To the Hon, Hector L. Langevin, C.B., Secretary of State, Canada.DEPARTMENT OF THE SECRETARY OF STATE,
1. I have the honor to submit for your consideration, a report to present date, on the Ordnance Lands in the Provinces of Quebec and Ontario, which under the provisions of the British North America Act, 1867, have become the property of the Dominion of Canada, and by the Act 31 Vict., Cap. 42 are placed under the management and, direction of the Department of Secretary of State.
2. For the better understanding of the duties of this office, as reorganized and now administered, I beg leave, to wit, to lay before you a summary, as brief as I can make it, of occurrences relating to the acquisition and management of these Ordnance Estates which will introduce, secondly, a further report on the transaction of the last eighteen months.
3. By the Act 19 Vict., Cap. 45, known as the "Ordnance Lauds Transfer Act," passed 19 June, 1856, the Ordnance properties enumerated in the 2nd Schedule of Ae Act were transferred to the Province of Canada, to be used, leased or sold, to aid in the support of a Provincial Militia and Police. On the 11th September, 1856, an order in council was passed in relation to the management of the Ordnance lands and the Ordnance canals, and on the 15th September I was appointed Ordnance Lands Agent.
4. The Ottawa and Rideau canals, which constitute the "Ordnance Canals" had been before, actually handed over to the Province of Canada, on the 1st October, 1853. The Province assumed the Canal establishment on the Imperial footing, and maintained it, at the imperial rate of payment, until the Act of 1856 confirmed the transfer legally. On my appointment, I was ordered to report upon the whole, and to devise a s stem calculated to simplify the management, both of the lands and canals, and to reduce the staff and lessen the expenses.
5. The suggestions of the report then made, dated December 1856, were adopted by order in Council of the 5th March, 1857, by which the superintendence of the canals and of the engineering works thereof, devolved to the department of Public Works, leaving the lands alone to the management of the Ordnance Lands Agent.
6. It may be well to add here, with reference to the profitable, but unemployed water powers on the line of the Rideau navigation, that it was found that they were, in all cases, connected with important engineering works, and still more, dependent on the available supply of water, under the ever changing conditions of succeeding seasons. It was, therefore on like suggestion, further determined in Council, that the water powers should also be placed in the hands of the department of Public Works, with such additions of land as might be required for their proper development. It was also understood that the rents of these water privileges were to be divided between the Department of Public Lands and the Department of Public Works.
7. Under these arrangements therefore my duties were confined to the administration of the Ordnance Lands, comprising 91,236 acres, scattered in varying quantities over the outskirts of both Provinces, from Penetanguishene to Amherstburg in the west and north, from from Fort Erie to Fort George on the south, from Isle aux Noix on Lake Champlain to Fort Ingall on Lake Temiscouata, and including the seigniory of Sorel, the "Bytown Estate," which comprises two thirds of the present city of Ottawa, and the lands on the line and on both sides of the Rideau navigation, 126 miles in length.
8. It was thought advisable, to realize, as soon as possible, by the sale of such portion of these lands as might be safely disposable, but in making this disposition it became neces-