McNab to Buckingham
9th May 1867
My Lord Duke,
The Directors of this Bank having been informed that it is in contemplation to remove the seat of Government of the Colony of British Columbia from Victoria to New Westminster, beg to be allowed to express their opinion that such a change would be prejudicial to the interests of the Colony. They believe that Victoria would be found to be the most convenient place for the seat of Government on the following among other grounds, viz
That the Port of Victoria, with itsManuscript image two harbours of Victoria & Esquimalt can accommodate vessels of the greatest draft of water, that it is easy of access from the Ocean, & is always open to navigation. New Westminster, on the other hand, is—especially to sailing vessels—difficult & dangerous of approach, in consequence of the tedious and intricate navigation of the Haro Archipelago, and because of the sand bars at the mouth of Fraser River, and the occasional freezing of that River.
That Victoria is the only place in the Colony of any stability and population as a Town. It is the commercial, social and educational centre of the Colony; Miners have settled their families there, and are beginning to resort to it during the winter (the non-mining) season, instead of going to San FranciscoManuscript image—a town in a foreign country—to spend their money earned in British Columbia.
That Victoria has hitherto been a Seat of Government, and possesses the requisite public buildings; and the removal of the seat of Government to New Westminster would necessarily involve a further expenditure which the Colony in its present circumstances is not in a position to bear.
I have the honor to be,
My Lord Duke,
Your very obed. Serv.
C. McNab
Minutes by CO staff
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Sir F. Rogers
Answer as in the former case that the Duke has not yet received from Govr Seymour such information as will enable him to decide upon the question of the choice of a Capital?
VJ 11 May
FR 11/5
CBA 11/5
B&C 13/15
Other documents included in the file
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Rogers to Secretary, Bank of British North America, 17 May 1867, advising that the decision had been held over pending receipt of additional information from the colony.