Admiralty
14th May 1852
Sir
In return to your Letter of the 13th Instant with its several enclosures on the subject of sending a Naval Force to Queen Charlottes Island for the security of British Interests and for the upholding of National Rights, I am commanded by my Lords Commissioners of the Admiralty to acquaint you for the information of Secretary Sir John Pakington that Copies of your Letter and its enclosures have been sent to Rear Adml Moresby, Commander in Chief of Her Majestys Ships and Vessels on the West Coast of America for his information and guidance.  
I am Sir
Your most obedient Servant
Aug Stafford

Herman Merivale Esqr
Colonial Department
Minutes by CO staff
Mr Merivale
Coupled with the direction contained in the Foreign Office Letter of 8 May I presume we may rely on some force being sent to Queen Charlotte's Isld. It would, however, have been more satisfactory to have been enabled to inform the Governor, & the Hudson's Bay Company what description & what extent of force the Admiralty thought the Admiral on the Station would have the means of detaching to this Island.  
2 Perhaps you will ansr Sir J. Pakington's question in 4097 touching the legality of seizing American Vessels. The Letter to the Admiralty was duly sent. This is the ansr to it.  
3 With regard to the civil measures proper to be taken for the protection of private persons at Queen Charlotte Island would it not be the most simple course (since you think Canada will be indifferent on the subject) to instruct the Governor of VanCouver's Island to give the Officer Commanding the Queen's Ship a Commission of the Peace to decide complaints brought before him and preserve order. And the Governor might accompany it with some instructions which, being so near the scene of action, he is perhaps more calculated to give than the Govt at home.  
ABd
15 May
Lord Desart
2. As to the second question, move Ld Malmesbury to say whether in his opinion any, & what, instructions should be given to Govr Douglas, or to Adm. Moresby, as to the seizure of foreign vessels, or in any way preventing their landing parties on the island.  
3. The Governor of Vancouver's Island cannot grant Commissions of the Peace in Q. Charlotte's Island. It is out of his Commission. The Crown can grant such commissions under 1 & 2 Geo. 4. c. 66. sec. 10. notwithstanding the concurrent power which is vested in the Governor Genl. The difficulty is, to know to whom they should be granted as we cannot foresee what officers Adml Moresby will detach there. I think Sir J. Pelly might be consulted on this point. for I am not sure whether the existing commissions do not run through the "Indian territories" generally. and whether Mr Douglas the Governor of Vanc Is. has not such a Commission already. I have written a line privately to Sir J. to ask this.
Answered by Sir J. Pelly that he is aware of no such commissions.  
HM
 
I think it might also be advisable to give Govr Douglas a separate Commission as Lieut Gov. of Q. Charlottes Island, of the same form with that which Mr Enderby holds in the Aucklands, & Capt. Moody formerly held in the Falklands. I annex the former for reference. I believe these Commissions give no very definite legal powers. But they give a character, which is perhaps nearly as valuable. It must be remembered that Mr Douglas is a servant of the H.B.Co. and there will be great jealousy of these or any other powers confided to him. But I believe this will be a better alternative than sending out a Lt Govr on purpose.  
H.B.C. to be informed of the steps now taken?  
HM
May 15
Would it not be possible (in answer to Lord Malmesbury's 2nd question) to send out a certain [number] of commissions of the Peace for Queen Charlotte's island to Adm Moresby—for him to fill in the names?
I believe it is not in the Crown's power to issue Commissions in blank.  
HM
 
D
16
I agree in the course which Mr Merivale suggests—follow it up.  
JSP
7
Other documents included in the file
  • Draft, Colonial Office to Addington, Foreign Office, 26 May 1852, asking what instructions should be given to Douglas or Moresby with respect to dealing with foreign vessels landing on Queen Charlotte Island.  
 
Public Offices document:
Stafford to Merivale (Permanent Under-Secretary), 14 May 1852, National Archives of the UK, 4249, CO 305/3. The Colonial Despatches of Vancouver Island and British Columbia 1846-1871. Ed. James Hendrickson and the Colonial Despatches project. Victoria: University of Victoria. http://bcgenesis.uvic.ca/getDoc.htm?id=V525AD02.scx. Accessed 21 November 2017. 

Last modified: 14:00:28, 16/2/2015