October 8th, 1852 To the Right Honorable Sir John Pakington, Bart. Her Majestys Principal Secretary of State for the Colonies

I most respectfully beg to tender this for your consideration, and in doing so I trust you will not conclude that I have unnecessarily troubled you. On the 30th of August 1851 on the resignation of Govr Blanshard I was duly sworn a member of council of the Govt of this colony.
At a council convened on the 5th of October 1852, His Excellency James Douglas Govr, moved the following resolution.
That we consider it derogatory to a member of Council to be a retail dealer of spirituous liquors or to follow any calling that may be subversive of order or injurious to public morals. To which I assented in the abstract, but proposed the following amendment.
That, it is highly derogatory to the Council to pass any resolution which is virtually aimed at any individual member of the same council, and accordingly that the foregoing resolution is hereby expressly declared not to be intended to affect either directly or indirectly any individual member of theManuscript image present council, but is intended merely as the expression of a purely abstract opinion in the most general terms.
This Amendment was rejected, and the Govr also informed the council that it was his intention to transmit a copy of the foregoing resolution to the Authorities in "England".
I find it necessary to enter more into detail of these particulars than I anticipated, and solicit a further hearing, feeling that my official duties as member of council are attacked, and that my private character would thereby be seriously injured.
I am a resident Colonist in Vancouvers Island (in fact the only Colonist from "Great Britain" unconnected with the H.B. Co.) and as general dealer or Merchant, Spirituous liquors are sold by me according to the standard rule in Her Majestys dominions in quantites not less than two gallons which constitute a wholesale dealer and not as implied in the resolution a retail dealer.
Up to this date no law exists in the colony to prohibit the sale of spirituous liquors in any shape. On the contrary three licenses have been issued by Govr Douglas for the sale of spirits of which number I hold one, having accepted it when the Govr spontaneously recommended me to do so. I have every reason to believe thatManuscript image the above is the result of a premeditated Scheme to obtain my withdrawal from the Council, as the vacancy could be filled with individuals more congenial to the wishes of the Hudson Bay Co.
Trusting for an impartial judgment
I have the honor to be Sir
Your most Obdt & Hble Servt
James Cooper
Member of Council
Minutes by CO staff
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Mr Merivale
I should conceive that it would be advantageous for the interests of the Colony to have an independent man like Mr Cooper in the Council of V. Couver's Island, and do not myself perceive that his being a Spirit dealer is an objection in such a very limited Community & range of choice as there must be in the Island. But on referring toManuscript image 933 you will notice that although the Governor's despatch is dated more than a month after the date of Mr Cooper's Letter he offers no objection to that gentleman's presence in the Council on the ground of his trade. The Governor has therefore probably thought better on the subject, and has let it drop. In the meanwhile perhaps Mr Cooper may be ansd, thro' the Governor, that his Letter has been recd, and that whenever anyManuscript image representation is preferred against him the Duke of Newcastle will give him every opportunity of defending himself before pronouncing a decision on the case submitted to him.
ABd 29 Jany/53
Adding that considering the distance of Vanc. Id and the recent establishment of government there his Grace has thought it expedient to take this notice of Mr Cooper's letter although not transmitted through the Govr but that he wishes itManuscript image to be understood that in future all parties having representations to make to him must conform to the established rule of colonial correspondence.
HM F 3
FP 3
N 4
Other documents included in the file
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Draft reply, Newcastle to Douglas, No. 1, 8 February 1853.