WHEN the meeting of the British Association was held at Montreal in 1884, the necessity of establishing stations for tidal observations in Canadian waters was discussed, and the Association adopted a resolution drawing the attention of the Government of the Dominion to the matter. A committee was also appointed to collect information and make representations to the Government respecting it. Two years later a large deputation, representing the British Association, the Royal Society of Canada, and the Board of Trade of Montreal, waited on the Minister of Marine. The matter was favourably received, but, owing to financial reasons, any action was for the time postponed. In 1889, however, exploratory trips were undertaken, by direction of the Government, with the view of ascertaining the best points to establish tide gauges; and in 1890 a practical commencement of the survey of the tides arid currents in the Gulf of St. Lawrence was made. The object of this survey is to furnish data for compiling trustworthy tide-tables, and to afford information as to the set of the tidal and other currents in the Gulf. The value of such information is shown by the remarks of Lieut. Gordon in his report to the Minister of Marine, in which he expresses the conviction that until an exhaustive examination of the whole system of tidal movements carried out on similar plans to those which have been made on the United States coasts, and on the coasts of Great Britain, has been made, there will always be the liability to heavy maritime losses due to the lack of information. The average loss, he states, is now over half a million of pounds—a large proportion of which is due to a want of knowledge of the currents.
Prof. Schuster, on "Atmospheric Electricity," at Royal Institution, February 22, 1895.