale:
(6.) That the Province be permitted to regulate and collect its own Tariff of
Customs and Excise until through communication by railway be established
through British Territory with the Eastern Provinces:
(c.) That in any event compensation be awarded by the Dominion to the Province
for the losses inflicted upon the latter by reason of the breaches of agreements
and delays herein referred to.
And Your Petitioners, as in duty bound, will ever pray.
(Signed)       FREDCK. WILLIAMS,
Speaker of the Legislative Assembly.
Victoria, British Columbia,
2Uh March, 1881.
Mr. Antrobus to Mr. DeCosmos.
June 1st, 1881.
Sir,—Lord Kimberley desires me to inform you that he will be glad to see you here
at half-past three o'clock on Monday, the 13th instant.
I am, <tec.,
(Signed) R. L. Antrobus.
Mr. DeCosmos to the Principal Secretary of State for the Colonies.
London, June 15th,1881.
My Lord,—During our interview yesterday your Lordship read to me, with th®
object of placing me in possession of the views' of the Canadian Government, the
Order-in-Council transmitted to you by the Governor-General of Canada reporting upon
the Petition of the Legislative Assembly of British Columbia to the Queen.
For this favour, showing the disposition of Her Majesty's Government to act
impartially in the matter in dispute between British Columbia and Canada, I have the
honour to offer my sincere thanks. But as I cannot depend on my recollection of the
contents of the Order-in-Council so as to frame an answer thereto, and as it is important
that a reply to the statements contained therein should be submitted for your consideration, I have the honour to request you to favour me with a copy of the Order-in-Council
referred to.
On this occasion, however, I have the honour to state for your Lordship's information that it is the desire of the Government and Legislative Assembly of British Columbia
that the existing dispute respecting the non-fulfilment of the agreement made by Canada
to construct the Canadian Pacific Railway in accordance with the 11th Section of the
Terms of Union between that Province and Canada, and the Supplementary Agreement
through Lord Carnarvon in 1874, should be finally and satisfactorily settled through
Her Majesty's Government. But I have further to state that no settlement can be final
and satisfactory to the Province unless it shall include provisions " for the immediate 338 Mission of Hon. Mr. DeCosmos. 1881
" commencement and active prosecution of Railway work on the section of the Canadian
" Pacific Railway between Esquimalt and Nanaimo, and by constructing the portion of
" the line between Port Moody and Yale," and also " compensation for losses inflicted on
" the Province " by reason of the breaches of agreements and delays referred to in the
Petition to the Queen.
I take occasion to further remark for your Lordship's information that the Petition
to the Queen was passed in a full House by a majority of twenty (of which the
recognized Leader of the Opposition was one) to a minority of four, that the majority
of the Legislative Assembly represented the entire civilized population of the Province,
embracing almost the whole wealth and industry of the country, and that the minority
expressed themselves in favor of urging the Dominion Government to construct the
Esquimalt-Nanaimo section of the Canadian Pacific Eailway under the " Carnarvon
Terms " with compensation for delays. Virtually the Legislative Assembly was
unanimous—the main difference in opinion being as to whether negotiations should be
continued at Ottawa or a Petition be sent to the Queen.
I defer any further observations until I shall have received your Lordship's reply
to my request for a copy of the Order-in-Council referred to.
I have, &c,
(Signed) A. DeCosmos.
Mr. Bramston to Mr. DeCosmos.
Downing Street, 20th June, 1881.
Sir,—I am directed by the Earl of Eimberley to acknowledge the receipt of your
letter of the 15th inst. relating to the Canadian Pacific Railway question.
Lord Kimberley desires me to transmit to you, in compliance with your application,
a copy of the Report of the Privy Council of Canada, dated the 19th of May last, upon
the recent Petition to the Queen from the Legislative Assembly of the Province of
British Columbia.
I am, &c,
(Signed)       John Bramston.
Copy of a Report of a Committee of the Honourable the Privy Council for Canada, approved
by His Excellency the Governor-General on the 19th day of May, 1881.
The Committee of the Privy Council have had under consideration the letter
addressed by Mr. DeCosmos on behalf of the Government of British Columbia, dated
the 13th inst., to Sir John Macdonald, representing the importance of constructing the
Esquimalt and Nanaimo Railway on the Island of Vancouver; and they have had also
before them a copy of the Petition to the Queen which the Legislative Assembly of that
Province directed, on the 29th of March, should be forwarded for presentation to Her
Majesty.
On these papers the Committee humbly submit to your Excellency as follows:—
1. One of the terms upon which British Columbia in the year 1871 entered into the
Union of Her Majesty's North American Provinces was as follows:—
"The Government of the Dominion undertake to secure the commencement simul-
" taneously, within two years from the date of the Union, of the construction of a
" Railway from the Pacific towards the Rocky Mountains, and from such point as may
" be selected, east of the Rocky Mountains, towards the Pacific to connect the seaboard
" of British Columbia with the Railway system of Canada; and further to secure the
" completion of such Railway within ten years from the date of the Union."
2. On the 6th June, 1873, in view of the then probability of the railway running
by Bute Inlet, an Order in Council was passed declaring that Esquimalt should be the
terminus of the Railway on the Pacific coast, but the alignment on the Mainland was at
that time wholly undetermined.
In May, 1878, the Government, on increased information, determined, however, to
select Burrard Inlet as the objective point on the Pacific coast to be reached by the
Railway, and they cancelled the Order relating to Esquimalt. Still further examinations
were, however, deemed necessary, particularly with reference to the advantages of a 45 Vic. Mission of Hon. Mr. DeCosmos. 33£>
still more northern route which should terminate at Fort Simpson; and to keep the
whole question entirely free until additional exploratory surveys should be made, the
Order in Council of June, 1873, was in April, 1879, revived and continued in force until
October, 1879, when the selection of Burrard Inlet was finally made as the terminus on
the Pacific coast of the Canadian Pacific Railway, rendering unnecessary the line
between Nanaimo and Esquimalt as a condition of the Union with British Columbia.
