Murdoch to Elliot (Assistant Under-Secretary)
28th July 1866
I have to acknowledge your letter of 21st instant, with a despatch from the Acting Governor of British Columbia enclosing an Ordinance passed by the Legislature of that Colony entitled, An Ordinance further to define the Law regulating the acquisition of Land in British Columbia.
2. The Acting Governor also encloses the report of the Attorney General on this Ordinance.
3. The object of the Ordinance is to restrict the preemption privileges given by the Ordinance No 27 of 1865—with this view it declares thatManuscript image neither Chartered or Incorporated Companies nor Aborigines shall be entitled to preempt Land without special written permission of the Governor. It further provides that land preempted before the date of the Ordinance may be included when the general Survey comes up to it, though its boundary may not have been laid out in strict accordance with the requirements of the Land Ordinance of 1865.
4. I have to report that I am aware of no objection to this Ordinance, and I would therefore recommend that it should be left to its operation.
5. The Acting Governor and the Attorney General both consider that a legal definition is required of the term "occupation" used in theManuscript image Ordinance of 1865. A clause was accordingly introduced into the present Ordinance, but was rejected in the Council by a majority of 10 to 4. There can be no doubt that if the term has no customary & established signification it would be desirable to define it by Law, but that can only be done by the Legislature, and I do not see that the Secretary of State could interfere in the matter to any good purpose.
I have the honor to be,
Your obedient
Humble Servant
T.W.C. Murdoch
Minutes by CO staff
Manuscript image
ABd 28 July
Other documents included in the file
Manuscript image
Draft reply, Carnarvon to Officer Administering the Government, No. 6, 16 August 1866.