Separate
30th November 1867
My Lord Duke,
I have the honor to forward a letter from the Attorney General requesting an opinion as to the effect of the Act of Union upon the LegislativeConstitutionManuscript image Constitution of this Colony. My own opinion is most decidedly that there is nothing in the Act 29 & 30 Victoria, Cap. 67 "An Act for the Union of the Colony of Vancouver Island with the Colony of British Columbia" which makes it imperative on the Governor to allot a certain number of seats at the Council table to Vancouver Island, and a certain number to the Mainland.
2. My conviction on this point has been mainly brought about by my knowledgeofManuscript image of the Intentions of Mr Forster, late Under Secretary of State, and of Mr Reilly who drew the Bill.
I have the honor to be,
My Lord Duke,
Your most obedient,
humble Servant.
Frederick Seymour
Minutes by CO staff
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Sir F. Rogers
As the opinion of the Law Officers is requested I presume that copies of this despatch & its enclosures should be sent to them, & their opinion asked upon the 2 questions raised in the first page of the Attorney General's memorandum.
I think the points very clear, & that it is not imperative on the Governor to allot a certain number of seats to V. Island.
HTH 5/2
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I very much incline not to take this opinion. It does not appear who raises the question, & I am wholly unable to conceive how any person capable of understanding the meaning of words can raise such a question. Nothing can be plainer than the word of the Act—nothing more reasonable than the meaning resulting from those words, and nothing I think more certain than that the framers of the Act did in fact mean neither more nor less than they said. When matters are really not capable of question I do not think that the Law office shd be worried with questions about them to satisfy what is mere idle cavilling. I shd be disposed to write a very decided answer—treating the matterManuscript image as much too clear, to render it proper that the Law Offrs shd be troubled with it. The word "maximum" if nothing else is conclusive against these loose inferences.
FR 5/1
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I agree & should say that the Govr & Att. Gen. version is so clearly the right one & it is so impossible that the supposed construction should be so set up as to invalidate the acts of the Council that it is thought neither necessary nor advisable to take the L.O. opinion.
CBA 10/2
B&C 13/2
Documents enclosed with the main document (not transcribed)
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H.P.P. Crease, Attorney General, to Seymour, 27 November 1867, requesting opinion of Law Officers on the effect of the act of union upon the constitution, with explanation.
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Extract, Cardwell to Seymour, 7 October 1865, stating the Order in Council constituting a legislature in British Columbia did not intend such legislature to be representative.
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Printed copy of Order in Council, 11 June 1863, establishing a legislature in British Columbia.
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Newspaper clipping, Government Gazette, no date, containing printed notification of the passing of the Order in Council as noted above, and letter from W.A.G. Young advising of the composition of the newly constituted legislative council.
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Newspaper clipping, Government Gazette Extraordinary, 19 November 1866, containing proclamation of union.
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Newspaper clipping, Government Gazette, 5 January 1867, reporting the composition of the newly constituted legislative council of the united colony.
Other documents included in the file
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Draft reply, Buckingham to Seymour, No. 13, 15 February 1868 confirming Seymour’s view regarding “the effect of the Act of Union upon the Legislative Constitution of the Colony.”
Seymour, Frederick to Grenville, Richard 30 November 1867, CO 60:29, no. 1214, 543. The Colonial Despatches of Vancouver Island and British Columbia 1846-1871, Edition 2.2, ed. James Hendrickson and the Colonial Despatches project. Victoria, B.C.: University of Victoria. https://bcgenesis.uvic.ca/B67157SP.html.

Last modified: 2020-12-02 13:40:34 -0800 (Wed, 02 Dec 2020) (SVN revision: 5008)