Williams to Secretary of State
Aylmer, Canada West
April 23rd 1857 The Right Honble the Secretary for the Colonies, London

There are several families in this Section of Canada, and I presume in other Sections also, who are desirous of emigrating but who do not wish to live under the American flag. Their thoughts have been turned to Vancouver Island and the adjoiningManuscript image British Coast. If upon more minute enquiry they are Satisfied with the climate and natural advantages of the island, it is their intention to proceed forthwith across the American Continent to the Pacific. Before taking a step attended with so much expense and hardship they are anxious to learn the intentions of the Home government withrespectManuscript image respect to the granting of land—whether free grants will be given & what encouragement for the erection of mills, making of roads and such other necessary and expensive works, the burthen of which, falls so heavily on the first Settlers of a new colony. I need not say that the parties who propose going, are of the right stamp for pioneers. They can alsoManuscript image master a sufficiency of Capital; and the different trades and professions will be fully represented.
I remain, Sir,
Your Most Obdt Servt
A. Williams
Minutes by CO staff
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Mr Elliot
You know that the H.B.Co have the disposal of Land in Van Couver's Island for a few more years—till 1859—& that they only sell the land.
ABd 5 June
See answer on 3683, from Mr John Macdonald. I annex a draft.
TFE 6 June
Other documents included in the file
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Draft reply, Labouchere to Sir E. Head, No. 82, 9 June 1857, asking that he inform Williams the government had "not yet taken any steps to open Van Couver's Island to settlement nor adopted any definite terms for the disposal of Land to Immigrants."