Berens to Lytton
Hudson's Bay House
21 April 1859
I have the honor to acknowledge the receipt of Mr Merivale's letter, dated Downing Street the 12th instant, on the subject of the expenses incurred by the Hudson's Bay Company in searching for Coal at Fort Rupert, and stating that unless the Directors of the Hudson's Bay Company can give evidence that it was intended to carry the proceeds of the Fort Rupert Mine, (had it succeeded) to the public account, Her Majesty's Government are not prepared to reimburse the Company the expenses they incurred in that undertaking.
The Directors of the Hudson's BayManuscript imageBay Company feel it would be difficult to bring evidence of an intention on their part to carry the proceeds of the Fort Rupert Mine to the public account, as in consequence of the search having proved a failure, the question as to proceeds never arose; but they would beg to remind you that the search for Coal was originally undertaken by the Hudson's Bay Company as one of the means of promoting Colonization in Vancouver's Island. That object was attained by the addition to the British population of the Island of a large number of Miners and other immigrants connected with the working of the Coal, who were sent out from England at a very heavy expense.
The Coal Mine at Nanaimo now in the hands of the Hudson's Bay Company has hitherto been unremunerative, andManuscript imageand under these circumstances considering that the public alone have been the gainers, the Directors of the Hudson's Bay Company think that, although they may have no strictly legal right, they have nevertheless an equitable claim on the liberal consideration of Her Majesty's Government with reference to the actual loss sustained by them in the search for the Coal at Fort Rupert.
I have etc.
H.H. Berens
Minutes by CO staff
Manuscript image
Lord Carnarvon
I think it wd be well to ask the Land Board to favor us with their opinion on this.
ABd 25 Apl
C Apl 26