Murdoch to Rogers (Permanent Under-Secretary)
Emigration Office
31 March 1862
I enclose herewith, for the consideration of the Duke of Newcastle, the copy of a letter addressed to me by Mr W.S. Lindsay on the subject of the promotion of Emigration to B. Columbia.
2. The promotion of Emigration to VanCouvers Island was very much desired by the Foreign Office something more than two years ago, and I would beg to refer to the reports on the subject from thisManuscript image Board dated 24 Novr 1859 and 6th Janry 1860. The success of Gold digging in British Columbia has since attracted much notice to that Colony, and the enquiries made from time to time at this Office lead to the belief that if there were any easy and certain means of getting there a considerable Emigration would spring up. At present the transport on the other side of the Isthmus of Panama is so uncertain as to deter all but persons of an adventurous disposition. Whether looking to theManuscript image political importance of promoting Emigration from the Mother Country to VanCouvers Island & British Columbia it might be advisable to grant some assistance towards the establishment of a regular Steam communication between Panama and those Colonies I do not venture to pronounce.
I have the honor to be
Your Obedient
Humble Servant
T.W.C. Murdoch
Minutes by CO staff
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Mr Elliot
The Treasury has lately refused to give any help towards the conveyance of Letters to this Colony. They will have much greater reason for refusing if asked to find money for the conveyance thither of human beings. In short the Treasury has not got the means of promoting Emigration to B. Columbia—& Parliament is the only resource if it be judged proper to apply to that Body.
ABd 2 Apl
The subject of aid for the conveyance of mails was at least an admissible question on which much might be said. But it seems to me that to attempt to get a grant from Parliament in order to make the passage to B. Columbia cheaper or easier would be wholly unjustifiable. If a Colony producing a vast yield of gold cannot flourish by it's own attractions, it does not deserve to flourish at all; and it would be the height of injustice to tax the resident population of Great Britain, in order that a fortunate few of their Countrymen might have the means of going out to make their fortunes in British Columbia.
When this Country was supposed to be overpeopled, there was the appearance of a domestic object in schemes for using the proceeds of English taxes to encourage emigration. But that state of things has long ceased to exist.
TFE 8 April
A postal subsidy wd be the only admissable shape in wh public aid could be given to steam communication with B. Columbia and the Try will not entertain that question at present. So answer Mr Lindsay?
CF 9
N [date cut off microfilm]
Other documents included in the file
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Draft, Elliot to Murdoch, 16 April 1862, advising that a postal subsidy would be the only public aid possible towards the establishment of regular steam communication.
Documents enclosed with the main document (not transcribed)
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W.S. Lindsay to Murdoch, 27 March 1862, promoting the establishment of regular steam communications to the colonies.
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Signed statement by W.S. Lindsay, announcing his intention to send a steamship to British Columbia with passengers if sufficient inducement offers.