Murdoch to Elliot (Assistant Under-Secretary)
Emigration Office
13 December 1861
I have to acknowledge your letter of 5th instant enclosing an extract of a Despatch from the Governor of British Columbia, with four Proclamations (Nos 1, 2, 3, and 6 of 1861) on the subject of the disposal of Land in that Colony.
2. The first of these Proclamations provides that land purchased under the Proclamation of 4th January 1860, by persons acquiring land by preemption, shall be of the same form and subject to the same rules inManuscript image regard to Boundaries as the land preempted. It also makes provision for enabling persons holding land to obtain a Survey and to complete their purchase.
3. The Proclamation No 2 reduces the price of all land whether surveyed or unsurveyed to 4s/2d an Acre, in accordance with an authority conveyed to the Governor by the Duke of Newcastle.
4. Proclamation No 3 confers on Naval and Military Settlers in British Columbia the advantages in the acquisition of Land formerly granted to them in all the British Colonies and still in force in several. The rulesManuscript image established by this Proclamation are substantially the same as those prevailing in other Colonies.
5. Proclamation No 6 attaches to Land purchased under the Proclamation of 4th January 1860, and the Country Land Act 1861 the same condition of occupation & improvement as attaches to Land "preempted" under the Proclamation of January 1860. The object is to prevent speculators taking advantage of the reduction in price to buy large tracts to be afterwards retailed by them at an advanced rate to actual Settlers. The Proclamation further prohibits the preemption by the same person of more than one block of 160 Acres.
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6. I have the honor to report that these Proclamations appear to me open to no objection—and I would recommend that they should receive H. Majesty's approval.
I have etc.
T.W.C. Murdoch
Minutes by CO staff
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VJ 14 Decr
Sanction & send No 3 (Military & Naval Settlers) to the War Office.
FR 14/12
CF 15
N 17