You’ve heard of Show Biz. This is Biz Biz, the history
of business in Vancouver, told through the activities of The
Vancouver Board of Trade.
The dredging of the First Narrows received
fresh impetus at the Boards first meeting of 1908. The
January 7 session heard from member J.E. Macrae that the dangerous
state of the Narrows made the work imperative. The Burnaby Shoal
was of particular concern to the Board, and Macrae thought a light
should be placed there, and that telephone communication between
the light houses and Vancouver should be established. [That
reference to light houses in the plural is interesting. Anyone know
where they were exactly?] An Internet search informs us the Burnaby
Shoal was southeast of Brockton Point.
Member Charles Tisdall, in agreeing with Macraes
concern, added a comment on the serious danger arising from
the presence of floating logs. Macrae was added to the Boards
Trades and Navigation Committee.
A letter, warmly received, came to the Board from
D.E. Brown, General Superintendent of the CPR, who supported the
request for dredging, but also said the Parthian Shoal
was a greater danger than the Burnaby Shoal. (The present name appears
to be Parthia Shoal. If you go here
and type in Parthia Shoal, youll see exactly where
it is.) Browns letter described it as a serious danger
to shipping in these confined waters . . . until this shoal is removed
it will continue a serious menace to the increasing number of ships
trading in and out of this important and growing port. The number
of tows also, not always under control, going in both directions,
which are constantly met between Brockton and Prospect Points necessarily
increases the danger of accident, and this will certainly not be
lessened when more and larger ships, soon expected, are running
into this port.
Brown added that he thought dredging on the north
side of the harbor was important, too, because the strong
tides through the Narrows are washing and lodging additional obstructions
in that vicinity.
Joseph Martin, KC, who was representing the Board
at the sittings of the Railway Commission in Winnipeg, sent a telegram
saying that Winnipeg would push for a reduction of freight rates
to Kootenay from both Winnipeg and Vancouver. President McLennan
told members he had wired a reply that if it created no change
in the present relative rates there was no objection to the reduction.
A subject that had arisen before, the lack of information
on land availability in BC on the part of the provincial government,
came up at the January 7 meeting. The Surveyor General wrote the
Board, reported the Province, to say that every effort had
been made to survey lands and meet the needs of the settlers, but
that if the board knew of any instance where it had been neglected,
prompt investigation would follow upon reporting the matter.
(Were not sure what the it in the previous sentence
refers to.) A member, Mr. Quigley, believed that if the Dominion
Government appointed a land agent in British Columbia, it would
greatly facilitate matters.
On the subject of grain elevators, the federal Deputy
Minister of Agriculture responded to the Boards suggestion
that the government build a grain elevator on Burrard Inlet, stating
that all elevators in Canada were owned by private companies, and
while he appreciated the importance of a grain elevator at Vancouver
he suggested that it be taken up by private or municipal enterprise.
Bond. Goods Bond.
The Board, the Province reported, wanted Canada
on the same footing as the US in regard to the shipping of goods
in bond. At the present time goods coming in bond from an
American point through Canadian territory can be taken in American
ships, while goods from a Canadian point through American territory
can be taken only in American bottoms. The federal customs
department responded by enclosing a copy of the law. Not much help.
The matter was referred back to Ottawa with the request that
conditions should be made reciprocal.
An Astonishing Item
The January 8 edition of the Province (Page 18)
told of a letter to the Board from a Capt. Miniger of the United
States revenue cutter service at Port Townsend. The
Board voted to send a letter of thanks to Capt. Miniger.
His astonishing letter reads, in part: The
revenue cutter service has two vessels on the Sound, ready for duty,
and it is part of their duty to render aid to distressed vessels.
We are now, and have been handicapped in the receipt of news of
disaster to vessels; we do not receive the information, except
through the daily papers, [emphasis added] and it is noon here
before the papers are received.