3. In 1874, Her Majesty's Principal Secretary of State for the Colonies having
had the matter submitted to him. had suggested "to compensate British Columbia for
" past and probable future delays," what have since become known as " Lord Carnarvon's Terms," which provided amongst other things that " the Railway from Esquimalt
" to Nanaimo should be commenced as soon as possible and completed with all practi-
" cable dispatch ;" but this was not necessarily a part of the Canadian Pacific Railway,
and not essential to the fulfilment of the conditions of the Union with British Columbia.
These terms were the suggestions of the then Secretary of State for the Colonies,
made for the purpose of quieting the differences which had arisen between the Government of the Dominion and the Province of British Columbia growing out of the long
delays in commencing works of construction, and which had formed the subject of continuous and acrimonious complaint on the part of the Province. Lord Carnarvon's
suggestions were entitled to every respect, but although adopted by the Government of
the day they never received the sanction of the Parliament of the Dominion, and never
acquired the force of a national compact.
4. On the contrary, in the Session of 1875, with the view of seeking to give effect
to these " Terms," a Bill having been introduced by the Government into the Canadian
House of Commons providing for the construction of the Esquimalt and Nanaimo line
—a step which would not have been necessary, it may be observed, had that line formed
necessarily part of the Canadian Pacific Railway—the Bill, though passed by the House
of Commons, was lost in the Senate, and consequently Parliamentary sanction refused
to the construction of what was regarded by the majority in the Senate as a Provincial
work quite unnecessary to the fulfilment of the Terms of Union with British Columbia.
5. The necessity of extended examination of the different possible routes for a line
of railway running across a continent, and as to long distances through very difficult
country, caused much time to be occupied in exploratory surveys. The difficulties
attending the selection of the pass through which to cross the Rocky Mountains, and of
settling the best line from their summits to the Pacific coast, and the selection of the
terminus on that coast, all tended to prolong the period before the works could prudently be begun. The magnitude of these preliminary difficulties may be estimated
when it is stated that the cost of the exploratory and preliminary surveys has reached
the sum of three and a half millions ($3,500,000), but the absolute necessity of exhaustive
examinations for the best line, including all considerations of topography and soil, before
embarking in the construction of so gigantic a work, will be admitted.
6. Within the last year a contract has been entered into and received the sanction
of the Canadian Parliament for the construction of the whole Pacific Eailway from the
end of the existing system of Canadian Railways at Callender Station, near Lake
Nipissing, about 250 miles from the capital of the Dominion, to Burrard Inlet on " the
sea-board of British Columbia," involving an expenditure of about $53,000,000 in money
and 25,000,000 acres of land. Contracts involving a sum of about $8,000,000 have been
given out in British Columbia, and work is being vigorously pressed in that Province,
and the Government itself has undertaken the construction of the section of the Railway
extending from Yale to Burrard Inlet.
7. Every guarantee has thus been afforded to the Province of British Columbia
that the Terms of the Union will be carried out at the earliest practicable day.
8. Parliament has not authorized the construction of the Nanaimo and Esquimalt
line, and in view of the large expenditure involved in the building of the Canadian
Pacific from Callender Station to the Pacific Ocean at Burrard Inlet, it is not probable
that it would do so.
'The Committee desire to observe that there exists in the adjacent waters of the
Straits of Georgia sheltered water communication, open all the year round, quite adequate to the needs of the population of the Island.
9. As regards the prayer of the proposed Petition to Her Majesty, " That the
" Province be permitted to regulate and collect its own Tariff of Customs and Excise
" until through communication by railway be established through British territory 840 Mission of Hon. Mr. DeCosmos. 1881
" with the Eastern Provinces," the Committee of the Privy Council desire to observe
that this request involves a breach of the Terms of Union and the virtual severance of
British Columbia from the Dominion.
10. It will be seen by the official statements hereto annexed that an expenditure in
the Province since it entered the Union has been made by the Dominion of $5,996,289,
against which the receipts have been $4,173,238,—and this expenditure is entirely irrespective of disbursements on account of the Railway.
The Committee advise that a copy of this Report be forwarded with the Petition
to which it refers to Her Majesty's Principal Secretary of State for the Colonies.
Certified.
(Signed)       J. 0. Cote,
Clerk Privy Council, Canada.
Statement op Payments in the Province of British Columbia from 1871 to 1880
inclusive, with the exception of payments made on account of Pacific Railway,
as prepared by Financial Inspector:—
Year.
1871-2  $481,330
1872-3  637,544
1873-4  717,348
1874-5  741,909
1875-6  750,082
1876-7  6*1,736
1877-8  668,685
1878-9  682,344
1879-80  635,311
$5,996,289
Statement op Receipts in the Province of British Columbia from the year 1871 to 1880
inclusive, as prepared by the Financial Inspector:—
1871-2  $356,099
1872-3  3*1,711
1873-4  ,  387,146
1874-5   455,914
1875 6  544,952
1876-7   456,976
1877-8  493,756
1878-9  579,144
1879-80   517,540
$4,173,238
Mr. De Cosmos to the Earl of Kimberley.
London, 25th June, 1881.
