Murdoch to Elliot (Assistant Under-Secretary)
23rd November 1867
I have to acknowledge your letter of 8th inst, with a despatch from the Governor of B. Columbia on the subject of certain land in dispute between the Government of the Colony and the Hudsons Bay Co.
2. This land consists of two lots—one known as lot Z, the other a small portion of the Beacon Hill Park. In respect to lot Z, although the Governor treats it as still open to consideration, the question is in fact closed. Upon this point IManuscript image would beg to refer to my report of 18th Decr 1866—and your answer of 2nd Janry last. In respect to the portion of Beacon Hill Park, it will be remembered that the land had been cut off from the Park by an error in running the boundary and had been sold by the Hudsons Bay Co. I submitted that under these circumstances the price obtained for this land, which was said to be $1700, ought to be repaid by the Hudsons Bay Co to the public. This suggestion was approved by the Earl of Carnarvon and accepted by the Hudsons Bay Co who only stipulated that the amount to be repaid, not exceedingManuscript image $1700, should be determined by us. The Governor was in consequence requested to furnish the necessary information to enable us to settle the claim—and he does so in his despatch of the 24 Septr.
3. He states that the extent of land cut off from the Park was 5 1/4 Acres of an average value of $400 an Acre—but that the claim of the Colony would be fairly satisfied by a payment of $1700. The way in which he arrives at this result is explained in the letters from the Colonial Secretary and the Acting Surveyor General which accompany his despatch. The actual price of the land at $400 an acre would of course be $2100 but it isManuscript image proposed to deduct from that sum $400 for a narrow strip of land marked on a sketch which accompanies the Surveyor General's letter, which it is desired to add to the Park. As this seemed a fair arrangement we proposed it to the Hudsons Bay Co and they informed us in answer that they accept it, and that the necessary instructions will be sent to their Agent by the next mail. To prevent the possibility of mistake I enclose a copy of the letter which we addressed to them on the subject and of their answer, which I would submit should be communicated toManuscript image the Governor.
4. I infer from the Governor's despatch that he has not been informed of the decision of the Earl of Carnarvon in regard to lot Z. If so I presume that the present opportunity would be taken for explaining that decision to him.
I have the honor to be
Your Obedient
Humble Servant
T.W.C. Murdoch
Minutes by CO staff
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Sir F. Rogers
In a despatch dated 26 Oct 1866 the Govr of Vancouver Island called attention to three points arising out of the reconveyance of that Island to the Crown by the Hudson Bay Cy. .off 1. the sale of a portion of Beacon Hill Park. .off 2. Sale of a portion of the foreshore on the South side of James Bay. .off 3. Sale of the herein mentioned lot Z. .off end
As regards the 1st the land on Beacon Hill the L & E Comrs, to whom the Govrs despatch was referred, recommended that the Company should be requested to refund the amount they recd for the Land.
2nd as regards the foreshore sale they were of opinion that the sale could not be contested,Manuscript image as recommended by the Committee of Board of Officers in the Island.
3rd as regards lot Z the Commrs were also of opinion that the sale by the Cy could not be contested, & they therefore recommended that the money to be recd from the Cy for Beacon Hill should be spent in purchasing lot Z.
Lord Carnarvon concurred & instructed the Comrs to communicate with the Cy accordingly.
The Cy consented to refund for Beacon Hill, but as the Comrs had not sufficient information to enable them to fix the amount, a further reference was made to the Colony.
That information has been supplied the Cy have consented to pay back $1700Manuscript image & have instructed their Agent in the Colony to make that payment.
On this point it is only necessary to inform the Govr in answer to his despatch 10835 what has been done.
In his despatch the Govr called attention to the question of lot Z, as regards which he had recd no instructions. He must therefore be informed that there is no claim agt the Cy for this sale—but it is also necessary to consider & decide what instructions should be given for its repurchase.
As to the foreshore sale I suppose the Govr must also be told that the sale by the Cy was a valid one.
CC 6 Dec 67
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I should like to see Mr Cardwell's dphes No 39, 14 Aug 65 and No 16 of 26 April 1866wh I think must deal with Lot Z and the foreshore.
FR 6/12
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I send you the two despatches you asked for—that of 14 Aug 1865 deals with lot Z as shown in the Comrs Report 11971—by saying that the sale could not be impeached. The Bd of Officers appeal agt the decision—& it is on that appeal that Govr Seymour says he has recd no instructions. The Gov. shd therefore I think be told the question has been already decided & cannot be reopened.
CC 7/12
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Mr Adderley
Enclose EC's report from wh the Govr will learn that the HBC have given orders to pay 1700$ to the Colonial Govt for the Land sold in error and to reconvey the small strip of land referred to by the E.C. State thatManuscript image Mr Cardwell's decision respecting lot Z conveyed in his dph of 14 Aug must be adhered to.
That the Govr will have already perceived from HGs dph No 23 of 11 May that HMG have not considered themselves entitled to require any modification of the Deed of Reconveyance of V.C.I. with the object of avoiding the sale of certain portions of foreshore referred to in the 5th parag of the report of certain public officers enclosed in Gov Kennedy's dph No 81 of 20 Oct. 1866.
CBA 9/12
B&C 11/12
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See subsequent
Also Hudsons Bay Co/7488/68.
Documents enclosed with the main document (not transcribed)
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S. Walcott, Emigration Commissioner, to T. Fraser, Hudson's Bay Company, 14 November 1867, requesting the company to pay $1,700 and surrender a small strip of land in settlement of the dispute.
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W.G. Smith, Hudson's Bay Company, to Walcott, 20 November 1867, agreeing to the proposed settlement.
Other documents included in the file
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Draft reply, Buckingham to Seymour, No. 98, 18 December 1867 transmitting “a report from the Colonial Land and Emigration Commissioners” regarding the Hudson’s Bay Company's sale of land in Beacon Hill Park and discussing the decision regarding Lot Z.