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The Pamphlet Collection of Sir Robert Stout: Volume 44

Department of the Interior. Surveyor General's Office, Ottawa, 6th April, 1878

Department of the Interior. Surveyor General's Office, Ottawa,


—Referring to our conversation of this morning, I now beg to enclose you the copy of an Order in Council, dated the 9th November last, setting forth the conditions upon which persons will be allowed to settle upon lands reserved for railway purposes in Manitoba.

I may say that the lands so far reserved for railway purposes are those for twenty miles on each side of the main line surveyed for the Canadian Pacific Railway.

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It is probable that lands which may be settled on within the Railway Reserve outside the Province, so long as they form no part of a Reserve for town plot purposes, such as at Battleford, may, on being included within the Township Surveys, be acquired on the terms of the Order in Council.

With regard to your enquiries as to the lands open for general settlement outside of townships especially reserved for colonization or for half-breeds, I beg to remark that a very large area of desirable land is open for entry in the several portions of the Province described as follows:

1.The lands on each side of the Canadian Pacific Railway line through the Province, not reserved for half breeds, arc open for settlement upon the conditions set forth in the Order in Council enclosed.
2.There are a number of townships available to the east and north-east of Emerson.
3.Between the Mennonitc Reserve west of the Red River, and the half breed Reserve to the north, and in the townships within and to the west and south-west of what is known as the Pembina Mountain Settlement.
4.In the vicinity of Palestine and the Beautiful Plain.
5.A very extensive district containing valuable lands for settlement is found in the Little Saskatchewan and Riding Mountain country, being in the Territories from ten to forty miles west of the westerly limits of the Province.
6.The land fronting on the north side of the Rainy River in Keewatin, is of excellent quality, and presents an extensive field for settlement.

It is a wooded country, however, and therefore requires a greater expenditure of labour to bring a given area under cultivation.

In reply to your enquiry as to the position of people who may settle upon unsurveyed lands, I beg to say that in all such cases persons so settling must take their chances of being found on land which may prove to belong to the Hudson's Bay Company, part of the one-twentieth reserved to the said Company by the Deed of Surrender.

In the regular township surveys, sections eight and twenty-six represent this one-twentieth, but in the river belts, the Company's proportion will probably be determined by lot.

The Dominion Lands Act provides that when the township surveys may embrace settlements previously formed (on land open at the time for general settlement), such settlers will be confirmed in their several holdings as homesteads, up to the extent of one hundred and sixty acres, in legal subdivisions, including their improvements.

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Settlers on land within the limits of the Railway Reserve having taken up the same after the date of the 9th November, 1877, will require to pay for the lands in accordance with the provisions of the Order in Council of that date.

Those persons who may be found settled upon the borders of navigable rivers, such as the north and south branches of the Saskatchewan, outside of the Railway Reserve, will be confirmed in possession of the lands on which they may have settled, provided they conform to such conditions as the Government may have made in respect of the manner in which title for such lands may be acquired.

I have the honour to be,


Your Obedient Servant.

L. S. Dennis

, Surveyor General.

John Lowe, Esq.

, Secretary, Department of Agriculture and Immigration, Ottawa.