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History of the Lumber Industry of America
Chapter VIII. Quebec—Timber History, Administration


Though the lumber industry in the Provinces of Quebec and Ontario in the Dominion of Canada is, so to speak, a double tree, growing from one root, it may be well to consider them separately, passing lightly over that part in each which more fully describes the other. The history of the industry could not be otherwise than interwoven in these two Provinces because from the beginning of things1 until 1791, whether under French or British rule, they constituted one colony, and from 1841 to 1867 they were again united in the Union of Upper and Lower Canada. In the latter year these two Provinces, so different in language, religion, thought and habits, were the basis of that confederation which bound all the scattered colonies of Great Britain in North America (excepting Newfoundland) into an independent auxiliary nation, with complete self-government, with national responsibilities, and national aspirations; as Kipling sings

Daughter am I in my mother’s house,
But mistress am I in my own.

That confederation would have been impossible but for the mutual forbearance—the give-and-take—between these two great Provinces which now, after a generation of expansion in greater Canada, still contain about seven-tenths of the total population of the country, a forbearance whereby the solid, Protestant, English-speaking Ontarian and the dashing, Catholic, French-speaking Quebecer have, as in a marriage contract, agreed to take each other for better or for worse, for all time; and, having made up their minds to it, find each other not such bad partners after all—in fact, preferable to any other of whom they know.

Moving across the stage of Canada’s history, crowded with commarrying figures, there is none more picturesque than that of the lumberman beginning with the cavalier seigniors of New France, continuing with the admiralty officers of old England, with their retainers singing French-Canadian boat songs, or fighting and praying as became good Glengarry covenanters, on through the stirring times of the rebellion of 1837 to the present time when, in the midst of a world of timber dues and percentages, the successful lumberman still builds his palace in the wilderness and becomes known as the King of the Gatineau or the Prince of Petawawa.

Nothing comes out more clearly in the early history of colonization in Canada than that the tree was considered man’s enemy, and only valuable as a barricade against other enemies, climatic or human.

The idea of those who colonized New France was to reproduce the conditions of lord and vassal, which they thought to be eternal but were only accidental and were passing away in the old France even while they were vainly striving to reproduce them in the new. By this system the land was divided into large blocks, as large as a modem township, or small county, and each block given to a scion of a noble house who colonized his tract with tenants or retainers. These, in return for occupancy of the land, not only paid rents but performed many personal services, while the seignior on his part was invested with many privileges ; among others, that of hunting over the retainer’s land and of administering justice.

The place which timber occupied in this system may be best seen by examining one of the old seigniorial grants made in 1683 by the governor and indendant of Quebec, which embodies the usual conditions. No excuse is made in presenting it because it is a land grant, for from the beginning to the present time land and timber regulations have gone hand in hand:

We, in virtue of the power intrusted to us by His Majesty [the King of France] and in consideration of the different settlements which the said Sieur de la Valliere and the Sieur de la Poterie, his father, have long since made in this country, and in order to afford him the means of augmenting them, have to the said Sieur de la Valliere given, granted, and conceded the above described tract of land, to have and to hold, the same himself, his heirs and assigns forever, under the title of fief, seignory, high, middle and low justice and also the right of hunting and fishing throughout the extent of the said tract of land; subject to the condition of fealty and homage which the said Sieur de la Valliere, his heirs and assigns shall be held to perform at the Castle of St. Louis in Quebec, of which he shall hold under the customary rights and dues agreeably to the Custom of Paris; and also that he shall keep house and home and cause the same to be kept by his tenants on the concessions which he may grant them; that the said Sieur de la Valliere shall preserve and cause to be preserved by his tenants, within the said tract of land the oak timber fit for the building of vessels; and that he shall give immediate notice to the King or to Us of the mines, ores and minerals, if any be found therein; that he shall leave and cause to be left all necessary roadways and passages; that he shall cause the said land to be cleared and inhabited, and furnished with buildings and cattle, within two years from this date, in default whereof the present concession shall be null and void.

