The Government's Pacific Railway Bargain.
Our readers were no doubt pleased to learn that the Dominion Government had succeeded in securing the construction of the C. P. Ry, without taxing the people for it. While the details are not yet positively known. It may be stated in general terms that the basis of agreement is for the Company to receive 25,000,000 acres of land and $25,000,000 in money. The proportions of land and money may vary a little from those figures, but the calculation of value will, if we are correctly informed, proceed on the basis of $1 an acre for the land. The terms, it will be observed, are even more favorable than we had anticipated, and will go further to meet the views of those who hold that a large proportion of the lands of the Northwest should be retained by the Government for distribution as homesteads and pre-emptions. The money grant, if spread over 10 years, will require an annual appropriation of only $2,500,000. Assuming that the land will all be taken from the fertile belt between Red River and the Rocky Mountains, adjacent to the railway line, it will be seen that there will be no difficulty in supplying the required quantity from the present railway reserve. A belt 80 miles wide, 40 miles on each side of the railway, and 1,000 miles long, will include 80,000 square miles, or 51,200,000 acres. Making due allowance for lands already occupied and lands covered by water, the Company can secure its share of 25,000,000 acres from that belt and leave from one-third to one-half of the land in possession of the Government for sale and free grant. All the land outside of the railway belt will of course be held by the Government, unless applied to subsidize branch lines in the future.
The country is to be congratulated on the splendid terms made by the Government.
Canada Pacific Railway.London, Eng., Sept. 15—All previous statements, including the London Times article, are premature. To-day a contract has been made by the Dominion Government with capitalists in London, Paris and America, for the construction and working of the Pacific Railway. The contract is to be subject to the approval of the Canadian Parliament.
The Globe has excelled itself on the Pacific railway question. In 1870 it urged its immediate construction; then when Sir John Macdonald took it up it was a mad scheme; in 1873, under Mr. Mackenzie, it was once more a great and patriotic work; in 1874 the plan of building it out of the lands was eminently statesmanlike; in 1878 the British Columbia section was an indispensable link; in 1879 the whole scheme began once again to be a mad one; in 1880 the British Columbia branch was a monstrous undertaking; then it would be nothing short of an outrage to build the road out of the lands; later on. It was perfectly absurd for our Ministers to go to England, for no English statesman or capitalist would deal with envoys of their foul reputation; then the scheme had failed, the failure being "complete, disastrous, crushing;" and the latest phase is that Ministers have succeeded, but as no details are given no criticism is possible, but that it will be an outrageous swindle on the Canadian people goes without saying.—Mail