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Underneath is a comparative table showing the land transactions of the Department year by year, from 1872 down to the close of the last Dapartmental year: -
The following table, sbowing the number of homestead and pre-emption entries reported in each year since 1874, and the number and proportion of those entries since cancelled for non fulfilment of the conditions, is a repetition of the figures furnished last year under the same head, carefully revised and corrected from the returns received since then from month to month from the office of the Commissioner of Dominion Lands and the Dominion Lands Agencies. It will be soon that the cancellations which have taken place since the date of the table of last year have been principally cancellations of entries made in the earlier years of the settlement of the North-West. The proportion which it has been found necessary to cancel of entries made in recent years has not been materially increased :
1,376 499 347 846 1,788 4,068 2,074 2,763 7,383 6,063 3,753 1,858 2,657 2,036
854 280 138 388 1,193 1,701 593
62) 67 40 46 67 42 28 30 34 18 11
643 391 263
694 1,680 1,729 1,004 1,649 5,654 4,120
837 2,649 1,126 607 102 16
10 1 of 1
I of 1
653 1,046 685
The Superintendent of Minos calls my attention to the fact that in the report of the Commissioner of the General Land Office of the United States for 1887, similar statement is given for the States of Colorado, Nebraska and Kansas, for the years 1885, 1886 and 1887, which shows that of the homestead entries in the sereral States mentioned during the three years, there were perfected by actual residence and cultivation
In Dakota, Kansas and Nebraska the lands relinquished in 1887 equallod twenty-five per cent. of all the lands taken up in the whole of those States by settlers, and forty-two per cent. of those acquired as homesteads and pre-emptions throughout the whole of the United States for that year.
Here with is submitted a statement showing the number of letters received and sent by the Department since its establishment. For the past year the figures are rather under those of 1886, 47,845 letters having been received, and 60,890 sent out. Of these 5,505 and 8,478 were received and sent, respectively, by the Geological Survey Branch. Some portion of the enormous increase of 1886 arose ont of the settlement of the claims of volunteers to scrip and land warrants under the provisions of the Military Bounty Act, During the present year the corres. pondence has been somewhat in excess of what may be regarded as its normai proportions on account of the business of the Rebellion Losses Commission, 340 of the letters received and 2,788 of those sent having relation to the business of tbat Commission :
4,150 2,189 3,097 3,677 6,009 6,179 9,940 16,89 30,300 33,500 33,386 43,997 67,973 60,890
7,632 4,163 5,353 6,814 10,651 11,705 18,162 29,434 65,800 60,680 60,91 1 77,967 128,937 108,735
In this connection I have the honour to repeat what I stated last year, that it is now evident that whatever increase may be necessary in the staff of the Department in the future, it is most improbable that, consistently with efficiency, there can be any decrease.
The financial results of the transactions of the Department from year to year since its establishment, are as follows:
July 1, 1872, to June 30, 1873.
30, 1875. do 1, 1875
30, 1876 do 1, 1876
30, 1877. do 1, 1877 do
30, 1878. do 1, 1818 do
30, 1879. do 1, 1879 do
30, 1880......... do 1, 1880 do
30, 1881. do 1, 1881 do
30, 1882. do 1, 1882 do do 1, 1883 do
30, 1881. ........ do 1, 1884
30, 1885. do 1, 1885 do
30, 1836. do 1, 1886 do
30, 1887. do 1, 1887, Feb.
It will thus be seen that the revenue of the Department has improved during the year by & sum of $81,033.50 as compared with the previous year. The receipts from pre-emptions are smaller than they would otherwise have been on account of the extension of timo granted within which to make payment, as ex. plained on page 16 of the report of last year, the principle involved in this extension having been applied also to payments falling doe during the calendar year 1887, as well as to the arrears and payments duo on 1st of January of that year. I have thought it desirable that the statement should show the condition of the account for the seven months of the current financial year, which expired on the 31st of January last. The amount paid up to that date was $206,7 14.49, which indicates that during the financial year, there will at all events be no diminution in the Departmental receipts. I respectfully direct attention once more to the fact that the Pablic Accounts make no account of the payments made to the Department in scrip. As stated in last year's report, it seems to me tbat the scrip issued by the Dominion differs in no material respect from ordinary public securities, and that the Public Accounts should only show the payments made in cash creates great misconception as to the true state of the revenue.
