Shepherd to Labouchere
Hudson's Bay House
March 20th 1856
I have the honour to acknowledge the receipt of Mr Ball's letter dated Downing Street 15th Instant enclosing Copy of [a] letter addressed to the Colonial Office by direction of the Earl of Clarendon, transmitting Copy of a Dispatch from Her Majesty's Minister at Washington relative to the extension of the Reciprocity Treaty with the United States to Vancouver's Island, which in accordance with his request I have laid before the Directors of the Hudson's Bay Company.
In reply, I have the honour to state that at present theManuscript imagethe Directors of the Hudson's Bay Company are not aware of any objection to the acceptance by Her Majesty's Government of the counter Proposition that Mr Crampton expects will be put forward by the American Government; provided due care be taken that the right of fishing reciprocally conceded be restricted to sea fishing, and that the right of salmon fishing whether in bays, creeks, or along the coast generally, as well as in rivers, and the mouths of rivers, be reserved to the Hudson's Bay Company in the territory held under the exclusive Licence of Trade,
and also that it be understood that the said Treaty will not be considered as giving any pretext to American Citizens to trade with the Indians for Furs, or other articles.
At the same time I have to remark that, before giving a definite answer, it would be satisfactoryManuscript imagesatisfactory to the Directors to have a Report on the subject from Sir George Simpson who has visited the North West Coast of America, and whose opinion on the subject would be extremely valuable.
I propose to communicate with Sir George Simpson, who is at present in Canada, by the first opportunity, and would respectfully request that no steps be taken in the matter until his reply be received, which may be expected in course of post.
I have the honour to be Sir
Your mo: obedient Servant
John Shepherd
Depy Govr

The Right Honble Henry Labouchere
&c &c &c
Colonial Office
Minutes by CO staff
Manuscript image
Mr Merivale
Enquire, I presume, of the F.O., whether this suggestion should be agreed to?
ABd 22/3
Mr Ball
I am quite at a loss to know on what grounds the H.B.C. require to have the right of coast & river fishing on the NW coast of Nth Amca secured to them in the event of a treaty. Their license gives them the right of exclusive trading with the Indians in that region, but gives them nothing else. I would by no means urge on a controversy with them, but when these pretensions are put forward it seems almost necessary to ask the grounds on which they rest, lest silence should hereafter be taken for consent?
HM Mh 24
Mr Labouchere
I agree with Mr Merivale. It is quite a separate question whether the right of salmon fishing &c should be extended to the Americans and the claim here raised that it shd be reserved to the H.B.Cy.
JB 27 Mh
The H.B.C. can only speak in this matter as representing British
Interests in that part of the world—which is practically pretty much the case. I see no objection to this reference to the Governor of V.C. Island for an opinion before a decision is come to.
HL 29 M
Documents enclosed with the main document (transcribed)
Manuscript image
Draft, Elliot to Shepherd, 4 April 1856, asking on what grounds the company expected to have the right of coast and river fishing reserved to them.
4th April /56
In answer to your letter of the 20th Ulto I am directed by Mr Secretary Labouchere to state that he shall be happy to receive the proposed report from Sir George Simpson on the extension of the Reciprocity Treaty with the United States to Vancouver's Island, but that in the meanwhile he will thank you to inform him on what groundsManuscript imagegrounds you require to have the right of Coast and River fishing on the North West Coast of America secured to the Hudson's Bay Company in the event of the extension of the Treaty.
I have &c

Minutes by CO staff
Ans. 15th April/56/3481.
Copy to FO 8 May/56.