If your association would advise me of disaster
to vessels, as soon as the information was received by you, it would
enable me to dispatch a vessel of the service to the aid of the
distressed vessel at once, and possibly 24 hours before the receipt
of the information through the papers; this action might mean much
to the disabled vessel and to the people on board.
We tend to agree!
The Japanese consul wrote to the Board, letting
them know that an exposition would be held in Tokyo from April 1
to October 31, 1912. The exhibits would cover an area of 212
acres of land and would be open to the public. [That exposition
was later cancelled by the Japanese government because of a lack
A Murdo Maclean of Scotland wrote the Board with
details of the cost of travelling for emigrants from Scotland to
Vancouver and to Sydney, Australia. A farm laborer,
the Province reported, could go from the Old Country
to Sydney for $30, while a girl could go for $25. Ten dollars of
this was returned when work was secured. The rates from the Old
Country to Vancouver were $89. Thus it was shown how an effort was
being made to turn the trend of emigration from Canada to Australia.
The story didnt specify what line or lines
the emigrants used.
The subject of streetcar safety had apparently arisen,
because the January 7 meeting included a report by Board secretary
William Skene on the results of letters he had sent to 76 cities
in Canada, the United States, Great Britain and Ireland asking a
series of questions about their methods of ensuring safety. Highlights
of the 54 replies:
- Speed limit for streetcars was eight miles an hour within the
city, half speed at turnings and from 12 to 16 mph in suburban
- Two thirds of the systems responding discharged their passengers
at the rear of the car, as did Vancouver.
- About half the systems had their cars stop at intersections
to load and unload passengers on the near side, the other half
on the far side. But in the larger cities, where the traffic
is great, and the streets uniformly paved, the cars stopped
on the near side. Cities cited were London, Glasgow, Manchester,
Liverpool, Montreal and Toronto.
- When the cars are discharging, other cars may pass, but
speed limit must be reduced so as to be fully in hand and gongs
must be kept going until the cars are quite clear of each other.
Theres a reference to the use of lifeguards,
but no indication of what they were. They werent people! Theyre
likely what wed call cowcatchers, or pilots:
devices attached to the front of the streetcar to deflect anything
or anyone on the tracks. The Liverpool plough lifeguard,
the Province report went on, which has been mentioned
in use in that city since 1901, and in that time has saved 190 people,
up to the end of 1906, who had actually fallen under the cars from
death or serious injury. [The grammars clumsy, but we get
it.] During 1906 there were 44 people so saved. Four fatal accidents
occurred in that year, three of which were from people stepping
off cars in motion and falling on their heads, and the fourth was
concussion by a drayman falling on his head in a collision.
A resolution was passed unanimously on motion of
Alderman McSpadden and another member, H.A. Stone, to recommend
to the city council that the BC Electric be required at once to
adopt the Liverpool pattern of plough lifeguard. Then member Charles
Tisdall moved, and Alderman Cavanagh seconded, that the gong system
be used when one car passed another that was discharging passengers.
E.H. Heaps became Board president in March, 1908
and on the 25th he hosted a luncheon for members. Standing committees
were appointed for the year, and its interesting to note how
influential these people were. Just a skim over the names listed
in the Province for March 26, 1908 (Page 2) finds:
- R.H. Alexander, a prominent forestry industry figure
and a mayoral candidate in Vancouvers first election (1886).
- Ewing Buchan, the manager of the now-vanished Hamilton
Bank, and the man whose words for O Canada were sung locally for
- W.H. Malkin, a major food wholesaler and future (1929
- 1930) mayor.
- R.P. McLennan, a prominent wholesaler, and one of the
founders of "Mc and Mc," as McLennan, McFeely &
Prior was fondly known.
- C.E. Tisdall Charles Tisdall was another future (1922)
mayor of the city.
- D. Von Cramer One of the first organizers of the Vancouver
- C. Gardiner Johnson A major shipping agent, called the
father of Vancouvers shipping industry
- R. Kelly Food wholesaler. His firm Kelly Douglas introduced
- H. Bell-Irving The countrys biggest salmon exporter.
