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REPORT showing work porformed at the various Agoncies for Year ending 31st October, 1887.- Continued.

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A fee of $20 was charged for one Homestead Entry, 0.0., Letter 72,726.

REPORT showing work performed at the various Agencies for Year ending 31st October, 1887.-Concluded.

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STATEMENT ebowing Contingent Expenditure of the govoral Agoncies, for Yoar onding 31st Octobor, 1887.

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A gency.

Fuel.

Light.

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Dufferin
Little Saskatchewan
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Turtle Mountain
Coteau
Qu'Appelle
Touchwood
Prince Albert .................... .........
Battleford

4 00
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126 76

5 00
19 00

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Calgary
Lethbridge.

95 75
170 30

8 00
25 86

34 76

New Westminster

1,200 71

107 86

Crown Timber Agencies.

Winnipeg...

2 70

66 26

14 20

Prince Albert
Edmonton
Calgary

66 25

16 90

•Coal for 3 years,

No. 4.

NEW WESTMINSTER, B.C., 1st November, 1887. SIR, -I have the honor to report through you for the Minister's information upon matters of interest relating to Crown Lands in British Columbia administered by the Dominion Government.

The New Westminster Agency having been but recently opened at the date of my last report, little could then be said of the progress made in bottlement of the lands within the Railway Belt. The Agency may now be considered as fairly established and in good working order; its operations, bowever, by reason of the partially explored state of the country and the immense extent of territory yet to be surveyed, bave been limited chiefly to the New Westminster District, in which an area of 71,148 acres bas been entered under the Homestead Regulations since the lands were opened for entry in August, 1886, and at least an equal area is beld by squatters on uveurveyed lands, and in townships the surveys whereof aro awaiting confirmation. In Chilliwback Municipality, comprising about five townships, nearly all the available lunds bave also been equatied upon.

This municipality is one of the most tbriving settlements in the Province, producing large quantities of hay, oats, barley, peas and root crops, butter, cheese, and oiher marketable products; but up to the present time no steps bave been taken to investigate the claims of settlers and open the lands for entry, nor can anything be done towards that end before the dispute between the Provincial and Dominion Governments, with respect to the ownership of these lands—which are claimed by the former Government under an effete Provincial Act known as the Sumass Dyking Act, 1878-bas been settled or finally set at rest by a decree of the Exchequer Court of Canada. The bona fide settlers on these ladds are very anxious to obtain titles, and would much prefer to have them administered under the Dominion Regulations. In the interest of all parties it is to be hoped that the proposition which the Minister made to the Provincial Government during your visit to Victoria last summer may be acquiesced in by the Provincial authorities.

This proporition was to the effect that the lards in question, pending a decision of the Court, bould be administered under tbe Dominion Regulations, the patents to be issued jointly by the two Governments, and the purchase money of $1.00 per acre jaid to the credit of the Receiver-General to abide ihe ultimate decree of the Court. A settlement on this basis would be a great boon to the settlers, as all further delay would be avoided and ibey could at once get their entries, and many of them their patente.

Outside of the municipality of Chilliwback the uneasiness which had long been felt by the settlers of New Westminster District in consequence of the lands having been unavoidably kept locked up since 1878 under the Railway Reservo, was entirely dispelled by the establishment of this Agency, and they are now assured that under the Dominion their claims will be respected, and so far as I bave been able to learn they are perfectly satisfied with the present administration of the lands. Speaking generally, the public feeling is that under our Regulations this beautiful and fertile district, wbich has so long remained upcultivated and almost uppopulated, will soon become the centre both of the population and the wealth of the Province, and it is well understood that tbe aim and intent of the Dominion Government is to have every available quarter section in the district occupied by a producer and consumer.

Settlers who have obtained entry are, as a rule, well pleased with their locations, and by far the greater number are steadily fulfilling tbe conditions of settlement.

The wet, backward spring, followed by an unusually dry summer this year, has proved rather discouraging, but notwithstanding these drawbacks the grain crops bave ben Dearly up to the average, and the preparation of the ground for next year's operations bas been proceeded with under the most favorable conditions; the drought bas affected the root crops more than any other, especially on the high lands. On the low lands the yield has been fully up to the average and of unusually good quality.

The fruit crop, as a whole, has been very satisfactory, apples and pears being particularly fine, both as regards size, quality and yield; the supply of bome grown fruit, however, is not at all adequate to meet the demands of the local market, the bolk of the fruit consumed being imported from Oregon and California. The early seltlers of this Province do not appear to bave been folly alive to the importance of this pleasant and profitable industry, their orcharde, generally speaking, being small and ill-kept; in fact, fruit growing bas been merely a side issue, just sufficient to give a satisfactory test of the climatic conditions and productiveness of the soil, and to show the unlimited capabilities of the Province as a fruit growing region. Our homesteaders on the railway ladds, especially those from the Eastern Provinces, are more far-seeing, as many of them are making strenuous efforts to plant all the trees that they can command. The adoption of certain provisions, framed specially to encourage fruit culture, promulgated in the recently amended regulations, is a step in the right direction, and one which, when fully understood, will be duly appreciated, especially by settlers of small means; these provisions are very liberal and permit the homesteading without conditions of residence, of legal sub-divisions of various areas to which a title may be acquired at the end of fivo years, on payment of $1

per acre for the land, and on proving to your satisfaction that a certain portion of the area entered bas been annually, during ihe first tbree years, cleared, fenced and planted with fruit trees, and also maintained under good culture until the expiration of the fifth year from entry. With the inducements offered by these liberal provisions, the productiveness of the soil and otber favorable conditions enjoyed by the Province, tbere can be do question but that fruit growing is destined to become, in the near future, one of its chief and mort profitablo industries. The giowing demand of Manitoba and the North-West Territories for dried, canned, pro-erved and green fruits, combined with the easy transportation facilities offered by the Canadian Pacific Railway, must eventually create and open up an immenee trade in these commodities.

The Pot Mineral Springs, situate at the southern end of Harrison Lake, and within five miles of Aggasiz Station on the Canadian Pacific Railway, have, during the past summer, obtained, as a sanitarium and pleasure resort, more than mere local notoriety:

From Yale, Kamloops District, numerous informal applications have been received from fquatters for lands in the vicinity of Secamsus, Notch Hills, Shuswap Lake, Grand Prairie and other localities, and a large amount of work in investigating and dealirg with these claims will be added to the Agency so soon as the surveys already made are confirmed and the lands formally opened for entry.

Ibis district being mucb more of a pastoral than an agricultural character, there is a feeling prevalent amongst the old settlers who have acquired titles from the Provincial Government to the arable river frontages, and wbo bave uninterruptedly used the public domain for grazing purposes free irom taxation or dues of any kind, that these lands, being now in the bands of the Dominion Government, their privileges will be greatly curtailed by the disposal of these lands to strangers, in areas suitable for ranching purposes : the sale of these bill.grazing lands would undoubtedly prove a serious matter 10 a large majority of them, as they must either carry less stock and turn their attention to other farming operations, or, in order to prevent its falling into other hands, purchase a sufficient area to enable them to continue their pastoral pursuits. Generally speaking, stock raisers in British Columbia have had little to complain of during the past season, stock having passed through the unusually severe winter in fair condition, the average loss not exceeding 20 per cont., and a loca! market, at very remunerative prices, being found for all beef cattle that could be sent to the coast.

The_long standing dispute between the Government of Canada and the Govern. ment of British Columbia as to the ownersbip of minerals within the railway belt,

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