Murdoch to Merivale (Permanent Under-Secretary)
Emigration Office
21 February 1859
Sir,
I have to acknowledge your letter of 14th instant enclosing an extract of a Despatch from the Governor of British Columbia on the subject of free grants of Land to the non commissioned Officers and Men of the Royal Engineers in the Colony, & remissions in the purchase of Land to Officers of the Army and Navy generally.
2. The free grants to the non commissioned Officers and Men of the Engineers on the termination ofManuscript imageof their service were promised with a view of obtaining the services of the best Class. The only question that remains to be considered is the grant of advantages in the purchase of Land to Officers of the Army and Navy. Governor Douglas expresses a decided opinion that such advantages should be granted as a means of introducing a respectable class of British Subjects and encouraging sentiments of loyalty and attachment to the Crown.
3. Sir E. Bulwer Lytton is no doubt aware that such advantages were formerly offered toManuscript imageto Military and Naval Officers in all the British Colonies in which the Crown possessed waste Lands. They have been since discontinued, by the decision of the Local Legislatures, in all the North American Colonies, in Tasmania and South Australia, and in some of the Provinces of New Zealand. They continue to exist in New South Wales, Victoria, Western Australia, some Provinces of New Zealand, Ceylon and the Cape. I am not aware that they have ever had any extensive influence in any Colony, but whatever effect they have, would be, as Governor Douglas observes, to introduceManuscript imageintroduce a superior and a very loyal and attached class of settlers, and that effect could not fail to be beneficial in any Colony, and especially so in British Columbia. It appears to one, therefore, that there can be no objection to introducing the usual regulations on the subject into British Columbia and I would accordingly recommend that a copy of those regulations should be forwarded to Governor Douglas, with authority to promulgate them, unless the circumstances of British Columbia should appearManuscript imageappear to him to require some modification of the provisions.
I have etc.
T.W.C. Murdoch
Minutes by CO staff
Manuscript image
Mr Elliot
It only remains to act as is herein suggested.
ABd 12/3
TFE 14 March
Proceed as suggested?
C Mch 17
[EBL] 17
Murdoch, Thomas William Clinton to Merivale, Herman 21 February 1859, CO 60:5, no. 2015, 502. The Colonial Despatches of Vancouver Island and British Columbia 1846-1871, Edition 2.2, ed. James Hendrickson and the Colonial Despatches project. Victoria, B.C.: University of Victoria. https://bcgenesis.uvic.ca/B595LN05.html.

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