Churchill to Cardwell
No 11, George Yard,
Lombard Street, E.C.
15 Decr 1865 To the Right Honble E. Cardwell Secretary of State for the Colonies
On the 20th Septr I had the honor of addressing you on the subject of the Indian Massacre on the Bute Inlet Road, British Columbia, to which communication you favored me with a reply on the 29th of the same month.
Previously to addressing you I had written to Mr Waddington, the grantee of the charter, requesting him to communicate with His Excellency Governor Seymour, for the purpose: 1st of obtaining an extension of the time for the duration of the Charter for the above named road: the time for which the charter is granted being only 10 years from theManuscript image completion of the work, the cost of which will be upwards of £100,000.
Repairs and Management £20,000 pr. an.
Sinking fund, to defray
the original outlay
10,000  "   "
Dividend 10,000  "   "
From the above figures, on a 10 year Charter, the road must return at least £40,000 pr. an. which, in the present state of the Colony, cannot be expected, therefore the outlay would not be warranted as the capital is permanently sunk.
2nd Mr Waddington was requested to obtain a grant of land, as the present Charter only grants 100 acres at a nominal rental of 1d pr. an. which may be sold by the government at any time should there be a higher bid than that of the Grantee.
Without further alluding to the very peculiar terms and conditions of the Charter, I will at once state the object of this communication.
Manuscript image
1st On reference to the accompanying Map of British Columbia you will perceive that the Bute Inlet route strikes right into the centre of the country, and not as the Fraser river, which, so far as it is navigable, only opens the most Southern portion. The proximity of the Fraser river to the boundary line, for a distance of 80 or 90 miles, is a great objection to its being the only route to the interior, which would be closed in the event of a rupture with the United States: the navigation is difficult owing to the shifting sand bar at its mouth, and it is frequently frozen over, or blocked up with ice during the winter months: shewing the importance and necessity for a more Northern, Central and second route. Bute Inlet is all salt water and is never frozen over.
2nd Passengers and Goods going by the Bute Inlet route, will not go near New Westminster, therefore all the property holders and residents oppose the openingManuscript image of the route, as it will, for a time, deprive them of a certain amount of trade: thus they will bring all their influence to bear on the Colonial Government to prevent the completion of an undertaking that will open out some thousands of square miles of Country, a large portion of which is good agricultural land, besides shortening the land journey to Cariboo 160 miles and reducing provisions at least 50% below their present low prices. They would sacrifice the whole Colony for the benefit of New Westminster alone. Such short sightedness is suicidal and I think you will agree with me that it is desirable to seek the welfare of the Colony as a whole, and not of any one particular town.
3rd As His Excellency Governor Seymour is in England, Mr Waddington has instructed me to avail myself of the opportunity to communicate with you (as the lands of British Columbia belong to the Crown) for the purposeManuscript image of obtaining an extension of the Charter and a grant of land to aid in carrying out this important undertaking. Should His Excellency have adopted any of the views which are held in New Westminster, with regard to this route, there is no doubt he would be influenced by your impartial opinion. As the lands of the Colony are perfectly valueless to the Government, without roads, both as regards sale and revenue, I trust you will favor me with your assistance in carrying out a work of such vital importance to the development of the material resources of so vast and wealthy a portion of Her Majesty's dominions. To that end I beg to submit the following proposals for your consideration: the scale of Charges remaining as in the present Charter:
A. That the Charter be extended from 10 years to 25 years, and that 500 acres of agricultural land be granted for every mile of road constructed, and 10 acres in each town-site.Manuscript image The grantee to have the sole right, for the above period, of making roads from Bute Inlet and collecting tolls thereon until the expiration of the Charter, when the road or roads shall pass into the lands of the Government free of all charge.
B. That the Charter be extended from 10 years to 20 years, and one acre of agricultural land to be granted for every Dollar expended in the construction of the roads, and 10 acres in each town-site. The Grantee to have the sole right of making roads from Bute Inlet and collecting tolls thereon until the expiration of the Charter when the road or roads shall pass into the lands of the Government free of all charge.
C. That the Charter be extended from 10 years to 15 years, and that 100,000 acres of agricultural land be granted and 10 acres in each town site. The Colonial Government to guarantee 10 pr. ct. on an expenditure not exceeding £140,000 and should the profits admit of a dividend of 10 pr. ct. and not exceeding 12 pr. ct. the Government to have one third of the excess, and should the dividend exceed 12 pr. ct. theManuscript image Government to have one half of the excess. The Grantee to have the sole right for the above period of making roads from Bute Inlet and collecting tolls thereon until the expiration of the Charter when the road or roads shall pass into the lands of the Government free of all charge.
As you have been informed, by the memorials which have been presented to you on the subject of this road, that it is the earnest desire of all disinterested parties, in both Colonies, that the undertaking should be completed as soon as possible, I shall be most happy to wait on you, with a notified copy of the agreement, and plans, and give all particulars that may be required.
I have the honor to be
Your humble and obdt Servant
James D. Churchill
Attorney for A. Waddington
Minutes by CO staff
Manuscript image
Mr Elliot
See the Minutes 9137 from Mr Churchill & 8623 from the Governor. The present application is for an extension of the Charter but seems to have been only an Agreement entered into in 1862 for the construction of the Bute Inlet Road (see note in draft attached to 8623). The Petitions in favor of the route to which MrManuscript image Churchill refers arrived here in July last & were referred to Governor Seymour (7324 V.C. Island) but no report has yet been received.
The present letter might either be sent to Mr Seymour in this Country for report, or to the Acting Governor?
VJ 18 Decr
Mr Jadis
Draft a letter to Mr Seymour enclosing to him a copy of the present letter and also a copy of our despatch to himself of theManuscript image 23rd Sepr 1865. Request Mr Seymour to let Mr Cardwell know whether he has sufficient information in this Country to be able to furnish the materials for an answer to the present application.
TFE 18 Decr
Documents enclosed with the main document (not transcribed)
Manuscript image
Note in file: "Map of part of British Columbia, 1865, being fo. 278 of C.O. 60/23, has been removed to the Map Room. Map Room Reference M.P.G. 649. December, 1950. D.B. Wardle."
Other documents included in the file
Manuscript image
Elliot to Seymour, 22 December 1865, forwarding copies of correspondence on the Bute Inlet route and asking whether he had sufficient information in England to answer Churchill's application.