No. 20
Downing Street
11 February 1859
I have had under my consideration your despatch No 38 of the 29th of November containing a report of the Sale of Town Lands at old Fort Langley in British Columbia.
I approve of your proceedings in the matterManuscript image of the sales, of which the result appears to have been satisfactory.
The measure that you propose respecting Aliens is unexceptionable, but I may mention to you that the Law on the same subject in Canada is more favorable to Aliens, and that I should be quite prepared to assent to the extension of similar provisions to British Columbia, if you should see no objection. I encloseforManuscript image for your information Copies of the Canadian Acts which regulate this matter. By these Acts you will perceive that Aliens are capable of holding and disposing of land in the same manner as natural born Subjects of Her Majesty, and after a continued residence of three years are entitled to a Certificate of Naturalization on taking certain Oaths or affirmations of residence and allegiance;Manuscript image and persons so naturalized enjoy and transmit to their heirs all the rights and capacities of natural born Subjects. Aliens therefore under these Acts are not liable to be deprived of their land after the expiration of 3 years, should they neglect or decline to take out Certificates of Naturalization.
If has been suggested to me, that supposing the advantages to be in other respectsequalManuscript image equal, it might have been preferable to place the Town on the bank of the river which is furthest from the American Frontier. I shall be glad to receive, for my information, any remarks which it may occur to you to make on this point, although I am quite sensible that the site of the Town is a matter on which from your local observation you must be the best judge. On suchManuscript image matters you will now have the advantage of consulting Colonel Moody, an Engineering officer of great skill and experience.
I have the honor to be
Your most obedient
Humble Servant
E B Lytton