No. 5
Downing Street
27th Septr 1852
Sir,
I have to acknowledge the receipt of your Despatches of the 29th January, and 11th February last, reporting generally upon the state of affairs in Queen Charlotte's Island consequent upon the recent discovery of Gold in that quarter of
the
the British Dominions.  
I have first to signify to you my approval of the proceedings which you adopted to obtain redress from the Cape Flattery Indians for the atrocities committed on the Crew of the "Una" which was wrecked in "Neah Bay" in December last, and my satisfaction at learning that the dreadful punishment which you report to have been inflicted on the Indians concerned in the plunder of the Vessel was not sanctioned by any British Officer, but was
carried
carried into effect by order of the Chief of the Tribe, before the arrival of the Ship despatched to demand reparation.  
2. I have to inform you that Her Majesty's Government having taken into their serious consideration the measures, which the discovery of Gold in Queen Charlotte's Island seems to require for the protection of British rights, and the preservation of order, have determined on furnishing you with a Commission
(which
(which is herewith sent) as Lieutenant Governor of that Settlement. You will distinctly understand that Her Majesty's Government have no intention to sanction by this Instrument the impression that they have any design of colonizing the Country, or placing any establishment in it. The Commission is issued solely to meet the circumstances of the time. It conveys to you no power to make Laws, or to constitute a regular Government, but it gives the party bearing it
a
a position of authority as representing Her Majesty's Government in the district, which is both important and valuable.  
3. It will be satisfactory to you to learn that Her Majesty's Government have directed the Commander in Chief of Her Majesty's Naval Forces on the West Coast of America to take immediate steps for the protection of British Interests against the depredation of Indians, or the unwarranted intrusion of Foreigner's on the territory
of
of the Queen, and I trust it may further be in the power of the Admiral to comply with your application for a Steam Vessel. I transmit herewith for your information and guidance the Copy of a Letter and its Enclosures, from Lord Stanley, one of the under Secretaries of State for Foreign Affairs, from which you will perceive that the Earl of Malmesbury has addressed a communication to Her Majesty's Minister at Washington, which it is hoped, will have the effect
of
of inducing the Government of the United States to exert themselves to prevent aggression by American Citizens on English rights. It will of cours. devolve on you to punish, according to Law, or forcibly to expel from Queen Charlotte's Island any foreigners who may infringe British regulations or violate British Territory.  
4. The property both in Land and Mines in Queen Charlottes Island, being unquestionably the Crown's, the Crown can delegate to you the power of granting Land, on issuing Licenses for procuring Gold. But, it is not the intention of Her Majesty's Government that any such
grants
grants conveying a permanent interest in land should be made for the present; although you may permit parties to occupy defined portions of the Soil if you find it advisable. It must be on the understanding that no title is thereby acquired, until you have reported to me on the state of things in the Island, and received further instructions; but with respect to the issuing of licenses, your experience may perhaps not be so extensive. I therefore send you copies of two papers [Marginal note. February 1852. June 1853] which have been lately presented by command of Her Majesty to Parliament relating to the recent discovery of
Gold
Gold in Australia, from which you will derive very valuable information as to the course of procedure adopted by the respective Governors in that Country for granting Licenses to persons to prosecute the search for Gold. You will find the principal information on this subject at Pages 70 and 71 of the Parliamentary Paper of February and at Pages, 20, 21, 54, 55 in that of June, and will frame such Regulations as you may deem practicable and advisable for granting Licenses for
collecting
collecting gold upon the principle of those which you will find from the correspondence have been granted to the Australian Colonies. You will therefore understand, that your power extends to granting licenses, on such terms and for such period as you may think proper, to persons intending to search for Gold in the Island; and that in cases of any violation of the right which such Licenses give, or any unauthorized search taking place, you are to claim the support
of
of Her Majesty's Officers who may be within reach, to enforce your authority. At the same time these powers are entrusted to you, subject to your own discretion as to the means of employing them, and if you find that any better means of maintaining the Crown's authority over the Mines, presents itself, you can provisionally adopt it subject to the approval of Her Majesty's Government. You will take care to transmit to me copies of the Regulations which you shall frame, and report to me from time to time the progress of events arising out of this
fresh
fresh discovery of Gold in the Queen's Dominions; and you will keep the Sum received on account of Licenses, which you may issue, separate and distinct from any other Revenue that may be received in the Colony.  
5. You have suggested in your Despatch of the 29th January that it would be highly desirable to exclude the Vessels of Foreign Powers from the Trade which is opening itself in Queen Charlotte's Island, so as to confine it to National Vessels alone. On this proposal I have merely to inform you that Her Majesty's Government
would
would not be justified under the existing state of the Law in resorting to any measure of this description.  
6. In conclusion I have to state that Her Majesty's Government would have been glad to have furnished the Officer in command of the Vessel or Vessels, which Admiral Moresby may have in his power to detach to Queen Charlottes Island, with a Commission of the Peace. But, the difficulty is to know to whom such a Commission should be granted,
as
as it is impossible to foresee in this Country what Officer Admiral Moresby may find it convenient to employ upon the service. It is clear however that Queen Charlotte's Island being out of your Commission, you do not possess the power of granting Commissions of the Peace in that Settlement, though the Crown can do so, under the authority of the Imperial Act 1 & 2 George 4th Cap 16, Sec. 10 notwithstanding the concurrent power which is vested in the Governor General
of
of British North America. In consequence of the difficulty to which I have above adverted, it is not, at all events at present, in my power to give you positive instructions or information as to the issuing a Commission of the Peace in Queen Charlotte's Island. But any Report from yourself specifying persons to whom you think such a Commission should be given (with a full description of their names so as to enable the Commission to be properly drawn up) will receive
imme=
immediate attention.  
I have the honor to be Sir
Your most Obedient Humble Servant
John S. Pakington

Governor Douglas
&. &. &c
Van Couver's Island
Documents enclosed with the main document (not transcribed)
  • Stanley to Merivale, 2 June 1852, regarding the access of foreign vessels to the Queen Charlotte Islands.  
  • Malmesbury to Crampton, 8 May 1852, calling attention to the proceedings of American adventurers in the Queen Charlotte Islands that threaten to endanger relations with the United States.  
  • Malmesbury to Admiralty, 8 May 1852, requesting steps be taken to protect British property from foreigners.  
 
Despatch from London:
Pakington to Douglas, 27 September 1852, Libraries and Archives Canada, LAC, RG7, G8C/1. 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=V527105.scx. Accessed 20 July 2018. 

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