Colvile to Grey
Hudson's Bay House
28th December 1854
Mr Douglas the Governor of Vancouver Island mentioned in a letter to the Governor and Committee of the Hudson's Bay Company that he had made an enquiry of you whether that Colony would be entitled to benefit by the provisions of the Reciprocity Treaty with the United States of America, and had represented that, as Vancouver Island was a "free port," and had no Import duties whatever at present, it had a fair claim to participate in that arrangement.
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I understand that the Reciprocity Treaty is limited to the British Colonies of Canada, Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, and Prince Edward Island. Vancouver Island is in many points similarly situated towards the United States of America, but though the produce and manufactures of the United States may be freely imported into that Island, and without duty, yet all produce and manufactures imported from thence into the United States are subjected to very high duties. I have therefore on the part of the Governor and Committee of the Hudson's Bay Company to whose charge the interests of Vancouver Island Colony have been entrusted, to call your attention to this subject andtoManuscript image to suggest that an application should be made to the Government of the United States to extend the provisions of the Reciprocity Treaty to Vancouver Island Colony.
If this should be attained, the working of the Coal Mines, and the general prosperity of the Colony would be much promoted.
I have the honour to be Sir
Your mo obedt Servant
A. Colvile

The Right Honble
Sir George Grey Bart MP.
&c &c &c
Minutes by CO staff
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Mr Merivale
Communicate I presume to the Company the substance or a Copy of the despatch to the Govr on the subject of including Van Couver's Island in the Reciprocity Treaty?
VJ 29 Decr
Mr Peel
This should be done. The Island could of course be included only by additional articles (after the Act of P. shall have passed). It would be a great advantage: & the subject might I should think be then brought once more before the Foreign Office?
HM D 29
FP 30
GG 1
Other documents included in the file
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Draft, Colonial Office to Colvile, 6 January 1855, forwarding copy of a despatch sent to Douglas regarding the inclusion of Vancouver Island in the reciprocity treaty.