No. 13, Legislative
10 March 1860
I have the honor to communicate for your Grace's information that the Legislature of this Colony did, according to Summons, Commence its session on the 1st dayManuscript imageday of the present month, an event which attracted much public interest and attention.
2. I forward herewith a Copy of a Message to the Legislature which I delivered on that occasion.
3. It distinctly announces, according to your Grace's instructions, the decision of Her Majesty's Government requiring Vancouver's Island, like other British Colonies, to provide for the expenses of its own Civil Government, and to that extent, to be self supporting—and then proceedsManuscript imageproceeds to point out, in succession, the measures which appear to be requisite, in those circumstances, for the development of its resources and its growth in wealth and population.
4. I have strenuously recommended in the Message that powerful inducements should be held out for the encouragement of Emigrants from the United Kingdom, as the distance of this Colony from Great Britain, the Character of the Country, Chiefly forest land and expensiveManuscript imageexpensive to clear, and the great facilities afforded to emigrants by other British Colonies, and by the Government of the United States, would, without such inducements, effectually divert emigration from Vancouver's Island.
5. The cheap and easy acquisition of public land, and the formation of safe and convenient roads are the measures, in addition to the system of Free Trade and other advantages secured to the Colonists, on which I relyManuscript imagerely for the progress of the Colony in wealth and prosperity.
6. I trust that the measure advocated and the general tenor of the Message, may meet with your Grace's approval: it touches upon no right or prerogative of the Crown, and yet leaves room for the free expansion of settlement and Communal industry.
7. The newly convened Assembly consists of 13 Members whose names will be found in a statement accompanying this Despatch.
8. Mr Manuscript image
8. Mr John Sebastian Helmcken, the former Speaker, has been again chosen for that Office.
9. Copies of the address from the Legislative Council and House of Assembly in reply to the Message are also herewith forwarded.
10. The House will soon take up the serious business of the session and their proceedings will be duly reported for your Graces information.
I have etc.
Minutes by CO staff
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Mr Elliot
I see nothing to object to in the Speech, but it is unusual to do more than acknowledge receipt of such communications.
ABd 25 Apl
The portion of this Speech about the Civil List & future surrender of the Crown Lands, is correct & satisfactory.
It appears to me that there are at this time two principal subjects of anxiety about this Colony, 1st the burthensome military expenditure which it is quite unable to defray, and 2ndly, the question of the best mode of disposing of the public lands.
On the former point I am collecting the facts, with a view to seeing whether any practical suggestion can be offered.
On the second the Governor's opinion has been invited in reference to a project of Capt Clarke's.
I think that it will be enough to acknowledge the Speech.
TFE 27 April
CF 28
The "military expenditure" is a British Columbian question.
N 30
Documents enclosed with the main document (not transcribed)
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Printed copy of the governor's speech opening the current session of the House of Assembly, no date, as per despatch.
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Legislative Council to Douglas, acknowledging the address, and providing assurances of their support, no date, signed by Roderick Finlayson, D. Fraser, John Work and David Cameron.
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House of Assembly to Douglas, acknowledging the address, and pledging their early attention to the measures raised in the speech, no date, signed by J.S. Helmcken.
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Other documents included in the file
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Draft reply, Newcastle to Douglas, No. 20, 4 May 1860, acknowledging his despatch.