No. 13
11th May 1854
My Lord Duke
I have the honor to acknowledge the receipt, on the 16th April last, of your Grace's Despatch dated 8th February 1853, transmitting copy of a letter from Mr James Cooper relative to a resolution moved by me at a meeting of the Council of Government of Vancouver's Island on the 5th of October 1853,
expressive of the opinion of Council as to the impropriety of its Members retailing spirituous liquors or following any calling subversive of order, or injurious to public morals.
According Manuscript image
According to your Grace's instructions on that head I shall acquaint Mr Cooper that whenever any representation affecting his position in the Council is submitted to your Grace, no decision will be pronounced in the case, until any statements or explanations which he may desire to offer, are brought before you, and also that your Grace wishes it to be understood that in future all parties having representations to make must conform to the established rule of Colonial correspondence.
It is I presume unnecessary for me to make any remarks on the subject of Mr Cooper's letter, as I made no representation affecting Mr Cooper's position as a Member of Council,
Was he or was he not, a retail dealer in spirits?
and your Grace will perceive that the motive, which influenced me in moving the resolution referred to in his letter, was a desire to promote the public good, and to increase the influence and respectability of the Council.
I have the honor to be
Your Grace's most obedient humble Servant
James Douglas
Governor Vancouver's Island

His Grace The Right Honble The Duke of Newcastle
Her Majesty's principal Secretary of State
For the Colonial Department
Minutes by CO staff
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Mr Merivale
As no complaint has been preferred by either party against the other I think it wd be desirable for the peace of this small community to let the correspondence drop. At the same time I consider it very advisable to uphold Mr Cooper, when it is right so to do, as he is almost the only man in V. Couver's Island who is independent of the H.B. Co. & should be encouraged to speak out.
ABd 25 July
I own I cannot understand the case. If the resolution stands on
the minutes, it seems to be one "affecting Mr Cooper's character as a member of Council." And considering the great delay which has occurred owing to the incomprehensible detention of all our despatches, it is best probably simply to acknowledge, with the expression of satisfaction that the difference appears to have subsided.
HM Jy 26
FP 26
GG 27
Other documents included in the file
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Draft reply, Grey to Douglas, No. 2, 1 August 1854, expressing satisfaction that the conflict between Douglas and Cooper has ended.