No. 36
21st April 1866
I have the honor to forward an authenticated and two plain copies of an Ordinance of the recent Session of the Legislature of this Colony, entitled; No. 13. An Ordinance further to define the Law regulating the acquisition of Land in British Columbia. IManuscript image I add the Report of the Attorney General which fully explains the necessity existing for the amendments to the Land Law as proposed under this Enactment.
2. The Original Bill when introduced in the Council contained the following Clause, "From and after the date of this enactment the word 'occupation' in clauses 28, 30, 32, 35, and 39 of the said Ordinance 1865 shall be held to mean 'occupation and residence upon.'" The Attorney General and Chief Commissioner of Lands and Works alone supported the Clause, and it was thrown out in Committee, by a majority of ten in a councilofManuscript image of fourteen members. While fully approving of giving a Legal definition of the word "occupation," I did not consider it advisable to disallow the Ordinance for this reason. I cannot report that the present system works unsatisfactorily since the demand for agricultural Land is not great, but I am convinced should the demand increase the necessity for defining the true meaning of the pre-emption system will be shown to exist.
I have the honor to be,
Your most obedient humble Servant
Arthur N. Birch
Minutes by CO staff
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Sir F. Rogers
Land Board?
ABd 14 July
At once.
FR 16/7
Documents enclosed with the main document (not transcribed)
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H.P.P. Crease, Attorney General, to Officer Administering the Government, 21 April 1866, reporting on the ordinance as per despatch.
Other documents included in the file
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Elliot to Emigration Commissioners, 21 July 1866, forwarding copy of the despatch and enclosures for suggestions and observations.