Colvile to Newcastle
Hudson's Bay House
November 8th 1853
My Lord Duke,
I have the honour to acknowledge Mr Merivale's letter of the 27th Ultimo addressed to Mr Barclay Secretary of the Hudson's Bay Company stating that Her Majesty's Government have under their consideration the propriety of authorizing freedom of trade within the settled parts of Vancouver's Island, subject to restrictions as to the sale of spirituous liquors, and that your Grace will be happy to receive such observations as the Hudson's Bay Company may think proper to submit to you upon this subject.
In reply to which, I have to observe, that the Company does not claim the right to, and has notexercisedManuscript image exercised any exclusive dealings with the Indians of Vancouver's Island since it became a Colony, neither has there been any restriction on the freedom of trade as regards the Indians or any other parties.
This state of matters is so well known in the Island that any further declaration or proceeding of Her Majesty's Government would appear to be unnecessary, and if such were to be made, it might be construed to be something in addition to what already exists, and lead to employing the Indians to carry on traffic with the Country on the Continent, contrary to the rights of the Company under their License of Trade.
The only way in which traffic with the Indians can be really and permanently useful to the Settlers, and at the same time beneficial to the IndiansisManuscript image is by the employment of Indian labour in cutting down wood to clear the Country, in the cultivation of the soil, and in fishing; a course to which it has been the policy of the Company to give every encouragement.
Having submitted these observations, I have only to add that the Company will not object to any course which your Grace may consider proper to direct, having due regard to their rights under the License of Trade.
I have the honour to be,
My Lord Duke,
Your Grace's mo: obedient humble Servant
A. Colvile

His Grace The Duke of Newcastle
&c &c &c
Minutes by CO staff
Manuscript image
Mr Merivale
If this declaration on the part of the Hudson's Bay Compy is deemed satisfactory it would appear unnecessary to move further in the matter till we receive an answer to the Despatch N 12 of 22 Octr addressed to the Govr of Van Couver's Island?
VJ 10 Nov
Wait for an answer to that despatch at all events?
HM N 10
FP 11
N 12