(His son H.P. Budge Bell-Irving would be Board president
in 1974, and a Lieutenant-Governor of the province.)
- R.V. Winch Another major fish exporter. The Winch Building,
part of Sinclair Centre, is named for him.
- John Hendry A well-known city industrialist, and owner
of the Hastings Mill. [There is a very interesting 1890 biography
of Hendry here]
- Frederick Buscombe A retailer of fine china and allied
goods and mayor in 1905.
- E. Odlum That would be Edward Faraday Odlum, scientist
and teacher, and the author of a history of British Columbia published
in 1906. His son was Victor Odlum.
- Frederick Carter-Cotton Newspaper publisher (the News-Advertiser),
first head of the Vancouver Harbor Commission, first Chancellor
Many of these gentlemen also served, or would later
serve, as presidents of the Board. They include R.H. Alexander,
Ewing Buchan, W.H. Malkin, R.P. McLennan, Charles Tisdall, H. Bell-Irving,
John Hendry, Frederick Buscombe and Frederick Carter-Cotton.
We had thought the disrespectful word Jap
wasnt used in the newspapers until the Second World War, but
there is frequent use of the word in the newspapers of this era.
The same page that brought us that distinguished list of names above
has a small story below headlined: New Jap Liner is Speedy Craft.
(It was the Tenyo Maru, on the San Francisco route, which
easily made 20.6 miles an hour.)
The Board held a special meeting March 27, the main
agenda items being the coasting and timber laws. (The latter is
discussed below, in the item headlined Timber!) Member Charles Tisdall
introduced a resolution relating to the former, the effect of which
was to ask for an amendment to the existing law, so that no
goods should be carried by water from one port or place in Canada,
either directly or via a foreign port, or for any part of the voyage
excepting in British ships.
Speaking to the motion, Tisdall said it was "more
urgent at the present time in view of the fact that millions of
dollars are to be spent in railway construction in the northern
part of the country.
The people of Canada are contributing 80 to
90 per cent of the cost of this work, and it is only right that
the money should be spent amongst ourselves. As far as possible,
all goods needed in the construction of the GTP [Grand Trunk Pacific
Railway] should be routed over Canadian railways and shipped through
Member Charles Woodward demurred. He contended that
the matter was too large to be dealt with locally. Other parts of
Canada would be affected as well as British Columbia. Take
the carrying of grain from Manitoba and the other Western provinces
across the Great Lakes to the east, Woodward said. Supposing
that there were not enough Canadian boats to carry the grain across
the Great Lakes, the result would be that it would have to lie idle
unless transported in American ships.
Then R.B. McLennan spoke up. All we are asking
is that the Canadian boats have the same rights as the Americans.
Take goods being shipped from Montreal to Prince Rupert via Seattle.
At the present time the bulk of it is placed in American ships at
Seattle for the rest of the journey. What we want is that these
goods will be put in British ships at Seattle.
Member H.A. Stone, pointing out the wonderful advantages
gained by Seattle by virtue of her northern shipping, regarded the
matter so seriously that he recommended sending a man to Ottawa.
Mr. Stones last suggestion, said the Province,
was taken up and discussed and action may follow.
The question is, asked Charles Woodward,
have we the ships? He didnt think the amendment
would ever be granted, and if the measure was aimed as a slap at
the States it was a big mistake.
President Heaps pointed out, the Province
continued, that if the trade was to go to Prince Rupert from
Seattle, and if Seattle was to become the distributing point for
the North, it would result in great loss to Vancouver. There was
a possibility that Vancouver would become as great a shipping port
as Liverpool if she could retain the trade of the coast.
The resolution carried unanimously. (We surmise
that means Woodward voted for it, too.)
