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CHAPTER X X XV.
METHODS OF SURVEY AND DISPOSITION OF PUBLIC OR CROWN
LANDS IN CANADA, AUSTRALIA, BRAZIL, AND MEXICO.
The following several sections will show the methods of survey and disposition of public or Crown domain in the several countries named :
THE DOMINION OF CANADA. Area, 3,483,952 square miles, or 2,229,729,280 acres.
The commissioner of lands of the Dominion of Canada, Lindsey Russell, esq., is appointed by and subject to the minister of the interior, and resides at Ottawa.
The Crown domains of the several provinces are disposed of under special laws, but the vast area of Dominion lands (corresponding with the public domain of the United States) is disposed of under the provisions of the statute known as the 42d Victoria, May 15, 1879.
Agents, known as agents of Dominion lands, are appointed in the several Territories, viz, Manitoba, Kerwatin, and Northwest Territories. These agents give notice, by publication, of the filing of maps of survey and that the lands are open to cash sale or settlement.
Surveyed townships are grouped into“ districts," which are numbered from No. 1. These districts each have an agent at a local office. They are subordinate to the agent of the Territory, who is subordinate to the commissioner of the land office at Ottawa.
The Dominion does not control public lands in some of the provinces. A surveyorgeneral of the Dominion is also appointed, under whom the surveys are made. His office is at Ottawa, in the department of the interior. The law relating to the Dominion lands is here given entire. It will be noticed that this statute gives the executive charged with the control and disposition of the public domain large discretionary authority.
The body of this act is based upon the best features of the land system of the United States, with beneficial additions. Many features of this statute could be engrafted upon our system with profit.
LAW RELATING TO PUBLIC LANDS IN CANADA.
42 Victoria, Chap. 31. (AN ACT to amend and consolidate the several acts respecting the public lands of the Dominion.
Assented to 15th May, 1879.) Whereas it is expedient with a view to the proper and efficient administration and management of certain of the public lands of the Dominion, that the same should be regulated by statate, and divers acts have been passed for that purpose which it is expedient to amend and consolidate : Therefore Her Majesty, by and with the advice and consent of the Senate and House of Commons of Canada, enacts as follows:
PRELIMINARY-INTERPRETATION. 1. This act shall apply exclusively to the lands included in Manitoba and the several territories of the Dominion, which lands shall be styled and known as Dominion lands; and this act shall be known and may be cited as the “Dominion lands act 1879,” and the following terms and expressions therein shall be held to have the meaning hereinafter assigned them, unless such meaning be repugnant to the subject or inconsistent with the context; that is to say: 1. The term Minister of the Interior means the Minister of the Interior of Canada. 2. The term surveyor-general means the said officer, or, in his absence, the chief clerk performing his duties for the time being.
3. The term agent or officer means any person or officer employed in connection with the administration and management, sale or settlement of Dominion lands; and the term local agent means the agent for Dominion lands employed as aforesaid, with respect to the lands in question ; and the term land office means the office of any such agent.
4. The term Dominion land surveyor means a surveyor duly authorized under the provisions of this act to survey Dominion lands.
5. The term Crown timber agent means the local officer appointed to collect dues and to perform such other duties as may be assigned to such officer, in respect to the timber on Dominion lands.
6. The term island, as used in connection with timber, means an isolated grove or clump of timber in prairie.
7. The term belt, as used in connection with timber, means a strip of timber along the shore of a lake, river, or water course.
8. The term section means a section of this act distinguished by a separate number and the term subsection means a subdivision of any clause distinguished by a separate number or letter, in smaller type.
9. The term Canada Gazette means the official gazette of the government, published at Ottawa.
DOMINION LANDS OFFICE. 2. The department of the Minister of the Interior of Canada shall be charged with the administration and management of the Dominion lands.
1. Such administration and management shall be effected through a branch of the said department, to be known and designated as “The Dominion lands office."
2. Copies of any records, documents, plans, books, or papers belonging to or deposited in the said office, attested under the signature of the Minister of the Interior or the surveyor-general, and of plans or documents in any Dominion lands or surveys office in Manitoba or the Northwest Territories, attested under the signature of the agent or inspector of surveys, as the case may be, in charge of such office, shall be competent evidence in all cases in which the original records, documents, books, plans, or papers could be evidence.
3. No person employed in or under the Dominion lands office shall purchase any of such lands, except under authority of an order in council, or shall locate military or bounty land warrants, or land scrip, or act as agent of any other persons in such behalf.
SYSTEM OF SURVEY. 3. Subject always to the provisions hereinafter made with respect to special cases
1. The Dominion lands shall be laid off in quadrilateral townships, containing thirtysix sections of one mile square in each (except in the case of those sections rendered irregular by the convergence or divergence of meridians as hereinafter mentioned), together with road allowances of one chain and fifty links in width, between all townships and sections. 2. The sections shall be bounded and numbered as shewn by the following diagram:
3. The township therefore will, subject to deficiency or surplus from converging or diverging meridians, as the case may be, measure on each side, from centre to centro of the road allowances bounding the same, four hundred and eighty-nine chains: Provided that the Governor in council may hereafter, should the same be deemed expedi. ent, reduce the width of the road allowances on township and section lines in that part of the territory lying north of the line between townships eighteen and nineteen, and east of the tenth range east of the principal meridian, and west of the fourteenth range west of the said meridian.
