CAPT. GASKIN'S CLAIMS.
A reporter called on Capt. Gaskin this morning in regard to the article in last night's Whig, in which a mariner claimed that Capt. Gaskin was wrong in his contention that the upper canals should not be opened early in April. Capt. Gaskin claims that the mariner does not know what he is talking about. In the first place it would be impossible to accommodate a couple of million bushels of grain here now. Mooers' elevator will not hold more than half a million, the river barge capacity of which the M.T. Co. controls over two-thirds, is something less than a million and where the mariner is going to make up the other half million is hard to tell unless he goes to some other port with it. Then again if grain is stored here for three weeks before it can be shipped to Montreal it is going to cost something for storage and who is going to pay it? The corn exchange of Montreal which is comprised of the leading grain buyers and vessel men of Montreal is asking the government to open the canals on the 25th of April. If there was any object to be gained by an earlier opening these men would use it and fight for that object. With regard to steamers being able to make more money for their owners if the canals were opened now, that is not so. Experience has shown vessel owners that it does not pay, with the low freights which have ruled the last few years, to start vessels out before the latter part of April. The M.T. Co. owns more lake vessels and river craft than any other company or person in Canada and would be the first to want to start their vessels out on the 1st of April if there was anything to be gained by so doing.
The straits of Mackinac are free for navigation but some ice still remains in St. Mary's river.
The aggregate carrying capacity of the M.T. company's lake fleet amounts to 490,000 bushels.
The earliest opening of navigation on the "Soo" river was in 1878 when vessels passed through on April 8th.
After the first of January next Canadian hull inspectors will not be permitted to engage in any other business or to hold any civil office.
Charts of the Georgian bay will be required by most of the captains of vessels of the medium class on account of the increased traffic in that direction.
Capt. M. Patterson has extensively repaired the schooner Two Brothers, which is nearly ready to sail. The schooner will appear as a model craft this season.
The steamer Glengarry and consort Minnedosa leave for Charlotte this evening to load coal for the M.T. company's use. The amount of their cargoes will depend largely on the depth of water at Charlotte.
The steamer America will take the Washington excursionists across to Cape Vincent. This is the first time since the inauguration of the excursion, twelve years ago, that a boat has been used in crossing to the cape.
Booth & Co. are making extensive repairs to the wharf fronting their coal yard. All the old timbers have been torn away to the edge of the water and new timbers are being added. When the crib-work is filled in it will leave the wharf one of the finest along the water front.
Fully 10,500,000 bushels of grain, 8,500,000 bushels of which is corn, are afloat in Chicago, and will begin to move down the lakes as soon as a passage is made through the straits of Mackinac. At Milwaukee there are 1,825,000 bushels afloat. The bulk of the grain will pass through Buffalo.