No. 157.
Mr. West to Mr. Frelinghuysen.

Sir: With reference to your note of the 28th of September last, I have the honor to inclose herewith copy of an approved report of a committee of the privy council of Canada, setting forth the views of the Government on the subject of the landing of a proposed cable in Washington Territory.

I have, &c.,


Report of a committee of the privy council, approved by the Governor-General in council on the 21st of December, 1883.

The committee of the privy council have had under consideration a dispatch dated 6th of October, 1883, from Her Majesty’s minister at Washington, transmitting a note, dated September 28 last, and inclosures, from the Hon. Mr. Frelinghuysen, with respect to the application of the Canadian Government for the laying of a cable to connect the Canadian telegraphic system with the Puget Sound Telegraph Company’s lines to Seattle and the United States Government line to Cape Flattery.

The minister of public works, to whom the dispatch in question and inclosures were referred, reports that this permission was not desired with a view of establishing a telegraph station within American territory, nor with the intention of entering into competition with either the United States Government or the Puget Sound Telegraph Company.

The minister observes that among the inclosures is a letter from Dr. Minor, president of the Puget Sound Telegraph Company, urging upon the United States Government to refuse this permission, and stating that similar privileges requested from the Canadian Government had not been accorded to his company.

The minister represents that the privileges asked by Dr. Minor were not only to land cables on the shores of British Columbia, and then connect with established lines, but also to open an independent station at Victoria, and then to enter into competition with the Canadian Government system of telegraphy via the New Westminster and the boundary-line route to the same town of Seattle.

The minister further reports that all other conditions submitted by the United States Government with a view to granting this permission are unobjectionable, and he recommends that the fact be brought to the consideration of the honorable the Secretary of State for the United States that any company or person can, upon proper application, subject, of course, to such rules and regulations as may be necessary to [Page 237] prevent competition for telegraph business within the province of British Columbia, obtain permission from the Canadian Government to land cables on its shores and there connect with their established lines.

The committee concur in the report of the minister of public works, and they respectfully advise that your excellency be moved to transmit a copy of this minute, when approved, to Her Majesty’s minister at Washington, for the consideration of the United States Government.

Clerk, Queen’s Privy Council for Canada.