No. 11
New Westminster
24th February 1868
My Lord Duke,
I have the honor to forward an Authenticated and two plain Copies of an Ordinance of the last Session of the Legislature of this Colony, entitled; No. 40.Manuscript image No. 40. An Ordinance to provide for the settlement of all outstanding questions relating to the sale of Land for Taxes in Vancouver Island.
2. I already forwarded a copy of the report of the Committee appointed to investigate the question in my despatch No. 157, of the 30th November 1867. Your Grace will have seen how respectably this CommitteewasManuscript image was composed, how strongly the opinion of the Legislative Council was supported, and will I think approve of my having assented to the Ordinance.
3. I enclose the Report of the Attorney General.
I have the honor to be,
My Lord Duke,
Your most obedient
humble Servant.
Frederick Seymour
Minutes by CO staff
Manuscript image
Mr Holland
See 1213 from Gov. Seymour. He had not of course recd his Grace's despatch in answer to it.
CC 4 May 68
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Sir F. Rogers
This is a somewhat embarrassing case owing to the gross irregularities with which these sales have been conducted.
Perhaps this Ordinance—which avoids all sales & provides for the repayment of the purchase money with interest—is the best way out of the difficulty—But it seems rather hard upon owners of land which has been wrongfully sold—Either because no taxes were in fact due, or because no attempt to levy by distress was made under sec 22 of the Act of 1860—that the amount repaid in respect of purchase money & interest should be made a charge on the Estate, & be recoverable by distress.
This is the more hard, because purchasers are fully compensated, & yet from the Report it appearsManuscript image that there was only one case in which the purchaser had entered into possession or had done any act which a prudent man would have done when becoming possessed of property.
Again by the Acts of 60 & 62 the owner of land had the right to redeem the land sold by paymt of the taxes & 20 per Cent thereon within a year. But it is clear from the Report that in some cases the land was sold without the knowledge of the owner, & without notice to him; so that he had no opportunity within the year of redeeming, or proving that he had paid the taxes.
I should be disposed to send this Act & the prior papers to the Land Board for a report, but if this should not be thought a proper case for them I would point out the above objections to the Governor & delay sanction.
HTH 5/5
At once. To E.C.
FR 5/5
Documents enclosed with the main document (not transcribed)
Manuscript image
Note on microfilm as follows: "Folios 74-75 not photographed. Newspaper extract The Government Gazette, 1st Feby, 1868, pp 2 & 3."
Three printed copies of ordinance not on microfilm.
Manuscript image
H.P.P. Crease, Attorney General, to Seymour, 24 February 1868, reporting on the ordinance as per despatch.