This extract shows that the only interest the Crown took in the matter was the securing of an ample supply of oak for building ships for the royal navy. Later grants reserved timber for spars and masts, doubtless pine timber. From time to time, as war vessels were built or repaired at Quebec, permits were issued to parties to cut the oak timber reserved as above and regulations were made for rafting it to Quebec. Again, when new districts were opened in which oak timber was reported to be abundant, regulations were issued forbidding anyone cutting it until it had been examined and suitable trees had been marked for the navy. The penalty for violation of this regulation was confiscation of the timber and a fine of ten livres for each tree.

These first reservations caused trouble between the cultivator and his over-lord or the Government, as similar arrangements have done ever since in every part of the continent. If oak trees were numerous the tenant had either to destroy them or fail to fulfill his obligations to clear the land in a given time. The usual way of cutting the Gordian knot appears to have been to bum the timber; but after suits by seigniors against settlers who made the trees into boards for their own use, it was ordained by the governor that the tenant should be unmolested where the timber was cut .in the actual extension of his clearing; but where the trees were cut for timber without the intention of clearing the land the party should be fined.

When the land became a little more cleared, trespass by settlers upon adjoining lands to cut suitable sticks or easily reached timber became more common and was punished by confiscation of the trucks and horses used to transport the wood and by a fine of fifty livres. In the district about Quebec City, one-half the fine and confiscation went to the proprietor of the land and the other half to the Hotel Dieu (hospital) of Quebec City.

At first the Crown reservation of timber was solely for naval purposes, and timber taken for military purposes, such as the building of casemates, was paid for by the Crown; but later the reservation was extended to include all timber the King might require. While the right of the King was thus defined, the rights of the seignior were undetermined and continued to be exercised conformably to Old World custom, with more or less exactness, according to the strength of mind of the seignior and the power of resistance of his retainers. These seigniorial rights lasted long after British occupation and were extinguished only by compensation, by the Seigniorial Tenures Act, of 1854. The court which heard the claims decided that the seignior had no right to timber for firewood for his own use, or to merchantable timber or timber for churches; as to whether he had the right to timber for manor house and mills, the court was divided. So that in the closing years of the French regime the Crown reserved the timber it required for its own use, and prohibited trespass, while the seignior reserved what timber he could for himself by the exercise of his will power over the tenant.

With the beginning of British occupation, in 1763, the policy of reserving timber for naval and military purposes inaugurated by the King of France was continued by the King of England, and somewhat extended. The first governor under the new regime, John Murray, was instructed to make townships containing about 20,000 acres, and in each township he was to reserve land for the erection of fortifications and barracks, where necessary, and more particularly for the growth and production of naval timber. He was further instructed to make reserves about Lake Champlain and between that lake and the St. Lawrence, because it had been represented to the King that the timber there was suitable for masting and other purposes of the royal navy and because it was conveniently situated for water carriage. He was to prevent waste and punish any persons cutting the timber and to report whether it would be advisable to prevent any sawmills being erected in the colony without license from the governor or the commander-in-chief. The modern school of forestry experts is inclined to regret that these instructions as to reservations in each township and permanent pine reserves on lands suited to pine were not carried out, the reason being that other urgent matters occupied the governor’s attention and subsequent exploration showed the so-called illimitable extent of the pine forests.

In 1775 Guy Carleton, captain general and governor in chief, received like instructions, and in 1789 fuller regulations for the conduct of the land office were made, preserving the timber to the Crown, confining grants to individuals to lands suited to agriculture, and preventing individuals from monopolizing such spots as contained mines, minerals, fossils and water powers, or spots fit and useful for ports and harbors and works of defense. These were to be reserved to the Crown.

If these regulations had only been carried out, how much would posterity have been saved! The seignior, with his plumed hat, his ruffles, his sword and turned-down top boots, as the sculptor represents him on the public squares of Montreal, had disappeared and his place was taken by a less artistic but more active individual, the royal admiralty contractor. Licenses to cut timber were granted by the British government to contractors for the royal dockyards, and these, in addition to getting out timber to complete their own contracts, took advantage of the opportunity to do a general business in supplying the British markets. The timber was still considered of such small value, above the cost of transport, that these were apparently not felt to be serious abuses by the colonists of that day.

EFFECT OF BRITISH IMPORT DUTIES.

