No. 2
1 July 1858
I have to acknowledge your Despatch No 19 of the 8th Ulto in continuation of former despatches informing the Secretary of State from time to time of the progress of the Gold discoveries on Fraser's River, and the measures which you had taken in consequence. I am anxious not to let the opportunity of the present Mail pass without informing you that Her Majesty's Government have under their consideration the pressing necessity for taking some steps to establish public order and government in that locality, and that I hope very soon to be able to communicate to you the result.
In the meantime Her Majesty's Government approve of the course which you have adopted in asserting both the dominion of the Crown over this region and the right of the Crown over the precious metals. They think however, that you acted judiciously in waiting for further instructions before you endeavoured to compel the taking out of Licenses by causing any force to be dispatched for that reason from Vancouver's Island.
They wish you to continue your vigilance, and to apply for instructions on any point on which you may require them. They are however, in addition particularly anxious to impress on you, that while Her Majesty's Government are determined on preserving the rights both of Government and of Commerce which belong to this country, and while they have it in contemplation to furnish you with such a force as they may be able to detach for your assistance and support, in the preservation of law and order, it is no part of their policy to exclude Americans and other foreigners from the Gold fields. On the contrary, you are distinctly instructed to oppose no obstacle whatever to their resort thither for the purpose of digging in those fields, so long as they submit themselves, in common with the subjects of Her Majesty, to the recognition of Her Authority, and conform to such rules of Police as you may have thought proper to establish. The National right to navigate Fraser's River is of course a separate question, and one which Her Majesty's Government must reserve.
Under the circumstance of so large an immigration of Americans into English Territory, I need hardly impress upon you the importance of caution and delicacy in dealing with those manifest cases of international relationship and feeling which are certain to arise, and which but for the exercise of temper and discretion might easily lead to serious complications between two neighbouring and powerful States.
It is impossible by this Mail to furnish you with any instructions of a more definite character.
Her Majesty's Government must leave much to your discretion on this most important Subject; and they rely upon your exercising whatever influence and powers you may possess in the manner which from local knowledge and experience you conceive to be best calculated to give development to the new Country and to advance Imperial interests.
I have etc.