No. 30
31th October 1856
1. I have the honor to acknowledge the receipt of your Despatch No 16 of the 23rd of August in reply to my commmunications No 12 and 14 of the 22nd May, and the 7th of June last, reporting my proceedings in respect to carrying out the instructions contained in your Despatch of the 28th of February 1856, for convoking aManuscript imagea Legislative Assembly in this Colony, and requesting advice and instructions, from you on various subjects connected with that measure.
2. I have since in my several Despatches of the numbers and dates mentioned in the margin,
No. 15, 22 July, and No. 19, 20 August 1856.
reported to you the several steps taken towards carrying those instructions into effect, and the formal opening of the House of Assembly on the 12th day of August last, together with the objections raised to the property qualification of certain members, who took their seats on that occasion and the consequent difficulty experienced in organizing the House.
3. After repeated adjournments the speaker with much tact and address, finally succeeded, without my interference, in adjusting party differences, and formingManuscript imageforming a committee, which immediately proceeded with an inquiry into the qualifications of the Members elect, and declared the return of Edward E Langford null and void, in consequence of his not having sufficient property to constitute a legal qualification, and then adjourned to the 24th day of October (present).
4. A fresh writ was in consequence issued, and Joseph William McKay was returned without opposition as Member for the District of Victoria in the place of Edward E Langford.
5. The House met on the 24th day of the present month (October) and after some necessary arrangements adjourned to the 13th day of November next, when they will be prepared for serious work.
6. ThoseManuscript image
6. Those delays have not been without their use, as the Members have had time to prepare for the proper discharge of the public duties they have to perform, and their minds have been dis-abused of many false notions, which were commonly entertained here, concerning the powers and jurisdiction of the House of Assembly, so that on the whole I do not regret the time spent in constituting the House.
7. I observe with satisfaction that in abiding by the terms of my Commission, in respect to the franchise I have acted in conformity with the instructions, on that point, contained in your Despatch, and we shall further carry out your instructions by bringing a measure before the Assembly, when it is found desirable to extend the suffrage.
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I have the honor to be Sir
Your most obedient humble Servant
James Douglas

The Right Honble Henry Labouchere Esqre
Her Majesty's principal Secretary of State
For the Colonial Department.
Minutes by CO staff
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Mr Merivale
VJ 14 Jan
HM Jan 15
JB 16 Jy
HL 18
Other documents included in the file
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Draft reply, Labouchere to Douglas, No. 4, 24 January 1857.