The Maritime History of the Great Lakes
British Whig (Kingston, ON), March 31, 1885

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(pages 1 & 2 missing)

p.3 Some Affairs At Gananoque - Capt. E.L. Bass, late master of the str. Puritan, was in the city today. The steamer Prince Arthur, owned by an American company, is being put in order for summer work. She is at present under seizure by the government, for having broken a lock in the Beauharnois Canal. The sum claimed is $2,000.


Close Of Evidence Taking In The M.T. Case.

The special committee appointed to consider the exemption question so far as it affects the Montreal Transportation Company, resumed its sessions in the city clerk's office last evening. Ald. McKelvey occupied the chair and there were present also Alds. J. Wilson, Redden, Harty, Bermingham and Gildersleeve. Messrs. Power and Leslie were in attendance as witnesses; Messrs. Britton and Agnew as counsel.

Mr. Power was first examined, but before he answered any questions his letter, addressed to Mr. Eilbeck, was read. It stated that last year he could have done a large amount of work for the M.T. Company, and at a cheaper rate than the work was done at the company's premises. The company, too, had gone outside of its own business and made a rudder for the propeller St. Magnus. Then Mr. Power said that if Capt. Gaskin had stated what he purposed doing to the Active sooner he would have made arrangements to have the McArthur hauled out, blocked up, and the carriage used in hauling out the M.T. Co.'s tug. He had in the past pulled out the tug Glide and had a vessel on the ways behind her.

Mr. Agnew - Did you refuse to haul out the Toledo?

Mr. Power - I didn't say anything about her.

To Ald. Gildersleeve he said that on the 24th Nov. he hauled out the str. Rothesay and she remained upon the ways until the following June. He could not have done the Toledo on the same carriage occupied by the steamer, but he had side ways which he could, at an expense of $150, make serviceable. He was not spoken to about the Toledo, and if rebuilt or lengthened 25 feet it would have paid him to fix the side ways for her reception. It would not, however, pay him to extend the ways if the barge had only to get a few bilge streaks and minor repairs.

Ald. McKelvey - Would you have hauled out the barge Toledo on 19th Dec. 1883?

Mr. Power - Not for the small amount of work referred to by Mr. Henderson.

Putting A Pertinent Question.

Mr. Agnew - Could you have hauled out the Toledo, Lancaster and Wheat Bin in the summer?

Mr. Power - Yes, at any time up to the end of November, and I could have repaired them at cost for less than the company. Continuing, he said he had seen the company's premises and thought there was room enough for another ways on the northeast end, between one of the present ways and the Cataraqui bridge. There was usually a slackness in the forwarding business about midsummer, and he could then have done any barge repairing required by the M.T. Company. He remarked, in answer to a question by Ald. Gildersleeve, that of course vessel property was not usually rebuilt during navigation, but he had in the summer done this sort of work. It would require a considerable job to induce him to extend his side ways, but the Toledo's repairs he understood cost $3,000, a sum sufficient to induce him to incur a small outlay in the hauling of the barge out. He adhered to the statements contained in his letter; he still contended that he could do the barge repairs for less than they cost the company.

To Mr. Britton he said that during the summer he had seen a number of the M.T. Company's barges lying in ordinary, but he did not know that any of those required repairing. He had not used the sideways recently, but he knew they could be made serviceable at a small cost, that is if spoken to a week or two before the work had to be commenced. He did not haul the McArthur out until 23rd November, and the date of his offer to Mr. Eilbeck was 18th Dec. He could have hauled out another craft as well as the McArthur, by taking the carriage from under the one at first pulled out. He could do a great deal if the job paid him, a remark which prompted Mr. Britton to say that he might even build a new ways and a new shipyard if the enterprise guaranteed him a profit.

Ald. Gildersleeve asked if he could name the vessels he had repaired upon the sideways.

Mr. Power said they were principally Rideau Canal barges - the Bedford, the Kingston, the Cataraqui and the Gatineau, four years ago.

Ald. Gildersleeve - What was the size of the Gatineau?

