Corry to Merivale (Permanent Under-Secretary)
17 January 1859
I am commanded by the Lords Commissioners of the Admiralty to call your attention to the correspondence which took place between the two Departments last Spring relative to the retention of Thetis Island, Esquimalt, Van Couver's Island for Naval purposes, from which it appeared that the sale of that Island to a Private Individual would not be completed, but that it would be reserved as desired.
Upon a late visit, however, of the Naval Commander in Chief, he was requested Manuscript imageto give up the Island to an Individual who stated that he had purchased it, the day previously, at a public Auction.
It appearing that the purchase had been properly conducted, the Crown Solicitor was consulted as to the course most advisable to be adopted, and as that Officer reported that in the grant by the Crown to the Hudson's Bay Company of VanCouver's Island, there is an express saving clause, reserving to itself all such Land or so much thereof as may be required for public purposes, the question of right is definitively SettledManuscript imageSettled.
My Lords therefore request that you will move Secretary Sir E.B. Lytton to cause them to be furnished with the Title Deeds, so that the Island may be legally conveyed to the Naval Department.
I am etc.
H. Corry
Minutes by CO staff
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Mr Merivale
The Company told us in 3505 that they wd decline to complete the sale of Thetis Island which would be reserved for the Naval Authorities & the Govr was so informed. I have marked the Clause in the Charter to which the Admiralty now refer.
VJ 19 Jan
The authorities at the Admiralty cannot have taken the trouble of reading our letter of April/58 at all. I do not see what can be done but to refer them to it, at the same time sending copy of correspce to the HB Co. Dt annexed.
HM Jan 19
Other documents included in the file
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Draft, Merivale to Secretary to the Admiralty, 24 January 1859, advising their letter had been forwarded to the Hudson's Bay Company.
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Draft, Merivale to H.H. Berens, Hudson's Bay Company, 24 January 1859, forwarding copy of the Admiralty letter and their reply.