A new era dawned for the Canadian timber industry with the close of the Napoleonic wars. In 1787, by a consolidation of the duties on timber coming into Britain, the rate was fixed at six shillings and eight pence per “load” of fifty cubic feet upon foreign timber imported in British ships, with an addition of two pence in case the shipment was made in a foreign ship. With the increased taxation necessary to carry on the wars to checkmate Napoleon’s ambitious schemes, the duties rose steadily until, in 1813, they were £3 4s 6d a load, with 3s 2d additional when imported in a ship flying a foreign flag. The decline in the duties began again in 1821 when they were fixed at £2 15s a load, with 2s 9d additional for importation in a foreign vessel. Then for the first time a duty of 10s a load was imposed upon colonial timber, which had been theretofore free. However, as the colonies still enjoyed a preference of 45s a load, that did not stop the progress the colonial timber trade was making. This was shown by a report presented to a British parliamentary committee in 1833, to which was submitted the whole question of timber duties. This report shows that the earlier duties levied were not sufficiently large to overcome the prejudice which existed in favor of Baltic timber. .

The first noticeable change was in 1803, when the imports from British North America reached 12,133 loads, compared with 5,143 loads the previous year. How small was the colonial trade is shown by the fact that the importations of European timber amounted to 280,550 loads. In 1807 the colonies supplied 26,651 loads as against 213,636 from Europe, and in 1809, for the first time, the colonial product exceeded that from Europe, the figures being 90,829, and 54,260 loads respectively.

The War of 1812 had a depressing effect upon colonial trade and Baltic timber again took the lead until 1816, when the colonies supplied twice the quantity sent by Europe. This was a period of expansion in Britain, so that the total trade as well as that with Canada shows great growth. In the five years from 1819 to 1823 the average annual import into Great Britain was 452,158 loads, of which 166,600 came from Europe and 335,556 from the colonies. The succeeding five years showed still further growth to a total yearly average of 602,793 loads, of which 410,903 came from the colonies, although in 1821 the duties on foreign timber were reduced and a duty of ten shillings a load imposed on colonial timber.

This is the first place where we hear of the United States. In 1819 duties were imposed by Canada upon goods coming from the United States, but flour, oak, pine and fir timber for export were allowed to come in free. The meaning of this was that a good deal of timber was brought in from the United States and reshipped from Quebec to the British market in order to obtain advantage of the preferential tariff in favor of the colonies. The extent of this trade attracted the attention of the British authorities, who had no intention that United States producers should avail themselves of a preference intended to help the colonies.

In 1820 an official inquiry was instituted by the British House of Commons which showed that the timber imported into Lower Canada from Lake Champlain from 1800 to 1820 included 10,997,580 feet of red and white pine, 3,935,443 feet of oak timber, 34,573,853 feet of pine plank and 9,213,827 feet of pine boards. As a result of this condition, by an imperial act duties were imposed upon lumber brought in from the United States as follows:

This growth in the use of the colonial product was made in the face of a very strong prejudice in favor of the Baltic product. The select

committee of the House of Lords which heard evidence on the subject in 1820 was furnished with evidence on the part of timber experts as to the inferiority of timber from British America which today not only excites wonder and ridicule, but which demonstrates what an important bearing sentiment has upon trade. One timber merchant and builder examined by the committee said the timber of the Baltic in general was of quality very superior to that imported from America, which latter was inferior in quality, softer, not so durable, and very liable to dry rot. Its use was not allowed by any professional man under the Government, nor in the best buildings in London. Speculators alone used it and that because the price was lower. Two planks of American timber laid upon one another would show evidence of dry rot in twelve months, while Christiania deals in like situation for ten years would not show the like appearance. There was something in American timber, he thought,, which favored dry rot unless there was air on all sides.

In spite of this prejudice2 the lower duty caused colonial timber to be extensively used and once given a fair trial the prejudice gradually disappeared. Fifteen years after the investigation just recorded another was held by a House of Commons committee, in 1835, which showed the change in opinion. One of the witnesses here gave as a rea-'. son for the former prejudice against colonial timber that while low-grades were brought in by “seeking” ships, the high duty on Baltic timber kept all but the best grades of that timber out, so that the British builder was acquainted with the better grades only. A Liverpool ship owner and timber merchant said that, if duties were equal, he could get from three pence to four pence a foot more for a particular description of colonial timber than he could for any Baltic. With this change of opinion there had gone another, by which red pine, formerly preferred to white, was dropped to second place, where it has ever since remained. A Manchester builder declared that white pine in bricks and mortar was less liable to decay than red pine or Baltic.

