No. 37
30 August 1858
I herewith transmit for the information of Her Majesty's Government, copy of the instructions issued to the Assistant Gold Commissioners, to be employed in Fraser's River and also a Proclamation issued on the 25th of Instant 1 establishing Harbor Regulations and for the regulation ofBoatsManuscript image Boats and other small craft, employed on the coast of Vancouver's Island, which I trust may meet with the approval of Her Majesty's Government.
I have the honor to be
Your most obedient humble Servant
James Douglas

The Right Honble Sir Edward Bulwer Lytton Bart.
Her Majesty's principal Secretary of State
For the Colonial Department
Minutes by CO staff
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Mr Elliot
This despatch supplies the regulations which have been adopted for working the gold. They appear to be:
1. That for the present, licences shall be issued at 21/- a month, which shall confer a claim to the following spaces, vizt 25 feet of the bank of the River, 25 feet of each bank of a creek or Ravine or 20 square feet of table land.
2. That these licenses shall extend only to alluvial gold and not to matrix gold combined with quartz or other rock.
3. That special application is to be made for permission to work the quartz veins;theManuscript image the applicant giving security to the amount of £2,000 for the payment of a Royalty of 10 per cent on the actual produce. The claims to consist of half a mile of the course of the river, and to last for 3 years, renewable at the end of that time if HM's Govt should approve, and to be forfeited if the holder shall fail to find the requisite security, or shall not employ at least 20 men or shall neglect to pay the royalty. Regulations are also laid down with regard to access to the river, the right to cut timber, and the course to be followed with respect to any machinery which may be erected.
4. In the case of draining ponds or water holes application is to be made as above. But instead of a royalty, Licenses are to be taken out by the applicant for the number of men which such water hole or pond may afford work for. This number to be decided by the Gold Commissioner.
The distinction made between alluvial & matrix gold appears judicious, but it may be a question whether the Govr has not made the latter too inaccessible by the large capital which would be required to work a claim under his regulations.
Approve, however, in reliance on his judgement?
The Harbor regulations might be sent to the Bd of Trade?
HT Irving 12 Oct
This is a matter on which IManuscript image presume that we have no alternative but to rely on the Governor's discretion. The great question in such regulations in remote places with few functionaries must be the possibility of enforcement; and that is a matter which can be conclusively judged of only on the spot.
TFE 12 Oct
I annex a draft wh will best explain my view. 2
C Oct 14
Other documents included in the file
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Draft, Elliot to James Booth, Board of Trade, 23 October 1858, forwarding copy of proclamation establishing harbour regulations for consideration.
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Draft reply, Lytton to Douglas, Confidential, 14 October 1858.
Documents enclosed with the main document (not transcribed)
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"Instructions to Assistant Gold Commissioners," Victoria, 1 July 1858, and forms referred to in paragraph one of the instructions.
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Police regulations, Fort Langley, 13 July 1858.
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"General regulations for Gold District," Fort Langley, 13 July 1858.
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Provisional regulations for the granting of mining licenses, Victoria, 30 December 1858 [1857], including form of gold license.
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Proclamation issued by Douglas, 28 December 1857, asserting the rights of the crown to regulate mining operations in the colony. 3
Other documents included in the file
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Draft of lithographed anwser to applicants requesting introduction to the governor.
Minutes by CO staff
Mr Merivale
I think this will do very well.
EBL Aug 21
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Draft of lithographed form letter of introduction to the governor.
Minutes by CO staff
Mr Merivale
I think that this draft, & the following one will answer Sir Edward's views perfectly.
ABd 21
I think so?
HM A 21
  1. = Proclamation, 25 Aug 58, Harbour Regulations Harbour regulations. Not in file; was forwarded to Board of Trade. Trade replied in Tennent to Merivale (Permanent Under-Secretary), 17 December 1858, 12900, CO 60/2, p. 251. Proclamation in Papers Relative to the Affairs of British Columbia, Part I, p. 33, is about gold mining not harbours. Check?? Gazette ??
  2. Carnarvon's draft was presumably approved by Lytton and appears as the draft, Lytton to Douglas, Confidential, 14 October 1858, in this file.
  3. Enclosures: These enclosures are published in Papers Relative to British Columbia, Part I, pp. 30-33, except for the proclamation of 28 December 1857, which appears in the Victoria Gazette, 2 September 1858 ?? Check PABC.
People in this document

Blackwood, Arthur Johnstone

Booth, James

Carnarvon, Earl

Douglas, James

Elliot, Thomas Frederick

Irving, Henry Turner

Lytton, Edward George Earle Bulwer

Merivale, Herman

Organizations in this document

Board of Trade

Places in this document

British Columbia

Fraser River


Vancouver Island