No. 9
Downing Street
18 February 1860
I have had the honor to receive your despatch No. 231 of the 10th of November acknowledging some despatches from my Predecessor on the disposal of land in British Columbia. No practical question is raised by this communication and it is unnecessary for me to enter further into the particular questionManuscript imagequestion to which it relates.
But I may take the present opportunity of cautioning you (although the caution is perhaps unnecessary) that in transmitting to you, in my recent despatch No. 3 of the 7th of January, Captain Clarke's scheme for the disposal of lands, you are not to suppose me to have done so as a preliminary towards carrying such a scheme into execution by the instrumentality of an Order of Her Majesty in CouncilManuscript imageCouncil. I think that the subject is not one fit to be dealt with by that authority, and that any attempt to frame in this Country regulations entering so much into detail would be misplaced.
My object was merely to put you in possession of the views of a gentleman of great ability, who formerly occupied a high position in Australia and enjoyed the confidence of the Colonists, upon the best meansManuscript imagemeans of meeting difficulties such as he had himself encountered in administering the affairs of a rapidly growing Colony, in order that you might have the benefit of his experience; you will be able to judge for yourself how far the principles embodied in his scheme would be of any assistance to you in British Columbia, subject of course, in case you approve those principles, to all modifications of detail which the difference of local circumstancesManuscript imagecircumstances might require.
I have the honor to be
Your Obedient Servant