The Maritime History of the Great Lakes
British Whig (Kingston, ON), Dec. 19, 1882

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Rumour in the city yesterday said the Montreal Transportation Company had purchased the stock and plant of the St. Lawrence and Chicago Forwarding Co., or that they had amalgamated, some of those in the smaller corporation retaining an interest in the larger one. The statement has been confirmed, and the details of such a transaction will, we presume, be completed at an early date.

The question which is now debatable, and a decision in relation to which is a matter of some concern to our people, is whether the business of the new Company will next year be conducted at Kingston or at Portsmouth. Their expenditure annually we have no means of knowing, but it must be about $200,000, the loss of which would be seriously felt here and contribute largely to the future prosperity of the village of Portsmouth. We are given to understand that the feeling of those connected with the Company is in favor of the latter place for reasons which are not stated, and in the absence of some municipal inducement there may be a removal of the M.T. Co.'s shipyard, offices, and transporting facilities in the spring. The subject is one which the Council should consider as quickly as possible.

What A Change Means.

Since the above was written we have learned something in reference to the business of the Montreal Transportation Company, and, by way of reliable figures, have been enabled to indicate what a change of its location would mean to the city. Last year the Company's actual expenditure was over $200,000, the money being spent in the purchase of supplies, the payment of wages, etc. The tugs, elevators, and barges number 40, the crews in connection with which have laid out here about $12,000, while to them has been given in wages $55,000. The vessels carrying cargoes consigned to the Company have each season averaged in number about 400, and it is calculated that the outlay of the Captains and sailors has been for each about $250, or in all about $100,000 annually. The amalgamated Company will have next year 70 boats of all kinds, and the number of schooners will be increased to about 700. It will be a decided advantage to have those brought to the city; without them the port must become very dull, and the business of those having dealings therewith very flat and unprofitable. The Montreal Transportation Company - the name undergoes no change - have, hitherto, received no favours from the Corporation. Once they asked to have their elevators assessed the same as other vessel property, and their request was not granted by the Council having it under consideration. It is pointed out that the Company receive no return for the heavy taxes which they are required to pay, they have not the benefit of drainage, lamp light, and plank walks, and police protection is only had when asked for, which is very seldom. Their property is assessed at full value.

What Does Portsmouth Offer?

Inducements which cannot be ignored - exemption from taxation and a free rental, the St. Lawrence & Chicago Company having had the use of corporation rights at a nominal and almost nameless figure. It is suggested that the city should at least grant exemption from taxation on the property used for transportation and building purposes. It must be remembered that if the Company go to Portsmouth their employees go with them, and last year they, apart from those engaged on the boats, numbered 50, while those on the pay sheet at the shipyard averaged 150. The expenditure for labour in boat-building and repairs last winter totalled $50,000 and in the past season there has been an expenditure of over $25,000. These are the facts over which our Council will do well to ponder.

p.3 Here & There - Capt. Gerald reports clothing stolen from scow Empress.

Wages Case - Capt. Gerald and Peter Hatton case settled in favor of latter.

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Dec. 19, 1882
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Rick Neilson
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Public domain: Copyright has expired according to the applicable Canadian or American laws. No restrictions on use.
Maritime History of the Great Lakes
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British Whig (Kingston, ON), Dec. 19, 1882