Tennent to Merivale (Permanent Under-Secretary)
Office of Committee of Privy
Council for Trade,
23 December 1858
I am directed by the Lords of the Committee of Privy Council for Trade to transmit to you, to be laid before Secretary Sir E.B. Lytton, the accompanying copy of a Despatch which they have received through the Earl of Malmesbury from Her Majesty's Acting Consul General in the Sandwich Islands expressing the views of the English Merchants in those Islands with regard to the creation of the Port of Victoria in Vancouver's Island as a Free Port.
The question raised in this DespatchappearsManuscript image appears to this Board one which in the interests of British Trade deserves the serious attention of Her Majesty's Government and I am to request that you will state to Sir E.B. Lytton that My Lords would be glad to be favoured with his opinion as to the expediency of acting upon this suggestion.
I have the honor to be, Sir,
Your obedient Servant,
J. Em. Tennent
H. Merivale Esq, C.B
&c &c &c
Colonial Office
Minutes by CO staff
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Lord Carnarvon
This would seem to be a question more for the Board of Trade & Treasury to decide than this office, but I suppose the opinion of the Secretary of State is asked with reference to the Colonial Revenue, ie how far the making Victoria a free Port wd interfere with Such Revenue, by abolishing (if such would be the effect) customs an[d] other duties?
VJ 24 Decr
It is the old question between merchants & consumers on the one hand & the revenue on the other. I can only suggest consulting the Governor.
HM D 29
Write to the Govr.?
C D. 30
Yes. & so state to Treasury.
But I don't think Victoria could yet afford to be a free Port—tho' hereafter it might.
EBL D 31
Other documents included in the file
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Draft reply, Lytton to Douglas, No. 4, 7 January 1859.
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Draft, Merivale to Tennent, 7 January 1859, advising the Governor had been asked for a report on the question of free trade.
Documents enclosed with the main document (not transcribed)
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Consul General B.T. Nicolas, Woahoo, to Earl of Malmesbury, Foreign Office, 7 October 1858, describing the general effect of making Victoria a free port.