No. 156
10th December 1870
My Lord,
I have hitherto postponed my reply to Earl Granville's Circular Despatch of 23rd March last, respecting the Census to be taken simultaneously throughout the Empire in 1871, until the time should arrive formakingManuscript image making arrangements for the next Legislative Session. After consultation now with my Council I coincide in their opinion that it would be inexpedient for several reasons to attempt to take a Census at this time under the circumstances of this Colony. Public attention is now engaged with the arrangements proposed for Union with Canada and it is not desirable to bring forward any other measureswhichManuscript image which can be avoided. In a Colony like this where distances are so great and settlers are sprinkled over large areas, it would be difficult as well as very expensive to take a Census, and a great deal of trouble would be entailed on official departments just when in a state of transition and rearrangement. A large proportion of the population are migratory and unsettled, the returns would not be very accurate, and for purposes of comparison would be of little value, asthoseManuscript image those in the Appendix to the General Report of 1861 were only estimated.
I have the honor to be,
My Lord,
Your most obedient
Humble Servant
A. Musgrave
Minutes by CO staff
Manuscript image
Mr Herbert
Perhaps they are just as well pleased not t[o] have their Population known at the present moment.
CC 10 Jan 71
RGWH Jan 10/71
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Mr Robinson
Copy to Reg. Genl.
FR 11/1
Musgrave, Anthony to Wodehouse, John 10 December 1870, CO 60:41, no. 286, 290. 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/B70156.html.

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