My Lord,—In reference to your enquiry respecting the views of the Members of
the Canadian Commons belonging to the continental section of British Columbia, as to
the construction of a Railway on Vancouver Island as part of the Canadian Pacific
Railway, I take the liberty to send you the following extract from the Commons
Debates (official) of Canada during the recent Session, January 24th, 1881, Mr. Mclnnes,
M. P. for New Westminster, said:—"* * 1 believe, however, that the people of
" the Island have a strong claim on the Dominion Government for the construction of
" their road, and 1 have no doubt if they exercise patience, as we did, they will get the
" road."
I have, &c,
(Signed)      A, DeCosmos. 45 Vic Mission of Hon. Mr. DeCosmos. 841
Mr. De Cosmos to the Earl of Kimberley.
London, July 28th, 1881.
My Lord,—Adverting to my letter of the 15th June, I have the honour to submit,
for your Lordship's consideration, a memorandum on the report of the Privy Council of
Canada on the recent Petition of the Legislative Assembly of British Columbia to the
Queen.
The very full details therein render it unnecessary for me to enlarge on the subject
in support of thePetition, except as to what I believe to be desirable in order to secure
a final and satisfactory settlement of the dispute between British Columbia and Canada
respecting the construction of the Canadian Pacific Railway. I have the honour therefore to respectfully submit for your Lordship's consideration,—
1. That it is most desirable, from an Imperial, Dominion, and Provincial point of
view, that the most cordial relations should exist between British Columbia and Canada,
in order to work out successfully the great problem of Confederation in Her Majesty's
North American Provinces.
2. That to effect that object it is necessary that the long and almost chronic dispute
between British Columbia and Canada respecting railway eonstruction^should be finally
and satisfactorily settled.
3. That the means by which that may be accomplished, appear to me to be extremely simple, comparatively inexpensive, far less than British Columbia expected
when she united with Canada, and are a concession to Canada that ought to be appreciated, and with promptitude accepted in good faith.
4. They are as follows :—
(1.) That the Esquimalt-Nanaimo Section of the Canadian Pacific Railway he
commenced on or before the 1st May, 1882, and completed on or before the
1st July, 1885:
(2.) That the route of the Railway shall be along the line already surveyed and
mapped, subject to such variation of alignment and gradients as may render
the road as inexpensive as possible, without impairing its efficiency—the
gradients, if possible, to bo kept low, as the principal business of the railway
for some time will be to carry coal from the mines to Esquimalt for domestic
use and export:
(3.) That the construction of the section of the Canadian Pacific Railway between
Port Moody and Emory be commenced not later than the 1st of May, 1882,
and completed on or before the. 1st July, 1885; the work to be actively
prosecuted throughout the whole period :
(4.) That an extension Railway be constructed between Port Moody and such
point on English Bay as may be deemed most suitable for a landing for a
Railway Ferry between English Bay and Nanaimo :
(5.) That an efficient Railway Ferry be established between Nanaimo and some
point on English Bay that may be selected for the Western extension from
Port Moody :
(6.) That the extension and ferry be completed and put in operation by the 1st
July, 1885:
(7.) That as soon as the Emory-Kamloops section of the Canadian Pacific Railway,
now under contract, shall be sufficiently far advanced to enable a construction
party to be set at work at Lake Kamloops, at the Western end of the
"Central Section" of the Canadian Pacific Railway, the last-mentioned
section shall be commenced and vigorously prosecuted till it shall form a
junction with the main line of the Canadian Pacific Railway that may be
constructed westwardly from Winnipeg :
(8.) That the whole Railway from Esquimalt and Port Moody to Winnipeg, be
completed on or before the 1st of May, 1891:
(9.) That, in addition, the sum of $2,500,000 be paid by Canada to British Columbia
as compensation for losses sustained in the past by the non-fulfilment by
Canada of her Eailway obligations: 842 Mission of Hon. Mr. DeCosmos. 1881
(10.) That the conditions be formally agreed to under such  assurances of good
faith as may command the confidence of the parties concerned.
5. It is submitted that the above proposal in no way conflicts with agreements
already made, whilst the compensation mentioned is wholly inadequate to the loss and
injury sustained by British Columbia.
6. If the conditions of settlement that I have submitted for your Lordship's consideration be adopted. I believe that there will be a restoration of that loyal and cordial
feeling between British Columbia and Canada that it is so desirable should exist.
7. I shall be glad to learn the decision of your Lordship on the Petition to the
Queen as soon as it may be convenient to you.
I have, &c,
(Signed)       A. DeCosmos.
Mr. De Cosmos to the Under Secretary of State for the Colonies.
London, August 4th 1881.
Dear Sir,—With reference to our conversation yesterday respecting a Steam
Railway Ferry across the Strait of Georgia, between Nanaimo and English Bay, I have
taken the liberty of enclosing to you two plans showing the possible routes across the
Strait; and I also submit the following extract irom the San Francisco Spirit of the
Times, giving a description, while building, of a Railway Ferry Steamer, which is now
used by the Central Pacific Railway in the transportation of passengers and freight
across the Strait of Carquinez, California, on the overland route:—
" This floating bridge, for such indeed it is, will be 425 feet in length on deck over
"all, 116 feet in width over all, and 18 feet depth of hold. She will be provided with
" four tracks, running her entire length, of capacity sufficient for 48 freight cars and 24
"passenger cars * * It is intended that there shall be no delay in making the
" transit across the straits, and locomotive as well as cars will be run on the tracks,
" leaving the steamer on the other side, as any other vehicle would drawn by any other
"power—the steamer being a doubie-ender like any other ferry boat."
1 may add that I crossed the Strait of Carquinez in a passenger train on the
Railway Ferry Steamer referred to, and can, therefore, from personal knowledge pronounce her a success.
