No. 3
29th February 1864
I have the honor to transmit to you a copy of a letter from Mr. C.F. Dowsett bringing under my notice the hardship to which Captain Houghton, late of Her Majesty's Army, has been subjected by an unexpected alteration of the privileges in the acquisition of land accorded to Naval and Military Officers in British Columbia.
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As Captain Houghton left England in July last, and had previously sent out the stores required for his settlement in the Colony, there can be no doubt that he had made his arrangements to leave the Army for the purpose of settling there, not only before he knew of the change in the Regulations, but before that change was known to any one in this Country therewasManuscript image was nothing to lead him to expect such a change, and he omitted no precaution, apparently, which a prudent man could be expected to take to ascertain on the best authority the terms offered to Settlers of his description.
Under these circumstances I am of opinion that to subject Captain Houghton to loss on account of a Proclamation, which, as far as he is concernedmustManuscript image must be regarded as ex post facto, would be an injustice and a hardship.
In order therefore to relieve Captain Houghton and preserve the good faith of the Government in this matter, I have to authorize you to submit to your Council an Ordinance exempting from the operation of the Proclamation No. 2 of 1863 any Officers who can shew that he left the Army with the intention of settlinginManuscript image in British Columbia previously to the Horse Guards Circular of the 31st of August 1863 and who is prepared to depose that he was not aware at the time of leaving the Army of the alteration in the privileges allowed to Officers.
I have the honor to be
Your obedient servant
Other documents included in the file
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Copy, Dowsett to the Under Secretary of State, 12 February 1864, on behalf of his client Captain Houghton, delineating Houghton's struggles to acquire property in BC under the "privileges" of an ex-military officer.