No. 62
Downing Street,
7 May 1859
I have had before me your despatch, No 104, of the 19th of February, with a copy of a Proclamation which you had issued for regulating the disposal of the Crown Lands in British Columbia.
You will since have learned from my despatchNo 16Manuscript image No 16 of the 7th of February last, the principles which it appeared to me desirable to follow on this subject. I am glad to perceive that the same views have very much prevailed in preparing the rules which you have announced, and I have no objection to their general tenor.
I trust, however, that on the receipt of my former despatch you may have been led to reconsider the question of deferring payment of onemoietyManuscript image moiety of the purchase money for two years. If ten shillings an acre be a higher price than can be reasonably expected to be paid in cash, on which point I should be quite prepared to defer to such judgment as you may form, I cannot but think that a smaller price with prompt payment would be preferable to incurring the numerous difficulties which invariably surround the attempt to enforce payment by instalments.
Under Manuscript image
Under the present rules, if payment of the second moiety should be resisted, it would be extremely difficult to eject persons who by the very conditions of the case would have been in occupation of their lands for a period of two years. And again, if some of the land-owners do pay their obligation, whilst others do not, a grievance arises out of the distinction. For these reasons and for others adverted to in my previous despatch,IManuscript image I shall still be glad that you should give this provision your reconsideration as to future sales. The terms of sales already effected cannot of course be altered.
The proposed reservation of one fourth of the lots in the proposed Capital for sale in the United Kingdom and the British Colonies appears to me decidedly objectionable. It can be of no use except to stimulate the acquisition of property by non-residents.ThisManuscript image This is one of the worst evils to which a new community is liable. The lots are bought by speculators who hold them on a chance of a rise in value, with the effect in the meanwhile of obstructing the progress of the Town, interrupting its communications, and creating a nuisance to the holders of adjoining lots. This provision should be rescinded; and if there be any places either in the United Kingdom, or in otherColonies,Manuscript image Colonies, in which you have already empowered any Agents to sell specific lots, you should immediately recall those powers, but recognising of course any sales effected before the receipt of such revocation.
I have the honor to be
Your most obedient
humble servant
In the absence of
Sir E.B. Lytton
Carnarvon, Earl to Douglas, James 7 May 1859, LAC RG7:G8C/8, 5. 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.

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