No. 41
28th April 1866
I have the honor to forward a Memorial presented to me this day for transmission. The Municipal Council request me to forward their Memorial by the Mail Steamer leaving within a few hours.IManuscript image I am consequently unable to comment on the several subjects brought forward. Mr Seymour's presence in England will render this of little importance.
2. Rumours are continually reaching this Colony of Secret Sessions of the Assembly of Vancouver Island on the subject of the Union of these Colonies and of Resolutions and representations being constantly forwarded to Her Majesty'sGovernmentManuscript image Government adverse to the interests of British Columbia. The Municipal Council of this City consider the silence of British Columbia may be taken as apathy—hence the origin of the Memorial.
3. I cannot agree with the Memorialists that the Union of Vancouver Island with British Columbia will be "contrary to the well understood wishes of the people." I have already stated my conviction that the majorityofManuscript image of the inhabitants in the Upper Country care little whether there is Union of the Colonies or continued separation.
Despatch to Secy of State No. 16 of 3rd March 1866. Vide Report presented 31st May 1866 p. 42.
All classes are however united in the opinion that the present uncertainty as regards the future of these Colonies is seriously interfering with the progress of both.
I have the honor to be,
Your most obedient
humble Servant
Arthur N. Birch
Minutes by CO staff
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Mr Macdonald
Who is the Delegate, & what are the resolutions referred to in the second section of the Memorial?
ABd 16 June
In April, 1861, when B. Columbia and Vancouver Island were ruled by one Governor, a self-organized "Convention" was held at New Westminster, "Delegates" were appointed, and a Petition was adopted, praying among other things, that the two provinces might be separated.
As noManuscript image trace of any other "delegates" can be found, it must be to this petition that the present Memorialists refer.
Another petition was presented on the 14th March, 1865, by Mr Holbrook, a member of the British Columbia Legislative Council "praying the Council to take some decided steps to express their opinion against Union with the neighbouring Colony of Vancouver Island."
Consideration of the petition was deferred to the 20th March, on the 20th it was again postponed to the 30th, and on the 30th it was "ordered to be considered at the end of the year" (1865). Since that date we have heard no more of it.
In May, 1864, the Legislative Council passed an unanimous Resolution against Union. No other similar "Resolution" is recorded in this office, though one may have been passed in the last session, of which session we have as yet received no account from theManuscript image Governor.
But on the 16th Decr 1864, and again on the 17th Jan. 1865, the Council in two Addresses to the Governor renewed its protest against Union.
RSM 16 June
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Mr Cardwell
Please say whether you would lay this before Parl as a Supp paper. I think I should.
WEF 19/6
Though nominally against Union the Petition is not really against it on our terms.
Print for Parliament.
EC 19
TFE 20/6
Documents enclosed with the main document (not transcribed)
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Memorial, Municipal Council of New Westminster to Cardwell, 26 April 1866, opposing union with Vancouver Island.
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Resolution of Municipal Council calling for the memorial to be forwarded to Birch for transmission to the secretary of state by telegraph.