June 2nd 1852
I have laid before the Earl of Malmesbury your letter of the 26th ultimo, enquiring whether any, and what, instructions should be given to the Governor of Vancouver's Island or to Rear Admiral Moresby in regard to foreign vessels trading to Queen Charlotte's Island or to parties of foreigners whom such vessels may convey thither for the purpose of carrying on mining or other operationsManuscript imageoperations; and I am directed by His Lordship to transmit to you a copy of a letter which he addressed to the Admiralty on the 8th ultimo, desiring that Admiral Moresby should be instructed to protect British property and British territory from violation by foreigners.
I also transmit to you a copy of a despatch which Lord Malmesbury has written to Her Majesty's Minister at Washington upon this subject, and which despatch His Lordship hopesManuscript imagehopes will have the desired effect of inducing the United States Government to exert themselves to prevent aggression by American citizens on English rights; and I am to request that you will inform Secretary Sir John Pakington that, in His Lordship's opinion, the Governor of Vancouver's Island, or the officer whose jurisdiction extends over Queen Charlotte's Island, should be instructed in conformity with the tenor of the papers above mentionedManuscript imagementioned, and should make such regulations regarding the trade and mining operations as may be right and proper, and may prevent such trade and mining from being improperly usurped by foreigners; and that both the Governor and Admiral should be instructed to punish according to law, or forcibly to expel from the Island, any foreigners who may infringe British regulations or violate British territory.
I am, Sir,
Your most obedient humble Servant,

Herman Merivale Esq
&. &. &c
Documents enclosed with the main document (not transcribed)
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Malmesbury to Admiralty, Immediate, 8 May 1852, forwarding letter and enclosures from the Hudson's Bay Company regarding Queen Charlotte Island and instructing them to secure the area, as per despatch.
Minutes by CO staff
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Mr Merivale
It is very easy for the F. office to recommend the removal of intruders, & the establishment of regulations for managing the gold mines in Queen Charlotte Island but not quite such a facile operation to execute with the inadequate materials on the spot. But I suppose this Office must do the best it can to provide the Governor of VanCouver's Island with the means of enforcing the Law. In such case the first thing to do is to furnish him with a Commission extending his jurisdiction over Q. Charlotte Island, as you have already proposed.
2y to send him some rules for his guidance in granting Licenses for obtaining the gold.
3y to instruct him to have the Country surveyed which will be a Manuscript imagevery dangerous business on account of the natives, but which nevertheless seems necessary.
In the meantime I conclude the Governor & the Hudson's Bay Company should be furnished with copies of these papers, & apprized generally of what the Govt is doing in the matter.
ABd 4 June
See Mr Merivales separate Minute & Sir John Pakingtons instructions.
Documents enclosed with the main document (not transcribed)
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Malmesbury to Crampton, 8 May 1852, forwarding above letter and enclosures and requesting they be brought to the immediate attention of the United States government.
Minutes by CO staff
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[Merivale's Separate Minute.] 4949 Vanc. I.
Lord Desart
This subject is full of difficulties, and some decision must be taken.
I have already explained that the enclosed commission to the Gov. of Vanc. I. would have no force to enable him to make regulations having force of law. But as the property both in land & mines is unquestionably the Crown's, the Crown could delegate to him the power of granting land & issuing licenses, though I am not aware of any distinct precedent for this, where no regular government is established.
But before this Commission [is] issued the Hudson's Bay Co. must be consulted. Mr Douglas is a servant of theirs, & we cannot tell whether his acceptance of this Commission would be consistent with hisManuscript image duties as their servant and as Governor of Vancouvers' Island.
This is on the whole the best & indeed the only course that occurs to me, but Sir J. Pakington must be prepared to find the measure represented as a farther concession to a monopolizing Company which is very unpopular with the House of Commons.
HM June 17
I am not sufficiently acquainted with the subject to venture on any comments. But the Hudson's Bay Company have I think nothing beyond mere trading privileges in Vancouver Island, and it certainly would be very ill advised to make any allowance to them of authority beyond their strict right.
D 17
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I think this is on the whole the best course we can take at present. I think, if possible there shd be a power of granting a Commission of the Peace to the Officer Commanding on the Station. [Marginal note. Mr Merivale thinks it is not in the power of the crown to issue Commissions of the Peace in blank. [ABd]]
Cannot this be done through the Govr. The power of granting land & licences should also be deputed to the Govr.
Has the H.B.Co. been informed of our intentions?
JSP 18
Other documents included in the file
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Draft, Colonial Office to Pelly, Hudson's Bay Company, 26 June 1852, asking if the company would have any objection to the appointment of Douglas as lieutenant governor of the Queen Charlotte Islands.