Phinn to Merivale (Permanent Under-Secretary)
25 Feb'y 1856
Having laid before my Lords Commissioners of the Admiralty your letter of the 23d Instant, with its inclosures, relative to the defenceless state of Vancouver's Island, & suggesting the expediency of stationing a Ship of war there; I am commanded by my Lords to acquaint you, for theManuscript imagethe information of Mr Secretary Labouchere, that the President Frigate was some time ago despatched by the Commander in Chief in the Pacific to Vancouver's Island, & that his attention has been already called to the danger in which the British settlements at that Island may be placed. My Lords would suggest, however, that measures for providing some defences onManuscript imageon shore & some armed force on the Island should be taken, as it is impossible for any naval force to undertake the whole protection of that large Island.
I am sir,
Your most obedient humnble servant
Thos. Phinn

Minutes by CO staff
Manuscript image
Mr Merivale
This will, I presume, be regarded as sufficient; the reports from the Governor down to the end of Decr giving a more satisfactory account of affairs in the Settlement.
ABd 27/F
Communicate to the HBC. But there can be no doubt the safety of
the little British settlement here depends wholly on the firmness and discretion of the Governor's conduct toward the Indians; military defence there is none.
HM F 27
JB 28 F
HL 28