Murdoch to Merivale (Permanent Under-Secretary)
Emigration Office
6 October 1859
I have to acknowledge your letter of the 16th ultimo, enclosing a Despatch from the Governor of VanCouvers Island (19th July No 25) reporting the proposed sale of certain inferior land in the neighbourhood of Victoria at a reduced price, and the intention to open the Cowitchan & Nanaimo valleys for settlement.
2. Governor Douglas encloses a letter from Mr Pemberton, the ColonialManuscript imageColonial Surveyor, proposing that as certain lands in the neighbourhood of Victoria are of an inferior description, and as if not occupied the survey lines will be obliterated, they should be sold at 4s/2d an Acre, instead of 20s/-. Governor Douglas reports that he had approved this proposal, and that the land would be put up to sale on the 1st August last at the price suggested. The only objection to such an arrangement of which I am aware is, that it induces settlers to purchase land which isManuscript imageis not the most advantageous for settlement—but as the tracts in question are not extensive and there are public objects to be promoted by the arrangement, it does not appear to me necessary to insist on that objection. Moreover the transaction will probably have been concluded before any instructions from the Secretary of State could reach the Colony.
3. Mr Pemberton further proposed that considering the small number of bôna fide settlers in the Colony the Lands at Cowitchan and Nanaimo whichManuscript imagewhich have been surveyed should for the present be closed, to avoid the dispersion of Settlers in the presence of numerous Indian Tribes. From this view Governor Douglas dissents as likely to give rise to complaint and retard the legitimate progress of the Colony. On this point the opinion of the Local Authorities must be supreme, and, I apprehend, that the Secretary of State cannot do otherwise than acquiesce in Governor Douglas' decision.
I have etc.
T.W.C. Murdoch
Minutes by CO staff
Manuscript image
ABd 8 Octr
Mr Blackwood
Ackge the Governor's despatch and say that the Secretary of State sees no reason to dissent from his views.
Draft may be prepared.
TFE 8 Octr