I have, &c,
(Signed)       A. DeCosmos.
The Private Secretary to Mr. DeCosmos.
Government House, Victoria,
28th July, 1881.
Sir,—I have the honour to enclose herewith a copy of a Minute of Council dated
the 25th instant, calling the attention of the Dominion Government to the fact that the
time limit for the construction of the Canada Pacific Railway has expired, and that as
in this respect the Terms of Union have not been carried out, the Dominion is held
liable for the damage thereby occasioned to this Province.
I have, &c,
(Signed)       Robt. G. Tatlow.
Copy of a Report of a Committee of the Honourable the Executive Council, approved by His
Honour the Lieutenant-Governor on the 2bth day of July, 1881.
The Committee of Council recommend that the attention of the Dominion Government be respectfully called to the fact that the original time limit for the completion of
the Canadian Pacific Railway expired on the 20th day of July, instant, and that as the
Dominion has failed to complete the Railway, or even commence its construction from
the seaboard of the Province, as agreed upon in the Terms of Union, it is held liable for
the damages occasioned to the Province thereby. 45 Vic. Mission of Hon. Mr. DeCosmos. 848
The Committee advise that a copy of this Minute, if approved, be forwarded to Her
Majesty's Principal Secretary of State for the Colonies, to the Honourable the Secretary
of State for Canada, and to the Honourable A. DeCosmos as the Special Agnet of the
Province on this subject, j
Certified,
(Signed)       T. B. Humphreys,
Clerk, Executive Council.
Mr. DeCosmos to the Principal Secretary of State for the Colonies.
London, August 22nd, 1881.
My Lord,—I have the honour to submit herewith for your Lordship's consideration,
in connection with the the recent Petition of the Legislative Assembly of British
Columbia to the Queen, a copy of a Minute of the Executive Council of that Province,
dated the 25th July last, in which the Provincial Government strongly express their
determination to hold the Dominion of Canada liable for the damages occasioned to the
Province through the failure of the Dominion to complete the Canadian Pacific Railway
within the original time limit agreed upon in the terms of Union; and also through not
having yet commenced the construction of the Railway on the seaboard of the Province.
1 have, etc.,
(Signed) A. DeCosmos.
Mr. R. H. Meade to Mr. DeCosmos.
Downing Street, 29th August, 1881.
Sir,—I am directed by the Earl of Kimberley to acknowledge the receipt of your
letter of the 22nd instant, enclosing a copy of a Minute of the Executive Council of
British Columbia on the subject of the Canadian Pacific Eailway.
I am etc.,
(Signed) R. H. Meade.
Mr. DeCosmos to Hon. Mr. Beaven.
[Telegram.]
London, August 22nd, 1881.
Hon. Mr. Beaven:—
After correspondence and interviews, I wrote Lord Kimberley 28th ultimo,
enclosing my memorandum on report Privy Council Canada on Petition, requesting
answer. In letter I stated what I believed would satisfy Columbia^ namely:—Commencement Island Railway by May first next, completion by July first, eighty-five;
commencement at Moody by May first next, completed to Emory by July first, eighty-
five; work actively prosecuted; an Extension Railway to be constructed from Moody to
suitable place English Bay for Railway Ferry landing; an efficient Railway Ferry
between Nanaimo and English Bay; both latter to be completed by July first, eighty-
five; construction to be commenced at Kamloops when Onderdonk's contract was
sufficiently advanced to put on construction train; and work to be vigorously prosecuted towards East till junction was formed with main line from Winnipeg. Whole
line Esquimalt to Winnipeg to be completed by May first, ninety-one. That, in addition,
Canada to pay Columbia two millions five hundred thousand dollars as compensation
for loss sustained in the past through not fulfilling railway obligations.
On August eleventh, saw Lord Kimberley, and informed him Columbia Government
was anxiously waiting his decision; and that Sir Charles Tupper was expected at
Victoria on thirteenth. He said ray letter and memorandum had at once been sent to
Sir John Macdonald for his consideration; that Sir Charles Tupper's visit was result of
his conversation with Sir John, and intimated that I would receive his decision shortly
after prorogation of Parliament, which takes place next Saturday.
Under Secretary Courtney, twentieth, told me he would see me shortly on Columbia
case.    Keep me advised.
(Signed) A. DeCosmos. 844 Mission of Hon. Mr. DeCosmos. 1881
Mr. G. W. Herbert to Mr. DeCosmos.
Downing Street, 25th August, 1881.
Sir,—I am directed by the Earl of Kimberley to acquaint ,'you that His Lordship
has had before him your letters of the dates noted in the margin, together with the
memorandum and other papers which you have transmitted to him upon the subject of
the Petition to the Queen from the members of the Legislative Assembly of British
Columbia, dated the 25tb of March last, in which the Petitioners urge that Her Majesty
will be graciously pleased to cause the Dominion Government to be moved to carry out
their Railway obligations to the Province by providing for the immediate commencement and active prosecution of Railway work on the section of the Canadian Pacific
Railway lying between Esquimalt and Nanaimo, and by constructing the portion of line
between Port Moody and Yale; that the Province be permitted to regulate and collect
its own Tariff of Customs and Excise until through communication by Railway be
established through British Territory with the Eastern Provinces; and that in any
event, compensation be awarded by the Dominion to the Province for the losses inflicted
upon the latter by reason of the breaches of Agreements and delays referred to in
the Petition.
His Lordship duly received this Petition through the Governor-General of Canada
and with it a report of a Committee of the Privy Council of the Dominion, a copy of
which has already been communicated to you.