We did a bit of Googling to discover that in 2004
(the only recent year for which we could find statistics) the Port
of Liverpool had a throughput of 32 million tons. In 2005 (the only
recent year, etc.) the Port of Vancouvers throughput was 76
The March 27 meeting passed a resolution urging
the federal government to give a grant of $100,000 to the upcoming
Alaska-Yukon Exposition, to be held in Seattle in 1909. The
importance of the exposition to the whole of Canada, and the urgency
of having a creditable Canadian building were cited in the resolution.
W.H. Malkin, who introduced the matter, scored the British Columbia
members in the Dominion Parliament for their apparent indifference
in the matter. (The subject came up again briefly at the May
5 meeting, at which it was mentioned that an attendance of three
million was expected.)
And see the notes below on the Boards November
Imperial Press Service
The Board discussed the desirability of having a
Britain-based press service. Board secretary William Skene had written
several Chambers of Commerce in the Old Country and they all favored
it. The great grievance, said the Province in
its March 28 issue, seemed to be that the press service from
Great Britain to Canadian papers was filtered through American channels.
A representative of the London Times happened to be in the
city, and he had promised to submit the matter to his paper as a
President Heaps said that great cost was involved.
The American papers had an advantage over the Canadians in
view of their greater number, thus ensuring a cheaper service per
paper. The matter was referred to the Boards Trade and
The Dominion government had passed recent regulations
calling for holders of leased timber lands to cut, each year, 60,000
feet per square mile leased. The Board, spurred by President Heaps
and a petition from BC lumbermen, wanted those regulations cancelled.
This was not only a hardship, the Province quoted
Heaps, but it would mean the useless cutting of timber. At
the present time there was sufficient timber on hand to supply the
market for six months. The Government probably intended that settlers
on the prairie should be supplied with rough lumber as cheaply as
possible. The Government owned a large tract between Lake Winnipeg
and the Rocky Mountains, and the wholesale cutting of this rough
lumber for the prairie market would mean the forcing of British
Columbia rough lumber out of the market.
The resolution was carried and would be brought
to Ottawas attention.
The Guelph Board of Trade asked for endorsation
of their protest against the practice of the CPR and Grand Trunk
Railway of increasing cartage charges without notice. They urged
that the Dominion Railway Commission be requested to demand that
notification of increase be given. The Vancouver Board agreed and
suggested a time limit for notification of 60 days.
Lands Office Move?
The Board, at its May 5, 1908 meeting, urged that
the provincial land office be moved from Victoria to Vancouver.
Said the Province, in its May 6 story (Page 11), Incoming
settlers, every day increasing in number, expect to find in Vancouver
all the necessary information regarding available lands. But the
inquiries, and in many cases those who make them, are sent on to
Victoria.. The provincial government was making new surveys,
particularly in the north, and the Board formed a committee to study
the subject and make recommendations.
The urgency, said the Province
May 6 (Page 11), of the province being represented on the
proposed International Fisheries Commission . . . was briefly discussed
and communications upon the subject referred to the Fisheries committee
of the board. It is a matter which vitally affects almost
every merchant and member of this board, said President Heaps.
University of the North
There was a time when the provincial university
was going to be located in the north of British Columbia. Were
reminded of that, thanks to the Boards May 5, 1908 meeting.
The subject came up during discussion of the request of the Board
that the provincial land office be moved from Victoria to Vancouver.
A letter had been received from Mr. MacKay, the provinces
Surveyor General, in which he gave the latest information on the
government survey work at present being done in the interior and
The letter showed that nearly 150,000 acres
have been surveyed by the Government in the last two years. In the
valley of the Kispiox, a tributary of the Skeena River, 25,645 acres,
of which 6,000 acres have been reserved for the purposes of the
provincial university. [Emphasis added.] In the Bulkley Valley
last year, 53,936 acres; in the Cariboo district, Mud, Nechaco (sic)
and Fraser River districts 54,520 acres, and in Ootsa Lake district
13,000 acres, while the coast district survey party is now at work
on Vancouver Island.
