Leahy to Lytton
49 Hereford Road north
Westbourne Park
16th August 1858
I beg leave to bring under your notice, and at same time to propose the formation of a line of Steam Communication with Vancouvers Islands by way of Norway, Cape Tcheliuskin in Siberia and Behring Strait.
At this season of the year the whole distance may be run in 25 to 30 days with ordinary Steamers; and altho the Siberian Seas are closed during the winter, still the communication by Steam in short a time and during the other months of the year, would be of immense value to Vancouvers Island and the New Colonia of Columbia generally.
Much might be said of the relative superiority of this route and of its important results both direct and indirect; but they will all doubtless present themselves to you.
To test the practicability of the proposition, I beg leave to Say that I am ready at once to start a steamer on the line, as a pioneer, provided you approve my idea and that the Government will agree to pay the expenses in case of success. Or if this proposition should notManuscript imagenot meet your approval, I beg leave to say that I should be most happy to give my assistance in any other way you may require.
I have the honor to be, Sir,
Your most obedt humble
Edmund Leahy
The Right Honorable
Sir Edward & B. Lytton Bart.
Her Majesty's Chief Secretary of State for the Colonies
Minutes by CO staff
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Mr Merivale
This is indeed a strange route. The projector must go alone, I think. It can scarcely be imagined that any person would prefer this way of reaching the other side of N. America.
May I assume that this project be civilly declined.
ABd. 17 Augt.
C. Aug 18
HM Aug. 18
EBL Aug 20
Other documents included in the file
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Draft reply, Colonial Office to Leahy, 11 September 1858, stating that Lytton must decline to avail himself of his offer.