Trevelyan to Merivale (Permanent Under-Secretary)
Treasury Chambers
27 November 1858
The Lords Commissoners of Her Majesty's Treasury having had under their consideration your Letter of the 16th September last 1 transmitting a copy of a Letter from the Secretary to the Bank of British North America submitting proposals for establishing a Bank in British Columbia and Vancouver's Island, and requesting Their Lordships' opinion and adviceonManuscript image on the subject, I am commanded to acquaint you for the information of Secretary Sir E. Bulwer Lytton that as the Charter of the British Bank of North America empowers that Corporation to establish branches "in any of the British Colonies or Settlements in North America or adjacent to British North America" there would appear to be no obstacle to the proceeding contemplated by the Directors in the case of Vancouver's Island and British Columbia, and My Lords are of opinion that havingregardManuscript image regard to the advantage which those Colonies would derive from the early establishment of well conducted Banks supported by British Capital, proper encouragement should be afforded to the undertaking. At the same time Their Lordships' consider that it would be very undesirable to give to this Bank any pledge in regard to entrusting to it Government business or to such preference in any respect as would give it the privilege or even appearance of a monopoly. Some risk will no doubt, as represented in the Letter fromtheManuscript image the Secretary to the Bank, attend the first establishment of a Bank in a new Colony, but, on the other hand, it is impossible to foresee the extent of banking accommodation which may be soon required at either place, and My Lords think that it may be safely left to Capitalists to judge of the expediency of incurring the risk.
The interference of Her Majesty's Government should be confined in the case of New Banks to the enforcement of those requirements which the regulations for the establishment of Banking Companies in the ColoniesprovideManuscript image provide for the Security of the Public and such Banks should not be detained from fair competition by previous concessions to existing Banks.
The circumstance that a petition has been presented to the Queen in Council for the Grant of a Charter to another Company for conducting Banking operations in the Colonies in question, apparently under creditable auspices, affords additional ground for caution in regard to any pledge of special favour to the Bank of British North America.
I remain etc.
C.E. Trevelyan
Minutes by CO staff
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Mr Elliot
The substance of this letter should I suppose be communicated to the Secretary to the Bank of British N. America, and copies of the correspondence transmitted to the Govr?
VJ 29 N
C Nov 30
EBL Nov 30
Other documents included in the file
Manuscript image
Draft, Merivale to Secretary, Bank of British North America, 10 December 1858, communicating the substance of the letter from Treasury.
  1. = CO to Tre, 16 Sep 58, Bank of BNA FIND?? CO-Tre, 16 Sep 58, BBNA. Cf. 9245, BBNA - CO, 9 Sep, CO 6/26 ??
People in this document

Carnarvon, Earl

Douglas, James

Elliot, Thomas Frederick

Jadis, Vane

Lytton, Edward George Earle Bulwer

Merivale, Herman

Trevelyan, Charles Edward

Victoria, Alexandrina

Organizations in this document

Bank of British North America


Places in this document

British Columbia

Vancouver Island