Selover’s Smelter Proposal Rejected – March 4, 1897

The Smelter Committee reported, “[it] does not feel justified in recommending Mr Selover’s proposal to the serious consideration of the City Council at the present time.”

This transcript was made in 2022 by Transcribimus volunteer Darlene Ochotta.

Source: City of Vancouver Archives Series 31
Volume 7 pages 482 – 484

To see or download photos of the original handwritten minutes for this date, click the button below:

[volume 7 page] 482

Vancouver March 4th 1897.

A special meeting of the council was held on Thursday 1897 to consider Smelter propositions 

Present: His Worship the Mayor and Aldermen Painter, Neelands, McQueen, McPhaiden, Clandenning, Brown, W.S. MacDonald, D.G. McDonald and Coldwell, also Wm Carfill and G. Griffith

The following report was received from the Joint Smelter Committee:

“Minutes of a meeting of the Joint Smelter Committee held in room 17 Lefevre block Hastings Street at 5 o’clock p.m. on Wednesday the 3rd day of March 1897.

Present Mayor Templeton (in the Chair) Alderman Brown and Messrs. W Godfrey and W.F. Salsbury (acting as Secretary)

Messrs Griffith and Cargill also attended the meeting.

Mr. Cargill presented further correspondence confirming the offer which had previously been made from his principals in London represented by J. Arthur Evans & Co to form a Company of £250,000 Sterling for the purpose of erecting Smelting and Refining works in Vancouver to cost not less than £13,000 ($65,000) provided the City would grant aid by exemption from taxation and free water.

It was pointed out to Messrs. Griffith and Cargill that the Council’s power to grant exemption from taxation etc. was limited by law to six years and that it would become necessary to specify the quantity of free water which would be required for the works and which in a communication already made to Mr. Cargill had been suggested should not exceed 50,000 gallons per day.

The committee therefore resolved to recommend to their respective bodies the favourable consideration of the proposition laid before the meeting by Messrs. Cargill and Griffith so far as they can legally do so at the present time, evidence of the financial standing of the parties and bonafides of their

[volume 7 page] 483

institutions to prosecute the works without unnecessary delay to be furnished to the satisfaction of the City Council.

The meeting was then attended by Mr. Selover who submitted to the meeting following proposition:

He will build smelter and refinery to plans and specifications to be approved by the City Council or its representative. Smelter to have two lead stacks capacity 250 tons per day and one copper stack capacity 250 tons per day. total 500 tons per day.

Refining capacity 50 tons per day, work to be started within 30 days after the passing of the By-Law and completed and in running order within nine months.

Will give employment to 200 men

Ask for a bonus of $150,000 in cash or City debentures bearing 4 per cent interest for forty years payable $70,000 on completion of the work to the satisfaction of the Council or it’s representatives and the balance as soon as 5,000 tons have been worked. Will put up $10,000 cash deposit before this By-Law is submitted as a guarantee that we will carry out our contract.

The Council will have the privilege of having two directors on the board. Capital of the company to be $1,000,000 with $700,000 fully paid.

After discussing the matter fully with Mr. Selover and ascertaining from him the forgoing proposal was his ultimatum Mr Selover retired and the Committee then resolved that in view of the preceding proposition from Messrs. Griffith and Carfill and of other propositions now awaiting further and more definite information, this committee does not feel justified in recommending Mr Selover’s proposal to the serious consideration of the City Council at the present time.
sgd W.F. Salsbury.
Hon Secy.

Moved by Alderman Neelands
Seconded by  “  McQueen

[volume 7 page] 484

That the report be adopted and copies sent to Messrs. Cargill and Selover.

Moved by Alderman Neelands
Seconded by “ Painter
That His Worship, the Mayor and Alderman McQueen be appointed a deputation to go to Victoria to interview the Government with a view of inducing them to provide a site for a drill shed.

The Council then adjourned

W Brown
Chairman pro tem

Ths. F. McGuigan
City Clerk