Member E. Odlum, said the paper, told of the
difficulties of settlers in other provinces as well as in British
Columbia obtaining the information they required. He had known settlers
in the East to experience many discouragements, falling into the
hands of land agents, losing nearly all their money in journeying
about, nine out of ten not seeing one per cent of desirable and
available Government lands, and finally drifting into the cities
and securing such employment as could be found. This might be overcome
by the appointment of Government guides to take intending settlers
to the places desired.
President Heaps suggested permanent government guides
in newly surveyed districts. I think there should also be
a Bureau of Information in the chief cities . . . we are going to
have an immigration movement, and probably a very heavy one, in
the next year or two.
A committee would be formed to handle the matter.
On the same page as the item directly above was
a big advertisement, about 60 per cent of the page, placed by W.J.
Kerr of New Westminster, offering five-acre fruit farms at Kerton
in the Fraser Valley. They were $500 each, with a down payment of
$100, the balance to be paid within three years. Such easy
terms as these, the advertisement read, enable the man
with small capital to get started without spending too much money
in purchase of the property." He notes there is time this year
to get in a crop of potatoes, "and potatoes on three acres
will more than repay you the price of the property, plus the cost
of seed and labor.
We did a Google search and looked through Walbrans
Coast Names, but failed to find Kerton.
The meeting of June 2, 1908 was mainly devoted to
wrestlingwith the Granville Street bridge project. (This
was the second of the three bridges of that name.) The story doesnt
indicate what the problem was, but there is a reference in the Provinces
story to an injunction! Member Frederick Buscombe, a former mayor,
declared the work a crying necessity. A solution was
apparently found, because we know the bridge opened September 6,
1909. In fact, Governor General Earl Greythe man after whom
the tea is namedofficially opened it, and Lady Grey cut the
ribbon. The bridge extended from Pacific to 4th, east of the original
Another item discussed June 2: A resolution
asking the Dominion Government to make an appropriation this session
for starting the work of providing a permanent ship channel from
the mouth of the Fraser River to New Westminster was adopted.
The regular monthly meeting of the Board of
Trade, held last night, the Province reported July
8, 1908 (Page 5), was poorly attended, only 14 members being
present. The question of a telephone system between Point Grey,
Prospect Point and Vancouver was the first matter discussed, and
a letter from Captain Gaudin was read, stating that such a service
would require the services of two watchmen, and as the Board of
Trade would be chiefly interested, he would be glad to know what
assistance that board would be ready to grant toward the expense
of such a service.
This letter threw the cat among the pigeons. The
board were of the opinion that two watchmen were not necessary as
the lighthousemen could do the work, and Mr. Shallcross considered
that Capt. Gaudin must be writing in ignorance, or treating a serious
matter as a joke, by asking for the Board of Trade to contribute
toward a matter that concerned the safety of the port and public.
The chairman and secretary were appointed to communicate with Victoria
and Ottawa on the matter.
What the Heck is a Free Port?
The July 7 meeting also considered at some length
the idea of Vancouver being a free port. President Heaps
said hed glanced over the proposition (no details on its source
in the story) and considered that if Montreal thought it a good
thing for their port it would naturally be a good thing for Vancouver,
too. He suggested the Board form a committee to study the question.
He said that the proposition was to draw a line round Vancouver
and to have a huge bonded warehouse within that line. Anything used
or manufactured in Vancouver would come in free of duty, but anything
that went beyond the line would pay as usual. It would probably
lead to the establishment of many industries.
Other members werent so sure. Member W. Murray
thought the board was starting to discuss a question they
knew nothing whatever about. As far as he was concerned, he was
in a state of complete fog as to what this proposition really meant.
He had seen it mentioned in the press, and it seemed to him to be
a catchy and popular cry, and he had consequently carefully searched
the newspapers of the city for some explanation or some details,
which would say something more than merely that it was a splendid
thing for Vancouver . . . Why, he asked, does
the press not come forward and explain what is meant by a free port?