Lord Kimberley has given his most careful consideration to these papers, and has
had several interviews upon the questions to which they relate both with yourself and
with Sir J. A. Macdonald, and I am now to communicate to you a copy of a Despatch
which his Lordship has addressed to the Governor-General stating the conclusions
which he has formed upon the subject.
I am, &c,
(Signed) Robert G. W. Herbert.
The Earl of Kimberley to the Marquis of Lome.
Canada.
No. 247. Downing Street,
25th August, 1881.
My Lord,—I duly received your Despatch, No. 152, of the 19th May, enclosing a
Petition to the Queen from the Legislative Assembly of British Columbia, praying that
Her Majesty will be graciously pleased to cause the Dominion Government to be moved
to carry out their Railway obligations to the Province, by providing for the immediate
commencement and active prosecution of Railway work on the section of the Canadian
Pacific Railway lying between Esquimalt and Nanaimo, and by constructing the portion
of line between Port Moody and Yale ; that the Province be permitted to regulate and
collect its own Tariff of Customs and Excise, until through communication by railway
be established through British Territory with the Eastern Provinces; and that in any
event compensation be awarded by the Dominion to the Province forthe losses inflicted
upon the latter by reason of the breaches of agreements and delays herein referred to.
2. I have given my most careful consideration to this Petition, and to the Report
of the Dominion Privy Council which accompanied it, as well as to various letters upon
the subject which I have received from Mr. A. DeCosmos, who was, as you are aware,
deputed by the Government and Legislative Assembly of the Province to visit this
country in order to support the prayer of the Petition.
3. I have also had the advantage of several interviews both with Sir John A. Macdonald and with Mr. DeCosmos, and I will now proceed to communicate to you the
conclusions which I have formed on the subject.
4. It is not necessary to recapitulate here at any length the history of this question.
British Columbia entered the Dominion in 1871, on the condition (inter alia) that a Railway'connecting the seaboard of British Columbia with the Railway system of Canada
should be commenced within two years and completed within ten years from that date.
It soon, however, became apparent that a punctual compliance with this condition
would be impossible; and, in 1874, feeling dissatisfied with the measures contemplated
by  the late Administration of the Dominion,  the Legislative Assembly of British 45 Vic. Mission of Hon. Mr. DeCosmos. 845
Columbia invited the Earl of Carnarvon to declare the terms which, in hia opinion,
should be agreed to as a settlement of the points in dispute.
5. Lord Carnarvon proposed the following Terms:—
" 1. That the Railway from Esquimalt to Nanaimo should be commenced as soon
"as possible, and completed with all practicable dispatch.
"2. That the surveys on the mainland should be pushed on with the utmost vigour.
"3. That the waggon road and telegraph lines should be immediately constructed.
"4. That 2,000,000 dollars a year, and not 1,500,000, should be the minimum
"expenditure on Eailwaj' works within the Province, from the date at which the sur-
" veys are sufficiently completed to enable that amount to be expended on construction.
"The annual expenditure to be as much in excess of the munmum of 2,000,000 dollars
"as in any year might be found practicable.
"5. That on or before the 31st December, 1!*90, the Railway should be completed
"and open for traffic from the Pacific seaboard to a point at the western end of Lake
" Superior, at which it would fall into connection with existing lines of Railway through
"a portion of the United States, and also with the navigation on Canadian waters.
" The extension of the line from the west of Lake Superior, passing by the country
"north of that lake to the existing Canadian Railway System, was to be considered as
"postponed rather than abandoned."
6. These Terms were accepted by Canada in a Minute of the Privy Council, dated the
18th September, 1874. in which the Government, in thanking Lord Carnarvon for his
good offices, assured His Lordship that every effort would bo made to secure the realization of what was expected.
7. Thus the matter was apparently satisfactorily arranged; but in April, 1875, the
whole question was again re-opened by the rejection in the Senate, on a vote of 23 to 21,
of the Bill introduced by the Canadian Government for the construction of the Esquimalt and Nanaimo Railway.
8. In consequence of the loss of this measure, it became necessary for the Canadian
Government to consider some other method of meeting the expectations of the people
of British Columbia, and they finally proposed the sum of 750,000 dollars as a compensation in place of the Island Railway.
9. The proposal of the Canadian Government, as might have been expected, caused
great discontent in British Columbia, and gave occasion to certain Minutes of the
Executive Council of the Province, and to a Petition to the Queen from the Legislative
Assembly, complaining of the non fulfilment by Canada of the "Carnarvon Terms," and
praying that the Canadian Government might bo immediately moved to carry out the
terms of that settlement.
10. The reply to these representations was deferred, pending the visit of the Earl
of Dufferin to British Columbia. Early in 1877, after visiting the Province, Lord
Dufferin reported that the money equivalent, in lieu of the Island Eailway, was the
principal point of difficulty then remaining, and that by the Spring of 1878 his Government might expect, through the completion of the surveys, to know its exact position.
But in 1878, Mr. Mackenzie's Administration was succeeded by that of which Sir John
A. Macdonald is now Premier, and a further delay occurred while the Eailway Policy
of the present Dominion Government was being matured.
11. An important Act has now been passed, under which provision has been made
for the construction of the Canadian Pacific Eailway with all practicable speed; and
the prospect of the early extension of Railway communication to British Columbia
is far better than at any previous time.
12. Eeverting then to the three points which have been on the present occasion
more particularly brought under notice, I have the honour to acquaint you that Sir
John Alacdonald, whom, of course, I have consulted fully and repeatedly, has informed
me as foliows:—
(1.) That it is the intention of the Dominion  Government to complete, without
delay, those portions of tho Pacific Eailway, including the line to Port Moody,
which the Dominion Government has engaged to construct and to hand over to
the Syndicate, and that directions were sometime ago given for the final loca-
26 346 Mission of Hon. Mr. DeCosmos. 1881
tion survey of the line to Port Moody; and that this survey is now in progress
and will, it is understood, be finished in time to be submitted with the estimate
of cost to the Canadian Parliament at its next Session.
