A meeting was held in Hamilton at the Anglo American Hotel, agreeable to circular received from Kingston, signed D.D. Calvin, Esq., chairman of a meeting held in that city by the owners of vessels, to consider the laws at present existing in Canada as insufficient for the due protection of the interest of said owners, and advancement of the inland navigation and general shipping. O.S. Gildersleeve, Esq., of Kingston, was called to the chair, and Thomas Routh, of this city, appoined secretary. Mr. Gildersleeve, in explaining the object of the meeting, said the present state of the law in Canada as it is applied to the carrying trade was very objectionable and injurious to the carrier. The hardship and injustice which frequently accrue to the forwarders and vessel owners, in consequence thereof, calls loudly for the establishment of an admiralty court or some similar judicatory for the government of an inland marine and a compulsory vessel registration law (the existing one being merely optional). He then dwelt upon the advantages which would accrue to the shipowners by their acting en masse instead of each locality bringing its influence to bear separately, as heretofore had been done, to maintain their position, and obtain from the government such a modification or alteration of the laws, as will enable them to compete with the powerful Railroad rivalry, and its vast influence that has arisen. To effect this it would be necessary to petition the Government for a reduction of the canal tolls on the St. Lawrence canals. He then showed that in the adjoining State of New York the legislature here have ever subjected that the trade carried by railroad to a charge equal to the tolls collected on what is sent by the Erie Canal, with a view of protecting the owners of craft navigation as well as the State (sic). He further showed that an Association like the one about to be formed could be of signal benefit to the Government in giving advice for the proper location of Light Houses and other matters affecting lake and river navigation. Other speakers followed Mr. Gildersleeve, and fully discussed the subject connected with it in all its bearings, the principal of whom was Mr. Berry, who has taken a very active part in getting up the Association; also Mr. Holcomb, Mr. Rae, Mr. Routh, Mr. Pridham, Mr. Stevenson and Mr. Gorrie. The following Resolutions were then submitted and carried:
1st. Moved by Edward Berry, Esq. of Kingston, seconded by T. Rae, Esq. of this city. That an Association be, and is now formed, to be called the Canadian Shipowners' Association, and that all owners of vessels navigating the Inland waters of Canada to be eligible as and be invited to become members of this Association, subject to the rules thereof.
2nd. Moved by S. Holcomb, Esq., seconded by P.S. Stevenson, Esq. That the object of the Association is to obtain greater Legislature protection, and for the general promotion and advancing of the shipping interests and inland navigation.
3rd. Moved by E. Pridham, Esq., seconded by H. Cook, Esq. That a Committee be now appointed for the purpose of forming Rules for the government of this Association, and of whom three of their number shall form a quorum, and that the following gentlemen be requested to act as such Committee, with power to add to their number.
Thos. Rae, Wm. Morris, E. Browne, E.G. Worts, O.S. Gildersleeve, D.D. Calvin, Edward Berry, S.S. Holcomb, E. Pridham, W.J. McDonald, P.S. Stevenson, E. Hamilton, H. Cook, Mr. Chisholm, J.R. Erritt, Thos. Routh.
That the Committee be requested to frame the Rules for the government of the Association, and to report the same to the next meeting, and to take the such other action as may seem desirable.
Moved by Wm. Gorrie, Esq., seconded by R.H. Rae, Esq. That this meeting be adjourned until Wednesday, the 5th day of August next, to meet them at the Anglo-American Hotel, at Hamilton to receive the report of the Committee.
Signed O.S. Gildersleeve, Chairman
Thos. Routh, Secretary Hamilton, June 3rd, 1857.
House of Assembly - Ottawa Ship Canal and Port Hope Harbor discussed.
p.3 Imports - 9; Exports - 9.