No. 27
23 April 1861
I have the honour to inform Your Grace that I have lately issued the Proclamations mentioned in the accompanying Schedule; and I herewith transmit Copies of the same for theinformationManuscript image information of Her Majesty's Government.
2. The "Southern Boundary Act", authorizing, on certain terms, the importation of goods overland into British Columbia, pending the completion of the communications, is a measure which the increasing population of that district of the Colony, whose wants were inadequately supplied by the Frasers River route, has rendered indispensable. That difficulty will not be felt to the same extent whentheManuscript image the road from Hope to Rock Creek is completed according to the plans, now in rapid progress; and will probably altogether cease as the advance of cultivation and settlement places the country in a more independent position with respect of foreign supplies of food. This concession has been necessarily qualified by the imposition of a fine of 3 per cent in addition to the duties collected at New Westminster, not as a differential duty, which might have led to internationalquestionsManuscript image questions with the United States, but to defray the great expense of collecting the duties on the frontier, and not, as the Law requires, at the regular port of entry.
3. The "Country Land Act 1861" reduces the price of all unsurveyed country land, whether acquired by occupation or purchase, under the Proclamation of 1860, and the minimum upset price of all unsurveyed country land exposed for sale at public auction, to 4s/2d per acre, in accordancewithManuscript image with the authority conveyed in Despatch No 41, of the 16th July 1860.
4. The "Pre-emption Amendment Act 1861" has been issued in consequence of Her Majesty's Sanction of the Preemption Act of 1860, conveyed in Your Grace's despatch No 64 of the 6th of December 1860, and embodies the amendments in the Act of 1860, suggested in Your Grace's Despatch of the 7th of May 1860, with some further provisions in respect to the form of land acquired undertheManuscript image the Preemption Act of 1860. This highly important measure has been weighed with careful attention, and I feel assured that Her Majesty's Government will never have cause to regret the initiation of a wise and liberal policy which will, if anything can accomplish that object, ensure the occupation and settlement of the vast domains of the Crown in British Columbia.
5. The other Act, passed in consequence of instructions in Despatch No 34 of the 19thMarchManuscript image March 1859, provides for remissions in the purchase of lands in British Columbia, to Officers of the Royal Army
The term "Royal Army" will include, I presume, the Amalgamated Indian Army. This point, if open to doubt, shd be cleared up.
ABd 11 June
and Navy, on the same conditions as in Her Majesty's other Colonies where those advantages have not been discontinued; and contains only the usual provisions.
6. I will forward the Attorney General's remarks on those Acts as soon as they come to hand. Trusting that they may meet with the approvalofManuscript image of Her Majesty's Government.
I have the honor to be
My Lord Duke,
Your Grace's most obedient
and humble Servant
James Douglas
Minutes by CO staff
Manuscript image
ABd 8 June
(Recd 11th.)
TFE 11 June
Mr Blackwood
Wait for the Atty Genls remarks wh are promised.
FR 12/6
Sir F. Rogers
The Report of the local Attorney General on these ActsManuscript image not yet arrived—and so long a period has elapsed since their receipt (8 June) as to render it probable that the subject has escaped notice in the Colony.
The second Act (N 30) is referred to in a subsequent Act N 35 herewith annexed.
VJ 22 Nov
Refer the 1st Act to the Bd of Trade & the others to the Land Board with reference to 25 wh I presume has already been so referred some days back.
And write to the Govr requesting to know why the Atty Genls report has not been sent.
CF 27
N 29
Other documents included in the file
Draft, Elliot to Emigration Commissioners, 5 December 1861, forwarding copies of the proclamations for observation and suggestions.
Draft, Elliot to J. Booth, Board of Trade, 5 December 1861, forwarding copy of southern boundary proclamation and asking whether it may be approved.
Draft reply, Newcastle to Douglas, No. 96, 30 December 1861, that reports the Queen's approval of Douglas's acts.
Draft, Elliot to Under-Secretary, War Office, 20 December 1861, forwarding copy of proclamation relative to the acquisition of land by military settlers, for information.
Draft reply, Newcastle to Douglas, No. 94, 7 December 1861, which notes the absence of Cary's comments on Douglas's acts, and inquires as to the reason for the same.