No. 66
21st June 1871
My Lord,
I have the honor to forward to Your Lordship the Blue Book of this Colony for the Year 1870, accompanied by a short Commentary upon these Statistics prepared by theColonialManuscript image Colonial Secretary. Mr Hankin's Report relieves me from the necessity of remarking upon matters of detail.
2. The Year to which these Returns refer was a period of transition, during which legislation and all departments of public affairs were more or less affected by thenegotiationsManuscript image negotiations then in progress for the Union of British Columbia with the Dominion of Canada. It seemed generally undesirable to initiate any modification of existing arrangements which might again require reconsideration on the accomplishment of the greater contemplatedchangeManuscript image change. But, although some injurious effect upon trade may have been produced by uncertainty as to the result of the negotiations which were proceeding, and the possible change to the Canadian Tariff, the Year was fairly prosperous in respect of the material interests of the Colony. TheexplanationManuscript image explanation of the diminution of Import Duties is to be found quite as much in the increased production of articles of food and general consumption within our own borders, as in diminished consumption of imported merchandise.
3. Indeed, Agriculture,StockraisingManuscript image Stockraising and the minor operations of Husbandry have been much and successfully extended both on the Mainland and on Vancouver Island. And applications for land for settlement have been numerous.
4. The older Gold Fields at Cariboo andKootenayManuscript image Kootenay are still productive, and give employment to a large number of miners who conduct their enterprises upon more scientific systems than are found in "placer diggings." Although the results may not be so brilliant and attractive as in newer localities theysufficientlyManuscript image sufficiently reward steady and intelligent industry. But, during the Year Reports were received of the discovery of "placer diggings" on the Findlay, Germansen, and other "Creeks," or Streams, tributaries of Peace River in the Northern part of the Colony. The firstintelligenceManuscript image intelligence was viewed with some degree of doubt, as many such previous reports had been found to cause disappointments. But, there now seems little reason to question that gold deposits have been found in the region of Peace River which have richly rewarded the first seekers and bid fair to beasManuscript image as productive as the Cariboo district in the earlier days of the Colony. A large influx of mining population has been drawn by the news from the neighbouring States and territories who are proceeding to these mines. Trade has been stimulated and all branches of industry have received an impetus. The localgovernmentManuscript image government has endeavoured to facilitate communication with the Omineca District as it is now called, and I have sent Mr O'Reilly, the Chief Gold Commissioner, who is an experienced Magistrate, to that place to administer justice and ensure order, with instructions to report fully upon the prospects which are afforded andtheManuscript image the conditions of the mining Camps.
5. Renewed effort is being made by several Companies to further develop the rich deposits of Coal which Vancouver Island undoubtedly possesses and I believe that in a short time many new mines will be in successful operation. One at least of the seamsitManuscript image it is proposed to work produces Coal of quality superior to that hitherto generally found, being in value for Steam purposes about midway between Scotch and Welsh Coal.
6. Upon the whole Your Lordship will see that the Colony is making progress and will enter upon its new position as a Province of the Dominion with a bright promise for thefutureManuscript image future. Under the arrangements for Union the condition of the finances will be much improved. The public debt will be assumed by Canada, and the local Revenue will be no longer affected by fluctuations in the receipts from Customs Duties. While funds provided by the Subsidies agreed upon and from other sources of Income should be amplysufficientManuscript image sufficient for lessened local requirements when relieved of the charges to be borne by the federal administration, I have little doubt that Immigration, which is much desired, will be caused at least to some limited extent by the impending changes, and the attraction afforded by employment which may be obtained on the works to besoonManuscript image soon commenced for the construction of the proposed Railway. Already it is generally admitted that the value of property has increased, and new spirit has been largely infused into all branches of business undertakings. On relinquishing the administration of the Government after the Union is completed, as will soon be the case, IshallManuscript image shall do so in the belief as well as the hope that the progress of this magnificent Province in prosperity and importance will be both rapid and continuous.
I have the honor to be,
My Lord,
Your most obedient
Humble Servant
A. Musgrave
Minutes by CO staff
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Mr Holland
This is the last Blue Book which will be received from British Columbia. The dispatch with the report by the Colonial Secretary will be printed with other reports of a like nature. You will see that Governor Musgrave anticipates a great future for the Colony. Should the opportunity be taken of expressing to Ld Lisgar the sense entertained by Ld Kimberley of the value of Mr Musgraves services while holding the Government of B. Columbia?
WD 19/7
HTH 19/7
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Mr Dealtry
I think a complimentary despatch has already been addressed to Govr Musgrave?
RGWH July 20/71
Yes. See dispatch No 52 on 4953 herewith—but I do not find that the valuable Services rendered by Governor Musgrave in bringing about the Union have been specifically noticed to Ld Lisgar at whose instance I have always understood he was sent to B. Columbia. But perhaps it is best left alone.
A few words to that effect might be not out of place.
RGWH July 20/71
I note that Gov Musgrave says that "Immigration is much desired" in B Columbia. I shd praise him—he deserves it.
EHKH 21/7/71
Would it not be more convenient to praise him when he reports giving up the Govt? It is more usual.
K July 21/71
Documents enclosed with the main document (not transcribed)
Blue Book not on microfilm.
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P.J. Hankin, Colonial Secretary, to Musgrave, 15 June 1871, reporting on the annual Blue Book for 1870 (sixteen pages).