Tennent to Merivale (Permanent Under-Secretary)
Office of Committee of Privy Council for Trade
17 June 1859
I am directed by the Lords of the Committee of Privy Council for Trade to acknowledge the receipt of your letter of the 8th. Instant transmitting for their observations, by the direction of Secretary Sir E.B. Lytton a copy of a despatch from the Governor of British Columbia on the subject of a monopoly which has been established by certain owners of Steam Vessels in the traffic of Fraser's River.
in reply Manuscript image
In reply I am to request that you will state to the Secretary for the Colonies that unless the proceedings to which the Governor adverts are of an illegal character, (a point upon which the opinion of the Law Officers of the Crown appears to have been asked) My Lords are unable to suggest any remedy for the evils which they occasion.
They would, however, observe that these evils are of a nature which under a system of free competition will gradually produce their own remedy by attracting more capital into so profitable aManuscript imagea field of employment as the traffic on Fraser's River is described by the Governor to be.
I am to add that My Lords will be glad to be favoured with the opinion of the Law Officers upon this question so soon as it shall have been received.
I have etc.
J. Emerson Tennent
Minutes by CO staff
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Mr Merivale
Reserve for opinion of the Law Offrs of the Crown. (Will the late Law Officers now report such opinion, or shd we address a fresh reference to the new ones. Perhaps ask the Clerk of the late Law Officers what they will do in the matter.)
ABd 18 June
Mr Blackwood
I think we shall probably hear from the late Law Advisers respecting all their arrears. Keep a little.
HM June 19
Other documents included in the file
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Draft, Merivale to James Booth, Board of Trade, 2 July 1859, forwarding copy of a report of the Law Officers concerning the power of the governor of British Columbia to withhold British register from foreign vessels.