Canadian timber, which thus got a foothold through a preferential tariff, continued to hold its own in the years when the preference was gradually reduced and finally abolished altogether in the adoption of free trade. Nevertheless, while the trade grew, there is no doubt that Canada felt the withdrawal of the preference not only upon lumber but upon all her products severely, and it was this, more than anything else, that caused the feeling of despondency and doubt which preceded confederation, a depression from which it required all the genius of Sir John Macdonald and the cooperation of his associates to arouse the people with the vision of a self-contained country stretching from the Atlantic to the Pacific.

In 1850 the timber exports from Canada (Quebec and Ontario) amounted to £971,375 and in 1857 the value had grown to £2,044,178. This had been accompanied by a growth in exports to the United States. In 1867, the year when confederation went into force, exports to Britain were $6,889,783 and to the United States $6,831,252.

CANADIAN LEGISLATION AND LATER HISTORY.

In the preceding pages has been recounted the effect of the laws of parliaments outside of Canada upon the timber trade. Now it will be advisable to consider the effect of the laws and regulations made in the country itself.

The first enactment of a Canadian legislature was passed in Lower Canada in 1805 to prevent accidents in navigating the rapids of the St. Lawrence, which, owing to the increasing shipments by that river to Montreal, had become frequent. The act provided for the appointment of an inspector and measurers of scows and rafts between Chateauguay and Montreal and for the regulation of pilots. These officials, who were to reside in the parish of Chateauguay, were from time to time to take the depth of water of the rapids and determine what water scows and rafts might draw in order to pass the rapids in safety. They were, upon application, to measure the draft of each scow and raft and to cause the former to be lightened to the draft determined as the limit of safety. Pilots were to be licensed yearly by the justices of the peace for Montreal, upon recommendation of the inspector, for which license a fee of two shillings and sixpence was charged. The pilots’ fees for taking rafts and scows through the rapids were: Scows, 30 shillings; rafts consisting of two cribs, 12 shillings and 6 pence. Aftet October 1 to the end of navigation these were increased by one-fifth.

Fines up to forty shillings were imposed upon measurers or pilots neglecting their duty and upon unlicensed persons acting as pilots. A pilot who, without the consent of the owner, left a raft or scow stranded in the rapids was fined the loss of his fees and 20 shillings. The pilot was allowed 5 shillings a day while he remained with the wreck and assisted in saving the property and in clearing the rapids of the obstruction. The fees for measurements were : Scows, 6 shillings ; crib and rafts 2 shillings and 6 pence, and rafts of firewood 1 shilling 6 pence. These fees, by an act of 1808, were applied to the improvement of the rapids.

In the same year an even more important measure affecting the industry was passed. This provided that no lumber should be exported until it had been culled, measured and certified as to quality. The governor was authorized to appoint master cullers at Quebec and Montreal who were to ascertain the quality and dimensions of the articles submitted to them and to give a true and faithful account of those found merchantable, which was to be final and conclusive between buyer and seller. The act laid down the standards for square oak and pine, planks, board, etc. It was reenacted in 1811 and 1819 and made more stringent in its provisions. At the same time in all these acts there were most contradictory clauses. In some the shipment of unstamped timber (as having passed the culler) was prohibited, while in others it was stated that second or inferior grade lumber might be exported. The cullers were apparently governed by the contract between the buyer and seller, and the rigid definitions of what constituted merchantable timber were only to apply where no specific agreement between the parties existed. After being put beyond question upon a voluntary basis in 1829, it was finally allowed to expire by lapse of time, in 1834.

There was no further legislation on this point until after Quebec and Ontario were united in 1841 (Ontario having been created a separate province, called Upper Canada, in 1791). In 1842 an act was passed, further amended by an act of 1845, which got over the previous difficulties by creating three grades for timber and deals.

