Murdoch to Elliot (Assistant Under-Secretary)
Emigration Office
19 March 1861
I have to acknowledge your letter of 14th inst, enclosing a Despatch from Governor Douglas, in which he points out the inconvenience of the delay caused by the necessity of sending home all Deeds of Grant in Vancouvers Island to have the Seal of the Hudsons Bay Co affixed to them—and adverts further to the questions connected with the sale of the Land in thatManuscript image Island on which the old Government buildings stood.
2. In respect to the first point there is no doubt inconvenience in the present arrangement, but it appears to be unavoidable. The Hudsons Bay Co cannot of course part with the custody of their Seal, and so long, therefore, as it is necessary to the validity of grants that they should have that Seal affixed to them, they must be transmitted to this Country for the purpose. The arrangement, however, is temporary only, and itManuscript image may be hoped not likely to continue long. As soon as the pecuniary accounts between H.M. Government and the Company are adjusted, and the Island is reconveyed to the Crown, the usual more convenient system will no doubt be brought into operation.
3. In respect to the second point there is nothing in Governor Douglas' despatch to require any modification of the report which I submitted on the subject on the 14th instant. The governor urges that no settlement of the Company's claim should be admitted whichManuscript image would infringe upon the Reserves made for the public which are marked on a Map enclosed in his despatch. Until the title of the Hudsons Bay Co to Lands by reason of occupation previous to 1849 is decided, no steps can be taken for the settlement of the questions respecting this particular Land—but when a decision has been obtained on the general question it would no doubt be advisable to consult the Local Government before deciding on the final arrangementManuscript image to be made with the Company in regard to this plot of Land.
I have etc.
T.W.C. Murdoch
Minutes by CO staff
Manuscript image
Mr Elliot
The previous papers are at present in Circulation. The Governor's desph No 6 is with them.
ABd 20/3
I suppose that Mr Murdoch's advice will be followed.
TFE 21/3
Answer the Govr accordingly.
CF 23
N 25