(2.) A proposal has been made to the Syndicate to construct, at once, a light line
of Railway from Nanaimo to Esquimalt, which they shall engage to hereafter
improve so as to make it equal in all respects to the Mainland Pacific line; and
Mr. Stephen has informed Sir John A. Macdonald that the Syndicate is disposed
to view this piroposal favourably. If the Syndicate should, however, not undertake to make this light line, Mr. Stephen has been informed that the Dominion
Government cannot, in Sir John A. Macdonald's opinion, resist an application
that may be made by the Government of British Columbia to the Parliament
of Canada for the restoration of the lands now reserved on the Island for the
Esquimalt and Nanaimo Railway.
(3.) Sir John A. Macdonald intimated that, if the question of the Nanaimo Railway
is finally disposed of, the Dominion Government will be ready to confer with
that of British Columbia on the subject of the alleged breach by Canada of the
Terms of Union, in the non-completion of the Pacific Railway within ten years
from 187J, and to submit the result of the negotiation to the Dominion Parliament for its favourable consideration.
13. Having regard, then, to the statements and representations which have been
made to me on the part of the Dominion Government and of the Province respectively,
I am of opinion that—
(1.) The construction of a light line of Railway from Nanaimo to Esquimalt;
(2.) The extension, without delay, of the line to Port Moody ; and
(3.) The grant of reasonable compensation in money for the failure to complete the
work within the term of ten years, as specified in the Conditions of Union,
would offer a fair basis for a settlement of the whole question.
14. The request of the Legislative Assembly of British Columbia "that the Province
"be permitted to regulate and collect its own Tariff of Customs and Excise until
" through communication by Eailway be established through British Territory with the
"Eastern Provinces," is, in my opinion, inadmissible; inasmuch as such an arrangement
would be in contravention of the provisions of the "British North America Act, 1867,"
relating to Customs Duties, and moreover could not be carried into effect without
Imperial legislation, which would conflict with the legislation of the Dominion Parliament.
15. I cannot doubt that the Dominion Government and Parliament will desire, now
that arrangements have been finally concluded for constructing the Pacific line—and
the work is actually in progress—to bring to a close the differences with the Province
by an equitable adjustment of its claims; and on the other handl trust that the Province,
considering the enormous magnitude of the enterprise which the Dominion has undertaken, will accept such a settlement as, looking to all the circumstances, is fairly in
conformity with the spirit of the original Agreement.
16. I request that you will communicate to the Legislative Assembly of British
Columbia a copy of this Despatch, and that you will inform them that their Petition
has been laid before the Queen, who was pleased to receive it very graciously.
I have, &c,
(Signed) Kimberley.
Mr. DeCosmos to Mr. Beaven.
[Cablegram.]
London, August 2Gth, 1881.
Hon. R. Beaven, Victoria, B. C.
I received from Under-Secretary of State to-day copy Lord Kimberlcy's despatch
to Lord Lome, dated yesterday, respecting Petition. The following extracts state Lord
Kimberley's opinion:— 45 Vie. Mission of Hon. Mr. DeCosmos. 347
"12. Reverting, then, to the three points which have been on the present occasion
more particularly brought under notice, I have the honour to acquaint you that Sir
John A. Macdonald—whom, of course, I have consulted fully and repeatedly—has
informed me as follows:—
" (1.) That it is the intention of the Dominion Government to complete without
delay those portions of the Pacific Eailway, including the line to Port Moody, which the
Dominion Government has engaged to construct and to hand over to the Syndicate,
and that directions were some time ago given for the final location survey of the line to
Port Moody; and that this survey is now in progress, and will, it is understood, be
finished in time to be submitted, with the estimate of cost, to the Dominion Parliament
at its next session.
"(2.) A proposal has been made to the Syndicate to construct at once a light line
of railway from Nanaimo to Esquimalt, which they shall engage to hereafter improve
so as to make it equal in all respects to the Mainland Pacific line, and Mr. Stephen has
informed Sir John A. Macdonald that the Syndicate is disposed to view this proposal
favourably.
" If the Syndicate should, however, not undertake to make this light line, Mr.
Stephen has been informed that the Dominion Government cannot, in Sir John Mac-
donald's opinion, resist an application that may be made by the Government of British
Columbia to the Parliament of Canada for the restoration of the lands now reserved on
the Island for the Esquimalt and Nanaimo Railway.
" (3.) Sir John A. Macdonald intimated that if the question of the Nanaimo Railway
is finally disposed of the Dominion Government will be ready to confer with that of
British Columbia on the subject of the alleged breach by Canada of the Terms of Union
in the non-completion of the Pacific Railway within ten years from 1871, and to submit
the result of the negotiation to the Dominion Parliament for its favourable consideration.
" 13. Having regard, then, to the statements and representations which have
been made to me on the part of the Dominion Government and of the Province respectively, I am of opinion that—
" (1.) The construction of a light line of railway from Nanaimo to Esquimalt;
" (2.) The extension without delay of the line to Port Moody; and
" (3.) The grant of reasonable compensation in money for the failure to complete
the work within the term of ten years, as specified in the Conditions of Union, would
offer a fair basis for a settlement of the whole question.
