Tennent to Merivale (Permanent Under-Secretary)
Office of Committee of Privy Council for Trade,
17th August 1855
I am directed by the Lords of the Committee of Privy Council for Trade, to acknowledge the receipt of your letter of the 10th Instant, adverting to the fact that in the Charter of Grant by which certain rights over the Island of Vancouver, were conveyed to the Hudsons Bay Company in 1849, no mention is made of the Fisheries—and enquiring by direction of the Secretary of State for the Colonies, whether in the opinion of their Lordships the rights of thatCompanyManuscript image Company present any obstacle to the extension of the advantages of the Reciprocity Treaty recently concluded with the United States to the Colony in question in accordance with the wishes expressed by the Inhabitants.
In reply I am to request that you will inform Secretary Sir William Molesworth that the objection suggested by this Board to the proposition of the American Government to include the Coast of the Pacific in the treaty then under negotiation to which you refer, appears to have been made under an apprehension that the Grant of the Island of Vancouver to the Hudsons Bay CompanymadeManuscript image made in 1848 rendered it doubtful how far it was competent to the Crown to deal with the Fisheries of the Island in the manner proposed.
Upon reference however to the Report of this Committee to the Queen in Council in October 1848, upon the Charter of Grant in question; it will be seen that it contains a distinct recommendation that the Fisheries should be reserved to the Crown, a recommendation which was made in anticipation that if they were included in the Grant such a measure might be found at some future time to interfere injuriously with the interests of the Colonists.
The Manuscript image
The Charter of Grant is framed in accordance with this recommendation and under these circumstances My Lords see no objection upon this ground to a compliance with the desire of the Colonists.
I have the honor to be, Sir,
Your most obedient Servant,
J. Emerson Tennent

H. Merivale
&c &c &c
Minutes by CO staff
Manuscript image
Mr Ball
Now adopt yr recommendation on 5433, approved by Sir W. Molesworth.
ABd 20 Augt
Annex draft.
JB 21 Aug