No. 27
Downing Street
16 July 1860
I have had before me your despatch No. 16 of the 28th of March last, accompanied by an address from the House of Assembly relative to the price of Land in Vancouver Island.
You have already learned from the Duke of Newcastle's despatchManuscript imagedespatch No. 26 of the 28th Ultimo that Her Majesty's Government have no objection to the proposed adoption of the price of 4s/2d per acre. I must explain however that it is impossible to authorize you to adopt this, as a liberal conformity with the terms of the Address would require, as a maximum price. A maximum price forManuscript imagefor all Crown Land cannot with propriety be established by law. What you are at liberty to do is to announce the sum of 4s/2d per acre as the price at which all ordinary rural lands may be exposed to auction, and as soon as they have been once so offered to sale without being purchased, they may be sold to anyone who applies for them at the rate of 4s/2d as a fixed price, withoutManuscript imagewithout being subjected again to auction.
With regard to the terms on which land may be occupied with a right of preemption, you have been apprized, the the Duke of Newcastles former despatch No. 23 of the 7th of May, that so far as regards British Columbia, His Grace suspended his opinion until he should receive aManuscript imagea report from you on Captain Clarke's scheme. For the same reason the adoption of a decision on the question in Vancouver's Island must likewise be suspended, as it is desirable that, unless there should be some very special reason against it, the practice adopted in one Colony should also be established in the other.
on Manuscript image
On the general subject of the disposal of lands and of the provision to be made against abuses in the occupation of them, I enclose for your information a useful report from the Commission of Colonial Lands and Emigration.
I have etc.
G.C. Lewis
Documents enclosed with the main document (not transcribed)
T.W.C. Murdoch, Emigration Commission, to Rogers, 9 June 1860.