4. The lines bounding townships on the east and west sides shall, in all cases, be true meridians, and those on the north and sonth sides shall be cords intersecting circles of latitude passing through the angles of the townships.
5. The townships shall be numbered in regular order northerly from the international boundary or forty-ninth parallel of latitude, and shall lie in ranges numbered, in Manitoba, east and west from a certain meridian line run in the year 1869, styled the “Principal meridian,"drawn northerly from the said forty-ninth parallel at a point ten miles or thereabouts westwardly from Pembina.
6. In the territories east and west of Manitoba such other governing or guide meridians may be adopted and confirmed by the governor in council as may, from time to time, become expedient.
7. The townships shall be laid out the precise width of four hundred and eightynine chains, as aforesaid, on the base lines hercinafter mentioned, and the meridians between townships shall be drawn from such bases, north or south to the depth of two townships, that is to say, to the correction lines hereinafter mentioned.
8. The said forty-ninth parallel or international boundary shall be the first base line, or that for townships one and two. The second base line shall be between townships four and five, the third between townships eight and nine, the fourth between townships twelve and thirteen, the fifth between townships sixteen and seventeen, and so on northerly in regular succession.
9. The correction lines, or those upon which the "jog" resulting from the want of parallelism of meridians shall be allowed, will be as follows, that is to say, on the line between townships two and three, on that between six and seven, on that between ten and eleven, and so on. In other words, they will be those township lines rapping east and west which are equi-distant from the bases at the depth of two townships.
10, Each section shall be divided into quarter sections of one hundred and sixty acres, more or less, subject to the provisions hereinafter made.
11. In the survey of any and every township, the deficiency or surplus, as the case may be, resulting from convergence or divergence of meridians shall be allowed in the range of quarter sections adjoining the west boundary of the township, and the north and south error in closing on the correction lines from the north or south shall be allowed in the ranges of quarter sections adjoining, and north or south respectively of the said correction lines.
12. The dimensions and area of the irregular quarter sections resulting from the provision in the next preceding clause, whether the same be deficient or in excess, sball, in all cases, be returned by the surveyor at their actual measurements and contents.
13. Preliminary to the subdivision into townships and sections of any given portion of country proposed to be laid out for settlement, the same shall be laid out into blocks of four townships each, by projecting the base and correction lines, and east and west meridian boundaries of each block:
1. On these lines, at the time of the survey, all township, section, and quarter section corpers sball be marked, which corners shall govern, respectively, in the subsequent subdivision of the block.
2. Only a single row of posts or monuments to indicate the corners of townships, or sections (except as hereinafter provided), shall be placed on any survey line. These posts or monuments, as an invariable rule (with the exception above referred to), shall be placed in the west limit of the road allowances, on north and south lines, and in the south limit of road allowances, on east and west lines; and in all cases shall fix and govern the position of the boundary corner between the two adjoining townships, sections, or quarter sections on the opposite side of the road allowance
3. Provided that in the case of the township, section, and quarter section corners on correction lines, posts or monuments shall in all cases be planted and marked independently for the townships on either side ; those for the townships north of the line, in the north limit of the road allowance; and those for the townships south, in the south limit.
14, The township subdivision surveys of the Dominion lands, according to the sys. tem above described, shall be carried out and shall be performed by contract at a certain rate per mile or per acre, fixed from time to time by the governor in council.
15. Legal subdivisions as applicable to the survey, sale, and granting of the Dominion lands, shall be as follows: and it shall be sufficient that such legal subdivis. ions be severally, as the case may require, designated and described by such names or numbers and areas for letters patent, that is to say: 1. A section or 640 acres ;
A half section or 320 acres ;
A quarter section of 160 acres ;
A quartor quarter section or 40 acres. 2. 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 quarter sections, or forty acres, and such quarter quarters
1 be numbered as shewn in the following diagram, which is intended to show the above proposed subdivisions of a section.
3. The area of any legal subdivision as above set forth, 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.
16. Provided that nothing in this act shall be construed to prevent the lands upon the Red and Assineboine 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 section thirty-two of the act thirty-third Victoria, chapter three, or to prevent fractional sections or lands bordering on any river, 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 as hereinafter provided; or from describing the said lands upon the Red and Assineboine rivers, or such subdivisions of fractional sections, or other lots, or wood lots, for patent, by numbers according to a plan of record, or by metes and bounds, or by both, as may seem expedient.
DISPOSAL OF THE DOMINION LANDS.
