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The Pamphlet Collection of Sir Robert Stout: Volume 44

[summary of Dominion Lands Act]

The following is a summary of the Dominion Lands Act :

An Act was passed in 1874 (35 Vic. cap. 23, 37 Vic. cap. 19) amending and consolidating the laws and Orders in Council respecting the public lands of the Dominion, and was further amended by the Act 39 Vic. cap. 19.

The administration and management is effected through a Branch of the Department of the Minister of the Interior, known as "the Dominion Lands Office."

The surveys divide the land into quadrilateral townships containing thirty-six sections of one mile square in each, together with road allowances of one chain and fifty links in width, between all townships and sections.

Each section of 640 acres is divided into half sections of 320 acres, quarter sections of 160 acres, and half quarter sections of eighty acres. All townships and lots are rectangular. To facilitate the descriptions for letters patent of less than a half quarter section, the quarter sections composing every section in accordance with the boundaries of the same, as planted or placed in the original survey, shall be supposed to be divided into quarter sections, or forty acres. The area of any legal subdivision in letters patent shall be held to be more or less, and shall, in each case, be represented by the exact quantity as given to such subdivision in the original survey; provided that nothing in the Act shall be construed to prevent the lands upon the Red and Assiniboine Rivers, surrendered by the Indians to the late Earl of Selkirk, from being laid out in such manner as may be necessary in order to carry out the clause of the Act to prevent fractional sections or lands bordering on any rivers, lake, or other water course or public road from being divided; or such lands from being laid out in lots of any certain frontage and depth, in such manner as may appear desirable; or to prevent the subdivision of sections or other legal subdivisions into wood lots; or from describing the said lands upon the Red and Assiniboine Rivers, or such subdivisions of wood lots, for patent, by numbers according to plan of record, or by metes and bounds, or by both, as may seem expedient.