Confidential
16 July 1858
My public Despatch of this date will have shown you the high value which Her Majesty's Government attach to your services,Manuscript image and at the same time will guard you against some of the errors into which you may be led by your position as an Agent of the Hudson's Bay Company, while at the same time an officer of Her Majesty's Government.
I wish to inform you, confidentially, in addition, that a Bill is in progress through Parliament to get rid of certain legal obstacles which interpose to prevent the Crown from constituting a Government suited to the exigencies of so peculiar a case, over the territory now resorted to, according to report, by the multitudes whom the gold diggings on Fraser's River have attracted.
It is proposed to appoint a Governor, with a salary of at least £1,000 per annum, to be paid for the present out of a Parliamentary vote. AndManuscript image it is the desire of Her Majesty's Government to appoint you at once to that office, on the usual terms of a Governor's appointment, namely, for six years at least, your administration of that office continuing to merit the approval of Her Majesty's Government, this Government to be held, for the present, in conjunction with your separate Commission as Governor of Vancouver's Island.
With regard to the latter, I am not at this moment able to specify the terms as to salary on which it may ultimately be held, but your just interests would, of course, not be overlooked.
The legal connexion of the Hudson's Bay Company with Vancouver's Island will shortly be severed by the resumption by the Crown of the grant of the soil. And their legal rights on the continent oppositeManuscript image terminates in May next, at all events, by the expiry of Her licence, if Her Majesty should not be advised to terminate it sooner on the establishment of the new Colony.
It is absolutely necessary, in their view, that the administration of the Government, both of Vancouver's Island and of the main land opposite, should be intrusted to an officer or officers entirely unconnected with the Company.
I wish, therefore, for your distinct statement, as early as you can afford it, whether you are willing, on receiving the appointment which is thus offered you, to give up, within as short a time as may be practicable, all connexion which you may have with that Company, either as its servant, or a shareholder, or inManuscript image any other capacity.
I make this proposal without discussing at present the nature and extent of your actual connexions with that Company, but with the acquiescence of the Governor of the company, who has seen this Despatch.
In the meantime, and awaiting your answer, it is my present intention (liable only to be altered by what may transpire in future advices from yourself) to issue a Commission to you as Governor; but you will fully understand that unless you are prepared to assure me that all connexion between yourself and the Company is terminated, or in course of speedy termination, you will be relieved by the appointment of a successor.
I make this proposal briefly, and without unnecessary preface,Manuscript image being fully assured that you will understand, on the one hand, that Her Majesty's Government are very anxious to secure your services, if practicable, but, on the other, that it is quite impossible that you should continue to serve at once the Crown and the Company, when their respective rights and interests may possibly diverge, when at all events public opinion will not allow of such a connexion.
I have etc.
People in this document

Douglas, James

Lytton, Edward George Earle Bulwer

Organizations in this document

Hudson's Bay Company

Places in this document

Fraser River

Vancouver Island

Lytton, Edward George Earle Bulwer to Douglas, James 16 July 1858, CO 410:1, 139. The Colonial Despatches of Vancouver Island and British Columbia 1846-1871, Edition 2.2, ed. James Hendrickson and the Colonial Despatches project. Victoria, B.C.: University of Victoria. https://bcgenesis.uvic.ca/V587204A.html.

Last modified: 2020-12-02 13:40:34 -0800 (Wed, 02 Dec 2020) (SVN revision: 5008)