Trevelyan to Merivale (Permanent Under-Secretary)
Treasury Chambers
23 November 1858
I am commanded by the Lords Commissoners of Her Majesty's Treasury to transmit to you herewith a Letter from the Committee of the Privy Council for Trade dated the 16th inst, 1 with its enclosures consisting of a Petition which has been addressed to Her Majesty in Council for the grant of a Charter to the Bank of British ColumbiaandManuscript image and Vancouvers' Island and a draft Charter accompanying the Petition and I am to request you will move Secretary Sir E. Bulwer Lytton to inform My Lords whether he sees any objection to the Grant of the proposed Charter or has any observations to offer on the subject.
I am directed to state that the names of the Petitioners appear to My Lords to afford a guarantee of the bona fides of the undertaking, and that as the Draft Charter is framed on the same principle as those of other Colonial BankChartersManuscript image Charters granted by Her Majesty. Their Lordships would be disposed to recommend the Grant of the Charter as prayed for, subject to such amendments of the Draft as may appear on strict revision thereof to be advisable. Their Lordships are disposed to think that in the present condition of the Colonies of British Columbia and Vancouvers' Island the usual reference to the local authorities previous to the Grant of Bank Charter may properly be dispensed with, as it is not likely that the proposed InstitutionwouldManuscript image would interfere prejudicially with any existing establishments and it seems to be desirable that these rising Colonies should obtain the advantage, with as little delay as possible, of Sound Banking Institutions based on British Capital.
I am etc.
C.E. Trevelyan
Minutes by CO staff
Manuscript image
Mr Elliot
The establishment of a Bank in B. Columbia & VanCouver's Island is, I know, in entire accordance with the views of Sir E. Lytton, who, some time ago, granted an interview to some Deputation on this subject.
I have perused this proposed draft, & can perceive nothing objectionable or susceptible of amendment in it; but as Mr Strachey has had to [deal] withManuscript image the establishment of Banks in other of our Colonies I should advise a reference to him of this Charter with a request that he wd examine it.
ABd 22 Nov
Mr Strachey
Perhaps you will be good enough to look into this draft at once.
C Nov 23
Mr Merivale
The provisions of this Charter seem to me open to a good deal of question in many points, but as it is not advisable to enter into a controversy with the Treasury, if it can be avoided, I would suggest calling their attention to the following 2 points only:
1. The Crown (page 9 of dft) has power to revoke the Charter—if so & so is represented by 'any 2 of the Commissrs of the Treasury'. It seems to me that thisManuscript image representation ought only to be made with the concurrence of the Secy of State for this departt.
2. The draft appears to me very defective in not making special provision for the payment of notes—over & above other debts of the Bank. The public can avoid becoming creditors of the Bank in other respects, but practically, if their notes are once in general circulation, it will be impossible for any individual to refuse them. The Act of Parliament, cap 91, of last session 2 (which I annex) recognized the principle of special security for note issues, by excepting them from 'limited liability.' Might we not suggest this provision to the Treasury, in the absence of any better? I annex a dft for considn.
WS Dec 20
Other documents included in the file
Manuscript image
Draft, Merivale to Trevelyan, 28 December 1858, agreeing to the proposal but suggesting amendments recommended by Strachey.
  1. = Tra-Tre, 16 Nov 58, Bank of B.C. The letter has been removed from this file. FIND Tra-Tre, 16 Nov 58, BBC
  2. = Banking statute. An Act to Enable Joint Stock Banking Companies to be Formed on the Principle of Limited Liability, 2 August 1858, 21 and 22 Victoria, c. 91.
People in this document

Blackwood, Arthur Johnstone

Carnarvon, Earl

Elliot, Thomas Frederick

Lytton, Edward George Earle Bulwer

Merivale, Herman

Strachey, William

Trevelyan, Charles Edward

Organizations in this document

Bank of British Columbia


Places in this document

British Columbia

Vancouver Island