No. 11
16 February 1860
I have the honor to acknowledge the receipt of your Grace's Despatch No 24 of the 1st December last, transmitting Copy of a letter from the Hudson Bay Company, enclosing one from Mr Dallas their Agent at this place, upon the subject of the repayment of the outlay I had incurred in erecting Public Offices in Vancouver's IslandManuscript imageIsland.
2. In reference thereto Your Grace remarks that the circumstances stated therein agree with the supposition originally formed by Your Grace that it was in the first instance intended that the cost of the buildings should be borne by the Mother Country, as coming within the Kind of expenditure incurred by the Hudson's Bay Company during their tenure of the Island; and your Grace therefore requires me to furnish some further explanation of the matter, and that I shall apprize you of the extent of the land surrendered to the Company's Agent to meet his advance, and of the modeManuscript imagemode in which the price obtained for it was realized.
3. Having already in my Despatch No 47 of the 12h September 1859, stated at some length to Your Grace the reasons which compelled me to institute measures to provide necessary and fitting accommodation for the transaction of the public business of the Colony, and of my inability to carry out my original intention of raising the requisite funds by the Sale of an allotment of Government reserved land, through my not being qualified to grant a Title; and also of the arrangement I consequently entered into with the Agent of the Hudsons Bay Company to surrender the land on condition of his placing at my disposal for theManuscript imagethe erection of the Buildings the sum of money obtained by the Sale, I will not again touch upon these points, but will endeavor to lay before Your Grace such further information as I trust may disabuse your mind of the idea that I ever contemplated that the cost of these Buildings was to be ultimately "repaid" by the Mother Country.
4. Your Grace will not fail to observe that in the letter of Mr Dallas of the 14h September 1859, no mention whatever is made of the land surrendered by me, but one would be led to infer that I had pressed upon him to advance the sum of about Twenty seven Thousand Dollars from the general funds of the Hudsons Bay Company, without inManuscript imagein any way making provision for that sum being, almost before it was required, paid into their hands. Mr Dallas states that he advanced the money on condition that it should be passed by me "as coming within the head of sums expended by the Company during the period of their grant of the island." If by this Mr Dallas considered that I proposed the entire Advance should be repaid by the Home Government he was very much mistaken. I had no objection to the amount being charged under the head of Sums Expended for Colonial purposes—indeed after the arrangement I had made to surrender the land, it was most desirable that it should be so—but it was my full intention that the moneyManuscript imagemoney raised by the Sale of the land should be accounted for, and should appear per contra; and therefore although the expense of the Buildings was in reality borne by the Colony—or more properly the Crown—yet no actual repayment would be required to meet that expense.
5. I forward herewith a plan of the reserved portion of ground in question. The whole piece contains an area of 2 Acres, 1 road, and 19 2/10 perches. The part surrendered to the Hudson Bay Company as before described contains 1 Acre, 3 Roads, and 19 4/10 perches, being the lots numbered on the plan from 1595 to 1626—except Lots 1603 and 1605 on which at present stand two Government Buildings, one being the PostManuscript imagePost Office. There now remains of the original allotment about 1 road, and 39 8/10 perches, occupied by the two Buildings just mentioned, and by the Police Court, Gaol and Yard, as exhibited by the plan.
6. The site was surveyed under the direction of the Colonial Surveyor, and sold after due notice at public auction to the highest bidder, and payment for the same was made into the hands of the Cashier of the Hudsons Bay Company.
7. I trust that this additional explanation may serve to place Your Grace in possession of the precise facts of the case, and that it may be satisfactory to you.
8. Before concluding I would desire to remark that I believe the correspondenceManuscript imagecorrespondence enclosed by Mr Dallas in his letter of the 14h September and to which Your Grace adverts, in no way bears upon the case in point. Those applications to Mr Dallas for money were simply to meet small items of current expense, most of which were incurred before the 30th May 1859 and which under the state of things existing, I had no other means of defraying.
I have etc.
Minutes by CO staff
Manuscript image
Mr Elliot
The report of the Governor on the points on which this Office has called for explanation will not be complete until he shall have ansd the Duke of Newcastles despatch of the 2 Jany. I should suggest therefore a short delay in the consideration of the subject.
ABd 17 Apl
TFE 18/4
Duke of Newcastle
Wait, as suggested? I have asked Manuscript imageMr Pemberton, the Colonial Surveyor (who sold the land in question) about this rather obscure affair. The fact is, that the H.B.Co. & Mr Dallas considered the site of the old Govt offices as a portion of the "Fur Trade Reserve," of wh. we have heard so much lately, and therefore as their private property. The Governor on the other hand holds it to be Govt property,
Private property of the Govt as being a Government Reserve.
and to have been sold by the H.B.Co. in their public capacity.
[But?] only in consequence of a defect in the title.

In the former case, the money produced by the sale wd be an advance from the Co., for wh. they wd be entitled to repayment. In the latter case, it would be merely a payment out of Colonial Revenue. The decision of the Judicial Committee on the question of the Co's title to their "Fur Trade Reserve" will, I suppose, carry this question with it.
CF 21
Wait as proposed.
N 24
Documents enclosed with the main document (not transcribed)
Manuscript image
"Plan of Fort Victoria (?) Vancouver Island, B.C." Note in file: "has been removed to M.P.G. 250," signed J.R. Crompton, 21 June 1927.
Douglas, James to Pelham-Clinton, Henry Pelham Fiennes 16 February 1860, CO 305:14, no. 3603, 66. 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/V60011.html.

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