No. 26
Downing Street
28 June 1860
You have been already informed that a correspondence has been for some time in progress between Her Majesty's Government and the Hudson's Bay Company on the subject of the resumption by the former of Vancouver's Island and the amount Manuscript imagewhich on such resumption would be payable to the Company under the stipulations of the grant of 13th Jany 1849.
By the terms of that Grant the Crown was entitled, at the expiration of the Hudson's Bay Company's license of exclusive Trade to repurchase Vancouver's Island on repayment to the Company of the sums of money expended by them upon the Island, and of the value of their establishments, propertyManuscript imageproperty, and effects thereon. The license of exclusive Trade expired on 13th May 1859, and in anticipation of its termination Her Majesty's Government gave notice to the Company in the close of 1857 of the intention of the Crown to resume the Island, and requested them to send in a statement of the amount of which they would be entitled to claim repayment. The claim which they sent in in the first Manuscript imageinstance embraced the whole of their expenditure and amounted to £225,699—but on being informed that Her Majesty's Government declined to take over any of the establishments or property connected with their commercial transactions they furnished an amended account comprizing only three items viz. £ s d
1 The balance due on account of )
public works & Establishments ) 8505..6..11
amounting on 31st Decem: 1857 )
2 The cost of sending out Settlers 25,550..-..-
3 The expense of searching for
Coal at Fort Rupert 12,469..4..7
The Manuscript image
The Company however have since intimated that they do not wish this to be taken as a final restriction, on their part, of their claims to those enumerated in this List.
To the two first items, (assuming the details to be supported by vouchers) Her Majesty's Government did not object, but the third appeared to them to stand on a different footing. It is unnecessary to trouble you Manuscript imagewith a detail of the correspondence that ensued, it is sufficient to state that Her Majesty's Government being convinced, after full consideration, that a further and indefinite delay in the settlement of the matter would be detrimental to public interests, and that an examination of the matter on the spot would probably involve considerable expense, thought it most advisable on the whole toManuscript imageto effect a compromise on the point with the Hudson's Bay Company. They therefore proposed that the expense of the Fort Rupert Coal Mine should be divided equally between the Crown and the Company, and the Company having acceded to that proposition, a vote for £25,000 will be proposed to Parliament during the present session in part repayment of the amount Manuscript imagedue to the Company. The vote has been limited to the above sum because the account of expenditure for public works &c has as I have stated been furnished only to 31st December 1857, and until that account is completed the exact amount to which the Company will be entitled cannot be ascertained.
The Company have apprised me of their readiness to receive the amount proposed to be voted, and to convey to youManuscript imageyou the necessary authority to make grants of Land, not however including any of the Lands belonging to, or which have been registered, as belonging to the Company, whether in their own possession or in that of third parties. As the title of the Company to these lands is now under investigation this reservation is reasonable, and must be acquiesced in. In regard to other lands in Vancouvers Manuscript imageIsland you will on receiving the above authority from the Company take the necessary steps for throwing them open for Settlement.
The measures for making the payment of £25,000 are so far advanced that I have every reason to hope that you will receive the intended authority by the present Mail or by the next one at the latest.
I shall have no objection to the adoption of theManuscript imagethe price of 4s/2d per acre which has been recommended by the Legislature with your concurrence. Upon other questions connected with the manner of disposing of the Crown Land I shall address you by the next opportunity.
I have etc.
People in this document

Douglas, James

Pelham-Clinton, Henry Pelham Fiennes

Organizations in this document

Hudson's Bay Company

Places in this document

Fort Rupert, or T'sakis

Vancouver Island