LANDS RESERVED BY THE HUDSON'S BAY COMPANY. 17. Whereas by article five of the terms and conditions in the deed of surrender from the Hudson's Bay Company to the crown, the said company is entitled to onetwentieth of the lands surveyed into townships in a certain portion of the territory surrendered, described and designated as the “Fertile Belt":
And whereas by the terms of the said deed, the right to claim the said one-twentieth is extended over the period of fifty years, and it is provided that the lands comprising the same shall be determined by lot; and whereas the said company and the government of the Dominion have mutually agreed that with a view to an equitable distribution throughout the territory described, of the said one-twentieth of the lands, and in order further to simplify the setting apart thereof, certain sections or parts of seetions, alike in numbers and position in each township throughout the said territory, shall, as the townships are surveyed, be set apart and designated to meet and cover such one-twentieth:
And whereas it is found by computation that the said one-twentieth will be exactly met, by allotting in every fifth township two whole sections of six hundred and forty acres each, and in all other townships one section and three quarters of a section each, therefore
In every fifth township in the said territory; that is to say: in those townships nambered 5, 10, 15, 20, 25, 30, 35, 40, 45, 50, and so on in regular succession northerly from the international boundary, the whole of sections Nos. 8 and 26, and in each and every of the other townships, the whole of section No. 8, and the south half and northwest quarter of section 26 (except in the cases hereinafter provided for), shall be known and designated as the lands of the said company.
18. Provided that the company's one twentieth of the lands in fractional townships sball be satisfied out of one, or other, or both, as the case may be, of the sections numbers eight and twenty-six as above, in such fractional townships-the allotment thereof to be effected by the minister of the interior and the said company, or some person duly authorized by them respectively.
19. Provided further, that on the survey of a township being effected, should the sections so allotted, or any of them, or any portion of them, be found to have been bona fide settled on under the authority of any order in council, or of this act, then if the company forego their right to the sections settled upon as aforesaid, or any one or more of such sections, they shall have the right to select a quantity of land equal to that so settled on, and in lieu thereof, from any lands then unoccupied.
20. Provided also, as regards the sections and parts of sections as mentioned in clause seventeen, that where the same may be situate in any township withdrawn from settlement and sale, and held as timber lands under the provisions hereinafter contained, the same shall form no part of the timber limit or limits included in such townships, but shall be held to be the property of the company.
2. Provided further, that one-twentieth of the revenue derived from timber limits which may be granted in unsurveyed territory within the fertile belt, as hereinafter provided, shall be annually, so long as the townships comprised in the same remain ungurveyed, paid and accounted for to the company, such one-twentieth to cease or to be diminished in proportion as the townships comprised in such limits, or any of them, may be surveyed, in which event the company shall receive their one-twentieth interest in the lands in such townships in sections eight and twenty-six as hereinbefore enacted: Provided, nevertheless, that on such sections being surveyed as aforesaid, should the same or either of them prove to have been denuded of timber by the lessee, to the extent of one-half or more, then, in such case the company shall not be bound to accept such section or sections so denuded, and shall have the right to select a section or sections to an equal extent in lieu thereof from any unoccupied lands in such towpship.
21. As townships are surveyed and the respective surveys therefore confirmed, or as townships or parts of townships are set apart and reserved from sale as timber lands, the governor of the said company shall be duly notified thereof by the surveyor-general, and thereupon this act shall operate to pass the title in fee-simple in the sections or three-quarter parts of sections to which the company will be entitled under clause seventeen, as aforesaid, and to vest the same in the said company without requiring a patent to issue for such lands; and as regards the lands set apart by lot, and those selected to satisfy the one-twentieth in townships other than the above, as provided in clauses eighteen and nineteen, returns thereof shall be made in due course by the local agent or agents to the dominion lands office, and patents shall issue for the same accordingly.
EDUCATIONAL ENDOWMENT. 22. And whereas it is expedient to make provision in aid of education in Manitoba, and the Northwest Territories, therefore sections eleven and twenty-nine in each and every surveyed township throughout the extent of the Dominion lands, shall be and are hereby set apart as an endowment for purposes of education.
1. The sections so dedicated shall be designated school lands," and shall be dealt with in manner as hereinafter provided, and the same are hereby withdrawn from the operation of the clauses in this act relating to purchase by private entry and to homestead right, and it is hereby declared that no such right of purchase by private entry or homestead right sball be recognized in connection with the said sections or any part or parts thereof:
2. Provided, that on a township being surveyed, should such sections, or either of them, or any part of either, be found to have been settled on and improved, then and in such case the occupant or occupants conforming to the requirements of this act, shall be confirmed in such possession and the Minister of the Interior shall select a quantity equal to that found to have been so settled on from the unclaimed lands in snch township, and shall withdraw the land so selected from sale and settlement, and shall set apart and publish the same as school lands, by notice in the Canada Gazette.
3. Provided forther, that the land found to have been settled upon and improved as above is not embraced within the class of lands reserved from the operation of the homestead provisions of this act by subsection eighteen of section thirty-four thereof.
DISPOSAL OF SCHOOL LANDS. 23. The school lands shall be administered by the governor in council, through the minister of the interior :
1. Provided that all sales of school lands shall be at public auction, and that in no case shall such lands be put up at an upset price less than the fair value of corresponding upoccupied lands in the township in which such lands may be situate: 2. Provided, also, that the terms of sale of school lands shall be one-fifth in cash at the
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