There was a public meeting being held on the question
the next day and Murray thought the information should be given
to the people before they were asked to attend a meeting to consider
Member James Ramsay said he had carefully scanned
the press but had been unable to find a word of explanation
as to the meaning of a free port. He had hoped that someone at this
board meeting would be able to tell the members exactly what it
did mean, but apparently everybody was as much in the dark as he
Member Murray wished to know more about the requisition
for a public meeting, and who had signed it. He had never seen it.
Those men who bring round those requisitions dont do
it for nothing, he said.
Eventually the members decided to follow a suggestion
of Murrays that literature about the Montreal situation be
asked for, and that no decision be made until that had been read
Some issues of the old, old Province are missing
and some are virtually impossible to read from the microfilm, so
our next 1908 Board report jumps from July to November.
More on the Halibut Fishery
The November 3, 1908 meeting of the Board once again
looked at the difficulties faced by the halibut fishery. Member
H.H. Watson informed the meeting that while formerly the shipments
of halibut arriving in Vancouver weighed 60 pounds per fish, recent
shipments had declined as low as eight and 10 pounds. This was due
to the rapid depletion of the fisheries owing to the invasion of
American poachers. He stated that no less than 130 vessels were
poaching in northern waters. No less than 39,000 tons of halibut
caught in Canadian waters were last year shipped east from Seattle,
the shipments from Vancouver amounting to only 13,000 tons . . .
Mr. H. Bell-Irving stated that the late Emperor William (Wilhelm)
in 1872 gave his award that Hecate strait and Dixon entrance were
in Canadian territorial waters. This had been ratified by treaty
in the following year. Mr. W.G. Harvey held that the treaty had
never been enforced.
[This, incidentally, was the same 1872 decision
that gave the San Juan Islands to the US.]
A resolution to be drafted by the Boards fisheries
committee would be sent to Ottawa.
The December 24, 1908 Province has a brief
Page One item about that resolution: "It expresses the opinion
that the waters between Queen Charlotte islands and the mainland,
ranging from Dixon entrance in the north to Hecate Strait are wholly
within the jurisdiction of the Dominion. If this view is taken by
the Ottawa Government and recognized by the United States Government,
American fishing boats will be driven out of the industry, and Vancouver
and Prince Rupert will become great fishing ports.
The local Board of Trade has pressed this
matter for two years, but thus far has been unable to obtain more
than a formal acknowledgement from Ottawa. In the forthcoming memorial
the establishment of a more efficient fisheries protective service
by fast cruisers will be urged. [A reminder that memorial
back then simply meant memo.]
Another formal resolution, the Province
reported (November 4, 1908, Page 3), will draw attention of
the Dominion Government to the fact that it has been left unrepresented
at the Alaska-Yukon-Pacific exposition. It was submitted by Mr.
W.H. Malkin and was strongly supported by Mr. J.B. Mathers, who
deplored the ignorance prevailing in the United States respecting
Canadas possessions in the north.
Still with the November 3 session: more urging of
the need for dredging of the First Narrows was transmitted to Ottawa,
this time with the backing of the Shipmasters Association.
They affirm the necessity for improving the harbor entrance
owing to the increasing size of vessels entering this port.
The Boards December 1, 1908 session dealt
with a subject that had come up before: the storage and shipping
of Alberta grain.
Member Charles Woodward compared the cost of shipments
from eastern and Pacific coast ports on the American side of the
border. From these he arrived at the deduction that grain
could be shipped to Europe from Vancouver for about 5.5 cents less
per bushel than was possible from St. John or other ports on Canadas
Member Y.E. Hall contended that Albertans were anxious
to have their grain moved through Vancouver. Of course,
he said, it must be understood that it is very difficult to
interest private capitalists. We will be taking the grain out of
the channels along which it has been moving for the past 25 years.
Another difficulty that confronts us is the lack of vessels to carry
the grain in bulk. However, if united action were taken, I have
no doubt that these difficulties could be overcome.
