Murdoch to Rogers (Permanent Under-Secretary)
3rd May 1871
I have to acknowledge your letter of 28th ulto with one from the Governor of British Columbia enclosing, and recommending to favorable consideration, an application from Mr A.C. Anderson for indulgence in regard to a debt due by him for land purchased in 1859.
2. Mr Anderson bought 294 Acres at £1 an Acre on which he paid £125.8.7 leaving $817 = £170.4.2 unpaid. This debt by accumulated interest has nearly doubled, and Mr Anderson statesManuscript image his inability to pay it, and applies for consideration on account of public services he has rendered in exploring the Country in former years and preparing & publishing a Map of it. For this Map Governor Seymour offered him £50 which he declined as inadequate. The present Governor also thinks that sum inadequate and would remit the whole of Mr Anderson's debt. But if the Secretary of State is not prepared to approve that step he recommends that the interest on the debt should be remitted, and Mr Anderson be credited with £50 for his Map. This would reduce the debt due from him to £120.
3. The value of Mr Anderson's Map and of his services in theManuscript image exploration of the Country before and at the commencement of its settlement can only be known to those on the spot. It appears to me, however, that this is a case which may properly be treated with considerable liberality. Mr Anderson states that he has been for nearly 40 years a resident in the Country, and that all the information he has obtained during that period has been put at the disposal of the Government without expectation of reward. The Governor expresses himself satisfied that the information furnished by Mr Anderson has been valuable, and may still be so, in opening the communication between British Columbia & Canada. Nor is it possible to put out of sight the fact that the land which MrManuscript image Anderson purchased in 1859 at £1 per Acre would now be purchasable at $1 an Acre—and that he has therefore already paid for his 294 Acres more than twice as much as they would cost now. The remission of the debt could not be placed on that ground alone without creating a precedent for other purchasers at the same price. At the same time the fact may be fairly taken into consideration in deciding the question.
4. Upon the whole, if the debt is not altogether remitted, I should be disposed to recommend that the interest upon it should be given up—that as the Governor thinks the sum formerlyManuscript image offered is inadequate Mr Anderson should be credited with £70 instead of £50 for his Map and the information he has from time to time afforded to the Government, and that if he cannot pay the balance of his debt (£100) in cash, he should be allowed to discharge it by the surrender of the equivalent number of Acres of his land at £1 an Acre.
I have the honour to be
Your Obedient
Humble Servant
T.W.C. Murdoch
Minutes by CO staff
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Mr Herbert
See your Minutes on 4070. I think it is a case for liberal treatment & I do not see that it will be a precedent inconvenient to this Office hereafter—& remitting is much easier than paying. Governor Musgrave['s] most liberal proposal is to cry quits.
CC 4 May
RGWH May 5/71
I should myself be much inclined to wipe off the debt and to let him have the whole of the land if it is not exceptionally valuable. If it is he wd not of course part with it and I wd let him clear himself by paying 100£. I shd trust Mr Musgrave.
FR 5/5
I incline to remit the debt & wd sanction Govr Musgrave in this course if after full consideration he deems it the most expedient.
EHKH 6/5/71
I agree.
K May 7/71
Other documents included in the file
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Draft reply, Kimberley to Musgrave, No. 42, 10 May 1871.