As in Ontario, the Crown first began to collect timber dues in 1826, and the regulations in this respect followed those of Ontario until the union of the two Provinces. As a rule, however, Ontario, by reason of greater facility in getting lumber to market, has charged dues a little higher than her sister province. As in Ontario, from the first the Crown adopted the plan of not selling timber lands but of granting a license to cut timber upon Crown lands within a certain specified time, at the end of which the land returned to the Crown either to be granted to the settler for agricultural purposes or to be held until the timber grew again. The way in which these wise provisions were evaded for many years was this:

Since the timber cost money and the land was free or sold at a very low price on easy terms to the settler, men who never intended to farm the land, or to settle farmers upon it, got areas large or small granted to them and, having stripped them of their timber, allowed them to go back into the hands of the Government. Where they had made a small first payment they either let that go as a fine or endeavored to sell out to a bona fide settler.

Quebec, or Lower Canada, passed through the same period of wasteful granting away of Crown lands as did Upper Canada, and this period culminated in a like rebellion in 1837 and the granting of responsible government, when the two Provinces were united in 1841. The two Provinces then for over a quarter of a century, until 1867, enjoyed laws common in nearly every respect. The timber question was one of the first taken up and the regulations made at the first session of the united parliament laid the foundation of all subsequent progress in forestry.

The orders in council of 1842 limited the period for which the license was granted, and introduced the plan of putting the berths up at auction where there was more than one applicant. The rule had been that the applicant simply paid the dues; and there had been much Crown land covered with timber in regard to which lumbermen did not clash or compete. Now, however, the easily reached limits began to grow scarcer and the applicant who offered the highest “bonus” or lump sum for the limit, in addition to the dues, was awarded it. In all these cases the timber only was sold, the land being reserved on the general principle that it would be taken up by the settler after the timber was taken off. The ignoring of the fact that much of the land was not fit for settlement was the chief fault in these regulations, because the idea of the time limit seems to have been handled chiefly in such a way as to insure that the operator would at once proceed to work his limit. The consequence has been that where the land is not fit for settlement some firms that got their licenses in the early days have continued holding and cutting over limits for many years, whereas, had the lease terminated absolutely on a certain date, the berths would have gone back into the hands of the Government, which, after allowing them to rest for a few years, might have resold them for a greatly increased bonus. As it is the Government secures only the ground rent of about $3 a mile per annum and the dues on the timber cut. Later regulations have been more definite and the worked limits are now year by year falling back into the possession of the Crown.

Further regulations made in 1846 restricted the size of the limits to five miles frontage along the stream and five miles inland, or half way to the next river. The licensee bound himself to cut 1,000 feet a mile yearly on his limit.

The season of 1845 was a prosperous one in the trade, and 27,702,000 feet were brought to Quebec and 24,223,000 feet exported. This good trade caused an over-production in the next year, and as the British trade fell off there was a serious depression. This was accentuated by the provision that the operators must cut 1,000 feet a mile each season on their limits regardless of the conditions of the trade.

The inevitable parliamentary committee of inquiry appeared in 1848, before which W. W. Dawson, a leading By town (Ottawa City) lumberman, stated that in 1847, including the quantity in stock and that brought to market, there was a total supply of 44,927,000 feet to meet a demand for 19,060,000 feet. The next year the supply was 39,447,000 feet and the demand 17,402,000 feet. He attributed the decreased demand to the commercial depression in Europe and the unprecedentedly large supply thrown upon the European market from the Province of New Brunswick. As to the over-supply he gave three reasons: The regulations requiring the manufacturing of a large quantity per mile; the threatened subdivision of limits, and the difficulties regarding boundaries.

The threatened reduction or subdivision of limits in three years to the size of five by five miles caused operators to endeavor to clear off their big limits before being compelled to hand them back to the Government. The lumbermen accused the Government of inaction in regard to their boundaries, and in consequence, in order to defend their limits, they had resort to physical force. This meant that the operator trebled or quadrupled his men to be superior in numbers to his opponent, and, as the men were on the ground, this meant the trebling or quadrupling of the output.

