The steamer 'Princess Beatrice' is a fine new vessel, staunchly built and splendidly equipped, having been built of unusual strength for the run to northern British Columbia ports, and the inauguration of a steamship service between Victoria and Seattle with that vessel by the Canadian Pacific Railway Company is another showing of the policy adopted by the C.P.R. to further the interests of Victoria. The corporation has decided to add still further to the interests being acquired in Victoria, and, with the building of the new tourist hotel, the company, by improving the steamship connections with Victoria will endeavor to keep the hotel well filled. With the establishment of a service by the steamer 'Princess Beatrice' on the Victoria-Seattle route, and the 'Princess Victoria' giving a four hour service between Victoria and Vancouver, the connections between both the British Columbia and United States mainland, will be much improved.
The 'Princess Beatrice' will be placed on the Sound route as soon as the necessary arrangements can be made. The matter was finally arranged at a meeting of the council of the board of trade and C.P.R. officials held yesterday. A committee was appointed on Tuesday by the board of trade to take up this matter with Capt. J.W. Troup, superintendent of the C.P.R. Steamship Co., coast service, and he attended a meeting of the committee. Following up the overtures made in August, 1902 when the C.P.R. was unwilling to engage in a service between Victoria and Seattle, strong pressure was brought to bear upon Capt. Troup by the committee and the council of the board of trade offered to get a unanimous guarantee from the merchants of Victoria that they will give their freight and the passenger business controlled by them to the C.P.R. This arrangement was similar to the proposals made by the board of trade to J.F. Lawless, when the then manager of the Pacific Coast Steamship Company recently visited this city.
Mayor McCaudless, on behalf of the city of Victoria, also wired to Sir Thos. Shaughnesay, president of the Canadian Pacific railway, in this regard, and yesterday a meeting of the council of the board of trade was held which was headed by E.J. Coyle, general passenger agent of the C.P.R.; R. Greer, general freight agent of the C.P.R., and Captain J.W. Troup, superintendent of the C.P.R. Steamship Company. Before the officials of the C.P.R. would consent to undertake this service they asked that an assurance be given that it was the wish of the merchants and shippers of Victoria that they did so. A draft of an agreement, similar to the offered to the Pacific Coast Steamship Co., was produced by the council of the Board of Trade, and meeting with the approval of the C.P.R., it was decided to circulate the agreement, which was as follows:
Victoria, B.C., Jan. 14, 1904
In consideration of the Canadian Pacific Railway Company operating and maintaining a proper and satisfactory steamer service between Victoria and Seattle, we the undersigned importers and shipping merchants do hereby agree and guarantee to support to out utmost the Canadian Pacific Railway in such service, and to this end agree to give to the said company all the business we can control or influence both passenger and freight in and out of Victoria by this route, and promise to instruct, on the inauguration of such steamer service, all our shippers in Seattle and other points where we are making purchases, to route our business by said company.
This undertaking to include all trans-continental freight through Seattle.
It being understood that the present tariff rates of Puget Sound Navigation Company are satisfactory and that in the event of a rate war or any cut in rates being made by any opposition company or companies, we will not avail ourselves of same, but will give our undivided support to the Canadian Pacific Railway on the basis of the present tariff rates of the Puget Sound Navigation Company.
The firms included among those who have signed the agreement are as follows:
The Brackman-Ker, Prior & Co., D. Goodacre, Dixi Ross, B.C. Market, Fletcher Bros., W. & J. Wilson, T.N. Hibben & Co., Henry Young, David Spencer, Victoria Book & Stationery Co., Weiler Bros., R. Porter & Son, The West End Grocery, W.M. Waitt, The Westside, Sea & Gowen, J. Sehl, Hickes & Lovick, Sidney Shore.Wharf Street:
The Hudson's Bay Co., J.H. Todd & Sons, E.B. Marvin, Wilson Bros., E. McQuade & Sons, Turner-Beeton & Co., F.D. Brodie, B. Wilson Co., Loewenberg & Co., W.S. Fraser & Co., Rithet & Co., B.R. Seabrook, Hamilton Powder Co.Fort Street:
Robt. Ward & Co., Fell & Co., M.R. Smith, Speed Bros., W.J. Mellor & Co.Yates Street:
Henderson Bros., S.J. Pitts & Co., R. Baker & Son, F.R. Stewart & Co., Hickman Tye, Geo. E. Munro, Lens & Leiser, Pither & Leiser, J. Piercy & Co., B.C. Electric Railway, Sylvester Feed Co.Johnson Street: