6824. Vancouvers Island

No 13
12 May 1851
My Lord,
I beg to acknowledge the receipt of
2Copy to Gov Hudson's Bay Compy for r 3 Sept/51 for consid
your Lordships despatch No 3, of 29 June 1850 transmitting the public seal of the colony of Vancouvers Island, and Her Majesty's warrant and sign manual authorizing and directing its use.
I have also to acknowledge the receipt of your Lordships despatch No 4 of 16 July 1850 approving of my reasons for deferring the nomination of a council for the present and pointing out the expediency of establishing the council and other prescribed institutions without any unnecessaryManuscript imageunnecessary delay —
I can assure your Lordship that I am deeply impressed with a sense of the expediency of the prescribed measures, but I regret to add that there is at present a total want of the necessary materials either for a council or for any other legislative, or executive appointments, The whole tendency of the system pursued by the Hudson's bay Company being to exclude free settlers, and reserve the Island either as an enlarged post of their own, or a desert.
I have received a communication from the Hudsons bay Company stating that no salaries are to be paid out of the proceeds of the land sales, but must be raised in the Island either by taxes on imports, or otherwise. This is in fact repudiating the clause in their grant which binds them to provide, at their own expense, all necessary civil and military establishments,Manuscript image their own arrangements tend to prevent a tax paying population settling here, and that the harbours shall be open to all nations for the purposes of trade is prominently put forward in the prospectus they have published.
Reports are current of gold having been found by the Cowitchin Indians, in the Arro Canal, but they are so vague as scarcely to deserve notice,
1 I have the honor to be
Your Lordships Obediant Servant
Richard Blanshard Governor
Minutes by CO staff
Manuscript image
Mr Merivale
The Charter Grant provides that the Company shall defray the entire expense of any Civil and Military Establishments, but it neither authorizes nor forbids the imposition of taxes.
11 Augt 51 VJ
It also devotes all the fund arising from land sales (except 10 per cent) to the "colonization & improvement of the island." It is not very clear whether these words would include the expenses of civil government or not. In the present instance however the Governor, by not annexing the "communication" he has received from the Company, has made it impossible to take any definite steps: we do not know what salaries are in question. Probably this desp. had better be referred to the Company for explanation?
HM Augt 13.
[…] G. 20/
Other documents included in the file
Manuscript image
Draft, Colonial Office to Pelly, 3 September 1851, forwarding copy of Blanshard's despatch for observation.
  1. This addressee information appears at the foot of the first page of the despatch.
  2. This text runs perpendicular to main body text; see image scan.
  3. This paragraph has been marked as a passage of interest, presumably by a reader in the Colonial Office; see image scan.
People in this document

Blanshard, Richard

Grey, Henry George

Jadis, Vane

Merivale, Herman

Pelly, John Henry

Organizations in this document

Colonial Office

Hudson's Bay Company

Places in this document

Haro Strait

Vancouver Island