" 15. I cannot doubt that the Dominion Government and Parliament will desire,
now that arrangements have been finally concluded for constructing the Pacific line,
and the work is actually in progress, to bring to a close the differences with the
Province by an equitable adjustment of its claims; and, on the other hand, I trust the
Province, considering the enormous magnitude of the enterprise which the Dominion
has undertaken, will accept such a settlement as, looking to all the circumstances, is
fairly in conformity with the spirit of the original Agreement."
As I understand this despatch, negotiations will have to be opened at Ottawa to
conclude final settlement on the basis proposed by Lord Kimberley. Hence, my mission
here is ended, unless my services be further required. I will seek a final interview at
Colonial Office shortly.    1 await your instructions.
(Signed) A. DeCosmos.
Mr.'DeCosmos to the Under-Secretary of State.
London, August 27th, 1881.
Sir,—I have the honour to acknowledge the receipt of your letter of the 25th inst.,
enclosing to me a copy of a despatch of the same date from Lord Kimberley to the
Marquis of Lome, in which he states his opinion as to what he considers would be " a
fair basis for a settlement of the whole question" involved in the recent petition of the
Legislative Assembly of British Columbia to the Queen. 348 Mtssion of Hon. Mr. DeCosmos. 1881
I shall be glad if you will convey to His Lordship my thanks, on behalf of the
Province, for his very careful and favourable consideration of the Petition; and that I
sincerely trust that bis conclusions upon the subject will be acted upon by the Dominion
Government and Parliament without undue delay, and thus effectually and for ever set
at rest the long-standing dispute between the Province and Canada respecting the
Canada Pacific Railway.
I have, &c,
(Signed)       A. DeCosmos.
Mr. DeCosmos to the Provincial Secretary.
London, August 31st 1881.
Sir,—I have the honour to enclose herewith to you a copy of the correspondence
that has passed between myself and others since I arrived in London on the 30th May,
1881, respecting the recent Petition of the Legislative Assembly to the Queen, on the
subject of the Canadian Pacific Railway.
2. Annexed to the correspondence is a list of its contents.
3. I shall forward one copy by the Allen line on Thursday, and a duplicate copy of
the correspondence on Saturday next, via New York, as a precaution against accidents
by sea and land.
4. Tn my telegram of the 22nd instant to Mr. Heaven, I gave a summary of what
I wrote to Lord Kimberley on July 28th, would, in my opinion, prove to be a satisfactory settlement of the railway dispute, if agreed to by Canada.
5. In my telegram of the 26th instant to Mr Beaven, I sent an extract from Lord
Kimberloy's despatch to Lord Lome, containing the conclusions of His Lordship on the
Petition to the Queen, as well as the results of his repeated interviews with Sir John
A. Macdonald.
6. I was anxious that what I proposed to Lord Kimberley on July 28th as a final
settlement, and his conclusions on the Petition in his despatch to Lord Lome, should
reach the Government by the time Sir Charles Tnpper arrived in the Province, and I,
consequently, telegraphed the extracts from the latter without abridgement, though at
a very considerable cost. I trust that they have reached the Government in time to
be useful.
7. I have enclosed also a copy of extracts from the published debates of the
Uanadian Parliament, with other matter bearing on the cose of British Columbia, which
cost me considerable labour to collect, prepare, and print at Ottawa before I left for
London. I informally submitted a copy to Lord Kimberley for his perusal. Subsequently Mr. Herbert, Under Secretary, informed me that it was very valuable.
8. Hereafter I shall transmit a full report of my mission to Ottawa and London,
with the correspondence connected therewith that is not now forwarded, and also a
report of my expenditure whilst acting as Special Agent at Ottawa and London.
I have, &c,
(Signed)       A. DeCosmos.
Mr. R. H. Meade to Mr. De Cosmos.
Downing Street,
7th September, 1881.
Sir,—I am directed by the Earl of Kimberley to acknowledge the receipt of your
letter of the 27th ultimo, rela'.ing to the construction of the Pacific Eailway, copies of
which have been communicated to Sir J. A Macdonald and to the Governor-General of
Canada.
I am to enclose a copy of a letter from Sir J. A. Macdonald on the sulject.
I am, &c,
(Signed)       R. H. Meade. 45 Vio. Mission of Hon. Mr. DeCosmos. 349
Mr. DeCosmos to Mr. R. Beaven.
[Telegram.]
Hon. R. Beaven, Victoria, British Columbia:
In my letter to Lord Kimberley, 27th ultimo, acknowledging his despatch to Lord
Lome, I hoped that Dominion Government and Parliament would act on his conclusions
without undue delay.
This evening I received a letter from Colonial Office stating that my letter had
been sent to the Governor-General and Sir John A. Macdonald.
Enclosed to me was a letter frotn Sir John to Lord Kimberley, August 31st, stating
that Canadian Pacific Railway Company had sent an Agent to Columbia to enter into
negotiations for construction of Island Eailway.
Sir John leaves for Canada Thursday.
(Signed)       DeCosmos.
September 1th.
Mr. DeCosmos to the Under-Secretary of State.
London, September 8th, 1881.
Sir,—I have the honour to acknowledge the receipt of your letter of the 7th inst.,
in which you acquaint n e that, by direction of the Earl of Kimberley, my letter of the
27th ult. had been communicate J to Sir John A. Macdonald and to the Governor-General
of Canada.
2. I have further to acknowledge the receipt of a copy of a letter of the 31st ult.,
enclosed in your's of yesterday, from Sir John A. Macdonald to yourself, in which he
acquaints you, for the information of Lord Kimberley, that he had been informed "that
the Canadian Pacific Railway Company have sent an Agent to British Columbia for the
purpose of entering into negotiations for the construction of the Island Eailway."