MANITOBA ACT CLAIMS.
The claims to land under the Manitoba Act, which at one time formed an im. portant feature of the business of the Department, have been nearly all finally closed. There are still a few cases pending, in regard to which some evidence as to ownership or heirship is wanting, but the furnishing of this evidence is purely a matter of time. Practically this branch of the business of the Department is closed.
INSPECTION OF AGENCIES.
The inspection of agencies continues to be effectively and efficiently conducted, and the audit of the revenue by the Auditor General during the past year has provon that the regulations in this respect, onforced by the Department for two or three years past, have on the whole boon well calculated to secure a proper system of accounting on the part of agents, and generally the rendering of accurate and prompt returns of the rovenue.
The following table will sbow the number of patents issued and cancelled in each year since the creation of the Department of the Interior. The number issued in 1886 was 4,570, in 1887 it was 4,599 :
Departmental Year ending 31st October, 1874 do
1 83 do
DISTRIBUTION OF SEED GRAIN IN THE TERRITORIES.
The wisdom of the decision to furnish seed grain to certain settlers in the Territories last year has been proven by the results obtained. The seed, taken as a whole, was of excellent quality, although there is reason to believe that in regard to the oats there were, notwithstanding all the care taken by the Commis. sioner of Dominion Lands and the grain inspector of the Inland Revenue Departmont, some exceptions to the rule. The crops of last season were so good in almost every corner of the Province of Manitoba and the Territories as to lead to the expectation that the repayment of the seed loan would have been prompt and satisfactory. I regret to say that up to the present this has not been the case, the returns coming in slowly and the proportion of the loan so far repaid being comparatively small. It is not unlikely, however, that the persons who received these advances made an effort in the first place to dispose of so much of their surplus as they could to the grain dealers in the country, with a view to securing its equivalent in cash, calculating that the repayment to the Government could be made at a later date without inconvenience to any one concerned. Great care has been taken to impress upon them, by circular and otherwise, the necessity of making this return, as far as possible, not later than the 1st of April next, as provided by the Order in Council in that behalf.
THE WHEAT CROP OF MANITOBA AND THE TERRITORIES,
I have made special efforts to ascertain the actual quantity of grain raised in Manitoba and the North-West Territories in 1887, and comparing the statements furnished by the Winnipeg Board of Trade, the crop reports of the Department of Agriculture of the Province of Manitoba, and the information furnished by the Canadian Pacific Railway Company, I have come to the conclusion that it is safe to say that the wheat crop alone amounted to fourteen million bushels. The reports of the Canadian Pacific Railway Company indicate that the wheat marketed at stations in Manitoba and the North-West up to the end of January amounted to six million five hundred thousand bushels, of which, at the date of this report, six million bushels had actually gone forward. It may safely be said, that for the population of Manitoba and the Territories, which is shown by the recent censos to be in round numbers 188,000, this is a record which cannot be equalled by any equal number of people under the sun.
MANITOBA AND NORTHWEST HALF BREED CLAIMS.
Mr. Roger Goulet, of St. Bonifase, and Mr. N. O. Coté, formerly Secretary of the Half-breed Commission, made a final trip through the Territories during the past summer, and completed the enumeration of the half-breeds entitled to be ranked as' such within the meaning of the Acts of Parliament and Orders in Council passed from time to time in that behalf. The number of persons to whom certificates were issued by the Commission during 1887 was 503—of whom 321 were treaty taking half broods who had recently withdrawn from the membership of their respective Indian bands, 51 of whom were legal representatives of deceased half-breeds, and but 28 of whom were actually residing in the North-West and eligible to be ranked as half-breeds at the time of the transfer and who had never taked Indian treaty m