No. 42
Downing Street,
16 November 1858
I enclose a Copy of a letter of the 12th October from the Deputy Governor of the Hudson's Bay Company with respect to the possession of land which had been occupied by the Company previous to the recent Immigration of Gold Miners. I also enclose a Copy of the answer returnedManuscript image to the Company. 1
I am not prepared at this moment to return a definite answer to the request of the Company, as I am wholly without information as to the extent of Territory which would be included in their claim, and the relation which in parts of British Columbia it may bear to the Gold Fields. I further am prepared to draw a considerable distinction between land which has been subjected to cultivation or has involved outlay on the partManuscript image of the Company, or is necessary to the maintenance of their existing Stock or establishment, and land which has served the more occasional purpose of affording pasturage to herds or beasts of burden.
You will therefore at your earliest convenience be good enough to inform me as accurately as you can of the extent and character of the land claimed by the Hudson's Bay Company around their Forts, adding at the same time any suggestionsManuscript image which your experience and local knowledge may enable you to furnish.
Meanwhile you will understand that it is the wish of Her Majesty's Government to take a liberal view of the claims of the Company, consistently, of course, with what is due to the public interests of the Colony, and that wherever a fair title to property can be made out by them, Her Majesty's Government are ready to afford their support and countenance for theprotectionManuscript image protection of that property.
I have the honor to be
Your most obedient
humble servant
E B Lytton