Barnston to Lytton
4th April 1859
I have the honor to submit for your perusal, the following extract from a letter just received by me, from my son Mr John Barnston, a Canadian barrister who left Montreal last Autumn, to reside in Vancouver's Island.
My professional position here is not an agreeable one; English barristers and Scotch advocates are the only persons entitled to practice in the Superior Court, and others are only admitted in sufferance at present as agents for the parties—not as attornies or barristers. There is only one English barrister here at present; but there is no doubt that in a short time there will be more, when, unless the order in Council be repealed, Colonial barristers will not be allowed to appear. The same rule is observed at present in British Columbia.
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I most respectfully beg leave to bring under your notice the extreme hardship of the case above disclosed, and to solicit such action on the part of Her Majesty's government, as the nature of the case seems to require.
I have the honor to be Sir
Your most obedient Servant
Geo. Barnston

To the Right Hon E.B. Lytton
&c &c &c
Her Majesty's principal Secretary of State for the Colonies
Minutes by CO staff
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Lord Carnarvon
Instruct the Governor of C[anada] to inform the writer in answer that copy of his Letter has been referred to the Governor of Van Couver's Island & B. Columbia with a request that the application (which seems a reasonable one) may be taken into favorable consideration.
2. Write to Governor Douglas accordingly & refer him to the correspondence which has already passed in reference to the admission of Scotch Solicitors to practice in the Superior Court of V. Couver's Island.
ABd 23 Apl
TFE 23/4
Leaving the matter however to his discretion: as it may have a connection with the rather delicate question of the admission of U.S. lawyers.
C Apl 27
Documents enclosed with the main document (not transcribed)
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Barnston to Lytton, 4 April 1859, advising where mail could be sent to him.
Other documents included in the file
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Draft, Lytton to Douglas, No. 57, 29 April 1859, admitting that he is "unwilling to interfere" with Douglas's "discretion" concerning who can practice law in the superior courts.
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Draft, Lytton to Sir E. Head, Canada, No. ?, 1 May 1859, requesting he inform Barnston that Douglas has been notified.