The chief remedy suggested by the lumbermen to the committee was that, instead of endeavoring to prevent the holding of limits for speculation by compelling the cutting of a certain amount of timber a year, an annual ground rent of two shillings six pence a square mile should be levied, which should be doubled in case of nonoccupation, and the doubling continued every year the limit remained unoccupied. They also suggested that the dues be collected upon actual measurement instead of upon a count of sticks. For instance, red pine was figured on an arbitrary average of thirty-eight feet a stick, whereas the sticks ran from twenty-six to sixty feet, and a spar or mast worth £10 paid only the same duty as a small stick available for building.

The committee reported recommending such action, and as a result the"first Crown timber act was passed in 1849. This cleared up many points in dispute. Under the regulations accompanying the act the size of berths permitted was doubled; that is, ten miles along the river by five miles deep, or fifty square miles, but only half that size was permitted in surveyed townships. The dues imposed were : White pine, square timber, }4d a foot; red pine, square timber, Id; basswood and cedar, J4d; oak, l%d; elm, birch and ash, Id; cordwood, hard, 8d a cord; soft, 4d; red pine logs, twelve feet long, 7d a log; white pine logs twelve feet long, 5d; spruce, 2}4d. Each stick was to be computed as containing cubic feet as follows: White pine, 70 cubic feet; red pine, 38; oak, elm, ash, birch, cedar and basswood, 34. Statements under oath were to be made of the kinds and quantities of timber cut. The ground rent plan was not adopted, but the minimum quantity to be cut on each mile was reduced to 500 feet a year.

There was one clause which gave rise to a great deal of trouble in after years. This provided that squatters were liable to the penalties for cutting timber without license, but the dues on timber cut on land purchased but not all paid for were to be collected by the Government as part payment for the land. The arbitrary regulation as to the quantity in each stick was made elastic by providing that the operator could have the timber counted or measured as he chose. The regulations also gave the limit holder a preferential claim above all others to a renewal of his license, and thus gave greater permanence to the lumbering business. .

In the regulations of 1851 a ground rent of two shillings six pence a mile was introduced, which rent doubled and increased annually in that proportion, when the limit was not worked. It was provided also that, where expenses of surveys made it advisable, licenses might be disposed of at an upset price fixed by the Commissioner of Crown Lands; and, in case of competition, awarded to the highest bidder. Owing to the representations of mill owners and municipalities in western Ontario, chiefly about London, the dues were doubled when the logs were destined for export. This was to protect manufacturers against the practice by American citizens of procuring lands at a low rate for the purpose of cutting timber to be manufactured in the United States.

The good effect of these new regulations was at once seen. The revenue had been £22,270 in 1848; £24,198 in 1849; £24,728 in 1850 and £30,318 in 1851. In 1852, the first year the new regulations went into force, the receipts rose to £53,013, of which £7,656 was for ground rent, and this in spite of the fact that dues on red pine had been cut in two. Up to this time red pine bore a penny a foot, while white pine bore only a half-penny; but, owing to the decline in the British preference for red pine, it had gone down in price and white pine had gone up. This seems to have been a case where prejudice backed by higher import duty gave red pine a fictitious value for years. A memorial of manufacturers showed that the price of red pine decreased from one shilling in 1844 to eight pence in 1851. The duty was accordingly reduced to one-half pence a foot. The ups and downs of the trade are shown in the returns of timber measured by the supervisor of cullers at Quebec during 1845-52:

From 1841 to 1867 Quebec and Ontario constituted one province, and the regulations, with some exceptions to meet local needs, were the same in both sections. These are set out at considerable length in the chapters on Ontario and need not be repeated here. In general it may be said that the plan of selling the rights to cut timber under license, allowing the land to remain in the possession of the Crown was developed, the bonuses paid at the auctions held growing larger and the dues and ground rent heavier as the timber increased in value.