Mr. Power - 110 ft. in length and 23 ft. beam.

Mr. Agnew - Were the sideways sufficient for the accommodation of the M.T. Co.'s boats?

Mr. Power - Yes; they have accommodated boats of 700 tons burden.

Not Asked About Work.

Mr. Agnew - Were you applied to to haul out the Toledo?

Mr. Power - No.

Mr. Agnew - Were you applied to with reference to the hauling out of the barges Lancaster and Wheat Bin?

Mr. Power - No.

Mr. Agnew - But you were spoken to about the tug Active?

Mr. Power - Yes.

Mr. Agnew - Do you say now that if you had been applied to in time you could have hauled out all the barges and provided facilities for them?

Mr. Power - The facilities would have been provided if it had paid me to provide them.

Mr. Agnew - What size of a job would pay you?

Mr. Power - One of $1,000. I would have extended my side ways for a job of that kind if spoken to in time. In reply to Ald. J. Wilson he said it would not cost more than $150 to put the side ways in shape. Of this amount $50 would be for labour, and the balance would represent timber which could be used profitably for other purposes.

Mr. Britton - Would you do a job of $1,000, fixing the small ways specially for the purpose, and for the same profit as a job upon the big ways, supposing them to be unoccupied?

Mr. Power - Not quite; but I would take less profit sooner than lose the job.

Mr. Britton - Do you say that there is room in the M.T. Co.'s yard for another side ways, and yet space for the men to work?

Mr. Power - I have not measured the ground, but it appears to me that there is room enough.

Mr. Britton - Is there room for the ways and for the men to work at the same time?

Mr. Power - I think so, but I cannot answer positively. To Mr. Harty the witness said 30 or 40 ft. was enough space for the ways and for the men to work upon them.

Ald. Gildersleeve asked how it would be if two vessels were hauled out five feet apart, and planking to be bent?

Mr. Power said it could be done by pitching the plank on a certain way and carrying the both ends forward. A discussion followed as to the advantage or disadvantage of working under such circumstances.

Mr. Leslie's Statement.

Mr. Leslie's letter (sic - Lesslie ?) was put in and pronounced by him a statement of the facts so far as he knew them anent the hauling out of the tugs McArthur and Active. He said he had engaged the tug for the winter and would not consent to the McArthur giving way to the Active. He insisted that Mr. Power said he could get considerable work on the Active and that it would pay better than that on the McArthur, but Mr. Power said he got this idea of more work from Capt. Gaskin whom he met on the street afterwards.

Mr. Britton - Could the company conveniently put up another set of ways and leave room for work upon their own property?

Mr. Leslie - I think the property is crowded enough now. If crowded any more work could not be done to advantage.

A Needed Explanation.

Mr. Henderson explained that a great deal of the work on the Toledo, costing as Capt. Gaskin said, thousands of dollars, was done in the city, not at Portsmouth.

Mr. Harty suggested that he make out a statement of the amount spent in shipbuilding at Portsmouth for the information of the committee and the council.

Ald. Gildersleeve to Mr. Power - Have you heard the statement in regard to the manner in which the work of the M.T. Co. was done at Portsmouth?

Mr. Power - I have.

Ald. Gildersleeve - Would you work upon the same terms?

Mr. Power - I would not furnish the timber and the men.

Ald. Gildersleeve - What were carpenter's wages at that time?

Mr. Power - $1.75 per day.

Ald. Gildersleeve - And the profit?

Mr. Power - 25 cents per day per man.

Ald. Gildersleeve - What was the profit on the timber?

Mr. Agnew protested. The committee had no right to ask a man to divulge his business secrets, and Mr. Power said he would rather not answer that question.

No Decision Reached.

The committee deliberated for some time, but they did not reach a decision. The city solicitor said he was not prepared to give advice without reading over the evidence. The committee adjourned until Wednesday afternoon.

Incidents Of the Day - James Mahoney has sold the sloop Pilot to Messrs. Galt and Barnhart, of Deseronto, for $1,000. She will be used for bay service.

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March 31, 1885
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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), March 31, 1885