Berens to Newcastle
Hudson's Bay House
7 November 1861
I have the honour to acknowledge the receipt of a letter addressed to me by Mr Elliot, under date the 2nd instant, on the subject of a Memorandum of Agreement, dated October 11th 1861, transmitted for Your Grace's consideration by the Emigration Board, which had been settled between Mr Walcott on the part of the Colonial Land and Emigration Commissioners, and Mr Dallas, accompanied by Mr Maynard, on the part of the Hudson's Bay CompanyinManuscript image in reference to certain proposals made by Governor Douglas for the Settlement of the Land claims of the Company in British Columbia.
Mr Elliot states that Your Grace is willing to adopt this arrangement, and request to be informed whether the Directors are in like manner prepared to express their assent to it, in order that in that case the requisite steps may be taken for carrying it into effect without delay.
In reply I have the honour to inform Your Grace that I have laid a Copy of the said Memorandum of Agreement,togetherManuscript image together with Mr Elliot's letter, before my Colleagues in the direction of the Hudson's Bay Company, and that I am now empowered by the Board to give the assent of this Company to the proposed arrangement.
The Memorandum of Agreement will be communicated, without delay, to the Company's Officers in Vancouver's Island with instructions to use their best endeavours to carry the same into effect.
I have etc.
H.H. Berens
Minutes by CO staff
Manuscript image
Mr Elliot
The Memorandum & letter referred to are with Mr Fortescue.
VJ 11 Novr
The Governor should now be apprized of the agreement. I annex a Draft for the purpose.
But there remains the important point of the selection of the arbitrator on the part of the Govt. Mr Walcott has suggested the name of Colonel Moody merely because he knows of no other. I confess however that I should strongly deprecate that selection; the objections to him are I think these, first that he is not sufficiently clear-headed, secondly, that he has not the gift of prospering in what he undertakes, & thirdly that he is on bad terms with the Governor, which is in itself a most weighty reason against his employment. It would be a source of discord and an obstacle in the way of all his recommendations.
The only other person of adequate position in the Colony that I know of; is Capt. Gosset R.E. His capacity cannot be doubted, and his acquirements as an Engineer & a surveyor would be very appropriate. Out of fear that he might be deficient in conciliation and I entirely feel the desirableness of not having differences with the other arbitrators unless they be really both important and inevitable.
Still if as I apprehend, the choice lied betweenManuscript image the two, I should much prefer Captn Gosset to Colonel Moody, for the simple reason that, with equal integrity, the abler of the two men appears to me the right one to select for a difficult public employment.
A paragraph will have to be added to the Draft to the Governor naming Captain Gosset, if he should be the person chosen.
TFE 12 Novr
Duke of Newcastle
Col. Moody from his position as Commr of Land & Works in B. Columbia, wd be the natural person to appoint as Arbitrator on the part of the Crown. But there seems reason to think that he wd. not be efficient. I am not sure whether he & the Engineers will soon be withdrawn. If that is so, it wd. be itself a sufficient reason against appointing him. Name Captain Gosset?
CF 14
The choice is embarrassing, but I think upon the whole it is best to appoint Captn Gosset.
N 15
P.S. I have just remembered that Col. Moody's Dt will conduct the ordinary business; he will therefore be, as it were, one of the disputants in case of differences, & therefore not fit to be selected as arbitrator. This seems to facilitate the matter, & I have shaped the last paragraph accordingly.
TFE Nov 15th