The original export trade of Canada in timber looked wholly to Europe as its market, and of this trade Quebec City was the center. This trade appears to have reached its zenith about 1864 when 1,350 square rigged ships entered the St. Lawrence to load lumber, and when 20,032,520 cubic feet of white pine timber was shipped. The wastefulness of the square timber trade, the decline of wooden ship building and the rise of the new export trade with the United States all operated against Quebec’s preeminence, and the trade declined, much of it going to Montreal. Of late years, however, new railways, the bringing in of spruce as a valuable wood, and above all the ambition and energy of the citizens of the old capital of Canada, have set it on the up grade again. Since 1867, when Quebec became a province in the Dominion and separated from Ontario, the provincial revenue derived from the forests has steadily increased, with slight fluctuations showing the effects of world-wide depression or prosperity.

The following table, by fiscal years ending June 30 of each year named, shows the amounts collected from Crown lands, as timber dues,, ground rent, timber limits sales, etc.:

As to the quantities of timber cut in Quebec, this is not easy to ascertain, since different methods have been adopted at different times and the products of private lands are not included, except in the decennial census. This is particularly the case with pulpwood, which has become an article of great importance in the last few years. The following tables are of timber cut on Crown lands:

A review of the area of Crown lands in Quebec under license to cut timber and the quantity of sawlogs produced from such lands is interesting as showing the changes in areas so held, the gradual decline in the pine trade, due to the diminishing supply of pine timber, and the rapid growth in recent years of the spruce industry. Such a table, covering the twenty-five years ended with 1903, has been compiled3 from the reports of the Commissioner of Crown Lands. It is as follows:

It is only within the last few years that pulpwood has become of consequence, but in 1903 the Government reported a total of 259,231 cords cut on Crown lands. There were also in that year 94,079 lineal feet of poles, 780,960 railway ties, 9,174 pickets, 2,424,500 shingles, 426 rails, 23 T/t cords of hemlock bark and 11,710 cords of white birch spool wood.

The most important point at the present time is the outlook for the future. It may be said that, whereas ten years ago very pessimistic views were entertained as to the quantity of timber left standing in Quebec, today the views are much more hopeful. There are two reasons for this: First, the development of the use of other woods, particularly of spruce; and, second, the realization that if fjre is kept out and the fake settlers stopped, the forests will reproduce themselves much more rapidly than formerly supposed. Besides, people are realiz-, ing that much of Quebec is unsuited for agriculture, whereas these districts are eminently suited for the perpetual growth of timber. The Government and the lumbermen are cooperating in the preservation of the forests by a system of fire ranging and by leaving the young timber to attain its full growth. Senator Edwards, of Ottawa and Rockland, one of the largest limit holders in Quebec, in speaking recently on this subject said that his candid opinion was that Quebec possesses today the best asset in America. Ontario has timber larger and of better quality, but Quebec has the young and growing timber. The pine in sight, Mr. Edwards was inclined to think, might last, with care, fifty years, but if fires (which have destroyed ten times as much as the ax) are kept out and settlement prohibited on the small areas of go6d land occurring in the forest regions, the trade might be continued indefinitely.

As Quebec is the largest eastern province and also the greatest forested province in the Dominion, with a land area of 341,756 square miles, and reaches back into the unexplored north, it is likely that it will continue to be the great source of timber production in Canada.

During the spring of 1904 a commission reported to the Quebec government against indiscriminate settlement, with the result that the Government and the lumbermen are nearer together and working more in harmony than ever before. The commission favored an increase in the numbers and joint control of the fire rangers; and, seeing that a million dollars a year of the provincial revenue comes out of forests, the legislators can be relied upon to be anxious to preserve the goose which lays this golden egg.

Both Quebec and Ontario have been fortunate in the supply of right kind of labor for this trade. The cheerful, fun-loving, hardy French-Canadian takes to lumbering like a duck to water. His skill in handling the ax, in driving, in walking on floating logs and in jam-breaking, have a world wide celebrity; while the songs with which he lightens his labors with the oar or on snowshoes are a national inheritance and pride. Curiously enough from the other side of the great river, from the Ontario shore, have gone with him the men of a supposedly antithetical race, the canny, dour Scots of Glengarry County, men who knew no language but Gallic and no law but the strong hand. Although they have fought for their masters over disputed lines and fought for themselves out of sheer prowess so as to make “ The Man from Glengarry ” one of the most picturesque of modem novels, yet these deeds of daring have served only to unite the two sides of the Ottawa in firmer bonds of respect and admiration.


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