Member R.H. Alexander thought the city should take
up the matter of public grain elevators and get a grant from the
government for this purpose. H.A. Stone reminded the group that
the CPR had expressed its willingness to come to some agreement
on freight rates if the grain were forthcoming. Charles Woodward
said that if the business people of Vancouver did not take
hold of the matter immediately that Prince Rupert or some other
town along the coast would, and then everybody would be kicking
themselves because they had allowed the opportunity to pass.
We like this passage in the Provinces
story: C.S. Douglas created some amusement by passing along
a statement he had heard that wheat in a long voyage like that around
the Horn to Europe gained enough weight by absorption of moisture
to cover the cost of shipment.
Capt. F.W. Evans, the Province continued, said
that tramp steamers could take grain in 67 days from Vancouver to
European ports for 20 or 21 shillings a ton. If we have the
grain for them, declared the captain, there will be
no difficulty in getting the steamers.
A suggestion from H. Bell-Irving was followed that
the Board obtain all the information it could gather on the subject
from American ports on the Pacific coast where conditions are much
This and That
The BC Electric Railway wrote to say that a new
kind of fender invented by Mr. Watson of Toronto was being brought
to Vancouver for tests, and invited Board members to witness the
tests. (This would be a device installed at the front of the companys
streetcars to shunt aside anything or anyone trapped on the tracks.)
The president of the BC Fruitgrowers Association
in Ladner wrote to say that the year had been a very poor one for
fruitgrowers, especially up the Fraser Valley, and a reduction in
freight rates from the Interior to prairie and coast points was
needed. The Board agreed and passed the matter on to its freight
rates committee. Charles Tisdall commented that, besides the question
of freight rates, complaints had been received about the irregularity
of the service.
The subject of the Agassiz local train popped up
again. The CPR had been asked to reinstate this service, and had
declined. (See the September 3, 1907 entry.) The Board thought it
might be an idea to have this train run through from Revelstoke.
President Heaps interjected that CPR officials had claimed the Agassiz
local was not a paying proposition. It was always crowded,
someone chimed in. This matter was also referred to the freight
Bills of Lading
Theres a surprising fact about Canadian industry
in 1908 in this item. Read on!
Two gentlemen from the Toronto office of the Canadian
Manufacturers Association (CMA), Mr. Walsh and Mr. Breadner,
spoke to the Board about the contentious issue of railway bills
of lading. We wanted,said Walsh, to draw up an
unconditional bill of lading by which the railways should be forced
to receive, carry and deliver all traffic.
That, apparently, didnt fly. They drafted
a new version, the principal clause of which would make the
railways responsible for the loss of any goods consigned to them
for transportation, not only while the goods are on their own line,
but until they get to their destination. The other clauses of the
bill try to place the onus for negligence in the handling of the
goods upon the railway company.
[The May 8, 1907 entry shows that many Canadian
shippers were unhappy with the over-complicated bills of lading
then in use by the railways. They appeared to have been fashioned
to get the railways out from under any responsibility for the goods
The subject of the tariff on woollen goods came
up. The present tariff on tweeds and other woven fabrics was from
22.5 to 30 per cent, and so far as pure wool was concerned
[Breadner] had no objection to this tariff. Insofar, however, as
the shoddy materials were concerned, while the manufacturers did
not desire an exorbitant tariff, they felt that some measures should
be taken to protect the Canadian manufacturer, especially as
the textile manufacture was the third largest industry.
[That word shoddy wants further investigation;
it can actually refer simply to a type of wool.]
The Province report (December 2, 1908, Page
2) ended with: Mr. Breadner thought that the reason British
Columbia was not receiving as much attention from the CMA as the
other provinces was simply because she had not spoken up for herself.
What else was
happening locally in 1908?
For a once-over-lightly look at the history of The
Vancouver Board of Trade, go here.
Next: 1909 »