Walcott to Elliot (Assistant Under-Secretary)
Emigration Office
31st August 1864
I have the honor to acknowledge your Letter of the 27th instant with an Ordinance passed by the Legislative Council of British Columbia entitled "An Ordinance for the relief of certain Naval and Military Settlers."
2. It will be remembered that a Despatch from the Duke of Newcastle of the 29th of FebruarylastManuscript image last called the Governor's attention to the hardship to which Captain Houghton had been subjected by an unexpected alteration of the privileges in the acquisition of land accorded to Naval and Military Officers settling in British Columbia.
3. By a proclamation of March 1861 Naval and Military Officers proceeding to the Colony were entitled to the remission of a certain amount of money in purchasing Crown Lands according to their rank and length of service. This proclamation was repealed by a subsequent one No 2 of 1863 called "The Military and Naval SettlersActManuscript image Act 1863" and a certain amount of land, instead of money, was promised to Naval and Military Settlers. The Law was altered because the price of Crown Land in British Columbia had been reduced from £1 to 4s/2d an acre, and the effect of the alteration was to give Officers the same number of acres as they would have received under the first proclamation.
4. As, however, Captain Houghton had sold out of the Army upon the faith of the first proclamation, and had quitted England before the arrival and notification of the second, it was not thought equitable that heshouldManuscript image should be subjected to the operation of the second, which would reduce by nearly four fifths the quantity of land he would have received under the proclamation of 1861. To meet this and any similar case the present Ordinance has been passed. It enacts that Officers whether of the Army or Navy who shall have left Her Majesty's service before the 31st day of August 1863, and who, but for the Ordinance of February 1863, would have been entitled to a remission of purchase money, shall be deemed to be entitled to such remission, provided they make a statutory declaration that theywereManuscript image were not aware at the time of leaving Her Majesty's service of the alteration created by that Ordinance, and provided further that they have duly complied with its requirements.
5. As the present Ordinance was passed in conformity with the views of the Secretary of State to meet a particular case, I see no objection why it should not be approved.
I have the honor to be
Your obedient
Humble Servant
S. Walcott
Minutes by CO staff
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Mr Elliot
ABd 31 Augt
There seems to be no doubt, so prepare a draft.
TFE 31/8
Other documents included in the file
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Draft reply, Cardwell to Seymour, No. 34, 7 September 1864, informing Seymour that the Ordinance has been confirmed by the Queen.