Kelly and Cairns to Lytton
June 18, 1858
We were favored with Lord Stanley's Commands signified in Mr Merivale's letter of the 22nd April ultimo in which he stated that he was directed by Lord Stanley to request that we would peruse and settle the annexed Draft of a Warrant for appointing a Lieutenant Governor over a portion of Her Majesty's Territories and Possessions in North America to the West of the Rocky Mountains, and
That the territory in question is not a portion of the land claimed by the Hudson's Bay Company under their Charter but is included in the Crown Grant to the Hudson's Bay Company ofManuscript imageof exclusive Trade with the Indians of the year 1838 of which a Copy was annexed.
That the power reserved to the Crown at the close of this grant to form new Colonies revoking as to such Colonies the concession of exclusive Trade, has not been exercised, nor is it proposed at present to exercise it, the grant itself being about to expire on the 30th May 1859.
That the object of the present Commission is (if practicable) to establish a temporary authority until the Crown shall be at liberty by the expiration of that grant to take more general measures, that this step was rendered desirable by the circumstance that the recent discovery of Gold on and near the Columbia and Fraser's River may probably attract settlers to the territory in question.
Mr Manuscript image
Mr Merivale was pleased also to refer us to the Acts of Parliament 1 & 2 Geo. 4 c. 66 "for regulating the Fur Trade &c" and 43 Geo. 3 c. 138. "for extending the jurisdiction of the Courts of Justice in the provinces of Lower & Upper Canada &c" and to the 12 & 13 Vic. c. 48, amending the same as regards Vancouver's Island; and to request that we would advise Lord Stanley generally as to the legal steps which might in our opinion be advisable for carrying into execution the temporary purpose above stated.
In Obedience to his Lordship's Commands we have perused the papers forwarded to us and have the honor to Report
That Manuscript image
That we have perused and settled the Draft Warrant referred to in Mr Merivale's letter and have appended our initials to the same.
That we think it right to submit to you that inasmuch as the Act 1st & 2 Geo. 4 c. 66 places the territory in question under the jurisdiction of the Courts of Judicature of Upper Canada for certain judicial purposes some difficulty may hereafter arise in consequence of the Jurisdiction for Judicial purposes being derived from a source different from that which confers the executive power.
It would therefore appear to us to be desirable that An Act of Parliament should be passed at some fitting opportunity which may remove the obstacles we have mentioned as arising out of the provisions of the Act of 1 & 2 Geo. 4.
This course appears to have been thought necessary in 1849 when the Act 12 & 13 Vic. c 48 "to provide for the administration of Justice in VancouversManuscript imageVancouver's Island" was passed, and the territory in question is, as we understand in the same position with respect to Canada as Vancouver's Island was before 1849.
There is nothing however to prevent the appointment of a Lieutenant Governor of the district being made, and it may well be that during the temporary arrangement now contemplated none of the inconveniences to which we have referred may actually occur.
We have the honor to be Sir
Your most obedient humble
FitzRoy Kelly
H.M. Cairns
The Right Honble
Sir Edward Bulwer Lytton Bart. M.P.
&c &c &c
Minutes by CO staff
Manuscript image
ABd. 19 June.
Lord Carnarvon
You are aware that an Act is now in contemplation. That Act should contain a clause getting rid of the Canadian courts' jurisdiction as suggested?
HM June 19 C. June 21
Documents enclosed with the main document (transcribed)
Manuscript image
Draft, Warrant for appointing Douglas Lieutenant Governor of the territory west of the Rockies between 49 and 54 degrees north latitude, initialed by Kelly and Cairns.
Draft of a Warrant for appointing James Douglas Esquire, Governor and Commandeer in Chief of Vancouver’s Island and its dependencies, to be Lieutenant Governor of Her majesty’s Territories and Possessions in North America which are bounded on the North by the 54th Degree of North Latitude, on the East by the Rocky Mountains and on the South by the 49th Degree of North Latitude.
Victoria by the Grace of God of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland Queen; Defender of the Faith: To Our Trusty and Well beloved James Douglas Esquire, Our Governor and Commander inManuscript imagein and over Our Island of Vancouver and the Islands adjacent between the 49th and 52nd Degrees of North Latitude; Greeting.
We reposing especial Trust and confidence in your Loyalty, Integrity, and Ability, do by these Presents constitute and appoint you to be our Lieutenant Governor of all those Territories and Possessions of Our Crown in North America which are boundedManuscript imagebounded on the North by the 54th Degree of North Latitude, on the East by the Rocky Mountains, and on the South by the 49th Degree of North Latitude, under the style and title of the “Fraser’s River Territory,” to have, hold exercise and enjoy, the said Place and Office during Our Pleasure; with all the rights, profits, privileges and advantages to the same belonging or appertaining. And We do hereby authorize andManuscript imageand require you to exercise and perform all such Orders and Instructions as you shall or may hereafter receive from Us: And We do hereby command all and singular Our Officers, Ministers, and Loving Subjects in Our said Territories and Possessions, and all others whom it may concern, to take due notice hereof, and to give their ready obedience accordingly.
Given at Our Court at                  this
      day of              1858 in the 21st year of
Our Reign.
By Her Majesty’s Command.