3. With reference to these two communications, I have the honour to acquaint you,
for the information of Lord Kimberley, that I still hope that the Dominion Government
and Parliament may, without undue delay, take a favourable view of His Lordship's
conclusions, as set forth in his despatch of the 25th ult. to the Governor-General of
Canada; but, at the same time, I cannot withhold the expression of my opinion that
the letter of Sir John A. Macdonald of August the 31st does not seem as favourable to
carrying His Lordship's conclusions into effect as I had hoped.
4. British Columbia has no contract or agreement with the Canadian Pacific Railway Company respecting the Island Railway; and, so far as I am advised, had no desire
or intention to contract with the Company for its construction.
5. The Government of the Province contracted with the Dominion Government to
construct the Island section of the Canadian Pacific Railway, and His Lordship has
already stated his opinion, in his despatch to Lord Lome, that the Dominion Government and Parliament ought to construct it, as one of the conditions of " a fair basis for
the settlement of the whole question" respecting the Canadian Pacific Railway.
6. Under these circumstances, it is impossible for me to view the statement of Sir
John A. Macdonald in any other than an unfavourable light, and that, consequently, I
trust more implicitly to the active influence of Her Majesty's Imperial Government to
secure an early and satisfactory settlement of the differences between the Province and
the Dominion. I have, &c,
(Signed)       A. DeCosmos.
[Telegrams.]
The Attorney-General to Mr. DeCosmos.
Victoria, September 13th, 1881.
Hon. A. DeCosmos, London.
Obtain Lord Kimberley's decision and return to Ottawa.
(Signed) Geo. A. WalkeM. 850 Mission of Hon. Mr. DeCosmos. 1881
Mr. DeCosmos to the Attorney-General.
[Reply.]
London, October 23rd, 1881.
Hon. 67. A. Walkem, Victoria, B. C.
Been detained by request.   Leave for Quebec by "Peruvian" Thursday next.
(Signed) A. DeCosmos.
Mr. DeCosmos to the Attorney-General.
Ottawa, Novembor 8th, 1881.
Hon. G. A. Walkem, Victoria, B.C.
Arrived here last night.
(Signed) A. DeCosmos.
Mr. DeCosmos to the Attorney-General.
Ottawa, November 11th, 1881.
Hon. G. A. Walkem, Victoria, B.C.
Have to wait about ten days for Sir Charles Tupper's return from Manitoba.
(Signed) A. DeCosmos.
The Attorney-General to Mr. DeCosmos.
Victoria, December 13th, 1881.
Hon. Mr. DeCosmos, Ottawa.
Want to fix day for meeting of Legislature, but wish to have Island Railway
settled before it meets. What day would you advise for meeting? Keep me informed
of your progress.
(Signed) Geo. A. Walkem.
Mr. DeCosmos to the Attorney-General.
Ottawa, December 13th, 1881.
Hon. 67. A. Walkem, Victoria, B. C.
Sir Charles Tupper only arrived yesterday. Wrote to Sir John this morning for
interview. Interview will likely take place Thursday or Saturday. After interview
better able to advise as to date for meeting of Assembly.
(Signed) A. DeCosmos.
Mr. DeCosmos to the Attorney-General.
Ottawa, 25th December, 1881.
Hon. 67. A. Walkem, Victoria, B. C.
Met Sir John A. Macdonald and Sir Charles Tupper, when they decided to wait for
Mr. Stephens to meet us next week to settle whether Syndicate would build Island Railway or not.
(Signed) A. DeCosmos. 45 Vic. Mission of Hon. Mr. DeCosmos. 351
Mr. DeCosmos to the Attorney-General.
Ottawa, January 1st, 1882.
Hon. G. A. Walkem, Victoria, B. C.
No meeting took place this week as expected when I last telegraphed you. Mr.
Stephens did not arrive, but I have just received telegram from him stating he expected
to be here Tuesday next, so you may expect telegram from me Wednesday or Thursday
next. I advise delay in fixing day of meeting till after you are advised of result of proposed meeting with Mr. Stephens.
(Signed) A. DeCosmos.
Mr. DeCosmos to the Attorney-General.
Ottawa, January 5th, 1882.
Hon. 67. A. Walkem, Victoria, B. C.
Mr. Stephens here two days consulting with Government. He will not decide till
Mr. Ross returns and reports next week. * * * I will see Sir Charles Tupper
to-morrow and telegraph result.
(Signed) A. DeCosmos.
Mr. DeCosmos to the Attorney-General.
Ottawa, January 6th, 1882.
Hon. G. A. Walkem, Victoria, B. 0.
Sir Charles Tupper says Syndicate are to decide immediately.       *       *       *
(Signed) A. DeCosmos.
Mr. DeCosmos to the Attorney-General.
Ottawa, January 12th 1882.
Hon. G. A. Walkem, Victoria, B. C.
Government has not yet received any answer from the Syndicate, so Sir John said
this morning.
(Signed) A. DeCosmos.
Mr. DeCosmos to the Attorney-General.
Ottawa, January 14th, 1882.
Hon. 67. A. Walkem,  Victoria, B.C.
Sir John this morning informed me that Syndicate had not sent answer;   that Sir
Charles Tupper would arrive at Montreal to-day and he would write to him.    *    *    *
He would bring question up in Council on Sir Charles Tupper's return.
(Signed) A. DeCosmos.
The Attorney-General to Mr. DeCosmos.
Victoria, February 1st, 1882.
Hon. Mr. DeCosmos, Ottawa.
Assembly meets twenty-third February.     Press Government for settlement Island
Railway question.
(Signed) Geo. A. Walkem.
VICTORIA: Printed by Richard Wolfenden, Government Printer,
at the Government Printing' Office, James' Bay.

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