Murdoch and Wood to Merivale (Permanent Under-Secretary)
19th January 1853
Sir,
We have to acknowledge the receipt of your letter of the 21st ultimo, enclosing the copy of a letter from the Governor of the Hudsons Bay Company relative to the Colonization of VancouversIslandManuscript image Island Island and directing us to report on a suggestion made in that letter that the obligation hitherto imposed on purchasers of land of bringing into the Island a certain number of Settlers should not be insisted on in the case of purchasers of small allotments not exceeding about 100 acres.
2. The grant of Vancouvers Island to the Hudson Bay Company in 1849 was made for the declared purpose of promotingManuscript image promoting the Colonization of that Island and accordingly it is provided in the letters patent conveying the grant, in conformity with terms previously agreed upon between the Company and Earl Grey, that all monies realized by the Company from the sale of Land or of Coal or other Minerals should, after a deduction of one tenth by way of profit to the Company, be applied towards the colonization and improvement of the IslandManuscript image Island Island. It is further provided that if the Company should not within 5 years from the date of the grant, i.e. 13th January 1849, have established on the Island a Settlement of resident Colonists, emigrants from the United Kingdom or other British Dominions, the Crown should be at liberty to revoke the grant.
3. We do not find in the Parliamentary Papers the regulations under which the Hudsons BayManuscript image Bay Company have disposed of Lands in Vancouvers Island, but we infer from the Governor's letter now before us that with a view to carry out the Colonization of the Island it has been made a condition of the sale of Land that the purchaser should introduce a certain number of settlers. The proposal now is to remit this condition in the case of purchasers of lots not exceeding 100 acres.
4. As far as we can judge from the papersbeforeManuscript image before us, we apprehend that the Hudson's Bay Company are competent to make this alteration of their own authority, without the previous sanction of the Secretary of State—but as the question has been referred to us we must add, that it appears to us unobjectionable. Purchasers of so small a quantity as 100 acres would generally be persons in humble circumstances to whom the obligation of introducing laborers might beinconvenientManuscript image inconvenient—and as they would generally have but little capital out of which to employ hired labor, they would have no more individual interest in the labor introduced by means of their purchase money than any other settler in the Island.
5. Whatever change may be made in the regulations in respect to the disposal of lands the proportion of the proceeds assigned to the Company and to Colonization purposesManuscript image purposes will of course remain the same.
We have the honor to be Sir,
Your obedient Humble Servants,
T.W.C. Murdoch
C. Alexander Wood

Herman Merivale Esq.
&c &c &c
Minutes by CO staff
Manuscript image
VJ 20 Jan/53
Mr Merivale
This Report was called for at your suggestion. I apprehend that the views of the Commrs will be adopted?
TFE 20 Jany
Manuscript image
Mr Peel
The regulation in question was contained in a printed notice which the H.B.C. issued to intending purchasers at the time of their acquisition of the island. I do not know that we have a copy of it. I have no doubt the H.B.C. are competent to alter it, & may be authorized to do [so], if this Report is approved of.
HM Jan 24
FP 24
I think consent may be given, provided the relaxation of the condition applies only to Purchasers not exceeding in all 100 acres.
N 26
[Sender not known.] to Merivale, Herman 19 January 1853, CO 305:4, no. 535, 209. The Colonial Despatches of Vancouver Island and British Columbia 1846-1871, Edition 2.2, ed. James Hendrickson and the Colonial Despatches project. Victoria, B.C.: University of Victoria. https://bcgenesis.uvic.ca/V535LN01.html.

Last modified: 2020-12-02 13:40:34 -0800 (Wed, 02 Dec 2020) (SVN revision: 5008)