Palmer and Collier to Cardwell
Lincolns Inn
June 30. 1865.
We are honored with Your commands, signified in Sir Frederic Rogers's letter of the 7th of June, inst, stating that he was directed by you to acquaint us, that a question has been raised as to the Limits of the Colonies of Vancouver's Island and British Columbia.
That the Act 12 and 13 Victoria c. 48
An Act to provide for the administration of Justice in Vancouver's Island.
contains the following clause
IVManuscript image
IV And be it enacted, that all such Islands adjacent to Vancouver's Island, or to the Western Coast of North America, and forming part of the Dominions of Her Majesty, as are to the Southward of the Fifty second degree of North Latitude, shall be deemed part of Vancouver's Island for the purposes of this Act.
That by the 6th clause of the temporary Act, 21 & 22 Victoria c. 99,
An Act to provide for the Government of British Columbia.
it was provided that no part of the Colony of Vancouver's Island, as at present established, shall be comprised within British Columbia for the purpose of this Act.
That the Act 26 and 27 Vic.c. 83Manuscript image c. 83,
An Act to define the Boundaries of the Colony of British Columbia and to continue an Act to provide for the Government of the said Colony.
after repealing the First Section of the Act 21 and 22 Victoria c. 99, and continuing the remaining Sections till the 31st December 1863 (when they expired), proceeded to enact, that British Columbia shall, for the purposes of the said Act, and all other purposes, include Queen Charlotte's Island, and all other Islands adjacent to the said Territories except Vancouver's Island and the Islands adjacent thereto.
That, under these Acts, you requested, that we would favor you with our opinion, whether the Islands adjacent to the West Coast of North America belong to BritishColumbiaManuscript image Columbia or to Vancouver Island; and, if so, what course we would recommend, in order to prevent controversy between the two Colonies, respecting their jurisdiction over the interjacent Islands.
Sir Frederic Rogers was also pleased to annex, for convenience of reference, a Map including the two Colonies, and a Copy of a Despatch from the Governor of British Columbia, which has raised the question.
In obedience to Your commands, we have taken this matter into consideration, and have the honor to Report
That we think all theislandsManuscript image islands adjacent to the West Coast of North America, south (i.e. lying wholly south) of the 52nd degree of North latitude, still belong to Vancouver's Island, and not to British Columbia. The point seems to us too clear, to admit of controversy. The words, in section 3 of 26 & 27 Vict. cap. 83, "Vancouver's island, and the islands adjacent thereto" are perfectly sensible if applied to such islands, without exception: and, as the definition is given for the purpose of the Act 21 & 22 Vict. cap. 99, (while it should continue in force,) as well as for all other purposes, it must be read consistentlywithManuscript image with, and not as repealing or altering, the 6th section of that Act, which (like all other sections of it, except the first,) was, by sect. 2 of 26 & 27 Vict. cap 83, expressly kept in force till the 31st Decr 1863.
It does not occur to us to suggest any course, except that, if the Commissions of the Governors are not clearly in accordance with the law, in this respect, they should be made so.
We have the honor to be,
Your most obedient
humble Servants
Roundell Palmer
R.P. Collier
Minutes by CO staff
Manuscript image
Mr E.
Sir F. Rogers—on his return.
ABd 1 July
TFE 1 July
Governor Seymour shd be informed that the question raised by his dph respecting the limits of the Colony of B.C. has been referred to the L. Offrs of the Crown who are of opinion that all the Islands adjacent to the West Coast of N. America south (i.e. lying wholly south) of the 52nd degree of N. Latitude still belong to V.C. Island & not to B. Columbia.
Add that Mr S. is of course aware that the limits of the two colonies are ascertained by a comparison of 12 & 13 Vict. c. 48 SS 4—21 & 22 Vict. c. 99 SS 1 and SS 6, and 26 & 27 Vict. c. 83. SS 3.
FR 21/7
EC 22
(When this correspondence is closed I think Mr Gairdner had better see it.
Other documents included in the file
Manuscript image
Draft reply, Cardwell to Seymour, No. 50, 28 July 1865.