McNab to Elliot (Assistant Under-Secretary)
16 December 1858
In compliance with the invitation contained in your letter of the 4th Instant, 1 I beg respectfully to submit, that the object of the Directors in seeking a personal interview with Sir Edward Bulwer Lytton was to explain to him fully the purpose of their petition to the Queen of the 11th Novr (referred by the Treasury to the Colonial Office) 2 which petition was not for the grant of a new Charter, but simply that Her Majesty would graciously exercise the power specially reserved to her in the existing Charter, to continue, "by writing under her Sign Manual," its operation for a further term of ten years (or for such other period as Her Majesty might think fit) from its expiry in April 1861.
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The Directors would also beg most respectfully to submit that, in the confidence that that power would be exercised by Her Majesty, they have made arrangements for establishing Branches in the new Colonies of Vancouvers Island and British Columbia, which, although calculated to prove of great advantage to these Colonies, cannot be expected, for some years to come, to yield much profit to the Bank, in return for the outlay and risk incurred in their Establishment.
They would only beg leave further to remark, that the continuation prayed for, would simply have the effect of bringing the termination of this Banks Charter to the same period as the termination of the Charters of the other Banks in Canada.
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I have etc.
C. McNab
Minutes by CO staff
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Mr Merivale
The Memorial of theBank of B.N. America praying for an extension of the term of their Charter has been referred to the respective Govrs for report. The Secretary of State therefore is not in a position (till the reports are received) to express any opinion on the subject?
VJ 17 Decr
This additional letter should be sent to Sir E. Head & the writers so informed? Annex dt.
HM D 17
Other documents included in the file
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Draft reply, Lytton to Governors of Canada, New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, Newfoundland and Prince Edward Island, 23 December 1858, forwarding copy of letter from the Bank of British North America.
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Draft, Carnarvon to McNab, 23 December 1858, advising that the memorial had been referred for comment to the governor's of the colonies in which the bank was authorized to establish branches.