Paget to Merivale (Permanent Under-Secretary)
8 February 1860
With reference to my Letter of the 20th ultimo in reply to yours of the 5th on the subject of reserving for Naval purposes the ground, Buildings &ca at Esquimalt Harbour, Vancouver's Island; I am commanded by my Lords Commissioners of the Admiralty, to transmit herewith, copy of a Letter from Rear Admiral Baynes dated the 14th November last No 183 on this subject, and to acquaint you, for the information of His Grace The Duke of Newcastle, that my Lords agree withManuscript imagewith Admiral Baynes, that it would be very desirable that the Admiralty should become possessed of the Land he refers to vizt about Fifty acres marked Indian Reserve on the enclosed Plan, and Inskip Island, and my Lords desire me to state, that they would be glad to be informed, if his suggestion could be carried out upon reasonable terms.
I am etc.
C. Paget
Minutes by CO staff
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Mr Merivale
1. I do not see from the correspondence that the Foreign or War Offices have been apprized of the Admiralty determination to take over the ground & buildings at Esquimalt Harbor which were bought by the For: Office for the purposes of the Boundary Commission. I think those offices should be told this. See 698 V.C.I.
2. As V.C. Island has not yet been formally retransferred to the Crown there is Manuscript imagesome difficulty in purchasing this Indian Reserve; but I fancy I have seen a suggestion of yours that some understanding shd be come to with the H.B.Co not to prevent the sales of Land, pending such retransfer, the produce of the sale being carried to a separate account.
ABd 11/2
1. If the For. office have actually bought the land first named, there can be no difficulty about it: the transfer can be made, & the For. office moved to make it.
2. But as to any other land, it must necessarily await the decision as to the general mode of dealing with public land in Vanc. Id.
HM F 13
Ask the F.O. whether the first named Land & Buildings are theirs—whether they will be willing to transfer it to the Admiralty, and when?
CF 15
N 16
Other documents included in the file
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Merivale to E. Hammond, Foreign Office, 22 February 1860, asking if the land and buildings in question were actually theirs, and, if so, whether they would be willing to transfer title to the Naval Department.
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Merivale to Admiralty, 22 February 1860, advising the question of "the ground, buildings &c at Esquimalt Harbour" has been referred to the Foreign Office, but that a decision on "the Indian Reserve" must await the government's decision on the disposition of public land in the colony.
Documents enclosed with the main document (not transcribed)
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Baynes to Secretary to the Admiralty, 14 November 1859, supporting the decision to acquire the land and buildings used by the surveying party, and recommending the acquisition of further land, as per despatch.