Trail Smelter: 0054.0366
A BUSINESS PROPOSITION.
There are three smelters in southern Kootenay. Two are in practical operation; the other, no doubt, soon will be. All three will use large quantities of wood for fuel. The two that are in operation purchase cordwood as they do other supplies – in the open market. The parties from whom they purchase the wood cut it on crown lands or on the lands belonging to the Columbia & Kootenay Railway & Navigation Company. If on the former, no “stumpage” is paid; if on the latter, a “stumpage” of 25 cents a cord is paid to the railway company’s land agent. Neither has had special privileges granted it by the provincial government. Reserves have not been placed on large areas of crown lands in order that they will be assured an abundant supply of cordwood. They are simply enterprises that are run on business principles. Not so the one that is not in operation. Its managers are seekers after special privileges, and they have so far succeeded that a large area of crown land has been placed under reserve for their benefit. This is called “a statesmanlike act” by the Rossland Miner. The manager of the smelter calls it “princely act.” The manager of the smelter has a much clearer appreciation of the import of the act than has the Rossland newspaper. Nelson Tribune.
The manager of the smelter also has a much clearer appreciation of the import of the words “business principles” than has the editor of the Tribune. It would scarcely be a business proposition for a foreigner to invest $500,000 in business in British Columbia, without some guarantee that said business would become operative. In order to run, the smelter must have wood, and would not be a business proposition for a corporation to invest its millions in an enterprise that can’t run without wood, and then depend on wood-cutters’ unions and unskilled laborers for the material with which to run the works of the corporation.
The Tribune cannot compare the private smelters now in operation, with the Trail smelter. Our smelter is of more importance than both of the other smelters combined, will use twice as much fuel and treat far greater quantities of ore. The private citizen does not ask the government to reserve wood for his benefit. The two small smelters mentioned do not need government protection. The Trail smelter is strictly a business proposition, and has secured its fuel before it starts its fires.