p.2 We are informed that the naval department at Kingston contracted privately with Mr. Robert Drummond to transport 2000 tons of naval stores and luggage to Montreal, by the Rideau Canal, at double the usual price. If this report has any foundation in fact, we must consider it an unprecedented expenditure of the public monies, and contrary to the general usage of letting Government contracts. It has been the practice hitherto to advertise such contracts for a certain time, that any person, desirous of engaging, might have an opportunity of sending in his proposals, and the Agents, or Commissioners, to award it to the lowest bidder, without favor or affection to any one. [Grenville Gazette]
The Steam Boat United States touched at Kingston this morning on her way down. She arrived before 5 o'clock, and having to land a few dutyable articles, Capt. Van Dewater applied to the Collector for permission to report before the office hour ten o'clock. His request we are informed was pointedly refused, and the vessel was consequently detained till half past ten o'clock, making a detention of nearly six hours in port to transact business of a few minutes. A number of influential American gentlemen were on board, among others the editor of the Ogdensburgh Republican, who were loud in their remarks of disapprobation against such unfriendly conduct. The subject will become a matter of observation and retaliation on the other side, since we were informed by several gentlemen, that the American Collectors are in the habit of leaving their beds at all hours of the night, to oblige the Captains of British vessels in like cases. The inhabitants of this town (as far as we have conversed with them) have taken a decided stand in favor of the boat.
The Water was this day let in the Welland Canal, which will be open for Navigation throughout, as soon as a vessel can approach it from any Port on Lakes Erie or Ontario. The ice has been clear on Lake Erie above Port Colborne for some days.
John Clark, Sect'y, W.C. Co.
Welland Canal Office,
St. Catharines, April 8, 1834.